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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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?

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!)?


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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?

maker spotlight: meteor jewelry co

maker spotlight: meteor jewelry co

I have to start this review by just saying upfront that I am so impressed with Meteor Jewelry Co. This is by far the most “high-end” feeling Etsy experience I’ve ever had in all my years shopping there, and I have so much respect for what Paula has built here!

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First off: the boxes. Like, damn. Presentation does matter when you’re shipping things; I love cute little envelopes and tissue paper that many of Etsy purchases come in, but these branded boxes definitely set up a very sleek, chic, and professional customer experience. It feels serious (and I want to keep them! I don’t know what I’ll do with them…but I’m definitely keeping them).

It was also great to get a little insight from Paula into how jewelry like this is made; I have a basic understanding of how one goes about making a polymer clay piece, for example but was totally clueless about these. Paula designs all of her pieces, and her 3-D renderings are turned into a mold by a local manufacturer, who casts the pieces in pewter. She assembles and enamels everything herself!

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These Parrots on Parade earrings immediately catapaulted themselves to the top of the earring food chain. They are absolutely stunning and such a perfect and unique tiki/tropical piece. Each bird is hand-painted in a 3-4 step process, and you can really tell. They’re so much more delicate and detailed than I could even tell from the product photos.

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I chose these precious yellow parrots with sweet green bellies, because I thought they were fun and bright, and would go well with a wide variety of tropical-themed outfits!

Also, the earrings are amazingly light. They’re big and substantial, but I wore them all day without any discomfort (and I’m kind of a baby about heavy earrings haha).

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Y’all know I love a big ass brooch, and this is a Big. Ass. Brooch. It’s huge, which thrills me to no end! The Tahitian is available in a number of colors, and I was definitely tempted by the purple and teal, but I’m really glad that I went with Mother of Pearl. It’s just so classic and sophisticated. I love that it would work just as well on a sleek black dress as on a flashy tiki-tastic outfit. And I definitely intend to wear it both ways!

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The brooch has “Meteor” stamped on the back (and the earrings have little “M”s!)…just another tiny detail that no one else will ever see, but that really steps up the quality of the piece.

I just really can’t express how impressed I was with these pieces! I can’t wait to place another order with Meteor Jewelry Co – I can tell that this will definitely be one of my go-to sources for classic, vintage-inspired jewelry going forward.

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!

guest post: thoroughly tiki emily

guest post: thoroughly tiki emily

Hey kittens! I’m super excited to share a post from the lovely Emily on my blog today! Her enthusiasm for her adorable outfits (and everyone else’s!) on Instagram always makes me smile. Enjoy her petite perspective on the Little Jun!

Hi! I’m Emily of Thoroughly Modern Emily, and today Penny Snark and I are doing a post exchange, because the best thing about blogging is making blogger friends and doing fun things together! She’s over on my blog sharing her tall-girl thoughts on the new tiki Little Jun from Pinup Girl Clothing, and I’m fangirling my little heart out over that same skirt right here.

Like Penny, I’m a fan of all things tiki, so when I saw that Pinup Girl Clothing was releasing the fabled OG tiki print in a new pastel colorway, I sort of lost my mind. When the mint tiki Little Jun skirt made its first appearance on Instagram, I was a goner! Since I’m only 5’2″, I’d been interested in trying out the Little Jun for quite some time, but none of the existing colors or prints really struck me as must-haves. The mint tiki Jun was the perfect storm of OMG I WILL ORDER THIS THE SECOND IT RELEASES. And order it I did!

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Clearly it was love at first sight!

 

First things first: this skirt is adorable! I’m a big fan of the now-discontinued Kinky Box skirt, and the Little Jun does a nice job of filling the pleated-skirt hole in my heart. Before ordering, I fretted a bit over what I’d wear it with, since pastels and I have only started getting along fairly recently, but now that it’s here, I am coming up with outfits left and right, and need to restrain myself from wearing it again this week!

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Little Juns are perfect for contemplating evolution!
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Also perfect for sassy poses!

 

The print is exactly like PUG’s original tiki print, except very slightly scaled up and in cool-tone pastels instead of yellow, orange, and green. As a huge fan of the original tiki print, I’m happy to have another skirt that’s different enough that 1) hopefully people won’t notice that I basically buy the exact same items in multiple prints/the same print in multiple items, and 2) I won’t feel guilty about having a closet that’s overflowing with duplicates.

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I’d heard a number of people say that they sized down in the Little Jun, but in the interest of extra German-food-room (#Chicagolife!) I went with my usual size large and I’m quite happy with the fit. Measured down the side seam, this skirt is 24” long, which is perfect because I have short legs even compared to other short gals. The elastic panels at the back make this skirt incredibly comfortable to wear all day, and the curve of the waistband in the front makes it look great without a belt. (Again, this is all about comfort – belts look fabulous, but when you’ve got a beer-cheese belly, they aren’t always comfortable after 8+ hours of sitting at a desk!)

This skirt makes me feel confident and happy – the wide waistband defines my waist/gives me the illusion of a well-defined waist, and the box pleats give me hips that don’t quit. I may or may not have wiggled my hips with maximum sass when I showed my partner this skirt. (Hint: I did.)

The most important thing you need to know about this skirt, though, is that it has massive, forearm-swallowing pockets! Making my hands disappear into my pockets is the only magic trick I know.

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oh em gee where is my hand?
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Ah. There it is!

For such a busy print, this skirt is actually quite versatile. It looks cute with a crisp white top, basic black, and pastel pink (my Voodoo Vixen top goes especially nicely), but it would also be fun with stripes, black polka dots, and pastel yellow. I’m planning to do a One Piece, Three Ways post featuring this skirt soon, but I have a feeling it’ll be hard to stick to just three outfits!

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It was such a treat to do this post exchange with my fellow Midwestern pinup – thank you all for reading! I hope you’ll stop by sometime on my Instagram (I’m @emily.hallock), Facebook, Twitter, or over on my blog, and say hi!