Thursday, 13 October 2011

Girl, Anachronism: some thoughts on Filthy Victorians 2012

As you may remember from when I posted about it earlier this year, from January 1st 2012 I will be joining fellow Goth blogger Kitty Lovett in her challenge to spend the entire year dressed as a Victorian lady; right down to the bloomers. Now that 2012 is looming in the none-too-distant future, I thought I'd take a few notes on my reservations, expectations, and ideas for what the year will bring.

Firstly, Kitty, as far as I'm aware, is intending as close to 100% historical accuracy as possible. Since my current wardrobe only sports about three or four items of suitable Victoriana, it will be highly unlikely that I will be able to follow suit, but I will do my best. I am stocking up on bloomers and petticoats as we speak. My shopping list also includes a white corset to wear under light-coloured blouses; a couple of jabots and a handful of tie-on bustles. I could also do with a whole bunch of blouses and skirts and am looking forward to finally treating myself to a faux-fur muff from Stocking Shock. (Yes; for me, the Filthy Victorian challenge is in part a very good excuse to go shopping.)

I'm having blouse envy
One of my main worries for the Victorian year is that my budget will not stretch to providing me with a sensible day-to-day Victorian wardrobe and I will find myself with nothing to wear. Kitty is a huge advocate of DIY but as you already know my sewing skills are non-existent. I have been intending to learn, but trying to pin someone down to show me how in hell to use a sewing machine is proving difficult. I suppose I will have to stop buying band T-shirts and teacup jewellery and start putting my cash towards next year's wardrobe.

I am pretty sure that I can manage to wear outfits that LOOK historically accurate (for the most part); however, I am going to allow myself such small luxuries as zips, hair dye, and bras! Also, I will not be taking out my piercings... And of course, for events such as bellydance rehearsals and badminton games I am unlikely to be wearing a corset or top hat.

On the subject of corsets, one of the reservations that I have is wearing a corset day-in, day-out. Unlike the fabulous tight-lacing Kitty, my corset-wearing record is four hours, and after that I had to go and have a lie down. :-/ But I am hoping that after a year of dogged determination, I will be able to show off a corseted waist that Vicky Butterfly would be proud of. (A girl can dream, can't she?)

Other than a wasp waist, I am looking forward to having the chance to re-evaluate my wardrobe. I have been regarding my clothes with increasing dismay (as the ever-growing pile of Things to Put On eBay proves - I will be bombarding eBay with my secondhand goodies as soon as I have my OWN computer and internet access), and it's gotten worse ever since I turned twenty. I'm sure that not everyone will feel the same, but neon tutus, bondage pants, baggy T-shirts, and some of my hoodies are looking increasingly like clothes that only teenage Gothlings can get away with. I used to love wearing them but sometimes now I feel a little... silly. (This is a personal thing, by the way, not a universal Gothy rule. There's no age limit on bondage pants.)

So an overhaul is well overdue, and hopefully a year in velvet blouses and glorious stripy confections will give me a chance to lose the sentimental attachments to clothes that I don't wear, and some that simply don't fit.
I am also planning to attend Whitby for the first time next year, and am already creating some black-and-pink Victorian outfit ideas in my mind (with mini tricorns, oh yes indeed!). Plus, my 21st birthday will be in September - I've already chosen Harlots and Dandies as my theme, so look out for bloomers, ripped stockings, and some particularly flamboyant headgear (I'm going to see if I can coerce Dan into false sideburns and a monocle... ;-)). Victorian underwear counts, right...?

Lastly, I am not in favour of giving up my Gothy image for an entire year. My wardrobe is, in theory at least, going to be just as much Goth as it is Victorian - lots of black, red, white and pink, ruffles, stripes, and skull adornments - so please don't think I will be deserting the dark side for a whole twelve months. 
On an unrelated note, here's a recent outfit:

Boots: Peacocks sale, £20 (they bit the dust this week; the zip broke off)
T-shirt: charity shop, £1.50
Hairpieces: British Heart Foundation, £1.99 each (I'm wearing two)
Necklace: gift, in my second brief Goth-experimentation-phase when I was about 11
Jeans: £4, charity shop
Wristband: gift


BallerinaDark said...

Wow good luck with that! :)Dressing properly Victorian everyday won't be easy ;)

Toxic Tears said...

I know how you feel, even at the age of 10 I could barely stand wearing band t-shirts and baggy pants, I was far happier in a floor length skirt and lacy blouse.>__< It just wasn't something that looked good on me.

Although in a way it was good, it meant I never went through the painfully obvious babybat mallgoth-esque stage, which also meant people nearly fell over with shock when finding out my age.:P

I wish I still had pictures from back then.>:C The earliest they go is 13.;o;

Kaitlyn said...

Wow, that sounds fun(and difficult) I can't wait to see pics! If you do decide to go diy, I found some great tutorials for you!


Half elastic waistband(for a simple skirt)-

I make this kid of stuff all the time(but shorter than you intend to make XD) and I'd say these were good for a beginner.

Mira said...

Good luck! I'm looking forward to lots of awesome outfit posts.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

I'm going to take this opportunity to say I AM RETARDED WITH JACKETS. I just get angry at them, yell, and storm off, then sort of ignore them forever.

I'm also retarded with bloomers.

I'll be going for a Victorian widow look, a Lady In Red look, a Lucy Barker Sweeney Todd look and an Ice Goth Victorian look for the most part. (I love white and pastel pink together. RIBBONS. RIBBONS EVERYWHERE) As for skirts, buy any floor-length skirt, cut the back panel in half, hem the edges and attach an extra panel that has been bustled. There are HEAPS of tutorials on utoob, just go have a look. I plan to do it the lazy way a lot!

Amy, have you seen the Neil Gaiman episode of Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife"? I'll be wearing Idris' dress as soon as I can figure out the blouse and who can make it for me. :'D I'm about to make a VIctorian post as soon as I make myself a hot drink, where I will repost these points and a few "escapist rules". :D

LovleAnjel said...

I admire the both of you for taking on that challenge. Good luck, and remember - the corset doesn't have to be tight-laced.

Ashlee said...

I feel the same way about my current wardrobe and Filthy Victorians. My current wardrobe is kinda "bleh" and most of it will be leaving this winter. I can rebuild it after I dress like a Victorian.

Assuming that I manage to dress Filthy enough.

VictorianKitty (Sophistique Noir) said...

I'm extremely jealous that you have £1.99 hairpieces that look an awful lot like my $20 hairpieces! £1.99 is about $4, I believe. *sigh* I'm moving to England! ;)

I love the way you dress now, but it's also awesome that you are aware that it is helpful to reevaluate from time to time as you progress through the years and phases of your life. I'm looking forward to following you on your Victorian-inspired journey of self-discovery and wardrobe metamorphosis!

Snowhyte said...

This is an awesome challenge and I hope you both have a lot of fun with it! :D

SkeleDuck said...

I am completely joining this. Just have to buy a dress I can get away with wearing at work...

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