The universe of wearable "Star Wars" merchandise is rapidly expanding in advance of "The Force Awakens" (which hits theaters Dec. 18), giving fans of the franchise the opportunity to work out in Jedi sweatpants, teeter around on lightsaber heels, apply droid-inspired lipstick and tuck their kids into a $4,000 bed shaped like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
As announcements of the licensed products have landed in our inbox, we've noticed a couple of things. First, most of them pull their inspiration from the characters and storylines of the six earlier movies (think Darth Vader, Boba Fett and a double-bunned Princess Leia).
Second, there's a whole lot of emphasis on the light side versus the dark side. For example, Covergirl cosmetics asks: "Which side are you on?" while it serves up three "light side" and three "dark side" lipsticks. Nixon watches kicked off its collaboration with a Dark Side collection of timepieces inspired by dark lord Darth Vader, bounty hunter Boba Fett and the white-helmeted Stormtroopers while a future collection will focus on the good guys (including Chewbacca and the Jedi).
The third thing we've noticed – and this is good news for those at the Venn diagram intersection of fashion and fandom – is that a handful of brands really dig down in the detail department, pulling subtle inspiration from things like the shape of spacecraft wing, an unfamiliar insignia or the quilting on a character's gloves. The resulting pieces strike the perfect balance, managing to be both functional, wearable wardrobe pieces and a kind of reward to those truly in the know.
Among the items that have tickled our Force fancy so far – some for the aforementioned reason and some just because they make us laugh – are:
Stance's recently launched sock collection which serves up caricature-like versions of classic characters including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Yoda, some in matched pairs, some in "buddy pairings" (i.e. Luke paired with Darth Vader or R2-D2 paired with C-3PO) and a Stormtrooper "pair" of socks that inexplicably (but hilariously) includes a third sock.
Someone at Encinitas-based Nixon must be a hardcore fan of the canon, since the company's "Star Wars" watches and accessories go astonishingly deep on the details. Our favorites include a chunky black leather belt with stitching inspired by the gloves of Darth Vader's uniform and a green, coated canvas backpack bearing a symbol plucked from the armor of bounty hunter Boba Fett -- a relatively minor character.
If you were one of those kids who went to sleep on "Star Wars" bed sheets, you'll probably appreciate knowing that there's now an entire bed shaped like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, complete with hand-painted knobs and gauges. Although offered via Pottery Barn Kids (for $3,999), the frame fits a standard twin mattress. That means the grown-up child in you can comfortably fall asleep dreaming of a jump to light speed – but making Wookiee might be a bit of a challenge.
On Dec. 2, Forever 21 rolled out a limited-edition "Star Wars" collection that includes loungewear (a zip-front hooded jumpsuit with "Yoda" running down one leg, plush pajama shorts with an all-over Stormtrooper helmet print), ribbed-knit body suits with "Trust me I'm a Jedi" printed across the chest and a pair of stretchy nylon/spandex underwear-like shorts with the words "Dark Side" printed around the elastic waistband.
Although we've seen a couple different takes on "Star Wars" themed footwear since Disney Consumer Products started inking licensing deals (our favorite will always be Vans' "Yoda Aloha" skate shoe, which was released in June 2014 and features the diminutive Jedi hiding among Hawaiian florals), the assortment of women's shoes created by UK brand Irregular Choice might be the boldest – and funniest – bid for galactic dominance we've seen so far. It's not the flats with the embroidered gold metallic C-3PO faces on each toe that got us, to be honest. And it wasn't the shaggy faux fur boots with digitally printed Chewbaccas that stare back from about the Achilles tendon (though those came close).
It was, we admit, the Skywalker -- a pair of platform heels in bronze snakeskin-like leather with 5-inch-plus heels that not only resemble the Jedi's lightsaber weapon but are designed to flash with each step and make whooshing lightsaber sound effects at the click of a button.
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