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Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy


In honor of Romancing the Werewolf, Fashionable Reader, I invited Modern Biffy to the blog today to bring you some VERY strong opinions on menswear.

Take it away... Biffy!

In my humble experience, men can be very difficult to dress. The ones who have an interest in fashion can often be the worst to deal with. For they know that there is a code to be hacked in manipulating others through image, so they are extra paranoid about it.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

My approach it to show them images and ask for input.

Which one do you like?

How do you want to dress?

What kind of impression do you want to give?

I've got some tips inherent in my Dressing for Conventions rant as well.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

I advise trying to focus attention in on the clothing itself, rather than the man who wears it.

Ask a man who he wants to look like and he'll say "Brad Pitt" or "George Clooney" or "James Bond."

That's hopeless.

Better to ask what he wants to look like. What kind of impression does he want to give?

Start directing his attention to the clothing rather than the man underneath it.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

 For example, very few body types can carry of this look:

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

 But a great many out there can do this one, and look marvelous.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

Suits 101

 I think that every man should own at least two suits ~ one grey and one black. These will hit pretty much every necessary event from weddings to funerals, and you can mix and match for casual occasions, like so:

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

This is a very modern look with the skinny trousers and mix of brown & black elements, but you get the idea. He's taken the black trousers from one suit and put them with the grey blazer of the other. How come he gets away with mixing chocolate brown, tobacco brown, grey, black, and a patterned tie? He kept all his lines clean and stuck with neutral colors.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
 A brown vintage version.

To experiment with color, the base components should be more matched, like so:

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

He's done all black with grey trousers and then two pops of matched red. The color will draw attention instantly, so if you want to rock the yellow socks, make certain your shoes are polished to a mirror shine because people will be looking at them!

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

But I am getting a little advanced here, shall we go back to the basics?

Those two suits?

Here's a break down of the necessary elements.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

1. Choose an English or an Italian cut.

2. In both black and grey.
Because of intended use, I always suggest the grey be of a lighter fabric than the black. Also, while cool, I am against linen, it wrinkles too easily.

A black suit is for:
Weddings that are formal, evening, autumn and winter, and/or inside that don't specify white tie, evening dinners and events, funerals, first time meetings with executives from foreign countries, any afternoon event that might lead into evening. Because this will serve your black tie needs, the trousers should not be cuffed. Tuxes, for the modern man, are usually so infrequently worn that it's OK to rent. So long as when you rent you make certain to get the right size.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

A grey suit is for:
Weddings that are informal, morning or afternoon, spring and summer, and/or outside that don't specify black tie, outdoor formal events that do not specify mourning jackets, christenings, lunchtime appointments, morning occasions. Try to go for slightly lighter greys rather than charcoal. Silvers, steels, blue tinged, or even dove tones. Think about eye color and complexion when selecting the tone of grey.

What about brown?
Serves the same as grey but for formal occasions will require all new accessories, so I'd opt for grey if you can.

Blue?
Has a nice vintage feel and I actually like a blue suit a lot. In lighter hues it could serve instead of the grey but is a daring choice. Navy has similar problems to brown.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy


3. Single breasted jacket. 
Looks best on most body types. Double breasted adds width and bulk.

Yes. It. Does.

I know, honey, you love it. It makes you feel a tough and all mafia-ish. Well, it also makes you look fat. Nash. If you're rail thin and you want to rock the vintage look, than why are you reading this blog? We are talking basics here, not advanced costuming.

I also suggest a notched narrower collar, but do experimented with various different style jackets. Remember the jacket MUST fit you in the shoulder, and around the back and middle, hems and cuffs can be taken up.

Jacket button rule?

From the top down . . .

Always
Sometimes
Never

Only two buttons?

From the top down . . .
Always
Sometimes but mostly never

Remember, however, to unbutton all of them when sitting.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
1964  The Victoria & Albert Museum

4. Flat front trousers.
For the effing love gentlemen! FLAT FRONT. Never ever pleated. Do you like the crotch poof? No one likes the crotch poof.

No one.

I don't know why they even manufacture pleated anymore. Always bring the shoes you intend to wear with with you to try on suits, so you can check the length of the trouser. Easier to shorten than to lengthen.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

5. Crisp white skirt.
With standard cuffs and collars. Leave the fancy ones for costumes. Again, this should fit the shoulder and neck and I suggest trying a "slim" or "modern" cut even if you are on the larger side. These terms actually mean that the shirts are made to fit closer to the body and can be more flattering as a result, adding less volume with less fabric. They often wear better under a jacket because they have less bulk. They also look better tucked in and don't poof as much.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

6. A relatively skinny black tie.
Black will serve for both suits and most needs so if you only want to buy one tie this would be it. If there are formal occasions in your future you might need a black bow tie as well. Yes, ready-tied is fine. (Hush don't tell Lord Akeldama.)

7. Trouser (or Dress) Socks.
"When wearing dress pants or casual pants, apart from jeans, the color of your socks should be dictated by the color of your pants and not by the shade of your shoes."
~ From Ask Men

8. Black formal shoes.
I leave the style up to you. I dislike a square toe, and kind of like a pointy modern look, but if you're struggling I'd opt for something simple. Oxfords are a great choice, wingtips if you want a little flash, spectators if you want a lot.

That is really all you need. Amazing.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
 1960s  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Packing for a trip?

Mix up your suits for other events. Use the grey trousers where you might wear jeans for a more formal daytime look. Invest in some nice colored fitted t-shirts (blue, green, graphic black & white) for less formal occasions for under the jacket. Add a great pair of dark wash boot-cut non-distressed jeans, and one or two fancy patterned shirts, a good trench or warm overcoat or a black leather blazer (depending on the weather) and you have the perfect wardrobe suited to almost any occasion.

Suit Samples

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMenswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
 Modern grey suit & a Lounge Suit 1911 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
How little has changed.

Modern and vintage takes on the grey suit. Note that the modern one is generally a slimmer cut and has been paired with a faint check shirt and brown accessorizes for a very contemporary twist? The vintage look paired grey with blue, a classic combination that never gets old (joke intended).

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMenswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
 Right is 1961  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Black formal suits modern and vintage. Again, note the looser cut in the vintage look? But otherwise little has changed. Although both vintage examples are three piece suits, which brings us to . . .

Addendum . . . Going Retro

So you have your two classic suits, what next?

The 3 Piece Suit.
I always suggest if a matched vest is offered for your suit that you spring for it. Why? Because it adds an instant vintage component to your look.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
 James Bond in a grey 3 piece, the vest has a small shawl collar.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMenswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
 Modern takes on the vest are both collarless. In the first we see a casual grey version without a tie and with brown shoes, and the second is a formal take with all the trimmings.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
Jean Patou in that late 1920s wearing with a double breasted cross over vest with a shawl collar under a single buttoned jacket.

Shawl collars are difficult to find now, but very vintage looking, so if you think you are only going to use the vest for steampunk, costume, and retro events than go for it.

As with jackets I strongly suggest single breasted vests (as opposed to double breasted waistcoats).

Also, its a good idea to pay close attention to where the top button of the vest sits (the neckline's stance). Not only does this dictate how much of the tie is seen but it should be dependent on the stance of the jacket. If the jacked buttons higher, the vest should go higher up, as seen in the very first look. When jacket is buttoned you should see the top button of the vest, sometimes the second to the top.

There are some fun ways to pars out a 3 piece. For example:

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMenswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
Jean Patou 1924

The check suit.
Madmen has much to answer for, this is one of them. I suggest making certain you have the bases covered. Then, if you are ready, go vintage shopping and find some kind of outrageous check suit or sport coat. Why not? Break all the rules, rock a wide tie too!

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

Sweaters
A pull-over v-neck sweater is a good addition to a man's wardrobe. It adds that vintage feel when worn with the white shirt, suit trousers, and a tie. Good for sporting events, added warmth, or the very casual meet-up. I'd go for a nice neutral soft blue, grey, or taupe/mushroom.


Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMenswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

The turtleneck.
The turtleneck with a suit is an . . . option. Be careful though. It can look quite pretentious.

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMenswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy

"Happily, Woman is much more susceptible to external polish than Man is."
~ Etiquette for Ladies, c. 1850

Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf Dandy
Romancing the Werewolf has the cutest cover ever & is up for preorder. 
Releases Nov 5th! 
Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

Lyall is wearing a Dark Garden Beau Brummel custom corset.

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

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger


Here, Fashionable Reader, I put together a bit of a design board for masculine steampunk garb. In honor of Romancing the Werewolf, my first gay romance set in my steampunk Parasolverse.

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger

I thought I'd provide you all with some fun images to inspire either for yourself or another. Because, my dears, these men are certainly inspiring!

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger
My dear friends. The gentleman at the front inspired Tunstell!

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger


Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger
My Darling friend portraying Lyall!

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger

Men of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail Carriger
Romancing the Werewolf has the cutest cover ever & is up for preorder. 
Releases Nov 5th! 
Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

Lyall is wearing a Dark Garden Beau Brummel custom corset.

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.

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger


Amazingly enough, at the Singapore Writers Festival two fantastic young ladies came dressed as Alexia & Ivy!

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger
Gail Ivy Alexia Festival

Isn't that the coolest? LOOK AT THE HATS!

Although, not that cool in the literal sense of the word because it's like the surface of a very damp sun in Singapore (or feels that way to me). It's humid, and 1 degree off the equator, and they are wearing full coverage Victorian gowns!

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger
By SG Yung

I saw them again the next day, in street wear and regular steampunk, and they re-introduced themselves to me as Alexia and Ivy. How adorable is that? (There were Irregular Choice shoes involved as well.)

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger
By Sg Yung


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.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger


A conversation on Twitter inspired this blog post, Fashionable Reader. I am so very immersed in the Victorian Era it often doesn't occurred to me to explain fashion. So, I thought this would be a good moment, with Prudence forthcoming, to talk about about the different silhouettes in my three book series.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Ivy and her hat, REM's character sketch

"The English attach too much importance to ceremonies merely conventional, and for which there seems no motive but the ever-changing decrees of fashion."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

  All 3 At A Glance

Sophronia/FS: Early 1850s ~ Alexia/PP: Mid 1870s ~ Prudence/CP: Mid 1890s

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1854  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1877  The Museum at FIT; Evening Ensemble  Hellstern & Sons, 1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Before we start rgr. Soulless: Confession time, one of the reasons I chose the 1870s to start with is how ridiculous the fashions were during that time period, very bustled and frilly. Of course history also had a say in why the 1870s as we;;, I'm a fan of Queen Victoria's Little Wars. Then it seemed quite natural to chose c. 20 years before and c. 20 years after, for the next two series. Of course, this is primarily for various character age reasons, but also because of the change in silhouette. And, fortunately for me, the humor writer, all three time periods are fashionably ridiculous in their unique way: and each very different from one another, as I hope you will see.

 The Finishing School Series

1851 - 1853

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1851 Wedding Dress, American Met Museum

For the author:
Main points of entry?
Sloping shoulders, low necklines, nipped in waists, increasingly wide bell skirts, puffy and wide sleeves. Younger ladies in pale colors.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Wedding dress, 1852 Dress for bride (via Angeliki Roumelioti pinterest); Wedding Dress 1852

What makes it silly?
Very wide a full skirts requiring lots of petticoats (as the cage crinoline had not yet been introduced).

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1854  Ball Gown The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1855-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
* 1854 saw the arrival of the cage crinoline in England. This is a skirt (or series of tape ribbons) with concentric circles of wire in it to make if poof.

Why for this series?
Good for espionage: the full skirts and wide pagoda sleeves hampered movement, but also are great for hiding things. Pockets could be put in and hidden everywhere. Fashion is rife with useful plot moments and vehicles for humor.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1853 The Empress Eugénie, famous for her elaborate toilettes, wedding dress
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1855  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The authroial drawback?
Hats were mostly confined to bonnets, not my personal favorite. Although hair was really quite ridiculous.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Bonnet 1854 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What were the men wearing?
Some carry over from the Regency Era, especially for formal occasions. Trousers relatively tight but knee britches had been abandoned except for boys and the countryside. Jacket styles began to include a wider range of cuts.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Coat ca. 1845-1853 The Victoria & Albert Museum; 1851_Parisian; Wedding Waistcoat 1854  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

What to watch for inspiration?
Cranford, North & South, Under the Greenwood Tree

What happened next?
Things got, if possible, even more ridiculous. Skirts just got wider and wider with the cage crinoline in play.
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Wedding Dress  1864  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Cage Crinoline  1862  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger

Want to learn more about the ever expanding hoop?

 

The Parasol Protectorate Series

1873 - 1876


For the author:
Main points of entry?
Many layers, lots of trim, many kinds of hats, full bustles, long sleeves, restricted movement, range of necklines and sleeve styles.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1874 The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Morning Dress  1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


What makes it silly?
Big back bustles (although not so big as the 1880s revival bustles), way too much trim and ribbons and bows and whatnot. Extremely bizarre hats. New experimentation in color ranges and pallets. Access to new and amazing fabrics from India and China.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1872-1874 Wedding Dress The Victoria & Albert Museum; Bustle 1873, Austrian, Made of cotton and horsehair
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Summer Corset  1872  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 
Why for this series?
The hats! The fabrics. The yardage. The restrictions. All represent a level of confinement and superficiality that Alexia, whether she realizes it or not, chafes against.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1872-1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1870-1875 Wedding Bonnet   The Victoria & Albert Museum

The authorial drawback?
Too much fabric, way too hard to move. Challenging for cover art.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1872 Ball Gown  Charles Fredrick Worth; Bustle 1872-1874 both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What were the men wearing?
Relatively somber colors in suits, flashy waistcoats and vests, some experimentation with fabrics.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1873_May_Gof; 1873-1875  The Victoria & Albert Museum; 1875-1880  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Gustave Caillebotte- Portrait of Paul Hugot, 1878

What to watch for inspiration?
The Buccaneers, some of The Forsythe Saga, some of The Pallisters


What Happened Next?
Skirts started to come in closer and closer to the body, the lobster tale became fashionable, fabrics became (if you can imagine) even more elaborate.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1870s  Kerry Taylor Auctions; "Lobster Tail" Bustle  1870s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1879-1880; 1879  both The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1878-1879; 1879 Wedding Dress both  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

The Custard Protocol Series

1895 - ????


For the author:
Main points of entry?
Experimenting in asymmetry, puffy sleeves, wide range of outfit choices, more freedom of movement, complementary fabrics, the biggest most outrageous hats ever (Queen Ivy's influence). Fashion houses appear, scions of fashion became brand ambassadors for a house to which they were loyal. (Prudence lives in Worth.) Iconic dresses given names as if they were art pieces. New Woman movement influences sportswear and major dress reform due, in part, to the ubiquitous bicycle.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1890s Wedding Dress  1890s  The Indianapolis Museum of Art; Wedding Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth, 1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What makes it silly?
Those truly bizarre sleeves, those enormous over-decorated hats equal a very top heavy look.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1895  Kerry Taylor Auctions; 1890 Sleeve Supports  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Summer Corset  1895  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Why for this series?
The hats! The sleeves, the ridiculousness continues.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1898  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1894  The Goldstein Museum of Design

The authorial drawback?
I really think this period is ugly, it's hard to write characters swooning over dresses I think are hideous.

What were the men wearing?

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerMy 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
 1895 Evening Vest  1885-1895; Ascot  1890s both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Suit ca. 1894 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
1890s man via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr
Isn't he the cutest? Biffy, perhaps?

What to watch for inspiration?
Lark Rise to Candleford

What happened next?
If you can imagine, dresses became even more elaborate eventually bleeding into the massive hats and complex outfits of the turn of the century.

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger
Ball Gown  Jacques Doucet, 1898-1902  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail Carriger

"If you chance to find an authoress occupied with her needle, express no astonishment, and refrain from exclaiming, "What! can you sew?" or, "I never supposed a literary lady could even hem a handkerchief!"
 ~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (1864)

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.
Menswear Basics ~ Hacking Style for Dudes from a Werewolf DandyMen of Steampunk Style ~ From Biffy to Lyall with Everything In Between from Gail CarrigerSingapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail CarrigerAlexia Manga Cosplay from Gail CarrigerRue & Primrose in the Future ~ Custard Protocol Extra by Gail CarrigerCosplay from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate SeriesAlexia & Others Cosplay from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series Alexia Cosplay on the Birthday of Soulless from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series My 3 Series ~ A Silhouette Retrospective for Readers, Fellow Authors, & Dilettantes from Gail CarrigerWaistcoats & Weaponry Cover Art Dresses Turquoise & Teal from Gail Carriger

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