Venture On the Wild Side

Occasionally we find ourselves venturing outside our comfort zone as the object of desire seems too beautiful to resist. I am a true creature of habit therefore I am very predictable when it comes to knowing what I like and accepting what is better suited for others. When Collectif released their Spring/Summer 2014 previews, I saw lots of fabulous new designs and didn’t give a second glance at the ones that were simply “not me”. Fast forward several months to the release, I find myself swooning over the Kiki Jungle Cropped Top and Alana Jungle Sarong Skirt…was I crazy for even considering showing my stomach and wearing animal print, two things I steer clear from???

Available in sizes UK6-22 ~ MSRP Top £27.50/Skirt £39.50

IMG_3529When it comes to sizing, Collectif is fairly consistent with their size charts and they will add notes if the item is known to run a bit differently. Based on my measurements (36-27-39), I ordered a 10UK (Small) in both the top and skirt. When the Jungle set arrived, I could not believe how incredibly beautiful and vibrant the print was. Although I am not a fan of animal print, the tropical flowers and rich contrasting colours simply make it a stunning combination. Now the dreaded moment of truth, was I going to regret taking a gamble with showing my stomach? As soon as I tried the Kiki Cropped Top, I was blown away at the perfect fit and construction. With adjustable straps, wonderful bust support and room to wear a regular non strapless bra, it was already winning me over. Next up was the Alana Jungle skirt. At first I thought the waist was too big as it did not sit on my natural waist but I quickly saw it looked much better placed a little lower on the hips since I have short torso and it showed off the cropped top design much better. The wrap around skirt is fastened with a hidden inside button and side tie which allows you to tighten to whatever feels best. At 5’-4” tall, the skirt falls a couple inches below the knees and drapes superbly due to the fully lined interior.

IMG_3557Now the long awaited answer to the biggest question of all…was it flattering for a gal that has the furthest thing from a flat stomach? Yes! I seriously still can’t believe how incredible the Jungle 2 piece set makes me feel. Since I was able to pull the skirt down to just below my natural waist, I found it to be very becoming and still hid my lower stomach in the lovely side draping of the wrap skirt. How could two things I avoid like the plague turn out to be something I truly adore? Collectif has really outdone themselves with the Jungle Set, convincing even the biggest skeptics like myself. The Kiki Cropped Top needs to be released in more colours and prints as it would pair wonderfully with a multitude of summer looks. I truly hope to see a longer version as well which would be ideal for more everyday functionality.

IMG_3511With an upcoming trip to Jamaica, I know the Jungle Set will be one of the highlights to wear on the beach. Since the print is so vibrant and eye catching, it was simple to style by pairing it with a bamboo bangle, tropical hair flowers and Lucky Lou red wedges. Even if you’re not heading anywhere tropical, don’t let that stop you from wearing the Jungle set for an evening out as it will make you feel utterly fabulous.

IMG_3526Sometimes we creatures of habit have to look outside ourselves and try something new no matter how much it might scare us to do so. With no risk, there is no chance to be pleasantly surprised and experience something wonderful you would have otherwise missed out on. The Jungle Set has instantly found a place in my heart and wardrobe…what outfits have unexpectedly won you over?

Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Win a CS-301 Waspie Corset from Orchard Corset!

Did you enjoy this weeks review on the CS-301 Waspie Corset by Orchard Corset? Do you want to get your hands on your very own Waspie? Well, here’s your opportunity to win your very own Waspie Corset! Now available in 12 different varieties from cotton, to satin and even a fabulous news print. All you have to do to enter is click on the link below and complete the tasks worth one entry each to be entered to win!



Make sure to be on your desktop as the app won’t work on a mobile device or tablet. Mobile users click HERE.
Contest runs until Friday, August 1st at 12am. The winner will be announced right here on the blog and on Facebook.
Good luck to everyone!

***The winner will have 7 days to claim their prize, if unclaimed a new winner will be selected.***

Categories: All Posts, Randomness | Tags: , , , , , | 60 Comments

The Mighty Mini

There is one thing I will never claim to be is an expert on something that I know little about and learning along with the rest of you. It has been some time since I reviewed corsets on the blog as it is still very new to me and slowly learning the ropes, no pun intended. One of the major points that I took away from that last post was the proper method in tightening your corset, as I had no idea it should be evenly laced from top to bottom. Thankfully the staff at Orchard Corset are super helpful to those who are new to corset training and provide tons of incredible insight with their “how to” videos and on their blog. They recently released a new and improved version of their CS-301 Waspie Corset, available in a variety of prints and fabrics.

Available in sizes 16-46 in a variety of prints & fabrics ~ MSRP $65USD

CorsetFWhen it comes to corset sizing, it is recommended to order 4-7 inches (plus sizes over 38″ order 7-10 inches) below your natural waist line depending on your level of experience with waist training. With my waist now around 27″, I went with a size 22 which is in the middle of the suggested range and best for new comers. The CS-301 Waspie is perfect for those with a short torso like myself as the total height is only 8″, but also great for regular to long torso to give in a fabulous defined waist line. It features 12 spiral and flat steel bones, 5″ wide modesty panel, waist tape reinforcement, and high strength laces. The short design makes it ideal for a curvier figure to cinch the waist but not interfere with your hips. I also found this made it much quicker to season the CS-301 as the waspie molded to my body within two short wears and is much less restrictive than its longer counterparts.

CorsetA CorsetBThe CS-301 Waspie is great for those who are searching for a good introductory corset or simply a corset to wear on special occasions. Recently Orchard Corset introduced cotton to their corset line up which is a fabulous alternative to the traditional satin equivalents. The cotton is ideal for the summer months as it is breathable and considerably more lightweight. Hands down, I much prefer the cotton styles for every day wear. I would venture to say it would be easier to conceal under your garments than the satin. As you can see, I am almost able to close the 22 completely and would most likely need a 20 in the near future since my stomach area is rather squishy and have a very narrow ribcage. The one point of concern to note with the CS-301 Waspie if you have a “squishy” mid section, the excess flesh will push downward causing a tummy pooch at the base of the corset. In order to minimize this effect, I threw on a pair of Spanx high waist shorts which also worked to smooth out the harsh lines created by the extreme cinching.

CorsetD CorsetEHow to wear your corset is completely up to you. It is recommended to place a barrier between your skin and the corset to prevent body oils from compromising the material since they cannot be laundered (due to the steel boning). If you want to wear your corset under your dresses, make sure to wear a corset liner and some form of shapewear to go over the front metal grommets as they may damage your clothing. While seasoning your corset, simply wear a tank top or t-shirt since you’ll want to be comfortable during the breaking in process. It’s not about glamor at this stage, I just pair mine with a tank top and pj bottoms on a lazy Sunday.

CorsetCIt is exciting to finally find a corset that is suitable for a short torso and curvy figure like mine. I absolutely loved the CS-426 but unfortunately it was much too long for me. The CS-301 Waspie is the ideal mini style corset which is sure to become a staple in many pinup wardrobes.

Do you want to want to try the CS-301? If the answer is Yes, stay tuned for your chance to WIN a Waspie of your choice from Orchard Corset…

…all the details will be revealed later this week!




Categories: All Posts, Vintage Shapewear | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Practical Pinup by The Strawberry Bombshell

Hello there!

I’m The Strawberry Bombshell, and I am a Practical Pinup. It’s my mission to show you that your pinup pieces are endlessly versatile for styling – and totally worth the money you’re paying for them. Like Jessica, I like to do pinup on a budget so I can get the most bang for my buck when I’m buying.

Let’s rewind to about a year and a half ago: I was working two jobs and had a pretty expensive shopping habit – I was making about two Pin Up Girl Clothing orders a month (internationally – and ladies you know how much we need to pay to get that free FedEx!). My financial circumstances shifted a bit when I was forced to quit the second job, and I had to scale back the orders. When my roommate moved out my excess cash flow halted and I had to cut them off completely.

What to do for this hapless pinup addict, then?

I began rifling through my closet to see just what I had, and how I could put it to work. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all! It was time to get creative with styling.

I was a little skeptical about my ability to create several outfits at first, but the process was surprisingly easy (albeit a bit messy!) when I got going. I pulled one item out of my closet at a time and went through all the different pieces that might go with it. I was shocked to find that one item could be styled at least 5-10 different ways – without me having to buy anything new!

For example: the Dixiefried Perfect Pencil Skirt in Lime Green. I was hesitant to buy it at first because I didn’t know what to pair it with. (So much BRIGHT!) I ordered a couple of vamp tops at the same time and decided the two looks would be enough to justify the purchase.


Click on image to zoom.

After a bit of practice and observation, I found I could pair it with much more! My experimentation is mostly with colour combinations.

We’ll stick with a green theme today (because what looks better on strawberry blonde bombshells than green?) and demonstrate again with the Lauren top in olive. The Lauren is quite literally the puuuuurrfect staple piece. You can pair it with high-waisted shorts and jeans for casual looks, swing skirts and pencil skirts to dress it up. It’s elegance embodied. And the colour is to die for – it instantly makes any colour it compliments look richer in contrast. Observe!


Click on image to zoom.

Sadly, I don’t have any of Laura’s high-waisted trousers or shorts to demonstrate, but luckily you can head on over to Pinup Girl Clothing’s website to see the lovely Doris Mayday model it in several shots with those very items. PUG CEO and Supreme Overlord Laura Byrnes has also been photographed many times elegantly styling the Lauren tops with her high-waisted shorts and trousers.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’d suggest starting a pinterest board to squirrel away ideas. Run a search on ‘lime green skirt’ and see how many hits come up – ladies from all over have found unique and beautiful ways to style a tricky colour. You’ll be able to come up with many solutions for colour combinations, print mixing, and accessorizing in no time.

Here’s the best part! Using inspiration boards and styling practically actually justifies the purchases you’ve been itching to make. I often use my style board to help me decide if it’s worth buying an item that’s been taunting me from my checkout basket. I make it a little challenge to myself: How many different ways I can style it? If it’s in the 5-10 range, then I pull the trigger. And you know what? I always win.

PUG’s separates are luxurious, ethical AND a practical purchase. How can you go wrong? They’re my go-to staples, and I’ve built a good deal of my daily look around them. I hope this post has inspired you to do the same – go raid your closets, ladies! You’ll be amazed how much you find once you get going.


Thank you so very much to The Strawberry Bombshell for sharing with us such helpful advice to maximizing your wardrobe to create versatile looks with a few staple pieces.

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