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.

KK (FreakAngels)

Sadly FreakAngels was not updated this week, but I have been following this fantastic free webcomic from the beginning. It is written by Warren Ellis, perhaps best known for the Transmetropolitan comic series, and drawn by Paul Duffield. Ellis’ work often feature cyberpunk dystopias, although FreakAngels is arguably steampunk in a very literal way.

The comic is set in a post-apocalyptic future in a flooded Whitechapel, London and is focused around a group of 12 people with special powers – the “FreakAngels”. Even though this is a free online comic this is definitely professional project. The art is wonderful and very richly coloured. The storylines are compelling. You should read it from the beginning if you haven’t already.

KK is a loudmouthed, somewhat stubborn engineer FreakAngel. She’s probably not my favourite character (it’s probably Arkady), but she’s definitely the most featured. And I love how she dresses.

Breaking Down KK’s Outfit

Unlike Noodle, KK seems to be quite attached to this particular outfit and only this outfit:

  • Black short-sleeved loose black jacket with grey cuffs, mid-waist length.
  • Pin-striped corset or bustier with grey detailing and piping (??)
  • Short black ruffle skirt
  • Thigh-high fishnets, large diamonds.
  • Chunky mid-ankle shoes.
  • Occasionally fingerless black (leather) gloves.
  • Occasionally a brown pilot’s cap and aviator goggles.

Notice her jacket makes everything above her waist and elbows really bulky in comparison to the rest of her body.

The Outfit

Rundown of items:

  • Aviator goggles – $10 from eBay
  • Plastic-boned bustier – $10 secondhand from the Black Market
  • Pinstripe shirt – ~$15 from Kmart
  • Ruffle skirt – $20 from Tempt (on sale, it was originally $40)
  • Fishnets – ~$5 from Safeway (on sale, it was originally ~$10)
  • Doc Martens – $7(!!) secondhand from Camberwell Market (regular price ~$120)
IT ARE FACT!

A corset and a bustier are two completely different items of clothing, both of which can have boned structure.

Bustiers are the type commonly found in lingerie stores and are sold quite cheaply because they contain flexible plastic bonding.

On the other hand, modern day corsets will usually use steel boning (flat and spiral) and will cinch your waist in several inches. Good quality corsets start around $100 for a basic waist cincher and can go to many hundreds of dollars if they’re custom tailored to your size by a corsetiere.

Corsets are luxury items and usually preferred over bustiers because they retain shape and the bones don’t warp over time. However bustiers are fine fashion items, especially if you don’t want to invest money into something like a corset yet want a similar look.

Tip: if someone is offering a new “corset” for under $90 chances are it is a bustier with flexible boning. In rare cases corsets may be made with plastic boning, but this variety will be very different to the ones used in cheaper bustiers.

Review

Often compromises must be made when you simply don’t own the right item for the outfit. This is OK because, as the title of the blog suggests, we’re not cosplaying. I don’t actually own any short-sleeved jackets (or long-sleeved jackets I could roll up) so I opted for the loosest and least fitted of my shirts. While it isn’t as bulky and doesn’t hang quite as heavily, it’s the right length and gives a similar silhouette with the sleeves rolled up.

KK actually wears black canvas high-tops but my Doc Martens are the same colour and more or less the same length.

I do own pairs of fingerless gloves but they’re all of the knit variety. I plan on buying a pair of leather fingerless gloves very soon (oh so useful and stylish looking!) but in the meantime I wore my DIY armwarmers for a similar look without the sweaty hands.

The skirt is a little longer that I’d like, but I don’t own a shorter ruffled skirt. This is a signal to hit the sewing machine methinks and alter some old black skirts I don’t wear anymore.

The bustier could be substituted with an actual corset or alternatively a black singlet top with good support. The bodice’s cupped breasts are probably one of the more striking features of the outfit.

Aviator goggles completely optional, but could probably be substituted with a pair of aviator glasses instead.

Noodle (Gorillaz)

Noodle 1Plastic Beach is the new album just released by everyone’s favourite virtual band, Gorillaz. I’ve been listening to the music on repeat and I absolutely love Jamie Hewlett’s illustrations. (Yes, I realise not all of the illustrations I feature on this page are “official”.)

Noodle is my favourite character of the bunch – although I’ll readily admit that I tend to latch on Asian characters that break out of the stereotype – and her late teen style phase is actually pretty close to what I tend to come up with when I just throw stuff from my wardrobe on. Plus she’s also a cyborg who’s in a videoclip with Bruce Willis. She’s stylish, a mean guitar player, an awesome dancer and kicks butt. Who wouldn’t want to dress like Noodle?

Her look is quite an easy one to achieve because it’s mostly made up of wardrobe basics. Because it’s my first post I’ll try to walk through the steps of how I figure out what to wear.

1. Google some images

I found a whole bunch of different stuff, but these images were closest for the look I wanted to go for. There were definitely some items of clothing that mark of her late Demon Days look and I picked the items that I had in my wardrobe and I knew would suit me.

Here’s a rundown of what I found Noodle wearing most often:

  • Tops: Plain, occasionally striped, t-shirts and singlet tops – short, not long.
  • Bottoms: Short shorts, occasionally short skirts.
  • Footwear: Knee-high socks, Sketchers style keds or knee-high black boots.
  • Accessories: Military cap, neck bandanna, leather gloves, belts.

Additionally Noodle often rocks a sort of military look (sort of reminiscent of Hewlett’s Tank Girl in a way as well).

Now take out the items that you think would fit into a Noodle outfit and try them on together. Think about colour/texture/themes in her clothing.

2. Build a Silhouette

People who are familiar with EGL will understand this concept. Because we’re not cosplaying and we’re emulating a style, we’re more concerned with an overall impression rather than particular details like colour. This step is thinking about the clothing relative to the rest of her body. How much skin is showing? Where do her shorts and skirts end on her thigh? If you were looking at her animated shadow which shapes and corners are the strongest?

The bulk of Noodle’s clothing is concentrated around her torso and her arms and legs seem to stick out of a rectangular shape made by her clothing. Therefore we want a loose fitting, short-torsed t-shirt and similar skirt or shorts. Under-the-knee socks or boots are a definite because this is where there is a strong line break in the shape or colour.

Her hat seems to be one of those military caps however if you don’t own that particular style, any hat with a forward brim and flat-ish top would probably work. She sometimes wears a chunky belt around her waist.

3. Colour and Texture

Noodle usually wears plain, more low-key colours accented with brighter ones. If you wanted to go for a more military-cyborg Noodle you might want to stick to khakis, shades of grey and all the colours of the camouflage rainbow. Her clothing is matte, and in most cases you’d probably be looking for items made out of cotton or drill.

4. Alter the look so you’re comfortable.

It was a cold day when I walked out so I added opaque stockings under my knee-high socks, and a military jacket over the top of my t-shirt. The skirt was also pretty short, and I generally feel more comfortable wearing tights underneath. I opted for the skirt instead of shorts because I really don’t like the way most shorts look on me (especially short-shorts).

5. Wear Your Outfit!

Noodle Attempt

Items rundown:

  • Black Wool General’s hat – Camberwell Market $15 (+buttons and brooches I’ve collected – maybe +~$10)
  • Olive Military Jacket – Westco, bought from eBay for $10
  • Bandanna – Bought somewhere in San Francisco for $2
  • Brown T-shirt – Piping Hot from Target, ~$10
  • Belt – Buffalo Exchange in Berkeley ~$6
  • Grey Check Skirt – Thrift store, $2
  • Knee-High Socks – Target ~$5
  • Black Leather Boots – Tony Bianco $100 (they’ll last for years)

5. Review The Outfit

I don’t actually own sensible knee-high boots or keds either (that probably needs to be remedied). I had a choice between my mid-calf boots and black sneakers, and chose the former. This actually threw out my silhouette a bit because it cuts off the colour at the wrong place. Next time I’d go with my shorter length Doc Marten boots or the sneakers. I’d probably also wear my pair of leather gloves as well.

I totally dig the colour co-ordinating of the blue socks, belt and the t-shirt print though and was complimented by my swing dancing teacher on how much he liked the outfit!

So that’s the first post finished! Let me know what you think of the blog, if there’s something I missed out or included only boring bits or any general feedback you’d like to give me!