Guest Vixens

Accessorizing 101 by Kara Shaw from The Dressed Aesthetic

***Guest Post by Kara Shaw from The Dressed Aesthetic***

TheDressedAesthetic_FEATUREDHello Jessica’s readers! I’m Kara and I blog over at my little corner of the internet, The Dressed Aesthetic. I’m a marine biologist with equal parts love for science, vintage, and coffee and pretty much live my life in vintage dresses. Yep, even in the lab.

One of my favorite things about blogging has been the incredible community of similarly minded vintage loving gal’s I’ve met and had the chance to collaborate with. So, when Jessica asked for guest bloggers for Pinup Persuasion, I naturally jumped at the chance to work together. Is she the cutest or what?

So, as a bona-fide Professor, I was asked to take you all to school today, for a lesson on Accessorizing 101. It’s a topic I get asked about a lot, primarily from women who love the finished look but have no idea how to get there themselves. It’s definitely something to experiment with, because accessorizing can take you from just fashion to developing your own personal style. I’m here to help you navigate the waters! (yeah, sorry, I should warn you of my nerdiness and the fact that I tend to have a lot of marine-related analogies)

One of the best tools I have for mixing and matching and experimenting with different looks is our wardrobe organization app Dressed – which basically let’s you import your own clothing, shoes and accessories and mix and match to create and plan outfits. Think Cher a la Clueless (if you’re interested, you can read all about it on my blog). Being able to try on clothing form the comfort of my sofa, with a glass of wine in hand, is a major win in my book.

TheDressedAesthetic_DressedAappFor me, accessorizing a look is broken down into four categories (in the immortal words of Stacey & Clinton (// Color, Texture, Pattern, and Shine. And any outfit I have can have varying levels of these four things, but they’re almost always present to some capacity.

All right, let’s dive in!


Before I layer anything on, the key is to start with a good foundation. Whether you love dresses and skirts or denim and heels, the key is and will forever be fit. So, start with a garment that fits you well and that you feel fabulous in.

For this, I started with a base blue dress I bought from Modcloth years ago. The vibrant royal blue ticks off the color box pretty quickly, and the pleating at the bust actually already gives the dress a bit of texture (I was clearly an overachiever in School).

For me, the best kind of silhouette is a fit and flare style – the love a cinched waist and a flared skirt. Though I stray from this occasionally, we’re in a committed relationship and I’m nothing if not loyal.

TheDressedAesthetic_01 TheDressedAesthetic_02Next, I tend to add a complimentary color – I’m not a big fan of matchy-matchy, so I’ll usually choose a color on the opposite side of the color wheel. You can also play with different tones of the same color, which sit next to each other on the color wheel.

Color_Wheel (photo credit: HGTV)

In this case, I went with a gorgeous golden orange shoe. It can be intimidating to try to work out what color “goes” versus matches – but following a standard color wheel is a good place to start. The best thing you can do is play around with it and try a bunch of different things. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you’ll even start a new color trend…

TheDressedAesthetic_03 TheDressedAesthetic_04Texture

I always like to make sure there’s texture in my look. If you’ve ever taken an art class, you’ll know some artwork has what is called ‘relief’ – which is where parts of the piece has been raised above the background. Texture helps to give relief in an outfit, which creates depth and gives a bit of visual interest.

I already had a bit of texture in the bodice of the dress. But, I wanted to add just a bit more (I’m a ‘more is more’ kinda gal. Sensing a theme yet?). For those of you who are running headlong into autumn, this is a great opportunity to burst forth with those fun tights! For this, I went with some sheer patterned tights I bought on Modcloth:

TheDressedAesthetic_05 TheDressedAesthetic_06 TheDressedAesthetic_07They’re cute, add a bit of texture without too much, with the added bonus of a bit of extra warmth when cooler weather starts to tighten her grip.


Next up – add in a print. Whether there’s a print on my shoe or on an item of clothing, I always think prints really give an outfit and a bit more character, particularly if everything else in my outfit is a solid. This is always an opportunity to play with layers.

The tights were serving double duty as both a print and a texture (gold star for me!), but I also opted to layer a beautiful floral vintage jacket I’ve had for years – the orange flowers tied in perfectly with the orange of the shoe, and it breaks up the solid monotony of the dress. Plus, it has the most beautiful rhinestone buttons (if you’re me, there is always room for more sparkle).

TheDressedAesthetic_08 TheDressedAesthetic_09 TheDressedAesthetic_10A quick note on mixing prints – putting prints together can be an art form in and of itself. If you’re just starting to play with them, a good rule of thumb is to mix up the scale of your print. So, try a big bold floral print with some small pinstripes. Or a polka dot crop top with a scenic print skirt. It also helps to repeat colors – prints that you think would have no business going together can if they share a color story.


Next up is BLING! This is the opportunity to add a little (or a lot) of sparkle. You can usually add in splashes of sparkle with your jewelry choices.

I tend to be more minimal with jewelry – it’s very rare you’ll find me wearing earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet. I usually opt for one or two, and ensure that they compliment the rest of the look or provide a bit of contrast. For my first element of bling, I wore a necklace that belonged to my grandmother, who we lost early last year. Not only is beautifully sparkly, but the sentimental value kind of makes me shine from within (and isn’t that really the point after all?)

TheDressedAesthetic_11 TheDressedAesthetic_12I also added a bit of extra shimmer with my handbag – nothing over the top, but this stunning vintage basket bag has the most beautiful resin squares on the front, that catch the light just so, which always reminds me of a sunset. You’ll notice I kept to the golden/orange color theme, but mixed up texture, print and shine.

TheDressedAesthetic_13 TheDressedAesthetic_14The Finished Product!

From there, I get to burst forth into the day and feel fabulously accessorized. Clothing speaks so loudly to who we are – why not have it really represent our personality? For me, is the ideal work look that still keeps a bit of Kara-esque pizazz intact, which puts a bit of spring in my step as I skip off to the lab. After which, I usually dance around the garden like a fool, while my superpup Willie looks on in amusement…

TheDressedAesthetic_15(Caption: Outfit styled using Dressed for iPhone)

TheDressedAesthetic_16 TheDressedAesthetic_17 TheDressedAesthetic_18 TheDressedAesthetic_19 TheDressedAesthetic_20 Color, Texture, Pattern, & Shine – None of these are hard and fast rules, because the best way to develop your own style sometimes is to just break the rules, try new things, swim upstream. Truthfully, the most important element of any outfit is going to be your confidence – Rock the body you have, rock the style you want. Because feeling good in what you’re wearing is the best accessory there is.

Thanks again to Jessica for letting me meet you all. Feel free to check out my vintage-wearing shenanigans over at The Dressed Aesthetic. If you have any questions on accessorizing, I hope you message me!


Outfit Details:

Dress: Chocolate Martini via Modcloth

Jacket: Vintage Handbag: Beleza Vintage

Necklace: Vintage, belonged to my grandmother Tights: Achilles’ Zeal Tights, Modcloth

Wedges: Jeffrey Campbell

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Ray of Sunshine by Lauren The Homemade Pinup

Guest Post by Lauren the Homemade Pinup


Hello dolls! I’m pleased as a peach to be contributing for Pinup Persuasion – this is almost the Holy Grail of vintage and pinup blogs, wouldn’t you agree? Over at my own blog, The Homemade Pinup, I frequently write about me-made vintage pieces or re-dos and I thought I’d share one of those with y’all today.

Environmental responsibility is a big priority for me, and that is part of what makes vintage so appealing. Rather than creating a higher demand for newly made products, I prefer to find a unique piece from decades ago that saves resources to boot.

While vintage is clearly about a certain aesthetic, I also feel that it can be about a certain mindset or way of living. As I’m sure many of you know, during World War II women were encouraged to refashion or repair their old, worn clothing rather than buying completely new garments. For our own time, I’ve interpreted that to mean that while I may not be able to realistically have a brand new clothing item each week, I can find inventive ways to repurpose or mix-and-match what I already have. I’d love a larger vintage wardrobe, but right now, it just ain’t gonna happen! In true forties fashion, however, the Make Do and Mend movement is still alive and well today – or at least I hope to encourage its resurgence!

Grand Ways photoRemaking or refashioning thrifted garments – or even better, ones already in my own wardrobe – is my easy contribution to helping both the environment and my budget, and be perfectly forties to boot! I recently remade a dress of mine that I originally completed back in 2011, which I had named the “Sunshine Dress.” It was certainly not my best work, as I was still learning then, and was showing its age as well as its lack of style. I always felt the dress lacked a certain panache or detail; additionally, it had too short a skirt for my current taste, so apart it came! Here’s how it used to look…

HS photo glove photoIt was originally sleeveless, though even then I covered the bodice with a sweater since the neckline didn’t turn out how I intended. (Also, I couldn’t resist including the latter photo! I’m wearing a pair of gloves my grandmother gave me, which were gifted to her by her father in the forties. Aren’t they divine?)

My newly refashioned dress is constructed from Simplicity 1459, a delightful reprint from a late fifties/early sixties original. This dress was supposed to be the one I graduated in, as yellow is one of my university’s colors, but my sewing machine chose to revolt and conk out when I was about halfway through. Oh, well. Sometimes the sewing fates decide things for you. It was finally finished about a month behind schedule, but better late than never!

Disney photo 1 Disney photo 2 Disney photo 3 Disney photo 4The white collar and skirt panel were done by necessity – I simply didn’t have enough fabric leftover from the last dress to do otherwise – but I think they added so much more charm to this number! And isn’t that just “Make Do and Mend” to a T? Additionally, gingham skirts with a thick white border are quite authentic and I think the effect is darling. (As a side note, there’s some GREAT inspiration here for Mommy/Daughter outfits! Miss Betty Doll, I’m lookin’ at you😉

Florida Fashions 1951 photoI was overjoyed to find the below image from Montgomery Ward 1959 and realize how similar it is to my own dress! Finding a period photo like that really solidified how suitable my design is for the era I’m emulating.

Montgomery Ward 1959The reception of vintage is unlike anything else, I’ve noticed. People respond incredibly well to these classic fashions, from young children to mothers and fathers and grandparents alike. I think there is something wonderfully relatable to vintage era ensembles, as they can be demure, sweet, sexy, adorable, and more all within the same outfit – a very hard thing to achieve, particularly within the limits of modern fashion. What’s your favorite adjective for how dressing vintage makes you feel?

Disney photo 5 Disney photo 6 Disney photo 7Do you, like me, have any specific reasons for dressing vintage besides how it looks? My passion for saving resources and time through my vintage and re-do lifestyle has led me to coin the term #WomensFashionArmy – modeled after the Women’s Land Army of WWII – for those of us who creatively rework our wardrobes to better make use of its infinite possibilities. I’d love to have y’all jump along my bandwagon!

Stop on by my blog for more inspiration and be sure to drop me a line if you do. Thanks for having me!

Until next time,

Lauren || The Homemade Pinup

P.S. Watch out for Part Two of this post, filled with ideas to eek out more outfits from your current vintage wardrobe!

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How To Take a Retro Dress From Day to Night by Kastle of

*Guest Post by Kastle of*


Although life gets so busy sometimes, looking good day and night is still a priority. I find my love of retro clothing and getting the look down takes time. I’m often running late, fussing with that one troublesome pincurl or putting my red lipstick on just right. But it’s sooo worth it, especially in this day of Instagram and wanting to take photos to capture a hard-shopped and styled look. So I decided to challenge myself to take a vintage outfit from day to night just by swapping out some accessories and a couple of changes to my makeup and hair. Because there have been so many times there just weren’t enough hours in the day to go home and change!DayLook1

I started with the base – a good vintage dress. I found this one as never worn deadstock in perfect condition and I love the cut and colors. I call it my “Betty Draper dress” because it just reminds me of something the character would have worn on “Mad Men” with its prim pleats and cap sleeves.

For a day of window shopping in sunny Los Angeles, I paired my dress with some cat-eye sunglasses and a vintage basket weave purse in a pop of bright yellow. This purse actually belonged to my mom. (She has great style and saved a lot of her – now retro – clothes, lucky me!)

DayLook5I grabbed a denim jacket to take with because the wind can be chilly even on a warm day in Los Angeles, and some places blast the AC to Arctic temperatures inside. I added a set of gold earrings with matching brooch that I picked up for under $5 at a garage sale by a girl who used to run a vintage shop – score!

DayLook4For shoes, I reached for my brocade, black, Mary Jane flats I purchased at Viva Las Vegas one year when I brought the world’s most painful shoes! They’ve been my go to walking shoes ever since and are great for logging some blocks while shopping.

DayLook6I did my hair in classic victory rolls with loose curls at the bottom and did my makeup with a soft petal pink lipstick.

DayLook2 DayLook3When the sun went down, it was time to add a little drama to my look for a night out outfit. I pulled a few accessories that were easy enough to fit in a tote bag I could keep in my car or at work for a quick switch-out in a ladies room.

First thing I did was put my hair up in the back. I kept the victory rolls and just used a few hair pins to tuck my loose curls into a French twist. I updated my makeup look with a classic red lipstick.

NightLook3 NightLook2To add some glamour for nighttime, I slipped on a rhinestone, sparkle star hair comb from Pinup Girl Clothing and some rhinestone drop earrings to match. Then I paired that with silver metallic accessories – a silver evening bag and silver spring-o-lator style shoes.

NightLook4Then nothing says drama like a fluffy fur collar and gloves so I popped on my faux fur, cropped jacket and black evening gloves. Neither are vintage but they have the right look, especially when paired with an authentic vintage dress, and are perfect for a dressy night out.

NightLook1Then just strike a pose and wait for your date to arrive!

Hope this helps you with some ideas to take your vintage and retro clothing from day to night with a few portable accessories. Let me know what you do to go from a day to night look when you don’t have time to go home and change.


For more outfit ideas and where to wear them in Los Angeles, check out Kastle’s blog!

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Modern Day 50’s Housewife & A Recipe by Ruby’s Musings


I’m a modern day 50’s housewife. I do not work, at least outside of the home. I cook, clean, do the laundry etc and yes, at times sit around eating “bon-bons”. My kids have flown the nest, mostly; they are adults , so I don’t have children to care for. I did for a time return to work, unfortunately life and my body had other plans. I have fibromyalgia and all that goes with it. It makes it hard to work outside the home. Lucky for me, I have a wonderful hubby that earns enough that I can do that. At times I do feel like a little bird in a gilded cage , he does love to spoil me and he helps out on my bad days, though I do tend to get frustrated when he does , as I prefer to do my “job”.

0723151049-1~2Where does the 1950’s come into play? Partially even from early childhood, I had an obsession with I love Lucy and Leave it to Beaver, I wanted to be June Cleaver but am more like Lucy! I love the music, movies and style of era as well. Since my teens I had been dressing on and off as if I stepped out of one of those 1950’s sitcoms, though I do mix in my take on rockabilly and pin up style as well. The main thing that makes me a modern 1950’s housewife, in my eyes, is not just that I stay home, but that I also enjoy being at home, taking care of the house and my husband, it brings me pleasure to have a clean home and to be able to put a hot meal on the table for him; though I shall admit he often does quite a bit of cooking when I have a bad day health wise. I honestly find it all very satisfying and fulfilling…and YES, I do often wear pearls like June Cleaver!

0723151217b-1~2 0430151419e-1-1~2What do I do with my day? Well in a nutshell, the typical housewife duties, I make the bed, once that is done and I have had my toast and coffee, I get dressed, do my make up ( no day is complete without my winged liner and red lips) and my hair , I then run any errands that I might need to do. Typically I walk to “run” my errands, so I fit in my exercise at the same time. I enjoy puttering in the garden and tending my roses. I work on my blog and Facebook page for it as well so, I work on my social media needs for the day. Each day I await for the knock on the back door, as our middle daughter resides behind us in a small apartment, which is when my “grandpuppy” Sir Winston comes rushing in for his banana chips… a brief moment in the day that packs a lot of giggles and smiles. Before I know it, it’s nearly time to start supper. The day really does rush by when you are caught up in “busy work”. It may all sound boring to many, and there are those days, but when you enjoy and make lemons into lemonade, really it is quite fulfilling.

0724151656e-1~2 0722151303b-1~2When I cook, I like to make easy to prepare, healthy meals and just for fun, quite often I draw upon a 1950’s /1960’s twist. Recently while watching The Astronaut’s Wives Club, at a gathering they had, one wife served little meatloaf “muffins” with mashed potato “frosting”. I had seen similar things on pinterest, imagine my delight to see them in a show set in the 1960’s…then I found them in an old 1950’s entertaining cookbook ( now out of print). I prefer Turkey so I simply switched ground beef for turkey, it was that easy. Great thing is, I can freeze them and then defrost and bake as needed; they reheat nicely too. Thursday night is mini meatloaf night here, and they are always a great hit!

PhotoGrid_1437876379822~2Mini Turkey Meatloaf Muffins w/Mashed potatoes

Recipe serves app. 6 if you eat only one a piece.

Mini Turkey Meatloaf Muffins w/Mashed potatoes

*via a really old cookbook and my modern day tweaks

1 lb of ground turkey

1 box of Stove Top or any brand stuffing mix (instead of crackers etc)

1 cup of water or broth

salt and pepper to taste

1 clove of chopped garlic and ½ of an onion diced and sauteed in just a little margarine or butter

1 large egg whisked and dumped onto meat and stuffing

Ketchup for topping (if desired ;I don’t use any)

Mashed potatoes, boxed or homemade


Mix all the ingredients together, form into small baseball size balls put into a greased muffin pan, top with sauce of choice and a nice amount of mashed potatoes that have been put in a zip lock bag, with corner cut off the bag and piped on to the meatloaves. Sprinkle the mashed potatoes with paprika for color

Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated over right in the muffin tin until meat thermometer says they are fully cooked when inserted in the meatloaves..

Typically mine take 25-35 minutes..but check it with that thermometer, depends on meat variety, size of “muffins” and oven.


Pop meatloaves without the sauce or mashed potatoes on top in freezer for 2 hours to flash freeze.

Once flash frozen, pop out of the muffin tin and store in an air tight container separated by parchment paper if making layers.

When you go to bake, defrost overnight, if not making from fresh, preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Place meatloaves in baking dish, no need to put back in muffin pan, they will hold their shape. Apply sauce, potatoes and sprinkle with paprika, bake as instructed.


They will bake from frozen, but if doing that, they will have to bake longer, upwards to 45 minutes or more depending. Cook with sauce only for first half, then apply the mashed potatoes for second half till meat is fully cooked and mashed potatoes hot.


For more fabulous pinup tips and recipes from the delightful Ruby’s Musings, make sure to check out her blog!

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