What to Wear Fridays: All Hallow's Eve, Plan A

The Cat's Pajamas has always hated Halloween. She never liked having to dress up in some stupid-ass Tiger or Princess or Cheerleader costume. She was never much of one for make-believe, so the whole effort just somehow seemed pointless, even if candy was involved. There was this one time, however, that she got talked into being Sport Spice Mermaid for the annual Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade. That was fun, minus walking two miles in sky-high platforms and spangly polyester.

Cat's always been happy to help other people outfit themselves for the evening — that part is always insanely crazy and creative — but the question always remained: What does she wear out with her freaky friends? So Cat has been on the look out for an ensemble that could take her from the Masquerade Ball at the Oriental on Saturday night to "Secret of the Abyss," the sci-fi-themed party at Jax the same night. Or even any of the soirees at Rise and the Church happening all weekend. But it had to be something that didn't involve slutting herself out as a nurse or wearing someone else's stanky rented hippo gear.

What The Cat's Pajamas decided is that All Hallow's Eve is an excellent time to take some fashion risks, to try out some things you wouldn't wear in every-day life. To not be somebody — or something — else for the night, but to be a better, more flamboyant version of yourself.

For a sleek and elegant look, she chose a red strapless cocktail dress that she already had in her closet (nothing wrong with starting with what you've got) and then added a hand-crafted mask from Apocalypse Boutique (108 South Broadway, 303-777-3218). Owner Mike Romoth has been making these beauties for three years, and they are a perfect accoutrement for those masked balls where you want to look more gorgeous than outlandish. Plus, you'll look cool when you hit an after-party later and everyone else's makeup has sweated off and their outfits are half-undone.

Mike has a whole slew of masks in varying styles and colors, but Cat went with a basic black to start, and matched it with a pair of killer black stilettos and a giant cocktail ring. With a piece like this, you want all attention focused on it, so don't muddle the outfit with unnecessary earrings or necklaces. Just a light dusting of bronzer or sparkling powder over the collar bone will be more than enough. (Note: Photo is not of Cat; a special thanks to The Cat's Pajamas' special model.)

Still, sometimes basic black isn't enough, so here are some other options Cat found in Mike's shop; they range from $30 for the black, beaded mask to $60 for the feathered version to $165 for the crown.

Whether to offer a trick or a treat is up to you.