Steal the show this Halloween with these tips from Boulder startup Shinesty

by Jess Ryan
September 30, 2016

Coloradans and tourists alike are heading to the high country for leaf peeping, Great American Beer Festival is right around the corner and our veins might as well be full of Pumpkin Spice Latte goodness. You know what that means — Halloween, arguably the best day of the year, will be here before you know it.

Whether you’re planning your own party, heading to an event or taking the kiddos trick-or-treating, one thing’s for sure: you’re going to need an awesome costume. If the thought of costume hunting strikes more fear in your heart than the thought of zombies or vampires, don’t worry — we’ve got your back.

Boulder-based e-commerce company Shinesty got their start mainly as a costume company, selling vintage ski jackets and thrifted tacky Christmas sweaters online. Since then, they’ve added a lifestyle component to their brand. After combining the two, they now consider themselves a “party brand” above all else. So who better than Drew Wyman, “El Presidente de Partnerships,” to chat costumes with?

We had Wyman walk us through how Coloradans can go about getting the perfect Halloween costume, from concept to execution.

Wyman said before making any other decisions, you have to decide whether you’ll do a solo costume or a group costume.

“When you’re all together looking good, you’re going to have more fun, but it’s stressful leading up to it — someone gets the better outfit or there are last minute changes.”

If you choose to go the solo route, Wyman recommends taking a good, strong look in the mirror and see which of your attributes could lend themselves to a good costume. For example, Wyman has a moustache and “goofy” hair, so he plans to be Einstein for Halloween.

“Inspiration comes from who you want to be, how you look and where you want to blend in,” he said.

For people who like to go all out on Halloween, breaking the bank can be a serious risk. But not all costumes have to be super expensive.

Wyman said the key is to plan in advance and look at what you already have around the house before buying anything new.

“I’m terrible with budgeting for Halloween,” he said. “I always wait until the last minute and have to overnight everything.”

You should also be mindful of your plans for the evening when making a budget. If you plan to go to a house party, you could probably stand to spend a bit more on your costume than if you were going to bars or a big party at a club, where you’d have to pay for drinks, food or a cover.

Even if you’re not willing or able to spend money on a costume, you have options — like the classic sheet-as-a-ghost or pajamas and crazy bed head.

“You’re gonna have fun no matter what,” said Wyman. “But the worst thing you could do on Halloween is be the one who doesn't dress up. It’s your chance to have an alter ego, be a little wild and cut loose. Budget shouldn’t be an excuse — there are so many creative things you can do with nothing or very little.”


Once you’ve got a costume in mind and know how much you’re willing to spend, it’s time to get to work. While you likely already have a lot of what you’d need, thrift shops, friends and even parents’ closets might dig up some gems — 70s pantsuit, anyone?

Of course, Wyman also thinks you should check out what Shinesty has to offer on their site. They’ve spent a lot of time designing subtly scary versions of their classic suits. They’re also getting into the funny costumes game with their “too drunk to care” collection — like gorilla and banana costumes. And they have a year-round set of themed collections like western items and neon clothes.

Whether you shop on Shinesty or not, Wyman said the fun is in the details. He had a friend last year who went as the Hamburglar, with a twist — the friend went to McDonald’s, ordered a few dozen hamburgers and, instead to keeping the stash to himself, handed them out to people along the way.

“It depends on the costume,” Wyman said. “But figuring out what those details and gags are makes it fun.”


Photos via Shinesty.

Have a killer costume idea? We want to know about it: Email us.

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