Splicer (Bioshock)

This is actually the second of my Halloween “costumes” which I haven’t worn yet. The first…. I have to write up extensively and resize images and stuff like that. And I’m lazy as hell, and also have started blogging (not about geek or fashion stuff) over on another blog.

This is not even so much a “Halloween costume” or outfit tutorial, but a How To Make a Splicer Mask or Any Other Type of Mask From Scratch Tutorial. Alternatively titled, GOD I LOVE PAPIER-MACHE AND GLUE GUNS. This is not your grandma’s “papier-mache the the balloon” project!

So yes, I made the mask from scratch out of papier-mache, and I followed this fan-made replica as inspiration and a guide for shape and overall look. That guy’s mask apparently took 18 months to make, is made out of real porcelain and actual gold leaf. My mask was made over a period of about 2 weeks, working on it for a few hours every other night and left to dry during the day. I probably spent about 6-9 hours actively working on the mask every week (although half of one week became a bit of a failed experiment), which is still a significant investment of time, but also a lot less than 18 months.

Sadly I did not take nearly enough progress pics while I was making this, but hopefully the instructions sound fairly clear.

Here’s what you need:

  • Newspaper
  • PVA glue (often known as “craft glue” or “white glue”) (You could also try making glue with flour and water, which is the traditional papier-mache method, but I’ve not tried this myself and suspect it wouldn’t seal the surface as well.)
  • White paper (printer paper works)
  • A glue gun + glue cartridges
  • Acrylic paints: I used two different types of white, yellow, gold, black.
  • A solid “base” mask to work off. I bought a cheap plastic one for $2. Try to buy something with a smooth surface and with a shape that you want your final mask to resemble. Pay close attention to the nose and brow shapes. I ended up buying a half-mask that looked very much like this one.
  • Optional: blow-dryer
  • Optional: air-drying clay
STEP 1: MAKE THE MASK BASE

FIRST, have a clear idea of the shape of the mask you want. Draw/cut out a 2D life-size equivalent of the edges of the mask if it helps. This will safe you pain in the future.

You know how you used to papier-mache balloons as a kid? (I’m assuming everyone did this at some point in their lives.) Do that with the mask, using torn off strips of newspaper with a water + PVA solution (I like about 60% glue, 40% water). The basics of papier mache: drench your mask thoroughly in the PVA/water mix and just paste that newspaper directly onto it. Keep going until you’ve covered the whole mask and then go back to add about 3-4 layers of newspaper, making sure each successive paper strip has the glue soaked through.

Long flat surfaces can be covered with large strips of newspaper, however, heavily shaped and sculpted surface areas will need smaller pieces of newspaper, otherwise the paper will bunch up and you’ll get these little ridge surfaces on your otherwise smooth mask surface.

Because I only bought a half-mask, my papier-mache had to actually go beyond the 3D parameters of the mask. That’s easy – just use extra-long strips that naturally follow the 3D lines of your $2 plastic mask. DON’T be too neat with it and make sure you extend the area beyond what you actually require. Only make the main facial structure of the mask – don’t make the ears yet.

STEP 2: SHAPING & DRYING

This seems really obvious, but you need to leave your mask to dry overnight. You can speed up the process with a blowdryer but often that only dries the top layer of the glue and the inside of the structure is still very damp. You’ll know when the mask is dry because the top layer should feel surprisingly hard to touch and also maintain it’s own shape (not droop or wilt) when you have removed the $2 plastic backing mask.

If the mask feels sodden or squishy then the glue still hasn’t dried. HOWEVER, you need make changes to the mask shape before it dries. In this case, I made the nose area a bit more flared and snout-like by drying the top layers with a blowdryer and shaping it by hand.

After this first layer is dry, remove the $2 backing mask. Cut your mask to the shape you want using a pair of ordinary scissors (this is why you should papier mache more than you think you need). The photo above left shows the end-product after these two steps.

STEP 3: MAKING APPENDAGES

The reason you can’t make ears earlier is because you didn’t have a solid base to build off. Now that the main part of the mask is dried  and shaped you can make the ears in the same way. Make sure you use long strips of newspaper that over the original mask as well, and criss-cross the direction of your paper for structural integrity. Because you don’t have a plastic guide to go on, you may wish to cut out some shapes to use as a guide. Alternatively, you can wing it like me – approximate where the ears should go and then cut them into the right shape after the papier mache has dried overnight.

The result should be the image on the right.

OPTIONAL STEP 3.5: SHAPING THE EARS

I wanted to make the ears concave as per porcelain inspiration mask I mentioned at the beginning. You could possibly drape them over some sort of curved surface to dry but this is what I did instead:

Build up substantive flat layers for the mask, maybe about 5-6. After they dry completely, you should be able to bend/roll up the ears like thick cardboard. Unfortunately, like thick cardboard, bending it will result in creases and ridges in your mask. This means you will need to add several more layers of paper to smooth out the surface in step 4…

STEP 4: CLEANING UP THE PAPIER MACHE

I used white printer paper here for two reasons: 1. The mask is going to be primarily white and white paper means less layers of paint to prevent the newspaper print from peeking through and 2. the white paper is thicker than newspaper and will more easily cover creases if you did the Option Step 3.5. If you DO use white paper, keep in mind that because it is thicker the edges show through very easily as individual strips of paper. Try to tear the paper in a way so the edges look “torn” on an angle, rather than say, cutting the paper into neat strips with scissors.

At this stage you want to wrap the paper around the edges and smooth everything out as much as possible. Minor issues with rough surface can be solved by painting the mask once all-over with undiluted PVA. The glue should create another thin layer on top of the everything else and if its thick enough then joins between strips of paper can be completely smoothed out.

After the glue dries, you should be left with a shiny, smooth surface.

OPTIONAL STEP 4.5: AIR-DRYING CLAY

I originally bought the air-drying clay to do the 3D details with and….I would highly advise against doing that. I ended up adding a thin layer of clay to the ears and bottom of the mask to smooth out the surface even more. I actually ended up shaping the ears after Step 4 with the white paper so the creases were impossible to get out so do as I say, not as I do.

The clay does really hold and reinforce the curvature of the ears more though.

If you do decide to do this step, also let the clay dry fully.

STEP 5: 3D ACCENTS

Turn on your glue-gun and have a handful of glue cartridges ready to go. Pipe the edges with glue, pipe in the swirl detail. It’s a bit likepiping baked goods, except you’ve got a hot glue gun instead.

Try to pipe everything that joins at one time. Once the glue starts drying, the hot and cool glue will separate out and the design will look lumpy if you wait to much time.

STEP 6: PAINTING

Cracks: You can make you own cracked effect using this method with PVA glue and acrylic paints (note that this doesn’t work with metallic acrylic paints).

Colours: I used two differents types of white – a warm off-white and a cool white, plus tiny bit of cool yellow. You can paint it whatever colour you want, but the yellow suggests that the mask is aged because the paint is discoloured. I also painted parts of the mask without yellow to show inconsistent aging. Accents were painting with metallic

Aging: Black paint + dry paint brush. Add a tiny bit of paint to the paintbrush and start filling in the nooks and crannies of the mask; basically anywhere around the edges of the 3D accenting. Anywhere with a bit more of a cavity should be the darkest. You want your brush to have as little paint on it as possible, and for the paint to be highly dispersed. This is very difficult to explain in words, so you may want to experiment on some paper for yourself first. Basically the brush needs to be as dry as possible and only leave fleck traces of black paint when you brush it over the gold. The effect should look like the gold bits have tarnished.

STEP 7: FINISHING TOUCHES

I sprayed the whole thing with clear spraypaint to make it waterproof and added some ribbon so I could wear it.

And you’re done!

 TIPS AND TRICKS

WAIT for everything to dry completely. This was especially difficult for me because I am not a patient person by nature. Often a blowdryer just won’t do the trick, and you actually need the base structure to be completely solid before you can begin building off it.

PLAN everything ahead. Plan the shape of the mask. Plan how you will shape it. (By hand? By drying it over certain objects?) Draw on where your accents will go and what they will look like. Decide how layers of paint in what colours and mix the right amount of paint.

USE small strips of paper for papier mache where there is detail. Smaller paper will almost always be better than bigger paper.

CHECK your mask against your own face periodically. Is it looking like how you want it? Do you want to adjust the shape? The size of the eyeholes? The length of the ears?

MLX10 Hangar Dance

Someone emailed me through the site the other day and I was all 😀 😀 😀 😀 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 on 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.

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.

Wardrobe Spotlight – Hats Part 2

If you’re a little lost you might like to read this post in conjunction with Hats Part 1 and DIY Fascinators. This post will give you ideas on how to decorate a plain base hat. I see a lot of people on Etsy who basically just sell pre-bought decorated hats but in my opinion it’s better to buy a better quality plain hat and decorate it yourself with stuff from around the house or things you can buy cheap from the craft store.

I apologise for so many pictures of my face, but hats don’t look quite right unless someone is wearing them.

Your Kit

  • Badges and Brooches
  • Ribbon
  • Scarves and Bandannas
  • Tarot and/or Playing Cards
  • Fabric flowers.
  • Russian Veiling (not pictured here, see below)
  • Hat of your choice.

Soft Hats

These are the hats that don’t keep shape so I wouldn’t attach anything too fancy. A brooch is probably the extent of what you want to add although I’ve also added some ribbon and a short feather. It gives a sort of girl-guide look, but it can pretty cute if you’re into that sort of thing. You can put the brooch in the middle but if you ask me it looks a bit strange on a beret. It looks fine on a cap with a brim however (see below).

Soft and Structured Hats

These hats are made out of soft materials but have a fixed shape. This means you can stick pins into them and if you do it carefully it won’t ruin the hat. More badges and pins will give a kind of hipster-punk look whereas a single brooch will get you a bit more of a military look on the cap. Try experimenting with different button sizes. I personally really like the look of the smaller ones but you can mix and match.

Hats like fedoras have a brim that goes all the way around which means that the crown is pretty stable and the hat looks more balanced on a 360 degree view so you can stick things on the side and around the brim as well. (Compare to a cap where the brim makes the hat front-heavy and it wouldn’t look balanced if you added items anywhere else.)

Hard hats

You probably don’t want to be sticking things like pins into bowlers and top hats so you need some ribbon or a scarf to tie around the brim in order to tuck things under or pin things on.  Think about balance and height levels. While I have items on the back, right side and front of the hat below the highest items are on the side and back. The front brooch/cameo is small and level to the scarf band so it isn’t a major sticking point. At the most you want two built-up areas (and probably not the combination of front & back, and side & side since in this case asymmetry is more pleasing to the eye.)

Add a Veil

What I also see a lot is people selling goth top hats with veils at silly prices. Adding a veil to a top hat is really easy and you can get Russian veiling on Etsy for about $3/yard (approx 90cm) or at your local craft store. You shouldn’t need much more than that and the piece below is only about 20cm wide.

Start off by creating some pleats and tacking them together with safety pins. How many you want is up to you but the more you add the more the veil will puff out. I used four pleats.

Now you should have a trapezoid shape where the top is longer than the bottom. We actually want the veil to create a rounded effect so we don’t want to see the corners at the bottom. Take each bottom corner and pin it together with the outer pleat corner at the top.

Your veiling should look a bit like this now:

If you look inside the brim of your hat there should be some lining around the crown that you can pin this onto. The safety pins should be invisible inside your hat. I personally like having the veil come just under my eyes but you can experiment with what looks best on you. Since the veiling is pinned together and not glued on you can muck about with this and attach it onto different hats. Some people like attaching the veiling to the outside of the hat on the brim at well – you can pin it onto the inside of a scarf or bandanna and hid the safety pins that way. You might need a longer length of veiling however.

Fascinators

Made a fascinator lately? Great! (You can try positioning it at the front and the back of your hat also.)

As always let me know if you had any problems with this post! Hopefully this has inspired you to experiment with sprucing up an old hat or two with stuff you should have around the house. Here’s some other objects you might think about incorporating too: watch faces, brass or metal stampings, wooden shapes, wire, pearls, ribbon rosettes, lace, origami, leather cord, beads and other shiny things.

FYI, the rabbit cameo I am wearing here is new and from The Little Shop Of (Handmade). Unfortunately they’ve sold out of those designs as far as I know but they have plenty of other awesome items at really reasonable prices.

Wardrobe Spotlight – Hats Part 1

(Psst, comment on the content post!)

Before I started researching for this post I had plans to take pictures of my hat collection and name/categorise them into the type of hat they were. I’ve since realised that many classifcations of hats aren’t set in stone and many species look alike (the fedora and the trilby are cases of both). In this post I went ahead with the pictures of hats and their classifications anyway but I’ve added some notes about where I see similarities and overlaps.

I plan on writing a Part 2 will concentrate on different ways of wearing and decorating your hat because really, who cares what it’s called as long as it looks awesome?

Believe it or not I have more hats than the ones listed here, but these are the ones that I wear most often.

Trilbies and Fedoras

I read a couple of hat enthusiast forums where it’s suggested trilbies and fedoras actually the British and American versions of the same thing. Other people define trilbies as a subset of fedoras; a trilby has a much shorter brim and it’s usually upturned at the back. The defining feature of these hats is their pinched crown and their soft bendable exterior. These are great to wear casually and with your diselpunk/swing/gangster outfit.

Puzzingly I also own a grey hat that would be a trilby in every way except it has a completely round crown. I’ve yet to come across a particular name for this hat so if you know it I’d love a comment. I bought this in Urban Outfitters for $20 while I was in the USA. Black fedora was a gift from a friend moving overseas, brown fedora was purchased at Myer for $20.

Top Hats, Derby and Bowlers

Top hats are cylindrical hats with a (usually slightly curved) brim. The difference between a top hat and a derby/bowler hat is that the latter has a rounded crowd. These are stiff hats that are meant to keep their shape. I’d wear these for period looks – depending what outfit you where with these hats they’d equally fit aristocrat to street urchin and everything in-between.

Very short top hat from Wildilocks $55, middle top hat was a birthday gift, right bowler hat is actually a cheater’s costume hat made out of cardboard-ish stuff but I got it for $3 at the Melbourne Show.

Honourable mention: Homburg is like evolutionary link between fedoras and top hats because it’s a stiff hat with a dent.

Caps

Caps a hats that fit close over the head with a visor but no brim. This is a peaked cap I bought from Camberwell Market for $15 and a newsboy cap I got from Target for $10. Many of these styles of caps evoke a militaristic style but I’ve also heard them described as “chauffeur” hats.

Berets

A beret is a type of round cap that’s soft and doesn’t have a visor. They’re sort of my beanie replacement on a cold day since they’re both compact, soft hats, but berets look much classier. Black  for looking like a bohemian artiste, red for looking like a military guard, crocheted for looking like a hipster. Target $10, Thrifted $3, Myer $10.

Everything Else

The tricorn was made from a wide-brim hat by stitching the brim onto the crown. It’s not a proper tricorn by any means and it looks a bit funny because the crown should be significantly lower than the upturned sides. But the wide-brim hat was only $10 or so from Target and so this DIY version was a lot cheaper and easier than buying or making the real thing.

The mini top hat stays on with some elastic that pulls around the back of my head. I like wearing it on the side and to the front with burlesque-style outfits. I love the shape and how it sits, but it came at a heavy price for $40 at Cleggs.

Part 2

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.

Mid-year sales

I got such a positive response for my last NeckThingy post and I just want to thank you all for reading, commenting and linking (again). A lot of people seem to be planning to make one so please send in pictures because I’d love to see what you come up with. I will try to post more easy DIYs in the future but for now you’ll have to humour me this shopping post…

It’s the end of the financial year and retailers are getting their sale on. Here’s a handful of items I picked up on sale that I absolutely love and that will probably crop up in this blog again:

Fingerless Leather Gloves

Sportsgirl was having a super massive sale on these for $20. I’d seen some Very Nice pairs from Dents in Myer but I couldn’t justify $40 on gloves. Luckily weird leather gloves have been in season (I blame Lady Gaga) so Portmans, Dotti and all those types of stores had them on their accessory rack. Sportsgirl was the cheapest and I had to trample around the city from one store to another looking for the right size.

I’ve wanted a pair of these for so long and now I can’t stop wearing them. The leather is very supple and allows a lot of movement while keeping your hands warm during winter. I’d retroactively wear them with almost all the outfits I’ve posted: Noodle, KK, Tonks, the soopar sekrit upcoming character outfit and my steampunk airship first mate.

Top Hat vs Derby Hat

Wildilocks had a massive 2 for 1 sale before their stocktake day and I managed to pick up this hat for $55. The height is much shorter than a regular top hat; it’s like a derby hat but derby hats (or bowler hats) have a rounded crown which this one doesn’t. I already own a top hat but it’s quite high and unwieldy to wear everyday and not nearly as shapely as this one. I love the upturned sides and the slight concave shape of the crown.

I’ll definitely be doing a post about my hat collection in the future. I’d wear this one with steampunk, Mad Hatter or Sandman’s Death inspired outfits.

Black Buckled and Tulle Skirt

The free item from Wildilocks’ sale above. I’ve been looking for a short black ruffle-y skirt and while this doesn’t exactly fit the bill it’s a pretty close match. I plan on wearing this by itself, layering this with different underskirts and pretending I’m a goth ballerina. I’d switch out the skirt in KK’s outfit for this one.

Here’s a picture of me wearing everything and pretending to be Lady Gaga