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My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger


So I was randomly thinking about social media platforms the other day, Fashionable Reader.

What does this have to do with fashion?

Well apparently in my head it has to do with shoes.

My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger


Want to peek?

My Shoes & The Social Media Platform Each Represents In My Brain


My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Facebook = The Black Stiletto

A beloved staple and vital to my wardrobe but mostly uncomfortable.

My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Twitter = Trainers

Comfortable but not very attractive.

My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Google+ = Folding Flats

Useful but somehow rarely used.
My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

YouTube = Gold Sandals

Flashy but a bit of a pain to wear regularly.
My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Tumblr = Quirky Flats

Seems fun but gets a bit hot and probubly for someone younger than me.
My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Instagram = Red & Black Pumps

Always gets compliments but mostly for show.

My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Flickr = Patchwork Boots

Old fashioned, pretty, but a pain to get into.

My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

The Newsletter = Black Riding Boots

Of vital importance but high maintenance.
My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Goodreads = Green Pumps

Great but only for a specific type of person.

My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Pinterest = Red & Black Flats

Pretty and comfy but doesn't go with much else in my wardrobe.
My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail Carriger

Wikia = Crazy Wedges

Unique and painful, but vital to my well being.


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 Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas


For the first two stops of my Imprudence Book tour I wore my new red trumpet skirt. I know, the same skirt, 2x in a row! But you see, Fashionable Reader, 10 stops in 10 days, carry-on only, will limit even my choices of outfit, especially with the impossible heat.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
Sorry I didn't note the source, but I think it was on Instagram.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
with Valerie & Shannon (via Valerie on FB)

For both Texas events I wore my new red Power Broker- 30s Vintage Style Retro Double Button Skirt $30 (also comes in black). I own the size small (and I run size 4-6 on my lower half). It fits beautifully. This was its first major outing and it was GREAT. It travels like a dream, hardly any wrinkles (taking it into the steamy bathroom while I showered dealt with those). It also washed well out the other side (cold water delicate and a line dry and it looked as good as new).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

For both events I paired it with a tiny red bow headband (modern, dying, can't find a good replacement but I'm thinking of something like this), red beaded necklace set (one is vintage the other modern, similar single strand $13, similar earrings $8, similar set $24), obligatory pen necklace (modern replica, $18), and a pair of Via Spiga suede sandals that I got about 10 years ago (no longer available, similar pumps $20-50).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

In Houston I paired it with a stretch velvet 1940s style sleeveless top. This was originally a dress from Ross but I cannibalized it into a blouse and I wear it all the time. I adore it. It looks better in person.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

In Austin I wore the red skirt with my cherry top. I got this one overseas, I want to say Germany or France, although I think it's a UK brand. Paid too much for it but I've certainly got my money's worth. Here's something in the same pattern if not cut, $34.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in TexasGail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
 via Elizabeth on Facebook (thank you!)


More tour outfits to come!

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 Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green

I recently returned from my annual pilgrimage to Santa Cruz. This ritual has to do with high school affections, graduate School memories, and a new romance with a wonderful B&B. It also has to do with vintage clothing.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
New dress from Moon Zoom, $28

Time was once that Down Town Santa Cruz boasted not only several excellent thrift stores but a veritable cornucopia of vintage shops. Sadly, Moon Zoom appears to be the last honest vintage hold over offering really good options (by which I mean before 1970 and nothing new retro) and the thrift stores have gone decidedly down hill ~ those that are left.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
 Vintage gloves from Moon Zoom, $6 each

Still, Moon Zoom remains standing strong, and I showed photos of self in the I Mag black & green dress, because they might not remember me but they certainly remember that dress!

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
 The I Magnum from Moon Zoom last year.

And then I waltzed out with several pairs of gloves and a pretty summery flowered number.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
I paid about $18, here they are on Amazon for $12. Sigh.

I also bought some long green opera gloves to go with said green and black dress for a different shop, and some new green shoes as well (from the infamous shoe store next to the hat shop). So cute and 1940s these are Chelsea Crew, a new brand for me.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green


$60 They are a 7, and I usually wear a 7.5 so I think Chelsea Crews run a little large. 

I know, I know, such a risk trying something not Miz Mooz or Via Spiga. But they are green and I kind of have a thing for green.

I did try on these Miz Mooz in 7.5, which seem to be running true to size this season. (You never know with the Mooz.)

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green

Miz Mooz Women's Scarlett Pump (comes in blue, red, black brown, and purple)

I loved them in blue but they will probably end up coming home with me in red. I'm going to need a replacement for my well loved and much worn Miz Mooz red pumps in the not too distant future. My old standbys are on their last legs ~ so to speak.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green

I will be sad to see them go to the great shoe store in the sky.

Anyway, so that's the loot from Santa Cruz.
  • 1 dress I didn't need, but fit too beautifully to bypass
  • 2 pair of gloves vital to replace
  • 1 pair of gloves that I wanted
  • 1 pair of gloves that were too cute to resist
  • 1 pair of shoes I'll probably get my money out of
 Now, of course, I'm thinking about a new green blouse. Since I have the shoes . . .

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

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

Gingham always seems to have a bit of a retro feel to me, no matter what you do with it. It says homey country kitchen, apple pie, picnics.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a wonderful feeling,
Gingham is coming my way.

Sorry, getting a little carried away there. Where was I? Oh yes, gingham. A member of the check family, I believe. Most often seen in black and white, red and white, or blue and white.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham


But I really came around to gingham when I spotted this adorable tennis dress in a local vintage shop. It was muslin and looked very cool and light, and something that woudl pair with flats. All top concerns for my wardrobe and upcoming Comic Con.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red GinghamGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

 It was labeled 1970s but I think it might be more late 1960s.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

It's actually meant to be tighter and shorter on someone a bit larger than me, but I liked it so much as a more 1920's loose feel (and this way it fit the Rack). I walked away from it the first time and then went back after contemplating it for a couple weeks, luckily it was still waiting for me.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

I wore it with cream accessories and cream flats. I made a silly little hat out of a knitted pettit four that a reader gave to me in Portland. (More on that in a separate DIY blog to come.)

As I said, gingham as been around forever. Here's a little retrospective . . .

Before the turn of the century:


Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham
 1840-1845  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Next up, silly DIY hat. I leave you with self much appreciating a lovely cup of tea at Comic Con mid day. Small pleasures make all the difference.
Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

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

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

Because I was trying to travel light I didn't bring full steampunk to Europe with me. However, I did have two steampunk events so I thought I would kind of jury rig an outfit.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

Basically I took my old favorite stretchy red cocktail dress and added lots of details and accessories. For the hair I took a bow hairband and modified it with some steampunk buttons and an octopus and a feather that could add in or be taken out.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

I put a little vintage-inspired lace shrug I bought from Newport News about 8 years ago and some red gloves to handle the cold. For jewelry, I wore an octopus necklace, spy glass necklace, and steampunk earrings. My Dark Garden waist cinch corset with Ruby Blackbird steampunk busk covers made for a wasp waist look.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

I added my modified belt (made from a pair of cargo shorts) and the Miz Mooz red pumps. The blush colored underskirt is a short one by Free Poeple I bought recently from Nordstrom Rack, I pulled it way down and wore it with stocking suspenders so it came out the bottom properly like a ruffle and gave a 1930s length.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

The rack was definitely on display, but sometimes that's necessary with steampunk.

I wore the same outfit to the steampunk gathering up in Nottingham at Waterstones on Friday night as well.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

I'm not certain how much online time I will have for the next to weeks, so this may be the last entry for a while.

Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons

I'm still in Reno, Fashionable Reader, and about to set out but I thought I might say a little word on the subject of shoes. 

Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons
I have skinny feet. Which is to say: narrow (but not _that_ narrow) but also not very thick, so shoes with straps always require extra holes. The end result is that most shoes made for the American market I simply can't buy. I opt for Italian 90% of the time and leather if at all possible. I need to be able to break a shoe to fit my foot, and man made will break my foot (with blisters) to fit the shoe.

I've ended up with two mandates . . .

1. spend good money on shoes and bras, get everything else cheap
2. invest in shoes that will last for a long time

Currently most of my shoes are: Via Spiga, Miz Mooz, modified dance shoes, (%50 of the collection) with a few Me Too, BP, and Franco Sartos. I have one pair of Lambs and one pair of Irregular Choice both of which I love but which KILL ME to wear. I just can't get rid of the cuteness.

If you are not a skinny foot like me, consider Fluvogs (expensive, but you can at least try them on to see), Clarks, Blowfish, or Aerosoles. If you have an average shape, Me Toos are a good between option, but, of course you will have plenty to chose from.

Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons

Word on the street is Irregular Choice, no matter how wonderful they look, are never comfortable. Same holds for Lamb, allthough I will say my sky rockiting booties might be painful but they sure are the most stable 7" stilletos I've ever owned.

Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons

One of my biggest tips as a high-heel aficionado to those more cautious with their feet, is to try dancing shoes. They can run very expensive but they break easily to mold to your foot. I have a lovely Shoe Guy I visit regularly who not only puts on walking soles to dance shoes and makes repairs but dyes shoes for me at a very reasonable rate ($5 ~ $10).  I figure if I am going to get more wear out of the shoe with a few adjustments it is worth the money.

I learned the lesson at the Denver WordCon that I should have both flats and heels in all accessory colors. That way, I wear flats to walk to the convention center and then heels once I have a arrive. I have one of those little collapsible totes so I can carry the heels there, then I fold up the tote and the flats. I buy flats small enough to fit into my handbags and handbags large enough to hold both the flats and one mass market paperback.

Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldConsGail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons
Via Spiga & thrifted flats; Via Spiga & dance shoes.
Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons
Haight St fancy & dance shoes & Aerosoles & Me Too flats.
Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons
BP flats & fancy pumps & dance shoes & Via Spiga
Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons
Miz Mooz & Via Spiga & Via Spiga & Miz Mooz & flats
I arrived in good time and wore red with white accessories all day Thursday. Unfortunately, I did not take into account the fact that it was so warm I did not wear stockings. This, even with flats, results in blisters when the shoes are not leather. It's hard to find good white patent leather.
Gail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldCons
I suppose this is basically a defense of stockings. I ended up spending the rest of the weekend in them, despite the heat, and also blister band-aid (which I buy in bulk). The secret, by the way, is to cover the blister band-aid with an industrial strength fabric band-aid.

Some have asked me before but I don't wear vintage shoes as a rule. They tend to be in very poor condition and, unlike clothing, that's not something I have the skill to do anything about. I do modify my shoes though, with attachments and dyeing, expect a future blog on the subject.

Pictures of the Reno outfits to come, I promise. I remembered to take a full length shot of all six! I'm ridiculously proud of this accomplishment. Trust me, I can barely remember my brain at a convention. I left my room key in my room three times! Taking a photo of each outfit (for which I have to pigeonhole some unsuspecting patsy once I hit the convention) is like presenting a dissertation it's so complicated.

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
My Shoes & The Social Media Platforms They Represent In My Psyche by Gail CarrigerGail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in TexasGail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red GinghamGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger Talks About Shoes, Flats, Heels, & WorldConsGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1950s Day Dress and Red Accessories

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