Monday, 21 April 2014

Costume Review: Pirate costume cosplay

Last weekend one of my friends had a birthday party. It was no ordinary birthday party however, it was a pirate-themed-murder-mystery AND fancy dress was mandatory. Now that is my kind of party!

Anywho, the timing of said party was pretty poor unfortunately as it fell just after a a trip to my parents to pick up a bunch of housey stuff. So with that, a 9 hour car journey and unpacking I really didn't have the time to make a costume.

But fortunately for me Kent based Mega Fancy Dress came to my rescue when they agreed to send me a costume and wig of my choice to review**. If you have any fancy dress needs then you should check out Mega Fancy Dress, they have a huge selection, including superheroes etc. and they have loads of mens costumes and super cute kids costumes too!

Even better, they had a great selection of Pirate outfits! Pirate seems to be an increasingly common party theme so there is a huge range of pirate costumes out there from wenches to captains, form skirts to trousers and even the odd sexy pirate...

My character for the party was Jean Golddust, the town gold dealer, so I needed a look that was slightly less stripy t-shirt and cutlass and more like a land loving lady.


Here is the look I went for:

I managed a fair bit of success during the night. As the town gold dealer I knew a fair number of secrets and was able to sell quite a bit of information to the town governor and grave digger, meaning I finished the night having tripled my pirate dosh. Although, I suppose that's to be expected with the town gold dealer.


Anywho, what did I think of the costume?!

Well one of the issues I know a lot of people have with bought costumes is that they never look like the advertised pictures.

So for reference here is the promo image from the Mega Fancy Dress website:

And here is my finished look:

I think it actually turned out quite well! Overall I would say I was very pleased with the costume, it was a sized costume (in a 12-14) which meant that it fit quite well! It was a fairly simple dress with a corset style bodice that fitted over the top and the dress section was great, I especially liked the fact that there was a black frilly lining under the skirt so that it could look like a petticoat. 

The bodice part was not quite as good, it was a sort of foam at the front with a stretchy polyester back portion. I know this is used to give a better, more generic fit, bit it meant that the costume could look a little cheap from the back. I'm sure no one looks that closely though.

Having the stretchy bodice did mean that there were customisable options to the costume so that you could ensure the best fit. The bodice was okay, I suppose you could lace it up slightly more open on the top of bottom depending on your shape (something I would have done in hindsight). 

But my favourite customisable option was the skirt length.The straps on the bodice attach to laces hidden underneath the skirt so that you can pull it as hitched or as long as you want. I really loved this detail as I am not a fan of the super short skirts you often get in bought costumes and it meant that I could wear the skirt slightly hitched but still preserve some dignity... although I did wear this outfit on a bus, in the daylight...

I really loved the skirt!

Sadly the headband that was meant to come with costume was missing in the packet. I managed to make do by stealing a bandanna from a local treasure hunter though to tame the wild and wavy locks provided for me by the showgirl wig.

The wig was a bit cheap looking up close, but I expected that based on the price of £8.99, but it did the job especially with the bandanna over the top. It was actually surprisingly comfortable as it was just elastic underneath meaning it was pinned with a few pins but it didn't did into my head the way some more fitted wigs can. Always a bonus.

Anywho, that's about it for pirateyness, it think I made an okay pirate... ish. What do you think?

**Full disclosure: I was sent the costume and wig to review free of charge. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and I do not get any compensation if you follow links.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Thrifty Outfit: A blue monsoon floral dress and a mustard cardigan

I went charity shopping for summer dresses the other week. My excuse is that since I've gained a bit of weight I needed to buy new summer clothes, but I think that may have been just that, an excuse. But when you're on a thrifty hunt, especially at this change of season, there are lots of bargains to be had.

One such find was a lovely 50s style prom dress from Monsoon that I wanted some time ago and had just about forgotten about. I think the print on it is absolutely gorgeous so floral, but without being overly light in colour like so many summer dresses can be. The fact that is was only £5 in a charity shop was the icing on the cake!

I wore the dress with a mustard yellow cardigan that helped to pick out the yellow details on the dress print (and the daffodils!). Although I have to say that I'm not so sure about the fit of this cardigan, upon reflection, I think a more fitted shape with this dress. 

As its not quite summer yet, I chose to wear blue tights so my legs didn't get cold and I wore shoes from Hotter. Yes, Hotter, I laughed so much when I found these blue t bars, I thought finally, I'm an old lady buying comfortable shoes. But then I thought again, and remembered that I've been buying Clarks for so many years that I've been an old lady on the shoe front for a very long time.

Unsurprisingly, the shoes are super comfy and they aren't so unfashionable. In fact I think they are pretty good for a vintage inspired look.

Just to maximise the florals I also took my Yoshi satchel. I'm so obsessed with satchels. I've had this one a few years now and its lasting super well.

I also wore my current favourite pair of glasses. I've been lusting over the Lipsy25s on Tesco's opticians website ever since Retro Chick posted her review some time ago. I managed to snipe this pair and a pink pair off eBay for £15! I did have to get them reglazed with my prescription but the website perfectglasses did that for me for £7.50 and they did a perfect job!

It meant it was a bit of a faff to get hold of them, but I saved a good £70 on the glasses so I can't really complain...

...also, they're AMAZING!

Really one of the antique shops on the street at Tunbridge Wells had some large mirrors outside so I couldn't help but take a silly quick snap.

This one was rather weird as it was a long line mirror sitting on the floor. I ended up with a weird shot of my husbands and my feet.

I want to leave you with this lovely view of the road near my flat. Look at that sky!

Dress: Monsoon via Hospice in the Weald
Cardigan: Topshop via eBay 
Glasses: Lipsy via eBay/perfectglasses 
Tights:  Accessorize sale
Shoes: Hotter

Have you managed to find and summer dresses in charity shops?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Disney Princesses as fashion icons through the years

Just a quick post today, I've recently seen a lot of images of Disney Princess in various forms, but this one struck a chord with me as I think it is one of the greatest pieces of fan art ever!

1: This picture was made by Baelor on Deviant-art - WOW!
2: Ariel is closest to the year I was born but I prefer the clothing of Cinderella
3: How lucky was I to be young in the early 90s with all those amazing Disney princesses?

I think this image makes for great inspiration and I think one day I'd like to have a go at all of these outfits!

I hope you like the image too, check out for more of her pictures, they are amazing!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Outfit of the Day: Spring in my step with a Cath Kidston dress

Is that spring I sense in the air? I hope so, I'm starting to get a little bit sick of winter tights.

Anywho, with a bit of nice weather my husband and I decided to go for a stroll about town while the gettin' was good.

For said stroll I decided to wear a lovely Cath Kidston tea dress I got from eBay a couple of weeks ago. I've never seen this style of dress before in CK and it was a bit more up my street than the usual tunic style peter pan collar dresses that are really popular.

Of course I bought it second hand for less than half the RRP.

It was super nice to be able to go out without a coat on too! The shoes were from Clarks last year and have lasted surprisingly well for ballet pumps. I was quite impressed. They have a little more cushioning than usual so they don't make me feet ache as much as the cheap ones tend to.

Look at this picture, there are actual SUN RAYS caught on film!

Last but not least is a make up close up (check out part of my fringe with a mind of its own in the wind!). I have been using MAC make up for a while now so managed to save up 6 empty things and I finally tried taking them into the shop to exchange for my free lipstick.

I chose the shade Dangerous as its a bit more of an orange tone than my usual Ruby Woo and I thought it would be nice for spring. It isn't quite as matt as Ruby, but it is pretty matt and it is by far the best orangey red I've ever tried.

What do you think?

Dress: Cath Kidston, via eBay
Shoes: Clarks
Pearls: Thrifted
Sunglasses: North Laines Brighton

 Can you feel spring in the air?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Charity shop find: A vintage Jaeger skirt

I have been looking for a tan/camel skirt for a while. It has been a bit of a difficult one to find, I don't know why, it just seems that this is not the kind of style that has been very popular recently.

Anyhow the other day I lucked out in a charity shop while killing time waiting for the train! I came across an amazing tan Jaeger skirt in my size! Now given that the skirt is a size 16 with a 30 inch waist I would suggest that it might be from as early as the 1970s but I find it really hard to tell with styles like this. The Vintage Fashion Guild website is really helpful when dating clothing that has labels in it though -  mine definitely looks like the 1970s one.

It has a huge set of pleats with a really swingy style so I'm sure one day it will be great for dancing in :)

One thing I really love about older Jaeger is that the quality is fantastic. This one still has the original buttons and two sets of hook/eyes for fastening inside and a full lining, for which I'm grateful for as 100% wool can get a bit itchy.

I'm a little stuck in a rut at the moment though as I'm not very good at dealing with the winter-spring transition. I left home without a coat for the first time today and I was so afraid that I'd get too cold. Not that I had any problems with being too cold as the weather lately has been pretty nice.

I decided to take this transition slowly though and I teemed this skirt with a jumper from M&S that has a little bit of an 80s vibe to it biut I simply adore the sequin birds on the top of it. I also wore some blue opaque tights that I got for £1.80 in the Accessorize sale. I would highly recommend Accessorize tights, especially the opaque colours - they are simply amazing in quality and fit. They are my favourites.

Lastly came the clogs. They have been on here briefly before but they got a proper outing today. I truly believe that clogs do not need to be limited to summer, I think they look perfectly good with opaques!

Skirt: Jaeger
Jumper: M&S (via eBay)
Bag: Sue Ryder
Tights: Accessorize
Clogs: Clarks (thrifted)

My eyeliner in this post is also slightly different, I tried using a different mac gel liner. This one was blue and called waveline, but you know, its just not as good as the blacktrack, it smudges much easier and doesn't last as long. I wonder if its something to do with the blue pigment?

I'm currently trialing the collection 2000 gel eyeliner and my experience is all good so far :)

Do you have any Jaeger? Is it any good?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Outfit of the day: A camel coat and a collectif dress

As winter draws to a final close I am desperately trying to cram a few extra days of wear into the camel coat I bought at the end of February. It is a warm coat, but its not too much at the moment as long as I don't wear a cardigan too.

On a particularly sunny day my husband and I went for a walk through the park next to where we live and snapped a couple of pictures of my coat. I had previously had my hair in plaits (my latest favourite thing) and it was a terrible mess so I used the occasion to wear a lovely hat I got from Laura Ashley in October last year and haven't really got around to writing about yet.

I think the black/camel/teal combo is quite striking, but I feel that it is a combination that works really really well.

I got the teal dress on a recent trip to Brighton in the Collectif sale (which is great by the way, if you get a change to pop into the Brighton or London stores I believe it is still going on and there are super bargains to be had).

This dress is the Wilhemina dress which has a lovely 40s sort of shape with really pretty pleats and shoulders.

Here is a closer picture of the Laura Ashley hat. It isn't that old, but its style is very similar to some of the hats seen in episodes of Downton Abbey. It has a distinct early 20th century style.

Oh and last but not least, since I was in a park, I had to do at least one picture posing with a tree. Naturally.

Dress: Collectif
Coat: Thrifted
Shoes: Clarks
Hat: Laura Ashley (thrifted)
Scarf: Thrifted

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cosplay Costume: Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz

Once upon a time it was world book day and my work decided to do a fancy dress day. FANCY DRESS DAY! YES! The catch was that the theme was heroes and villains and comic books weren't allowed. Hum, what to pick...

I decided to go with the Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I loved the books when I was a kid and I felt like the iconic blue gingham from the movie was something I could quite easily make, handily I also have the right colour hair so I could avoid wearing a wig all day. It also meant I could keep my 'olden times' look (students words not mine!) and didn't have to confuse anyone with an abrupt change of style.

Just in case you weren't sure about Dorothy's look in the film, here is dorothy cut out that I largely used for referencing:

I already had a white blouse that would work quite well in this costume, but the blue dress, I had to make that from scratch. I got some poly cotton blue gingham from World of Sewing for £3.50/m which was the apparent standard price of gingham everywhere!

I used the same 1960s dress pattern that I edited for my Princess Daisy outfit, only I used a shortened version of the skirt and I shortened the bodice and added straps as braces. I fixed the straps in place as I have stupidly small shoulders and I didn't want to deal with them falling down.

I apologise for the floor covered in thread in this shot ^^


For the shoes I had a pair of 80s red pumps that I got for 99p a while ago. The leather is flaking a bit so I didn't mind covering them in glitter. I used a large flake glitter and PVA glue to paint and stick the glitter to the shoes. 

The result was actually way better than I expected, but it did make a horrible mess of my floor, and my Dominoes/Pizza Hut menu.

Of course once I put the out fit on I had so do some cheesy 'over the rainbow' black and white shots ;) 

Were not in kansas any more:

And the shoes:
And this final shot was me trying to click my heels together... I don't really think it worked out that well but oh well.

Best part of the day however was when I won the staff prize for best costume! Happy days indeed.

Did you do anything for world book day?

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