I adore cosplay. I appreciate the occasions where I can witness it in all of its glory and splendor in the wild. Cons make for some of the finest people watching ever. But I can’t frequent a con on the daily, and truth be told my brand of cosplay is pretty subtle.
I like to play. And one of the games I like is, “How much cosplay can I get away with in my everyday wardrobe?” Because there’s an after glow when you finish a good story, and lingering in that world through fashion/costume is just fun. I do it all the time. I went out and bought a sundress after finishing Sarah Adam’s The Match. I wore all my graphic tees in quick succession after reading Lindsey Jesionowki’s Alone Together. I looked like a librarian for weeks when I was reading Julie Christianson’s Apple Valley Love Stories trilogy.
I’m not going to get into the source material behind my debut, too embarrassing. But you know I’ve been feeling the Smoke, Steel, & Ivy love for years. So to that end. Let’s explore my subtle Smoke, Steel, & Ivy cosplay. Note: I’m not a model. I’m a real woman who loves cookies and birthed her babies, and still has fun playing with clothes. Move along if this doesn’t align with your editorial standards.
So how subtle is too subtle? Does wearing just an accessories in a particular color count as cosplay?
Of course it does. I’m going to wear all the green, and smile when I think about Ivy.
What about finding shirts that have some whimsical nods to the aesthetic? If they have a bit of green and dramatic sleeves, I say it counts. Cosplay on!
What if we went one step further with a lacey top in a more dramatic green? It’s so Ivy, I might swoon.
Can I pair the top with shoes that feel steampunky/gaslampy? Yes please!
And tweed! Don’t forget the tweed!
Now we come to a crossroads. This might be as much cosplay as I can get away with IRL. But it’s freezing in Colorado, so let’s play so more.
 Maybe a feminine tie and stripes? Oh, yes! Very Ivy.
Bring out the vests!
Now lace!
What about black lace? Yes, pair it with a wicked grin.
Now goggles and corsets and bustled skirts and blue striped silk pajamas and green dresses. JK. But I’ll keep an eye out for any cosplay sly enough to pass IRL.
So here is your invitation to cosplay. Poor yourself a cup of chocolate or mint tea or both and have some fun. Come tell me about. I live for this.

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