Friday, November 14

More Steampunky Coats

Just sharing a few more lovelies from Ebay this week:

This is a beautiful coat, stylistically speaking--but I don't think it is lined, so might not be warm enough for a true winter coat. Also, the design is very subtly specific--see the skeletal gent in a top hat?  Lovely--but perhaps not the mood I want to convey with the one coat I wear all winter.  The buttons appear cheap, so I can't tell what the workmanship will be either.

Another velvet coat from the same maker, also likely not lined. Lovely all purpose and elegant look, though!

Someone is bidding on this beautiful coat--oh, and I'm tempted to go against her. The open front is my only concern--but as long as I have a neat velvet scarf to tuck inside, I'd be fine.

This one is intriguing--lots of interesting detail and the overall design is lovely. But those buttons--they sure look cheap from here. Same with the belt design on the side. So I have a feeling this might be a piece that looks more faux than I like.

And this one is really interesting. . . .  Can't say the overall effect work for me--a little too costumey. ButI love the overall textures--the vintage gloss of the coat fabric, the creamy dull highlights, the style of the buttons. . . would love to see this in person. Doesn't look like something you would want to wear a lot, however.

And this one--love the dark grey with the copper buttons!  I can't tell if those are real metal buttons, but considering the coat fabric is polyester, I have a feeling those buttons would be so disappointing up close. So sad--this is a lovely style, and if it was in wool I likely would have tried it out!

And so the hunt for a beautiful but practical winter Steampunk coat continues!

Don't forget--if you see any coats to share, please do in the comments.

Monday, November 10

Long Steampunky Coats

The weather is getting cold--well, as cold as it ever gets out here on Monterey Bay.  But cold enough that I realize I need a proper winter coat.  I've been making do with thinner coats, and that's been fine overall, but I either have to layer up underneath or I don't linger outside.  So I've started to look and see what is currently available out there that might be warm enough and add a new element of everyday Steampunk to my wardrobe.

Years ago now I saw and tried on this coat in the Free People store in San Jose:

It was so pretty, so neo-Victorian--and more $ than I am used to spending. But now, after looking for several years for something similar. . . I'm kinda kicking myself that I did not get it.  A combination birthday and Christmas present.  I could have been enjoying it all these years.  Sigh. Well, I've looked on Ebay ever since then, seeing if that coat will come up at a good price.  It did once, in my size, shortly after I had seen it in the store, but the price was still really high, so I didn't jump on it. 

So, now I'm looking for what else is out there that would keep me nice and warm this winter while appeasing my inner Steampunk. Here's some of what I found today with some looking on Ebay:

Long velvet coat by Marvin Richards 

This one might be a little too much on the Goth side for me, and I'm not sure it is actually all that warm. But so pretty!

Same with this one--beautiful coat, but not sure how warm.

A wool coat--maybe even a nice quality wool blend--would be ideal. This is a lovely option.

This and the next two coats are all gorgeous designs--but also smack of cheap Chinese labor, and I would worry about the workmanship.  See the slightly skewed buttons on the coat?  They were like that in all the photos of different coats, all slightly off with one another.  Yes, I know the high-name brands probably have their clothes made in the very same factories--a popular name (Free People, I'm looking at you) is not a guarantee of good workmanship.  But at least when there is a well-known company putting its name on something there is usually much higher quality control.  That's why I look at these inexpensive but highly fashionable items and admire the design--and then just keep on scrolling.

This coat is not heavy enough for me, but it looks like it is constructed like a real coat--and looks like very nice workmanship.  Beautifully and effortlessly Steampunk.

Same with this one--a beautiful, warm coat.  A little too "perky" for what I envision of Steampunk, but definitely compatible with the themes. 

Pretty, but again, not sure how warm.

Pretty, and not at all warm looking. But deliciously fun!

This one looks warm and practical. I would prefer a long coat, but this one is a possiblity. 

A pretty good start. If anyone knows of some good long Steampunky coats I should look at to consider, please share links in the comments.

Friday, October 24

adorable oh-so-Steampunky boot!

Another boot available at a great price on Zulily today:

Brown Chai Boot by Sketchers

And the best thing about this boot: unlike the ones I posted the other day, this one is made of Real Materials--canvas and leather, with what looks like a vintage sole.  I just love realistic textures for Real World Steampunk pieces--the very nature of the materials lend so much to the overall feel of an outfit.

Find them on Zulily through this link, if interested.

Wednesday, October 22

More Steampunk Potential on Zulily

Another Zulily sale today has some boots by a company called Mark & Maddux:

Whiskey Mandrake Bootie

Wine Nancy Boot

Cognac Nikita

Natural Menlow Bootie

Whiskey Burnett

The only downside to these boots--they are all man-made materials.  On the other hand, that's why they are so cheap!  If you want to take a closer look at any of the boots on sale today, visit Zulily here.

Monday, July 21

Dark Garden corsets

I just found a stimulating site for those interested in corsetry:

Dark Garden corsetry & couture

I just love this woman's corset and skirt--would wear it in a heartbeat!

Saturday, May 17

The photos from my last pseudo-Steampunk photo shoot did not turn out that great, due to overly harsh lighting.  I don't know how to do fancy things with camera filters, but I thought I would at least play a little bit with the free filters available through GIMP, my photo program.

Red blouse by frenchi
black skirt by BCBG
edge-detect filter "Difference of Gaussians"

Kinda neat!  Like an illustration out of a vintage book.  (Don't forget to click on any image if you want to see it larger.) 

Boots by Miz Mooz
edge-detect filter "Sobol"

decor filter "old photo"

earrings by ElainaLouise on Etsy
"colorized" to custom semi-Steampunky hue

desaturated according to luminosity

colors "Retinex"

And the last one is of me, with an unadorned photo--bad lighting, no cropping.  But I wanted you to see the true colors I was wearing.  And show off our neighborhood redwoods.

If you liked any of these filters, let me know!  It was fun to play--otherwise I would likely not have posted these images, and would have waited until cooler weather next Winter to bring out this outfit again.

Tuesday, April 8

In Which Minnie Zephie Dresses in a Manner Unseemly to Her Age

This past year was a rather pivotal year for me, fashion-wise.  It was the year I realized that I have reached an age that requires different ways of thinking about myself and the clothes I wear.  It's not that I suddenly started feeling old, or think that I have to follow someone else's Rules for Dressing When You Have Reached Middle Age;  it's that I realized there are things that I see others wearing that I may like very much on them (Lolita skirts! Steampunky hair accessories! Anything baring or calling attention to the midriff!), but which I have never had the urge to buy for myself, because unconsciously I knew they would only look ridiculous on me.  Yes, I'm now of an age to look ridiculous in certain things--hard truth, but one I can honestly say I'm perfectly fine with, esp. since the realization of it came about in a very natural, self-honoring way.

As I started assessing my wardrobe last year for potentially increasing it's Steaminess, I started paying more attention to the things I found myself not wearing.   There were clothes in my wardrobe that had previously been favorite favorites that I just no longer reached for, that I realized I had not worn all season--I kept reaching past them in the closet, choosing other things instead.  Since the closet real-estate is at a premium around here, I took the time to evaluate why I was not wearing them, to decide if they should stay or go.  Some of the things I just did not have the right pieces to wear with--they need different footwear, like the flat-soled tall boots I've been searching for recently, or a different skirt.  Those are "problems" I can (happily) find solutions for. But there were other clothing pieces that I finally decided just seemed too. . . youthful.  They bared too much skin on my chest and upper arms--places I feel actually more youthful if I cover up.  Or they had fabrics or patterns or colors that seemed more appropriate for a 20 year old and not a 40-something.

I'm not ashamed of my age.  I think I'm rocking it quite well!  And I don't feel like I have to kow-tow to the Expectations of Others in Society.  (Clearly, or I would not be regularly sneaking Steampunk into church services.)   But.  One of the good things about getting older is that you start to understand and appreciate yourself better, and I am old enough to know I want to feel good, not only in my own skin, but in what I put on it.  I don't care what others think as much as I care about what *I* think.

And *I* think I am of an age where I want to be attractive, but attractive AS my age, not seemingly trying to be a younger age.  We've all seen older women wearing things that just didn't look right--and it's just because some styles are made for the young, and when an older woman wears them, it looks like she's not happy with her own age.  Or like she's not aware of fashion enough to know what not to wear.

Which leads us to. . . the skinny jeans. 

This is my first (and only) pair of skinny jeans.  I bought them because there were some tops/tunics I had in my wardrobe that seemed to necessitate them, and I thought I was pulling them off well enough.  (At least the teenager who was sharing the changing room mirror with me there at Ross was enthusiastic. ; ) 

I also really wanted to try a pair of skinny jeans because I find that if you want to do "everyday" pseudo-Steampunk, you have to be very careful about the silhouette you create--and as I learned back in this post, the only jean that lends itself well to the more punk aspect of Steampunk is the skinny jean.  So, I tried playing around those skinny jeans and other pieces in my wardrobe that are each vaguely Steampunky, and this is the first look I came up with:

Top by H&M, found at the Salvation Army
Vest by Jones Wear Jeans
Ancient belt, once belonging to my husband's grandpa
Jeans by Rue 21, from Ross
Marin boots by Caterpillar

Seeing as how it was still winter (northern California style), I also tried the look with a favorite Victorian-esque jacket.  But as you can see, the slight peplum shape of the jacket is just. . . odd over the long and lean jeans.  Proportions all out of whack!

Jacket by Ann Taylor LOFT
Earrings by ElainaLouise on Etsy

See--when I crop the image, the jacket over the vest looks just fine.  Picture beneath a long, full skirt in black, or grey, or a brown and color plaid--that's the shape that will look best with this jacket when I am trying to bring out the most Steampunk from it.

So, hit or miss?  I still have not decided.  I'll show you all one more attempt at pseudo-Steampunk with the skinny jeans in my next post--the update on the casual look I linked above--and would so appreciate feedback!

Thursday, March 27

Sweet boot, today only on Ebay

I've never seen this one before, so had to share, even if the listing will probably be over before you see it, even if you do wear the same size of boot as me:

Steve Madden Madelyn, found here
Very Steampunk-compatible!

Wednesday, March 26

Steampunk Style for the Mini-Minnie, for March 2014

 OK, so you can probably tell by the pumpkins when these photos were really taken, and thus how long I've taken to post them.  It was a very busy Fall around here, which is why I went through a long silent spell there--but now it's Spring, with more time to sit with my tea and indulge my pseudo-Steampunk imagination. 

My middle mini-Minnie
Top and skirt by Hanna Andersson
Tights by GAP

I showed you all this outfit before, on my eldest mini-Minnie, but since then I found these fabulous striped tights, which really heighten the goth/Steampunk hints. Esp. on my own little Wednesday.

The shoes are not necessarily my favorite--oh, how perfect this look would be with short, button-detailed black leather boots.  But for practicality, almost any pair of black leather mary janes like these will work just fine with pseudo-Steampunk.

Just for fun, I decided to play with different looks in our photo-editing program:

I'm going to remember this one for how it makes the subject stand out and lends a slight ghostly feel to the image.

And here's my mini-Minnie in full Gothic glory. 

Now with a little more breathing room in my days for creativity, I would love to see what little Steampunky bits you have been finding online.  Please do share any in the comments below!

Tuesday, March 11

Sunday Pseudo-Steam, March 9, 2014

This particular Sunday I had a little bit of a steampunk Mary Poppins thing going on.  That's an excellent premise for an ensemble, and I might keep that in mind as I finish this particular look.

Blouse by frenchi, bought at the Salvation Army
Skirt by Onanya, on Etsy
Tahra boots by LaCanadienne

Jacket by Ann Taylor
Earrings by Elaina Louise Studios
Flexi-clip by Lilla Rose

I really like all of the pieces of this outfit, and yet, together they were not quite working for me.  I think the problem is the skirt.  I really enjoy this skirt, and find it is so subtly Steampunk--just right for a Real World Steampunk Wardrobe.  But with wintery things, like this corduroy jacket, the skirt is just not quite the weight.  Also, this is just too much brown in this outfit.  And I think the shape of the skirt is flattering with the cut and length of the blouse, but not so much with the skirt.  Finally, looking at this side view, I'm reminded that I must occasionally check the adjustment of the gathers in the back as well as the front when I am wearing it.  Saggy gathers are sad Steampunk. 

But still, not a bad try for a late-Winter Sunday. I would love to hear your thoughts--any suggestions for more Steampunky accessories that I could get away with at church?  (The little Mary Poppins fascinator I'm picturing might be just a little much. ; )

Sunday, February 9

Sunday Pseudo-Steam, Feb. 2014

Yes, recently I've been having too many Real World Steampunk Wardrobe near-misses, instead of hits.  But still, I'm getting enough hits to keep me content, and besides--the fun is in the trying.  This ensemble is one of the hits;  it's nothing special, but it makes me happy when I wear it, and I received several compliments at church on the outfit, which is usually a sign I'm pulling it off.

Not sure if I'm pulling off this pose nearly as well, but again--the fun is in the trying.  Now for a more respectable pose, befitting a woman of my age and social standing:

Jacket from Sickonineteen, on Ebay
British Top by Three Dots
Skirt by Garnet Hill

Oh, how I wish I had a black corset belt to wear with this outfit--it seems in the photos like there is something missing there in the middle.  But until I do find a black corset belt I like, I can still wear the outfit as-is.

Black lantern earrings by Elaine Louise, on Etsy
Copper & wood hair sticks by Lilla Rose

Gratuitous beauty shot of the earrings. The glass beads are actually red, but they look black when not in direct sunlight.  That effect, combined with that verdigris-like texture on the unpolished bits, gives such a lovely goth feel to them.

Tights. . .possibly GAP
Mate boot by Kelsi Dagger

Do you have any favorite pseudo-Steampunk clothing bits to show me, on Pinterest or Etsy or anywhere else?  I always love to see your finds!