Maverick Trinkets

A staple of childhood amusement that emerges around the same time as spring blossoms and lingers much like the heavy perfume poured forth from pastel petals is now an accepted source of inspiration and can be found on a multitude of accessories.  The fact that new designs are constantly appearing means there is enough of a demand on the consumer’s part, and in a way I am happy because it preserves a small part of Circus culture, though there is also a feeling of detachment from the history and tradition.  Fashion does not need to be so serious though, particularly when embracing retro vibes and the kitschy elements that can be found in certain types of art derived from images found in carnival sideshows.  Imaginative interpretations readily available on affordable products that can also be worn is definitely a bonus since I tend to be keen on adornments  which also serve a practical purpose.



– Modest statement pieces such as the Two Headed Deer Necklace offer versatility through unassuming standards, the black stainless steel cutout appealing to my adoration of barnyard oddities while others may appreciate it for other reasons.  Hanging on an 18 inch chain, the pendant can be tucked under Peter Pan style collars or drape nicely with low-cut necklines.

– Vertigris green enamel on gold tone brass creates the base of these hand crafted Coney Island Earrings, which feature the iconic George C. Tilyou Funny Face surrounded by a distressed piece of jewelry that looks as though it was plucked from the facade of one of the historic seaside buildings. The tiles dangle from wire hooks and would be a great way to compliment evening attire, particularly if attending a show.

– Combining the essence of circus with stripes, sequins, bright colors and Victorian accents, the Contortionist Brooch is made for collectors of the outrageous.  A vintage illustration has been framed by a blue satin ribbon and pleats of black and red stripes, and it can adorn any of your garments or even an avante-garde hairstyle.

4 – Fully adjustable, this wide Backstage Burlesque Cuff could very well be an all-access pass to a world most never get to see, or it could just be your way of letting people know you appreciate the elements of the illustrations that are painted on the surface of the cuff.  Either way, get used to people wanting to read your wrist and watching people’s expressions when they realize they are looking at naked bodies.

5 – Printed with Toni-Lee Sangastiano’s original painting, the Gator Girl Clutch is a water resistant way to store valuables, cosmetics or anything else that you want to keep safe.  Fabricated from durable vinyl, the clutch has a snap closure that seals as tight as a gator’s jaw and will instantly add visual interest.

6 – Take pleasure in remaining out of the ordinary with the Freak Belt Buckle, a peter rectangular piece that can effortlessly be attached to any belt [up to 1 7/8 inches] showcasing distinctive lettering and an overall old-school rending of a sideshow advertisement.  Coated in hand-poured, crystal-clear resin gives it a glass-like shine and ensures durability so you can wear it with any of your favorite outfits.

7 – Brighten your day with a dose of Happy Pills, an iron pill box that has been chrome plated for added durability and has two white compartment trays that fit 14 – 16 average sized capsules.  Though it closes tightly, the lid is easy to open and the white faced clown on the cover will surely prevent thievery of the contents.

8 – Whether a spectator or participator, the Queen of Burlesque ID Case serves all of your fiery desires and serves it up with a smiling sassy pinup style burlesque girl ready to deliver heart-stopping performances warned to be for adults only.  The snap-close case can hold about a dozen business cards or six plastic ones such as a driver’s license or credit card, ensuring the valuables are safe when you are out and about.

9 – Touted to last as long as your own ink, the Tattooed Lady Compact is a chrome plated iron round almost three inches in diameter that has a regular mirror and a magnifying one on the inside.  Outside is more art influenced by the sideshow, this time in the form of a tattooed pinup who presents a novel image of beauty.

10 – Sideshow banner art played an important role in publicizing the amazing acts that were said to be alive on the inside of a canvas tent, and the Zandar Cigarette Case is an example of how it can be immortalized on a contemporary object.  The polished steel case will hold half a pack of smokes, business cards or cash, the items protected by the all seeing, all knowing visage emblazoned on the cover.

11 – Exhibiting my sense of humor here, the retro charm is almost literally pouring out of the Gasoline Flask, the red, white and yellow graphics giving fair warning of the contents that are inside.  Would recommend filling it with fire breathing fluids for easy transportation, and so that someone does not mistake it for an alcoholic beverage.

12 – Towering on over five inches of spine is a black and white striped boot capped by a flat black toe and matching heel, which is painted with an emblem proclaiming a five cent freakshow.  These brilliant Spine Boots by Too Fast express the brand’s own history of showing love for fierce sideshow fashions, working well both on and off the stage.

Kung-Fu Shoes: Turquoise Poise

Though no longer officially a part of Carny Style, Kung-Fu Shoes remains a popular article and will continue to be posted once a month under the broader Fashion category that I recently added to the blog.  This way I can write about all the ridiculous and wonderful shoes out there without having to find a way to relate them to what I consider to be Circus Couture.  There are also new categories for Hair, Makeup and Bath & Body, all of which are regularly updated with articles that discuss the latest products from companies that I support in one way or another.

In color psychology, turquoise regulates emotion to create balance and stability.  Being a combination of blue and a small amount of yellow, it emits the harmony, serenity and tranquility of blue, along with the inspirational vitality of yellow.  This is a color that can revitalize your spirit during moments of fatigue and alleviate feelings of loneliness by generating calmness then offering a shot of invigoration.  Turquoise is great to have around in an emergency because it can aid in sharp thinking and decision-making, while also supporting the growth of organizational and management skills.  The hue gives control over speech and expression, building confidence and allowing you to have clear thoughts when addressing the public.  It has been said that turquoise has the ability to amplify levels of ingenuity or help build self-esteem, though there is a risk of becoming arrogant and narcissistic.


Starting this style guide off strong with Iron Fist’s Ruff Rider Combat Boot because they are said to “show off your wild party girl side” and I have no shame endorsing such behavior.  These glitzy turquoise boots are covered with silver sequin skulls accented by studs, and while they lace up, there is also a zipper on the side to easily slip them on.  A one inch block heel also adds a bit of lift without the scariness of a stiletto.


A modern interpretation of what I would call ‘ugly shoes’ as a kid, Bunnys Boat is a stylish flat with eyelets, hot pink stitching and patent bow that help keep them on trend instead of being the embarrassing things your father buys at the thrift store.


If you are struggling with the question of Love Me Love Me Not, stop plucking petals and hit the town with these rose and anchor printed flats.  The bright colors and bold designs are sure to turn heads, while polka dot piping, matching bow and a black interior  that is splattered with a galaxy of crossed bones, hearts with bows and grinning skulls with bowlers strike up appreciation for artistic footwear.


In a dream you are stumbling through towering aisles of boring brown boxes, each containing square shoes in neutral shades that are too small.  Frantically throwing one box after the next to the floor, you are ready to cry out in anguish when your eye catches something in the distance.  Wading through the catastrophe you created, X Marks The Spot where you discover an amazing treasure.  The silhouette of a pump has been wrapped in turquoise leopard print and trimmed with layers of multi color sequins, a black vinyl strip of square studs snaking across the toe.


Of course if you desire a more dramatic dose of fierce footwear, you can always go for the X Marks the Spot Platform Boot, which features leopard print satin, 5 1/2 inch  heel and 1 1/2 inch platform, both of which are decked out in sparkling sequins.  The treads on the bottoms help you grip the sidewalk when you are stomping through fallen leaves, and I am enamored by this style because I feel it really defines me as Jersey Girl – tacky, loud and unapologetic.


Once you have reached that proverbial ‘X’, you dig deep to find the Treasure Box, a wild leopard print wedge with a black cuff that displays an array of multi color sequins.  Though it is the third style which uses the same elements, that does not detract from the fact that it is a visually gripping shoe and will surely standout among the standard shoes one sees during the colder months.


Simple yet stunning, this classic silhouette from Bordello is a shoe that every fashionista needs in their collection!  The lavish turquoise satin of Biggest Little City is covered in a collection of glittering rhinestones which really set off the 5 3/4 inch heel, ideal for a flirty pinup shoot or sophisticated burlesque routine.


These round toe pumps by Michael Antonio are perfect for everyday where, as they can easily shift from day to night or work to play with the right styling.   The metallic pattern on Love Me is reminiscent of a reptile and adds some edge to the 4 1/2 inch heel.


The edgy Gidget Wedge has turquoise straps contrasted by a black five-inch platform, along with square studs and a sturdy strap that should appeal to those  who want a bit of rocker chic in their wardrobe.


Sweetheart cutouts, a buckled ankle strap and thick platform are all details that will make you fall in love with Cuffed by Jeffrey Campbell.  Obsession will run high over this six-inch metallic turquoise platform heel which is as romantic as it is rebellious.


Zigzag detailing is combined with clear plastic trim to create the weirdly awesome Audrey 2, a suede pointed toe platform wedge with ankle strap that will add the right amount of quirk to your outfit.


Have no fear, the snake part of these Maritza Platform Block Heels is completely synthetic and therefore should give you no qualms about rocking outrageous footwear if you are an animal lover.


Turquoise is the color of the evolved soul and allows you to empathize with others, while also containing strong powers of observation.  This can be utilized to identify the way to success by balancing the pros and cons of any situation, allowing for solid decision-making.  Sometimes it is capable of being impractical and idealistic, appearing excessively calm, cool and collected.  Too much may give you an over excited mind and generate emotional imbalance, while too little may cause you to hold back your emotions which can result in bewilderment about your direction in life.

Kung-Fu Shoes: True Blue

The coolest of colors is blue, which can be found painting the sky, ocean, and even sleep.  In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli was used to represent heaven, while Christians use blue to represent the Virgin Mary.  A pure hue embodies insight, goodwill and can also have a holistic effect in that it can be quite calming, particularly when used to decorate the home.  Artists use blue to create perspective, as the color gives a feeling of distance and thus allows us to look beyond, accumulating an external viewpoint that is instrumental in articulating your personality through fashion.  Compared to the other colors, blue is overwhelmingly the ‘favorite’, as it is seen as sensible, consistent and dedicated – all qualities that one would certainly hope others saw whether being interviewed or strutting across a stage.  Though generally it perceived as tranquil, electric and brilliant blues become charismatic, striking and charming with an expression of vivacity.  Indigo is a much deeper blue, so it indicates knowledge and is said to increase personal thought and profound insights.  Take caution though, because certain shades or the overuse of the color can come across as cold or uncaring, which is more ideal for a costume which suits that type of character rather than a lively presentation.

Contrary to popular belief, blue is the least gender specific color because it appeals equally to both men and women.  In Chinese culture where colors correspond to the five primary elements, the four seasons and navigational directions, blue is associated with wood, Spring and East.  Paintings of the god Krishna often depict him with blue skin, in Mexico it is a color of mourning, to the Aztecs it symbolized sacrifice, and in Greece it is believed that wearing a blue charm necklace or bracelet would ward off the “evil eye”.  Owls are the only birds who can see this color, mosquitos are likely to be twice as attracted to it compared to other colors, and people are often more productive in blue rooms.  Those who incorporate blue into their wardrobe will find that it looks good in just about any shade and it can aid in self-expression, which is something this guide is definitely full of.


The magnetic qualities of a metallic platform heel is one of the many reasons the Teeze style by Pleaser has such a wide range of designs that can be coordinated with a number of different outfit.  This particular pair of shoes invokes a noble characteristic and would look lovely with a fitted pencil skirt and cleavage enhancing blouse or a sparkling, slinky cocktail dress.


Don’t let anyone step on these blue suede shoes – Belll is Betsey Johnson‘s version of the classic footwear sung about in Elvis Presley’s tune, complete with platform, peep toe and black stiletto heel blasted with studs and spikes.  Rock these with any of Lip Service‘s tartan pieces or items from Widow‘s upcoming Fall line Black Ice , such as the Handkerchief Dress and Ponti Clip Leggings.


If one desires to feel alluring and provocative, try the sophisticated satin of Daelyn, a saucy pump with ankle strap and dazzling ruffled lace that trims the five-inch heel from top to bottom.  A shoe such as this tends to speak for itself, so it would be best paired with a statement piece such as the Army Dress by Living Dead Souls.


There is something oddly appealing about metallic toe and heel caps, particularly when they have heart-shaped cutouts and are mounded on pointy toed blue suede flats, which also have a leopard print lining.  Sadiie is a spectacular shoe designed to slip on and off easily, which will come in handy if you have been out partying until the early morning hours.


Jeffrey Campbell fulfills ever party girl’s dream with Wanted G, a modern silhouette with a dash of flash that is nothing short of eye-catching.  The familiar Mary Jane shape is wrapped in a deep, sparkling blue and topped with a bow that belies its diva attitude.


Described as the “sexy cousin” of Jeffrey Campbell‘s 99 design, the Pixie has the same heel and hidden platform but has a taller bootie with a ‘secret’ zipper in the back.  Succulent blue suede on the outside, leather lining, padded foot bed and a non-skid sole provides a framework to ease feet while you embark on a whirlwind adventure.


One does not have to be intimidated by shoes that have no heels, as they are touted as being more comfortable to walk in than they look.  The blue suede of Shadow Spike is a soft contrast to all of the silver spikes that have been hammered into a shoe fit for a post-apocalyptic warrior queen.


All the piggies go to the Market, then the new bistro that just opened up, that bar you always hit up on a Friday night and maybe even take a stroll through the park at midnight.  No matter what your destination, these velvet platform wedges by Ego and Greed will treat your feet with nothing but the best comfort.


Platforms do not have to be restricted to pumps and wedges – sneakers have received an elevated makeover during the past few years and are appearing in all types of alternative fashions.  The sleek Oxford style upper combined with a contrasting white platform sole of Timmy has silver stud details that don’t go overboard which prevents one from being limited to what can be worn with it.


Cobalt is one of my favorite shades of blue and the Sugar Hiccup platform pumps by Iron Fist are a great example of how the rich hue and studded skull details gives chic style a harder edge.  Wear them to compliment a structured pencil dress such as Spike It, another upcoming Fall item from Lip Service.


Develop an unusual look with these dynamic Haute Tiger Pumps by Ed Hardy – a brilliant blue composes the background for striking embellishments of a roaring tiger’s head surrounded by pink and white cherry blossoms.  Dare to ware them for a pinup contest at a tattoo convention or for an evening of checking out some new art.


For a truly royal look, spoil yourself with blue satin and flocked black flower details, with rivers of encrusted rhinestones running across this peep toe platform ankle boot, which is sure to make you the center of attention for all of the right reasons.

When paired with warm colors such as red or yellow, blue has the ability to create vibrant, high-impact designs – the color scheme is also a corner-stone of Carny Style and has often appeared in circus related artwork.  Vivid shades such as indigo or azure reveals qualities of luxury within one’s character, and perhaps even a touch of superiority.  Though navy is nearly black, when combined with a lighter shade it can transmit trust and truthfulness.  Patel blues, particularly when the are worn alongside pale yellow and light pinks, gives the suggestion of Springtime, while deeper blues are considered Winter colors.  For a natural, watery palette one can mix blues and green; add grey for minimized nobility and light brown, tans or beige for more organic combinations.  When blue is paired with white it instantly incites nautical themes, or you can create a conservative yet sophisticated look with subtle contrast by coordinating light and dark shades.  No matter what your taste is, do it with style and confidence!

Kung-Fu Shoes: Queen Green

Prominent among the sprawling landscapes that Nature has gifted us, green denotes evolution and regeneration – on the negative side, it is also indicative of jealousy and inexperience – and can produce a warming or cooling response.  The color green also represents a balanced composition of stability, where several shades give a novel Springtime vibe, while drab tones are ideal when one desires to pick up on military overtones for a style.  When paired with beige, brown or tan, the color emotes an elemental feeling, though when contrasted with purple, gives an immediate high-impact and lively sensibility.  Combining green with yellow and black or white is suggested for those who are a bit more brazen with their fashion.  The more natural shades such as forest and lime green are viewed as comforting and exhilarating, with an organic blend of blue [cool] and yellow [warm] undertones.

In several religions, green is associated with: resurrection, regeneration, the color of love affiliated with Venus and Aphrodite, the Celtic God of fertility, the altar cloth for the Catholic church’s Sunday service and represents Irish-Catholics.  Wearing darker greens will let others know that you are conventional, steadfast and informed, but the bright greens shout modern, peculiar and animated – though none of those things are exactly negative, just be aware of what message your shoes are sending before selecting them.  Of course that is where this week’s style guide comes in handy as it navigates through a selection of styles that will certainly stir up feelings of jealousy from those who will secretly coveting your seductive footwear.

A classic staple for an elegant wardrobe are satin dress shoes, and the curves of these Evelixa pumps are accented with a ruffled overlay around the peep toe and a foiled silver lining that wraps around a cushioned bed.

It is not often that an item is elected into the exclusive aristocratic category, but one also cannot deny that Pleaser certainly has Prestige when it comes to sumptuous pumps, particularly a green satin platform heel that has been decked out with iridescent rhinestones, ideal for that vampy new burlesque act you have been working on.

The simplicity of Pleaser‘s Teeze design is amplified by a lime green satin base and covered with a layer of black lace.  Flaunt your effervescent side by wearing them with some back-seamed fishnets and the leg-baring Tiki Slit Dress by Sourpuss  coordinating tiki drink is optional.

As mentioned earlier, green and black make a strong paring and T.U.K. shows us why with these amazingly chunky platforms.  The black sole and heel have hidden accents, though the combination is made more apparent with a bright green upper that is patterned with hearts, while three buckled straps cris cross their way over the toe and heel.

Funtasma heels are a creative blend of black patent vinyl accents interjected by swaths of green glitter and accented by a matching vinyl bow, five faceted buttons on a green glitter strap, and silver buckle that secures the black vinyl strap around your ankles.

If compelling compositions are more your speed, there are quite a few Iron Fist shoes that should quench such a discernible palate.  For instance,  their Green Monster heels have a cacophony of twisted images on the toes, while the interior is offset by black and white stripes.

Reign over the bourgeois and infect them with Jungle Fever, a frenzied lime peep toe pump enthusiastically embossed with thick black leopard spots that can send the dance floor into a frenzy the moment you set foot on it.

The black satin roses and skull print prevents the contrasting purple accents from making the Mombassa wedges into a visual nightmare, though they should certainly be the main focal point of an outfit, and try to avoid too many coordinating accessories if you are not aiming for a kitschy look.

Disembodied eyeballs may have been making their rounds among alternative fashion to the point where they are a bit over-played, but the Oh No platform peep toe pump also features tentacles and spatters that manage to make it standout among similar styles.

Venturing into a more black-based territory is the sadly discontinued Dead Phones design, which features adorable rouched bows on elastic straps and a neon slime skull tangled up in bright pink wires.  The detailing on the interior is just as intense, and the shock of lime at the bottom of the heel is definitely a sharp way to bring the toxic tone of the skull into a different part of the shoe.

On the other side of the spectrum are these adorable peep toe pumps that are lined with white piping that really brings out the freshness of pea green – the stark white heels suggest sophistication while the green and white bows keep the style chic and youthful.

It was difficult to select just one of these cyber inspired platforms, not so much because I am so head-over-heels for the designs that I want to buy or wear them, but rather due to the fact each one has a significant difference which sets it apart from other such styles.  Then again, Pleaser makes it easy to Adore six and a half inches of black platform heel, while a trio of neon green UV reactive tubes dart across the sole and the foot is exposed under a clear vinyl upper.  If the idea of balancing precariously on top of stilettos is not within your comfort zone, Beau is a lovely black platform wedge sandal that stacks those acidic-looking tubes up the heel.  However, if you have command of towering shoes, then the aptly named Flamingo is for you – it is an eight inch platform sandal with four rows of that UV green tubing, a spiral of it slipping up the heel for a dizzying effect.  A simpler slip on peep toe design has three strands of tubing twisted between the platform and heel for a black light delight!

Would highly suggest wearing any of these with items from Lip Service‘s upcoming Quarantine line, which features a toxic green gas mask screen print, black and green vinyl with black mesh overlay, and cyber punk style tubes.  Bonus points if you manage to match your hair and makeup without being a neon nightmare.

Green has been recognized as a symbol of fertility for many centuries, and its meanings has evolved in American culture to express a mood of heightened sexuality.  It was a sacred color to the Egyptians, embodying the ambition and elation of Spring, and is said to be a comfortable color to the eye.  There are even claims that it has considerable potential to effectively soothe pain.  Circus and traveling showmen in Australia consider green to be bad luck, though that might have something to do with the fact that a “greenhorn” is someone with little to no experience yet can are eager and abundant.  However, a shamrock is considered to be good luck in most Western cultures, and there are more shades of green than any other color.  The meaning that it holds comes from the person wearing it, and there is sufficient evidence in this article which suggests that a pair of emerald slippers may be just the thing one needs for an extra boost of empowerment.

Lucky Stiff All-Star Show

[Originally written on this date in 2004]

Before I get to the good part, I just wanted to mention that the ear stretching is coming along splendidly.  Measured them today, and they are offically at 3/4″ so of course I am quite pleased.  After letting my lobes rest for a while I will be moving on to the next size, which I believe is 7/8″ and brings me closer to one inch.  There is very little soreness and I keep them treated with oil,so I have not experienced any problems thus far.  However, I am bit concerned about the secondary holes, so I might go get them checked out before I continue any further.

Moving along – last nite I hopped the PATH into the City, which I have not done since I worked there.  For a moment I kind of got a little nostlagic and missed going in on a daily basis.  It was bit too warm for my tastes; while I enjoy going out in the evening and not having to wear a coat, it felt excessively hot.  Thankfully the walk to the Pussycat Lounge was not that far from the subway stop.  It was nice to see the old bosses again and I did not have to pay the admission fee which made me feel pretty special.

Moments after entering the bar area, I am being tackled by a hug and not even questioning it.  Jon was smiling from ear-to-ear and looked incredibly handsome.  It had been a while since we last saw each other, because random things always manage to keep us apart, but none of that mattered when he placed a kiss on my forehead and expressed how delighted he was to be in my company.  He ordered a  couple of cocktails and swept me into a corner to chat while waiting for the show to begin.

If one has never been out to see the Lucky Stiff show, then you really missed a piece of the great burlesque tradition which has existed in this country for many decades.  Sure, there is all this Hollywood-inspired crap that people suddenly got into due to certain performers popularizing it, but I feel as though burlesque never actually died out to the point where it needed a revival.  New York City is where the art was born and so being a part of that history, no matter how insignificant, carries a lot of meaning for me.  Besides, having an incredible gentleman at my disposal for an evening of variety entertainment helps me live out long-standing fantasies without feeling silly and I will revel in that as much as I like.

There was a fantastic line-up of incredible performers, including the newly crowned Miss Exotic World 2004, the ever lovely and talented Miss Dirty Martini.  With free porn, hot naked girls, pussy magic tricks and sideshow acts, what more can one ask for?  This time even the men stripped down to their underwear and I saw a little more of one certain performer than I needed to.  Jon got a pretty good eyeful as well, so he was on the receiving end of many jokes for the duration of the evening, and he was a pretty good sport about it.

So glad that I had the opportunity to experience such a rare and wonderful show, not to mention that I shared the moment with my best friend.

The heat remained as we wandered around the City – 85 after midnite is not exactly what either of us would consider to be a comfortable climate.  We stopped for a refreshing drink at some random bodega and then sat in a park to smoke a joint.  Jon remarked how lovely I looked and that he really appreciated having my company.  Several people walked by but did not really pay attention to us, even though he was giving a narration of their actions while in our sights.  His hand slipped into mine and remained there while we walked back to the PATH.  We rode the train together and somehow he managed to coerce me to get off at Hoboken.

That turned into adventure time and possibly borrowing someone’s  boat for a couple of hours.  Floating on that dark water, there was finally some relief from the heat of busy city streets, and I found comfort in the strange silence.

The fun always has to come to an end, so we returned the boat and found a park to settle in while watching the sun rise.  There was not much talking, but that never bothers me when I am fully enjoying Jon’s company.  By the time I got back on the PATH and returned to Newark, I felt as though a large part of my evening had been some wonderful dream.  A strange key chain in my pocket suggested I knew better and I savored a smile when I climbed into bed.

Kung-Fu Shoes: Think Pink

Unconditional love, compassion, understanding, romance, hope and intuitive energy are all positive traits associated with the color pink.  While it has often been stereotyped as the epitome of all that is feminine and therefor ‘girly’, as though those are bad things, I would like to believe it can be worn by anyone who wishes to add a bit of warmth to their outfit.  Pink represents romance, fuels empathy, inspires and calms – combining it with black, grey, dark blue or green can create sophistication and strength.  Though the deeper hues can come across as assertive and confident, most see pink as non-threatening as it lacks anger and aggression.  Often it springs to mind when one thinks of the circus or carnival and associates memories with getting sticky-fingered with a bag of fluffy cotton candy.  The confection was invented by William Morrison and John C. Wharton in 1897, when the candy makers from Nashville created a device which heated sugar inside a bow filled with tiny holes.  As the bowl spun around, the caramelized sugar was forced through them and formed strands of fluffy candy that melted in the mouth.  Hopefully this selecting of salacious shoes will incite that same intensity when paired with the upcoming Summer trends.

At the softer end of the spectrum one finds baby pink, a gentle hue that invokes images of porcelain-faced dolls with golden curls and luxurious dresses.  Emulating this aesthetic without coming across as creepy is as simple as selecting a pair of Teeze patent leather Maryjane style pumps.

For a bit more shimmer there is always the metallic finish, though I would switch the coordinating ribbon with a black or silver one.

Really let your personality shine with pink glitter pumps, especially when rocking your favorite little black dress.

Speaking of glitter, Courtess is an elegant lace up calf boot with platforms, five inch heels and intriguing detailing at the top that would make these a stellar addition to a burlesque costume.

The textured platform and heel of Illusion along with the silver accents makes this shoe perfect for that balance of retro pinup meet futuristic heroine with an atomic age infusion.

Dame is a classy ankle boot with cutouts on the sides that have been filled with lace and would complete a Victorian style outfit.

Though Vanity has a healthy dose of white, the aesthetics of a spectator style Maryjane pump makes it an instant must have for any pinup’s collection.

The combination of black and pink brings an edge to fashion because it creates a contras that allows one to play upon dual sides of a personality, and is represented well with the hot pink and black stripes of Kitty, a patent leather pump with scalloped black accents and a black bow.

Hondola by Guess has warmer pink striped next to black and accented by a cork heel – the peep toe and open sides with buckled strap make it a great Summer shoe.

Though it is not striped in the traditional sense, Neina still offers bold color blocking and multi-strap design to keep feet cool when temperatures soar.

Creeping into the brighter end of the spectrum, hot pink can be an electrifying color and definitely needs to be paired with at least one neutral toned item so that eyes are not melted.  The simplicity of Bunny by Dolce Vita [or a similar style that is affordable priced] lends itself to customization by say adding some gold studs or spikes to the heel and a coat of black paint to the sole.

Satin roses really set off Lovely People‘s Lennon as more than just another platform pump.


Silver stud skulls create points of visual interested for Iron Fist‘s Sugar Hiccup, which is a slightly darker hot pink with red undertones.

Unfortunately there is a great amount of Ed Hardy merchandise for sale that I find to be fairly tacky, overpriced and a far cry of what the legendary tattoo artist is capable of when it comes to producing quality, though I am aware he is not very involved with actually creating the eyesores that will surely be gracing the backs of every douchebro that invades your favorite Summer time spot.  However, the Coralie Heel is a nice coral canvas printed with a floral design mounted atop cork wedges that feature pinstriped butterflies.

The graphic, eye-catching imagery of Iron Fist is in full effect on these Gold Digger pumps, and one can complete their collection with flats, flip flops, bikini, handbag and wallet.

Wearing pink has become a statement of pride for men, women and those who do not want to be simply categorized by societies gender norms.  The color should be embraced by all whether it is a symbol of femininity with a hard edge, the comfort of men who are not defined by the color of their clothing or simply unites those who have been touched by Breast Cancer.  No matter what reason one chooses to don this blushing hue, pink remains a color of prominence that certainly gains attention and comes in such a wide range that there is tone which can suit everyone.

Yikes Stripes!

Even though one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to the general representation of circus inspired fashion is that people automatically associate stripes with a broad culture.  Whether they are on garments, shoes or accessories, just because an items is striped does not mean that incorporating into an outfit suddenly makes it makes it vintage burlesque or Victorian sideshow.  However, I can readily admit when use of stripes is done appropriately and there are plenty of examples that can be found in previous Carny Style articles.  This particular one will focus on how to execute stripes without being mistaken for a cartoon character, because that only works when one is on stage.

This lovely strapless black and white body suit can not only bring retro chic to your look while relaxing on the beach or poolside, but can also be worn with a skirt and easily dressed up with accessories.

Of course mixing up the color scheme of stripes is a great way to stand out, which is exactly what this navy stripe two piece playsuit does.

The retro cut of this black and pink stripe bikini uses direction to create a chevron pattern that makes the set visually appealing.

Wearing black and white stripes without someone thinking you are dressed in a Halloween costume is as simple as adding solid color garments such as black, red or blue.  The dominate white, horizontal stripes and angular lapels on this Shoulder Pad Jacket by Givenchy are also helpful.

The intersecting ivory stripes on this navy jacket generates interest but is not so extreme that it hurts the eyes.  Pair it with jeans for a smart look or bring an edge to casual wear.

Admittedly the colors here could err towards being too patriotic, but the tailoring on this 1980s Moschino jacket keeps the stripes well matched throughout the garment.  Over-sized buttons and navy trim reminds me of what a talker might wear on the bally stage.

Dress shirts that are striped with white collars and cuffs are mostly seen in the office, though I challenge that they should be sported in other places, especially if they are pink.

One cannot write about striped clothing without mention Jessica Lousie, and I can envision her Cupcake Tank being worn with a black corset, white petticoat and spiked heels.

Stripes do not always have to dominate a garment – the subtle striping seen here on the Sassy Sailor Darling top nicely accentuates the red stretch cotton twill and is tied together with a black elastic belt.

For some reason pin stripe gets overlooked, but the subtly of these stripes do not discount them from be as equally fabulous as its bolder counterpart.  The rich hue of Lip Service’s Gangsta Pranksta pencil skirt is strong enough on its own, but also opens the invitation for that cute guy across the room to come closer.

Not all striped clothing is made by alternative brands – this black and red full-swing skirt by Marc Jacobs has enough structure and volume to create an eclectic outfit.

Technically speaking this is more of an abstract plaid, but really, the purple stripes of this cotton skirt show that one direction is not always interesting, and thus one does not have to limit fashion by stereotypes.

These green and black stripe peeptoe Maryjane wedges have officially been added to the Must Have List, especially since there is a dress and sweater that they would match perfectly with.

Every now and then, there is nothing wrong with mixing polka dots with stripes, and as Not Rated’s Mismosa shows, when one of the patterns is a subtle accent, the two create a sort of whimsical harmony.  These would also look swell with a red dress and fishnet stockings.

Skulls and stripes are an excellent combination, and since the latter mostly appears on the lining of Iron Fist’s Lacey Days platform shoes, one does not have to fear that they are overwhelming.

Taking advantage of striped accessories does not mean one can just pile them on – as with all things moderation is important to prevent an outfit from being outlandish for all the wrong reasons.  A wide variety of items can be found in numerous color combinations and severe as an example of how stripes do not always equate circus, which sadly is something that apparently needs to be repeated.  Though I have a fondness for striped tights, they ones are associated with a multitude of different subcultures.

When presenting personal style, you make up the rules as to what is and is not appropriate, though I certainly do not expect everyone to abide by them.  When making an attempt at creating a specific ensemble and citing circus as inspiration, remember that stripes were mainly found on clown costumes and were not prevalent among traditional wares.

A few things to keep in mind when selecting striped styles is that horizontal ones are better suited for slim, tone figures, while verticle ones give the illusion of elongation.  Diagonal breaks make the pattern more interesting and use of color can make the difference between a couture outfit and being part of a chain gang as a movie extra.  The appeal of utilizing stripes in apparel is that they instantly cause the eye to gravitate towards a particular garment, they command attention and can be visually stimulating, especially in photography.  Below is a collection of images that feature products from Restyle which I feel best showcase how to balance stripes with a complete look.