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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.

Gail Carriger in Steampunk Pinup Red & Black Corset at Teslacon


I broke out the big guns for Teslacon this year, Fashionable Reader. Which is to say the red and black leather and brocade flasy corset. AKA the Class 5. You can read more about how it came to be in this blog post.

Gail Carriger in Steampunk Pinup Red & Black Corset at TeslaconGail Carriger in Steampunk Pinup Red & Black Corset at Teslacon

 Outfit breakdown...
  • Fascinator with knit ladybug addition (similar $15)
  • Ornate pendant necklace, gift from family friend (similar $9)
  • Leaf earrings, gift from an ex (similar $10)
  • Pen necklace, no longer available (eeek!) 
  • Black chiffon wrap shirt (similar $20)
  • Class 5 corset, bespoke from Dark Garden, style no longer exists, I'd say the Alexandra is most similar, with wide, tie cross back straps.
  • RubyBlackbird corset buttons, no longer avaiable 
  • Long bias cut maxi-skirt, thrifted (similar $15)

Gail Carriger in Steampunk Pinup Red & Black Corset at Teslacon

With a lovely reader who is portraying Queen Victorian as drawn in the Soulless Manga.

I really do love this corset, very eye catching and I always get a ton of complements.
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 Wears a Vintage Black Coat Dress with Red Details for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose


Hello Fashionable Reader,

This is an old favorite vintage dress that needs some repairs, but I love it so. It also doesn't travel well and it's warm but I can't let it go so I still bring it out on occasion.

Gail Carriger Wears a Vintage Black Coat Dress with Red Details for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose

Outfit Breakdown


Gail Carriger Wears a Vintage Black Coat Dress with Red Details for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose

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 Wears a Retro Red Blouse with Black & White Check Pedal Pushers for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose


Hello fashionable reader, this was my first outfit for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose...

Since I had to load up the car, drive a few hours, and then unload it, I chose a pretty casual outfit for the first day.

Gail Carriger Wears a Retro Red Blouse with Black & White Check Pedal Pushers for WorldCon 2018 in San Jose

Outfit Breakdown


I broke a strap on one of those shoes, gasp! Gotta take it in to be fixed.

It was a good first say outfit if a little warm. 

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 Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018


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...

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

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.

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

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.

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

Love you darlings!

Miss G

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

Gail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018

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 a Vintage 1950s Black Coat Dress with Red Accessories at BayCon 2017


BayCon used to be my con, you know way back in the day when I was first bouncing about in fandom (lots of comic book marvel cosplay). It was the first SF/F con I ever attended (not counting Star Trek). I haven't been back in years since it always takes place over the three day weekend in spring and that's a popular weekend for events. I am usually trundling about elsewhere. However, this year my local RWA chapter was invited down, and I happened to be in town, so I figured: why not?

Gail Carriger in a Vintage 1950s Black Coat Dress with Red Accessories at BayCon 2017

The dress is a black 1950s coat dress with big pockets, lined in red, as are the cuffs of the sleeves. Because it's satin it doesn't travel well so you'll usually only see me in it at local events. I do love it, though. I'm wearing two crinolines under it to give it volume, but it could take more.

Gail Carriger in a Vintage 1950s Black Coat Dress with Red Accessories at BayCon 2017
Me and my BFF RWA girls! Lea Kirk & Tess Rider

I've accessorized it with the following:

1. Vintage 1950s beret style felt hat.
2. Double strand of red beads with matching earrings, similar set for $25
3. Obligatory pen necklace, $20
4. Wide red vinyl belt, similar $30 (also comes in dark red)
5. Shoes of Prey pumps, wing tips, leather and patent designed by me, $200 (for my concerns working with Shoes of Prey please read this blog post)
Gail Carriger in a Vintage 1950s Black Coat Dress with Red Accessories at BayCon 2017

There it is. This is certainly a favorite outfit of mine. I'm hoping to get to wear it again soon.

Gail Carriger in a Vintage 1950s Black Coat Dress with Red Accessories at BayCon 2017
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.

Then & Now ~ Red & Black Brocade Dress


Then: For Sophronia

Then & Now ~ Red & Black Brocade Dress
1850 Evening gown of red silk brocaded with black rose, c.1850 pinteres

Almost Then: For Gail

Then & Now ~ Red & Black Brocade Dress
1959 Cocktail dress, 1959  From the Kent State University Museum Pinterest

Now

Then & Now ~ Red & Black Brocade Dress
2012 Tadashi-Shoji-American-Pie-Reunion-Madrid-Photocall

Matched Merch


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 Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


Saturday of Gaslight Gathering I wore my spoons corset. Because it was warm I didn't use the usually undergarments. And because I had travels I wore it with layered skirts instead of my usually floof.

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

The above from Jerry was the best picture to capture the complete outfit.

From top to bottom:
  1. Straw doll hat from Michaels that I decorate with a hot glue gun.
  2. Octopus applique necklace with matched earring, gift from a reader. 
  3. Obligatory pen necklace.
  4. Dark Garden Sweetheart Victorian corset that I took to with some serious button and spoons modding. 
  5. Corset busk covers from Ruby Blackbird (discontinued)
  6. Parasol holster, instructions on how to make from a thrifted pair of cargo pants here
  7. Long fish tail maxi skirt, thrifted (similar $20)
  8. Rock Republic layered mini-skirt from Nordstrom Rack (similar $30)
  9. Nomad flats by Mia (discontinued) one pair in 6.5 or you can search etsy, $30

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

I ran into my very first Prudence cosplay from the lovely Debbie!

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

And, the Tunstells tracked me down! I do so adore seeing my characters come to life!

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

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 Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


On the Friday night of Gaslight Gathering I pulled out all the stops. This is the first custom corset I ever ordered from Dark Garden, referred to as the Class 5.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

Right! So from the top down I am wearing...
  1. A buckrum tiny top hat that I ordered wholesale with a group of friends back in the day, and modded. Similar for $14.
  2. Pen nib earrings. ($12 on etsy)
  3. Colorstay lipstick in Covergirl 507 Ever Red $8 
  4. Custom choker & matched bracers (I'll talk about a bit more along with the corset)
  5. Teacup, saucer, teapot necklace. (wide range available from $8-$30)
  6. Velvet shrug, thrifted. (Similar $28, you can add ruffle if you like)
  7. Corset, Dark Garden custom, similar to the Alexandra (more to come) 
  8. Corset busk covers from Ruby Blackbird (discontinued)
  9. Plain black thin vintage gloves (similar)
  10. Trumpet skirt, red, $30
  11. Button boots from Miz Mooz (similar $200)
  12. Black retro purse (similar $80)

The Corset


My Class 5 is a variation on Dark Garden's Baroque, which they no longer offer, but the Alexandra is very similar. You can tell it's an older style for DG as it's more long and lean and less hourglass. Autumn has taken the store more into the deep curve, shall we say, over the years. It has custom red stamped leather applique which match the bracers and the choker.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


I used to work for Oberon Design and custom leather company at the same time as I was working for Dark Garden, this corset is an ode to that part of my life. 20 years ago now! I also have a matched belt and cuff. Because I was one of their managers, both companies made a lot of exceptions for me at the time. These days Oberon doesn't really do much in the clothing arena. Dark Garden, however, is usually happy to do as much custom as you like, couture is their specialty.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


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 in Black 1940s Velvet with Red Accessories in San Francisco  (Bonus Glove Length Terms) Gail Carriger in Steampunk Pinup Red & Black Corset at TeslaconGail Carriger Wears a Vintage Black Coat Dress with Red Details for WorldCon 2018 in San JoseGail Carriger Wears a Retro Red Blouse with Black & White Check Pedal Pushers for WorldCon 2018 in San JoseGail Carriger in Red Capris & Black Velvet with Leopard Accessories at Tucson Festifal of Books 2018Gail Carriger in a Vintage 1950s Black Coat Dress with Red Accessories at BayCon 2017Then & Now ~ Red & Black Brocade DressGail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San DiegoGail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San DiegoThen & Now ~ Dark Red Dress With Black

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