I don’t get away on vacation a lot, but this year I’ve taken a couple of long weekends with friends and family, which is always lovely. Less lovely is the juggle of figuring out how to adapt one’s pinup style to the practical requirements of packing and travelling. It’s tricky sometimes, but being comfortable and stylish on the move is a balance that can be struck as long as you bear in mind a few key components. A big one is the weather.
Travelling in summer means you want to wear something cool as well as comfortable: halter dresses, strapless dresses or 2 or 3 piece sets work well, as long as you remember to take into account your own body and it’s needs: I hate the feeling of a tight waistband if I’m going to be sitting for a few hours travelling, so there are certain pieces in my wardrobe that I just can’t wear for long journeys, like my Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny dresses. On my weekend away this summer I opted to wear my super comfortable red Tiki Temptation dress by Glamour Bunny for the drive to the beach with my family. It has overwiring on the cups to give a great shape to the neckline but the rest of the dress is soft and has give, so it doesn’t dig in while sitting.
Since the trip was with my young nieces and nephews in addition to two of my sisters and my mum, I knew I had to wear something that could withstand the threat of sticky fingers, not to mention a dress that would allow me to be constantly picking up and setting back down my not-yet-then-1-year-old niece without awkward gaping, snagging or hitching up. This dress was super comfortable for the drive, looked stylish but not crazy out of place on the beach, and accessorised with cats eye sunglasses and wooden bangles didn’t require me to sacrifice my vintage style for the sake of being a practical auntie on holiday.
Travelling this winter for my annual girl’s weekend away with my best friends to a countryside manor required similar considerations for comfort on a long drive, but with the additional consideration that this trip I would need to keep warm rather than cool. I’m on a mission currently to find pinup dresses with sleeves so that I don’t have to constantly search through my cardigans for the right colour to match and adapt my summertime dresses, so I was super excited to get my hands on the Pinup Girl Clothing Mustard Birdie dress with three quarter sleeves before my trip. I’ve wanted this dress for months, literally since it happened to go out of stock in my size everywhere, so when a lovely member of the PUG swap/sell group alerted me to a lady selling her barely worn dress I jumped at it. The Birdies are made of cotton, so they’re a very soft and comfortable dress to wear, surprisingly so given that the structure of the dress would probably have you imagining it might be restrictive in wear, which it’s not. Even with the thick belt I felt comfortable sitting in it in the 6 hours we took to make the 3.5 hour journey–don’t ask. I felt warm and chic, and when my friend’s turned up to pick me up they all exclaimed over the print of the dress and their wish that they could wear mustard too. To help keep warm in the dreary climate I added seamed tights and a trench coat.
Another thing I’ve come to think about when I travel since becoming a pinup is not just how I will look over my time away, but how my luggage will look. That may sound ridiculous, but staring at endless pictures of glamorous women toting vintage luggage while wearing crochet gloves and red lipstick instilled in me a deep yearning to get my hands on my own vintage luggage. I would love to own a colourful and impressive collection such as the incredible collection as owned by utter doll Modern June Cleaver, but as yet I only own 2 pieces. On a budget and vaguely lazy I found my large vintage suitcase on eBay, paying under £15. I found my vintage hand luggage piece in a Brighton vintage shop in the summer while shopping with a friend for £12. Choosing which precious pinup pieces to pack in these cases is always a tough call, but I love the polish it adds to my pinup aesthetic when those cases are all packed and sitting at my feet below my petticoat be-puffed skirt. Plus there’s something incredibly convenient about a small and sturdy piece of hand luggage to keep safe your more precious items, such as your favourite red lipsticks, prettiest hair flowers, blingiest jewellery and all your pincurling essentials.
I can’t claim to be a light packer, because I’m too much of an ‘In Case Of…’ packer to make this possible, but if there’s any pinup-on-tour travelling tips I can offer retro newbies who have yet to make their first trip as a pinup then it’s these:
1) Invest in a Pincurl Sculpture Tool. I like to handroll my pincurls for a fresh set, but for repinning my hair overnight I use my pincurl tool for saving time and effort, but more importantly because it gives me pincurls that are even better and stronger than a fresh set. If you can find 15 minutes before bed at the end of your night to reset your pincurls it’ll be worth it for your perfect holiday hair pictures you’ll be seeing the next day.
2) Pack headscarves, bandanas, hair flowers, tons of bobby pins and a hair rat or two so that you can create quick and cute hair-do’s when your time or motivation for pincurls runs too short. Think suicide rolls, victory rolls, bumper bangs, poodle up-do’s, and adorable 60s ponytails as last minute fixes for bad hair.
3) Don’t forget to take dry shampoo. Or your hair spray.
4) Use drinking straws to keep your thin chain necklaces from getting tangled. Undo the necklace clasp, slide a straw onto the chain on either side of the pendant, then reclasp. The straws keep the chains straight and prevents them from getting jumbled up.
5) Keep small pots (such as those found inside Kinder Eggs, those that house the disposable gloves from some home hair dye boxes, etc) to keep your earrings or rings safe on your trip, or even to decant small amounts of your facial lotions for travel.
6) Try to narrow down your outfit colour schemes so that you can use the same of couple cardigans or pairs of shoes across multiple outfits to save packing a different coloured pair for every single outfit you’re taking. Red is a great shoe colour to match a whole host of outfits, and black is a classic for a reason.
7) It’s tempting to pack every possible thing you may conceivably need when it comes to beauty, but if you invest in some small eyeshadow palettes you won’t need to tote around a dozen individual shadow compacts. Same can be said of buying bronzer/blusher/highlighter trios and concealer palettes.
8) DON’T FORGET YOUR PRIMERS. Eye primers and face primers forgotten will mean makeup that melts off halfway through a day of fun. You should also remember to pack your setting spray if you use one, because you’ll kick yourself if you leave it on your vanity at home.
I hope those tips are helpful for you dolls and that you enjoyed a glimpse into my attempts at remaining stylish on the road away from my bursting wardrobe. Do you ladies like to remain pinup glam on the road or do you use it as an excuse to go comfy and barefaced for days together? What are your favourite travel tips?