Darling Looks On A Budget

Now that Christmas is over, many of us are feeling it most in our wallets. It is the season of giving but who isn’t tempted to treat themselves as well? When money is a little tight, there are plenty of options to find affordable clothing while not sacrificing your style. Dolly and Dotty offer great pinup frocks whether you are looking to start your pinup wardrobe or simply add a few versatile pieces that won’t break your bank account.

Mary Casual Vintage Inspired Day Dress in Black Birds £29.99

Although I instinctively gravitate towards 50’s swing dresses, the Mary Day Dress slim silhouette really peeked my fancy to try something a little different. Based on my measurements (Bust 36, waist 28, hips 41), the size 10UK was a perfect fit. The Mary Day Dress is cut in a straight shift pattern which creates a very casual flowing fit. Do not let this simple day dress fool you, the adorable shirt style collar with peek-a-boo bust cut out make it a fabulous flirty and fun design. The subtle black bird print is classic and versatile.

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Seeing as we’re now in the cold winter months, it was essential to transition the Mary Day Dress into an ensemble suitable for the season. Being budget conscious, I opted to shop my closet for separates to achieve this task. One of my favorite staples are cropped cardigans, they pair fabulously with almost any outfit. In this case, I found the Sweet Sweater in black by Heart of Haute was a great match with the Mary Day Dress since it accentuated the lovely peek-a-boo cut out and neckline perfectly. This classic casual look was finished off with the Gabriella Rocha Ginger Black mary-janes.

img_8630 img_8643 img_8641Darlene Retro Full Circle Swing Dress in Beige/Dark Green £39.99

Now some of you may recall seeing the Darlene Swing Dress in mint and coral on the blog some months back. As I mentioned then, I was lusting over the beige/green colourway but it was sadly out sold out in my size. After waiting patiently for the restock, I opted to size down to an 8UK since I found the 10UK ran big in this particular style. The smaller size fit wonderfully and looked much more figure flattering. The Darlene Swing Dress features a lovely off the shoulder boat neck with button accents, short sleeves with contrasting cuffs, a wide style waistband to nip in the waist and flared swing skirt.

img_8714 img_8698 img_8708What I adore the most about the Darlene Swing Dress is that the design stands alone and requires little effort. What does that mean? Well, just throw on the Darlene Dress with some cute basic Mary Janes and you’re ready to go! There’s no need to hunt down a belt or a cardigan, no muss no fuss. A classic style that can go from day to evening and available in a variety of colour combinations as well.

img_8702 img_8712 img_8711It is no secret that the vintage reproduction clothing is a financial investment but there are definitely many options for those who are looking to build their wardrobe on a tight budget. Dolly and Dotty not only offer affordable designs, they also have incredible sales! I was blown away to find they had a site wide 50% off sale around Black Friday, so I recommend signing up for their newsletter to not miss out!

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How to Look Fabulous for Under $100.

It is no secret that our love of vintage and pinup comes with a hefty price tag. With the rising prices of vintage reproduction clothing, many of us have to cull back our shopping habits and/or seeking more affordable alternatives. Let’s get real…most people cannot afford to spend upwards of $150 on one dress but we all know that our style costs substantially more than the “fast fashion” that is readily available in our local malls. We “collect” quality made clothing that will last for many years unlike the disposable nature of retailers like Old Navy, H&M, Forever 21, etc. Today, I will showcase two fabulous ensembles that cost under $100USD and share helpful tips to find great savings to stretch your dollar even further!

Look # 1 – $100

Dress ~ Dolly & Dotty $43USD (£32.99)

Shoes ~ BAIT $32USD (Clearance)

Brooch ~ Luxulite $25USD

IMG_8487 IMG_8489 The Vanessa dress is a great staple that can be styled in a variety of ways to create versatile looks all year round. With this being my first dress from Dolly and Dotty, I was unsure of their sizing and found my measurements (b36w28) to be in between the 10 and 12. Taking a risk, I went with the smaller size 10 since the 12 would have been quite big in the waist. With the fabric not being stretchy at all, I found it to be quite snug all over, especially in the bust (this style appears to run on the smaller side of the size chart) and I definitely recommend sizing up on this one. Tip: Sign up for the Dolly & Dotty newsletter to save 10% off your order.

IMG_8498 IMG_8494Since I always love a pop of colour, I opted to switch out the check belt with a nice cherry red that I had from another dress. Tip: Mixing and matching accessories is the key to creating a variety of new looks with your wardrobe no matter the size. The BAIT Dennise Wedges have always been my favorites since they are super comfortable and coordinate with pretty much everything including vintage and reproduction. Tip: BAIT is now available on Zulily for insanely low prices. You can also nab their end of season styles on Black Friday for double the savings. Adding a novelty brooch to any outfit really adds a little pizazz and ties everything together. Luxulite is available on Etsy and at some of your favorite online retailers so you can nab them with other items to save on shipping. Tip: Check out your local Antique Stores & Thrift Shops to find old brooches for under $10.

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Look # 2 – $92

Dress ~ Dolly & Dotty $52USD (£39.99)

Shoes ~ BAIT $40USD (Sale)

IMG_8518 IMG_8514 Originally I really wanted the Darlene dress in beige and green but it sadly sold out in my size as soon as they were restocked. The mint/coral was a great second choice seeing as it’s a fabulous and unique colour combination. Tip: Branching out from your go-to favorite colours helps to diversify your wardrobe. The Darlene appears to run more generously in comparison to the Vanessa and the fabric has a little bit a stretch as well. The size 10 fit me well with room to spare in the waist. The medium weight fabric makes this dress perfect for the cooler seasons and comes in a variety of colour combinations that are flexible to wear year round.

IMG_8537 IMG_8513The Darlene is a great style that can go from day to night. Tip: Simply change your accessories and shoes to transition your daytime look to evening glam. Thanks to the unique colour blocking below the bustline, it creates the illusion that is a two piece ensemble. Once again, I found that my BAIT Demi Wedges matched perfectly and I got them at PUG during their Black Friday Sale in 2013. Tip: Make a wishlist of items that you can mix & match but don’t often go on sale (make sure they are stock items available year round). Have your wishlist ready when planning Black Friday purchases and make a point of prioritizing the retailers that only ever have a big sale once a year. You’ll save a lot more money! A fun and inexpensive way to accessorize any outfit is with costume jewelry. Plastic bangles, fun charm bracelets, chunky necklaces and earrings can all be found at any local thrift shop, tween stores, Etsy, etc. for under $10. Tip: Check out local estate or garage sales, often you can buy costume jewelry in bulk for super cheap.

IMG_8522 IMG_8525Retailers like Dolly and Dotty are creating affordable vintage reproduction designs, while not sacrificing quality like in “Fast Fashion”. With more budget friendly options, we are able to grow our wardrobe and also offer a great starting point for the ladies just beginning to dip their toes in the pinup lifestyle. I am all for finding the best deal and supporting local thrift shops recycling old treasures. There are endless ways that we can look fabulous on a limited budget. My everyday look consists of minimal makeup (ie: liquid black eyeliner, mascara), hair tied up or occasionally straight, with full emphasis on my outfit (dress, brooch, costume jewelry and cute shoes). Pinup is not just about fashion but how one carries herself and exudes confidence.  I hope these little tips and tricks help you look fabulous for less! 😉

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