A Dress Named Alika

When I was but a newbie pinup–when I was tentatively attempting to craft a retro look out of cheap dancewear circle skirts and still scared of red lipstick–there were 3 dresses I saw in my online wanderings that made me swoon and sigh with want and desire: the Pinup Girl Clothing Monica dress, their Sailor Swing dress, and the Tatyana (then Bettie Page) Alika dress. The Alika dress runs for $150 in the US and in the UK around £120, sadly out of my typical budget, so at the time I yearned and gurned and craved, stored it in the not-so-little part of my brain that houses my dream ‘one day’ wardrobe, and moved on with my life.

Until this summer, when I happened to have an upcoming wedding to attend, and the Alika dress was marked down to $120 in a sale. Our time had come! This would be the perfect opportunity to treat myself to this dress. The Alika, that black elegant goddess of glamour and style, was going to be my lady.

Now that we’re together I am so glad our time finally did come, because we were meant to be. Alika and I went for a little stroll together in the woods to share with you our love.

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The Mix ‘N’ Match Dress

Pinup Girl Clothing make amazing dresses, there is no doubt about that. But I feel sometimes people forget that they have such a wide, versatile range of separates available too–not just tops, pants and skirts, but cardigans and shorts as well. I don’t wear trousers a lot, and never shorts, so it’s largely their tops and skirts that I own. Their Jenny skirts are one of my favourite pieces from any brand, of all time, to the point that I own 5 colourways and want several more still. One of their most popular Jenny skirts is their original harlequin print colourway, a white skirt featuring black, pink, orange and green diamonds across the entire skirt. This spring they launched an additional 3 Harlequin colourways, not just in their Jenny skirts but in their Lauren tops as well.

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The Harlequin print had never been a favourite of mine until the black and turquoise colourway began to grow on me. I wanted it badly in the Jenny dress, but since I own 3 Jenny dresses already and kept telling myself ‘Now isn’t a good time’ each time this item came up in one of their sales the dress continued to elude me. Finally there was a sale at the right time for me to spend, but the black-turquoise Harlequin Jenny dress wasn’t included–the Jenny skirt, however, was. Practicality assured me that buying a skirt in the same gorgeous print was an even better idea because it offered me the versatility of pairing it with multiple tops. Continue reading

My Pinup Inspirations

Being a pinup, you don’t often find inspirations for enhancing your pinup look when you glance around in your day to day life, at work and on the street. It’s easy to idolize famous goddesses like Dita Von Teese, but let’s face it, that woman is on a level all her own. The wonderful thing about the vintage community is that you can befriend and socially follow fellow pinups all over the world, women who don’t have the access to high-end designers and vaults of vintage couture that fame affords, yet whose vintage style is so flawless that it gives you new ideas as to how to branch out and perfect your own retro look. For me, I find a lot of my inspiration, support and all around fan-girl-obsessions online, especially through Instagram and fellow bloggers. Below are my absolute favourite ladies to follow, the women who inspire me with their style, beauty and creativity, but also with their big hearts and dazzling personilities. These are my fellow pinup inspirations.

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Sarah Forshaw [Instagram @forshawsarah / Blog sarahforshaw.wordpress.com]
My little sister from another mister, this fellow pinup doll inspires me not just with her flawless Hepburn style and beauty, but with her unwavering positivity and support. She boots my spirit, encourages every craft project I undertake, and shares my life motto that if you want to get all dressed up there’s not a single good reason not to. She’s a keen photographer, blogger, yogi and one of my favourite people in the whole world.

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Pincurls Part 2: The Sculpture Pin Curler Tool

I showed you pincurling beginners how to start working on your pincurls only a few weeks ago, but I’m very excited to be able to show you another way to achieve perfect pincurls now without the weeks and months of practise. How? By using a pincurling tool, specifically the  Sculpture Pin Curler Tool.

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pincurlerset2 Continue reading

The Classic Trench With A Little Extra Swing [Collectif Dietrich]

I am a lover of big skirts. Not just big, massive. Gathered circle skirts so roomy I can fit two petticoats underneath. Which is all well and good in summer when I can flounce around as circumference-ly bloated as I please, but come winter it becomes a problem when I need to find a coat that will encompass such voluminous extremes without awkward gaping. There are a few retro repro brands which produce good quality coats, and even ones with a full swing skirt, but I wanted a coat that was classic and weather adaptable without being a super heavy fabric or out of this world glamorous (I know, that’s probably the only time you will witness such a sentiment being expressed by yours truly.) Basically I wanted a classic trench coat but with a big ol’ skirt.

Enter Collectif. This Dietrich swing coat of theirs has been around a while and available in a few colourways. I’ve come close to buying it a few times before but always when it technically was not the right season to be spending £95 on a coat. Collectif are pretty good at having regular sales, though, so at the end of summer I snapped it up for £60. Who doesn’t love a third off? Well you’ll be thrilled to hear that right now it’s on sale for an even smaller sum of £47.50, less than half price. Good luck resisting that!

This coat has all the classic structure and detailing of your timeless trench coat, with a swing skirt that really will keep your skirt entirely covered. I took one of my beautiful friends and her camera out with me on a dreary Saturday to show you just how well this coat will protect your precious pinup duds this winter season, including testing its capabilities of wrangling my infamously double-petticoated dress beneath.

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Favourite Summer Outfits Wrap Up

One of the best things about summer is the clothes you get to wear. Bold, flowery, fruity prints are in season, and you don’t need to figure out how to adjust a strappy dress for wear in colder weathers.

Summer is at its end, alas. Though I am looking forward to the change of my wardrobe for fall, I’ll be sad to let go of some of my summer favourites until next Spring. So for now, I thought I would indulge in a flashback to my favourite outfits from this summer, my first summer after completing my pinup transition to dressing head to toe retro full-time.

(Click on the thumbnails to see the outfits in full detail)

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  • Dress: Olivia Polka Dot dress from Unique Vintage
  • Cardigan: Rachael bolero cardigan by Hell Bunny
  • Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
  • Bracelet: New Look
  • Shoes: Red Primark ballet flat personally bedazzled in red crystals
  • Bag: Primark wicker bag

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The Best Kept Secret In Lasting Lipsticks

I am a long lasting lipstick junkie. I try almost every lipstick or liquid lipstick I can get my hands on that claims to be touchproof, wearproof, budge-proof, kiss-proof…on and on. More often than not they do smudge. And when they don’t, as is the case with liquid lipsticks, they have a tendency to flake off as you eat, which can leave your lips not only patchy but also your teeth covered in little red flakes. Just what every girl wants! Except not.

I’ve covered the Lime Crime Velvetines, their Make Up Academy Luxe Lip Lacquer dupes, and Maybelline 14 hour Superstay lipsticks on the blog before, and these are all great products available across a decent range of prices with brilliant staying power.

I was doing some online beauty shopping the other day and needed to add a couple of quid worth of products to my basket to qualify for free delivery. There’s not much a couple of pounds can get you from the makeup aisle, so I chose a Collection (formerly Collection 2000) Lasting Lipstick in shade Queen of Hearts, thinking that for £2.99 I would at least be getting a nice shade red lipstick even if it didn’t last, as I suspected it wouldn’t.

But Oh. My. God. I am in love. So unexpectedly in love.

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Collection 2000 ‘Queen of Hearts ‘Lasting Lipstick Continue reading