top 10 outfits of 2016

top 10 outfits of 2016

I was thinking about what I should blog about this week when I abruptly realized that these will be my last two posts of the year. Yikes. I’ve had so much fun getting back into the habit of blogging again, and the year’s flown by. I never kept up regular posting on a blog for this long before, and it’s definitely thanks to the lovely, encouraging community of vintage fashion enthusiasts that I’ve found ❤

To celebrate the end of 2016 (good riddance!), I decided to pick out my 10 favorite outfits. Going back through all my outfits of the year was so much fun! This was definitely the year that I really feel like I started to get a good handle on bringing my aesthetic to life in my day to day. A lot of my favorite pieces are actually missing from this round-up because I was trying not to pick anything where I just thought the dress or the skirt was great – I wanted to feel like they were full outfits that I’d executed.

So without further ado, here they are!

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Putting them all together, it’s obvious that I need to mix up my posing game next year! Fun fact, I do always take some head-on outfit pics looking at the camera, but I always feel like my expression is weird. It’s just easier to close your eyes!

It was a pretty great year in outfits, and I definitely expanded my wardrobe more rapidly than in any other year. In 2017, I want to continue to push myself to try new things and combine my favorite pieces in new ways.

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my triumphant return to pants | PUG review

my triumphant return to pants | PUG review

True life: I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn pants in the past year, and never (neverrr) to work. After years of dealing with trying to find jeans, dress pants, or even ponte pants that would fit properly and make me feel fabulous, I decided to say farewell to leg prisons for good. But there was one siren that still called to me…

Ultra. Wide. Legged. Trousers.

I drooled over photos of 1940s ladies in beautifully voluminous trousers. I wanted to feel that Katharine Hepburn vibe. But whenever I happened upon a pair of vintage-style wide-legged pants, they stopped short of my size. I wasn’t even sure they would look good on my anyway, and I had sworn off pants, after all.

Enter the Doris pants from Pinup Girl Clothing. They were beautiful. They were wide as all get out. They came in my size. But still, I was nervous. When I flew out to California for Dapper Day and made a stop at the PUG Boutique, I tried on a pair of Doris pants…I probably would have gone home with them, but I really needed one size up and they were totally out of stock. So Doris went back into the “someday” cardboard box of my mind. There were always (alwayyyys) more things to buy, and it was hard to pull the trigger on the pants.

But LO! I snatched up a pair for a hell of a steal in the Zulily sale, and here is where our review begins:

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First off, these pants are very high quality. They are HEAVY; the fabric is so thick and soft, and they’re actually lined all the way down the leg, so they really do hang beautifully on the body. At 5’9″, these are the perfect (PERFECT) length on me. They curtain my feet without enveloping them and juuuust avoid brushing the ground when I walk. If you’re shorter, you’ll probably need these hemmed to the appropriate length.

I love the feeling of them swishing around my legs when I walk. I only had one minor incident going up stairs, but it’s entirely possible that was due to my own legendary grace & elegance and the pants were completely uninvolved. I feel like a tall, glamorous drink of water in these.

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There is an elastic panel in the back, but I personally wouldn’t size down in these. The measurements for these put me in a 3X; I tried the 2X (my usual PUG size) at the boutique and while I was successful (eventually) at zipping them up, it definitely wasn’t comfortable. If, like me, you’re hoping to wear these to work and sit and eat and all those useful things, I would follow the size chart. Even as it is now, zipping them up can be a little bit of a struggle; it would help a lot to have a clip at the top to hold the halves together so that the zipper wasn’t constantly unzipping itself as you struggle.

Overall, are they worth the money? Definitely. Would I buy another pair? ……I dunno. Honestly, though I’m happy I made my return to the world of pants with these, I just don’t get enough use out of pants to want to spend over $100 on a single pair. They are totally worth the full price, but at that price, they don’t really make sense as a part of my closet. Am I absolutely beyond thrilled that I was able to get a pair for a great deal? YES!!! If another bonkers sale pops up, I would definitely pick up another pair or two. Brown was actually my third choice option for color, but since that’s what was in stock, that’s what I went with. I could definitely see myself rocking black or charcoal, given the opportunity. For now, I’m still investing the bulk of my fashion funds in skirts and dresses, but adding a pair of pants to my wardrobe has definitely upped the versatility of it. Crazy sales are definitely a great way to try something new; who knows – you just might like it!

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how to winterize your retro wardrobe

how to winterize your retro wardrobe

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The nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder, and one question is on every fashionable vintage gal’s mind: how am I going to keep looking cute all winter long? I see a lot of women asking about how to wear pinup clothes when the weather gets colder or being sad to put their pretties for the season, but a lot of the time fashion advice comes from Californians  and other warm-weather folk who, bless their hearts, just don’t know (or have forgotten) what Serious Winter can entail. I am a bonafide, true blue, blizzard-battered, polar vortex-surviving Northerner, and I am here to tell you that you do not have to give up on vintage style when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Here are my top tips for dressing pinup in winter.

1. Accept the cold

It’s winter. It’s going to be cold. There’s no stopping it, and anyone who’s hoping for a magic bullet that will keep them toasty warm through the darkest subzero night is kidding themselves. But once you accept that the cold will come, it’s totally possible to stay comfy and cozy and still look cute.

2. Fleece-lined leggings/tights

These were 100% a gamechanger for me, and I credit them entirely with my ability to take a stand against pants, even when temperatures turn for the worst. I actually have to not wear my fleece-lined tights more often than not because I get too warm wearing them all day, but if you don’t run as hot as I do or are planning to be outdoors for any extended period of time, these will save your life.

3. Layers, layers, layers

You can’t just throw on a cardigan and call it layering in the depths of winter. Cardigans are great, but don’t forget about layering blouses and sweaters over or under dresses. Not only does it keep you warm, but it’s a great way to give new life to a dress and extend a spring/summer dress into a fall/winter one. (The Jenny dress is a perfect candidate for this – see how I styled my Halloween harlequin dress with a blouse.) An extra tanktop or t-shirt worn under a blouse or sweater can also help keep your core insulated. Wear an extra pair of leggings (or straight up long underwear) under your pants. Adding a scarf to an outfit can also dramatically increase how warm it is…every time I wear a scarf with a look, I end up taking it off since I tend to run hot during the day.

4. Decide what compromises you’re willing to make

I would be significantly warmer in the winter if I was willing to buy a not-cute puffy coat and wear a hat. But I’m not interested in smushing my hair, and I love pretty swishy coats. That’s a level of avoidable coldness that I accept. On the other hand, there’s no way I’m tromping over the icy death traps that are Wisconsin sidewalks in winter wearing heels. If I want to wear cute shoes, I have to be prepared to bring them along and change whenever I get where I’m going. It’s all about balance.

5. Plan ahead

Something that I’ll wear to a dinner out where I just need to run from my apartment to the car and the car to the restaurant is very different from what I’ll wear if I’m planning to walk to the theater after work (and then be walking back to my car when it’s even colder). Make sure you’re keeping the day’s plans in mind when you’re getting ready.

Follow these easy tips to keep looking cute all winter long! If you have specific questions, I’d be happy to put my Wisconsinite fashion sense to work on some cold weather clothing advice.

 

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.

darling doris (PUG review)

darling doris (PUG review)

Much like the Havana nights dress I reviewed back in June, Pinup Girl Clothing’s Doris skirt is a soft-spoken lady. She’s often overshadowed by her louder and more giggly sister, the Jenny, but don’t pass her by.

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I’m planning to do a mega masterpost about dressing pinup/vintage in the workplace (is that someone you’d be interested in? Let me know in the comments!), but I will give you a spoiler right now: the Doris skirt is the PERFECT skirt for the office. I picked one up somewhat on a whim; I needed a nice basic black skirt, and I already own several Jennys. I knew that the Doris had been redesigned with a fuller sweep and pockets, so I took the leap – I’m so glad I did!

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The Doris has a good amount of fullness even without a crinoline; I really like the “swing” of the skirt. It has a lot of body without the full-on POOF of a Jenny. The pockets are nice and deep, and it has real belt loops which is always a plus. I do have to say that I’m once again distressed by the length of the belts PUG includes with their dresses – I ordered the Doris in my usual 2X, and it fits very comfortably, but the belt is wayyy too short. I can only close it on the very last hole if I want to be able to sit down – please make longer belts!

I still love my Jenny skirts, but I’m definitely head over heels for Doris! I’d love to collect a whole rainbow of them to mix and match however I choose…but I guess basic black is a good start.

Are you a Doris fan?