YAS Queen

“I’m going to help Obi-wan. If you plan to protect me, you’ll just have to come along.”

-Padme Amidala, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

padme_ep1.jpg

In honor of Mother’s day a few days ago I decided to make this post about the galaxy’s first badass space mama: Padme Amidala. Mother of Luke and Leia, Queen of Naboo, space fashion icon and the universe’s least hateable politician.

I know the prequels get a lot of criticism from fans of the original trilogy, but I just can never be mad at some of the characters in the prequels. Some, not all. I discussed last week how Obi-Wan is one of the things I liked about the prequels. This week, we’re going to talk about Padme because she’s easily one of the most admirable characters in the franchise.

When we first meet her in Phantom Menace, she is Queen of Naboo; a planet on the brink of war and she still manages to keep her cool and the only ‘weakness’ she shows is her concern for her people. She is willing to suffer for them and to do anything to help them. It is revealed in Attack of the Clones that she was so good to her people and so popular that her people tried to pull an FDR and have her in office longer than was traditional. It is also in Phantom Menace that she is involved in a firefight. Rather than hiding behind her bodyguards and cowering, she grabs a a blaster of her own and manages to do some hefty damage to the droids swarming the palace. Get it, girl.

Let’s also not forget about the time that she was chained to a post in the middle of an arena awaiting execution by Nexu (Bad Kitty) and she manages to escape her chains and work toward self preservation while the two seasoned Jedi beside her are still talking about what to do. Did I mention that this is because she LITERALLY PULLED A PIN OUT OF HER HAIR AND USED IT TO FREE HERSELF? After that, even though she takes a pretty powerful hit from the Nexu, she kicks the thing and it goes falling to the ground. If given more hairpins and more time, Padme could have probably gotten out of that arena on her own. Because we’ll never know, this is just something I’m going to choose to believe because I can.

Aside from her bravery, Padme is also a deeply caring and loving person. She’s willing to risk her own safety to go save Obi-Wan against all orders to NOT do the thing, she loves and supports Anakin even when he begins to pull more and more toward the Dark Side. Even in her very last moments, she is trying to convince Obi-Wan that she believes that there is good in Anakin’s heart even after what he did to her on Mustafar.

She is a really great example of someone who can be tender and tough at the same time and I think that’s why I like her so much.

Since I know some of you are here for the ‘LEWK’ more than the extensive reading, without any further ado, I present my Padme Amidala casual cosplay.

QueenamidalaInchair1

The base of this outfit was a plain, red, long sleeved dress:

Dress Edit

I feel like a red shirt and skirt would also work, and if you aren’t a dress/skirt kind of person, try a red shirt and dark jeans.

I stuck with black and gold accessories to compliment the gold ornamentation on her gown as well as the dark trim. I thought a long gold chain could stand in for all the embroidery on the front of her gown.

I feel like the belt broke the dress up a little; without it, this was more of a Star Trek look, which isn’t the fandom I’m celebrating this month.

Since no one really knows what kind of shoes are worn under this gown, I really tried to take the character into consideration. Given the ornateness of the gown and the hair and the makeup, I didn’t figure this would be set off by plain flats or pumps and I decided to get bold while still being comfortable.

Shoes

These bad mamma jammas are actually surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in, but they also made me feel very Space Queen.

I also paid a great deal of attention to hair and makeup this week since Padme’s hair in particular is always ornate and awe inspiring, but let’s be realistic here: there is nothing comfortable, simple or casual about that amazing high roll, so I went for this sort of vintage-y twists that were actually surprisingly easy to do. HOWEVER. If big hair is your thing and you have the courage and patience for that iconic style, BE THAT.

Standing Hair

And then when we look at the intricate face paint and the Scar of Remembrance that all Queens of Naboo sport, we’re once again looking at something that’s going to drive a convention wild but won’t feel comfortable after awhile, so I picked a happy medium: full red lips that I achieved using actual Star Wars makeup:

 

 

 

leepsteek
Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Tattooine.

Don’t let the caption fool you, it’s Covergirl; credit where credit is due.

QueenAmidala_ThroneRoomStanding good shoe

I hope you enjoyed my honest, ranty opinions about why Padme is one of the coolest Star Wars characters! Always feel free to share your own looks with me as well as inbox me with any questions, comments, suggestions or feedback you may have. Check back next Tuesday for the next fun week of Star Wars month!

 

Advertisements

I’m Your Only Hope

AlecKenobi

Like most people, my first introduction to Obi-Wan Kenobi was in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Being about four or five at my first viewing, the biggest impact he had on me was his final battle with Darth Vader. I was actually pretty upset at the outcome of that fight and would actually close my eyes when that part of the movie played every time. It wouldn’t be (go easy on me) until the Phantom Menace was released and he was played by the incomparable Ewan McGregor that I really started to relate to him as a fellow sass master and really started to appreciate Obi-Wan’s character.

I found a book series shortly after this written by Jude Watson that chronicled the adventures of Qui Gon Jinn and young Obi-Wan before the events of Phantom Menace. To oversimplify his character to two traits: Obi-Wan really only ever wanted to eat and hit things with his lightsaber.

Preach, friend.

When I watched it recently, Luke’s description of ‘Old Ben’ also struck a chord in me.

“Well, I don’t know anyone named Obi-Wan, but Old Ben lives out beyond the dune sea. He’s kind of a strange old hermit,” (credit)

The older I get, the more I relate to Obi-Wan very deeply. A master of sass who has the luxury of being a hermit in the middle of the desert? Passionate about food? A love of weapons? I mean, if he had a dog and Wi-Fi he’d be hashtag goals or however the kids are referring to it these days, which is why I chose to make the second week of Star Wars month all about General Kenobi.

ObiManStanObiWan Standing

I started with this sort of cream colored short sleeved shirt. I figure a white shirt or any sort of ‘neutral’ toned kind of shirt with sleeves of any length would work just as well. As long as it provides some kind of contrast to the outer layer so they’re not the exact same color.

Next was a basic brown duster sweater thing. Anything that’s a darker shade of brown than the neutral shirt you use will work: cardigans, jackets, wraps, whatever you have that you like best.

If I was going an actual costume of some kind, I’d go for khaki pants, but since this is all about being subtle and stealthy, I went for light colored jeans instead. Years of customer service have also sort of ruined khakis for me so I try to avoid them whenever possible. But as I will always say, if you want to wear the khakis instead and go for a full-on look, BE THAT. In cooler months, I’d pair this with my taller brown winter boots, but since it’s finally warm here (YAY), I opted instead for a pair of simple brown flats that I’ve had for a million years.

After the clothes came picking my small details, which is honestly becoming my favorite part.

I went for blue lightsaber earrings (which actually came in the same multi-pack that last week’s Rebel Alliance earrings were in) and a simple blue necklace to keep paying homage to Master Kenobi’s blue lightsaber.

Also, in deference to the version of Obi-Wan that made me pay serious attention to him, I tucked a small Padawan braid into my ponytail.

Hair and EarringNecklace

CaptureleanObiWanLean

Another thing that really struck me on a re-watching of a New Hope was what he says to Darth Vader during their final encounter:

 

“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” 

 

Now, I realize some of this was meant very literally, but it’s also kind of poignant for someone who has faced their share of adversity. It hits very much like a ‘If you knock me down, I’m just going to keep getting back up’ sort of ideal, and I really like that. I really think that facing our fair share of troubles in life really do make us stronger people.

Life may knock us down, but it’s always our ability to pick ourselves back up that makes us stronger. Even if we have help from friends or family, it’s the fact that you get up and keep going that’s the important thing. Even if you’re limping moving forward, you’re still up and you’re still moving and that’s huge.

 

I hope you enjoyed what quickly became ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Motivation For Life’ week! Always feel free to share your own looks with me as well as inbox me with any questions, comments, suggestions or feedback you may have. Check back next Tuesday for the next fun week of Star Wars month!

Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder

han stan

Han Solo is the galaxy’s most lovable scoundrel, smuggler and scruffy looking Nerf-Herder. An important main character from the original trilogy, he was one of my favorite characters instantly. This probably had very little to do with my huge crush on Harrison Ford. Nope. Not a thing. Stop looking at me like that.

His sarcasm and sense of humor spoke to me even at the age of four. It’s a trend I’ve noticed with my favorite characters from anything I’ve watched or read my whole life. Oh, they made a sarcastic comment? I relate to that! Wow! So relatable!

When I was a kid, I had this half cocked idea that if you could deal with adversity through sarcasm, you were instantly as cool as Han Solo. This made for some really interesting playground confrontations and ultimately made me very few friends. It wasn’t until I was older that I learned how to use my powers of  sarcasm for good that it become one of my more endearing qualities. Maybe. People laugh when I talk sometimes so I see that as a positive reaction and run with it.

A portion of who I am today began to form the first time I saw Star Wars and realized that I wanted to be as cool as Han Solo which is why I decided to have him kick off Star Wars month. I love this one so much because it’s also a lot of payout for very little effort. Seriously, one of the easiest things to put on and wear for the entire day.

Han On steps
The Inspiration….
HanSolowith photo edits
Who’s Scruffy Lookin’?

Since spring hasn’t really taken a firm hold here yet, I opted for a long-sleeved white Henley style shirt, but a short-sleeved tee could also work with this for sure.

20180501_112732.jpg

I happened to have this fluttery black vest type thing laying around, but I would have gone with a black cardigan or jacket as a second choice if I hadn’t had something so perfect.

20180501_112803

Everyone probably has a pair of dark wash jeans in their closet somewhere, so that was a pretty easy choice.

20180501_112912

Rounding out the major parts of the look are a pair of black boots. I feel like any pair of black shoes would work for this depending on personal style.

20180501_112840
Yes, that is paint all over my hardwood floors. I blame the people who owned my house before me.

I think my favorite part of any casual cosplay I have ever put together is the tiny details. They’re mostly for me since the details are so small, but the whole concept of this blog is to be doing this primarily for the person wearing the clothes anyway. These made me really happy so I ran with them.

And of course, the obvious thing here is that this isn’t set in stone. My way might not be the best way for everyone. Want to replace an item with one that you like better? Do it! Want to wear black pants instead of blue? BE THAT.

Always remember that this blog is about empowerment and self-confidence and not me telling you how to live your life. Be your own best self!

 

I hope you enjoyed this week! Always feel free to share your own looks with me as well as inbox me with any questions, comments, suggestions or feedback you may have. Check back next Tuesday for the next fun week of Star Wars month!

Theme Month!

‘Star Wars Main Title’ Composed by John Williams in 1977.

In honor of May the 4th and Revenge of the 5th, all five posts this month will honor some of my favorite characters from one of my first obsessions: Star Wars. Check back every Tuesday to see if your favorite character makes an appearance!

 

Closet Warrior- Why am I like this?

My name is Colleen. I have loved cosplay since I learned what it was. I always felt more confident when I was dressed as a fictional character. My biggest obstacle to cosplay was, and still is, finances and a lack of any actual knowledge on how to make clothes. I could always make my own accessories for the most part, but I probably did it in ways that would cause physical pain to professional cosplayers.

Holster
There was no pattern used for this. I measured around the fake gun and prayed for it to work. I also broke about 7 sewing needles because I was using the wrong kind.

But when I could afford it, I loved throwing on some regally blended fabrics bound together with thread and wandering around a giant building to see what everyone else was wearing.

Kim Possible
2017-Colossalcon- Kim Possible
JOhn Hart
2013- Ohayocon- Captain John Hart (Torchwood) *Coat by Dark Moon Designs

 

Belle slash Xena
2014- Ohayocon- Belle/ Xena Crossover Warrior Princess *Full Credit to Dark Moon Designs

One of the days of Ohayocon 2014, I went as Dean Winchester alongside a friend who was my Sam.

InkedWinchsisters_LI
2014- Ohayocon- Sam and Dean Winchester. (Sam has been edited to protect her secret identity)

Every part of that cosplay was something that I had pulled out of my own closet and (for the most part) would wear on a daily basis. The denim miniskirt is the exception to that because it limits my ability to do high kicks and the pockets are way too small.

Throughout the day, I reveled in my ability to sit normally, eat without worrying about ruining extravagant makeup and my ability to breeze past bathroom stalls that were struggling to contain more than one human as a small army would be helping one person try to figure out how to pee in 8 layers of costume.

I felt so confident that day. Even though they were so simple and so practical, our clothing made us instantly recognizable as the Winchester Brothers and we actually had people wanting to pose with us for pictures. It was one of the greatest feelings in the world.

I started creating more of these characters from clothes I already owned. I began to solely create cosplays from street clothes. Every now and then, I would purchase a specific piece for a specific character, like I did for my Wayne’s World cosplay with my best friend:

Wayne and Garth
We bought thrift store jeans for the sole purpose of cutting the knees out. 

But for the most part, if I know I’m going to a convention, I’ll raid my own closet for ideas before I go spend a bunch of money I don’t have on something grand.

Gaston-Crop
2015- Ohayocon- Gaston, brought to you by a red polo, black skinny jeans and the same brown boots I’ve been using for cosplay since 2013.
Jayne-crop
2014- Halloween Party- Jayne Cobb From Firefly. grey tank top, khaki shorts, black gloves, the jacket from my previous Dean Winchester cosplay, the holster from my Captain John Hart, the same belt from Gaston…. and a Jayne hat that I actually already owned because I’m still mad that Firefly got cancelled.

The moment that ended up being the fuel for this blog actually happened about three years ago. I had just gotten my first office job after almost 9 years of working in customer service and I was shopping for clothes to wear to work. I was so excited that head to toe black clothing and an apron would no longer be a required part of my outfit and was celebrating by picking brightly colored everything.

In a stunning twist of fate, I found this shirt:

Mal Shirtt.jpg
Okay, it wasn’t that stunning, but it makes for a more interesting read to say so.

I thought to myself, ‘That looks like a Captain Mal shirt” and seized it instantly. I also made sure to get a pair of khaki dress pants to complete the look. Mal Reynolds ended up being my second ever office outfit (Day one was obviously a nice dress and shoes for that good first impression.) and when I walked in that day, I realized I was feeling this weird sort of confidence similar to what I felt at conventions even though no one but me knew who I was channeling. I was wearing this for me and that boost of confidence made me feel incredible.

After Mal Reynolds gave me so much unexpected self-confidence, I started paying more attention to what my favorite characters wore and thought about what I had in my own closet that I could wear to give me that same edge, aesthetic or attitude.

It was like I had unlocked a brand new, magical world. I could subtly transform myself into these strong, confident and brave characters and wear them like armor on days when I knew I would need a little extra courage or determination to get me through the day. “They can’t get me down,” I’d catch myself thinking. “I have on a blue skirt and a red shirt. I’m Wonder Woman and by Hera, I will win this battle”*

*dramatic re-enactment.

It became a fun, creative outlet for me as well, picking the small details to go with the clothes to make the whole ‘lewk‘ come together. I started adding hairstyles, jewlery and makeup to the clothing and going out in public wearing a character head to toe. To everyone else, I just looked like a well put together and fashionable lady (all of my friends should get a laugh out of that) but in my head, I was Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.

Since doing this made me feel like a more confident person, I started sharing these looks with my friends. When they didn’t immediately tell me that I was nuts or that this was a really dumb idea, I began to entertain the idea of writing about it and sharing what I do with more people.

The goal here is to share the top to bottom character idea and the process of putting them together and maybe inspiring everyone to start becoming the characters that make them feel powerful and confident.

I would love to help as many people as possible become warriors with armor from their own closets.