A guide to All Hallows Eve

Mitch: For those of you who don’t know, I am a bit of a Halloween freak. Each year I take it upon myself to provide plenty of tricks and treats to the children in my neighborhood.

Here is a brief history in case you are interested: Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

Now to the fashion part of the story:

— First of all, let’s keep the wigs, fangs, acid green nail polish, and dyed hair to a minimum in the work zone. If you gentlemen out there feel like stepping outside of your comfort zone then maybe try an orange diagonal striped tie with that navy blazer or suit. Ladies, skip the pumpkin-adorned sweaters and stick with autumnal colors.

— When it comes to decorating the office, keep it simple with a few pumpkins and maybe some candy corn in the treat dish. Streamers, banners, tombstones, and coffins with skeletons inside are best kept at home or for an after-work party. These of course are just my suggestions, but if you are responsible for a Fortune 500 company or any respectable business, you may be sending the wrong signals.

— One last suggestion: If you give out pennies as treats, don’t come crying to me after your finish stomping out that flaming bag of poo.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. As an addendum to a previous column, I wanted to touch on the women’s perspective in accordance with dressing properly for a TV appearance or video recording.

I don’t personally work with many female clients, so I looked to my business partner, Michelle Dhein, for her insights.

According to Michelle, dark solid and textured fabrics are the best. Stay within the medium to darker tones and shades, thus not washing yourself out while on camera. Make navy one of your first choices due to its uniqueness over the usual standard black. Knowing the right color to wear is only the beginning — fit, as always, is an extremely important factor.

Start with the jacket: Do the arms have a nice tapered look to them? Also take a look at the shoulders. Do you look anything like a linebacker for the Pack? As for the slacks or skirt, be sure that is fits nicely around your waist and looks flattering on you.

In regards to the top that you might wear: A blouse is probably the best option, and it can be worn with a sweater shell to create depth and give your outfit some character. Whether you choose to wear a shell or just the blouse, keep it simple and make sure that the color is not too bright.

In regards to the patterns or stripes: Should you choose to wear a suit, jacket, slacks, or skirt that has them, stay subtle. Subtle stripes will help to elongate your appearance and have a slimming effect. Stay away from exaggerated patterns or windowpanes as the may tend to make you look shorter, wider, and frumpy.

As for jewelry: Less is more. Go for that classy, understated look. The hoop earrings, big beads, and Swatch watches are best left in your ’80s past. Overall, select something that you know looks good on you.

If you have other questions, I recommend contacting Michelle Dhein at (414) 975-7813.

— Bram directs sartorial splendor by appointment at your home or office or at his Madison office. Call 608-712-6499 or visit http://ilsuitu.myplaxo.com or http://www.linkedin.com/pub/1/bab/5b.

E-mail your fashion questions to [email protected]