Gasparilla fashion guide: skulls, scarves and bling
Death is the darling of Gasparilla fashion. Why not trade out your colorful — and cheap — plastic booty for some inexpensive skull-and-crossbone designs that will shiver some timbers and get you noticed for all the right reasons. "I think we live in a crossbones and skull city," said Jennifer Dutkowsky, owner of Why Not Boutique at 3423 W. Bay to Bay Blvd. "These items are popular all year round, but this time of year it's a must." The South Tampa retailer has an entire room devoted to pirate style."We were completely caught off guard last year," said Dutkowsky. "I began ordering (skull and crossbones) items last February. The response has been amazing." Dutkowsky is grim-reaping the benefits of the trend. Mr. Skull and Crossbones adorns everything from jeans, sequined skirts and tank tops, to necklaces, rings and purses, even outfits for the youngest of pirates. Oh, and don't fret about item longevity: "corpse chic" has been around for a while — and will be stylish well past Gasparilla season. Katie Wagner shopped early for a fun, chic look for Gasparilla festivities. "I waited until the last minute last year and learned my lesson," Wagner said. "This stuff is popular, and it goes fast." Wagner, who will be on the street watching the parade with family and friends, was looking for gear that could last in unpredictable weather: hot, cool or suddenly drizzling. "I hope it's warm like last year," Wagner said. Here are a few ideas to help you take a stylish turn toward the dark side – pillage and plunder at your own risk.