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Posts Tagged With: 1940s

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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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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Pinup Winter Essentials

One of the most common questions I receive from readers, is how to make a pinup wardrobe suitable for the cold winter months? Even I struggle with this dilemma every year living in blistering cold snowy weather almost 6 months of the year. Until recently, I always resorted to fun retro cardigans with basic dress pants for my work attire. The big discovery came when I started seeing gorgeous swing trousers being designed by our house hold repro designers…but would they work for various body types? For those of us who are vertically challenged, buying pants online usually ends in major disappointment. More and more, I saw dames in all shapes and sizes rockin’ trousers like nobody’s business so I knew it was time to take the plunge. Being a sucker for floral print, I was instantly taken by the Voodoo Vixen Natalia Trousers and coordinating Dita Top in burgundy.

Available in sizes S-XL ~ MSRP Trousers £38.00, Top £25.00

img_8569Over the years, I have always found Voodoo Vixen sizing to be cut more generously overall and quite precise with their basic size chart. My waist (28″) put me in between a Small and Medium but my hips (41″) definitely made sizing down a big risk. The decision became much easier since the size Small was already sold out. I opted to go with a size Medium in the Natalia Trousers and size Small in the Dita Top. The trousers arrived first from Voodoo Vixen, promptly as always and I immediately ordered the Dita Top from Retroglam to create the perfect ensemble. With bated breath, I tried them both on together and was blown away at the reflection in the mirror. The Dita Top fit like a glove and had ample stretch get in and our effortlessly. The Natalia Trousers felt like I was walking on a cloud; the waist fit spot on due to the back elastic and the fabric draped beautifully to hide my wide hips. Inspired by fashion Icon herself, the Dita Top features a high neckline with keyhole accent, gathered and puffed sleeves, and made from thick stretchy fabric. The Natalia Trousers feature a high waist with cinching back elastic waistband, wide flared leg design, and of course…front pockets! Made from a luscious silky polyester, the Natalia Trousers are absolutely divine due to the bold floral and leaf print set on striking black. At 5′-4″ tall, I had to wear 3″ heels for the hem length of the trousers.

img_8558 img_8553With every season, I find Voodoo Vixen is blowing us away with better than ever designs. A year ago, I would have never of dreamt of trying the Natalia Trousers and now I could not survive winters without them. They truly feel like you are wearing silk pajamas and you’ll never want to take them off. Initially I was concerned that my tummy pooch would be accentuated due to the high waist and/or the rise would be too long for my short torso but the superb draping of wide legs conceals those trouble areas flawlessly. The elasticized back waistband really helps to give the illusion of a nipped in waist and makes these trousers so darn comfortable. As for the Dita Top, I normally steer clear of puffy style sleeves but I find they are more subtle due to the longer sleeve length and your eyes instantly gravitate to the lovely keyhole with button detail. I was very impressed with the quality and thickness of the fabric, it stretches effortlessly and very complimentary to the figure. These two are a power house when worn together, yet very versatile to be mixed and matched all year round.

img_8572 img_8552What I appreciate the most in a bold floral print is the endless possibilities to accessorize. The deep rich hues in the Natalia Trousers made it a no-brainer to pair with vintage bakelite bangles in burgundy, green and black, finished off with a 1950’s vintage black crochet handbag and basic black pumps. Seeing as I do not wear 3″ heels to work, I will be hemming the trousers a bit shorter in the near future.

img_8565 img_8564Winters just got a lot better now that we have fabulous trousers like the Natalia to get us through until dress season returns. For those of you searching for more versatile separates, the Dita Top will become an instant wardrobe staple for you as well. Currently available in three colours (red, burgundy & bright blue), I hope Voodoo Vixen releases them in a variety of shades like emerald green, black, plum and many more!

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