It is eight o’clock in the morning, your fellow geek calls you up and announces a last-minute con she has decided to attend. Obviously, you have to go with her, but what to wear? It is now time to perform your own superhuman feat and put together an acceptable geek outfit from easily found items. From the depths of my underslept brain came the idea for Quick Change. Like every superhero before me who must race into action, I too will change into my comic-loving alter ego in record (or just sort of not-slow) time. The mission: find an outfit inspired by a comic book character in a thrift store, resale store, or sales rack in under 20 minutes for under $20.
For my second attempt, I chose Gwen Stacey. Gwen initially appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #31. Later, Marvel killed her off in an extremely controversial move. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of Gwen Stacey, the only time I have really enjoyed her was in the recent films. She was portrayed by Emma Stone who won me over with her quirky interpretation of Gwen’s attitude.
Obviously, the outfit to aim for is her final outfit, which seems inspired by the Hulk/Barney aesthetic of purple and green. This is not really an outrageous choice of clothing, but I’m not really a multiple bright colors gal. It’s important to try new things when dressing for your final moments though.
I went to the thrift store straight from work, so I had to stop in the best coffee shop in the world/Chicago to ask someone to take a picture of me pre-transformation. Then, I rushed the block north to my lovely local Unique and prepared myself mentally for the adventure.
How would Gwen feel in this moment? Would she attend comic cons and dress up as other comic book characters if her life had not been so tragically short/she had not been born prior to the cosplaying boom? Admittedly, I don’t know her as well as most fans. (I am a bit of a Mary Jane fan, even though I agree with Peter that she grows to be more and more shallow and self-centered as the series continues, but I digress!)
Entering the store I knew exactly what I was looking for, and I made a beeline to the skirt section. I do not really own any skirts. They’re a difficult item for me to shop for because of my figure, leg length, and general pickiness.
There were no purple skirts, and I settled on a blue one that seemed the appropriate length. Then, on my way to the coat section, I found a purple skirt discarded at the end of the aisle. The cosplay imps were obviously on my side.
Moments later, I found several green coats, none long enough, but all somewhat suitable. I picked the one I felt would fit Gwen’s sense of style the most. She definitely wouldn’t go for the fuzzy green Cookie Monster item. I mean, she’s way too stylish for that.
I found the perfect blue shirt, but boy oh boy did it smell terrible. Thrift stores are my favorite way to shop, but this shirt was a cautionary tale in the terrible things that one can find on the racks. I quickly ran to the shoe section where I found acceptable boots in my size, and then I threw it all on my body as I hurried to the mirror.
This time I didn’t have a photographer with me, so what you see is an attempt to capture an acceptable photo of myself while standing awkwardly in front of a mirror in the middle of the store. You can bet that it was embarrassing, but it’s all for you, Reader. A woman told me, “That’s a cute outfit, Honey. Get it!” and I felt terrible for her poor children. Oh, the weird outfits they will be shackled with in the coming months.
This time I give myself a B-. I went over the budget, everything came out to about $30 with tax, but I was done in TEN MINUTES. That’s faster than I get changed for work in the morning. Plus, although a very unflattering outfit, I do think it is true to character. So, for the World’s Worst Photoshop of the month (editor’s note: or Most Amazing):
As a bonus, and a treat for having to look at my terrible photoshop job yet again, I leave you with this majestic coat I found on my way out of the store. If anyone needs to cosplay as a character from Cats, this item does exist for you.
Until next time, when I hope to make even more of a fool of myself!