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!

Monday, February 3

Steampunky Steve Madden, on Ebay Today

True to my previous boot post, I am keeping my eye on Ebay at the moment, looking to see if a pair of Perrins comes up in my size.  I have realized this one gap in my wardrobe--a casual, fairly flat soled, neutral colored, probably black, tall leather boot--is keeping me from wearing some things I would very much like to be wearing this winter.  Finding a good boot will help me make the most of the clothes in my meager closet; so much as I hate to buy one more pair of boots, it seems the only logical thing to do.

(I know. I sound all facetious, like I'm giggling while I bemoan needing to buy another pair of boots. And I am, kinda.  But if you saw the size of my closet--heck, the size of my house--you would understand that I am also being serious.  The boots I bought last winter are being used and enjoyed--worth buying!--but they are also taking up a lot of precious real-estate in there. And since the space is too small to accommodate organizers, the boots end up being a jumbled mess as well, usually necessitating me pulling out the whole lot just to find the mate of the one I want.  Oh, my first world problems!  And speaking of which, I also feel guilty, having several pairs of boots now, when there are so many other more worthy uses of the $.  So, all this to say, buying a pair of boots is in now way a flippant decision for me.  And yet, with all this in mind, I still want that pair of boots. ; )

And as always, if I see Steampunk compatible boots, I'm going to share them with you.  So here's what I found today in my size on Ebay, by Steve Madden:

Grripp, found here

As far as I can tell from the photo, a lovely texture to the leather.  I also really like the brownish/steel grey color--but who knows if that is true to the boot in person.  The laces up the back are a nice detail, and subtly suggest  the laces of a corset.

Lynet, found here

These are a little more punk, but I really like the military hints on these boots, and that blue and silver stripe made by the zipper.

Streeet, found here

I've now seen several of this style of riding boot--like a man's shoe on the bottom and not laced all the way up the front.  I like the additional buckles on this pair.

Cameronn, found here

A nice play on the prairie boot. I esp. like the two tones of leather together (with the contrast stitching) and the leather laces.

Elivate, found here

I don't know why everyone persists in calling such things "boots"--functionally these are stiletto heels, no getting around it.  But they are also Victorian versions, and so even if I would never, ever wear them, I like them.

Belman, found here

Just the right amount of buckles, and in a nice medium shade of brown too.

I tried to only post boots that I have not already featured previously, and also only the real leather ones. You have to be careful with Steve Madden--he has a higher and lower tier of boots, and the latter are usually synthetic, so if you want real leather you have to read the descriptions carefully.

Sunday, February 2

Real World Steampunk Wardrobe Fail No. 2

So here is my second installment in this series, of Real World Steampunk gone wrong.

This particular Sunday, sometime back in 2013, I was aiming for a kind of Adventuress look. . .

Blouse by Apt 9 at Kohl's
Silk cashmere fine-gauge sweater vest from Goodwill*
Earrings by Elaina Louise on Etsy
Corset belt by Cabi
Black knit skirt by Garnet Hill
Tights I don't remember--GAP clearance perhaps?
Boots by La Canadienne

*if the vest looks swirly, it's just your monitor flipping out over the ribbed texture.  Click on the photo to enlarge and it should look fine. 

 . . . and as you can see, pieces that seemed like potential friends just ended up not playing together nicely.

Some individual parts of the look I like, and some I don't; but unlike my previous Real World Steampunk Wardrobe fail, which at least had a certain cohesive retro flair, this is just too. . . incohesive.  I'm finding it hard to choose the right words for what exactly is wrong with this ensemble, but it's all just a little. . . off.

And I wore it in public, taking the photos after I was back home.

Ah, well, these are the realizations that keep me humble.    

So, let's see if we can't disscect this look and figure out where it went awry. . . .  I think the vest over the blouse is the first problem, for two reasons: first, stylistically I thought the sweater vest could be a comfortable, practical way to get a very subtle corset look.  While I think this is still true in theory, this particular vest is just ending up looking more 1960's mod than anything else--esp. when taken together with the belt and boot height and skirt length.  I do like the belt over the vest--but just not when I'm trying to channel Steampunk.  The other problem with the vest over the blouse is that the blouse has a kind of ruffle placket down the front, and it was way too lumpy under this fine-gauge of a sweater.

The hem of the blouse and the hem of the sweater vest were also pulling up as I moved, and not even nicely in unison, so I ended up with even more bunching, and unevenness, and overall awkwardness.   I don't think tucking the blouse in would have worked either, as it does not have that long of a tail.

I do like the skirt and tights together. . . and the tights and boots together. . . but the three are not just working.  See, I'd really like a fun short bustle skirt, but am afraid a) it would look too costumey and not enough "real world," and b) I am too old to get away with it.  So I love this skirt, as a subtle nod to that kind of skirt, and have worn it with other steampunky things with success--just not on this day.

In fact, now that I think about it, a different colored skirt would have made a huge impact on the success of this particular look.  If I changed only that and the bunching of the blouse, this would be a fine look--just perhaps not as pseudo-Steampunk as it was in my mind's eye.

Comments?  Suggestions?  I'd love to hear them.