Lately I've been thinking that it's a shame I'm not more outgoing or gifted in the vein of performing and acting, because most of the time I'd really like to wear some sort of costume and pretend all day. I'm just shy of twenty-five so full-out costume dressing doesn't really click these days, although that hasn't stopped me from trying at least a little bit. My habits of dress usually coincide with a movie or book I've seen or read and if you've seen my last post I'm sure you can guess the sorts of things I've been trying to channel as far as the costume for the day goes. I've been forgoing my usual eyeliner (partly because my allergies were so bad that I was starting to despise applying any makeup at all) and keeping my mascara to a minimum. Despite my penchant for lace and old oddities of dress, I don't really have much that would work when it comes to 19thc. corsets and calico dresses. I've also been sorely lamenting my chopped hair, wondering why I ever did such a thing, and trying my very best to will the stuff to grow faster.
In the meantime though, I'm making do. I had a white dress I snagged on sale at Anthropologie last year, but had hardly worn. The thing about white dresses is they always seem like a crisp, cool idea at the time, and then I hardly wear them.. For a while a few years ago I couldn't get enough of the things, but that was mostly paired with tights and strange boots, rather than in summer. I have a little pile of white dresses that I bought on impulse, thinking that yes, they are white, but I can always dye them (this is also my justification for buying vintage that is stained so much I'm unsure if I could actually get it out). Assuming I ever get around to that task. My need for at least one Jane Eyre inspired outfit was enough to push me to try such a thing, and so I started with this dress:
Consequently you cannot see it very clearly because it is white. Helpful.
I don't generally like shirt-dresses. In theory I think they're lovely, and then I put one on and can't stand it, so they hardly get worn. But something about the lines of this dress reminded me of the costumes in the movie. Originally I had visions of a mint-green thing, with a little lace jacket (I have procured on from Forever21, which is not in this post, but it was originally planned to be) that I imagined I might dye with tea, and a pair of triple strap flats ordered from golden ponies (I've ordered them, and they're on their way but not here yet). As it turns out, the color green I wanted has been discontinued. I didn't really trust myself to adjust the shades of green in the store, and anyway my favorite dress in the aforementioned film is a very pale blueish grey. After a first dye, using less than a quarter of what the dye instructions called for, I had a dress in a pleasing shade of light blue. I was thrilled with it, but in my heart it was not the color I wanted. It was a little more Alice in Wonderland blue rather than faded dress grey blue. I opted to try a grey dye over the blue for a short amount of time. The resulting color was exactly what I had hoped for.
After that I threw some snaps on the collar to close it up the shirt-ness of it, and after adding a little lace collar and some ribbon, I was quite pleased at my vaguely Eyre-esque outfit to be worn traipsing to historic sites and wandering grounds.
Olana, a place I remembered visiting when I was a kid, so we headed back!
I have a small collection of lace cuffs that I buy for no reason. I love the idea of them, how period they look, how delicate and strange they are. A lot of them are on their own and appalling cheap because they are missing mates or stained, so I've started wearing one by itself as a kind of bracelet. For the purposes of this costumed outfit I wore it alone, but I've been enjoying it layered with some shiny bracelets for more regular days.
I'm trying my best with my hair! I used to be able to do so much with it when it was long, all these romantic hairstyles! Now I'm limited, and this length doesn't hold curl very well, but I'm making do until I get some lengthy locks again.
Dress: Anthropologie, altered
Collar: Vintage, thrifted
Cuff: Vintage, antiqued
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
(For reference, I used RIT liquid dye in Evening blue for the first dye, and used RIT pearl grey in powder form for the second dye)
Pictures taken by John M.