RhymesWithStitch's Blog

Couture Costuming

A bad case of “I could do that”

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 One of my favorite things to do at a Con, any Con, is the shopping. Whether it is Science Fiction, Horror, Media, or even an Anime Con like MetroCon, my first stop is the vendor hall/dealer’s room/art show. There is always stuff that you aren’t going to see anywhere else, stuff you didn’t even know you desperately needed. This was even a bigger deal back in the dark ages before the ‘net.

Metro has a respectable vendor hall with a really nice balance of actual manga/anime (books, magazines, videos) and all the accoutrements of the fandom.

The accoutrements at Metro included costumes (whee), photo manips on demand, kimonos, games, posters, t-shirts, jewelry and tchotchkes.

Unfortunately, I have a bad case of “I could do that” which is really frustrating. Fortunately, I have a bad case of “I could do that” which is so much easier on my wallet.

The frustration is that I know I probably won’t, even if I could. I mean I only have so much free time. The reality is I’m never going to learn enough leatherworking to create a gorgeous bodice with tails. (tux tails, not cat girl tails) I found an incredible outfit in hard leather that I would love to bind myself into for my next outing. Grocery store, work, con, who cares, if I spent that amount on an outfit it would get constant wear.

 As we wandered the hall, we found some really lovely Lolita wear and some really tacky stuff of the same vein. A couple of the vendors had some handcrafted pieces in rich fabrics, most had cheap imported gaudy stuff at similar prices.

If you are going to buy costumes at a con, whole outfits or just pieces, take a good look at them. Is it exactly what you want? Touch it. Does it feel nice or is it vaguely scratchy?

Are there loose threads? Do the lines meet? For example I picked up a dress with multiple rows of ruffles that met in the back about a ½ in ‘off’ as in one side higher than the other. If I’m paying 6 bucks I might be ok with it, but it was $60. Ridiculous.

Another question, does it fit? Don’t be that big girl with back cleavage because her dress is so tight and don’t be that tiny girl tripping over her hem.

Is the price appropriate and can I afford it? Hey, if you are a steampunk fanatic, spending $30 on a nice pith helmet might be totally worth it, but if it is a one shot costume idea, or passing fancy, think about a $10 one that you can jazz up yourself. We had a costumer at our panel that had a paper/plastic top hat that was probably $3 from Party City but he had draped fabric around it in a way that really made it look like a real one. Use your imagination.

It is easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy of a con, don’t have regrets.

Me? I got some ideas from the better vendors, got the urge to learn more about kanzashi (Japanese Hair Ornamentation), got to play some ‘old school’ pachinko and lusted after some leather that I may have to buy eventually.

Is it DragonCon yet?



Written by rhymeswithstitch

July 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

Posted in Cons

Tagged with ,

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