Diesel in a steampunk world: Waltz on the Wye outfits

I'm always saying I'm more diesel than steam, and here's the proof, the outfits I put together for Waltz on the Wye. Just so you know, I'm 38 and plus-sized. You don't have to be young and slender to enjoy a bit of steampunkery! All items bought by me or gifts from friends, no freebies from companies.


Hat: Frederick Fox via Oxfam 
Dress: Monsoon (last season) 
Jacket: Passed on from a friend who'd outgrown it 
Tights: Seamed ones from What Katie Did 
Shoes: 'Valetta' by Hotter
Brooch: 'Cissie' by Acorn and Will, a gift from Charly at Landgirl1980 
Bag: 1950s Riviera, bought from Scarlet Vintage 

I was a little worried people might think I hadn't made much effort with this outfit as I've worn it for work in the past so it's not especially dressy, but everyone was really nice. It also shows how important accessories are. The dress is completely modern, but the hat and bag both add strong retro touches, and the brooch repeats the hat colour and turns it from a bunch of clothes into a proper outfit. Charly is doing an Acorn and Will giveaway on her blog right now, so get thee over there and try to win one. Things kicked off on Friday afternoon and there was a barbecue, bands on the bandstand and a magic show, but it's not the dressiest day. I saved my most impressive togs for the next day...

Aka, all Able Grable, all day!

Hat: A gift in a steampunk swap on Ravelry, from Ravelry user benegesserit. 
Dress: Miss M, Able Grable
Bag, tights, shoes: As Friday. (New clean tights, obviously!)
Perfume: Caron En Avion

I love this dress, and this was by far the most popular outfit I wore all weekend, and probably my favourite too. The dress is so streamlined it makes me look like I have a proper waist. People seemed to like the dress and hat equally, the hat has little built-in glasses, although they don't help my sight.

Earrings: Can't remember the name of the maker, I bought them over a decade ago. 
Dress: Dream Girl 1932, Able Grable
Bag: Vintage 1930s, from Penny Dreadful Vintage
Tights, shoes: As Friday. 
Perfume: Caron En Avion

I have to confess, I had a bit of a crisis of confidence about this just before going out. I'm not thin, and satin highlights lumps and bumps, but this was the dress I'd taken with me, so this was the dress I had to go in – and I was working on the photobooth processing images, so no-one would have given a nadger what I looked like anyway. This photo was taken when I was helping Mr Robot test the flashes, positioning, backdrop and so on, and I saw it and realised I was being an idiot. With my shape and size, I'm not going to put on something and turn into Myrna Loy, but it's a beautiful dress, the flow of the skirt is magical, and I love the little capelet shoulders. The bag is adorable, with stepped chrome along the top.

Several people told me how much they loved the colour of this dress. I have a picture showing it, but it does mean seeing me with shiny red drunkface, having harassed Professor Elemental to pose with me. Ready? I have warned you...

Yup, lovely colour, and the Prof was a gent.

No pics, but it was my good old Miss Marple suit which I've worn loads before, with my £4 handbag and Miss L Fire Clara shoes. Basically this outfit with a new blouse, ivory peachskin with a pussybow. I did worry that it was a bit Thatcher, but people assured me it wasn't. I was giving a talk on Victorian and Steampunk knitting that day and had The Fear, so for perfume it had to be Mitsouko, honey badger in a bottle. Mitsouko don't give a sh!t!

If people allow me to post pictures of them I'll do a post featuring my favourite outfits I saw on other people later in the week.


  1. I love all of these outfits, but the colour of that dress, beautifull! You look great!! X

  2. Super outfits Mim, you really look the part and I've got to bow down to your perfume choices - I didn't realise that you could still buy Phul Nana, now that's a classic scent if ever there was one.

  3. Vintage Knitter, Grossmith restarted a few years back - the descendant of the original owners found a perfume 'recipe' book and started the firm up again. They've had to follow modern ingredient regs, but he worked with Roja Dove to get them smelling as right as possible. If you're ever in London, Les Senteurs and Fortnum & Mason stock the Grossmiths and rthey're all well worth sniffing.

    Paperdoll, I have concluded that I don't have a 'satin figure', but the colour and swish of my dress was wonderful anyway!

  4. Check you out! :)
    The only outfit I didn't see you wearing in person was your Saturday daytime one, and I'm sad about that because you look amazing! Your ball dress was beautiful too - Able Grable obviously makes dresses just right for you.

  5. Wow, you look fabulous in every outfit. That blue colour is really stunning but I am also in love with the plain black Able Grable dress, those amazing sleeves! Looks like you had a great time, and I'm thrilled to see the PDV bag in such good company xx

  6. you did look awesome, i particularly loved the black dress with the puff sleves -you just looked incredibly stylish and very dieselpunk :D
    Thank you and Pete for being superstars!


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