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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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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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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penny & the pearl | collectif review

penny & the pearl | collectif review

Like many pinup girls, I’ve been lusting after the Pearl coat from Collectif for a very long time. I first fell in love with it when I saw it on the Modcloth website a few years ago, and I’ve kept going back and forth on it ever since. This year, I decided that as soon as the coat came back in stock, I was taking the leap.

Of course, that leap turned out to be a much longer one than I thought. My package got lost in international transit limbo; I’m still not sure if it was actually lost or just held up in customs, but it eventually got to me about a month late.

By this time, I was really desperate for this coat, and I was hoping it would live up to all of my expectations. Did it? ….well. Yes and no.

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We all know the coat is gorgeous, and it truly is beautiful in person. It’s lush and luxurious and dramatic. Every time I’ve worn it, I’ve gotten compliments on it. People have called me over to ask where I got it. I did size up in it, and it was the right choice – it fits very neatly and snugly.

It’s also warm. The one thing I was most nervous about buying the Pearl coat was how warm it would be; I searched around a lot, but most of the reviews I could find were from people in more moderate climates. But I’m happy to report that it is quite warm; it’s definitely not on par with a ski jacket or anything, but it’s as warm as I’d expect a wool blend coat to be. I’ve worn it in -15 degree weather already this year, and it’s served me well.

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But unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and roses. The sleeves are  very tight; they are loosening up some as I wear them, but my movement is definitely restricted by how tight they are. Also, as soon as I took the coat out of the package, I discovered that BOTH of the pockets were already splitting open at the bottom. After wearing the coat for just a handful of weeks, one of the buttons has fallen off and the driver’s seat of my car is badly stained from the wine-colored dye. It also somehow managed to stain a light colored top even though I always had a cardigan on while wearing the coat.

Now, these are relatively minor issues, but honestly, I expect a lot higher level of craftsmanship in a coat that’s this expensive. It definitely makes me reluctant to order from Collectif again; the coat is gorgeous, and I’m certainly going to keep wearing it, but the quality of the details is disappointing.

Maybe it’s just me? Has anyone else had issues like this with their Pearl coat? I really am disappointed to have a piece that has such a passionate fanbase and that I’ve wanted for so long to come with all these careless flaws.

movie style: white christmas

movie style: white christmas

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You guys. White Christmas. Not only is it one of the only decent Christmas movies on Netflix (yay!), it’s definitely a tradition in my family. And yes, I know lots of people think that Holiday Inn is better…but they’re dumb, because there’s no way that a movie that features bright blue ostrich feather fans could be second best to ANYTHING.

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See? If I’m ever fabulously rich one day, I’m going to pay someone to make me a replica of this costume and just wear it around the house/to the grocery store/whatever. I’m sure none of you are surprised that I was enraptured with this movie, even as a child who had no idea that she’d grow up to be a pinup. I guess you could say I imprinted on it.

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When are floor-length sequined gowns with giant poufs of tulle and sequined gloves going to come back into fashion? Also, Rosemary Clooney’s hair is so on point during this whole movie. So shiny! So sculpted!

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I definitely relate more to the Rosemary Clooney character in this movie, both as a person and in fashion sense, but Vera Ellen has some great looks too! I’m a little bit obsessed with this checked circle skirt…it would be so versatile. The pop of red from the belt gives it just the right seasonal flair.

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How badly do I want this gorgeous green velvet dress for Christmas??? The cross straps over the bodice are KILLING me. With the pearls? It’s just too damn fabulous. How can you be sad when you’re wearing such a beautiful dress, Rosemary?

White Christmas is definitely a beloved holiday movie of my heart, but it’s made even better by being my favorite holiday movie with regards to style! Anyone else have a style icon from a holiday movie?

pinup staple: high-waisted thrills skirt

pinup staple: high-waisted thrills skirt

To follow up on my How to Dress Pinup in the Workplace post, I wanted to occasionally share some of the staple pieces in my working pinup wardrobe! First up: the high-waisted thrills skirt from Steady Clothing.

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This skirt is the very definition of outfits made easy: pair it with any top or sweater and you’re good to go! Easy to dress up for work or dress down for play, it’s one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. I currently own three: purple, teal, and a specialty skull overlay one that is no longer available.

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A swing skirt, it isn’t as full as something like the Jenny, but as much as I love the poof, sometimes you want to go for a slightly sleeker silhouette. The fabric these skirts are made of is wonderful – it drapes beautifully and is just heavy enough to hang nicely without any underlayers. I’ve found it to be very resistant to wrinkles, which is definitely an important factor in any outfit choice!

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These skirts are available directly from  Steady Clothing as well as under the name “Bugle Joy” on Modcloth. I try to keep an eye out for which site has the best coupon going and scoop one up. Now that I’m on my third, I’m definitely convinced that this is the everyday swing skirt for me, and I’ll hopefully be snapping up a few more colors during upcoming seasonal sales! (Though at $50.99, these are definitely very reasonably priced.)

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The only major downside of the High Waisted Thrills skirt is the lack of pockets. *sad trombone* I definitely do miss them, but I also love the line of the skirt. Sometimes sacrifices must be made! It is, however, machine washable.

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Sizing wise, I find the skirts to run  slightly on the snug side compared to other retro brands. There’s no stretch to the waistband, so make sure you’re very careful with your waist measure before ordering. I have skirts in both 2X and 3X; the 2X do fit, but I will probably order 3X going forward for comfort’s sake. The skirts close with a zipper and a button & tab on top; I certainly don’t mind just a zipper, but the addition of the button does add a nice finishing touch.

As you can tell, I’m especially taken with the purple skirt and have been wearing it a lot in my fall ensembles. A perfect swing skirt available in a wide variety of colors is definitely a must-have in any pinup wardrobe!

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.