The Perfect All Year Holiday Frock from Zoe Vine

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We all love to frock up at that extra level when the occasion allows. I mean hell, I’ll frock up for a grocery store visit but there are some occasions where the right dress can leave you feeling like an old screen siren or the incredible goddess you are. Velvet seems to be popping up more and more in my evening wear as there’s just something so luxurious about it and I have found the perfect Holiday season dress for ALL occasions!

 

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Earrings & Brooch ~ Vintage
Dress ~ Megan Dress in Green Velvet from Zoe Vine
Shoes ~ Nita Heels from Royal Vintage Shoes

I’ve featured the amazing brand Zoe Vine on my blog before with their incredibly cute Isabelle scooter print dress, which is one of my most complimented pieces in my wardrobe! Designed in the UK with a strong vintage feel, Zoe Vine dresses are made to turn heads and this dress is no exception. The Megan also comes in a red and blue velvet, but I felt the green was a wonderful colour (and one of my favorite colours!) and would lend itself beautifully to the Christmas period without being too stuck in the season to wear through out the year.

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The Megan is made of the softest stretch velvet, meaning it will hug your curves while being incredibly comfortable. With or without foundations the Megan is not just comfortable to wear but still figure flattering, which is one aspect of this design I absolutely adore. She features a zip back that went up without any issues and a simple keyhole cut out at the bust helps break up the neckline and add a peak of skin to balance out the dark tones in this dress. The stretch velvet also makes it suitable for a range of body types as the construction isn’t rigid.

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The Megan isn’t what I’d class as a firm fitting dress, unlike say my monica or gilda. It sits a bit looser throughout the body lines while still allowing your figure to be seen. While this initially made me a bit self conscious as I’m used to more firm fitting clothes, I quickly realised this style has a lot of pros! This is a great dress for an event that involves indulging in a lot of food or if you want to be very comfortable (this would be a must for example for a fancier theatre/play which involves a lot of sitting). I wore this dress to a night out recently and received a lot of lovely compliments on this amazing dress, especially when it caught the light and people realised it was green instead of black. It’s a very elegant piece which isn’t too over the top due to its length while still affording a fancier finish.

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I’m comfortably wearing the Megan in a size 18 both with or without foundation garments. If you do err on the smaller side I do recommend sizing down as the fabric does have a considerable amount of stretch. For reference my current measurements are a 40 bust, 33 waist, 48 hip and at 165cm tall my Megan comes to just below my knees.

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The Megan dress retails for £120.00 GBP/$210AUD + postage which for an evening dress is a reasonable price, especially when one cannot discount the versatility of this gorgeous dress. I know I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this dress over the holiday period and through functions I attend in 2018!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this review! Til next time darlings!

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Disclaimer: Whilst I received this dress in collaboration with Zoe Vine, all opinions expressed are honest to help ensure the most accurate information for my readers.

Pretty Parrots with Miss Fortune UK

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Spring is here in Australia and our sun is shining bright and the days are getting warmer. This means my knits have been moved into my “off season” wardrobe and I’ve been on the hunt for those fabulous prints that just scream spring so when Laura who is the creative drive and genius behind Miss Fortune contacted me about showcasing a new parrot skirt she had in the making, I knew it was the perfect match!

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Flowers ~ Blue rose double from Daisy Jean
Brooch ~ Edward the Eastern Rozelle from Kaiju Candy
Top ~ Kitty Batwing top in red from Miss Fortune Uk
Skirt ~ Boardwalk Skirt Parrots in Flight Print from Miss Fortune UK
Shoes ~ Bordello mules

For those who aren’t familiar with Miss Fortune, it’s a wonderful UK based brand which is a mix of fun retro style pieces with a quirky flare. I first discovered Miss Fortune when Gwynnies (she has some in stock now too!) got in some of their Harlequin sweater tops and I made my first purchase. I’ve had the please a few times since of sharing some new designs from Miss Fortune with my followers! Now this skirt isn’t my first boardwalk skirt from Miss Fortune and it won’t be the last. Handmade by Laura, these skirts are a beautifully cut and made piece that makes a statement in any wardrobe. I was so excited when my Parrots skirt arrived in the post as the colours where even more vibrant in person.

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The Parrots in Flight Boardwalk Skirt is a knee length gathered skirt made of border print cotton, which in this case is parrots. I love the fact that her skirts are cotton as they allow the fabric to breath, especially in our humid spring and summer days. The Border print of this skirt features a flock of parrots taking flight, with the bulk being at the bottom and I adore how these colourings work against the darker navy background. Miss Fortune skirts also feature a discrete pocket as well for your bits and bobs because lets be honest, what girl doesn’t love a skirt or dress with pockets?

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The Boardwalk skirt also features a button and zip closure which is another feature I love as it helped give a good fit with a defined waist. This skirts colours also make it a versatile piece as I can pair it with a lot of different tops which will mean it can easily transition to winter too. I like as well that the gathered waist means I can wear it with or without a petticoat, as is still gives nice shape across the hips. A comfortable skirt in a breathable fabric with a fun print, I’m spring and summer ready!

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For this review I also got to give one of Miss Fortune’s Batwing Kitty tops a go. Made of stretch Jersey, these tops are a great staple for the cooler months and go well with a variety of different looks. I must admit, as a girl who normally lends herself to tighter tops it took me a while to figure out how it was meant to look on! The joys of trying new styles we aren’t familiar with. But its definitely grown on me. The kitty top is also incredibly comfortable and the slit style opening means I can get in and out of it without worrying about trashing my makeup.

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The Parrots take Flight Boardwalk skirt is £45.99/$ 78.84AU and the kitty top is £33.00/$56.57au + postage which when you take into account the exchange rate is an amazingly good price. Especially since these designs are hand sewn by Laura herself. Miss Fortune Uk is an amazing small business with such fun unique designs! I’ve also added this gorgeous skirt she recently added to the store to my must buy in 2018 list!

Til next time darlings!

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Disclaimer: Whilst I received this set in collaboration with Miss Fortune UK, all opinions expressed are honest to help ensure the most accurate information for my readers.

Christmas has come early to Erstwilder

 

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Wearing Past Midnight brooch from the Erstwilder Kitschy Christmas Range

I was never one to get into the swing of Christmas too much as a kid. It was normally too hot and humid to consider clothing outside of a swimsuit and I spent many of my Christmas’ as a kid swimming in a pool, running under the sprinkler or being in the sea all while enjoying a BBQ with loved ones. As an adult, my Christmas season has become more about celebrating through accessories and outfits thanks to working most of the silly season and still enjoying that time with family and friends. Through pinup, I found a love for Christmas I never had before through the wealth of accessories and outfits that are Christmas themed. I have a number of Erstwilder designs from previous years in my overflowing brooch drawer, but this years designs were something a bit different and I wanted to share my favorites from the release with you all.

 

Erstwilder’s latest Christmas range has been designed by Australian Designer Donna (owner of Kaiju Candy) and she has done an absolutely smashing job. I adore the use of non-traditional Christmas colours and the fun twist on some Christmas classics. My favorites were two brooches I felt I could wear at other times of the year without raising too many questions and the statement Christmas necklace which really stood out to me as well.

The Merry Christmas Gingerbread heart necklace was something a bit different to what I normally love but I couldn’t go past it. It was so cute and pretty and a piece that I knew I could wear with a lot of different outfits with ease. I also loved the simple writing style and small holly accents on this necklace and can tell its gonna be a December favorite.

The Kiss Me Kindly brooch is such a bright pretty take on such a traditional Christmas piece. I love the dots throughout the holly and the lighter tones throughout. While this is a Christmas Holly piece I feel I could wear it throughout the year with the right outfit, which is one reason it caught my eye.

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The Past Midnight brooch is one that felt especially special. I come from a household where my mum enjoyed collecting clocks so this brooch is quite a sentimental piece for me and one you can easily wear all year round. I also love the dangle detail in this piece too.

Erstwilder pieces are made out of layered resin and feature a locking back. As a long time wearer and collector of Erstwilder I adore their fun designs and their drive to do their best. 

Erstwilder’s Christmas release is now available in their store featuring 15 designs that also include 4 fan favorite recolours! You can buy direct from Erstwilder or from the wealth of stockists. Some of my favorite stockists are Gwynnies, Natasha Marie Clothing, Hug Me Harry, That Shop and you can check for other stockists here!

I hope you’re all able to snap up your favorites and are as excited for the upcoming Christmas season as I am with so many amazing goodies to choose from!

Til next time darlings.

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Disclaimer: Whilst I received these brooches in collaboration with Erstwilder, all opinions expressed are honest to help ensure the most accurate information for my readers.

 

Embrace the unique you ~ a speech on body positivity at the Hug Me Harry brooch lovers day out!

Hello darlings!

Today’s post is a bit different. I was recently approved to give a talk on body positivity at the Hug Me Harry Brooch Lovers day out. Now I’ve never given a speech before (unless you count being part of the debate team in year 7) but being such a a believer in body positivity I jumped at the opportunity. My shop Daisy Jean had a small stall as well but the highlight for me was chatting to people I’ve only ever seen online and getting to speak about something I’m super passionate about as well as meet fellow brooch designers Martini & Slippers, Kirbee Lawler & Story Book Rabbit.

While sadly it looks like no one on the day videoed the speech in full, I’ve decided to share the speech I gave here for those who expressed that would have loved to have read it!

I’ve put the slides from my powerpoint into the points where they showed during my speech and in the section with audience participation have noted the response for you all.

For those in Brisbane, QLD Australia Kate is bringing her brooch lovers event to you all February!

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The Crowd on the day
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Me Mid Speech

Embrace the unique you

Hello everyone! My name is Missi or Curve Creation and I’m here today to talk about body positivity. Now before I get started, I wanted to do a simple show of hands just to help us get familiar with each other, as it’s the later part of the day now and we should be starting to get over all out jitters and nerves. First up, I’m going to assume everyone is hopefully going to raise their hand on this one. Who loves brooches? (everyone put their hand up)

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Ok that’s good. Who here has say more than 10 brooches? 20? 30? 50? More than 100? 200? (I was surprised by how many people kept their hands up at 200) And who doesn’t count because if they don’t know how many they have they don’t have to acknowledge that they’re an addict? *Raises hand*. If anyone knows of a good Brooch Addicts Anonymous group I can attend that would be fab as I’m sure we’d end up enabling each other to buy more brooches instead of acting like brooch collecting is an issue we need to address. Am I right?

So today I have been asked to talk to you all about Body Positivity

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and what that means to me. Body Positivity for me is really just letting yourself just be you. Body positivity and building up your own confidence is something I believe in fiercely because it’s something that for me changed my life. It’s something I really hope all women and men can come to have in their own lives. Especially in a society where being different can be frowned upon and standing out can be daunting. While brooch wearing is definitely on the rise, as we’ve all clearly seen with some crazy fast sell outs of brands we love, it’s still not really happening in mainstream fashion. I mean the only person I recall wearing brooches in the public eye when I was a kid was the Queen.

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It’s still viewed as quirky and different and its crazy how something so small can make you more visible in a crowd or open a conversation with a stranger which can definitely be daunting for some of us. Brooches really are more than just pieces of material we pin to our clothes. As a maker myself I know there’s an idea, a process and a story and love that goes along with it and seeing all the different creations available at the moment is truly amazing.

But how does this tie into body positivity? I mean, it’s just a brooch right?

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Body positivity like all things is an attitude and a mindset. It’s not something that just happens one day, it’s something that’s worked on over time and nurtured to grow as we grow. We live in a world of labelled boxes and people have an expectation that we should fit into these neat labels but in reality, we, as people, are much more diverse. We exist in a world where others are constantly trying to define us based on how we look as the first point of reference. People project their own opinions and beliefs onto us and the more ‘visible’ you are in the world, the more this happens.

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I used to desperately want to fit these labels. I desperately wanted to feel accepted. Prior to becoming a regular wearing pinup and retro blogger, I was actually a fitness and weight loss blogger in my early 20s and at my blogs height it had quite a following. I initially started the space as a way to keep accountable to lose weight because my then partner indicated I was too fat. Over a span of 5 years I ran my little tumblr blog, dropping 20kg and keeping it off for a number of years. I overcame some serious binge disorder behaviours. I got quite fit and trim.

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But looking back the experience really showed me that the labels don’t matter because there will always be people trying to bring you down. At my smallest I was still relentlessly trolled for being overweight/fat/plus sized. I had massive issues with body acceptance and the comments I use to get cut me like a blade. I was also living with a partner who hated my transition into something I loved so much (retro fashion) and was also trying to bring me down around that. I retaliated to the negative trolls and comments I got … and strangely the more I reacted the more it fed the negative behaviour, which in turn fed my self-loathing and it became a vicious cycle. Despite trying so hard to fit a label and be what I felt would be socially acceptable, it was never enough and in reality, I wasn’t being true to myself either.

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A massive shift in this mindset for me came when I started dressing in retro styled clothing at around 23 and for me, this included that much loved item of the day: brooches. I got into retro fashion because it just felt right. I’ve always been a creative person and the prints, styles and accessories that encompass the retro look just fit me. I was actually interested in retro from the age of 17 but accessibility (lack of debit cards for a 17-year-old was an issue in 2007) and the belief I needed to be slim to be a good retro girl kept me from taking the steps I needed to move forward.

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One day I decided jump and trust that I would grow my wings on the way down.  Taking that step was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for me, not just for body positivity but my life quality and mindset. It gave me a sense of pride in my appearance. It gave me a creative outlet. It made me feel good about myself which in turn empowered me. I began to reject trolls and refused to become involved with any interaction that including judgement. I questioned my ex on things that didn’t sit right with me (which was part of the reason for our break up). I began to nurture myself instead of loath myself. I shifted away from a mentality that I “have to” be thin or look a certain way to be successful. That I don’t have to prescribe to a certain way of existing just because other people thought I should. I did things my way.

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I used to hit the gym with my rollers in my hair.  Apparently not something everyone was used to seeing that in the Sydney CBD. I’ve lifted weights with a beehive and red lippy. Worn petticoats and brooches to work as well as theme dressed for certain seasons. I learnt to let my own creativity and positivity flow through my wardrobe which empowered me to rise about the negativity of others.

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Oddly enough as I’ve embraced this mindset more I’ve been more game to try some gothic looks that I’ve always loved, even though this doesn’t fit the prescribed “pinup girl” image. I stopped trying to adhere to the labels of society and just started to embrace what I enjoyed. The flow on affect has been incredible. This new self-acceptance that had begun to set in for me opened some pretty awesome doors in the pinup world.

For example, ironically, I never intended to be a “pinup/fashion” blogger. It actually spawned from people forever asking me about the things I wore. So, one January day 3 years ago I sat down and started my blog. Now I must admit I had no idea what I was doing when I started and a lot of people who’d followed me over from my fitness blog didn’t appreciate my shifted focus, a lot followed. But I found it became something I really enjoy. It gave me a platform to connect with people. It gave me a platform to share something I was fast becoming passionate about.

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Before pinup I was pretty much a fashion victim. I never felt overly comfortable in modern clothing which meant my ability to put together outfits was pretty limited. I look back and cringe a little at some things I used to wear. But as I embraced pinup more, my own personal style grew. I have a massive wardrobe now. Over 200 brooches at last count (I’m not a brooch addict … OK… I’m an art collector) and pretty much dress how I like every day. Having the platform of my blog has allowed me to connect with some amazing brands and people and share some things I’m truly passionate about.

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For example I love vintage foundations and corsets, being able to work with lingerie brand What Katie Did and Sherbet Birdie last year was a dream come true.

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Being a brooch lover, I’ve had the privilege of working with Erstwilder  at one of their trade shows.

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I even entered Miss Pinup Australia this year and despite my health limiting my ability to be in the grand finale, I’ve made some amazing friends and done something I wasn’t sure I could ever have the courage to do.

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Perhaps one of the most telling signs of my shift of mentality is that despite a weight gain the past few years, I’m still rocking my retro, I’m achieving some awesome things and being presented with so many opportunities.  I’m still being true to myself and I haven’t let that stop me. Being true to yourself, in your own way is one of the most empowering things you can do.

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I came to realise that what other people think of me isn’t any of my business. That I can’t control how others feel, only my own reactions and what baggage I choose to carry. As I stopped putting importance on these negative sentiments from strangers I stopped receiving them. The negativity has mostly stopped, and it shows how negative people seek out and feed off others negativity. You don’t need to justify your existence to others, the only opinion that is important about yourself is your own. You choose from there what other opinions you want to take on and I really cannot stress this enough. You don’t have to carry the baggage others project on you. You’re allowed to be and feel happy about who you are.

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But on the flip side, it’s also important to remember Body positivity, self-belief, self-confidence like all things in life aren’t linear (21). We all have bad days when it comes to how we feel about ourselves, what we’re capable of and what we’ve achieved.  And ladies this goes for me as well!!! I still have days where I have huge mental issues with my body, especially my tummy, but I know that if we try and embrace it we get better at managing it.  Let’s face it, in a world that tries to commercialise happiness, buy our self-love and puts importance on always being productive it can be hard! Really hard.

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We’re taught to look at failure as a negative when in reality failure is simply proof of trying. We’ve been taught being unproductive is laziness when really its essential for recharging. The media tells us constantly what we should aspire to in all parts of our lives when really, it’s important we discover this for ourselves, in our own way and in our own time. Let yourself move through the motions of the bad days and come out the other side. Life is an experience of positives and negatives but that’s not important. What’s important is how you decide to approach the days you are given.

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Around the time I started my blog, I founded my own small business Daisy Jean . Daisy Jean originally only made hair flowers but in the past few years has expanded to other accessories. My amazing little business has helped also give me a platform to meet, interact and boost with so many amazing women, especially through my Face of Daisy Jean program, which is aimed at helping connect my brand with women to give them a platform to give back some of the skills I’ve gained over the years from having my own social media accounts. Being able to try and give back has been such a fulfilling experience and is one of my favorite aspects of my little business.

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Now being a brooch lover and creative soul, I naturally wanted to make brooches of my own and found pretty quick its definitely a process. There’s a lot that goes into the process of design, creation and final product. My first brooches where, mediocre at best and its taken me 2 and a half years to reach a point where I’m feeling amazingly confident in my brooch creation, to the point I recently bought my own laser cutter. Business is probably one of the most intimidating things I’ve ever done because I’m putting my creativity out there to the masses, so to speak. But business has also taught me a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.

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I run my small business alongside my blog and I work full time. It’s a juggling act I never thought I could manage. Small business is a lot of hard work, a lot of time and a lot of sacrifice but if your heart is in it, its worth it. The juggling act can be hard but here I am, still at it almost 4 years on. Its another way to nurture my creativity and share things I enjoy, which is an amazing journey I hope to continue.

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So back to those brooches. At the start of this speech I mentioned that brooches can make you stand out in a crowd and they really can. We buy brooches we enjoy and if we choose to wear them, they make a bit of a visual statement about us, whether that’s something as simple as animals we like or things we enjoy or just show a bit of a quirky personality. When I first started wearing brooches I used to get approached by people wo would comment on them and I wouldn’t know how to react. I was still finding my feet and learning to embrace who I am. Now days I welcome these sorts of conversations, though my favorite ones are definitely seeing fellow “broochies” when you’re out and about. Brooches can bring such job to our days. They can lift us when we’re sad. They make our day when they arrive. Even bidding pieces farewell to go to new loving homes can be an amazing feeling and they can connect us with other likeminded people when sometimes we feel like the loner. This entire day was made possible simply but us all loving brooches and I do truly believe that’s an absolutely amazing thing.

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My point is that Body Positivity steams from the attitude we choose to engage it with … just like wearing brooches, or creating a blog, or starting a business… our attitude sets our direction. We choose whether to accept the messages that we receive from the media and society or embrace our unique selves. Body Positivity is all about understanding who we are and accepting that it is a good thing. Embracing the fact that we are enough just the way we are and working at loving ourselves as best we can. Sure, it takes courage to go against all the negative messages we have received. Sure, it takes work, Sure it is a journey of growth just like most things in life. Sure, it can be scary, but like any major investment in ourselves the payoff is well worth the investment.

I hope my ramblings have helped in some way to help you realise its ok to be you… and the biggest step to body positivity is to be your own unique you. Thank you for listening and please try to embrace the unique you – She’s actually quite beautiful and way more capable than you can imagine. Thank you

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Pinup Life: How to build a wardrobe living in Australia

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Disclaimer: As an Australian pinup I can only share my experiences about the cost of pinup from the perspective of an Australian and our very similar New Zealand neighbors. Obviously other countries do face similar issues, however I can only share experiences from my own perspective. As a plus size girl in Australia, I find true vintage to be crazy expensive so haven’t included it in this list.

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Pinups down under know that living a pinup lifestyle can be expensive, along with pretty much everything else. With Sydney and Melbourne ranking in the place of fifth and sixth most expensive places to live in the world, its no wonder why. So ontop of our generally high cost of living our poor dollar value against the US/Pound/Euro coupled with our sheer distance from the two primary hubs of the pinup world (being the UK and the US) means entering into the pinup lifestyle can be a costly venture, moreso than I think our Northern Hemisphere counterparts could ever fully comprehend. So I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how I built up my pinup wardrobe on a budget and little hacks I still do now to help add new goodies into my closet without breaking the bank as an Aussie gal!

Get Familiar with Local Stores and Stockists

While we may be far away from most of the big name pinup brands down under, a lot of local stores do carry some of the brands we know and love. I love shopping local when I can and I really encourage people to reach out to their local pinups stores here in Australia, support their business and work with them to better suit you. For example, Afterpay/Zippay is an amazing way to make buying clothes a bit more budget friendly here in Australia. You can always ask about potential layby if they don’t offer either. Many of these stores can also order in for you from certain brands as well, even if they don’t stock things. Some of my favorite local stores to buy from are:

Just to name some of my favorite local stores to buy pinup goodies from!

Buy local Brands!

While we don’t have a MASSIVE amount of local pinup brands here in Australia, we do have SOME and many of these brands I know would love the support of the local community.

Some of my favorite local businesses are:

Sign up to Newsletters & follow social media accounts

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When I first got into pinup I viewed newsletters as clutter. Now days they really help dictate my shopping. Newsletters are a great way to hear about sales and discounts on items! Especially from pricier brands. I’ve managed to nab myself many items at a discount through this method and most give you an initial discount code just for signing up, like this Unique Vintage newsletter does. Also sign up to their social media accounts. Newsletters really are a great tool for keeping upto date on sales and specials you might have missed on social media (because algorithms can suck).

Shop Around

See an item you love directly on a brands website but see it’s a bit expensive? Most pinup brands are stocked by multiple stores around the world and you can often find the item at a local store or cheaper rate by google searching the item by name. I’ve managed to nab many items at a cheaper postage rate or at a cheaper price this way and it’s a method I strongly recommend! This is also a great tool if the store is out of stock in the item you want!

Plan Ahead!

There are a few big shopping ‘dates’ in the pinup world that I have marked in my calendar and I try to put away some money in the lead up to these dates to help me get a little bit extra. This ties into signing up to newsletters and following accounts on social media, if you see a release you’re interested in mark it down and plan for it! It definitely helps the wallet out later!

Join Pinup Buy Swap Sell Pages on Facebook

Buy Swap Sell pages are often overlooked but are an absolutely amazing resource for finding unicorns and getting items at good prices. I’ve sold myself on buy swap sell pages as well as bought from them too. You can find everything from accessories to clothing and shoes on buy swap sell pages and for ladies on budgets these are a treasure trove of goodies. My biggest advice to ladies is to always send their payments as a payment for goods, not to friends as this way you’re covered if there’s ever an issue and to only ever send items after payment has been received. I’m part of a number of these groups that are generic ‘pinup’ sell pages as well as brand specific pages.

Learn to Navigate Ebay

Ebay is another great resource for purchasing second hand pinup goodies, if you know how to search correctly! As a rule of thumb I stay away from pinup clothes coming from china as most are crap knock offs of better brands.  I have a followed search list that’s done by brand name instead of a generic “pinup” search. So for example it reads: collectif, voodoo vixen, tatyana boutique, Bernie dexter etc. I also have notifications of new listings on my favorite brands turned on so I don’t miss things.

Get to know your local small businesses

Aside from a few brands now days, I pretty much get most of my accessories from Australian businesses. This is not only to support their business, but it also means I’m not fighting a crap exchange rate and having a wait a small lifetime for my items to arrive. Australia has some fabulous small businesses in the accessories department! I’ve listed some of my fav’s below!

Brooches (ones I can think of)

I get all my beads from Debstar Designs

Hair flowers I tend to wear my own business Daisy Jean Floral Designs

Fashion headwear from Doily Delightz

Deluxe Creations makes amazing resin jewellery as does Birdie and Star

Sales and savings!

There are some items, such as shoes, that no matter how you cut it they’re gonna be expensive. This is due to a mix of the exchange rate and the cost of shipping bulkier things. There are certain items I’ll hold off getting til the EOFY sale, Black Friday sales or Christmas/boxing day sales hit as you can generally snag things for a pretty good price! But remember to be quick with these sorts of things, especially during black Friday as pieces do tend to sell out fast during these sales. I do make a habit too to always check the sale section on stores too. You can find gems there too. Another good find is the Zulily page, especially for things like Chelsea Crew and BAIT shoes as final sale styles as well as sometimes pinup clothes which are often listed there for a super cheap price with super cheap postage!

Look at using a forwarding service.

This is something I’m considering using during my black Friday sales to help reduce my postage costs! There are services, especially in the US which allow you to have your parcels send to them, where they then correlate your orders into one parcel and ship at a cheaper rate. After a lot of research I opted to try shipmate for this which is run directly through Australia Post. This can really help cut down the postage costs and make brands with crazy high postage rates an easier purchase.

Pool shipping with friends

Another way to reduce costs of shipping, especially if its a flat rate is to get your girlfriends together if you all want to order from the same place and put in an order together. That way shipping is split multiple ways instead of just one. This is a great way as well to share the rush of shopping with your friends too, which come on we all secretly love!

Read bloggers reviews!

As a blogger this may appear to be shameless self promotion but please hear me out! A lot of bloggers, when they collaborate with brands are given coupon codes and discount codes to pass on to their followers. So not only are you supporting someone who puts a lot of effort into sharing, you can also get yourself a saving too. So don’t just subscribe newsletters, but blogs too!

Final note

I would like to add a final note on the differences I’ve found between fast fashion and pinup clothing. I view my pinup clothing as an investment. Over the years I’ve become better at knowing which brands are of a higher quality that I don’t mind paying more for. I’m still wearing certain pieces I purchased a couple of years ago and I find as long as I take care of my clothes properly (delicate wash cycle, worn in rotation) I get a large lifespan out of my pinup clothes. I know the difference in cost between fast fashion and retro fashion can be daunting but unlike fast fashion pinup items don’t go out of style. As long as you love them and enjoy wearing them, that’s all that matters.

I hope you’ve all found this to be helpful! I’ve tried to include the tips and tricks I still use today!

Til next time darlings!

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Bringing in spring with Bretta

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While our Northern hemisphere counterparts gear up for the autumn weather as they approach winter, those of us in the southern hemisphere are just entering spring. Its a beautiful time to be an Australian. So many natives are in bloom. So many baby birds singing (though I suggest giving the magpies a miss as mummy gets very protective) and the weather is at that pleasant point where I’m not drowning in my own sweat yet but its still warm enough I only need to take a cardigan for indoor wear. With last summer being SO hot I’ve been keeping my eye out for new pretty summer pieces that are comfortable and wearable sans foundations because corsets and Australian summers aren’t good friends. I’d seen the new Lilac Bretta Tea Dress from Lindy Bop for quite a while but my wallet never matched up. So I was super excited to see Australian stockist MisKonductMisKonduct, who recently got Afterpay, had it in stock in their store. So i bit the bullet and bought myself one.

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Flowers ~ Peach Rose Double from Daisy Jean
Earrings ~ Vixen Badgirl hoops in silver bought from Natasha Marie
Brooch ~ Maple Leaf brooch from Erstwilder (sold Out)
Dress ~ Lilac Bretta Dress by Lindy Bop from MisKonduct
Shoes ~ Cream Lacey heels from BAIT Footwear

Now this is only my third purchase from MisKonduct. I previously found their prices a bit outside my price range for an outright purchase but its been exciting to watch some changes for the store recently. The gorgeous Alice recently took over from Emma as the owner of MisKonduct and it was Alice that made the exciting addition of Afterpay. I placed my other and was excited to see it arrive in very good time, beautifully packaged with my Bretta dress inside.

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Now the Bretta dress, where do I even start!? It came slinking out of the tissue paper, so incredibly soft to touch and so beautiful. Lilac isn’t always a colour I can pull so I wanted to give it a go. The lilac is a subtle colour and very pretty. Bretta features a pretty floral pattern and if you look closely, the second layer of this dress also features the cutest polka dot pattern as well which adds a whole other dimension to the look. Bretta also has a pin tuck detail along the bust and a keyhole cutout design at the bust with  which fastens with a pearl button for a finishing touch. It also has the same button detailing on the sleeves but I found these much more comfortable to leave unbuttoned.

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The Bretta dress comes with a matching sash which is perfect for cinching the waist and is fastened with a side invisible zip I found surprisingly easy to do up. The Bretta is made of a light weight chiffon that is amazingly comfortable on. I love how flowy is and how comfortable it is to wear. I actually wore this dress 3 days solid and had to force myself after day 3 to wear something else. This dress features an aline skirt that is incredibly swishy and I felt absolutely beautiful wearing it. For size reference I’m wearing my usual size 18 but could have easily sized down to a 16.

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The Bretta dress is available from MisKonduct for $79.95AU + postage and her store has afterpay. Expect to see this dress a lot this summer as I feel its a dress I’ll be reaching for a lot.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this review and I’m looking forward to many more shoots with the spring blooms over the coming months. Til next time darlings.

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Retro Girl in a Modern World: Hilarious misconceptions I get based purely off how I dress

Now we all know that retro fashion is based on fashions from the previous decade, which was a very different time socially than it is now. Despite being an incredibly modern woman who just happens to enjoy wearing retro clothing, a lot of people (mostly strangers) make assumptions on my beliefs, hobbies and life aspirations based purely on how I look. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite misconceptions with you all that I get! I’d love to know how many you can relate to yourself!

1. I’m a homemaker/good cook

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Domestic Goddess shot by Sherbet Birdie Photography

This one is probably one of my favorite misconceptions I receive. The idea that I must be a natural homemaker because of how I look. The truth is hilariously far from that reality. I’m normally too busy with other things in my life (like my job, my business and my blog) to even stop and remember to do domestic goddess things. My cooking expertise extends to cereal, serving up ice cream and a list of cooked meals that comes to a total of under 10 things. I actually find cooking rather daunting and stressful as I lack the skill set to be able to do much. I am in reality a typical millennial who doesn’t know how to cook well and would probably live off cereal and take out if it wasn’t for a my amazing man who was taught such an important life lesson. People who don’t know me tend to assume the latter. At least I know if I ever bring in pre-baked bakery goods to work they’ll think it was me!

2. That I must want to get married 

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Halloween shoot by Dolly Dee photography

The above image is probably the closest I’ll ever be to being a bride (photo from my recent Halloween shoot). After being engaged to two past partners and deciding to call off the engagement in both instances, I’ve seen first hand how commercialized marriage can be. I find the whole shenanigan really outrageous in the world today, especially with the fact we have shows that undermine marriage like Farmer Wants a Wife, Married at First Sight and the Bachelor/Bachelorette but won’t allow real people to marry their loved ones based on gender. I realised in my mid twenties that I didn’t think marriage was for me and that’s totally ok.

3. That I want to start a family

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My Family

Its no secret I come from a big family. I’ve sporadically shared my family members over social media for years. I’m the eldest of 5 kids in a blended family, the only one to my father with 2 half sisters and 2 half brothers, our ages ranging from 5 to me at 27. Being the eldest and baby sitting a lot in my teens, again the assumption was I’d eventually have kids too. I find that assumption is even higher now with how I dress and this is something my 7 year old sister likes to hilariously play on when she comes and visits. The reality is, I don’t really have a maternal bone in my body and have no real desire for a child of my own at this stage in my life. Living in the heart of Sydney too and being surrounded by some kids who aren’t the best behaved, I don’t actually like kids in general all that much.

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My Danger Noodle Sammy

Impacted even more by my recent diagnosis, I’m content with my life as it is and my mother long accepted the closest thing to a grandchild I’ll ever probably give her is my snake Sammy. But I’ve found because of how I dress especially and as I’m approaching 30 slowly, people are commenting more. I have a very modern attitude around babies in the sense that people should be able to choose if they want kids or not. Procreation isn’t something that can be taken light nor is it a requirement. Not everyone is destined to be a parent and that is totally ok.

4. That I’m not very bright/intelligent

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Me circa 2008

So in high school I was very plain in appearance. I didn’t wear make up much. I generally wore my hair out or in a pony tail until I cut it off in the worst posh bob. No one questioned my enthusiasm for learning. That part of me hasn’t changed. But I’ve found the way people talk to me now has. Even though I feel I have more knowledge than ever, I find that there’s an underlying assumption I’m not overly bright or intelligent of strangers based on my appearance. I’m sure this one carries across to women in all walks of life. Its just one assumption I find most interesting and equally unnerving.

5. That I live in a retro house

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Another hilarious assumption, which I find ties into the homemaker expection is that because I dress 50s my house must be 50s themed. For me, the only vintage thing in my house specific to the 50s is my dressing table. My partner isn’t into vintage décor and that’s fine. We compromise. My house is pretty modern to be honest and as we’re still building up our furniture after restarting last year, its very eclectic in appearance at present. Not all vintage girls live in perfect vintage styled houses and that’s totally ok either way. In a lot of ways I wish I could have that kind of house but its not feasible for me.

6. Getting ready must take me forever

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Photo by Boogie Bop Dames

My absolute personal favorite! “It must take you forever to get ready this morning”. I hear this comment SO much from people! When I was a beginner pinup, most definitely! It took hours. Now as a seasoned pinup however, my look takes 45-60 minutes to create, which includes my shower, makeup, hair, underpinnings, picking my outfit and getting dressed, taking ootd photos, packing my bag and leaving for work.  People tend to not believe me when I give them the time frame but I think they forget that pinup like all things is practice and routine. Its taken years but I’ve got it down to an art now. And I do love when I’m wearing a hairstyle from the previous day and I tell people its second day hair. Pinup hair can be amazing like that.

7. Dressing vintage must mean I have vintage values

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A lot of people believe women and men who celebrate a vintage aesthetic must also have the same beliefs from the eras they enjoy. While I love wearing retro clothing, I am very much a modern woman with modern values. I identify as a feminist. I believe in equality for all. I hate violence. I’m all for people doing what fulfils them with their own lives and I’m watching constantly as I’m  apart of the rapidly shifting world. While I love past eras the treatment of women, people of colour, people of the LGBT community, people with disabilities….basically anyone who wasn’t at the most a white man and at the least a white woman. That’s not the kind of world I want to live in and I’m very happy being a modern woman who dresses retro!

8. That I’m graceful, elegant and lady like

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Wearing Lindy Bop

This one is particularly hilarious because of how far removed from the truth it is. People have this idea that women of the past were poised, precise and elegant of movement and speech. I am none of these things. I’m incredibly clumsy, though the degree varies to how tired I am. I swear more than I care to admit. If there’s a single bump in the footpath you’ll guarantee I’m gonna unconsciously find it and step in it. I’m forever putting things down and forgetting where I put them. I’m far from the housewife image of the 50s. Which I love because even though these things can be frustrating, they help make me me.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this little post. Something fun and different to brighten your afternoon on a Wednesday.

Til next time darlings!

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Body Positive Pinup: Its not always easy

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So in light of an upcoming speech I’m giving about body positivity this weekend, I wanted to share the flip side of body positivity which is a struggle. Social media can sometimes become the rose tinted glasses version of our reality and I wanted to be open and honest. I always try and be open and honest with you all because it all ties into who I am. It’s a struggle I know a lot of people face daily and sometimes, things are a lot harder than others.

Since my op in August, I’ve really been struggling with my body positivity more than I have in quite a while. Its been a weird place to be in. Most of the time I like myself in my outfits (though lately I’ve taken more off than I used to) and being able to wear my foundations has definitely helped lift my confidence clothed, but seeing myself bare and as I am is gut wrenching difficult. I’ve been avoiding my bare reflection in the mirror like the plague and find that I’m feeling less comfortable in my own skin that I had felt for a long time.

This is ultimately for a number of reasons.

The first was my diagnosis. I have a name for what I went through now and while I’m trying to be optimistic that this will help manage it for quite a long time, there’s always that undertone of what if. What if the treatment doesn’t work? What if this doesn’t settle? What if? I put these thoughts aside a lot but they’re always there, like a nagging that’s barely audible but loud enough to make me unsettled.

The second is my Mirena. I’m still in the ‘adjustment’ phase of having it in and my hormones can still swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. Any woman whose gone on the pill or had an IUD will know this cycle. It takes time for the body to adjust and in the meantime you can go from feeling sky high to an emotional mess over something you know is irrational. This is different to natural hormone mood swings I find and its really impacted my body positivity as when my moods have been swinging to feeling bad, my brain has defaulted to an old learnt behaviour of berating my body.

The third is physical changes I’ve seen since my op. Despite my weight not actually changing all that much, my body has definitely had a shift since and I put it down to the Mirena as well. My waist has ballooned a bit. My stomach is sitting different and with 2 dark purple scars currently forming keloids there, its not a pretty sight. I also picked up a number of new stretch marks during my op and the accumulative affect of these has meant that I avoid looking at my tummy at all costs. I already had a strained relationship with my tummy, but this seems to have tipped it somewhat.

The emotions I went through in the month post op were very self negative. I felt horrid. I felt revolting as my body recovered and while some of this has shifted. Some hasn’t. I’ve felt urgency to make drastic changes. I’ve felt not good enough for the things I love and enjoy.  Its been a challenging 6 or so weeks.

But…

Being aware of these kinds of thoughts is the first step towards changing my mindset. I’m actively trying to be more patient with myself. I’m working to be kinder with myself and to do what I can manage. Reminding myself that my body isn’t a static thing and that it will change and grow constantly. That I’m addressing struggles that impact what I can manage to do like my time management and working to remember I’m beautiful as I am. I know it’ll take time for the thought to stick but I’m persisting. My body and I have been through a hell of a journey the past 3 years and patience is sometimes the hardest thing to we do in life.

I just wanted to share this recent struggle to remind other ladies they aren’t alone. I have bad body days too. I have body struggles just like everyone else. And that’s ok. Because everyone does at some point. Its important to be aware of where your head is at, give yourself care and kindness when you need it and to stay positive.

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Something sweet with Sarsparilly

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I’ve long had an affinity with ice cream. Sharing a rainbow ice cream with my grandfather was a much loved memory in my youth. Ice cream was (and still is) my favorite ‘treat’ of choice. I even did my society and culture project on ice cream! Looking at the changing nature of ice cream over time. Yet surprisingly up until recently I’ve owned very little ‘ice cream’ based accessories and clothing. But that dream has come true thanks to Sarsparilly!

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Flowers ~ Blue Signature Rose Double from Daisy Jean
Sunglasses ~ Pink 1940s sunglasses from Pinup In A Pack
Earrings & Brooch ~ Ice Cream Set from Luxulite
Necklace ~ Pink beads from Debstar Designs
Dress ~ The Sweet Life Dress from Sarsparilly
Shoes ~ Petunia Heels from BAIT Footwear

For those who aren’t familiar with this fabulous Australian brand, Sarsparilly is a hand made brand run out of Newcastle Australia. Specialising in fun, quirky prints (see my previous review of their In your dreams dress) their dresses are comfortable, cute and size inclusive running from an XXS to a 5XL. I honestly cannot fault the comfort of this brand, being made from 100% cotton these dresses are also going to be a dream in our humid Australian summers, in which synthetic fabrics can often be horribly uncomfortable. The Sweet Life is no exception here and I can already tell its going to be a fun one to wear over this coming summer period.

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The Sweet Life dress features a simple back zip that doesn’t catch or bunch, which I love! The dress sits comfortably on my natural waist and is well fitted across my shoulders and bust. I adore the slight sleeves of this dress to help give my arms some coverage and the front bow detail gives it a cute playful look. The gathered skirt is a bit shorter than normal for me but I know in the height of summer will be very appreciated! Its light, airy but still long enough for work. It also has massive deep pockets (that’s right girls! Pockets) which are deep enough to fit my wallet as well as my phone.

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The back of this dress sits in a V shape, which I find really helps give my waist shape at the back. And now can we take a minute to talk about this print!? Its simply the stuff of ice cream loving dreams. It features so many different kinds of ice creams on it and the colours are so bright and happy. Its one of those dresses I’m gonna have to stop myself wearing too regularly or its all I’ll be wearing. This dress also has a lined bodice for that extra comfortable wear! For size reference I wear an XL and have a natural 40 inch bust and 33 inch waist.

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When buying from brands like Sarsparilly remember you are supporting a small business! Supporting small business means directly supporting creatives and allowing them to not only follow their passions but also to support themselves and their families.  Sarsparilly is currently made in Australia by a small team of seamstresses who pour a lot of work and love into these amazing garments!

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The Sweet Life dress is available in the Sarsparilly store still for $290AU + postage! Also if you sign up to their newsletter atm (you’ll be prompted when you go to their webpage) you’ll receive a 10% off coupon code towards your purchase. Their store also has afterpay, which allows you to break the total amount down into 4 smaller payments!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this review lovelies! Also, how awesome was it that on the day of shooting an ice cream truck happened to be outside my shoot location?!

Til next time darlings.

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Disclaimer: Whilst I received this dress in collaboration with Sarsparilly, all opinions expressed are honest to help ensure the most accurate information for my readers.