Thursday, July 5, 2012

Novel Fashion >> Get the "Jett Gallatin" Look

"Everything about Jett Gallatin told the world the black-clad drifter was either a gambler or a shootist- or both- but no one in their wildest dreams would think Jett Gallatin was a girl." Dead Reckoning

Annie Oakley shooting over her shoulder...cause she can!
In Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill's novel Dead Reckoning, the wild west has become the backdrop for a zombie infestation, and Jett Gallatin and her crew have been dropped smack dab in the middle of undead Alsop, Texas. Jett has disguised herself as a young man in this story in order to create the facade of a rough and tough gunslinger, her endgame being to find her missing brother (a much easier task without the added burden of too-tight corsets and layers of heavy skirts). However, she still longs for the fanciful and elaborate fashion she has been forced to leave behind, although she quickly learns it is much easier to run from a horde of bloodthirsty zombies when your dress isn't weighing you down. The western and steampunk setting creates a great basis and inspiration for designing your own frontier outfit, just as long as you remember to pack your salt for tackling those pesky zombies who just won't seem to drop dead... again.

May from the film "Jonah Hex"
The styles of Dead Reckoning are very much what you would expect of a typical wild west look, from the studded black cowboy boots to the practical and stylish Stetson cowboy hat. The only deviation from this look being the wildly eccentric Honoria Gibbons, who opts for her own unique fashion consisting of over-sized tunic tops and pantalets worn to make her scientific endeavors easier to perform. The ease of movement is also essential in operating her Auto-Tachypode, a horseless carriage powered by the wonder of steam! Ah yes, the golden age of invention. Jett, however, mimics the fashion worn by outlaws and gunslingers, and adorns herself in black and metallic accents to play-up her menacing appearance. She completes this look by styling her stallion, Nightingale, in a similar style. Take to the hills, law-abiding citizens. Mr. Jett Gallatin has entered the building!

I tried to give Jett's concept a bit of an updated look while maintaining the integrity of her character. The basic pieces for this look consist of black skinny jeans and an over-sized sheer tunic top with metal accents, which is worn over a black holster top (which also doubles as a bra). Black fringe cowboy boots match the leather corset belt, and the whole look is tied together with an ox-head ring (because nothing says "don't mess with me" like an ox-head ring!) and a metal rimmed cowboy hat. If you're lucky enough to own a horse like Jett, don't forget to dress up your stallion with a black saddle complete with similar silver metallic accents! What do you think?

Steampunkedout Underbust Harness
Of course, what steampunk/western outfit would be complete without a spectacular harness or holster for easy storage of guns, booze, or salt for killing off zombies. Etsy offers a number of great options if you're looking for that perfect holster to match all your transporting needs. They say everything's bigger in Texas, so don't be afraid to get crazy with this look! Just remember that in case of a zombie infestation, you should go for practicality over aesthetics. Jett learns the hard way that corsets and ankle length calico skirts do not a great zombie hunting outfit make. Or you can take Gibbons's and the suffragette approach and sport a Rational Dress, which combines femininity and practicality all in one neat pantaloon-y package! Vaya con dios mi amigos!

"Jett might dress as a man, but privately she longed for the pretty and fashionable dresses she'd left behind." Dead Reckoning


  1. Great post + fashion concepts for the book! Etsy is definitely the best place for steampunk costuming needs. I really want to read Dead Reckoning because I love zombies, but it kind of sucks to hear the story is slow paced. A lot of mixed reviews for this one, but I'll it a go for the strong heroines and zombies :)

    1. Agreed, Etsy can sometimes be dangerous because there are so many amazingly talented people! And yes, you should definitely check it out for the awesome heroines :) Plus, westerns are great!


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