Costume party YAY!!!!!! I love dressing up. In fact, thinking of a costume, putting it together, and finally getting ready is arguably just as fun as whatever event I’m headed off to. This year I went to an after-work costume party at my boyfriend’s workplace. I don’t work. I’m a student. At first, I wasn’t getting much inspiration. Ryan and his brother had awesome costumes (Jules Winnfield and Coach Hines), so I was feeling the pressure. Finally, I figured I should just do something totally different. And really, how can I get more opposite than Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I decided to be Elizabeth Bennet.
I must comment that I love Pride and Prejudice. I got the book for Christmas the year I was 15, and I read it all that same day – and then again about 3 days later. About a year or so after that I watched the entire BBC production of Pride and Prejudice and about died. I fell in love all over again. Granted, I haven’t read the book as an adult, but I think I will always have a soft spot for Mr. Darcy.
So, I woke up this morning, started with a long dress I already had in my closet and got to work. First? Research. I looked at pictures of the BBC production on Google (ah, the interwebs, how I love you), and then got down and dirty. I pulled out my Taschen books – Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th century. Beautiful books from the Kyoto Costume Institute, they have great pictures, and great text. I looked for clothes from the early 1800s, when Jane Austen was writing. The mannequins also have hair styles of the time period, so that covered two bases.
I had some yardage of a great silk organza lying around, so I knew I could work with that. Also, it was white, a very popular color during that time period. First I pleated it in large pleats, but it didn’t look quite right. So, I took that out and gathered it in three stages. The two sides wrapping to the back of the new skirt are heavily gathered, while I only lightly gathered the front section. This produced a much more authentic looking garment, so I hand sewed it to the dress. Next, I revamped the front chest section. Before, the dress was tied in a knot at the sternum. I took off the tie, loosened it a bit, and then used that extra material to make my bonnet/headpiece.
Finally, I was on to makeup! After finding a pretty fun site about makeup during that time period, I went with a very natural look. Just a bit of blush and mascara – which I felt captured what was popular at the time.
All in all, a pretty fun day making a costume that I really enjoyed. The best part was getting to the office and having someone actually guess right away that I was Elizabeth Bennet! That must mean I did something right <3