Mark your calendars. Oct. 9 is National Costume Swap Day. The premise is simple. Many Halloween costumes are worn only once. Why throw out your old costume when you could trade it with someone and receive a nearly new costume in return? This idea was brought to you by the eco-friendly folks at Green Halloween®, who are always on the lookout for cleaner, greener ways to celebrate Halloween (and other holidays).
Currently, there is not an official National Costume Swap Day event scheduled for the Germantown area, but don't let that stop you. You can register a new swap here.
Not up for that much work? Get some friends together - through your neighborhood, work, church, or other group - and swap costumes informally. Brainstorm new ways to re-purpose old Halloween favorites. Could last year's pirate become this year's pirate ghost?
Consider joining Germantown's Freecycle group to give away your old Halloween costumes or to search for gently used ones. Through Freecycle, you can join an email list that allows you to include the items you want to donate as well as purchasing items that others have listed. Arranging transfer is easy - once you've claimed something, the owners will leave it on their doorstep or in some other handy location and you can pick up the item at your leisure.
If you are only looking to trade children's items, try the popular thredUP Used Kids Clothing Exchange, "where parents swap gently worn, second hand & used kids clothing online." During the month of October, they are offering an option to swap children's Halloween costumes through their Halloween Costume Swap. Local consignment stores like Emma's Closet are also great places to re-sell children's costumes and look for "new" outfits.
You never know what you might find in the free portion of the Maryland (DC suburb) subsection of craigslist. Searching for that hard to find item? eBay currently has nearly 200,00 items for sale in their "Costumes & Reenactment Attire" category.
Don't need another costume? Before you throw your old one in the trash, consider donating it to a thrift shop like the The Salvation Army Thrift Store at 18705 N Frederick Road in Germantown (call 240 631-8137 for drop-off hours). These folks will take your trash and turn it into someone else's treasure.