Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Cosplay Tips: Last Minute Couples Halloween Costumes

My husband and I had a great time cosplaying together at MCM London Comic Con last weekend so I thought I would put together a bit of an ideas post for you, featuring some of my favourite couples cosplays and costumes!

My husband and I dressed as Luigi and Princess Daisy from the Super Mario franchise:

Mostly the costumes are of an 'everyday cosplay' nature since it is only a few days to Halloween. On a side note, I also want to add that 'couples' in this instance means a couple of people, or a pair, I don't mean you have to be a couple, you could be friends, brothers, whatever. I don't really want you to limit costume ideas to your gender either - Rule 63 'For every given male character, there is a female version of that character. For every given female character, there is a male version of that character' can be a great idea to play with when doing fancy dress.

1 - DA
No, not the district attorney. Dumbledore's Army. Well, pretty much anyone from Happy Potter in general. Getting hold of s v-neck jumper and tie is pretty easy, generally you can borrow from a brother or father and getting something in the right house colours is pretty straightforward too. With an array of characters with various hair styles and colours too you can probably find someone to suit your needs. You could be Harry and Hermione, Hermione and Ron, Ron and Harry, Hermione and Luna or my personal favourite Luna and Neville. Just add a stick for a wand and your done.

2 - Bonnie and Clyde
A vintage inspired gangster number next, finding a lovely pencil skirt, or pinstripe suit is a good way to start this costume off. Add some plastic pistols and a fedora and you're done. Simple but effective!

3 - Angel and Devil
This one is another simple one that is pretty much gender neutral too. One person is an angel, one is a devil. One dresses all in white, one all in red. If you have time you can add angel wings or a set of horns wings - these are available in good fancy dress shops, but constructing some out of cardboard and string or and alice band should be fairly east too.

Optional extra: a large person that you can sit on the shoulders of...

4 - Superman and Lois Lane
This one requires a little forethought, in that someone needs to visit a costume shop, but lets face it even Argos has a superman costume (although I'm not sure how good it is). But the rest of the costume is really easy, pencil skirt, blouse, note pad and you could print off a Daily Planet press pass if you're feeling creative. To quote Gordon Ramsay - done!

5 - Mulder and Scully
A wonderful 1990s classic here, Mulder and Scully from the X-files are a great option for a couple costume. All you need is a 90s power suit, toy gun and some faux FBI passes. Heck, you could even chuck in a little plushie 'little green man' if you're feeling a little bit eccentric.

6 - Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
This last one requires a bit more effort, but is a bonus suggestion that makes the list because it is one I've actually done. I was going to a fancy dress event with Miss Doherty of The Vanity Case and the theme was superheroes. We decided to dress as comic book BFFs Harley and Ivy. The Harley costume is available to buy on some websites and costume shops, and a Poison Ivy costume could be whipped up quite quickly if you were to simplify the leotard using only a few leaves.

These are of course just a few ideas. Do you have any better ones? Let me know, I always like more suggestions!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Wearing a Vintage Cape

So capes are kind of in right? I keep seeing things about 'how to wear capes' popping up around the web. Okay, maybe it was one article on British Style Bloggers but still. Capes. Yes.

Being a huge fan of super heroes I, of course, adore a cape. It can be a shiny red satin one, a long black flowy one or a little red riding hood one. I don't care. They're all good.

Well boy was I in luck! On the way back from Pickering my husband and I stopped off in York to do a little charity shop browsing and I wasn't having a lot of luck. Then I visited Sue Ryder. I adore the Sue Ryder in York, they have a whole upstairs floor dedicated to vintage! It is mostly stuff from the 60s-80s but occasionally there is something a bit special in there.


I clocked the vintage cape right away. Its bright blue colour was just my thing and I thought the detail around the clasps was gorgeous - AND IT HAD A HOOD! The only slight downside was that there were no little arm holes, but it was in such great condition and such a vibrant colour that I simply had to have it. It cost £20.

Wandering around on a rainy day in the park made me feel a lot like little red riding hood. But you can probably tell that from the pictures. The cape was surprisingly warm and it is beautifully made, although obviously by hand. The silver lining is beautiful.

Cape: Sue Ryder
Dress: eBay (not sure the brand)
Jumper and Tights: Atmosphere
Shoes: Topshop
Bag: Sue Ryder

I had a bit of a search around and the closest patterns I could find for a cape like this were from the 70s or the 40s... quite a leap there. If you have any idea when it could be from then let me know as I would be eager to find out. I do think it looks older than the 70s though.

Blue and mustard is a favourite colour combination of mine, and it turns out there is a bit of a colour block trend going on too and I think that outfit works for that too. Not that I usually look at what's in, it just happens to match up this time :)

Didn't stop me from getting some very weird looks on the street though. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Costume Review: Official Disney Alice in Wonderland

I've had this costume in the pipeline for a little while but it has taken some time to iron out all the details. I have been working with Fancy Dress for Less who very kindly offered to send me a costume and wig to review. I have loved the Alice in Wonderland stories for a long time and so being able to dress as Alice has been a bit of a fantasy for a while. The only problem is, when it comes to buying Alice costumes, they are usually super short and a little bit too sexy for my liking. So when I found this official Disney version (produced by Rubies official products) one on fancy dress for less, with a slightly longer skirt and a fuller top, it seemed like a good option. I chose a mystique wig in blonde too as I thought that looked closest to Alice's hair.

Take a look, I couldn't resist a bit of cheesy photoshop:

Down the Rabbit hole

A Visit from the Cheshire Cat

Time for tea

Curiouser and curiouser

 Just in case you were unsure of what Disney's version of Alice looks like here is a picture:

It is based very heavily on the sketches from some of the original publications of the book and the blonde hair pouffy blue dress have become synonymous with the character... and that's not even mentioning the Alice band.

So what about the costume itself?
The dress dress came with the head band and the wig was bought separately and I already owned the white tights and black shoes.

The dress is around £30 which is probably about average for an official costume, you can get cheaper, but having the slightly more accurate style is what bumps the price up. I really liked the skirt with the in built petticoat and in general I thought the front of the dress was nice too. It is slightly more modified from the actual alice outfit so it shows a bit more d├ęcolletage, something which seems fairly standard in adult ladies costumes.

From the front it is fairly flattering which is a bonus and it was a size medium and a generally quite generous fit. I found that the fit around the shoulders was a little bit too generous for me however and I needed to pin the sleeves to my bra to keep them in place, but once they were there they pretty much stuck. I did find the little print silhouette on the apron a bit silly, but it blends in quite well with the colour scheme of the dress so its not too alarming.

The headband was quite cute and at ~£10 I thought the wig was a steal it has the quality of several other wigs I've seen that run at the £20 mark so I was quite pleased with that.  

My only real problem with the dress was that I didn't like the back at all. The blue is a different fabric that sort of stretches (the multi size element of a size medium) which I can cope with, but I thought it was cut too low and too wide at the sleeves. This meant it was very difficult to make it stick around my shoulders and not show all my bra. I guess as far as faults go its minimal and if you have bigger shoulders than me it wouldn't be such a problem (I have a really short torso and shoulders compared to my overall size I ALWAYS have problems with strappy dresses!).

Anywho, this would be an easy fix by simply not having photos taken from behind. It's not the most flattering angle anyway.

What do you think of the Alice dress? Oh! and are you planning anything fun for Halloween this year?

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Vintage Event: Wartime Weekend at Pickering 2013

I went to Pickering last year and it was a lot of fun, so my family and I decided to go again this year to soak up some of the vintagey times together.

The wartime weekend is a perfect mix of historical reenactment, vintage shopping and a sort of festival atmosphere as there are many sites all along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway that are taking part in the festival.

Sadly however, unlike last year, this year the weather was rubbish. We managed to wrap up and still cope with the rain, but it meant that a lot of the outside things like DJs and dancing were cancelled. Sad times.

I had to cobble together an outfit as my stuff is still split between the north and the south. I did have a Jaeger suit from the 1970s though that I felt had a bit of a 40s look so I decided that was a good option. There is a faint blue tinge to the fabric so I wore a blue hat with it too. I also wore my stole since it keeps me nice and warm. Oh did I mention that the suit was £7?! Yeah! eBay bargain!

My mum also decided to get into the spirit of things wearing my Grandmothers fur coat that I mentioned in this post. Oh and I did her hair... it was super soft and kinda short so I was so pleased that I even managed to get a twist at the back of her hair. My husband and Dad weren't dressed up so we made them be our pro-photographers.

There were lots of people dressed for the occasion through despite the weather and as usual they had the train platforms split so that you could take pretty nifty pictures of all the vintage-y folks.

Including Winston Churchill...

The  local choir was singing We'll meet again...

It was also great to see the medical professionals were out in force too.

I adored the portable Glambulance, not only were they doing a great job at giving ladies fantastic up-dos, but their name was also a pun!

Some dodgy dealings going on in the black market.

Is this young chap really old enough to drive?! I'm not sure he looks too happy about being stuck in the car all day.

As usual there was a heavy focus on the armed forces, of remembering those that fought in the War and the lives of those that were touched by the war. I found the poppy appeal display very sad in particular, they seem to have a different on each year, and they never fail to make me well up a little bit. I think the North Yorkshire Wartime Weekend really does find the right balance between remembrance and historical fun - something I'm sure they'll keep up in the future!

Oh and of all the vintage cars I saw, I adored this one. I made me think of Captain America, but upon a closer inspection it turned out to be an Australian Chrysler, not what I expected. Mind you that doesn't make this care any less amazing. If this is yours I, and my family are very jealous!

Phew, that was a super picture heavy post. We ended up spending the Sunday in York as it was raining and so windy so I don't know if anything happened on that day. Hopefully the weather will be a bit better next year!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Casual Cosplay: Ugly Betty's Betty Suarez

I get ready for work between around 6:40 and 8:00 depending on what time I catch my train to work. Now at 7:10, E4 has been showing re-runs of Ugly Betty. This is a show I watched a lot of back when it was originally aired but it is a show I still like to watch today. I think it has a lovely level of silly fluff mixed with real life serious dilemmas (okay, perhaps more fluff than the other stuff but anyway) and I always find it cheers me up.

I had a bit of a weird Betty style crush back in 2006 and I think that's because I'm such a fan of a good ol' print dress and cardigan combo although I have to admit I think Betty occasionally over-did the frump a tad but I thought it had a great look about it. Although to be honest this isn't really surprising since costume designer Patricia Field was responsible for the shows look, and heck that mismatched print thing is pretty typical of Carrie in Sex and the City too.

So naturally when one morning last week I woke up with giant frizzy hair from sleeping in plaits I thought, Hey! You know who has this hair? Betty Suarez. So I decided to attempt a days survival in an outfit inspired by Ugly Betty herself. 

As I've said before Betty's look is a mix of clashing colours and prints AND textures...

Here's my look inspired by Betty. I perhaps kept it a bit too toned down, perhaps that dress as a blouse with a stripy skirt would have nailed it a bit more, but I think you get the idea. I did need to go out in this outfit and I didn't want to scare the people of Tunbridge Wells I thought the frizz festival of hair was scary enough.

For a sort of outside look I decided to team the same dress with a blazer, as inspired by this picture (note the giant hair also!):
I have a sort of grey/browny blazer that came from next via a charity shop that I wore, since I thought adding another colour clash could only help the situation, but I think it actually ended up matching quite well :S Obviously carrying a file as Betty is a hard working assistant!

Dress: French, via eBay £4
Tights: £3 Primark (they do the best tights!)
Cardigan: £8 M&S via eBay
Blazer: £6 Next via charity shop
Belt: £1 charity shop
Scarf: Free, Beyond Retro

Then there was the face...
Poor Betty, her grinning face was plastered everywhere as part of the marketing for the show. Now I'm doing the same, only I don't have a show :(

Here's my Betty inspired face. Excuse the braces, I tried using an app but it worked so badly this is the best I could come up with, but you get the idea... The glasses are my husbands, and they are BROKEN (see the Harry Potter style tape holding them together?) and I wasted at least one use of my Mac brow setter getting my eyebrows to stick up like that. But anywho, its all just a bit of fun. I would recommend Betty as a Halloween costume though as its pretty inexpensive to cobble a look like this together with some charity shop trawling!

Did you like Ugly Betty's style? Or did you think it was just, well, ugly?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A trip to the beach, a snuggly aran and a autumn check dress

Hello there! A little while ago my parents came to visit the south and they booked a lovely little cottage close to Hastings and fortunately they had spare beds in the cottage so I could come visit them for a night too. The cottage was called Park Farm, and it was on a real working farm although I didn't manage to spot any horses while I was there. The car park in front was pretty much a stable yard, but it had a rather nice charm.

My favourite part of the cottage was that there was a lovely spiral staircase leading up to the second bedroom. How cool is that?!

I needed a comfortable outfit that was warm but suitable for the beach, which is usually a bit tricky, so I decided to go with a vintage check dress with a sort of mandarin style collar with a full skirt that is light and pretty sturdy. I teamed it with some boots for the beach and some walking socks to keep my feet toasty and finally an old aran cardigan that is MASSIVE but super snuggly so I really don't care.

One problem tiny problem I have with the South East is that I miss the amazing wild beaches of the North East. I miss the sand. For me, the pebble beaches don't really cut it. So finding out that there is a large sandy beach on the south coast meant that I had to go on a little trip. 

Camber is one of the largest beaches around Kent and Sussex. I visited on a cloudy and slightly windy day but luckily it wasn't too cold. Here is the dress without the cardigan.

There were several beach houses near to the front, I did wonder what it must be like to live at the beach but I think I wouldn't be able to cope without a high street filled with charity shops!

Sorry this picture is slightly blurry, I pinched it from the display on my Mum's camera and its not the greatest quality, but I simply loved the reflection!

There is one little thing the Southern beaches have that the beach at my home town doesn't, and that is amazing shells! Lots of lovely bivalves and swirly snail shells. The little girl in me was so happy to be collecting shells I really like them (I do have a necklace with a seashell on it too, its a summer favourite). 

Where is your favourite beach?

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