How Do You Feel?

I went shopping with a friend from work this weekend, we were working on updating her wardrobe, just getting a couple of staples that she could mix into what she already has and elevate her style as a whole. Every time she would try on a new piece of clothing I would ask her how she felt, after the second or third outfit I realized we were speaking about two different kinds of feelings, she was telling me how the clothes felt in a physical sense, were they soft, tight, lose, anything like that. I was confused, that wasn’t telling me anything. I realized I was talking about emotions, was it making her feel confidents, happy, excited, did she feel sexy in what she was wearing. We recalibrated and met somewhere in the middle. She started telling me about how she was feeling, did it make her feel good about herself, and I listened to when she thought something wasn’t fitting the right way. We discussed what to look for in proper fit of a garnment, and we talked about how sometimes she was wearing the wrong size trying to hide her body. I am also not a tiny lady, and I know the allure of wearing an outfit too big to hid the parts of my body that I don’t like to look at in the mirror when I go to the bathroom or catch my reflection in a window. It can feel nice to pretend that things are different, but I am who I am, and there are some really nice parts of my body, just like my friend’s body.  Sure there are things I could make “better” but that would also mean giving up cheese, and craft service at work, and I don’t want to do that, if I did, I already would have.

 

However, I have ended up on a tangent about how wonderful cheese is, and even if that is true, it is not my point.  My point is that when I am wearing clothes, and even more, when I am cosplaying, I am looking to FEEL a certain way,  I want to embody the character that I’m playing, that’s why I spend a solid hour or more coming up with the right pose.  I want to know I have the whole package and that I love what it is that I’m wearing.

 

I hope when everyone gets dressed in the morning they don’t ask how this looks, but how do I feel, because that is the key, for me, to being happy all day and not bored by lunch.

Slave Leia

Slave Leia.

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It is probably the most over done costume in all of existence.  Jennifer Aniston did it on Friends, Alessandra Torresani (of Caprica fame) did it for the music video Tonight I’m Frakking You,  Kaley Cuoco even did a parody PSA  telling women that there are other hot girl outfits and they don’t have to dress as slave Leia.  Although a joke, it is getting a little sad how over used Slave Leia is whenever a nerd is supposed to be fantasizing about a hot girl.  Nerds have more than one interest.  And have more than one outfit they look great in.  Next time a show is having a nerd fantasize maybe they could use Powergirl.  Bust out of the rut we’re in.

 

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What makes Cosplay Special

Halloween for non-nerds is the only time of year they get to come as they aren’t.  Nerds have collectively stated that we all love to dress up and would like to do it as often as possible.  Most of the time at conventions the costumes are more elaborate than at Halloween.  Whenever I think about Halloween I think of the scene in Mean Girls where Cady went to the party and the girls are all in animals because they had on ears and tales where as Cady went all out on a less than sexy outfit. However, in no way am I saying that nerd costumes aren’t sexy.  I want to remove all booth babes and models from the conversation of cosplay just because they are being paid to dress-up in costume so any connection to the character isn’t necessarily there, not that it can’t be but I’ve run into more of them that don’t know who they’re dressed as than love the character.

Cosplay comes all time of year.  There is no limit to when or how many times a costume can and should be worn.  Some of the best costumes can have bits and pieces incorporated into a normal wardrobe.  A shirt that can be worn to the grocery store or a funky belt that looks great with a going out dress.  Yeah a costume bought from a store is easy but then it’s 40 bucks you’ll only wear once or twice, a costume made is something that can have more uses than just the first intended one.

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Cosplay also is about the character you’re playing as much as the outfit that you’re wearing.  People like to pretend, that’s why we all love movies and TV shows.  We like to escape.  When kids pretend no one thinks twice about it but if you’re over the age of 10 and call a friend to come over and want to play princesses or super heroes the other person probably isn’t going to go for it, cosplay is the chance to play pretend and get to think “Today, I am a Super Hero.  Today I can fly, or talk to animals, or have telekinesis.”  And all of that is pretty cool.  We don’t need to do it every day but every once in a while I like to pretend that I can fly.

Couples Costumes

Couples costumes are some of the best costumes for comic cons.  For last comic con I created a Green Arrow and Black Canary costume for my parents, I’m currently working on a Battlestar Glacatica costume for my boyfriend and me.  My friend and I did a Batgirl and Robin for Halloween a couple of years ago.  Couples don’t have to be a couple , I’ve seen twin brothers and sisters do Luke and Leia.  Fathers and sons can do Batman and Robin, which is awesome.  (RIP Damien Wayne)  Groups of friends can be the crew of Serenity.

I don't know these kids, I just think it's one of the cutest cosplays ever.

I don’t know these kids, I just think it’s one of the cutest cosplays ever.

It’s not that cosplay isn’t fun on your own but if you can have someone doing it with you it gets more fun.  I enjoy going out in costume with my friends and acting as if nothing is different about us.  It’s fun just to be different sometimes.  What are some of the fun things that you and your friends have done?

SteamPunk

I love SteamPunk! I think it has an incredibly equalizing property that most cosplay doesn’t have.  What I mean is that when I dress up as Batgirl, no matter how much I love Barbra Gordon and how much I know about her, it never feels like it’s enough when I go to shows.  Someone will inevitably start talking to me about her and there will come a time in the conversation where I start smiling and nodding.  And I know a lot about her.  It just never feels like enough.  When I wear my Dalek dress, I will run into another Whovian who will put my knowledge to shame.  It’s not that I’m not obsessive.  Ask my friends, I am a constant fountain of weird nerdy babble, I make nerdy clothes that I can wear to the office, but I’m obsessive all over the place.

 

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Nathan Fillion as Rick Castle learning about SteamPunk in Season 3 episode Punked

This is where SteamPunk is wonderful.  SteamPunk looks cool and it doesn’t have a huge backstory I need to know to wear the clothes.  I understand the concept, steam powered engines, we never split the atom, futuristic Victorian style.  All of these things are awesome.  Also, I have yet to mean a NerdGirl who doesn’t like any excuse to wear a corset.

Wizard World Costumes

Currently I’m working on costumes for my family for Wizard World Comic Con.  It’s our favorite convention of the year.  I’ve created all sorts of costumes for different events for them.  That Kid Flash from a couple of days ago, that’s my brother.  He LOVES The Flash.  Wally West to be exact.  Unfortunately as some of you may know, Wally doesn’t exist right now in the New 52 universe so he has to settle for Barry Allen with some of Wally West’s personality mixed in.  So we made the costume to look like Wally’s from the old days.

But every costume isn’t a direct take from a character.  Sometimes you can create your own spin on an idea.  I’m currently working on SteamPunk Star Trek.  Right now I’m in the building and buying phase.  I can’t wait to share the progress with you.

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A sample of my inspiration.