( Geronimo!Collapse )
( Geronimo!Collapse )
This post is somewhat different that, instead of reviewing individual items, I'm going to talk about this outfit as a whole.
I never intended to bother with this outfit because I was more interested in tracking down and collecting the other items, rather than building my own. However in the past year or so my interest in cosplaying has broadened. Combine that with the fact that it's almost impossible to find Amy stuff nowadays (the stuff I don't have, anyway) and you've suddenly got a reason to make the Kissogram outfit.
There's a lot of components to this. AlwaysAdriel wrote a great breakdown in 2013, which most of you have probably read by now. I can't recommend it enough. As such I'm not going to replicate her good work. I'm just going to write about how I put together my Kissogram.
I started with the vest. I spent ages reading up on what other people had done. There were ideas for emptying puffer vests, designing patterns, altering similiar vests. But if you know anything about me from this blog it's that I like to get as SA as I possibly can. So then I spent more time trying to ascertain exactly which vest Amy was wearing in the episode. I'd almost given up and believed it was custom built for the episode, and then I found it.
...and then I discovered in the comments section of AlwaysAdriel's blog someone else had ID'd it a years ago! Like only days after finding it myself. When I think of the time I might've saved if I'd just scrolled down a little further ...
The vest is by Aegis Engineering, which doesn't really exist anymore. They were swallowed up by Safariland a few years ago. In 2009, when they were filming The Eleventh Hour, this was the standard vest issued to British Police.
This is the unaltered version I found. While Aegis is no longer around, and British Police are being supplied different vests (I think) you can still find this model in military surplass resale stores. I found mine on eBay, and I probably just searched under 'British police stab proof vest' or something similar. When I got mine there were a few others up for sale at very varied price points, and very varied condition.
Those rubber dongles attached to the vest appear in different places, depending on where the original wearer wanted them. They are hardcore sewn on to the nylon. I have seen them in all different kinds of configurations. Amy has four. Two at the top, and two on each pocket. While I found a few that had that exact alignment I ultimately decided against buying any of them in favour of this one. There were a few reasons for this. One, I thought getting the right size was the most important factor. Amy wears her vest very snug to her body; I didn't want anything too big. Two, the other vests seemed in poorer condition. And three, those happened to be more expensive, which was just down to the discretion of the sellers. It would not be difficult to craft matching dongles out of foam or source new ones online if you wanted to replicate Amy's vest precisely.
As these were actually Police-issued vests, any sold will have all or most of their decoration stripped. Mine had the reflective tape, embroidered patches and PC ID numbers stripped. This means you'll have to find all those bits and attach them yourself - more on that later. My vest actually had the issue date (2010) written inside, which I thought was pretty cool.
A few sellers were also unwilling to sell to anyone without a firearms license. I believe this is probably because they sell all kinds of stuff like that, so that detail appears on every listing. I do not believe you need this to acquire a vest. I was not charged any customs tax or asked any questions when it was sent to me, and it was very plain what it was. However if you're concerned definitely ask the questions - of your country's customs, not the seller, as that is where you'll get the most accurate information.
And as they are proper stab-proof vests, they may come with their kevlar still inside.
Pictured here are the four kevlar inserts which came fitted inside my vest. These are, predictably, heavy. They fit into the chest panel, back panel, and then one over each shoulder. Fortunately the vest is designed to be washable. So you simply slide the kevlar out of their pockets and you can then wear the vest without them. I seriously recommend doing this unless you want to walk around with an extra kilo or two all day. Most of the vests I saw were being sold with the kevlar included. This, for me in humble old Australia, meant I paid more for postage than I did for the actual vest. If you can talk the seller into posting the item to you without the kevlar, and adjust the postage fee accordingly, it will save you buckets. Then again, it's kind of fun knowing I have ballistic panels that will protect me against 9mm 124 grain at 360 m/s. Whatever that means.
Sizing on this is also kind of tricky. As I said above, Amy wears her vest very close to her body. The vest is thick nylon at the front and made of a stretchy nylon across the back. You can best see the distinction between the two fabrics where they connect under the arm.
It also wraps underneath the outer vest. This is to facilitate the ballistic inserts. So you put the vest on, fit it into place against your chest, and velcro it as tight as you like. This is awesome because it helps you get that SA fit which is so important to this costume. It also may assist if you get a size that's not quite right. You can see in the picture to the left the mesh flaps in which the inserts sit. Mine is shown with them removed.
My vest is size 55D. I'm sorry but I don't really know what it equates to. It's also marked as an M, but I'm told this has nothing to do with size, but identifies it as a male vest. If this is true, then it makes sense in that I have seen the F variety around too. But look - I'm quite big-busted, and this vest has given me no grief in that department, so I don't think it matters. I'm generally a medium-to-large, 12 to 14 in UK sizes (depending on the bloody buttons because, you know, bloody bust) and this size is really good for me.
I gave my vest a clean and pulled out any loose threads from where the previous owner's official embellishments were ripped off. I purchased checked police ribbon from eBay. Amy has reflective tape, but I was cautious of how it would look in photos. Basically I didn't want to have to think about which way I angled my body in the light, and it was cheaper to buy ribbon. I measured it out in the right places at the front and then a longer length at the back. After cutting the edges, I sealed them with clear nail polish. Not joking. I didn't want them to fray and I don't own a lot of craft stuff. Then I hot glued the ribbon down.
Sourcing the two Police patches was a bit harder than I thought. The back panel is supposed to be blue, but it turns out it's really hard to find a large police patch, let alone in the right colour. I ended up getting one on eBay in black. This had a velcro back and I was able to hot glue this down below the ribbon.
The smaller patch at the front is much easier to find. You can get them on eBay, etsy, or specialty patch sites. I ended up with four. The first I ordered didn't arrive, so I contacted the seller and she re-sent. However on realising it wouldn't come on time, I ordered another from a seller closer to me. This was the one I ended up using. Then the first patch ordered arrived. Then another. Then another! So now I have three spare. So um, if you really can't find one, I have extras. It was pretty easy to line up the placement of this as I could see where the original patch had gone. I just hot glued over it.
Amy has numbers on her shoulders. I may do this one day - at this stage, I haven't been bothered. There is also a button on the front. When I got mine it was silver, so I used a black texta to colour it SA black.
The cravat caused me some trouble. I purchased two cheap cravats from different sellers, but was very unhappy with how both looked with the vest. The trouble was that they were just too flimsy, and got lost underneath the vest. I wore one to Oz Comic Con and it did the job, but it wasn't as good as it could've been.
Given the vest turned out to be 'the real thing' I wondered if the cravat was, too. I found this one online, and a few others from other resale sites too. Apparently this is the design issued to Police (or was)! and it seems like a great match to Amy's. I especially like how thick the material is. It doesn't move around, and is substantial beneath the collar and vest. It has a little clip on the back.
She does not wear the cravat in the A Christmas Carol variation.
My shirt is just from Target Australia. I have a few white blouses but they didn't look formal enough. This one is crisp 100% cotton and has the right look. Amy wears her shirt sleeves doubled back a couple of times.
The skirt is available from Topshop. They made a lot of these in a variety of colours. You can find them easily on resale sites under terms like 'Topshop bodycon skirt' or 'Topshop bandage skirt' or 'Topshop panel skirt'. Most made recently have a gold zipper at the back. The SA skirt has a long silver zipper. While I managed to find the SA skirt I decided to go with an ALT. Again - a fit issue. The one I got is a Topshop Tall and in the right size. I thought with such a tight skirt I would prefer to be comfortable rather than constantly readjusting the fit. The skirt is actually really comfortable and stretchy, but there's no way I'd wear it out of cosplay!
Amy wears seamed black stockings. I ordered a pair from an Australian retro store and when I got them, they turned out to be Pamela Mann. It's speculated she wears a pair of Pamela Mann chevron stockings in Vampires of Venice so it's possible these are the same brand used here? Anyway it doesn't matter, any backseamed black stockings will do.
I wear a lot of stockings and tights as I almost exclusively wear skirts. I found these to be incredibly flimsy. They tore and laddered after my first wear in a really strange place, on my shin! I'm not impressed with their quality and wouldn't recommend them.
The black brogues I pair with this are by Topshop. I happened to find them online a few years ago at a good price and are just part of my every day wardrobe. Any pair of nice black brogues or lace-up will do for The Eleventh Hour. For A Christmas Carol, Amy wears the black Doc Marten Triumphs.
I bought a black belt from Target and then a tactical belt with 9 different pouches. It was cheaper to buy a whole set rather than individual pouches. These pouches have velcro backing and they are designed to have the belt run through the back, so they sit flat against your body. I picked out a few pouches that resembled hers and attached them to the belt. I also picked up some cheap handcuffs and stuffed them inside one.
Last of all, I bought an extremely cheap police radio and peeled off the stickers. I attached it to the front of the vest, ran the cable down the front and attached the rest of the unit to the back of my belt.
I didn't bother with the hat, but I did go as far as looking around for one. They seem to be pretty easily obtainable.
And here I am!
What I really love about this costume is that it's only as difficult as you want to make it. It's probably Amy's most iconic outfit. You can make it work with a black vest and skirt and the right wig or hair styling. Or you can take it as far as I did and source the SA vest and skirt, and customise the rest. Or you can go even further and be even more precise with your accuracy. Either way, it's a very fun outfit to do. I tend to get stopped a lot at cons when I dress as Amy, but this one really stood out - everyone seemed to know who I was.
Okay, here's a couple of reference pics. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask - I'll do my best to answer.
There are three details which show these are not the trousers.
You can see in the promo above that Amy's trousers have two buttons on the cargo pocket. The image on the right shows the Topshop pair, and there are no buttons on the pocket.
2. Rear pockets
Amy's trousers feature full, rectangular pockets on the rear. The picture on the left of the Topshop trousers have either internal pockets with a small fold, or more likely, are fake pockets with a top fold.
3. Leg seam
It's difficult to tell unless you are mega zoomed in, but the Topshop trousers are cropped and have a seam running horizontally below the knee. Amy's trousers do not appear to feature this design in any picture I can see.
Another potential point is the cropping, though Amy wears high-top boots and it's not possible to tell where the trousers hem. We don't get a good enough look at the top to garner any details, however I think I can spot belt loops in the picture above with Rory.
This is all a shame - one less item we have ID'd! It's possible the trousers are still Topshop as they are awfully similar, but there's also a chance it's from Allsaints - it kind of has that look about it, and the top is from there.
This wonderful parka eluded me for so long! I think the problem is much the same as I wrote about with the Paul Smith tee - it's such a timeless style that once purchased, people are pretty loath to part with them. Plus, the sheer versatility of this particular parka makes it a wardrobe staple you want to hold on to. As such, they rarely appear on resale sites, and rarely are they offered up for sale even by 'retiring' cosplayers. (Which was, incidentally, how I finally got mine!)
The parka was originally retailed at £125.00, which isn't too bad considering it was by Whistles. The quality is ... amazing. I had a idea in my mind of what this parka would feel like, which was kind of rough. However, it's incredibly soft, lightweight cotton, with a lovely chambray lining. It feels beautiful on. It's. So. Soft! The design is sort of complex - drawstrings here, drawstrings there, snap fastenings, toggles and pockets - but it has a gorgeous, natural fit. It doesn't feel like any parka I've ever worn before. This is no shapeless mess, but a classy, fitted affair. Everything is adjustable, and the pockets are very deep.
It's an extremely generous fit. Mine is an 8, two sizes down what I usually wear, and it's just right. It can still zip and button up with room to spare. I would not recommend sizing up in this parka as you may find yourself suffocating in cotton poplin, but you can size down at least two sizes, perhaps more if you have a smaller bust.
While the SA is rare af, it's easy to find an alt. This is still a trendy style and lots of stores are selling them, and you can turn up a lot of hits on eBay. Whistles have a number of decent alts, too, though all of these seem to have fur trimming on the hood. I refused to get an alt, though ... I was determined to obtain this, and felt if I took on an alt my fire for the hunt might wane! Silly, no? So for the entire time I've been cosplaying Amy I have never been able to cosplay this outfit. Until now. Yay!
Amy wears this on three different occasions during Season 7 and always with stripes!! The first appearance is Pond Life episode 4, with the Aubin & Wills jumper. The second in Pond Life episode 5, with the Reiss jumper, and thirdly and most famously, with the Paul Smith tee in The Angels Take Manhattan.
Always with the stripes...
Don't you just love practicality? Amy chooses to dress location appropriate in The Impossible Astronaut and at the beginning of The Day of the Moon with a pair of hiking shoes from The North Face. I don't think this particular colour combination is still available, though these shoes turn up often enough on resale sites for them to be found eventually, and I don't think there would be a lot of competition for them nowadays when they do. However, The North Face is a very trendy outdoor gear brand, so there would likely be competition from non-cosplayers for them.
The product name is quite a mouthful, and I've seen them described in a myriad of colours including 'shroom' which I quite like, but fossil/ivory seems to be the correct title.
Here's North Face's sale specs if you're down with hiking shoe hype:
"These lightweight, low-cut boots from The North Face are both waterproof and breathable thanks to a Gore-Tex® Extended Comfort Range membrane on the nubuck and suede leather uppers, and also feature abrasion-resistant mesh, protective toe and heel caps and gusseted tongues to stop debris creeping in. Cushioning and support is provided by ergonomically designed Northotic® footbeds, while Heal Cradle™ and Snake Plate™ technology contribute stability by keeping heels and forefeet where they should be. Vibram® rubber outsoles on The North Face Women's Sable GTX XCR hiking shoes add sticky traction over varied terrain, keeping you sure-footed and equipped for the challenges ahead."I do love me some sticky traction™. If I were The North Face I would be trademarking sticky traction. Maybe Sexyland beat them to it, I don't know.
Anyway, I don't own these because they're not really my style and I basically go outdoors only to go back indoors. I do have a pair of Merrils which I got when I was backpacking, and they're similar enough to be pretty darn good alts.
Fun fact: the episode this top features in, The Angels Take Manhattan, is my least-viewed Pond episode. I'm sure you can guess why. I'm a huge sook, and unless I want to kayak around my flooded sea-of-tears house then I stay well away. (I mean, I still lose it when the Doctor imagines her in TTOTD!) So I think I've only seen this episode ... twice.
Perhaps that's why the universe conspires against me when it comes to this outfit. This is one of Amy's most easily cobbled together, and recognised, but I've never done it. I found the jeans and the necklace early on but the jacket and blouse had eluded me ... until now.
After like searching for 4 years I finally found the Paul by Paul Smith top. And - most surprisingly - brand new?! Someone had an unworn, tags-still-attached, t-shirt in their cosplay muggle* wardrobe of wonders.
Suffice to say, this is a very rare item. My theory for this is pretty straightforward - stripey tops are still in. Go into practically any shop selling clothes and there's stripey tees.They're so versatile and fashionable that nobody who purchased the Paul Smith tee back in the day felt the need to sell it. (Oh, and it's also crazy comfortable, so that helps.) In all my time of cosplaying I've only seen it go for sale once - this time. It was offered as a trade once too, but the other person changed their mind, deciding to keep it to double-up as a Clara piece.
Being on the Paul Smith label, this t-shirt originally sold at the painful price of £68.99.
The tee is white with blue horizontal lines. The scoop neckline has a blue line which follows it all the way around. At the front there is a single functional pocket. It is not much good, though, as a tan-coloured button is stitched through the top centre. That's fine though - I've never seen much point of boob pockets.
Scattered throughout the tee are little flecks. I never realised until I had it in my hot little hands, but they're actually multicoloured! They're also raised, like individually sewn dots, which gives the tee a really nice texture. The material itself is 95% cotton and 5% viscose, so it's nicely stretchy. I thought mine would be too big as it was an L, but it has a great fit and is nice and slack like how Amy wears hers.
It's worth noting the tee also came in an alternate colour - red stripes instead of blue.
*Term shamelessly stolen from Instagram's ravenhairedclara
"I dressed for Rio!"
And here we have Pond's most famous outfits, or at least most talked about. The main talking point is the shorts, of course. I bang on a bit about how brief the Superdry skirt but I reckon this one would give it a run for its' money. When I took them out and showed my housemate she went "is that her UNDERWEAR?" And she wasn't far wrong.
Well, to be fair, they are hotpants. Amy got caught out. She was going somewhere suitable for teeny tiny shorts (though I'm not sure where the jacket came into it - I assume she grabbed that when they landed??) that are more like knickers. In fact these things are so tiny that they're one of the very few cosplay items I own that won't make their way into my regular wardrobe. Not unless I'm going to Rio, I guess. (And lbh, probably not even then.)
Topshop have a few different varieties of black shorts about. At time of writing, high-waisted denim is in, so most resale sites are flooded with shorts that look just like these but are high-rise. (Don't get me started on this frightening trend; I was there in the 90s first time round when high-rise denim was in. It was terrible then, and it's terrible now!) There's also a lot of black shorts with a single button floating around too. So when you're hunting - check rise, and number of buttons, and that should narrow your search down considerably.
Given how small these shorts were they were pretty low on my priority list to find. I browsed for these infrequently and found them on my third go or something. I also discovered there's actually quite a lot about in smaller sizes. You can thank Topshop producing a zillion and the change in trend for denim rise for that!
They fit true to size and in your back pocket. :p
Earlier this year I posted an entry about this robe, though I didn't own it yet. At that stage I had no intention of obtaining the robe. It was (and is) still available for purchase online, but price and postage made it extremely expensive and I resisted temptation. But, earlier this month in a fit of insanity or rationality (depending on your point of view) I finally bought it. So it's time to rewrite and review it properly!
The first thing I noticed is the quality. And yeah, it should be given it's quite an expensive robe, but I was still surprised at how soft and well-made it is. It's thicker than I imagined, has a pleasant summer weight, and two beautiful pockets which (if I dared to wear it all the time) I would certainly put tissues in and then forget to take out before washing. The sash is good and long and detachable, it slides in two loops on either side. Given the quality of the cotton it has a nice drape.
I know some other cosplayers have taken their robes up to match the SA length - but mine seems okay with my height, and a good fit with my ALT nightie. The nightgown underneath has never been identified, but is addressed in an entry here.
The Irish-made robe is actually menswear. You should take this into account when purchasing. It is very roomy, and most sizes would work for most people depending on how you'd like it to fit. I went with an M, which is my usual size, and that turned out to be a perfect choice.
I had this sent to my parents' house as I was anticipating being away when it would be delivered. My father unpacked and checked it for me, and was very taken with it, so now he's going to get one too, and so my father will also be cosplaying his own version of Pond.
The ensemble appears in both The Beast Below and the Night and the Doctor minisodes: Good Night/Bad Night.
At first glance, this tee is pretty basic.
It features in The Power of Three and is worn with the Whistles blue jeans, UGG boots (which I must reiterate - ohgoddon'tweartheseoutsidethehouse!) the Gogo Philip necklace, watch and an un-IDed brown belt which pops up frequently in this season.
The tee is a grey marle and looks to be lightweight. From the way it hangs I think it is a soft jersey, or like, fabric. The neckline is a soft V and the sleeves capped. There's an interesting little seam detail where the tiny sleeve joins the shoulder, and no hem on the sleeve as it rolls under itself. It's a nice touch, a step up from completely bland and basic.
There's a decent chance this tee is by Allsaints given is frequency of use in Season 7.
In The Power of Three and Pond Life Amy is seen in a pink dressing gown and pyjama set. These have not yet been ID'd, but as the design is quite common, it's pretty easy to find a good alt.
There's a few different shots but nothing we've seen gives us a lot of detail. I think in most appearances it's just a plain white, or blush, singlet (vest/tank.) However in the second Pond Life episode we can see lace detail on one strap, with another, plainer, strap. It would make sense that it have lace to match the robe, but as we don't see another angle, it's impossible to be sure exactly which top, or tops, she's wearing underneath.
The dressing gown is pale pink with vintage lace trim on the cuffs. It looks to me like it would be slightly stretchy - a cotton, viscose blend perhaps, the sort of thing you can pull tight. It's probably three-quarter length. It does not have a hood.