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16 March 2012 @ 10:01 am
Brown Leather Vest  
So, I'm going to a comic con with some friends this weekend. (Yes, I totally fail at advance planning.) I'm trying to put together something for Zoe, and the main thing I need to find is a vest. Any ideas where a size 22 woman might find a brown leather vest (that either has brick and mortar stores or ships really fast)? It wouldn't need to be a perfect, or even close to perfect, match to hers. Just enough that if I wear it over a plain brown or red shirt, brown pants, combat or hiking boots and a gun belt, it'll be apparent who I'm supposed to be.
 
 
 
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: sacredspacewiliqueen on March 16th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'm not seeing anything in the Plus section on the Wilsons Leather website, but if there's one near you, it might be worth giving them a call. They've closed a lot of their regular stores, but still have a presence in most outlet malls, and tend not to have all their stock shown online.

Western wear shops or biker shops would also be places to call. I know Harley-Davidson manufactures all their women's styles up to 3X. Not seeing anything in brown on their website, unfortunately, but again, there might be something not listed there, or another company might have a style that would approximate Zoe's vest. The fashion industry is still full of idiots, but biker culture is a little smarter about their market.

There was a lot of decent faux leather around in the fall, so you might want to do a quick swing by the clearance racks at Torrid or Avenue. But the chances of something still hanging around at this point would be pretty slight, so don't spend a lot of your hunting time on that.

Also, this might sound weird, but lingerie/adult toy shops can be great costuming resources, and there are a lot of them that are aimed at the suburban-married-people market and aren't scary-sketchy to go into. Looks like there's no Lover's Lane in Maryland, but there's probably some equivalent. They carry a lot of Leg Avenue type costumes year-round, and while that stuff tends to be cheesy, a single piece like a vest could still be useful.

Finally, if you don't have any luck beforehand, you can probably score in the dealer's room at the con itself. Steampunk is *huge*, and Zoe's vest fits pretty comfortably into that aesthetic, so the timing is good in fandom if not in mainstream fashion. :-)

Good luck!
Kellyaeliakirith on March 16th, 2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
All good ideas, thank you. There have to be some Western or biker shops vaguely near me. Nothing super-close, so probably before I start hitting department stores up for the basics, I should start calling around to see who has what. I'm definitely finding options in the biker and westernwear stuff online, just twitchy about spending $50-80 on something I can't try on.

No Torrid or Avenue near me, unfortunately. But the adult store idea is a really good one. All the ones right nearby are a bit on the shady side, though there's a nice one up in Annapolis.
Life is a Contact Sportnorthernwalker on March 16th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Is there a store that sells motorcycle clothing near you? I found some brown vests looking at biker gear.
Van: Firefly: Zoe/Washvan on March 16th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
My suggestion would be to head to your local good will/thrift store and see what you can find in the right color/fit, even if it isn't the right shape. (For instance, a brown leather jacket for $25 or something.) Then just cut it up and fix it yourself. If you can't sew, hot glue works wonders for folding in seams. It obviously isn't going to hold up the way a real leather vest would, but for last-minute cosplay, it'd be good.

Alternately, you could buy fake pleather at a local fabric store (my Joanne's usually has brown pleather) and just try to craft something yourself. Sewing pleather is really difficult,s so the hot glue (perhaps reinforced with duct tape on the insides) might work out well, actually. (You can also buy brown duct tape if you need to tape it closed.) I know that sounds like it'd look terrible, but if you make the closing seam under your arm (and Zoe's vest doesn't open in the front anyway), almost no one would notice.

You could also likely get away with a non-leather vest if the color is right. She also did occasionally not wear a vest. (See here and various other episodes.) Obviously the read is better with a vest, but if you don't have one and DO have a Firefly cosplay group to walk around with, you'll probably still be read as Zoe.

Good luck!

Edited at 2012-03-16 11:23 pm (UTC)