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FAQ: What is Cosplay?

In less than 2 weeks, we will be vending at one of our favourite events, Anime Revolution! We also have so much fun at anime events: everyone is super friendly and happy to be there, we get to learn about the latest news in geek culture and best of all we get to see everyone’s fabulous cosplay! Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the term, one of our most frequently asked questions is “What is cosplay?”

Cosplay is actually a portmanteau of two words: costume and play. Originally, I think that the word specifically applied to anime culture where people would dress up as their favourite anime characters.  As time has gone by, it has expanded to include pretty much any pop culture icon. Some people are purists and get every detail perfect right down to the colour of the thread on the switching.  Some people mash up differently cultural elements to create a new version of a character like making a steampunk sailor moon or a little mermaid princess Leia.  Lots of people make gender bending version of their favourite characters like a male Harley Quinn or a female Captain America. The options are limitless and the community is super accepting.

If you are still not sure you understand, fear not! I have some examples of awesome Venus & Mars  versions of some of our most favourite fictional badass ladies.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is one of my personal favourite super heroes so naturally we had to include her.  It’s so empowering to have a strong, fearless female hero kicking ass and taking names. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like that? For Wonder Woman we combined the iconic Linda Carter look with some of the badassery of the new Gal Gadot look.  We put together a gold Venus & Mars bandeau with a red reversible VM waist cincher some blue booty shorts, a black velvet cloak and gold pointe glovettes.  Suffering Sappho, I have never seen a cooler Wonder Woman!

Harley Quinn

If you have ever been to a convention you know that if we had to include anything it was Harley Quinn.  There has been so many Harley looks over years and we couldn’t pick just one. We used her original black and red for inspiration but gave the overall outfit more of a roller derby feel. For this outfit, we combined a sleeveless red skinny tee, the reverse side of the reversible red waist cincher, black and red tap shorts and mix and matched a pair of red and black fishnet glovettes. We also added a pair of black goggles as a nod to the original Harley Quinn’s black eye mask. Trust me, puddin’, everyone will love this Harley look.

Princess Leia

We love Carrie Fisher. Her real life sassy no bullshit approach to Hollywood is something we can all aspire to. We absolutely had to pay homage to her with a Princess Leia inspired look. I know slave Leia is super popular but we wanted to show off the all white princess outfit instead.   We put together a white under blouse, white reversible waist cincher and cream panne cloak.  And we used a white pinstripe tube top as the skirt. To really sell the look we put Ivette’s hair into buns. I sense great awesome in this outfit. (PS. I love this picture so much. I think it’s one of my favourites ever.)

 

So what did you think of my definition of cosplay? did I get it right?  Would you explain it differently?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to hear about new and exciting things we are doing!

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Featured Product: Holsters!

How can you be an urban super hero when you have to worry about where to put your purse? How can you dance like no one’s watching when you have to keep an eye on your backpack? You can’t, plain and simple. We have previously talk about the awesomeness that is the pocket belt but what if you’re just not a pocket belt type of person.  Don’t worry, we have an alternative. Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of holsters.

Holsters, like pocket belts, let you carry your valuables (like snacks) on you as part of your outfit. Except instead of sitting on your hips, you wear a holster more like a vest. We have several different styles available that let you stylishly add pockets to any outfit.

goggles manBlack Cotton Canvas Reversible Holster Vest

Reversible alert! This holster vest can be worn two ways.  That’s right, you get two looks for the price of one. The reversible holster vest is what happens when elf meets steampunk.  The front of the holster vest looks like a vest but the back is lace up.  It is an excellent choice for hot summer months.  On the black canvass side you get two zippered pockets and two patch pockets and on the reverse you get an additional two pockets. That gives you a total of six pockets for all your things. It looks great with a skinny tee and kilt or a tank top and side lace skirt.

Underbust Holster Vest with Detachable Hoodsunderbust holster

Full disclosure, this is my favourite holster.  I remember when Sanne made the sample and I was just like, I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. This is the ultimate piece of clothing to own if you are a Lord of the Rings fan, a D&D nerd, a Harry Potter fan or you just love fantasy. It’s perfect for festivals or steampunk cosplay. This holster fits under the bust and creates a similar silhouette to a waist cincher without all that pesky boning. There are two deep pockets big enough to hold your phone, wallet and gummy bears. And the best part is there is a giant hood. But wait, that’s not all, the hood is detachable and it comes with an extra piece so you can wear the hood on its own. Awesome! It looks great with corset and kilt pin skirt but it also looks super dapper with a poet shirt and bondage pants.

holster harnessBlack Cotton Canvas Holster Harness

This is easily our most popular holster and it’s easy to see why. First of all you get the practicality of a reversible holster with two zipper pockets and two patch pockets. But you also get the aesthetic of harness. The pockets sit nicely at your sides while two adjustable straps do up in front. Your phone, keys and wallet will be safe and you will look sexy. I totally have one of these. They’re rad. Try one with a kilt.  That’s it. Nothing else.

 

 

holster 3Reversible Black Holster

I have two of these. I bought one and my husband liked it so much that I ended up getting one for him too. They are perfect when I am vending at an event.  My husband likes to wear his when he is bartending. There are two zippered pockets on the black canvass side and two patch pockets on the reverse side. From the front it looks like a normal black vest which makes it super easy to integrate into your everyday wardrobe. The back is straps so it keeps you cool if you are working. High five for not over heating. They look great with a skinny tee, actually they look great with everything.

Leg Holster1(Bonus) Thigh Holster

Okay so if you don’t want to wear a pocket belt and you’re worried a holster will ruin your outfit then I have just the thing for you.  The Thigh Holster is so discrete that no one will notice you wearing it.  There is just one deep zipper pocket but it’s big enough to hold your phone, some cash or cards and your keys. The sticky elastic allows you wear it on your thigh without it slipping down. You can easily cover it with a dress, kilt or skirt. As an added bonus you will feel totally badass and sexy whenever you have to hike up with your dress to pay for something.

 

What’s your favourite holster? Let us know in the comments below.

Know someone who needs a holster? Share this with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.

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FAQ: What is Steampunk?

what is steampunk

This has been the summer of the steampunk wedding here at Venus & Mars.  We’ve had so many awesome couples looking for outfits or accessories to steampunk their wedding.  We’ve also had a lot of wedding guest looking for ensembles and answers.  So many people want to know, what exactly is steampunk?

I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that I’m not sure there is a totally definitive answer to that question.  Some people know it involves goggles and gears.  Other people is say it’s when goths wear brown. I like to think of it as a sci fi fantasy world where steam is the main power source.  Basically think Jules Vern, H.G. Wells, time travel, Victorian Fashion and goggles. Do you know what the good news is? If there’s no definitive answer to what steampunk is then you are only limited by your imagination.

Do you know what else is awesome about Steampunk? It’s so inclusive.  You could wear brown pants, a white dress shirt, suspenders, and GOGGLES and be steampunk. Or you can go all out and build your own steam powered motorcycle, convert your keyboard into a typewriter and dress Victorian 24/7.  It’s all good in the steampunk hood and you can participate in whatever capacity you choose.

what is steampunkStill not convinced steampunk is amazing? Listen to this, you can create a character with your wardrobe. Are you an adventurer finding new lands and exploring unknown kingdoms?  Then you probably want to wear something easy to move in like a pair of black cotton bondage pants, a Queen Anne corsetlet and a steampunk pocket belt (for your map, compass and gadgets). Are you a high end watchmaker/ repair person who has discovered a magic secret in a patron’s watch?  You should probably dress the part in a poet shirt, military frock coat and some round glasses. Are you socialite by day and cat burglar by night? You’ should get used to wearing a corset and skirt but make sure you have your bustle pocket belt to hold your lock picking tools.

You can make just about anything steampunk.  Your only limitation is your imagination. Don’t believe me?  Google Steampunk (insert your favorite superhero, character, person here) cosplay you’ll find tons of pictures to draw inspiration to create your own steampunk character.

Do you think I got it right? What’s your definition of steampunk? Let us know in the comments below.

Spread the gospel of Steampunk! Share this with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.

 

 

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You NEED Pockets for your things

We have pocket belts, lots and lots of pocket belts. You can put away your purse, hang up your trusty backpack and stop treating your friends with pockets as your own personal sherpa. Pocket belts give you the freedom of carrying the stop you need while enhancing your outfit – instead of ruining it.

Classic Pocket Belt

Pocket Belts are available in two sizes but the strap is adjustable so it will always fit. There is a deep outer pocket that is perfect for cash and a phone. The second outer pocket is perfect for a small phone or a bag of jelly beans.  Pocket Belts also have an inner pocket to store your most valuable items like your ID. It is secured by a double Velcro closure and the thigh strap is easy to clip on or off.

 

 

Multipoint Pocket Belt

Multipoint Pocket Belts are available in 2 sizes but the Velcro waist allows for maximum adjustability. They have patch pockets on the inside for your secret things, zipper pockets for your secure things and Velcro pockets for snacks. There are so many pockets you’ll start looking for extra things to carry.

 

 

Steampunk Pocket Belt

The Steampunk Pocket Belt can be worn three ways. First you can wear it like a belt across your hips with the leg strap around your thigh. Alternatively, you can wear the hip strap across your body with the leg strap around your thigh.  Pretty great right? But wait there’s more!  Thirdly you can wear the waist strap across your body with the thigh strap around your waist.

 

 

 

Tails Pocket Belt

It’s tails! And it’s a pocket belt! It’s the Tails Pocket Belt!  One side is black for black tie events and the other side is multi coloured for fun events.  There is a large zipper pocket which is ideal for your phone, ID and cash and there are easily accessible side pockets for emergency lip gloss and trail mix. The waistband is adjustable so it will always fit. The plastic clip in the front makes it easy to put on over anything.

 

 

Festival Pocket Belt

There are four pockets on the Festival Pocket Belt. They have a large zippered pocket, a flap pocket with velcro closure, an outer side pocket and an inner secret pocket. Think of all the things you can carry! The waist strap is adjustable and secured by a double velcro closure. There is also a most excellent fabric tail that takes the look to a whole new level!

 

 

 

Do you have a pocket belt?  What do you use it for?  Let us know in the comments below.

Do you know someone who needs a pocket belt? Share this with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.

 

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Featured Product: Reversible Holster Vest

reversible holster vest

What if I told you that we had a magical unisex piece of clothing that had pockets and that you wouldn’t over heat in? What if that item was also perfect for cosplay, steampunk outfits, music festivals and Burning Man?  I bet your ears would perk right up and you would want to know more.  Well hold onto your hats, kids, because we have just restocked our reversible holster vest. And it is that magical piece of clothing you are wishing for.

reverisible holster vestFirst of all, the reversible holster vest has pockets. You can keep your phone, ID and cash close you without worrying about ruining your looks with a backpack or leaving your purse somewhere.

Secondly, it’s reversible.  I know that the name implies that but it’s still important to mention.  You are getting two looks for the price of one. One side is black cotton canvas which will go with everything you own and the other side is green tapestry with a feature fabric at the pocket.  Some have black pockets, some have pinstripe pockets and some have faux fur pockets. So essentially you have one side that lets you match it with just about anything and the other side makes the holster vest a feature in your outfit. How cool is that?

Third, the back is lace up. That means that the size is a little bit adjustable and that you will be able to feel the cool breeze on your back.  How great is that? Not only is the lace up functional but it also adds a sexy detail to the back.  Sounds pretty rad to me.

But Devon, what exactly do I wear with a reversible holster vest? The short answer is pretty much anything you want.  Seriously, try one with a jeans and t-shirt!  It’ll look great.  If you want to go a little more steampunk though try one with a side lace skirt, corset, and goggles.

Where will you wear your new reversible holster vest?  Let us know in the comments below.

Do you know someone who NEEDS this holster vest? Share this with them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.