What to Wear to Costume College 2014

This year I didn’t kill myself with insanity-sewing for Costume College.

I realized I had more than enough costumes to choose from, and way too much in my work schedule, so I just didn’t stress about it. For the Ice Cream Social, I’m wearing this:

And for the Gala I’m wearing this:

Now…what to wear for the daytime? I usually go with vintage or retro clothing I’ve made, but I feel quite hindered by my hair this year. Do I wear my vintage dresses with my modern hair? Do I wear a wig? Do I just cover my hair with a bandanna?  Considerations for vintage daytime dress:

1950s square-necked frock. Easy to wear, and the newest vintage thing I’ve made
Does this even still fit?
1950s sailor dress. Easy to wear.
1950s crazy plaid dress. I love this dress, though it came out a tad large (at the time). Might fit me just right now that I’ve put on a bit of fluff.
High-waisted jeans with a retro top and head scarf. This isn’t really “costume” to me, but it’s easy to wear.

Hair is still a problem, not so much with the vintage daytime, because I can maybe wrangle it into something ’20s, ’50s, or ’60s-looking. For the Victorian and Georgian gowns, though….

I guess my furious sew-a-thon will be on hair pieces! I have a dark brown rinse I could try, but my hair is super-processed, and I’m afraid the rinse would stain it permanently.  I guess so strategizing is in order…and maybe a trip to the local wig shop. 🙂


  • The Laced Angel

    July 24, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    Oooh what pattern did you use for the plaid 50's dress? That's delish!
    Go with modern hair for the day. If you want, I can bring my Bumble and Bumble brown hair powder for you to try out with evening styles, though you wouldn't be able to color match in advance. Might be good to test it for future use though!

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 24, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      Oh, I'd love to try that stuff. I wonder if it'll color the hair dark enough to blend into my brown tall wig? I could wear the wig hard-front, if all else fails, or try to put together a really quick platinum tall wig.

      The plaid '50s dress is Simplicity 3063

    • The Laced Angel

      July 24, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      I'll bring it and you can see if it works. It's what I'm wearing in all those photos of me at Gaskells in the pink 1830's fluffy dress with the silly hair. It didn't quiiiite match my fake hair, but my fake hair was really dark brown.

  • DLM

    July 24, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    For day, you should just rock your modern hair. I like the first of the day dresses, but it may be because I crave those SHOES! 🙂

  • Esther

    July 24, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Oooh I love the second vintage dress. And the sailor dress. And the plaid dress. 🙂 in that order. What patterns are the sailor and the second dress?

  • AuntieNan

    July 25, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    50s short hair, TOTALLY! Think June Allyson, or Judy Garland. I think even Lana Turner went with short blond locks. Weave in a cool scarf

  • Anonymous

    July 25, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    While my style admittedly runs more 60s Mod, so the hair was less of an issue, you should be able to pretty much flatten it down and be fine for 1890s (if you're willing to be a radical – check out Willa Cather's college picture), 1920s, 1960s. If you brush it forward, you're fine for radical early Regency/Consulat (I just aim all my regency stuff right now to be c. 1799-1805 – there are paintings and prints from those years with young women with straight cropped hair just brushed forward, so not being able to curl anything doesn't hurt you).

    I say this as someone who until last week had pretty much the same haircut. (and then I buzzed most of it off last weekend, three weeks before the Jane Austen ball. Problem now is not the buzzed part, really, but the general shape. Bleached blonde disconnect looks great in 2014 but really needed to be more of a chelsea to pass muster in 1804 if I'm to believe the prints from Le Bon Genre. Will probably have to wrangle a turban.)

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 25, 2014 at 5:40 AM

      True, you make a really good point. I do have 20s and 60s stuff. Not really Regency, and I didn't even know about the 1890s short hair. The color throws it off, but I just tried a color rinse and it worked a treat…'course, haven't tried to wash it out yet…might have permanently stained my hair…hrm…

  • bauhausfrau

    July 25, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    Well there may not be the court gown group we'd hoped for but it looks like a lot of us will be wearing 18th C for the Gala, which I always love.

    Hair must be in the air, I was playing with my wigs and hairpieces today too! I think I've got a plan for my 1780s hair but I'm sitting on my hands until Kendra's wig book arrives. I'd hate to do something all funky when she's got an easier solution, that would be so like me! 😛

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 25, 2014 at 5:41 AM

      I'm eagerly awaiting Kendra's book too. I may end up going with the brown tall wig I tried earlier in the year, and this color rinse, assuming it won't permanently alter my 2014 color. We'll see…

      And yay to 18th c. for the gala!

  • jninecostumes

    July 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    I love the 1950s square neck and the crazy plaid. But I'm with you. I have no idea how to do my hair much less advise someone on theirs. Hope to see lots of pictures! Have a lovely time

  • Jeni B

    July 25, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    I think there's a chance to use your haircut and still stay true to the 18th C. You could go for the look sported by some of the elite during the French Revolution who took to wearing their hair short like a condemned aristocrat and wore a red ribbon tied round the neck to mimic the cut of the guillotine. You could wear one of your 1790s dresses and pop the ribbon on your neck and suddenly you're one of the merveilleuses!

  • fixitfaerie

    July 25, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    I love all the outfits you picked out. Do not dye your hair, my daughter is a hair dresser and when her sister went from white blond to brown or black (can't remember) she started loosing her hair. Go to the wig shop, a bob would probably work for the 40's thru the 70's. Good luck and let us know what you come up with. Have fun.

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

      I've been dyeing my hair for years. Love wigs too, though. 🙂 It's the shortness of my own hair that makes it difficult.

  • Anonymous

    July 26, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Love your ice-cream social dress. I'd go bandanna route for day wear. Pants are way more comfy (to me at least) than heels and a short skirt when you are doing a lot of moving about.

  • PinhousePlaymate

    July 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Love that ice-cream social dress too! Also love that 60s(?) duo-colored dress with the empire waist. Gorgeous!


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