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3 Sweet & Not-So-Spooky Halloween Date Ideas

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Mean Girls Halloween
Avoid the horrors of the Mean Girls Halloween party and do something else! | ELLE

Halloween can be a fun time to dress up with your significant other – after all, so many great costumes come in pairs. But if you’re thinking about skipping the costumes this year, there are plenty of other ways to look cute and celebrate the 31st!

Here are a few of my favorite Halloween date ideas (take the hint and ask me out, Dave Franco), along with corresponding looks for each occasion. The best part? These activities are equally as fun without a date, so grab your girlfriends and get moving.

Pumpkin Patch Picnic

Pumpkin patch picnic
Flannel Shirt – Gap, Scarf – Nordstrom, Vest – Madewell, Socks – Dorothy Perkins, Leggings – Topshop, Boots – ModCloth

I’ve always wanted to go to a pumpkin patch and this just might be the year! Enjoy the crisp fall leaves and the feeling of satisfaction once you find the pumpkin that is “yours.” In a total flashback to senior pictures, sit on the hay and pretend you’re a model while taking faux-serious pics. And whether or not you come with your sweetie or just some friends, be sure to bring a blanket and some food for a romantic dinner.

You’ll want to stay warm once the weather starts to drop in the evening, so carry a fleece vest or other outerwear you can throw on over a casual button-down. You want to be able to move and bend down easily, so leggings are the perfect choice here. Don’t forget a scarf – my favorite fall accessory!

Haunted House

Haunted house outfit
Hoodie – UNIQLO, Graphic Tee – Old Navy, Jeans – The Outnet, Sneakers – Madewell, Bow – American Apparel

It might feel overdone, but going to a haunted house with your date can be a lot of fun as you battle to see which of you is less of a scaredy-cat. You can also bring a group of friends and enjoy watching the expressions of people who have just exited the house.

Most haunted houses come with the risk of being injured, so wear jeans to avoid accidental bruises from jumping against the wall. To keep it casual, wear a neutral graphic tee and hoodie, but spruce things up with a festive hair bow. Sneakers are a must – you don’t want to try keeping your balance in heels when someone jumps out at you.

S’mores and a Spooky Movie

S'mores and movie night
Dress – Chicwish, Scarf – Forever 21, Socks – Lane Crawford, Nail Polish – Essie, Tights – Selfridges

This is probably my favorite date idea because a) it involves chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers, and b) you can do it right from the comfort of your apartment, house, or dorm room. I have a favorite coffee shop here in Austin that actually lets you roast your own s’mores for dessert, but the DIY way at home sounds perfect for Halloween!

While waiting for your s’mores to turn that satisfying golden hue, relax and chat with your date about anything and everything. If you’re with a group of friends, get in a circle and tell scary stories or reminisce about the trick-or-treating days. You’ll probably end up curling up on couches or pillows so wear something you feel comfortable in (leave any stiff pants or short dresses at home). Pop in your favorite scary (or not, rom-coms are totally fine) movie, turn off the lights, and voilà! You have yourself a low-key yet fun Friday night.

What are your Halloween date ideas?

Do you have any special plans for Halloween, or ideas for what you and your friends might do? What would you wear in these situations? Let me know in the comments!

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DIY Halloween Costume: Poison Ivy

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Kim Kardashian Poison Ivy costume
Kim Kardashian in a Poison Ivy costume. | Photo Credit: ELLE

Here at CF, we are proud to admit that we’re a little geeky on the inside (okay, maybe a lot geeky). And what’s better than showing off our inner geek with a geeky Halloween costume? As the DIY columnist, I’m *obviously* going to DIY my Halloween costume.

For my costume this year, I wanted to pay homage to Poison Ivy, the sexy, powerful villainess from the DC Universe who often makes appearances as one of Batman’s adversaries. Here’s how I did it!


Diy costume poison ivy materials

  • A green dress. Bonus points for something that shows off the girls; this dress is from Forever 21 and only costs $13.80!
  • Scissors and a wire cutter
  • Needle and thread
  • LOTS of fake leaves; you can find these almost anywhere that has a “home décor” section; you can get one bunch for $1 at the Dollar Store!
  • Optional: defining accessories, like a red wig.


There’s only really one step for this DIY…

Diy costume poison ivy just sew

Sew the leaves onto the dress. Or, if it’s really last minute, glue them on instead. This won’t give as much of a  3-D effect, but will save a lot of time. Be careful if you choose the glue-on method, though – it’s messy!

Now, I could just leave it at that, but here are some helpful tips and tricks for creating this costume:

Tip 1: Variety

Utilize a variety leaves; opt for different types, sizes, textures, and colors. You can even add a little more jazz by throwing in some roses and, if you’re feeling really fancy, ivy tendrils and vines (these are a tad bit more expensive, $6 at Michael’s).

Diy costume poison ivy tip1

Trim some leaves off the main bunch with scissors, or even chop whole stems off leaves by using wire cutters to cut through the wire stems. If you’re feeling particularly lazy strapped for time, utilize the entire bush! More on how to sew these below…

Tip 2: Sewing Leaves

Diy costume poison ivy tip2,1

Slide the needle at the base of the underside of each leaf. Do this through a very small section of the leaf, so the thread is barely visible on the outside. Secure this to the dress. (And pardon my chipped nails!)

Diy costume poison ivy tip2,2,

To get the leaf to lie flat against the dress, simply take the thread and run it down the middle of the leaf (similar to above), line this up to the dress and secure.

Diy costume poison ivy tip2,3

Make sure to space out the leaves by sewing down the dress in small increments… these become important later.

Tip 3: Sewing Stems

“But sewing on each individual leaf takes sooo long!” That’s OK! I’ll show you how to sew on multiple leaves at once, starting with stems.

First, slide off the stems from the branch, so you’re left with several leaves joined together with a convenient hole.

Diy costume poison ivy tip3,1

Thread your needle through this convenient hole, and attach to the dress.

Diy costume poison ivy tip3,2

Tip 4: Sewing Branches/Bushes

“But Halloween is tomorrow!!” you say.

Diy costume poison ivy tip4

Remember those increments we spaced out while sewing down leaves? These increments are also a great way to hold branches/bushes; simply slide a column through each increment loop to secure, making sure the leaf sections all the way down the individual branches “catch” on each loop. That way, the branch doesn’t fall. You can also sew a tight loop around the branch/bush stem to secure the whole dang thing to the dress, like I did here.

Additional Advice:

  • Don’t cover the whole dress. You will end up looking a lot like shrubbery.
  • Balance the number of leaves. It helps to generally plan out the layout beforehand. For example, if the dress is starting to look top heavy, place an equal amount of leaves on the bottom to visually balance the leaves out.
  • Try on your dress often to check the placement of the leaves. It may look good on a 2-D flat dress, but when worn, your lovely girly curves will change that!
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Translation: don’t use one string of thread to sew down all the leaves; if one ends up getting snagged/pulled somewhere, ALL the leaves will fall off. Instead, use a finite amount thread and “section off” where the leaves go. (For example, use one yard of thread per strap, one yard of thread per the belt section, etc…).
  • For roses, simply slide off the rose head from the stem. Next, slide off a leaf section from one of leafs on the vine, and slide the rose head onto this empty nub.


Diy costume poison ivy finale

Optional: The Finishing Touches

Diy costume poison ivy accessories

Now the dress alone is pretty stunning in itself, but it can definitely be taken to the next level and look more like Poison Ivy with a few defining accessories:

  • Obviously, opt for a bright red wig. I’m making one out of these hair extensions.
  • I’m using these face “glitter tattoos” and painting the black over with my glitter green nail polish.
  • Also, these metallic nails would normally be incredibly tacky, but for Halloween? They’re perfect!
  • Not shown: I’m ordering black full length gloves and planning to make a leaf crown (see this DIY for help!)
  • If you ended up getting tendrils/vines, they’re actually very malleable , and you can easily bend them with your hands to create “jewelry”; I made a necklace-choker thing so the leaves “cover up” the intensity that is my cleavage (shown below).

Diy costume poison ivy necklace

And that’s it! I’d show you the full-on look costume, but I kind of want to save the “wear once” items for when it’s actually Halloween. But the photo above shows you just how amazing these leaves look!

My favorite thing about this costume is it can easily be adapted for other different costumes. Try a nude-colored dress and go as Eve (strategically place the leaves) and have someone else go as Adam! Use fall-colored leaves and wheat stems and go as Demeter, the Harvest Goddess! Try a green body suit and green tights to take this all the way into cosplay! So many possibilities, what would you choose?

Feedback please:

Are you an inner-geek? If so, let me know your favorite comic book character! And while you’re doing that, what are you going to be Halloween? What do you think of this DIY post, and what would you like to see in the future? Let me know in the comments!

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Looks on Campus: Todd – Kent State University


Todd is a stylish freshman who made a huge splash on Kent State’s campus as soon as he arrived. His bright personality means that everywhere he goes, someone knows his name. Along with a close friend, he created an Instagram account based on street style at Kent State University and the University of Cincinnati. After only two weeks of existence, this blog has been the talk of campus and everyone is dying to be featured on it.

Todd is smart, creative, and has huge goals he wants to reach before walking across the graduation stage in four years. I am excited to see how far he goes and how much he will accomplish during his time here. Todd’s stylish outfit caught my eye because it is so uniquely him. Each piece is so simple, but when put together, creates such an awesome look.

Todd 101

Kent State men's street style

Name: Todd

Class: Freshman

Major: Fashion Merchandising

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Let’s Talk Fashion

Who or what inspires your style? “I would say Brad Goreski. I love his style. I’m very preppy, but I also would say I am influenced by Kid Cudi. I love his street style and he gave me the confidence to wear crop tops.”

Where do you like to shop? Forever 21, Topman, second-hand stores, and American Apparel.”

What do you do for fun? Do you have any unique hobbies or interests? “Thrifting is my number one favorite thing to do besides working on my Instagram blog, @thelookbook_campusedition. I love brainstorming and coming up with more ways to become a better stylist/creative director.”

What are your favorite trends right now? “I love layering and denim on denim. I’m absolutely crazy about denim shirts or mixing plaids with denim. Another trend I’m obsessed with is oversized sweaters and jackets.”

What fashion advice would you give to other students looking to improve their style? “Just be yourself.”

Do you have any favorite designers? If so, who? “I love Diane Von Furstenberg.”

How would you describe your style? “Preppy mixed with street/grunge.”

Why did you choose this particular outfit? “When I woke up, the first thing I saw on my Instagram timeline was Kanye West wearing leather pants and I worked everything around that idea.”

If you could raid anyone’s closet, who would it be and why? “Pharrell’s closet from 12am to 6am, then Kid Cudi’s 6am to 12pm. Sleep until 3pm, then go link up with Brad Goreski to finish the night off in his closet.”

Elements of Todd’s Outfit

1. Bleached Denim Jacket

Bleached denim jacket Kent State street style

It was a chilly day on campus, so this denim jacket was a functional and essential choice. However, Todd doesn’t dress solely with practicality in mind; the bleached denim has a cool and on-trend vibe that makes a fashion-forward statement. If you are inspired to add something similar to your own wardrobe, this look can easily be DIY’ed.

2. Plaid Shirt

Men's college street fashion

If you couldn’t tell by the way he styled his look, Todd is a fan of layers. This plaid shirt really tops off his outfit and nods to the ’90s grunge era that’s so popular right now. It really “ties” his look together.

3. Watch, Bracelet, and Sunglasses

Kent State University street style

Accessories make an outfit and Todd’s picks were perfection. His sunglasses are dramatic and bold, but his watch is classic. He also wore an Alex & Ani bracelet on his other wrist, which matched the gold tone of the watch.

4. Backpack

College street style trends at Kent State

Every student needs a great bag and Todd is no exception. This canvas backpack has a very utilitarian feel, which complements his leather pants and classic watch. His look is all about mixing different textures and fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind outfit that looks effortlessly cool and stylish.

We want to know your thoughts!

Do you think Todd’s style is perfect for a casual day on campus? What do you think of his bleached denim jacket? Would you wear an outfit like this? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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