The Horrors of Shopping

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Having a pear shaped body makes finding clothes online that actually fit a really hard task. With a full time job as a people pleaser -er- I mean waitress, I barely have time to go to the mall. The idea of having to take my clothes off in a tiny room with a dirty mirror gives me the creeps but it’s something I have to do. Anxiety overcomes my body as I hear footsteps getting louder and louder. Suddenly, a violent knock on the door. “Ocupado,” a word I was ready to spit out as soon as I got in the fitting room is heard in the short hallway with black-stained walls. Seriously, how much can a paint job cost?

I hear people mumbling, obviously complaining about how long people take to try on clothes. I remind myself that some decisions can’t be rushed when there’s a huge gap between my back and a pair of skinny jeans. Big booty / small waist problems. I slip on a smaller pair but they don’t make it past my thighs.

“Size up and tailor down.” All of a sudden, Stacy London pops up in my head. I remember What Not to Wear. Would Stacy and and Clinton be ok with these $55 jeans? I grab a leg and pull on both sides to test for stretch. A two inch difference is not enough.

“Miss, are you ok in there?” How long had it been?

“I’m fine.” Ugh, I had to hurry. Maybe if I squeezed my ass enough I could forcibly pull up the 25″ waist jeans. I did a little dance, I jumped a bit and I was starting to sweat. I reached my thighs and prepared for the moment of truth. Squeeze and pull. Squeeze and pull. Squeeze and… rip. I felt my eyes get big when I heard the dreadful noise of stitches coming undone. My fashion design professor would be so ashamed of me. What would a pre-“Fancy” Iggy Azalea do? A knock interrupted my thinking.

“Yes! I’m almost done. Jeez.”

I took both jeans and decided to buy the 26″ ones. $55 and I had to tailor them? Bummer. But there was nothing else I could do. I opened the door and the angsty teen already had his arm extended.

“Oh, um, I’m taking both.” He rolled his eyes and led the next lady towards the dressing room. As I walked past the long line, I felt eyes of judgement on me. Did they know? Did they hear? I scoured the store for the perfect spot to dump the wounded jeans. I figured camouflaging them would be best. I looked for one of those neatly stacked tower of jeans and stuffed them between size 25 of undamaged goods. This was evidence I needed to get rid of. I walked away with quick feet with my eyes on the counter. I was already reaching for my purse when I heard someone sigh in frustration. I looked over my shoulder and saw an employee down on his knees surrounded by a sea of denim. The jeans had fallen like poorly stacked Jenga tower.

“Next!” It was my turn and I panicked.

“I tried these on and decided I don’t want them.” I left the jeans at the counter and ran.

To be continued…

Black Friday Sales

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Get ready for Black Friday deals by saving things to your ModCloth love list. I like to check out the site occasionally to mark things I like. When a sale hits the site, I pick whatever items I like best and score a rad deal. ModCloth’s prices have certainly gone up in the past two years and a coupon code is almost always needed, unless, of course, it’s a total style emergency.

A sale that’s going on now is Orchard Corset‘s CS 345 corset sale. Use code CINCHIT to get 15% off these styles. I had the CS345 and I must warn you, it’s not meant for short torsos. So if you’re a tall gal who wants extreme curves, go for it! This code expires on December 1st.

I’ll post deets on ModCloth’s Black Friday Sale tomorrow. I promise you it’s a good one!

Where do you do your online shopping on Black Friday?

OOTD: Floats your Note

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My love for themed outfits reached an all time high when I received a purse that remained on my wish list for the longest time. Originally, I wanted the Betsey Johnson Gold Camera bag but it’s nowhere to be found. It is now one of my unicorns. For those that still aren’t active in the swapping world, a unicorn is a very hard to find item.  I swapped one of my Sourpuss Clothing dresses with a nice girl living in New York for one of her skirts. I realized I’d rather have more skirts and less dresses. The outfit possibilities increase by 50%. Smart choice, bold move.

My style, which consists of classic cuts combined with bold prints, showed with this 50s-inspired outfit worn at South Fashion Week:

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Interested in these pieces? Shop here:

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ModCloth

Floats Your Note Skirt

$60

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I couldn’t find a link to my crop top but any black sweetheart top would’ve worked. This is from Miss Selfridge.

Miss Selfridge

Black Sweetheart Bandeau Top

$8

ootdpeeptooesAgain, I couldn’t find a link for my shoes. Mine were purchased at a local Payless. Any white peep toe heels (mine were kitten heels!) work. These are Dolce and Gabbana.

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Peep Toes in White

$215

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Betsey Johnson / ModCloth

Audio Thrilled the Radio Bag

$88

This purse is sold out everywhere! One must be determined to search everyday to find one. I got mine at Poshmark for less than retail price.

May your outfit creations be as sweet as apple pie! (Seriously, can Thanksgiving get here already?)

Who’s that girl?

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Hey cherry pickers! Just a quick post to share my excitement with you! I was published in the September / October issue of Latina Pinups Magazine! It’s the first time I’ve been published in a pin up magazine and I’m happy it’s one filled with beautiful latinas! You can get a copy here!

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Can you feel my excitement?

OOTD: Eye-Catching Doughnuts

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I decided to make this week’s Outfit of the Day more modern by focusing on bold colors. Pantone already released their Spring 2016 Fashion Color Report and it’s, unfortunately, colors I would never wear. But I took their almost neon color report as inspiration to create this wild and funky themed outfit. A doughnut shirt hiding among other “normal” ones in my drawer helped me with the theme. You’ll be sure to turn heads and get a ton of smiles with this outfit. Maybe a few laughs as well but that doesn’t matter. Do you, boo. Do you.

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Interested in these pieces? Shop here:

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Pin Up Girl Clothing

Deadly Dames Capri Pants in Baby Blue

$82

Read more about these pants here.

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MLSHOPS on Etsy

Donuts Crop Top

$17

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Betsey Johnson

Kitch Donut Crossbody

$75

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Lulu’s

Beauty Call D’Orsay Kitten Heels

$23

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Killer Sprinkles on Etsy

Donut Hair Pins

$20

I hope you’re feeling sweet today! What do you think about today’s outfit? Too wild or just right?

Outfit of the Day: Modern 60’s

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After seeing so many vintage-inspired looks at New York Fashion Week, I decided to give 60’s Mod my own little twist. People know how obsessed I am with themed outfits. If I’m wearing my favorite fruit print Lazy Oaf top, check out my ears. I’ll be sporting fruit earrings. Cupcake shoes? Cupcake earrings! Strawberry dress? Strawberry purse! It’s a problem. A good one to have.

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I began looking for the perfect modern shift dress and found this pastel Valentino one. It reminded me of Neapolitan ice-cream so I went from there! I knew I wanted to pair it with knee high camel boots and an ice cream purse. Round sunglasses were a must and these ModCloth earrings go perfectly with them.

Interested in these pieces? Shop here:

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My Theresa

Valentino Linen Dress

$2,443

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Style Bop

Ralph Lauren Collection Suede Knee Boots

$1,140

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The Label Monster

Semilla Patent Leather Pumps

$310

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Unique-Vintage

Nila Anthony Ice Cream Bag

$68

roundglasses

Nordstrom

Tildon 60mm White Sunglasses

These are sold out. Click here for similar ones.

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ModCloth

These Are Just White Earrings

These are sold out. Click here for similar ones.

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Farfetch

Hermès Vintage Logo Enamel Bracelet

$599

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Potion Cosmetics on Etsy

Tonic Vegan Opaque Bright Pink Lipstick

$9

I know some of these items are on the expensive side but I think similar items can easily be found. Can’t afford the Hermès bracelet? I’m sure you can find a teal bangle at Claire’s. The dress can be made with basic sewing skills and a Simplicity pattern. Click here to see it.

What do you think about today’s outfit? Would you rock it?

Heart and Solar System Dress

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As an odd print collector, I constantly search for eye-catching skirts and dresses. When I’m on a tight budget, I always check clothing swap groups before actually looking through pages and pages of items on a website. One of a girl’s ISOs (in search of) was this beautiful space print dress by Fervour, sold exclusively at ModCloth.

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Heart and Solar System Dress, $75
Currently available in XS

I was sad to discover it was sold out and if restocked, it would sell for $75. As a Fashion Design student I know that a simple unlined, cotton dress should sell for a lot less. I told myself that constantly, trying to convince myself not to buy it if someone returned it in my size. I decided to post it as an ISO item to one of the swap groups just in case someone wanted to get rid of theirs (yeah, right) and a few weeks later, a girl told me someone had returned a small one. I bought it. Yolo, people, yolo.  (Too 2013?)

I waited the two weeks it usually takes for a ModCloth package to get to my house and was heartbroken when I pulled this out of the bag:

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The Way I Galaxy It Dress, $42 (50 % off)

This dress was being sold for $85 when I got it.  I thought about keeping it but the material and the fact that it’s lined made me sweat without even trying it on. I did try it on eventually but the only thing that came to mind was “meh.”  A return. I remember chatting with customer service and how nice the lady was.  I asked her if the company was planning on restocking it and I felt a punch to my chest as she said no. I told the girl from the swap group about the situation and she was just as sad as I was because she’s been looking for the same dress but in a different size.

Before I could forget about the dress, I saw a message from her saying a small one had been returned again. I didn’t get excited, but I bought it hoping I wouldn’t receive the wrong one again. I wonder if the mailman found it odd when I didn’t grin as soon as I saw him approaching my house with a package from ModCloth.  I opened it and even though it was finally the right dress, I was expecting the worst, as if it had to have some sort of flaw. Well, it does.

CONS

  • The dress is too short for my liking. The hem hits 3 inches above my knee. I did see pictures prior to purchasing but I thought it would be longer on me considering I’m only 5’03” tall.
  • Runs small in bust area. I’m only a B cup and I had a major armpit-boob issue.

PROS

  • Breathable fabric.
  • Has pockets. Yay!

The story does not end here. I searched for the brand, Fervour, on eBay and voila, a medium Heart and Solar System Dress was listed at only $30. It had the option to start a bidding war but it had 7 watchers so I didn’t want to risk it. I’m happy to say that I now own a Heart and Solar System Dress that doesn’t give me armpit-boob. I returned the small one and saved $40.  Yay for used clothing!

Now please enjoy these pictures of my sexy self wearing the sexy dress.

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Da.art Photography

Want to know a little secret? I was told this dress *might* be getting restocked around August but you didn’t hear it from me! 😉

Q & A with The Strawberry Bombshell

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I’ve been drawn to the pin up style since I saw Grease when I was a kid.  I started adding stripes and polka dots to my closet when I was 14 but the fear of looking even just a little bit costume-y held me back.  I know a lot of girls interested in this look would like to start off by simply adding some key pieces to their outfits to give a tiny hint of pinup and eventually work their way up.  It’s what I did and it made the transition from emo / goth kid to beautiful pin up a lot easier.

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Not knowing how to incorporate the pin up look to my modern, yet boring outfit for a job interview, I went where fashion inspiration is easily found—Instagram!  I came across The Strawberry Bombshell’s page after a few hashtag searches.  I noticed she’s familiar with the color palette and knows how to mix colors I’ve never had the courage to wear at the same time.  With pieces from Pinup Girl Clothing, Old Navy and Charlotte Russe, The Strawberry Bombshell has one of the most versatile and affordable wardrobes I’ve seen.

If you’re looking to get ideas for a special occasion outfit or for your everyday look, The Strawberry Bombshell will spark your creativity.  She agreed to do a Q & A and I hope you all enjoy getting to know her.  She’s been through highs and lows when it comes to confidence and tells us how pin up helped her feel comfortable in her own skin.

1. Have you always been into vintage-inspired clothing?  When did you start adding retro pieces to your closet?

My love for vintage aesthetic was a natural extension of my affinity for vintage music and that era of history. I grew up around swing music my great uncle and aunt played, and always had a pretty keen interest in World War II as a kid. I can remember being excited about swing revival in the mid-90s and early 2000’s, even though I was still pretty young; it was exciting to hear a fresh take on sounds I’d grown up with. Around that time I can remember really taking notice of vintage styles and lusting after Kate Beckinsale’s wardrobe in Pearl Harbor (2001). Unfortunately my self esteem was a bit lagging, and I tried to fit into trendy stuff in high school and university which usually made my self esteem worse. The first repro-style dress I bought was a cheaply made polka dot wiggle dress from the mall. I didn’t really dive in until I found Pinup Girl Clothing’s website in 2011. It’s been a full fledged love affair ever since!

2.  What is your go-to article of clothing that makes you feel confident?

Pencil skirt or wiggle dress. I used to try to hide my curves but always loved the look of a pencil skirt. To this day I wear them a good 3 or 4 days a week. My specific ‘dress-to-kill’ look? PUG’s Masuimi or Erin dresses. They are my go-to if I want to look like a bombshell but feel like I’m dressed in PJs! They’re so comfortable and sexy.

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3.  What are your favorite brands and why?

I think anybody that follows me close enough has noticed that I wear Pinup Girl Clothing almost everyday. This is a result of my support of their ethos and practice as company; their superior quality in product and service; and my embarrassing tunnel-vision when it comes to online shopping. I stick with what I know. I’ve written pretty extensively on why I love them so much, so I’ll just invite you to visit those blog posts and won’t bore you with the gory details again. I’ll be a life long customer, they impress me to no end. They’re life changers and very passionate about what they do.

I also wear a lot of Joe Fresh because their pieces are classic, simple, versatile and affordable. A lot of my favourite staple pieces are Joe Fresh; I was buying them on sale at a time when I couldn’t afford to online shop. My only gripe with them is that they don’t have the best track record with production and labour practices.

4.  Who is your style icon and why?

It’s a toss up between the entire pinup community and Jeanette Scott of J’s Everyday Fashion. Pinups from all over the world have inspired me to dress in a style I love and find comfort in. I started reading Jeanette’s blog in 2013 when I was unemployed, broke and unable to shop – and she completely blew my mind. She teaches her readers to take what they have in their closet and use inspiration photos to stretch the possibilities in her wardrobe. She is very much focused on a  ‘look for less’ approach, and she encourages everyone to plan their budgets, experiment with new looks, and take inspiration from everywhere. My style confidence increased a lot after reading her blog. I no longer wonder what I can pair certain items with – I can usually find 10-20 different ways to wear something because I’ve studied her approach. That, to me, is fashion practicality!  I highly recommend her blog to anybody; it makes fashion accessible and demystified.

5.  “When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on.” – Coco Chanel.  Do you agree?  Do you follow other rules when accessorizing?  If so, what are they?

I think that people should wear as much or as little as they want; it has no effect on my life if they chose to over-accessorize. But for me, personally? I don’t have ‘rules’ per se, but I think I sort of have an internal compass which errs on the side of conservative, clean styling. You won’t find a lot of really blingy, trendy things or tons of accessorizing in my style. I’m pretty boring, and it always takes me a long time to come around to anything ‘trendy’ (I started wearing statement necklaces 3 years after everyone else). I always reach for my go-tos: pearl necklace/earrings, gold hoops and chains, cognac-coloured belts and shoes. If I do wear a statement piece, like a necklace or cocktail ring, I try to minimize other accessories and let it speak for itself.

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6.  Solids or prints?

In the last few years I’ve stuck to solids quite a bit out of habit, as I wanted to learn about colour palettes and experiment with mixing them. I am slowly (slowly!) coming around to prints. Again, it takes me a while to come around with experimentation. I push my boundaries slowly and stubbornly, but I do push them. I didn’t dare try print-mixing until this past year! Though I never used to wear leopard at all, I now use it a lot because it goes with literally everything – find me a colour that doesn’t go with leopard! It pairs nicely with polka dots, stripes, and the odd floral as well. In fact, I’m a bit of a fiend for those four prints because they are versatile and easy to style.

7.  What’s your take on how women are portrayed in media?  

Oh man, I could go on about this. Overall I think there’s still a pretty paternalistic treatment of women in mass media. Comments on women’s fashion choices and body shape instead of their accomplishments, job performance, or character are still sickeningly pervasive. There was an article I read a little while ago about an Australian newscaster who wore the same suit for a year straight without comment from his producers or audience; he wanted to prove that the heinous double standard needs to go. I think that the Dove ad campaigns (‘love the skin you’re in’) and recent uproar over Calvin Klein’s poor choice of ‘plus size’ model show that the conversations are changing in favour of body positivity, but I think we’ve got a long way to go in refining the dialogue. I think that a lot of curvy gals who felt sidelined by the status quo for decades feel the logical reaction is to bash thin women as ‘not real’, not realizing this prejudice is as hurtful as any that’s been leveled against curvy women. I’d really like to see the conversation turn towards ‘all women are real women’ to foster an inclusive mentality.

The good news is that the internet is nothing if not the largest peanut gallery in the world, and the bright side of churning out more university grads is that feminist discourse from the institution makes its way into the media and challenges sexism in weird and wonderful ways.  I’ve seen a lot of good blogs, tweets, memes, and articles which lampoon sexist remarks in the media. I’ve seen women put misogynists on blast and shame them quite publicly for their shitty attitudes, and it’s beautiful to watch. In addition, it provides communities of support for women who feel sidelined and alienated by what the status quo is turning out. Pinup is one such community, and you’ll find some of the fiercest defenders of feminism here.

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8.  A couple of months ago, Hollaback!, a movement started by a network of activists around the world working to end street harassment uploaded a video to YouTube of a woman being constantly harassed while walking around New York City.  Have you ever been harassed while walking down the street?  How do you deal with it?  What can women do to put an end to street harassment?

I’ve definitely been harassed while walking down the street, or in bars. My response isn’t usually very ladylike – I’ll flip them off or tell them to get fucked, that kind of thing. I don’t find it’s terribly productive to try to get into a dialogue with catcallers. I think that if you’re getting lewd comments from males in certain defined settings (i.e. ‘friends’ or acquaintances at a party, trolls on your social media page), it’s definitely a bit easier to get a dialogue going and call them out on their behavior and try to deconstruct their shitty attitude. It’s a bit more difficult to get into a conversation about why they’re a misogynist jerk if they’re at a stoplight in their car, or across a busy street, so I limit my conversation to crude retorts in those circumstances.

I think that the best response, if you have a chance, is to publically call out a catcaller for their poor behaviour. Let it be known that not only are you not going to accept the behaviour, you’re going to rip it to shreds rhetorically. If you’re quick on your feet, you can do that on the spot, but sometimes it takes a bit more time and effort for introverts or people who get flustered. I once wrote a letter and posted it on the door of my apartment building after I overheard some idiots making comments outside my window. I’ve seen some bloggers take screen shots of sexist comments on their Instagram and blast them. I also saw a brilliant – BRILLIANT – response to one woman’s catcaller blow up online. The gal totally lambasted this guy in a ‘Missed Connections’ ad. I’m not sure where the original post is now, but there are several articles written about it, this Huffington Post article being one of them.

As much as possible, try to engage the issues that inform the catcaller’s behaviour or attitude, rather than focus on attacking them as a person. Ad hominem attacks and aimless name calling usually fall on deaf ears and don’t accomplish much.

It’s difficult to get over the initial sting of the comment, but if you can harness that anger into a controlled and eloquent response then the payoff is wonderful. You’ll feel like King Kong and hopefully that guy will rethink his poor attitude. At the very least, hopefully he’ll stop catcalling!

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9.  We all go through moments of low self-esteem.  Do you remember a particular moment you didn’t feel so good about yourself?  If so, tell us how you got your confidence back.

I’ve spent a good deal of my life being uncomfortable in my own skin, and I know now that I’m not alone. Women of all shapes and sizes go through it! I didn’t really feel comfortable with my curves and size until I started dressing in pinup clothing on a regular basis. Some of my worst moments of self esteem in the last few years, however, were when I was sick and lost a lot of weight. My weight yoyo’d after a couple of bad bouts of ulcerative colitis and I remember crying myself to sleep because I’d lost my healthy curves that I loved so much and had become so proud of. It was a big turning point for me – to realize that I identified with my curves and size as something healthy and positive for the first time in my life. Sometimes we have to lose what we have to realize how much we miss it. I’m grateful that I had pinup clothing and communities in my life at the time, because even though I’d lost the weight and felt self-conscious after being sick, I knew that I could be beautiful at any weight in this clothing. A lot of pieces I own have fit me beautifully with 30-40 pound weight differences. That’s amazing peace of mind when you’re getting out of the hospital and learning to love your body again!

10.  Other than documenting your adorable outfits, what do you do for a living?  

I’m working in investment banking. I actually began documenting these outfits for myself as a creative outlet during some grueling professional exams last year, while I was trying to gain my licensure for securities trading. My style of dress is a little on the eclectic side for a business environment, so I’m lucky that our office is laid back about fashion choices. I’ve been in banking about 8 years now, and though it’s been an interesting study in people (more so than in numbers!), writing and literature are my first loves. I’m currently trying to figure out how to make my way back to them for a career.

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11.  Any advice to young girls on finding their personal style?

Don’t be afraid to experiment, even if it’s a little at a time. Stick with what works, ditch what doesn’t. If you’re not sure ‘how’ to wear something, or what to wear with it, do a Pinterest search to see that outfit in context. Study the styles of others, and use their inspiration. Emulate other outfit ideas until you find what you’re comfortable in. Fashion is an ongoing conversation, and your mode of dress is your voice in that conversation. It tells people who you are before you even open your mouth, so make sure you’re dressing true to yourself.

12.  As someone who practices practical pin up, what is your definition of a pin up girl?

Anybody who wants practice it. I was quite deliberate in my choice of diction for that phrase; most ‘practices’ do not come naturally, but as the result of habitual repetition. You practice until you make ‘perfect’, or at least become deft at it. The ‘practical’ in practical pinup is an expression of its accessibility. I see a lot of comments from women pinup sites saying ‘I wish I could pull that look off, but I don’t have the [body, time, patience, skill, money, etc] for it.’ They see it as being an unachievable ideal. What I’m trying to demonstrate is that you can pull it off to whatever extent you feel comfortable. It’s not something that is achievable for some and not for others. You can start as simply as incorporating a pencil skirt into your work outfit or going full-bore with glamorous pin-curls, red lips and corseting. You can buy expensive vintage pieces, budget-friendly vintage repro, or thrifted items which are retro-inspired. What matters is that you practice, and practice often.

For myself, I’ve decided my look is equal parts pinup, professional, and preppy. I buy vintage repro and thrifted items, and I incorporate current trends where I want. This is what I’m comfortable in, and that doesn’t have to look the same for everybody. It’s open to interpretation, and we don’t do any favours by having limiting ideas of what pinup should and shouldn’t be. You can do as much or as little of it as you please. The fringe benefits of practicing it are enormous: increased self esteem and body positivity; exposure to supportive communities and media; better understanding of feminism. A pin up girl is somebody who adores her body, respects the bodies of others, owns her sexuality, and dresses accordingly – that is channeling the spirit of pin up, and that can be for anybody. I’d encourage all women to give it a shot.

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For everyday inspiration, follow The Strawberry Bombshell on Instagram and check out her blog!

Planes, Trains and Angry Cabbies (Sourpuss Clothing Shoot)

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I thought I would never get to New Jersey when I heard that my flight got delayed.  I was certain I’d done something bad and karma was teaching me a lesson when it got delayed four more hours.  I became friends with a feisty and pissed off grandma who tried to scare me with horror stories involving a New York winter while we waited.  I didn’t listen.  In fact, I got even more excited when I heard the word “snow.”   As JetBlue tried to calm us down with food vouchers (they know Puerto Ricans very well), I re-read some old e-mails.  It hit me that I’d already confirmed my presence at a photo shoot in a town I’d never heard of.  Not even in Kristen Stewart indie movies.  Pennsahken?  Pennsoahken?  Pennsauken.

I’ve been entering Instagram giveaways since I joined the social networking site and didn’t think twice when I saw a post by Sourpuss Clothing looking for models for their Spring 2015 collection.  I’d been a fan of the company for a couple of years and was familiar with their brand.  I even had a sticker on my laptop that read “A Classy Kind of Trashy.”  The sticker was always on display because I believed it defined my personality.  My hair may be up in victory rolls, but I have sailor’s mouth.  I remember thinking it was perfect timing because I would be in New Jersey around that time.  My flight was booked in September and I was going to leave island life behind for two weeks on December 7th.

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                                       Steady Jessie Dress, $72

Scratch that.  I was going to leave on the 8th thanks to JetBlue.  My shoot was scheduled for the 9th and I felt myself getting a bit stressed out sitting next to the angry granny.  Fast forward to when I actually got on the plane and I cried quietly because of the non-stop turbulence.  I was glad it was only a 4 hour flight.  I would not make it alive if the plane is that shaky during an international one.

December 8th

After getting off at the wrong stop thinking I was in Trenton, a nice lady got me on the right train.  One stop and another train later, I was in Pennso… Pennsah… Pennsauken.  I waited for 40 minutes in the cold for a cabby that would later try to hang up a phone call by saying in Spanish that gringos don’t like it when cabbies are talking on the phone.  I surprised him by asking where he’s from—in Spanish.  Turns out we’re basically neighbors.  He’s from the Dominican Republic and I’m from right next to him.  I left him a hefty tip hoping he’d realize that just because a girl had a fair complexion and fake red hair doesn’t necessarily mean she’s gringa.

I hate you, cabby.

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                       Hips and Hair I Hate You Ryder Dress, $50

Can you smile and flip the bird?

After a quick check-in at the motel, I walked about 10 minutes while being showered by freezing rain looking for my room.  King sized bed, Kardashians on TV and a working cellphone.  I was ok.

I called the same cabby the next day even though I could walk to the Sourpuss Clothing warehouse.  I figured I’d spent too much time in the cold anyways.  I was greeted by Amanda, the photographer and what looked like a never ending shoe room.  Her colorful skin made me notice my lack of tattoos.  I hoped I wasn’t too clean looking for them.  I told her I had a septum piercing just in case they wanted to toughen me up a bit but she said it wasn’t necessary.  After getting my makeup done, a very nice lady started doing my hair and I learned that no matter where I go, I’ll always get the “Oh lord!  Thick hair… And lots of it!”  She was extremely patient and funny and it made me happy to hear positive comments about my hair rather than negative ones, which I often get in Puerto Rico.

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Hips and Hair Cute Ryder Dress, $50
Hips and Hair True Love Ryder Dress, $50
Hips and Hair Unimpressed Dress, $50

I was extremely nervous and stiff when Amanda started shooting me but I loosened up once she told me smiling is good and I saw a “Do not do this” sign showing a model with pouty lips and a sultry look.  They also asked me to pose with Alexa Nicole, an experienced alternative model from New Jersey.  After lots of changes and many fun dresses later, they took us to Wawa and I was a first timer.  I was impressed by the touch screen ordering thingamajig and by how fast they made my quesadillas.  Is this the real life?  Is this just fantasy?

After stuffing out faces, we went to Bombshell Pin Ups, a magical place with different themed rooms.  A.K.A. my future home.  We shot at a retro kitchen room and a circus themed one.  We were finally able to use props and had a ton of fun.  Alexa Nicole and I even “fed” each other fake cupcakes.  Yum.

Always feed the models.

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CalaverasCardigan

                               Hell Bunny Olivia Cardigan, $62
                               Hell Bunny Calaveras Cardigan, $62

When we returned to the Sourpuss warehouse, we got our checks, a goodie bag (4 dresses and a cardigan yaaaas) and Alexa offered me a ride so I could get back to where I was staying at by getting on a single train.

I’m glad I bit the bullet back in January of last year.  Committing to a daily workout and smaller portions of yummy food was tough but I finally got to where I wanted to be.  I still have a less than long way to go, but I know I’ll get there this year.

This was truly a super fun experience and I got a sneak peek at Sourpuss’s Spring 2015 collection, which is ah-mah-zahng!  I now wish Puerto Rico had more reliable public transportation.  I would take the train every single day.

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                                                   Steady Diva Swing Dress, $76

Can anyone get married?  I need an excuse to purchase this dress.  Please and thank you.

Lady Stank

2

It’s the most horrific time of the year: back to school.  I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this place (Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico).  It exudes a sense of freedom.  There’s art everywhere.  A plain white wall is hard to find here.  Everything seems simple.  Just like these sentences.

StreetartThese buildings greet me each day.

didntsee this every Sunday when I get to Río Piedras.

Coffee is almost at arm’s length and a cold beer is just around the corner.  People always say “good morning” as they walk past me.  It’s mostly men.  They don’t always have good intentions, so I focus on their tone.  Some of them make “good morning” sound like a rape announcement.  Those that make it sound like one, don’t get “good morning” back.  I honestly hope their morning ends up being crappy.  Like spill coffee on your crotch crappy.  I guess you could say I’m getting to the hate part of this love-hate relationship.

Time is money here.  Everything is fast paced.  The light is about to turn green?  You better be 10 miles down the road when it does ‘cause if not, Mr. I just spilled my coffee will play you the song that best describes his feelings at the moment.  A little song called “hornraping.”  Anyone can play it, really.  Just honk your horn and never let go.  A beautiful long “beep” will magically make your car disappear.  At least, that’s what Mr. I just spilled my coffee thinks.

I never get why people in cars are always in such a rush.  I’d much rather be in a car with a/c than walk to school in this heat, which is what I’ve been doing for the past 3 1/2 years.  My arms and legs are noticeably darker than the rest of my body thanks to this.  Now we’re getting to the frustration part of this post.

I can’t dress the way I want to.  The way I dress in my hometown is so different.  I always have on at least one vintage-inspired article of clothing.  I can’t do that here.  I sweat buckets of lady stank and am not willing to ruin pieces I almost killed for just to look cute at the university.  And yep, same goes for hair.  What’s the point in curling or victory-rolling it if it’ll be flat by the time I get to class?  My hair is always up in a bun, a high ponytail or maybe a braid.  That’s it, nothing special.  I’m always wearing men’s t-shirts I cut and stretch to make them look less manly.  The pricing on graphic tees is ridiculous.  A Coca-Cola logo shirt for men costs  $12 while the same shirt for women costs $18.  Yeah, I think I’m gonna go with the one for men.  $6 extra for what?  A little shape?  Pfffft!  Don’t even get me started on make-up.

Really, don’t try to get me started, ’cause I won’t start.

The heat here is different than the heat in Ponce.  It’s hot and humid at the same time while in Ponce it’s just hot.  I can wiggle my nose without breaking a sweat over there and the only thing I can wear in both places are these babies:

converseDon’t mind the dingy floor.  It’s been like that since I got here.  Nothing can make it look clean.

Ah yes, my limited edition sequin Converse.  I got these for Christmas when I was 14 years old.  They’ve been everywhere with me.  Music festivals, a Metallica concert, the mall on black friday… They don’t sell them anymore.  I wish I could buy another pair.  I plan on wearing them until they fall apart.

As I’m writing this (almost 11 PM) some kid is screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the street.  Why?  Because it’s Río Piedras.  It’s extremely noisy here.  Some truck, I don’t know if it’s the garbage truck or what… But it comes at 4 AM.  Gun shots can be heard almost daily.  Beeping cars are always around and here I am, trying to blog.

Yep, it’s definately a love-hate relationship I have with Río Piedras.  I feel as if I can be free here but at the same time, I can’t express myself the way I enjoy doing it: through fashion.