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

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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!

 

 

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?

The Circus Has Come to Town

In another Swap & Sell purchase, I picked up a skirt I had been eyeing for months. My husband used to be a huge unicycle enthusiast (even taught a few lessons because he was so good) and loved penny farthings. When I spotted the Strongman Skirt from RockSteady, I wanted it, but it was a little out of my budget.

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Thankfully, someone on a Swap & Sell was selling it for less so I bought it right away. It was my first item from Rock Steady and the quality is about the same as I would expect from Hell Bunny or Sourpuss, etc.

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The skirt has a bit of stretch to it. I’ve found that with this polyester/rayon/spandex blend, it hugs the curves but also allows for a bit of movement without fear of ripping anything.

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I love the pattern and the kick pleats added around the skirt. I paired it with my favorite short sleeve turtle neck and some seamed stockings to really vintage the look up.

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Overall, I think this skirt was a great purchase but I’m not sure where I’d wear this skirt yet. Hopefully, my husband and I will find ourselves at a circus or La Nouba and I’ll have a reason to wear this beauty out.


Items featured:

Plus Size Cuban Heel Stockings by Leg Avenue from Amazon

Strongman Thrill pencil skirt by RockSteady

Black turtleneck (long sleeved version turned short sleeve by me) by Faded Glory

Black ankle oxfords from Goodwill

Becoming a PUG owner

Ever since I really started learning about vintage clothing and pinup style, I have pined over every clothing piece offered by Pinup Girl Clothing (PUG). My obsession stared around 2004 when I first graduated from high school. However, being a student meant I would never be able to own a piece from them until I got a real job.

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After my second raise (yay!), I decided I needed a skirt from PUG. The Holiday Capsule Collection for 2016 was about to be released and I couldn’t wait for the blue and white Blue Ice Harlequin Skirt from Pinup Couture.

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My husband and I are Jewish and I wanted to make sure I’d have something to wear at holiday parties where 90% of people will be wearing terrible Christmas sweaters and red/green dresses.

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The skirt arrived and I was pleasantly surprised to find it had silver within the pattern, that made the skirt even more beautiful in person. The quality of PUG is unmatched by anything I could have made myself for the holidays.

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I handmade a top for this skirt a week before it arrived using a sparkly blue fabric I got at Joann’s on clearance. The color didn’t quite match so I decided to go with a Bob Mackie Collection blue top I had found at a local Goodwill.

psx_20161122_223225This is by far my favorite outfit, not just because the skirt is so comfy, but because it was my first PUG piece. The young, poor vintage admirer in me was screaming with joy.

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Items featured:

Blue Ice Harlequin Circle Skirt by Pinup Couture from Pinup Girl Clothing

Blue Tie Blouse by Bob Mackie Collection

Blue Sparkle Top handmade by me with Fabric from Joann’s

Birthday, Pride, Dapper Day. Oh my!

Hurricane Matthew blew through Orlando early October right around when Orlando Pride was supposed to take place so it was moved to the weekend of my birthday. Also that weekend, Dapper Day. For the first time, the event was to take place in Epcot, where my husband and I used to work.

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It was also my first time attending. I was always nervous about going because the caliber of fashion I had seen from previous Dapper Days in both Orlando and Anaheim. I never thought I would even match something as authentic or beautiful as the women I had seen.

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I took a vacation day from work to spend my actual birthday, November 11, with my husband. We went to dinner at Better Than Sex, a romantic dessert restaurant with chocolate cocktails and mood lighting. My mom had gotten me this Addicted Coffin Bat Handbag offered by Dysfunctional Doll. It is now my favorite purse.

20161111_182442My dress was another Amazon purchase. A purple wiggle dress from a company named Newdow. The dress is actually made well, I bought a Vassarette lace slip to wear under it and it fit like a dream and hugged all my curves. My shoes, Dolce by Mojo Moxy, also came from Amazon. I found the 4″ heel to be far too high but I don’t wear heels often.

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Pride being on the same day as Dapper Day gave me the idea to wear a Lindy Bop dress I had seen in the new arrival section. A space unicorn pattern with rainbows! I needed it but my size was sold out on the U.S. and the U.K. site was very pricey. I found Didi’s Boutique through a search online and ordered the Audrina Space Unicorn dress immediately. With international shipping, the dress cost me under $50.

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Customs held the dress for a little over a week and the dress was set to arrive on the day I needed it! Marie, the shop owner, was remarkably helpful and checked up on me the whole time. Thankfully, it all worked out and I wore my Lindy Bop bright pink petticoat under the dress to really make the rainbows pop. Marie even threw in a pair of unicorn shoe clips from Atomic Mollie that I used as a makeshift brooch.

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The dress did double duty at Pride. The parade folks pointed me out, I collected compliments all around the park, and I even enjoyed a wonderful conversation with a young girl in love with my dress and considering taking on the vintage look with a little Lolita flair. I told her “go for it, you might be nervous at first but in the end, be yourself”.

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Items featured:

Audrina Space Unicorn dress by Lindy Bop

Pink Petticoat by Lindy Bop

Vintage V-neck Capsleeve Pencil dress in Purple by Newdow

Tracy D’orsay Pump in Cobalt Floral by Dolce by Mojo Moxy

Coffin Bat Handbag by Addicted from Dysfunctional Doll

Fashion at HHN

I started my vintage journey during the perfect season, Fall. Every year, my husband and I go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando and this year, I got the chance to wear vintage all season. I started by making two skirts using Halloween fabrics I found at Joann Fabrics.

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I love the selection they carry and usually I have at least one coupon worth 40% off. I made a pleated 2″ waisted skirt and a gathered, elastic waistband skirt.

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The pleated skirt is my all time favorite. The combination of the fabric and the pleats just gives that vintage feel I wanted. I thought of doing it gathered but the price of the additional fabric would have put me out of budget. Instead, I used only 2 yards and still had at least a yard left for additional projects. The skirt even has POCKETS!!

I wore the gathered skirt more often just due to comfort. I love bats and the color allowed the print to glow in black lights which is a staple in many haunted house attractions. I loved it, however, in one of the scarezones (Vamp ’55) featuring 1950s vampires, the principal always seemed to take issue with my allegiance to the Bats.

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The Vamp ’55 scarezone really was meant for me since I was just going into the vintage side of life. I even met a Spiffy Saturday friend there on multiple occasions wearing all the Pinup Girl Clothing pieces I could ever want.

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My husband and I attended the event so often, the scareactors began to learn our names, and, on more than one occasion, compliment my attire. It became my happy place, especially since derby was no longer doing that for me. I had lost some friends but HHN helped me through that.

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I even had the chance (pun intended) to re-wear my Chance skirt piece again. This time, I paired it with a Jaws t-shirt in honor of the fallen attraction. This HHN was probably my favorite HHN simply because I got to do it as myself and have the confidence to look the way I wanted to. And confidence can really get you anywhere.


Items featured:

All fabrics from Joann Fabrics

Sourpuss Bats Spooksville Dress in Pink by Sourpuss

Pinup Couture Jenny Dress in Halloween Harlequin Print by Pinup Girl Clothing

Featured photo credit: Ian Suarez (see his Instagram! – @haveyoumetian)