Bright and Beautiful Summer Days

Lately, I’ve been re-evaluating my wardrobe and collecting pieces that have more wearability in the hot, humid weather of central Florida. Though I cherish all of my novelty pieces, I wanted something a little more casual.

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I’ve found that Collectif has some of the prints I find a little less garish when I’m attempting to be a little more muted and casual. The Paint Pot print is one of those prints and I snagged the Dolores dress in this print on Ebay for a steal.

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The dress is very comfortable. I wore my Rago shapewear underneath to smooth out my lines, but I chose to forgo my corset this time as the weather would have made wearing it unbearable.

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I paired the dress with my Chase & Chloe Kimmy pumps, which matched the yellow perfectly. I love these pumps and I have several of this brand’s pinup styles because they are easy to walk in and they can take a beating.

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I’ve found in these past few months that my style is changing again. Although I only started this vintage journey a year ago, I am constantly evolving and that’s ok. It only means I am continuing to learn more about myself as time goes on.


Items Featured:

Dolores Dress in Paint Pot in Yellow by Collectif Clothing

Kimmy Round Toe Heel in Lemon By Chase & Chloe from Amazon

Seamed Stockings in Latte/Champagne by What Katie Did

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A special thanks to the photographer for the wonderful photos:

Heart Shaped Dreams Photography

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Entering a Pinup Contest

It’s been a while since I updated but so much has been going on! I entered and won my first pinup contest over this past weekend and it was a fantastic experience.

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There was quite a bit of anxiety before the contest happened. I initially heard about the contest through a photographer I met in Jacksonville during a photoshoot. The requirements were only that the contestants wear era appropriate clothing (nothing vulgar) and answer a random question.

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All the beautiful contestants and judges

Since I had never done a contest based on beauty before, I felt I needed to test out everything before the day of. I decided to go with a poodle hairstyle so that I could pin my hair and hopefully combat the Florida humidity.

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Practice run

Next, was the dress. I decided on a sarong wiggle dress and found the Collectif Mainline Mahina Tropical Hibiscus Sarong Dress. I tested it on with all of my shapewear and accessories to finalize a silhouette and make sure I would be comfortable.

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After alterations

The only issue I had with the dress was the hips. I had to do a quick alteration to fit my 47″ hips (my hips are 14″ difference from my waist size, so I typically have issues with wiggles for this reason), but the dress is made in a way to allow for an easy seam alteration.

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In the end, all my tedious attention to detail and effort paid off. I had a wonderful time competing, meeting other pinup gals, and gaining confidence all at the same time. This was a great first time out and it definitely will not be my last!

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Items Featured:

Collectif Mainline Mahina Tropical Hibiscus Sarong Dress from Collectif

Tropical Hair Flower from Fancy Fruits on Etsy

Chloe & Chase Kimmy T-Strap Heel in Beige from Amazon

A big thank you to Shadow Rose Photography, Red Velvet Photography, and AMP Creative Media for the photos

Stocking Lessons

I love garter belts and I love stockings. I find the look of retro seamed stockings can really tie an entire look together. However, its been a struggle trying to find the right stocking for my large thighs. I wanted to spend the least amount of money while also trying to match my skin tone.

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The first pair I purchased were Leg Avenue Cuban Heel Plus Size Stockings. They cost me less than $10 on Amazon. Unfortunately, I found that the cheaper stockings were always a very light shade that stood out against my brown skin.

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These stockings were also very easy to snag and rip. In fact, when I first removed this pair from its packaging, the glue caught on the nylon and snagged it before I had a chance to put them on. I recently bought this pair again, to replace the ripped ones, only this time I opted for regular size, not plus size. This was a huge mistake! Its then I decided to go for What Katie Did Seamed Stockings in Latte/Champagne.

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What Katie Did’s sizing doesn’t specify “Plus” size so I ordered the M/L, the largest size for these stockings. I chose the Latte color for a more casual look and to match my skin tone better. I love these stockings.

They come with a strong welt for garter belt clasps. The Rago garter belt I have held onto it very well and I didn’t find myself constantly checking if I had ripped them like I had with the Leg Avenue stockings. I also loved that the champagne color was a close match to my natural skin color.

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My plan is to grab these stockings in every color as they come in red, green, black, even some pastel colors for the spring. Even for my large thighs the M/L size fit great and I didn’t feel like a sausage. I definitely recommend these for any retro gal.


Items Featured:

Strongman Thrill pencil skirt by RockSteady

Black ankle oxfords from Goodwill

Plus Size Cuban Heel Stockings by Leg Avenue from Amazon

Seamed Stockings in Latte/Champagne by What Katie Did

Black Gathered Skirt Handmade by me with fabric from Joann Fabrics

Kimmy T-Strap Heel in Nude by Chase & Chloe from Amazon

Six Strap Garter Belt by Rago from Amazon

Red sweater from Goodwill

The Importance of Foundation

One of the most important things I learned in my transformation into the pinup style is that the traditional “pinup” look isn’t just about the clothes everyone sees. It’s what’s underneath that can truly make or break a look.

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Same dress, different foundations

One of my first purchases for foundation garments was a longline bra from Exquisite Form on Amazon. I wanted a sturdy, affordable bra that I could wear practically everyday. Along with this, I purchased a GREAT strapless bra from a local shop in my area. Strapless bras are vitally important for tops with low necklines like peasant tops so its important to have one that will fit comfortably and securely.

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A look like this requires a good strapless bra.

Next, I invested in a well made corset. This is a personal decision. I find that my look is accentuated by wearing a steel boned corset, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should wear one. I purchased a waspie cincher from Orchard Corset and a longer underbust corset from Mystic City Corsets.

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Fully closed in my Mystic City Corset (30″)

I have found that purchasing a well made corset and seasoning it well will actually act as a better cincher than the latex waist cinchers you can find in many stores now. There are several misconceptions about wearing corsets so be sure to do research before you jump into the tightlacing pool!

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My look with my Mystic City Corset underneath

When I first started dressing in the pinup style, I wore bicycle shorts underneath my skirts to prevent chafing and to give a smooth look. The best upgrade to this is to purchase a pair of high waist shaper shorts (I use Flexees by Maidenform) or a full body shaper to smooth out any problem areas and to just give a more streamlined look underneath your garments.

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Under and Over

I think I invested the most money into the garments that no one but me and my husband see, but I’ve found that the pay off from them is well worth it. There are so many brands to purchase from in terms of foundation garments (Rago, Maidenform…) but really it depends on your comfort level. After all, it will be you who knows exactly what is hidden under all those pretties.


Items Featured:

Coral Polka Dot dress by Sara USA from Amazon

Black Velvet Belt by Pinup Girl Clothing

Valerie Dress in Black Satin by Pinup Girl Clothing

MCC-75 Corset in Black Cotton/Sport Mesh by Mystic City Corsets

Lightweight High-Waist Thigh Slimmer by Flexees by Madienform

Longline Bra in Black by Exquisite Form from Amazon

Powderpuff Top in Red from Vixen by Micheline Pitt

Galentine’s Day

I had the absolute pleasure of spending the pre-Valentine’s Day weekend with a group of lovely ladies in Tampa for a Galentine’s tea date at the Oxford Exchange. I don’t normally celebrate Valentine’s day but this gave me the perfect chance to wear my newest purchase from Sara USA.

This lovely dress was on Amazon for only $12 and my vintage love letter clutch (also from Amazon) was only $10. I wore a corset as part of my foundation to keep my waist cinched and I felt absolutely lovely in it.

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The gals brought gifts to participate in a White Elephant exchange and I came home with a lovely tea set. I am an enormous fan of tea and I’ve always admired fancy china like my grandmother has in her home so this was the perfect gift for me.

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I had a wonderful time despite the traffic I encountered on the way back home. The icing on the cake was the surprise on my husband’s face when he saw the look of the day. Though I normally don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, it was a great day and a perfect way to celebrate with a group of lovely ladies that share the same love for all things vintage.


Items Featured:

Coral Polka Dot dress by Sara USA from Amazon

Vintage Love Letter Clutch by Shagwear from Amazon

Black Velvet Belt by Pinup Girl Clothing

Turning Naturally Curly Hair Vintage

Since changing my style, I’ve found the most difficult part of dressing vintage is my hair. I am a mix of Mexican and Black and my hair is a unique texture of curl. For a very long time, I convinced myself that the only way to achieve proper vintage style was to straighten my hair.

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Though I still use a flat iron to straighten my hair when the weather permits, I have found that there are other styles I can produce without spending hours burning the curl from my hair. It hasn’t been easy, mostly due to the fact that there aren’t many curly hair tutorials out there.

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The easiest style I’ve come across are hair combs and bumper bangs. I use a bun roll that I’ve cut to create a straight hair rat. I use the hair rat to help form perfect bumper bangs and I use Suavecita Pomade to smooth them out. For the rest of my hair, I roll and tuck the hair back using bobby pins (though hair combs can achieve a more secure set). Sometimes, I leave my curls out, or I tuck them in and finish with a hair scarf.

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The typical classic pinup look involves pin curls. However, with the texture of my hair, traditional pin curls do not form correctly. Instead, I do a twist and pin my hair using setting lotion in 1″ sections and set in place with bobby pins. I usually do this before bed and sleep with them in. I take the my hair down in the morning or when dry, finger brush them out and use pomade and a boar bristle brush to smooth out any parts that have become unruly.

I also love to use pillow rollers to achieve a vintage style. Using the same brush out technique as with the twists, only my hair comes out in much softer waves than with the twists. This is the closest look to the traditional pin curl brush out using no heat element to straighten my curls.

Though I still straighten my hair when I want a more classic look, I like these styles the most for every day looks and outdoor events. Vintage hairstyles always seem a bit daunting when you first try them, but once you get to know your hair texture, it gets much easier!

 

 

Too Faced and NYX Buys

I decided to spoil myself this holiday season and order myself some items from Too Faced Cosmetics. I don’t usually purchase items directly from cosmetics brands as I am not very particular on which brand I use. Over the holidays, I kept hearing about a few things from Too Faced that I had to try.

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Everyone was going wild about the Peach palette but the colors were not what I normally find myself wearing. Instead, I ordered the Totally Cute Eyeshadow Palette and the Selfie Powders.

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First off, these are my first ever branded palettes, and I’m hooked. I absolutely love the looks I can create with the Totally Cute palette. There are unique colors (My favorite is I<3TF and Shooting Star) that I love to use to accent my eyes.

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The Selfie powders are absolute magic. They keep my makeup looking matte and they really do create a beautiful glow to my face in both natural and artificial lighting. (Below are the selfie powders taken without flash and with flash – From the top: Sunrise, Totally Toasted, Moon River)

 

On a recent trip to Ulta, I grabbed a few Liquid Suede lipcolors from NYX that were in the clearance rack. I don’t normally go for wild colors but purple is my husband’s favorite color so I had to take a chance.

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I love matte lipcolors, they tend to keep me from biting my lips and they make my lips look fantastic. I immediately swatched the colors to see how they looked on my caramel skin tone.

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From the top: Sway, Respect the Pink, Subversive Socialite

The colors come out pretty opaque with one swipe and they dry matte within a few minutes. I personally like the pink color “Respect the Pink” but “Sway” and “Subversive Socialite” also look amazing against my skin color. I can’t wait to wear these out with a wild vintage look.

 

Winter Spiffy

Early this month, Spiffy Saturday came again, giving me another opportunity to create another look for the event. This time, I wanted to make sure that I fit the winter theme. I snagged a perfect winter fabric deal from Joann’s and started sketching.

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I recently became infatuated with peasant tops and I sought to reproduce the neckline and sleeve shape of the peasant tops using left over elastic I had from a previous project. The design came out perfectly, despite the fact that I forgot to use interfacing to maintain the shape of the button holes down the back.

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A few days before Spiffy Saturday, I found out it would be cold and rainy, so a quick purchase of a compact umbrella and fur stole from Amazon was in order.

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The look was fantastic and there were several wonderful photos of everyone at the event. Since my first time at the event, there has been a spike in interest for the event, showing that vintage lovers exist, they just need an outlet.

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I’m absolutely excited for the next Spiffy event, coming in May, and I plan on making another original design. My sewing techniques have improved so I’m looking forward to creating something even better next time!

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Items Featured:

All fabrics were purchased from Joann Fabrics

Faux Fur Collar by Soul Young from Amazon

Micro-suede Wedge Heels in Brown from Target

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A special thanks to the photographers for the wonderful photos:

Jose Silva of JNSilva Photography

Dustin Elkins of Defotography

E.L.F Haul

Budgeting and shopping for makeup don’t always go hand in hand. I typically shop at Ulta but if I need an item quickly and without spending over $30, I head to my local drug store. I was introduced to the E.L.F cosmetics line this way and just recently I snagged a box full of makeup at less than $25.

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I received primer, two moisturizing lipsticks, blush, a brow kit, lip exfoliator, two lipliners, eyeliner and mascara (not all pictured). All my items arrived in perfect shape except for my mascara which I received a refund due to its damage.

The lip liner in Deep Red is amazing. I love the way it goes on and it even has a blending brush at the other end. This is one of the most important items in my makeup kit since I wear a LOT of red lipstick.

I also can’t get enough of the lip exfoliator. I’ve just started to get to know makeup and realized how important it is to exfoliate your lips before applying matte lipstick. It not only keeps lips healthy but maintains the integrity of the lip color through the day. I’ve found that this lip exfoliator leaves my lips soft and has a sweet taste to it.

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Still being brand new to the makeup game, I’m no expert but these items from E.L.F are excellent and affordable staples. If I need something in a hurry, I can always pick up items at my local CVS but their website is always having sales and things like lipstick can be as little as $0.40 a piece. Such a great deal, how can you not splurge a little on it?

Bésame and Victorian Stripes

Yesterday, I was ecstatic to receive two items (technically three) that I had lusted over for months. Bésame Cosmetics lip colors I purchased from an Ipsy sale and Laura Byrnes Cigarette Pants in Victorian Stripes purchased from a Swap & Sell.

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I couldn’t have been happier with the fit of the pants. I was a little worried about the size. I grabbed these, size 2X, instead of the size I thought I would be, XL. Thankfully, they fit just perfect around my hips which are the hardest area for me to fit in pants.

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These trousers give me a wonderful shape and silhouette without feeling like a sausage. With some cigarette pants, I find myself having to hide my extra poof with a flowy top, but I could actually tuck in my shirt with these.

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The lip colors were just as satisfying. I received the Tango Red (Reproduction from 1939) and American Beauty (Reproduction from 1945) colors and they are perfectly vintage.

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My favorite of the two is the American Beauty. I find that I prefer red lipcolors with bluer undertones and darker tints as opposed to orange undertones. The texture is quite nice on the lips and the color stayed on through eating and drinking.

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Tango Red
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American Beauty

The trousers originally retail for $92.00 but I got them on the Swap & Sell for almost half the price and in fantastic condition. The lip colors normally retail for $25.00 each and I received them both at a price of $19.00 from Ipsy. They are definitely worth the price but I’m so glad I was able to get them within my budget!

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Items featured:

Cigarette Pants in Victorian Stripe by Laura Byrnes from Pinup Girl Clothing

Tango Red and American Beauty Lip Colors by Bésame Cosmetics

Brea Cross Strap ballet flats in Black by Top Moda from Amazon