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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger


One of the things the Victorian era saw, Fashionable Reader, was an exploration of that liminal space through casual around the house wear.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Wrapper 1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here we have the wrapper that was only meant to be seen by family.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Dressing Gown  early 1870s The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Dressing Gown  1875  The Kyoto Costume Institute

 Dressing gowns, banyans and wrappers are often quilted all or in part.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Wrapper early 1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the signs of a wrapper is that the waist is designed to be loose or tied tight. Often they split up the front, like a carriage dress or a robe so they can be pulled over a nightgown or underpinnings, like a dressing down but slightly more tailored. Still NOT designed to be worn over a corset.


Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Peignoir 1860-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Peignoir  1880s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Peignoir seems to be a catch all term.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Morning Dress  1860  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Morning dresses were initially gowns for the breakfast table that did not require a corset.They're characterize by a looser top lots of details in the neck and sleeves.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Morning Dress  1872-1873  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the things we see evolving (and limits being tested) after the 1950s through the 1900s is the idea of what was not meant to be seen (undergarments and nightgowns) to what was initially only meant to be seen by family or lovers (wrappers & peignoirs) to receiving casual around house guests at breakfast (morning dresses) to I'm comfortable at home and I want to show my wealth with yet another space & occasion specific outfit (the tea gown).

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Tea Gown  late 1870s  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Tea gowns were an evolution of the morning gown.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Tea Gown  1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Tea Gown  1875-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
1Harpers Bazar New York Sat June 13 1891 Dressing Gowns Nightshirts

This evolution is coupled with the rise of the middle class, the sexual revolution (including contraception and woman's suffrage) and various other factors.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Bed Jacket  1885  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Dressing Jacket  1885-1890  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 We see a culmination in this towards the turn of the century in the popularity of (and wide-scale use of the word) negligées and lingerie sets, which specifically implies an article of clothing that is sexual in its nature for it is meant to be seen by a lover.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Negligée  1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This kind of clothing, prior to the first sexual revolution, would not have been acceptable for a fashion house to make, let alone a fashionable lady to purchase.

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Negligée Callot Soeurs, 1898-1900s The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail CarrigerRelaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Lingerie Set  1880s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

There was also head wear that was designed to be worn exclusively around the house, but that's a whole other story...

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
House Cap 1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Primrose!

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Boudoir Cap 1895 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
nightgown 1894  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail Carriger
Dressing Gown  1897-1899  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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.

Gail Carriger's Tour of the New Office + Writing Q&A







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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.

New Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger


I simply haven't been into shopping much recently, Fashionable Reader. Which is  GOOD thing. All in all I shop too much.

However I have a new book out, Reticence. And instead of my usual reward of new shoes, I decided I deserved something special. This is the final book in (for now) my final series in the Parasolverse, so I bought this ridiculous thing of Etsy.


Obviously when I ordered it I thought it was a great deal smaller! 

The vendor is out of Russia so I guess everything is bigger in Russia! 

You see I wanted to round out my teapot purse collection with a red one, since I already have a black kettle and a cream colored bessie. 

New Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger

New Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger


However this red one is so big I'm not sure how often it'll be traveling with me. But I will certainly use it for local events.

New Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger

New Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger New Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger

 Reticence!



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.

Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger


Went to the Degas exhibit a little while ago, Fashionable Reader. Here's a retrospective on some of the straw hats of the 1890s that I saw there. These may, or may not, show up on Primrose in the forthcoming Custard Protocol book.

Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger
Image taken by Gail Carriger, do not share without attribution
Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger

Made me think of Ivy...

Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger

Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger
Image taken by Gail Carriger, do not share without attribution
Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger

Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail Carriger
Image taken by Gail Carriger, do not share without attribution
 
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.

Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin


I visited both the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Naitonal Museum of Ireland in Dublin, here's some fun fashion related stuff that I saw...

In Dublin


Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin

Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin

In Edinburgh 



Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin

Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin

Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin

Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin

Fun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and Dublin




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.

In Red & Black Pencil Dress in Alameda for the Launch of Reticence


Recently I had an event in Alameda, CA for the launch of Reticence. Because the cover is quite red, I dug into my closet for an old favorite...


This is a red Jessica Wiggle dress from way back in the day. No longer available. 
I paired it with a little back cardy, black vintage leather gloves, cut jet tassel jewelry, a facinator from Amazon. You can find many items similar to these on this list. 
The shoes are from Shoes of Prey, make your own, a service I adore the idea of but hasn't really worked for me. 

In Red & Black Pencil Dress in Alameda for the Launch of Reticence

Anyway this was a fun out fit to throw together. And I do mean thrown, I had planned on a different dress but I find I have out grown it and don't like the way it looks with this foundation corset so I went into the chopping pile and I had to scramble for an alternative on the fly. 

In Red & Black Pencil Dress in Alameda for the Launch of Reticence

The previous night I wore a new eShakti for a launch at Borderlands, with leopard accessories: 

In Red & Black Pencil Dress in Alameda for the Launch of Reticence

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.

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!


Here are all the outfits I wore in Denver recently. I was mostly pleased that I managed to wear the right clothes for the weather... always a risk when packing. And never easy with an event of a Comic Con size.

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!

Day One: Black with Pink Print Maxi Dress from eShakti 

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!

Hat was made for me by a fan.
Dress is from eShakti. Yes it has pockets! (Remember you can make many of their dresses into a maxi dress if you like.)
Leather gloves are vintage. Similar on Amazon.

Day Two: Blue Pattern Maxi Dress

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!

Maxi dress on sale from Nordstrom Rack.
Mesh gloves from Amazon.
Teapot Bag from Amazon.
Turban hat from Amazon.
Sunglasses from Amazon.

Day Three: Purple Pattern Pleated Day Dress

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!

Day dress is vintage 1970s.
Mesh gloves from Amazon.
Teapot Bag from Amazon.
Turban hat from Amazon.
Sunglasses from Amazon

Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple!

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.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


In which Gail discusses, at length (or should I say at short?) her volatile relationship with capris.

I can't stand cropped trousers.

No, there it is, I simply can't.

I agonized over this blog post and finally decided, Fashionable Reader, that I owed you honesty.

This is, of course, my opinion, if you are a fan of the crop than you should wear it. But . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I have dabbled in every single one of the styles I discuss herein.

Most, I eventually rejected. Like the middi skirt, I feel the capri foreshortens me by chopping me at the calf. I believe wholeheartedly that just above or just below the knee is a far more more flattering look.

I'm only 5'6" and curvy, a cropped pant is just Not Good. Often they are even unflattering on models.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I tend to feel to get away with it I must wear very high heels.

I think the rail skinny pixie-type can carry them off, like Audrey Hepburn. But I don't look like her, and neither does most everyone else on this earth.

The tall girl (5"8'+) can sometimes work a capri, but please make certain you stick to only a few inches below the knee (otherwise it looks like you just have pants that are too short).

Now, a word on the subject of definitions:
  • Capris
  • Clam diggers
  • Pedal pushers
  • Cropped pants
  • Breeches (as opposed to britches or jodhpurs)
  • Knickerbockers
On the internet and in fashion blogs, there seems to be a good deal of confusion as to which cropped trousers of which style mean what. So I am going to bypass the whole discussion and give you my own definitions. Wha ha ha!

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Department stores tend to file any pant that ends below the knee and before the ankle as a capri. Since I'd rather avoid department store lingo, I'm going to ignore that word altogether from here on out. We will broach each style with a look at both vintage and modern takes, ending with my suggestion of what you might choose, if you simply MUST wear a cropped trouser.

Breeches

The general idea behind breeches is that they are slightly baggy at the top and then come in tight at or just below the knee, then then end or stay tight down to the ankle.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I own a few pairs of breeches, both with a very equestrian look to them. One is part of a 1930s riding suit in grey with matched blazer, very Madame Lefoux. The other are light-weight brown that I have been known to wear them to ride a bicycle. (Sadly, I've no pictures of either.) In general, I prefer to pair this style with riding boots and use for more casual steampunk events. If you are going to go for breeches, try something like this . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Clam Diggers

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Sigh, is there anything good that can be said of clam diggers? I tend to throw this term at any pair of baggy cropped pants either shortened or (more commonly) cuffed/rolled. So unflattering.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

If you must wear clam diggers, do it for digging clams. If you are quite slender and tall, you might be able to carry off this retro take, but proceed with caution!

Of course if you are going for the super hot butch look, carry on, I'll be drooling in the corner.

Culottes

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

They are very wide legged, cut short anywhere after the knee and to the ankle, can be quite skirt-like. Ugh.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I would not sleep well tonight if I suggested, in good conscious, that anyone ever wear culottes. But if you must, go all the way to vintage and don't look back.

Cropped Trousers

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I use this phrase to refer to any mensware inspired trouser that is then cut short, usually just above the ankle. To me this kind of trouser has the look of someone who just didn't buy the right length.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Ralph Lauren 2011 Fall Runway
Who can carry of a cropped pant? Well a man from the 1950s, and adorable gay boy . . . Or, if you must, punk it up with chunky boots in the same color as the pants. Or the Femme Dandy look can sometimes work this, but I think they need to be a LOOK. You know?

Knickerbockers

Besides being fun to say, knickerbockers are quite baggy and come in tight at the knee. Traditionally worn by paperboys, they still have that feel. They were also worn for gentlemen sporting events, hunting and fishing, a so have a strong tweed association. Sometimes, unfortunately, they are still worn for golf.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

They tend to be baggier than breaches and don't have the longer cuff. I own a pair of black which, again, I mainly use for steampunk and bicycle riding. If you are going to wear knickerbockers, you'll always look a little costumey . . run with it.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Pedal Pushers


This is a style I wear. I tend to define them as tighter and almost legging-like. I prefer ones that ended just below the knee or right abov the swell of the calf, and I wear them with very high heals.

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

If you wear pedal pushers, I suggest going retro with the whole look. Otherwise they can seem too sloppy and lazy. A knit top instead of a t-shirt and a simple scarf tied about your head can make all the difference. For example if you are on the pixie end of the spectrum . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Of if you are bit more statuesque and of Alexia's proportions, try something like this . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


Which brings me to my final thoughts.


In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


 No matter what your look or size, in my mind the most flattering form of a cropped trouser is something that ends just below the knee. This look can be chic and modern even work appropriate, ultra retro, or punky cute. To that end I leave you with three of my favorites, hoping that if you are hellbent on the cropped trouser that you consider these options first . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyIn Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


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.

Gail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden


Here I am at a recent event, DemiCon in Des Monies, Fashionable Reader.

I'm wearing a burgundy shirt that actually fits the rack perfectly (I know, crazy). It started life as a raspberry color but I dyed it. Now I question this choice, it would be more useful more pink, but that was a long time ago when I was in a goth phase and felt that raspberry was too girly for me.


I've paired it with my dark garden pin strip vest corset. This is an old one, probably about 15 years, but they still offer a version of it. It's called the Pointed Victorian with Straps, it has a full back and tiny pockets. I would recommend it for the smaller busted and those of a Madame Lefoux inclination, but honestly am not sure I would order again given the size of my chest. Although I do LOVE the full back. 
Gail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden

Here's the best shot I have of the full outfit. I'm wearing it with a fish tail pin-stripe pencil skirt that is also an old favorite that I've had forever. And a pair of old Via Spiga spectators. 

  • The turban I'm wearing can be found here for $11. It's one of my favorites because it's relatively light weight and not too hot.  
  • Tea kettle purse (behind my hand in the photo) is here for $60. 

Sadly both the earrings (my MUCH beloved typewriter key ones) and the small black un-lined leather gloves died on this trip. I'm not too upset, it's the consequence of wearing and enjoying clothing, sometimes it dies on you. I might be able to fix the earrings but the gloves are gone. Time to start the hunt again. Finding unlined leather is kinda a beast. 

And, that's it, hope you enjoyed this outfit. 

Stay sharp!

Miss Gail 

Gail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden

P.S. Here's two of my favorite book tie ins from DemiCon!

Gail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden
Security at DemiCon 30 as a BUR agent

Gail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden
Tea Scout from Chapter 42 with Timeless Banner


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.

Gail Carriger in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco (Bonus Glove Length Terms)


Hello my fashionable darlings, been a while since I did an outfit post.

Here is what I wore to a speaking gig recently. This was a writer's conference in San Francisco. So It's local to me and I could wear stuff that I don't normally pack. Either because it takes up too much space, doesn't pack well, or isn't versatile. The skirt is eShakti and the top is vintage.

Gail Carriger in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco  (Bonus Glove Length Terms)

This is what I chose. It was also relatively cold that day and I took into consideration that fact that I would be there a full day. Walking around a lot and also sitting on panels in chairs and stools.

Gail Carriger in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco  (Bonus Glove Length Terms)

The Outfit!

Top Down

  • Hat: 1950s red felt beret style fold felt number, vintage store
  • Earrings & Broach: 1980s costume jewelry augmented by me. The broach the earrings originally came with died as did the tassel dangling from the broach I'm wearings so I cannibalized the two broaches, which is why the metal doesn't match. I have considered hanging a Bumbersnoot from it instead. But I love those earrings and wear them all the time so having a matched broach is a GOOD thing. Thoughts? 
  • Necklace: Obligatory pen necklace, sadly no longer available. I don't know what I will do if mine die. 
  • Top: 1940s velvet. This is the top part of a vintage suit the bottom of which is a simple velvet pencil skirt. The skirt no longer fits but I can still fit the top (yeah boob surgery). I have had this piece since high school, for years it was what I wore to funerals. It has the best fold over and big button details but because it is velvet and velvet eats light it doesn't photograph very well.  I got it on Haight Street in the 90s.
  • Belt: Slim red one, modern, from Target years ago (similar $7) (although if I were going to buy it over I'd actually buy this one $10, because it has no metal components and is therefore more versatile).
  • Gloves: Classic not lined black leather 3/4 vintage, thirfted (similar $40). 
  • Skirt: eShakti, yes it has pockets, I usually use this as an underskirt but I bought specifically because it also works as a day skirt. 
  • Shoes: Modern, very low kitten heel patent almond-toe Mary Janes. Remarkably comfortable AND waterproof (similar $32)
Gail Carriger in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco  (Bonus Glove Length Terms)

Glove Lengths

  1. Short: Ends at Base of Thumb (AKA drivers)
  2. Wrist: About 2 inches from base of thumb
  3. Classic: 4 to 6 inches, ending below the elbow (technically the ones I am wearing above as classics)
  4. Elbow: Traditionally 8 inches from the base of the thumb. Recently, up to 12 will be defined as this length. 
  5. Opera:16 -23 inches from the base of the thumb to the upper arm, for a glove to be called "opera" it MUST GO OVER THE ELBOW
Unfortunately if you are shopping for gloves NO ONE obeys these codified descriptions. Sigh.

There you have it. Me in mostly black, not something I do often, but this outfit suited this event and people seemed to like 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.
Relaxing Victorians: Casual Wear From Unseen to Seen to Seen by Only a Few ~ Wrappers & Peignoirs & Dressing Gowns to Morning Dresses & Tea Gowns to Lingerie from Gail CarrigerGail Carriger's Tour of the New Office + Writing Q&ANew Teapot Purse ~ Larger & RED from Gail Carriger Reticence Extras: CP3 Straw Hats of the 1890s for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series by Gail CarrigerFun Historical Costumes from National Museums in Edinburgh and DublinIn Red & Black Pencil Dress in Alameda for the Launch of Reticence Outfits for Denver Pop Culture Convention 2019 Maxi Dresses & Purple! In Which Gail Carriger Goes Into An Emotional Quandry Over Capris ~ The Good, The Bad & The UglyGail Carriger at DemiCon in Burgundy & a Pin Striped Corset by Dark Garden Gail Carriger in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco  (Bonus Glove Length Terms)

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