Monday, November 12, 2018

Dressing To The 9 3/4s At Universal Orlando

Last year John and I went to our first Dressed To The 9 3/4s Day - essentially Dapper Day for Potter heads - and had so much fun it went on our yearly "must do" list. It's a fan-run event, and still small enough to have that intimate, everyone's-friends-here vibe - something I really miss at the literal Mega Cons we usually cover.

Well, yesterday was the day again, and you guys - hard as this is to believe - it was even better this year. 


It's a Jacob/Queenie sandwich!

One of you is friends with Will in the middle there, and sent him to find us for a selfie. HI, SOMEONE!! Also Will stabbed me through the heart later - keep scrolling for that photo, ha.

So sassy. SO EVIL. :p

I missed the big group photo by about 15 minutes, but here's a shot by Travis Kirk to show you how many people we're talking about:

See? Just enough folks so you feel like a part of something, but not so many that you block traffic. (Well, unless you count all the Muggles who stopped to stare and ask questions.)

Last year John and I had a big posse of friends walking around with us all day, but this year we flew solo (duo?) for the first hour, then were joined by one or two more as the day went on. This made it so much easier to mingle and meet folks, though - to the point that John had to drag me away a few times. (I LIKE TALKING ABOUT COSTUMES. What.)

 Let's see if you can guess this trio's theme; it took me a second:

Did you guess? 

They're the Snitch, a Quaffle, and a Quidditch tower! WHAAAAAT. (See how they have Quidditch goal posts for canes, and her Quidditch necklace?

More pretty details:

She has a tiny snitch and quaffle on each wrist, and a Beater's bat in her belt! 

More Fantastic fashions:

 And a stylin' Professor Sprout:
 I want to steal her shoes.

Some people walk towards the light, I walk towards the color:

 YASSSS. She's channeling an Occamy on the right, but I'm not sure about the sparkly green. Maybe... Floo powder?

Dressed To The 9 3/4s is hosted by the Central Florida Slug Club, a Facebook group of about 2,500 fans. One of my favorite members is our Minister of Magic, Mr. Gerald Oliver, who I wish you could all meet in person:

Don't let those Slytherin greens fool you: this man was hugging everybody, exclaiming over our outfits, asking for selfies, and generally being a dapper delight. In the group he posts a lot of outfit pics (dude SLAYS with his style) and funny in-character updates, so most of us know him as the Minister now. When we chatted yesterday he told me and John that his family doesn't understand any of this, but the Slug Club not only lets him be himself, we celebrate it.

I love that so much.

This also drives home the difference in meeting your tribe IRL versus just online. Don't get me wrong; I live online, and my friendships there have saved my life, but there's something so special about meeting fellow fans in person. It's why I'm always harping on you guys to go to cons. There's an energy to it, a magic, and I want you all to know this kind of happy.

I recognized these two from the group, too - but by their wand cases!

That's Emmy and Jamie, and Jamie made both of their suitcase satchels out of cigar boxes - which are STUNNING. 

Even the interior is incredible - and look at the wand holsters attached to the sides! Hnnnnnng. Jamie also made her own hat from the raw wool up, dying it, forming it, the works.

The Club scheduled separate House group photos every 30 minutes in different locations throughout Diagon Alley, which kept us all moving from spot to spot. You might find this interesting: our most popular House is Slytherin!

After Slytherin the 'Puffs had the most members, followed by Ravenclaw, then Gryffindor, which I think had barely 20 people in their group shot? Wow. How the tables have turned since the books first came out, am I right?

Go check out Themed Shots' FB page for the group photos; Andrew was the official photographer there, and got all the best ones. He'll be adding more later, too!

Tip of the hat to this fantastic Grindelwald: 

 Her name is Kim, and she ROCKED it.

Another sweet Slytherin:

I want her whole outfit, AND her hair. Slytherins, take note: pastel pink is your new best accent color. Get on this.
(After I took this, thanked her, and turned away, she ran up and invited me back for a wand battle. I'm pretty sure that's Slytherin for "I think you're cool." Don't tell me if I'm wrong, though. Let me have this.)

Speaking of all these Slytherins, here comes that stabbed-through-the-heart moment I promised:


The betrayal... oh my heart...

Ahem. Moving on.

Most of the Christmas decoration are up now around Wizarding World (check my post from last year to see - so much pretty!), and these Gryffindors are looking festive by the snitch shop in Hogsmeade:

Look at her Lion skirt! She told me she finished making it that morning - the mark of a true costumer.

Ravenclaws representin':

I love the wings on his bow tie.

Beautiful Bellatrix vibes:
[IG: PanJazzHands]

Makes me wish I'd worn my corset! Hers is prettier, though.

That reminds me, here's me and John:


(Would someone please tell John his hat is awesome? He thinks it looks dumb. Siiiigh.)

I hated my outfit photos - so many straps from all the stuff I was carrying, bleh - but it was just a black top and gray skirt, plus these fun 'Puffy bits:

 Since it's been a FAQ: I found the cup necklace at a convention, but I think I've also seen it on the Wish app for cheap. (I don't trust Wish for much, but the costume jewelry I've ordered has been fine.)

This lady made a real whizbang of a fascinator:

Love it.

 And I spy the loveliest embroidered Nagini shoes in the middle here:

Another dapper couple:

 Not shown: the watercolor Tigger tattoo on his arm.  

... geeks really are the best, you guys.


 Oh! This year I officially met the group's organizers, Stephanie and Melissa:

That's Stephanie in the middle, Melissa on the right. Super lovely ladies, and super patient with me being distracted by their friend in the Honeydukes dress. "Candy buttons! Omigosh!"

Right. I have three words for you: Gothic. Lolita. Witches:

 ::fangirl screaming::

Outfits like these make me glad I'm taking photos; there just isn't enough time to take in all the details while I'm standing there.

Check out all her bead work and jewelry:

And this one has a fuzzy spider on her hat!


So good - and so lucky I spotted them just outside Knockturn Alley for the perfect backdrop.

When I asked this little boy if he wanted to be in the photo with his folks he gave me an emphatic "NO" - then ran in at the last second with a big grin:


Ooof, this post is getting pretty long, gang, so I'll put the rest over on my Flickr for you to browse. Fellow dappers, feel free to download my pics of you to share! Just give Epbot a shout-out for credit, if you could.

I'll end with something I'm pretty excited about, since I've left out one particularly lovely outfit 'til now, and that's by my friend Christie:

This is the outfit Christie wore to our Fantastic Beasts party last year (if you're new here, check out that post for Art Deco Wizard fashions), and we spent the later afternoon wandering around looking for pretty places to shoot. This is one of my favorite things ever: a willing victim volunteer surrounded by amazing backdrops? YES PLEASE. I dragged Christie all over both parks, and I think most Muggles figured she was a model; several even asked to have a picture with her, ha.

   (This doorway in DA is my secret weapon; it gets the best light in the afternoon. Trust me. TRY IT.)

Christie's wand is a custom Art Deco design by our friend Dana. He only sells at conventions, but you can see more on his cosplay page here.

I'm still editing the rest of the shots we took, but I'll leave you with Christie's showstopper of a shawl:

So gorgeous.

I hope you guys enjoyed! And maybe see you next year?


  1. John looks great in that hat! He's working that sexy smolder, Jen you're a lucky woman 😉

  2. I was reading the post and when I got down to the picture of you and John my first thought was "Wow! That is a fantastic hat John is wearing!" I simply do not understand why John thinks it looks dumb, that's just utter nonsense on his part. It's a great hat!

  3. Awesome hat, John!

    Love the pics of Christie! She looks incredible!

  4. I am that someone 😊😊 I was Kermit flailing when Will sent me the picture with you guys 😊 and I absolutely think that hat looks awesome on John!

  5. Hey!! This is the Bellatrix who’s corset you liked if you like what you see my insta is panjazzhands!
    Also I never get featured in these sorts of things so I’m mildly screaming

  6. I am sorry I broke your heart. You guys looked amazing and it was a real pleasure talking to you both. Thank you for these beautiful pictures of me and my friends. Can't wait till next time. Will.

  7. Ha! The first thing that came to my mind when I saw your necklace was Ron saying: "That would look a bit weird hanging round our necks..." XD

    Love Christie's shawl - such a great idea with so much visual impact! Did she make it herself?

    And John - that hat is awesome! For me, it has a bit of an "intrepid reporter" vibe, and it really goes great with that tie.

  8. I haven't been commenting lately (too busy :(), but I just want to tell you that your posts are the highlight of my day. Thank you <3

    June Marie

  9. John needs to wear that hat all the time. It's dashing. He needs to understand that, especially since his wife told him so.

  10. John, that's an awesome hat! I agree, he should wear it all the time!

  11. Noooo, that hat is amazing!!!
    I love all the Puffley goodness in your outfits!

  12. First RAWR goes to John in his hat. It's not dumb. It's awesome! It looks fabulous on him and he should have no regrets wearing it.

    Second RAWR goes to the Minister. Cause... Whew! I'm just going to fan myself.

  13. That shawl!!! OMG, that's amazing. Do you know where she got it from?

    Yet again, I'm pining that I couldn't be there. Your pictures are that amazing. Thanks for the #PuffPride representation!

  14. The owl shawl is based off this artists work if she didn't find it there, (I'm seeing knock offs as I tried to google my deeply bookmarked page. lol) The artist has some really cool prints. Love seeing all the dapper folks at the parks, really hope I'll get to go someday!

  15. OMG How did I not know about this most awesome event?!?! Thanks for sharing... the pics, the peeps, the clothing... divine :)

  16. "Some people walk towards the light, I walk towards the color..." Jen, I think you have put my view of life in one sentence that I didn't know I needed until I read it. :) I have the biggest smile on my face now and will probably start putting that on everything (with proper credit to you, ofc.) :)

  17. Goodness, the girl with the Gryffindor-outfit/Lion-skirt - you could shove her sideways into a Disney-movie and she would fit right in - or is it only me getting that vibe? The stance, the smirk, the hairdo - give her a cel-shaded make-up and dress (like a Borderlands-cosplay) and she would be a cartoon-girl come to life. Amazing.


  18. Hi, I'm the slytherin with the coffin purse, it was lovely meeting you. If anyone wants to be friends on insta: @LadyMekaella #fangirlwithfangirls
    Everyone looked fabuuuuu!
    your local
    Nerdy stripper.

  19. Ok ladies, bend the knee of one leg so the heel is off the ground and point the knee inward. Perfect...say "cheese"!


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