With COVID cases finally declining, our Governor lifted stay-at-home orders and the ban on outside dining recently.
Boyfriend Bill and I took advantage of that and took a day off to go to Downtown Disney.
In addition, Disney has opened the main street and Hollywood section of Disney’s California Adventure for shopping.
I did make note of the fact that work has resumed on Avenger’s Campus, which makes me more happy than I could ever express. To celebrate that, I wore my Black Widow Disney Dress Shop dress by Her Universe.
I picked up one of the new Nuimos. Nuimos were a huge hit in Japan, and now they have made their way to the USA. They are fully posable with a variety of fashionable looks to choose from. I chose Daisy, cause, duck. I bought her a cute ensemble that makes her super stylish I think! Shop for Nuimos online here. It is also important to note that Her Universe will be designing everyday cosplay looks for Nuimos. So, your toys can bound too! Feel free to use a Team Build Checklist for them as well (wink)! Maybe I should make some tiny Team Build Checklists…
As always, the Disney Dress Shop dresses look amazing and are super comfortable. I love the design on this dress as well. And yes, there are pockets! Get your own dress here.
OK, obligatory, “2020, what a crappy year!” Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the actual effects of 2020 on nerds, specifically, cosplaying nerds.
Let me start off by stating that I have a job. I’ve had a job this whole year. I have a home and a healthy family, so I am getting through this year blessed to be perfectly honest. So, when I begin my complaining below, please know that while I feel disappointment over things lost in this craptastic year, I do have some perspective.
We lost cons, movies, tv shows, Dapper Day, and countless other nerd celebratory things this year while sheltering and trying to slow the spread of COVID. It was the right thing to do, but it sucked. It has been lonely, and at times, boring. What are cosplayers to do with their time now? Well, I have some ideas I’d like to share. These ideas do apply to other hobbies, so if you aren’t a cosplayer, please read on!
Zoom Meet Ups
I know, you are probably already doing this, but with a lot of us getting Zoom fatigued (me included), we’ve kind of let this one go by the wayside. I think with the holidays coming, we should bring it back. Perhaps a meet up with your holiday best bound, cosplay or dapper look.
Find Masked/Socially Distant Events to Attend with Your Household Members
This one can be tricky, depending on where you live. I’m fortunate enough to live in LA, so we have Downtown Disney, Universal Citywalk and Knotts Berry Farm to go to. In all these instances, they are strictly enforcing social distancing and mask wearing, as well as attendance numbers, so I feel safe going to these events. There are no rides or live shows, but you can put on a nice bound and have a nice day out!
Find a Drive-Thru Event and Cosplay In Your Car
Seems silly, but so is 2020! Again, LA has a ton of drive-thru light displays, so we can get gussied up and go and have a nice evening out.
Work on Some New Builds
Now that there is literally no “con crunch time”, take this time to look at your cosplays and bounds and see if anything needs touching up or updates. I’ve been doing this with my weekends for a while now. I can say that I have more than enough new looks for Avengers Campus when it opens and for cons for the next two years! But, I’ve been able to really take my time and make them look the way I want them to look. I’m super proud of these and can’t wait to show them off, which brings me to…
Now is a great time to do some photos of those looks. Get out your ring lights and tripods and go to town on some photos! Photos and then posting them on Instagram or Facebook is a way to stay engaged with your hobby and also stay in touch with your nerdy friends!
Purchase the In Plain Sight Book For Fresh Ideas
Lastly, please allow me to toot my own horn for a sec and suggest getting a copy of my new book, “In Plain Sight: Using Cosplay to Express Your Inner Superhero”. The book is full of information for the new cosplayer as well as ideas and inspirations for the experienced cosplayer/bounder. I have also come up with an organizational system for building looks, which I have dubbed the Team Build Checklist. You basically building your look by using classic superhero team member archetypes to assist you. Please see the example below of my Star Lord bound along with a photo of the actual look:
Right now for the holidays, I have a limited number of books that are $5.00 off the regular price and signed copies to boot! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for one of those. If you want to purchase through blurb.com, click here.
Regardless if you buy a copy, I hope that this list has given you a little inspiration to get you through to when the vaccine is readily available, and we can all get out and enjoy our hobbies again!
Recently, I had the rare adventure out with my boyfriend, Bill, to Knotts’ Berry Farm for their Taste of Falloween Event.
Taste of Falloween is a food festival held at Knotts outdoors. All of the rides were closed, as were most of the shows. The main stage, however, had some bands and magicians. The event was set up with countless tables and chairs, so you could sample the food and socially distance. When you were walking around, masks were required. A temperature check was also done on entry to the park. So, long story short, we felt very safe to attend.
Unlike Knotts’ Scary Farm, which was canceled due to COVID, this event is all ages. Like Knotts’ Scary Farm, this event was costumes encouraged, with some of the usual restrictions.
The food was amazing, and we had a great time! It was so nice to get out and enjoy a Halloween event!
The Ghost Town Alive characters of Calico were about, but on balconies or appeared in upstairs windows to maintain social distancing. Camp Snoopy is open for trick or treating only, no rides were operating, but their were some Peanuts characters in their Halloween best to entertain us as well.
Previously, we spoke about how to style an outfit. Now, here are some examples and some suggestions how you could re-style them for different situations.
Loki dress by Her Universe for Disney Dress Shop. All paired pieces are from Amazon. I styled this look specifically for blog photos. So I have on all the accessories here. The headband, necklace, tesseract-inspired bag, petticoat and shoes. The bag, petticoat and shoes are mid-century styles, which match the dress’s style. I chose a blue lucite bag instead of a clear bag so it would look like the tesseract and fit the Loki theme of the dress. The Loki helmet necklace compliments the dress as well. How to change this look? For cons or theme parks, I would lose the petticoat and change the shoes to a saddle shoe or a pair of Chucks. For work, I’d lose the headband and change the bag.
My Alan Grant bound that I wore at Universal Studios was a big hit at the theme park. Skirt by Retrolicious. Shirt and bandana from Amazon. There really isn’t a time period associated with this outfit, but the pieces I chose are for the character. To wear this skirt to work, lose the bandana and maybe a different shirt or sweater.
I hope that these tips helped you out. Let us know in the comments if you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share. We love to hear from you!
So, you found the perfect dress or the perfect outfit. Congrats! However, now you need to know how to style it.
What is styling exactly? Dictionary.com defines it as, “to design or arrange in accordance with a given or new style.” Accessorizing the outfit is a start, but there is also your make-up to consider as well as jewelry.
Jewelry is technically an accessory, but it is important enough to be listed seperately in this case.
So, how do you get started styling an outfit? Here are some steps to consider while you are styling. There are no hard set rules by any means, but this is a handy guide to help get you started. You’ll be styling your own outfits in no time at all!
Even if you aren’t using this guide to style a cosplay or bound, the tips still apply.
Consider the style of the outfit.
Is your outfit a vintage style or 80’s inspired? Maybe it is a more formal style or a business suit. If it is a 50’s style dress, then you’ll want to pair it with more vintage-style accessories. A business suit would be paired with more subdued and professional accessories.
Consider the venue and/or event for the outfit.
Are you wearing this 50’s style dress to work or to a con? Are you wearing this dress to Disneyland for Dapper Day? How about to a wedding? I’ve worn the same dress to all of the above, but it was styled differently for each event. What’s great for Disneyland is not appropriate for work and so on.
Consider the functionality needed from your accessories.
While you are considering your venue or event, think about what kind of functionality you need. Are you going to a con? You’ll need the most comfortable shoes you can get that also compliment the outfit. Disneyland? What is the temperature going to be that day? If your day out is in August, then you might want to leave the petticoat at home (trust me on this one). Do you have a parasol? If yes, then you can leave your hat at home if you want. What kind of bag should you carry? Take all this into consideration when putting the pieces together.
Balance in all the things.
Your base outfit is what you work from here. A big fit and flare dress should really have smaller, more tailored accessories to create a balance. If you have a hat, then make it smaller with the big dress. Same with the bag. Very colorful dress or outfit? Then more subdued make-up.
Lastly, What story do you want your outfit to tell?
The last piece when you are styling an outfit is what do you want people to see? I know your outfit is the focal point, but what do you want people to take away from it? If you have a bound, this is kind of done for you. If you are bounding Captain America for example, then the star on the chest or the red and white stripes on the bodice tell people that you are bounding Cap. If you have a dress that is a great color, then you want to keep things simple and just draw the eyes to the pretty color. Don’t overthink it.
I hope that these tips help you. In our next post, I will post some photos of outfits with explanations why I styled them the way I did, and how I would, and do, style them differently in different situations.
I’ve always loved red lipstick. My grandmother, Doris, always wore a nice red lip. She preferred Fire and Ice by Revlon. Growing up, there were different trends in lipstick- the super gloss of the 70’s, the frosted lip of the 80’s, the nude and chocolate lip of the 90’s and so on. I tried them all, but I love coming back to the classic red lip.
Fire and Ice has too much of a warm undertone (yellow tones in the red) for me. I prefer the cool toned reds (blue tones in the red). How do you know which red is for you? Best way is to try them on in store. Take selfies and then compare them. Warm tones tend to work with people with darker skin, but the photos you take will show you which one is better for you. Take a look at the pictures below for examples. Russian Red is the cool toned red and Lady Danger is the warm toned red.
Once you know if you prefer warm or cool, then it is way easier to buy a red from any brand. Then you need to decide if you want matte or gloss finish and the level of pigment. That is purely a matter of preference.
I have some links in a variety of price points below. These are all cool toned reds, for reference.
When you are prepping a new dapper look for a convention or just trying to accessorize a new dress, one key item you need to think about are shoes to complete your look.
Here are a few styles that will work with vintage-inspired fashions. All the choices are reasonably priced with shopping links below as well as photo examples.
The Ballet Flat
This style is perfect for not only dresses, but pedal-pushers or capri pants as well. I’ve never been a big fan, because they have a tendency to give me a blister on my heels. However, I just found this flat from Skechers that stays put. The shoes also have more cushioning than the usual ballet flat. Buy your Skechers ballet flat here.
This shoe has a few different types as far as heel styles. There are flat, block heeled and traditional heeled options. I really love this block heeled version I got from Amazon. They have padding on the inside and the block heel gives me lots of support. Buy your Block-heeled Oxford here.
Classic Converse Chuck Taylors
This shoe is not only great for 50’s looks, but for 80’s, goth, punk or rock looks as well. It is the ultimate casual shoe. Now, while it is not padded on the inside, you can get insoles that provide support if you need it. Chucks come in every color imaginable, and a high-top version as well. Buy your classic Chucks here.
Besides the Chuck Taylors, the other shoe that leaps to mind when someone is thinking about vintage 50s fashions is the saddle shoe. Named because the contrasting stripe resembles a saddle on the shoe. You can get saddle shoes in a variety of colors and even high heel versions, but the classic black and white flat-heeled version is the best way to go. Get your saddle shoes here.
Saddle shoes aren’t the best for long days on your feet, so I created a comfy version from a white sneaker. To create your own, will only take a few minutes of your time. Click here for the how-to instructions.
If you have any go-to styles for your dapper looks, please leave us a comment below. We love to hear from you!