Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out!

Hippies are a relic from generations gone by. Their brightly colored clothing and free spirits forever live on in popular culture through cinema, music and – wait for it – themed parties! We’re halfway through May and the weather is warming up. It’s time to put away the jackets and sweaters and get ready for some fun in the sun! Whether you’re going to a 1970s party or just want to inject a little peace into your outfit, here are a few suggestions to help you find your inner flower child.



Liberate Your Hair

Whether you have long locks or a short bob, you can make your hair fit the look. A headband or flowers will immediately put you into hippie territory. If you have longer hair, accentuate the front with bangs. Bright colors are a must, so be generous with the amount of flowery accessories that make up your headgear.

Be on the Fringe

Rather, let the fringe be on you. Fringe is a big part of the hippie look – think Neil Young circa Buffalo Springfield. Leather works best, but anything will do, as long as it has fringe. Fringe! Ok, I think you get the point. Be sure to add buttons. Peace signs, smiley faces, and band pins will give it the perfect look.


Whatever you have on, make sure it is fully adorned with flowers, patches, tie-dye, etc. There is no right or wrong way to look. Just make sure to have an artistic approach and focus on peace, love, and possibly two doves embroidered on the back of your shirt.

Increase the peace!


Mulan’s Best Dresses

Given the announcement that Disney is producing a live action version of their classic 1998 tail Mulan and that Mulan herself is one of the most influential and inspiring Disney characters to date, I decided to take a look at a couple of her most well known dress style in the original cartoon.

Green Dress

Mulan Green DressIn the beginning of the movie Mulan wears a green dress (I apologize for my lack of knowledge on what her style of clothing is actually called, but for Disney princess purposes we will continue to refer to it as a dress). The green dress is casual and comfortable. It allows her to have an elegant appearance while maintaining flexibility and agility.

Pink Dress

mulan pink dress

Mulan had reached the pivotal point in her life where marriage was her only next option. Thus she was transformed by the match maker into a beautiful dolled up woman with the hope of attracting the “perfect” man.

Which dress to choose?

The green dress wins when it comes to comfort and versatility. If you are planning on moving around a lot and potentially showing off some fighting moves to protect your friends from any incoming danger then the green dress is for you.

If going all out and getting thoroughly dressed up then the pink dress is for you. It can be a lot of work especially with the make-up, but when done properly this outfit will wow your friends as well as strangers.

Revisiting Buttercup

Recently, Netflix released the third season of its critically-acclaimed series House of Cards. Robin Wright stars as Claire Underwood, First Lady of the United States of America. Nearly 28 years ago, Wright played the role of Princess Buttercup in the instant classic The Princess Bride. Today, we’ll take a look at her memorable character and review some looks that will help you get in touch with your inner Buttercup. Princesses come in all shapes and sizes, so even if you don’t look like Robin Wright, you can capture the beautiful essence of a princess!


Let Your Locks Flow

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Buttercup is her flowing blonde hair. If this isn’t your normal style, you can always get a wig, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can color your hair.


Go with a Gown

No princess is truly a princess without an elegant dress. It can be any color or style, just make sure it is worthy of a princess. Bonus points for anything that shines or shimmers!

Accessories Are a Must

If you’re going to have a gown, you might as well go all the way. Tiaras, jewelry, and fancy shoes or slippers can help complete a full-fledged princess look.

Those are just a few things you can do to put a little Buttercup into your life. If you have a beau, have him dress up as the Dread Pirate Roberts, walk around a crowded place in costume, and see if anyone recognizes your characters! Cap everything off with a viewing of The Princess Bride, remember – you can make magic whenever you want to!



Get Colonial

Presidents’ Day is observed on the third Monday each February to commemorate George Washington’s birthday (as well as Abraham Lincoln and in some cases, many other presidents). However, his actual birthday is February 22. When is the last time you paid tribute to the founding fathers? Any opportunity to dress up in costume is a good one, and Washington’s birthday is a great opportunity to have fun while honoring the USA’s first president.

Stock Photo of the Consitution of the United States and Feather Quill

Written Proof

What good is a party if you can’t remember it or who attended? Consider getting a large scroll and feather pen. Have each party guest sign their name. To ensure the party is agreeable and most people have a good time, gather around the document and create a Party Constitution.


Impress with that Dress

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Colonial women wore corsets underneath their dresses, and those are very uncomfortable. No way I’m doing that.” You’re right, and you shouldn’t. Lucky for you, modern day costumes are designed for comfort and there’s no need to constrict your breathing just to join the fun.


Historical Context

To really have fun – and prevent duplicate costumes – assign a character to your party guests. For example, have two of your friends attend as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Imagine the arguments they’ll have over the hors d’oeuvres!


Wig Out

No colonial look is complete without a white powdered wig. Perukes, as they are officially known, were originally used to cover up baldness and open sores caused by syphilis. Wind the clock forward a couple hundred years and they’re a delightful costume accessory! Whatever look you’re going for, make sure you have one of these in your arsenal.


Declaration to the Nation

To add historical significance, read Washington’s Farewell Address. Washington wrote this to the people of the United States and explained why he would not seek a third term in office. He also addressed the political climate at the time and gave advice and encouragement to the citizens of the newly formed nation.

So there you have it. You never thought you’d celebrate George Washington in a big way, but now there’s no excuse not to! Happy birthday Mr. President – thanks for everything!

A Little Celebrity Inspiration: Zoe Saldana

With Halloween fast approaching, virtually everyone is either getting their costumes together, or at least thinking about what they want to do. Everybody finds their inspiration in different ways, and the best part about it is that there are no wrong ways to approach it. Arguably, the most popular venue for inspiration is the movies- and there has been no shortage of great characters to emulate in the past few years.


There is one particular actress who I believe has made quite an entrance into the movies and made her mark on our hearts as some very iconic characters. Zoe Saldana has starred in some amazing movies that have blown all of our minds, and played characters that have supplied the nation with inspiration for some not only awesome costumes, but very recognizable ones as well. I think the fact that the great ones are science fiction makes her and her characters even better.

Neytiri – Avatar



In 2009, Saldana starred as Neytiri in the movie Avatar, and like, love, or hate the movie, everyone knows the look of the aliens that took that 3D screen by storm.  With the right wig and makeup, this is a really hands on and fun costume idea. Though the movie isn’t incredibly recent, Zoe’s performance brought this character to life, and that image will be recognized for a long time to come.  The best part about it though: it’s blue!

Lieutenant Uhura – Star Trek Into Darkness



In the same year, Zoe costarred in the new Star Trek movie, and followed it up in the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness as Lieutenant Uhura in 2013. Another visually stunning movie in outer space, Zoe graced the USS Enterprise with her beauty and charisma. This costume idea has significantly less makeup involved and even though people will instantly understand the Star Trek reference they may not get Uhura right away, but if you can figure out her ear piece, you would nail it!

Gamora – Guardians of the Galaxy




The last on my list (but most certainly not the least, by any means) is Zoe’s most recent adventure in the 2014 Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy as the beautiful and deadly Gamora. Yet another outer space action thriller (I’m starting to pick up on a theme here), this is another costume idea that would greatly benefit from accessories, like boots, gloves, and even that awesome sword. Personally, I do think that if you are going to go for a costume like this, commit to it and do the full face paint. Think about it, how often do you get to make green look sexy?

Zoe Saldana has brought so much to the big screen, and because of the great work that she does she has inspired some fantastic costumes. The diversity between every one of her characters is perfect as well. Even though the persona work she does with every one of them is so unique, it can be boiled down to a more basic level: each one is a different color!

There are so many cool ideas out there and these are only 3 of a single actress’ roles that we took a look at. Remember, Halloween is about creativity, individuality, and just having fun. It doesn’t matter where you are getting your ideas from, because if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. If you want to be one of your favorite super heroes, go for it. If you want to be a potato, knock yourself out. Even if you just want to be a specific character because you love the actress that played her, do it. After all, like they say, impersonation is the greatest form of flattery.

Bat-Universe Costumes for Women

The comic verse has hundreds upon hundreds of female super heroines and supervillains. How many can you name? Really, if you’re not a super comic geek, really take a moment to think. As you begin running through the list, you may find that it is shorter than you might think. Catwoman, Storm, Jean Grey, Rogue, Super Girl, Wonder Woman, Black Widow.

The problem is that the majority of women get the bulk of their DC and Marvel knowledge from television and film. And unfortunately, comics adapted into a film medium tend to focus on the same male heroes over and over again. (Iron Man, Spider-Man, Batman, sheesh!)

It begs the question. What do you do when you need to find the right superhero costume for a party? You have two options.

Option one is to go with what you know. While this method is certainly valid, it does tend to result in the party being full of women dressed as Catwoman. Good if you want to get away with cat burglary. Not too cool if you want to flaunt a badass costume.

For those of you hoping to dress in a unique costume, go with option two: the lesser known heroines and villainesses. Here are a few badass comic women to kick start your imagination.

Poison Ivy

poison ivy

Poison Ivy is a criminal in the batman universe. She’s an eco-terrorist who isn’t afraid to get her hands a little dirty in her quest to save the environment. Her primary weapons are toxins she derives from the plants she loves, often administered via kiss.

Due to her appearance in the original Batman movies, she is one lesser known supervillain who has premade costumes available. For those peeps who want to skip the pre-made costume, you can transform yourself into Poison Ivy with:

  • a red wig
  • a green dress
  • green tights
  • leaf appliques.

poison ivy




Batwoman has been a part of the super hero universe since the 1950’s. Her back story was fairly pedantic.  A wealthy heiress who used to be a circus performer decided that fighting crime was the thing to do with her never ending supply of money. In 2006, the DC universe revamped the Batwoman character. The newest version Kate Kane is an ex-military officer turned vigilante.

Regardless of her origins story, it can’t be denied, her crime fighting get-up is bad ass. As a very obscure superhero, you will have a very hard time locating a pre-made costume. You’ll have to create this costume from scratch. To become Batwoman you need:

  • a red wig
  • black leather pants
  • a black long sleeve shirt with the red bat sewn onto the chest
  • red boots
  • red elbow length gloves
  • a red and black cape
  • a black mask





In some iterations, Huntress is the child of Batman and Catwoman. In others, she is their contemporary, mob princess Helena Bertinelli. In 2002 Huntress appeared in the 2002 television series “Birds of Prey,” par for the course dressed head-to-toe in black leather. (Unfortunately the show did not make it past the first season.)

With Huntress, you have two different costume options: the comic or television crime fighting get-up. In the comics, Huntress wears a traditional Bat costume. In the television series, Huntress attempts to deny all connection to batman, so the costume is more unique. The comic costume consists of:

  • a black shirt and pants
  • a purple belt
  • purple boots
  • a purple cape
  • a purple mask.

The television costume consists of:

  • a black trench coat
  • black boots
  • leather pants
  • a leather shirt



Poison Ivy, Batwoman, and Huntress are only three more villains in the pantheon of DC super heroes and villains. Still that’s four more costumes that may prevent you from becoming a super hero doppelganger. If none of the heroines seem to be your style, don’t fear- there a hundreds more to choose from.

My Friend that Doesn’t Like Halloween

A girlfriend and I were out for lunch, and I was (like I always am) talking about upcoming costume ideas, specifically for Comic Book Day, where each of the comic book stores gives out a free comic book for dressing up. She didn’t really say anything and then she said… and I quote “I don’t really like dressing up, I don’t understand the obsession,”




After the initial shock- I began to listen to her point of view. Sure, I still don’t understand how she could feel that way, but at the same time, I think that it may be a common feeling among ‘those that do not dress up.’

She explained that it seemed like a lot of work to be someone other than herself.“It’s expensive, time consuming, and I really just don’t understand the point of trying to be someone other than myself. The media constantly tells women to look, sound, and act differently, – I think that Halloween promotes that same attitude. I like myself; I don’t need to dress up as someone else. Also: I don’t like candy.”



You don’t like candy?

How is that possible?

She continued: “Also, anytime I go to the store to look for a Halloween costume, I come back disappointed. I can either be a witch, or some random animal or object made sexy.”

Well, she just said a mouthful there.

For the first time in my life… I didn’t really know what to say.

I wonder how many people feel this way. How many potential Halloween party goers are missing out? I am now on a mission to find her an easy, inexpensive, non-baring costume. AND provide a party with healthy foods instead of candy!!!!

Some healthy treats are:

Now for the hard part…

White T Shirt

Two T Shirts

Hat and Apron


Although my friend doesn’t like Halloween, or candy… she and I have been friends forever! Which means, she is generally open minded to my geekiness, and she was more than willing to try out the skeleton shirt idea, and enjoy some healthy snacks on a random Tuesday night. At the end of the night she did not say “Oh my god!!! Let’s do this every night forever, for the rest of our lives!” However, she did say she would do it again.


Lady Villains Get a Revamp

Disney has a way of casting good and evil in such a way that that a small child you genuine hated the evil villain and you really loved the pretty princess. However, recently there has been a revamp of the lady villains in some of these Disney princess movies, telling a whole new story to the previously told tale.


“There was a legend of a dark and powerful fairy and her curse on a sleeping beauty”  and the story line goes into depth about Maleficent and her elegant, and powerful character.


Not only was the story-line of the female villain revamped, but so was the look! The clothing got a little tighter (it’s Angelina Jolie, they couldn’t not) and she was given large, feathery, evil looking wings! Pretty awesome!

Ravenna- The Queen

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves differ from Snow White and the Huntsman not only in the action, but also in the dynamics of the queen’s role. The Charlize queen sucks the souls out of young girls to stay young, The Queen, in the new version is overarching more beautiful than the new Snow White.

The Queen

My favorite wardrobe alteration is changing the crown and headpiece. Allowing the face, and neck to be shown better emphasizes the beauty, and her thick golden braids appear crown like.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts is known for her awful temper. “Off with their heads!” In the new version, the temperament is the same; however, the wardrobe is wonky and different on all of the characters. The makeup is drastic, the weird shape of her head compared to body is different, and overall is more gothic than the cartoon version (no surprise, what with the new movie being a Burton film).


Although, I am not a fan of the makeup, or alteration of body I do love the costum revamp. What beautiful beading!!!!

The lady villains have definitely been revamped in the newer premiers, some for the better, and some for the worse- either way the beautiful costumes, and intricacy of makeup and detail are costume worthy!

Gender Roles: The Premiere


The season 7 premiere of Mad Men is upon us, and just thinking about the chauvinism, sexism, and gender stereotypes I am squirming. It’s a love hate relationship really. On one hand I love the beautiful costumes the ladies wear, accentuating every curve and every feminine characteristic is wonderful. On the other hand- quotes such as, “it looks really complicated, but a man made this simple enough for a woman to use” (in regards to the typewriter) I find rather disgusting…yet… also very funny. Like I said, it’s a love hate relationship, don’t judge!

If you haven’t gotten to enjoy a season, or seven, of Man Men you should know that it takes place in the late 50’s, early 60’s in uptown New York. This show is a must see drama that highlights a past culture of excessive drinking, smoking, adultery, anti-Antisemitism, racism and homophobia. And the best part, as you can probably guess, are the curve enhancing feminine costumes from the 50’s and 60’s. So today I am going to show you what it is about those costumes that highlight the stated gender roles in Mad Men, and often times in society.mad-men-woman

The upper echelon society in the early 60’s was all about status. What you drank, what you smoked, and certainly what you wore all were symbols of your status.images

 “Men like scarves, and it wouldn’t hurt to show your ankles”- Jone Holloway-Harris 

This fashion advice is stated time and again throughout the show. What it really means is that the fashions of these days were very gender specific. Women wore things that were feminine and that men liked. If the man you work for liked legs, show your ankles (remember, class was key) and show off your feminine figure whenever possible. These include belts to cinch the waist, a strategically placed brooch to draw attention to your best assets, a tea length dress, and always, a pair of heels. Accessories were also important to each outfit, always over accentuating the femininity of an outfit. This includes neck scarves, pearls, and other statement jewelry.

Hair and MakeupMad-Men-assistants

Hair, much like a good housewife was always neat, tidy, and tame. Hair scarves, bows, and waves were more than acceptable. Evidently sleeping in hot-rolls is the go to for this look. The makeup was a little less tame. Although the eye makeup is rather limited, mainly eyeliner, a hot lip was a must. Red, pink, and nude are all acceptable, but always in matte. Make sure to also focus on bolder eye brows a bit of mascara for that doe eye look.

We live in such a wonderful time, most often free from gender roles and oppressions but I do love the outfits from the late fifties. So, any chances I get I dress up like Betty Draper! Enjoy the season premiere on April 13th, and don’t forget to have an old fashioned with me!

Find the Perfect Look for a Downton Abbey Themed Party

The season four finale of Downton Abbey is almost upon us! A close friend of mine is planning an extravagant dinner party to mark the occasion, and I if I don’t blow everyone away with my outfit, then I’m just not doing my job.

In reality, the costumes are 80% of the reason why I watch Downton Abbey. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show to pieces, but there’s just something about all that silk and beadwork that makes me swoon. The same sentiment applies for Boardwalk Empire, although their costumes are slightly less upper crust and a little more…gritty.

If you’re planning on attending a Downton (or 20s) themed party, I’ve put together a little guide for pulling off the perfect ensemble.

The Dress

Downton Abbey Season 4 Fashion

Much to the relief of all women, the 20’s brought an end to the corset. Tubular (shift) dresses that flattened the bust line – rather than accentuating it – became all the rage. Low-waisted dresses were also popular, as the fullness at the hemline allowed women to dance freely, without getting tripped up in yards of fabric.

Attire was also worn according to the time of day and activities. According to the academic publication Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas:

“Afternoon or ‘tea gowns’ were less form-fitting than evening gowns, featured long, flowing sleeves, and were adorned with sashes, bows, or artificial flowers at the waist. Evening gowns were typically slightly longer than tea gowns, in satin or velvet, and embellished with beads, rhinestones, or fringe”

If you’re looking to go for the more elegant Downton Abbey fare, consider an evening gown like “The Princess and the Beads” from Modcloth – or, if you’re really crafty, you could sew your own!

The Princess & The Beads Dress

However, as Lady Rose showed us last season, Downton Abbey isn’t all about straight laced styles. If you don’t want to drop a wad of cash on an evening gown, a fringed flapper dress is a cheaper option, but certainly no less fun.

Lady Rose Flapper DressThe Hair

The bob was huge in America, with many women chopping their locks in an effort to give a more boyish look to their feminine figure. It was a different story overseas, where Queen Mary preferred that ladies wear their hair long. If they did happen to break with tradition, she required they conceal their bobs at court functions or royal ceremonies.

Lady Edith Season 4No matter what length your hair is, you can find a tutorial to give it the perfect 20s flair.

If you have long hair and want to do a faux bob, this fabulous tutorial from Toni & Guy will show you how.

If you want to rock some awesome finger waves (like Lady Edith) but don’t have the experience to pull of the retro style, check out Hayley’s tutorial for an easy alternative.

And for you ladies with longer hair, this wonderful tutorial from Candice at Birchbox illustrates how to perfect a Lady Mary inspired updo.

Lady Rose HeadpieceOf course no Downton Abbey hairstyle would be complete without a fabulous decorative comb or headpiece.  Unfortunately these custom-made headpieces can cost an absolute fortune, and seeing as I blew most of my budget on the dress, it’s DIY to the rescue.

DIY 20s Headpiece

Ren, from Shine Trim Blog has a simple tutorial for creating a stunning headpiece on the cheap. Check it out here.

Your Downton Abbey inspired get up doesn’t have to be perfectly period correct, just elegant and fun. Remember, as the Dowager Countess herself said:

“The truth is neither here nor there. It’s the look of the thing that matters.”

If you have any tips, tutorials, or fabulous photos, share them with me in the comments below!