Pwn Love: 365 Days of Video Game Fashion

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K. Stewart of the blog PwnLove has embarked on an extraordinary journey: To wear video game fashion for 365 days straight. Today, on her 100th day into the challenge, she tells us a bit about the project and gives us her best video game fashion tips. Read on–I guarantee you’ll learn something and fall in love with Ms. Stewart!

Describe your challenge: What are the rules?  Wear a new piece of video games fashion each day for an entire year with no repeats. This item should be worn for the majority of the day. For example, I don’t always wear video games gear to the gym or bed but I wear it for the other 12+ hours of the day.

What counts as “video game fashion?” I define video games fashion as anything that I can physically wear so it includes apparel and accessories inspired by gaming or celebrates video games. It can range from hoodies, jewelry, bags, dresses, t-shirts, headbands and more.

For example, I wore a Kate Spade necklace on Day 69 which is in the shape of the iconic Legend of Zelda currency, the Rupee. I doubt the designers behind it intentionally modeled it after the Rupee but it’s such an iconic shape that fellow gamers would recognize so I count it towards my goal in the same way as a Small Key Necklace from Fangamer which is intentionally modeled after an item the video games series.

What made you decide to do this? After writing my video games inspired blog for almost three years and writing about just video games fashion for more than a year, I decided it wasn’t enough to write about it and that I should live it. The quest became a bit of an experiment and a fun challenge to see if I could pull it off. I’m a full-time, working professional so I wanted to be able to show that your gaming gear wasn’t limited to the weekends but you could wear it to your job.

Another reason that I wanted to do this challenge was to showcase the variety of video games fashion items available in the market. There is a misconception that video games fashion is just t-shirt and hoodies. In reality, there is so much more out there such as dresses, tanks, leggings, bathing suits, jewelry, bags and more.

The final decision to move forward with this quest was due to overdosing on gluten-free pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving.  The euphoria from the pie gave me the sugary courage to empty my bank account on Black Friday to stock up on video games items to prepare me for this challenge.  There’s no going back after you buy the goods. It was time to go big or go home. I never back away from a challenge so here we are, almost 100 days completed.

What have been the biggest challenges so far? It’s actually been counting the days. Seriously, I know that sounds silly. The Count from Sesame Street is going to be so disappointed in me. You think this would the easiest part of the challenge but for some reason, I find it very hard to remember if I’m on Day 56, 57 or maybe it’s 59?!? To avoid any additional confusion and ensure that I don’t repeat any items, I made a giant spreadsheet to track it all. I threw it up on the cloud so I can access it remotely which helps a lot. I also made a rule that I can’t post before I’ve had my coffee. It’s hard to count without caffeine.

Any foreseeable challenges in the future? (Weddings, job interviews, sick days, etc?) How do you plan on dealing with them?  I’m actually not worried about weddings, job interviews or big meetings with upper management. I purposely stocked up on some subtlety, designed apparel and jewelry that I can easily sneak by non-gamers as just every day fashion.  I’m saving them for those important and more formal occasions.

Initially, I didn’t even think about sick days. Unfortunately, this has been one of the worst Winters for me because I caught every cold, flu, bug and germy grossness lurking out there. I had to think fast and I had a stockpile of video games socks and pajamas which were perfect for those days where I could barely get off the couch. I do hope that those sick days are behind me because I escaped the vicious PAX East flu so I’m counting it as a new beginning. Now, I just need to survive the PAX Prime flu. Just in case, I still have some socks and pajama bottoms in the reserves.

The first big challenge that I saw coming was how would I get and afford 365 different items all inspired by video games? Luckily, I had some previously in my wardrobe and I set a budget toward getting new items with each paycheck.  PAX and Con swag has definitely helped me make my fair share of outfits especially in the beginning.

The other big challenge that I see potentially see coming up is burnout. I love video games fashion but I’m starting to miss my old clothes like my beloved Hey Arnold! T-shirt or my collection of sundresses. The video games jewelry that I have in the reserves should come in handy so I can bust out these other goodies but still complete the challenge. I can see my “Move It, Football Head!” T-shirt paired with my League of Legends “Mid” bracelet as a future outfit. I think Arnold would’ve been a great mid.

What have been your favorite outfits so far? 

Day 81: Sparkly Triforce (American Apparel Tank Top, J Crew Cardigan, Black Milk Leggings, Marc Jacobs Scarf)
Day81 I adore this outfit because it marked such a special occasion for me. I wore it speak on a panel at PAX East. It was important for me for two reasons. The first is that I used to have a fear of speaking in public as a child and in order to make sure any childhood fears didn’t creep in, I needed a special outfit. An outfit completely out of my norm and like one of a rockstar. Rockstars speak with confidence, they own the stage and don’t let their fans down. I knew if I dressed the part then, I could pull it off easier. Plus, the leggings featured a Triforce pattern. If I needed a little extra courage, it was right there on my legs. Second, it was such a honor not only to be selected for this panel but to meet so many great people who loved gaming culture. PAX is a great conference and I’m still completely humbled that I was able to share my experience with others.

Day 44: I’d Choose You (PanicPop T-shirt, Old Navy jeans, BCBG heels, Clinique lipstick)
Day44 What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a cheesy saying and some red lips? I’m a huge sucker for corny Valentine’s Days cards especially ones with video games references.  I liked being able to incorporate the piece of myself into the outfit. This outfit also marked the first time that I did something outrageous (for me) with my make-up as part of the quest. I usually prefer the natural tones so it was fun to experiment with a pop of color especially a daring red.

Day 38: Golden Triforce (Wisdom Courage Power T-shirt by Cory Schmitz, H&M Skirt, Hue Tights, Abound Cardigan, Cole Haan Sunglasses)
Day38 This is probably one of my favorite gaming t-shirts of all time along with “Don’t Make Me Go Zelda On You.” One of my favorite TV characters and style icons is Cassie Ainsworth from Skins (UK) especially in the first episode where she wears a beautiful gold dress paired with a tuxedo jacket.  That look is one of my favorites and for New Year’s Eve, I wore it with a bunch of friends who channeled their favorite Skins characters. It was a bit of an experiment to resurrect one of my favorite outfits of the past and make it part of the challenge. On Day 38, Cassie met Link and they seemed to hit it off.

Day 18: Companion Cube Chic (Companion Cube skirt by GoFollowRabbits, Hue Tights, 14th & Union Tank, Pashmina Scarf, Anne Klein Boots)
Day18 This is one of my favorite looks because it is so clean, simple and chic. Most people wouldn’t even realize the skirt’s subtle pattern was even a video games reference. I try to support independent designers like Ashley Mertz of GoFollowRabbits, the maker of the skirt. She crafts so many incredible geek chic skirts that seems like she has something else that I want to buy every time that I visit her Etsy shop.

Day 9: On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink & Pixels (Pixel Dress by Red Squirrel, Game Love Necklace by Sanshee, Gibson Blazer, Lululemon Leggings)

Day9

This is one is a bit of a odd story. I posted this pixel dress on my blog when I saw that technology expert and TV host, Katie Linendoll, wore it and I complimented that it looked great on her. After I shared it, Katie was sweet enough to tweet me to back to say it would look great on me too. I was on the fence about buying it since it was a little outside of my normal budget. When a tech guru reaches to you out of the blue and advises you to walk the path. Well, you walk it. I took it as a sign and I got the dress.

I’m glad that I did too because it’s one of my favorites. It’s a unique piece that few own and it’s a colorful celebration of the building blocks of video games. I paired it with boots and a blazer so it would be more work appropriate. I wanted to keep it youthful so I paired it when the Game Love necklace. The Game Love necklace is special to me because 10% off all proceeds go to Child’s Play Charity, a game industry organization that seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals with toys and games.

What tips do you have for someone wanting to incorporate video game apparel into their every day life?

Look Past Tees – Not everyone can wear t-shirts to work so I also recommend that people look to video games accessories such as jewelry, cufflinks, bags or scarves. They are an easy wear to add some subtle video games flair to any outfit. It can be as simple as adding a pin to your jacket. It’s a fun way to spice up a boring coat and show off your passions. It also makes a great conversation starter.

Layers & Staples – For people who want to incorporate video games apparel into their everyday look especially in the workplace, I always encourage them to stock up on layers and staples. You can add dimension and dress up a video games t-shirt by adding a blazer, scarf or cardigan. It makes it easier to pass off in the workplace than an oversized t-shirt paired with jeans.

Use Items in New, Creative Ways –There are tons of great tutorials and ideas on how you can transform video games apparel and accessories. For example, you can turn a too big t-shirt into a tank or dress. You can use Pokemon Gym Badges as cufflinks or lapel pin to add some color to a formal outfit. Experiment and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Not Limited To Merch – You don’t have to depend on logo t-shirts or gaming branded apparel to incorporate video games fashion into your life. Amanda McGinnis from Console To Closet creates everyday outfits inspired by video game characters.

Have Fun With It – If you want to add some video games fashion into your life then, make it fun. Video games are your passion and you play games because you like it. Then, show that same passion with your outfits.Video games fashion has come such a long way in the past couple of years. There are so many options available and great stores packed with video games and geek chic styles including Attract Mode, Bitmap’d, Black Milk, Fangamer, Insert Coin, J!NX, MightyFine/WeLoveFine, Rockhart, Sanshee, ThinkGeek and Treehouse Brand Stores. I also love shopping on Etsy, RedBubble, Shanalogic, and Society6 to support the independent artists. For a daily, 24-hour t-shirt site, I recommend The Yetee.

Anything else? 

Follow along with my quest on Instagram and join in the fun by sharing your own video games inspired outfit by tagging it with #365VGFashion.  I write about daily video games fashion finds and news on my blog, PwnLove.  You can also follow me on Pinterest.

On another note, I’d like to request that my fellow Job Hunters fans rally with me for some “Basket of Blood” Nuclear Redemption t-shirts because I’d like to wear one for my challenge. I’d also like to see my favorite character Max wear one in Season 2. Why is he my favorite? Well, it may or may not be because he is a fellow gamer with a hidden sensitive side and badass style. One might say he’s got deadly style, muwhaha! Yeah, I went there and I’m not ashamed. Seriously though, his arena outfit accessories are pretty great. He’s like a Rambo hipster. Not just anyone can pull off that look so kudos to Joe Homes for his superb acting and being able to really embody his character from emotions to ensemble.

I guess that is enough about Max because Tara says I have to talk about me now. Well, I just started my first styling gig with Lisa Foiles on her Top 5 show which recently returned to The Escapist. I write a weekly column each Thursday about how you can “get the look” and dress like Lisa did in each episode:  http://www.lisafoiles.com/top5/get-the-look/

When I am not writing about fashion or styling, I write about video games news, reviews and random geekery over at On The Level (OTL) Gaming.

I just want to say a huge, massive thank you to everyone for their on-going support with this project. I owe you all Funfetti cupcakes, tiny marshmallows or some other delicious delicacy because I couldn’t have done it without your support.

Which is your favorite look? Let us know in the comments!

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