Linkage: Suits

Usually I wouldn’t create a new post for a new resource, but this link has stuff I wanted to write about but after reading it I decided there was no way I could do a better job and squeeze in that much content.

I don’t believe in doubling up labour so I bring you this Livejournal post which will probably teach you more about suits than you ever thought possible to know about suits. And yet, there’s more.

The post is made for Inception fans, but most of the info is pretty general and it has pretty pictures to illustrate different cuts and styles. Happy reading!

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

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.