Posted on

FAQ: Do You Have My Size?

FAQ: Do you have my size?

At least once a week, we have someone come in and ask “do you have my size” before they even look around. I get it. It can be difficult to find alternative clothing that fits your style at any size. The internet exists now, but with a lot of companies, it is difficult to tell the quality of the garment from the image. Then even if its good quality is good, the sizing can be weird. As a lady who has worn everything from a size 5 to a size 16, I understand that finding the right size can be incredibly difficult for normal clothes let alone the alternative stuff. Luckily, we try to cater a wide range of sizes.

Plus Size

Most people who ask “Do you have my size” are plus sized. Don’t worry, we have you covered, mostly. First of all we have a lot of items available in a lot of sizes: our gowns go up to a size 22, we have up to 46 inch corsets, up to a 3x in men’s vests and a 2x in men’s jackets, and up to a size 40 inch waist in men’s pants and kilts. You have may have noticed that I said mostly.

When we make stuff, we generally try to make it available in plus sizes. However, when we import stuff sometimes they don’t have stock available in sizes larger than an XL. We also have limited space to store things so we can’t always have as many multiples of sizes as we would like and larger sizes tend to sell out pretty quick. We do our best to restock as quickly as possible but we can’t guarantee we will have your size in everything you want all the time. That being said, we can always help you find a couple of alternatives.

Smaller Size

It can be just as difficult, to find cute things that fit properly in a size 2 as it can be to find a size 22. It can be even more difficult for men who need a small or extra small. Never fear, we have some options for you too! Our waist cinchers are available in as small as an extra small, we also have some cute skirts, dresses, and jackets available in extra small. Our smallest gown is a size 2. We have men’s pants and kilts available in a size 28 inch waist, small steampunk frock coats and extra small fishnet and festival shirts.

Bonus: FAQ Do you do Custom?

One Size Stuff

In addition to our plus size and smaller sizes we also have a bunch of clothing and accessories that are one size and look great on everyone no matter what size they wear. Our cloaks, for example, are fantastic and fit everyone. We also have a bunch of accessories like goggles, jewelry and hats that can transform your existing clothing into whatever style you want if you can’t find anything that you like that fits!

I am confident that we have SOMETHING that will work for your body, style and size. If you’re in the Vancouver area, come into the shop and try stuff on! If you’re not in the Vancouver area, we try to include all the measurements in the description of the item. Still unsure?  Email us at venusandmarsclothing@gmail.com or ask us over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Posted on

FAQ: Are these real corsets?

are these real corsets

FAQ: Are these real corsets?

This is a question we get fairly regularly and I’m never totally sure how to answer it. The answer is yes but there seems to be a little bit of an exclusionary attitude when it comes to corsets so I thought I would break down what a corset is and let you make up your own mind.

What exactly is a corset

Traditionally, a corset is a tight fitting undergarment that is designed to cinch the waist and typically had boning and lacing. They have been used for fashion and medical purposes and have been worn by both and men and women. Underbust corsets or waist cinchers are worn below your bra. Overbust corsets can be worn in place of a bra or over your bra depending what you’re comfortable with. Today, corsets are worn as an undergarment or shapewear, or corsets can be worn as a top.

are these real corsets

Boning

Boning is used to give the corset shape on your body. The more boning and the closer it is together, then the more cinche you will get. People generally think of whale boning when they think of corsets but today steel, flexible steel and plastic are generally used. Plastic boned corsets are the least expensive and typically what you would find at big box stores like Forever 21 or La Senza. Plastic boned corsets are great for costumes and causal wear however the boning is prone to kinking. Flexible steel boning is a nice middle of the road option. Corsets with flexible steel boning will give you a great shape but still let you move comfortably and they’re not terrible to wear for hours on end. Really heavy duty steel boning is great for people who are really serious about corsetry. They give amazing shape and they generally take a little bit of practice to wear for a long period of time.

Bonus: How to Tie Your Own Corset

What we do

Handmade Venus & Mars corsets fall somewhere between the flexible steel boning and the heavy steel. They give great shape due the heavy steel boning on the sides but the front and back have flexible steel boning so you can still move and bend and breathe comfortably. They are available online and in store. In our brick and mortar, we also carry imported flexible steel boned corsets as well as plastic boned corsets. We liked to carry a variety of options at different price points so that corsets can be accessible to everyone.

Corsets are fun to wear and they can make you feel sexy or powerful or whatever you’d like. They are great as shapewear or on their own. Corsets are a great tool for cosplay or costumes and they look excellent as part of a steampunk outfit. Like anything, I feel like when you start to take corsets too seriously or narrow the definition to a point where it excludes people it stops being fun. What do you think? Am I totally wrong? Let us know in the comments. Better yet, come down to the store and try a couple on. Then you can decide for yourself whether or not our corsets are real.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

Posted on

FAQ: Do you do custom?

Why we don’t do custom work

One of our most frequently asked questions is: do you do custom and/or alterations? It’s a totally reasonable question. If everything with the Venus & Mars label is handmade in store then it only seems logical that we would be set up to do custom but the truth is we’re not. Back in the day we used to do custom but a steady increase in business and customers has made it impossible to continue. The following is why.

Custom is expensive

Custom work is expensive. In the time that it takes to make one custom jacket, we could probably make two dozen steampunk frock coats (more on that below). From an accounting standpoint, it’s difficult to justify charging the same amount for one custom jacket as it would be for one regular jacket that we could produce in a small production run. We don’t think it’s fair to charge $1,000 or more for just one jacket but we wouldn’t be able to survive if we charged the same amount for custom as we do for off the rack.

steampunk frock coat

It is time consuming

Everything we make is made in small production runs. That means that Sanne uses a pattern (of her own design) to cut multiple items at the same time. She then bundles everything together for our sewer and we get shiny new awesome products once they are all put together. If it is a brand new design then Sanne will cut one and sew a sample for our sewer. Depending on what we are making, we generally have a turn around time of a week for multiple items in a size run.  Custom work requires a lot more time.We have to set up a consultation, make a new pattern, construct the garment, provide a fitting, and make any necessary alterations. In the time that it takes to do a consultation alone, Sanne could have cut 6 black wool cloaks.

Bonus: Putting together a cosplay? Check out  What is cosplay for suggestions on how to put something together off the rack.

We don’t want to

Sanne started Venus & Mars in 1993 because she wanted to make her own designs. People come to us with excellent suggestions and incredibly creative ideas that we love to hear about. Sometimes these ideas even inspire us to make new things (for example the ladies tails vest) but that’s on our own terms and in our own designs. What has made the store successful for a quarter century is Sanne’s unique designs and we would like to continue in that vein.

We totally want to make your vision a reality. If you bring in a picture of what your trying to recreate, we can offer suggestions and help you come up with at least a base for your outfit. We’ll try to recommend other places too that might have what you’re looking for. If you do end up getting custom work done then make sure to do your homework. Look up reviews from other customers and shop around for a price that fits your budget.

What has your experience been with getting custom clothing made? Let us know in the comments below.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

 

Posted on

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.