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Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

As I just blogged about on my Author blog, this here is my new cover for the Spanish edition of Blameless.

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

There is something very Spanish about it, perhaps the color pallet. Perhaps it is her profile. Perhaps it is the little lace gloves. Delving into my own wardrobe I uncovered the following items of clothing that might go with this book.

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

And here are some fun fashion items from around and about the interwebs to match . . .

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
This Prada necklace at prada.com
Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Ombre patent leather Vernice Bowler from Prada
Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Bow Pumps

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
 Abbey-Lee-Kershaw-Vogue-Russia-Design Scene Net
Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Diane von Furstenberg

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Ruby and Diamond Necklace Michele Della Valle  Christie’s
Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Moustashe Pumps

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Dita; Monique-Lhuillier

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Emilio Pucci from a magazine

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Amazing bloody nails

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
 Vena Cava; Derek Lamb

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
From a magazine
Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Kendra Scott Maxine earrings

Vintage looks

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1961 Cocktail Hat  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
Marilyn Monroe

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
 1950s Cocktail Dress  Pierre Balmain  Whitaker Auctions; 1950s  The Frock

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1948 Cocktail Dress  Cristobal Balenciaga,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1945  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
 1940s  Timeless Vixen Vintage; 1930s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
 1925 Coco Chanel  The Chicago History Museum; 1910s  Antique Dress

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1910s  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1902  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For the Characters


For Alexia after the Parasol Protectorate series

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1880s  Whitaker Acutions

For Countess Nadasdy after the Parasol Protectorate series

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1885 Charles Fredrick Worth  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 For Ivy after the Parasol Protectorate series

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1885-1886 Charles Fredrick Worth,  The Museum of the City of New York

For Prudence after the Parasol Protectorate series

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1884-1887 Mantle  Emile Pingat, The FIDM Museum

For Primrose in the Parasol Protectorate Abroad series

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1896  Whitaker Auctions

And for Prudence in the Parasol Protectorate Abroad series

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1890s  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger
1890-1899  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

In honor of up-coming valentines day I thought I would wax poetical on the subject of my favorite red dress. I spent a long time searching for the perfect red dress. I ended up not with vintage, Fashionable Reader, but with retro. My perfect red dress is the Jessica Wiggle Dress by Pinup Couture. I paid full price for it, $98, and dithered for a week before I could work up the gumption to shell out that much. But I've gotten my money's worth.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

It has the right body conscious fit, that great thick supportive stretch fabric (50/50 cotton/poly), and can be worn for evening, or with a jacket or sweater for day. Better, because of the blend, it packs well and doesn't really wrinkle!

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

It comes in plus sizes, red, black, burgundy with black trim, navy with red trim, hot pink and black, and black and white check. It's not all that available anymore, but I found it on a few sites.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

I like the fit of this dress so much, I'd consider buying it in another color. But I'm waiting to find it on sale cheap, $98 is a bit much. I've worn mine in a million different ways, but my favorites with black or with black & white.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
At RT in LA, and at Frankfurt Book Expo.

This dress has, as is intended a very 1950's feel to it, although the length is almost 1040's. Here are a few vintage pieces it reminds me of.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
1950s dress via Timeless Vixen Vintage; Elizabeth Taylor
The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
Niagara Screen Test; Vintage Vogue Street Shoot; from Tuppence Ha'penny by Charlotte

I do know many are you are scared of red, and it sure can look sheep. But there is just something about it. If you pair it with the right accessorizes, if you are careful with your cut and style, it can be so very eye catching. I'm a girl who likes to stand out, surprise surprise, I believe in "owning it." Sometimes a red dress is all it takes.

Now you don't have to go as body close as the Jessica Wiggle. Here are a few modern red dresses in different cuts for your perusal.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
$120 MICHAEL Michael Kors ~ pleasing draping over tummy hides stomach; nice ladylike length; interesting neckline emphasizes face and boat-neck widens shoulders, both detract from a large rack, best with heels.
$195 DKNY ~ fitted top and cowl neck good for mid-sized breasts, shorter length and fuller coverage would be wonderful with black tights, light pleating hides a tummy, a good day to night option, great with both heels and flats.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
$450 Milly ~ full skirt great to balance out a figure but higher waist may not work on the rack; probubly better on  a pear shape; would work great with flats; another great day to night option.
$550 Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti ~ another great body conscious Jessica Wiggle alternative; more modern length better for both heals and flats, nice tummy draping to hide flaws; cross top doesn't always work over a large chest, would need to check.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

And how abotu a red Jessica Wiggle dress for Alexia Tarabotti?

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
1870s dinner dress via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

What to read in your red dress? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

This brilliant, sexy YA, did urban fantasy before we knew that's what it was called. Please don't judge it by the abysmal movie version, the book is nothing like that dross. It's romantic, fast paced, a true insight into what it might be to be a teen girl, and a werewolf. The main character is strong, powerful, and has a genuine path to self actualization and independence. We should be so lucky as to have young girls read and want to be Vivian. I adore this book, highly recommended.

The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger
The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Packing for Germany I had to keep things small as I was spending 5 days traveling after my Frankfurt work events. So I tried to make it for my three days at the book fair with only two formal outfits and lost of modular action.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Frankfurt has no fashion, just suits. Although our hotel was very swanky.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

All the hotels I stayed at had this odd thing where the only bedding you get is a duvet. And duvet is a terribly dignified term for the item in questions. The AB and I took to referring to them as people tablecloths, since that was about what they covered.


But you don't care about beds in Germany, Fashionable Reader, you care about clothes in Germany!

I took my favorite vintage check suit, which is comprised of a sheath dress and a cropped fitted three quarter sleeve jacket. I can't remember where I got this suit, it's one of the first vintage pieces I ever bought, which makes me thing it probably came from Santa Cruz, most of my earliest stuff did, for about $40.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

I also took my Jessica Wiggle red dress, which is retro knock off but made a nice thick stretch material that travels really well.


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
I paid full price for this dress, $96 from 23 Skidio in downtown Campbell, CA. I remember the price exactly because . . . well . . . ouch, but who doesn't need a knock out red dress in their wardrobe?

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

To break up the two I also packed my black cardigan with beaded detail that I picked up years ago at Ross for about $15.

Because I was trying to travel light I only allowed myself two pairs of shoes, the Red Miz Mooz that I love so well, comfortable and close-toe (which was good, because it rained in Frankfurt and we walked everywhere) and my black and white wingtips, for everything else.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of TwoIn Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
Miz Mooz from Haight Street boutique, full price, $70, and Black & White Oxford wingtip spectator dance shoes, resoled for walking, $30.

Because it was so cold I also ended up wearing my cape, my scarf, and my long black leather gloves a whole lot. I took two hats, both felt and stuffed the smaller red beret style vintage inside of the larger black cloche, which is modern.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of TwoIn Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
Vintage red hat from Bon Marche Thrift Store in Sonoma, $15, and black Cloche from Target last winter $20.

And this is what I did with the collection . . .


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

First day at the fair, for meetings with foriegn editors and high tea. The check suit jacket with the red dress, black & white shoes, and red hat. Long black leather gloves, Crossroads Trading $25, invaluable due to the cold. Vintage typewriter key earrings purchased from and Etsy vendor at a steampunk convention. Mine are the colon and semi-colon on one side, and the question mark and the slash on the other, placed onto special extra-long hooks. I wore them the entire time I was in Germany because my little calculator-like translator kept needing to be reset and the earrings worked perfectly for the tiny button.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

First evening, for visiting with the fans at the pub. Red dress with black cardy, red heals, red hat and long black gloves. I also wore these huge glittery earrings which were very heavy, gift from my sparkly friend Francesca. Story behind those earrings at the pub told only in German . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Second day when I actually visited the fair, I wore the check sheath dress with the black cardy and black hat and black & white shoes ~ for meeting with editors. Paired this with the typewriter earrings, again, and a little multi-metal octopus, a gift from a fan (Sarah Brigdon) at Fencon in its first outing. 


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Because the sweater had so much beading I didn't feel it necessary to wear too much jewelry, but I do always like to octopus touch and a bit of a steampunk element. The hat wasn't the brightest idea, it really messed up my hair, cloches I think I will keep in reserve for bad hair days from here on out.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Second evening for reception with foreign editors at Mediterranean restaurant. (Very yummy.) Wearing the full check suit with red shoes, red gloves, red bauble jewelry, and the red hat at a different angle, added the cape as it started to rain. Also had my black and white polkadot umbrella.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Here are some other ways to wear a cape and my earlier blog on the subject.

On my last day, since I was traveling shortly after lunch, and it was very cold, and I was meeting with my New York editor for the Finishing School series I just went all black with the cape and a cream scarf over everythng. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture, bur it wasn't very interesting anyway.

After Frankfurt I mainly descended into traveler's gear, which I my case was long jersey maxi skirt, jeans, jersey tops, my favorite BCBG plaid jacket, and other easy foldable and comfortable layers.I pretty proud of myself as I wore everything I brought, except the two tank tops and the shorts (but they were needed in case it got hot) and some of the socks and tights. 

I did keep my eye out for fashionable finds. For example, this hat on a wax soldier at the museum in the fortress at Koblenz. Wouldn't it just look smashing on me!

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
Kidding of course.

I also formed a love affaire with these boots but unfortunately no shops are open in Koblenz on Sunday so when I went back to try them on, I could not. Trust me, they were beauties. Here they are, taunting me with their cuteness from behind impenetrable glass.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

However, I did end up with a cute pair of steampunky gloves from T.K. Maxx for $25.


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

And during the course of our travels I investigated not one, not two, but four second hand shops! One in Wiesbaden (Courage Second Hand Boutique) and three in Koblenz (none in Frankfurt, see note above, nothing in Frankfurt but suits).

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

All in all a wonderful trip.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Oh so many times, Fashionable Reader, I have discussed my love of red.


Generally speaking at least one day at a convention will see me in a red dress, and one other with red accessories. I can't help it, I'm a brunette with green eyes, a sallow complexion, a full figure, and attitude. It's practically a recipe for falling deeply in love with red.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
The incomparable Sophia Loren, another lover of red.

So, for my first full day at WorldCon in Reno I opted for one of my favorite red dresses.

The dress on the hanger, you can see the slight cross over double breasted detailing. 
It's a Sue Leslie of California probably around 1952. This designer seems to specialize in sun dresses and cocktail dresses.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
At BEA in 2009 launching the ARCs of Soulless, paired the dress with cream. And in Reno, pairs with white.

Why do I love this dress so? Well, it's not only the color. It's light weight, a day dress, it has 3/4 sleeves, it fits like a dream, and, best of all, is a pencil dress. I adore pencil dresses.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

I tend to wear my red with cream or white. I think it gives a more vintage feel. However, it also works with black and gold for evenings, although I have another, wiggle dress, I usually wear under those circumstances. I don't usually do it with brown, unless I'm going for a modern street feel. I'm not one for all red either, it's tricky, but also very vintage.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

For one thing, it's really difficult to match reds, there are so many different tones.
The classic red pencil dress has been around since the 1930s, in some version or another. What's not to love about it?

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

I happen to like mine paired with a little counter-color belt. I think it sets of the narrowness of the cut better.


I don't think you need be scared of the color either. Different shades of red are out there and there is generally a tone or a print to suit everyone's needs, even if you are a red head or a pale blonde. You could go for cream or white with a red dot, or black with a red flower, a muted knit or tweedy red. Options, options!

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

I happen to like fire-engine, cherry, bright, and true reds. But I know they aren't for everyone.

Just please, avoid something like this? Us curvy girls just aren't allowed to go too modern, it doesn't work.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

And now for a pallet cleanser.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
Helen Mirren rocking it, baby.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

I have returned from New Orleans, Fashionable Reader, I what I lost in water weight due to the heat I regained in fat from all the fried food. Orbit put me up at the Sheraton on Canal Street and here's the view from the bedroom window, such a  beautiful city!

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

On Friday evening, after recovering from a rather hectic plane ride, the AB and I headed out for nibbles. Following instructions from a fan, we sourced Maspero's fried calamari, which was indeed delicious. The AB was also favorably impressed with the draft beer.

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

New Orleans if full of the nicest people! I often get compliments on this red dress, which suits well enough but I feel is rather basic. However, never before have so many lovely ladies said how much they liked it. The AB suggested this was the Marilyn effect, as the top is quite boobilicious.

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

On Saturday for speeches, panels, and a publisher dinner I chose something a bit more conservative. It turned out to be a fortuitous choice for that was the "coolest day" and it was the warmest of my three dresses.

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

 I did learn, however, that stilettos and humidity are mutually exclusive with blisters popping up instantaneously. Sadly, I consigned my peep toes back into the suitcase.

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

I ended up wearing my oxfords the entire rest of the trip. For these first two outfits, which involved a lot of walking around in the sun I also wore a white straw hat as well. I had alternating flowers for the hat to match each outfit (expect immanent blog on the subject).

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New OrleansGail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans
Oxfords are BP from Nordstrom and they are very light-weight and great for travel. I think a shelled out good money for them, $60. It was worth it. I like them so much I bought the second pair in a darker mushroom color which I am going to stain to be brown two tones (again, expect a future blog).I LOVE millinery ~ one of my favorite hobbies. The hat is from my usual Bon Mar Thrift store, $10. I did entirely redecorate it, though.

I know, I know, white and cream, but sometimes a girl's just gotta protect her skin. For Sunday, however, I was inside all day, so I switched hats to a cream mini topper. It was the hottest day and luckily I wore my lightest dress. Still, because of the AC, I regretted not packing a light shawl.

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

Note that the bra straps are invisible? Success! Although, the hat kept falling off (when I talk I get very animated and gesticulate wildly and wiggle around a lot). I had a nice hat pin but it broke, time to invest in another stronger one.

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New OrleansGail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

I paired all three outfits with crocheted gloves (from Bon Mar Thrift Store Sonoma, CA ~ $2) and a vintage cream purse (from Moon Zoon in Santa Cruz, CA ~ $20) with added octopus bling (gift).

Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New OrleansGail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New OrleansGail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New Orleans

So, coping with humidity and avoiding sweat blisters. Any advice or thoughts, ladies?

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

I'm off to New Orleans and Baton Rouge this weekend, Fashionable Reader. The rumor is that it's hot, humid, and could thunder shower. So I scoured the closet for the most light weight candidates. Here is the winner for Friday . . .

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

I adore this cotton dress. I bought it from JC Penny (of all places) some three or four years ago. Back then they had a whole spate of size 8 dresses with tops that managed to still accommodate my size 10 bust. (I haven't been back in a while, but I'm hoping they still follow this policy.) I probably paid about $30 for it. It's only flaw is the sash ties in a big bow in the back which makes it uncomfortable for driving or flying.

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red DressGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress
On the left we have one of my fashion icons, Sophia Loren, rocking the perfect red dress, and on the right a 1950s dress via Timeless Vixen Vintage.

I remember reading once that colors send different messages, and that red implies power. I always rather liked this idea. I suppose whether it's true or not, I feel powerful in a red dress!

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress
Moschino Fall 2011.

I have ~ lemme count ~ 5 red dresses in my closet (not to mention shoes, tops, and a pencil skirt), but this is the only one with a full skirt. Here is a similar little number from J Peterman.

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

Look for photos next week to find out what I wore it with, and whether it was the right choice for New Orleans!

I'll be at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, (June 25 - 26, 2011). Speaking at the YA Luncheon on Saturday at noon. On the Science, Fantasy & Information Science Program Saturday, 4 ~ 5 pm.  Signing at the ALA Hachette booth Sunday, 11 am ~ 12 pm. And signing at Books A Million in Baton Rouge at 3 pm on Sunday (there is a Facebook events page). All that and I still intend to eat my own body weight in crayfish!
Book Outfits ~ Wine for Spanish Blameless by Gail Carriger The Red Jessica Wiggle Dress by Gail Carriger In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of TwoGail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger OUtfit round Up Dresses and Calamari in New OrleansGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

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