Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11... and why this date will always hold such an important place in my heart

Hello Ladies & Gems,
This post may not mean much of anything to those of you outside the US, but may give you a little more understanding of why this date is such an important one in not only our history, but for many of us, in our lives. I just finished watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart's show recorded shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and I felt the need to discuss this with you in the hopes that ... honestly, I don't know what my hopes are for this post, but nevertheless, I still feel the need to discuss this with you. I will understand if you click off right now... this is, after all, supposed to be a blog about pin-up fashion, not one of social history, or any other theoretical or demanding topic. If you do, I understand. If you don't, I thank you.

To start, here is the link to the Daily Show that I mentioned; it was posted on a yoga blog (www.theyogablog.com) that I follow. If you have the time (and a box of tissues), take a minute to watch it. As today was my day off, I spent all day avoiding both the tv as well as any true reading of my facebook entries; yes, I re-posted a few of the "Do Not Forget" photos that are stock in trade today, but largely left facebook alone. Our minds have a way of remembering when we don't honestly understand what we're remembering, so I'll chalk my media-block up to that. However, I saw this link and was intrigued to see how Jon Stewart, whom I find funny regardless of political parties and situations, dealt with this tragedy. And the tears poured from my eyes in an endless waterfall (and there they go again). Watching the clip brought back all of the fear, uncertainty, REALITY of 11 years ago. I remember everything almost exactly as it was from the day, and mind you, I was on the West Coast, in Fresno, California, almost as far away from Manhattan as you could get. I knew no one in Manhattan, yet this touched me deeply and profoundly. Up to this point, there were very few events in my 24 year old life that I remember as US or world tragedies: I remember where I was when Lady Diana was killed (working at a restaurant, I had found out from a customer); when the Columbia space shuttle blew up upon liftoff (I was actually in 5th grade (I think) watching on the portable TV in our classroom with our teachers, who numbly turned the TV off and could barely make it through our class that day... we were young enough to see but not old enough to understand what had truly happened); I have lived through various earthquakes here in California that were both minor and some devastating; I was in high school when the Rodney King verdict was announced and LA broke into riots. These are meager happenings in comparison to a true terrorist attack in your world.

When you are young, there is a level of invincibility we all live with; nothing can touch us. Unless it's something like cancer, there is almost always a way to come back from whatever personal hells we've dealt with - like drinking, drugs, sexual assault - and because it didn't kill us, the old adage tells us it's made us stronger. I am no exception to that rule. My grandmother would tell me that everything hard in life builds character (and I used to tell her that I had character coming out of my ass). At this point in my life, I was a single mom to a wonderful 2 year old little redheaded monkey. I was trying to finish college because it had finally clicked when I had become pregnant that I needed to have something that would provide a life for me and my son, and that I couldn't be a full-time college student/waitress all of my life. I was proud for the accomplishments that I had made - I would be graduating that December with a BA in Psychology and a minor in English Literature, and I was working a "real" job (with horrible pay) in an in-patient psychiatric wing. Other than a roommate problem, things were going well. That morning, I was out on the patio having my coffee with a smoke (it was about 7am my time) and trying to get mentally ready for my day, which included a full day at school and then a full shift at the hospital. I had a wonderful daycare person during the day, and a family friend who would then pick up my son to keep at her house until I got off work at night at 11. I literally would spend all day (on some, not all, days) away from my son, which I unfortunately had no choice but to do in order to do what needed to be done. Anyway, I hear my son talking to me (he had climbed out of bed and come in to the living room next to the patio, which he was wont to do when he woke up in the morning; and I hated waking up that peaceful sleeping face, so I'd let him get there on his own)... and he was telling me that a plane hit the building. I had Good Morning America on as background noise, and as I turned to look and see what the hell my child was talking about, I watched as the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. And damn near dropped my coffee cup. I explained to my son (who I was trying to get into his room while at the same time trying to hear what the hell was going on from GMA) that it was for a movie and they were showing it on the news. As we drove to daycare, my son was pissed at me because I wouldn't put the radio on music, but I didn't need to change it to an all-news channel - every station was broadcasting nothing but what was going on in Manhattan. And I began to silently (God forbid my son hear or see me) cry. I will advise that crying and driving at the same time are not advisable. By the time I made it to daycare, Angie had been dealing with prying our children from our arms for a good hour now and knew exactly how to get me back out the door. The only thing I could think of as I stood there was that these parents in Manhattan had done the EXACT same thing with their kids that morning, and now those kids would never see their parents again. And knowing that, I breathed in my son's smell a little deeper, hugging him a lot closer, and making damn sure he knew I loved him (which he  pushed out of my arms to go play with his friends.). I had also had to pack an extra bag for him. The hospital I worked for was one of the only trauma units in the Central Valley, as well as one of the only burn units there as well. I knew that I could be held over at the hospital for days if needed. (For those who don't know or realize, the Central Valley of California is where 3/4 of crops for the nation are grown. Fresno was actually on high alert at this point because of the chances of a biological attack on the farms in the area, making the hospital I worked for very important in case this happened.)
As I drove onto campus and parked, I sat in my car for what seemed like an eternity because I didn't have it in me to go study Personality or Ethics... I needed to know what the hell was going on in the world because my world was upside down now. It was in sharp focus that the things you take for granted - like dropping off the kids at daycare, going to work, picking up the kids, etc - could be taken away from you at any time. As a parent, I cried for those parents lost. I cried for those children who would never see their parents again (and I still cry for them). I was not the only one sitting in my car, listening to the radio - there were scores of us, just sitting there, some smoking, some not, but all listening. There was no chit chat that you hear in a college campus parking lot. There was nothing but silence. I went to class - Personality - and the Professor refused to let us have the day off from studies because he did not want the terrorists to win, and by not doing what we would normally do in our lives, we were letting them win. The TV in the classroom was on, however, because he had 2 kids, and the school districts were currently debating releasing kids from school (which he needed to know about). In my Ethics class, my Professor simply stated that there are sometimes things more important going on in the world than a lecture on Psychology & Ethics. And he turned the TV on and allowed us to stay as long as he could to watch the news so we could know what the hell was going on.
Work was divided, but the nurses won; the news was not allowed to be on, and the staff was not allowed to discuss what was going on with the patients. If we needed a moment away, we could have it, but only a moment to get it together. The idea was that the patients already had difficulty in their lives - which is why they were in an in-patient psych unit - that watching the news was going to add to that stress, which none of them needed. And again, the concept that if we allow this to ruin our night, the terrorists would win.

And I picked up my son that night from the sitter's and headed home. By this time, it was close to midnight on the West Coast, and my mind was numb and my day felt surreal. Then I fell into bed, remembering what had made me lose it in the first place - all of those parents who will never have the chance again to do what I just did - put my son to bed, kiss him on the forehead and watch him sleep for a few minutes before I headed off to sleep myself. And even though it happened 11 years ago, the feelings that I felt then are still as real and as vibrant today as they were then. I learned - I think we all learned that our world could be shattered into a million pieces at any given moment. That every moment we have with our child is precious and should be savored (even the really bad ones). That we take for granted - as a nation - that ours is a preferred belief and political system. That the US is not immune to terrorist attacks. That our freedom comes with a cost, which has been paid over hundreds of years with millions of American lives. That, in spite of political beliefs, religion, sex, gender, whatever it is that normally divides us, we can and do come together to pull each other out of the depths of hell when needbe. And I agree with Jon on this one point: the Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had came true on that day after the attacks, and will continue to do so in times of need.

This is one day out of a year that we actually take the time to remember - even if it's just for a moment - what we said we'd never forget. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall Review: Forever 21

Hello Ladies & Gems...
I recently took a trip after work down the mall to Forever 21 to find some retro/vintage-inspired looks. I was pleasantly surprised, and slightly horrified, all at the same time. I found some interesting items, made it alive out of the dressing rooms from hell (turquoise is NOT amenable to taking pictures; neither is being bloated) with the mean girl associates and waaaaaaay too many high school girls getting ready for the new school year. (It's funny to me - whenever school was starting when I was younger, I had to go school shopping with my mother or grandmother - or both - and try things on in front of them; now, apparently, girls go shopping with their girlfriends and make an entire day out of it. I wonder how I would've done as I didn't have any girlfriends to go shopping with when I was younger... but, I digress. Sorry bout that!) Ok, here we go... off to Forever 21. I hope you find something useful & helpful in the post; I'm posting the links that I can find to my items listed - I assume that if I can't find it online, it may be a store only item (which means that if you want it, you'll have to call your nearest F21 and ask them if they carry/have it in stock) *NOTE: I have gone through waaaaay too many of F21's pages trying to find the same items I photographed and they are not there. This is frustrating beyond all belief. But, to compensate, I am also including some online items that I have found during my search that I think may be interesting. The very nice thing about the online 'catalog' is that it includes the model's measurements and size that they are wearing, which would be helpful in trying to pick the correct size for you.* I'm also showing you all size Larges (unless otherwise specified), which vary GREATLY across the F21 line - and I mean A LOT.

As for the basic info, I don't find all of their clothes to have the same level of craftsmanship as you would find at a different store; A LOT (if not all) of their items are made in foreign countries where the sizing differs greatly from American sizing. Also, the clothing lines at F21 are geared towards younger women - high school & early college age would be my guess. They are not shooting for women my age (35 if you must know ;) ), and if they are, then they need new marketing people & designers. This is a fabulous place to pick up accessories - I have spent $10 and gotten some really cute stud earrings (especially the resin-look roses that are so popular right now!) and hair accessories! I think what terrified me the most whilst I was shopping was the way they took vintage and retro-inspired shapes, colors, and patterns and hipsterized them (I don't know if that's a real word, but if it's not, I just made it one). There were so many more items I would have picked up to try on but they just hit me as more hipster and less vintage-inspired, which is not what I am looking for in my look. Don't get me wrong - there are items that are quite cute (which I have pictured) and will work (with a little appropriate accessorizing, hairstyling & make-up influence), and some that I think are definite items to add to your closet for the days you don't want to wear your PUG Couture (are there any days like that??) or repro-items.
To be fair, this is how I started off (I wanted you to know what basics I was working with underneath), and this is what my measurements are: B38 (bra is a DD cup), W34, H42:
As you can see, I'm trying to get a little fancy-dancy with my photo-editing skills. Please let me know if it detracts from the pics. Also, you can also get a slight glimpse of the turquoise in the dressing rooms, casts a *lovely* hue over whatever is being shot inside of the room. *sigh*

Let's begin with the tops/blouses...
Ok, there is no link to this one (out of 124 pages of tops... ugh. The F21 Website definitely needs a new search function... "white sweater" pulled up all kinds of white ITEMS, none sweaters). I also think I tried on either a size Medium or Small, but they did not have a large at my store.

(sorry ladies... was trying to strike a pose)
Anyway, I do like this sweater, particularly since 1. a smaller size fit me like a glove (without cutting off circulation anywhere) and 2. it is extremely versatile - the flower is attached, but can easily be removed, making it even more versatile. It would be fabulous tucked into a full circle skirt, a pencil skirt, high-waisted pants, or like this, with only your body slimmer on! (Try walking around the house like this... so much fun! Unfortunately, I think my job may have a *slight* problem with me showing up like this. One other note about this sweater, and about almost all of F21's blouses/tops this fall season: sheer is the word. Almost EVERYTHING is sheer, so be sure to have a set of camis to wear underneath them (or if you're going out and feeling adventurous, a very cute bra!). 

More tops/blouses I found (with the links that I could find):
They only show this blouse on F21's site in cream and black, but in store, I found it in this lovely antique-y faded rose color. I like it because it has both the classic 3/4 sleeve, as well as the pussy bow. I tried on a Large, I believe, and this is how it fit on me:

This is my only real complaint: it is a tad tight when you bend your arm like so, but this can be relieved by unbuttoning it. Other than that, this would be great under a suit (pencil skirt & jacket).
This blouse I love... it is a peachy color and the pintucks are graduated, giving a lot of interest at the top of the blouse. Again, a size Large. Peach Pintuck blouse
This I did not try on because they did not have it in a large. But I like that it is a round, high neck, a cap sleeve, and I have a thing for polka dots. The top panel (which is being pulled funny because of the security tag) is sheer, where the rest is more of a satiny material. I would also recommend this under a suit, or if it's a fitted enough top for you, with a circle skirt. 
This one I can't find a link to, but it is a baby pink (very very light) color with the black lace detailed faux peter pan collar. Again, no large for me to try on (you are noticing a pattern, no??).
Ok, why they don't have a link for this one is beyond me!! I <3 this blouse!! It is swiss dotted sheer, but for going out, I think the way it looks over my black & white polka dotted bra is totally fun and flirty. For work, I would definitely wear this, with a cami underneath, of course. This is what the sleeve looks like: 
It is elasticized, and feels snug, but I think after a couple of wears, it would loosen a bit. 
<3 this bolero also, but yet again, no link on the site!! (I am getting frustrated at this point!)

On to the bottoms:
This is the closest link to what I'm wearing above. It is a definite cross between a bodycon & pencil skirt, and the high-waisted makes it more retro. In fact, I could actually pull this up higher under my tatas if I wanted to go higher. The red belt that comes with the one I found in store is a simple, cheap, will not last belt, and I would personally replace it with a thicker belt. This is the side view:
I am wearing a body slimmer, and this dress follows your every contour. It is a thicker material, and is not pure spandex, although there is spandex in it, it does have stretch and walking is not a problem (even without a back slit). This is a size large on me. 
This romper is extremely cute, despite the fact that I am holding it closed behind my back. It is a size large that I tried on, and although I managed to shimmy my way into it, I was NOT able to zip it up. But I love the sweetheart neckline, the khaki color (which makes it so versatile), and I did the bend-over test multiple times and it did not even hint at hoo-ha peep showing. If you can find this and actually try it on prior to buying, it would be a great outfit for the end of the summer season, as well as for a trip to Viva next year (you know, cause Vegas is in the desert and all). If this had zipped up, I would have bought it. I'm still trying to talk myself out of it, since I am still losing weight, but not going to do that to myself. *sigh* So, someone else buy it and show me the pics of you in it so I know it went to a good home!
This is a basic khaki shift dress (I didn't even bother looking for the link...). It would hit about mid-thigh on someone my height (5'2"), but I couldn't get the size large with both of my legs in it to pull it on, let alone close it. This runs VERY VERY SMALL. Be warned. But this would be an easy go-to to dress up or down for work. Those are slit in pockets on the front corners, right under the waist band. 

Finally, we have a couple of accessory pics:
SHOES!!!! PRETTY SHINY RETRO STYLED SHOES! In a very pretty nude color, rows of them. They were all stiletto platforms, so if that works for you for a photoshoot or for work, I would definitely check out the shoes!!!
A pretty square crocodile print (faux of course) chocolate brown purse. Right next to the retro shoes. Kisslock top, single small handle. 

Now, since I've been on the F21 site looking for all of these links that were not there, I did notice some items online that would be very cute. Let's see...
Very cute high-waisted romper with tie belt and buttons down the front. If the length is correct, this should be about mid-thigh like the romper I did try on. As this one has an elasticized waist, I think the fit of a large might actually work for me, and for under $20, this is something that would be inexpensive, cute, & versatile for a beach outing, pool party, or any other summer event. They also have these other cute rompers: Hawaiian print orange bow back (which I think is a little shorter than the yellow & khaki), open back denim (which is very cute, but on the short side), and a structured strapless romper that has both boning and pockets. 

This skirt I am adding, although I was hesitant. I am not sure about the faux leather waistband (the orange-y colored strip at the top of the skirt). BUT, in it's defense, it does appear to sit at the natural waistline (as opposed to just above the butt-crack) as well as go down to the knee. It seems that the Essentials Line is the place where most of us want to shop. (This skirt is from that Line). 
This sweater, also in black and royal blue,  is also from the Essentials line. And as I browsed through the line again, these are probably the only two items to recommend it. This sweater was also given rave reviews by those two people who bothered to review it online. 

This peplum top is very 40s, and could easily work into an office with the model's look in the photo - a pencil skirt with a nice pair of heels. It's only in cream, but that is basic enough for just about any color additions you want to add on the bottom. Personally, I can't work the peplum (which is currently back trending this season) because I loathe the extra "weight" around my hips. I prefer a sleeker silhouette to work my hourglass figure. But if this is your look - or you would like to add the extra to your hips to enhance and create a more hourglass figure - peplum is the way to go. 
This blouse I like as well. My only concern when wearing it would be the sleeves (and the cuffs) fitting my arms. But this is very office appropriate, very modest (minus the sheer, which is solved with good undergarments), a neutral color, and very retro looking with it's cutouts at the neckline. It would look fabulous with a pair of high-waisted pants, a pencil skirt, a full circle skirt... just about anything you already have in your closet that you already wear to the office. If you are just now coming out of the closet (so to speak) in a pinup girl or retro fashion, this is a great transitioning piece - not too much, but a start in the direction you want to go. This blouse is also a great office piece; again, use a great cami or undergarment, but it can be paired with any number of bottoms. This sheer green blouse has all of the details you want, is short-sleeved and a great pairing item - BUT it is very very very sheer. Like my black one that I fell in love with above, if you are going out at night, a cute bra may make for a cute outfit. But if you want to wear this to work, you absolutely must have a cami underneath it. I could continue on, but there are way too many tops and not enough time in the world. If you like the examples I posted, by all means, click on the "Tops" tab on site, and I would recommend going to the bottom of the page and clicking on "View 100" so you don't go nuts. We're talking like 21 pages of tops, blouses, tees, and other items. 

Overall, I would say that F21 is an ok place to buy some pieces, but not a lot of pieces, for your vintage inspired wardrobe. Right now is a great time to buy because the retro patterns - in both color, style, and actual prints - are very hot. You can find some very cute tops and sweaters here and spend a little money, just be careful when you assemble your outfit - unless it's your personal style and you have it figured out, you could end up looking hipsterized. But, if you have a figure anything like mine, I would stay away from the dresses and bottoms (unless they are like the ones I pictured above) just because the sizing doesn't give way to having any waist-to-hip variation. And, realistically, if you are a slender, smaller gal, you are going to have an easier time buying items here than a gal with a larger frame or figure. This does bother me in that young girls are trying to squeeze themselves into these clothes because that's what's hot, or what their friends are doing, or whatever, when they have so many other options out there. Oh, and the dressing room attendants at my F21 - they bothered me too, but it could've been PMS. We'll find out the next time I go in to check out the selection.

Did any of this help/appeal/make you laugh? Do you have any suggestions for any part of this blog that you would like to see changed? Any questions? If, for whatever reason, you cannot seem to leave a comment on the blogspot page, please do on my facebook page or on the PUG Style link... Comments are always appreciated and I do read them and take feedback and information from them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Darling Readers, A Note...

Darling Readers,
I truly owe you all an apology. I had lofty goals for this blog, yet I have been unable to fulfill those goals as of yet. For that alone, I do apologize. I have never blogged before, so I do not think I truly understood what an undertaking this blog would be. Don't get me wrong here - I actually love doing this! But, I needed to structure my time so that I can deliver to you an informative, interactive, and enjoyable piece of work for you to read, learn and follow. I understand that your time is important; because of that, I do not want to fill these pages with frivolous tidbits, but instead with actual information (and maybe a few tidbits!) that you can use for your lives. Without providing excuses, the month of August has been insane; I went on vacation to celebrate my "neice's" 1st birthday, came back with a jaw infection, and have been moved up to full-time work at my job. On top of that, this insane August heat has given the "dog days of summer" a whole new meaning; walking to work = a sweat shower within 5 mins! I hope that everyone - west coast to east coast to international gals - are being safe in this heat and humidity, while trying to maintain the pinup girl look they walked out of the house in.

All of that being said, I have decided a couple of things:
1. I truly love the idea of breaking down a true blue Pinup Girl's look and creating the "modern" version of that for all of us. I said I would start with Lucille Ball, and I have actually been working hard on that. However, because I am going to be looking for specific types of items for each woman, this particular feature will more than likely be a once a month post. That gives me the time to find the right items to recreate her look in a modern way, as well as give you options from some of the repro companies that would also fulfill her style.
2. I think I will be creating a feature that will allow me to post as I find items in different stores. Last night after work, I went to both JCPenny's (discussion on that below) and Forever XXI. I just downloaded an insane amount of pictures from my phone (which will be edited through iphoto, then uploaded) on items I think will be of interest to you ladies. I am trying on these items as much as I can (and, as I found out, sizes VARY greatly, so I will also post that information, as well as a reminder to look at my measurements for a gauge, which are listed on the right side of this blog).
3. I need some feedback on a couple of posts that I created but haven't heard from anyone about: the Get 'Em While Their Hot! & Ebay finds of the week. I want to create a way to let you all know that there are items on clearance that are great finds, as well as auctions on ebay that would really enhance your PUG look. PLEASE LET ME KNOW (in the comments section) WHETHER OR NOT THESE POSTS ARE OF INTEREST/HELP TO YOU. If they aren't, then I will drop them.
4. I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO HEAR FROM BLOGGERS THAT HAVE BEEN AT THIS FOR A WHILE: what do you do to help you create, manage, and publish your blog that may help me as a new blogger?? Also, how do you download a picture from a store's website to post on your blog (I am having a lot of difficulty doing this...)?
5. I have an album of photos of what I wear, how I do my hair and make-up, to work a vintage look while living in and working in modern times. A lot of the girls that view these pics do find some help in what they show; would this be of interest to you on this blog site - a place where you can click on my pics and see how I work vintage in my everyday life? (This album is temporarily on hold as I need to purchase a new mirror, but I have plenty already done that I can post them here). LET ME KNOW PLEASE!!!
6. I would like to have discussions with you occasionally regarding issues that affect every one of us, but that are not necessarily related to finding vintage style in the modern retailers. In order to do this, I would need for ya'll to be willing to interact and actually discuss these things... please let me know if this is something you are interested in (and, if you have particular discussions that you would like to see, also let me know). When these discussions are had, I will do my absolute best to provide accurate and factual information, so they may take me a little longer to develop (because I absolutely believe in researching a discussion before spouting off random things), but it is something that interests me. Does it interest you?
7. Would a Facebook page be of help - with a place where I can attach links for you, an album of photos, a place to have an everyday discussion? I know there are several bloggers that use FB to link to their new posts, as well as post updated info, talk to their readers, etc. Would you be interested in this? 
8. FINALLY, DEAR READERS: I need to know if you prefer pictures with me trying on the clothes, pictures of the clothes in the store, or just the links to the item on the store's website? I would like to know what YOU want when you open a blog link, as well as what you expect. This would help me greatly.

Ok, I cannot guarantee the frequency of the posts... but I will promise that I am working on bringing you the modern world for your vintage look. Lucy will be posted before the end of August; right now, it's a matter of finding the items and photographing them in a way that will be visually helpful and appealing. I hope that ya'll stick with me while I'm getting this figured out, and I appreciate the time you spend looking at what I give you.

Now, I went to JCP last night after work in search of some of the items I found on their website (ones they said they carried in-store) and especially the Hollywood High-Waisted Pants they listed as I am in need of new work pants. I was both saddened and disappointed by what they have become. I remember going to JCP with my grandmother (the same one I went to last night, which is in both the same mall I went to while growing up as well as the same as I work at) to buy my first bra, to take pictures in the portrait studio, to do any shopping, really. It was utter chaos. Many areas were still cordoned off for construction (although there were no signs that said that), clothes were hung haphazardly, there was no rhyme or reason to the aisles or departments, and when I went to try-on some clothes I did find (never found those pants! I guess I have to order them from online), there was a line 4 women deep. I gave up - I had worked a full day and it was hot, and I had no desire to stand (there was no place to sit) in line to try on clothes that I wasn't dying to have anyway. It is definitely not the JCP I grew up with and grew to love; I don't know that I will like the way JCP is changing. I don't know if I will ever end up shopping there; I do know I will be ordering from their online store, and at the very least, I will let ya'll know what they've got going on online. As for the in store experience, I'll wait til they get it together. Then I'll give it another shot. And I'll let you know. Did any of you have this experience at your local JCP store? What do you think?

Forever XXI was a whole other experience. I am definitely NOT their target demo - well over the ages of 18-25 - and there was a definite experience of chaos, which seemed to work for the girls in shopping for the beginning of the school year. I will say that there were several employees that were around and asking if I needed help (maybe because I looked lost?), but the ones in the dressing room were ... um, not nice. Yep, that's what I'll go with. Maybe they were stressed because of the insanity of a dressing room with like 50 high school age girls trying on clothes and being snooty (yep, saw that first hand), but as a fellow retail co-worker, the attitude needed to be changed. It wasn't bad enough for me to go to management, but I was tempted. I figured, hmmm, it's hot, half of this stuff didn't fit, it's almost that special time of the month, and I worked a full day in retail... maybe I should check myself before I go off on someone. So I hung the rest of what I had tried on, and left. When I finish editing, I'll post my finds and sizing notes (really big discrepancies in what a size large covered! no joke!).

I also stopped at a store called Windsor. I haven't had a chance to see if they are online, or if any of you are familiar with it, but I've always associated the store with prom-y dresses. They do have other items (although I couldn't find the ones displayed on the mannequins to try on myself; and, as an fyi - most mannequins are wearing a size small or 5-6), but they have the prom-y stuff as well. I did find one fabulous dress (which I will post), but it's definitely for a black tie type of event. And it was a size 13, at a reasonable price (no, I didn't try it on - wasn't wearing the appropriate unders to really get a good feel for it).

Ok, darlings, I do hope you accept my apologies, and please, post your suggestions/comments/thoughts in the comments section - I do read them, and they are very important to me. I hope you have enjoyed my discussion of where I plan to go with this blog, as well as my dissection of my visit last night. I will post those pics, as well as further discussion, later this weekend. I hope to also do some more store visits during the rest of this week, and I'll keep ya'll updated.

My PUG love and kisses,
Double O Jenn =)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ebay Finds for the Weekend 08/02-06/2012

Hey Ladies -
Here are links to my ebay finds of the weekend... I promise that I will only post those items that have at least a week to bid/buy on them (a 3 day window past the last day of the weekend listed). I'll list the title of the item, give you a little description, and post the link with it. Hope you all get some great deals (and if you do, do share!)!! I'll post clothing, handbags, and any accessories that I think will help compliment your vintage look. Just a note about each: I am listing the titles exactly as the seller is listing them, giving you a search option if my link goes bad (and if it does, let me know ASAP!). I am also including whether or not I think the item is of true vintage... sometimes this is based on the details of the item, the looks of the item, my gut, whatever, but - since I am not a professional by any means - please look at the item yourself, message the buyer, etc to form your own opinion. I may make a mistake - I am human, they happen.
Here's to vintage buying... Double O Jenn 

August 2, 2012

Rare Large Size Vintage 50's 60's Wiggle Cocktail Mad Men Retro Dress L/XL: A very cute pencil wiggle dress in springy blues and purples. Nice tie accent at the waist. True vintage. Measurements are: B 42", W31",  H44" (additional measurements can be found in listing).  Here's the link: Rare Large Size.... Wiggle Dress 

Women's Stretch Knit Vintage Sz Medium/Large Mod Secretary 70's Sleeveless Dress: white on white embossing on this a-line simple secretary, would be cute with a belt. True vintage. Measurements are: B 42", W 38", H 44". Here's the link: White Knit.... 70's Mod Dress  

Vintage 50s60s Roses Floral Print Cotton Swing Garden Party Dress S/M: VERY cute red rose pattern sleeveless, full skirted dress. My guess would be true vintage with a zipper replacement or homemade in the 80s. Measurements are: B 36", W 26", H free (additional measurements in the listing). Here's the link: Rose Swing Dress

50s Phil Rose White Summer Blouse/Top w/lace 36bust: cute sleeveless, ruffled front top, perfect for office or play. Some yellowing mentioned along collar fold. Probable vintage. Measurements: B 36", length 21". Here's the link: White Summer Blouse

Vintage 50s60s Swing Skirt Party Dress Halter Top Multi Colors Floral Fabrics: beautiful swing dress with halter top. looks to be of true vintage in amazing condition. Measurements: B38", W30", H free (additional measurements in listing). Here's the link: Halter Swing Party Dress

1940s vintage PAISLEY FLOWER cotton Wrap Dress: true vintage, beautifully cared for. Pics look great - if it fit me, I would splurge on this. Measurements: B39", W29", H free (additional measurements in listing). Here's the link: 1940s full day dress

Vintage 1960s Summer Country Dress Purple Gingham Chicken Scratch Rick Rack M: very cute purple gingham summer dress with elasticized sleeves. Was apparently homemade w/ machine and self-embroidered. Looks cute for a cute little picnic or other summery/springy activity. Measurements: B38", W28", H48" (other measurements in listing). Here's the link: Purple Gingham Summery Dress

40s original WWII high waisted WAR TIME shorts PIN UP cheesecake ROCKABILLY VLV: very cute looks to be vintage pin-up silky high waisted shorts, with the name Erma embroidered on them. Too cute, perfect for photo shoots. Measurements: W 23", H 36, total length 16". See listing for additional comments. Here's the link: PIN UP shorts

And I'll be adding more during the weekend... stay tuned! =)

Ok, sorry about that... had to take a day to let some of the finds expire and become relisted (well, those that didn't sell anyway...). Here we go:

August 4, 2012

vintage 60s rare mod floral high waist summer shorts xs/s: very cute, very retro (probably vintage) bermuda length high waisted shorts with button detail in front (not denim)... the floral is in the yellow/oranges family, with a cerulean hint. Measurements: W 24-25", H 38-39" Here's the link: Vintage high waisted bermuda shorts 

Sweet Vintage 50s Pink Wildflower Pintuck Bow Day Dress + Belt L: I WANT THIS DRESS! That being said, if I lose to one of you, please send me pics of you in the dress so I know I made a good connection! That being said, the coloring is in pinks and maybe a salmonish color (it's sometimes hard to get a true sense of the color despite the best photography). It has a slight v-opening at the boat neck with a small bow right underneath, and ... ok, just check the measurements and click on the link already! Measurements: B 42", W 36", H 54" (probably NOT a petticoat/crinoline dress). Here's the link: Pink Pintucked/Bowed Day Dress 

Vintage Haberdashery by Personal Red & White Baseball Stripe Pencil Skirt Large: I would say this is more from the 70s, but can be easily used in 50s-60s vintage wear. Very cute, and as the seller states, perfect for some baseball team outings (amateur or pro!). Measurements: W 32", H 46". Here's the link: Red & White Pencil Skirt

Vintage ladies handbag - deep gold translucent vinyl - 1960s: this is a cute little kisslock top handbag. Perfect for a night out, when you don't need to stash a ton of stuff in it. Or perfect inside your bigger bag, just to pull out when needed. Here's the link: 1960s Gold Vinyl Kisslock handbag 

recycled pin up vintage purse from the Gabriel Ichak Design Studio!!: this is so cute, I bought one (so there's one left!) to take with me to VLV next year for my little trinkets that I find while there. Here's the link: Gabriel Ichak recycled pin up bag 

Lady Women Vintage Flower Long Wallet Purse Handbag Coin Bag Cosmetic Case Gift: this is NOT vintage, but more of a repro from China. It's very cute, ladylike and usable, and with free shipping, the price can't be beat. I did order one of the black - when I receive it, I will post the pics of it. I plan to use it for a cosmetics bag inside my purse, and if it works, I may pick a couple up for use inside my gym duffel or work bag. I'll let you know... Here's the link: Repro Vintage Kisslock cosmetic bag 

 Ok, that's all for today ladies... See ya'll tomorrow! Happy Shopping!! =)

Get 'Em While They're Hot!!!

Hey There Girls!
While I am sitting here at the Dental Clinic (committing a mortal sin by sitting here in my pjs, but with my face swollen, I think I can be forgiven for the time being), I thought I'd let you know about a great deal going on right now...

THESE: Kardashian Kollection Paper Bag Shorts from Kardashian Kollection @ Sears
I tried them on, and this is what they look like:

Are currently on clearance at Sears. I've been looking at them for a while now, and finally tried them on last Friday, because I was looking for cute shorts to take with me on vacation. These totally fit the bill – they are high waisted, with a cute ruffle around the waistband and a string tie to add to the cuteness factor (they button close, along with a zipper, so the string is simply a decorative accent). As I browsed online looking for them, I also found other high-waisted shorts that may fit your bill as well, although we do not carry them in my store, they are online and may be in other Sears stores (so you would need to call them and ask, or check online - there is a function that allows you to see which stores near you have them in stock). 
Their names are: 
Kardashian Kollection Striped Shorts
Kardashian Kollection Scalloped Shorts
Kardashian Kollection Tailored Trim Shorts
All of them are on Clearance, as it is the end of the summer season, and fall is upon us (even if the calendar or the weather doesn't think so!). Be sure to check with your local store as well, as they may have them marked lower than the online site, but if the online site has them marked lower, the Sears store will meet the online site's price.

My measurements are: Waist 34"/Hips 42", and I fit a size Large perfectly. Because they are on clearance, you may be hit and miss on finding the size that would fit you perfectly. I need to double check, but I think they can be taken out about an inch on the hem (I know they are short, but they do NOT show your hoo-hah when you bend over). A lot of the rompers of the day were also short, but still long enough to cover your hoo-hah. I think these would make a great stand in for those rompers (as I have yet to find a pair in the mall that fits the bill and covers the bases). Wear it with an appropriate tie-waist top or other summer top you have in your closet already. I would also advise wearing a pair of nude-colored boy short undies underneath, as in the pics, I am wearing a thong and you can make out that there are cheeks visible under the shorts (not a good thing!). I plan on picking my pair up on Friday.

If you call your local Sears store looking for them, you need to ask them if they carry the Kardashian Kollection "..." Shorts in a size "?".

If you are searching on Sears.com, go to the search bar at the top and type in: Kardashian Kollection. After it brings up your search results, further refine the search by clicking on the Womens tab at the side of the search results. Just a note about delivery: If you order your Sears.com order at a Sears store, you will receive free shipping (but you have to be in-store to order and receive the free shipping). 

So, while you're looking at your shorts, also take a look at the Kardashian Kollection's pencil skirt in royal blue with black polka dots: Kardashian Polka Dot High Waisted Pencil Skirt (Sears.com does not allow you to download the photo in un-pixelated matter, so it looks like crap if I download it). Not quite on clearance yet, and a little more than I like to spend, but very cute, very form-fitting, and high-waisted. Perfect for an office ensemble. Pair it with a sweetheart neckline top, like the one they also have on sale and looks like this: Women's Flocked Sweetheart Top (this is only in black online; we also have it in store in a royal blue, to match the polka dot skirt).

This set (which is sold separately) may be a little overwhelmingly formal for office attire, but perfect for a night out. If it's too formal for you to wear to the office, try wearing the skirt with a black button down, and the top with a black pair of loose-fitting trousers (or cigarette pants!). I love both of these pieces (and will be featuring the top in the up-coming Lucille Ball blog), and plan to purchase when the price is right (for me, providing that my size is still available). By all means, take a look at the Kardashian Kollection at Sears; they have a definite Chloe inspiration this season (the summer one) with vintage lines and silhouettes. 

I did pick up a pair of these for my vacation - they sit right at my waist, and have a flat front, which I like to help with my belly. They are also right above my knee, so they are a definite classic line of shorts to throw on to go to a poolside party, BBQ, or other end of summer invite. I plan on packing them for VLV next year. I just paired them with a vintage inspired top (which I unfortunately did not get a pic of =( ), and I was good to go. Laura Scott is a great Sears designer to go with as she always provides the vintage inspired and classic lines we PUGs are looking for. Here's another item you should grab a hold of (that is currently on clearance): swiss dotted cotton roll-sleeved blouse. I have been eyeing these for a while, waiting for the price to come down (and hoping that my size is still there when it does!), and Laura Scott also comes in petite sizing as well! As for these shorts, I wear a size Large, and for the blouse, I wear a Large Petite or a Large Regular (although I prefer the petite sizing for me; it gives me a better fit). Here are the shorts:

I was trying to be cute in the top photo, showing the behind. Sorry, won't happen again. =)

Here are a new pair of shoes I picked up at KMart this week on Clearance:

They have a slight wedge, which you can see in the top photo, plus the round-toe, with a cute grosgrain ribbon decor. I bought them in store for $9.99. You can see them here, in Coral. Also, on Clearance.
Here's a pair that I have had for a while now and love love love (and will be getting the brown pair to match as soon as possible!):

You can find them at KMart online as well. Very comfy, although they are flat, with no wedge whatsoever. I wear them during short shifts at work.

I plan on putting these, these, and these, on lay-away this weekend (did you know you could put items on lay-away online at KMart & Sears' .com sites? Very cool...). They have some great wedges to take a look at, as well as some of their fall flats coming out. If there is one designer to stick with, it's Jacquelyn Smith @ KMart - she does classic and vintage lines not only in her shoe designs, but also in her clothing designs.
Just a couple of ideas to get you in the shopping spirit for your vintage-inspired wardrobe!

Let me know what you think and if you pick any of these up... I'd love to have pics of you wearing them (and seeing what you pair them with!)!

Lots of PUG-inspired Love & Air-Kisses!

Double O Jenn ;)

Sorry all, forgot this very important piece of information:
DISCLAIMER: Although I do work for Sears, which is part of Sears Holdings Corporation (as is KMart), I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY MONETARY OR OTHER COMPENSATION FOR MY TIME OR MY OPINION OF THEIR PRODUCTS. I am not paid by Sears, KMart, or Sears Holding Corporation, in any shape or form for my endorsement or opinion of any of their products. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND FORMED ON MY OWN TIME, OFF THE CLOCK. I hope this clears things up for you. If you ever have any questions or concerns about this issue, please do not hesitate to email me and I will happily clear up your question or concern. THANK YOU!!!

Also, we have a great discussion going on in Forums on PUGStyle discussing non-going out shoes... great ideas, websites and links!

Question for ya'll: How did you create the summer romper look without succumbing to the rompers of today's shortness (hoo-ha viewing anyone?)?
Question #2 for ya'll: How do you feel about using a skinny jean (NOT A JEGGING) in place of a traditional cigarette pant? I think they may work (if you can find them with a high or natural waistline), but what do you think?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Morning and Welcome!!

Good morning dolls, and welcome to "Vintage Girl Shops A Modern World!"

Let's get down to brass tacks right off the bat ... this blog is aimed at all of you dames, dolls, pin-ups, and lovers of the 50s-60s era and helping you find that vintage look in the modern wares of today's retailers. We all have our favorite repro shops (Pinup Girl Clothing, anyone??), but the expense of a new dress can set you back a couple of months (or at least can set me back a couple of months). The quality and design is amazing, but unfortunately for some of us, not attainable in the time being. So what's a girl to do?? Go shopping, of course!

If you hit a Sears, KMart, WalMart, Target, JCPenny's, Torrid, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, H&M, Macy's (this list could go on forever), you can find vintage inspired clothing that will help you maintain that vintage look you crave. Right now especially, with the popularity of shows like "Mad Men," "Pan Am," and others, store's designers have been snapping up retro-inspired fashions faster than a cat with a fresh bowl of milk. There is room for pause there though - some of these are not the true repro that we are seeking, and some of them aren't worth the money. My goal here is to show you what's available, where, for how much, if it's available online (for all of you international gals), and any fit or design quirks that may be good to know. Also, if there are any sales or savings to be had, I will make sure to let you know as well - a girl can never be too penny-wise!

Now, you may be thinking "modern retailers are fine, repros are dandy, but what about true vintage???" Ladies, I have you covered! I will also hit thrift and vintage stores, with the goal of those stores who are willing to fill an order by telephone or online and willing to ship (for a fee). I live in Los Angeles, for Pete's sake... there are bound to be these stores out there (and I will find them!)!

Now, just hitting the stores and posting can get a little overwhelming... there's a lot out there. So, in order to streamline and hopefully help you find those looks you love, I will be writing about one Pinup Icon's style per post... The first will be on Lucille Ball, who many may not think of as a Pinup. She was, as well as so much more. I'll get into their style, consistencies, and where to find their looks on a budget. I will also include repro sites that carry their looks, because a girl can never be vintage enough. If there are certain ladies - current or past - that you would like to see here, please let me know in the comments section.

A word about the comments section:
I will NOT tolerate any disparaging, derogatory, mean, spiteful, or any other manner of inappropriate commenting. If you have a specific complaint about something in the post or maybe a little constructive criticism, I will happily post your comment - this is how I will know how I am doing and where to make changes if necessary. However, if you are posting any of the above listed inappropriate comments (or anything else I deem inappropriate) I will not allow your comment. We all need to be supportive of each other, each other's style, and appreciate the differences that make us who we are. There are enough places where a girl can be demeaned, criticized, and torn down that I am specifically choosing to not allow that here. Enough said... we're all big girls here, let's act like it.

A Disclaimer:
I currently work for Sears, of the Sears Holdings Corporation, which includes KMart. However, I AM NOT BEING PAID IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, IN CLOTHING COMPENSATION OR WAGES, FOR WRITING THIS BLOG. This also means that I am not solely going to represent Sears or KMart in this blog; as mentioned, I will be visiting and reviewing many stores that do not belong to Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC). I also will be giving you the notes on sales, pricing, and other important information as a customer - not as an employee. All of my notes on either Sears or KMart will be from my visits as a customer - off the clock. Hope that clarifies and covers any possible issues, and you will see this disclaimer at the bottom of every blog post in the fine print.

Ok, enough of the serious stuff... One of my first posts (hopefully within the next few days) will be on how the store's sales work, and which ones have rewards programs (and how those work), if they have scheduled sales days of the month, and basically how to get the most bang for your buck. Please bookmark it - it will (hopefully) help you save some moolah while still styling the way you rock.

Other notes for this blog site... I will have a list of blogs that I follow (both YouTube as well as written) that I think may be of interest to you, as well as a list of Etsy and Ebay vendors that I think will help you in your fashion desires. If I find an ebay sale that I think may be of interest to you, I will post it in the particular blog that it belongs in (and make sure that there are many more days to the auction/sale so that you actually have a chance of purchasing the item). If I find something on ebay that will end before my next blog post, I'll try to post that as soon as possible as a >>>Breaking News!!!<<< item post. I will also post DIY tutorials as I go along, trying to match them with the Icon Style post of that week.

This is a living, breathing, working blog... it may change as we go along to better meet both of our needs. The current goal is to post a Icon Style post every 2 weeks (Goals are good to have!), with any >>>Breaking News!!!<<< in between as needed. I am completely nouveau to blogging, so I may make mistakes (they happen!)... if you notice that I am doing a link wrong, or there is a problem with how things appear to you, please email me and let me know. Work in progress is definitely the motto here for the current time being!

Alrighty then, I think we've covered everything there is to cover... I truly hope this helps you find and define your style in a way that doesn't break the bank.

Fashionista 50s love and air kisses, xoxo
Double O Jenn