The Fashion Magpie St Frank Textiles Skull

What to Buy for Halloween.

Truth be told, I’ve never been big into Halloween.  My parents were sort of half-assed about it, to be honest — they would encourage us to dress up by making use of things we already had; I can’t remember them ever buying us costumes or fussing over what we would wear.

“What are you?  Oh, a cowgirl and a zombie in one?  Great.”

“I don’t know, just throw a sheet over your head and call it a day–bam, you’re a ghost.”

When I was around twelve, for some inexplicable reason — and trust me when I tell you the embarrassment still cuts to the quick, as I contemplated three or four times whether to take the following anecdote out of this post, but — HEY — I’ve never shied away from humiliating myself on this blog before, so what should stop me now? — I decided to dress up as the Pillsbury Doughboy.

I mean, why.

Why would a girl on the cusp of puberty further her awkward standing in life by willingly adorning herself as a shapeless, puffy pile of uncooked dough.

Just, why.

The worst of it was — since my mom wasn’t into buying costumes, I threw together a makeshift costume myself with a floppy chef’s hat, a blue scarf around my neck, and an oversized white t-shirt.  I think I may have tried to put white face-paint on, too?  Unclear.

I was probably too old to go trick-or-treating anyway, and I still shudder when I think about my slightly plump tween body trailing uncomfortably behind my sisters, dressed up as The Little Mermaid and a Dog or something equally innocuous, and lingering in the shadows before furtively reaching out for a handful of candy.

“And what are you?”, well-intentioned adults would offer encouragingly, as I dipped my hand into the candy bowl.

“Um, the Pillsbury Doughboy.”  Kicking leaves around, not making eye contact, mumbling.

OH LORD PEOPLE.  Started from the bottom, now we’re here.

For the record, one of my sisters still enjoys mentioning this Halloween costume to me when I’m getting a little big for my britches.  “Yeah, well, the Pillsbury Doughboy,” she’ll say knowingly, smirking.  And she’s got me.

So maybe you can see why I’m not big into Halloween?

THAT SAID.  I absolutely love buying candy and handing it out — one of the many joys of this house we’re leaving behind in a matter of days is that it lived on a great neighborhood street with lots of young kids who would come knocking at the door (and I believe two out of the three last Halloweens involved snow…see ya Chicago).  I always buy a handful of full-sized candy bars that I bury in the candy basket and take such delight in seeing a little six-year-old fish it out, eyes wide — “LOOK WHAT I GOT!” he’ll cry to his brother, flaunting the king-sized Almond Joy in the air.

I also love an excuse to buy new tablescape / home decor.  So, I’ll take Halloween.

Halloween Pick No. 1: Decorative Pumpkins

These seem like an effortless, grown-up way to introduce Halloween decor into the home without looking a little…Lillian Vernon.  I have a fairly extensive collection of mercury glass hurricanes, vases, votives, etc., and can just imagine arranging these in their midst down the middle of my autumn table.

The Fashion Magpie Mercury Glass Pumpkin The Fashion Magpie Mercury Glass Pumpkin Large

I’m also a fan of these inexpensive dipped metallic mini pumpkins (4 for $9), which would look darling arranged along a mantel.

The Fashion Magpie Mini Pumpkins

Finally, these are technically Christmas ornaments, but these orange mercury glass globes ($17 for 12!) would be chic in an oversized glass bowl.

Halloween Pick No. 2: Minimagpie Jammies

I snagged these candy-print jammies for minimagpie (now on sale for $8)!  I can’t resist a good print.  There are candy corn on it!  TOO GOOD.  These are also precious.

Halloween Pick No. 3: Halloween Book

I already talked about my pick for Halloween reading yesterday (Poe!), but I also snagged this Karen Katz book for minimagpie.  (Karen Katz has some amazing books for kids, BTW.)

The Fashion Magpie Where Is Baby Pumpkin

Halloween Pick No. 4: Halloween Tabletop Accessories

For a festive tabletop, consider these gingham nakpins ($16 for 6) — the orange and black are super on-the-nose; black and white feel festive but not over the top.

The Fashion Magpie Black Gingham Napkins The Fashion Magpie Gingham Napkins

Some black and white stripey straws ($3 for 25) will make any cocktail (including my go-to, a Tom Collins) a little more seasonally-appropriate.  Up the ante with these pumpkin-shaped ice molds ($6)!!!

The Fashion Magpie Striped Straws

Halloween Pick No. 5: Halloween Cookie Cutters

Sugar cookies are probably my favorite baked good of all time — topped with a ton of buttercream, of course.  These Halloween-themed cookie cutters (on sale for $8!) are perfect.

The Fashion Magpie Cookie Cutters Halloween

Halloween Pick No. 6: Dia de los Muertos Ornament

I love these tree ornaments from St. Frank Textiles — something you might buy now and position as a little tabletop ornament (maybe a napkin ring?!) and then repurpose come Christmas.  (These beauties are also seen in the photo above, from the store’s eye-catching Instagram account.  P.S., Read more about the incredible founder of this boutique — a woman of substance! — here.)

The Fashion Magpie Dia de los Muertos Ornament Skull The Fashion Magpie Dia de los Muertos Ornament Skull 2

Halloween Pick No. 7: Minimagpie’s Halloween Costume

As you may have gathered from the prelude to this post, even though I consider myself creative, I am challenged when it comes to Halloween costumes.  But babies look adorable in even though most basic of costumes.  The giraffe has always been minimagpie’s spirit animal — I’m not sure why.  We loved the giraffe stuffed animal in her nursery and have found ourselves gravitating towards giraffe prints, toys, etc.  We even bought minimagpie’s grandmother a giraffe charm similar to this one to add to her charm bracelet as a thank you for coming out to visit.  (BTW, Etsy is a great place to find vintage silver charms — which make such a thoughtful gift for a loved one, or as a remembrance for yourself!  Maybe you bonded with your mother-in-law over tennis, in which case this might be a lovely thank you for a summer full of tennis matches together, or maybe your best friend grew up with St. Bernard dogs and needs one of these; or maybe you’re moving from San Francisco and need this little guy as a reminder of a city that’s meant a lot to you.  P.S. — I included some of my other favorite gift ideas in this post — scroll down to the bottom.)

So, long story short, I wanted her to be a giraffe for Halloween.  Amazon to the rescue.  (The leopard and the dalmatian are also adorable.)   Hanna Andersson also has some great costume essentials.  Finally, I’m dying over these superhero outfits from Etsy store Lovelane.  (Shown below.)

The Fashion Magpie Little Girl Superhero Costume

Halloween Pick No. 8: Minimagpie’s Halloween Dress

I have this darling smocked pumpkin dress as well as this every-holiday dress from Pixie Lily ($98, shown below) — genius, because you just swap out the tab at the top to accommodate the appropriate holiday!  I also love this from Dondolo, which has sold out in most sizes across the Internet.  Of course, had to buy a coordinating Poppy Bow in orange!

The Fashion Magpie Holiday Baby Dress

Halloween Pick No. 9: Fall Diptyque Candle

I have been a devotee of Diptyque’s Feu de Bois for fall and winter for the past two years, but might have to switch it up with this beautiful Ambre candle ($90).

The Fashion Magpie Diptyque Candle Ambre

Halloween Pick No. 10: Skull Plates and Napkins

I can’t get over Meri Meri’s adorable party goods, like these dia de los muertos paper plates and napkins ($12 for set).  Also love these kitschy party picks (imagine them tucked into pigs in a blanket?!?!  Who could resist!), this bat garland, and these ghost napkins.

The Fashion Magpie Meri Meri Skull Plates


P.S.  I mean, no one *needs* a pumpkin-shaped cocotte, but…do I need these?  (Tini, I’m looking at you.)


  1. The Pillsbury Doughboy story had me lol-ing! That is hysterical … and I also laughed out loud at your Lillian Vernon reference. I spent many an afternoon as a child poring over the personalized wares in the catalog, and I’ll never forget Christmas 1994, when I got a personalized pink striped beanbag chair! Ha!

    Do you know the source for the top photo in your post? The one with the books and festive skulls? Just curious — I love that Tacopedia book!

    1. HAHA! The LV beanbag chair! I WANTED THAT! I also owned a fabulous pink and white polka dot duffel bag with my name emblazoned in, like, comic sans on the side of it. Too good.

      The photo in the post is from St. Frank Textiles (, and the book is here: P.S. The founder of St. Frank is the lovely Teeny Bryant, whom I profiled here:


  2. I’m not into anything involving costumes – probably due to a similar childhood with parents who didn’t really care for Halloween. But, my husband is definitely one for holiday outfits (he has custom-made tutus for St. Patrick’s Day and the 4th of July, his favorite holidays… yes, he wears the tutus in public), and insists we need to have a costume for the baby. The ones from Pottery Barn Kids are to die for, but perhaps not at that price point (even on sale)! The ones you linked to are darling and I may have to cave!

  3. My Husband’s mother made his brother wear a trash bag one year to dress up as, get this, “garbage.” ‍♀️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *