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!


Thrifting Pin-Up Style by Jen from Betties N Brimstone

***Guest Post by Jen from Betties N Brimstone***

Hi, I’m Jen from the Betties N Brimstone (www.bettiesnbrimstone.com) blog! I’m so excited to guest post today about one of my most favorite hobbies – thrifting! So many people tell me that they never find anything when they go thrifting… but you have to know WHERE and HOW to look! It also doesn’t hurt to go regularly. Some days I score big time, and other times I may walk out with nothing. Here’s a typical trip through the thrift store with me:

I start at housewares.

housewaresI collect Pyrex, so I buzz past there first, just in case…on this particular day, there were two pieces of Pyrex, but they were so dishwasher-damaged that it wasn’t worth it. Pass.

Then, I head over to pictures and frames.

framesI collect religious art, so I sometimes find an awesome gaudy piece for my collection. No such luck today, but there are always a bunch of chunky frames (you can buy these and just pop out the artwork and glass!) that are super cool for brooch display boards and other DIY projects.

Speaking of brooches, I like to wander by the jewelry display case to see what kind of cute brooches or other accessories are available:

broochesCurrently, there are a ton of cute holiday brooches available. I do dream of spotting a Bakelite bangle one day…but it hasn’t happened yet!

Next, I wander through the other housewares and decorative items. Today I found an awesome black cat sculptural ceramic piece that I think I’ll use to hold business cards at art fairs. Score!

Next, I stroll past the skirts, just in case.

skirtsSavers organizes all of their clothing by size, so I’ve developed a pretty good scanning eye for specific fabrics (I once snagged a Hell Bunny dress for $9.99!), and I seem to have most success at finding pencil skirts in vintage-y wool plaid fabrics. I’m always looking for swing or circle skirts, too.

One of my favorite sections as of late is cardigans! I have discovered that it is best not to put yourself in just one size. I’ve found awesome sweaters tagged large, medium, AND small, so you never know. If you have the patience, flip through all of them, and pull out anything that catches your eye. You can try them on later and weed out your faves. It’s amazing how many designer brands you can find on the rack!

bananarepublicI always look for pin-up-ish cardigans with a slightly fitted style to them, which usually means sizing down. Lately, I’ve been scouring for cropped cardigans, as I’m only 5’1” and the cropped style works really great over my vintage repro dresses. Be open minded! I’m always surprised at what works and what doesn’t prior to trying them on! Today I found four possible options that I threw in my cart:

cardigan-choicesI tried them on, and ended up keeping the black cropped cardigan (always a staple piece that one can use!) and the striped tie-style cardigan:

tryonNormally, I don’t go for tie-style cardigans, but I do love me some black and white stripes! I have a black Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing that would be so cute with this! Score!

I have actually built up quite a collection of cardigans from thrifting, both cropped and longer length:

cardigansI actually keep a list of what colors I have, so that when I’m out, I can look specifically for colors that I don’t have, and don’t accidentally re-buy a piece I already have! The best part about thrifting for cardigans is that I typically spend $5-$10 per sweater, sometimes less if there’s a sale or I have a coupon!

Next, I head across the aisle to long-sleeve knits. This section is newer for me. I used to skip over it, until I realized how many awesome boat-neck-style tops I could find for my circle skirts for awesome prices!

boatneck1 boatneck2On the way to the next section, I pass by coats and skim the options. Today there was a super cool faux fur coat that’d be great for a pinup style! I don’t currently need a winter coat, so I passed, but how cool is this?

coatMy new favorite section is the lingerie and nightgowns. I’m on the hunt for awesome vintage nighties and glamorous robes!

lingerieSo far my collection is quite small. Only two vintage nightgowns. But today I found this awesome long sheer black robe/dressing gown that I am so psyched about! I think I’m going to start lounging around the house in this and pretend I’m Dita Von Teese. 🙂 All I need now are some maribou slippers.

My final stop on the thrifting rounds is belts and accessories. This is a great place to find vintage hair scarves! I have a ridiculous collection right now though, so I instead focus on belts.

belt-shoppingI’m kind of collecting a whole rainbow of options at the moment. The best part about thrifted belts is that I typically pay $1-2 dollars each, so if they don’t hold up, I’m not too sad about it. Today I spotted three options:

belt-ideasBut when I tried them on, one was too worn out, and the other two were too big. Whomp whomp. Even though I didn’t get any belts today, I have actually had a LOT of luck finding them. Check out this collection:

beltsEvery single belt in this photo was thrifted!

In the end, I purchased six items: two cardigans (one black cropped, one striped tie-style cropped), a vintage Tupperware canister in green, a ceramic black cat sculpture, the long black sheer robe, and a pale pink nightie. My total was $21. Seriously! Awesome!

whatIpurchasedThis was just one trip on one week to the thrift store. Every week is different from the rest. You just have to keep going and looking, and you never know what treasures you’ll end up with! I hope that this post helped you form a strategy for your next thrifting trip, pin-up style – and feel free to drop by my blog (www.bettiesnbrimstone.com) and let me know what awesome items you’ve scored while thrifting!