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Be A Flamingo in A Flock of Pigeons

Each year we all get super excited when our favorite vintage reproduction brands show us sneak previews of their upcoming collections at the bi-annual tradeshows such as MAGIC and London Edge. The anticipation is profound but also torturous. We are seeing new sample designs that are not due to be released for several months since designers are always planning two seasons in advance. Last winter, Collectif Clothing showcased a show stopping dress that made many of us swoon with delight. To make the wait even more gut wrenching, this dress was delayed in production until the end of the summer season. Although she will have to stay tucked away in my closet until spring, the Vanessa Striped Flamingo Dress deserves to take center stage for all to see!

Available in sizes 6-22UK ~ MSRP £129.00

img_8754Luckily Collectif sizing remains very consistent to their size chart and it is easy to find the right size every time. Lately my waist measures 28” so I opted to go with the size 10UK (Small) seeing as there is no stretch to the fabric. When my parcel arrived, I was very surprised at how heavy it was for one summer dress but I had no idea how special the Vanessa Dress truly is. The fit was phenomenal, ample room for comfort and zero gaping around the straps which is such a relief for us petite ladies. The Vanessa Dress features a boat neck with scooped back, full box-pleated skirt with….get this…a built in petticoat and contrasting white satin sash. Made from a luxurious satin fabric, featuring the most gorgeous flamingo border print and accented by the light blue/white stripes. At 5’-4” tall, the hemline falls several inches below the knees.

img_8752 img_8770There is no doubt that the Vanessa Striped Flamingo Dress is for those of us who love to make a statement when walking into a room. Now I know many customers were very put off by the high price tag in comparison to Collectif’s usual designs but I can attest that the investment can be clearly seen in the gorgeous satin fabric and detailed construction which was used to create the Vanessa Dress. Bespoke prints like the magnificent flamingo floral border take extreme precision for proper placement to ensure the design looks flawless. Another point to make mention, the satin will be quite wrinkled out of the package due to how delicate the fabric is and requires a bit of patience to steam it to be silky smooth again. The Vanessa Dress is not your basic everyday basic summer dress; it deserves to be worn for special occasions and appreciated for its unique charm.

img_8759Sometimes I find less is more when it comes to accessorizing especially with the gorgeous flamingo print that deserves to take center stage. I simply paired the Vanessa Dress with complimentary plastic bangles and the Pleated Toe Wedges in white by Remix. Since there is a built in petticoat, there is no need to add one unless you wish to create a more voluminous look.

img_8757 img_8756The old saying “good things are worth waiting for” rings true with the spectacular Vanessa Dress. Although I hate to tuck her away for the cold winter months, I know it will be one of the first dresses I reach for once summer arrives. Now we can start counting down the days until the upcoming London Edge Expo to see Collectif’s Collection for Spring/Summer 2017.

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Pinup Fashion For All Generations ~ Part Two: Thirties & Forties

In our Part One of our Pinup Fashion For All Generations, we met two fabulous teenagers who were just beginning to discover their sense of style. Fast forward to the next generation, we have a couple of young budding fashionistas who have taken their love of pinup/vintage and incorporated their passion into their careers. As we grow older, our lives bring new chapters and challenges. In today’s Part Two of our mini series, we will meet a first time mom finding how to balance motherhood, a career with her sense of style, a full time college professor with a longtime passion for vintage and a mom who recently dove into the pinup/burlesque lifestyle…proving age is nothing but a number.

Thirties

Anna Mei

“I’m in my late 30s and I think both my work and casual vintage/pinup styles suit me and work for me. I feel comfortable in my skin and in these clothes. I don’t think there is an age limit to be able to rock the vintage/pinup style clothing, it suits so many different ages, body shapes and sizes, and ethnicities. Why do I need to change my style just because I get older, or because I am a mum?

I work part-time as a Senior IT Consultant as well as being a stay at home mama to an active 20 month old girl. I do pinup modelling when I can (under the name Anna Mei) after I fell in love with the vintage/pinup style many years ago before I became pregnant. At that time I had long hair and used to do victory rolls every day and wore pinup style clothing to work. I cut off my long locks about 6 months after giving birth. It became annoying for me to put it up all the time and I didn’t want to do the “mum bun”! The other reason was I also wanted to donate my chopped hair to Beautiful Lengths, an organization that makes real-hair wigs from donated hair for cancer patients. My mother-in-law was battling inoperable pancreatic cancer at the time and it was something I wanted to do for her. Since then I have been trying to find a way to merge my short shaved hair with the pinup clothing. At the same time I was struggling between being a mum and trying to find the person I was before I became a mum. I think things are now starting to click for me.

A lot of my work style is on the conservative side as I work with clients. But I have been able to wear a lot of my vintage and pinup style clothing successfully. Pencil skirts, swing skirts, cute tops and cardis. I always get so many compliments about the clothes I wear and how beautiful they are.

On weekends and the days I am at home with my baby girl I am more casual and dressed more in the rockabilly/punk style. High-waisted jeans, cigarette pants, fitted tshirts and jumpers. Totally different style to what I wear to work! A mum, but still true to me and the style of clothing that I love.

I still manage to do the winged eyeliner and mascara pretty much everyday. I even have started wearing my hair flowers again, which I used to do before giving birth. I can even now do vintage styles with my short hair and it works great with the shaved hair too!!

I had a photographer recently call me “punk”. I’m happy to take that! I can be a pinup punk as well as a mama!

Kind Regards,

Anna Mei”

www.facebook.com/Miss.Anna.Mei
www.instagram.com/MissAnnaMei

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Forties

Kali

“In generations past, being a woman in her forties usually meant acting and dressing like a responsible adult. A parent in sweats. A working professional in suits. We still crack old age jokes when someone we know hits 40, but the 21st century is proving that early middle age isn’t what it used to be. While it’s still important to take our responsibilities seriously, it doesn’t mean we have to give up our individuality or our personal style.

Vintage “lifestyle” suits forty somethings very well, because it offers lots of room for individuality without any of the…weirdness? While I still retain some of the gothic sensibility I had twenty years ago, I can’t pull off the neon-colored ponyfalls I used to sometimes wear. As a friend of mine once said, “I figured that once I turned 40, doing 1950s would be a good compromise between the goth kid I used to be and the adult everyone thinks I am.”

I’m 41 now and a college professor by trade. My job doesn’t have much of a dress code, and my students and colleagues tend to enjoy seeing people wear clothes that are professional, yet a bit outside of the norm. I don’t have children, either, so I don’t really have to think about wrangling any little ones (unless you count my cat, Madame Leota). My daily style fluctuates, but I’ve always had a distinct vintage sensibility. Most of my clothes are vintage or vintage style, and my vintage clothing pieces run the gamut from the 1920s through the 1990s (I’ve owned the 90s stuff since they were new, ha!). One of the great things about collecting vintage is how versatile it can be – people lifestyles in the 50s and 60s, for example, were not so different from ours that it’s impossible to find something that suits just about any purpose or occasion. While stuff like workout clothing, for example, has evolved for the better, everyday cotton dresses and formalwear from decades ago can still be very wearable.

I’ve been wearing historic fashion well over twenty years now (we’re talking everything from reproductions of very old designs like regency gowns,1880 natural form gowns, and 1912 tea gowns to both repro and real vintage from the middle 20th century), and I’ve collected vintage accessories and decor since I was a little kid. In the mid-1980s, my Yiayia Lois gave me a great pair of turquoise cat eye sunglasses with silver confetti flecks and fabulous green lenses. It was so amazing that one of my parents’ friends – a woman who curated historical displays for Sotheby’s – tried to buy it from me for a 1950s fashion exhibit. I still have the glasses, but now they’re just one piece of hundreds of vintage items I now own. I collect a little bit of everything, from vintage bakelite cherry jewelry to Emma Domb formalwear to Hawaiian dresses and sportswear by iconic labels like Alfred Shaheen and Kamehameha. I’ve got my Yiayia Sally’s early 1940s bead-appliquéd dress (that sometimes actually fits me!), too, and an assortment of chic late 1970s fashions that people think is weird given my interest in midcentury stuff. But it really isn’t, because as a four-year-old back in 1979, I yearned to be a raven-haired Nagel girl in a Halston dress. I do have black hair and I do own an original 1970s ultra suede Halston dress, so I guess I did do right by my preschool self to some extent.

My primary area of interest is vintage “New Look” fashion, the postwar, full-skirted look made popular by Christian Dior in the late 1940s (a silhouette that more or less regularly cycled through fashion until about 1964). Full and circle skirts work well for my body type as I have a pretty extreme pear shape. A moderate bust and a small waist make me a great candidate for a lot of 1950s fashions, but wide hips and a large butt basically limits me to full- or tulip-skirted options. Luckily, there’s quite a bit of that. My other challenge has been my overall size. As someone of “in between” size for most of the recent past, my “top” proportions are relatively small, while my lower regions are and probably always will be solidly plus-sized. Once again, New Look comes to the rescue.

But my interest doesn’t stop at the clothes and accessories. I own a unique vintage home built in 1963, which I am filling with vintage furniture and decor. Some of my furniture was inherited (my grandmother’s painted 1930s bedroom set and dining set, for example) while other pieces were collected by me (like my Heywood-Wakefield kneehole desk and side table collection, and my beloved 1950s fiberglass-shade lamps). For the last four years, I have been gradually making my home into a vintage haven, and the journey isn’t even close to finished!

Several of my other hobbies have roots in the mid 20th century, too. I love midcentury tiki bar and restaurant culture, Disney and Disney theme parks (Disneyland has been around since 1955, and the Walt Disney Company has been around since the 1920s), and midcentury music (R&B, rockabilly, exotica, jazz, you name it!). And whether I’m visiting Trader Vic’s for my birthday, collecting vintage Disney kit skirts, or jiving with my dad, it all intersects with vintage fashion and it’s all appropriate for a wide variety of age groups!”

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In one of my favorite vintage Shaheen dresses, a butterfly orchid tapa print.

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I’m a Disneyland fan (and ex-castmember!) – me in a vintage-inspired Haunted Mansion maid disneybound outfit. (Photo credit: Gretchen Burneko/NerdBound)

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In vintage-inspired clothing by Pinup Girl Clothing and Heart of Haute, in my own back yard!

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In Stop Staring!, posing with some of my vintage furniture.

Kimberly

“I discovered pinup several years ago. I do burlesque and the two complimented each other nicely. I started taking baby steps into the pinup world. I loved the style, and I loved the inclusiveness. That was just a few years ago, and now I feel like I am in it with both feet. What I loved about the pinup style is that there is something for everyone. There are so many different styles of pinup. It is not one size fits all! The other women that embrace the pinup style have been nothing but supportive. Since I am not a 20 something, I am a little more subtle or reserved with my pinup style. I love the look of the pencil skirt and seamed stockings (I find that incredibly sexy). For every day it could be a circle skirt or a fit and flare dress. I love shoes! I especially love shoes that have a retro or vintage look. They tie everything together. I do feel like this is always going to be a learning process. I love educating myself about the world of pinup. It could be makeup techniques, how to do vintage hair or even history of pinup. The knowledge that I have gained through books, old movies, blogs and pages is priceless to me.

I am lucky that my paying job lets me work from home so I have no dress code. I dress for my activities. Activities could be anything from school events for my children, volunteering, dinner out, errands or dance classes or workshops (I am an avid dancer). I love deciding what I am going to project for that day. I believe that your style should make you happy. It shouldn’t feel like a chore to get ready. I find that I love the time that I spend getting ready.

I live in a part of Iowa that is not all that familiar with the pinup world. When I am out, I am somewhat of a unicorn. I am constantly stopped, and people want to talk about what I am wearing or how I look. I must say it has all been positive so far. They are interested in the style of clothes, hair and even makeup. I love the positive response that I have received. I have to travel to meet with other pinups, but I have started to make those connections. Pinup is more popular in the neighboring cities but maybe I can inspire someone to give the pinup style a try here in my hometown.”

img_3308 img_3654 img_20160821_203814 img_20160828_161609 img_3996 img_6791We could not have asked for more inspiring women to share their stories of how they found balance as they enter a new chapter in their lives. They are proof that the media is dead wrong! Women over Thirty DO NOT HAVE to conform and stop wearing what they love. Stay tuned for the final installment…Pinup Fashion For All Generations ~ Part Three: Fifties & Sixties.

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Caribbean Delights

It is no surprise that people who live in colder climates like here in Canada, love to escape to tropical destinations in the Caribbean in search of sunshine, hot temperatures and beautiful clear blue waters. Since the hubby and I were married in the Bahamas now three years ago, we save our pennies to return to the tropics for a little rest and relaxation every couple years. Of course, incorporating my personal sense of style for these getaways is an absolute must considering I have a serious obsession with vintage Hawaiian designs. As our vacation quickly approached, I decided it was the perfect occasion to place an order with Violets In May 1945 seeing as I had been lusting over her designs for what feels like an eternity. Most specifically, the Brittany Playsuit Set had caught my eye because it is very reminiscent of the patterns from the 1950’s and super versatile with the matching wrap skirt.

Available in sizes 6-18UK ~ MSRP £120.00

img_20161006_110251For those of you also new to Violets in May 1945, all items are made to order in UK sizes 6-18 with the option of custom sizing for a small additional fee. Although my measurements (36-28-40) were in line with the size 10, I had to choose the option of custom sizing to adjust the fit to my short torso. Most vintage playsuits are designed to fit average to long torso therefore they are always ill fitting on me. The whole process was super simple with Laura from Violets in May walking me through every step of the way and she is the BIGGEST sweetheart by the way!!! The hardest part was choosing the fabric, there were too many great options. After narrowing down the choices to 2 or 3, the hubby picked the blue tribal print as it is like nothing I already own and it is very rare to find me wearing blue. I am so glad that he did because the blue tribal print is so utterly magnificent in person. The next step was a nail bitter, trying the Brittany Playsuit on for the first time since our trip was only days away. All those worries immediately subsided as the fit was flawless and so figure flattering. The Brittany Playsuit Set features the most exquisite cross over style neckline, curve enhancing shorts, fully lined with side zipper closure and matching wrap tie skirt. At 5′-4″ tall, I ordered the skirt in a 27″ length.

083654 093632Where do I even begin?!? The hardest part for me is that I have been battling with severe body issues since my surgery and was really self conscious of how I would look wearing a playsuit right now. This weighed heavy on my mind but I wanted so badly to order the Brittany Playsuit Set from Violets in May. Needles to say I am so glad that I did because from the moment I put on the Brittany Playsuit, it made me feel sexy and confident again…I was glowing inside and out! Over the years, I have ordered from several independent Etsy sellers and never been this taken back by the impeccable craftsmanship before. The Brittany Playsuit Set was so immaculately constructed, it is true to the authentic vintage counterparts that are still found today over 60 years later. The versatility of the matching wrap tie skirt instantly allows you to go from glam to lounge ready in a fraction of a second. I can tell you, it was a real head turner at the resort and I received tons of compliments from the staff and other guests.

083750 095205While packing for our trip, I had to plan wisely on what accessories to bring so that they coordinated with various ensembles. I was able to keep the Brittany Playsuit accents casual and simple with a few bamboo bangles, my coconut purse, white espadrille sandals, vintage style sunglasses and a real hair flower to complete the look.

095047 095158There is an endless sea of independent designers on Etsy’s vast network, but there are only a selected few gems like Violets in May. As a long time admirer, I am so thrilled to now be a very satisfied customer who cannot sing their praises enough. In addition to gorgeous playsuits, they also offers a wide range of vintage inspired designs from versatile basic tops to skirts and dresses. Check them out here –> Violets In May Etsy.

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Pinup Fashion For All Generations ~ Part One: Teens & Twenties

For as long as I can remember, society and the media have always dictated what fashion trends are suitable for each generation. A few month back, the article “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After 30″ made quite a stir online with its foolish expectations of what the author deemed inappropriate for those of us over 30.  In this day in age, we have the freedom of self expression and no one should pass judgement on those who choose not to conform. A fellow pinup blogger Jessica from Warning: Curves Ahead penned the best response to the article and you should all definitely check it out “24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear”. What I adore the most about the vintage/pinup fashion community, there are no limitations of age and the diversity of ethnicity is boundless. Today marks the debut of a fabulous mini-series “Vintage/Pinup Fashion For All Generations”. This series will showcase remarkable women ranging in age from teens in their sixty’s and how they embrace this lifestyle at any age.

Teens

Yesmine

“I got into pinup a few years ago when my mom discovered PUG. I’ve always loved history and old/vintage stuff and when my mom started getting vintage clothes I was totally into it. (Although at the moment my collection is extremely small)🙂
Getting into vintage taught me that no matter how you like to dress, there’s probably someone out there who likes it too.”

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 Lillian

“I’m 14 years old and I really love the pin up style. I grew up listening to rockabilly, psychobilly and etc. My inspiration is my mom because she’s dressed like this for a very long time. So does my Tia so I kinda just grew up around the style and when I was little my mom would dress me up and put makeup on me and just do the full bazam. As I grew older I understood the style more and everything is just so pretty. If I could I would probably dress pinup all the time, the era is just so beautiful.”

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Twenties

Ashleeta

“I think the burlesque and pinup industry have very much influenced my style. As a 27 year old living in the Los Angeles area I feel I’m able to experiment with a menagerie of different looks. My style is eclectic. Often I ask myself who I want to be today rather then what I want to wear. I’m also a bit of a magpie I think that comes from my Burlesque side! Volume, soft feathers, rhinestones that sparkle like diamonds eye catching prints? You can bet Ill be interested! Luckily my current job allows me to wear pretty much whatever I want so I usually take that and run with it!! I do have my favorite modes I switch between however! The most frequent looks I like to switch between are “vampy pinup”, “chic goth” and female dandy. I love the feminine and flirty look of a vamp, the spooky and mysterious whimsy of a goth and the strong silhouette of menswear. Sometimes my looks just start with once piece, a brooch, a hat a, pair of shoes and I build from there. I really love being able to express myself through fashion its a great creative outlet! My next move is to create my own blog! Till then you can follow me on IG @ashleeta !”

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Christine

“My name is Christine and I am currently 22 years old living in Southern California. Right now I am an Illustration student in my last year of college and also work at a vintage clothing/costume shop. I grew up around antiques since my grandmother was an antique dealer, but vintage style wasn’t something I truly started to get into until my high school years and has evolved ever since and has become both a huge part of my life and a way I dress each day. It’s definitely not something I just woke up and decided to do one day, it’s many years of trying things out, breaking out of my shell, gaining confidence to wear what I liked, and learning about about vintage style. After that it was years of building my wardrobe, practicing doing my hair over and over again, and just making this my everyday life. Despite having a full schedule being a full time student and having a job, I aim to show off my personal style each day even when I’m in classes. Luckily I have the opportunity to express my style at my job and especially in my free time. I’ve been fortunate enough to make friends with so many other vintage loving people and become part of the vintage community. It’s become more than just a style of dress but a way of life for me that lets me express who I am and what I love.”

christine2 christine3 christine5 christine4 christineI wish to thank Yesmine, Lillian, Ashleeta and Christine for sharing a little about their lives and personal style with the readers of Pin Up Persuasion. These stunning young women are setting the bar high for their generations; exuding poise, beauty and self confidence. Stay tuned for Pinup Fashion For All Generations ~ Part Two: 30s!!!

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