Faith Wallis was looking for suggestions on creating a Sherlockian charm bracelet this week, and that set me off on a train of thought about how one would best wear one's hobby on their sleeve, so to speak.
While American Sherlockians have typically not been a cosplay lot in the past, there have always been Holmes fashion accessories to be seen at any gathering. And the one that best combines collecting and wearing most was, in the past, has been the cloisonne pin. Back in the eighties and nineties, coming up with a scion society cloisonne pin was quite the fashion, and if you travelled in Sherlockian circles at all, it was hard not to wind up with a dozen or more. True collectors sought out all they could, and worethem proudly on deerstalkers, vests, or even the occasional sash.
So far, this new internet age of Sherlock seems more button-oriented, but we're just getting started.
Embroidered patches never took off in Holmes circles, and trying to picture a Sherlockian who looks like a varsity team captain in his or her jacket, or a NASCAR driver in a patch-covered jumpsuit, seems almost inconcievable. Charms, pins, buttons, patches, what's left to us for proudly wearing our hobby for the world to see?
Oh, yes, tattoos.
As Matt Laffey tweeted last week, "The amazing #shmn13 has come to a close and I couldn't convince anyone to get matching Sherlock tattoos with me. Next time!"
You'd think as Canonical as tattoos are, somebody would have gone for a fish above the right wrist or a "J.A." in the crook of their arm. Unfortunately, if you charted the popularity of tattoos in American culture, I suspect their boom period seemed to coincide with a lull in Sherlock's popularity, and now that Holmes is cresting, getting ink done isn't quite as trendy as it was.
What I'd really like to see is an Elementary fan so dedicated that they get the full Jonny Lee Miller body art ensemble, since his tattoos have apparently become the tattoos of Sherlock Holmes in the minds of many. But we're only through the first season, and its fans haven't gotten truly hardcore yet. Or at least not tattoo-hardcore!
A Sherlockian tattoo might be one of the few tattoos I'd think about getting, but even I have yet to cross that rubicon, and I've shared an elevator with the head of the Baker Street Irregulars while wearing a gold BSI earring. Of course, I've never been at a con with Matt Laffey yet, either.
The perfect tribal badge of the Sherlockian has really yet to be discovered. Perhaps its that as students of the master of observation and deduction, we hate to set up any obvious clues for those scanning us for information. Or maybe we're just not as fanatical as we like to think we are . . . yeah, we're crazy, but we're not "#CRAY-ZEeEE*!"
Time will tell. (C'mon, Elementary fans! DO it! DO it!)