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National Costume Swap Day – October 12, 2024

Every second Saturday in October is National Costume Swap Day, which falls on October 12, and we are going to make sure that your favorite character comes to life. Costumes have been around for many years, they acted as a cultural image of people from different parts of the world. The term was also used to describe typical appropriate clothing for certain activities, such as swimming costume, riding costume, and evening costume.

History of National Costume Swap Day

With Halloween around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about pulling together your costumes. We all love to dress up in our favorite costumes, events like the comic-con and cosplay trends prove that to be true. The idea of dressing up as your favorite superhero or villain, or even your favorite character from a movie or a book excites us as it gives us a chance to play out our fantasies. And National Costume Swap Day is the perfect answer to our prayers.

However exciting the idea may be, like everything else on this planet, these costumes come at a price. Living out these fantasies can burn a hole in your pocket, not to mention the wastage of resources. To counter this problem, in 2012, Lynn Colwell and her daughter, Corey Colwell-Lipson, of created Costume Swap Day as a part of their Green Halloween movement. This was an effort to promote an economical and ecological way to dress for Halloween.

The swaps can be costumes that are home-stitched, store-bought, or patched together, anything goes, the objective is to save more and waste less. And it’s not just an effort to save on costumes for trick-or-treating, even theatre troupes can join in on the swaps, just before the fall drama season begins.

This day presents an amazing opportunity to live out your fantasies without spending any big bucks. Costume swapping day comes just a few weeks before Halloween, which is a great way to start the holidays. So gather with family, colleagues, or neighbors and spread some joy around, while keeping your savings intact.

National Costume Swap Day timeline

Cosplay is Born

The Japanese term "cosplay" (コスプレ, kosupure) is coined.

Clothing Swap Originates

Swapping clothing is started by Suzanne Agasi of in San Francisco, California.

Five Million Spent on Costumes

Halloween spending reaches about 5.7 million dollars in the U.S. as reported by the U.S, National Retail Federation.

Pet Cosplay

Americans spend approximately $480 million on Halloween costumes for their pets.

National Costume Swap Day FAQs

What is the difference between costume and dress?

A dress is an item of clothing that covers the upper part of the body and includes a skirt below the waist while a costume is a style of dress, including garments, hairstyle, and accessories, especially as characteristic of a particular country, period, or people.

What is a costume plot?

The costume plot is a list that shows what the character is wearing and their overall movement as they appear in each scene, throughout the play. This helps track the specific costume needs of every character.

What is the difference between sprite and costume?

Costumes are the artwork associated with a sprite. Since sprites are things that move, they usually have multiple costumes. Backdrops are the artwork for the stage. The stage doesn’t move but can have multiple backdrops.

National Costume Swap Day Activities

  1. Start swapping

    As the name suggests, the best thing to do on National Costume Swapping Day is to swap your costumes. Swap with your neighbors, family, or friends. Start early to get your hands on the best ones.

  2. Organize a costume swap party

    Take the initiative, organize a costume swap party. Invite all your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues. Start with the holiday celebrations a little early. After all, holidays give us a good reason to celebrate.

  3. Spread the word

    Get more people to join the initiative. Encourage people around you to make their holidays more economically and ecologically friendly. Recycle and reuse, it’s a better solution than the costumes ending up in a landfill.

5 Cool Facts About Costumes

  1. The first evidence of costumes

    The Celts wore them for celebrating the holiday Samhain.

  2. ‘Costume’ is an Italian word

    The Italian word is inherited via the French word for fashion or custom.

  3. Most popular costumes

    Princesses and Superhero costumes are most popular among kids.

  4. The second-largest commercial holiday

    Halloween ranks after only Christmas as the second-largest commercial holiday.

  5. Hand-made clothes

    Clothing was made by hand till the beginning of the 20th century.

Why We Love National Costume Swap Day

  1. Dress-ups are fun

    Dressing up in your favorite costume is a fun experience. Whether you like to dress up as a princess or a superhero, this thing never gets old. The costume can be store-bought or handmade, the joy that comes along with acting like your dearest character is unmeasurable. What makes this even better is if you have friends to join in on this activity to make the perfect team.

  2. Swapping saves money

    Like the olden times when money didn’t exist and society relied on the barter system, a swap doesn’t involve an exchange of money either. By swapping costumes you could save on some money and avoid ending up in a financial strain during the holiday season.

  3. It is eco-friendly

    Swapping costumes is just like recycling. And recycling is a great way to be environmentally friendly. By reusing the costumes, you will reduce the wastage of resources that are crucial for our environment. So why not help the environment while you celebrate the holidays, after all, it’s not that difficult.

National Costume Swap Day dates

2021October 9Saturday
2022October 8Saturday
2023October 14Saturday
2024October 12Saturday
2025October 11Saturday

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