5 Super Last-Minute Costume Ideas You Can Find in Your Own Closet

Maybe you haven’t looked at a calendar since September or maybe you’ve been on a space mission that just landed yesterday- I don’t know. I don’t know your life. But if your first thought this morning was “Oh crap- tomorrow’s Halloween!” well then, my friend, this is the post for you. Today I’m answering the procrastinator’s prayer and offering up my best last-minute costume ideas using things you’ve probably already got hanging in your closet. With a couple of strategic clothing selections, you can transform into any of these iconic film characters and no one will ever know you almost forgot the best holiday of the year.





*While I realize you likely don’t have a “Seniors” shirt in your closet, you can easily make one with some iron-on letters or a Sharpie marker.


What’s your best costume idea to throw together in a pinch? Share your genius with us in the comments!


Local Love… HighBall Halloween

It’s been several days since my last post, but I have good reason. I was really busy this past weekend


For those of you who aren’t from the Columbus area or aren’t familiar with the event, HighBall is a 2-day extravaganza that supports the Short North Alliance which in turn supports property and business owners in our Short North Arts District.

The first night focuses on street costumes and musical performances. This year’s theme was THE BIG 80s and there were some pretty spectacular costumes. Here are a few of my favorites from the HighBall Facebook page…

That Gameboy costume, through some form of costume wizardry, was actually fully functioning and people could even play Tetris on it. Incredible!

The night capped off with a performance by 80s star Taylor Dayne, who my roller skating childhood heart will always know as this…



The second night hosted the annual Costume Couture Fashion Show, featuring local fashion and costume designers, where yours truly, with the help of my co-designer, Shiree Houf, took 1st place!!

The idea is to present three “ready-to-wear” looks (amplified to fit the event obviously) followed by a main costume. Our collection was called Dolled Up and told the story of a pair of conjoined twins and their dolls/puppets.


Model Kristin Laymon as our Ragdoll. She did this little skip walk down the runway that was just adorable.



Angela Darr as our Windup Ballerina. She had a motorized spinning key and spun down the runway on point.



Wendy Jobes Hartman was our Harlequin doll. And I know I’m showing you a picture of her butt here, but this picture really shows you all of the details of the outfit. She was such a trooper- from wearing a black out screen over her eye for most of the day to having that hairpiece sewn into her head. She’s a total pro!



And lastly, our costume piece, the conjoined twins featuring models Jessica Gould and Abby Bowman.



 And speaking of troopers, these girls not only had to be attached to each other for over two hours, but also literally carried this behemoth of costume on their shoulders. They were so great!!



If you look closely, the puppets are wearing the same outfits, hair, and makeup as their real-life model counterparts.



From the back. Walking slowly but surely.



And the end of a long and exciting day. From left to right: Model Jessica Gould, myself, Co-designer Shiree Houf, and Model Abby Bowman.


Honestly, I’m still in a little bit of shock that we won. I mean look at this amazing competition!…


 A big thanks to my design partner, Shiree Houf, for counteracting my tendency to over think everything, for sewing like the wind, and for being the mastermind behind the structure for that skirt. We made a great team! Thank you to Phia Salon and  Reverse Vanity Spa for rocking out the hair and makeup and always being so awesome to work with. And to Stephanie Stein, Betsy Pandora, the Short North Alliance, and everyone else involved for all of the hard work that goes into making an event like this a success. Thank you for letting us take part. It was an incredible experience!


Local Love: CMH Superlatives

Columbus wowed me again last Saturday night at the CMH Fashion Week Finale Runway Show. Some of the best designers from the area showed collections at the Columbus Athenaeum, a beautiful historic building in downtown Columbus. The runway show, part of the 5th annual Columbus Fashion Week, featured 10 designers and concluded with Project Runway’s Althea Harper as the headliner.

I was so impressed with the talent this year. As great as last year’s show was, the designers seemed to have really stepped it up to an even higher level. It makes me really excited about the future of fashion here in Columbus. And while all of the collections are certainly worth seeing, since I got over 300 photos of the event, I narrowed it down by picking some of my favorites in a CMH Superlative-style recap. Enjoy!


 Most Unexpected (and Swoon-worthy) Use of Sequins


This may have been the standout look of the night for me. I never in a million years would have thought that white sequin trousers would look so amazing, but when she turned the corner it was like seeing magic happen. They look so luxe and chic. I am now forever obsessed with the sequin trouser.

Designer: Akili Cooper for Jahi


Best Pair of Non-Sequin Pants


These pleated palazzo pants were elegant and understated but still manage to make a major statement. I can see them working for so many body types and styles.

Designer: Stephanie Foster for Prissy Duck


Most Rock & Roll


I love the many layers of this look, from the lace thigh-highs to the half gloves- each element is just really cool and totally wearable.

Designer: Ray Marsh


Most Likely to be Crowned “Fresh Prints”


How do you wear head-to-toe prints? By keep everything sharp and impeccably tailored as evidenced here. This entire collection gets my vote for best use of prints. It was absolutely stunning. (And they have women’s wear, too!)

Designers: Danielle and Ashleigh Jones for D&A


Best Reenactment of my Ballerina Daydreams


The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but this look was so fluid and breathtaking walking down the aisle. This entire collection was so dreamy and romantic that it was like watching a beautiful spring wedding unfold.

Designer: Lubna Najjar for Lubna Designs


Coolest Form of the Muppet Coat


Crazy-colored shaggy muppet coats have been everywhere lately, but I thought this deconstructed denim coat was such a cool, innovative take on that. I don’t even care that it’s menswear- I want one.

Designer: Marquis Engle for Popular Culture


Most Attractive Way to Avoid Plague in a Future Dystopian Society


This was the most “concept” of all the collections with a little Renaissance, a little post-apocalyptic, a whole lot of McQueen. I loved the rich mix of textures and the blocks of contrasting colors and fabrics. I also applaud the commitment to a strong concept.

Designer: Dee Hayes for D. Hayes


Most Wowza Effect While Showing Just a Little Skin


What woman in the world doesn’t want to look exactly like this? This look is so sexy, which is interesting since it is also mostly covered up. That silhouette, that color, that balance- it’s all perfect.

Designer: Althea Harper


Most Likely to be What I Want to Wear Every Single Day


I just think this is the most perfect slouchy/sexy silhouette I’ve seen in a while. It’s the perfect amount of skin to look pretty but still seems just incredible wearable. She really makes the kind of clothes women want to wear. And the dreamy textile definitely doesn’t hurt either.

Designer: Althea Harper


Pretty awesome, right? You can find more info on the designers at the CMH Fashion Week site here. And congratulations to the whole CMH team on another amazing year! I’m already looking forward to seeing what you bring in 2015!


Photo credit: Mike Powers

Top 10 Tuesday: A Tribute to Oscar

What sad news to hear of the passing Oscar de la Renta yesterday at 82. As I’ve been pouring over the many articles being posted about the designer, I was really struck by how lightly he regarded his legacy. In a 2009 interview, he said of fashion:

“It’s never been heavy. Somebody might ask, ‘What is Oscar de la Renta?’ And you could say, ‘It’s a pretty dress.’” (NY Times)

Well, yeah, I guess you could say that. You could also say Oscar de la Renta is responsible for some of the most beautiful dresses in the history of fashion. You could say his work will be heralded by editors and students a century from now. You could simply call it genius. Those sound a little more accurate to me.

Here, ten of my favorite Oscar de la Renta “pretty dresses”…

1. Oscar de la Renta meets Carrie Bradshaw: Sarah Jessica Parker wore this whimsical pink feathered dress to the 2000 Emmy Awards, where she was nominated for her role in “Sex and the City.”  [image]


2. And speaking of “Sex and the City,” remember when an entire episode was based on this iconic Oscar de la Renta dress? [image]


3. Cameron Diaz was the picture of Old Hollywood glamour in this sparkling number at the 2010 Academy Awards. [image]


4. Style star Emma Watson was breathtaking in this ethereal tulle gown at a 2011 Harry Potter premiere. [image]


5. Jessica Alba has never looked better than when she donned this coral stunner for the 2013 Golden Globes. [image]


Amy Adams

6. Amy Adams once again took her place on the red carpet’s Best Dressed lists when she wore this breathtaking ballgown to the 2013 Academy Awards. [image]


Photo 8 from Jessica Chastain

7. Jessica Chastain displayed Oscar’s masterful use of color at the 2014 Deauville American Film Festival. [image]


8. Taylor Swift looked statuesque and ladylike in this champagne gown and dramatic train at the 2014 Met Gala. [image]


Photo 31 from Karlie Kloss

9. Karlie Kloss looked radiant in a gilded black gown and leather gloves, also at the 2014 Met Gala. [image]


Photo 1 from Sarah Jessica Parker

10. And my favorite of all- Sarah Jessica Parker, again at the 2014 Met Gala, in this stunning gown which featured the designer’s signature splashed across the back. Parker said this addition was all her idea, noting that he was far too modest to do that himself. [image]


Thank you for a lifetime of beautiful designs. You will be missed.


“Without panic there is no excitement. If you feel totally sure about what you’re doing, you shouldn’t do it.” ~Oscar de la Renta


Random Weekly Roundup #50

Am I posting this at 5 am? Why yes I am and thank you for asking. My WOW internet wasn’t quite living up to its namesake yesterday (today?), so I’m a little (a lot) behind schedule. I’m also reaching that time of night/morning when I start to get real weird, so I’ll just cut to the chase- these things were awesome this week. Please enjoy.



1  The most beautiful (thrifted and DIY) Halloween tablespace. (Justina Blakeney)  |  2  People telling the stories behind their tattoos. This guy got his on a spiritual quest through the mountains of Central Asia. Just kidding- he was drunk. (The New Yorker)



 3  Isn’t this Autumn Apple No-Bake Chocolate Tart beautiful? And bonus: it’s gluten free!  (Lauren Conrad)  |  4  Yesss! Pumpkins as fashion icons. Can you guess who this one is? (Domaine Home)


5  Have you seen this new foundation matching technology at Sephora? I’m wondering how it factors pre-applied makeup and self-tanning into the equation… I’m also wondering why Ayeisha hates Tinder jokes so much… (Into The Gloss)


 Still not ready to work yet?…

The most sparkly post you’ll ever see. (The Blonde Salad)

Have you heard of these shorts? Because they’re hilarious. (Chubbies)

How second graders do fine dining. (NY Times)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay trailer is out! (YouTube)

Give. Me. These. Now. (LRF)

Why being afraid is good. (Oprah)


Good morning to most. Good night to me. And most of all, keep it real today, friends! :)


Pinspired: Styling Your Way to the Perfect Costume

Since I work in costume/styling fields, I find myself often attending cocktail/themed events where I need to be dressed up, but at the same time I also need to be in “work mode.” This isn’t always the easiest task, but over the past few years I’ve become a bit of a pro at blurring the lines between event-appropriate and work-ready by focusing all my energy on the details of an outfit. I’ll wear basic, comfortable clothing (black leggings, comfortable tops, simple dresses, etc.) and then style them with my boldest accessories and beauty looks. The idea is to get people looking at my necklace or my eyeliner, and not looking at my comfort-soled shoes.

This method is especially great for when I work Halloween events, so I’m constantly on the hunt for makeup ideas or cute hats- anything that will help me to look festive but still allow me to focus on the task at hand. For anyone attending an office party, taking the kids trick-or-treating, or throwing together a last-minute costume, this concept is also a great way to have some Halloween fun without having to go full-on costume. I’ve scoured the wonderful world of Pinterest to put together some looks that use just three elements- makeup, nails, and hair accessories- but still offer plenty of festive bang for you buck. And they all come with a handy DIY tutorial so you can recreate them for yourselves. Let’s dig in!…



hat  |  makeup  |  nails

You can’t go wrong with what is arguably the most classic costume in Halloween history. Skip the face paint and opt for green eye shadow instead for a more flattering and chic alternative.



nails  |  makeup  |  headband

No doubt you’ve seen the complex and amazing Lichtenstein-inspired makeup looks circling Pinterest. While they’re impressive, they’re not very practical for most people. These ideas take a far less intimidating approach while still offering the graphic punch that makes this look so much fun.



headband  |  nails  |  eyes

Everyone loves a cat costume and these tutorials employ the most up-to-date trends to keep the classic costume chic. Wear all black with a leopard clutch or shoes for a purr-fect head-to-toe look.



headpiece  |  eyes  |  nails

If you love the beautiful, ethereal look of a mermaid costume, but are intimidated because you think you have to go full sea shell bikini and tail- don’t be! A maxi dress or skirt will give you the look you want while still keeping you covered. Just let the beautiful shimmering accents do all the talking.



headband  |  makeup  |  nails

Another great classic, and a perfect addition to an all-black ensemble, is the vampire. The makeup is sexy, the nails are much easier than they look, and the bat headband is a simple, yet makes a major statement.



lips  |  headband  |  nails

And this look is perhaps my favorite. I love how the most on-trend motif of the year- the evil eye- also serves as a perfect sci fi mani. Add the futuristic lips and an LED headband and you’re ready to take on the universe!


Which look is your favorite?


Some Columbus Day Local Love


photo credit: Alexa Marie Fogle


Despite all historical evidence to the contrary, I like to think of Columbus Day as a special celebration of my favorite city. We all know I love Columbus (and who here doesn’t?), so I was especially excited to be included in some local publications lately and I just wanted to share those with you all, in case you missed them…


Cbus Chic


I was really honored to be included in Cbus Chic‘s Fall Fashion Issue, among local favorites like Baydian, Blowdry Cafe, Il Moda, and Fringe Boutique. I’m talking about blogging, trends, and life in general. If you want to check it out, you can find more of my pumpkin-headed self here.


Columbus Monthly


I loved this article in Columbus Monthly about the makeup/costume designer collaborative relationship for HighBall Halloween. I was really excited that they chose to feature my look from last year’s event, shown on model Darissa Hayes. This look was done by makeup artist Nicole DiTommaso of Reverse Vanity Spa, who will also be creating the looks for this year’s HighBall. I haven’t located a digital copy yet, but in the meantime, issues can be found here.


Columbus Underground


And lastly, I loved throwing in my two cents on the future of retail in the Short North, our local shopping hotspot, after this weekend’s opening of Anthropologie in the mainly locally-owned neighborhood.  It felt really great to be included among local bloggers like Girl About Columbus, She’s Just Smitten, Katya Grishanova, and Mrs. Ladylike. You can find the article here.


And local friends, come see my fashion collection and costume design, a collaborative effort with designer, Shiree Houf, at the upcoming HighBall!

Enjoy the rest of your day!


Random Weekly Roundup #49

This is a very late night post after an eventful day. My weekend started off terrible when my car wouldn’t start and we had to deal with a gas leak in our apartment on Friday. But a stressful beginning ended up wonderful as my sister and I got to spend the day with our brother who was in from L.A. this weekend. We ate and ate some more, hitting up some international cuisine at North Market and finishing at Jeni’s in the Short North. And I have zero pictures to show because I am the worst blogger. But I’m wondering, Columbus friends- where do you take out-of-town visitors? Any must-see spots or hidden gems I should know about? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

And now, some Internet stars of the week…


RWR49_ AbigailAhern_NanetteLeporeRWR49_ ABeautifulMess_DryEraseWallArt

1  The perfectly colored interiors of Nanette Lepore’s home. (Abigail Ahern)  |  2  And the most clever dry erase board DIY. (A Beautiful Mess)



3  Two of the most stylish kids ever… (WhoWhatWear)  |  4  …and some of the weirdest. (Bored Panda)



5  Love the crimped ponytails seen at Stella McCartney S/S 15. (Le Fashion)  |  6  And my new favorite hair hack- faking a blowout with a curling iron. (The Beauty Department)


7  Love this easy idea for amping up a bad hair day. (Miss Kris)


And for further procrastination…

I’m intrigued by this simple health concept- anyone already doing it? (How You Glow)

Some great book shelf styling ideas. (The Pleated Poppy)

The prettiest fall/winter color combo. (Le Fashion)

And the coolest dress in town. (WhoWhatWear)

Test your fashion week knowledge. Can you beat my 12/15? (NY Times)

Apparently Frankenstein + ballerina = dream shoes. Who knew? (Garance Dore)

I want to read all of these. (Lauren Conrad)

And a can’t-miss talk for creative entrepreneurs. (Circles Conference)


And the million dollar question- why am I not asleep? I don’t know. So good night. :)


10 DIY Fashion Icon Costumes

The official start of the Halloween takeover on the blog starts today! One of the many creative hats I wear is that of a costume designer, so naturally I LOVE Halloween! And from today on, most of the regular blog spots are officially costume-focused for the next few weeks.

First up, I have to focus on my favorite topic with some DIY Fashion Icon Costumes. I love dressing as actual people for Halloween, especially stylish ones, because then your costume money actually goes towards amping up your wardrobe outside of the holiday. Here are some of my favorites with links to the pieces in case you want to recreate the looks yourselves.

1. Anna Wintour

The must have pieces here are Wintour’s signature shades and bob hairstyle. Throw the latest Vogue into a sleek bag and work an icy cool demeanor to really nail it.


shoes  |  necklaces  |  brooch  |  sunglasses  |  bag  |  wig  |  dress


2. Karl Lagerfeld

This look, complete with the white ponytail, shades, and fingerless gloves is actually a perfect look for a woman. Just ask Barbie. Bonus points for carrying around your cat as fashion’s top feline, Choupette.


jacket  |  shirt  |  boots  |  hair powder  |  necklace  |  jeans  |  sunglasses  |  belt  |  gloves


3. The Olsens

The trick to making this look work as a costume is the must-have Starbucks cup and some heavily contoured cheekbones. A look-alike BFF and a super-awkward Vine doesn’t hurt either.


rings  |  shoes  |  bag  |  tumbler  |  dress  |  sunglasses  |  coat  |  nail polish  |  lipstick  |  wave spray


4. Cara Delevingne

Throw in every street-style trend you can and don’t forget the trademark brows. This tutorial will help with that.


jacket  |  necklace  |  top  |  shoes  |  sunglasses  |  pants  |  brow pencil  |  lipstick  |  hat


5. Grace Coddington

No Coddington costume is complete without replicating the most recognizable hair in fashion. Assuming you don’t sport a bright red triangle quaff, I suggest teasing out a curly wig and trimming where needed. And don’t forget the makeup- concealed brows and red lipstick complete the look.


shoes  |  brooch  |  top  |  jacket  |  bag  |  pants  |  teaser  |  wig  |  lipstick


6. Twiggy

Work this year’s mod trend with a flirty mini and white tights. Top it off with the signature Twiggy eye makeup and false lashes. This tutorial will help you make your eyes their doe-iest.


tights  |  earrings  |  bag  |  shoes  |  dress  |  liquid liner  |  cream liner  |  eyeshadow  |  lashes


 7. Jenna Lyons

To get this look, wear your sharpest, most tailored pieces. The slicked back hair, bright lip, and trademark glasses are must-haves and carrying a J. Crew shopping bag will help to drive the concept home.


shoes  |  glasses  |  coat  |  jacket  |  shirt  |  lipstick  |  necklace  |  pants


8. Betsey Johnson

The signature look of my favorite wacky designer makes for such a fun costume! And with her recent run on DWTS, it’s the perfect year to show your love. The staples to any Betsey costume: a bright tutu, mix of prints (namely black and white stripes, floral, and leopard), and lots of layers. Blonde bangs and visible extensions (or a wig) will help create her wild do.


bag  |  bracelet  |  bangles  |  shoes  |  necklace  |  jacket  |  tee  |  leggings  |  tutus  |  bangs  |  extensions


9. Kate Moss

Nothing says 90s like the Kate Moss Calvin Klein ad. And if you really want to show off your abs, I think this is a super-clever way to do it. 1000 bonus points for sporting the Mark Wahlberg nail decals.


boots  |  bra  |  underwear  |  nail decals  |  perfume  |  jacket  |  beauty balm  |  jeans


10. Coco Chanel

Not only is Coco the ultimate style icon, but this costume can most likely be made with things you already have in your closet. Just don’t forget the trademark cigarette holder, which you can even make yourself with a straw or coffee stirrer. Get the finger waves hairstyle with this tutorial.


sweater  |  cigarette holder  |  shoes  |  dress  |  necklace  |  earrings  |  bracelet  |  cuff  |  bag  |  hat


Would you wear any of these looks for Halloween? Who am I forgetting that should be on the list? Let’s talk trick-or-treating in style in the comments!


Currently: October



Watching my niece and nephew for the weekend, which also means watching a lot of Halloween cartoons- my favorite!

Reading  so many books about dinosaurs and princesses.

Working on my collection for Highball and it is looking awesome! I can’t wait to show you guys.

Listening to Meghan Trainor, like everyone else in the world. She’s just so darn cute.

Making plans and scouring thrift stores for my “office” makeover coming soon to a blog near you!    

Eating gluten-free goodies from my new fave store- Aldi. For real, if you have to buy gluten-free or have a family to shop for, I found so many things for less than half the price of other stores.

Thinking about all of the Halloween post ideas I’ve got brewing (pun unintended).

Wearing chunky cardigan sweaters- the bigger, the better! This one from Free People is a dream.

Planning a weekend visit from my brother next week. I can’t wait!

Feeling thankful for my family and full of love. :)


 Now I want to hear from you! Pick a topic (or all of them!) and tell me what’s on your radar this month!


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