Flying the Skies in Full Character

It’s almost certain that the good folks at the airport probably have seen just about every type of person come through those security lines in order to board a plane and jet off to some destination or other.  They see a continuous stream of men and women in business suits, teenagers in jeans and hoodies, and a whole range of ages dressed in clothes designed to make sitting still in Coach class for hours a little more bearable.  I’m sure this gets boring after a while, really.  So in my generous way I decided that I would break the monotony for them by wearing something really outstanding the next time I flew–something that would stick in their minds and perhaps provide a few minutes of entertainment. 

Actually, I just wanted to fly wearing something odd and cool.  No altriusm about it. 

This determination to don unconventional flying fashion led me, therefore, to choose this outfit when I went off to visit a dear friend a few weeks ago:

Full outfit

Stuck somewhere between Victorian England and Steampunk.

The reactions of my fellow passengers were really interesting, actually.  Mostly I got either curious or sort of scornful looks, but I got a few more extreme responses.  Mostly it was delight and a little bit of confusion, but one other passenger went so far as to pretend I didn’t exist for the whole three hours I sat next to her.  

feathers

I’m probably being unfair.  Maybe she just didn’t like my feathers.  I do, though!

The most awkward thing about the whole process was getting my hat through security.  The little rubber flaps on the X-Ray machine would have made a hash of the feather spray, so we had to take some extra measures to make sure that both the hat and everyone else came through intact and bomb-free. 

Boots and pants

Comfortable trousers, crazy high boots.  Love the lace and buttons.

The other hard thing was NOT breaking my ankles in these boots.  They are absolutely smashing to look at, but rather dodgy to walk in if you’re not used to very high heels.  It would have been easier if I hadn’t had to run to catch a connecting flight!

Pose

“Bring the carriage ’round, Bane, I’m off to visit Miss Peabody!”

All in all, it was a really fun thing to do, and the clothes were remarkably comfortable.  People always assume that “fancy” means “unwearable”, and that’s certainly NOT the case here!  Want to recreate the look?  You’re in luck!  Everything but the shirt and the trousers is easily obtainable online.

The beautiful leather hat was handmade by the wonderful people over at http://www.blondeswan.com.  They’re a traditional hattery based out of Ohio, and their work and service is top notch!

The coat and attached vest actually come from http://www.angel-secret.com, a small company based out of Hong Kong that specializes in elegent and slightly unusual clothes for women and men.

The shoes are a product of Pleaser USA, a shoe company that makes shoes for just about every occassion!  These particular Funtasma “Splendor” boots have a very comfortable microfiber upper and a zip closure to go along with the very classy Victorian inspired lace and button details.

The particular gloves I’m wearing are fashion gloves from http://www.hottopic.com though any black leather or leatherette gloves will work. 

The shirt is a vintage piece I picked up some years ago, though it’s not so hard to find a button blouse with a ruffled front and cuffs as it used to be.  The trousers also I found some time ago, but any pair of gouchos or fitted pants would work just as well.

So–next time you fly, don’t be afraid to let your quirky side show!  It can be fun, and as long as you don’t make any of the security people nervous, it’s perfectly safe and stress-free as well. 


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10 Responses to Flying the Skies in Full Character

  1. Allison says:

    In my experience, it’s best to look as normal as possible when traveling, especially by plane. Why give security or customs a reason to search you more than the next guy?

    Unless you don’t mind spending extra time in security and potenitally being searched to an uncomfortable level.

    I’d rather pack my costumes in the checked baggage. Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry about missing your flight because you were held up in security due to the suspicious number of metal buttons on your frock coat.

    Didn’t you hear about the girl who was arrested for wearing electronic art to the airport?

  2. Allison says:

    By the way, I really do love the outfit.

    I’ve just had the supidest things hold me up at the airport and would hate for costumed folk to go through similar frustrating circumstances.

  3. Chajiko says:

    Wow, no I didn’t hear about this girl! What happened?

    Really, the only problem was the hat, and that’s because the feathers would have been mangled going through the xray thing. We covered it with a larger bin to protect it and VOILA, it was fine. My airport requires coat and shoes to be taken off anyway, so they were scanned just like any other coat or hoodie I could have worn.

    And honestly, most of the security people seemed delighted to see something unusual. It was pretty gratifying!

  4. manny says:

    Grrr, airport security is such a pain. I would love to see a big group of Furries in costume all line up at once – can you imagine the look on the security guard’s faces? LOL

    It really is a great looking outfit, Chajiko. Being normal is no fun, sigh. Maybe costumes at the airport could work just fine if there isn’t much, or any, metal? Interesting discussion!

  5. Very cute costume, I love the shoes and the hat the most.
    I did a similar when riding on the train recently as The Stig,
    More costumes on public transportation I say!

  6. Allison says:

    Star Simpson is the name of the girl who was arrested for having LEDs on a hoodie at the airport.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/breaking_news/2007/09/mit_student_arr.html

    Obviously she took it way too far. You can’t blame security for being worried about the wires and electronics on her shirt and the playdough in her hand. But the case is clear evidence that you should consider what you wear to the airport seriously.

    I can tell you from traveling with friends with alternative styles that the guy with blue hair and facial peircings takes twice as long to get through security. Customs is even worse.

  7. Chajiko says:

    Oh my gosh, yeah–wires and electronics would be a CLEAR problem for those poor security guys!

    One of the really nice things about the outfit I chose was that there was really next to no metal. Zippers on the boots, a safety pin in my collar and the feather clip were the only things, and security really honestly had no problem with what I was wearing. You can actually call the airport and talk to one of the TSA people beforehand to see what’s going to be a problem and what’s not, also.

    Customs can be a total nightmare. I’ve discovered that nothing gets you through faster than a regular old business suit!

  8. Chajiko says:

    Thank you, Courtney! And I agree. One of the things I love best is riding the train in full costume on my way to conventions. It’s a conversation starter, at the VERY least!

  9. About the article:
    My what a stupid girl, that’s the sort of people that get into MIT these days?
    My brother almost had his belt confiscated just because it had fake bullet shells on them.
    And then there was a guy who wasn’t allowed to fly because he had a Transformers shirt on.

    How would anyone think putting suspicious gadgets on their clothing would be alright?
    Even if you have never dealt with airlines before.

  10. Hannah says:

    I actually had similar experience with customs…I had to rush back to the bus depot in Seattle with no time to change after being part of the Chinatown parade. The twist…I was in a group representing a local Anime Con and my cosplay was the blood covered Nurse Kaori from Junko Mizuno’s pure trance WITH chainsaw. I didn’t have any problems passing through security since I told them right away why I was in costume and was polite with them…”You didn’t have time to change?”..”Cuse me folks she is covered with fake blood” Also security and fellow passengers was more amused by me and the chainsaw in my bags as it passed through the x-ray machine, They really loved that chainsaw.

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