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Christmas Party Outfit Ideas for the Ladies

Costco, Michael’s and The Bay have had their Christmas displays up since like August, but now that it is officially after Remembrance Day, we can start getting into the nitty gritty of Christmas. When I worked in an office, our Christmas Party was one of the only days of the year when I felt like I could dress like myself. Monday to Friday, I had to cosplay as a secretary but once HR had a couple of sips of eggnog I was free to be my corseted self. If you’re anything like me then you’re ready to let your freak flag fly in the office. Last week we covered outfit suggestions for guys, this week these are my suggestions for Christmas Party Attire for the ladies.

Underblouse and Cincher

This is one of my favorite combinations. The underblouse has three quarter length sleeves that give you a bit of coverage on your shoulders and upper arms but the sheer fabric helps you feel sexy. The underbust feels like a hug when you wear it. Bonus, the boning will make you stand up straight. If you wear this combo with a camisole and pencil skirt then people will hardly even notice that you’re wearing a corset.

Queen Anne Corsetlet and Princess Skirtprincess skirt

If you’re feeling dramatic and you want everyone to know, then I suggest a Queen Anne Corsetlet and Princess Skirt.  You will look like the royal you suspect everyone knows you are. You’ll look formal enough for any venue you visit. Don’t worry about being overdressed, when you’re a queen everyone is simply under dressed.

christmas partyCorset Waist Belt and any little black dress

If you’re feeling a bit shy and you don’t want to go balls out bizarre around your muggle coworkers, try a corset waist belt with a little black dress. The waist belt will show off your curves and the lace up in the front gives the appearance of a corset without all that pesky boning. You’ll be able to eat and drink as much as you like and dance the night away. Win!

Venus & Mars is a small business located in the heart of Gastown, Vancouver, BC. We have been providing quality, handmade, alternative clothing since 1993. Everything Venus & Mars is designed by shop owner, Sanne Lambert, and made in Vancouver. We started out making Goth and Victorian alternative formal wear but over the past decade we have morphed into including pieces for steampunk, cosplay, festival costumes, and LARP gear. Now, we provide awesome people with clothing for weddings, grad, Burning Man, conventions are everyday life. We have also been featured in some film and television. Please visit our About Page for a comprehensive list. Want to stay up to date on what we’re up to? Join our mailing list to get weekly blog posts delivered to your inbox. Or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Halloween Steampunk Costume Suggestions!

steampunk halloween costume

Oh my gosh it’s almost October.  Do you know what that means? Do you? It means it’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right it’s just about Halloween month! It’s the holiday of our people: the spooky people. There’s going to pumpkins everywhere and skeletons and little bat friends. What’s not to love? In addition to all the spooky awesome, we also get to dress up in costumes! I’m so pumped I can barely contain myself.

October also means we’ll have a ton of people looking for steampunk costumes so I thought I’d jump the gun a bit and post some Halloween Steampunk outfit ideas to get October started right.

brown steampunk halloweenClassic Steampunk

So I think when most people think of Steampunk they think of three things: goggles, gears and the colour brown. This super cute steampunk outfit hits all those notes. I really like this look because it’s monochromatic but still interesting to look at. Ivette is wearing a brown satin peasant blouse with a brown reversible waist cincher, a brown lace circle square skirt and, a steampunk bustle pocket belt. We added a brown derby hat with bronze cybersteam goggles on top and black glovets and a choker to balance some of the black in the pocket belt. It’s a little Victorian, a little bit western and definitely ready for adventure. You’ll be immediately recognizable as steampunk in this outfit and you’ll be so much more unique than someone who bought a bagged costume.

Steampunk Watch Makersteampunk peter halloween

This dapper steampunk look may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of steampunk but it is just as steamy. The uniqueness and unexpected all black look makes it interesting. Peter is wearing a military frock coat with a black ruffle poet shirt. We added a pair of round spectacles and a pocket watch to give him a little bit more a nerdy, elegant look. We suggest pairing these items with a pair of black bondage pants, a black pocket vest and a pair of boots. You’ll be the classiest person in the room in this costume regardless of where your end up going.

Out of the Box Steampunk Mage

If you really want to try something out of the box then why not make your version of a steampunk mage? Ivette is wearing a pair of sleeves with a black bandeau, a wine waist cincher, a multipoint pocket belt and satin princess skirt. We kept the accessories pretty simple with a pair of red spectacles and a leather corset choker. This is a show stopping look.  I guarantee that no one will look as cool as you in an outfit like this. It may not be instantly recognizable as a character or traditional Halloween costume but everyone will recognize that you have the coolest costume in the room.

So there’s three Halloween Steampunk outfit suggestions for you. Which one is your favourite? What are you dressing up as for Halloween? 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.

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Need more VM? We will be at the Arts Alive Festival 2017

Arts Alive 2017 feature

Is it just me or does it seem like we are doing a lot of vending this year?

In case you have missed us at Taboo, Make It, East Side Pride, Folk Fest, Anime Revolution or Pride this year, fear not because this Saturday we will be vending at the Arts Alive Festival in Langley, BC.  We will be featuring all of our wonderful handmade goodies. You can expect to see some awesome holsters, pocket belts, festival hoods and cloaks!

The Arts Alive Festival is a free to attend festival that features live music as well as local artists and artisans displaying their handmade jewellery, glass, sculpture, paintings, furniture, wood, fashion, pottery, photography, ceramics, candles, toys, writing, quilting, fabric art and much more. It is a family friendly event with a children’s fun zone and Opus Children’s Chalk Art Gallery.

Are you planning on coming out to the 24th Annual Arts Alive Festival in Langley?  Let us know all about it in the comments below.

Do you want the inside scoop on other events that we will be attending?  Follow us 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 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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How to Tie Your Own Corset (a refresher course)

Hey Guys!

We posted this way back in January but it’s still one of our most frequently asked questions. I thought I’d re-post it to give everyone a refresher.

Happy corseting!

Love,

Devon

How to tie your own corset

The most frequently question I get asked when selling a corset is: “Do you come with the corset?”

While I would like to believe that it’s my stunning wit, infectious laugh and good looks that prompts this question, I know that it is actually because most people don’t know how to tie their own corset. Good news, it’s not actually that difficult.  It is slightly more complicated than pulling on pair of yoga pants but I’ve broken it down for you into four easy to follow steps.

Step one:

Unlace and unbutton (or unzip or unclip) the corset. Figure out what is the top, bottom, front and back. Our corsets have a handy tag sewn into them indication the top back of the corset. You would not believe how many upside down backwards corsets I see. If you don’t feel like your corset is fitting correctly,  check to make sure it’s not upside down… or backwards… or inside out.

Step two:

Clip into your corset. Your corset should be able to stay on your body but it should not be overly tight. If your corset is falling off it’s too big. If you can’t clip up your corset at all or it is too tight for you to be able to breath then it is too small.

Step three:

Find a mirror and turn your back to it. With Venus & Mars corsets we use continuous lace up so it should look like there are 2 loops towards the middle, where your waist is. Put your index and middle fingers through the loops and pull until you reach desired tightness. Blue in the face is too tight.

Step four:

Tie the laces into a bow or knot. I prefer a bow as it is easier to undo and therefore easier to adjust throughout the day but if you can’t tie a bow behind your back then a knot will work just fine.

Step five (optional):

When you get to wherever you are going, make a friend in the bathroom. Turn to a lady at the sink and say “Hey, would you mind helping me with my corset?” If she is awesome like you, she’ll say yes! Ask her to adjust your corset accordingly. It can be really difficult to reach higher up your back if you need more support or tightness at the bust. Plus bonus, you now have  new friend!

Now nothing can hold you back from rocking your corset! If you want, you can come down to the store and get the live demo. Plus while you’re here you can try a few new ones. If you want to check out some of our corset before you come in you can find them HERE.

How many corsets do you have? Where do you like to wear them. Let us know 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!