October 27, 2015
Maybe you didn't get invited to the slick party you wanted to attend, or perhaps you just don't like Halloween that much and wanted to stay inside. But now you've made last-minute plans to attend a costumed bash and have exactly zero costumes on hand. What to do?
You could head to South Street and scramble through the lingerie-filled racks of the pop-up costume shops, hoping that they have something left worth wearing. You could also just throw on a plaid shirt and say you're a lumberjack and get strange, sad looks for your lack of creativity under distress. Alternatively, you could just give up and hang with Ben & Jerry on the couch all night instead.
Or you could head to one of Philly's many boutiques (or, should we say boo-tiques?) for a quick-and-easy Halloween costume. Rather than purchase something in a shiny plastic pouch that will fall apart after one wear, put together a fun look that looks effortless and - most importantly - is made up of things you might actually wear again.
Smak Parlour, opened by Abby Kessler and Katie Loftus in Old City in 2005, is the perfect place to create a quick, versatile look. Not only is their candy-colored boutique full of throwback styles and edgy accessories, but they're on the up-and-up, too: the brand recently scored a deal with vintage-inspired e-tailer ModCloth.com. Their capsule collection, Cut & Sew, will arrive on the ModCloth site at the end of March.
To help out the costume-inept, Smak created two looks from their store that you can grab and go.
Get the classic, flirtatious look of a pinup model with the help of retro silhouettes and accessories, modeled here by Smak Parlour employee Chelsea Goich. Goich wears a Smak Parlour Cut & Sew peplum top in "Hello Dolly" ($88), a proprietary fabric which sports a pinup girl illustration that Goich designed.
She also wears leather leggings by See You Monday ($36), AJ Morgan cat-eye sunglasses ($16) and a polka dot twist headband ($16). Worn together, this four-piece look is the epitome of edgy mid-century glamour; worn apart, each piece adds a throwback flair to an everyday outfit.
It's incredibly difficult to mess up the traditional black cat Halloween costume. Sure, you could just throw on a black shirt and draw on some whiskers, but adding on glitzy accessories makes it look like you actually tried. Here, Goich wears a Mystic black tulle and lace dress ($69) and David & Young fingerless gloves for paws ($24), both of which are perfect for the holiday season.
She also wears a lace choker necklace ($15) as an on-trend cat collar and her own pearl-studded cat ears. (Though Smak Parlour doesn't sell the ears in house, plain black versions are available at almost any costume store for a small sum.) Draw on some whiskers, a nose and cat-eye makeup and you're all set.
Need some more costume inspiration? Don't miss our complete guide to Halloween in Philadelphia, with loads of tips and tricks for having the best Halloween yet.