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Author Topic: Newb needs clothing ideas/suggestions/directions  (Read 3717 times)
Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« on: February 26, 2015, 07:51:31 pm »

Argus here, I recently landed from my most recent journey, it seems as if the bands of time and space are getting weaker. I made it through in one piece, but can not say the same about my gear. Now this traveler is in need of suggestions of where he can get some clothing.

Okay, so that was a weak attempt at sounding cool. I'm brand new to this world, I have a possibly workable backstory, some ideas for accessories, but have no idea where to start with clothing.

Backstory based on real life:
I want to be a technician (was that a job then?) as I went to school for electrical tech and spent a short time as a mechanic.
I then came up with the idea of time travel after clicking around here a bit, and a friend wants me to do tweed rides later in the year with him, but I ride a recumbent, so it'll look a bit futuristic comparatively.
I have neurological condition that affects my legs and sometimes use a cane, especially in crowds. So this could be worked in as the machine my engineer sent me off on malfunctioned. Due to my heavy gait (think of it as walking around with concrete in your shoes) I will definitely need suspenders, but that should be easy enough.

Unfortunately, I'm on disability so not much expendable income and I'm miniature giant sized (6'4" 300lb) so it's hard to find stuff at thrift stores. Luckily, I am semi comfortable with a sewing machine, I've done a lot of hems, buttons, and button holes, and feel like I could follow a pattern. What type of clothing should I look for, for a technician/forced traveler, Pants (trousers?), vest (waistcoat?), and shirt? I may have to sew the waistcoat, may even attempt the shirt and trousers. Any good websites or companies for XXXXL patterns? I wear 3-4XL T-shirts and 42-46 waist x 32-34 inseam jeans, varies a lot by company.

I was digging through my closet, hoping to save some money, but couldn't find much. Excuse the dust and poor pics.
Would Dickies work pants work? They are about 4" small around the waist, but available at any department store.

Would either of these shoes work? I need shoes with traction and padding. The boots are newer and much more comfortable. I'm not opposed to trying to paint or somehow alter the silver grommets and waterproof logo.


Thanks and sorry for the long thread,
Argus

Edit: Don't know what's going on with that final pic. Not supposed to be zoomed in, but can't seem to fix it.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 07:57:00 pm by Argus McJohnsten » Logged

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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 08:14:29 pm »


 Try army surplus  stores and pop up  liquidation shops for utilitarian gear.  A cane can work well  with the look.

 Depending on the look required either shoe would work well. The boots have a more military / combat look
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 02:56:53 am »

I agree re the boots, with the pants tucked into them.

At some point consider leather gaiters to further draw in the lower legs of the pants for a semi-jodhpur look.

And it may be a step too far for you, but Robert from Abney Park created some very decent stripes on a pair of plain pants simply by painting them.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 09:42:40 pm »

trouble with the dickies is the material has that bit of sheen to it but isn't really too bad once they're washed a few times.
all the shoes would work if you can cobble together some spats or get some military gaiters to disguise them a little.

yeah it's hard to find stuff at the higher end of the size spectrum but keep checking the thrift shops, you never know what might show up!

modding clothing can be fun and if you find something cheap at the thrift, but it doesn't look the part, then give it a make over! you can take a dress shirt and remove the collar to make a more period looking shirt.

just keep your eyes open and use a little imagination and pretty soon you can gather together a few basic pieces to build from. don't forget online surplus too, I've had some good luck with surplus from sportsmansguide.com but the extra large and larger are rare.

good luck and good hunting!
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 05:06:30 am »

Was clicking around sportsmans guide a bit. They have some stuff that may fit at pretty good price. If only sizing was standard across brands. I can fit into a 40x32 faded glory (Wal-Mart brand) carpenter jeans or 46x34 wrangler carpenter jeans.

The military surplus store in town usually only has ammo cans, goggles, and fatigues, but I'll try getting to some out of town.

Gaiters were a planned part of the look from the beginning. Saw a craft foam version that came out good. Love diy stuff.

Thank you for the help and ideas so far.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2015, 07:20:17 pm »

Don't go by the sizes they lie most of the time.  Measure yourself with a measuring tape and pay close attention to size charts.  If you want to try sewing this is also important as the patterns are very odd sizes and their 12 may fit a 22.
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2015, 09:44:59 pm »

Well, isn't that the truth. Make me wonder if I don't know how to use a tape measure. Sorry, they're imperial.
Waist: 46 3/4" Where I think pants are supposed to be worn.
Belt: 46 1/4" Tight enough to hold the pants up without being uncomfortable.
Pants: 49" Faded glory carpenter jeans size 42x32
Stomach: 50-51" Hard to measure by myself. I measured this at the belly button since "old timey" trousers were worn higher.
Can't measure inseam by myself.

Given this wide of a difference between measurements, is it worth risking fitment to order online?
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Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 01:38:19 am »

older clothing styles were much higher waisted than modern clothing, relying on suspenders too, so a snug fit wasn't even required.

if you're long in torso, then the depth of the crotch and overall size can be a problem too.

at one time I had a terrible time buying jeans. a 36-38 waist was too small usually, but a 40 waist was usually way too baggy in the crotch and backside.

I do civil war re-enacting and the wool army pants are very high waisted, and my gut is quite a bit bigger than my waist size, and tends to vary quite a lot over the season. pride seems to always rear it's head whenever I order  pants, and I tell myself that they don't mean LITTERALLY to measure my gut at it's largest diameter. I finally ordered the pants with a little extra room and they are sooo much more comfortable letting the suspenders do their thing.

don't overlook pants at the thrifts that are too big if worn at the waist, hike them up to your belly button and if they have room left in the crotch, you're going to work just fine if you add suspenders.

good luck!
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 08:38:18 am »



 suspenders / braces




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Narsil
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2015, 10:18:44 pm »


Carhartt work jeans give a good range of size options including very long legs, I'm 6-3 and 33 waist an they're the only jeans I can find that fit properly. They are also quite high waisted by modern standards and the cut would work well for a steampunk technician. They aren't exactly cheap but they are pretty much indestructible so you get you money's worth.

As mentioned wearing braces tends to give a bit of extra height in the waist and you can get away with a looser fit in the waist which helps avoid a gap between the waistband and the bottom of your waistcoat.

Most modern braces have metal jaws which clip onto the waistband, teh more traditional version has leather fittings which button on. In may ways this is a better solution, tending to be a bit more secure and comfortable, you just need to sew some buttons onto your waistband.
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frances
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2015, 10:52:18 pm »

BTW braces are worn underneath the waistcoat, not like the young man above.
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Narsil
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2015, 11:34:08 pm »

BTW braces are worn underneath the waistcoat, not like the young man above.

Also that waistcoat doesn't remotely fit.
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2015, 01:07:32 am »

Made it to the goodwill (thrift store) if only I was smaller. Found a perfect pair of pants, only $3.50, but I think they were 32 or 36. Saw a bunch of other potential pants, but nothing that would fit. The white patch was the brand name, but didn't show up on the phone. Logo was a steam engine on stylized train tracks. I think it was old time or old fashioned, something along those lines.


Couple candle holders that could be repurposed for props, but I'm not to that stage yet.
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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 04:04:04 am »

BTW braces are worn underneath the waistcoat, not like the young man above.

 Yes  . That is a very important detail 
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2015, 05:57:11 am »

well, for 3.50 you could just buy them and resell them on ebay  for double (or quadruple, honestly) that plus shipping and someone else could get some fair use out of them! then you have a little more pocket money when you do find a pair that fits.
same goes for shoes and shirts. I'M spend more time looking at womens' apparel than mens', when I hit the thrift, just hunting for stuff to resell or give away.

I bought a few red blouses and blue skirts for civil war events, so that family and friends of some of our unit can dress up as vivandieres. I just added drawstrings to the skirt waist and some red piping to the hem. add one of our smaller uniform jackets and a straw hat and they're good to go.
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2015, 06:14:20 am »

Good call Otto, really didn't think of that. May see if I can convince the wife into letting me go over again tomorrow.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2015, 06:05:23 am »

I know a guy who is fairly skinny and he needs some pants for cowboy action shooting. I can go $15 plus shipping on them if you can find them again.

I got my eyes open for anything that might fit ya, wish me luck!
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2015, 06:02:36 am »

Otto, you have a PM. I found the pants Smiley

I did some digging, literally, in the closet. Found a bunch of long sleeve shirts I didn't know I even had. For someone who hates dressing up and long sleeves, I'm surprised how many I found. Also have 2 pairs of black slacks, nothing fancy, but probably too modern.

Shirts:
grey black and blue plaid
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
black with grey pin stripes
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
blue grid
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
black with grey and green pin stripes
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
green micro plaid (phone didn't do a good job on this)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
royal blue
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
grey
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
burgundy (the phone won't pick up this color)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Think any of these would work? I'm going to find a waist coat, but won't be doing a jacket.

Pants:
Pair 1
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Pair 2
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
You'll just have to take my word that they are black. They're bad pics, and I don't know what's going on with my photobucket account. It doesn't always save the edits I make, even though it looks like it on my end.
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Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2015, 08:09:05 am »

black with gray pinstripes looks good and so does the black with the gray and green stripes, although with the black pants, it might be a lot of black. maybe if you go for a bit of a bad guy look, a lot of black might be just fine.

as long as the pants are long enough to look old fashioned they look fine to me, just sew on some buttons or use clip on suspenders (braces to those who speak English with an accent)

a vest would definitely help, but keep an open mind about a jacket. I found a nice long suitcoat in my dads stuff, it has a really nice western feel to it. never know what you might run across at the thrift store. and like the pants, if it don't fit you can just sell it for a few dollars profit and somebody else gets to enjoy it.
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2015, 04:58:27 am »

I want intending to go bad guy look, but I could roll with it until I find some more clothes.

I really have to figure out which vest pattern to go with, then I can have the wife help pick out material.

I'm not completely opposed to a jacket, IF I find one light enough. I have a very hard time moderating my body temperature, so am constantly warm. I'm comfortable with the idea of sewing a vest (have a hard time calling them waistcoats) but a jacket intimidates me for some reason.
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Narsil
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2015, 10:27:10 pm »

Some of the grey striped shirts should be ideal for an engineer/technician, especially if you remove the collars.

Combined with a vest/waistcoat and suspenders you should be well on your way.

The great advantage of going for period working clothes rather than a more formal or dressy look is that you are much less defendant on achieving  perfect fit for it to look right.

A waiscoat shouldn't be too difficult to make, as you have realized, not having sleeves makes the fitting vastly easier. I would suggest that you be quite generous with the overall length as this will overcome the fact that it's hard to find modern trousers with a high enough waistline and avoid having an alloying gap between your waistband and the bottom of the vest, especially if you are tall.

If you find you get hot I would suggest going for natural rather than synthetic fibers as these breath better and help your natural body temperature regulation to do its job.
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2015, 08:37:56 pm »

Found a pair of pants that would have looked good, get with white stripes, unfortunately pleated and slightly too small, ugh. Almost ended up in a pair of women's pants (don't tell my wife) but they were too short. I keep hoping there will be some vests turned in, but no luck.

On the bright side, I did walk out with a brass candle holder, and a nifty looking piece from a curling iron, will work them into guns or accessories somehow.

Edited to add: Picked up a couple of vest patterns, now to get reacquainted with the sewing machine (trying to convince my wife the merits of a better one) Also have to find some material. Any suggestions on type/color/pattern? Any suggestions for buttons and a sliding buckle?
It's starting to look like I may not get this done by the end of April, for a symposium, like I was hoping.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2015, 05:12:08 am by Argus McJohnsten » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2015, 02:17:36 am »

Try looking at tablecloths and sheets at your local thrift shops for fabric.  Sheets make an excellent lining and test fabric and table cloths are often thick, pretty and dont wrinkle making them perfect for the outer fabric.  I have several pieces including one of my favourite dresses I made useing just those things. 
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2015, 05:39:19 am »

you can buy a donor vest for the hardware and if it's too big, you might be able to use it for the cloth of a vest that will fit. you can work around any pockets to save work on the new vest. same with dress shirts, see something with a pattern you like for a vest lining and use it for material.
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Argus McJohnsten
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rovingtriker
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2015, 03:49:31 pm »

I would have never thought of table cloths, great idea.

I keep looking for vests, but nothing. It's very rare to find a shirt big enough in the local thrifts. Usually when I do they are super bright colors.
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