Guest Vixens

Ray of Sunshine by Lauren The Homemade Pinup

Guest Post by Lauren the Homemade Pinup

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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 StilettoCity.com

*Guest Post by Kastle of StilettoCity.com*

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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.

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For more outfit ideas and where to wear them in Los Angeles, check out Kastle’s blog! http://www.stilettocity.com

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

GUEST POST

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

Paprika

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.

IF MAKING AHEAD..

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.

or

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.

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For more fabulous pinup tips and recipes from the delightful Ruby’s Musings, make sure to check out her blog!
http://ruby-rubymusings.blogspot.ca/

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A Plus Size Pinup’s Journey to Self Love & Guide to Vintage Style Plus Fashion by Sassy Scarlet

Societal ideals have led people to believe that if someone is overweight they are lazy, unattractive and unhealthy, an overeater, and a slob. Bullying has become too common. People do not consider that there may be something underlying weight issues, ignoring that weight could be caused by physical illness or psychological trauma, instead focusing on outer appearance. I have always been overweight; it is something I have struggled with my entire life. I have hated myself for not having the willpower to be skinny; I felt that I must have a fatal flaw, what was wrong with me? I wondered why it was so difficult for me to maintain my weight when other girls seemed to be slim without effort. I was bullied terribly as a child, called names, ridiculed and even physically harmed by my peers. My own parents and grandparents worried over my weight, controlling my food intake, saying the things they thought would help me, but these things only pushed me to hate myself more. I felt as if I was worth nothing, simply because I did not fit into the accepted size standard. I could not find clothing that expressed who I was in sizes that would fit me, so I gave up for many years. I wore baggy t-shirts and oversized jeans, ill fitting shapeless garments, trying to hide my body shape because I was ashamed. I put on a brave face, faked confidence but inside I was filled with pain, self loathing and sank into a deep depression. I wanted change but after years of struggle I still topped out at over 300 lbs, I hated myself. I felt hopeless.

I was at rock bottom. My depression was ruining my health, my marriage and my life; I knew I needed a change, so I began to research. I studied proper nutrition, learned what was in the foods I was eating, what psychological issues were causing my self-hatred and I made major lifestyle changes. My first decision was to love myself enough to stop telling myself lies. I would no longer believe that I did not deserve to live until I reached a certain weight. Life does not begin or end when you reach a certain size. I started to eat healthy foods, to exercise, have adventures and love life again. I have lost 70 lbs so far on my journey and I have found peace in loving the person that I am whole heartedly, this in turn, allows me to love and support others on the same journey! With the launch of social media campaigns like Eff Your Beauty/Body Standards and the groundbreaking success of Tess Holiday, we are finally living in a society that is realizing that we are all beautiful people with individual personalities and something valuable to offer the world around us!

I have always had a love affair with vintage fashion, from the time I was a child playing dress up in my Grandmother’s clothing, through my teen years scouring antique stores in search of unique treasures but the issue I always had was, as a plus size girl, it was nearly impossible to find vintage garments that fit. I have always wanted to dress in these lovely retro looks because I identify with the feminine yet strong 1940s and 1950s era women because I grew up being taught old fashioned values and beauty ideals by my Grandmother. In February of 2014, I was invited by Era Exposures to be part of a whimsical women’s photo shoot, it was an empowering and beautiful experience. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes came together, we were gushing over one another, enjoying each other’s company, laughing and for the first time in my life I began to believe that I was beautiful. This was a big step for me, not only did it start the spark of self confidence but it healed me of the fear I had of being close to other women after years of cruelty. I was invited to a shoot once again, but the theme this time was pinup. This was my first introduction to the world of modern pinup inspired brands. It rekindled my love of vintage fashion and I found myself doing something I never imagined, modeling. Sassy Scarlet was born because of my desire to empower other women, share my experiences and love of all things vintage. I do not have an easy body to fit. I am 5’3” tall, and wear a size 18-24 depending on the brand. Sizing fluctuates wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer and each garment has its own unique fit so while I can wear one brand in size XL, from another company I may have to purchase a size 3xl. I have learned to use measurements rather than size to buy my garments as I have an extreme hourglass figure, for reference my measurements (in inches) are Bust 45, Waist 39, Hip 58. I feel that now is a great time for the plus size community with the wider availability of diverse styles allowing each of us to express our unique sense of style. I have worn garments from many different companies over the past few years and these are the companies I love the best, the brands that consistently produce beautiful styles, lovely prints, quality products and have concentrated their effort on catering to women of all sizes. Style has no size!!

Pinup Girl Clothing is the queen of the vintage inspired brands. A company dedicated from their inception to provide couture for every body, they offer nearly every garment in sizes from XS up to 4XL, making Pinup Girl Clothing a perfect destination for women of all sizes. I recently purchased their Ella dress in lavender Mary Blair lips and roses print. I am wearing a size 2xl and it fits beautifully, I am completely enamored of this dress, it is a shape that flatters any size. I feel like a princess when I wear it and I received nothing but compliments but also several inquiries asking where to buy it, many women had no clue that these kinds of dresses were for sale! Pinup Girl Clothing is made from high quality fabrics, featuring exclusive prints in an enormous variety of retro styles to fit any personality.

PUGellaHell Bunny is the retro inspired clothing brand that I was introduced to first. I wore the Hell Bunny Olive dress in pink polka dots for my very first pinup shoot and I was instantly enamored. In shoots I have worn the Hell Bunny Olive dress in multiple colors, the Motley Sailor dress and I own the Eloise dress and Black Dahlia dresses and I love the way Hell Bunny fits me. The Hell Bunny size 2XL fits me nicely but their 50’s dresses are very forgiving so I can wear a size XL in some styles as well. I consider Hell Bunny to be the most affordable vintage style brand, most of their dresses can be bought for under $75, which is a great bargain for a plus size dress, especially one with a full circle skirt. Here I am wearing the Olive dress in pink polka dot size 2XL, the Motley Sailor dress in size XL, the Eloise in size 2XL, Black Dahlia in Size 2XL.

HellBunnyOlive HellBunnyMotleySailor  HellBunnyBlackDahliaVoodoo Vixen recently expanded into plus sizes and have a variety of fun, kitschy styles available. I have the Kitty dress in size 2X, it fits beautifully and the neckline is very unique, it shows off the bust without being immodest, the slim belt draws you in at the waist and the skirt is quite full fitting nicely over a petticoat. Black cats scatter over a pretty bubblegum pink background accented with atomic stars, I adore this cute print. I wore my Kitty dress to the Freedom Flag Benefit for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans with Pinups for Patriots and received many compliments; a few people even thought it was an original vintage dress.

VoodooVixenKittyLindy Bop offers an amazingly diverse selection of retro inspired styles for great prices; Lindy Bop is another affordable vintage style brand that carries up to size UK 26. I own the Ophelia in turquoise floral in size 2x (UK18) and the Carola Halter Dress in summer ditsy floral in size 3x (UK20). This is a case in which the size that you wear is based on the measurements of the specific style that you are buying, even buying multiple items from one brand, the cut on each dress determines your size from one style to the other, so be sure to shop according to your measurements if you cannot try a garment on!

LindyBopOphelia LindyBopCarolaVivien of Holloway offers an amazing selection of vintage style clothing from high fashion dresses to trousers and crop tops, everything to outfit the fashionable vintage girl in sizes up to UK24. I’m smitten with my Grace dress in silver lace bust, I am wearing a size UK22 and it fits nicely. It is a timeless and sophisticated design that flatters my frame without overwhelming it, a classy dress to wear to gala events. I am hoping to own one of their lovely rose print halter neck dresses soon! Besides all of the brands I own dresses from or have worn, there are a number of brands that cater to the plus size pinup that I have not mentioned. What are your favorite vintage style brands that offer plus sizes and why?

VivienofHollowayGraceVisit Sassy Scarlet’s blog for more fabulous reads – http://sassyscarletpinup.blogspot.ca/

 

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