With the sun making more regular appearances, it finally feels like the time to make the switch from my autumn/winter wardrobe to my spring/summer pieces. Into storage go my tartans, checks and velvets, and out come the florals, brights and ginghams. This Dominique number will gladly join them, as one of those rare specimens of which I have very few in my closet–an unmistakable summer dress in pure neutral tones.
Despite the clear vintage-leaning style of this blog, it’s not often I get to feature a piece that has a true tie to history, but this Kalani dress has just that. Its bird of paradise print was originally released in 1939 by The Kamehameha Garment Company, Hawaii’s first wholesale ready-to-wear manufacturer. The company rose to prominence through the widespread popularity of their “aloha shirts,” first sewn by tailor Ellery Chun in the late 1920s and sold then for $1. The shirts quickly gained a following among islanders, and before long both tourists and US military servicemen alike were buying up their own aloha shirts too, creating a fanbase for Kamehameha’s creations that spread out across the entire US mainland. The company’s reputation for quality and innovation has lasted through all the years since, and their collaboration with Unique Vintage brings us a selection of stunning pieces that are perfect for summer, vacationing, and just plain feeling fabulous.
I know, I know; English readers will be thinking but we only just had our second bout of snow! But you know what? I don’t care. I’m bored of winter. I am ready for florals and frills and wicker bags and wedges! England might yet tobe convinced that it is spring, but I am, and thanks to Hell Bunny I am refusing to back down!
The Fairy Doll dress by Collectif is one of their staple dresses that receives new print and colourway releases every spring/summer. This year the offerings are tropical themed samples of deliciousness, and I’ve been eagerly waiting for this orange and green combo of bamboo summer fun to be released since I saw the preview of SS17 last September.
I knew I loved the dress instantly purely for its vibrant print, but I didn’t realise it was going to be such a comfortable, easy wear. With no zips and only stretchy, stretchy smocking, this is a perfect dress for wearing on hot summer days when tight waistbands can pinch and rub as your body temperature rises. Plus, that stretch factor means it’s an excellent dress for travelling in both style and comfort, something I appreciated massively when I wore it this past weekend in the hot glasshouses of the Royal Edinburgh Botanical gardens and walking round the gorgeous (but hilly) city.
There’s something I really love about summer prints more than anything else. It’s probably that I love vibrant shades, nature-inspired prints, and things that are a little unusual–and the new Tahiti palm print from Collectif’s SS16 range has all of those features. The second I saw the previews of this print I was sold: oh God, it’s coming in a cross-strap style sarong dress? I love those! Oh jeez, AND a swing dress? I LOVE THOSE TOO.
Sarah Forshaw (@Forshawsarah) and Miss Amy May (@miss_amy_may) are southern belle and southern brit pinups, respectively, who found one another on Instagram part way through their pinup transformations in mid 2013, at which point they tentatively, then all of a sudden, become devoted and divine friends. Bonding over their urge to bring full on glamour to their every day lives, their shared opinions on cake, and their fierce nerd hearts, the two quickly began to look upon one another as fabulous sisters–who simply hadn’t met yet outside the confines of the interwebs. Due to finally meet IRL to share many squishy hugs and swing-skirted spins in fall 2015, they’re opening up their friendship and their closets to you in this shared blog post while they eagerly await their meeting.
Amy: It’s been quite a while since my darling Sarah and I have been able to join forces for another installment in our The Brit & The Belle series, but finally we’re ready to share another joint post with you. Sarah and I are alike on many different levels, too many to list. Two of the easiest to focus on is our shared belief that a good dress is a terrible thing to waste by waiting for a good excuse to wear it, and our love for Pinup Girl Clothing. The combination of those two things means we both happen to own the same fabulous dress in the same colourway, the orange and purple Pinup Girl Clothing Hawaiian Hideaway dress.
We don’t want to taunt you too much with this dress because unfortunately it’s now out of stock after going on super sale at $60 down from $160–yeah, no wonder that bad girl sold out, and fast. (Such a sale is part of the Pinup Girl Clothing Online Yard Sale, where no item is over $60 and the sale section is updated regularly.) So while we’d like to focus a little on the dress and it’s fit to give you PUG newbies an idea of the brand’s quality, we want to focus as well on the parts of us that aren’t so similar; our differing sizes, shapes, colouring and styles.
It’s true, my birthday month is done and dusted. I had a wonderful time seeing friends from all over, eating a great deal of food, and buying new clothes (although I can’t really claim that’s something exclusive to my birthday month…) As you’ll see from the pictures below, I think I’ll have to name the Pinup Girl Clothing Hawaiian Hideaway dress my official birthday dress of 2015, as I chose it for two of my birthday celebration events. I guess 29 year old Amy has an appreciation for the tropics!
Click on the pictures for a closer look! You can find links in the description to any item that is still available to buy. Anything not linked is from a past season and cannot be found for purchase any longer and/or is not available to buy online.
As it’s almost June it’s that time of year when I dress in summery prints and cuts regardless of what the temperamental British weather is doing (read as: most of the time it’s a bit chilly and kind of dull, but I’m stubborn and wear what I like anyway.) This time last year I didn’t own many super summery or tropical style dresses, but after many a good sale since then I now have my optimistic English paws on several. Because of this I decided it’s time to show you some of my favourites over the next few weeks and review them all for the usual perimeters of fit, quality, availability and price so that I can give you an idea of whether my favourites have a good chance of working well enough for you to become one of yours.
First up is the Pinup Girl Clothing Malibu Tiki dress. This sarong style dress has been a staple of PUG’s summer styles for several years, available currently in 3 different tropical flower prints and a plain black colourway, following a successful run of the original baby blue and pink print which was famously worn by Amy Winehouse. That last mentioned print was the first of the style, but since then the dress has been redesigned and tinkered with to become an immaculately-fitting specimen of Polynesian inspired perfection. Micheline Pitt, designer of the dress, even gives a rundown of her inspirations and the history of the dress design in a post she wrote on the Pinup Girl Style website.
I fell for this dress hard last summer and added all three tropical colourways to my forever-full PUG wishlist. It wasn’t until the wintery beginning of this year that I decided to use a PUG giftcard I’d been given for christmas by my lovely friend Kimi to finally help me purchase this dress…and I tortured myself trying to decide which colour to get. I, and half my friends I asked about this, thought the green and purple colourway would probably look the best with my red hair and pale skin, but there was something about the blue and red colourway which seemed the most special to me, and was the colourway that I always pictured in my head when thinking of this dress. Still, the orange was so unique…Ah, but that blue. I didn’t really wear bright blues though…? Back then, I didn’t. Continue reading →
I don’t really do pants. There was a time while I was heavily overweight that I lived in jeans, scared dresses made me look fat, and a time before that in my teens, when I was much less overweight than I believed myself to be, when I lived in skirts, convinced trousers were the fat-highlighters. These days I feel perfectly comfortable in trousers weight-wise, but I’m so in love with the new look silhouette that rarely do I want to give up my full skirts for time spent in pants. Saying that, I’ve always been curious about the Pinup Girl Clothing Capri pants nonetheless, hearing awed rumours that they were a wonder of construction that fit both one’s nipped in waist and accommodated a bodacious backside. That, I knew, was something I had to experience for myself. The features of the capri pants that were supposed to achieve such wonderous results can be found similarly in other PUG pants, like their cigarette pants and high-waisted pants, so when PUG released their Laura Byrnes California High Waisted Cropped Trousers in Parrot Print I was both delighted by the print and super curious about the fit. As a non-pants dweller, I had never got round to ordering a pair to try, but when Pinup Girl Clothing offered to send me bottoms to match my Dixiefried Vintage Bustier Tops I knew the Parrot Pants had to be requested. Because, you know. PARROT PANTS.
Let’s take a look at the parrot-y goodness in action.
The Dixiefried Vintage Bustier top by Pinup Girl Clothing isn’t a new piece, but it’s recently undergone a design alteration so that it fits slightly longer than the previous cropped version, making it easier to tuck into your high-waisted retro bottoms, whether that be shorts, skirts or pants. It’s fully boned, fastens with buttons at the back, and features a beautiful ruffle trim. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen me wearing the yellow version lately with my Laura Byrnes California High Waisted Parrot Print Pants, giving myself all sorts of tropical sassy feels and feeling a bit like a tiki princess.