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Gail Carriger in Retro 1930s Hot Pink Dress and Gold


My dear Fashionable Reader, for the first day of San Diego Comic Con I wore a hot pink 1930s style dress with a hand painted Dark Garden Corselette.

Gail Carriger in Retro 1930s Hot Pink Dress and Gold

The dress I picked up from Max Azaria outlet mall store, years ago. I paired it with a Corselette (this is a curved variation in poplin designed to be a foundation garment) from Dark Garden. Since I now have a custom corset for my foundation garment, I decided to attack this one with metallic puffy paint, because I'm kinda like that.

Gail Carriger in Retro 1930s Hot Pink Dress and Gold

I specifically went for a lightly 1930s design. Not sure I quite achieved that, but I think it looks rather nice. I might still futz with it a bit and I may put a design on the back too. We shall see. Knowing my limited free time these days, I'll likely just leave as is. I paired it with corset busk cover buttons from Ruby Blackbird.

Gail Carriger in Retro 1930s Hot Pink Dress and Gold

What else am I wearing?


Gail Carriger in Retro 1930s Hot Pink Dress and Gold

Hope you liked it! Next up, what I wore on the second day of Comic Con!

Retro Rack is also on Facebook and Pinterest 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 Plays Ballet At Steampunk Worlds Fair 2017


So I kind of channeled the ballet for my first outfit of Steampunk Worlds Fair.

Gail Carriger Plays Ballet At Steampunk Worlds Fair 2017

The thing is when I was in New Jersey for this event a few years ago it was scorchingly hot so I pretty much pack steampunk light, or as light as I could go.

Gail Carriger Plays Ballet At Steampunk Worlds Fair 2017


Of course it turned out to be rainy, windy, and overcast the entire time. Hence the reason I subbed in the high neck blouse rather than my original idea.

Ah, May.

Gail Carriger Plays Ballet At Steampunk Worlds Fair 2017

Outfit breakdown: 
* That's a button front pussycat bow blouse worn with bow tied as a cravat (similar $24) and a vintage parasol pearl pin (gift from a fan).
* Dark Garden Alyscia corset in a custom fabric with cross back princess straps.
* Cream gloves
* Fluffy blush high-low chiffon ruffle skirt I picked up from Ross or something a few years ago, similar for $25 or this really cool fancy fluffy one for $40
* I'm in love with these suspender nylons for when I'm in corset, basically a lazy lady's thigh highs for $15. I've multiple pairs now. Now if they would only make a black back-seam version.
* Cream oxford wingtips (no longer available except in small sizes). You can google cream oxfords and see what you get but frankly I don't recommend this color shoe. And make certain, if you do invest to get one with PALE SOLES. Never buy a light colored shoe with a dark colored sole. Trust your Gail on this matter.
* Crochet teacake was a gift from a fan up in Portland years ago, I simply pin it to my head with a bunch of bobby pins.

Gail Carriger Plays Ballet At Steampunk Worlds Fair 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.

Gail Carriger In A Steampunk Bow Top & Black Pin Stripe Pencil Skirt at ConFusion, Detroit


I recently returned from Confusion, a lovely little convention on the outskirts of Detroit. My first outfit was a new one for me, I pair an old pin stripe fish tale pencil skirt with a top I usually wear under steampunk stuff.

Gail Carriger In A Steampunk Bow Top & Black Pin Stripe Pencil Skirt at ConFusion, Detroit

I put on vintage black gloves (similar $40), a cream headband flower, black purse (no longer avaiable, but I love the Lux De Ville purse line), and my grey and black Via Spiga cut-out spectator derby pumps. (Want more on how I came by this description? My favorite post on the fine art of Oxford shoe identification.)

 I'm not sure about this outfit. I feel that the shirt untucked isn't flattering yet the skirt isn't high wasted enough to tuck or wear with a vintage sweater. I won't be getting rid of the shirt, for steampunk reasons, but I'm not sure about keeping the skirt. Much as I love it, I just don't wear it very often. No mater what the case, I won't be wearign this particular combination again.

Gail Carriger In A Steampunk Bow Top & Black Pin Stripe Pencil Skirt at ConFusion, Detroit

FYI, I am running a Goodreads Giveaway on Imprudence.

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.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger


 I adore pussycat bow shirts. They have that lovely prim and proper yet slightly hot feel to them ~ very sexy librarian. I don't understand why anyone would have an objection to this kind of top, but apparently there are some who find them challenging.

Here I am at various events sporting the big bow.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
With Carrie at WorldCon 2010 in Melbourne and at WorldCon several years earlier in what is technically a tie front not a pussycat.
For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
With Cindy during the Blameless bouk tour and at BEA in 2009 launching Soulless.

One advantage of the pussycat? They draw attention up to the face and away from theRack, or so I like to pretend.

Here's my collection . . .

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
The two browns. The darker one was thrifted from Haight Street $15, the lighter one I bought from Max Studio outlet for about $30. It's a little too small and is just about to go to consignment because of The Move.
For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
The grey one is vintage, possibly from the 80s but it could be the 50s, I had to do some tailoring at the sides, came from 23 Skido I think, $20. The periwinkle has gone off to a new home, I just didn't have much to go with that color, Thrifted, $10.
For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
I might get rid to this red one, I just can't find a way to wear it without the bra showing and it's really to warm to wear with an undershirt, not to mention added bulk. It's a modern piece, $10, thrifted. The tan blouse is relatively new, it needs a little sewing, I got it in Sabastopol at a vintage store there, it's 1970's $15. I haven't worn it yet but I am a little concerned about the color.

There are so many different ways to sport this look, from counter color to matched, from vintage to modern.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger

You can go knitted or as a gown, sleek and tiny or big and ultra retro.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger

If you are going to go for a blouse form and you are contending with the Rack, I suggest a knitwear version is your best option. Barring that, with autumn upon us, opt for layering your pussycat blouse under a fitted vest, cardy, or sleek blazer.

Technically, if the bow lies at the bottom of a v-neckline and isn't up high, it's called a tie-front blouse. But I tend to lump them all under pussycat. However, I think the tie-front is also a good option for the Rack, so long as the tie part falls above it, and not on it or bellow.

If you are going to opt for the flowy and filmy blouse style pussycat and you don't want to layer it make certain to choose the right options for your bottom half.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger

Unless you have a very short torso this means choosing bottoms that stop at the waist (no higher) and which are fitted in around the hips to counteract the blouse's poofiness. A pencil skirt, a-line skirt, or flattering formal trousers are all good options. You might consider tailoring your blouse in from bellow the chest down to cut the volume, also safety pinning it to your undies (yes, I said it) or tucking into your control-top nylons are valid options  ~ so long as no one is going to see you removing the outfit that night! And, so long as your bottom is indeed tight in at the waist (so nylons or undies don't show there).

I'd avoid more modern looks. Don't get me wrong, I love aspects of the above images: the small pattern purple with the black leather skirt and red shoe; the white blouse with the black bow; and the black and white pattern combo with the peach bow, but the cuts combos are flawed. We have what is referred to in fashion parlance as playing with volume. Those of us with a rack are already battling volume. I'm against a lady-like blouse with a full, ruffled, or bubble skirt. It's just a whole lot of puffy for one body to handle, unless a very skinny and tall body.

That said a ladylike blouse with a tough leather skirt? Very nice and edgy. Or black and white broken up by one pop of color? So chic.

There is also the side-tied pussycat to consider, if you are inclined to asymmetry.

And, of course, you can make one of your favorite collared blouses or suit jackets into a pussycat by simply adding a little ribbon.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
Middle is a blouse from 1936, right is a Norman Norell dress ca. 1964 via The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

You can aslo go pretty crazy with the pussycat bow, please resist the temptation.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
Middle Norman Norell ensemble ca. 1970-1971 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and right LWL kelly wearstler.

When in doubt, opt for something in a single color pallet and more subtle, generally the bow does most of the fashion work for you.

For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger For Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger
1940's lovely polkadot and Norman Norell dress ca. 1961 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gail Carriger in Retro 1930s Hot Pink Dress and Gold Gail Carriger Plays Ballet At Steampunk Worlds Fair 2017Gail Carriger In A Steampunk Bow Top & Black Pin Stripe Pencil Skirt at ConFusion, DetroitGail Carriger's New Acquisitions ~ Staples, Bras and T-shirtsFor Love of the Pussycat Bow by Gail Carriger

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