black and white wiggle dress

Subtly Spooky (& Trollbeads Giveaway)

subtle Halloween style

Black and white wiggle dress

black and white pencil dress with black high heels

[This post is sponsored by Trollbeads.]

I used to absolutely hate Halloween.

Seriously, I was like the Halloween Grinch or something: one of those people who’s all, “Grown adults in fancy dress? Awkward.” At work, when people would insist on some kind of Halloween-themed celebration, I’d point-blank refuse to join in … unless there was cake, in which case I’d grudgingly don a witches hat, or a pair of cat’s ears, and complain about it until I was allowed to remove them again. Or until the cake ran out – whichever came first. In fact, one of the best things about becoming self-employed for me was knowing I’d never again have to wear a Christmas jumper, or a witch costume, or pink for Valentine’s day, or anything AT ALL designed to “celebrate” a made-up holiday, because all of that was just SO STUPID and SO TOTALLY HUMILIATING, and that was that.

(In completely unrelated news, I was never very popular at work. I wonder why?)

Then one year, Terry and I were invited to a Halloween party. And it changed my life. Nah, OK, it didn’t. It did totally change my outlook on Halloween, though, and after that I was all, “Grown adults in fancy dress? AWESOME.” And it IS awesome. No, really: I love Halloween now – it’s one of the highlights of my social calendar, and not JUST because it’s one of the only things ON my social calendar. I mean, when else can you get totally over-dressed and NOT spend the whole night having people ask where you’re off to and why you’re “all dressed up”? Exactly.

(Oh, and Halloween is also a pretty useful way for us shy introverts to socialise – all those costumes make really easy conversation openers…)

As much I as I now look forward to the opportunity to get dressed up every year, though, I do have some rules about it, the main one being that whatever I do for Halloween, it has to be fairly subtle. I don’t go in for the really OTT costumes – so nothing too scary (OK, my ‘Samara from The Ring’ costume was pretty scary, I’ll give you that, but I only wore that because my friend Ewen challenged me to do something non-“glamorous”), and nothing too ridiculous, either. Honestly, I really just use it as an excuse to get really glammed-up, to be honest, and if I’m going to add a spooky touch to my everyday outfits, it’s going to be something equally subtle, like this bracelet by Trollbeads:

Trollbeads Gloomy bracelet

Which, I mean, is creepy, sure… but I think it’s also pretty cute. And I’m sure I don’t have to point this out, but guys? It has a face. You all know how I feel about things with faces, don’t you? I’m an absolute sucker for them: especially ones that are trying to act all scary, but which you know are secretly just big softies at heart.

Gloomy Bracelt by Trollbeads

Trollbeads call this guy their Gloomy Bracelet (I, meanwhile, call him Jim. Because that’s his name. I know because he told me.), and he’s part of their Halloween collection, which is full of pieces which will allow you to add a touch of subtle spookiness to your outfit in the run-up to Halloween – or provide the perfect finishing touch to your costume on the night itself. They’re also offering 1 lucky reader the opportunity to win a Jim – I mean a Gloomy Bracelet – of their very own (Note: yours won’t be called Jim, obviously. Yours will tell you its name when you get it: you just have to listen really, really carefully…).

All you have to do to enter is

A) head over to the Trollbeads website and sign up for their newsletter

B) Leave me a comment telling me what you’d name your bracelet.

C) Check back on October 25th, when I’ll be announcing the winner!

Oh, and while you’re waiting to see if you’ve won, here’s Jim’s video debut, in this Trollbeads video – and if you’re looking for more Halloween inspiration, you can check out their Instagram, too.

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

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  • Halloween is my favorite holiday and always has been, so I love the look of these Trollbeads! I’m one of those people who likes to get into the Halloween spirit all October long, so these look like a great way for me to incorporate a little spooky into my every day outfits. (And bonus! They seem to be work appropriate.) This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    October 11, 2015
  • i used to be the same too, but now I love Halloween. I’m now in the spirit all month… Halloween month!

    October 11, 2015
  • Erin


    I love the first picture shadows, Amber! So cute. The bracelets too 🙂

    October 11, 2015
  • Kirsten Murphy


    I’m a real sucker for over the top fancy dress but it has to be costumes that people have put together themselves not bought ones. I’ve dressed as a zombie a few times because I figured out how do make wounds & scabs from blu tac & paint!

    October 11, 2015
  • Elizabeth


    I don’t know if you’ve noticed- but Jim’s mouth is clearly a bat!
    Now if there’s one thing we all know about bats it’s that they have faces- so what are you going to call it?

    I reccomend Samuel.

    October 11, 2015
  • I love Halloween these days but when it comes to wearing special outfits for work I’m very much: “Yeah, it’s okay for those of you who don’t have to use public transport! I either look a muppet on the bus or I have to lug my costume with me. Thanks, drivers, thanks a lot.”

    October 11, 2015
  • Those little beads are adorable! I’ve always loved Halloween, and I’m the weirdo at work in costume when no one else is. As a shy introvert, this is very bizarre and my husband doesn’t quite understand it 😉 I’ve never really known any one in my adult life to throw Halloween parties, and now that I’ve a house, I’ve been throwing them almost every year. Which, again, shy introvert host?

    October 11, 2015
  • Maria


    Love the bracelet and also the dress, where is it from?
    Spent far too long as a child reading L Frank Baum so the little guy would have to be called Jack!

    October 12, 2015
  • vesi


    I’d name my bracelet pumpkin cheeks!

    October 13, 2015
  • Okay so I am pretty damn impressed with the witches hat and cat shadow, I have no idea how you did that but it looks awesome. I live in Australia where no one really does anything for Halloween so I rely on living vicariously through overseas bloggers posts to see how everyone decorates their home and the outfits they wear to Halloween parties!

    October 14, 2015
  • Pernille Larsen


    His name will be Arthur. I just know it i will be – even though I’m living in a country where Halloween isn’t officially a holiday.

    October 14, 2015
  • Gerri


    I will love him and squeeze him and call him Bob!!

    Halloween is totally my favourite holiday. I’m upset I’m having to be low key this year because I’ll be away and having to pack hand luggage only

    October 18, 2015
  • Lalie


    Success, I am now subscribed!
    That little guy is brilliant, mine will be called Gaston, because he’s spooky in a goofy kind of way.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us inspiration and another take on Halloween, you are making me love fancy dress. Dressing up around the dress (ahem, ok shoes…) I HAD to buy, why did I never think about that before?

    October 19, 2015
  • Laura


    I like halloween but I think it’s easier to get into in the states as they celebrate it properly!!
    I’d have to call my pumpkin Sally. That bead reminds me of the nightmare before Christmas and of course a Jack would give this bracelet to her!

    October 21, 2015
  • Fiona


    Punkeleton. Partly cos I like it, and partly as tribute to the My Singing Monsters game which keeps my son occupied for hours. I love Trollbeads, I already have a silver bracelet and bet Punkeleton would look subtly spooky there too.

    October 21, 2015