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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unboxing: winter belle’s beauty box

unboxing: winter belle’s beauty box

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Am I the only one who thinks of Seven whenever someone talks about unboxing/just boxes in general? …probably.

ANYWAY, the topic of this post is far less gruesome: it’s my winter Belle’s Beauty Box! You might remember I reviewed a monthly Beauty Box from Belle Blossoms earlier this year; I missed the autumn box after the switch from monthly to seasonal, but I definitely knew I wanted some new hair accessories for the winter season. At $35, this box is such an amazing value, and I love being surprised with pieces I might not have picked out for myself.

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New pretties! These boxes are so cute, with all the accessories inside wrapped up like a present. This would make a great gift for the pinup in your life…even if, y’know, that pinup is yourself.

I really appreciate the variety of pieces that are included in each box; I originally assumed those poinsettias were just sweet mini hair flowers, but they’re actually SHOE CLIPS! How rad is that? I’m so excited to holidazzle up some of my heels this December with cute  little poinsettia clips.

The other major standout to me in this box is that stunning peacock comb. I may have gasped a little bit when I saw it. It’ll be such a wonderful topper to an outfit, especially for a really glitzy Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. Hopefully I’ll get invited to one of those and have the option 😉

The jeweled peony and lovely gardenia are both classic hair flowers that will work well throughout the year but definitely have a nice winter vibe. I’m also definitely feeling pink this holiday season, so I’m excited to get those cute pink vintage button earrings! The only slight disappointment is that I did get the exact same hair scarf in a different box, but so it goes.

The winter box looks like it’s still available at the time of writing – if you’re looking to stock up and expand your hair accessory collection or want a nice, affordable gift for a special lady you know, definitely check it out!

spooky sweater | hell bunny review

spooky sweater | hell bunny review

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The first time I saw this sweater, it was kismet. A perfect blend of Halloween and Christmas, ideal for wearing all fall and winter long? I had to have it!

I ordered my sweater from Cats Like Us which no longer has it in stock, but you can find it pretty much anywhere Hell Bunny is sold.

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I ordered the sweater in my usual 2X; it’s wearable, but a bit tight. There isn’t a ton of stretch to the bust where the skull detail is, so definitely size up if you want a looser fit or have a larger bust. It’s also definitely quite short; since I would only ever wear it with something high-waisted, it’s not a dealbreaker.

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The keyhole detail at the neckline is one of my favorite parts – it really gives some extra fun to an otherwise basic shape. The print, of course, is anything but basic. I love the cute little crossed bone ornament details above the skulls. It looks great with all things black and spooky for Halloween, and it’ll be so fun to pair it with red and green for a creepy Christmas look.

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Since I was wearing all black and white, I wanted to go bright with my hair accessories. I felt a little bit self-conscious with this big ol’ Kiki’s Delivery Service bow, but also incredibly adorable. Worth it!


 

glamghoul

Throughout Spooktember and October, I’m sharing everything a vintage gal needs to have the perfect Halloween with costume inspiration, decor, recipes and more! Click here to find all the Glam Ghoul’s Guide posts.

hello halloween harlequin | glam ghoul’s guide

hello halloween harlequin | glam ghoul’s guide

Welcome to Pugoween 2016.

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Here’s a brief history of me and Harlequin prints:

College, just starting to get into pinup: Eh, it’s not really for me.
After getting more involved in pinup and seeing lots of cute outfits: Hmm, idk, maybe.
Upon seeing the Halloween Harlequin: OH GOD GET ON MY BODY RIGHT NOW

So the Halloween Harlequin dress is not only my first harlequin print, but also my first Jenny dress! Shocking, I know. I was always a little intimidated by this perennial favorite; all the talk of boning and de-boning spooked me a bit, I’ll admit it. But this print was too perfect to pass up, so I took a running leap off the dock of indecision and did a cannonball into the glittery black waters of fabulous spookiness.

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There was a lot of sturm und drang about the sizing of this Jenny dress, which didn’t help my nerves. Based on the measurements, I ordered a size up from my usual. I don’t have other Jenny dresses to compare it to, but this was definitely the right choice for me. I’m at the upper end of the 2X, so the 3X has maaaybe just a skosh more room in it than I want, but I definitely wouldn’t have been happy in the 2X. I buy my clothes with the intention of wearing them as part of my everyday life, which means wearing them to work, out and about, sitting, leaping, skipping, etc., so the slight bit of extra ease is perfect for me.

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Also, the pockets in this dress are DEEP AS HELL. Deepest pockets ever, I think…I could lose my whole forearm in there.

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I honestly can’t remember the last time I got so many compliments a dress. She’s definitely a showstopper! I did worry a little bit about how much wear I’ll get from this print outside of Halloween, but even if I don’t wear it much through the rest of the year (which I do intend to do, for the record!), it will be worth it for the fun that I have during the season.20160921_080035

I’m still waiting on the delivery of some Halloween jewelry that I can’t wait to share, so I kept it low key with my Hamlet pin (it has a skull!), a cameo necklace, and some subtle spider earrings.

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I also might have had too much fun practicing my “startled Halloween pinup” facial expressions while taking my detail shots!

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Golly, it’s getting awful spooky!

Who else is madly in love with the Halloween harlequin print? Did you snap up this dress (apparently the most popular one in Pinup Girl Clothing history!)?


glamghoul

Throughout Spooktember and October, I’m sharing everything a vintage gal needs to have the perfect Halloween with costume inspiration, decor, recipes and more! Click here to find all the Glam Ghoul’s Guide posts.

how to dress pinup on a budget

how to dress pinup on a budget

Back when I was just a simple schlubby college student wearing ill-fitting jeans and hoodies and daydreaming about pretty pinup clothes, cost was definitely a major hurdle between me and the aesthetic I wanted to achieve. At that time, I didn’t think it was one that I would ever overcome, but hey – look at me now! I do wear vintage/pinup attire every day, and I didn’t win the lottery or anything. I’m totally against the predatory lending practices of our modern age, and I don’t carry any debt (apart from my student loans, boo) and pay off my credit cards every month. So here are my quick and dirty tips for achieving vintage style on a budget.

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A caveat: The idea of “budget” means something different to all of us. Things that are easily achievable to me may not be to everyone, and things that are prohibitively expensive to me is nothing to someone else. These are only tips from my own experience.

  • Don’t rush. Sure, we all want to have exactly what we want right now, but you don’t get a trophy for acquiring the most stuff fastest. Be patient, save up, wait for sales. I owned ONE Pinup Girl Clothing dress for many years, and you better believe I loved that dress to death and wore it to every single special occasion. This is definitely one that’s gotten the better of me with all the limited releases lately, so it’s worth reminding myself: slow down.
  • Mix in non repro. Reproduction 40s/50s/60s clothes are a specialty style mostly made by small manufacturers. They’re always going to be expensive. Personally, I tend to buy more skirts and dresses from repro brands and mix in vintage-inspired blouses from places like Target or New York and Company (when they’re having a super good sale) to complete the outfit. We’re lucky that a lot of retro styles (especially pussy bow blouses) are pretty trendy right now. You don’t need head-to-toe repro to be legit – it actually can be more fun to mix in an unexpected piece so you don’t feel like you see yourself coming and going (as my mom would say) all over Instagram.
  • Don’t buy it if it doesn’t fit your aesthetic. If you really want to commit to a ~vintage aesthetic~, stop buying clothes that don’t go with your wardrobe. This is the one tip that I would say really made my full-time pinup/vintage look possible. Obviously you can wear whatever you want, but this keeping this in mind does so much good when I’m tempted by whatever random pretty is on the rack at Target.
  • Consider cost per wear. Yeah, stuff at Forever 21 is cheap. But that’s because stuff from Forever 21 is cheap. If you find a brand you like with quality fabric and solid construction, those pieces are going to last a lot longer. It also makes me happy to know that I’m supporting mostly women-run businesses and ethically produced clothing.
  • Work the accessories/layers. You can really transform a piece with different cardigans, scarves, brooches, etc. One dress (like the Havana Nights, perhaps?) can quickly become several outfits thanks to the power of accessories. I always make sure to add to my rainbow of cardigans when there’s a good sale!
  • Think about your monetary vices. We all have them! Personally, fashion definitely is my major vice. I don’t eat out much, I don’t smoke, I don’t even buy coffee regularly. My “fun” money goes to helping me achieve my aesthetic, because that’s what makes me happy. You certainly don’t have to make fashion your priority – but keep in mind what the other things you choose to spend money on are when you’re feeling like you don’t have the budget for new clothes!

My personal favorite “budget” brands are probably Hell Bunny and Lindy Bop. These both offer nice quality, fun pieces at a cost that’s more in line with “mainstream” fashion than the more high-end repro brands.

And finally, no clothes are ever worth going into debt over. Make good choices!

What are your favorite tips for being fiscally responsible while also looking fabulous?

easy everyday vintage curl set

easy everyday vintage curl set

I’ve had a few requests for a tutorial on how I do my hair, so today I’m taking you behind the curtain and showing you all my secrets. Before we begin, I’ll warn you that I am definitely not a hair expert. My set is definitely not neat and pretty; it’s kind of haphazard, but it works for me so oh well!

Let’s go once more into my poorly lit, very yellow-y bathroom and get started.

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I start with clean hair. If it’s still damp from the shower, that works…if not, I’ll usually run some water through it, but my hair is very fine and generally eager to curl, so I don’t worry too much about it.

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I use Jane Carter Wrap & Roll as a setting lotion. It was the first setting lotion I tried (since you can buy it at Target), and I have no complaints so far!

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So it turns out it’s super hard (indeed, impossible) to take photos of yourself curling your hair while…curling your hair. So here’s two stages. I take a small pump of setting lotion, then run it through a small chunk of hair. For the crown of my head, I do standing pincurls and roll it from as close to vertical as possible to help create more lift.

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Like so.

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I usually do about two rows of three curls on the side with more hair, and two rows of two on the side with less. Like I said – messy! It’s not much to look at, but it works out okay.

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These are probably the ugliest pictures ever, sorry! I use these soft rollers from Walgreens to put up the rest of my hair, because I’m lazy and I don’t want to pincurl my whole head. They’re pretty easy to sleep on too, which is a must-have for me. How I wrap them varies from set to set, but it’s usually about three in a triangle on either side of my head, then however many it takes to do the back of my head.

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Wrap ’em up, then off to bed for some beauty sleep! Note: I thought it would be fun to use one of my grandma’s vintage scarves to wrap my sets, but over the year or so I’ve been using it, it’s gotten pretty beat up. Definitely don’t do this with a nice, pretty scarf you would otherwise wear!

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GOOD MORNING!

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Remove your various rollers and pins. Be gentle with them – don’t tug!

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I run my fingers through gently to help break up the curls and start blending them together before I pick up the brush. There are a lot of great brush out videos on Youtube, which I’d recommend you’d check out! I use a basic paddle brush and basically brush through my hair while immediately following the strokes with my other hand to smooth the curls. I usually tip my head to the side to kind of brush…out instead of straight down to help keep more body in my hair, if that makes sense?

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When my hair is mostly brushed out, I section off my bangs and start brushing and shaping those separately.

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Looking pretty good! Once I’m mostly done and happy with the shape of my hair (which depends on how much time I have in the morning TBH), it’s time to spray!

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I’ve been using Suavecita firm hold hairspray for about two months now, and I’m a big fan. Smells good, works well – what more could a gal want?

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But it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind 😉 Sometimes I still adjust my bangs and whatnot after spraying…it just takes a little bit of coaxing.

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Put your glasses on and voila! You are ready to face the day with your easy retro ‘do!

I hope this was at least a little bit helpful…hair tutorials are pretty hard to communicate through still photos, haha, but I did my best!