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Gail Carriger: Shopping My Closet ~ Discoveries


Because of my recent big investment in a custom corset (designed for 1950s style) at Dark Garden I haven't been doing much shopping recently. What I did do (in an effort to put together that Edwardian outfit) was upend my costume collection.

I found these shoes:

Gail Carriger: Shopping My Closet ~ Discoveries

I forgot how useful they are, being both white and cream.

Gail Carriger: Shopping My Closet ~ Discoveries

I discovered to my delight that my Regency Evening Dress, which hasn't fit me in YEARS, actually fits me again since the Rack Reduction. Although I need help buttoning it up the back. It's designed to go with the accessories from my 1850s Picnic Dress, although with a proper bonnet, of course. Royal blue and cream is a favorite combination of mine.

All I'm saying is... bring on the Austen Ball people!

Gail Carriger: Shopping My Closet ~ Discoveries

I found this cute little top hat which was a gift, but is hard to travel with so I haven't worn it much. I think I might putter about concocting something to go with it, possibly using my grey corset. 

I also discovered that several of my dresses and skirts need some serious repairs. And when am I going to have time for that, I ask you?

I have Gaslight Gathering in San Diego coming up and I can pack anything I feel like for that event because 1. I'm flying Southwest, 2. It's not far away, and 3. It's mostly indoors and clean and not too hot. I'll be debuting the updated and modified to be more steampunk (and less bust) corsets there. I have an old Mini Murry cosplay I might dig up, and yes I happen to own custom fangs. What you doubted me?

Expect to see some really fun pictures from that event next month.
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat


So for the next day at WorldCon I wore this old favorite yellow skirt with black dots. It's Max Studio and if I had to buy a new one I'd get something like this instead $20 white with black dots, high waisted. I think it'd fit better in my wardrobe. 

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat

The shirt actually started life as a vintage 1960s black linen pencil dress and I cannibalized it into a peplum blouse. Dress looked a lot like this originally. 

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat
Maggy Rouff  1950s  Vintage Fashion INC

I'm wearing these two pieces with steampunk earrings (similar $20), pen necklace (here $18), and flat aerosole sandals to save my feet (here $40). I also added a tilted teardrop hat. You can follow my adventure dyeing this hat here

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat

I love this hat but it is hard to travel with so you don't see me in it often. Here's a bit of a sample of other tilted hats...

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat
1872  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat
1943  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted Hat
2014 Ralph-Russo

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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets 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 New Hats and Follies

Some new hats have come into my life recently, Fashionable Reader. They are very silly.

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies
No, not quite that silly.

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies
This one is hard to see when it's not on but it's one of those follies (or fancies) that is on a band, has net, a silly bow, and black feathers. I look forward to wearing it soon with one of my black and white outfits. It looks a little bit like this when it is on:

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies

I'm strangely excited about it. It may come to ComicCon with me.

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies

Here's one that started out black and white but I changed the dots to red, I thought it would be more useful that way. It's very spiky and outrageous. Both of these were gifts from my Mum, I believe she found them at Ross.

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies

For this one, the tiny hat portion was a gift and the decorating and feather poof were my own additions. It has an almost Renaissance noblewoman feel to it. I think it's going to become one of my steampunk hats, it will travel better than the tiny top hats and so be more useful for distance conventions.

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies

Speaking of tiny, this one is about two inches wide. It's on a little hair clip and was made for me as a gift from my grade school art teacher. (She is one of the teachers I thank in my forward to the first Finishing School book.) I love it because, apart for the emotional connection, it really will pack well. These days, everything is about packing. Here is one about the same size:

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies





And here are a few other silly hats, just because . . .

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies
 1943
Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies

Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies
 1949
Gail Carriger's New Hats and Follies

Happy four day work-week to all the US readers. I hope you had lovely weekends.



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: Shopping My Closet ~ DiscoveriesGail Carriger Retro 1940s Black Velvet Top and Polkadotted Skirt and Tilted HatGail Carriger's Book Tour Outfits ~ Team Purple!Gail Carriger: 13 of My Favorite Things Right Gail Carriger in NY in a Steampunk Blazer and Black & White Skirt 2014Gail Carriger in a Pink 1930s Bright Pink Maxi Dress in the Bay AreaThen & Now ~ Black HoodThen & Now ~ Black HatGail Carriger's New Hats and FolliesGail Carriger in Europe: Travel, Packing, Outfits, Events

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