Wednesday, 16 November 2011

NaNoBlogMo 16 - Making a Mystique Costume

So I mentioned in my post on Monday that I recently went to a Superhero/Supervillian/Super powers themed party. I don't get as many chances to dress like an insane person as I wish I did, so I took it as an excuse to go overboard. Being the nerd that I am, I took to Wikipedia and started searching through possible characters I could dress as.

I had a lot of requirements. (1)I wanted to be female, (2) I wanted to be a character that wasn't a female version of a more famous male superhero (like Spidergirl or something), (3) I wanted the character to have a costume I could get pretty darn close to getting exactly right, so (4) it had to be a costume that I wouldn't actually mind wearing (as in, no bare midriffs) and (5) I wanted to be someone I didn't think anyone else would dress as. How embarrassing would it be to get to a party to find someone else also dressed as Catwoman?

I was thinking I was going to settle on "Icemaiden", a character I had never heard of before but sounded interesting. As I was doing the rounds for the Mark Twain Gala, trying to find costume bits in random places, when I found a new blue body suit at Savers for 75% (so it was about $5). At this point I was still thinking I was going to be Icemaiden (who wears blue), or that I could find another blue superhero, so I got it. I asked friends and family for suggestions on the best character to go as that involved a blue body suit. I forget who first suggested it, but quite a few people in different groups said I should go as Mystique.

Now I don't know about you, but when I think "Mystique", I think the version from the movies, like in the picture here at the left. And I had no intention of going psuedo-naked to a party. But after a bunch of people kept saying it, I did some research and found out that she actually wore clothes in the comics and the cartoons (I used to watch the X-Men cartoons and I don't remember her!). I figured I might as well go as someone that people might have actually heard of.

Below is my final costume and a picture showing what I was going for. It is the version of the costume I saw the most often (both on the character and being worn as people dressing as her). And we can skip right over the fact that I will never have the proportions of a comic book lady. Yeeesh. Looking past that, I am pretty pleased with how my outfit came out.

I already had the blue bodysuit so it was just a matter of finding the rest. I got a white turtleneck, white skirt and black boots at a second trip to Savers. With a bit of cutting to remove the sleeves and skirt edges, and some hemming to clean it up (for some reason, even though I now know how to use a sewing machine, I did it all by hand), I had the base of my outfit. I got white "Go-Go Boot" covers (which I cut and taped so that I actually had heels), white gloves, a wig hairnet and blue face paint at iParty. The wig I got at JoAnne's, of all places. The belt was probably the most complicated and most interesting part.

I got a plain black belt with eyelets all along the length so I could easily connect all the skulls. Finding the skulls was more difficult. It's lucky that Amy's birthday is right after Halloween so that people can find good deals when getting pieces for their costumes for her theme parties. However, it was apparently past skull season when I started looking. Luckily, my mother found two boxes of "Musical Skulls String Lights". Yep. And they were $2.50 each thanks to Halloween clearance. I was planning on just yanking the plastic skulls off and using them, but mom suggested keeping everything connected since the lights were battery powered and the music it played actually sounded more superhero-y than halloween-y. What do you think?

Please keep in mind I took this video after the party and unfortunately one of the wires must have disconnected. Every other skull is supposed to light up. I ended up keeping one set attached to the battery pack and harvesting the other set to create a fuller look. I attached them to the belt by carefully poking two holes down the back of each skull with a leather needle, threading through some metal wire and then tying the wire through the eyelets along the belt. After all the skulls were attached I used more metal wire to tie off the wires from the battery pack so it looked cleaner.

The night of the party I put everything on in a carefully planned order. I got "no smudge" makeup to make sure I didn't get it all over my white costume. I put on two layers to avoid it looking spotty or streaky. I tucked all my hair up (which has gotten very long lately) and put on my wig. I quite like the wig actually, and think it could pass for my actual hair. I wore everything but the belt and gloves for the hour plus ride to the party. I had to park rather far from the party and didn't want to call much attention to myself as I made the long walk...which of course means that I accidentally activated my belt and had lights and blaring music announcing my location out to anyone who wanted to look. Oh well. My entrance to the party was amusing. I think I was...surprisingly blue. Everyone who saw me that night or has seen the pictures afterward all seemed to have the same reaction: "Wow. You are really blue."
(I just want to take this moment to laugh at myself in this picture. I doubt Mystique would ever wear glasses.)

It was a very fun party and I ended up winning the prize for best costume. Whee! That iTunes giftcard is going right to buying some good workout music for the gym. :-)


  1. Might I just say I love your dedication to going all out on every costume you ever do? <3