The DIY Vintage Fashionista

As Autumn is quickly coming to an end, we are only weeks away from Winter being upon us. Of course I wanted one last hurrah for my favorite season of the year before transitioning into featuring winter essentials. Recently we showcased the fabulous Ice Skater Cardigan in Cinnamon from Emmy Design (Click Here in case you missed it) and now the infamous mustard is making an appearance on the blog. Today’s feature is for those of you who struggle to find clothing online at affordable prices, let’s talk about handmade clothing!

With prices of authentic vintage clothing going through the roof and reproductions clothing also on the rise, a lot of fashionistas are seeking out affordable alternatives. The answer: Do-It-Yourself (DIY). Homemade vintage 50’s inspired clothing is quickly making a comeback thanks to talented women like Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch. Gertie has launched her own line of vintage inspired patterns and fabrics along with offering Charm School sewing classes. I love following her on Instagram and seeing all the gorgeous handmade designs by everyday women like you and me. Many ladies are now starting to sew their own clothing and sourcing fabulous prints from local fabric stores like Jo-Ann’s, vintage thrift shops, online at,, etc. For beginners (like me), start by picking up a couple basic vintage swing skirt patterns on Etsy or Ebay. Tip: Circle, gathered skirts are easiest and practice on scrap fabric to build your confidence behind the sewing machine. If you are fortunate to live in an area that offers sewing lessons, I highly recommend you check them out. I will be signing up for classes in the New Year.

Last year, I was frustrated at the lack of colourful autumn leaf print designs so I enlisted the help of a friend to source fabric from Jo-Ann’s to have a skirt made to measure. She sent me photos of the various prints available and we both chose this gorgeous all over maple leaf print. For extra savings, sign up for online coupons and shop at the end of the season to pick up fabric by the yard at ridiculously low prices. Luckily my friend is super talented behind the sewing machine and whips up gathered swing skirts like a boss. Until I start dabbling on my own handmade designs, I will rely on her amazing skills to make affordable one-of-kind designs for me.

Many people do not realize that most of the authentic vintage that has stood the test of time 6 decades later were handmade by housewives from the 1950’s. Fast fashion is not made to last more than a season and forces the consumer to spend much more year after year on clothing. Not to mention, Fast Fashion is filling our landfills with more trash that won’t break down for decades sadly. I highly encourage everyone to take the plunge to learn a new skill and fill your closets with oodles of handmade clothing. This is one of my personal goals to discover in the new year.



Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales 2017

With the massive anticipation of Online Black Friday Sales, I will be listing them all here for your quick reference and shopping guide. Please feel free to comment with any that might be missing and I will update the list daily.

Our Black Friday Sale will start 11/23 @ 8PM PST 
until 11/26 @ Midnight. All prices will be set out
for Black Friday in our Etsy shop, no other coupon
codes or discounts may be applied.

take 20% off with code BLACKFRIDAY20, online 
and in store. *excludes coats, jewellery & 
hair tools * For 10% Off coats, use code WARMUP10. 
(normal code rules apply, valid until midnight 
27/11/17 UK time)

The entire site will be up to 40% off and here 
are the details: SALE starts midnight PST on 
Friday 11/24 ~ 12:00AM and ends 12:00AM PST 
Monday 12/27 (late night Monday evening)

30% off everything including sale section. 
Only dandy life products excluded. Code BF30.

25% Off all orders over $99 code BF25, 
20% off ALL orders code BF20. Sale ends 11/22

Take 20% off everything* with the coupon 
code DEADLYFRIDAY20. your cart.
*Valid until midnight on 25/11/17.
Coupon cannot be used in conjunction with 
other coupons & excludes Wheels and Dollbaby 
items and sale items.

Little Black Friday dress SALE!
The holiday season brings out the sparkle in 
all of us! No appropriate dress? No worries!
This weekend we're gonna offer a 20% discount 
on all party dresses at

Folter/Retrolicious 40% off sitewide. 
Code thanks40 ( & 
also free shipping on $50+ orders 11/22-11/27

30% off sitewide - HEYTHANKS30

35% off orders over $250 - HEYTHANKS35 

40% off orders over $500 - HEYTHANKS40

25% off All In Stock Merchandise
*does not include Made to Order, Pre-order
 Use Coupon Code: BLACKFRI
 valid now through Satruday, November 25th at 11:59pm PST


Vixen 25% OFF ALL ITEMS including FINAL SALE 
*excluding old pre-orders, 15% OFF ALL NEW 

We are offering 25% discount the entire 
weekend on all items.(Femme Fatale 
collection/new arrivals are excluded).  
Use code: BlackWeekend Code expires Sunday midnight

20% Off Everything. Code TREATWEEK. Expires 11/28.

25% off sitewide Friday on TOBS. Want early access 
to the code on thurs???  Simply join the TOBS 
Boudoir on Facebook!

Link -->

Check site for daily deals leading up to Black Friday.
35% off site wide, excluding sale.

Online sale
Free Shipping on all purchases. (Choose free 
shipping option at checkout.) 10% off regularly 
priced styles with coupon code holiday2017. 
Online sale begins 11/24 
at 12:00am pst & ends 11/27 at 11:59pm pst.

Celebrate Black Friday with 25% off online starting 
now using the code BFRIYAY25 until 11/24 11:59 MT.
Continue the fun all weekend with 20% off using 
the code BFRIYAY20 ending Cyber Monday at 11:59pm MST.
Sale includes all items excluding new arrivals section.

You'll be pleased to hear that we're going to be 
holding our Black Friday sale from Friday 24th 
until Monday 27th November. Many lines will be 
included and current sale items will be further 
reduced.There's no code, you'll just be able to 
see which items are reduced if you click on the 
Sale section.

Black Friday sale 30% Off Everything.Code bfs30

BLACK FRIDAY IS HERE! You guys know what 
to do! Use code "GIRLFRIDAY" at checkout 
for 35% off all in stock product including 
MAKERS ROW! Want a preorder?? They're 20% 
off again until December First, no code 

30% off everything exc. Magenta Floral range and 
gift cards. Code GOBBLEITUP.


25% Off Sitewide excluding the red carpet 
collection. 11/22-11/27 Code BLACKFRIDAY is having a week long sale, with new promos DAILY starting today!

Sunday 11/19: Devoted Darlings (must sign into your 
account) Only. Take 25% Off Everything including 
sale items. Code YAY25

Monday 11/20: 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25. Daily Deal - Accessories and 
gifts under $25 (select styles only)

Tuesday 11/21 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25. Daily Deal - $20 Bottoms.

Wednesday 11/22 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25.Daily Deal: Catch of the Day!

Thursday 11/23 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25.Daily Deal: $25 Dresses (select 
styles only)

Black Friday 11/24 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25.Daily Deal: $25 Dresses (new 
styles added / select styles only)

Saturday 11/25 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25. Daily Deal: $40 Novelty skirts 
(select styles only)

Sunday 11/26 25% Off Everything including sale 
items. Code YAY25. Daily Deal: $20 Tops (select 
styles only)

Cyber Monday 11/27 30% Off Sitewide including sale 
(excluding daily deals). Code TBA


Get 50% OFF a large selection of items on our 
website.Type "Sale" in the search bar then add 
the discount code PRICEFALL  when you check out.
Offer available until Midnight on Sunday.

We have launched the Black Friday Sale early 
for you Vixens! Shop now before it has gone up, 
up to 50% off certain pieces!

20% off sitewide from now until 11/26. Code black8c. 

50% off storewide. Use code: BLACKFRIDAY. 
Ends Monday 27, 11:59 gmt

From a Little Spark May Burst a Flame

As our personal tastes and style continue to evolve everyday, I find myself much more aware of not over spending on clothing that will simply sit in my closet going unworn. Up until recently, I was focusing mainly on authentic vintage but this autumn has brought forth some pretty spectacular designs that I simply could not resist. The online boutique that I have always admired for their phenomenal ability to make everything look fabulous with their line up of iconic pinup models is Top Vintage Boutique. They carry such a wide array of brands, suitable for almost all budgets. In particular I found myself fancying their house line Vintage Chic, as it recaptured my love of a curve hugging wiggle dress. After a very short debate, I decided to take the plunge ordering the 50s Brianna Tie Neck Pencil Dress in Cognac.

Available in sizes 8-18UK in Cognac & Blue (new)~ MSRP €59.95

Seeing as I was very unfamiliar with the Vintage Chic brand and sizing, I relied heavily on the Top Vintage size chart and customer reviews to confirm what size would be most suitable. Top Vintage provides great fit advice on each items individual size chart; for the Brianna Dress, they advised it ran small and to order up if you are in between sizes which I was. My measurements (bust 36″, waist 27″, hips 41″) put me at the higher end of the size 10 and right in the middle of the 12. Since I intend to wear this mostly to the workplace, I wanted mine to hug my curves comfortably and not be overly fitted so I went with the size 12 (Medium). Needless to say, I was even more in love with the Brianna Dress when it arrived as the photos do not do the gorgeous cognac colour justice. I was super thrilled that the fit was spot on, it hugged my curves all in the right places but still had ample room to feel at ease. The Brianna Dress features a chic tie collar with 3/4 sleeves, stylish front pockets, a sexy wiggle pencil skirt and side zipper closure. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls just below the knees.

It has been a long time since I found myself enamored with a sexy secretary look a la Joan Holloway and the Brianna Dress did not disappoint. When I placed my order from the Top Vintage website at the end of summer, there were very few photos showing how the Brianna Dress would look on a curvy body type like mine. Ava Elderwood’s magnificence and the glowing customer reviews both convinced me to take the plunge. The rich cognac colour is so warm and quite a rare shade to come across these days. What drew me in is the simplicity of the design silhouette with the unique subtle details like the side tie collar and front pockets that create a point of interest. I will be honest, I fussed with tying the collar as it was a bit tricky to get it to lie nicely but once I did…it looked perfect. The polyester fabric has some stretch and is quite thick which is ideal to help conceal any trouble areas. To create the illusion of a flawless hourglass silhouette, I paired this sexy wiggle with my trusted Spanx High Waisted shorts (link here). The Brianna Dress is perfect for the office and can easily transition to nighttime glam.

A classic wiggle dress is simply elegant on its own and needs little accessories to create a stellar ensemble. I chose a classic office look by pairing the Brianna Dress with vintage copper earrings, a thin black belt, a vintage 40s cable knit handbag and black round toe pumps. If you want to add some sparkle, a fabulous large brooch placed at the tie collar or a dainty one placed on the chest would both look spectacular. The possibilities are abundant.

It has been a long while since I ventured away from my go to swing styles and embraced my inner Joan but the Brianna Dress has sparked the old flame inside of me again. We need to celebrate our bodies and not hide behind our insecurities; something I have been doing for quite some time now. So what if we gain a little weight or don’t meet the ideal image of ourselves…live life for today!






Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

When things don’t go as planned, it can really dampen your spirits instantly. This is exactly what happened for our long awaited autumn blog photoshoot. I had meticulously chosen my favorite autumn  themed ensembles to showcase in the most magical picturesque setting surrounded by the rich autumn colours only to arrive on site to find all the trees were still green! Honestly, mother nature is quite out of sorts these days…I have never seen so many green trees still full of leaves in late October. Despite my disappointment, the hubby drove around our little town and found a lovely little park for us to take photos for the afternoon. I quickly forgot our rocky start, embracing my love of autumn to not disappoint my readers.

More and more, I find myself pairing vintage reproduction with authentic vintage to create practical everyday looks. They are two worlds that can easily compliment one another; just imagine the possibilities. Where does one start? Find versatile vintage reproduction that can be mixed and matched with just about anything. One of my go to staples for autumn and winter are the Emmy Design Ice Skater Cardigans, they are the bees knees! If you haven’t heard of them before, you will wish you had long ago.

First things first, yes they are probably the most expensive cardigan on the market but they are worth every penny! I refer to them as investment pieces, seeing as they will become staples in your wardrobe for years to come. Second, they sell out FAST every season…be ready to buy them right away, even consider pre-ordering them from Emmy Design authorized retailers. Lastly, select the colour that will coordinate the most with your current wardrobe since you will likely only buy one to start.

This year, I knew that I had to own the gorgeous Ice Skater Cardigan in Cinnamon and therefore stalked the Emmy Design website waiting for them to be released. I learned from previous years, do not procrastinate as they will sell out in most sizes almost immediately. This would be my second Ice Skater Cardigan, previously purchasing the fabulous Mustard from one of their online resellers in 2016. I will get to why I love them so much but here is a list of potential shops that may have still some in stock:

Now let’s talk about what makes the Ice Skater Cardigan is so fabulous! We can all see that they are a beautiful cable knit design, reminiscent of the vintage sweaters from the 1940s. But what you cannot see is that they are made from 100% quality wool that is NOT itchy WHATSOVER and will not lose it’s shape over time. The impeccable craftsmanship is nothing like the knits currently available on the market, these will last for years possibly decades if well cared for. Since they are made from non synthetic yarn, they are breathable while keeping you toasty warm. I wear their smallest size 34/36 comfortably, it’s a little loose but perfect for layering.

The Ice Skater Cardigans are the quintessential staple that pairs beautifully with repro and authentic vintage.  They can be worn with trousers, skirts, denim, or layered over dresses…the possibilities are endless. With the cooler autumn days upon us, I am pairing them with my favorite vintage novelty print skirts like this darling Robin Circle Skirt. The warm shade of cinnamon compliments so many colours and has already proven to be very versatile. They can be worn buttoned up or left open layered to complete your ensemble.

This Vintage Robin Circle Skirt is rather rare, likely sewn by a homemaker from the 1950’s using a Make-Your-Own-Novelty-Print-Skirt Kit that were available through popular catalogue stores. It is made up of two different prints of alternating 12 panels to create a full circle skirt. It looks pretty spectacular with the Ice Skater Cardigan in Cinnamon.

I have heard many ladies question if the Emmy Design Ice Skater Cardigan is worth the high price tag but one thing that is certain, not one has ever said they regretted their purchase afterwards. How many cardigans at $20-30 have you purchased each year only to see them pill and fall apart after a few wears/washes? Quality knits are hard to come by these days and I have learned that it is best to invest in quality wardrobe pieces over fast fashion every time.

Outfit Details

Emmy Designs Ice Skater Cardigan in Cinnamon

Vintage Robin Circle Skirt from Victory Girl Vintage

Vintage Bakelite Jewelry

Mandy Retro Mary Jane Shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes








Reminiscing in Autumn’s Beauty

Everyday, my long commute home from the city can be quite daunting and stressful. Luckily as I get off the busy highway, I am able to enjoy the lovely scenic drive through the rural country roads and completely immerse myself in the beauty of my favorite season…Autumn. The trees stayed green much longer through the warmer September days but they are quickly turning to gorgeous shades of orange, yellow, and red. It is incredible how quickly I find myself unwinding from a stressful day as I take in all the picturesque scenery around me.

With a bunch of fabulous new releases and vintage items to share, I am hoping the weather cooperates this weekend for our Autumn blog photoshoot. For now, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the past (Michigan Oct.2015) that really capture why Autumn is my most favorite time of year.

Photos by Dave Melges Photography.




All The Delights from Gigi’s House of Frills

Recently I shared my wonderful shopping experience at Gigi’s House of Frills where I went home with two big bags full of delights. If you did not get a chance to read about it, please check it out here –>Introducing Gigi’s House of Frills. It was difficult to narrow down my choices as there were so many beautiful things to choose from with their great selection of lingerie by What Katie Did, Bettie Page Lingerie, With Love Lingerie, Inspiration Vintage, authentic vintage and so much more!

Bettie Page Lingerie by Playful Promises

The number one thing I was super excited to try on was the Bettie Page Longline Overwire Bra. Luckily Gigi’s had it available in the gorgeous Black/Peach with matching 4 Strap Suspenders Belt and High Waist Briefs. With the smallest band size being a 32, I decided to start with my usual size 32DD in the Longline Overwire Bra. Based on my measurements (waist 27″, hips 40-41″), Gigi recommended a size 6US for the matching Suspender and Briefs. I was super thrilled when the Longline Overwire Bra fit perfectly and looked fabulous; I was holding my breath worried it would look terrible on me. After trying the size 6 in both coordinating pieces, I decided to also try the larger size to confirm which one fit best. In the end, Gigi was spot on as the size 6 was the winning combination.

With Love Lingerie

It was so wonderful to see Gigi’s carried lingerie by local designers like With Love Lingerie.  Luxuriously handmade in Canada, they truly capture the essence of femininity. Once I slipped on the Greta Kimono, it was impossible to take off! Not only did it match beautifully with the Overwire Black/Peach set, the Greta Kimono felt like pure Heaven against my skin. The magnificent detail with the back lace cutout adorned by genuine Swarovski Crystals is absolutely mesmerizing. I love the softness of the pink contrasting collar, sleeve lining and belt against the rich black satin. The Greta Kimono is going to give this gal many excuses to lounge around the house and still look fabulous while doing it.

What Katie Did

I am no stranger to the beauty of What Katie Did Lingerie. As a long time fan of their Glamour Seamed Stockings, I took advantage of this opportunity to stock up on their new pastel shades in pink, sky and purple. While chatting with Gigi, she mentioned the Grey Glamour stockings were one of her go to staples and would look phenomenal with the Bettie Page Overwire Set. Of course I listened and picked up a pair of the Grey Glamour stockings as well! At 5′-4″ tall, I wear WKD Glamour stockings in a size S/M.

P.S. Gigi was so right…these are my new favorite go to stockings staple!

Inspiration Vintage

Now here is a winning combination, vintage style lingerie designed with every day comfort in mind. Inspiration Vintage creates handmade vintage inspired cotton panties for the modern day ladies. An exclusive at Gigi’s, the Rita Extra High-Waisted Panties in Black/Red surprised me the most. Initially I had picked up the regular and high-waisted styles but decided to try on all three to see how they fit. To my surprise, I instantly fell for the Rita Extra High-Waisted…they were incredibly figure flattering and so darn comfortable. Sizing fit much differently with each style, I ended up taking a Medium in the Extra High-Waisted style.


Besame Cosmetics

Of course I could not leave before picking up a new shade of red lipstick by Besame Cosmetics. They are hands down my favorite brand of lipstick; with the most authentic vintage shades and creamy non drying texture.  This time I opted to try their Wild Orchid Lipstick, a rich deep fuchsia-red with slight shimmer.

As you can see, I brought home some of the most sumptuous delights from Gigi’s House of Frills. I am already looking forward to my next visit in a few weeks, Gigi kindly ordered the What Katie Did Cone Bra in my size which is now waiting for me at the shop. Make sure you plan a visit the next time you are visiting Toronto, Ontario or contact Gigi directly to place your order online!







Tattoos in the Corporate World

Over the past decade or two, the stigma around tattoos has gone from taboo to becoming mainstream. What some people do not know is that during the daytime, I am a manager in the Corporate World who clearly does not fit into that traditional mold. Working for the same company for over 15 years, it has allowed me to see first hand how the stereotypes have slowly started evolving and what it means to be different in this very traditional environment .

The stereotypes of what people “should” look like working in the Corporate World.

When I began working for my employer in 2002, I was a 20 year old College student that had a couple small tattoos and wore fitted clothing (aka booty pants & slinky tops). Looking back now, I seriously cringe at the thought of my younger self but it was a stepping stone to developing my confidence and discovering how to refine my own personal style. At that time, it was necessary to cover your tattoos if they were larger (aka not a little ankle tattoo) or have them in places that didn’t attract any attention. I remember asking my manager what the Corporate policy was on tattoos and they just said it was frowned upon so make sure to not cause any attention to the matter.

Many people are forced to live two lives: work vs their true selves.

As the years progressed I slowly started collecting more tattoos, always making sure they were placed in areas that could easily be covered in the workplace. By 2008, I had 6 tattoos that were all still considered small in size but my fascination with the artistry had evolved into a passion. I quickly became immersed into learning more about the different tattooing styles and artists. My love of the art really became a part of who I was but how could I start using my body as a canvas knowing my professional career was taking off? The last thing I wanted was to hinder my opportunities due to the old fashioned stigmas that still existed in the Corporate World.

Tattoos from my earlier years.

In 2010, I met my wonderful husband who admittedly had a thing for women with a tattooed arm sleeve. We both admired the beautiful artwork on other women but I knew it was out of the question for me because of the workplace. This was around the time that I decided I wanted my body to become a canvas to showcase my interests and passions in life. In 2012, when the opportunity of a lifetime of being tattooed by one of the best artists in the industry, we jumped on a train to Chicago to meet Hannah Aitchison for my 30th birthday. The plan was to get a tattoo of a beautiful pinup on my back to commemorate my lifestyle of all things pinup. Apparently Hannah had BIG plans, she had designed a piece that would cover my entire back. It was in that moment that I made a decision that changed my life forever and needless to say, I struggled with a lot of self doubt and feeling of regret in the weeks that followed.

Stephanie Castro pinup by Hannah Aitchison.

When I returned home, I now had to tell my parents who are very traditional about this massive tattoo and more importantly, my boss. They all knew about why we were going to Chicago so it wasn’t like I could hide it for very long. The moment my boss excitedly said “well, can I see it?”, I knew the stigmas might actually be changing thanks to open minded people like him. This opened the lines of communication and we talked regularly about tattoos in the Corporate World but he felt that the individuals in senior leadership still frowned upon them. He cautioned me to keep mine in areas that would not be seen, aka do not get your arms tattooed. That thought stuck with me for years, I shied away from doing it and started using my upper legs as my canvas.

Fluff Susy Sailor by Hannah Aitchison.

By 2013, I had my full back tattooed along with the two front of my upper thighs. When I was out in public, I received endless compliments from strangers and what was often said was “I don’t usually like tattoos, but yours are so nicely done…they are beautiful!” When the little old ladies starting paying me compliments, it was in that moment that I knew the world was changing for the better. I was dressing pinup full time while at work and stopped shying away from covering up my back 100%, which undoubtedly opened the lines of discussion with my coworkers and management. Employees felt more at ease to not cover up and tattoos became the norm, not the exception.

Inspired by my love of vintage by Malibu Budd.

It was not until late 2014 that I finally decided it was time to break the old Corporate mentality…I got my right upper arm sleeve tattooed. I can say this, it was a decision that I struggled with for a very long time even knowing society had changed for the better…would this decision hinder my career advancement? In the end, I felt that what I had chosen had deep emotional meaning to me and it was a risk worth taking at this stage in my life. Still, I knew it could be covered with a cute cardigan when in mixed company. No matter how inclusive people are, I think the deeply ingrained years of tattoos being taboo never truly leave us.

A tribute to my parents by Malibu Budd.

After that life changing decision, I truly believe the years that followed was when we began to see the Corporate World finally adapting with its employees. Eventually I got my left arm tattooed as well as continuing down my legs most recently. Everyone in my workplace doesn’t even blink an eye now that I leave them uncovered regularly and are pretty excited to see when I get new artwork.

Tropical Floral Sleeve by Luis Puedmag.
My love of Disney by Miss Mae LaRoux.
Cover up due to a terrible burn by Malibu Budd.

I know the stereotypes still exist and people are instinctively quick to judge when they see a vibrant redhead covered in tattoos wearing bright 1950s dresses, but what they do not know is that I am a manager that has over 15+ years of hard work and dedication that has earned me that title. Never judge a book by its cover, we define ourselves by our accomplishments and perseverance.

This is the everyday me! No more living two lives.