Pinup at work part 1

We all know by now that pinup fashion is great for summer, weekends, and evenings.  The staples include pretty sun dresses and glamorous wiggle dresses that stop traffic.  But what about when you decided that you want to embrace the style full-time?  How do you reimagine your wardrobe to fit office dress codes?  Or what about when the weather turns cold and you realize that every dress you own is sleeveless!  This is the first in my series regarding work wear and then winter wear, or how to be a real life pin-up girl!

I know that at work I want to look both beautiful and like “me” but also be taken seriously and not have men staring at my boobs all day (though that is hard to be avoided).  I have been working in a research lab at my university over the summer, the dress code was “business casual” which is the most ambiguous phrase I’ve ever heard.  I decided to be on the safe side with pencil skirts and nice blouses, plus the occasional dress.

The first rule of thumb is: don’t show a lot of skin! I know that pinup is very sexy and sensual, but you can be both of those things while still being professional.  If in doubt, cover up.  It can be hard sometimes to find things that are work appropriate but it takes just a little time and imagination.  Some tops can become appropriate by adding a cardigan or a camisole, only get skirts and dresses that go to your knee or below (you should be anyway for vintage/pinup style), and stay away from very tight garments.  Leave the low-cut, tight dresses for evening wear when it will be appreciated

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This is what I wore to work today.  It is a Bettie Page dress that I just bought from ModCloth during their 70% off sale.  I like that it is has a higher neckline and can be appropriate for work.

But at the same time it can be dressed up for evening and be very sexy

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here is a close up of the bow detail on the neckline, it is very cute

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The fact that my arms are uncovered is balanced by the high neckline, long hemline, and the fact that it is not terribly tight.  I felt great wearing this today and can’t wait to wear it again.

The dress was originally $108, but I scored it for $33.  I will talk about my haul later in the week after I take pictures of everything on.  let’s just say that my entire order was less than the original cost of this dress!

Do you have a dress code at work?  Is it fairly conservative or do you get to wear what you want?  I had worn uniforms in past jobs, except for my last job which was in a warehouse so I went to work in t-shirts and track pants that were then covered by freezer gear.  How do you express yourself while staying within a corporate dress code?

Jayne dress from Pinup Couture

I recently made a purchase from Pinup Girl clothing, there was a sale and it had been awhile since I bought anything new so I went for it.  I decided on the new Jayne dress, it is one of the new styles they released for spring.  I have been lusting after it since it was released a few months ago so I was pretty excited to see it included in the sale.

This style was released in four colors: yellow, pink, black and blue

I like the yellow and the blue the best, I tend to be drawn to blue and I have been really into yellow lately.

The yellow one was the only one on sale so that is the one I purchased 🙂

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It is perfect, I definitely felt like I was channeling Jayne Mansfield while wearing the Jayne dress.

There is boning in the bodice to help define the shape of the dress.  It is lined with a satin that feels amazing, be it a bit warm in the 90 degree weather.  I think it is the perfect wiggle dress, I’m thinking about purchasing it in the other colors as well.

According to the size chart I would have fit into the medium, I am usually either a medium or a large in PUG dresses depending on the neckline.  For this dress, the medium is said to fit the following measurements: bust-34-38 inches; waist 28-29; hips 38-39.5.  I have a 42 inch bust and a 27 inch waist, so I went with the large (which fits 36-40 inch bust) so that I had some room in the top.  I liked that it wasn’t too terribly tight, it is a very sexy dress and I wanted to stay classy 🙂

In the same order I picked up some new sunglasses

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don’t they look fabulous with the new dress 😉

I think that this is the ideal casual/daytime wiggle dress, which is something that every pinup needs in their wardrobe.  It looks great dressed down with flats or dressed up with heels.

I also got a new pencil skirt, the Dixiefried Perfect pencil skirt in Orange.  I don’t have a picture of it on yet but I will post one soon.

I always look forward to my orders from PUG and have yet to be let down 🙂

Pinup Essential: Cultivating a Pinup wardrobe

When you are new to a style, it can be overwhelming to get started.  Where do you start?  How do you know what to get first and how do you start building a new wardrobe without breaking the bank?

If you have come this far, chances are you are drawn to and considering adopting the pinup style.  Congratulations on your first steps toward this fabulous, classy, and timeless style and possibly the lifestyle!  I am a bit biased, but I happen to believe that the pinup, retro, rockabilly, or whatever you want to call it is the greatest and most flattering style for all women.  The style revolves around femininity and embracing YOUR womanly shape, regardless of size.  By taking a quick browse around the vintage reproduction websites, you can see that women of all shapes and sizes look fabulous and feel fabulous when rocking these dresses.  I like that I can walk the line of being totally sexy, yet demure and classy at the same time.  That is something that’s almost impossible to pull off while wearing modern fashion, things that are either too tight, too low, too short, or often a combination of the three.  I am a college student, so I see girls walking around campus with everything hanging out, I can’t imagine they are very comfortable!  It’s amazing how in a sea of bare skin, I am the one who turns heads wearing a wool pencil skirt and a twinset!  It’s either that or they look very sloppy like they just rolled out of bed.

The best place to start when building your new wardrobe is to shop your closet and find things that already work.  Chances are you have been collecting things for some time that are retro inspired or are classic enough to incorporate into the “new you”.  Lets start with the basics, your wardrobe foundation.

You will need:

a pencil skirt

http://www.jcpenney.com/dotcom/liz-claiborne-essential-skirt/prod.jump?ppId=pp5001631554&catId=cat100250097&deptId=dept20000013&N=100530035

this one from JC Penny is $25 and available in a bunch of basic colors.  They are a little bit short for my taste and for true 50s style, I would prefer right under the knee for a more classic length.

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/dixiefried-perfect-pencil-skirt-black.html

This one is almost the same, but more expensive.  It is a little tighter, a little more sexy.  It all depends on your budget and how many places you are wanting to wear it.  For example, the office might not appreciate the extra tightness.  Pick your favorite neutral color, a color that goes with everything else in your already existing wardrobe.  Probably black or gray to start with, then add fun colors later.

I get most of my pencil skirts from thrift stores, they are true vintage and are very affordable.

an a-line or circle skirt or dress

This one is from Vivien of Holloway, here is the link http://www.vivienofholloway.com/en/category/no-pocket/50s-circle-skirt/1867/.

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/doris-skirt-in-black-sateen.html

This is the Doris skirt by Pinup Girl Clothing. I have my eye in this one in black and I already have it in the atomic turquoise print.  I love the fit of this one and the fullness, it is really stiff so it holds its shape even without a crinoline underneath.

Unlike most of the items in this list, circle skirts and dresses are not super readily available at most stores.  This will be an item that you will have to splurge a bit on or spend a lot of time scouring eBay and thrift stores.  Its a good idea to become well acquainted with thrift stores, both in person and online, they will become your best friend for the pinup look.

a cardigan

This is such a basic wardrobe staple that chances are you already have at least one.  Most of mine are thrifted and solid colors.  But there are some really cute, rockabilly ones out there if you want to add some extra personality.  The cardigan is great to keep the cold away, to cover up your arms for more modesty/professionalism, and it gives you that “sweater girl” look that was so popular in the 50s.

t-shirts, tank tops, blouses, etc.

these can be literally whatever you want: band tees, plain t-shirts, tank tops, wife beaters, pretty much any top that you want to wear.  I would never buy plain shirts from the vintage reproduction sites, I don’t think its worth it.  I get a lot of basic t-shirts from Target.  I did recently purchase some Vamp tops from Pinup Girl Clothing and they are fabulous, I got the mint, purple, and peach ones (reviews and pictures to come shortly).  But they are a bit pricey so they can be something to work up to, once you are commited to wearing vintage/pinup all the time.

ballet flats

These are a vintage gals best friends! Ballet flats have a very retro look without having to walk around in high heels all day.  I found a pair of black patent leather ones at Payless last year for $15, I’ve been meaning to go back and get some more (if they still have them) but I haven’t gotten around to it.  Your best bet is to find some in a neutral color, black shoes go with almost everything, and try on a few so you can find ones that are comfortable.  It defeats the purpose to wear flat shoes if they pinch or rub your feet raw, so much for comfort!  Spring is the perfect time to stock up on ballet flats and espadrilles, they will be all over stores right now.

These are the ones I have:

http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?catId=cat10088&subCatId=cat40116&skuId=084079100&productId=68790&lotId=084079&category=&catdisplayName=Womens

They have them in a few other colors, and for $17 you really can’t go wrong.

wedges or espadrilles

Wedges are great, they are more comfortable than stilletos and are very true to the 50s.  They are widely available this time of year and can be found in closed or open-toe styles.  there are some really cute pinupy ones at payless right now like these: http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?catId=cat10088&subCatId=cat440044&skuId=130436065&productId=72713&lotId=130436&category=&catdisplayName=Womens

killer heels

These are the most fun, but also the most frivolous.  They can be anything that you adore, let your personality shine!

These are mine:

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One pair of many! I should buy more practical shoes, but whats the fun in that!

I have been wanting these for awhile: http://www.pleaserusa.com/ProductDetail.asp?div=CAT&dpt=BURLESQUE&ctg=&STYLE_CD=TEEZE%2D08&PROD_CD=TEE08%2FRW they remind me of Mini Mouse 🙂 and all of these are fabulous: http://www.pleaserusa.com/ProductDetail.asp?div=CAT&dpt=BURLESQUE&ctg=&STYLE_CD=TEEZE%2D10G&PROD_CD=TEE10G%2FBP

a wiggle dress

This is usually the first step into pinup-hood.  A lady will purchase a wiggle dress and they are stunned by how fabulous they look, so they go deeper into the look and often never look back.  This is where the vintage reproduction lines are the best place to go.  Pick your favorite color, whatever makes you feel beautiful and sexy, and rock the hell out of it! I am a huge fan of Pinup Girl Clothing, the Vamp dress and the Erin dress are wonderful wiggle dresses.  They come in a wide range of colors that will tickle any fancy.  http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/erin-dress-berry.html

I have the tiger print Vamp and can’t wait for an occasion to wear it, I’m thinking car shows and I’m hoping to get called for a Pinup contest in June and this will be my secret weapon 😉

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/the-vamp-dress-in-tiger-print-by-deadly-dames.html

Bettie Page clothing has some great ones  http://bettiepageclothing.com/dresses/style/18

Stop Staring is wonderful, but a little more pricey than the others.  Though the quality is great http://www.stopstaringclothing.com/sunshop/

I recommend searching eBay, there are always dresses from these brands on there, usually very lightly used (ie tried on and doesn’t fit or worn to a wedding and never again) and you can sometimes get a major bargain.

That’s really all you need for the basic beginners wardrobe, everything from here is built on this and expanded, you will find your favorite silhouette and collect more of that type.  For example, you may love the way pencil skirts look and find yourself with a collection of 20 pencil skirts.  That’s great!  The best part of this and any “alternative” style is that it can be whatever you want it to be, there are no rules!  Enjoy your road to fabulous!

Pinup essentials: Hair accessories and VIntage Box 1947 review

One of the essentials for the Pinup look is accessories! Especially hair accessories, an outfit is never complete without an awesome retro hairstyle and often a flower.  Accessories really pull an outfit together and take it from basic to fabulous.  The right accessories can also lend a vintage vibe to the most basic or modern outfit.

If you haven’t heard of Vintage Box 1947, they are fabulous!  It is a small, woman-owned business and she makes gorgeous hats, fascinators, and hair accessories.  I placed an order with them a little over a week ago after drooling over the website for a month.   Shipping was very fast, my package was at my door in about 3-4 days.  I had purchased the “Retro Package-Basic Hair accessory collection Starter Kit” linked below http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=80

It includes a variety of the most popular items on the website, it really is a great collection of hair accessories to get you started if you are new to pinup or retro fashion.  Or if, like me, you are addicted to hair accessories 🙂

The first item is called the Sophia Rose, I went with yellow but it is available in red, white or pink as well.

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It is about 5 1/2 inches in diameter. It’s a beautiful yellow, it is a lot more yellow in person with little tinges of pink along the outside petals.  If you’ve seen yellow roses, this is the exact same color.  It has a double prong clip that its very well attached to, so the flower wont fall off of the clip.  I wore this one on Valentine’s day and it stayed put in my hair all day without budging at all.  It is definitely a statement piece, as it is quite large but it is so pretty.  Here is the link to the Sophia Rose all by itself http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=68

The second item is the Birdcage Veil.  It is a basic mesh veil, it comes with some bobby-pins to secure it to your hair but nothing too fancy.  I did like that she included a little card with instructions with it, as it could be pretty overwhelming to get a piece of mesh and try to figure it out.  It is kind of bowl-shaped, it is knotted at one end and the other end is meant to come toward your face.

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It is not scratchy or cheap feeling and it is big enough that you can do a lot with it.  The veil can be worn alone or with other flowers, added to hats and fascinators as well.  It is available in tons of colors, even with some embellishments.  In the starter kit, you can choose from red, white, ivory, or black.  http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_62&product_id=96

Next up is the Magnolia flower.  This is the only one that you don’t get to choose your color.  It is only available in cream/white for the starter kit.

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It’s really cute, basic white flower.  It would be cute for a bridal piece.  It is almost 4 inches in diameter.  I included a picture of the clip, it is the same or almost the same for all the flowers.  This one is the single prong, the bigger ones have a double prong style.  The “back” side of the clip, the attached side is actually underneath the green “leaf” instead of just glued on which adds to the integrity of it.  If you were to buy this individually instead of in the starter set, it would come with three of these flowers.  The starter kit comes with one.  http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=113

The next option os for the Velvet Rose with Peacock Eyes OR the Ranunculus with Peacock.  I went with the velvet rose.  I couldn’t get a great picture of it, the peacock wouldn’t show up without the flash but the flash bleached out the color of the flower.  So pretend like you can see it all together 😉

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It is very pretty, I love peacock feathers.  And I love the little pearl button detail.  The flower is about 5 1/s inches across and the feather sticks out about another inch on one side.  This is probably the most fancy of them, where as all the other ones could be either dressed up or down.  I really like and can’t wait to wear it.  This is the link to the velvet rose http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_60&product_id=83 and the one I didn’t get so you can see both http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_60&product_id=66

Last but certainly not least comes the Triple Orchid set.  Your choice of red or ivory.  I had been looking at the ivory one for a while so the choice was very clear to me.

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I love these! They are so pretty and I love that there is so many ways to style them.  You can wear just one for a cute Polynesian/tiki style or all three for a statement!  These are my favorite out of the bunch.  It is easy to see why they are a top seller.  I had seen them a few weeks ago in my local pinup boutique and almost got them then but I’m glad I waited.  http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=67

I am very happy with my purchase.  I highly recommend that everybody go and check out the website.  My next purchase will be a hat, I already know which one too 🙂  I have set a goal to wear more hats this year, it is the next step in my retro style evolution.  I have a bunch that I don’t wear and that will change this year.  If you’re not ready for hats, hair flowers and fascinators are a great place to start.