The Cosplay Journal (New and Exciting things!)

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Hello all!

Firstly, I’m sorry that I missed a post last week but I promise I have a legitimate reason! For the last 6 months myself and Meggo Photography, along with an amazing team of writers and cosplayers have been putting together a cosplay bookagazine (hate this “word”) based here in the UK.

The Cosplay Journal is a coffee table type magazine that focuses on the art, craft and diversity within the UK community, promoting Cosplay for All. Everyone, no matter who they are, should be able to feel that they can get involved! We put cosplayers of colour, LGBTQA+ cosplayers, plus size cosplayers, disabled cosplayers and cosplayers over 40, front and centre of The Cosplay Journal to show that the scene is diverse and open to all. We hope to encourage more people to start cosplaying, as many may have felt they do not fit into the mold that is often promoted by mainstream media, or have been put off by abuse online (not from the cosplay community predominantly).

My mission statement from the get go was to create something that people would be inspired by but what was inspiring them was attainable. We didn’t want to show them aspiration that they could never achieve, we wanted people to pick up The Journal and go “oh wow, they look like me! I can do this too!”. The representation of all kinds of people and skills is so important and helps people see themselves as completely capable of achieving things that for whatever they may not have done before.

We also intend to show the amazing level of crafts, artistic talent and effort that people put into making their costumes as we believe that cosplay has as much skill as any creative field. Cosplayers are artists, designers, tailors, armourers, wig makers, make up artists and so much more all rolled into one. There are so many different types of crafting and artistry involved in cosplay that everyone will be able to find their niche, just need to know it’s there. Cosplay isn’t all one thing and you don’t have to be able to do everything; but you also don’t have to specialise, you can do everything in your own way and in your own time. I really wanted to show that the range of skills is just as varied and diverse as the people making and wearing the costumes. You can do everything from leatherwork to puppetry, prosthetics to fine hand embroidery and it’s all cosplay. There is, quite literally, no wrong way to do it!

Since this all started last August I have been working no stop. There was so much more to do than I had ever imagined; I had a very steep learning curve to climb. But I strapped on my crampons and headed off into the unknown; gathering cosplayers, finding locations, organizing shoots, hiring writers and writing articles myself, sorting out all the social media (and running it!), doing tones of market and design research and basically managing the whole project on track so that we can go to print at the end of March/being of April.

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It’s been a massive undertaking and I cannot thank the people who have been supporting enough. And this is going to sound like an award speak, so sorry about that, but I really do feel like I’ve won something with how this has all come together!

Honestly I think my Mum deserves a freaking award for how much she has had to put with, opening up her house to shoots and cosplayers. She has supported me so much.

My wonderful photographer and partner in crime Meg has been a constant source of inspiration and pushed me to make this best it can possibly be, while holding my hand the whole time.

The writers, models and designers who have all come on board for free, have helped keep me grounded, I think without them I would have exploded through the stress of it all! The whole team is made up of people who have been cosplaying or involved in cosplay for many years and all of them have a passion for the hobby that they want to share and promote.

It would be amazing if you guys could support us by following us on:
Facebook – The Cosplay Journal
Instagram – @thecosplayjournal
Twitter – @cosplayjournal

And check out our website: www.thecosplayjournal.com

We will be posting loads of behind the scenes photos from our location shoots for issue one, as well as sneak peaks at articles and the production of the Journal.

Issue one goes to print at the end of March and will be available online to buy as a physical or PDF edition on our website as well as being available at conventions throughout the year (and hopefully a few comic shops).

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Thank you guys, I’ll be posting proper blog updates again next week all work allowing. Also if you are interested I am now writing fortnightly on Down The Tubes as their Cosplay Columnist (which is also taking up time!) and my first interview for The Chap magazine is in the next issue which you can get THIS WEEKEND from WH Smiths and on their website! If you are following my Patreon that article will being going up on Saturday in the $7+ reward category, and all future pieces for The Chap, Down the Tubes, The Cosplay Journal and this blog will be going up in various reward levels of my patreon before they are available anywhere else! Oh gosh!

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

As always if you like what I’m doing here, please support me on Patreon for just $1 a month.

Or if you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

The Cosplay Journal Logo by Redwood Creations

 

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Cute and Casual (Don’t Judge a Nonbinary Person by their Cover)

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The way I see it, there is this idea that people need to look a certain way to be seen as a certain gender. Society dictates these ideas of dress and appearance to code as binary people. Men or woman, boy or girl, 1 or 0, it’s an odd dichotomy that traps the world is state of stagnation. To say that a person is one way purely based on a socialized idea of appearance is unnecessary and deeply boring. We are, after all, books that cannot be judged by our covers.

I feel this is why there is an assumption that nonbinary people will look a certain way. People love to put a little box out for you to sit in so they can go “yup this one looks right I can validate it” and that is wrong on so many levels. The idea that any gender should look a certain way to fit into society’s fixed view of who and what they are means that many people do not feel free to present themselves in way that they like and those that do are seen as, at best, “unfashionable” or, at worst, “ugly”. This is obviously ridiculous. No one is ugly, and no one is unfashionable, we are simply ourselves, expressing what we want to express.

It may seem odd that I have chosen such a conventional outfit to talk about this topic but I actually felt that for me, and for the way I present myself, this was a perfect choice. I often dress in a very unconventional manner, and often people are more likely to accept my identity when I’m like that then when I’m “dressed down”. Just because I’m not wearing a binder and a pair of breeks today does not mean I have suddenly stopped being NB. Yes, I have opted to look more feminine, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I am still NB. My clothes have nothing to do with my gender. If I have decided one day to conform more to society’s feminine ideals that is not because I am a girl, it is because this outfit looks nice and I wanted to wear it. That’s all there is to it.

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Traditionally Masculine? Traditionally Feminine? Doesn’t matter I’m all NB!

There is an obsession with gendering appearance, judging if someone is a man or a women with a glance, and that is incredibly damaging to everyone. For the trans community is has created the idea that you need to “pass” to be accepted, which is blatantly wrong and unfair. Not everyone has access to amazing plastic surgery or  even to the hormones that they might need, that doesn’t make them any less the gender that they are. Not everyone wants to present according to the traditional norms of gender either but that doesn’t make them any else the gender they say they are.

And thing is this is programmed into us and it will take a long time to undo that way of thinking, so don’t feel bad if your first thought of someone is not correct, what’s important is that you catch yourself and don’t make assumptions, don’t say awful things, but instead maybe ask that person’s gender just a “I’m sorry but what are your pronouns”, listen and learn and try to deprogram yourself just a little. Don’t be like “well you don’t look nonbinary” or something like that because we don’t know other people’s minds and we cannot be the ones to decide these things for them.

That got a bit deeper than I was planning if I’m honest. And I’m not sure if I managed to write it out well or convey it properly but I tried.

Outfit Breakdown

Honestly this is a crazy simply outfit. I think I wore it in June last year and it was oddly cool for summer, but still I didn’t want to go for loads of layers, just in case. I actually really like cool summer days because you can wear such a range of outfits but still don’t have to put a big coat on over the top. It makes life so much easier haha.

The top is one I’ve had for literally years. I got it in Zara and a while back I would have said it would be hard to find something like this now but tops like this are back in fashion! It’s pretty great! I love the wide neck on this because I think it makes it’s more interesting and makes your neck look longer which a round or turtleneck jumper won’t do, plus it’s more summery. So if you want to create a more spring/summer time look go for a more open or slash neck type top and for autumn/winter you want polo/turtle/round neck, at least if you are into that sort of thing and matching your outfit to the season. It’s not everyone’s thing.

Anyway! The stripes are cute and give a “nautical” type feel to the look, which again is cute for summer and this top is actually cropped so, even though it’s tucked into the trousers so it’s got a cute vintage vibe which I obviously love.

If you like this too, I think you’ll be able to find something it like on the high street but otherwise Depop is a great go to for this things. I do love that app.

The trousers are linen peg trousers that I got in Marks and Spencers last summer season. Again, such an easy wear, I think I spent a lot of last summer wearing them because they are so chill and look good with pretty much everything despite the mustard colour. I also have a pair that’s striped but they are harder to wear unfortunately.

I think peg trousers are pretty much a go to for me when I want something quick and cute to wear. They’re high waisted, which I love, not too tight, but cut nicely and flatter pretty much every shape (no seriously, I mean it, everyone should wear them). They can be smart or casual, dressed up or just chilling out with friends. I would recommend that everyone have a pair in their wardrobe. I do think it’s a shame that they seem to be going out of style in favour of lower cut waistbands (boo!) but you can still find them around, especially in places like Marks and Spencer, Zara and Next. Or again go online, eBay, Depop, and most good vintage sellers will have something good there for you to find.

This whole outfit is built with favourite pieces of mine, because the shoes are right up there as well. I love monk straps, and I love these ones even more because they have a creeper sole and they were a fiver from a charity shop! The things you can find!

I do think modern takes on traditional shoe styles are one of the best things that is happening in fashion right now. It means you can get a good, comfy, proper shoe but it still looks great. Silver Oxfords, glitter covered Brogues or a styled up Monk Strap are making it fashionable to be comfy and I am all about that!

The bag is just my “day out” bag. It’s a canvas and leather rucksack that I got in a very good amazon sale (£40 instead of £200! Yes please!) but these sorts of bags are very in at the moment, you can get them in Fatface or Accessorize or any hipster, vintage store you want to stick you head into. Really good for carrying around a book or two.

Over all this is a really simple but classy look. It’s not a big statement or a “look at me” but it’s also not blending into the background. I actually worried on the day that I would feel “too feminine” but I didn’t. It wasn’t the clothes that defined my gender but my gender that defined the clothes.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

As always if you like what I’m doing here, please support me on Patreon for just $1 a month.

Or if you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

The Little Lost Prince and How They Learned Their Clothes had Memories.

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I thought that it’s been a while since I did an outfit post, and I miss them, so here’s my first look of 2018, which is actually a look from September 2016 because of course it is. I’ve never really been one to be constricted by the conventional passage of time, plus who doesn’t like a look that could be found in an Enid Blyton novel?

I find that I can define moments in my life by outfits. I can see a certain picture of myself and I know exactly how I was feeling by the outfit I had put together. Often to the casual observer, or in fact anyone who isn’t me, there is nothing different in one look to the next, unless it’s an overt change in style, but I can tell. I know that I put on a slightly more worn jumper that day because I needed to feel comfort, or I chose a certain pair of socks because they made me feel cuter than I was feeling inside. I think in these moments of pain we have clothes that can make us feel better, can help us through the dark times. Sometimes these are “pyjama clothes”, as my mum would call them, to hold us and comfort us, things to curl up on the sofa and watch Lord of the Rings in (or your comfort food movie of choice, but if it’s Lord of the Rings we might need to have words, I mean come on, hobbits guys) and sometimes they are things that let us be a little braver than we are. Because an old, worn out jumper holds all the memories that made it old and worn out, all those times you wore it and you were happy or strong or loved, and that can strengthen you.

Clothes hold memories. Like a smell or a taste that takes you back to something, clothes have that same strong power over memory. You look in the mirror and see yourself wearing a piece from a picnic, or a day you spent discovering your favourite book, and you instantly have a sense of things being well, and even on a day when you are hurting more than you could imagine, those clothes can make that small bit of difference.

And the thing is, even if you wear something on a bad day, if it has good things attached to it, the bad day doesn’t mean those memories become bad, it means they helped to make the bad day a little better. The outfit attached to this blog is like that. It was a bad day, it was a really bad day, but something about these clothes made me stronger and happier, and actually, looking at these pictures, I don’t remember is being awful, or how much I was hurting, I remember being out with my best friend, feeling just that little bit better than I did the day before. These are good pictures and these a good memories attached to that outfit. The fact that it’s a really cute outfit that made me feel like I was in Swallows and Amazons is an added bonus in the good memories column.

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I talk about clothes giving you confidence, being bold and bright and beautiful, but confidence isn’t always going out in a feather cloak, sometimes, often in fact, confidence is just stepping out of your door. If you need to wear that hoody with the holes in the cuffs wear your thumb has worn through, and hide in the hood to get to the shops, then do. That items has something in it that is strong enough and comforting enough to get you out the door so that’s a damn good piece of clothing in my books, better than any designer piece.

Outfit Breakdown

This is really simple look, which is part of why it was so comforting and easy. I wanted to be ok but also cute because cute is ok in my books, so this is not going to be a standard breakdown, more of a “why did this make me feel better” introspective type thing. I guess. We’ll see won’t we!

The jumper is from Primark of all places. I bought it in my third year of Uni, so two years before I wore it in this outfit and I still have it and wear it. Honestly it’s a surprise it’s lasted so well, but I guess if you look after anything properly it will keep on going. It’s so comfy as well, really worn in and warm. I guess it has that home knitted vibe going on, it always reminded me of a fisherman’s jumper which probably says a lot about my fashion sense – I mean I legit want to get a smock, coz how cute would that be?! I don’t feel like I need to say too much about where to get jumpers, I’ve written a lot about jumpers. They are my favourite item of clothing ever. If you do want some advice you can check out these other posts of mine (Tweeds, wool and Glastonbury and School Boy Summers).

The shirt, which you can’t see that well in these pictures unfortunately, is another favourite of mine. It’s a pale blue, striped shirt, loose fitting with a Peter Pan collar, longer at the back than the front. I bought it because it really reminds me of old fashioned night shirts (weird, yes) and I love how easy it is to wear. It’s a perfect all year round piece as well, as it has three quarter sleeves, and being a light-weight fabric you can wear it on summer days or put something underneath to make a snuggly outfit for long winter nights by the fire.

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The shorts are ones I got in Zara a few years back when I was really into steampunk (no bad thing, it lead to loving Chap and I got a load of good clothes out of it). The weirdest thing, looking at these pictures is how skinny I was. I had been incredibly unwell, losing a stone and half in less than a month, so these shorts don’t actually look like this on me most of the time. In fact I wore them on holiday recently and they are fitting much closer to the leg now, and looking much better than they do here. I was not well. However I do love these shorts with this look. It is very Tintin, Enid Blyton, Swallows and Amazons, that sort of adventure you wished you went on when you were a kid, finding spies and smugglers or buried treasure, there’s something about that childishness that makes me feel better. It’s a safety, even if it’s not real, it makes you feel like you might be able to take on the world and then get home in time for tea. These style of shorts a little hard to find right now, because it’s winter, but ebay, depop and other sites will probably be able to sort you out if you look for safari shorts or the like. And you can shove a pair of braces on any shorts to get a slightly different look out of them. I like a good pair of braces, so sue me.

I really like how the caramel and the blue work together, it’s very reassuring combination. Connotations of summer by the sea, on the beach between surf and sky, warm sun and cool splash ooze from this colour combo. Adding that onto of the vintage style and you get memories of long ago summers that never really happened but could of in a book or maybe they’re a story your grandparents told you, who knows. But it works.

The little deck shoes are such a cute touch with this look. I mostly wear them because they are easy to slip on and hug my feet in just the right way, and yeah, they are super adorable. Who said practicality couldn’t look good? These were from Moshulu in St Ives, and their shoes last forever I swear to god. I’ve worn these more than any I own and they are as good as they were the day I bought them – if not a little dirtier – and I would highly recommend their boot collection. Bright colours, great designs, all for practical wear! What more could you ask for?

The shoes tie in with the jumper and the shirt really nicely with the blues and whites, but the socks…oh the socks. They are just a bit of colourful fun. Sometimes that’s what you need, something a bit silly? I have so many pairs of silly socks I don’t even know where these came from but I’m always on the lookout for more and the high street is full of these types of things at the moment, The White Stuff have ones with foxes and stags! It’s great.

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I hope you liked this article, it’s been a really nice one to write.

I’m going to be doing less straight outfit posts this year I think, probably just one a month as I am going start writing more about sustainable fashion – vintage, slow fashion, charity shops, make do and mend type stuff as that went down really well the last few times I’ve talked about it and I feel it’s something we can all implement in our lives to help the environment and our wallets! I’m also going to doing more on my patreon, realising articles for other sites and magazines on there first, as well as behind the scenes of a big new project that I am involved in, which I will be announcing the details of very soon!

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

As always if you like what I’m doing here, please support me on Patreon for just $1 a month.

Or if you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

We are the Young Bohemians (Ringing in the New Year with Style)

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Bright Young Things by Meggo Photography

There is nothing which like New Year’s to be mildly disappointing and overwhelming unnecessary, or at least I had always thought. Many a year I have sat in my PJs ringing in the New Year in a rather bored “I’d rather be asleep” way, but this year, for some strange reason I felt a compulsion to do something different, something better, something more…Bohemian.

Now, I don’t mean “boho” like all the trendy fashion sites keep going on about, you know all this tasselly, drapey, ripped up for no obvious reason type items of clothing, no, I mean Bohemian as in The Bohemians as in Bohemianism. If you don’t know about these rather eccentric, artistic, possibly dangerous, challengers of societies status quo, let me explain.

“Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may or may not be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds. Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and – in some cases – voluntary poverty. A more economically privileged, wealthy, or even aristocratic bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as haute bohème – literally “high bohemia”.” – Bohemianism, Wikipedia

The Bohemians, particularly the Bloomsbury Set – whose members include the likes of Virginia Wolf and E. M. Forster – have always been of interest to me, well more of a fascination if we’re being honest. This group of creatives building their own world were they could express themselves in the best and truest way possibly. They were queer, polyamorous, gender fluid – if not nonbinary – people who rejected the ideas of their parents (often the upper and middle classes of Victorian England) to be free in a society that would deny them.

As a teen I idolised the lifestyle of these creatives, their friendships and the buzz of artistic energy that must have poured within these circles. I craved the stimulation and drive that being around other creative people gives, the conversation and passion that they have, and it wasn’t until I went through Uni, oddly, that I really found “my people”. People who inspired me, drove me, pushed me to be better in every way I could. Of course there had been a few before this, but to finally find like minded people who truly understood the need to create at all costs was like the sparks of a fire being set.

And it wasn’t as if they were all there in one place. It was like a slow gathering of minds, finding each other in the strangest places and knowing that we needed to be together. There is something to clicks between you when you meet someone who you know should be part of your life, and not in a “romantic” sort of way, but in a way that you know it’s going to be so much more fun with them around no matter what happens. Some people make you happier just by being there. That’s worth any sort of effort to keep.

But what does this all have to do with New Year I hear you ask!? Well it was the first time when I decided to gather all of these wonderful people together. Of course not all of them could come, it is a busy time and there are other demands we all must bow to, but those people are no less included than those who attended.

What followed was a day, a night, and a day of joyous conversation, stimulating amusement and wonderful, beautiful friendship. People who had never met before clicked instantly, it was as if we all worked on the same wavelength despite differences in age, upbringing, and even language. Passion for life surpassed social boundaries.

There is nothing like getting ready together than then having the evening stretch out before you full of possibilities. Curling hair, doing each others makeup and advising on outfit choices is a long standing tradition for any good party, and I think it adds something more to a night. It’s a bonding ritual, intimate in it’s very nature. Helping someone into their dress or getting them into their waistcoat and cufflinks allows for closeness and a good giggle if the zips being a bugger. Exchanging compliments, throwing little positive comments at each other the whole time makes this human equivalent of social grooming (coz that’s what it is), an emotional experience and boost as much as a physical one. I do think it strengthens friendships, and I may do a whole piece on the role in plays in society, but that is for another time.

Of course the theme of “Let’s party like it’s 1929” added to the proceedings, and it didn’t hurt that everyone looked utterly spectacular in their own wonderful way. But what was more inspiring and beautiful than the clothes was the spectrum of personalities that flurried through the group, giving openings to all to talk, discuss and laugh together. It is not often a group can work in so many ways, giving a space of comfort and creativity to everyone but think to a certain degree we achieved it, especially given the inaugural nature of the meeting. I’ll be honest though, a few well chosen – and well made if I do say so myself – cocktails does wonders to get a mood going.

Party games – including pin the moustache on Poirot and damn good murder mystery – some excellently made bunting (well done Aly), as much jazz as I could get hold off and a mountain of finger food placed as squarely in the mood for fun.

By the next day a group of firm friends had rung in the New Year and now sat blinking in the morning light over tea, coffee and excellent Dutch pastries (thank you Theo). We had returned to the 21st century, mostly unscathed and surprisingly un-hungover ready to face the year ahead in good spirits and with something of a positive attitude – though how long that will last who knows, it may already be gone. I cannot say that I was not a little bit pleased with myself for bringing this group of bright young things together, because I’m really f***ing pleased with myself. What had emerged from a crazy idea in the back of my head was now a group of people who I never want to be parted from.

Honestly that all sounds incredibly gushy, but the spark had been lit, and, on a visit to the zoo a few weeks later – yup, that’s right, the first thing we did was go to a zoo and get all excited about lemurs, or at least I did, lemurs are great. What did you think I had a lemur onesie just for the hell of it? I mean really, you all should know me better by now.  Apologies, this is a tangent –  I had it confirmed, we are Bohemians.

I’m aware that what I have done here is write 1000 words about how great my friends are, but what is the point in having a platform if you don’t use it to show off how great your pals are every so often? Especially when they make you the best version of you, you can be.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

If you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

Or you can support me on patreon.

‘Olly Out!

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We will see you soon. Love The Young Bohemians.

If you want more please check out my last articles:

All photos by Meggo Photography

Bags of Personality (Or How I Learned to Stop Throwing Things Out and to Love Bespoke)

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A lot has been lost in the last few decades with more and more of our fashion coming off the rack. It’s a mass produced nightmare, ill-fitting in both size and style for most of us. We are forced into clothes that the high street have decreed are fashionable with very little choice outside of that, and are judged for not fitting into the mould these shops have created. How many of us have looked in the window of a shop and thought “none of this is me” for whatever reason? But with, what feels like, no choice outside of the norm we often end up buying the same uniform of fashion as everyone else. It is only when you free yourself from the high street mentality that we can explore what clothes can really give us and our own personalities freely.

I’ve talked at length about how to go alternative,about finding that self-expression and how to do that with a small budget, but I also want to talk about the other end of the spectrum, the wonderful world of bespoke fashion.

Please don’t run away, I know, bespoke is scary. It’s expensive and often it’s in shops that look like you might have to give over your life savings to just step through the door, BUT I promise it is so much more than this and often you will find it to be a loving place where people truly enjoy what they create. There is something wonderful about being able to trace a garment back to its roots, it’s like you know it intimately. A bespoke piece of craftspersonship is something more than a bag or a coat; it’s something special and should add to your world. Every garment you own should make you happy in some way, but a bespoke piece should do more than that, simply owning it gives you a special little sparkle inside. You can see the time, skill and love of a master craftsperson, and that is so much more than just clothes; the hands that worked it, crafted it, made it just for you. And it is just for you. A piece that has been made so beautifully, it must be.

And the thing is a bespoke piece will last! You may spend more money on it to start with but you will still have it in working nick after 10, 15, even 20 years! After all we are all paying more and more for clothes that don’t last; you have to buy new stuff each season, not just to keep up with the “latest trends” but simply because things wear through, fall apart and break within months of buying them. It’s the Sam Vimes School of Economics:

“A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars… But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”

Now, I’m not going to get into the politics of this, because that’s a whole different argument for another time that has many, many, MANY complex layers to it that involve lots of terrible things about capitalism, class systems and what humans do to each other for money – I mean this stuff might be cheap but we all know someone is being woefully underpaid, in awful conditions for us to have it at that price, sigh – BUT I do think that idea that buying a well-made piece if you can is worth the money because it will last. And you get that special little sparkle I spoke about from a bespoke piece, knowing that you are paying a brilliant craft person for their time and skill.

I’m going to illustrate this by talking about a home grown, British company that I have been introduced to on the ground floor as it were, making great quality bags for everyone from the most fashion conscious amongst us, to those who are going to hike up a mountain in the middle of nowhere and still look damn good doing it.

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John Lowin are creating a brand new way of expressing yourself, and they are also taking a wonderfully old fashioned path to give it to you.

“We are committed to reinvigorating traditional artisanal skills in the crafting of our unique pieces. Quality and longevity take precedent over cheap and speedy mass production – no corners cut, no humans harmed.”

John Lowin are a new company in the UK creating bespoke bags which will not only last a life time but change with you and your tastes. Which sounds kind of impossible and a little hokey, but trust me, when I saw these beautiful pieces, my mind was blown. Each of the incredibly made leather and canvas bags, made in their factory in Somerset with locally sourced materials, has a clear front compartment the perfect size to take either the sleeve of a 33” or 45” record. That’s right, you can display your favourite pieces of art work and your favourite bands as you walk to work. The bags range from satchels to canvas shoulder bags to rucksacks, to fit whatever needs you have, all with the tortoise shell guaranty, something which I think completely encapsulates the bespoke mind-set.

“We will deliver quality wares, no matter the time it takes, and like the shell of the tortoise our products are unequivocally individual.” – Why the Tortoise Shell?

Not only do they guaranty quality but they also promise that you will never get a bag like it. Each bag has a silver sixpence sewn into it. I mean, if you’re going to have a trademark for your wares you can’t get much cooler than that, come on! It’s a statement of intent that they will deliver what they say, as well as creating a unique item for each customer.

“A sixpence in a leather purse is the mark of a genuine original John Lowin bag. In UK circulation from 1551 until 1980, it has been seen as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune since the time of Elizabeth 1st.

As well as featuring in Victorian wedding rhyme, a sixpence was often sewn into the badges of World War Two pilots in the hope it would offer them protection. We hope your sixpence brings you good fortune.”

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John himself, because he is a real person not just a company name, is an advocate for quality goods, fair working conditions and a champion of craftspeople, he believes that keeping his all of his manufacturing – the factory, the materials, the workers – in the UK will help support the local area and help skilled artisans get jobs. A lot of his ideas come from his love of vintage fashion, as fan of old school clothing, running his own vintage shop. With the rise of vinyl again leading to an upsurge in expressive and interesting cover art for record, John, ever on the look-out for ways of expressing his passion for all things vintage, saw a vision of putting a modern twist on this very vintage of ideas.

I think we’ve all seen the Japanese bags with the clear windows in them, but they do not stand up to the utter style and sophistication that oozes out of these designs. This is something different. It isn’t that tacky fabric covered in glitter screaming to be sent back to the 90s, this is timeless design integrating with modern ideas in a way that will last both visually and physically. This is company that marries the feel of high class design with that sense fun and childish excitement that personalization brings. They are allowing people who may not necessarily be interested in a cute pink bag with wings and opportunity to let loose and enjoy that sparkle of creativity.

I find that a lot of the time, anyone who dresses in vintage actually wants to be able to marry their love of this old school look with their modern life. We want to wear plus fours and still carry our laptops, or listen to vinyl and still have the songs on our phones and iPods, and for me, that is what we are being given in these bags. It’s a perfect marriage of past and present; honouring the look classic designs and incorporating a modern technology to share that love for vintage vinyl. John Lowin promotes this idea so well in their shop “Vintage to Vogue”, keeping one foot in the beautiful designs of the 20s, 30s and 40s as well as looking to the future of fashion in the UK.

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The quality is obvious from the moment you hold one, you can feel the stitching, the fixtures and fittings fitting perfectly together, working as one. And the thing is, this isn’t just some big company trying to sell you something that’s this season’s thing, this a group of people who really love what they are making and are trying to make the best products they can. The thought and vision that has gone into each and every design is evident. These are items that will withstand the harsh tests of fashion and of our modern lifestyles.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

If you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

Or you can support me on patreon.

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

Adventures in the Comic Con Sun

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Now it’s ninth year, Malta Comic Con has become a fixture of the country’s social scene for nerds and norms alike. There is a positive buzz around the show from people all over Europe, especially the UK, and the chance to get away from the cold winter weather blasting at our faces to some warm (ish) sun in the Med was not something I was going to miss.It was my first year taking part in this show, having seen friends go on about it I figured why not give it a shot? It’s always good to try something new, and considering that I want to head out to more European conventions in 2018, why not start as you mean to go on?

The show is organized by the crew at Wicked Comics, a tight nit group of friends who genuinely love comics, games, movies, and all things nerd culture, and it shows. The convention is a proper, home grown event, with it’s roots buried in the love for what conventions should be.

In the last few years, many of the bigger shows in the UK have lost something of their vibe, the feeling of love for what they are doing and creating for the nerd community has given way to the stalls selling the same expensive tat, often fakes or rip offs, and stopped supporting a lot of the creators that depend on the shows. They are more interested in the money they can get for big stands and celebrity names than building and supporting the community of creators.  Unlike many of the more commercial shows that we have in the UK, Malta Comic Con is very much a community driven show.

With it’s large gaming section, cinema and many open talks, it encourages people to get involved and be open to ideas they may not have had before. From the point of view of a dealer, they also make sure you that you feel very welcome and part of the family, setting up events for people to get to know each other (karaoke, tours of the area and the like) to build that sense of community, something that is often lacking at shows now-a-days I feel. The staff, guests and dealers all muck in together to bring about a great show. By the end everyone knows everyone, they are supporting each other and holding up the event by returning every year because they truly believe in it’s family atmosphere and open minded acceptance of everyone no matter how much or little they know about the nerdom.

The variety of stands and sellers was amazing. People were teaching Japanese, some were selling homemade crafts, others 3D printed pieces, artists of all styles from all over the comics spectrum, books for kids and adults, brilliant interesting collectors merch and not a freaking pophead in site! God I hate pops. As I mentioned before there was a gaming area for competitive gaming, vintage gaming, card games, whatever you can think of they seemed to have it. This show may have been small but they managed to fit everything and the kitchen sink in. No matter what you like you were going to find something to interest you and something to buy.

This being said, it lacks some of the organization that comes with the more commercial shows, timing and running late being the biggest on, along with needing a more coherent program (or a better PA system) and a lack of information on the website for pretty much everything,  but for the most part these issues could be easily ignored and I feel will continue to be worked on, however there was one issue that I feel does need some attention. The Cosplay Competition.

As a cosplayer I actually really enjoy competing, it’s something I’ve been involved in pretty much since I started cosplaying many moons ago – not that I was very good back then. I’ve been a competitor, a judge and an organizer and a cosplay comp is something that often draws the big crowds a convention. So I decided to take part. Easier said than done.

My first issue was, like I said above, a severe lack of information on the website, facebook and twitter pages on how the competition worked and how it was being run; I had to talk to the organizer to get a lot of answers. This is so easily rectified, all you need is an easy to follow set of instructions on how to enter with all information about times, requirements and fees.

Secondly, the prejudging was something of a shambles, with all the cosplayers told to arrive at a certain time, but nowhere for them to stand and wait, no communication from the staff as to what was happening (as it was running late) and the judging was done on the con floor, not away from the rest of the event which meant that the cosplayers were blocking a lot of space. Personally I would have given time slots for each cosplayer, so that even if there is a lack of space for the judging, the cosplayers aren’t waiting around and getting in the way and they can still enjoy the con without having to give up an hour waiting to be judged. If that isn’t do able, then a waiting room out of the way so that there isn’t a crushing bottleneck in the middle of the convention floor.

While we’re talking about the pre-judging A+ guys, the judges were great and really knew their stuff, I have never had my costume gone over like that, they flipped my seams man! It was hard! Super impressed by that.

Thirdly (and probably finally) for the competition itself they did not line the cosplayers up in order to go on stage, simply had them sit in the audience and were called up. With the crush of people watching the comp, this was completely impractical and I was honestly surprised that they didn’t line the cosplayers up outside of the stage area (or in a side room) ready to go. It means not only does every know what’s going on, they also have time to prep and get in the zone, and it means that there is more room for people to sit and enjoy the show, as there were many people standing. I think, honestly it’s just helpful from a practical point of view and keeps everything going smoothly.

The thing that really stood out though and actually made all of these problems seem much smaller, was the cosplayers and cosplay organizers themselves. The Malta cosplay community was completely open and welcoming to me as an outsider, really making me feel at home and part of the group. They are incredibly talented, I have not seen such high standards in a comp at a domestic show outside of the large London shows, and they love their craft, all putting in 100%. Their attitude to cosplay was utterly refreshing compared to the often drama filled waters of the UK scene, these guys all have each others backs, all getting involved and enjoying what each was creating. I want to say a massive thank you for being so lovely and letting me be part of your community for the briefest of moments.

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The Winners! (Yes that is me…)

Overall I loved my time at Malta Comic Con. I feel that I was pulled into the world of people who completely love and cherish what a convention should be. They have created a supportive, honest, open show with so much heart that I would encourage everyone who can to go. I think that, despite it’s small size, Malta Comic Con has a big future ahead of it.

Let’s talk about gender presentation and be empowered

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Me and my lemur onesie want to have a word with you

First off,  I want to say sorry for being quiet for the last month. I’ve been very busy with a new project (info on that coming very soon! Exciting!) and then I’ve been in Malta working at the Comic Con (which I will tell you more about next week). Thank you for being patient with me, it means a lot.

Secondly I want to apologize for the fact that this is going to be a bit more of a serious topic, though hopefully carried off with some grace and aplomb. I want to talk about gender presentation. Well sort of. It starts there and moves on to a lot of other serious things, so probably ought to drive right in rather than waffling.

I’m also sorry if this is not that coherent. I’m saying sorry a lot. Sorry.

It starts like this; two weeks ago I bought a dress.

This dress was hanging in the window of a shop and I had to have it, a perfect 1930s style evening gown, silver grey velvet fading through to blue, draped neckline, and, God, I looked like an icicle. The reason I am describing this dress rather than posting a picture is because the moment I posted an image of me wearing this dress on my fashion group I felt sick, and I’m actually scared of showing it to anyone again.

I posted it asking for advice on how to style a look around this gorgeous dress. I don’t wear glamour dresses like this, I had no idea whether I should twin it with pearls or a vintage fox stole, but instead of advice I was inundated with men making at best inappropriate, at worst overtly sexual and explicit, remarks and comments about my body. It was utterly disgusting. I was genuinely surprised as well, after all I’ve asked for advice many times and never had this reaction, and then I realised. I was presenting as female. I don’t often do that online, I’m very clearly andro a lot of the time and that comes with its own special brand of hate and gross comments, but this was a whole different kettle of fish. I haven’t experienced these comments since I stopped presenting female. It made me want to crawl back into my little andro shell and never come out again. Being andro suddenly felt very safe. It was protecting me from these eyes that sort to objectify me and suddenly I wasn’t upset anymore, I was angry. Angry that these horrible comments were making me deny myself.

I had always thought that I had chosen to express myself in a certain way, that is was my want to express my nonbinary identity, but now it had me thinking, why did nonbinary mean “masculine” or “andro” why couldn’t NB be feminine as well? Was I trying to escape from these people who would comment and judge and leer over me? Nonbinary should be everything, it should be expressing yourself and your gender however you want, but men, male culture, had made me, and probably many others, scared of expressing any sort of femininity for fear of the repercussions. I’m flogging a dead horse here, we all know how these sorts of men act towards women (cis, trans, AFAB NB) but I think that it has had massive ripples across how we present gender. Whether that’s AFAB and AMAB nonbinary people having to “look” like a certain andro masculinity, and feeling scared of what might happen if they present femme; or women of all types having to deal with constant attacks on their appearance and their bodies, trans women being mocked and worse because “they’re a man in a dress”, all of this is because male culture is to see femininity as weak and to be objectified. It is lesser than masculinity. They force us to be scared because we have femininity.

But you know what? I want to be able to look feminine and wear my icicle dress and feel safe. I want every person, no matter their gender to feel safe. These men are stopping people from expressing themselves. I don’t want to be scared of who I am or how I want to dress. I want to be able to show up in a tux or dress and feel as powerful and in control of myself in either. I don’t want to reject my femininity anymore. I want to embrace it and I want to fight for it. So, sod that. This is the dress. It’s a damn good dress and I am going to wear the hell out of it.

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I look killer and no one can take that from me.

I’m sorry, this was a bit of a rant. It probably doesn’t make much sense but I had to get it down and out of my head.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

If you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

The Doctor’s New Clothes

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I am a massive fan of Doctor Who, have been since I was a kid (though I spent quite a lot of my childhood in the wildness years and actually started watching Doctor Who when it restarted in 2005 and then went back and watched all of Classic Who that I could get my geeky little hands on) and the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor was one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. A woman, playing one of my all time heroes?! Amazing! I have looked up to the Doctor for so long and not only was that character now the same biological sex as me, but I’m pretty sure I can now say that timelords (bleugh gendered) are nonbinary af and no one can take that from me.

But of course, like many, I was worried that they would play up the “The Doctor is a woman now!” thing and it could get all complicated and unnecessary, when, in my opinion, The Doctor should just be The Doctor no matter what weird flesh suit they are wearing. For me, I felt there needed to be a balance, not denying femininity but also not making that the only feature of her personality. Yes, we have not see her in action yet, but the costume was a big stepping stone for how the character would be, after all, The Doctor has always been one for interesting and outlandish fashion – I base a lot of my own wardrobe of them. So when this picture appeared on my twitter feed I was ecstatic. It is everything I could dream of and more! Which means you are now going to have read my breakdown of this costume, so sorry, not sorry.

Let’s start with my favourite bit, the coat. It’s beautiful, but not only that it is a staple of The Doctor. Having a coat is something that The Doctor does with panache in every iteration (apart from 9, which is upsetting). It’s a dramatic swish and means you enter a room with style. This long coat echos the Edwardian style that The Doctor often favours as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Though we can’t see that much of it, the cuffs and decal on the coat scream of that Edwardian period but the hood and the trim down the front (which I will come to in a minute) bring it bang up to date with modern fashion. This is the sort of coat you could see in a high end high street shop (though I bet it’s considerably more expensive).

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Those boys and their coats. Also not the similar cuff trim.

 

It’s actually got a lot vibes of that 70s/80s parkers, I can actually see Sarah Jane or Romana wearing something like this – which is actually a really nice touch. Since we haven’t had a female Doctor before, I think reflecting the clothing of important female characters from the show’s past shows not only The Doctor’s respect for those characters, but also the respect of the team working on the costumes.

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Sarah Jane was always so on the ball with her outfits.

As for the trim, it’s a bright rainbow of colours falling down the front of the coat. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s such a call back to the Fourth Doctor’s scarf (and the nightmarish Sixth Doctor’s…everything). It’s this cute little nod to the most iconic of all Doctor Who costumes. In the same way that Capaldi’s coats reflected the 3rd Doctor (John Pertwee) and Tennant was an up to date version of Five (Peter Davison) the coat, especially with the trim, is harking back to the days of Tom Baker. It’s a clever move, reminding people of something they love when you are taking a bold new step with a show like Doctor Who. 

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Since we are talking about that scarf, let’s move onto her top. When I first saw it my brain went off like the cloister bell. I knew those stripes, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it and then it hit me, they are the stripes from the scarf! In fact they are exactly the stripes from the scarf, the pattern is identical. It’s honestly such a lovely piece of design. To put that iconic pattern into a piece that is both modern and vintage at the same time is classic Doctor Who design.

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Again, it’s piece of clothing that would not have looked weird in the days of Classic Who, but it’s completely on trend (in fact I think I own a jumper very similar). It’s feminine and cute and fun, without being, and I hate this term, too girly. She’s clearly in charge of her femininity but it’s not in your face. It’s an incredibly difficult task that has been taken on here, which sounds so weird, it’s just clothes, but dressing the first female Doctor, balancing all the issues with fans and editors and show runners and everything else is not a task I would wish on anyone, but they have done an amazing job.

Right! Let’s move on! The trousers, or are they culottes? Honestly I’m not sure, but whatever, I love them. Super practical but again these are really reminiscent of older versions of the Doctor, the high waist, the bracesthat’s so Doctor Who is hurts. I’m pretty sure most versions of the Doctor have had braces; in fact in Classic Who they were very much part of the look, with those question marks and all. But at the same time this isn’t a rip off of any of the old costumes, it’s little details that play with your subconscious to make you go “oh yeah, that’s The Doctor, they look like The Doctor”. For me, the trouser/braces combo is tying in with the coat and it’s Edwardian feel, it’s so typical of fashion, yes men’s fashion, of that period. I keep going on about it, but The Doctor does really like that Edwardian vibe, it’s a look that comes back again and again starting right at the beginning with Hartnell, so it’s no surprise that they are have gone for a modern, up to date, version of that look.

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Five rocking the high waisted trousers and braces look back in the day.

The thing I really love about the trousers is the wide leg and the 3/4 cut because it’s so much more feminine. It looks like it could be a skirt, on first glance I thought it was, but it’s a style that completely belongs to feminine fashion at the moment and that’s so great. It’s something that we are seeing worn day to day, typically by women, so showing The Doctor wearing that is saying “yeah I’m practical, yeah I can get the job done, but I’m going to do it my way”. Like the jumper it’s not denying femininity, it’s embracing it and showing that femininity can be strong.

The jumper and the trousers, neither is a feminine item of clothing but they are cut and style in a way that you would be unlikely to see a man wearing in your society as it is. The whole outfit is proclaiming itself as new and exciting look while style keeping hold of the past. It’s something you could really only do in Doctor Who because of the wealth and breadth of personality and character and costume that you have in one person. To be able to reflect on past selves while creating a new look is something that we should all learn from The Doctor I think.

There is one thing that is entirely unique to this version of The Doctor. The earrings. I always think that each version has a little thing that could go unnoticed but is very much part of them, Capaldi has a ring, Tennant has the glasses (not that you couldn’t notice those) and Whittaker has gone for the earrings. It’s quite a youthful item, with the earring in the top of the ear, and nice bit of bling, and for me it’s very alien feeling. It reminds me of Star Trek and High Fantasy with these ring cuffs on the ear. It’s extremely different and I love that it sets Whittaker apart so subtly from the others.

I just have one more thing to say before I conclude this strange ode to costume design and stop drooling over this look, and that is THEY ARE WEARING PRACTICAL SHOES! I could cry. Look at that. Boots with thick, old walking socks. That’s what you want to save the galaxy in. Very sensible. And they are really nice ones too.

I’m very glad to see that The Doctor has not lost their Doctoryness in this new version – not that I thought they ever could – and that this new era of Doctor Who is being ushered in with such style. The costume department never fail to amaze me and this look has blown me away. The weaving of modern fashion with vintage style to make something timeless (or should that be timelord?) while bringing a new, uniquely feminine look to the whole thing is beautifully balanced. And most of all, she looks like The Doctor.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

If you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

Or you can support me on patreon.

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

Is That On The Record? (Or some 80s detective realness).

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Do you feel that some days all you want to do is chase off after some mystery with your hair blowing in the wind in a dramatic, cinematic fashion? I bl**dy well hope so, because that’s what inspired this look. After watching way too much Ashes To Ashes I felt a need to get my vintage detective/reporter vibes going.

It’s a bit of a break from my usual looks – I actually surprised my mum with it – but I think every so often it’s good to step out of our box and try something a bit new. I mean, it’s not a massive change, but it’s enough to switch it up a little.

I feel that possibly we get too stuck in one way of thinking, one view of ourselves, one idea that we have to present to the world around us, but that isn’t the case. Sure, it’s nice to have those comfy clothes that you can just slip into and know that you can get on with your day, in fact that’s really good and healthy, but it’s worth pushing your boat out a little every so often.

Of course, you can’t go and buy an expensive new piece of clothing just on the off chance that you might like it, or for experiment, so why not try and mix up a few pieces that you don’t think will go together. If you’re someone who likes to keep your looks very separate, maybe mashup those different styles, get some fusion going (see Fusion fashion in this article from a few months back) and I know that some people like to have masculine looks and feminine looks so maybe try and get those “gendered” items together for bit of a different look if you don’t normally cross your streams. Obviously clothes have no gender, but societal pressure does play a part in everything (annoyingly) and it can be a struggle to unsee and unlearn those gendered ideas of who wears what. But that’s why doing stuff like this is important, it can help overcome those ideas. It’s all playing around, working things together and maybe coming up with something you like even more.

This is especially good if you are working out all that gender stuff for yourself, because you don’t have to be “femme” or “masc” or “andro” or any of it – please imagine this in a very frustrated voice – you are you and you can look like whatever you want. Mixing up some looks, finding what suits you, what you like, is important. There is no box that you fit in because boxes are rubbish and stop us letting ourselves out.

For me, experimenting with a look like this is important. It’s not a hyper, crazy stereotyped idea of a feminine look like lolita or a socialised harder masculine look like a suit, it’s vibing in a different way, and I struggled a bit with the look together. I think because it was subtle and I wasn’t making as much of a statement as I usual do with my clothes, it didn’t feel like me. I think that I personally am still learning about my identity and how I approach it, and will probably keep learning for a long time. In a society that tells you so much about gender and sex and what they mean, you have to unlearn a lot of stuff so that you can feel comfortable as yourself and, for me, that has meant sometimes pushing boundaries that are a bit scary.

My experience of my gender and my path will be very different from the next person’s and the next, but I hope that in some way me talking about it is helpful, it’s at least been helpful to me to open up about my journey.

Right. That all got a bit serious, shall we talk about clothes again?

Outfit Breakdown

I like this look, there’s a lot of knit wear and bright colours going on. It’s very 80s.

The green, lightweight jumper is sort of a turtleneck, it’s not that high though. I was surprised that it suited me, as turtleneck jumpers really don’t, so pleasant surprise. I think it’s worth trying out a few different styles of jumper until you find one that works for you. Obviously it would make the look a little different, but it’s worth finding a flattering neckline rather than feeling like it’s not for you. Of course, me being me, I found this one in a charity shop – like do I shop anywhere else? – but this late 80s/early 90s style is very in at the moment and I know that a lot of the high street chains are rocking the turtleneck as well as a few other choice lightweight jumpers like this.

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Mmm, jumper-y goodness

I would also recommend trying a few different colours if they have them to see which one you like best. I don’t mean “which one suits you” because honestly everyone looks good in all colours, I more mean, you might be surprised that you like a colour you wouldn’t normally pick up. Since we’re talking about experimenting, it’s worth trying something outside your comfort zone colour wise. I mean, it’s not like you have to buy it.

The high waisted chinos are something I’ve had kicking around in my wardrobe all summer and not had an excuse to wear so thank you autumn for helping me out there. Perfect for early to mid autumn, chinos are a great basic piece to help more exciting pieces (in this case, the mustard yellow cardigan) stand out, while making sure the outfit isn’t overpowering. The cute belt helps break up the look and, because I wanted to go a bit more defined in my shape, brings out the waist line. Depop is a brilliant app for finding vintage style pieces like these trousers – it’s sort of like ebay but just for vintage clothes, highly recommend.

Right let’s talk about the cardy. I love it. It’s so bold and bright and fun. I bought it last year to go with some mori boy outfits but it’s ended up being a really versatile piece. As I was saying before, it was something I didn’t think would go with this look but I tried it and it was perfect. The bright yellow compliments the darker green of the jumper and the cream in the trousers but stays as a statement piece and isn’t toned down by them. The big chunky knit makes it look cute and homely, but the style is bit more exciting with the turned up sleeves and the way it hangs off the shoulders. It’s about as dangerous as cardigan can be. Which is honestly not very, but still.

The shoes are my favourite monk straps from Zara. They are platform, a great modern twist on a classic shoe, so rather than aging the look it freshens it up a bit – did I really just type that? Note to self no more freshening. Again these are everywhere at the moment. You can get platform oxfords and brogues and monkstraps, with loads of cool colours and textures and patterns so you can really go to town on the footwear.

It’s a simple look but it’s fun and that’s what’s important.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

If you like what I’m doing please you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-fi!

Or you can support me on patreon.

‘Olly Out!

If you want more please check out my last articles:

 

 

An Ode to the Onesie

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My dear reader, I have long had a dark secret, one that only closest friends and family know. It is a truly upsetting and horrific secret, so if you are of a weak constitution I would implore you to stop reading now before it is too late. I do not want any of you poor chaps fainting on me after all, smelling salts can rather wilt even the most solid of waxed moustaches. Yes, that’s right, get yourself a strong brandy just in case. Ok, deep breath. I, a fashion lover and enjoyer of aesthetic pleasures, own a onesie. Not just one in fact, I own two, a panda and a lemur, with a tail.

Are you ok? That didn’t come as too much of a shock? Well I mean there is a picture at the top of this article of me in a onesie so it really shouldn’t have, but I am a one for melodrama.

I love my onesies. I wear one of them pretty much everyday, they are so comfy and warm, that especially at this time of year when getting breakfast in the old PJs is just a little nippy. I am aware that there will be people calling out “but dressing gowns!” and to them I say dress gowns do not cut it when you have cold legs and you simply want to sit and drink your tea without a draft shooting up to ones, well, never you mind. No, the onesie is the only way forward.

12-Christmas-Onesies
You can buy all of these and more at the wonderful kigu.co.uk

It is more than just the practicality of the onesie that draws me to it, after all I have already told you that I own animal themed onesies. I don’t have to, there are plenty of designs that don’t require you to look like you skinned an endangered creature, but I honestly love the element of fun that looking like an extra from Where the Wild Things Here brings. I think that it invokes a feeling of childhood in me. Not necessarily my childhood, or in fact any specific childhood, just the feeling of what that is and should be from all the stories you were ever told and all the images that are conjured when you think of idyllic childhoods that probably never existed. It’s allowing yourself to be part of that and all the comfort that brings. It’s acknowledging that you can’t always cope with what the world throws at us and we need to allow ourselves to have creature comforts, we need to have fun. Animal onesies are silly. They are fun. What’s the harm in that?

There is a joy in being silly in such a small way, and only for yourself. I see it as an act of rebellion against what the nay-sayers and joy-suckers of this world would have me become.  It is a show of defiance against the idea that adulthood must be boring, or at the very least, that was must be grown ups now because we have hit a certain age. It is rallying cry for those who wish to find another way to be an adult, and no, that’s not just wanting to ignore responsibilities and live with our parents, it’s wanting those responsibilities to be worth it. It is my personal little paradise where I am pleasing no one but myself.

Ok, so I’ve waxed lyrical for long enough. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  I would never for a second condone the wearing of a onesie outside. It just wouldn’t be proper. You wouldn’t wear your slippers to the shops unless it was the direst emergency – and if you would, we may have to have words – and the onesie falls into the same category. And honestly, you probably shouldn’t wear it all day, unless you are ill (something that is up to personal judgement of course), or really busy and getting dressed will cut into busy time. This is legitimate excuse that I have used in the past. Once to the postman. No, the onesie is an item for the most innocent private enjoyment, it is to protect you from the outside world, to create a safe place for you to curl up of an evening with a good book and cuppa before you watch the Strictly Come Dancing results. Perfect Sunday evening, reading yourself to take on the world on a dark, cold Monday morning, with the onesie as your battle-worn armour.

If I have not convinced you of the joys of the onesie yet, I fear I near will. All I can say is that the onesie is a pure mix of practicality, comfort and an undoubtable silliness. The onesie allows us a momentary reprieve from our harsh reality and allowing us to remember some joys of childish humour before we must face up to the troubles of this modern world.

Also I look like King Julian. You can’t take that from me.

You can now follow me on Instagram  @lilnonbinaryfashion and on twitter @lilistprince. I will be posting daily looks on both of these, and chatting about life as a nonbinary person. Oh and Star Wars.

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‘Olly Out!

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