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!

Thrifty! eBay finds series, 1

I have stated before that I am BIG on thrift and second-hand stores.  A very small percentage of my wardrobe is new or not pre-owned.  Since I love vintage and the 1950s style, it makes it both budget friendly and practical to shop second-hand and vintage stores.  I have scored huge on more than a few occasions.  For example, I love Pinup Girl Clothing, their clothes are fabulous but they are pricey.  I have a very strict clothing/disposable income budget since we only have one income right now,  if I were to buy a dress from PUG it would blow my entire clothes budget for between one and two months.  I do splurge occasionally but I tend to go the more wallet friendly route most often.  I could get 6 true vintage outfits at my local thrift store for the price of one vintage reproduction dress.  Sometimes you just have to go for quantity, especially when you don’t have to sacrifice quality.  I have found cashmere and pure silk blouses for a few dollars, things that would be out of my price point to buy new.

I don’t live in a big city so my local vintage market is pretty small.  I would love to make a trip to San Francisco or LA to spend a week shopping, but until then I like to make due with that big thrift store on the internet: eBay!

eBay is awesome.  I have bought and sold various items (lots of clothes) and have yet to be disappointed.  Of course there are pitfalls to avoid when making any purchases online but they are minimal.   One of the biggest issues is “fit”, you have to count on the accuracy of the seller’s measurements and their description of the item.  It sucks to not be able to try things on before buying but most sellers will allow returns if necessary.  there is so much to choose from that if the listed measurements don’t fit your body it isn’t too heartbreaking to move on to the next thing.

So today I want to start my “eBay finds” series.  I will show you all the awesome things that I have found on eBay, include price, a link to the seller if they are a “store”, etc.   I’m letting you into my secret, this is a great way to get vintage clothes for a bargain.

First up is a yellow pencil dress and “jacket”

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The dress has a black spaghetti strap bodice that attaches to the yellow skirt.  The jacket (for lack of a better term) is a wrap style, it doesn’t have any buttons and I had to add a belt to keep it closed.  I’m not sure when it was made, it looks like 80s to me, but it has that pin-up vibe to it so I dig it.

This outfit cost me $6.99 plus $5.00 shipping.  Not a bad outfit for $12.  The belt had come with a different dress I had bought a few years ago and the shoes were $8 flats at Payless.  My entire outfit cost less than $20 which is a good 80% less than purchasing a similar “suit” from a vintage repro company.

The material is a bit sheer in the light, I have been meaning to get a half slip and this might be the final push I need to go to the store.

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Here is a close up of the fabric:

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It was listed as a polka dot, but as you can see the dots are actually square.  I don’t mind, I really like them.  I have a lot of polka dots and so this one is a little more unique 🙂

That is definitely something to look out for when making purchases, things aren’t always listed 100% accurately.  Look at the pictures really thoroughly, I wouldn’t buy something that only had one picture because you don’t get a full view of the garment.  Read and reread the description and email the seller with any questions.  If the are legitimate and reputable, they will gladly answer all of your questions.  Be wary of sellers who don’t respond or are snippy with you, they obviously don’t deserve your money.

If you are cautious and aware, you can make some great purchases.  Until I can make my thrifting pilgrimage to California I will continue to make due with eBay, you can’t beat the price on a lot of things and it is super convenient to shop at home.  Plus I will continue to share it with all of you!  Stay tuned to more shopping adventures 🙂

 

Vintage style personality

I  love movies set in or made in the 1950s.  I could watch Grease, Crybaby or The Girl Can’t Help It any day.  I was thinking about how fashion is used to let the audience know the characters of the people on the screen.  For example, in Grease you have the good girl-Sandy and the bad girl-Rizzo.  It is pretty obvious who is who based on their clothes.  Sandy wears pastels and poodle skirts, ties her hair up in a ponytail and is very fresh-faced.

I had a heck of a time finding a picture of Sandy pre-makeover.

Rizzo on the other hand, looks like trouble.  When we first see her she is in all black and it wearing a tight pencil skirt, her outfit shows off her figure and she is wearing red lipstick.  And she wears pants (gasp!) during the film.

 of course by the end of the movie, the roles of the two women have swapped with Sandy donning her skin-tight leather pants.

We often see the “good girl” in a-lines and soft colors and the “bad girl” in darker or richer colors and a sexy clothing like pencil skirts.

I like to think of myself more of a Frenchie, she straddles both realms and can pull off both styles.  And I always loved her pink hair 🙂

Of course there is the Donna Reed, ideal housewife, vacuuming in pearls.  She is the epitome of femininity, all grown up, married to the high school quarterback with 2.5 kids.  I love this she looks so pretty.

Then we have the Jayne Mansfield Bombshell.  She is super sexy without being trashy.  You don’t get more glamorous.

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My personal style is more rockabilly than authentic vintage, I like bright colors, big hair, tattoos, and six-inch stilettos.

My style is a mix of the Donna Reed and Jayne Mansfield, I love to look classy but I want to look sexy at the same time.  Plus, I’m not a teenager anymore so I relate a lot more to the Housewife in style and personality, as well as daily routine 🙂  It is hard to clean in super tight pencil skirts, so I have been collecting a lot more swing skirts and dresses for daily wear.

If you don’t know what your style is, I recommend watching some old movies, doing some google searches, and play with different looks until you find what suits your body and personality best.

Do you have a vintage style personality?  What characters do you relate to from movies of the era?  Do you dress more like a bad girl, a good girl, a housewife, a bombshell, a mix of a few or all?

If loving PUG is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

This afternoon my Christmas order from Pinup Girl Clothing (PUG) arrived.  It was like Christmas morning all over again.  Shipping was quick, I placed my order on Thursday and it came today (Saturday).  I have been a fan of PUG for almost 6 years, but only recently made a purchase.  I’m up to six dresses and two skirts (one hasn’t arrived yet, it was purchased off of eBay), and now I am completely addicted!  Everything from this order is size medium and pictures were taken without shapewear.

The first dress I HAD to try on was the Deadly Dames Polka Dot Wiggle dress.  This was the dress that first endeared me to PUG, I have wanted it since the first time I stumbled upon the PUG website.  And now it is finally MINE!!!!!

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Here it is front, side and back view.  I didn’t change my bra to try on the clothes, but a strapless bra is definitely in order in the future.  I love it so much, it was worth the wait.  It makes me feel like Wanda from Crybaby, that’s why I was drawn to it in the first place.  I can’t wait until the weather warms up so I can wear it out.

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Next came the Jessica dress in Baton Rouge Bengaline, this is a newer design it just came out this fall.  I had tried the Rust colored one and loved the fit, but this color was my favorite.

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This color is amazing! It is so unique, I love purple, and I love how it looks with my hair.  After seeing the pictures from the back, I will be wearing shapewear in the future 🙂  I wan’t able to get the zipper all the way up by myself, this why a husband comes in handy, I can never zip myself up.  The fabric is great, stretchy and not scratchy.  It feels high quality.  I know I’ll  get a lot of use out of this too.

Here comes the world famous Vamp dress!

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I decided on the Tiger print and it is fabulous!  The bust was a bit tight, I wasn’t able to wear a bra with it.  According to my measurements, I fit into an XL in the bust but my wasit is between a small and a medium.  I decided on the medium becuase I figured that I wouldn’t mind the extra cleavage.  As you can see, there is some super cleavage going on.  That is my only (minor) complaint with the fit, the zipper wouldn’t stay all the way up because I didn’t hook the little clasp at the top.  That wont be a problem when I actually wear it out.  I was a little worried about the length, in the pictures on the website it only went down to right above Michelline’s knees.  I didn’t want to wear it that short, so its a good thing I’m short 🙂  I think it would have been too much being short and having that much cleavage.  But with the bottom of the skirt hitting right under my knee, it is perfect.  I feel so ferocious grrrrr.  There is definitely more Vamp in my future, i have to start collecting the tops now too.

After all these sexy wiggle dresses I decided I needed something a little more casual, I decided on the Luscious dress in mint with “Mira Mermaid”

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I am surprised at how much I like this one.  It may be my new go-to dress for spring and summer.  I have been a bit obsessed with Mint lately, I have been snatching up anything I can find in that color.  The Luscious is just that, it is made out of a really thick t-shirt like material that feels so soft.  The little mermaid embroidered on the shoulders is so darn cute and adds just enough detail to set it apart.  Putting this on is just as easy as pulling on a t-shirt and running out the door, and looks a hell of a lot more put together too.

And last but certainly not least, I ordered the Iron Fist Zombie Stompers! I have been wanting these amazing shoes for years and every time I decided to get them they were always sold out!  Now the stars have aligned and I was finally able to get them, and on sale too.

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They are so comfortable, the soles are padded, and they’re so cute!  I was pleasantly surprised to find an extra pair of tips for the heels, mine always wear down pretty fast.  They have so many colors on them, they go with practically everything 😉

I’m so happy with all of the things I purchased and can’t wait until my next opportunity to collect more of their fabulous clothes.

New Dress, Yay!!!

I got a new dress for christmas from my mom, she’s so nice 🙂  It is the “Natasha” in Navy and Cream from Pinup Girl Clothing.  This is only my second dress purchased form PUG, but I have been a fan for years.  The Natasha is AMAZING!!!!

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I took the pictures after having worn it for 6 hours so it is a little wrinkled and the fabric isn’t as tight as when I first out it on.

I got it at a local store that sells vintage reproduction clothing,http://www.dressedlikethat.com/, I did a fashion show for them about a month ago. I had initially got the large but after looking at the size chart onI decided to exchange it for the medium. That was a good call becuase the medium was perfect.

My measurements right now are 42-27-39, so the chest was a little tight but I don’t mind a bit of extra cleavage 🙂

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Here is a front, back and side view.  I love the length and the bow detail.  The only negative is the way the front panel under the belt is cut, it has a little extra fabric and so it makes it look like my stomach is sticking out even though it isn’t.  It really only looks like that after wearing it for a few hours, I imagine it will tighten back up between wears (fingers crossed).

The color is amazing, it is a rich navy blue which contrasts so nicely with the cream bow and belt.  The belt doesn’t have holes, it just weaves through the buckle, but I could see it slipping and getting looser through out the day but I didn’t have that problem.

I absolutely love this dress, I have worn it twice in a week.  I never wear something twice in a week, or even a month! The cut is so flattering and so sexy while still being completly covered.

This is the link to Pinup Girl Clothing and the fabulous Natasha http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/natasha-dress-in-navy-with-creme-bow-from-pinup-couture.html.  If the pencil skirt isn’t your thing, they have a similar dress called the Heidi which has the same top but with a swing skirt.  It is equally flattering without being as sexy.