summer essentials: sunglasses

summer essentials: sunglasses

Sunnies, shades, haterblockers: whatever you want to call them, every pinup needs to have a fierce pair of sunglasses.

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In addition to protecting your eyes from the sun (squinting is never sexy), sunglasses are perfect for helping to preserve an air of mystery. What is she looking at? What is she thinking? Is her eyeliner even? Who knows! Only you!

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I will admit that I’m super jealous of all the non-glasses wearing gals out there who can just pick up a fabulous pair of sunnies off the rack and rock them all summer. I’ve always had a not-so-secret desire for heart-shaped sunglasses or some of those with little flowers on the edges. But for those of us who need a prescription, my favorite source for glasses both sun and non is Bonlook. My usual regular glasses and sunglasses are both Keiko frames, but I also have regular frames in Dolled Up which would be super cute sunnies too.

Do you have a favorite pair of sunglasses for summer?

tiki bars: wauwatiki

tiki bars: wauwatiki

How about a new tiki bar review to start the weekend off right?

You may be surprised to find tiki establishments in my often chilly and not in the least bit tropical home state of Wisconsin, but I would argue that we need them more than most! Wauwatiki Bar & Grill is the new tiki kid on the block in my neck of the woods, so of course I had to make the trek to check it out. But first! Let’s talk about what I wore.

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Top: Target | Cardigan: Kohl’s | Skirt: The Oblong Box Shop | Earrings: Femme de Bloom | Pin: Greenwich Letterpress | Necklace: Local maker | Lipstick: MAC’s Lickable

It’s hard to imagine a better skirt for tiki adventures than the Sneaky Tiki from The Oblong Box Shop (except, perhaps, her new tiki drinks skirt…I might be yearning after that one…) Paired with a tiki enamel pin and some lovely earrings from Femme de Bloom’s new mermaid collection, I felt ready for some South Seas-inspired fun!

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Wauwatiki is quite small inside and very long and skinny. When you enter, there’s the bar to your left and some booths to your right. Past the bar, there are more over-sized booths and a few tables. There’s also a garage door that was open to let in the lovely warm breeze. I would say it has more of a general island/beach bar feel than a traditional dark, kitschy tiki bar. There’s the grass over the bar and tiki face stencils on the wall, but it’s not the overstuffed bonanza of nautical/tiki swag that I’m used to seeing. And there is a big screen TV mounted on the wall, which I know is anathema to the tiki bar to many aficionados.

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The cocktail menu features all sorts of lovely illustrations of the drinks…the biggest drink on the menu is the Shiver Me Timbers bowl, which costs a whopping $225 and includes an entire bottle of champagne. Wow! They’ve also recently started offering food, but we were focusing on the drinks this time around.

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I started off with my very favorite tiki drink (and the namesake inspiration for this blog!), the Singapore Sling! The drinks here are definitely on the pricier side, but you’ll see throughout the photos that they come with some great garnishes and really lovely presentation.

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How fun is this guy?? (This is the Baka’s Brew, which was sweet and tasty, definitely my style.) Unfortunately, Wauwatiki doesn’t currently offer any mugs to take home, but our server told me they’re planning to introduce a custom mug and Mai Tai glasses, which would awesome! I do love collecting mugs, and it gets a little tiring to see the same standard mass-produced mugs at all the bars.

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The Banana Daiquiri comes with this adorable banana dolphin, which was hands down the coolest garnish of the night. It was only slightly beat out in coolness points by…

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The Island Smoke, which comes in a real hollowed out pineapple!! This mezcal-based drink didn’t end up being exactly to my tastes, but it was still worth it for the experience of sipping out of this big ol’ pineapple.

Service was pleasant and attentive. The bar wasn’t exactly packed, but there was a good crowd there for a weeknight. It had a nice convivial atmosphere that I appreciated. I’d definitely like to return to try some of the food (I saw another group that was cooking some kind of meat skewer on a tiny little grill at the table!), and once there are mugs to be had, you know I’ll be back.

The Verdict (Out of 4 possible tiki torches)

Ambiance: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Drinks: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Mugs: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview(I have to deduct a torch for not letting me keep any!)
Service: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Food: TBD!

summer essentials: sunhat

summer essentials: sunhat

It’s finally summer, even up here in the chilly Midwest (please oh please don’t snow again)! In order to celebrate the season, I thought I’d start sharing some of my personal pinup summer essentials. Everything you need to have a fun and fabulous summer! First up: a big floppy hat.

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Is there anything more glamorous than a wide-brimmed hat? Nope! Plopping one of these on your head automatically makes every outfit much more fabulous, whether it’s a sundress, a stylish bathing suit, or even just shorts and a t-shirt. The wider the brim, the higher the glamour, though you do have to take care that your brim is stiff enough to stand up to its own weight. No one likes to be blinded by their own hat.

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Floppy hats are also especially useful for pale girls, like myself, who want to avoid a deeply UN-fabulous sunburn while gallivanting around at car shows and festivals and barbecues. I got this hat for around $15 at Target two summers ago, and I definitely have gotten more than my money’s worth for it! I’ve had my eye on this ultra-giant hat from Pinup Girl for a while now…maybe this summer I’ll finally take the leap.

Are you a hat person? Don’t forget to follow for more summer pinup tips!

wishlist: pineapples!

wishlist: pineapples!

Pineapples are having a real moment right now, which is 100% okay with me because I am super into pineapples. Not only are they delicious, but they say “tikifabulous” more than any other fruit. And I certainly want my life to be as tikifabulous as possible.

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  1. Wooden bowls: I’m absolutely obsessed with the vintage wooden pineapple bowls that are all over Etsy. They’re so charmingly rough-hewn, they really have an island vibe.
  2. Rug: This rug would be great for adding a little bit of funky flair to an entryway or a kitchen.
  3. Candle: I actually do own this, but it’s so great I had to include it. I can’t wait to burn down the candle and have an awesome little pineapple jar to fill with, IDK, candy or secrets or something.
  4. Barware: Okay so I am absolutely obsessed with everything on this website. These are gorgeous and obviously high quality…one day I swear I’ll own one!
  5. Hooks: Give your house a little bit of that island flair!
  6. Necklace: These are so delicate and pretty. I would wear it…90% of my days.
  7. Lamp: Target is seriously on their game with the pineapple merch this season! How many white ceramic pineapples is too many?
  8. Purse: Of course, the ultimate way to bring your tropical style with you everywhere you go. It’s so charming, I can’t even stand it.

Are there any pineapples on your wishlist?

Disclaimer: I have not ordered from the majority of these stores & can’t vouch for the actual products.
on body positivity

on body positivity

Apparently this is Body Positivity Week? I hadn’t heard of it before, and it’s not like I can contain my self acceptance feels to one week of the year, but I guess that’s as good a reason as any to write this post! We’re gonna get serious for a moment, friends. Hang in there with me, cuz it’s important.

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It shouldn’t be radical to choose not to hate yourself. It’s really that simple to me. Why should I hate my body, when it does everything that I’ve asked it to do? Like a lot of (most?) women, I have a hard time reminding a time that I wasn’t painfully aware of my body. But I have no memory of it as a child, because then I used to care about how high I could jump, how many monkey bars I could swing across. I didn’t think about how I looked.

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But I do care about how look now, and know what? I look good. I don’t hate myself anymore. Mostly. Self love and self acceptance is a process, and it’s an important one. It’s one that I’ve been able to undergo because of the inspiration of badass ladies who share their awesome outfits, killer looks, and important thoughts online. I really can’t say how much becoming used to seeing bodies like mine, bodies different from mine, bodies different from the narrow social “ideal” has made me able to see my own body as normal, good, and lovable. And hey – so is yours.

I never would have dared wear a bikini when I was smaller than I am now, but you know what? It’s a rad bikini, and no one ever died because they saw pasty Wisconsin girl flesh.The other thing that’s helped me pursue body positivity & love really is following my heart and finding my own style. The more and more my physical self reflects who I am in my heart, the more comfortable I am in that self. I try every day to stop looking at myself with a critical eye and use a loving one instead. I fight the instinct to delete any photo that I think shows too much neck fat. I make myself post pictures of myself smiling, even though I worry my cheeks look too round. I look to my own fashion icons, and I try to emulate them whenever I can. I hope that some girl somewhere will see an outfit or read a post, and start to think that maybe she’s okay too.

When you actually take a step back and look at how women are encouraged to hate themselves, the industries that chug away feeding off our self-hatred, the way communal shaming and self-flagellation has become the major method of female social bonding (“oh my god, I was so bad over the weekend”)…it’s kind of horrifying. I try really hard to refuse to participate in these cycles of body hatred, and I encourage you to do the same. Nothing positive ever came from shaming ourselves or each other, and you really never know what someone else is struggling with when you complain about how eating a single doughnut made you “feel fat” or joke about skipping meals.

If you’re not ready to love yourself yet, try starting with not hating yourself. Let’s all try to be decent and kind to each other and to ourselves. That’s a good first step. ❤︎

maker spotlight: femme de bloom

maker spotlight: femme de bloom

When I thought about highlighting the creative makers of the retro/vintage scene, I knew there was one shop I absolutely had to talk about first: Femme De Bloom!

I don’t remember anymore how I happened upon Melanie’s shop…I’m sure I saw some other pinup wearing one of her adorable brooches and promptly headed over to her Instagram and fell down the rabbit hole.

Femme De Bloom is full of beautiful, colorful vintage-inspired handmade jewelry, including lots of pieces with Disney and nerdy inspiration! Everything I’ve gotten from her has been absolutely darling and looks exactly like it did in the listing (unfortunately not always a guarantee!). Her pieces are lightweight but still feel very substantial; I wasn’t nervous at all traveling with these brooches and collar clips in my jewelry bag. Which I definitely did, because I adore them and always want to have the option to pair one of these great pieces with my outfit!

How about a little fashion show?

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Spooky! Did y’all know I used to be a redhead with bleached bangs who didn’t know how to style her hair? It’s true! These cute little Jack o’ Lanterns (currently out of stock) were the perfect fall/Halloween accessory.

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Beauty & the Beast is one of my all-time favorite movies, so the “Tale as Old as Time” brooch had to be at the top of my list.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I am 100% Team Cap! I love being able to show off my team pride with these sweater/collar clips!

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These Totoro clips (currently out of stock) might be the cutest thing I’ve ever worn in my entire life. I absolutely coo over them every time I see them.

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But my very favorite purchase has to be this Mary Poppins brooch (currently out of stock). There’s something about wearing a brooch that proudly proclaims “Practically perfect in every way” that just makes you feel a little bit more, well, perfect. Much like the lady herself.

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Basically, if you haven’t bought anything from Femme De Bloom before and you like Disney, nerdery, and cute things…you’re missing out! There’s absolutely no reason not to place your first order today. In fact, looking up links for this post has got me thinking about picking up some more pretties for myself – so go and pick out what you want before I buy it out from under you!

lemons

lemons

I’ve been on the hunt for a great lemon print dress for a long time. One that, in the words of a dear friend, “Looks like grandma wallpaper. But in a good way.” My grandparents do, in fact, have some pretty fabulous fruit wallpaper in their kitchen, and maybe that’s part of my subconscious desire for a lemon dress. I was eyeing one on eShakti that promptly sold out, and ended up getting my hands on a Lady V London that turned out to be too small. So when I was idly catching up on some blog posts and saw the ladies of Junebugs & Georgia Peaches rocking some fruit-tastic fashion, I knew I had to check out the New York & Company Eva Mendes collection for myself. As luck would have it, they were having a sitewide 50% off sale, and one thing lead to another…

I originally had my eye on the Felicity dress, which was out of stock in my size, but I’m actually really happy that I got separates. That’s twice the options for lemon-related outfits!

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Skirt: New York & Company | Top: Kohl’s | Cardigan: Dress Barn | Necklace: Modcloth | Pin: Dapper Day

The Maddie skirt is a little less full than my usual silhouette, but still very pretty. I’ve had some difficulty recently with feeling smushed in non-stretch skirts that run small at the waist, so I decided to size up on this one just to be safe. I think I would have been fine in my regular size, but this one definitely has plenty of breathing room, which is a nice change!

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I wanted to echo the yellows of the skirt with my cardigan, and I chose to wear my “Greetings from California” Dapper Day pin because a) it’s adorable and b) it reminded me of the delicious lemon ricotta pancakes that Elise made me while I was visiting using a lemon from her parent’s yard! I don’t think I’ve ever had a lemon that was more delicious. I think this skirt would also look gorgeous with a simple, crisp white blouse, which I do not currently own, but I might have to start hunting for now! Or a sleeveless blouse with a tie-up front for spending weekends lounging on a slightly upscale patio? Yes please!

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Top: New York & Company | Skirt: Eloquii | Blazer: Kohl’s | Earrings: Local maker | Ring: Kate Spade | Bracelet: Vintage | Tights: Target

The Tess blouse is cute but a little weird. It’s shorter than I expected (possibly because my bust is making it ride up, to be fair), but I would pretty much always plan to wear it tucked into high-waisted bottoms, so I can work with it. The back of the top is sheer. Dark sheer…but definitely sheer. Looking at it again, this seems more obvious from the model photos, but it’s still a bit odd, especially since it seems to be presented as workwear. I would have to wear a tanktop under this or a blazer/cardigan over it in an office environment, but I guess it is kind of flirty fun for when you’re wearing it out? I think this would look great tucked into some high-waisted shorts…once it gets a little warmer, we’ll see if I’m right!

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I was dressed up for a big meeting at work, and this lemon top definitely helped me feel like I still had a spark of personality within the restrictions of business attire.

Even outside the Eva Mendes collection (which is great), there are several pieces on the New York & Company site that I have my eye on. I’ve worn this brand before and find it to be very high quality, so it’s great to snag nice pieces like this at such a good price. I always love the opportunity to find vintage inspired pieces at brands that aren’t necessarily retro/vintage focused; as much as I love the major repro brands, you sometimes start to feel like you see yourself coming and going! It’s great to mix in some different pieces and be able to create outfits that feel fresh.

Do you have a favorite “unexpected” source of retro fashion?