let’s get together (yeah yeah yeah)

let’s get together (yeah yeah yeah)

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Illustration by Al Moore

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that the fires of sisterhood are burning especially hot in me lately. Part of that energy is going toward forming new & deepening existing female friendships in my real life (or “meatspace,” as we nerds say), but part of it is definitely reserved for my amazing online community!

I mentioned on Instagram that I’d love to collaborate with other bloggers or brands this year – whether it be guest posts or blog swaps or style swaps or WHATEVER, if there’s a cool thing we could do together, I want to give it a shot! I value the community that I’ve found on Instagram so much, and I want to find ways that we can work together & support each other even more.

Semi-related, but I’ve been craving a dedicated blogging space for vintage/pinup gals…am I the only one who feels that way? (Or is there already one where you’re all hanging out without me???) A Pinup Bloggers Unanonymous, if you will. I’m part of several blogging related Facebook groups, but sometimes the constant focus on the business and the hustle tires me out. I’d love to have a sounding board with other retro gals on the blog scene!

I’ve also been thinking about having a vintage link-up…would anyone else be interested in participating in one?

Ahh…I don’t know if this kind of bloggy business post is interesting to anyone, but I always like to connect with other bloggers and thought it was worth a shot! Your regularly scheduled programming will resume after this brief message.

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hidden figures & the dangers of rose-colored glasses

hidden figures & the dangers of rose-colored glasses

Hidden Figures Day 41

From the very first preview, I knew that Hidden Figures had the potential to be both gorgeous and important.

First off: Hidden Figures is a really great movie. There were so many moments in the theater that I found myself smiling or tearing up; the characters are vibrant and lovable, the story is inspirational without being cloying. And, of course, for a vintage-loving gal the eye candy is amazing. From the amazing aqua car the main characters commute to and from NASA in to miles and miles of seriously covetable 60s office looks, I definitely had some stars in my eyes.

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But Hidden Figures should be required viewing for all pinup girls and vintage enthusiasts for much more important reasons than style. It’s easy to look back at the past and admire pretty dresses and try to recreate perfectly sculpted hairdo’s. It’s harder to take in the severe social injustice that permeated the time period, but it’s necessary.

One of the things I really appreciated about Hidden Figures is how it presented the mundane, everyday reality of racism. A lot of the time, even today, we focus on the “big stuff.” And rightfully so. But it’s the silent rejection, the patronizing, the simple lack of thought that eventually brings Katherine to a breaking point.

As the admirers & modern-day custodians of the “vintage lifestyle,” I do think it’s incumbent on us (speaking especially as a white woman) not to attempt to smooth away the dark parts of the past and to actively appreciate the work of often unsung heroes like the “human computers” in this movie. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson made huge contributions in their fields, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to know their names and learn more about their stories.

…but yeah, Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson is serious #StyleGoals. And just general goals, for that matter.

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If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a really good-hearted movie with an important message and, yes, some really killer outfits.

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20 things every modern pinup should know

20 things every modern pinup should know

What makes someone a pinup? Where are the requirements for vintage gal status written down? Personally, I think anyone who wants to claim the title is welcome to it, but I also had a lot of fun thinking about the various “skills” a modern pinup needs. Some of them are the same as glamour girls of days gone by, but some are very specific to today’s world. I’d love to know if you agree!

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  1. How to draw a wing so sharp it could kill a man
  2. How to open a bottle of champagne
  3. Where the nearest bathroom is
  4. How to accept a compliment
  5. When to call it a night
  6. What her favorite red lipstick is
  7. How to rock a sale
  8. When wearing heels is worth it…
  9. …and when it isn’t
  10. Which Old Hollywood starlet she most wants to emulate
  11. How to make it a week without breaking a nail
  12. How to use the restroom while wearing complex undergarments
  13. The best antique/thrift shops in her city
  14. The value of a well-used hashtag
  15. How to do a curl set
  16. The approximate location of the nearest tiki bar and/or cocktail lounge
  17. Which Mad Men character she would be (even if she didn’t watch Mad Men)
  18. How to complete an outfit with a well-placed accessory
  19. How to use a record player
  20. When poof is called for, and when EXTRA poof is called for

How many of these can you check off? What’s on your list?

PS: Speaking of sales, I’m on a no-buy right now but I’m drooling over everything in the Modcloth sale! Let me live vicariously through you.

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how to pair tops with skirts

how to pair tops with skirts

A dear friend once asked me, “Have you ever written a post about how to figure out what shirt goes with what skirt?”

“No,” I replied. “Would you find that useful?”

“Yes,” she said. And here we are.

If anyone would know about pairing tops and skirts, it ought to be me since that combination makes up a solid 75% of my wardrobe. As always, fashion has no hard and fast rules, if you like how it looks keep on keepin’ on, but these are the three things I consider when I’m putting together an outfit.

1. Color

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As with any outfit, you gotta consider your colors! I believe it was the venerable Clinton Kelly who said that your clothes don’t have to match, they have to go. When I was little, my mom used to have me perfectly matched from my barettes to my socks. Some people push back against that “matchy matchy” style now, but it still has a warm place in my heart! That said, you don’t want (and probably can’t afford!) to be perfectly matched at all times. Neutrals go with anything, so if you’re nervous you can get started brightly colored/patterned top paired with a black or grey skirt, or vice versa.

Ready to take it to the next level? It’s time to go back to art class…that’s right, the handy-dandy color wheel!

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Pretty! There are lots of places that will cover color theory in GREAT depth, but we’re just here for the clothes, right? Basically what you want to keep in mind are tonescomplementary colors, and analagous colors. Tone-on-tone has been trendy lately and is something I enjoy a lot myself – that’s done by wearing multiple tones/variations of the same color. Complementary colors are across the wheel from each other (like yellow and purple or blue and orange), and they’re always a good idea to pair! Analagous colors are the ones next to each other on the wheel. So green + yellow and green + blue = pretty great. Green + orange = ehhhh. Now, you can definitely rock a look that breaks basic color theory rules and look rad as hell, but if you’re just getting started, those are good guidelines to stick to. Don’t let a patterned piece intimidate you – just pick one of the colors in the pattern to pair with it!

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2. Silhouette & Proportion

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Basically, you don’t want the shape of your top to compete with or disrupt the shape of your bottom (heh heh bottom)…it should all flow nicely together. You usually will want to pair a skirt with a wider sweep with a more fitted top (a blousey one can mimic the sweep of the skirt too closely and look awkward), while slim fitting skirts can work with both fitted tops as well as ones with more volume. Consider your proportions when making an outfit, but don’t forget you can “cheat” those proportions with accessories! I would usually tuck a longer blouse into the waistband of my skirt, since I’m going for that curvy, poofy pinup silhouette and want to accentuate my waist. But I can also leave the blouse on the outside and use a belt to define my waist instead, giving it a different look.

3. Type of Attire

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Casual, Business Casual, Business Professional, Business Formal, Cocktail, Black Tie, White Tie..who even knows what we’re supposed to wear anymore? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. You’ll want to use the same basic ideas of color theory that we discussed above when looking at the different levels of attire – choose two pieces that are either at the same level, pretty close, or total opposites. A nice skirt definitely pairs well with a nice (or pretty nice) blouse, but it could also pair with a casual t-shirt if you want to get a little funky. Wearing pieces that aren’t on the same level of “formality” but aren’t different enough to be deliberately mismatched (another example: converse & prom dresses) can look haphazard.

I hope these tips gave you a little more confidence in making an outfit! At a certain point, it’s all just trial and error – don’t be afraid to put different combinations on and try them out. Sometimes you just don’t know if something is going to work or not until it’s on.

If you have any other questions about mixing and matching and creating outfits from skirts and tops, let me know below!

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dressed in holiday style

dressed in holiday style

When is it too late to talk about what you wore for Christmas? Oh, that’s right…never!

I’m (mostly) kidding (no I’m not), but I didn’t want to get too far into the year before sharing my holiday outfits.

My immediate family and I (parents, sister, and her boyfriend) decided to have our Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve Eve. We feasted on pizza, opened presents, and watched the king of all Christmas movies: The Muppet Christmas Carol.

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I was heading to my parents’ house straight from work, so I wanted an outfit that was festive  but also comfy.

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I paired my Pinup Girl Clothing candy cane striped Jenny (sold out – the petite version is here) with a sweater I’ve had for a while. For accessories, I couldn’t resist the holly necklace & earring set I treated myself to from Summer Blue Jewelry and turning myself into the biggest present of all with this amazing giant red bow! I did a Secret Santa swap with my team at work this year, and the lovely lady who had my name got me prosecco, three fabulous bows, and a book. It’s nice to feel known!

I’d been picturing my Christmas Day outfit throughout the whole holiday season as I started collecting pieces. Thankfully, all my festive fashion wishes came true! (Thanks Santa! Or…Baby Jesus?)

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How about that Christmas card realness??? Our family tradition is to bring all the fixins for a delicious prime rib feast down to my grandparents house. We headed down on Christmas Eve this year, trunk full of tempting treats.

I always love posing with their tree…there are ornaments on here representing where I went to college all the way back to ones my dad made as a child.

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You can tell this is post-present opening because I’ve got on the traditional gift of Christmas socks! As I mentioned in my holiday house tour post, I was very into the idea of a pink Christmas this year. The Reindeer Love skirt from The Oblong Box Shop let me tie in both pink and the more traditional red for an outfit that was the perfect combination of kitsch and classic.

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Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows about my love for taking selfies in my grandparents’ downstairs powder room. They took down the fuzzy green stripe wallpaper I loved so dearly, but I guess the leaves are nice too. And how stunning is this amazing brooch and earrings set from Luxulite? I thought these had sold out after lusting after them for weeks; I was crushed, and when another set popped up I snatched it up immediately! The only real disappointment of Christmas was that after changing my hair washing schedule specifically to avoid this, my hair was super uncooperative. So back it went into hair jail – you definitely made the naughty list this year, hair!

Because our Christmas celebrations were all shifted a day early, I didn’t have any plans on Christmas Day. My parents invited me over, of course, but I actually really enjoyed the time to wear my comfy PJs and watch tacky Hallmark Christmas movies on Netflix. (There was one about a country singer. And one about a ghost!)

All told, it was a lovely Christmas!

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everything i needed to know about beauty i learned from rupaul’s drag race

everything i needed to know about beauty i learned from rupaul’s drag race

The “natural” look has never really done much for me. When I was growing up, I felt like every makeup tutorial I saw in magazines (because there weren’t beauty gurus on Youtube or Instagram then. You had to find out how to put makeup on from Seventeen like some kind of peasant) was focused on how to wear enough makeup to look like you weren’t wearing any. And that’s just not how I roll.

Is it any surprise that I absolutely love drag queens?

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Violet Chachki photographed by Miss Missy Photography

“Drag queens aren’t trying to look like women, they’re trying to look like drawings of women” is a quote that really struck me, paraphrased from something Violet Chachki’s drag mother told her. I relate to that idea a lot, of aspiring to an aesthetic that’s heightened, something that kind of twists the expected norm. Women are punished for not being “feminine” enough, but there’s also a strange hazy place on the other end of the scale, when you’ve gone too feminine. There’s a level of effort/femininity that you’re expected to reach, but going past that has the danger of making you seem “vain” or “high maintenance.” To which I can only say

 

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One of my favorite parts of watching RuPaul’s Drag Race (as opposed to a drag show) is getting to see behind the curtain, the time, thought, and energy that the queens put into each look they create. I don’t think of wearing pinup as a costume or putting on a character or anything, but fashion is a way that I express myself artistically, and that intentionality is something I want to bring into my own ~Looks~.

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Ben De La Creme from Queerty

It’s not all Serious Business Fashion, either. My very favorite queens are always the ones who mix that classic campy/kitschy side of drag in with the glamor because, well…I’m pretty damn kitschy myself. You can (and should, in my opinion) be both gorgeous and hilarious.

Before I started living my best life~ fashionwise, I was super jealous of drag queens. It seemed like the only way to do what I really wanted in my heart of hearts was to be on a stage. But, y’know what? The world is my stage, darling.

Last, but not least, RuPaul has created my ultimate psych-up jam. Whenever I need a little extra courage in a challenging pair of heels, this is what’s playing in my head.

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