I’ve been so busy since I got back from America that I still haven’t managed to compile a blog post about the trip as a whole, only managing so far a style diary post and a shopping haul post, if you’re interested in either of those. The full low down post is coming, on my to do list for this month, finally, but in the meantime I thought I’d do something different and write a list post of all the things, funny, interesting or surprising, that I learned about America while I was there. Many of them are very specific to the fact that I stayed in Dallas, Texas for a large portion of my trip, but overall I think they’re just silly little things that your average Brit with not much experience in America might notice about our stateside friends and their country. There’s some comedic swearing and a touch of hyperbole, so go forth in good spirits and maybe leave your cuss-averse mother behind for this one.
The typical packaged sliced bread you buy in the supermarket to make your sandwiches is slightly sweet in America. Because apparently America is a hell hole and thinks your tuna sandwich needs a slightly sugary kick. Mmm, sweet and fishy. My fave.
Wasps exist there that are red and they are huge. Like, over an inch long. Why!!
Even British cosmetics are cheaper in Walmart than in the UK.
The only things more expensive in America than in England are the food stuffs imported from England.
Don’t expect small portions anywhere ever, ever.
All roads are basically the size of a motorway.
And there are strip malls by practically every road.
And within those strip malls they advertise practices like dentists and lawyers with the same capitalised and/or lit-up signage as the nail salons and donut shops they sit beside. It definitely, definitely makes you take them seriously as professionals.
There’s so much space. Seriously, everything is so far apart. England is such a tiny speck in comparison.
They ‘ma’am’ the fuck out of you. #couldyounot #imveryyoungandcute
The houses all vary wildly in style and design, even right beside one another.
There are restaurants where the floors are littered with crushed peanut casings and that’s apparently not a health and safety or hygiene code violation?
Everything is fried or covered in butter, including any vegetables a restaurant might deign to serve.
Even every vegetable is fried or in a sauce, as far as I can tell.
The salad also comes drenched in dressing unless you ask otherwise, because MURIKA.
Biscuits are just fluffier, buttery plain scones.
If they can put syrup on it, they will.
And butter. In the south, they love butter almost more than they love guns.
In fact, they love it so much they have begun flavouring it and finding new ways to serve it.
Apple butter also exists, and isn’t actually butter. Which is probably why it’s good.
But admittedly the cinnamon butter is also pretty good on a biscuit, so 1 point to you about the butter thing, America.
Southern (white) gravy exists and is great. Especially on breakfast foods, which sounds weird, but just trust me on this. It’s a slightly peppery, white sauce kind of gravy, and I approve.
Their Poptarts and Oreo selections are great but their chocolate and candy are terrible. I mean TERRIBLE. Any sweets that are any good at all have already been imported into British stores (see: Skittles, Starbursts, etc) so you’re not missing out on anything.
They don’t really do duvets inside the duvet covers, they just have the duvets sandwiched between sheets and blankets. It’s a bit unnecessary and really faffy, making it super easy to lose half of your bedding to the floor during the night. Or possibly get entangled and begin dreaming the monster under your bed has finally got you and your life is over if you don’t win this one much-anticipated, terrifying struggle.
Not that that happened to me or anything.
Walmart is fucking massive.
Like seriously. I know I’m almost 30 but I could easily have got lost in there like a small child. If I were an American parent I would for sure leash my child.
They’re not as good at queueing at the British are. #reigningchampions
They really fucking love guns. They don’t understand how British police are unarmed.
They also don’t understand the correlation between their gun laws and their mass killings though. Shocker.
But the ones who aren’t gun-toting mass murders are very polite.
It’s acceptable for your waiter to say ‘God bless your food’ at IHOP after serving you. ?!?!?!
(Do you think they might have charged us extra for that unwanted serving of religion with my pancakes?)
I will never find it not weird that you drive on the other side of the road. It makes me uncomfortable even as a passenger.
Don’t walk on the grass in Texas barefoot ever, or at night. Just avoid nature. #allthekillerthings
They have really good cows though. I would have liked to take a longhorn or three home.
Okay, carrying on.
Many southern accents like to give words extra syllables by taking so long to pronounce them. You may thing ‘oil’ is a very short single syllable word, but apparently you are wrong. Oyyyyuuuul.
Bad fries are still good fries but bad corndogs are not worth it.
Their breakfast pancake stacks are deceptively filling and near impossible to finish.
Texans will claim it’s too cold for the nasty critters but they’ll warn you about them possibly getting you as soon as you get there so you shouldn’t believe them and practise CONSTANT VIGILANCE.
Everything native to Texas can kill you. #snakepit #whydoyouevenlivehereTexans
The zoos are cheaper than UK zoos. $12 for an adult entry?! EVERYONE WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE ZOO.
Nowhere is as cheap as Primark. Not even H&M and Forever 21.
No one seems to eat dessert because they just ate a huge hunk of grease-meat with a side of carbs.
Taco Bell is the food equivalent of the person you bootycall at 1am but refuse to bring home to your Mumma. It feels good at the time but you know it’s bad for you and you don’t want anyone to see you with it.
There’s 1-10 fast food restaurants every quarter mile along every single road.
They hate spelling things properly if it will take them an extra 2 seconds to include all the letters. Hey Donuts @ The Drive Thru!
They either get very excited about your Britishness or they don’t notice it at all.
You can order something in the mail that takes as long to arrive domestically as it does to arrive in England from America ordered from the same company.
Mosquitos are motherfuckers.
They really hate clear signage. They prefer you guess where things are. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about an airport, a museum, shopping mall, or a freeway, if you look around reasonably expecting to find a sign to point you towards the toilets, exit, food court, etc, it will be much harder to find than you expect.
Hope you like Starbucks because they’re everywhere.
They’re really different from the Brits but also not really.
Except when it comes to the guns, religion and butter situation.
Otherwise it’s all just accents and weather differences.
It’s been a busy, inspiring, incredible year, full of people and events that have filled me with joy. Being part of this community enriches me every day, but this is the first year where I have seen that repeatedly and glaringly show itself to be true in loud, fun, brilliant ways that fail to allow me to forget that. A year like this deserves documentation, especially since lots of my favourite parts of it weren’t even covered here on the blog, so this, my dear readers, is my year in summary.
January 1st – I launched #LovingMeIn2015, a hashtag and self-love philosophy to make 2015 the year of self-love, body positivity, growth and self-acceptance for myself and others. I wanted people to be kinder to themselves this year, in ways big and small.
January 13th – Since I shy away from wearing wiggles out of self-consciousness of the weight I carry on my stomach, I set myself the #Wigglechallenge of wearing a wiggle dress twice a month as part of my own personal #LovingMeIn2015 journey to continue to love and accept my body no matter it’s weight or size.
#JennyJanuary was a roaring success!
January 12th- 18th – I began and hosted Jenny January, a week long social media event in which Pinup Girl Clothing Jenny skirt and dress owners wore as many of their Jenny pieces as they owned during that week and interacted with one another using the #JennyJanuary tag on Instagram. With features on the Pinup Girl Clothing Instagram account and over 300 entries, Insta-meeting dozens of fabulous new women and learning about some Jenny fun from old favourites, the event was a success. Continue reading →
I’ve been aware of The Pretty Dress Company for a while and you recently will have seen me review their gorgeous Femme Fatale Gingham prom dress, but that wasn’t actually my first TPDC piece. Back in August, they offered a Bank Holiday 20% off discount code that I could ill resist. It was a tough call what I wanted to get because there were just so many beautiful pieces, but I followed my heart to the Priscilla dress in lemon gingham.
A classic midi sundress with wide, flat pleats making up the full skirt and spaghetti straps, the shape of this dress is one of those classic, quintessential summer style sundresses that I love so much. It’s lined, closes with a back zipper, and has pockets, my forever favourite. Just as the weather was getting ready to welcome autumn I took this dress with me to my September modelling job for Deadly Is The Female, a long time stockist of The Pretty Dress Company. There, Deadly team members photographer Gayle/Porcelain Photography and hair stylist Lauren/Lolita Noir indulged me in shooting this beauty as we wandered around the gorgeous Somerset town of Frome, Deadly’s home. Continue reading →
Before I went to America I put myself on a big buying restriction. I’m infamous amongst my friends for buying new clothes, so for me that was a big thing to buy no new dresses for 3 months. I buy so much of my clothing from American repro companies, though, that it made sense to take advantage of being in-country for my shopping while i was there, so I saved and made multiple lists about what I wanted. Here, my little darlings, is my haul.
Vivien of Holloway, UK based and made-in-Britain vintage style clothing brand, know a thing or two about occasion wear. They offer a small selection of classic styles in dozens of colours and prints, and each cut is elegant and timeless. Their Grace dress is a prime example of this, a swing dress with a modest draped crossover bust, a nipped in waist, and a full circle skirt. It would make for the perfect chic party dress for this upcoming festive season, so it’s the first dress in my series of party dresses I’ll be reviewing for you over the next couple weeks. Christmas is coming, so it’s time to trim the tree and fetch the presents in this pretty!
We all do it. We picture having a glamorous and stylish vacation during which we sport a new polished, put together outfit every day so we look groomed and pretty in all our holiday snaps. We think we will have ample time and energy to spare for putting in a wetset in the evening, or for creating an elaborate up-do on the morning after we’ve found 40 minutes to paint on a perfect pinup face. We think we will be able to handle the heat without changing our style or schedule at all.
We dream, basically. It’s a fantasy. Props to the people who manage that, because normally I’m not one of them. I have had the same fantasies about every vacation I’ve gone on since I’ve become a pinup, and while I normally manage to make at least some effort it’s never been the full force I’ve hoped for. And typically the chance to take outfit pictures has fallen by the wayside too.
So while I’ve done a full October run down of the month’s outfits as usual from last month including the October portion of my trip to America, I wanted to do a post that focuses particularly and honestly on what I wore while I was away, how I adapted my style to being away from my full wardrobe and vast collection of beauty supplies, and how my energy levels and motivations held up against the fantasy expectations of looking perfect and primped every day of a 15 day vacation spent in two different locations. Continue reading →
When I went to Frome, Somerset, back in September to do a spot of modelling for Deadly Is The Female I was lucky enough to shoot additional outfits for the blog with Deadly team member, Gayle, aka Porcelain Photography, with Deadly H&MU artist Lolita Noir on hand as well to style my hair. All three of us brainstormed what we would shoot and how, wanting to do something fun, and a Snow White inspired suggestion was quickly made then pounced upon.
I’ve reviewed/mentioned the Makeup Academy Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers several times. For those who don’t know, they’re a liquid to matte lipstick by UK company Makeup Academy, costing £3 and available in over 10 shades, several of which are dupes for shades made by other well known matte liquid lipstick toting brands. The pigmentation of these have always been great and for the bargain price they’re a wonderful product. However, I do tend to find that they can flake a little during wear, particularly when eating, and multiple touch up applications can give you that rubbery layered lipstick feel, so I only usually wear mine when I know I will be wearing the product for a very short period of time or when I won’t be eating a lot.
They recently brought out 4 new shades (Zest, Vivacity, Potent and Symphonic) and gave the packaging a slight revamp. I ordered all of the new shades except the grey Symphonic and noticed that, along with the packaging revamp, there seemed to be a formula change which isn’t mentioned on the website or product. Considering this, I thought I’d give you a full run down on everything involved in the new shades and the revamp.
L to R: Halcyon, Tranquility, Serene, Aflush, Criminal, Funk, Kooky, Atomic, old Reckless, new Reckless, Zest, Dare, Potency
It’s time for another pretty dress from Chi Chi Clothing! Last weekend I attended the wedding of a dear friend in America, flying over from England to attend after a year’s wait for the happy event. That year long of knowing I would be coming meant I was constantly on the look out for what dress I would wear on the big day. I changed my mind several times, of course, but after I discovered Chi Chi Clothing a couple months back I just sort of knew at the back of my mind I would end up choosing something Chi Chi in the end. I even ordered a dress custom made by another company and was excited to wear that for the wedding, and yet as soon as I saw the Cassandra dress a couple weeks later I knew I had found the winning dress.
With a full pleated skirt that features netting and requires no petticoat, thin spaghetti straps, and a high neckline that is modest but still displays some collarbone delicacy, I fell for the simplicity and understated glamour of this dress.
I wanted to be glamorous and vintage for the wedding, but didn’t want to be too bold or step on any toes, my usual aim for being a pinup at someone else’s wedding, so I decided to pair this with a large faux fur white stole to keep with the glamorous feel and provide a little warmth. I added clear crystal bracelets and a crystal brooch for some pops of glitter, and, because it’s me, I chose my red bedazzled heels and matching bedazzled box clutch.
We’ve reached the final Halloween costume in my series of outfits that have a pinup spin. I debated whether or not to even bother including a witch in the series, as it’s widely regarded as one of the laziest of Halloween costumes, alongside the devil and a black cat. That though, I decided, was the beauty of it. If you put a lot of effort into them, even those over-used characters can produce a great costume. You can go to town with intricate makeup on a level akin to face painting, you can craft and create detailed accessories that flesh out the character. Or you can do what I did, which is grab a bunch of black things out of your wardrobe, add an old broom you had lying around from a Harry Potter costume for your niece a few years ago, and a 50p witches hat from Asda. A pinup witch is an excellent option if you’re on such a strict budget that you don’t want to spend out anything at all to make your costume, because I bet you have enough black pieces in your wardrobe to put something together, and also a great option for a last minute costume you weren’t prepared to need.
Personally, even though it’s predictable, this was my absolute favourite costume of the bunch. There was something so fun about layering as many black items of varying texture as I could to make this costume, probably because I’m typically a girl who loves to wear bright colours and tends to overlook plain black pieces as they can feel more formal to me. I enjoyed the change to take on the bad witch character in contrast to the sweetness of my other earlier costume ideas of Snow White and Dorothy from Oz, and that is something else I feel recommends the witchiness; in addition to being easy and cheap (how dare you!), with this costume you get to be as mean and bad as you want. Which is fun. And you also get to cackle. Which is also fun. Plus there’s this.