How much should you spend on a Halloween costume?

Modesto BeeOctober 24, 2011 

It used to be that an inexpensive Halloween costume was one that came out of your parents' closets.

Pull on your dad's old jeans, tie them with string and — voilá — instant hobo. Borrow your mom's skirt and blouse, perch some glasses on your nose, and you were an accountant.

Times have changed, and today buying a costume from a store or online is common. But how much should you spend?

"No more than like $20," said Josiah Parra of Modesto, shopping for costumes Sunday at Party City on McHenry Avenue.

Josiah, 16, was buying a ladybug costume for his sister, 2-year-old Kaitlynn. The cost: about $17.

That's more than the family spent on Kaitlynn last year, when she went as Cinderella. The toddler wore a dress (bought by mom, who figured she could wear it on other occasions) and a tiara.

But as kids get older, they're needs — wants? — can be more elaborate. The child who was once happy with a hand-me-down cowboy costume now has his heart set on being a Willie Wonka, a zombie doctor, a crew member from Star Trek, etc.

Just ask Andrea Acosta of Modesto. She and her son, Lucas, 8, on Sunday were in search of a stormtrooper costume.

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