Jane Austen

Jane Austen Everywhere

Last week I promised you a photo of my Halloween costume. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Here it is.

It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I looked awful, but that was the point, right? I was dressed as “What Not To Wear.” If you watch the TV show on TLC, you’ll know that Stacie and Clinton throw away baggy cropped pants, patterned socks, thrift shop items (like the bowling shirt) and warn against being too “matchy matchy.”

The Halloween party was fun in spite of my failed costume. Helen, one of my writing friends and member of my original-and-still-meeting critique group gave the party. I have a double connection to Helen, because our husbands work together. Here’s the “Writing Group” (left to right: Julie, me, Helen, Virginia). As you can see, my costume looks just like I wore horrible clothes; the other costumes were very effective. (Helen, by the way, made that vest and hat)

The real surprise was to find Jane Austen at the party. Not “our” (Risky Regencies) Jane Austen but Helen’s friend Carol who came as Jane Austen vampire. And, let me tell you, her gown was fantastic. She’d made this beautiful pelisse out of a deep purple fabric with black flowery designs on it, almost like applique. I was in complete costume-envy! This pelisse was so elegant and looked like she’d just stepped out of a Regency novel. She also had black angel wings which were not so Regency. And the vampire teeth.

Helen, who also happens to be my modiste, has made me two Regency dresses over the years. The light blue one was from a copy of an authentic Regency era pattern. The dark blue was from a Simplicity pattern and it has (oh the shame!) a zipper. Last year I wore the dark blue one to the Halloween party so could not do so this year. And the light blue one fit me better when I was 20 lbs lighter. (You’ll recognize the other person in these photos as Amanda!)

I’m trying to think of a way to get Helen to make me a beautiful pelisse just like the Jane Austen vampire’s!

Did you have a fun Halloween? How did your costume work out? Better than mine, I hope!

Check out my website, which is not updated yet, but which still has a new contest on it.

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Linda Henderson
13 years ago

I didn’t do anything for Halloween but I never was much for wearing costumes. I have in the past but it’s been a long time.

13 years ago

Diane, to really set it off you needed the excess of accessories. You know, too many necklaces, a pin, big earrings, sunglasses, on your head (despite being inside).

No costume myself this year, but enjoyed family stopping by to show off their costumes.

Jane George
13 years ago

Helen’s dress is stunning and she looks magnificent!

Kudos to you for donning a costume and going out. I sat on the couch, covered in cats, watching Nightmare Before Christmas and drinking pumpkin ale. Next year, party!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

LOL, Diane! Sounds like a great example of “What Not to Wear” (in the pics it looks a bit like a doctor, but I love the description). I think I have a pelisse from that same pattern!!! I wore it over my gown to our dance in Bath, though mine is burgundy and not purple. Love the wings.

I was very original–not. Went as a witch. My dogs were a turtle and a French maid. 🙂

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Mmmmm–pumpkin ale!

Susan Wilbanks
13 years ago

No costume for me this year. It’s been an unusually hectic fall in our already-hectic lives, so I just managed to get a costume for my 5-year-old, who went as a horse.

I kinda wish I’d copied Jim on The Office, written “BOOK” on my face with lipstick or eyeliner, and gone as “Facebook.”

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Linda, I would not have dressed up except for a party. My husband went as a stick-in-the-mud, ie he didn’t wear a costume.

Judy, I did have big turquoise earrings on but you can’t see them.

Jane George, if I’d had enough pumpkin ale, I probably would have thought my costume was downright pretty.

Amanda, I don’t remember the pelisse from Bath but you wore the prettiest Regency dress. It was just perfect for the Assembly Rooms!

Susan, a horse costume sounds very clever!

Jane Austen
13 years ago

I chaperoned a college party where I felt incredibly old because I would not wear most of the outfits the girls were wearing. I think Halloween really is an excuse to dress slutty and get away with it. I was dressed in black with this beautiful handmade Venetian mask my mother brought home from Italy. My dog Rory went as a strawberry.

Patricia Barraclough
Patricia Barraclough
13 years ago

Looks like you had a great Halloween party. I have a black caftan with flocked spider webs on it. Add a sheath underneath and spider jewelry and I’m good to go.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

I was hollowed out and whamed down by the flu. And so missed all the happenenings here at the Riskies on last week.

Diane, your costume idea was fabulous. It’s not a pluck off the rack costume, and it shows creativity.

Of course, the two Risky Ladies in their Regency finery…who can beat that?

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