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Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

After a day spent in the cream, brown and blue dress, I changed into my black and green i.magnin for the Eisner Awards ceremony.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & GreenGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green


Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

I paired it with black, as usual, for I still have not found the perfect green shoes, clutch, and gloves.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green
Proenza Schouler Tiki stingray clutch at barneys.com


I'm looking, but that emerald green is scarce on the ground. I did, however pick up an adorable feather green and black headpiece at the Alameda Vintage Fair a few months back and with the addition of a broach to one side am rather pleased with the resulting look.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & GreenGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & GreenGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

The necklace is hanging woonky, but its a lucite piece I found on my last trip to london at a little fleemarket near St. Charles. I'm not happy with my current earring options to go with so that might have to get added to the list.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green
 Hair Ornament  Mid-19th century  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Back to the hair feather thingy. Above is a vintage look that kind of had the same feel to me. Almost cabaret, or something.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

This black and green dress is a tulip style, which can be flawed as it often adds bulk to the hips. Since I'm top heavy I rather like this feature as I think it balances me out. It's better with heels though.

And for the characters?


Something for Sophronia in the Finishing School series. 

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green
1850-1855 Evening Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And this could be a drawing of her.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green
Toussaint Fernand-The_Green_Dress

Something for her friend Dimity, who is a bit more flashy and loves velvet.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green
1855-1857  The Victoria & Albert Museum

That's it for now! Still more Comic Con outfits to come.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & Green

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

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I think, Fashionable Reader, I may finally be over my jet lag. I know, I'm tempting fate with that statement. I'm still taking it as a sign that I should put my wild trek through Europe behind me. You know what that means? A wrap up post about the outfits. What else?

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I dithered for a while about how to approach this post. Finally I decided it'd be most interesting for you to see what I packed and how I then made up the outfits. I hope this is the correct choice. It does make for a pretty long blog post though, please bare with me? (Pun intended.)

I had only one small suitcase so I had to be very judicious in my choices. Here are the event items I packed . . .

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

 Three basic dresses. As ever when I'm on limited space and time I stuck with black, white, and red; day, transition, evening.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

To this I added the top part of the check suit and a two piece red print number I thought could be parsed out easily. I think it's always a good idea to include something that can be used independently as a bottom or a top.

The biggest issue with packing for me is shoes. They add to the weight (which is so restricted these days!) and they are awkward and don't flatten easily. If I hadn't had the two steampunk events I would have left the red pumps behind but the others didn't work with that particular outfit. As it was, I had to pack one pair in my carry on bag.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events


Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I took some light weight tops so I could turn the dresses into skirts as needed.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I needed layers because I was going to so many different countries and different climates. Going from warmth to cold and back again is challenging to pack for, and means lugging lots of extra items.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I took the black steampunk blazer because it's just big enough to go over layers of everything else and my 1940's ultra warm red wool sweater. (I'm thinking of changing out the black buttons to red or metal to make the sweater more versatile.) I am allergic to wool, but if I keep it from contact with my skin the warmth is worth the risk.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

This was the biggest item for me to carry, my winter coat. So big and so clunky it took up the same amount of packing space as all the rest of my clothing combined. But I can pop it on over everything and suddenly I look elegant. And I like that I stand out when I wear it, amongst everyone else's sea of black. So I took the risk. Strangely enough, I was most grateful on the flight over, it was freezing!

For me, the key to different outfits when traveling is lots of different accessories so that I can shift an outfit with as little added bulk as possible.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

My black hat is the only one that really packs well, so I took the two hairbands instead of more hats.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

This is a sample of the jewelry I took, since I packed many sparkles I won't show it all to you, because far more interesting, if you ask me, is how it all gets put together. There were also assorted gloves (red, black, white), tights, nylons, and so forth.

Previous outfits already reported on, Eastercon check black and white and the Steampunk outfit for Foyles & Nottingham Waterstones.

London, Booksellers Tea Meet & Greet


Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

This is what one of my outfit lay-outs looks like, I don't wear all of the times at once, only what I have packed and what suits the occasion, weather, and foot blisters. But making these outfit boards reminds me not to forget anything, my memory is worse and worse in my old age. I believe I added some little black and gold steampunk erring to the mix.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Stockholm, Library Reading


Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

You see what I mean about changing out the buttons on the sweater? The black didn't quite work with this outfit.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Budapest, Book Fair


Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Budapest was warmer than I expected so I shifted to this outfit because the black dress is the coolest I had, paired it with the white and red top.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Budapest, Blogger Meet Up


Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

This outfit is a little bit more street retro than actually vintage. For the blogger event I substituted cream nylons to keep it as old fashioned as possible.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I'm very into turquoise these days. Getting in touch with my old 80s love of the Southwest, I suppose. This shirt is one I bought from a thrift store and then tailored down to fit my waist which gave it more of a peplum look. I liked it so much on the trip I'm thinking I will integrate it more into my everyday wardrobe this spring.

Barcelona, Book Fair


Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I thought the black dress with the flower details felt very Spanish so I just popped that on with a black jacket. I felt guilty for so much black, you know me, I try to avoid that, but this was nearing the end of my trip and I admit it, I copped out. I was pretty cold, who knew Barcelona could be cold this time of year?

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

Lastly here are a few street retro looks I styled for daily wear, out and about on my own. Because I had no traveling companion I don't have photos of me actually in the outfits, but I thought you mite like to see how the retro things I packed were made a little more modern.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

I wore the boots on the plane (along with skinny black slacks and a loose jersey shirt). If there is any chance of rain, I always travel in flat riding boots. They are more versatile. I also always wear gloves when traveling, especially on public transport. I'm not paranoid, I swear, but I do believe the gloves keep me from getting sick. Plus my hands are usually cold.

Gail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events
I'm into this pale blush color right now. It's a risk with my complexion so I try to put a pop of bright color nearer to my face like a scarf or the turquoise jewelry.

I think that's enough for now, don't you?

Pip pip!

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

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012

I jumped down to LA on Saturday, Fashionable Reader, for the first Passion & Prose conference. It was marvelous fun. I wore one of my new dresses.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012 Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012
This is an Edith Flagg California from Moon Zoom in Santa Cruz, about $50.

I love that it has two parts, so it can go from day to night. It's a stretch cotton so it fits the Rack well, and the applique detailing on the dress around the neck and waist draw attention away from the problem area. I kept the little jacket on the whole day (sadly it already needs repairs, ah vintage). I paired it with red accessories.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012

It worked well, the purse and Miz Mooz shoes were much admired. I didn't end up needing any of the jackets. I did have to iron the dress after travel, but this is par for the course with cotton.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012

The event was great fun. There were talks and Q&As and signings, and mingling at the tables, panels and more talks, and more signings.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012

We dinned on a lovely salad followed by grilled cheese & tomato soup (best tomato soup I have ever had!) and finished with ice cream with toppings and macaroons. Best set hotel meal I've ever eaten.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012
With the organizers Terry & Susan.

If you ever get a chance to go to this event, I can't recommend it highly enough.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012
Giving the morning keynote.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012
Signing the book.

I also got to visit the new LA Mysterious Galaxy store, which was stunning!

Gail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

Generally, Fashionable Reader,  I advice against and LBD. Don't get me wrong, I think everyone should have one (I believe, I have about 7) but it can come off as boring and thoughtless. Yes, it's easy . . . too easy. But I was flying carry one and I thought I might be hot, and I didn't want to do a repeat of any of my New Orleans outfits, so I pulled out this little darling. And this, my dears, is why we all should have such a beastie.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy DressGail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

I always wear my LBD with a slip because the seams are weak and it is prone to ripping, which it did on this trip. Thanks goodness for my travel repair kit. I wore it was flats because this was day two of FenCon, and I wanted to give my feet a rest. Also, it has a nice flippy bottom and a relatively short shirt, which looks OK with flats, even on a short girl.

I wore it two ways for the convention, with a knit top during the day, and swanked up for evening.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy DressGail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

It's 1920s ~ 1930s in style. I used to wear it for swing dancing all the time. It has little bow details at the waist, and it has a waist, which makes me think it's probably actually made in the 1980s rather than actually vintage. It also fits a Rack far better this way. Generally speaking, you are unlikely to EVER see me in anything 1920s. And that, my dears is a future Bad for the Boobs Blog in the making.

A sampling of the accessories I wore during the course of the day at FenCon.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy DressGail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy DressGail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

The top s from H&M, can't remember the price, probably about $20.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

This is one of the beauties of the little black dress. It can be both a skirt and a dress, working double duty as two outfits, so long as weather is conducive. In this case it was perfect as the parties int he evenign were warmer than the panel rooms during the day, which were high AC.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
In the black dress with a collection of ladies and parasols! I popped on some stilettos for the photographing because, well, how could I not?

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
Making up to Joe Dalek. 

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
At World Fantasy back in 2009. 

No one came to have me sign anything. I was sad. (Well, not really. My book was only just out and I was sitting next to Ken and gabbing the whole time.) I paired the dress with diamond-style jewelry and long black gloves for a super elegant look.

Some vintage takes on the Little Black Dress.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
1930s dress via Augusta Auctions

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
Black Flippy Pierre Cardin dress ca. 1965-1968 via Manchester City Galleries

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy DressGail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
Cold Comfort Farm screen shots of Flora's LBD

A LBD for Alexia! (Well, LBB, but almost.)

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress
1880 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Ar

And finally, a book to read with your little black dress?

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

Blade Dancer by S. L. Viehl. A sexy space opera about ninja-style assassins. Set in her StarDoc world this is one of those most wonderful of things, and stand alone novel. Strong romantic elements, high action, and some pretty gruesome moments. It's one of my keepers and I reread it often.

Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy Dress

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories

This is one of my all time favorite dresses. I think I wear it almost as often as my black and white check suit. Although it's not quite as versatile.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
From my second photo shoot back in 2008. Taken by Vanessa Applegate. 
Sadly the little bag has since died.

I purchased it from Moon Zoom in Santa Cruz, CA for about $40. It was missing a belt and, because of the red trim (and red is hard to match) I had to go on an epic hunt for the perfect red belt. I finally found a quilted red patent one at Target for $20, which now lives with the dress.


The dress has pockets with red trim and buttons down the front giving it a shirt-dress feel. Because it is taffeta it is a little warm and doesn't travel well without wrinkling but I still wear it all the time. It's unlabeled and unlined so I don't believe it is designer. It certainly has that classic vintage look, though.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
“Abandon” dress ca 1948 and another ca. 1950 both Christian Dior 
via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dresses like it show up in printed light-weight fabrics for the summertime throughout the late 1940s and early 50s. It's such a flattering cut and style, so much better than the modern shirt-dress.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
Elizabeth Taylor unpacking at The Savoy 1951, and 1950 fashion plates.

I'm keeping an eye open for something like this dress for summer. Even though I generally prefer pencil dresses this one has taken hold of my heart. I also think it works better with flats than a pencil dress. The style not entirely old fashioned though, you can funk it up for the street if you like, and a version has shown up on the fall 2011 runways.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
Galadarling.com by Gala, and Sophie Anne from True Blood in a fashion shoot.

I've worn my lovely black number for various readings and conventions. So much that it's semi retired while I give some of my other dresses and airing.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
With my agent, Kristin Nelson, at the Denver WorldCon in 2008; and at a reading in 2009

It has an unnecessary zipper up the back. The first time I wore it I was traveling without a lady's maid and forgot to zip it up. Thus I showed up for dinner with my agent in a highly unfit state! So embarrassing. Shortly after meeting her face-to-face for the first time, she was zipping me up. That must be some kind of euphemism for the author/agent relationship.

As you can see from the second photo above, I went looking for an underskirt. Found one on Haight Street for about $15. I had to take down the hem to add length but it ended up being perfect.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories

Red is difficult. It's a hard color to match and some find it a hard color to wear. I'm empowered by red and I used this dress as an excuses to go all out on red accessories. I might, just possibly, be still using it as an excuse, particularly for shoes. 

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
Shiny flats, Nordstrom Rack $15, Miz Mooz $50
Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
Via Spiga sandals, Nordstrom Rack $50; Via Spiga Wingtips Nordstrom Rack $50 
(color modified by me, future blog post pending)

I rarely wear this dress with the sandals. Despite what it might look like in the photo above, they are slightly too dark a red and the dress is too winter for sandals, if you ask me.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
I love this bag, paid good money for it too $75, but I use it all the time.

As stated above, the purse I normally used for this outfit died the good death so I went hunting and ended up with this beauty. More recently this hat has come into my life. I can't wait to wear it with this dress.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
Felt hat, Bon Marche Thrift Store, Sonoma $7.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red AccessoriesGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
Opera length red gloves inherited from my grandmother; red hair band from Claires $10; red baubles with gold spacers ~ necklace from Buffalo Exchanged on Haight Street $20, earrings from Salvation Army in Campbell $5.

I actually rarely wear these gloves with this dress as they are too long and have to be put on before the dress, which means I can never take them off again. So mostly I opt for black. The necklace set was quite the quest. I managed to source this set first . . .

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories

I know, they look so similar, but this has silver chain and is a lighter more orangey red. Turns out they really didn't match anything in my wardrobe. In fact, I am thinking of getting rid of them . . . right . . . now! This red set plus a signed copy of Heartless to one person chosen at random from anyone who comments below, before my next post on Tuesday.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories

And here's a version for Alexia to wear.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories
1879-1881  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Night Two Black & GreenGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, EventsThen & Now ~ Black & GoldThen & Now ~ Black BeadedGail Carriger Red & Black Flowers in LA 2012 Gail Carriger in Dallas in a Black Flippy DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories

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