Equip it IRL – Star Wars Style for Everyday

Posted on September 12, 2011

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I think of costume design from sci-fi, fantasy, comics and video games much in the same way that some think of runway fashion. Yes, its over the top, striking, and often unwearable. But you’re not supposed to wear it “like that”. It presents a concept which you then must adapt to your own real life style.

Star Wars really needs no introduction. Its one of the most familiar bastions of geek culture, and Leia is a contender for the most cosplayed (and most recognized when cosplayed) character ever. Adding a bit of Star Wars to your wardrobe is fairly simple – a Google image search brings up about 38,400,000 results. But while t shirts are cool, wearing a picture of your favorite fantasy universe isn’t really the same as looking like a part of it.

Maybe just a bit much for the grocery store...

I’m not suggesting wearing a full length white robe or, god forbid, a Slave Leia bikini to any event at which you are not trying to have your picture made. Its actually pretty simple to take elements of Star Wars style and subtly integrate it into real life.  I almost drew a fashion sketch, but instead, to demonstrate the concept with clothing that really exists, I went with an info-graphic in somewhat creepy patched together fashion.

Real clothes with Star Wars edge.

The key element of Star Wars clothing to me is the simple soft draping. Conveniently, sweaters with similar drape are currently in style. Leia’s costumes tend to be draped and belted, and the men tend towards slightly draped and belted tunics as well. I chose a plain gray version of the drapey sweater because simplicity is key to evoking Star Wars more than simply the current sweater trend – I think the reference is lost if you go with a more ruffled cut sweater for example – and gray seems appropriate to the movies’ palette.

The skinny jeans were chosen mostly because they do not call attention away from the other elements. They are honestly more of a backdrop for the other parts of the outfit than a show piece themselves.

The boots are influenced more by the boys than Leia – its really fairly rare to see Leia’s feet. I picked a pair with a bit of slouchiness to call to mind the leather wrappings at the top of the boots worn by Luke. I chose low boots as opposed to high because I’m not trying to achieve a costumey look and high boots would be risky – they are dramatic in and of themselves, so I don’t want to combine boot height with a wrap-like detail with other science fiction appropriate elements. Plus, low boots like these are easier to actually acquire in real life.

I have myself worn full Leia style double buns in public, not at a convention, on occasion. But it really is a specifically evocative hairstyle, both to Star Wars fans and the general public. So to complete the look, I suggest a single, slightly messy, side bun. Its consistent with current hair fashion leanings – both asymetric styles and free flowing, un-shellac-ed and sprayed into place updos are current trends. I’m not a fan of conforming exactly to all trends, but I wanted to choose something that interprets current style in a Star Wars flavor.