Costume or no costume?
That's the question for many this Halloween who want to look festive while remaining fashionable.
It's possible to be both, says Erin Rechner, kidswear editor for trend analysis and research company WGSN. Several fashion trends can translate into haunted wear with some creative styling.
Nineties-inspired plaids and black-and-white striped apparel easily can become the basis for outfits channeling such characters as the cast of the 1995 film "Clueless" or "Beetlejuice." Have a black tulle skirt? Hang onto it, Ms. Rechner says. It can go from 1980s punk princess with the right touches to a bumble bee if paired with a black-and-yellow sweater.
Some retailers have come up with their own spooky styles that can be worn after the Halloween candy is gone. Forever 21 carries a collection of cat and bat designs, including bat-patterned jackets, sweaters and skirts. Topshop scared up its offerings with skeleton bodycon dresses, leggings and tube skirts, and asos.com has bat sunglasses, pumpkin caps and red patterned pointy-toed boots for a modern witch outfit.
"It's like you're in the Halloween spirit but not in full force costume from head to toe," Ms. Rechner says.
Pittsburgh fashion and beauty front
Strom Brand Jeans launch party at e.b. Pepper: Celebrate the arrival of this Pittsburgh-based brand at 5411 Walnut St., Shadyside. Stop by from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday to see the line and meet designer Erika Stromqvist and founder Matthew Hillman Fisher. Information: 412-683-3815.
Trunk shows at Larrimor's: No tricks at this event Thursday, just the treat of well-crafted apparel and accessories by standout American and British brands. U.S.-based Torino will offer its line of handcrafted belts for men, complemented by Barbour's signature country-meets-classic clothing. Information: www.larrimors.com or 412-471-5727.
Garbage Bag Gala at Fairmont Pittsburgh, Downtown: Recycled fashions and looks from local boutiques will take center stage from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. The event will raise funds for the Salvation Army Family Caring Center. Information and tickets: www.garbagebaggala.org.
Elizabeth Dye bridal trunk show: Browse best-selling and new designs from the Oregon-based bridal designer Friday through Sunday at Glitter & Grit boutique, 5300 Butler St., Lawrenceville. To book an appointment, visit www.glitterandgritpgh.com or call 412-781-2375.
Positively Posh shopping benefit: Support the Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society with shopping and socializing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College. Dozens of local artisans will have fashions, accessories and more for sale. Admission is $10 at http://positivelyposh2013.eventbrite.com.
Closing sale at Canadian Fur Co., Downtown: The fourth-generation store at 625 Smithfield St. will close Jan. 18. Shop its inventory at discounts as steep as 40- 50 percent off, or more. Some of the store's brands include Max Mara, Blackglama Mink, Cole Haan and Dominic Bellissimo.
Also in the news ...
Conde Nast to end internship program: Bad news for aspiring editrixes hoping to get their foot in the door at a major fashion magazine via an internship. The publishing house behind such fashion powerhouse publications as Vogue, Glamour and Women's Wear Daily will no longer hire interns, starting in 2014.
The decision comes soon after Conde Nast was sued by two former interns who claimed they were paid below minimum wage during their tenure. The suit is still pending. Similar suits have been filed against other publishers, including Hearst.
Law offers underage models legal protection: New legislation signed by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will recognize fashion models younger than 18 as child performers. As a result, new limits and regulations will be placed on when and how often they can work and likely will impact the casting process for New York Fashion Week, which often features teen models on the runway.
Barneys New York accused of racial profiling: Two young African-Americans claim the high-end retailer falsely accused them of fraud. Trayon Christian, 19, said he was accused of using a fake debit card, while 21-year-old Kayla Phillips told media that she was surrounded by cops soon after leaving the store when she used her temporary debit card to make a purchase.
"Barneys New York believes that no customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports, and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies," CEO Mark Lee said in a statement posted to the store's Facebook page.
Meanwhile, some are pushing for Jay Z to decline his holiday collaboration with the store and have started a petition on Change.org.
"I haven't made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys," the rapper said in a post on his website, lifeandtimes.com. He added that his collection for Barneys would help raise money for the Shawn Carter Foundation.
For more from PG fashion writer Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook. Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG. To have a fashion or style event considered for Stylebook, send listing to firstname.lastname@example.org.