Posted on

Festival Outfit #2 Under $200

Festival Outfit #2 Under $200

Listen up, we are fully in the middle of Festival Season. Bass Coast and Burn In the Forest have come and gone but there’s still a bunch of upcoming events going on for the rest of the summer. A big part of festival culture is creating an amazing look to express your best self. Unfortunately, this can be a costly endeavor. Don’t worry, we got your back. It’s possible to look amazing for around $200 or less and  in the next couple of weeks, we’re going to help you get there.

How do you make an impact on a budget? Try a monochromatic look. There is something striking about a person wearing all one color. For our second look, we decided to go with a mini tube, leggings and glovelets in the most fabulous metallic silver. Because all the pieces are the same color you automatically look put together and like you put thought into your outfit. By making everything metallic, it invokes a spacey futuristic look which will make you stand out.

This outfit is totally customizable. If you want to be more covered you could easily add a cincher or throw a fishnet top on to add some coverage. If you like to be more exposed swap swap the mini tube for a pair of pasties. To create the same look for less than $100 ditch the glovelets and swap the leggings for tap shorts. Alternatively if you have a bigger budget add a pair of faux fur suspenders and a pocket belt to take this look to the next level.

What do you think of this outfit? 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

Festival Outfit (almost) Under $200

Goth Festival Outfit

Festival Outfit (almost) Under $200

Listen up, we are fully in the middle of Festival Season. Bass Coast and Burn In the Forest have come and gone but there’s still a bunch of upcoming events going on for the rest of the summer. A big part of festival culture is creating an amazing look to express your best self. Unfortunately, this can be a costly endeavor. Don’t worry, we got your back. It’s possible to look amazing for around $200 or less and  in the next couple of weeks, we’re going to help you get there.

Our first outfit is for all the Goths out there. Festivals can be tricky when your heart is full of darkness and your wardrobe is full of black. You might feel tempted to step into sparkly rainbows to fit in. If that’s your jam, then go for it, we support you. But if it’s not, here’s an outfit for $201 that is as black as your soul but still fluffy and sparkly.

We put together a black sparkly hooded shrug with a black bandeau, a black tutu, black tap shorts and matching black glovelets. The sparkly hooded shrug and tap shorts, and the tutu totally gives festival vibes but the dark colours let you stay true to your gothy self. We accessorized it with a pair of black sunglasses and a spiky choker with chains but you could easy exchange those items for goggles or a necklace or nothing at all.

I love this outfit because its super customization. If  $201 is out of your budget you could omit the glovelets, replace the tap shorts with shorts you already own or skip the tutu. Don’t want to show that much skin? Trade the bandeau for a tank top of even a band tee. If you want to make this look sexier wear it with heals. If you want it to look more goth try platform boots or combat boots. You could even wear this with vans or cons and it would look awesome!

What do you think of this outfit? 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

Happy Birthday to US! (25th Anniversary)

25 years of vm

Happy Birthday to US! (25th Anniversary)

Big, exciting news, July 1, 2018 is our 25th Birthday! It’s so weird to think that the shop is older than our customers but it’s true. We have been officially open for a quarter of a century. How did we get here? Good question, here’s how Sanne went from her kitchen table to one of the oldest alternative clothing store in Canada.

How did we start

Sanne went to Kwantlen College (now University) for fashion design. From there, she was able to get a design job with Marquis of London which did private label manufacturing for Club Monaco and other labels. Eventually, she started to work on designs for her own label. She started making garments on her kitchen table. As Sanne tells it, she made one thing and sold it. Then she made two things and sold them. In 1991, she started to sell her gowns on consignment at alternative shops like New World and Dream. Sanne also wholesaled clothing to different business in Vancouver and across Canada. She even had her brand in Seattle and Port Townsend. In 1993, the owner of New World saw that there was a shop available for lease nearby and let Sanne know. That was the start of Venus & Mars!

pride

How we Evolved

It can be difficult to have a small business. Restaurants and shops popup and disappear all the time. What makes Venus & Mars so different that we have been able to stick around for 2 and a half decades? Sanne has always been willing to try new things. For seven years, she had a second shop in New West to cater to the bridal and grad market. Sanne is not afraid of new technology and as a result, Venus & Mars had a website very early on. The past five years we have been updating our skills and working to really let our website shine. Sanne also knows what works and doesn’t work for advertising the shop. Print and other media hasn’t been the best way for us to get in front of our customers but vending at events like Taboo, Fan Expo and Pride have proven be work very well for us and has let us connect with so many of you! Not only is Sanne great a business person but because her studio is in the shop it gives her an opportunity to listen to our clientele and we’ve been able to adapt our style to steampunk and festival fashion.

Bonus: FAQ What is Steampunk?

How We’re Celebrating!

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated right? We’re having a shopping party online and in store! On July 1, 2018 (only) you can get 25% off all regular priced items  in store (sale and clearance stuff is not included) if you come in and say Happy Birthday VM, give me a discount! If you are unable to make it to the shop you can get 25% off all regular priced items online if you use the discount code happybday25. The sale is only valid on July 1, 2018 and only with the code, so mark your calendar and get yourself a birthday cloak! You can also celebrate with us on social media by using the hashtag #venusandmarsclothing or #25yearsofvmclothing!

At the end of the day, we couldn’t get to where we are without your help and support. Thank you so much for supporting us as a small, weird, alternative, nerdy business for so long. We really appreciate your business and support. We are so happy that you like what we do and we’ll try to continue to provide you with awesome clothing and accessories for the next 25 years!

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

In With The New!

Byzantine Dress

Ready to conquer an Empire? The Empress of Byzantium would certaintly aggree she’s ready to reign supreme in H&R London’s amazingly popular Byzantine Dress! The beautifully made Byzantine Dress will have you realizing your dreams of royalty. A strappy swing dress with a strikingly bold brocade print, the dress has delicate lace on the straps and a corset-tie waist to tighten or loosen for a perfect fit. The sweetheart neckline enhances the bustline and the built-in cotton lined petticoat really makes this dress extra special. The Dress hits at the knee, and zips up the side. Available in both Black and Red.

Black Brocade Steampunk Jacket Tail Coat with Lacing

Black brocade tail coat with black lace and satin ruffle along neckline and cuffs. This gothic jacket is short at front with a longer split tails at the back. There is cord lacing though eyelets down the centre back. The front and sleeves are detailed with antique-silver buttons and studs on military style straps. The jaquard fabric is of high quality and the tailcoat is fully-lined. In view of the critical lack of decent coachmen nowadays, this is obviously a must-have for any lady who has to drive her own coach! A perfect topper to your dream steampunk ensemble.

Steampunk Poet Shirt – Black Cotton, Lace-Up

Add a little romance to your wardrobe with a poet shirt. Note! These shirts are not meant to be fitted in any way. The loose following sleeves and drop shoulder will make your feel like you just walk off the cover of a Gothic Romance and into modern times. They look great with a pair of jeans if you’re just looking to spice up your everyday look but they look even better with a waistcoat or jacket. We like Poet Shirts the best when paired with vegan leather jeans and a steampunk frock coat.

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.