Wardrobe Solution: Loungefly Bags

I recently treated myself to a new Loungefly bag.

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Get your own Cap backpack here.

Loungefly continues to create amazing, well-made bags in a variety of fandoms.  The small backpacks are my favorite for adventuring out.  They hold all your gear for the day without being too heavy.  Because they are on your back, they free your hands up as well.

My other favorites are the cosplay style cross-body bag.  These are perfect for everyday and again, available in a variety of fandoms.

Click here for the Loungefly site.

 

 

Happy shopping!

Love, Kim and Benji

Styling Your Outfits

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.

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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!

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When using your Team Build Checklist, styling the outfit consists of the Scientist, Exotic and Blaster steps.  Download your own copy of the check-list here.

Even if you aren’t using this guide to style a cosplay or bound, the tips still apply.

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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.

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Benji

Shoes for Pin-Up/Dapper Styles

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.

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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.

15395_BBKThe Oxford

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.

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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.

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Saddle Shoes

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.

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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.

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If you have any go-to styles for your dapper looks, please leave us a comment below.  We love to hear from you!

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Benji

Wardrobe Solutions: Classic Chucks

When putting together pretty much any outfit, my go-to is a classic pair of Chucks.

Besides being super comfy, they come in every conceivable color and style.  I even found a camo pair for my nephew once!

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Chucks can be dressed way up or way down.  They go with a ton of styles, vintage, bobby soxer, rockabilly, goth and modern casual styles.  You can start wearing Chucks from toddler age and keep up wearing them right up to your golden years.

faceapp_1563572616023 Pick your own pair out by clicking this link.

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Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Benji

 

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