Pinup Girl Clothing delighted PUG and Disney fans alike this spring by announcing their collaboration with the estate of Mary Blair, iconic Mid-century illustrator of Disney, children’s books, advertisements, set designs, and theme park murals. From their PR release:
“Exclusive to Pinup Girl Clothing, The Magic of Mary Blair Collection is a collaboration between Pinup Girl and the estate of Mary Blair. This 50s and 60s-inspired collection brings this iconic artist’s whimsical Mid-century modern art to life in beautiful and timeless style for the modern woman. PUG’s creative director Micheline Pitt has long been inspired by Mary’s drive to succeed in the male-oriented world of illustration, as well as admiring and respecting her unique artist vision. We are all thrilled to work with the estate of Mary Blair and to continue to promote her legacy and our mission to provide Couture for Every Body, especially couture that’s as adorable as this is!”
This collection totals 10 of Mary’s artworks turned into whimsical fabric prints used across an array of the PUG styles you know and love, from Jenny and Doris skirts to the Evangeline wiggle dresse, swing Ella and Aurora dresses, as well as a new hybrid Heidi dress that features the gathered skirt typical of the Jennies. The prints are bold, cute, novelty and often pastel. In short, utterly delightful, but not my usual kind of style. So of the whole collection there was only stand out piece for me, and that was the Commuter print.
Featuring an authentic mid-century olive green contrasted with the black waistband of the skirt or the black bodice of the dress, this colourway felt unique and special to me. White story board rectangles display Mary’s commuter print artwork as the focal point of the dress.
The white, olive and black colour scheme won me over while the novelty print gave me pause. Did I really want this print? The colours were exquisite, but I don’t really wear novelty prints, excluding my lone Matador Jenny skirt, which also won me over with its colour scheme. If I bought it would it be relegated to the back of my wardrobe because my personality is quirkier than anything I usually put on my body?
This is a Limited Edition print so I had to make my decision. I kept loading the Coming Soon page for the Commuter Jenny dress and staring at it. That black against that green, though. Dat olive.
I decided it was going to happen, I definitely wanted the dress. But weirdly, a mere week before the dress became available (not that anyone knew the date it was arriving,) I changed my mind; I kept seeing ladies on Instagram pairing their Commuter skirt with dozens of different black tops, creating equally cute outfits that mimicked the black-and-olive colour scheme I loved but with alternating necklines and sleeve lengths. If I got the skirt I could pair it with black bardot/peasant tops in summer and black sweaters/Doris/Lauren/boatneck tops in winter, offering a versatility the dress could not even if I would stubbornly refuse to pair it with anything other than the black contrast that had me so entranced. But oh no! The skirt was sold out in several sizes from PUG themselves and, unlike the Mary Blair Train border print skirt, I hadn’t heard chatter that a restocking would be occurring for this print. Was this the end of the story?
Of course not. It was Deadly Is The Female to the rescue! I sent a text to owner Claudia on my work break to check what sizes they had left in stock and she told me the L was sold out but the XL was still in stock. I usually wear L in my PUG Jenny dresses and skirts, with the waistbands of the skirts on the newest styles from the past year being a little more true to size and forgiving compared to the infamously small running sizing of old styles such as the Italian Landscape print. However, even with my current 33 inch waist (thanks there goes to the 3 C’s: cake, chips and cheese,) I was worried the XL might be too big on me because an XL I tried in the past swamped me. There was no denying I had gained weight since then, though. I mean, that was probably almost two years ago.
I placed my order.
It fit! The XL Jenny skirts are sized to fit 33-34 inch waists, so of course it did. There’s enough wiggle room in it and give to the fabric that during wear I occasional get the urge to hike the waistband up an inch or so, but compared to the slight muffin-top I’ve been sporting sans-belt in my L Jenny skirts lately that’s a nice change. And the extra room meant something else amazing: I could layer the skirt over the black Jenny dress I already owned to create the same look as the Commuter dress.
Skirt: Pinup Girl Clothing Commuter Jenny skirt found at Deadly Is the Female
Dress worn as top: Pinup Girl Clothing Black Jenny dress
Bolero & Wedges: Both many years old from New Look
I’m so glad I got this skirt and I have no fears it will go unworn now that I’ve seen it in person. It runs true to the size charts, so getting it in the XL means not only can I layer it over my black Jenny dress to create this look, but I also now have a Jenny skirt that fits more comfortably at my current weight than my smaller skirts do, which is likely why I haven’t been wearing my many other Jenny skirts much of late. I don’t have to wear a belt with this skirt if I don’t want to, which I sort of have to for my smaller Jenny skirts to hide the pudge that’s beginning to creep into view at the top of those waistbands (Side tip: if you’re bloating or your weight is currently on an upwards swing in your fluctuations, a thick belt will cinch you back into place and no one will know that your Jenny is straining.)
Wearing these two Jenny pieces at once won’t be a comfortable thing to do in fierce summer heat, but thankfully I live in England where such a temperature spike is mostly an errant daydream, so this layering will be possible for me most the year round and downright toasty in winter. The two Jenny skirts together also provides a lot of volume in the skirt that means a petticoat can be skipped entirely, or, if you’re me, obsessee of the puffy skirts, just one petticoat can be added rather than three.
Plus, I made a discovery that tickles me. Amongst the many commuter characters adorning this skirt, you can spot one that I like to refer to as…
Dapper Voldemort. If that doesn’t amuse you, I don’t know what will. Well, a joke you would actually get for all you non-Harry Potter fans, I guess. But seriously, Voldy, smoking is really bad for you, you should probably quit.
If you love this look then the dress only recently went up for purchase and you can get it here, all sizes still in stock. However if you’ve now decided you definitely need the skirt and are cursing me for introducing you to a style that is mostly sold out, there’s two pieces of good news. One is that PUG is stocked globally by plenty of international stockists both in-store and online, so a little google searching may unite you with this skirt in your size in the same way I ordered mine through Deadly Is The Female. The other is that this skirt, along with the Mary Blair ‘Choo Choo’ Train Border print Jenny skirt, will be restocking on Pinup Girl Clothing’s own site with their second run currently being produced. So if buying direct from PUG suits you best then you can go to the Commuter Skirt’s page and waitlist your size ASAP to receive an alert email when it’s restocked letting you know it’s up for purchase again. My recommendation, should you do the latter, is that you act fast once that restock comes in, because these Mary Blair pieces sell out fast.
Do you own any of the Mary Blair pieces, or have any on your wishlist? Have you, like me, fallen in love with a piece that you at first didn’t believe to fit your own personal style?