Malco Modes Madeline + Giveaway! 

Malco Modes is America’s oldest and largest maker of quality petticoats, pettipants and crinolines, having been in business for over 50 years with each piece hand-sewn in their eastern Tennessee facility. Their Jennifer petticoat was my first ever good quality petticoat as a pinup, and a year and a half later it’s still in perfect condition despite regular use. It’s the softest, fluffiest petticoat I’ve ever touched, and I do make a habit of touch testing as many petticoats as I can to compare–you know, not to sound creepy or anything.

The Jennifer is a great everyday petticoat because it’s got medium volume and isn’t too long or too short, meaning it works well for the average pinup. I, though, am a queen of puff. A master of fluff. I love my skirts big and bold and a little bit obnoxious, even. I’ve yearned to try the Malco Modes Michelle petticoat since I first got my Jennifer, recognising it as the superlative among petticoats in circumference, but I’ve been told by the helpful lovelies at Malco Modes that the Michelle is so full it will only fit under skirts with a minimum of 140 inches hem circumference, which excludes a lot of your average repro pieces. Being sensible, I perused the Malco Modes range of fuller pieces and decided the Madeline seemed like an excellent comprise between hem-busting volume and daily pinup practicality. Continue reading

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Bloopers & Outtakes [Round 4]

That’s right, it’s that time again, time for me to show you all the most awkward, unattractive, and downright weird outtakes from more of my blog shoots. You’ve probably got a pretty good grasp of the kind of nonsense that happens by now; I talk to my sister between shots, except she doesn’t stop shooting; I misjudge the timing and end up with my eyes closed as the picture gets taken as if I’ve spontaneously fallen asleep; I get a bit stir-crazy on shoots where we photograph a few outfits back to back and begin to pull faces, or dance, or shut down like a malfunctioning robot. You know I do that, I know I do that. So have I stopped all the malarkey and got my act together? Of course not! If you’re looking for a professional you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you like your bloggers to be vaguely childlike numbskulls? Oh honey, I am your girl.

Let’s go!

Miss Madison [Lady V London]

madisonbThere are certain styles of vintage dresses that are regularly recreated amongst vintage reproduction clothing companies. One of the most popular of these styles is that of the flared swing dress with the contrast ruched bust. It’s one of the first vintage silhouettes I fell in love with, years ago long before it ever occurred to me that I could begin dressing in that style. I remember seeing a vintage dress featuring this bust style in a movie and thinking it was the most feminine, lovely design I’d ever seen, and yearning for clothes to still be made that beautifully. Continue reading

Bamboo Babes [Hell Bunny]

I love a sarong dress. I own some from the more expensive side of repro clothing from Pinup Girl Clothing and Vivien of Holloway, so it’s nice to see brands like Hell Bunny and Voodoo Vixen offering some cheaper options for the SS16 season (though I’m aware Hell Bunny has done sarong pieces before.)

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This bamboo print is one of Hell Bunny’s new prints designed for this season and comes available in this sarong style dress, a circle skirt, a halter neck swing dress, a floaty bell-sleeved top and a short sleeved collared shirt dress, so there’s a great variety of cuts and styles for you to choose from if you love the print. Continue reading

Keen on Norma Jean [Retrospecd] 

I’ve been aware of Retrospec’d for some time. It’s a vintage-inspired Australian brand founded and run by two sisters, with all their pieces made in Australia, largely from fabrics designed in-house. They pride themselves on making their garments to the highest standard, and lover that I am of high-quality vintage style pieces, I don’t know why I never really sought them out before now. I think I must have confused them with other Australian brands that aren’t available to order internationally and thus wrote them off as unattainable to me. Recently, a few different pinups I follow all mentioned them at a similar time and it spurred me to seek them out, curious to at least see what their full range looks like on the whole. Spoiler alert: it’s gorgeous.

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Retrospec’d do ship internationally, for a really reasonable flat rate price, no less, so as soon as I realised that I began to peruse their online shop in earnest. I think there are some pieces that are only available in their Newtown NSW brick and mortar store, judging by items I’ve seen on their Facebook that I can’t find on their website. Still, there were at least half a dozen items that leapt immediately onto my most fervent wishlist. Since I would be ordering from Australia to England and dealing with customs charges, I decided to be sensible and pick my favourite item from the sale section as my first taste of the brand. I loved the cut of the Norma Jean dresses, so I opted for the Sunday Rose print. Continue reading

Oh My Honey, Let’s Travel The World

There are certain prints that I sometimes daydream about my favourite repro companies using to make a dress or a skirt. Cherry blossom trees, chevrons, bluebells, a world map. If I would only learn to sew, I know, then I wouldn’t have to frustratedly wait for someone else to design what I yearn for. And I mean to, I do. But sewing, designing, pattern making, they’re all hard work, they’re skills you have to learn and hone and improve upon to make something great. I tend to think about that and then bump ‘Learn to sew’ down my To Do list because I’m too busy and impatient to learn to be great. And that’s my own fault. If I’m going to be disheartened and lazy, fine, I don’t get a bluebells skirt. I don’t get a chevron dress with contrasting directional panels. But thanks to Oh My Honey, I can have a map print skirt.

Oh My Honey is a made-to-order vintage inspired clothing company based out of the British seaside city of Brighton. I’ve featured them here on the blog before when I reviewed their gorgeous Candy Cane dress the Christmas before last, a dress so fabulous it was one of their festive best sellers two years in a row. Owned and run by designer Louise O’Mahony, their wedding dresses are so pretty that they almost make me want to find a boy worth locking down–almost. It’s a good thing, then, that they also offer vintage inspired swing dress and skirts.

They offer said vintage inspired dresses in a variety of colours, prints and patterns, all as fun and bold as the next. When I saw the map print added to their proffered fabrics I immediately added it to my wishlist, waiting out the touchy Christmas penny-pinching period and some trouble with my car before I was able to order it as a skirt. Man, it was worth the wait.

Oh My Honey Map Print Circle Skirt Continue reading

Sarong, So Right [Vivien of Holloway]

I have a thing for sarong style dresses. They’re such a classic, flattering piece of vintage inspired clothing that it’s a travesty they’re not still commonplace in all women’s summer wardrobes–well, they’re not for modern, ‘normal’ ladies, that is. We pinups know about and appreciate the goodness of a sarong set, though, and few do that better than Vivien of Holloway.

Their sarong dresses are truly built to enhance and display your curves. Designed with a waterfall sash flowing from the waistband down the skirt, a thick halterneck to flatter the upper arm and chest, and a boned bodice made to cinch and lift, this is the kind of dress that does all the hard work for you. It puts an immediate sashay in your walk, a swerve, a wiggle, and the matching bolero adds class and sass abound. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look.

Vivien of Holloway Black Golden Leaves Sarong Set Continue reading

Work That Brow [Le Keux Secret Weapon]

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Le Keux is a British vintage inspired hair and beauty company that has their own cosmetics line and two salons (in Leeds and Birmingham) where they offer all manner of hair styling and makeup services, for brides and hen parties, primping for a special events, ladies looking for a fun makeover shoot package, and also princess party packages. I recently spent a day with them in their Leeds salon modelling for their latest bridal and hen party package campaigns with a selection of downright lovely girls who were all a joy to meet (oh heeeey girls!) It was my first chance to see their Le Keux cosmetics product range up close and in action and I was excited to come home with their Secret Weapon Brown Eye Liner & Brow Paint. Continue reading

Marin & Me [Hell Bunny]

Hell Bunny Marin Dress Navy Nautical

Hell Bunny’s SS16 line offers the same varied mix of styles as their usual lines–some truly cutesy stuff, a bit of tropical, some kitsch, a range of plain staples, and a touch of nautical. For the first time they’re offering handbags too, but the piece that most stood out to me, lover of nautical themes that I am, was the Marin dress.

Available in red and blue, this dress sports a full circle skirt, pockets, a rounded neckline reaching up to self-tie shoulder straps and a nautical print featuring everything from rum bottles and ragged flags to crabs, ship wheels and compasses. My 4 year old nephew had great fun studying the print recently when I went to spend the morning with some of my family, although he did question why a ship would be in a bottle–I dunno, little dude, people have hobbies, I can’t explain how that ever came to be. Continue reading

Fully Customised [eShakti]

eShakti is a clothing website offering a wide range of dresses, tops and skirts, many of which are vintage inspired, and all of which are available to be customised to not only your own measurements and height, but also to the neckline, sleeve length and skirt length you want. You can also ask for zippers to be moved to/from the back or the side and have pockets removed (but what kind of crazy would opt for that?!) And this special customisation fee available on all pieces? It doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, or even your first born. Whether you want just a zipper moved or the entire piece made to your measurements as well as changing the length, neckline and sleeve type, all customisation costs just $9.95 per item. (Previously it has always been $7.50, but over time costs have inflated and they’ve had to implement their slightly higher fee from March 1st.)

They offer designs in tons of prints, colours and styles, all reasonably priced, often available on offer, and, of course, I’ve been dying to try them out for a while. They don’t ship to the UK, frustratingly, and hopefully that will change someday and soon, but I have readers all over the globe, plenty of which live in the USA and Canada, where eShakti ships to, so I wanted to check them out for you guys at least. So, while I was stateside in October last year, I bought 3 dresses in a 3 for 2 deal. Continue reading