I heart you, readers

Of course I love all of you equally, but there’s a special place in my heart for commenters and PEOPLE WHO SEND ME PHOTOS OMG!! Every time someone tells me they’ve used the blog for inspiration I go all flaily on the inside. Writing on the internet is a bit like shouting in a crowd full of other people shouting (inferior shouting) so when someone hears me – someone who doesn’t know me IRL and is therefore obliged to say nice things – it is a really great feeling.

ANYWAY! Melissa, a reader of NaC, went as Tonks (original post here) to the HP 7.2 opening and has graciously allowed me to post a picture of her lovely self here! (Reminds me that I was going to do a wizarding post *coughcough*) If anyone else wants to send along photos for posting I would totally welcome it! I think it’s important to see people’s different interpretations of outfits and that there’s really no right to dress or even costume!

Kudos Melissa!

Wig = Amazon
Necklace = long black shoelace
Tank and Hoodie = Goodwill
Jacket = black denim dress from Goodwill. I sponged the buttons darker, chopped the hem unevenly and quick stitched the edges.
Pants = exercise pants. I cut the slits
Gloves = black lacey socks with the toe cut out
Shoes = Goodwill
Wand = a stick from the backyard a friend carved for me

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Ramona Flowers (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)

So lied about when this post was coming out. I’m very lazy.

I was probably one of the last geeky people to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World. While I’ll keep my tl;dr thoughts about the film to myself (in short: it was okay, I don’t think I was the target audience) I have to say I found Ramona’s character pretty two-dimensional in the film (caveat: I haven’t read the comics yet though I plan to and sources tell me it’s a lot better; woe is me who hasn’t drunk from the fount of Source Material). Interestingly I think a lot of what we’re meant to infer about her character comes from her wardrobe and how she chooses to present herself (her hair, her goggles, her skates). Her wardrobe is super-interesting for a character that, in my opinion, doesn’t do or say very much in the film.

As usual I’ll be writing this post on how to get a general look instead of a specific outfit (or hair colour), but because I think Ramona has a distinct style rather than one outfit I’ll be showing you two different looks to get a general idea of how she dresses (think of it as an apology for not posting recently.)

Preparation

First dig out all your bright blue, purple, indigo, violet, pink(ish purple) etc items of clothing. These combination of colours make an outfit distinctively Romana-esque, especially since she wears a combination of fairly ordinary clothing. If you can find a hoodie and/or a jumper/sweater in either of those colours then you’ve hit jackpot, but if you can’t then that’s okay too.

Here are some items you might want to look for (in any colour):

  • Tops: T-shirt, tank top, hoodie, fuzzy jumper/sweater, striped long-sleeved top, short-sleeved button-up shirt, leather jacket, jacket with a collar and/or lapels, short-sleeved jackets.
  • Bottoms: Stockings or leggings (and/or fishnets), shorts, pleated skirt.
  • Accessories: Fingerless gloves, goggles, boots, (studded) belts, black necklace or some makeshift ribbon, a round messenger bag with a star on it or some other indie-acceptable messenger bag. Rollerblades if you have them?

So even if you own all these items in blue and purple I wouldn’t recommend actually wearing only blue and purple. Choose maybe 2-3 items that are the brightest and boldest in those colours and go black or grey and other muted colours for everything else. However make sure the purple and blue items can be clearly seen in the final ensemble.

The Roxy Scene

I picked this out because it’s possibly the only one where she’s not wearing a hoodie. In the scene with Roxy she’s actually wearing a dress, very similar to the Army Dress from Berserk Clothing. If you have a dress like this – AWESOME! I do not and don’t particularly want to spend $100 on one so we can reconstruct a similar look in two pieces, especially since the dress looks like two pieces anyway.

What you need to find is a shirt with plain short sleeves above your elbow which is actually harder than it sounds because I lot of womens’ shirts aren’t styled that way. You’ll also need a pleated skirt and preferably the skirt and shirt are of similar earthy colours and made out of a heavy matte material. Everyone should own a black belt with a silver buckle, and the striped top or the fingerless gloves should be too difficult to find.

I actually spent ages on this outfit because I was really unsatisfied with my options. The skirt was too long, although in retrospect this was fine because the pleats started much lower (about halfway down the skirt) so it gave the illusion the skirt was shorter than it was.

I wasn’t happy with the shirt either, because of the pattern, the light material and the fact that it’s very very long (and meant to be worn as a dress-thing). It turns out, like I said above, I had no shirts with plain short sleeves that buttoned up to the top, so I dealt with the situation by tucking it in and belting the skirt high. I could do that with this skirt because, like I said, the pleats started further down and the top half of the skirt was very fitted. Also note that the shirt has two breast pockets that give it a more of that military look.

The breakdown:

  • Long brown shirt – free from a friend.
  • Denim pleated skirt – bought by my mum for me ❤
  • Long-sleeved striped top – $6 at random cheap clothing store
  • Belt – from a jacket
  • Fingerless gloves made from socks.
  • Boots – under $10 from a thrift store

The Delivery Girl

It’s annoyingly difficult to find reference pictures of Ramona’s outfits on the internet for some reason. These two were the best ones I could find online (warning: they are big files, but they kind of need to be).

I guess this is more of her “typical” look. Think of layers and textures – note that her top jacket is some sort of heavy matte fabric, the next is the typical hoody which is fleecy on the inside, and the one after that is quite fuzzy. This is also wear her penchant for blues and purples really come into play.

So while I’m pleased with this outfit (more than the other), I do feel it falls down because I don’t own many fuzzy jumpers… if any, and certainly not in blue and/or purple. What I really did was sort of combine this look with the outfit she wears in the scene with her skateboarding ex. When I take off the outer jacket the focus is more on the layers and colours due the the short-sleeved hoodie and low-cut jumper.

I was also quite lucky to own a jacket very much like the one she wears in the film (a sort of military jacket with breast pockets and shoulder pads). A leather jacket would also be appropriate with this outfit, and depending on the weather you might not even need the jacket

The Breakdown:

  • Long-sleeved purple top – $6 from random cheapo shop
  • Blue jumper – under $10 from thrift store
  • Black short-sleeved hoodie – no idea, I’ve had this for years
  • Red jacket – ~$80 from Dangerfield
  • Denim shorts – Cut up from $2 thrift store pants.
  • Purple tights – ~$10 from Target
  • Boots – $100 from Tony Bianco
  • Goggles – $15 from eBay
  • Same fingerless gloves as above

The more I write this blog the more I realise I’m very much missing a leather jacket from my wardrobe.

Style Quickie – Arthur (Inception)

You know who looks bad in a suit? No one. (And if you do look bad in a suit either a. you don’t, or b. you’ve chosen something with the incorrect fit, style and/or cut.)

You know who looks like sex incarnate in a suit? Joseph Motherfucking Gordon-Levitt.

You know who else tells you to suit up? Barney Motherfucking Stinson who is played by Neil Motherfucking Patrick Harris.

Most of the role of JGL had in Inception is to walk around in tailored suits looking classy as hell and generally serve as eye candy for the audience. The film is worth seeing just for that. The man has a zero gravity fight scene… in a suit. He blows shit up… in a suit. He listens to Edith Piaf… in a suit. In fact after some Googling it turns out he models for Esquire and stuff in his spare time… in a suit.

Look, neither you nor I have any possibility of looking nearly as good as JGL or Isaiah Mustafa but that’s not to say we can’t get a little closer by wearing a suit.

I don’t have the money to buy a suit but most people should have some nice business pants, a waistcoat/vest and a button-up shirt in their wardrobe anyway. This is a bit of a hark back to Sweeney Todd with the whole vest + shirt but you probably want to find something with a lower, more business-like cut instead. Also something of a longer length so you can tuck your shirt in without looking funny.

Alas I have no sleek looking briefcases, but I assure you I will be wearing this look frequently while I shake my fist at the universe at the unfairness of how I wasn’t born to like look like JGL. (If you want see more ladies wearing this look, check here and with the women who work at Anton’s in Melbourne Central.)

I would not recommend you slicking your hair back however. JGL somehow pulls it off LIKE A BOSS, but I suspect this is the exception not the norm.

And lastly: Oh My Lord.

Edit: You guys might be interested in this interview with Inception’s costume designer.

Edit 2, 16/08: So I don’t usually edit entries like this but this is by far the most popular entry on my blog ever (it averages 100 more hits per week than my Noodle/Gorillaz post which in turn averages about 100 more hits per week than every other entry on here). Some people have commented this sort of outfit would be expensive to get. Well here’s my recreation below:

Waistcoat and pants from Target, shirt from Rivers. Tie was thrifted, pocketwatch from eBay. All up I think it cost me under $50. You’ve just got to find items that fit you comfortably and it’s not always expensive. (That said I’ve never bought something expensive that didn’t fit well.)

I feel like I should also put the word out on Janelle Monae who is another lovely lady who knows how to rock a suit.

Edit 3, 19/8: Possibly more than you ever wanted to know about suits.

Sweeney Todd (Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

Thanks for your comments about the blog everyone! If I had a machine that could download the contents of my brain within seconds into coherent words then I would post every day. While you guys get working on that, I’ll keep working on quality over quantity and not burning myself out on this thing.

Today we implement the encouragement for more dude stuff. Here at NaC we don’t get caught up with gender binaries. In the words of the Feminist Hulk:

TRICK TO SMASHING GENDER BINARY: MAKE SURE IT NOT SIMPLY BREAK INTO TWO NORMATIVE PIECES. HULK CREATE GENDERQUEER DEBRIS! (source)

That said I’m not aiming for “drag” or even androgyny when I try to recreate male outfits – I’m aiming for me wearing some clothes that I think look damn awesome. So for the dudes who read my blog your mileage may vary on my advice. One of the drawbacks of blogging this thing alone is that you only really get one perspective and one body type but if some of you guys sent in pictures/outfits I would be happy to post them up and share the love (hint hint).

The idea for this outfit came after I visited the Tim Burton Exhibition at ACMI (which is apparently a rehash of the MoMA one)  and drooled over the costumes that were on show there. I sometimes feel that men’s fashion can be very same-old, but Burton’s costumes for his male leads were always very distinctive and integrated with the character design, as much so as the costumes for his females leads.

Breaking It Down

Mr Todd is wearing…

  • White Victorian shirt with large cuffs and puffy sleeves.
  • Double-breasted button-up vest with lapels.
  • Fitted pinstripe pants.
  • A cravat.
  • A leather belt.
  • Fingerless gloves.

On occasion he also wears a short, almost cropped long-sleeved canvas jacket, or alternatively a mid-thigh long leather jacket.

The two most important items in the wardrobe is the vest and the shirt, with everything else being interchangeable to a degree. If possible try to find a double-breasted vest with lapels that cover most of the torso and upper-chest area. Although most button-up shirts don’t have this level of puff to the sleeves, some of them will have looser sleeves than others. Look at the cuffs to see if there’s a pleat that’s tucked and sewed in.

Silhouette-wise you want a V-shape if possible. The outline of the shirt sleeves gives the impression of the outfit being heavier around the shoulders and arms, and the tight-fitted vest makes the rest of the body but especially the waist and hips look small in comparison. To maintain the somewhat out of proportion ratio make sure your pants are also tight-fitting.

Try to keep colours muted like in the film if possible, or at least very dark shades. Stay with heavy matte fabrics for everything but the shirt which ideally would be made out of a light material like linen. If you have a shirt that is light, loose and floaty (as opposed to crisp, pressed and business-like) wear that one.

The Outfit

What I’m wearing:

  • White shirt from my high school uniform (!!) with that collar popped up to imitated a Victorian high collar and cuffs buttoned up. (This trick will work with most button-shirts if you do up the top button.) – I have no idea what this cost, but I’d consider it “free” for these purposes.
  • Double-breasted black vest that used to be a jacket- $10 from Cotton On (a post on this is in the works!)
  • Pinstripe black denim pants from Target – $20
  • Belt with pockets from Happy Cow – $70 (design is now discontinued)
  • Fingerless leather gloves – $20 from Sportsgirl.
  • Thin black scarf with star pattern – originally attached to a dress.
  • Black boots – $100 from Tony Bianco

I couldn’t find a jacket that I was 100% happy with so I ended up going with a huge ankle-length woollen jacket that looked vaguely Victorian and matched the outfit.

If I were Johnny Depp the folowing picture would make people faint from teh hawt. Unfortunately I just look silly.

Tank Girl (Tank Girl)

After tackling Noodle1 I thought I’d pay homage to Jamie Hewlett2 again by having a Tank Girl post3.  I’ve not seen the film which apparently barely resembles the comics, but internet stills tell me that she dresses similarly. Also she’s Australian and dates a kangaroo that should still count for something these days.

You guys may remember that I said in my Noodle post I really disliked shorts. You may have seen me wear shorts in my recent Tonks post but that’s okay because they aren’t short shorts and they used to be jeans anyway. This time I will go another step further to say I actually kinda like shorts and my previous biases were probably due to not finding the right pair of shorts. The pair of shorts I wear in this outfit were found at Cotton On on sale for ridiculously cheap, so it just goes to show.

You’re On Your Own

The reason I’ve got a whole bunch of pictures here is because I’m not going to do my usual outfit breakdown. People who costume/cosplay as Tank Girl tend to go with the target shirt and fleece hat but dude, she’s an anarchist. She’ll wear whatever the fuck she wants.

While I kept some of the accessory staples “I’ll wear whatever the fuck I want” is pretty much how I approached this outfit, “I” being “I, Tank Girl” of course. Start with some brightly coloured plain bases like t-shirts, singlets, bras and shorts, and wear em together even if the colours clash. Especially if they clash. The reason why Tank Girl looks like a punk anarchist is precisely because the colours and patterns are all over the place.

My primary concern was that the outfit would be unsuitable for winter because she usually bares so much skin. But after Googling some images like the ones above, I realised that it wasn’t always the case. I highly recommend patterned armwarmers, leggings or socks to keep your arms and legs warm. A favourite trick of mine is to wear fishnets over some warmer opaque stockings (and then knee-high socks for a third layer if you’re really cold). Stick on some combat boots over the top and you are ready to beat up a gang of ‘roos.

Accessorise with fingerless gloves, (utility) belts, funny hats, goggles and glasses, bandaids, unisex jewellery and a cigarette4. And a motherfucking tank if you have one.

The Outfit

The Breakdown:

  • Long sleeved shirt with camouflage pattern (I have no idea where I got this or for how much – I think it was cheap.)
  • White tank – $25 because it was official Emilie Autumn merch.
  • Brown shorts – $5 from Cotton On (yay sale!)
  • Navy leggings – $8 from Target
  • Mismatched striped knee-high socks – ~$8
  • Fleece hat – $3 from thrift store
  • Goggles – $10 from eBay
  • Red suspenders – $10 from Target
  • Fleece jacket – $5 from thrift store
  • Doc Martens – $7 from Camberwell Market

I think this outfit would have worked a lot more if I hadn’t insisted on wearing it during the start of winter. During warmer days I’d have swapped out the long-sleeved top for some armwarmers or fingerless gloves5. Definitely should have gone with more colour and more fishnet stuff using old fishnet stockings.


Footnotes:

  1. By the way the blog stats show that my Noodle post is by far the most popular getting hits from Google. It’s getting about 300 hits per week (no shit).
  2. As people say, it’s not Tank Girl without Jamie Hewlett.
  3. I am ever hopeful that Hewlett is the new black and my blog and I will become famous overnight on the Googleplex.
  4. Don’t smoke kids!
  5. At the time of wearing this (which was actually more than a month ago from the date of this post) I had not yet acquired my leather fingerless gloves.

Nymphadora Tonks (Harry Potter)

Note from the author: Hey guys, I’ve owed y’all an update for AGES I know, but it’s getting closer to exam season. I actually have several drafts stored up but either A) haven’t worn the outfit yet or B) have no good photos. I am thinking hard about how to write a multi-part steampunk feature but I don’t want to screw it up because it’s a subculture so dear to me heart.

For now updates will be irregular, maybe once in a fortnight, but should this blog should hopefully kick off into once a week territory after June.

And now a proper post:

I’m sure you’ve all come to the conclusion that I’m a massive geek, if the mere existence of the blog didn’t alert you to that fact.

I bought a goddamned time turner. “Awesome” is the correct reaction.

To celebrate I thought I might show you my Nymphadora Tonks outfit. Besides being the character I most identify with in the books, she’s probably got one of the most distinct yet not too wizardy wardrobe in the films. (Also Natalia Tena is just gorgeous and in the midst of writing this post I found that she plays accordian in an awesome band called Molotov Jukebox.)

I will be tackling her earlier casual outfit that she wears to rescue Harry from the Dursley. As much as I love the Deatheater-fighting outfit I think the bustier, striped shirt (drool) and dragonhide jacket are a bit too specific to pull off without major additions to the wardrobe. (Although this outfit is also pretty damn cool and pretty damn doable.)

Unfortunately images on the interwebz are vague about the specifics of what’s under her jacket, but you can kind of get the general idea from this picture (note the enlarged version is huge, but you kind of need it to make out the details):

Here’s the breakdown of what I think she’s wearing:

  • Grey hoodie with red lining
  • Long red and black striped t-shirt
  • Black tight-fitting shorts, below or at the knee
  • Black tights/stockings with some punk rock rips 😉
  • Mid-calf black combat boots
  • Just below the knee black jacket with a giant pocket on the left side. Notice the jacket is a lot bigger at the bottom, so much that the excess material gathers from the waist down. It’s also not a consistent
  • Fingerless leather gloves.
  • Necklace of what looks to be made of large brass bells or studs (?)
  • Possibly a thin studded belt over the t-shirt.

The jacket is also pretty unique and it’s going to be difficult to find something that matches it. From order of preference I would go with length, colour, then style, as usual preferencing the overall silhouette over details.

Because she never really takes the jacket off, the details of what’s going on underneath aren’t so important. The essential item is probably the hoodie which shapes the collar area.

The main impression I get from this outfit is sort of “mainstream punk” if that makes any sense. Stick to bold colours, worn items, matte and simple materials (mostly cotton).

Book Canon

In Order of the Phoenix Tonks is described as wearing a Weird Sisters t-shirt and patched jeans (thanks HP wiki!). I think the punk/outsider style look would be pretty consistent with her character, given her pink hair and metamorphmagi status. A band t-shirt would totally work, as would some ripped jeans, patches, badges, etc. She’s kind of the punk version of perky-goths (perky-punk?), so I think experimenting with a bigger colour palette would look fine as long as it was still rough around the edges and DIY. You could probably also femme up the outfit a bit with a figure-hugging top and skirt and differently-coloured stockings.

The Outfit

When I grow up I want to be an Auror!

The breakdown:

  • Pair of thrifted pants cut into shorts then rolled up – $2
  • Emily the Strange striped t-shirt ~ $20
  • Black opaque tights/stockings ~$10
  • A black sleeveless hoodie – so long ago I can’t remember how much it cost
  • Tripp NYC Elizabeth jacket (with french cuffs and eye and hook closures at the front) – US$75 (it was overpriced and from Hot Topic but I love it anyway)
  • Fingerless knit gloves – $3
  • Leather studded collar from Diva – $5 (God I love their $5 sales – usually I can only find one good thing, but that one thing is pretty good)
  • Combat boots – $100
  • I also stuck a bunch of badges on – one of them says SPEW 🙂
  • And of course my time turner.

You can definitely replace the jacket, as noted above, with a cheaper/different version. I liked this one because it has the silver studs at the front that mimic the omgpunk. I also would’ve preferred to wear my Doc Martens instead for a rougher look but they were being fixed and unavailable. You could also grab a pair of old stockings and rip them but I rather like all the pairs that I currently have.

Images of Tonks gacked off the Natalia Tena fansite.