Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Attention Pittsburgh: That Wasn't a Halloween Costume

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for almost two years. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Duckie Brown!

Dear Barflies of Pittsburgh,

First, I really enjoyed visiting your city. Between the Andy Warhol Museum and my new feathered friends at the aviary (a big shout out to Thomas the grackle) and the super cheap booze and the whole French-fries-in-sandwiches-and-on-salads thing—consider me totally won over.

That said, I'm not entirely sure the admiration was mutual.

Maybe I'm over-reacting—almost everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming. And, I mean, does it really matter when there are French fries in your sandwich and your drink costs $3?

The answer is no, it doesn't—but I still need yinz (that's y'all in Pittsburgh-speak) to know: Over the course of the whole long weekend, I was not wearing a Halloween costume.

You know, once one person approaches you in a bar to tell you you're looking "geeky" and ask what exactly your costume is, it's fair to assume that there are others wondering as well. Others who may just be less brazen. Or less wasted. So let's put this whole thing to rest.

I was wearing totally regular slim-fit jeans and black All-Stars. There was a pinstriped shirt under my crew neck sweater—which is leopard print, but so dark and almost-tonal it's practically a solid (especially in a dark bar). I had on my very basic black-framed glasses and a black knit cap. My jacket—that Duckie Brown anorak you see at the top of the post. Yes, a little wacky. But totally amazing and clearly not from Party City.

This was not a costume. This was a not-doing-anything-in-particular look. A Tuesday look. An "I'm running to the grocery store" look.

So much for being innocuous.

I'm pleased to report that I took it all with a grain of salt. I laughed and sort of explained ("I'm from Brooklyn.") and toasted my $3 cocktail and backed away slowly. I did not tell her I liked her Diabetic Lesbian costume for a variety of reasons. Mainly, I didn't want to assume (as she had), that her costume was indeed a costume. Maybe she really was just a Diabetic Lesbian in a men's sweatshirt; one who has a habit of carrying around large plastic bags of take out food to bars. Who am I to judge?

So, Pittsburgh—that wasn't a costume. The jacket is from Barneys. The glasses are prescription. Pass me the French fries.

· Love, Frank [Racked]