Edwardian Dandy

Edwardian Dandy This outfit was inspired by the coat, which I purchased at a vintage clothing sale. It inspired thoughts of Oscar Wilde and Edwardian dandies, and this was an attempt to get that look. This is an example of a costume where every piece is part of my regular wardrobe and not actually costume wear, and of how it merely takes some creative thinking to put a costume together. This was my Saturday costume at Norwescon 21 in 1999.

The coat is a deep claret-colored velvet, lined with rose satin. It has a high stand collar, a high waistband, and a full, floor-length skirt; it features leg-o-mutton sleeves, covered buttons, and a large rose cameo. It looks very Edwardian and is definitely vintage, but is in such good condition that I find it hard to believe that it's truly that old.

The blouse is white cotton, with extravagant pintucking and cutwork lace; it came from a small boutique at Tyson's Corner mall in Virginia in 1987 (I suspect the shop no longer exists). The waistcoat is black velveteen with satin buttons and came from the Chadwick's of Boston catalog, one of my favorites. The skirt is a straight ankle-length black panne velvet skirt picked up at Rave, a mall shop selling cheap teenage-girl wear. Unseen are my vintage-look black leather ankle boots with pointy toes and button-and-strap detail; these were purchased from the Silhouettes catalog.

The accessories: the Art Nouveau necklace and earrings are from Angelwear Creations, my favorite jeweler. The black gloves are vintage and belonged to my grandmother. The walking stick is from the Bombay Company. The straw hat is from J.C. Penney; I added the criss-crossed black satin ribbon to give it some weight. And yes, the hat is the wrong color and material for this velvet outfit, but the shape worked very well for the "dandy" effect.

I kept the makeup subtle and simple, since the clothes were the focus; it's mostly Garden Botanika, featuring pale pink and rose shadows, plus M Professional lipstick.

Edwardian Lady

For Orycon later that same year, I decided to turn the outfit into more of an Edwardian lady, which involved changing just a few pieces--and as you can see, though it's still a similar look, the effect is definitely different .

The clothing is mostly the same. What's changed: the hat, which is a vintage Edwardian hat, horsehair and lace with a silk rose and black ostrich feathers. And the skirt, which is black stretch velvet, straight through the hips and thighs and then gored below the knees. Truthfully, the skirt isn't really a skirt, but actually a black velvet gown. The skirt was the right shape, so I pulled it up to my waist, and tucked the sleeves and top of the gown into the back, where they were hidden by the waistcoat and the coat. I also changed the necklace, as the "breastplate" necklace was too long and fussy for the waistcoat; now it's a simple silver and garnet Art Nouveau pendant, again from Angelwear Creations, on a black silk cord. I also changed the hair, piling it (such as I could, with a short bob) on top of my head.

Edwardian costume

All content Copyright 1997-2006 Elisabeth Van Every, except where noted. All rights reserved.

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