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.


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


Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Courage to Wear a Cape from Gail Carriger


I had an interesting encounter the other weekend, Fashionable Reader.

I was at a barbecue. You know, that thing, in the back yard, where you burn the meat?

This was no a high fashion event ~ suburban in location, and 30-something anti-hipsters in attendance. These were not my friends, I should add.

Now, where was I? Oh yes . . . the encounter.

Also in attendance was a Very Fresh Girlfriend of one of the fringe members of said group. Clearly nervous, she enters stage right, a lovely fashionable young thing.

Now, to set the scene, I am wearing a cute white dress, tights, and riding boots ~ very de mode. However, it is cold and damp, so over it all I have my favorite black double-breasted rain cape (I happen to own three capes total).

black double breasted & belted from Max Studio, $130, thrifted vintage cream wool, no label, $25, faux fur from H&M $15

Now this new girl, either in an awkward attempt to make conversation, or just because she is, well, a bitch, says,

"Oh, is that a cape? Not everyone can wear a cape. I should never even attempt it."

It was the tone that threw me. It was said in that way of catty southern ladies,

"Oh, she has put on a few pounds, bless her little heart."

I simply drifted away and on to a far more interesting conversation on the relative merits of DC versus Marvel comic books. (Marvel baby, all the way.)

To the meat of the matter. 


I disagree with the principle of the statement made by Very Fresh Girlfriend as well as the execution. I think anyone can wear a cape. They are delightful fun, one feels rather comic-book-ish (Marvel, I hope, not DC). The belted cape is a good option to prevent loss of shape.





On the practical side the cape allows you to layer in fun and flattering ways. You can wear full or puffy sleeved jackets and then throw the cape on for extra warmth or rain protection. On the impractical side it is difficult to carry a shoulder bag with a cape. (You'll notice most of the street shots bellow have clutches or handbags.)


If you are slightly shorter of stature, a short cape is probably a better option. Regardless, if cut in the right way in can disguise rather than enhance the chest.


And they come for a long and distinguished tradition:
 
1895 Emile Pingat cape via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1905 Jean-Phillipe Worth evening wrap via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1933-1934 Elsa Sciaparelli cape via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

"A mackintosh cape, one of the thinnest and lightest possible to procure. should always be carried to protect the shoulders in case of a sudden shower, and a fur cape for chilly evenings or east wind will be found a most comfortable addition."

~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, 1889

 
2011 RT Convention ~ Richelle Mead, Jeanne Stein, Nicole Peeler, and Gail Carriger (in a cape)

For the Characters! 


For Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series


 

For Felicity in the Parasol Protectorate Series 


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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Most Basic Makeup Routine for the Lazy ~ 13 Simple Steps from Gail Carriger


I'm asked about my makeup routine quite a bit, Fashionable Reader. Especially since I started doing Facebook Lives.

So I thought I'd put this blog post together for you...


Full retro makeup for an inside event - High Tea


Gail Carriger's Makeup Routine


1. Wash and exfoliate face, use cold water. (I wash with Alba's Coconut Milk and exfoliate with Alba's Pineapple Scrub)

2. Apply aloe, let dry. (I don't bother with primer, I think it's a waste of money. I tend to avoid specialist products, the less I have to pack the better.)

3. Under eye concealer dotted then blended, let dry.

Facebook Live makeup


4. Pressed powder or tinted moisturizer.* Apply everywhere, including eyelids, over the concealer and down under your chin.

5. Blush, wide brush, light application, hollows of cheeks.

Soft light-weight makeup for HOT inside/outside event - Book Fair

6. Highlight: tops of cheekbones, inside corners of eyes, just under eyebrows. I just use eye shadow (again, not a fan of specialist products). Depending on your skin tone you can use white, pale gold, gold, bronze. I pick something about two shades lighter than my skin color.

7. Under eye liner (tear line). This isn't for everyone but it will make your eyes pop. I use a white kohl liner to do the inner underline of my eye. I also used to use it to draw a guide line for my cat eye wings if I'm not using the Vamp Stamp.

Medium makeup for brighter interior event - Seattle ComicCon


8. Wipe very edge of upper eyelids and lips (hard) with tissue.

8. Vamp Stamp. (The small/kitten size is fine for most people.) 

9. Pen eye liner, top lid only, neaten up Vamp Stamp.

10. WAIT FOR LINER TO DRY. (I usually get dressed or do my hair at this juncture.)


Light makeup for darker inside event ~ Alaska Steampunk

11. Eyelash curler. (I know, but it really does make a difference and I suck at fake eyelashes. I even have one for travel.) Warm the metal up with your hand first, then hold for a 30 second count each side.

12. Mascara.

13. Lippy! I only use color fast brands. Make sure lips are very dry. Apply color fast lippy quickly, with a light steady hand. Suck finger to get it off of teeth danger area. WAIT for it to dry. Don't eat. Don't drink. Don't dab. Don't press lips together. Wait. Then touch gently to make certain it's not tacky anymore. Then apply topcoat. Oil strips color fast lippy, so if you avoid greasy food it should stay all day.

Full makeup for direct sunlight - ComicCon

* Makeup does need to adjust depending  venue and event. The kind and amount differs depending on whether I'll be outside in bright daylight, like to a garden wedding (lightest touch, tinted moisturizer), versus inside (lower lighting, go a bit bolder), versus on stage presenting (powder to stop the glare of lights, focus on lips because I'm speaking), versus for the screen (heaviest application, bold lip and eyes). 

 Rare photo of your's truly without glasses & full performance makeup. 

All the makeup mentioned in this blog post can be found on this list.



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, January 9, 2019

10 Beauty & Makeup Hacks for the Reluctant from Gail Carriger


I've begun to realize, Fashionable Reader, that I number a lot of simple hacks in my beautify routine are basic and ones I think everyone knows... and then they don't.

So I thought I would pull them together for you! And yes this is entirely gender fluid advice. Also if you're delicate or have tricky skin or whathaveyou, yes little snowflake, I see you, this isn't for you.



HAIR

1. Brush your hair before you shower. Then stroke with hands to get all stray hairs out. Why? This helps keep your drain from clogging and it makes it easier to wash.

2. If you have fine/oily hair, condition the ends first, then wash with shampoo on the scalp only.

SKIN

3. Exfoliate. Find a gentle exfoliate scrub (or scrub brush) that you like and smells nice. I have one for my face as well as one for my body. I suggest sugar over salt. Once a week is all you need, but your skin will thank you for it. Oh yeah, and exfoliate your lips too! For goodness sake, the poor things.

4. Bottled aloe is the most versatile moisturizer. It's great for dry skin, or even not so dry, because aloe won't clog pores. And it handles razor burn. Also I use mine for a primer before makeup. It dries quickly to a smooth finish. It has almost no odor.I have dry skin so I use this as well as a moisturizer.


5. Drink water. I have a wrinkle on my chin I call the "water line" because it only appears when I'm dehydrated. Honestly, if you are like me and tend to forget to drink water, try hard to make water consumption a habit. It's the best thing you can do for your skin. 

* Extra tip? Don't fricking TOUCH YOUR FACE. Just don't. Don't lean on your hand in thought. Don't rub your eye. Don't pick your nose. This is a recipe for germ transfer and for encouraging break outs. Very little is worse for the skin on your face than the oil and grime on your hands. I know, bad design. But try to break the habit.

Unless you are wearing gloves, of course.

SCENT

6. Use unscented deodorant. For the LOVE. Honestly do you actually LIKE the way it smells? No don't answer that because, just no. Plus it is guaranteed to clash with your perfume.

7. Speaking of, can we talk perfume (or whatever manly word you prefer)? Use with delicacy. One spritz. ONE. Look, I'm a smell junky and I've a super sensitive nose, (I will JUDGE YOU for your scent choices - Channel #5, Sunshine, and Pleasures need NOT apply). Perfume is a signature and it is for you, not the world, to appreciate. I happen to like to smell like food (vanilla, apricot, peach, cinnamon, chocolate).

* Here's how you apply perfume: To the lower part of your neck/upper chest. Why? You want it to linger and activate. Linger by spraying on a place that also has contact with your clothing, because most perfume will actually cling more to fabric. Warmth helps activate perfume so your upper chest is better than your neck or wrists (which are exposed and tend to be colder). Also you want scent to only be present if someone is very close to you.

NEVER WEAR PERFUME ON A PLANE.
EVER.
END OF DISCUSSION.


BASIC MAKEUP

A lot of people struggle with makeup so I'm going to do the bare minimum here. These are the three tips I feel like no one knows. I'll do another blog post with my makeup routine for the super lazy. (Honestly it's not much.) 
8. Address your biggest worry with time and money. About the only product I spend a lot of money on is under eye concealer. I get baggy eyes. That's what I'm self conscious about so I spent a lot of time researching, testing, and finding the product that makes me feel better about this. If you feel your face is too round, contouring will be your thing. If you want to draw attention to your eyes, learn from YouTube how to pick the right colors and emphasize them. If your skin worries you, then take some time to find a good base (and the next tip probably won't work for you). Look I get it, we all have hang ups. I think of makeup as war paint. It's OK to use it to fight your battles with you.

9. No one likes the feel of liquid base or pressed powder. Honestly, no one. My great secret? Tinted moisturizer with an SPF in it. Apply lightly with a makeup sponge, not your finger, not a cotton ball. Yes, you manly dude boy, you can use this too.
10. The modern world has given us color fast! Learn how to use it. If you are a lipstick person, find yourself a color fast brand you like, and go! If you like yourself a bold eye, they have felt tipped pen liner now, it's AWESOME. Ditch the pencil. Ditch the liquid liners. And I have no idea why anyone uses old fashioned sticky lippy anymore. If you tend to your lips (see above with aloe and drinking water regularly), these shouldn't dry them out.
The secret to color fast actually working? Apply only to exfoliated, very clean DRY skin. I rub my lips and edge of my lids with a tissue before applying. Also WAIT FOR IT TO DRY before applying any topcoat, curling your lashes, anything else. No really, wait for it. Don't press your lips together and make the put-put noise either. This is not your grandmother's lipstick. 


All the products mentioned in this blog post can be found on this list.

Yeah it's USA Amazon. Nash.

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, January 3, 2019

Happy New Year Fashionable Darlings! Drinking and Celebrating with Fashion from Gail Carriger


Happy New Year! Here's hoping it's a good one. Here are some fashionable shots of yours truly with bubbly (my second favorite beverage)...


Black 1930s style maxi dress (probubly 1970s) more on this outfit here




Pink 1930s style modern maxi dress, more about this dress here.


Turquoise eShakti with the agents at RWA, more about this dress here.



Gold eShakti  at Bay Area Book Festival, more about this outfit here.


Steampunk turquoise Changeless cover match, more about this outfit here

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 


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, December 27, 2018

Gail Carriger & the Airship Ambassador discuss the Parasol Protectorate ...




So I'm wearing a mushroom blouse that I can't remember where I got. I t has a built in cravat and it buttons but it has stretch so it goes over the rack without a gap. It's kinda a magic shirt, to be honest. Over it is a Dark Garden off the rack cupid style underbust corset. I got it in the last of this stripe fabric I love, basically I wanted something that looked like Victorian wallpaper. And I have a long white lace skirt on. Sorry I didn't get a better full shot of the outfit, but here are some images with the component parts...

The shirt with a different corset:


The corset over a now long gone dress.

The skirt.

 
I'm not wild about the bra I'm wearing with this top in this video.

It's a pointed 1950s style and doesn't go with a steampunk look. So I guess I'll return to the t-shirt bra or similar.


The issue is, I find a bra that doesn't have underwire works better with a corset. And being larger racked that's difficult to find.


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.