There are a few things that I most definitely am NOT, and I want to make those clear from the get-go, so that there are no mis-understandings.
I am not a historic re-creationist. I am not striving for historical accuracy in my costumes – I’ll leave that to the Civil War re-enactors or the Renaissance Faire participants. I do feel that a ‘historic” costume (or any costume, for that matter) should be instantly recognizable. A Betsy Ross costume should not be mistaken for Bo-Peep. A 1920’s flapper outfit should be distinctive from a “hippie” costume. I may even want to be able to distinguish my “Mad Men” attire from generic “Sock Hop” dress. But beyond that, I honestly don’t care what exact colors or buttons or patterns or fabrics were worn during a specific year or decade or century.
I am not an anything-else re-creationist either. By this I mean that I am not trying to exactly duplicate the uniform of an Imperial Storm Trooper, Minnie Mouse, or Marilyn Monroe in that famous movie. As long as a costume is recognizable as whoever I want it to be – and actually looks good enough for me to be proud of – I’m not worrying about every tiny detail.
I am not a Hollywood (or Broadway) costume designer. My costumes don’t need to be perfect. They don’t need to hold up for season after season. They don’t need to fit exactly or perfectly. And I refuse to take hours and hours to put on prosthetic facial features that are tinted to exactly match my skin tone.
I am not a fetishist. I typically make my costumes to be playful and fun, not for bedroom activities. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and if you really want to “sex up” a costume, go for it. But I don’t need a costume to feel sexy, so I don’t usually think of costuming that way. My first priorities are to make a costume recognizable and comfortable and fun.
Finally, I am not a master seamstress. I have a sewing machine, and I do use it (sometimes) to create costumes. But most of my costumes are not created on my sewing machine, and my skill level is low enough that I could never make a pair of dress slacks or a suit jacket or pretty much anything other than a costume or maybe some curtains.
What I am is a rather goofy, somewhat creative, middle-aged engineer, who likes to find, assemble and wear all sorts of unusual things.