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*I'll be taking new orders on June 27th at 5PM DST (PDT). For more information and a reminder the day before, please sign up for the email Newsletter or visit the Darling Army Facebook page. If you need something right away, please order from the Ready to Ship section.

Please remember that printed items, skirts, capelets, and accessories can be ordered at any time, so you don't need to wait for an order acceptance date to add them to your cart. You can also design your own skirt or kimono dress in the Japan Shop at any time  =) If it doesn't say coming soon, you can order it now.

ALL CONSTRUCTION TIMES ARE NOW 3-8 WEEKS with a potential added delay of a few weeks. I'm eight months pregnant and will need to take a few weeks off when the baby is born (whenever that will be).

So you have your pinafore.....now what? As described on other parts of the store, a pinafore is a fashion accessory, not an outfit. Therefore it can be adapted for multiple uses! Aside from the obvious use as an apron, here are some simple style ideas all using the same pinafore design.

Casual - Jeans

I've found that many girls who "never wear dresses" still love the girly elements a pinafore offers. Whether you're wearing a pinafore as a convention outfit or just something to go shopping in, you want to be comfortable. If wearing a dress makes you uncomfortable, try the following combination as pictured:
  • jeans
  • white tank top
  • sneakers
The pinafore still makes a statement while keeping you comfortable and casual. It can be the main focus element of the outfit without being the whole outfit.

Cosplay

For most people, one of the most obvious uses for a pinafore is for cosplay. Afterall, I do draw inspiration for almost all of my pinafores from costumes.

Accessorizing your costume will dependent on how "committed" you want to be. Since pinafores are only inspired by characters and don't replicate costumes completely, you have a lot of freedom with how exact you want to be. When planning your costume accessories, consider the following:
  • Do you want any clothing to show from the front? A corset/bustier and petticoat are easy to wear underneath and are easily hidden from pictures.
  • Does the character have any special weapons or props?
  • What color is their hair? Would you want to wear a wig with it?
  • Does your costume have a theme? (Steampunk, Victorian, etc.)

Formal

Ever heard the term "Geek Chic?" Nowadays being a geek or a nerd is more socially accepted than ever, so more and more people are letting their inner-fangirl show at public events.

I have done various pinafores for girls to wear to their proms and winter formals (even a couple weddings and bachelorette parties!). Here are some tips to dress up your pinafore so it fits in at any party.
  • Wear your pinafore over a simple dress. You don't want to be overtly sexy
  • opera gloves (aka elbow-length gloves) make everything seem more "fancy"
  • Wear your hair up or at least add a sparkly element to make it scream "formal"
  • Heels are always a must. Afraid to walk in them? Shop around! They make heels in all heights and some can be as low as an inch. That's barely higher than the tread on some hiking boots
  • Ditch the purse or backback. Ladies always carry a demure bag or clutch. All you need is room for a phone, ID, and maybe some lipstick for touch-ups

Lingerie

Pinafores are fashion accessories because they are generally open in the back and require other clothing so you're not flashing anyone. When you're in the bedroom, though, showing skin isn't an issue. If your sweetie has a crush on a certain character or really loves a particular fandom, indulge his fantasies!

You can wear a pinafore with stockings or nothing at all. Best part? It's easy to remove and isn't delicate like lace nighties. He should enjoy your pinafore as much as you do

Lolita

One of my personal favorite styles is lolita fashion from Japan. The kawaii (cute) look combined with poofy skirts is a recipe for adorable and one of the inspirations behind Darling Army designs. While I was in Japan, I saw a number of pinafores not only in lolita stores, but in other fashion stores as well. Everyone's lolita style is different, but here's some quick tips for instant cute:
  • Have a poofy lolita skirt underneath. Lolita outfits tend to show less skin, so the skirts are longer. Because they're usually pretty ornate with designs and trims, they are adorable when they peak out from under your pinafore.
  • Blouse with puff sleeves. Nothing says cute like Bo-peep sleeves.
  • Lacey socks. Whether they come up to your knees or to your ankles, ornate socks add an air of youthfulness to any  outfit.
  • Lolita accessories. Umbrellas, giant bows, adorable purses, stuffed animals....the list is endless

Punk - Alternative

What is your style? You can make your outfit as unique as you are.

I have a personal affinity for stripes, so striped tights and combat boots are always a favorite of mine. Just pair  tights with a simple black camisole for a completed outfit.

As with any outfit, you can style your makeup and hair to fit you just right. Play around and don't be afraid to draw attention to yourself.
In the end it's up to you. It's important to push your personal boundaries and try new things, but don't lose yourself in the process. Pinafores are great because YOU make the outfit. One pinafore can be styled many different ways, so there's no right or wrong way to wear it. Experiment, have fun, and feel fabulous!

All of these lovely images were commissioned from Lady-Leliel from the DeviantArt  community

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