Building the Believable Butt Kicker

I had a lot of fun finding characters yesterday.

As I mentioned yesterday about the need to get some pictures in my head so I know my characters, I started looking for those pictures.  And I had a good bit of luck because I did find pictures.  I found a lot of them.  And I was able to narrow do “the looks” for my female characters at least.  I have a few men I need to image, but that will happen today.

Now, was the search perfect?  No, it wasn’t.  But, I got the ideas I need, and I can mix and match nationality and things like hair and skin pretty easy, because I have an image now.  And good ones at that.

But I have one last thing to do, and that’s get my main character’s outfit down.  And I worked on that against yesterday as well, mostly by doing a little Internet research, and pulling upon my inner Tim Gunn.

The thing that was important most important to me is that that outfit look (1) cool and that it be (2) functional.  Sure, those two aren’t always mutually exclusive, but that’s where your imagination comes into play.  And, fortunately, imagination is something I have–and I’m not afraid to use it.

I’ve got layers here, so stick with me, ’cause I might get lost in this trip . . ..

First and foremost, I should start out by saying I drew inspiration from Ruby Rocket, a professional cosplayer.  In particular, I drew upon this Cracked article about the funkiest aspects of superhero costumes.  Needless to say, your average superhero isn’t sartorically inclined, and that meme is pushed even more to the extreme by Hollywood.  And if you’re a butt kicking sorceress, the chances are if you’re being costumed by Hollywood you’ll find yourself running around the streets of my Chicago in latex and 5 inch heels . . . which means you’ll soon pass out from heat stroke if you aren’t nursing sprained ankles first.

Let’s move on.

First, I need something that’s going to be comfortable, that’s going to move, and is going to breathe.  My world has crappy weather, and the story takes place in August–and if you’ve ever done a summer in Chicago you’ll know just what sort of hell that can be.  My sorceress might get away with a leather dress for a night, but during the day she’ll be sweating her butt off.  And latex?  Sure, you might get away with that if you’re rocking out for 90 minutes in a controlled environment–or hangin’ in your BDSM cave waiting for some serious action–but on the street you’re an ER case waiting to happen.

So we go with a two-piece outfit, top and pants.  Both are form fitted so they lay close to the body.  They’re likely made of something like Supplex®, so they’re both breathable and able to pull sweat away from my character’s body.  The pants will likely stay basic black, while the top will likely be two-toned, say a soft pastel with intricate rune patterns etched in black.

If you’re thinking this sounds a bit like something you’d do your morning yoga in, congratulations!  That’s exactly what I’m going for.  Yes, it’s not Underworld worthy, but then Selene is a vampire, so she doesn’t have to worry about little things like her internal body temperature zooming to 112 degrees.

Over that is going to go a coat.  If you’re thinking “black leather trench coat”, at one time so did I.  It’s such a cultural meme these days that it’s hard to get it the hell out of your head.  But I don’t want to go there, as it’s just too stereotypical.  Now, since my characters exist in something of a Steampunk world, I decided to give my main character a jacket that fits with that imagery, and so she gets a modified corset back jacket, maybe with a bit of lace trim and done up in purple.  Why purple?  Because it looks good on her.

And the jacket is important because it gives my character to put her stuff.  I see it having a few pocket sewn into the inner lining, and at least one of them is likely her Bag of Holding.  It doesn’t do anyone any good to go out into what could become a dangerous situation at any moment and realize the only place they can put their mobile phone is up their ass.  Maybe that works for Christopher Walken, but for the rest of us mortals it’s inconvenient as hell.

Now we come to my character’s most fetishy pieces, her boots and corset.  I can hear you now:  “So this is where you bring the sexy, right?”  Alas, probably not.

The corset is going to be a simple underbust, leather with a steel front busk closure.  It’s not going to be tight: we’re looking at Of Corsets Sexy, not Of Corset Hurts here.  The boots . . . they’re gonna going to be knee high, leather, and I’m thinking brown.  They are not going to be Combat Stilettos, however:  my character is less Rei Hino beating demons while wearing high heels and more Silk Spectre II in the prison break scene, or Zhora running from Deakard.  (And, yes: I did consider her having enchanted boots that would have a very high heel for the hell of it, but would make the heel vanish when she got into a situation where she needed to run or fight.  I considered it, then smacked myself in the head.)

But there is a reason why those two pieces are leather: in the rules of my world enchanting what has once been “natural” (like cotton and leather) is easier than enchanting something like her Supplex® outfit, and those items are enchanted to offer protection.  The boots protect her legs and the corset protects her torso and arms–think of it as Kevlar that protects against projectiles and most magical attacks.

But what about her head?  She is like Batman, where no one thinks to shoot him in the head with a shotgun, because they love aiming at that big bat on his armored chest?  Not a chance.  My character will wear a necklace that has a dual function: one, it’ll serve as a foci, and two, it’ll offer protection to her head.  So she’ll be able to channel more energy when she needs it, and keep from getting her face blown off when she’s not looking.

So there you have it; the outfit my main character wears.  And believe me, it was fun putting it together–

So much so, I can’t wait to see her in it.