Friday, April 29, 2016

Zazzle Shirts On The Rack! How Do They Fit? Gail Carriger Merch

So my dears, I’ve started puttering about with merchandise! This post being on Retro Rack it's going to be all about Zazzle's shirts in particular. How do they fit, and what do they look like on a Retro Rack.

T-Shirts for Ladies, Gentlemen, and Infant Inconveniences

So the thing to know about Zazzle is you can take any of the designs you like and put them on 146 other styles of tops ~ men's, babies, hoodies, tanks, polo, jersey, etc. Although I tend to have designed for the shirt displayed in my store.

The print quality is REALLY HIGH. Frankly, I'm super impressed with everything Zazzle produces that I've seen so far. So pretty. So clear.

So what do they look like on The Rack?

A quick reminder: I wear about a size 6. My Bra size these days is about 32DDD or 30E/G. In the photos below I am wearing a vintage minimizing bra.

Maker: Bella

The cotton tends to be thinner than American Apparel. However, American Apparel has its own issues (see further below).


 Here is the Women's Bella Flowy Circle Top in a SMALL.

Sorry I didn't get one of the front, but it looks very like the stock picture. I like the drape a lot. The material is light and stretchy, comfortable, this is a great travel shirt.


Here is the Women's Bella Melange Ringer T-Shirt in a MEDIUM.

These are soft cotton, I like the length and style of the sleeves in particular, I only wish there were more color options (right now there is this tan, a blue, and a pink).

Maker: Zazzle's Home Brand


Women's Football T-Shirt (Team Soap and Team Felix) in a Ladies size MEDIUM.

This is likely my favorite shirt. It's the right style for my body type, the medium is fantastic great fit, excellent neckline, and that perfect thickness of cotton to be comfortable, not too warm, but still drape nicely. Highly recommended.


The quality isn't great they are a little thin, I'd get in a darker color. But the cotton is nice and sort. The medium fit me well, a little tight in the sleeves.

Maker: Hanes


Women's Hanes Nano Long Sleeve T-Shirt size MEDIUM. Isn't it amazing how different the various makers are? I like this shirt well enough, but it's a little big. I might get the SMALL if I ordered again.

Maker: American Apparel



The American Apparel line (while the highest quality and thickest cotton) runs SMALL. 
Gail Tested: I normally wear between and small and a medium, I'm basically a size 6. But I ordered the American Apparel in M and it was at least a size too small. So I, a size 6, am wearing a LARGE. However, the cut is pretty boxy too, so it doesn't seem much different from the men's in the end. In fact, I suggest ordering a men's instead. I would get a men's SMALL.

Finishing School Shirts
Vintage fan and name of book and author on front pocket, quote on back:
All the Best Geniuses Are Evil; Who Doesn't Want a Wicker Chicken?

Women's American Apparel Fine Jersey T-Shirt size LARGE.


Not recommended. Sizing is a little off and the cotton is scratchy. Thicker than some of the other shirts but I didn't like the feel against my skin.

How did they wash?

Well the three that fit me (most of the American Apparel ones have gone into the future contests/give away pile, for tiny people who read my newsletter) I washed before the photo shoot. So you can see what they look like after. (I always wash on cold, inside out, gentle cycle, and line dry.)

They seem pretty good. I've washed the Bella circle shirt about a half dozen times now and it still looks good. Pretty chuffed actually.

Any questions, do leave a comment below and I will try to answer them.

If you want to know about why I chose Zazzle and what else is available I've a post on my Author Blog. 

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alexia Tarabotti Soulless Manga Cosplay in Seattle

At my bookstore event in Seattle, Fashionable Reader, this amazing Alexia Cosplay made an appearance.

Isn't she remarkable? Very like how I imagined Alexia looking.

That's the cover of Soulless the Manga II.

I was quite impressed I must say.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In Seattle at Mystery Bookshop in Forest Green

You've likely seen me in this dress before, Fashionable Reader. It's an old favorite that I trot out for events I think aren't going to be too warm. (The dress itself is quite warm.) I was wrong in this instance: it was, in fact, too warm. Ah well.

It's a vintage 1940s piece that I appreciate for the artful draping, amazing fit, and general cut, although the shoulders are a bit much.

I'm wearing my forest green dress (similar Newdow Pencil Dress $25 or this Firpearl Crew Neck Ruffle Hem Midi Sweater Dress $35) with a teeny tiny black hat (similar $10 and similar steampunk $18), obligatory pen necklace (on sale for $8), Badali's new Bumbersnoot necklace in antique bronze ($29), vintage leather day gloves (similar $19), and Miz Mooz Women's Judy Dress Pump in Forest ($130).

Other times I have worn this dress...

1953-1954  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This 1957 Norell Dress made an appearance in How to Marry a Millionaire.

Norman Norell, 1957  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Screen Cap from the Film

Norman Norell, 1957  The Metropolitan Museum of Art Lauren Bacall

And for the characters!

For Primrose...

Walking Suit  1897-1898  The Metropolitan Museum of Art copy

For Countess Nadasdy...

Visiting Dress  1898-1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Prudence....

Walking Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth, 1902  The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gail in Corsets & More Corsets ~ Dark Garden Forever!

Fashionable Readers who follow me on social media know that I do not shill often (if at all). However, if you have ever admired any of my steampunk outfits (or indeed my waist under most of my vintage attire) I was wearing a Dark Garden corset. Please do help them now, if you can. Art and beauty are so rarely combined with such kindness and grace.

Autumn is a dear friend (and soon to be cover model) and her wares are truly breathtaking and unique. Her custom designs are one of a kind, and you can basically order any corset you like from her (although it may cost you a bit... it's worth it).

I am a little late to this party (they have already made their fundraiser goal), but I do know that every little bit helps. If you are not moved to support them, now would be a great time to consider ordering from them. I can personally vouch for their wares. I shall now provide some evidence...

As a foundation garment...

I am wearing a full coverage (custom sized) sweetheart Victorian under both of the above outfits. Until my surgery this was basically vital to my well being as it was far more comfortable than a bra, and helped support my back. 

Post-surgery, I'm wearing a Corselette under these two. A much more recent purchase, and I did not buy a custom one as the 22 fit fine off the rack.

Above you can see an example of the same dress with and without a corset underneath.

As a statement piece...

 Here is my custom vest style Underbust Victorian with full back and straps worn two ways.

Above I'm wearing a Alyscia with princess cross over straps (all custom, including the material). The cream brocade is a custom sized Victorian (straight across). Before my surgery I pretty much had to buy custom.

Above is an off-the-rack size 24 sweetheart Victorian that I modified with all that metal. Next to it is a Corselette in a size 22. Note that I can go down a size when the Rack is not involved?

There you have it. I own a few others as well, but don't have any really good photos of them. I'm about to get mine resized (after the Rack Reduction) and hope to wear some of the lesser used ones more frequently in the future. I have a few steampunk events coming up so...

And now, of course, I'm considering ordering another one. Because if Dark Garden needs me to buy another corset, who am I to protest? I'm contemplating seeing if she can make me an Adelaide with a more vintage bra style. Decisions, decisions.

I should probubly sell more books first. Speaking of which, Poison or Protect edits are calling to me.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In Seattle at ECCC in Kelly Green

Little did I know when I got this dress how frequently I would wear it. It's vintage, likely 1960s or late 1950s, dupioni. I can't remember where I purchased it, before Retro Rack started that's for certain. It's made an appearance in this blog many many times (similar Shengdilu Flared Swing Dress $40).

It has a lovely cowl neck, exactly the right length sleeves, a box pleat front, zipper up the back, and it ends just below the knee. In short, all the things I love in a dress. Yes, it wrinkles like crazy and isn't ideal for quick travel, like a book tour, but I knew I would have time to iron in Seattle so I packed this beauty.

There is something about this neckline that is particularly flattering. Perhaps is is the color on my skin tone. Or perhaps the cowl cut makes just my neck look delicate. Regardless, it works for so many things I find myself wearing it often.

For those who mentioned that they liked this lippy it is Covergirl Outlast All Day Two-Step Lipcolor in Ever Red 507.

I'm wearing this day dress over a t-shirt bra and I think it might ride better with a proper vintage bra, so I'll give that a try next time. I suppose I would call it Kelly green. I specifically chose it for ECCC because all their ads and promo stuff relied on this color (or one very close). You know me, I do like to match. And I was right! I fit right in with the t-shirts of the minions.

I'm wearing it with a vintage black velvet & satin hat (gift), gear & fan steampunk earrings (gift), the obligatory pen necklace (on sale for $8), vintage leather day gloves (similar $19), a black top handle dome satchel handbag (similar $50 mine is the Tignanello Mini Dome, now only available in quilted gold, $85), a black elastic bow belt (similar $5), and black oxfords (similar from Clarks).

1957 Green Pencil Dress

Thinking about my characters in this color. Dimity, perhaps?

Evening dress ca. 1860-65 From the collection of Glennis Murphy via Hyperallergenic

In other news I snapped a pic of this amazing blow fish hat!

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.