Jazmin is still humoring me. Well, not so much 'humoring' as 'along for the ride', or perhaps even 'throwing herself into the gunner's seat'. I asked her which version of Cap's outfit she'd want to build for this hypothetical stage combat demo, and STRIKE SUIT STRIKE SUIT STRIKE SUIT, apparently.

All righty, then. The cosplay part of the plan is the one I am 100% sure we can pull off, given enough time and money. I am very good at building costumes. Ten years of being de facto in charge of Halloween will do that to you. Other people have noticed this, too -- I'm handling costumes for the Post-Meridian Radio Players' Spring Adventure Spectacular, which is volunteer, and someone else has inquired about costumes for his dance troupe, which I will believe when I see the signed contract and deposit.

I get asked informally about this stuff all the time. A good 50% of knowing what you're doing is just knowing how to run triage on outfits: Which pieces do you need to make completely custom, which do you need to buy from someone who has more specialized skills than you, and which can be altered from something you get off the shelf? Another quarter is just knowing what everything is called, so you can Google it and see how cheaply you can get someone to mail you one. Putting the custom pieces together is a mix of machine sewing, hand sewing, sculpting, painting, and a whole fucking lot of patience.

We independently came to the conclusion that we are not going to sexify the outfits. On a practical level, it's not necessary. We will be a pair of geeky, athletic young women wearing superhero outfits and pretendy beating on each other in the middle of a large ritual gathering of nerds. I'm all for projects that involve copious titties -- I hang around with burlesque artists, for fuck's sake -- but this one is not going to need them.

On a philosophical level, I find it rather annoying that we even have to take that question into account. These are fictional characters. They're figments of someone's imagination. Imagination is malleable. I have no problem with sexy being a legit part of the character; I have a Black Widow classic outfit that's not a lot more than a skin-tight catsuit, and if I were playing Emma Frost I would absolutely be wandering around, freezing my ass off, in sparkly white lingerie. But we don't need to look male to play these roles, and we don't need to re-jigger everything to be stripperiffic to justify being females playing them, either.

On a design level, I'll be straight with y'all here: It would take a lot of extra work to figure out how to make these outfits unflattering, and there is no reason for us to bother. There's not a lot of skin showing, but that means nothing to a competent tailor. We're both female-identified, female-bodied persons of more than reasonable curvaceousness. If you take a look at the way the panels are cut, and the strategic seams and edges on the layers of armor (Winter Soldier outfit here; we're using the 1/6 scale figures for reference because goddamn those are detailed), they've been cleverly constructed to emphasize wide shoulders and a tight, narrow waistline. Works dandy on female figures, too.

The detailing won't hurt. Jazmin is not exactly unqualified in the bustular department to begin with, and she's going to end up with a big shiny Scotchlite star and eye-drawing stripes smack on top of her boobs. The Winter Soldier's shoulder harness has a horizontal linking strap across the front that I'm going to have to shift down to bra band level if I want to be able to move in it. Both pairs of cargo pants are going to have to be taken in as much as possible at the waist, to eliminate any extra bulk underneath the utility belts. My boots, at least, are going to have low heels, because I'm a weirdo and I much prefer dancing, running, and doing other agility tricks in shoes with a super-springy instep. Cap is very gymnastic and Jazmin needs to be able to move, so instead of an armored under layer, she's probably getting that smoothed-down look with some heavy-duty Spanx.

The internets are not going to give a shit about 99% of my harebrained schemes, but they may in fact care about this one. We're looking into putting up a Patreon project on my account and a GoFundMe page, in the hopes that some of the people who care will also have some spare cash. If anyone else wishes to be roped into helping with this turkey, drop me a line at miss.arabella.flynn@gmail.com.

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