BOOM!! Goes the canon as it fires off – signaling the start of Jose Gaspar’s invasion into Tampa Bay.
As you look around you can see a 165 foot long pirate ship with three masts 100 feet above deck garnished with colored flags. You expand your depth of field and see a sea (no pun intended) of hundreds of people on smaller ships adorned with skull and crossbones flags, throwing what seems to be an infinite number of Mardi Gras beads. Lastly, with any sense of hearing you may have left, you begin to zero in on the sounds that surround you, from people on the floats yelling, to the child shouting at his parents because he can’t see, to your friend telling you to pay attention because if you get lost that’s on you.
This is Gasparilla.
Before you get to this point, there’s one equation you have to solve, and if you’re a veteran to the event, you know where I’m heading with this one.
That is, dare I say it, the FASHION.
Outfit wise – it’s loosely the same concept every year. The color code is typically red, black and white, skulls on skulls on skulls and for women probably some variety of a fishnet pairing with over-the-knee (OTK) boots. What’s left .. ACCESSORIZING.
This is single-handedly what diversifies you from the 300,000 other pirate look-a-likes walking around. Personally, store bought jewelry just doesn’t do the trick for me anymore. I find myself wanting more and altering whatever I end up buying.
THEREFORE .. here are three tried–and–true DIY jewelry designs for the big day that I swear by.
Lets start from the top down, so that means one thing … earrings. Here I like to hit it home and really live “the bigger the better,” lifestyle.
These are my go-to for the big day. Why you might ask?
First off, they are simple. I’ll be honest I’m not the craftiest DIYer out there, I blame part of it on my lack of patience, but these really are no sweat.
If this is your first rodeo I’d make ones similar to these. They are a straight forward design that you can’t go wrong with … or mess up!
Majority of the pieces needed for this project can be purchased in a single findings starter pack. All you’re need after that are the feathers of your choice and beads if you so chose to include them.
Now if you’re more advanced or just want a pair of bomb earrings here’s what I would do … because shocker it is what I do.
Begin with this layout because it’s easy to build off it. The first trick is to mix different sizes and lengths of feathers. PRO TIP because feathers weigh next-to-nothing you can pile on as many as you want and it’ll still feel “as light as a feather.” As a rule–of–thumb I start out with black and red feathers and sprinkle in a few brown and white. This makes your earrings look more dimensional and personally, I’m a brunette so it doubles as a hair accessory!
Mixed with the feathers I add beads. I stick mainly to different colors and shades of wood beads, but a girl has got to sparkle … am I right? By choice, I throw in a few sparkly ones in hopes of getting a good angle to score that “perfect insta.”
Any leftover chain that you have laying around, grab it and throw it on! This makes your earrings look natural and …
Again its Gaspy, so why not go all out. When else (maybe besides Halloween) do you have the opportunity to dress as a pirate and deck out in jewels.
One great thing about this is essentially you’re just attaching multiple pieces of chain to the main necklace. Therefore, after Gaspy you can just remove the extra strands and you’re left with a necklace you can wear daily.
Ladies, I’m sure there will be at least one item, if not multiple, that you’re wearing solely for “the look.” The OTK boots that don’t quite stay OTK because they slowly fall, no matter how much double-sided sticky tape you use. The fishnets that you swore wouldn’t rip this year … well surprise, surprise, 12 minutes after putting them on you have one giant hole, that for the life of you, you can’t figure out what you did to acquire such a tear.
And of course, I can’t leave out my favorite. The true devil, that WILL get you every time. The off-the-shoulder shirt. You jumped up, around and sat every which way in the fitting room thinking you were giving it the ultimate test. You even use some fashion tape for the “just in case,” scenarios. But boy were you wrong. Within the first seven minutes you’ve found yourself pulling your shirt up twice, already annoyed and wishing you wore a basic tee.
Finally I’d like to wish you all a …
Happy Gasparilla 2020
Let’s roar into the new year, new decade better than we left 2019 and celebrating. Pick your outfits, make all your jewels and get that perfect insta.
Derived from Yash Popat’s book, don’t forget “work like a captain, play like a pirate.”