Jump to content
Aphelion

Alternative Fashion, Gender and Chainmail

Recommended Posts

I'd like the point of this topic to be focused on fashion with chainmail. I don't mind if it goes general, thats still interesting, but right now I'd like to discuss alternative fashion. To be more particular about what I am thinking... I've looked through alot of galleries (and this is a trend with most fashion in general), and women seem to get (most) of the fun. Guys want to look tough, if they want to wear chain mail, they're usually in typical looking shirts, rarely fun colored, and masculine jewelry. For example, you don't see many men wear corsets at all, and I've yet to see one in chainmail. Now, with fantasy inpsired craft we get to see guys have a little more creative fun (IE an Elvish costume might allow a man to wear some things that typically are considered more feminine), but I generally see that as an (sad) exception. So where I'm going with this...

Bluntly, I think up alot of ideas for chainmail fashion, but most of the things I think of are things that would look fine on the female sex, but not male (or would be stretching the boundries). I'm just an ametuer right now but down the road I'd like to make things for people to wear. My problem is I want to be able to make things I myself would enjoy wearing, and I don't want to make "typical" things that are unquestionably safe in the gender comfort zone. Women get so much creative freedom in certain ways, they can wear things between the lengths of a short top to a full length dress, and all that area in between gives so many possibilties for design. Men are mostly stuck just a shirt and pants. Any extra or odd shaped material would look "silly". Theres kilts, but unless your built like a cable tosser or strolling around at a Cetlic fest, your going to get mostly confused looks anywere else (come to think of it I've never seen a chainmail kilt!). And then theres certain gender associated colors.. patterns, etc.. I could get off track here in a discussion of gender and society... Anyhow.. for one, I'd eventually like to design a chainmail corset (sort of a dream project when I get better at making, among many other things) that I wouldn't look ridiculous in (at worst, the idea might de-evolve into a sort of fantasy sash or simply a belt). If anyone has expertise with this sort of thing I'd love to talk with you. I just wanted to get this unstuck out of my head, share it, and bounce ideas around. =)

Oh and I haven't introduced myself yet, I'm Caleb!

If anyone has any pictures of great alternative fashion that could inspire chainmail projects, and pictures of alternative chainmale for guys (this could also mean a piece thats intended for a female wearer, but could be a great piece modified for a guy), please share! But by all means don't feel limited to those things, feel free to discuss anything relevant here!

Edit: Thinking on it.. a chainmail battle kilt would be incredibley awesome!! I've always wanted a kilt, but this way I could actualy make one. If anyone would have any advice on adapting a kilt to mail I'd love to hear it. I'm also wondering if there is a way to replicate the look of the pleates in mail.

Edited by Aphelion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A kilt would rock .. with colored rings and the right weaves you could some amazing pattern tartans... If you not gonna do that one I might.. :cool:

A belt would be a good way to start, leather, big rings e6-1 for a square pattern, or persian 3 for a sloping skewed look.. very interesting idea indeed.

Corsets for men are tough to do, they can too easily look gayyyyyyyy, ala Tim Curry/Rocky Horror or a back up dancer in a Madonna video. Now a gladiator style belly armor would work but it is going to need reinforcing to stay up, we can't just rap a male stomache in chain and expect it to stay up it's going to fall. So strapping/belting is gonna be required.

Now V strapping a shirt or pair of pants can and would work. Club wear. Run sheets of weave, maybe 1-2 inches wide downward to meet at a V from the neck to the waist.. or cut away most of a pair of blue jeans leaving the seams below the pockets and adding in sheets or strappings of chain, of course women can and WILL -person experience here- swipe this kinda stuff in a heartbeat! :dj:

Two bits :)

Greetings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make one anyway. :D And yeah you seem to have the right idea of what I want to avoid. XD I know it all comes down to personal taste, so not to bash that style, but yeah.. XS I should start with a belt anyway just to get a feel for working with mail again. One thing thats really inspired me lately is this set by Armoured Raven http://www.ravenrings.com/maille/cout/athena/index.htm

I LOVE that belt, and the wild feel from all of it. The laced up segements are a great touch that make it stand out (I'm a huge sucker for laces X3). Its given me the idea for maybe a "time witch" belt, maybe sort of steam punkish, with dangling keys and gears strewn about the mesh. And an epic clockwork buckle! (And now I'm thinking about Lulu's epic belt dress X3)The charms remind me, I'm having trouble right now finding some good quailty finds. Anything that could be added to a mail project, carved/handcrafted beads, pendants, metal/wood work charms and curious baubles, and other exotica. I'm probably looking for individual's work, because most the stuff I see in stores just looks too gaudy or uninteresting. So I'd love it if anyone could direct me to some good places/people that they'd recommend. =3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently working on a scale mail kilt, and its about 80% done. I am also in the design phase of a chainmail male corset for steampunking that would resemble a brass/bronze cage using the dragonscale weave.

I have made two pair of spaulders which fit under the epaulets of a coat or a shirt. One pair is easily removable and fits several of my jackets, the other is woven into the epaulet stays of its coat .

Another thing i have seen boot lace covers that clip or are woven into the eyelets of your boots and are held up by a strap around the top http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=5288

I'll upload some pics of my stuff and a scan of my corset page of my sketchbook tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think part of your issue is that men's fashion is very limited by the way society looks at men. Being "girly" is to be avoided by men according to society. Due to this anything that might be a bit too far into the feminine side of things is not only avoided, it is mocked.

Look at how quickly people make fun of a guy in a kilt. Women may love the idea of men in them, but the skirt jokes start flying if you wear one outside of a group that approves of them.

The good news is that society is changing. Men can now wear pink even though it was a massive taboo when I was a kid. Time and people pushing the boundaries will help, keep it up.

As for chainmail that is fun without being girly I'd go with bigger rings, and avoid classically female pieces like head dresses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...is it weird that halfway through the first post i was thinking out how to make a kilt--with pleats that would look decent?

There is at least one thread about how to do it here. Do a search and you will find the info you seek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't say that I've ever seen a male corset done in maille, but I've certainly seen a couple female maille corsets so they can be done. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think part of your issue is that men's fashion is very limited by the way society looks at men. Being "girly" is to be avoided by men according to society. Due to this anything that might be a bit too far into the feminine side of things is not only avoided, it is mocked.

I don't know if I fully agree with ya there. Theres 3 basic rules for mens fashion

1 Functionality - It HAS to work

2 Comfort - Anything from a kimono to T-shirt and jean is great on this one.

3 Looks - Society has a lot of influence here but not entirely.

Look at how quickly people make fun of a guy in a kilt. Women may love the idea of men in them, but the skirt jokes start flying if you wear one outside of a group that approves of them.

Yup, that's another of the man rules, if your wearing it you better be able to defend it or simply not care. The other side of that is your a dandy/etc. Therefor to be mocked. Yankee Doodle keeps it up! %29.gif

If your wearing something your uncomfortable in and isn't useful, you shouldn't be in it.

Now kilts have the legendary scottish highlanders backing them up, any man that hard and tough simply cannot be a wuss. His clothes must have been functional and comfortable for him pts 1 and 2, now 3 your gonna get called on, when you get mocked you mock right back, "Tis a kilt and shut your pie hole!" Kimono has the samurai backing it up .. same thing.

The good news is that society is changing. Men can now wear pink even though it was a massive taboo when I was a kid. Time and people pushing the boundaries will help, keep it up.

Time and boundaries will weed out the weak and unfit, allowing in the good and useful. Think of 80's tons chains around the neck or 70's style of jackets and clothing, they both failed rules 1 and 2 and died -and good riddance- pink is still girly and will likely remain so for a LONG time, but if you don't care, wear it and go about your biz. Fashion is meant to be seen, and that means you WANT society to "like" it, society will make up it's own mind. If you put yourself out there in a edge zone item expect to be judged, after all you asked and cared to be noticed. On the other hand confidance means tons and can easily overcome something like pink and make it "fashionable". And if not you still don't care :biggrin:

In my opinion pastels are a plague on mens fashion and only suitable at weddings [to be removed IMMEDIATELY afterword], think earily 90's. In the end they were not functional and had no comfort to add to items, however out that design area came stone washing/fading, which softens the cloth/pants which is a nice touch. The fit survived and the unfit is gone, for this cycle anyway.

Edited by Euar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a midway between a chainmail kilt,which tends to get very heavy and difficult to pleat, and a woolen kilt is perhaps my cowhide kilt.

panels of cowhide, cut every 5 cm and put together with rings. But indeed every time I do wear it in 'normal' circumstances I get lots of attention.

I made a chainmail kilt:

for decency lined with leather, but it tends to hurt my hips after half an hour wear, I do not like to work with aluminium, so these are nickle rings.

on fairs and parties there is no problem wearing it, but going towards the venue even in Amsterdam you attract lots of attention.

for the pics have a look at www.josephtailor.com , photographers, johan/paul and frank gabriel.

there is some skin to see.

Edited by josephtailor25

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe should have put a NSFW warning for those links. :P Not that I mind, but I don't want the topic to get moved to adult where less people will see and discuss. I'm interested in kink wear as well though too, so maybe could put a seperate one there for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried to have only the pics of the kilts in the link, but obviously did not succeed....not sure how to do that.

changed it in an overall link, with a little warning

Edited by josephtailor25

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could always go to the particular picture, and then copy and paste the direct link to it. Anyhow, I don't care, as long as it doesn't bother anyone else, just trying to be careful.

I'm not sure I'd like how pleats of just plain mail sheet would look. Although if they were seperate strips of mail that alternated with another material in between them that would be very cool. I think I might go the way of simply battle skirt, and (mind you still just a dream project) use alternating segments of sitched plates (thanks for mentioning kimono! I love them and it made me think of Japanese style armour), scales, and/or leather to visually suggest pleats and just to add flair and general bad assness. XP Now I'm wondering, does anyone know a good place where I could buy plate armor segments, or different shaped scales? I never even thought of using something like that with mail until now, like a mail braclet with a strip of stiched plates running around the center, that would be BEAST!! God I have to get into metal working now, I could design my own. o.o And I'm thinking now, a sort of "battle" corset might actualy make a great matching set with an armoured skirt.

Edited by Aphelion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we go!

Scale kilt

post-13188-0-17887600-1331864993_thumb.jpg

post-13188-0-28290500-1331864997_thumb.jpg

It is too short yet, but I am in the process of converting all the pleats to use aluminum rings instead of stainless. should shave 2-3 pounds of the weight. the right side of the apron is not yet trimmed so the apron sags on that side, and that mass of scales hanging off to the side is the upper section of the unfinished over apron. That is the same mass of scales that I am supporting in an compromising manner in the second photo so that the pleats hang right. The pleats are not actually pleated but overlapping panels 7 scales wide and trimmed so they hang neatly.

post-13188-0-08389500-1331865007_thumb.jpg

post-13188-0-30879700-1331865011_thumb.jpg

post-13188-0-31636200-1331865021_thumb.jpg

This is the removable spaulder (1 of a pair) on my canvas winter coat ther is a slit between the scales and the mesh that the epaulet slips through and a button hole near the top. The chain goes under the sleeve to stop the spaulders from flopping around when i run or folding up on itself, or over the sleeve for decoration or a convenient handle for ones companions.

post-13188-0-38357300-1331865001_thumb.jpg

This spaulder is bronze with brass highlights and is mailed onto my steampunk coat. Its mate is

brass with bronze highlights.

These notes show a couple of my design iterations but the idea as of now is an empty cagelike framework of dragonscale. similar to this: http://home.earthlink.net/~bloomerj/images /metal_corset1small.jpg

post-13188-0-03275200-1331867698_thumb.jpg

whether this becomes more vestish, like the lower left design, or the more halterlike, as the one in the upper right, depends on how well I can curve the bands of dragonscale. I was thinking on using 16g 3/8" brass or bronze rings for the dragonscale with a 16g 1/4" black stainless undertone. I might like to try 18g rings, but i don't know if they will be strong enough for the forces that the corset will have to undergo; especially since the stress is concentrated in straps rather than spread throughout a mesh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few point.

1.) Pink: Common misconception actually, pink has only been the "girly" color for under a century. It wasn't that long ago that when infants were dressed up pink indicated a boy and blue a girl. I'm not sure what changed, you'd have to do your own research there, but it's an interesting little fact.

2.) Why is it called a kilt? Because if you call it a skirt, you're gonna get kilt! All joking aside, I knew an Irish guy in high school, not one of the tougher or burlier guys out there, who used to wear his kilt to school. In a school of 2500 middle class suburban preppy kids, no one really cared. In my entire life I cannot think of a guy I saw wearing a kilt who wasn't able to rock it. My bet is it's about confidence, either way, friggin go for it!

3.) Male corsets, they exist! Stormy Leather makes a few (website is 18+, google will get you there) They may be more popular in the kink circles right now, but a chainmail one could be pretty badass under whatever circumstances.

4.) I agree that belts could be a surprisingly fun way to play with some of your ideas. I also think you should consider vests. That, to me, is a very gender neutral item that still has a ton of options.Inlays also offer some really interesting ways to mess around with colors and go against the norm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1.) Pink: Common misconception actually, pink has only been the "girly" color for under a century. It wasn't that long ago that when infants were dressed up pink indicated a boy and blue a girl. I'm not sure what changed, you'd have to do your own research there, but it's an interesting little fact.

Yep and 'Shelley' used to be a boy's name too.

When the local Celtic shop was open, the proprietor would walk around in a kilt. He was a very burly man so I don't think he got hassled much..if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother-in-law's nephew showed up at my niece's wedding in a kilt and every head turned his way, male and female. Of course, there were celtic roots in the family so people were accepting, but he and his wife were the only ones dressed that way. They made a gorgeous couple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.) Pink: Common misconception actually, pink has only been the "girly" color for under a century. It wasn't that long ago that when infants were dressed up pink indicated a boy and blue a girl. I'm not sure what changed, you'd have to do your own research there, but it's an interesting little fact.

For anyone interested! And do give a look. Thanks to my friend Nikki for providing: http://www.mother-god.com/pink-for-boys.html

"and it says "Since the 1940s, the societal norm was inverted; pink became considered appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued into the 21st century." on there, but the reason for that is the uniforms during the world war"

If you look around you'll see that the leather gladiator wear is actually called a battle skirt, or similar. I've been pouring through wikipedia, but I can't actually find what the offical historical names of all the battle skirts in history are called, this bugs me. Article on kilts, article on roman armor, but not on the actual skirts themselves! Right now this has my attention

http://www.thevikingstore.co.uk/larp-leather-armor---tenebra-armour-skirt-3353-p.asp Its a skirt, but anyone could look bad ass in it. And I think I would lean more towards imitating that design with mail, since the large pleats are very distinctive! *tempted to buy* >_>

Good idea about belts and inlays, good safe way to explore more radical designs, decoration possibilities are endless without the risk of being too obviously gender bending.

And you're right about a vest, with what I'm thinking about as a corset, adding shoulder straps to it would probably look a lot better anyway at least for a battle/fantasy oriented cosplay item, since you've already have a history of amoured vests through out the ages. But I'd still love to explore male corsests for the kink route!

Dodecahedron, will you be adding some clan colors to that?

I think you'd be fine wearing that at a fair, people will reconize that you made an armored kilt, but otherwise I don't think it strikes me as "kilty" enough yet. Sorry if I am being to blunt, let me know. I think its awesome you're working on this, regardless.

And just because Liam is too awesome not to put here.. http://www.iamstaggered.com/usa/files/2012/01/Liam.jpg

And some random kilt fashion! http://fashionindie.com/spread-um-vogue-homme-international/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dodecahedron, will you be adding some clan colors to that?

I think you'd be fine wearing that at a fair, people will reconize that you made an armored kilt, but otherwise I don't think it strikes me as "kilty" enough yet. Sorry if I am being to blunt, let me know. I think its awesome you're working on this, regardless.

I am aware of this :(

I did look into plaid, but besides AA scales being almost half again as expensive as the shiny, plaid does not look very good inlayed in large scales. even in a halfed simple plaid like Wallace (of which I am) the sett is 18 threads wide. The under apron is 18 scales wide at the bottom and only 13 wide at the waist. It might work if I made another one with small scales...

A couple modification ideas I am tossing around are:

  • an inverted St Andrews Cross across the front apron (blue cross on 'shiny' feild)
  • an inverted St Andrews Cross running across the pleats.
  • a column of AA scales along the knife edge of the pleats,
  • a sporran with a small scale face and flap of plaid
  • a sporran with a small scale St Andrews cross face and blue flap

If TRL comes out with the micro-scales they have been hinting at before I get around to making my sporran, I will use those.

Dracula clothing has some male corsets: http://draculaclothing.com/male-corsets-c-43.html?osCsid=78hetkce5mljfr6ars7pbp6ob5

I have also seen some Steampunk corset makers who also produce vestlike male corsets.

A note on Victorian vests:

The mens vest was very similar, in purpose, to a corset apart from the lack of boning and lacing. they were tailored close to flatter ones shape. Unlike modern vests often lacked an adjustment strap and can cause indigestion upon the consumption of too much food because the stomach has no room to expand. the armholes were also much smaller which prompted the wearer to roll one shoulders back and to sit and stand up straighter and taller

Edited by Dodecahedron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are making it very hard for me to decide what my next project will be. I was going to do some erm...interesting mens undies, but I am LOVING the idea of a vest or corset. Damn it. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AGGHH omg design a corset!! And I'll probablly want to buy it. D: I think its safe to say you'll have invented the male chain mail corset market, if you do! XD If I had lots of gold, I'd probably have to get you to commision one. >.<

Also, thinking.. I have yet to see lots of other lingerie type in mail. A mail garter belt! I think that would be incredibly hot. SFW but kinky http://en.wikipedia....n_Electra_2.jpg (And that corset design, I think that would lend itself well to mail as well!)

And similarly along the lines of corset, the bustier, the teddy.. could go on.

So yep! You have my official vote for corset, much rather wear one of those than undies.. unless it was for the girlfriend, but you know how hard it is to find one of those?? XP

Edited by Aphelion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, thinking.. I have yet to see lots of other lingerie type in mail. A mail garter belt! I think that would be incredibly hot.

SBigbee has done a scale garter belt. She's not on the forum much any more but I'll see if I can find a good picture of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to make one. I can see it in copper with gold bike chain plates woven into somehow. But copper would be heavy and expensive.

Gold would be good and could be done in AA, so much lighter.

Leather lacings. Brown.

Very sexy.

2 - 3 weaves. :D This is fun. I'll have to sketch out this idea. Could be doable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any chance I could see your progress and sketches?? I don't know much (anything XD) about making corsets, so it'd be fun to get to see the process and learn about it. BUT! I'd understand if your creative process is something you wouldn't want to share.

I guess I'm looking for an oppurtunity to be able to suggest and recieve ideas, as I'd have no idea where to start formualting my own design. ><

Oh.. um.. do you happen to need a model... >_>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×