I've already got the husband and suckling babe part down...
September 23, 2011 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Where might I procure a cheap old timey laced vest for a nerdy Game of Thrones Halloween costume?

For Halloween this year I think I want to be Asha Greyjoy from Game of Thrones as it suits me well (I've already got short black hair and pirate-y boots) and for once is timely (plus she's rad). I think I've got most of it down--the axe and dagger will be easy to make for cheap, most of her outfit like a loose, pirate-y top and pants can be found easily at thrift stores--but a big part of what will make it recognizable is having the tighter laced vest over the top, and I don't know where to find one for a reasonable price. Any suggestions or leads? (I can't sew and don't know anyone who can, so that's out.)

Also, any stickler's tips or details I might've missed about her character that would make the costume more immediately recognizable would be great too. Really anything to help make the costume work.

I can't believe I'm doing this as I'm normally not a balls out nerdy nerd (saying this with affection) in public, so I don't know much about costume tricks!
posted by ifjuly to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
An Etsy search garnered these results. Prices and quality vary, but it's a start.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:06 AM on September 23, 2011

Some of the bigger "Halloween costume shops" have individual costume pieces as well as the full-fledged costumes -- and one such thing they often have is this kind of vest.

You get what you pay for, in that instance (some of them look REALLY cheap and obviously "hi this is a costume", but others are nicer -- and a bit more expensive).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:08 AM on September 23, 2011

Party City or those pop-up Halloween stores are really the place to go for something like this for about 20 bucks. Is that too much?
For building Halloween costumes, it's too much trouble to sew, so I always go with staples or hot glue. This is a thing you'll likely be wearing once, in the dark, with alcohol. Doesn't have to be cosplay perfect or have any sort of longevity. So you could maybe slap something together from something you buy at the thrift store.
posted by Straw Cab at 6:50 AM on September 23, 2011

If you really are strapped for cash: take a thick-strapped tank top, cut it down the front and punch some holes with a screwdriver or hole punch. Reinforce the holes (from the inside) with duct tape. Lace some cord through holes. Volia! Sexy vest.

But in general, I am agreeing with Straw Cab: truly, hot glue is the substance that holds most of my halloween costumes together. With nothing but a glue gun, scissors and a tablecloth I put together a perfectly acceptable pinafore - pintuck folds and everything - in about an hour.
posted by 8dot3 at 7:15 AM on September 23, 2011

Best answer: 1. Get a piece of fabric that won't fray, like felt or polarfleece or pleather ultrasuede or something. If it has some stretch/give to it (not too much, just a little) that's great. Cut it into a rectangle about as long as your waist measurement and about as tall as you want the vest to be at the back.

2. Lay a shirt you already own across the rectangle, centered, so you can figure out where the arm holes will go. Cut two ovals about where your arms will be, like about where the shoulders start on your shirt, and maybe two or three inches from the top edge of the fabric. The ovals can be smallish, like say five inches tall and two inches wide, because they'll stretch some. Try it on and widen the arm holes as needed.

3. Now lay it flat again and trim off the two top corners of the rectangle, about four inches from the side edge and 1/3 of the way down from the top edge, so it becomes a long hexagon. (Alternately: you can fold these corners down and your vest will have "lapels".)

4. Punch four or five holes (cut with scissors? drive a nail through?) down each side edge below where you cut the corner off.

5. Put your vest on and lace it up as you would a shoe. The lacing and the slight stretch of the fabric should allow your vest to be pretty tight and give it some shape.

Good luck.
posted by milk white peacock at 9:14 AM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: oops administrator please hope me...

and for future reference, "doublet" is a somewhat promising search term too.
posted by ifjuly at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2011

Medieval Collectibles has some nice stuff in your price range.

Tunic, has sleeves, though.

Tunic, has hood.

The other laced vests seem to be front-lacing items, and the women's things are mostly wenchy, but there are a number of other pieces that might do.
posted by Sallyfur at 10:17 AM on September 25, 2011

Response by poster: Update: just wanted to thank you all for the help and special thanks to milk white peacock because the very clear directions in your comment were awesome! As mentioned, I have the sewing skills of a ferret, hands that are all thumbs, zero crafty tools to begin with, and an unwillingness to buy a lot of materials so I was sure if I wanted anything halfway decent it'd have to be mostly readymade, ie, kinda pricey. But no! Using that handy t-shirt and lace-up trick all I needed was a bolt of cheap felt and I was good to go. I didn't even use measuring tape or anything but scissors to cut holes etc. out. I can't get over how decent the costume turned out--maybe not cosplay-worthy but totally great for the occasion. And using cheap boxy felt meant applying the kraken sigil to the back was a breeze too. I look like a perfectly serviceable seafaring reaver, yay! I will try to post a picture of the end result sometime this weekend when my husband or a friend can snap the shot. Thanks again.
posted by ifjuly at 12:50 PM on October 28, 2011

Response by poster: Nerdy McNerdsalot does pics: 1, 2, 3, and 4. Got high-fives last night from some strangers at a party who apparently love the Ironborn, ha. Thanks again everyone!
posted by ifjuly at 4:43 PM on October 30, 2011

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