Cara Rage: Costumes (or You’re Doing It Wrong!) PART 1

November 10, 2011
Cara Rage, Nerds and Geeks, Pet Hates

I’ve decided to do this rant in a few parts as I have far too much to say. Please enjoy part One of how NOT to dress up.

My latest rage is about dressing up in costume. This was inspired both before, during and after the recent Supanova convention here in Brisbane. A huge part of the convention is the dressing up as a favourite fictional character, the more obscure, geeky or nostalgic the better. I’ve only started dressing up for Supanova’s kind of recently and this year was the first that I dressed up on both the Saturday and Sunday. I LOVE dressing up, I always get carried away for fancy dress parties (which I like to throw as often as possible) and I am a BIG believer in making a worthwhile effort, or else not dressing up at all.

Unfortunately a lot of people do not share this sentiment.

I feel that unless you’re going to do it properly, you shouldn’t do it at all (in everything, but particularly dressing in costume). Half arsed costumes just serve to confuse and irritate those who can’t work out what you’re dressed as and those who actually did put in a lot of effort with their costumes. Just because it’s a comic book convention (sorry, “pop culture” convention) doesn’t mean you can dig up some bits and pieces from your wardrobe and claim you dressed up. It’s not a prerequisite for people to dress up for these sorts of conventions but people do because it’s fun.

I will share with you two of the examples I found:


I planned to dress Steampunk on the Saturday and so Googled pictures of steampunk girls for inspiration (even though I have a kick-arse costume already). I discovered a few Tumblr’s dedicated to Steampunk girls and while some were amazing, most were atrocious. I was given a pamphlet on what Steampunk is at a gamers convention a couple of months ago and laughed at how they said that if you want to be Steampunk you can technically just paint something brown and put a cog on it but people (in-the-know) will probably laugh at you for it. But unfortunately it seems to be what a lot of people assume Steampunk is! The genre IS very broad and there’s no exact look to achieve when dressing steampunk and it can vary so, so much. But there are some basic elements, colour combinations and accessories to be aware of which can turn your brown, coggy outfit into something sublimely Steampunk.

Some of the dreadful examples I found are as follows:

And for contrast, here are some excellent examples of what makes a good Steampunk (in fact the last one is where I got the inspiration for my outfit).

Look, Steampunk is not just a Victorian style outfit with a few cogs or clocks added. Nor do you transform an outfit into Steampunk just by wearing some old-fashioned-looking goggles and carrying a lantern or holding a wrist watch. It’s kind of hard to describe, but basically it ain’t this (purple, ill-fitting corsets, brown leather straps and a black leather choker ain’t steampunk, love. Sorry).

And just for good measure, Regretsy have a whole section on what is NOT steampunk. Hilarious!


So naturally this will be a sore spot for me since I am a massive Harry Potter geek. I just don’t see how people get this so wrong but they absolutely desecrated the basic HP school uniform costume at Supanova this year. I don’t know why so many people attempted to dress like HP character this time, hardly any did when Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) was appearing earlier this year. Maybe I am missing something, but when I think of a Harry Potter school uniform I think of something like this:

Yep, they’re damn good costumes! So what the hell gave these people the idea that this was in any way WHATSOEVER event remotely Harry Potter:

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot of examples, only these “paparazzi” style ones since their costumes are so slack, no one would want to take proper photos of them. But this was basically it. White shirt, black skirt or pants and a red or green tie and a wand. There was the occasional striped tie but aside from that it was so completely half arsed, I was beside myself with rage. This is a perfect example of doing it properly or NOT AT ALL. If you were a genuine fan of HP, you’d probably have a red and gold striped tie, a grey skirt and an actual long-sleeved white school/business shirt. I mean, my Gryffindor tie was yellow which I painted red stripes on. It don’t get much easier than that! Back when the movies were just coming out, I couldn’t get a grey pleated skirt anywhere so I had one made. THESE are things you do to make a costume remotely half decent, guys! Look at how much better it looks with a proper tie,  patch and grey vest! My god, it seems so simple!

Basically the only people who are allowed to slack off on the details are adorable little kids. And even then I wish their parents had have found a red tie at the very least…

COMING SOON: More rants about shit costumes that should never have left the house!

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  • misswednesday

    lol, I did the makeup for the Kate O’Brien steampunk shoot. Its odd seeing that photo everywhere now! 

    Love the blog lady!
    Misswednesday (on IG) :)

  • OMG did you? I love Kate’s stuff sooo much!!! 

  • misswednesday

    I did indeed. Her and I work together a fair bit :)