Friday, April 27, 2012

Than & Now ~ Brown


1883 Day Dress  Emile Pingat The Kyoto Costume Institute


Then & Now ~ Gold


01Afternoon Dress  1845  The Metropolitan Museum of Art



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Then & Now ~ Black & Gold


Charles Fredrick Worth, 1878-1880  The Philadelphia Museum of Art



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Then & Now ~ White Dress


1938 Valentina  The Metropolitan Museum of Art



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Then & Now ~ Orange Flowers


1886 Dinner Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art



Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

Because I was trying to travel light I didn't bring full steampunk to Europe with me. However, I did have two steampunk events so I thought I would kind of jury rig an outfit.

Basically I took my old favorite stretchy red cocktail dress and added lots of details and accessories. For the hair I took a bow hairband and modified it with some steampunk buttons and an octopus and a feather that could add in or be taken out.

I put a little vintage-inspired lace shrug I bought from Newport News about 8 years ago and some red gloves to handle the cold. For jewelry, I wore an octopus necklace, spy glass necklace, and steampunk earrings. My Dark Garden waist cinch corset with Ruby Blackbird steampunk busk covers made for a wasp waist look.

I added my modified belt (made from a pair of cargo shorts) and the Miz Mooz red pumps. The blush colored underskirt is a short one by Free Poeple I bought recently from Nordstrom Rack, I pulled it way down and wore it with stocking suspenders so it came out the bottom properly like a ruffle and gave a 1930s length.

The rack was definitely on display, but sometimes that's necessary with steampunk.

I wore the same outfit to the steampunk gathering up in Nottingham at Waterstones on Friday night as well.

I'm not certain how much online time I will have for the next to weeks, so this may be the last entry for a while.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Then & Now ~ Black Beaded


1906-1908 Jean-Philippe Worth The Metropolitan Museum of Art



Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Outfits ~ Black & White Stripes for Soulless Vol. 1 Manga by Gail Carriger

 Today I'm presenting a few outfits inspired by Soulless Vol. 1, the manga.

Something a little casual for day.

And something for evening.

I really love the idea of a mostly black and white outfit with a pop of red, but it was strangely difficult to find images of this.

So I settled on just black & white stripes, I figure you can use your imaginations to add the red element. I've talked about stripes before and how, handled with delicacy, I do believe they can be worn by a curvy lady. Here are some street shots of black & white.

I'm not hugely in favor of stripes on the bottom, except as tights under a cute little skirt. Trousers can look a little like a circus, and I urge caution when wearing the wide-legged version, although they can work if you are a great deal larger on top.

Instead, I would opt for a skirt, with v stripes (quite slimming) or something a little less regular (to break up the eye).

Should we consider tops now?

Broad 80s stripes are not a good plan over a Rack, only for the pear or boyish shape, although I do like a 3/4 sleeve. I love the sailor look but high wasted pants are not for the Rack either, although the thin stripes are much better over curves. The last option is to have a top with stripes only over one part, interrupting the horizontal can actually have a slimming effect.

All that said, fine vertical stripes with a neckline detail, like a Peter Pan collar and a little read pop of color = perfect!

 There is also the striped jacket.

Not my favorite option, it can be a little too much.

Speaking of too much, there are also striped dresses to think about.

I like the 1960s mod look and I think that if I was going to wear a dress with this bold of a stripe it would be rather short. I like the first one with the miss-matched stripes and the pocket details, but the second is too much. Here's an actual 1960s outfit.

1960s  The Aberdeen Art Gallery

Then again you could always do something like this...

But my personal favorite is something where the stripe is a little more subtle.

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

So how about a maxi-dress, is it even possible? I'd opt for something quite fitted and 1940s in style again with v-stripes and a break in pattern.

If you want a modern maxi dress and still have curves, I would suggest something stretchy and varied.

I have one like this in blue and it actually works rather well on a curvy girl. But this is the kind of thing that must be tried on to know for certain. Or, one could do something that combines stripes with the idea of a corset, not sheer (I hate sheer) but the following dres is an interesting idea that might translate well to something steampunk and could, theoretically be done with top stitched grosgrain ribbon.

How about an actual steampunk take? So lovely!

Right, were were we? Oh yes, maxi dresses.

1937 Jeanne Lanvin The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1967 Norman Norell Augusta Auctions

So a big block of striped clothing too much? How about something a little more subtle and reserved?

The dreaded bathing suit.

We are so lucky this summer, no really. I don't say that lightly. But the high wasted retro cut bikini bottom is all over the place as are full coverage tops. If you prefer a maillot, they too are very retro this year. If there was any a time for a curvy girl to buy a suit, this is it. I know, I hate it too. But it's worth it. 

And then if no clothing works for you there is also the option of black & white striped accessories!

Schiaparelli Spring-Summer 1940

Alternatively, you could always decorate in black and white stripes.

And now how about something for Alexia to wear?

1885 Walking Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Or something for Prudence?
1900 Afternoon Dress  Jean-Philppe Worth The Museum of the City of New York

And I will end with a random moment of Christina Hendricks, because, why not?