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! 😉

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Clothing Swap & Sell Groups!

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“Sell, trash or donate?” I asked myself this simple question while cleaning out my closet. It seemed like a smart idea knowing I’d eventually move. The date has been pushed back a year but that didn’t change the fact that I had too much stuff in my closet.  Stuff I didn’t even wear anymore. As I pushed and pulled hangers I tried to remember when was the last time I had worn whatever it was I was holding in my hands. If I couldn’t remember the outing, the garment was going in a bag.  If it was in good condition I’d either sell or donate it. When it was time to sell, I didn’t know where to go.

I’m done with eBay. Almost done, at least. I just think it’s such a hassle to post a listing, and then there are the fees. (Student budget, yo!) Another thing that annoyed me was the issue with the pictures. Usually online pics aren’t allowed so having to set up a tripod and change multiple times wasn’t appealing. I did it once and the process took an entire day. No kidding. I figured stock photos were best and pictures of flaws of the actual item could be provided upon request. Easy.

A friend of mine told me about a PUG (Pinup Girl Clothing) Swap and Sell group. Although I didn’t plan on selling the few PUG items I own, I decided to join. I quickly learned that the group has rules and a list of other brands that are allowed. Some of my items were on the brand list but I though it’d be best to see how it goes down first.

Here’s what a listing may look like:

NWT (New, with tags) Hell Bunny Vixen dress, size small. Would like to trade for the cherry print Zooey top, size medium or sell for $50 shipped. Comes from a pet friendly and smoke-free home.

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The seller would then have to wait for a potential buyer or swapper to comment. Questions regarding condition, measurements or potential offers are discussed in the comment section or privately, via direct message.

The process seemed simple enough but I wondered if there were any ModCloth swap and sell groups, since most of my items were purchased on their site and not all of the brands they sell were allowed on this particular group. After asking around, I found out there’s a clothing swap group which allows pretty much any brand, but mainly focuses on ModCloth items. Purrfect!

Girls from the US, Canada, Australia (and now Puerto Rico!) post their Pinterest swap and sell boards and hope for the best! If someone is interested in an item, they’ll respond commenting which item they’re lusting after along with a link to their board and hope the other person would like to swap for one of their items. Worst case scenario, they have nothing in the style the other is looking for and no swap will happen… BUT! Most of the times, the person is willing to sell at a great price. I’ve swapped three times so far and I’m now waiting for a fourth swap from Canada. Here are some of the items that are now having a party with my other skirts and dresses in my closet:

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Once Upon a Maritime Skirt, ModCloth

Hey, that’s Cat Carney!

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Cutest of the Fruit Dress, ModCloth

You all know how much I love quirky prints!

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Jolly Green Client Dress, ModCloth

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Hell Bunny Vixen Dress, ModCloth by Hell Bunny

I’m sure it had a very a very “Mod” name but I can’t find it, unfortunately.

Here are some of my favorite clothing swap and sell groups on Facebook:

PUG Swap and Sell

Clothing Swap Group

ModCloth BST

Forever 21 Swap/Sell

Jeffrey Campbell Swap Sell and Buy Group

Ooh La La!  Vintage Swap and Sell Shop

Hell Bunny Clothing Buy, Swap & Sell

Clothing swap and sell groups are a great option if you’re short on cash, like me! Most items in my closet are second hand, a gift or were or super sale.  Remember to be a saavy shopper.

Always read the rules before posting! You don’t want to get banned after being accepted! Did I miss any? Know about other swap/sell groups? Please share!

Happy selling and swapping!

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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                               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.

Recent OOTDs

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I was 14 years old when I started taking pictures of myself.  I remember MySpace was big back then and posting at least a pic a day was crucial.  MySpace is no longer what it used to be and it was replaced by the oh so public Facebook.  Playing silly games like Candy Crush and making the transition from high school student to college freshman made me loose my style a bit.  Looking great wasn’t so important to me anymore.  Stained jeans, stretched t-shirts and Converse that were falling apart was my go to outfit.  It still is, but I can honestly say I do my best to dress up a bit on the weekends.  Having to walk 20 minutes to a classroom under the Puerto Rican sun doesn’t really motivate me to put an effort into dressing myself.  Who wants to see a sweaty dress anyway?

I’ve been trying to document my “good” outfits lately.  I figured if I have such cool stuff, why not show people?  I like using Instagram because I can tag the brands and stores where I got my clothes or accessories, making it easier for you guys to find them.  It’s how I discover new brands and fun bloggers.  I can’t really write much on Instagram and I doubt people would want to read a lot there.  I know I get antsy when I see a long paragraph underneath a pic so I decided to talk a bit more about my OOTDs here.  Hopefully you’ll fall in love with some of these brands.

Tropical Bliss

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I got this super cute floral top by La Cabana on eBay.  I searched vintage pin up top and this popped up!  I don’t think you can get these anywhere else.  I’ve searched everywhere.  If you love the island flair, you can start looking here.  I got mine for $16.

The Joys are back Jeans in capri by Fervour I got on ModCloth.  They looked odd on me so I cut them.  They look more flattering on me like this and are super comfortable.  Unfortunately, they’re sold out on the ModCloth website.  You can check out other Fervour items here.

This outfit is perfect for hot summer days or every single day if you live on an island!

Snack Attack

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This dress screams fun!  The brand is Folter.  They recently changed their name to Retrolicious.  I got this dress on ModCloth for around $70 and it was worn by AnnaSophia Robb on The Carrie Diaries!  The belt does not come with the dress but at least it has pockets, right?  Dresses with pockets are the best.

The ice cream wristlet is by Betsey Johnson and it comes in several colors.  Blue, like mine, pink and glitter fuschia.  I got mine on eBay for $60 (I think).  I thought it was going to be much smaller and was totally surprised when I got it.  I wish it came with a long strap because I’d rather not have my purse dangling off my wrist, but I guess I can make one.

Now for the shoes.  These were a DIY project.  After checking out several shoe stores looking for the perfect flats to paint, I got these at Payless for $20 and the brand is Lower East Side.  They were a darker brown when I got them.  I got inspired by Shoe Bakery.  Knowing I couldn’t afford a pair of their delicious shoes, I decided to try and make my very own.  It took me two days to make these and I’m completely happy with how they turned out!  Shoes + materials: around $35.

Berry Fruity

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away!  Let’s start off with my favorite purse.  I was lucky enough to get the very last Pomme Sweet Home bag on ModCloth.  I remember asking myself if I would ever use this purse.  It wasn’t until I realized there was only one left that I swore I’d use it at least twice a month.  It’s perfect for a tiny little picnic or for a dose of cuteness.  It’s pretty big on the inside and it comes with a long strap.  The brand is Ollie & Nic and I got it for $65.  Please be aware that Ollie & Nic sell the cutest purses.  Click at your own risk.

I got the Strawberry Fields dress… where else?  On the ModCloth website, of course!  The brand is Bea & Dot, a ModCloth brand.  I got this $100 dress for $30!  The quality is very nice and the fabric is thick.  A bit too thick to wear in Puerto Rico, but hey, cooler months are coming and I’ll surely wear this around.

Calling Dotty

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Minnie Mouse, anyone?  This Hell Bunny polka dot skirt was my first ModCloth purchase almost three years ago.  It’s way too big on me now, but I’ll never let it go!  It has comfty pockets and it came with a detachable bow.  I now hold it up with my Pin Up Girl Clothing belt.

The retro crop top was a Go Jane purchase.  I don’t think they’re selling them anymore but a decent crop top shouldn’t be too hard to find.

The phone purse is by Betsey Johnson and it’s the bag that started my novelty purse collection.  You can plug your phone and actually talk through the handset (is that how it’s called?).  I got the bag on eBay for $80 and it went to Paris with me.

The saddle shoes?  Another DIY!  I got $5 sneakers at Walmart and some black acrylic paint.  Sneakers + materials: $12.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these outfits I like to call treasures and that you found a new favorite brand or designer along the way.  Keep your eyes peeled for these posts or follow me on Instagram for more #ootds!

Ever wonder what a vintage-loving gal trying to be gangsta’ looks like?

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You’re welcome.

Q & A with Cat Carney!

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I was looking through ModCloth’s vintage collection, Jingle Belles, when I first saw the lovely Cat Carney.  Something about the hat she was wearing caught my eye and then I actually looked at her.  I almost thought out loud Jeez!  This girl is so pretty!  After much googleing and reading, I found her Instagram account.  I now get a frequent dose of cuteness thanks to her.  This sweet girl agreed to do an interview via e-mail.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t interview her face to face, but I sure hope I get to do it in the near future.

How and when did you start modeling?  How old are you?  You look so young!

My modeling adventure kicked off in the summer of 2011. With my sister as chief photographer, I had, at fourteen, my first real photo shoot in my backyard. After careful review, I sent the snaps along to Pittsburgh/Cleveland agency The Talent Group, who successively called me in for an Open Call and offered an exclusive contract. I was first invited to meet with NYC agencies that winter. The trip was very successful, but I vowed to remain in school instead of working overseas like the agencies suggested. Scouted at 17 by Real Model Scout, I am now signed with the fabulous APM Models New York!

Who are your style icons and why?

Jean Shrimpton, one of the world’s first supermodels, and Taylor Swift are, in my opinion, the personifications of the true feminine style. The delicate shift dresses and chic berets that were so often seen on ‘60’s model Shrimpton now make appearances in my own wardrobe. Combine these pieces with the effortlessly sophisticated looks of T-Swift (flowered frocks, fabulous hats, and the elegant handbag), and my ladylike style is complete! I admire these two ladies for embracing girly fashion, yet adding their own unique twists.

If you could live in any decade, which would you choose and why?

Sometimes, I daydream of experiencing a day in the 1920’s. Perhaps this is because I just finished reading The Great Gatsby, but, nevertheless, the turbulent lifestyle of the 20’s is one I would be curious to take part in. The manner of dress was simply irresistible, what with the intricate detailing of ladies’ gowns and dignified structure of men’s snazzy suits. New York City in the 20’s was nothing short of dramatic, and a day in the Big Apple during this time would have been unforgettable. If I were to need a getaway from the frenetic hustle and bustle in 1920’s America, a lazy vacation in Paris would have done the trick.

What’s your signature style?

As previously mentioned, feminine fashions are dominant in my wardrobe. On a casual weekend out, you may see me donning a fitted patterned or floral frock, paired with oxford-heeled shoes or Mary Jane flats. That being said, I also feel quite stylin’ in my model fashions: dark skinny jeans, fitted t-shirt or black turtleneck, leather jacket, and booties.

What was the best part of modeling for ModCloth?

My year spent with ModCloth helped sculpt me into the model and young woman I am today. It’s difficult to classify one certain tenet of the Mod experience as my favorite, as each shoot, outfit, team member, and model has handed me unforgettable memories. However, I must say that the vintage shoots (ex: the holiday Jingle ‘Belles’ vintage collection) were always a highlight. Showcasing one-of-a-kind retro pieces through larger-than-than hair and makeup, sets, and styling was incredibly valuable as a model and vintage-lover.

If you could change anything about the Fashion Industry, what would it be?

I think all body-shaming, specifically on social media, needs to simply stop. Whether a model be ram-rod straight or plus size, he/she is incredibly unique and beautiful; each and every body shape should be shown in a positive light. As a caveat to that statement, I also believe that all models have a responsibility to their bodies to be healthy.

Have you ever had any negative experiences as a model?

Thankfully, all of my experiences in my career, thus far, have been positive. This past year, when making final NYC contract decisions, I made sure to sign with the agency that I knew was the perfect fit for me. With the guidance of APM, my scout, and my family, I know my career will continue to be one that is not only incredibly exciting, but also safe.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a model?

Each and every moment I spent in NYC this past summer was incredibly rewarding. The bookings and shoots I have taken part in for three years have been leading up to work in the nation’s fashion capital, and I am awaiting my NYC move next summer!

How do you get through a bad day?

I’ve noticed that a great workout can very much lift low spirits. A brisk walk outside is calming for me, as I’ve always felt at peace while one with nature.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my free time, I have been meticulously studying NYC and subway maps (HopStop is truly fabulous), and checking out NYC apartment profiles. Curling up with an enchanting read is always enjoyable!

Coffee or tea?

Does an occasional glass of Diet Coke count?

What does a day in your shoes look like?

When I’m not on set, I usually awaken at about 5:30 A.M., have a healthy breakfast (go oatmeal!), work diligently on my classes and schoolwork for the majority of the day, exercise for one hour, and relax in the evenings with some YouTubing or watching of House Hunters! Days spent on-set are fast-paced, with early call times, hour-long shoots, and a casting or two. Weekends are vital for me, as I utilize them to catch up on any missed schoolwork and/or spend quality time with my family.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In ten years from now, I envision myself living in a large metropolis, such as New York City, Paris, or Dublin, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications under my belt. My career goal, besides modeling, is to write/edit for a fashion magazine or work as a public relations specialist. I also dream of making a purchase of a rose pink moped, the perfect mobile vehicle to scoot around busy city streets!

How do you stay confident?

I believe that the truest way to stay confident is to surround yourself with positive people, maintain positivity in your own life, and make time for your family and close friends. Not only does my family ground me, but they also cement my confidence as a model and young woman.

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What is your definition of a strong, classy woman?

A genuine, kind, determined, resolute, and hardworking woman is one who exudes class, in my opinion. A woman who is acutely aware of what she wants and will not stop working until she is living her dream life, pushing through all obstacles, is the epitome of strength.

Want more Cat Carney?  You can follow Cat on Instagram here or click here to check out her Pinterest board!

Giveaway!

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Not so long ago, I posted this picture on Facebook.  Only one person entered.  I decided to give you guys more time to think whether or not you want this great headband!  Of course you do!  It’s perfect for those rockabilly gals and pinup girls.  It’s reversible, so it’s like having two headbands for the price of one!  Haha.  

 

It’s easy to enter, just follow the instructions in the picture and click on it.  International participants are welcome!  I will ship anywhere in the world– Even Atlantis!  I know how much it sucks wanting something and not entering because the item won’t be shipped to your country.   Good luck!

 

Also, be sure to check out Sabbie’s!  They have cute stuff!  http://www.sabbiespursesandmore.com

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Retro, Vintage & TV Shows!

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Today I had an epiphany!  Where’s my imaginary lightbulb?  Just when I was wondering why I’m obsessed with shows most of my peers consider crappy, I realized they all style at least one character in a retro-esque or vintage-y way.  Before I start defending The Carrie Diaries and Glee, I must explain the difference between vintage and retro.  No, they’re not the same, boys.

So what exactly is vintage?

A vintage item is one that was made at least 20 years ago.  It should fully represent and speak of the era in which it was made.

Your mom wants you to wear her late 1980s wedding dress with the big, poufy sleeves?  Congrats!  Not only are you getting married, but you have the opportunity of showing off a vintage garment—if you’re not intimidated by the cotton candy on your shoulders, that is.

A place to get great vintage dresses is Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique on Etsy.  Check out thrift shops as well!

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1950’s dress, Xtabay Vintage

Can I get a holey moly?

What about retro?

A retro piece is a modern item that revives a style from the past when accessorized correctly.  An example of a retro item would be a neon green (first day with a cold, booger color) swing dress.  Neon green, of course, wasn’t “in” when swing dresses were, making it retro, not vintage.

Warning:  Retro can turn costume-y or look outdated when it’s not accessorized referencing the era you and your piece are trying to revive.

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 Tile and Tile Again Dress, Modcloth

Now that you know the difference between these two, I can now start talking about my favorite shows. 

Glee, other than being awesome, mainly focuses on Rachel Berry, who is probably the most annoying character.  If you’ve watched the show since the first season, you may have noticed that her style has changed—extremely.

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They used to dress her in a preppy, yet retro way referencing the 1950s-60s and sometimes the Mod era.  They rarely do so now that she’s in college.

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Her style consists of sweaters and A-line skirts, mostly in a pastel palette.  It’s perfect for teachers looking for vintage-inspired outfits that are also comfortable.  Forever 21 sells many A-line skirts and button down cardigans for those girls on a budget, like me.  If you have some extra bucks, aim for New Girl’s Jessica Day.  As a matter of fact, you can be inspired by Zooey Deschanel’s everyday outfits.  She screams Modcloth!  Most of her pieces can be found there.

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                      Jessica Day, New Girl                                         Zooey Deschanel, true life

If you’re going for a fun, bright look, focus on Tina, who is now dressed in a very Mod way.  Lots of go go boots, short skirts, bright colors and geometric patterns.  It’s pretty odd because she used to be the goth one of the group.  Maybe her style changed because she’s wanting to get those Rachel Berry solos?

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Great for partying or tone it down a little to go shopping!

Want to look “muted” sexy?  Just look at Miss Pillsbury (hopefully soon-to-be Mrs. Shue) for inspiration.  She’s always covered up but is often dressed and / or accessorized to make her assets get attention.  She’s sometimes seen with a bulky necklace or with a shirt that has an elaborate collar, making her chest the focal point or with a pencil skirt, drawing attention to her curves.

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Her style is absolutely perfect for a first date.  When having dinner, your date’s eyes will be on your face, but most definitely be on another body part when you walk away to powder your nose.  Tone it down a bit and wear something like this for a job interview.  Want her look?  Modcloth is the place to go.  You can also check eBay!

Love the 1980s?  Congrats, VH1 might contact you pretty soon.  It’s time for a remake of those “I Love…”  marathons.   After answering VH1’s call, you might want to check out The Carrie Diaries.  For those living under a rock, it’s a prequel to Sex and The City.  Viewers get to see young Carrie Bradshaw transitioning from high school student to fashion oriented woman.

If you want to dress with an 80s feel, go for bold prints, bright colors and tutu-like skirts.  Don’t be afraid to mix certain prints.

Carrie’s look is a bit expensive.  She’s sometimes dressed in actual vintage dresses.  When she’s not, they almost always dress her in Modcloth, J. Crew and Nordstrom, but some of her looks can be emulated with Forever 21.  Again, be sure to check eBay.  You never know what you might find.

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Too “in your face” for you?  Want to go darker?  Dorrit Bradshaw might be sporting the look you want—at least in the first half of the season.

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A pretty helpful website for gals inspired by the fashion seen on TV is Worn on TV (wornontv.net).  I found it hunting down a matryoshka print dress worn by Zooey as Jess in New Girl.  Sadly, it’s almost $300, since it’s an Eva Franco.  Early xmas present, anyone?  Please?

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Go ahead, have fun creating new outfits with pieces you already have in your closet and make a list of things you want to add to your collection… But please, put away the Giza Pyramids when you’re done.

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