style fuss

Halloween Tips & Tricks

Posted in Uncategorized by Ciara on October 27, 2009


kitty cat costume

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Halloween Week has officially begun!  … and yes, because of my love of the holiday, I am in full support of extending the celebration all week long!  I have been planning a fun costume for myself for a few weeks now.  Of course, I don’t really need an excuse to play dress up!  This week I will share with you some of my favorite Halloween pictures from when I was a little kid.  The above photograph taken when I was about three during my cat phase – I was a cat for three years in a row at least. 🙂

There are some fabulous costumes out there, ready to buy and wear but personally I find it a lot more fun to get creative and see what happens!  Funds are tight for a lot of people this year but don’t let that dampen your Halloween spirit!

  • Thrift-store finds are begging to be transformed into your holiday finery!  Any  character you might be inspired by can easily be outfitted with a simple trip to Goodwill.  Not to mention many thrift stores’ proceeds go to benefit the less fortunate and with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming just around the corner the small amount of money you spend can definitely do some good.  Better than picking up a costume-in-a-bag and cheaper, too!  And if you decide to go gore-y this Halloween you won’t feel too bad about mucking up something you acquired with pocket change.
  • You’d be amazed at what a pair of cheap panty hose, some corn syrup, and food coloring can get you!  I’ve found some remarkable tutorials on YouTube for making all sorts of ghoulish delights for under $20…


  • Okay, so maybe blood and gore isn’t your ticket.  I found myself searching for inspiration photographs and making a style board.  The more images I collected the more inspired I got and the more my idea has progressed.  See something you like – rip it off!  There’s no need to shell out big bucks for a costume a bunch of other people will be wearing!  Instead, get a picture of it (or 50!) and figure out what key pieces you will need.  Usually there are distinct elements you have to nail – with my Margot Tenenbaum costume I knew I needed the fur coat, wooden finger, heavy eyeliner and blonde wig.  Sure I would’ve loved the Lacoste polo dress but I  knew if the other elements were right the costume would be a success.  Got the wig for $10, fur coat was my great-grandmothers’, and I made the wooden finger with papier-mâché and wood-look contact paper.  Total spent?  $15  Fun had?  Immeasurable.
  • This brings me to my next point:  Use what you’ve got!  Get inspired by your own wardrobe or that of a close friend or relative.  We all have things in our closets that we rarely wear.  What better time to utilize these unique pieces?  Take a shopping trip through your own closet or host a clothes swap with friends and come up with ideas together.
  • For my costume (which I will reveal in good time…) I took inspiration from the runways!  (Particularly Rodarte with their sometimes spooky, goth edge.)  Some trends really lend themselves well to being reinterpreted as costumes.  There is no need to make Halloween too oh-my-gawdy and sacrifice being chic…  unless of course that’s your goal! 🙂
  • Finally, if you’re having trouble cementing a killer-costume (okay, pun intended) then find a buddy to make your Halloween statement with!  Dressing up as a pair or in a group is always fun and it is much easier to get into character when you create an atmosphere with others.

With all of this said, I would LOVE to hear some of your ideas for Halloween!  Costume ideas, tips and tricks of your own, memorable Halloweens past…  all of it!  Spooky or otherwise, what are you going to be for Halloween?




Get Creepy!

Posted in Polyvore by Ciara on October 5, 2009
via Polyvore

via Polyvore

See this set and others by me at Polyvore

Oh, it is almost Halloween!  I’m not going to try to hide just how excited I am.  Last year The Boyfriend and I went as Margot and Richie Tenenbaum which was fabulous:

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

I’m not sure what his plans for this year are…  I’m thinking maybe a new twist on the classic skeleton for myself (obviously this thought informed my polyvore set for today) but we shall see.

I hope everyone else is excited for Halloween!  I very strongly support dressing up at every age (and, to be honest, regardless of the time of year 🙂 )  It is such a great opportunity to be anything you want if just for an evening.  What are you going to be this Halloween?


What I Wore: Silver Lining

Posted in What I Wore by Ciara on September 16, 2009

The weather lately has been beyond dreary in this particular area’s typical way.  I have a love/hate relationship with rainy weather.  It is definitely good for naps and lie-ins or burrowing away in the studio starting outlandish projects one may or may not finish… (i.e. my new knitting project).  A slick, cloudy day is also very good for a little weather-inspired game of dress-up.

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Tank – Old Navy, Tunic – Target, Cardigan – thrifted, Scarf – gift, Silver Flats – thrifted, Dog – Awesome!

(However, a rainy day is not so good for dog-walking…)

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Nailpolish – Wet & Wild

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Made from grandmother’s engagement ring.

I’ve also gotten some productivity in today – more or less completely cleaning out my digital clutter – music, media, projects, etc.  Yay!

What kind of activities do you occupy yourself with on a gray, drizzly day?  Let me know in the comments!


What I Wore: Fibula

Posted in What I Wore by Ciara on September 14, 2009

Tonight I am throwing a bit of an impromptu bash –  a casual, intimate gathering of close friends who need no excuse to celebrate…  uh, Monday!  So before the Bloody Marys starting flowing I wanted to get a quick outfit post in.

The strange piece of costume jewelry holding my cardigan together is something I acquired when I did a lot of theater.  It is a pretty strange piece, for which this photo does no justice.  I liked it with my gold shoes (which you also can’t see well in this picture…  I’ll get some detail shots soon – ran out of time today!)

© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Cardigan – Thrifted

Top – Target

Fibula-esque Pin – gift

Skirt – American Apparel

Shoes – Charlotte Russe

Anyway…  time to be a hostess.  Have a great Monday night!


Mixtape: September 2009 Folky Mix

Posted in Mixtape! by Ciara on September 9, 2009

Ah, the time-honored tradition of the mixtape…  A way to share a little part of yourself with a new friend or potential love-interest, a personalized icebreaker, a little note written with the music of others…  this is what I have for you today and what I hope to give you at least once a month!

For this month’s mixtape I found myself thinking about the impending chilly weather that comes with Autumn.  I absolutely love this time of year!  The crispness that sets in and brings back all of my beloved cardigans and layering pieces from the depths of the out of season closet… mmm!  So, I picked a few alt. folk tracks that more or less fit this transitional mood for me.

Mixtape:  September 2009 Folky Mix

In Our Talons – Bowerbirds

Japan – Coco Rosie

Sharkey’s Day – Laurie Anderson

I Love You – Andrew Jackson Jihad

Never Relaxed – Daniel Johnston

Dirty Dishes – Deer Tick

Sing Out – Ghost Mice

Peach, Plum, Pear – Joanna Newsom

I hope you enjoy this mix!  And in the spirit of getting to know each other, what are some of your favorite songs, bands, genres, etc?