This is not a problem unique to me. Anyone who’s ever had to build costumes for a play, a movie, or whatever has had to take what’s in another person’s head and bring it to fruition. It’s a talent, and not one I particularly posses in abundance. Now, having worked as a graphic artist, I know how to take what someone says they want and turn it into something. I can interpret intent. Making stuff for my niece and nephew is actually relatively easy. They’ll change their mind about seven times, but they know exactly what they want each time and can describe it using references. They’ll hop on Google and point out pictures. Then I’ll tell them yes, no, or otherwise give them some kind of design deadline. It hasn’t failed, yet.
Then there’s my thirty year old husband.
He can’t figure out what a pirate wizard looks like.
In his defense, neither can I, really, but at least I’m trying.
I pretty much had to make a worksheet to get his brain to work out the things it needs.
This is what we end up with.
The red outline is the piece that I have to make from scratch, still. Everything else we sort of already have or are optional. There’s a tricorn hat involved, as well, that’s not depicted. What’ll happen, though, is that when we go out and get things that I can either modify or build from scratch, he’ll start changing his mind. We’ll find boots that maybe aren’t quite perfect, and I’ll say, “oh close enough, I need to just make this little change to them.” Then he’ll start second guessing his decision. This is why, up to this point, this particular garb set isn’t very elaborate. His straight up wizard garb was easy, but wizard pirate/pirate wizard not so much.
The major problem comes in establishing what is “wizard” and what is “pirate.” What pieces have to be included for the intent to land? What will always read as pirate despite its context and what will always read as wizard/mage/magic wielder? We’ve got a new snake head staff this year and his ever reliable black tricorn. Those will be the anchoring pieces for the rest of the outfit. Beyond that, we’re just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.
So, what’ll happen from here is we’ll dig out all our garb. I’ll pick up each of his pieces and say, “do you want to use this?” We’ll even go through my pieces that might fit him. Then we’ll lay it out, and then, and only then, will he start being able to see it. Then I’ll build the vest how I think it should be built, and he’ll get what he gets. That’s his punishment for making it hard for me.