Friday, October 31, 2014

Outfit of the Day: Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Despite the fact that few others in the office do, I always dress up for Halloween. After all, I get one day a year to dress how I want, put bats on everything, and watch scary movies. I am not going to waste it.

This is my Doctor Who shot...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stylish on Halloween: Using Wardrobe Pieces to Create Fun Costumes

I love Halloween.

I have an excuse to make things ooky spooky in my office, which I have been doing since September 1 with pumpkin paper lanterns and other Halloween accessories. I can watch all the old horror movies I want, which means that I watch a lot of black and white thrillers throughout the month of October.

It's also the one day of the year when I am welcome to wear whatever clothes I like to work as long as they work with a costume concept.

That's where it gets tricky, of course, because I flat out refuse to dress as "a Lolita" or "a goth" or "a mori girl" for my costume. They aren't costumes, no matter how much the rest of the world might think they are.

And, in an effort to create something spooky before tomorrow - as if my long list of inspired-by-Austen coord weren't enough costuming - I'm pulling the age old costume-from-a-coord concept out of the closet (rather literally).

The added bonus from these outfit ideas is that they're usually pretty easy to put together. One or two accessories make the costume what it is, so they're low-cost.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Appearing to Much Advantage": Style Inspired by Austen’s Books

“Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense."
“Indeed I shall say no such thing."
-Jane Austen,
Northanger Abbey

I’ve been reading and watching rather a lot of Jane Austen recently (as you could probably tell from my last post), and I decided to take some of the ideas from that post and apply them to Austen characters. The leads specifically, though I do not love all of them equally and some have proved very challenging, indeed. And, with Halloween tomorrow, the timing seemed right to do another character-inspired post.

Austen Lolita - Catherine Morland

Catherine Morland is a delightful little creature. The youngest of the Austen girls and the most impressionable of the bunch, Catherine is a lover of gothic novels. She also is inclined to think well of those she meets (unless her imagination runs away with her).

With her love of gothic novels, the temptation to dress Cathy in gothic Lolita was great, but, frankly, it doesn't really suit the character. What does suit her are nods to the aesthetic she becomes obsessed with - a small castle black ring here, a book-shaped bag there, black as an accent color in a mostly white outfit. Catherine isn't particularly dark herself, though, so I wanted to keep things as light as possible.

For her hair, I chose something light and young. A lot of regency hairstyles were heavily coiffed and ornamented, but I wanted to keep things simple from our country girl. A white head wrap and loose updo suit the simplicity of the outfit and her character.

The shoes are historically accurate, and I included the black rhinestone shoe clips to keep the touches of black consistent. The clocked silk stockings, while not period accurate, are a great way to add a little more black.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

“A Very Useful Gown”: Regency Inspiration in Lolita

“I have determined to trim my lilac sarsenet with black ribbon just as my China Crape is …Ribbon trimmings are all the fashion at Bath, & I dare say the fashions of the two places are alike enough in that point, to content me. – With this addition it will be a very useful gown, happy to go anywhere.”
-Jane Austen, 5 March 1814

One thing that always disappoints me is that I will never look really well in a regency gown. The high waistline of the empire waist doesn’t particularly suit my frame. However, as it gets to be fall and I start looking for comfortable clothing to wear out and about, the regency calls to me.

And, because this is the sort of person I am, I did research. I watched movies (lots of Jane Austen). And I ended with a great desire to do a post about regency-inspired Lolita.