Dress Like a Pirate: Gasparilla Garb
In case you haven't heard, there's a small party in Tampa this weekend called Gasparilla, and it's pirate-themed. Many die-hards probably already have their outfits sorted, but for the spontaneous among you, here are a few tips and resources for your pARRrty attire.
Captain's jacket's, tri-corner hats and puffy shirts are staples of any respectable swashbuckler, while wenches don corsets and big flowy skirts. It might be too late to find these things on the cheap at thrift stores, but give it a shot if you have creative vision.
If you really want to go all out, visit Pirate Fashions. They dress Gasparilla krewes and have also provided costumes for pirate-y TV series Crossbones and Black Sails. Their costumes are pricey, but you definitely won't look like you went to the party store. Apparently they make you walk a plank when you enter the store and they talk like pirates the entire time. The website is full of pirate speak, plus a pirate tutorial. They're proud to "transform land lubbers to authentic pirates." 4006 W Cayuga St., Tampa. (813) 348-0091. piratefashions.com.
Not ready to commit to all that? There are plenty of low-key, comfy ways to be festive. Skulls are always in style, so it should be easy to find skully leggings, T-shirts and bandannas. Pair those with hoop earrings, touches of red/stripes, a pair of boots and, boom. Good to go. Find these items at Tampa boutique Don Me Now's Gasparilla pop-up shop at Hyde Park Village. It's up through Friday, so hurry up if you want to catch one of their punny shirts with phrases like, "Ships About to Go Down." 1619 W Snow Circle. donmenow.com.
Casual Chic: Plain Jane
A part of any good wardrobe is a category I call casual chic. Basically, clothes for weekend days when you're out and about: nice jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts that have some special detail, plus dresses you can just throw on. St. Petersburg boutique Plain Jane has been specializing in this look for five years. They'll celebrate on Saturday with an anniversary party. Sip bubbly and enjoy tunes by J.J. Pattishall while shopping their clothing, accessories and gift items. Bonus: cupcakes and a gift basket raffle. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 1104 Central Ave. (727) 600-7741. plainjanestpete.com.