I’m gonna get this out of my way right at the start: I am not normally a leopard print fan. I once heard someone say that (paraphrased) it is a print that is abundantly used in the fashion industry by the very cheap and the very expensive, and I think that perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the print on the whole. When done well, it’s sexy and chic and luxurious. Done badly, it looks…well, cheap. And while there’s nothing wrong with building a wardrobe in a thrifty manner, I think we all tend to hope our £3 bargain we were excited to snag doesn’t actually scream ‘THIS COST £3!’ We just want to be able to say that in an enthusiastic half-bragging fashion when someone cooes over how gorgeous it is. There’s a difference.
So with leopard print, I feel it’s a fine line. For that reason, I’ve stayed clear of it in the past, overlooking it in favour of prints or patterns that are less difficult to ‘get right.’ In recent months, however, I’ve found myself drawn to the print. Perhaps being in the pinup community means I’ve simply been exposed to a lot of brands who have got it right by leaning on their vintage inspirations to nail the sexy, stylish essence of the print. No matter the reason, lately I’ve been searching around for a leopard print top I can pair with a black pencil skirt and a sassy attitude to feel as slinky as the jungle cat it mimics. Thanks to Miss Fortune, I’ve found that top: the Leopard Polly Blouse.
In the retro clothing style arena there are two clothing shopping options: true vintage, which is when you purchase clothing made in the original era, and reproduction or ‘repro’ clothing, which is clothing that has been designed and produced (often on a mass scale) in the style of the fashion from a bygone era by a modern company. The benefits of buying one or the other type of clothing depends on your clothing needs, budget and your taste.
Vintage clothing can vary in price and quality, depending on where it is purchased and how well the item has been taken care of over the years, and while many people proclaim it is perfectly possible to find plus-sized vintage clothing, I myself have always struggled to find items I like within my budget that would actually fit me (and I’m a modern UK 12/14, technically not even plus-sized.) This problem with sizing is one of the main benefits of reproduction clothing, as modern designers realise that the modern woman typically doesn’t fit the same proportions as our glamorous 50s counterparts. Thus, repro clothing is thankfully made in a variety of sizes, and it is repro clothing brands that I’ll be providing a summary of in this post. I’ll be telling you what kind of items each brand produces, the size scale, the price scale, where the brand is based, and where you can buy their items.
I’m going to use a price scale here to give you an idea of what the typical price point is of these brands. For a clothing range that typically costs £30-50 across their range I’ll say ‘Low,’ mostly over £50 but nearer £100 is ‘Med,’ and typically £100 roundabouts or over is ‘high.’ Continue reading
The Monica dress by Laura Byrnes for Pinup Girl Clothing is one of those dresses that is so classic and so flattering that near every woman who sets eyes on it wants to own it. At $140 a pop and so glamorous that the first instinct is automatically to classify it only as evening wear, it’s understandable that the average woman, and even the average pinup, often feels she cannot justify buying such a dress if she feels she won’t often get a chance to wear it. Still, the I-must-own-it lust generally still perseveres even after good sense has spoken it’s piece, as I can personally attest to having drooled over this piece for nigh on a year before I finally took the plunge.
So for those of you who are curious but undecided about this beautiful frock I’m going to give you the full ins and outs of this dress –let’s talk sizing, quality, styling, and most important of all, if it’s worth it.
Doris May Day, looking so damn delicious in this dress that it is near illegal. Photographed by Laura Byrnes Continue reading