Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego??

This started out as a bit of a joke. When I started wearing Peggy I would consistently get asked “Are you Carmen Sandiego?” No, I wasn’t, but it did put the seed of the idea in my head. Then it got suggested to me by a photographer friend. I laughed, said maybe and didn’t think much of it.

Then I was floating through a charity shop and found a big red jacket for €12. That week, I’d realised that the hat I’d bought for a Peggy costume was wrong, BUT it would work out for a Carmen Sandiego costume. The first trial went like this:

I hemmed and hawed for a long time, but eventually decided that I wasn’t happy with the colour of the hat. I had played with hat shape before, so I was ok with fixing that, but dying it was a bit nerve wracking.

In the end, it was very easy. The hat itself is wool (or at least supposed to be) so I bought a simple red Dylon dye at my local fabric shop. I followed the instructions and put it all in my sink to keep the red dye from being everywhere.

Tip for dying- ALWAYS make sure that you get whatever it is you want to dye soaking wet throughout before you put it in your dye bath. Otherwise it may not evenly take the dye.

I wasn’t sure how long the dye would need, so I left it in there for well over an hour. I rinsed it out, and while it was wet already went ahead and sprayed it to death with starch like I did with my Agent Carter hat and shaped it how I wanted it.

As it happens, there’s like a rubber or something in my hat. Fortunately, the hat wasn’t far off the shape I wanted and the starching managed the rest.

In researching Carmen, I realised she has more possible looks than I realised. For me, the yellow band on the hat was the look that I remembered best, so I wanted to recreate that. I grabbed a wide yellow elastic, which I used as Carmen’s hatband, and then found a matching scarf like material. I threw on black clothing from my wardrobe with some fun black boots and voila! Carmen brought to life.

Photo by George Germaine.
I really had fun with this costume. My love of travel is at least partially related to my love this character and it was just so much fun! I’m already hoping to wear it again because I really enjoyed playing with her character.


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