Posts Tagged With: 1940s

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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Destination ~ The Tropics

First of all, I want to thank each and everyone of you for the outpouring of support and well wishes during my recovery. I am profoundly humbled by the loving family that makes up our pinup community after sharing my health struggles over the past several months. I am improving a little every day and couldn’t be more excited about getting back to blogging. Please join me in thanking all of our wonderful guest writers Lark, Emily, Samantha, Carrie-Ann, and Patty. You ladies did such a phenomenal job!!!

Today’s feature is a continuation of my new found love of vintage inspired maxi dresses. It is quite funny how our tastes change as we evolve in our journey of self confidence. For years, I avoided maxi dresses like the plague as when I first tried a few on at a local mall years ago….they made my body look shapeless, like a huge sack of potatoes. From that point on, I steered clear of any long dresses as I was positive they weren’t designed to flatter curvy bodies. It wasn’t until I saw my best friend Amber looking absolutely fabulous wearing 40’s inspired maxi dresses by Trashy Diva, that I started to reconsider trying them again. I finally set my heart on the Trashy Diva L’Amour Long Dress in Cactus Rouge and waited for Black Friday to scoop it up on sale at Catnip.

Available in sizes 2-16 ~ MSRP $216USD

IMG_7772One of the best thing about Trashy Diva sizing, they provide accurate individual size charts for each style and print. Based on my measurements, (bust 36″, waist 27″, hips 39″) I fell perfectly in line with the size 6, which was thankfully still available at Catnip. I was thrilled that Catnip offered very reasonable International Shipping, every little of savings helps when the currency exchange is so bad for us Canadians right now. When the L’Amour Long Dress arrived, I couldn’t have been more excited to see how the 40’s style maxi would look on me. I was immediately smitten, it fit my body effortlessly and draped so beautifully. The sizing couldn’t have been more perfect; the 3 tier adjustable button straps allows one to easily shorten the length. The L’Amour Long Dress features keyhole center bust with a thin drawstring, 3/4″ wide adjustable straps, side smocked panels, ankle length full skirt and back zipper closure. At 5′-4″, I shortened the straps on the 2nd button to drape ankle length.

IMG_7767 IMG_7770What I adore most about Trashy Diva is that they continually offer such a variety of gorgeous prints that flatter all women no matter their shape or size. The cactus rouge print really resonated with me as I love the feel of tropics so much but this one is more subtle in comparison to most Hawaiian inspired motifs. The L’Amour Long Dress truly feels like lounge wear; the way it accentuates your body and the fluidity of the draping makes it feel completely effortless. You all know that I am a diehard 50’s fashion lover but I am really coming around to appreciate the 40’s more and more. The slimmer silhouettes like the L’Amour really emphasize the female figure wonderfully and lends well to all body types. Trashy Diva is very unique in the sense that they have a variety of staple designs and continually release new prints/colourways throughout the year. They use the most beautiful quality rayon fabrics that are known to stand the test of time if properly cared for. Never did I think I would be so madly in love with a maxi dress, the L’Amour Long has really dazzled me with its charm and elegance.

IMG_7782The L’Amour Long Dress is one of those versatile ensembles that can easily be worn from day to evening. By adding a cute cropped cardigan, it will allow this look to be suitable for any occasion. Personally, I love to play up the tropical motif of the cactus rouge print by adding simple wooden bamboo bangles (sadly I forgot in these photos). Although you can’t see my footwear peeking out from underneath, I chose to pair the maxi with cute white espadrilles for a nice summery vibe. For a little more waist definitely or to break up the print, add a contrasting thin belt.

IMG_7775 IMG_7773It goes to show you that quality made clothing will always outshine the competition. Trashy Diva maxi dresses accentuate the figure flawlessly and are worth every penny of their investment. If you are unfamiliar with Trashy Diva’s popularity, the demand for discontinued prints are insanely sought after and collectors will snap them up in a blink of an eye therefore retaining their value even secondhand.

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A Fusion of Two Eras

It is quite exciting to bring you the first review for 2016…something a little different from our customary era of the 1950’s. Lately I have been heavily influenced by my best friend Amber’s love of 1940’s fashion and finding myself gravitating towards dresses of this timeless period. Designs were heavily impacted by the material restrictions in the production of clothing imposed by the government; hemlines rose, less fabric meant lean styles, with narrow hip lines and slim all over appearance. Although we are not faced with the same struggles in this generation, we can truly appreciate the men and women who created a new age in fashion trends by the hardships they endured. More and more we are seeing vintage reproduction designers like Heart of Haute embracing diverse decades and bringing us fabulous yet functional designs like the Manhattan Dress.

Available in sizes XS-3X in burgundy, navy & black ~ MSRP $120

IMG_6857With Heart of Haute sizing, you can generally follow the size chart to find the proper fit. If you are like me and in between sizes, it is best to decide by how fitted you prefer your clothing to be; in my case I prefer mine to be snug all over therefore I go with a size Small since my bust measurement 36″ is only slightly larger than the max 35″. To my surprise, the waist is quite roomy but thankfully the Manhattan Dress has built in back ties to nip in the waist seamlessly. The Manhattan Dress features elegant pleated collar than transitions into an empire waistline with matching front button detail, puffed cap sleeves, and flared skirt. The material is one of my favorite fabrics often used by HOH, it drapes beautifully and accentuates the body flawlessly. Since the material is 100% polyester, it doesn’t crease nearly as much as cotton and easy to freshen up with a quick pass of a steamer. At 5′-4″ tall, the skirt falls just below the knees.

IMG_6870 IMG_6861When I first tried the Manhattan Dress, I wasn’t quite sure if this style was right for me. We all know Doris Mayday can rock any dress like nobody’s business but I didn’t feel the same excitement about it on me since this style was much different than what I normally wear. Sometimes it is best to put the item aside and go back to it later with an open mind. This is exactly what I did with the Manhattan Dress and all those doubts quickly dissipated. Normally I shy away from styles with puffed cap sleeves as they seem to overwhelm my petite frame but the intricate pleated collar really pulls everything together. The back ties are great to adjust how much to nip in the waste yet not constricting like a belt. I do love the functional button front detail, sometimes we just want to get away from bulky zippers and benefit from a seamless look in the back as well.

IMG_6862There is definitely something about the Manhattan Dress that makes it stand alone therefore I wouldn’t accessorize very much or at all for that matter. A simple bracelet or small vintage earrings would pair nicely for a more formal classic look. By pure coincidence, I had the perfect pair of matching shoes in my closet…the Pompeii from Miss L Fire. Although I am very guilty of wearing my hair up on a daily basis, I found that a vintage hairstyle with waves was necessary to create a polished look.

IMG_6866 IMG_6878The Manhattan Dress is a graceful fusion of two classic eras of fashion and perfect for the modern day pinup. Going out of your comfort zone might not always be a smooth process initially but I can honestly say that you won’t regret expanding your wardrobe to include a little versatility. With a new year before us, I hope to bring you more exciting styles, eras, brands and more!signature2

 

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