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Unread 10-28-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
ArcaneSpringbrd
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Is a 220 inch hoop skirt too big?

So for my Pauline crossplay, I'm thinking of making a hoop skirt with a 220 inch circumference.

The reason is two-fold:

1. I like larger gowns.

2. It'll make my waist look smaller.

However, I have to wonder if this is impractical. Is it too big?

Then again, The smallest I'd do is 180 inches, so I wonder if it is that much of a difference.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
usuyukisou
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It can be done for a photo shoot, but I highly recommend against wearing such a big hoopskirt to a con (certain ones have regulations regarding how far from your body your outfit can jut out, I think?) since you'd be doing so much moving about and people would be brushing past you.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
ArcaneSpringbrd
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Oh....it never occured to me that there might be regulations about that...

I'll have to look into that.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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Yeah, sometimes it's best to keep bigger costume pieces (large wings, a skirt like you mention, big capes) to photoshoots or masquerades. Even if the con you're thinking of doesn't have regulations regarding that kind of thing, it's nice to avoid blocking hallways, doorways, and any other potential bottleneck as much as possible.

Another thing to consider is travel. If your con is far away, are you going to have to pack something like that up in a bag to take with you? That can be a big factor in how I make my props and I imagine the same principle would apply to a big piece like that.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 08:32 PM   #5
ArcaneSpringbrd
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Well, the two cons I'm most likely to go to don't regulate it. Obviously if I was wearing it, I'd be conscious of where I was going or standing.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
Akahana Hime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneSpringbrd View Post
Well, the two cons I'm most likely to go to don't regulate it. Obviously if I was wearing it, I'd be conscious of where I was going or standing.
Yes but other people might not. Conventions are big places with lots of people in one hallway and moving may get....fun.....
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Unread 10-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
CapsuleCorp
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Define "too big."

The largest hoop skirt currently in my house is a 10 foot circumference - 120" or so. I consider it moderately large, but then, I'm not the one who wears it. I may have seen panniers wider than that, but they're wide only along one dimension.

How big is too big depends on a lot of factors:
- is there a period-correctness that has to be kept in mind?
- will it look cartoonishly/comically big for the character?
- can you afford the amount of hoop steel that goes into it and fabric needed to make the petticoat and skirt that will need to cover it?
- where will you store it?
- how will you transport it?
- how will you be able to maneuver around the con in it?
- are there other ways of getting the same look (meaning, the "slimming" effect) through other means? Like, corsets?

I know some Civil War-era hoops approached that size, but you're talking 18 feet plus. It might be fun for some costumes, but for others, it might look ridiculous. The alterations to the costume to make it fit that size hoop might put the rest of the costume out of proportion.

I'd suggest doing the math to see what the diameter of an 18.3 foot hoop is, to find center and see how far it will stick out from your body. If numbers aren't helpful to visualize, use string or tape and mark out the hoop on the floor and stand in the middle of it. Then visualize yourself going through doors, walking down possibly narrow hotel hallways, using elevators/escalators, etc. Also sketch or map out the costume to see if having a hoop that size will work with or against the overall appearance of the costume. Then, once you look at all the factors, you and only you can decide if it's worth it.

Sure, I find extraordinarily large hoops as rude as large wings - when people are not conscious of the fact they're wearing a much more cumbersome costume than usual and try to take it to all the usual places they go at cons. It's far less rude and rather enjoyable when the cosplayer is aware of their limitations and confines themselves to only wearing the costume in areas and to events where they can coexist comfortably with everyone else. And they're a hoot at masked balls and other gala events where it's expected.

I think the only thing I, personally, would be concerned about, is whether changing that proportion changes the proportion of the gown/costume to the point where I look like a total dork it in. But that's me. I'm hyper-aware of proportion and the visual aesthetic in re-creating costume designs to the point that I will measure my trim in sixteenths of an inch. For you? Your Mileage May Vary.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
ArcaneSpringbrd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
Define "too big."

The largest hoop skirt currently in my house is a 10 foot circumference - 120" or so. I consider it moderately large, but then, I'm not the one who wears it. I may have seen panniers wider than that, but they're wide only along one dimension.

How big is too big depends on a lot of factors:
- is there a period-correctness that has to be kept in mind?
- will it look cartoonishly/comically big for the character?
I don't think so. When I first thought about doing this, I was going to do Scarlett O'Hara's prayer dress, which is pretty big, and certainly bigger than what was historically accurate. I especially liked the silhouette like this video:

http://youtu.be/_BxKI1BiNNk

After contacting her, and comparing the video to her height, the width of the gown is equal to her height. Since I'm 5'10" tall, that's a circumference of 220 inches.

Quote:

- can you afford the amount of hoop steel that goes into it and fabric needed to make the petticoat and skirt that will need to cover it?
Yep. I know this is going to be an expensive costume, but it's one I've always wanted to make. That said, the plan is to have two petticoats: one cotton with ruffles, and one taffeta with a single ruffle on the bottom. So I probably don't actually need 220 inches. 200 inches might suffice.

Quote:

- where will you store it?
- how will you transport it?
- how will you be able to maneuver around the con in it?
Not storing and transporting isn't a problem, as long as I'm not transporting it. But even then, I've got my wife's 150 inch hoop and it's in a mirror box. It's more complicated to transport by air, but a 180 inch hoop would be just as much trouble.

Quote:

- are there other ways of getting the same look (meaning, the "slimming" effect) through other means? Like, corsets?
Oh, I'll be wearing a corset, but I'm fairly overweight, so that'll only help so much.

Quote:

I know some Civil War-era hoops approached that size, but you're talking 18 feet plus. It might be fun for some costumes, but for others, it might look ridiculous. The alterations to the costume to make it fit that size hoop might put the rest of the costume out of proportion.
I'm making the gown from scratch myself, not modifying it. Though the thing about the Civil War era is that people are significantly taller now, and that isn't even taking into account that I'm a guy.

Quote:

I'd suggest doing the math to see what the diameter of an 18.3 foot hoop is, to find center and see how far it will stick out from your body. If numbers aren't helpful to visualize, use string or tape and mark out the hoop on the floor and stand in the middle of it. Then visualize yourself going through doors, walking down possibly narrow hotel hallways, using elevators/escalators, etc. Also sketch or map out the costume to see if having a hoop that size will work with or against the overall appearance of the costume. Then, once you look at all the factors, you and only you can decide if it's worth it.
Well, it'll be nearly 6 feet across. But even a 180 inch hoop would be 5 feet across, so it's a matter of degree I suppose. I'm just wondering if there was something I haven't thought of (such as possible regulations on the size allowed by a con).

Quote:

Sure, I find extraordinarily large hoops as rude as large wings - when people are not conscious of the fact they're wearing a much more cumbersome costume than usual and try to take it to all the usual places they go at cons. It's far less rude and rather enjoyable when the cosplayer is aware of their limitations and confines themselves to only wearing the costume in areas and to events where they can coexist comfortably with everyone else. And they're a hoot at masked balls and other gala events where it's expected.
Oh certainly. I haven't been to any cons other than PAX and GenCon, but for example, I'd NEVER wear this in the GenCon vendor hall. I'd only be wearing it in the big halls outside. I guess that's one thing I should find out, how cramped it is in whatever convention center the cons I go to are.

Quote:

I think the only thing I, personally, would be concerned about, is whether changing that proportion changes the proportion of the gown/costume to the point where I look like a total dork it in. But that's me. I'm hyper-aware of proportion and the visual aesthetic in re-creating costume designs to the point that I will measure my trim in sixteenths of an inch. For you? Your Mileage May Vary.
Thanks for the tips! I'm fairly sure that it's still proportional to me.
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Unread 10-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
CapsuleCorp
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Oho! Well, that does change a few things. Between it being a slightly-inaccurate Civil War era (style) dress and you being guy-shaped, it definitely looks more and more like the bigger the better. As long as you're within any size regulations and work to proportionalize the gown and petticoat to your overall shape and silhouette, then it sounds like you've got things well in hand.

I wouldn't try driving in it, but I'm sure it'll go over well with that kind of dress. XD
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Unread 10-28-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
ArcaneSpringbrd
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No, driving in it would be...

Impractical. :-)

But yeah...I want it big enough that when I'm resting my hands, they're still way far out from my body. :-)
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Unread 10-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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I have literally just got home from a con where one of my friends was wearing a large hoop skirt for one of her costumes

I spent the entire day having to walk directly behind the skirt to stop people standing on it

Now this was not just to stop the person directly behind her accidently standing on it but to stop the people who though they saw a gap in the crowd trying to shove through!

Please be prepared to have this happen to you, even with my best efforts it still got ripped from being stood on

Having someone with you whilst wearing it will be a massive help for you
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Unread 10-30-2012, 09:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfspeaker View Post
I have literally just got home from a con where one of my friends was wearing a large hoop skirt for one of her costumes

I spent the entire day having to walk directly behind the skirt to stop people standing on it

Now this was not just to stop the person directly behind her accidently standing on it but to stop the people who though they saw a gap in the crowd trying to shove through!

Please be prepared to have this happen to you, even with my best efforts it still got ripped from being stood on

Having someone with you whilst wearing it will be a massive help for you
This happened to me as Morticia Addams, and that skirt has no hoop, just a little train. But I can see where the problem would be greatly increased with circumference.
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Unread 12-01-2012, 11:38 PM   #13
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Hi there~ I had to look up a clip of the gown; gorgeous! I agree with you, no less than 180, esp. given your height. I am 5'4" and my hoop is 170" and I really need a 200" one to support a heavy gown I have.
Do you plan to wear a ruffled petticoat? That might put you right at 200 over a 180 hoop and be perfect. Pauline's gown doesn't seem as full as a Scarlett gown, in which case I'd certainly recommend the 220.

If you are used to wrangling a hoop, I see no problem with moving through crowds. I keep my hoops in my hands at all times when in a crowded area and maneuver just fine. I'm also very vocal about it if I see that there might be an issue, "Pardon me, coming through!" I have actually had to drive in one before, no other choice! It was in Scarlett's ruffled prayer dress, LOL!
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Unread 12-02-2012, 03:31 PM   #14
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BTW, there is a German seller on ebay that has hoops up to 240 inches, and the price is not bad; worth the purchase vs. making one I'd say! I plan to get one of the 200 inchers and it will be around $100 give or take~ Not sure of shipping price tho.
brauttrends is the user name~
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Unread 12-02-2012, 09:08 PM   #15
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I think the majority of con-goers would appreciate it if you didn't bring it. It's easy to say you'll be mindful of where you're walking/sitting/standing, but, let's face it, conventions are crowded, and it's hard not to get in anyone's way even when you're wearing normal clothes. You'll have to walk through a hallway or narrow space at some point or another with other people.
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