Dressing It Down: Go Ahead and Buy that Fancy Dress!

I get a lot of compliments as well as comments on my clothes, which I love, but one comment that gives me pause is a comment such as, “I wish I had places to wear a dress that fancy.”

OK, so first of all, it is really hard to be truly overdressed somewhere.  Obviously, wearing a prom dress to work or a tuxedo to the grocery store is pretty over-the-top, but what about that great dress you bought to wear to someone’s wedding and is now languishing in the back of your closet (I just love that I got to use “languishing”, #englishmajor)?  Well, use some great basics to dress it down for everyday.

Perfect example is my Haunted Mansion dress.  My lovely boyfriend bought it for me for Dapper Day, and then I stopped wearing it.  I love it, but the top has some ruching on the bodice that is very prom-y, so I stopped wearing it.  Then, time passed and it was our anniversary.  I wanted to wear the dress he bought me out on our date, but I didn’t have time to change after work.  So, challenge accepted!

OK, so first, I needed to dress down the bodice.  I did this with a cotton crop tee from Amazon.  Just enough of the pretty ruching shows through.

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Next, here’s my Dapper Day look:

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Obviously, I left off the petticoat, fascinator, pearls and gloves for a great everyday look.

Here are some more pictures of me wearing a Disney Dress Shop dress everyday.  If you decide to take that dress out on the town, then add those dapper touches.

Honestly, dresses are instant outfits.  You literally just throw them over your head, and you have a look.  Now, more than ever, there are amazing choices for nerd bounding that are dress-and-go.

So, challenge yourself to take something that you originally visualized as super dapper or fancy and “dress it down” for everyday wear.

Click on all the links to shop away!  Enjoy!

Love, Kim and Benji

Wardrobe Solutions: Jewelry

When you’re putting together an everyday cosplay or bound, one of the best and easiest-to-use tools in your easy reach is jewelry.

Jewelry falls under “The Exotic” category on your team build checklist.  I’ve attached a team build here for you to print and use.

If you have a dress that is a color inspired by a character, then the jewelry you choose can be the perfect touch to complete your bound.

Below are a couple of examples of outfits that I wear on the regular that have a great jewelry component.  I’ve also included shopping links for all the pieces.

My first outfit is my Avengers Engame everyday cosplay.  I have a great Avengers dress that I like to wear along with this great bomber jacket, both from Torrid.  Once you pair the outfit with a great Captain Marvel necklace and infinity gauntlet bracelet (from Hot Topic and Amazon, respectively), then you have a great complete look!  Click on the links to shop.

My next look are two necklaces that you can use in a screen accurate cosplay, but bring them into an everyday outfit to turn it into a great Marvel bound.

Star Lord replica necklaces from Amazon.

Next up is my Han Solo bound.  I paired a Han Solo wrap skirt with a vest to make a great gender-bend Han Solo bound, but a great finishing touch is this Millenium Falcon necklace from Amazon.

My last look is one of my favorite go-to outfits.  I have this great Star Lord bound.  The dress is from Amazon, as is the shrug.  The jewelry is also from Amazon.  Click on each link for the bracelet, the leather bracelet, the Star Lord mask necklace and cassette tape necklace.

Let us know in the comments how you use jewelry to add finishing touches to your everyday cosplays and bounds.  We love to hear from you!

Love, Kim and Benji

Fashion Alert- “Grandpa” Sneakers

One of the big trends right now is the chunky or “Grandpa” sneaker.

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This look is great for several reasons.  One, they are super comfy!  Two, they come in a variety of colors so you can match any outfit.  Three, they look great with everything, dresses, skirts, pants or shorts.  Finally, they come in all price points, so everyone can enjoy this trend!

 

For example, I bought a couple of pair from Amazon, which were inexpensive.  I also bought a couple of pair on sale at Skechers, which after the markdown, were also inexpensive.  See below for some examples of some sneakers with shopping links.  I’ve started with the designer sneakers with the price to match and down to inexpensive.  To be honest, since this trend may not last, I would go with the inexpensive ones.  So far, I’ve worn them frequently and they still look great.

Fila Disruptor II Sneaker– Costs around $100 bucks

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Skechers D’Lites Sneakers– About $65 bucks

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Amazon Sneakers– About $30 bucks

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Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Benji

DIY Saddle Shoes

I’ve talked a lot about these DIY sneakers as of late.  It is about time to show you how to make your own.

You will need:

  • Shoes
  • Fabric Paint
  • Paint Brush

First, the shoe.  I have arthritis in my right knee, which makes walking a lot difficult.  So, I found a great walking shoe from Skechers.  Get your own with this link.

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Now, the fabric paint.  Click on this link to get your own.  Lastly, the brush.  Click here to get your paint brush.

Now, basically a saddle shoe is just what the name implies.  It is a shoe that looks like it has a little saddle on it.  You can get any color shoe and any color paint and just go bananas if you want to.  There are no rules here.  You can match them with your outfit.  You can get a very inexpensive shoe if you they are for a one-off costume.  You can find very inexpensive sneakers in a variety of colors just about anywhere.  I chose my shoe because it was super good for walking all day.

So first thing, you need to chose how big or small you want the saddle to be.  Choose a natural line on the shoe to mark it.  Like in the pic below:

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You can see where the stitching makes a guide line for me to paint.

Then you just put a coat of paint on the shoe, wait a day and do one more and you are all set!

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And there is the finished product!  They turned out great, and have saved my feet at a number of adventures since.

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Happy painting!

Love, Kim and Benji

*Pro photos by Justin Davidson Photography

 

raisingaheronotavillain is now InPlainSight.style!

We have made a big change to the site, in case you haven’t noticed already!

We didn’t come to the decision to change the name lightly, but because it was so long, Benji is being raised pretty well so far and we wanted to change our focus a bit, we decided to make the leap.  We really wanted to focus on everyday living as a nerd.

How to integrate your fandoms into your everyday life.  Not with just everyday cosplay, which is fun to wear for sure, but also more subtle ways, bounding, dapper looks, pin-up style and the like.

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We hope you like the update!  Please share your thoughts with us.  We love to hear from you!

Love, Kim and Benji

Wonderful photos by Justin Davidson Photography!  Click on the link to book him today!

How-To: Amazon Shopping Tips

The last two posts were about wardrobe solutions.  Now, where do you go find these solutions for a good price?  You can comb the stores at the mall for what you are looking for, but I’ve found that Amazon has pretty much anything and everything you need for a good price.  Also, with Prime you get them in two days!

But, with Amazon shopping, there is a bit of a risk involved.  How is the quality?  Does it look like the picture?  Most importantly, how is the fit?  Obviously, with in-person shopping, you can try things on and see for yourself about quality.  This situation is where my plus-size status actually puts me at an advantage.

You see, most plus-size items are exclusively online.  Even stores like Old Navy and Target, who sell plus sizes, only offer them online for the most part.  Again, if you are going to have to order something, why not get it in two days?

OK, so let’s say you need to find a dress.  I am going to show you three different t-shirt dresses I got on Amazon and include tips for finding what you want and need without the disappointment.

Step One: The Search

OK, so you go on Amazon and do a general search and a gazillion items show up.  My first tip is to narrow your search as much as possible.  Definitely limit things to Prime only to start.  Now, if you don’t find what you want, then unclick that Prime box, but for now, keep it clicked to keep you wait time and shipping costs to zero.

Tip for Plus-Size, put in an extra big size, like 4xl.  Even if you aren’t looking for something in that larger size, you will tend to get more items that come in actual plus sizes that way.

Step Two: The Quality

Next up, you want to check the quality as best as you can.  Scroll to the information about the product.  This information is below the different color choices for the product.  What is it made of?  Does it have any stretch?  Find out by checking for spandex content.  If no spandex is listed, then you can be sure that it does not have any stretch.  If the fabric is a cotton t-shirt material, then this isn’t as important, but for something more formal like a pin-up dress, then some give in the fabric is crucial.  As you can see from the picture below, there is some spandex in this dress, which was great news!  Buy your own here.

Dress PicAlso, check out the photos of the product, lined up on the left side of the main picture.  If there is a short video, like there is for the dress above, even better.  Look at them, zoom in as much as possible.  Watch the video.  It is an extra 10 seconds and will show you how the dress moves.

Tip for Plus-Size, look at the model if there is one.  Is she a plus-size like the model below?  Buy this dress here.  If so, then you are on the right track.  If not, then take extra care with the next step, which is…

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Step Three: The Fit

How on Earth are you going to know if you are getting the right size?  Well, first off, see if the actual numerical sizes are listed, like the dress above.  Probably not, the sizing is usually XS, S, M, L, XL, 2X and so on.  Then you want to take a quick look at the left side and see if this vendor has a size chart posted, like the picture below.

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This is crucial.  Do not go by the Amazon size guide!  It is almost never accurate.  I am not sure why they even have it posted, to be honest.  Go by the vendor’s size guide or the numerical size listed, if applicable.  Here is a close-up of the vendor’s size chart for the dress above.  Buy your own here.

Size Chart

If not, then last option is to look at reviews at the bottom of the page about accuracy of sizing.  Almost everything on Amazon runs very, very small.  Do not be surprised if you end up ordering 3 sizes bigger than usual.  This is pretty normal.  If the item you want just does not have the size you need, then look at the bottom of the page for some similar items.  I do recommend you start down that rabbit hole.  You can almost always find what you are looking for in the size and color you need.

One last note about sizing, take a look at these three dresses, all from Amazon and their pages are in this post.

Dress on top left is a size 22WThe one under it is a 4xlThe one on the right is a 2xl.  They all fit me perfectly.  These pictures were taken in the same month, so my size did not change.  I wear these dresses all the time.  So, you cannot get held-up on the size on the tag.  You’ll miss out on some great finds.

Links for each dress are in the post, so Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Benji

 

Wardrobe Solutions: The Crop Top and Shrug

For our next wardrob solution, I’m going to take a look at the crop top and shrug.  I will also be looking at cardigans.  I know what you’re thinking, “Does she really expect me to wear a crop top?!”  The short answer is yes, but as you will see, I’m not talking about a 90’s era Britney Spears crop top.

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As you can see from the pic above, this shrug evokes a very pin-up or dapper look for my Star Lord bound.  Shrug is from Amazon.  Click on link to buy.

This piece can be in your team build as The Leader, The Brick or The Exotic.  For more information and to use the team build checklist, click here to download and print your own.

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This piece is very versatile.  The cropped shrug is very 50’s.  It can also add a pop of color to an outfit, and help you cover your arms for more confidence if you need that boost, which is what I did in the picture above.  Crop tee from Amazon.  Click on link to buy.  If you find that the arm openings are too big, the crop top adds some modesty coverage for you.  Lastly, if you have a sleeveless dress or shirt, the shrug can make the piece wearable year-round.

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This dress is ridiculously cute, but without coverage, wearing a bra with it would be impossible.   A bra is essential with this dress as it has no support built-in, so the cardi comes in real handy.  I paired it with a long sleeved one in this picture since it was a bit chilly that day.  Click on this link to buy from Amazon.

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This tie-front shrug from Amazon covers too-big arm openings in this dress.  Click on link to buy.  It also has the added benefit of breaking up the pattern of the dress so it isn’t too-too much.20180323_172827

Another way to wear the crop top is under a piece to create insta-sleeves, like I did in the picture above. Click on link to buy on Amazon.

Happy shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout