Jun 092013

Because sometimes I do things that aren’t steampunk. (…yet.) Lara Croft, from the 2013 reboot of her franchise, now wears pants! Canonically! Again! This seemed like a cause for celebration, and as I examined her character model I didn’t see much about it I couldn’t emulate easily with my body type.

The new canonical look

Seriously, a trip to the outlet mall pretty much has this covered 😀 Since I didn’t want a bra to show under the thin-strapped tank tops, I opted to spend more on the bottom tank in order to get one with a bra built-in from my favorite bra retailer, Just My Size:

Valmont Lace Trim Bra Camisole, promotional shot.

Then I took a quick trip to the local thrift shop — and I do mean quick, as it turns out they closed a half hour earlier than I thought they did so we only had fifteen minutes to shop. There’s two thrift shops on the same street near my apartment: one is the local Goodwill, which I prefer to patronize, and the other is a place called Village Discount Outlet, which has the distinction of being three times the size of the Goodwill. Their selection is usually pretty crap; they run sales regularly on their already-marked-down products, meaning they have a lot of turnover and anything particularly nice gets snatched up pretty fast, but if I’m looking for something basic enough they’ll often have it. In this case I got lucky and found three tank tops that might work. With minutes to spare before they closed, and since they have no changing room whatsoever, I decided to purchase all three, figuring I can always donate anything that doesn’t fit to the Goodwill.


One of the shirts vanished…. >.>

Side note on colors: The tank top in the model in the game is clearly, CLEARLY, grey. Maybe a faint hint of blue to it, but pretty much grey. What color is the tank top listed as on every fansite I’ve ever seen? Blue. WTF? Finally I realized why: her older model had a blue tank top. So other cosplayers are doing bright blue tank tops, disregarding the in-game model. Whatever.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have any cargo pants whatsoever. Another of my favorite spots for cheap clothes is Amazon; I found the perfect pair, but balked at the price. Over $50 with shipping wasn’t cheap, but at the same time… PERFECT. I bookmarked them, deciding I’d at least try Walmart first. Thankfully, Walmart had cargo pants! Downside, they were the wrong color. Upside, they were $19 instead of fifty.

Promotional picture of the pants

Promotional picture of the pants

We thought about dying them, but we didn’t want to damage or stain our washing machine using washing-machine dyes and didn’t have a dye vat. What we did have was a stockpot, water, vinegar, and the ability to purchase coffee. So, natural dye job it was~!


Pants, cooking in a mixture of coffee, vinegar, and water


Pants, drying, after dying

Notice how absolutely perfect the color is in this shot? Now see what happened after we washed them:

Pants, after washing and drying

Pants, after washing and drying

Bleeech. In person they’re even lighter than the picture seems to show, this was taken with a cellphone camera. Oh well. The final costume is below: