Away

I know there’s a bit of tumbleweed growing on this blog already, but unfortunately I will be away till Jan 15 and so the next post will likely come in late January/early February.

Also a bit of spruik for Euchronia – if you’re in Melbourne and don’t have NYE plans yet I would definitely recommend going to the event. There will be a lot of fashionably-dressed steampunk folk there, a bazaar, an art gallery and plenty of entertainment and mingling!

MLX10 Hangar Dance

Someone emailed me through the site the other day and I was all πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I was always going to post another update but I made this more of a priority after people said nice things about me. Strangely my timetable has not freed up post-exams due to the huge number of things I’m juggling.

One of my current obssessions hobbies is swing dancing and as everyone on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook already know I went to this amazing event organised by the Melbourne Lindy Exchange that was:

  • diesel-punk costume themed, and
  • located in a real airplane hangar, and
  • had a live big band playing, and
  • obviously, for swing dancing!

Bear with me if I’m repeating myself, but the outfits at the event were really amazing and if anything I was underdressed. That said, I dressed to the theme but knowing that I’d be moving around a lot and getting very warm and sweaty.

(And yes, that is a real plane in the above picture. It is an aircraft hangar after all.)

Dieselpunk

Over on the BrassGoggles forums I once came across this timeline of -punk addages that seemed… excessive, but anyhow dieselpunk is the alternate history version of WWII, the period from about 1920 to 1950 (think Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the mOBSCENE video, and even um this Christina Aguilera videoclip) but it often gets lumped together with steampunk since there’s a lot of overlap between people interested in retrofuturism (which is also why I’ve stuck this under the steampunk category).

Where steampunk has the frills and ruffles of Victoriana, dieselpunk is a lot more utilitarian to reflect the wartime. Clothing shapes are very fitted against the body in comparison to wide skirts and puffy shoulders, and the lines tend to be very clean and straight rather than curved. You see a bit of brown here and there, but I’d say the staple colours are army green, beige, tan and all the shades of camouflage. Navy blues are also popular (to continue with the military theme) and bright reds are nice onΒ Rosie The Riveter style outfits.

The Outfit

When I first heard about the event I immediately knew what I wanted to wear, and that I wanted to go with a more militaristic look.

  • Backless, sleeveless shirt-halter vest thing – $10 from a random clothing store
  • High-waisted skirt – $35 from a Dizingof sale (!!)
  • White scarf – under $5 from thrift store
  • Olive Military Jacket – Westco, bought from eBay for $10
  • Goggles – $10 from eBay
  • Fingerless leather gloves – $20 from Sportsgirl
  • Boots – My $100 favourites from Tony Bianco

In terms of building the silhouette, everything is quite close-fitting, and I got more of that pinched waist look by the high-waisted skirt (which also has a bit of boning at the front which really helps keep the shape). The skirt is especially military-esque because of its colour, but also because of the position of double rows of buttons on the front. That’s something to look for in both your jackets and tops and bottoms (you’ll notice my olive jacket has two rows of buttons as well), and something you can definitely recreate by stitching button on existing items if you don’t have anything especially military-esque.

For maximum maneuverability I decided to forego a corset or a fitted belt, and similarly for dancing reasons I decided on wearing this halter-shirt-thing instead of an actual long-sleeved shirt and a neck tie, even though the latter would probably look a lot more formal.

If had the time I would have made myself a garrison cap (this pattern was originally from HMA Badger website, but the site is down as of this post which is why I’ve reuploaded it), but the goggles did a good job of keeping my hair back and the cap possibly would have just fallen off.

Fake Update

This is a fake update to let you know I am still dedicated to this website like whoa and have a bajillion ideas for posts but I also have exams until the 26th of this month. Unfortunately it looks like there won’t be a November update, sorry!

Anyway, don’t tell me you’ve actually exhausted the possibilities of every post on the website. Made anything recently? Gone thrift-store shopping? I even recently used my own tutorial to make another fascinator, whooo!

See you in December!

Interactive Halloween Post

It’s an interactive Halloween post! There’s a couple of reasons why I need your input:

  1. A byproduct of my being dressed up almost everyday means that I really have to rack my brains for Halloween. (I really like the holiday even if Australians don’t celebrate it properly.) I have no idea what to wear and I’ll probably just grab my rabbit skull mask if I can’t think of anything. But! I thought I might give you readers a chance to suggest costumes you’d like to see me attempt and write a post about.
  2. If you followed one of my posts for your Halloween costume I’d love to see it! With your permission I’d love to post it here! But if you don’t want to be e-famous that’s okay, I’d just love to see what you come up with. Link me up with pictures or blog posts or just chat to me via the contact form.
  3. Just a quick reminder to check your privilege and make sure your costume isn’t culturally appropriative or stereotyping and racially problematic. You have a whole bunch of possibilities to choose from (including the ones on this blog), so if you’re in doubt ask yourself whether your costume is more important than the oppression of marginalised cultures.

Style Quickie – Sherlock Holmes (BBC Sherlock)

Is it just me or are we getting an influx of extremely well-dressed male characters lately? Or shall I say, GQMFs? Even though I’m probably the only geek in existence who isn’t watching the new Doctor Who I decided to check out Steven Moffat’s new Sherlock series because I’d heard such rave reviews about it.

Sherlock, my friends, is GQMF (I mean he’s actually in GQ). No deerstalkers to be seen (not that there’s anything wrong with deerstalkers), only shirts, suits, scarves and a magnificent winter coat that GQ says only cost oh Β£1000. He also inexplicably wears designer shirts and suits but I don’t care because the costume designer Sarah Arthur is my hero:

“Holmes would not have any interest in fashion so I went for classic suits with a modern twist: narrow-leg trousers and a two-button, slim-cut jacket,” she told us. “I also went for slim-cut shirts and a sweeping coat for all the action scenes – it looks great against the London skyline.”

It’s getting a little warmer here in the Southern hemisphere while it’s getting cooler in the North but during temperature and weather-appropriate times, do consider wearing a great large winter coat over a suit. Even better – pop up the collar for that sort of film noir look and say that you were just uh, keeping your neck safe from the elements. Specifically you might want to look for a double-breasted black coat with large lapels that goes down to just past your knees. A super-nice version of said coat would be pleated from the lower-back and flare whenever you whisked around the streets of London.

Unfortunately I can’t direct you to where you might be able to buy such a coat but the one I own I grabbed at a thrift store for $30 in the height of summer (it’s double-breasted and tweed-ish and finishes mid-calf and fits me perfectly and have I mentioned that I love it? Yes, I’m just bragging now).

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.

Worn Wild

I’m sorry I’ve been lax with posting guys! To tell you the truth I’ve been on my Inception waistcoat stupor for the past month or so and felt too comfortable to change gears. As of now I think this blog will work better as a update-when-I-feel-like-it sort of thing – which is what I’m doing anyway – and if I have multiple updates to bring you I’ll try to schedule them a week apart.

I try very hard not to make this blog too narcissistic and fill it with stuff that’s less “what I wore today”, more “how to wear x, y, z”. But then Omega linked me to the official photos for the Melbourne Worn Wild (alternative fashion market… thingy) and thought I could totally combine narcissism and inspirational practical knowledge, but not really because I just wanted to show off how awesome I AND everyone else there looked.

Have a gawk at the photos over at Ellyway because I definitely got inspired from some of the lovely well-dressed people at the event. You’ve got your cybergoths, your lolitas, your rockabilly, your Victoriana…

And here’s me:

Believe it or not, the bulk of what you see is from Target. My pants, shirt and waistcoat probably cost me under $50 together and I consider them all wardrobe basics.

The hat and gloves you might recognise from this post. Pocketwatch was about $15 from eBay, umbrella/parasol was $7 from Queen Victoria Markets because the stall was closing down, bandanna was $2 from a thrift store.

My white rabbit brooch was from Little Shop Of and my cheshire cat necklace was from Tartx (both of which are linked under Shopping). Shoes are those $100 Tony Bianco boots that seem to go with everything.

I’m not actually wearing anything particularly flash, but note the combination of waistcoat + puffed sleeves give a more neo-Victorian silhouette, especially with the top hat. Add on the (pocketwatch) chain, cameo brooch and cowel bandanna and you get a very Victorian look indeed.

Compare this to the Inception GQMF look and I’m essentially wearing the same thing swapping puffy sleeves for the white long-sleeved shirt and bandanna for the buttoned up collar and tie. Pretty small differences that fundamentally change the style of the outfit.

Also despite my not having much money and being determined not to spend any, I bought the following wonderful messenger bag from Elvy Ess. It is extremely well made, gorgeous lining on the inside (and has a small pocket with more screenprinted creepy-crawlies), and it’s roomy and fits all my law readings! Gosh I wish I had the money to buy her clothes and maybe more bags. It did occur to me to get a job sometime in the future.

I am in the middle of writing up a long-ass outfit post for next week (hopefully going up Monday, but definitely within a week) so maybe this will tide you over for a little while.

Stay sexy!