friday fix: spooktacular edition

It's time for that most spooky of holidays! I love Halloween, even though it never quite lives up to what I imagine. This is probably because my favorite part is making my costume and getting all dressed up...once I'm in costume, the glory kind of fades. I'm not really into scary things (and have been carried out of two haunted houses in my lifetime), but I absolutely adore dressing up (for anything really, but on Halloween everyone else dresses up too!) I'm having a bit of a costume meltdown at the moment, but I have faith that I'll get everything squared away in time for epic photoshoots and dancing tomorrow night. Meanwhile, have a few fun things to get into the spooky spirit!

via ilikemakeup

A great dark glam look for Halloween or for any nighttime adventure when you feel a bit...vampy?

Halloween Bento Boxes via The Kitchn

How disgustingly cute is that? I have a huge (and random) fondness for bento boxes--I often get lost in communities dedicated to the delicious art, just scrolling through. I wonder if it things taste better when they're that adorable?

Winston as snail, via fourfour

Animals in costume will never not be funny. The more disgruntled they are, the better. We all get to look ridiculous on Halloween; why should our furry friends be left out? If you go to the bottom of the linked post, you'll get to see many of Winston's stylish outfits. He is an extremely malleable cat. (And fourfour is my very favorite site for ANTM recaps, in case any of you were not aware and/or needed a good resource for those. There are gifs aplenty!)

Via Gothic Charm School

Striped socks are amazing all year, but particularly so at Halloween! I've got pair of green-and-white and red-and-white myself, but I'm always looking to expand my collection.

Via i have a lot of feelings

Have a fun and safe Halloween, and stay fickle!

the right stuff: a bag for all seasons

My beloved Sparrow gave me a look when I declared "I really need a new purse" while adjusting the strap of my adorable little purse. But she understood when I amended my statement: "I really need a fall purse." Those of you who are non purse-carriers are probably mystified, but it's really just common sense; you wouldn't wear snowboots in the summer or a windbreaker in the winter (if you live where I live, at least), and you need a bag that suits the season.

As it happens, I have a bag for all seasons, but since you read the beginning of this post, you know that it's not so simple. My bag for all seasons is adorable and classy, a huge step up from the "Dubble Bubble" vinyl bag from Goodwill I'd been using for years. This bag is also big.

The Bean Bag by TTPeasandcarrots via Etsy (shop now closed)

I can fit a 5-subject spiral notebook, a hardcover book, and a bag lunch inside it, in addition to the various breath fresheners, medications, papers, gadgets, and chapsticks that accumulate in my bags. This is pretty darn awesome when I need to transport a lot of stuff around. Unfortunately, on days that I don't need to bring half of my earthly possessions along with me, the bag is just too big. I know comically oversized handbags are "in" now (I think? Are they still in?), but I'm not much for trends. And I find that carrying a big bag around just encourages me to bring along more things that I don't need.

My summer purse problem was neatly solved by my mom's purchase of a bag that she eventually deemed "too cute" for her. I was, of course, more than happy to take it off her hands. This purse is the perfect size for my day-to-day maneuvering, but it is indeed cute: artsy flowers all done up in bright sunny colors. This was great when it was tagging along to summer festivals, but I'm already starting to feel weird carrying it in the chilly late-October weather. I need a bag that can serve me through the fall and winter, just like my trusty wool peacoat.

fall bags

Obviously, I respond well to red plaid for the cooler months. But in general, I like either darker colors or really rich colors (deep reds, blues, purples, greens) in autumnal/winter wear. The muted colors are popular for obvious reasons, but so are the rich ones--they make a great statement against a dark coat (and the muted landscape). When shopping, don't forget to consider, as I neglected to, the size that you really need for day-to-day use. You might want to use your current purse as a guide, or, if you're unsure, bring along the biggest item you'd want to carry in your bag with you shopping. If it fits, success! You've found yourself a bag!

friday fix

Oh dear, is it Friday? Folks, I will tell you right now (though I'm sure you could tell), this week got away from me. The first week back to class is always runs one a bit ragged, but I really have no such excuse. I was just distracted by friends, my kitchen, figuring out when classes were canceled and what readings I was meant to attend. Let's put that in the past, because it is, and look to a stunning new future, starting with the weekend.

Perhaps we'll even look...Back to the Future!

Haha, yes, that was silly, but the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future is coming up! Some friends and I will be going to see a special one-night-only showing of BttF in a theater! I'm excited for some sweet 80s fashion mixed with some sweet 50s style. I have a huge amount of fondness for the 50s (style wise) and for the 80s (hilarity wise) and for proms (it's prom!), so what could be better than a 50s-as-done-by-the-80s prom? Nothing, that's what!

The Eloise 1960s Mod Scooter Dress, via Red Dress Shoppe

There is a reason this is called a "scooter" dress, and that reason is because I want desperately to wear it while riding on the Vespa I don't yet own. Someday, I'll have a Vespa and wear nothing but adorable dresses and kicky pumps and a sweet round mod helmet and tool around the city. Wouldn't that be adorable?

Via makeupftw@tumblr

Halloween makeup! So exciting, I can't wait to get my intense green on. I'm a big fan of crazy makeup, and my Poison Ivy look is going to have green out the wazoo. Tonight I'll be attending a Monsters Ball party and will finally have the chance to rock my purple lipstick. Depending on how the look turns out, I might have to share it with you!

That's the return of the Kitsch. Don't let me stay away so long dearies, I miss you when I'm away. Have a great weekend, and stay fickle!

my style: rockin' the staples

Staples are a very important part of our lives. They hold together so many disparate (yet related) pieces of paper that would otherwise be scattered to the wind! And in the same way, those of us without humorously (and deliciously) large closets and/or budgets need staple outfits.

I have a confession: I've worn the same exact (mostly) outfit three times this week. Now, before you close the tab on my blog forever, it should be stated that there are extenuating circumstances: I've been home the whole week living out of a medium-sized suitcase that was packed when I had no idea what I would be doing. I usually spend most of break in sweatpants, but things pop up: trips to the mall, trips to my grandparents, lunch dates. I usually try to grab a couple of nice pieces that will travel well, so I can be stylish at the drop of a hat if necessary. This time I had a bit of a mishap--I brought home two skirts only for the unseasonable heat to disappear as soon as I got home. I hadn't brought any tights. So, I had this:

my staple

Apt 9 tunic and Vera Wang jeans from Kohl's (the jeans in the picture are just representative!)

My tunic is purple, which makes the outfit less monochromatic than it seems there, but yep, that's pretty much it. It's what I had to work with, and work it I did. I wore this to my grandparent's house with kitten heels, I wore it to a ladies lunch at Olive Garden with sneakers, and I am wearing it as I write this very post because I'll be wearing it barefooted/with socks when my godparents come visit. That's three times in seven days, and that's almost every time I left the house. It's kind of embarrassing to admit and to look at it like that, but honestly? This is one of my staple outfits. The pieces pair great together, I have a lot of accessorizing options, and it's comfortable. The only people who know I wore the same thing two days ago are my family, and they'd never tell!

When creating a staple outfit, consider these things: you don't really "create" a staple outfit. To me, at least, your staple outfits kind of come to you. It's that one that you find yourself wearing when you don't know what to wear. It works for multiple levels of formality with some accessorizing, probably isn't too difficult to get yourself ready in, and the pieces in it can be fabulously paired with other things in your closet. A staple outfit, in my estimation, is what happens when two staple pieces (a tunic and a pair of black jeans, for example) come together in an awesome way. The one other time I had to get myself prettified this week was when I went to the mall to get my sister's ears pierced; I wore the same black jeans, with a purple top and my vest. Both of these outfits can be paired with my fabulous black chunky necklace. It's like a staple party! This wasn't a post about travel, but it follows logically that these pieces that are extremely wearable, mix-and-matchable, and adjustable are the things you should be packing.

What's your never fail staple outfit?

friday fix

I almost forgot today was Friday! Being off for a week will do that to you--days don't matter so much when you're spending your time watching HGTV and Food Network. But all good things much come to an end, and I'll be heading back to school this weekend to resume the real world.

Belted Wool Blend Coat by Miss Sixty, via

I'm still in the market for winter coats (you may remember my epic coat woe), especially now as it's getting chillier. Loving the collar and back-pleats on this one.

Supermask by columbina, via Etsy

So feeling the masks these days. I wish I could just wear one around (I hear they're terribly comfortable). I suspect it would make my life sassy times infinity. Part of it is definitely the Halloween fever, because the lead-up to Halloween is always much more exciting than the actual day. I have some Halloween posts in the works, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

#8483 by Justin Alexander, via Justin Alexander Bridal

Oh god, wedding dresses. Wedding dresses. You know that I loooove weddings in all ways (I even posted about working a bridal inspiration in your everyday life)! There is nothing I enjoy looking at more than wedding dresses! Except for this Pnina Tornai ones that keep popping up on Say Yes to the Dress. Call me a traditionalist, but I don't think your $11k gown should look like a bustier you bought on the clearance rack at Spencer's.

What are you folks thinking about this lovely fall Friday? Have a great weekend, and stay fickle!

fickle tips: avoiding allergens whilst accessorizing

I'm allergic to nickel, so I can't wear costume jewelry without risking a horribly itchy reaction. Cold weather is great because I can wear a cute scarf all day, but that's only one season out of the year. How can I accessorize year round without going broke on fine metals, and without driving my skin crazy?

Losing out on costume jewelry is a bummer, so much kitschy cheapness! But avoiding nickel doesn't necessarily mean that costume jewelry is out the window.

allergic accesories

I must have been feeling the red/white when I made this

Plastics and acrylics are always a good choice, and often provide a splash of brightness that metal jewelry might not. There are plenty of non-metal bangles and chunky beaded necklaces to go around! But if chunky/kitschy isn't your style all the time, there's always wood and leather, depending on your personal style.

A lot of mostly-not-metal necklaces still have metal portions or clasps. If you can, attempt a little jewelry surgery! You might try restringing beads on fishing line or ribbon to avoid the problem. If it's charms you're after (like the "Hello!" one in the collage), it would probably be a good idea to splurge on one nice chain of a metal that won't irritate your skin. Usually it's fairly easy to slip a charm off of the chain and switch it onto the nicer one. With one nice chain, you could show off any number of pretty charms as well as create your own unique combos.

I'm not sure of the severity of your allergy, but if you can handle nickel for brief periods of time, you may find a world of accessorizing delight in brooches. They have no prolonged contact with your skin, so should (presumably) be wearable if you don't get a rash putting them on. Plus, brooches are totally fabulous and can land anywhere from classic to obnoxiously rhinestoned on the style-o-meter.

Finally: it usually manages to pop up, but Etsy really is almost always an excellent style resource. There are sellers there who craft jewelry from antique silver, stainless steel (according to the mighty Google, although this is a nickel alloy, it's bound tightly enough that the nickel shouldn't affect the skin), acrylics, wood, leather, cloth, and all sorts of interesting things often for far less money than asked by jewelry companies. I did a quick search for "nickel free" and found lots of adorable and inexpensive things. The sellers there are also usually very communicative and happy to talk about their work, allowing you reassurance that there isn't some secret nickel in those snazzy accessories. There are also many Etsy sellers who deal in supplies, so you can get gorgeous charms and pieces for a fraction of the cost if you're willing to put in a little bit of work on your own.

Good luck, and happy accessorizing!

I don't know a lot about metal allergies, so I apologize if any of this is inaccurate or unhelpful. Do any of you have a tip for our allergic readerfriend?

kiss and makeup: my superstars

There are so many great ideas for makeup posts, and I want to do them all. But I have to go one at a time, so I thought that since I'm starting my posts, maybe I should do a post that would be good for people just starting out with makeup. I wanted to share some of my makeup essentials. These are the things that I wouldn't go without when I'm just taking the little purple pouch I got as a free gift with purchase. It's my bare minimums in one sense, but also my favorites. Since it's from my own makeup bag, built up over time, there's a mix of brand products and drugstore products, with makeup and tools.

bareMinerals SPF Foundation in "Fair" by BareEscentuals

I started out my makeup-wearing life with a Starter Kit from BareEscentuals, which I definitely recommend. But when I just need my own bare essentials (rimshot!), I stick with just the foundation powder. It gives me a nice light coverage, reduces redness and covers up flaws without making me look or feel caked. I don't really have skin problems, so I've never really felt the need for anything with more coverage than this. And I apply it with:

Handy Buki Brush by BareEscentuals

The DVD that came with the kit (this is obviously very intense foundation) demonstrated how to use all three brushes in stages to give yourself perfect coverage. But some of us (hi!) are way too lazy to apply two coats of foundation and then do more direct concealing of the trouble spots. So I just use this brush for fuller coverage. (Their concealer brush is A+ and I adore its magic powers, but I only have room for one in my bag, so I need the one for all-over application)

Ammo Shadow Box by Urban Decay

Ammo was the first brand palette I ever bought, and it's still an invaluable part of my kit. It fits perfectly in my little travel pouch, so it comes with me pretty much everywhere. There's enough of a variety in it between the interesting neutrals and rich colors to be ready for any look. My favorites from this palette are Chopper, Smog, and Mildew, with some Sin for a highlight. I just use a generic angled brush for application, so no pictures. Your favorite angled brush will do!

Lash Blast Volume by CoverGirl

I'd seen this mascara's praises sung on numerous blogs, so I had to try it for myself. And I dig it. It hasn't changed my life, exactly, but I've never had a problem with clumps and I definitely get some intense volume from it. I switched over to it from UD's Big Fatty Mascara, and I don't have any intention to shop for a new brand. There's a lot of stuff that I really prefer brands for (eyeshadows in particular), so it's nice to have products I can pick up at Walgreens for half the cost.

TruCheeks Blush by CoverGirl

Despite the slightly snicker-worthy name (heh heh cheeks), I've been using this blush since high school. I'm definitely willing to look for a new one (I've heard excellent thing about Nars), but I don't really wear a lot of blush; I have fairly ruddy cheeks in general and am prone to actually blushing. But when I want to add a bit of color, I brush a bit of the middle tone onto the apples of my cheeks then blend out with my fingers. Blush Tip: you always want to apply your blush at least two fingerswidth away from your nose, because you blush from your nose out when you're physically exerted. You want to have a healthy pink glow, not look like you ran all the way there!

Painted Love Lipstick in "Lolita" by Kat Von D

I bought the three pack of Kat Von D's Painted Love lipsticks Sephora was offering a little while ago, including Hellbent, Homegirl, and Lolita. Lolita was the real standout for me. It's described as "dusty rose" on the Sephora website and it's a perfect neutralish pink for my day-to-day wear. You can tell I'm wearing lipstick, but it isn't distracting. I wear it for everyday with my neutral eyes, but it also looks sophisticated and understated for more formal occasions. If I can only have one lipstick with me, that's the one I'm going for. (As far as the other lipsticks go, for the curious: Homegirl is way darker than anything I would wear day-to-day, but I'm keeping it for costume purposes and in case I ever get brave and vampy. Hellbent is nice, but I already have a red that I like a lot more, so I'm giving it to my little sister.)

I hope this was useful! There's a lot of things in my kit that I adore, but these are my absolute must-haves for creating a look for whatever I might be going to. They're all pretty flexible products that are basic enough to give you a nice look for an everyday look or something you might want to dress up a little more for. If you're a makeup beginner, the idea is not to get these products, necessarily, but things that will fulfill these needs for you and your makeup-wearing life.

fickle tips: vintage style with modern flair

How can I use vintage-style pieces without looking costumey? I have a highwaisted skirt I'd really like to wear in the office.

Well, gentle reader (dear kitschen? pookie?), this question happens to be right up my alley! I'm a huge fan of vintage style, and as much as I admire the dedication and gumption of the gals who rock it full-time, I know that a lot of people (myself included) want a way to get that kicky feel without feeling like you're in retro drag.

It can be difficult to find a midway point between vintage and modern fashion. You don't want to go too far and look like you're in costume (if you do, awesome! You don't need these tips and should go read another one of my posts!), but you don't want to look mish-mashed, or quash the great flavor of your old school pieces. Experimentation is definitely key; you can find a way to make them work together.

For this specific case, when you said "high-waisted skirt" and "vintage," this is immediately what came to mind:

Mad Men, "Hands and Knees." Screencap thanks to Project Rungay's excellent Mad Style post

And, indeed, it's a very retro silhouette! But the basic idea can totally be rocked modern-style. Pair your high-waisted skirt with pretty blouse just like Ms. Holloway up there does--but pick a fresh modern print, a more updated collar or sleeve. Depending on the fit of the skirt, you may also be able to wear a thick enough blouse over the top to give it a new look. Without the high-waistedness visible, it becomes your average pencil skirt, nicely paired with a button-up and a sweater vest.

Out of the office, a blouse with a keyhole neckline would look sassy and fabulous, and a simple black tank top or a pretty camisole can be effortlessly chic. A high-waisted skirt is definitely a statement piece, and you can make it work with a little trial-and-error and some thought. (And you can always pair it with a sweetheart neckline or a pussybow to go full out pin-up secretary!)

I hope that answered your question, and feel free to ask away with any questions/conundrums/ponderances/queries!

friday fix

This Friday is a particularly fabulous one, because I'm at home! That's right, it's midterm break around these parts, and I've got the whole week to hang out with my family, make use of a fully stocked kitchen, and watch plenty of TV. So for today, I'm making my Friday fix a little bit more personal. Stylish things that are making me happy this Friday:

My superglam baby sister

Can't include a pic because...I haven't asked her, and that would be creepy. But how many teens decide to get a little black cocktail dress for Homecoming in order to build their future wardrobe? See, we're definitely related. And I can show you this:

Okay, so this is a picture Google gave me, but it looks just like it!

If there's ever a day that a girl deserves to win a Sephora box in a raffle, it's her 18th birthday! ♥ to the ultrafab j!

The previously mentioned j checked out two of Nina Garcia's books from the library, and I'm checking out The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Ever Stylish Woman Must Own. So far, I really like it! I'll probably post a little book review when I'm done.

The color I'm going to dye my hair! ...well, not exactly, but that's my inspiration color. I'm planning to do my usual red ("Paint the Town" from Herbal Essence's Color Me Vibrant line) and then add some Manic Panic (probably "Flaming") on top for Halloween. We'll see how it goes! Hopefully it'll be fab and not a mess. (I love that eye makeup too...note to self: experiment with glitter)

Awww yiss...oh noooo

Okay, so that's not really stylish, but the badge is pretty adorable, right? I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, or "November" for you non-insane folks) again this year! Maybe this will be the year I finally win! Feel free to friend me over there, and we'll push each other to the win! (I might make outfit posts for characters. Just saying.)

Have a great weekend, and stay fickle!

note: those magic ch-ch-changes

There are some nifty things afoot at Fickle Kitsch! First off, there is now a lovely header that was not made by me in MS Paint! So thanks a million to L for the great new blogtopper ♥

And, if you glance over at the sidebar~, you'll notice a few new things. Most exciting is the Ask Box! I love taking requests and answering questions, so if you've got a fashion query or a makeup conundrum (or just any old question), please ask away! I already have a post answering my first question marinating away in my brain! I've been considering doing a Halloween costume series as that marvelous holiday approaches, so any costume-related questions would be welcomed!

If you look a little further down in the sidebar, you'll see three (count 'em!) shiny new buttons! There's one for my twitter, one for my tumblr, and one to help you follow me on bloglovin!

Pretty nifty, huh?

the right stuff: wedding wear for the single gal

I love weddings. Love them. There is a deep passion in my soul that can only be ignited for those frothy confections of white. Some of it obviously has to do with cultural expectations and programming, but it also has to do with two things: pretty and happy. A bride is radiantly beautiful not only because she spent thousands of dollars (in many cases) on dress, undergarments, accessories, hair, and makeup, but because she's just so happy. She's having one of the best parties of her life, who wouldn't be smiling? It's not "cool" for a single girl to be obsessed with weddings; I don't know how to explain to a potential suitor that it's not that I want to get married now...I just like to look! And who wouldn't want a little bit of that ol' bridal glow in their everyday life? Since walking down the street in a wedding gown would probably get tiresome, expensive, and sweaty, I've been considering ways to work a little bit of wedding fun into your everyday style.

Bridal Bodices

The easy way to imagine a wedding inspiration is to think "white." That's definitely valid, but a bit limiting. Try to consider shapes as well as color--the fitted bodice, especially strapless, is very popular right now. Look for ruching, interesting straps and details that might call to mind popular gown styles without taking it too literally. Any of these worn with black jeans would be adorable!

White Line Up

Alternately, go ahead and take it literally! A white dress can be a fun fashion statement. To keep it from looking too "bridal" (or really, too boring), pair it with some brighter jewelry and sassy shoes, maybe a brightly colored cardigan. Or, keep it simple and clean with a pair of pale flats and some pearls (or beads, for those of us who can't go out and pick up a string of pearls). I'm usually all about dark and rich colors, but there is definitely something enchanting about neat white lines. It makes me think of laundry; not in a "ugh, I have to do laundry" way, in a nice white clothes on a clothesline against a clear blue sky in a backyard in Sweden (or wherever air is fresh and cool and delicious).

You can also draw inspiration from the soft beauty makeup often favored by brides, and also put pretty things in your hair (flowers, bows, feathers, fascinators, maybe a tiny veil!). A little glamor never hurts and always helps!

You can see my Polyvore sets as they come up and lots of other neat pictures by following my tumblr and get updates first by checking me out on twitter! And, of course, don't forget to follow me right here ♥

i bought it (sort of): tattoo socks

Sometimes (blog) dreams really do come true! You might remember that way back in July, I did a post about all the socks that I've been lusting after. Included in that post were the utterly dreamy tattoo socks of post on Etsy. Lo and behold, the fabulous Sparrow (who also got a mention in that post. She's a wearer of stripey socks, a player of Zelda, and also one of my roommates) got a pair for me for my birthday, because she's amazing! That means that I get to review them for you!

First off, I love them just as much in person as I did on my screen. Actually, I love them even more, because I get to put them on my body and I can't do that with a picture on the internet. In order to combine both worlds: here is a picture of them on my body on the internet:

Now featuring images not taken by me in a bathroom mirror! Thanks, Sparrow, you're totally the star of this post.

She got them for me in ultra pale, which, hey, is pretty much my natural color, whodathunk it? The pair she got for herself is the same shade, and way too white from her California legs, but she expects to get back to that level of paleness during our Wisconsin winter. They're packaged as L/XL, and I'd say they're true to size (I wear a 14/16, for reference). They were pretty tight all-around the first time I put them on, but they're definitely a comfortable size now. As you can see, the "tattoo" stretches along the entire length of my calf, which I definitely appreciate.

They also just happen to be the same pattern as a pair of heels I have long coveted:

Pretty Peacock Pumps from Plasticland (I've seen the same ones on Modcloth as well)

Ahh, to wear them of my dearest dreams. Overall, I would give the tattoo socks a resounding YEA! if I was part of the Continental Congress and we were debating tattoo socks. In any other situation, I say: they rock!

friday fix

It's that most wonderful of days again! I have some pretties for you again (if you want some pretty pictures all through the week, follow my tumblr.

BDG Varsity Cardigan from Urban Outfitters

This comes in a lot of great colors, but I'm a fan of the gray/green because I'm a Slytherin.

Coral Turquoise Fantasy Necklace by connorinspiresamy

I was in love with this necklace over the summer, and looking through her shop today, I'm even more crazy about her work. Keep your eyes out for an i heart etsy post featuring her work.

Madame Herringbone Heel from ModCloth

The schoolmarm shoe will always always always catch my eye. And this one has herringbone! And buckles! Be still my beating heart! The shoe section of ModCloth is a minefield for me...their clothes are adorable, of course, but tragically (or luckily) they carry very very few pieces in my size. Shoes on the other hand...oh, shoes. Always my weakness.

I have thrifting plans for the afternoon and a pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked. My weekend is ready, how about yours?


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