Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Acquisitions: Oxfords, Silk Blouse, Turbans, Gloves, & Chokers


It's been a while since I've done one of these blog posts, partly because I haven't been shopping much recently.

Now I don't *think* there is anything wrong with me.

So here is what I haev added to my wardrobe over the past few months or so...

Brown oxford wedge

Why I got it? I've been looking to add a closed toed heel to my brown shoes collection for a while. This one isn't exactly vintage but it is super comfortable and has great tread for the rains and is both a wedge and a platform (two loves of mine). I wish it had come in black as well, as my favorite black platform booties died recently. I mourn them!

cream silk and lace blouse

I added this beautiful cream silk and lace shirt to my steampunk costume collection. This one has the right cut and shape to go under one of my more difficult corsets, the Fancy.


The Fancy has double cross-back princess straps and is a bit of a challenge to find shirts for. The one you see pictured here is very warm and also on its last legs (or should I say arms?) so I have been trying to find a replacement. 
This new one is not only lovely for a foundation piece with several of my corsets, but will also look pretty on its own. I'm planning on taking to to RWA Nationals with me in July. 

red velvet turban
Been wearing a lot of turbans recently and I like these velvet ones a lot. I also got this one in green. The bow isn't quite as big as pictured, but it is lovely, $6-8 depending on color.

More recently I hit up an antique store that was going out of business and picked up a few cuties that I really didn't need but couldn't resist...

green leather gloves





I just purged all my gloves. Yet I saw there hunter green leather ones and... had to have them. They are green. And leather. And have a button!

pear choker


 A pinkish tan pearl strand (faux, I think, but very good quality). These I will like wear doubled up with on of my favorite steampunk necklaces as it's choker length. 

jet choker




Jet choker. This one actually kind of goes with another jet set I already owned, the one I have is a longer tassel necklace that doesn't always work with my necklines so this will make a good substitute for dresses with higher necklines. And I love jet.



jet tassel set

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Black Cotton Day Dress with Brown Accessories


Hello my dear Fashionable Reader,

Here I am at my recent RWA chapter presentation dressed in a black cotton day dress with brown accessories.


This 1950s dress came from a vintage shop and it was in pretty poor condition when I got it. Half the buttons were missing and as you can see there are NO BUTTONS over the dreaded boob button gap area



So I had to add invisible snaps to that zone, and replace all the buttons (I used some vintage shell ones I picked up years ago) and added some to the collar for cuteness. It was petty darn time consuming.


I paired it with a vintage brown felt draped style hat (probubly 1950s), a brown belt (that serves double duty for steampunk events) similar $14, and vintage brown leather short gloves (similar for $33). I'm wearing steampunk earrings (similar $14) and my pen necklace (similar $28).


I'm wearing these cute brown wedge booties on my tootsies. Now they aren't exactly vintage looking but they are comfy and they have full tread (it was raining that day) so they don't slip at all. 



The brand is Kork-Ease and I recommend them highly. They are called the Gwenda and also come in grey. I'm thinking of buying them in grey (if I can find them in my size), because they are so comfy. 


I love that particular sleeve length and skirt length, and the box pleating is great. This is, in the end, an awesome dress. It's also cotton, so it's quite cool. I am wearing it with a crinoline under it, but I'm not sure it needs it.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Parasols for Every Occasion! A Glimpse at Gail Carriger's Parasol Collection.


I realized recently that I don't have a place on the interwebs where I chronicle my parasol collection.


How could I be so remiss?

My parasol collection has been the work of years, people have gifted me with vintage ones, and I have purchased quite a few for myself.



Here for you enlightenment is my parasol collection! 

Modern

These ones are modern, in other words I bought them for myself from a vendor.


Technically an umbrella, this one folds so it packs well and it's pretty enough to also be a parasol. It came from Amazon for $15. It's probably the most versatile piece in my collection.

Strictly a parasol as this is made of waxed paper, I bought mine from Donna (the Alexia books' cover model) when she owned Clockwork Couture. It's now available other places online. You can find it online for about $20. 
I find I use it a lot because it goes with everything. It's got both brown and black in it, and it works for both a retro look and a steampunk look. It doesn't, however, pack well. Although, for paper, it has been surprisingly resilient. 

This is the parasol that appears in my standard headshot (see the top of this post). I love it for its uniqueness. This is not a parasol I've ever seen anyone else own, also it feels really vintage to me. I bought it from Lace Parasols online shop years ago, it's still offered for $37.


This one is cream lace and I modified it with royal blue ribbon threaded through. However, I am more likely to use the other blue one above, so I will be giving this beauty away in a forthcoming Chirrup.

This parasol style is pretty common these days. So I like suggesting if you get one, adding ribbon, or painting sections or some other DIY. If you are looking for a particular color of parasol this particular style has you covered for round about $20.


I, however, when I was looking for something cream really wanted soemthign more embroidered and solid then lace, and really big and vintage looking. I ended up with this one, again from lace Parasols online, which I have been really happy with over the years. It now is priced at $45, I can't remember what I paid for it.


While quite beautiful, it is REALLY massive so I never travel with it.


 So I invested in this...

It's a cream and gold sunshade umbrella that folds very small and has it's own cute little container. I get a lot of compliments on it. It's one flaw is the inside is LINED in solid black, so it doesn't photo well when carried over the shoulder. I found it on Amazon for $33
 I also bought this set of three tiny parasols for $40. The smallest two I mostly use for decoration around the office, and for pretty photos with books. 
The largest one, however, I would really love to find a way to add an extending folding handle. At various times, but particularly in the late 1880s, ladies carried very small parasols with very long handles. I'd love to make this into a cream version of that. (See the last parasol in my collection below.)

Vintage


For a girl who loves vintage and parasols, I only own two vintage parasols. They are so delicate it's hard to find nice ones that have survived in tact and are still reasonably priced.


This is, technically, and umbrella not a parasol. It has double lining and a beautiful interior decoration with scalloped flutter edge. The outside is plain black. It has a beautiful metal handle with an ostentatious crystal. It's bent a little and somewhat sun bleached but otherwise in pretty good condition.


This was a gift to me from one of my mother's dear friends. I'm not sure on the age but my best guess is 1920s.


My black tilt parasol. This is probubly late Edwardian and it isn't in great shape. It's black silk with ruffles an the silk is torn in multiple places. I basically just stopped it from tearing further with clear nail polish, the old nylon trick.


Not only does it tilt, it folds, which makes is the perfect travel companion. I love this parasol and you will see me with it at steampunk events all the time.I even made it a special holster out of a pair of cargo shorts. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to DIY your own here.

I see tilt parasols turn up on Etsy or at vintage fairs regularly, but because they are mostly silk from this time period, and silk is easily damaged by sun, they are almost always in disrepair. So be careful if you are looking to buy one.

Finally I also have this lovely mother of pearl pin, which was a gift from a reader. It means I can allude to the parasol, even if I am not actually carrying it!



Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Miss Carriger Joins The Tea Scouts







I joint the Tea Scouts (as an honorary member). Also a bit of a closer look at my Tucson Festival of books outfit.



It was colder than I expected, as you can see I'm wearing my favorite steampunk(ish) jacket and a thing leopard scarf (which is about to go off into an upcoming goodie box via the Chirrup). 


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle



Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lord Akeldama eat your heart out!







Lord Akeldama eat your heart out! (No, not literally.)

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle



Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books


Just got back for Tucson, where it was not as hot as I expected it to be. Still here I am in my lightest weight Rockabilly look...


The black velvet top started life as a 1940s style dress I picked up from Ross and then decided I'd get more use out of as a shirt (truth).

I paired it with a some simple red capris from Talbots and leopard accessories.


Shoes are old ones for Calvin Klein, I've had them for years and they are on their way out (leather is starting to crack). They are SUPER comfortable and I will be utterly devastated when they die.  Although, these are kind cute.

The red top I wore the second day is from H&M. It too is on it's way out, I love that neckline and knit is always a struggle to replace to I'm thinking about trying to find a nice red blouse instead.


Love you darlings!

Miss G

P.S. Special thanks to Juliababyjen on Instagram for this great shot:


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Breast Reduction Surgery Preparation Check List

By Request from various friends about to go through what I did, here's my...

Breast Reduction Surgery Preparation Check List *

This DOES NOT include the instructions and products recommended by my doctor, this list is only for the things I wasn't told about ahead of time, and wish I had been.


MONTH BEFORE


Preview list of necessities below and order online if things not available locally, such as:

* 4 Vinyl Gel Smaller Ice Packs (I like ColPac)
* Gauze Pads
* Paper Medical Tape (NOT Latex or Fabric)
* Clean tea towels/washcloths to wrap around ice packs
* Button front shirts (washed and clean)
* Shea butter
* Aloe gel
* Antibacterial soap
* 3-5 small silk scarves to use under the bra to prevent discomfort (you'll be washing these and they'll die, so it doesn't mater what they look like juts how cheep they are)
* Neck pillow (rec. memory foam)
* Extra pillows like bolster for knees if unused to sleeping upright on back
* Bendy straws
* Barf bags (if you react badly to general anesthetic or pain killers)
* Post surgery bra that fastens in the front (the one the hospital gave me hurt a lot, sharp stitching), here are three I found that worked for me:
  1. Hook Front
  2. Snap Front
  3. Zipper Front
Make sure they are comfortable around your ribs before surgery. That's the only way to check. If you buy within the return window if they don't work after, you can still return them.

DAY BEFORE CHECKLIST



[ ]  Fresh fruit and vegetables, soups, other healthy comfort food
[ ]  Plain yoghurt
[ ] Apple juice, other juice, smart water, smoothies whatever gets fluids into you
[ ] Bagels/whole grain toast for meds & nausea
[ ] Banana & plain crackers for 6am pain snack
[ ] Straws ready
[ ] Ice/ice packs (4 smaller ones worked best) into freezer
[ ] Disinfectant soap open and ready
[ ] Gauze pads and tape (paper tape NOT cloth): packages open and ready
[ ] Clean washcloths & tea towels to wrap around ice packs
[ ] Over the counter stool softener (in case they give you Oxy)
[ ] Loose, comfortable shirts, front closure, various weights (washed & clean)
[ ] Topical: Organic Shea butter & aloe vera gel for area around incisions after surgery (skin gets quite dry) can also use later for after scaring forms to help soften scars
[ ] Have TV remotes, devices, phone, notebook, computer, reading material on a tray easily accessible
[ ] Set up bed as needed: you'll be sleeping on back upright for first month to 2 months: for me bolster for knees, plus a travel neck pillow proved very helpful
[ ] Invest in your own post surgery bra (the ones they provided SUCK)
[ ] Small silk scarves to line under the bras esp if you have sensitive skin

DAY OF



[ ] Bring neck pillow along with a regular pillow to protect boobs from seat-belt on ride home. Leve in car.
[ ] Wear a loose open jacket with secure (snap/zipper) pockets for important stuff like medical card and ID, leave purse at home.
[ ] Bring a small notebook & pen to keep track of meds & dr instructions. Write down how often to take them, and what time of day.
[ ] Take time in recovery at the hospital. Tell them to please not rush you if you are not quite ready to leave.
[ ] Stash barf bag in car. Be aware and warn people of you have a bad reaction to general anesthetic.
[ ] Have friend open prescription pill bottles and set them aside, soreness may prevent easy opening.


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

* I am not a medical doctor. This list is intended to be helpful. 
I am not medically suggesting these as cures or anything else related to breast surgery or any other surgery. 
Follow these recommendations AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Gail Carriger: Cover Art, Book Sizes, & Secret Collaborations, Oh My!





I talk about my outfit a bit as well, here's details:



Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle



Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

My Year in Outfits! Gail Carriger's Vintage and Retro Style


Without further ado, Fashionable Reader, here are the outfits I wore in 2017!


In Detroit, I went pretty low key and practical. I also was starting to test some of my clothes to see if I really wanted to keep them. Both this skirt and skirt have now gone on to new homes so this is the last time I wore them.


I love this outfit (although this is the cold weather variation). I'm really getting into steampunk pin-up as a look.


Resurrecting an old favorite dress and remembering how much I love it.


Changing up the way I wear my corsets now that I have the reduced rack and modified corsetry.


A new corset with an old dress, another one that I decided not to keep (the dress, not the corset).


More playing with corsets and day dresses. Just swinging up my steampunk style.


I resurrected this dress to see if it still fit. And it did! It's pretty outrageous, does not pack well, and I don't wear it often so I am not sure how much longer it will stay in my wardrobe. But for now, still here.


All the outfits I wore for San Diego Comic Con. Battling heat and crowds made this a bit of a challenge, and always does. But I was happy with the results, and the AB was with me to take photos.


Borderlands events ended my year, making this red skirt my most frequently worn piece for 2017. Money well spent if you ask me.

There were a few other events in there where I didn't get a good outfit shot. I'm bad about remembering to ask someone to take a photo.

I did one major crating project in 2017, which was painting this corset. Other than that no sewing or tailoring or anything. Just some basic repairs.


Reminder! 



Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gail Carriger Bids Goodbye to Vintage Searsucker, Velvet, eShakti & More ~ Let the 2017 Closet Purge Commence


I went through this massive purge recently, frankly I've changed shape quite a bit since my surgery and not everything fits well anymore. Plus I really just want to slim down my wardrobe, I have too much clothing. Some of these I haven't worn in several years.

Modern Made Retro Dresses



I got this dress from Nordstrom Rack, it's not vintage. I like it but the slip under is too short, it doesn't fit well in the waist and it's sleeveless (I'm not into sleeveless these days). I also already have a 1930s style dress in this color that I tend to reach for if I'm wanting bright pink.



This one also came from Rack years ago, here it is in a steampunk style. The sleeves are now too tight and I find it a bit too short for my taste. I requires a slip which negates any advantage on a hot day.  And I just have to admit blush isn't a super flattering color on my skin tone.


 Cream lace dress, another Rack find. It is easy to get on, travels well, and packs beautifully, but I just don't wear it. It's slightly the wrong length for my taste and it's sleeveless. Which I'm just moving away from.


This ruched black dress. It's great, it hides a million sins, it packs. But... it's a little black dress. I have too many already. This one is not quite stretchy enough to show off my waist and (say it with me) it's sleeveless.

Vintage Dresses



1960s vintage teal velvet last worn for the Waistcoats & Weaponry book tour. I love this dress, it's flattering on but without my epic Rack it's just too big. It's so well made with lining and tucks and such that it simply can't be taken in, either. Here's hoping some lovely size 8-10 finds it and falls in love.


1950s striped seersucker makes me very happy, and I love this material. But the dress has never really fit me well and now it's just gone all pear shaped. Or perhaps that's me? I just don't love it anymore. And it doesn't have pockets.


1970s knitted set, shirt & skirt, both are a nubby cream acrylic knit. I think I like the idea of knitted sets more than the execution. I thought this set would both be so versatile and serviceable but frankly, I barely wear either the top or the skirt. Too warm, slightly scratchy. I'm also getting rid of the purple blouse shown with the skirt of this set. The third picture is of me right before I bought it (I'm wearing it over other clothes) but still, see the former rack? Whoa.


This black and white skirt. Massive sentimental value and great memories and affection ~ ask me at a signing some time and I will tell you the story, but it doesn't fit right anymore. It's time to let it go.

Goodbye Eshakti

These dresses served me well and brilliantly, and opened my eyes to the joys of eShakti. But after my surgery they are just way too big in the chest and that's just an area it's impossible to easily tailor. So I pass them on in the hopes they go on to find an equally well endowed young lady who, I hope, will be surprised and delighted to find something that actually fits.




Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.