Thursday, August 8, 2019

In Red & Black Pencil Dress in Alameda for the Launch of Reticence


Recently I had an event in Alameda, CA for the launch of Reticence. Because the cover is quite red, I dug into my closet for an old favorite...


This is a red Jessica Wiggle dress from way back in the day. No longer available. 
I paired it with a little back cardy, black vintage leather gloves, cut jet tassel jewelry, a facinator from Amazon. You can find many items similar to these on this list. 
The shoes are from Shoes of Prey, make your own, a service I adore the idea of but hasn't really worked for me. 


Anyway this was a fun out fit to throw together. And I do mean thrown, I had planned on a different dress but I find I have out grown it and don't like the way it looks with this foundation corset so I went into the chopping pile and I had to scramble for an alternative on the fly. 


The previous night I wore a new eShakti for a launch at Borderlands, with leopard accessories: 


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!


Here are all the outfits I wore in Denver recently. I was mostly pleased that I managed to wear the right clothes for the weather... always a risk when packing. And never easy with an event of a Comic Con size.


Day One: Black with Pink Print Maxi Dress from eShakti 


Hat was made for me by a fan.
Dress is from eShakti. Yes it has pockets! (Remember you can make many of their dresses into a maxi dress if you like.)
Leather gloves are vintage. Similar on Amazon.

Day Two: Blue Pattern Maxi Dress


Maxi dress on sale from Nordstrom Rack.
Mesh gloves from Amazon.
Teapot Bag from Amazon.
Turban hat from Amazon.
Sunglasses from Amazon.

Day Three: Purple Pattern Pleated Day Dress


Day dress is vintage 1970s.
Mesh gloves from Amazon.
Teapot Bag from Amazon.
Turban hat from Amazon.
Sunglasses from Amazon


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


In which Gail discusses, at length (or should I say at short?) her volatile relationship with capris.

I can't stand cropped trousers.

No, there it is, I simply can't.

I agonized over this blog post and finally decided, Fashionable Reader, that I owed you honesty.

This is, of course, my opinion, if you are a fan of the crop than you should wear it. But . . .


I have dabbled in every single one of the styles I discuss herein.

Most, I eventually rejected. Like the middi skirt, I feel the capri foreshortens me by chopping me at the calf. I believe wholeheartedly that just above or just below the knee is a far more more flattering look.

I'm only 5'6" and curvy, a cropped pant is just Not Good. Often they are even unflattering on models.


I tend to feel to get away with it I must wear very high heels.

I think the rail skinny pixie-type can carry them off, like Audrey Hepburn. But I don't look like her, and neither does most everyone else on this earth.

The tall girl (5"8'+) can sometimes work a capri, but please make certain you stick to only a few inches below the knee (otherwise it looks like you just have pants that are too short).

Now, a word on the subject of definitions:
  • Capris
  • Clam diggers
  • Pedal pushers
  • Cropped pants
  • Breeches (as opposed to britches or jodhpurs)
  • Knickerbockers
On the internet and in fashion blogs, there seems to be a good deal of confusion as to which cropped trousers of which style mean what. So I am going to bypass the whole discussion and give you my own definitions. Wha ha ha!



Department stores tend to file any pant that ends below the knee and before the ankle as a capri. Since I'd rather avoid department store lingo, I'm going to ignore that word altogether from here on out. We will broach each style with a look at both vintage and modern takes, ending with my suggestion of what you might choose, if you simply MUST wear a cropped trouser.

Breeches

The general idea behind breeches is that they are slightly baggy at the top and then come in tight at or just below the knee, then then end or stay tight down to the ankle.


I own a few pairs of breeches, both with a very equestrian look to them. One is part of a 1930s riding suit in grey with matched blazer, very Madame Lefoux. The other are light-weight brown that I have been known to wear them to ride a bicycle. (Sadly, I've no pictures of either.) In general, I prefer to pair this style with riding boots and use for more casual steampunk events. If you are going to go for breeches, try something like this . . .


Clam Diggers


Sigh, is there anything good that can be said of clam diggers? I tend to throw this term at any pair of baggy cropped pants either shortened or (more commonly) cuffed/rolled. So unflattering.



If you must wear clam diggers, do it for digging clams. If you are quite slender and tall, you might be able to carry off this retro take, but proceed with caution!

Of course if you are going for the super hot butch look, carry on, I'll be drooling in the corner.

Culottes


They are very wide legged, cut short anywhere after the knee and to the ankle, can be quite skirt-like. Ugh.


I would not sleep well tonight if I suggested, in good conscious, that anyone ever wear culottes. But if you must, go all the way to vintage and don't look back.

Cropped Trousers


I use this phrase to refer to any mensware inspired trouser that is then cut short, usually just above the ankle. To me this kind of trouser has the look of someone who just didn't buy the right length.

Ralph Lauren 2011 Fall Runway
Who can carry of a cropped pant? Well a man from the 1950s, and adorable gay boy . . . Or, if you must, punk it up with chunky boots in the same color as the pants. Or the Femme Dandy look can sometimes work this, but I think they need to be a LOOK. You know?

Knickerbockers

Besides being fun to say, knickerbockers are quite baggy and come in tight at the knee. Traditionally worn by paperboys, they still have that feel. They were also worn for gentlemen sporting events, hunting and fishing, a so have a strong tweed association. Sometimes, unfortunately, they are still worn for golf.


They tend to be baggier than breaches and don't have the longer cuff. I own a pair of black which, again, I mainly use for steampunk and bicycle riding. If you are going to wear knickerbockers, you'll always look a little costumey . . run with it.


Pedal Pushers


This is a style I wear. I tend to define them as tighter and almost legging-like. I prefer ones that ended just below the knee or right abov the swell of the calf, and I wear them with very high heals.


If you wear pedal pushers, I suggest going retro with the whole look. Otherwise they can seem too sloppy and lazy. A knit top instead of a t-shirt and a simple scarf tied about your head can make all the difference. For example if you are on the pixie end of the spectrum . . .



Of if you are bit more statuesque and of Alexia's proportions, try something like this . . .



Which brings me to my final thoughts.




 No matter what your look or size, in my mind the most flattering form of a cropped trouser is something that ends just below the knee. This look can be chic and modern even work appropriate, ultra retro, or punky cute. To that end I leave you with three of my favorites, hoping that if you are hellbent on the cropped trouser that you consider these options first . . .




Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Gail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden


Here I am at a recent event, DemiCon in Des Monies, Fashionable Reader.

I'm wearing a burgundy shirt that actually fits the rack perfectly (I know, crazy). It started life as a raspberry color but I dyed it. Now I question this choice, it would be more useful more pink, but that was a long time ago when I was in a goth phase and felt that raspberry was too girly for me.


I've paired it with my dark garden pin strip vest corset. This is an old one, probably about 15 years, but they still offer a version of it. It's called the Pointed Victorian with Straps, it has a full back and tiny pockets. I would recommend it for the smaller busted and those of a Madame Lefoux inclination, but honestly am not sure I would order again given the size of my chest. Although I do LOVE the full back. 

Here's the best shot I have of the full outfit. I'm wearing it with a fish tail pin-stripe pencil skirt that is also an old favorite that I've had forever. And a pair of old Via Spiga spectators. 

  • The turban I'm wearing can be found here for $11. It's one of my favorites because it's relatively light weight and not too hot.  
  • Tea kettle purse (behind my hand in the photo) is here for $60. 

Sadly both the earrings (my MUCH beloved typewriter key ones) and the small black un-lined leather gloves died on this trip. I'm not too upset, it's the consequence of wearing and enjoying clothing, sometimes it dies on you. I might be able to fix the earrings but the gloves are gone. Time to start the hunt again. Finding unlined leather is kinda a beast. 

And, that's it, hope you enjoyed this outfit. 

Stay sharp!

Miss Gail 


P.S. Here's two of my favorite book tie ins from DemiCon!

Security at DemiCon 30 as a BUR agent

Tea Scout from Chapter 42 with Timeless Banner


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Gail Carriger in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco (Bonus Glove Length Terms)


Hello my fashionable darlings, been a while since I did an outfit post.

Here is what I wore to a speaking gig recently. This was a writer's conference in San Francisco. So It's local to me and I could wear stuff that I don't normally pack. Either because it takes up too much space, doesn't pack well, or isn't versatile. The skirt is eShakti and the top is vintage.


This is what I chose. It was also relatively cold that day and I took into consideration that fact that I would be there a full day. Walking around a lot and also sitting on panels in chairs and stools.


The Outfit!

Top Down

  • Hat: 1950s red felt beret style fold felt number, vintage store
  • Earrings & Broach: 1980s costume jewelry augmented by me. The broach the earrings originally came with died as did the tassel dangling from the broach I'm wearings so I cannibalized the two broaches, which is why the metal doesn't match. I have considered hanging a Bumbersnoot from it instead. But I love those earrings and wear them all the time so having a matched broach is a GOOD thing. Thoughts? 
  • Necklace: Obligatory pen necklace, sadly no longer available. I don't know what I will do if mine die. 
  • Top: 1940s velvet. This is the top part of a vintage suit the bottom of which is a simple velvet pencil skirt. The skirt no longer fits but I can still fit the top (yeah boob surgery). I have had this piece since high school, for years it was what I wore to funerals. It has the best fold over and big button details but because it is velvet and velvet eats light it doesn't photograph very well.  I got it on Haight Street in the 90s.
  • Belt: Slim red one, modern, from Target years ago (similar $7) (although if I were going to buy it over I'd actually buy this one $10, because it has no metal components and is therefore more versatile).
  • Gloves: Classic not lined black leather 3/4 vintage, thirfted (similar $40). 
  • Skirt: eShakti, yes it has pockets, I usually use this as an underskirt but I bought specifically because it also works as a day skirt. 
  • Shoes: Modern, very low kitten heel patent almond-toe Mary Janes. Remarkably comfortable AND waterproof (similar $32)

Glove Lengths

  1. Short: Ends at Base of Thumb (AKA drivers)
  2. Wrist: About 2 inches from base of thumb
  3. Classic: 4 to 6 inches, ending below the elbow (technically the ones I am wearing above as classics)
  4. Elbow: Traditionally 8 inches from the base of the thumb. Recently, up to 12 will be defined as this length. 
  5. Opera:16 -23 inches from the base of the thumb to the upper arm, for a glove to be called "opera" it MUST GO OVER THE ELBOW
Unfortunately if you are shopping for gloves NO ONE obeys these codified descriptions. Sigh.

There you have it. Me in mostly black, not something I do often, but this outfit suited this event and people seemed to like it.


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Travelling Light ~ How To Make Many Outfits From One Suit by Gail Carriger


So I thought you might like to see how I pack light, Gentle Reader

Here I have a favorite (now passed along) black and white 1950s check suit parsed out and worn many different ways with many different layers...




There it is, multiple looks for multiple weather from one suit.


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The REAL Reason the Custard Protocol is Set in the 1890s from Gail Carriger


The sleeves, Fashionable Reader. So ridiculous, how could I resist?

via  Robbie Rozelle @divarobbie  We are at puffed sleeves! #AnneofGreenGables

edwardian-time-machine tumblr sleeve supports

1894 fripperiesandfobs-tumblr Jacket ca. 1894 From Thierry de Maigret

andwomenworebloomers tumblr

And the steampunk elements are pretty cool too.

arsenicinshell tumblr

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

quotes Gail likes


“Someone was trying to kill Lady Alexia Maccon. It was most inconvenient, as she was in a dreadful hurry. Given her previous familiarity with near-death experiences and their comparative frequency with regards to her good self, Alexia should probably have allowed extra time for such a predictable happenstance.” —Gail Carriger