How to Buy Used Mens Fancy Dress Costumes

Views 1 Like Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy Used Men's Fancy Dress Costumes

Whether intended for Halloween or any other occasion, a great fancy dress or Halloween costume can set its wearer apart and create unique opportunities for conversation. Buying used costumes is an easy way to save money, though there are some important factors to keep in mind to ensure satisfaction and comfort for the wearer. The size of a costume is especially important, and can affect both the wearer's comfort and appearance. Also, may choose to wash a used men's costume before wearing it. Consider the many styles and options available for a costume, and choose a character or theme that is comfortable and enjoyable.

Used fancy dress costumes can be found at thrift stores and online sellers. Marketplaces like eBay have hundreds of costumes available throughout the year, and are a great way to shop for a variety of items. Shop around, and choose a used fancy dress costume that will stand out at any event.

Choosing Fancy Dress Costumes

Buying a used costume is often preferable to renting or buying new. Not only can it save buyers money, but it also allows them to keep the costume, unlike rentals. In order to find the best items, there are several things to keep in mind while shopping for fancy dress or Halloween costumes for adults, including the theme of the costume and its size.

Themes and Genres

The most exciting part of buying a fancy dress costume is picking the design and theme. A costume that fits within a particular genre creates opportunities to match costumes with friends, as well. Consider dressing as a celebrity, superhero, cartoon character, or monster. A great costume reflects the personality of its wearer, so have fun while shopping, and consider building a unique costume from parts and accessories of other outfits. The following list offers suggestions to help buyers begin their shopping experience.


Super-powered comic book characters provide a colourful way to dress up for an event. Though superheroes are certainly more popular, it can also be fun to dress as a supervillain. Look for costumes of characters like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, the Joker, and the Riddler.


Dressing up as a historical figure provides a broad range of options. Choose to dress as an ancient Egyptian, medieval knight, cowboy, Viking, or pirate. More modern eras are also popular, such as the 1970s.

Public Figure or Celebrity

Some dress costumes celebrate or satirise public figures and celebrities. Notable politicians and police can make for remarkable costumes, and flashy or notorious singers and other performers are a great excuse to wear comical outfits. Try searching for a popular public figure or celebrity to see if a pre-made costume is available.


Animals and other wildlife provide numerous opportunities for playful costumes. Consider dressing as a bear, lion, dog, or tiger. Insects and other creatures can also be used. Look for costumes in the form of spiders, flies, and many others.


Some of the most popular costumes belong to the horror genre. Not reserved for Halloween, horror-themed outfits can be frightening, outrageous, or comical any time of the year. Consider dressing as a zombie, vampire, werewolf, or skeleton.


Cartoon characters are a playful and fun choice for costumes. Look for costumes with characters from the The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, The Simpsons, Shrek, and The Flintstones.

In addition to those mentioned above, hundreds of other pre-made costumes are available. Buyers needn't stick to existing ideas, either. Masks are an easy way to begin a costume, and can be supplemented with other clothing to build a unique look. Original costumes can be very successful, so keep an open mind while shopping.


Once a theme is chosen, the next step is finding a costume that fits well. A poor-fitting costume will not only look awkward, it can be uncomfortable to wear, and may diminish the wearer's enjoyment of it. Many costumes are simply listed with a size, such as medium, large, or extra large, though some include dimensions for a man's chest and waist, as well as the inseam of his pant leg. Use the table below as a reference for finding the best fit in a costume.

Costume Size

Chest (cm)

Waist (cm)

Sleeve (cm)

Inseam (cm)
















Extra Large





Keep in mind that the chart above is meant only as a general guideline. Proportions vary between individuals, and discrepancies exist in the size of a costume from one manufacturer to the next. Also, be sure to see if the seller of the used costume accepts returns in case the item does not fit well. If buying online, note whether or not the seller covers any return shipping charges.

Cleaning Used Costumes

Washing and maintaining a fancy dress costume can help it last longer, look better, and be more comfortable to wear. When buying used costumes, many owners will want to wash the item before wearing it, as well. The good news is that most costumes can be washed like any other clothing.

Place bodysuits, shirts and pants in the washing machine with regular detergent, and wash with cold water. Remove any padding or foam beforehand when possible. If foam padding is encased in the material of the costume, be sure it is given a chance to dry thoroughly afterward. If fur or any other special material is on the outside of the costume, try turning it inside out before putting it in the wash. This will help prevent the material from becoming matted or tangled.

It is especially important to wash shoes that come with a costume. To do this, remove the laces and scrub off any dirt that may be present. Place them in the washing machine and set water temperature to cold, as with the rest of the costume. Never put shoes in the dryer, as this can cause them to shrink and become warped. Instead, place them outside in a well-lit area and allow them to air dry thoroughly. The sun also helps eliminate mould and bacteria that may be in the shoes.

How to Buy Used Men's Fancy Dress Costumes on eBay

A large variety of used fancy dress costumes can be purchased on eBay. An easy way to search for these items is to enter keywords on the homepage. For example, to see listings for all men's costumes, type "men's fancy dress" into the search field. Keyword searches are also useful for finding particular items, so try entering specific keywords, such as "Fred Flintstone costume."

There are two ways to narrow listings to used items. One is to add "used" to the existing keywords. Another method, which may yield more results, involves the category options on search results pages. Look for a link to used items, and click on it. If no option is available, it means there are currently no listings for used items that match your search terms. Category options can also be used to shop for particular sizes.

Examine item listings closely to be clear on the item being sold. Read the description provided by the seller, and examine available photos. Note the price of the item, and remember to add shipping charges to your estimate of the final cost. To ensure a smooth transaction, check the payment methods accepted by the seller, and be prepared to send payment as soon as you commit to a purchase.

Examine seller profiles to find the most reliable eBay users. Every item listing shows the seller's positive feedback rating and number of completed transactions. If you would like more information, click on the seller's name to open the full profile. There, you can see comments left by previous buyers and their average ratings of a seller based on key aspects of the selling process.


Men's fancy dress costumes are produced in a wide array of styles. Consider the many options available, including public figures, horror themes, cartoon characters, and superheroes. It is also possible to build an original costume using masks and other articles of clothing. Shop around, and choose an item that suits the personality of its wearer. Before buying a costume, be sure it will fit by taking some body measurements. Some costumes include measurements for chest and waist, as well as sleeve and pant lengths, though most items are listed with a generic size like small, medium or large. Clean and maintain costumes to ensure they can be used more than once, and consider washing a used item before wearing it for the first time.

Used men's fancy dress costumes can be found at thrift stores and from online sellers like those on eBay. Searching online is an easy way to find a variety of costumes in the appropriate size. See if it is possible to return an item in the event it does not fit properly, and shop around to obtain costumes that are in the best condition. With a little patience, buyers can find many opportunities to grab some favourable attention with their costume at the next fancy dress event.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides