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

Wardrobe Solutions: T-Shirt Dress

I’ve made a great discovery while exploring new ways to everyday cosplay, bound and dapper mash-up my cosplays- the t-shirt dress.

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This type of dress is a great pick for The Brick on your cosplay team.  For details on The Brick and building any cosplay or bound, please download this checklist.

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Besides being super comfy, the t-shirt dress comes in an endless variety of colors, prints and cuts.  There are bodycon dresses, skaters and swing dresses.  Obviously, with all the dapper mash-ups that I do, the swing dress is my go-to.

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Here are some pics of various bounds that I’ve done with a t-shirt dress.  Links to buy these are below.  All links are size-inclusive.  I’m wearing a 2xl or a 3xl in these pictures.  I wear a size 20 usually.  Please use the vendor-specific size charts, which you can find in the pictures section on the left-hand side of each item’s page.

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T-Shirt dresses on Amazon (all are swing style):

Solids with Scoop Neckline

Prints with Scoop Neckline

Solids and prints with V-Neckline

More solids and prints with V-Neckline

Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout

Building a cosplay

If you have never actually cosplayed or bounded, getting started can be daunting.  However, I’m here to help!  I have come up with a method of creating your cosplays (for the sake of simplicity, I am going to call everything in this article “cosplay”, whether it is a cosplay, a bound or a mash-up.  I call it the “Team Build”.

To say you are constructing or building a cosplay is remarkably accurate.  Even if you aren’t getting out a glue gun or blow torch, you are still constructing.  Every cosplay has building blocks that, when put together, make a complete look.  The Team Build is organized so that when you put together each piece, or “member” or your team, you’ll have a completed cosplay.  So, let’s get building!

I’m going to actually construct a dapper Star Lord as an example.  I will break it down into team members and then at the end, you will have a complete super-hero team in one cosplay.

Team Member 1: The Leader

Every super character has that one thing that makes it, it.  Examples are Captain America’s shield, Iron Man’s arc reactor, Batman’s cowl, you get the picture.  What is that one thing you need to let everyone know who you are cosplaying?

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For my dapper Star Lord bound, I began with his jacket.  When building a screen accurate cosplay, I would begin with his Walkman.  Now, because this is a bound and a dapper one at that, I took the burgundy leather jacket piece and made it a burgundy shrug instead.  Get your own on Amazon by clicking this link.

Team Member 2: The Brick

This team member provides the muscle, the foundation.  This is your main piece of clothing in the cosplay.  This is the bat suit.  This piece will be doing your heavy lifting.  For my cosplay, I needed something dapper, so a dress.  A 50s style dress to be exact.  Now, think of your character, what color/style do you need?  For me, a blue pin-up style dress was key.  Get your own on Amazon with this link.  Blue to mimick his blue shirt.  It will go with the burgundy shrug nicely to give me a Star Lordesque look.

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Team Member 3: The Scientist

This team member is all about being smart about your cosplay, specifically self-care.  Let’s start with shoes.  What footwear does your hero wear?  How can you adapt that to a being-on-your-feet-all-day scenario?  Since I was dapper bounding, I went with a sneaker.  I adapted them to look like saddle shoes (I will give you all the details in a later post so you can make your own.).  Does your cosplay present any other physical challenges?  How can you adapt them to make it workable? Do you require any safety equipment?  Make sure you adapt that into the cosplay!

Team Member 4: The Exotic

Literally where the magic will happen.  Your exotic pieces will bring the cosplay to life.  These are your accessories and props.  Besides you Team Leader, are there other accessories that your character is known for?  How can you incorporate them into your cosplay?  If you are Iron Man bounding, instead of a full-size arc reactor, what about an arc reactor necklace?  Doctor Strange bound, a burgundy long cardigan instead of a cloak.  For my Star Lord bound, this was getting orange stud earrings for his head phones and a cassette tape necklace.  I also added in a couple of Star Lord bracelets.  All are available on Amazon.  The shades are also available on Amazon.  Just click the links above.

 

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Team Member 5: The Blaster

This is your hair and make-up.  Do you need a wig?  If not, how can you color/style your hair to emulate your hero?  How about make-up?  Is there something that your character is known for here, such as a certain color lip or certain color eye shadow?  For dapper and pin-up, best to go with a red lip, which is what I did.  I wear Revlon’s “Love Is On”, which is available on Amazon here.

So, that’s it in five steps!  You’ve built your superhero team, your cosplay!  Congratulations!  Attached is a checklist you can print and make notes on for your own team ups!  Click below to download and print to your heart’s content!

Click here for your own Checklist!

Happy Building!

Love, Kim and Scout

Fashion Alert: CowCow on Amazon

For our first fashion alert of the year, I am putting the spotlight on CowCow.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of CowCow.  I discovered a cute AF dino dress last year and cannot stop wearing it.  I paid 20 bucks for it and got it on Prime.  I need to spread that fashion goodness around, I’m thinkin!

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Get this exact dress from Amazon here.  I’m wearing a 3XL.  It is true-to-size.  I’ve washed it several times, and the print is still bright and colorful.

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The cropped tee is available here.  The Star Lord jacket is available here.

CowCow has a huge selection on Amazon that is Prime available.  Click on these links to get some great deals on their dresses!  Some lower than $20!

Dino dresses.

Space dresses.

Cat dresses.

Goth dresses.

Kawaii dresses.

Just pair any of these with some “grandpa” sneakers like these, and you are good to go!

Please send us pictures in your CowCow dresses! We love to hear from you!

Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Scout

A Story of Fire and Ice

No, not THAT one! This is a story about a tube of lipstick and how it is a connection to the happiest and most influential time in my childhood.

When I was a girl, I was fortunate enough to have Doris Fulford as my Grandmother. Doris wore Revlon’s Fire and Ice lipstick exclusively.  Click here to get your own tube on Amazon!

Photo: Vintage Ad by Revlon

As you can see from the picture, Fire and Ice is a fantastic red lipstick that has been a Revlon staple since the 50s. Everyone should have a go-to red lipstick. Doris taught me that.

I got to borrow her lipstick and compact. When we were at home only, of course. I mean, a little girl wearing a red lip out in public “just wouldn’t do”. I felt pretty. I felt glamourous, just like her.

Doris had beautiful framed, top-clasp handbags all with matching shoes, which I would put on my tiny feet and shuffle around the house. Doris had hankerchiefs and hats. Doris wore gloves to church on Sundays. Doris had a group of friends with names like, “Madge” (her best friend’s actual name, by the way). They went to church, played bridge and went to the beauty shop together.

I drank all this in like a sponge. Just being around these ladies made me feel so glamourous! I was fussed over, but ignored just enough that I could employ my Dian Fosseyesque skills and observe and study. The Southern lady in her natural habitat…OBSERVE!

I got to wear dresses and spend time with them at the beauty shop. I was indulged and allowed to sit under one of those industrial size hair dryers that probably picked up signals from Sputnik. Cool air, of course, with a “Redbook” magazine to flip through with a very serious expression on my face. I mean, “Redbook” was serious business. So glamourous!

Which brings me back to the tube of lipstick. I carry it with me everywhere. Whether I go with a red lip that day or not. It reminds me of Doris, the bags with matching shoes, large hairdryers and the glamourousness it all entailed.

We all lost Doris in the early 80s, unfortunately. The example she set, however, was not lost. I grew up and fashion and beauty remained a huge part of my life. My kid and I started cosplaying, and then started a nerd fashion blog together.

I’d like to think that Doris would be proud of me and what I’ve accomplished. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Love, Kim and Scout