How to be a Stylish yet Thrifty Librarian for Halloween

Hey guys, I thought I’d do a different kind of post today since I’ve decided to save my last 31 Nights of Horror post until Halloween is over. I thought it might be fun to blog about the Halloween costume I created this year. It’s been a long time since I put together a costume on my own, and this is by far the most elaborate one I’ve done. I’m going to tell you how I put it together, how much it cost, and show the results of my hard work. Ready?


First off, you may be wondering–why a librarian? As a book lover, I thought it would be a neat idea. The more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the idea. First I’m going to list the items I ended up going with, how I found them, and how much they cost. You don’t have to get the same things that I do–they are simply ideas to get you thinking if you decide you want to do a similar costume.

1. Glasses.

It’s hard to imagine a librarian without these. In fact, I can’t even remember ever seeing a librarian who didn’t wear glasses! Even though I already wear them, they weren’t really the right type for a typical librarian look. I bought two pairs of square-shaped ones at Micheal’s Arts and Crafts store, but the pair I ended up using actually came from Goodwill. Ironically most of my items came from there.

Anyway, these were round with rhinestones on the end. I really love them, but they are definitely too strong for me to look through without a headache so I had to wear them on the end of my nose and try not to look through them. I’m thinking of seeing if I can get the lenses changed out either for my prescription or non-prescription lenses so I could actually wear them if I wanted to.

Total Cost: $1.00


2. Lanyard and ID Badge Holder.

I wanted to add a modern feel to the costume, so I decided I wanted to get a lanyard and an ID badge holder. I made the badge myself. I will post an example of the badge below. This was actually the most expensive part of my costume. I ended up ordering this on Amazon. I’ll have to find a way to get more use out of it because it really is pretty.

Total Cost: $8.96 (Photo ID was free, printed at home on paper I already had)


3. Blue Vest.

I originally wanted to go with a long-sleeved, white button up shirt, but I couldn’t find one that I liked. Maybe these types of shirts just don’t look good on me. I happened to find this cute vest at Goodwill and thought I could work it into my costume. The great thing about this is that like the glasses, I can wear it again anytime so it’s re-usable.

Total Cost: $3.75


4. Lace White Tank.

I couldn’t just wear the blue vest the way it was, so I went on the search for the right undershirt. I finally found this simple but cute lace white tank at Goodwill. I think the vest and tank go great together.

Total Cost: $3.75


5. Black Knee-Length Skirt

I found this cute skirt at Goodwill as well and thought it would add some spice to the costume.

Total Cost: $3.75


6. Black Fashion Tights

I had a hard time deciding between pantyhose or tights, but when I found these black fashion tights at my local Dollar General, I knew I had to have them. They are also pretty comfortable and kept my legs warm on a cold night when I had to wear the costume. I also had a pair of thick gray leggings that I opted to wear with the costume on a separate event that also worked out really well. I couldn’t get a great picture of either, but the black tights had a criss-cross sort of pattern. As long as the tights/leggings aren’t too distracting, they should work well.

Total Cost: $4.00

My black tights sort of looked like this, except more subtle:

Picture Source:
Picture Source:

7. Low Heeled Black Shoes

I’d love to be able to wear high heels, but the sad fact is that I just can’t do it. I have to be picky with shoes or they will really hurt my feet, and I don’t do balance so well. So even though I’m on the petite side and experts say to go with high heels, I stick with the low ones. The shoes were actually the most difficult thing to find, but I finally found the perfect pair at Goodwill. Although they are a little loose, they are pretty comfortable for heels. I can see myself wearing them again. The best part about them was that I didn’t have to worry too much about tripping.

Total Cost: $4.75


8. Bobby Pins and Elastic

The typical hairstyle to use for a librarian look is a bun. I used some bobby pins and an elastic I already had and did my hair myself. To soften the look, I let some strands come loose.

Total Cost: $0.00

See final result to get an idea for hair, though it’s pretty simple.

9. Makeup.

Librarians don’t usually have elaborate makeup, so I kept mine simple and used stuff I already owned. I used my everyday moisturizer (Pond’s), Everyday Minerals concealer, foundation, blush, and finishing dust. Then I filled in my eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil. For lips, I bought a bright pink lipstick to use (I wanted to do red, but soon found out that red just isn’t my color!). The only thing I had to buy makeup-wise was the lipstick, which was a cheap kind from Dollar General.

Total Cost: $1.00

See final result to see how I did the makeup. It’s pretty subtle, though.

10. Nails.

I originally wanted to get some fake fingernails because I have a bad habit of biting mine, but in the end I settled for just painting my short ones. I found a pink nail polish that somewhat matched my lipstick. I also had some clear polish on hand as well.

Total Cost: $1.00


11. Earrings.

I wanted to wear pearl earrings, but I haven’t gotten around to getting my ears re-pierced.

To get the same look, I noticed that I had some stickers I’d bought months ago on clearance at Micheal’s Arts and Crafts. There were several different sized pearl half-circle stickers. I  decided to stick one on each ear to see how it looked and was surprised at how realistic it looked. I wore these to a party that lasted several hours and they held with no trouble.

Total Cost: $0.00


12. Books.

What would a librarian be without her books? Finding books is not a problem at my house. I decided on two hardcovers that weren’t too distracting once I took the jacket covers off to give them a more generic feel. Any book could work.

Total Cost: $0.00


The total amount that I spent on my librarian costume rounds up to $32!

Looking at some of the pre-made costumes, that seems like a pretty good price for one, especially considering I can re-use everything I’ve bought. The final results of my costume are below. Let me know what you think!


I hope you’ve paid your library fines!


And have your books returned on time!




Please keep your voice down.


Full body picture with the gray leggings.


I hope you found my post interesting and/or helpful. If you found yourself here because you are looking to dress up as a librarian, I’d love to see what look you come up with!



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