Clothing

Fluttering From The Autumn Tree

Do you ever find yourself being drawn to certain elements or motifs that subconsciously bring back fond memories? For as long as I can remember, I always adored things which symbolized Autumn…my most favorite time of year. One of those elements is the classic maple leaf; it not only reminds me of Autumn but also an iconic symbol for us Canadians. Slowly, I have collected some lovely vintage maple leaf accessories but felt there was a void that needed to be filled when it came to my wardrobe. For ages I lusted over the Pinup Girl Clothing Butterfly Dress in Leaves Print but never took the plunge until just recently.

Available in sizes XS-4X ~ MSRP $180

img_8939Although my measurements (b36/w27-28/hips40-41) have fluctuated over the last little while, I still fall within PUG’s size Small in their dresses. The Butterfly Dress is super stretchy but it is strongly recommend to size up if you are in between sizes to not to distort the nature of the print. As an added bonus, you will receive the matching turban which previously was sold separately for $64. Thankfully the fit and sizing was right on par with the size chart, the size Small fit wonderfully. The Butterfly Dress features a flirty keyhole opening with elasticized gathered neckline, wide fluttering sleeves, a soft curve hugging and flared skirt, is fully lined in knit crepe, includes a thin black faux-leather belt and finished off with a back zipper closure. Made from a luscious silky smooth knit crepe fabric, adorned with classic autumn leaves on a rich teal background. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls several inches below the knees.

img_8932 img_8930It is refreshing to see more designers like PUG branching out into different styles and allowing us to diversify our wardrobes. Lately I find myself wandering into an earlier era and really loving the sleeker 1940s silhouettes. What kept me on the fence for so long with the Butterfly Dress was the fear that the draping would overwhelm my petite frame and look like I was wearing a sack of potatoes. Thankfully those fears quickly diminished when I finally gave it a whirl. I was more taken aback by the substantial weight of the crepe fabric, this is definitely not meant to be worn on those hot summer days. If you are looking for a little more versatility, the Butterfly Dress neckline can be worn both on and off the shoulders…all depending on the occasion. With the fabric being so clingy to the body, I do think some ladies would prefer to wear a little shapewear to help create a smooth sleek silhouette.

img_8949 img_8943Being a collector of vintage leaf print motifs, it was so much fun to accessorize the Butterfly Dress. I immediately knew my vintage maple leaf celluloid necklace would match perfectly with the colours in falling leaves print along with the Remix It Girl Heels in mustard. Of course not everyone has this necklace so an easy and inexpensive alternative are colourful plastic bangles from local thrift stores or check out Splendette and Bow & Crossbones for wonderful reproduction fakelite bangles.

img_8937 img_8936There is nothing more special than finding gorgeous designs with motifs that one holds close to their heart. The lovely Butterfly Dress also comes in solid colours and two more fabulous prints. If that isn’t enough, PUG recently released this flirty style in the Butterfly Top!

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Creating Magic Out of a Ball of Yarn

It has been quite a while since I became enamored with the classic vintage 1940s Knit Sweater Dresses and endlessly searching for one to fit my petite frame. Sweater dresses come in various patterns, styles and colours, yet they appear to be more rare in smaller sizes and those get snatched up quickly. What makes it even more challenging to find is that there are no reproduction clothing companies who offer knit sweater dresses, likely due to the high cost of manufacturing. Fortunately that all changed when a very talented independent artist that many of us love and admire, Alixis from Ains & Elke StyleHaus surprised us all with her take on the 1940s sweaters. Needless to say, everyone is absolutely smitten with these adorable novelty print knit sweaters and cannot get enough of them. Of course, her creativity never stops and when she shared her very first 1940s Knit Sweater Dress on Instagram…I was over the moon excited!!! Today I bring to you, the gorgeous Ains & Elke StyleHause Flight of Birds Sweater and Michelle Knitted Skirt in Green.

Available in sizes Custom Sizes/Colours ~ MSRP Sweater $135+, Skirt $75

img_9093The wonderful aspect of buying from smaller independent businesses like Ains & Elke StyleHaus, is that they offer more personalized services to their customers. They have off the rack sizes Small to Large along with custom sizing as well. I provided my measurements, bust 36″ waist 27-28″, hips 40-41″ and had both pieces custom made to fit. In addition, I requested a lovely Kelly green since it is one my favorite colours and quite rare to find in the vintage world. The anticipation immediately turned into joy when Alixis finally revealed a photo of our design collaboration …I was truly blown away! The 1940s Knit Sweater Set was even more gorgeous in person, the shade of green could not have been more perfect. Do not be intimidated by its tiny appearance…the wonderful thing about knitted clothing is that it stretches to hug all of your curves and fits like a glove. It is a dream come true to finally find a knitted 1940s inspired sweater set that fits my petite frame flawlessly. The 1940s Knitted Sweater features a lovely contrast white flight of birds pattern, with high scoop neck, short sleeves (available in 3/4 & long sleeves), designed in a vintage cropped length, accented by ribbed cuffs and waistband. The coordinating Michelle Knitted Skirt features a sleek pencil silhouette with matching ribbed waistband and tappers at the knees. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls just at the knees, customized to personal preference.

img_9114 img_9107There is no doubt about it, Ains & Elke Stylehaus has opened a whole new world with their vintage inspired 1940s sweaters…filling a much needed void in the reproduction industry. Let me start by saying, these are NOT cheap quality knitted type sweaters/cardigans that we normally see coming from overseas…these are the real deal! They are exactly like the authentic vintage knits that have lasted over 7 decades, made from quality soft acrylic yarn. As I mentioned earlier, the knit is purposely designed smaller and stretches to create a sexy hourglass silhouette. This ensemble is so unbelievably comfortable and figure flattering. The thickness of the knit hides trouble areas well and really smooths everything out giving the illusion of a flawless shape.  I was worried that the skirt would get all stretched out with wear but surprisingly it always springs back to its smaller appearance. The Flight of Birds Sweater and Michelle Knitted Skirt can be worn, together or as separates…both great staples for your wardrobe.

img_9092 img_9116Immediately I knew this was going to be a great work outfit therefore I decided to keep my look very simple and classic with my go to round toe pumps in black. For a little sparkle, I will pop on a pair of confetti earrings in green. If you want to have a more defined hourglass silhouette, I recommend pairing it with the Rago 1294 open bottom girdle.

img_9133 flightofbirdsIt has been so exciting to see Ains & Elke StyelHaus flourish over the last few years and become a household name within our vintage and pinup communities. I remember back when one of my friends Ashleeta was raving about a custom dress she had made by Ains & Elke and I had surprisingly never heard of them before. It is absolutely wonderful to see an independent business prosper all due to one person’s hard work, dedication and creativity. Make sure to follow them on Instagram as I know you won’t be disappointed by what they will create next!

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Let Your Dreams Take Flight

It has been a very emotional couple weeks with the loss of our beloved Zina…I miss her dearly but know she is in a better place doing what she loves, chasing squirrels. ❤ Thank you all for your condolences and words of comfort. I had to take a quick break last week from blogging while organizing a Valentine’s charity bakesale for work. The event was a great success and we raised a lot of money in support of SickKids Foundation. Getting back to blogging is always like a breath of fresh air as I truly enjoy sharing fabulous finds with all of you.

One of my most recent acquisition has caused quite a stir in our community and sold out almost immediately. The Trashy Diva Lovebirds print has been highly sought after and is the very first “heritage” print to be brought back, as voted on by their customers. I personally am beyond excited to have a second chance at owning this stunning print since I was late to the party discovering Trashy Diva only in recent years. The Trashy Diva Hopscotch Dress in Lovebirds literally flew off the shelves. With the Canadian dollar being so weak in comparison to the US, I have had to be much more cautious with purchases. The high exchange rate and costly shipping adds up real fast so purchasing directly from Trashy Diva is sadly out of the question right now. Luckily for us Canadians, we have the wonderful Retroglam who continuously delivers excellent customer service and affordable shipping options. Immediately I reached out to my friends at Retroglam to acquire the beloved Trashy Diva Hopscotch Lovebirds Dress.

Available in sizes 0-24 ~ MSRP $183USD

img_8960Trashy Diva takes out the guesswork when it comes to finding your proper size by providing individual sizing charts for each style and print they release. Consistently I find myself wearing a size 6 in their clothing and fully intended to order the same with the Hopscotch Lovebirds Dress but it was already sold out at Retroglam. Thankfully Wendy (the owner of Retroglam) and I are not far in size, so she recommended sizing down to the 4 since there is some stretch in the fabric. I am so glad I did, the size 4 fit wonderfully and the 6 would have definitely been too big especially in the shoulders. The Hopscotch Dress features a peter pan collar with rhinestone buttons, faux cap sleeves, a fabulous back cut out, circle skirt and invisible side zipper closure. Made from a lovely stretch rayon adorned with blue and pink Lovebirds, birdcages and floral novelty print. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls just below the knees.

img_8955 img_8956What I know for sure is Trashy Diva designs instantly become collectors items since they are all limited edition prints and quickly sell out almost every time. Fortunately for us newer customers, they heard our cries to re-release some of their most sought after Heritage prints and the darling Lovebirds was voters choice. Trashy Diva offers a variety of styles and separates with each release, allowing their customers to select the best design to flatter their individual body type. For me, I was instantly smitten with the Hopscotch due to the classic look of front buttons with a hint of sparkle and the unique back cutout which will really showcase my tattoos. The stretch rayon feels silky, luxurious and so very comfortable. It is one of those dresses that you don’t ever want to take off. The Hopscotch Lovebirds Dress can effortlessly go from day to evening, you don’t even have to change a thing. The versatility of this classic novelty print works for all occasions.

img_8962Novelty prints lend well to choosing which accessories to accent your look. Try bringing out the subtle colours such as the blue and pink in the Lovebirds print. I paired the Hopscotch Dress with soft pink rose earrings, a mix of pink/blue bangles accented by the Splendette Black Starbust bangle and B.A.I.T Ida Fair Pink. To define your waist, try adding a thin belt in pink or blue.

img_8968 img_8970Sometimes we are forced to rethink our buying habits to ensure we stay within our budgets and still add lovely new pretties to our wardrobe. Whether you buy directly from Trashy Diva or one of their wholesale partners like Retroglam, you are supporting two wonderful small businesses. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifestime second chance of owning the darling Lovebirds, there are plenty of styles still available at Retroglam and Trashy Diva.

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Frolicking In A Winter Wonderland

I often get asked how to transition dresses to be worn year round when living in such a cold climate. Well the answer is quite simple…Collectif Winter Coats! This is the second season in a row that I add more of their designs to my regular rotation of winter outerwear and I absolutely adore them. Why? They are not only beautiful, they are so incredibly cozy and warm. Now that I already own the Pearl in green and Rachel in gray, it was time to expand to some lovely warm neutrals. From the moment I saw the Collectif Frances 40s Riding Coat, I knew she had to be mine.

Available in sizes 6-22UK ~ MSRP £153.50

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Finding the proper sizing with coats can be rather tricky since you need to ensure the shoulders width is just right and also allow for enough room to layer for a great fit. I opted to stay with my usual size 10(Small), just as I had with the Rachel Coat. The Frances Riding Coat did not disappoint. It seems to run a little snugger in the waist but there was still just enough room for layering over dresses. The 40s inspired Frances Riding Coat features a double breasted button design, a rounded collar, is fully lined and has a flared princess skirt with pleated back detail. Made from a rich brown speckled polyester and wool blend fabric.

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Now here’s the trick when shopping for warm winter coats…look at the percentage of wool content. The more wool, the warmer it will be. Here is a comparison with Collectif’s most popular styles: Pearl 50%, Rachel 60%, Frances 20%. With those facts in mind, I would rate the warmth of each one to be completely in line with the ratio of wool blend. The Frances Riding Coat is still very warm but I would definitely reach for my Rachel Coat on the blistering subzero days. The simplicity of the Frances makes it a great basic coat to wear regularly and not just on those “fancy” occasions like the Pearl.

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To show how the Frances is great for layering, underneath I chose to wear a very bulky vintage wool circle skirt. As you can see, the sweep of the coat molds and drapes beautifully to the fullness of the skirt. Often times coats tend to compress and wrinkle our dresses when there’s not enough space to expand accordingly. Since we often have a lot of snow and ice, I opt to wear winter boots while outdoors and change into my nice shoes when arriving at my destination. This also helps with keeping your legs and feet warm while the Frances Coat is long enough to keep the rest of you toasty.

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After trying numerous winter coats from various vintage reproduction brands, I can say confidently that Collectif is by far the best when it comes to style, functionality and most importantly…warmth! Do not despair if you missed out on the Frances Riding Coat on Collectif’s website, there are still some available online from their wholesale partners.

PS. All our snow melted a few days before this shoot and we got hit with a massive storm only days later. Got to love old man winter right?

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