Renaissance faire season is coming up in a few months, and I’ve decided that now’s the perfect time to begin mulling over costume choices. Plus, it gives me something to do late at night besides compulsively checking Facebook until I feel sleepy. I did the same thing with cat furniture once.
(Apparently I need to get into the cat-furniture business. It’s amazing what they charge for what isn’t a Chinese-made piece of shit that looks upholstered in sheep pubes.)
But anyway, I already have some decent selection in costumes. I have a green Tudor dress — traditional faire wear — and a set of pants, shirt, and boots that can be dressed up in accessories to become a pirate (Halloween 2011) or a Cavalier (Halloween 2010). These accessories often include pieces of my sword collection (aww yiss!). I recently added to my collection with a burgundy leather, steampunk-style corset (I’m still baffled as to why I bought this) and a yukata kimono that I mostly wear around the house when I don’t feel like putting on anything more complicated than a bathrobe. Granted, these aren’t really Renaissance-y, but in my area we don’t have many geek events, so it all tends to come out at any opportunity. I once saw a guy in a Bobba Fett costume at a faire, next to the loli-goths and a guy in a legit-looking Japanese outfit, down to the tabi socks.
I think I ought to take the corset out for a spin, since I haven’t yet had an opportunity to wear the damn thing I paid a few hundred dollars for (why did I buy that thing, again?), but I’m still ashamed to admit to my parents that I own a thing like that. It’s still hiding in my closet behind the green Tudor dress. But I don’t think I quite have everything to make a steampunkish outfit to suit it. I’d prefer not to wear a skirt, because that can be a huge pain in the ass, plus it gets hot and humid around here. Hot and humid means I’d prefer not to wear the wool-blend pants I usually use: they often get to be too much even in 60ish-degree October evenings. Cotton leggings, maybe. But then I thought I could try out some zettai ryouiki with some shorts and long socks. A few inches of skin would give a bit more ventilation, right? Plus, I kinda want to try out some zettai ryouiki.
And then I think that the collar on the corset (yes, it has a collar; I thought it looked awesome) would make the collared shirt I usually wear look weird, do I dinked around on costume sites to find one of those drawstring-necked peasant blouses that could be opened up and even worn off the shoulder. And then I flailed a little in tightfisted agony because one plain white cotton blouse cost over $50.
And then that got me to thinking that off-shoulder blouses need strapless bras, and the one strapless bra I have is padded and might be a bit much to wear under a leather corset in possibly hot and humid weather. So then I looked at bras, which is its own flail in agony because there are so many things to weigh in consideration of a bra purchase. Fit, fabric, strap arrangement, underwire or wireless, full cup, demi cup, molded cup, pushup, T-shirt, front close or back close, how breakable that skinny strap between the cups looks, price. Bras are fucking hell, and then they stretch out and fray in the laundry. The wisdom of leaving bras out of the dryer was never passed down to me because Mom’s old warhorses could handle that crap. Thank you, Internet, for the websites that educated me about bra fit and care.
(I apologize to my dude readers [if I have dude readers] if this tangent has made them feel weird. Please come back.)
And then I remembered that leggings and shorts don’t have pockets, so I would need something to haul my crap in. I found this kickass utility belt, but that’s another ~$50 dollars on the price tag. But at least I have a cool-as-hell decorated kukri to accessorize with. So all together, my guesstimate cost of this outfit is in the neighborhood of $150, and that’s without figuring out if I wanted to wear something on my head and what that would be. And I’m totes poor and am about to be poorer if I can manage to find an apartment.
And then my highly bred, well-trained sense of cheapskatedness goes:
Dammit. Why can’t I just collect cat-ear headbands? That sounds drastically cheaper.
And then it occurred to me that people might ask who my character was and that I would be all, “Uhhhh….someone badass?” Or “Steampunk Lara Croft, I guess.” Or more accurately, “Disappointingly endowed Steampunk Lara Croft.” But at least that would provide an answer to my as-of-yet fruitless ponderings about hairstyle. I can manage a ponytail, at least.