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?

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Back to school

Last week my oldest daughter, J, went back to school, she started 1st grade.  She was thrilled, I cried.  It makes me so happy that she is excited for school but it is bittersweet to think that my baby girl is growing up so fast.   IMG_8051

She is still so little, she is the shortest kid in her class and I’m pretty sure her grade. She is also one of the youngest because her birthday is in May.  My youngest daughter, E, is two years younger and pretty much the same size!

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One of the ways that I am a modern mommy is how they eat.  I am very particular about their diets, they have only had fast food (other than pizza) maybe 4 times in their lives and that is when we are on road trips and have no other way to feed them.  They don’t drink soda or even juice, they very rarely have processed foods.  And while I do allow treats in the for of cookies, cake, etc. it is always homemade and I am able to control exactly what is in it.  I guess that it’s not very modern at all actually 🙂  I love to cook and I love to bake, I pride myself in that we have home cooked meals 99% of the time and most things are from scratch.  I take some short cuts, such as buying the steam-able frozen veggies, but for the most part I do everything from scratch.

This year is J’s first year going to school all day, she was in half-day kindergarten, so she is having lunch for the first time at school.  I had always known that I would be packing their lunches every day, school lunches are terrible and not to mention EXPENSIVE!  I knew that I would prefer to spend 10 minutes in the evening preparing her a nutritious, real lunch than to let her eat that garbage they try to pass off as food.  Granted, hot lunch has gotten better since I ate it but not by much.

I had been checking out ideas for cold lunches on pinterest since I knew she (and I) would get bored with a sandwich every day.  I came across Bento Box lunches.  They are so cool and you can do some really fun things with them.  I like that everything she takes is reusable, I didn’t want to have to buy plastic bags and stuff like that.  I purchased a kit from Laptop Lunches http://secure.laptoplunches.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=K830%2DPLUM&eq=&Tp= this is the one she got.  I like that it had an extra compartment for her snack and that the handles were situated in a way that would keep the bento box upright.  The bag is insulated and it stays pretty cool, a fork and spoon are included.

she loves it, its a little big for her but it should last a few years.  I will be chronicling my first year in bento box making, maybe I can get as good as the Japanese moms who make Hello Kitty rice balls!

here is what she has had for lunch this week

monday

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Orzo pasta salad, mandarin orange, cherry tomatoes, ham, pretzels.

Tuesday

I didn’t take a picture, but she had leftover popcorn chicken from the night before, carrots and tomato, yogurt pretzels, and a babybel cheese

Wednesday

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peanut butter and jelly hearts, pretzels, string cheese, carrots and tomatoes, and a lime jello.

I make the jello in individual, reusable cups.  it is cheaper than buying the premade ones and I can control the portions.

I just noticed she’s been having pretzels the same side dishes a lot, I’m going to have to be more creative next week 🙂

I plan on making this a recurring post, I would like to hear some feedback from you all.  Would you prefer a weekly post that shows everything from the week or a daily one that would be shorter.  Thanks!

I also have some outfit posts coming up, I just scored big time from ModCloth during their 70% off sale so I will be showing you the haul when that arrives.

Ps. I am on instagram now, you can find me @bettiebanshee

I had to share: the best top coat ive ever used!

I have the worst time with my nails.  My finger nails seem to reject nail polish and though I love to paint them, the nails don’t seem to agree.  I do the manicure properly, base coat, two thin coats of color, then a top coat.  Allowing each layer to dry in between.  But I can never get it to last longer than a day, it is a miracle if my nail polish lasts longer than 12 hours.

So every time I see a new top coat I buy it, I have tried every thing from Sally Henson to Seche Vite, even gel top coats.  Nothing helps.

I was in Sally’s a couple weeks ago for hair dye and saw this:

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I bought it and honestly I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  On Tuesday I used it for the first time, by Tuesday night I had no chips in my polish.  Then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…still no chips! Saturday the color was starting to crack underneath but it was all still on my nail.  It is now Monday, 6 whole days after painting my nails, and I am actually going to have to use nail polish remover to take it off.

I am never going to use any thing else, I am thoroughly sold.  Granted the color I used this time is one that lasts a bit longer than normal on me, like 2 days instead of one normally.  So I will try it out with a more flakey polish and let you know how that works.

I am just so excited I had to share 🙂

you can purchase it on amazon http://www.amazon.com/European-Secrets-Rock-Top-Coat/dp/B001A4X0AM

or at Sally’s in store or online: http://www.sallybeauty.com/nail-top-coat/SBS-705525,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH its way cheaper at Sally’s

 

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!

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?