Tag Archives: costumes

Costume Couture: Where to buy if you’re simply not a stitcher.

Like any acquired skill, learning to sew takes time, practice, and weathering of both successes and failures to master. Where does that leave someone who adores wearing awesome outfits, costumes and cosplays, but doesn’t necessarily know their way around a sewing machine? Costume Couture is here to help!

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Costume Couture: Spruce-up your style!

Did you ever pick a piece of clothing up during a sale or at a thrift store, thinking that it has some promise, but it just needed a little something extra? Or do you already have a garment that would look really great with a cosplay or costume of yours, but it requires a little enhancement or ornamentation to make it truly part of your look?

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With a little thought and a little money (or just some skillful scavenging) it can be pretty easy to transform articles of clothing from meh to marvelous! No matter what your style– steampunk, goth, lolita– maybe a few finishing touches is all you need to spruce-up your style. Interested in some inspiration? Keep reading to see how I took an average thriftstore find and kick its interest up a couple of notches!

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Looking for a Halloween costume? Try these trios!

We’re heading into October, and that means that Halloween and opportunities to wear sweet costume creations are just around the corner! Some people plan what their chosen costume (or costumes!) will be way ahead of time, but others wait until the last minute. If you’re one of those individuals who is still wondering what it is you’re going to be, maybe this list of popular trios will offer some inspiration not just for you, but for your friends, too!

Terra (Meghan) is not having any shenanigans from Raven (yours truly) and Starfire (Editor-in-Chief Sarah).
Terra (Meghan) is not having any shenanigans from Raven (yours truly) and Starfire (Editor-in-Chief Sarah).

Schoolhouse Rock! asserts that Three is the Magic Number, and according to TV Tropes, that rings true for the world of popular visual arts, as well. Does this translate to real-life for you? Have two besties instead of just one? Then consider the following ‘Power Trios’, whether they are fictional or inspired by actual individuals, when you are looking for a Halloween costume:

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CUT! Costume and the Cinema: A review.

It’s been a busy summer for this costume designer, between mounting shows and traveling to various museums for costume and fashion exhibits. While some shows have been hit-and-miss, I never regret seeing what new museums have to offer!

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Most recently, my co-workers and I trekked up to Sandwich, Massachusetts to visit the beautiful Heritage Museums & Gardens to see the CUT! Costume and the Cinema show. It was pretty exquisite– keep reading to find-out more about the exhibition and the museum!

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Costume Couture: Commercial Pattern Radness!

Are you into creating your own wearable works on art? Do you not always have either the time, supplies or know-how to pattern or drape a garment from scratch? Luckily, whether you’re a seasoned stitcher or a beginning sewist, there are a plethora of commercial patterns at your disposal for your costuming needs.

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Some pattern companies are readily hopping onto the cosplay train, creating patterns that are inspired by current superhero, fantasy and sci-fi themes, while others have always catered to the historical recreationists, providing patterns based off of extant garments and other research. Today, I’m going to give an overview of some of the pattern manufacturers whom you might want to check-out when you’re next in the market to sew-up a new frock, suit or other outfit.

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All RUFFled up!

In the spirit of previous pieces like Wingin’ It and Getting Ahead, here’s a fairly easy (at least in comparison) sewing project  for a fun and interesting accessory that could be a cool addition to a period costume or cosplay.

Ruffs, like many historical garments, are a sometimes beautiful, frequently over-the-top and periodically perplexing item of clothing that originated around the time of the Northern Renaissance and saw many incarnations up to and throughout the Baroque Period. What started as a lacy collar attached to the neck of a doublet eventually became a separate piece of clothing that the wearer–usually upper class–had around his or her neck.

Elizabeth I of England, artist unknown, c. 1575. The ruff accessory seemed to have originated in menswear, but it was soon incorporated into everyone's high fashion.
Elizabeth I of England, artist unknown, c. 1575. The ruff accessory seemed to have originated in menswear, but it was soon incorporated into high fashion for all. Note the cuffs have the same treatment as the collar of this gown.

Ruffs could range from dainty little things to ludicrously gigantic, and this particular embellishment saw numerous incarnations, starting as a heavily starched collar that eventually becoming a softer, but still rather voluminous and highly decorative, neck decoration toward the end of its popularity. For a really awesome and thorough pictorial history of the ruff, check out The Closet Historian!

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Museum Exhibits for Every Clothes Horse II.

Once again, I was starting to get curious about new and exciting museum exhibits. Upon completing a little research, I discovered that there are a host of shows around the country that look super promising!

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Last time, I found a nifty exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum that some of my friends and I were lucky enough to visit, and we’re already scheduling a trip for the summer of 2016 to visit another exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

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The Gal-lery: A Geekette Halloween costume flashback!

As Halloween approaches as quickly as a banshee on a brisk October breeze, people are getting ready for a night full of candy, parties and, of course, costumes!

A panda... that is also a vampire! Why not dream big this Halloween?
A panda… that is also a vampire! Why not dream big this Halloween?

The Geekettes are no exception to this annual celebration of the spooky. Last October, we shared an array of costumes past, present and future. This year, we wanted to treat (never trick!) our readers to an adorable retrospective of some of our favorite costumes from our childhoods!

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Vesture Vocab: Lexical Decorations for your Costumes and Conversations

I like words, and, admittedly,  I’m sometimes unnecessarily verbose. I am especially fond of random terms that one doesn’t get to hear every day. In all of fashion and costume history, there are an inordinate amount of words that fit this bill, and they’re like lexical little decorations for my knowledge of the subject.

Similarly, there are all sorts of minor details that can turn a good outfit into a really great and interesting ensemble, costume or cosplay. In an attempt to combine these two concepts, I’ve assembled the following list. Here are some nifty words for Scrabble and crossword aficionados, or people who would just like to spruce-up their togs terminology!

The Library, by Elizabeth Shippen Green.
The Library, by Elizabeth Shippen Green.

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Goodbye September, Hello Halloween!

OH FRABJOUS DAY! Tomorrow the month of HALLOWEEN is upon us! Well, okay, so technically, tomorrow is the first of October, but I know I’m not the only Geekette who likes to celebrate one of her absolute favorite holidays a little on the early side, right?

A bat costume for fancy-dress ball. Engraved French fashion plate, 1887.
A bat costume for fancy-dress ball. Engraved French fashion plate, 1887.

Additionally, it’s never too early for someone to start daydreaming ideas or mentally putting a costume together, especially if it’s on the complex side of dressing-up. Even if it’s super simple, coming-up with costume inspiration is really fun, so since it would be impossible for me to see all of the ideas I have come to wearable fruition, here’s a brief selection of costume suggestions I’d like to share!

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