Design (Your Own) Perfection: Lingerie by Impish Lee

*Products reviewed in this post were provided by Impish Lee for my review. All opinions are my own.

Social media is an incredible tool. With just a touch of a button, the entire world is at your fingertips! Whether you’re keeping your musings under 150 characters, or double tapping to show your love, social media is a fantastic way to discover what’s what in the world, all from the comfort of your own home. And while Instagram or Facebook are in no way a replacement for actual going and doing, it is a lovely peek into things you otherwise may have not discovered!

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how it all began.

There I was, sick as a dog and pinned to my pillows on a Tuesday afternoon. I had taken the day off, after begrudgingly admitting to myself that I needed the R&R, and was aimlessly scrolling through Instagram–barely registering the pictures I was skimming past.

“Very cute 😉 ”

As someone who uses Instagram for promotion of both my blog and business, I make a point to check out each and every person who likes or comments on one of my photos. This helps me to A) Cull out and block the creeps and B)Keep up on what’s what and who’s who amongst my followers! (Guys, seriously, thank you for following. You’re all amazing!)

My commenter at this moment went by the handle @ImpishLee, and one click onto their profile sent me twirling down the proverbial rabbit hole and into a wonderland of beautiful, handmade, fully customizable underwear! Feeling bold (and probably riding a NyQuil high),  I penned an email and sent it off. It was pretty straightforward: “I LOVE YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING.”

If there is anything I love in the world, it’s uniqueness. Creativity. Spark. And right from the start, Impish Lee positively oozes all of that and more. You see, Impish Lee is the brainchild of sisters/Super-duo Kali and Noelle. The road the Impish Lee of today has had many a twist and turn, beginning humbly (yet beautifully) on Etsy, pitstopping in wholesale for just a moment, before taking a rest stop, revamping, and becoming what it is now: designed by you, fully customizable, and completely luxurious.

I’m a self-described lingerie addict, and while I adore luxury items, my budget doesn’t always allow for spontaneous purchase! I completely believe that each and every woman deserves to treat themselves. (Even if it requires a little extra planning!) Sometimes, the prices of high end lingerie can give women pause, but it’s important to remember that when you shop from a small business, you aren’t lining the pockets from some CEO at a lingerie conglomerate–you’re supporting a person just like you and I, who’s trying to do something extraordinary!  I was already rearranging my budget and tucking pennies into my savings account when Kali responded to my email. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and responded to me with an offer to not only feature the brand, but use the design tool for myself to create a set for review.  “Over the moon” doesn’t even begin to cover it!

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The idea behind Impish Lee is simple: you, as the consumer, take the reins. Noelle and Kali provide the patterns; 30 different variations of bras, bralettes, panties and loungewear. They source the fabric: beautiful laces, vibrant meshes, lush velvets and limited edition wildcards. And you? Pick your poison! Keep in mind that as each piece is made-to-order, there is a 2-3 week turnaround on your orders. And as a company that truly embodies “Waste Not, Want Not”, they even sell off their pre-made return/exchange items and donate the proceeds to charity!

The Customizer tool puts you entirely in control of what you’re making! From the color of your model’s skin to the finishing touches on your set (or robe, or negligee, or bodysuit or…), you as the consumer are capable of bringing your dreams into reality. As I lay there in my sore-throated stupor, I mixed and matched until I came out with something that set my heart aflutter.

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The tool’s interface was user friendly, and quite fun! There is something wonderful in knowing you are creating something completely unique to your own tastes. Because of the vast array of fabrics and colors, the design possibilities are almost endless. After a few hours plugging away at the design tool, I placed my order and the wait began. Two weeks later, my set arrived at my door…

And the results

are

breathtaking

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Longline Classic Bra: $148.00  High Waist Panty: $78.00

One of the major things that left me squealing for joy over Impish Lee was their size range. Their loungewear and bottoms come in sizes 0-24, and both wired bras and bralettes are offered in sizes 28A-40J. Even when keeping in mind that US sizes–as Impish Lee employs–and UK sizes are different, (the US does not utilize multi-letter cups past a DD/DDD. UK sizing runs A,B,C,D,DD,E,F,FF and so on.) the range is impressive. The fact that a small business even acknowledges the existence of sub-32 bands is incredible enough on it’s own. Add the fact that they recognize that their plus-sized customers deserve the same beautiful luxury items as their slimmer counterparts, and it becomes downright astounding.

To make figuring out your size a bit easier, Impish Lee has an on-site calculator. Their clear-cut guides make it easy for you to whip out that tape measure, plug in your results, and choose the size best suited for your body.

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According to Impish Lee’s calculator, I fell somewhere between a US 34F and 34G. As someone who takes a UK 32G/34FF, I opted for the 34G–the relative equivalent to my UK size. When my set arrived, I was not disappointed in my choice!

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I’ll admit, I am not usually one for an unlined bra. I wear my Freya Deco bras almost religiously, and I love a bra that will push my otherwise shallow, wide-set breast tissue “up and in”. Even as a lingerie veteran of sorts, I still yearn for that pushed-up cleavage look and tend to reach for bras that give me that result. I hesitated in placing my order, unsure if I would feel confident in a bra that didn’t have those proverbial “safety nets” in place. And oh, how wrong I was!

From first try on, I was very pleased with the fit and construction of this longline bra! I felt that the fit was spot on, the band snug and comfortable without squeezing, and the center gore tacked to my sternum without digging in. As they say, no news is good news: and I’m happy to report I experienced no spillage or “quad-boob” while wearing this beauty! The straps of the bra are not only fully adjustable (so important for us smaller-shouldered ladies!), but also convertible! It was a lovely surprise to find that the straps could not only be worn standard, but also criss-crossed in the back. The band features two rows of seven hooks-and-eyes, and was one of the very few longline bras that do not roll up on my ribcage! (Here’s lookin’ at you, ribcage flare.) As far as sizing, I was spot on in my ordering of a 34G!. The bra supports beautifully, while lending itself to a lovely natural shape.

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According to the Apparel and Lingerie size chart on Impish Lee’s site, my measurements put me somewhere between a size 12 and a size 14 in their panties and loungewear. I opted for a size 12, though my hips/butt are technically 1″ outside of the range, and I’m so so glad that I did! The velvet and lace used in creating these beautiful (TRULY!) high-waisted briefs is wonderfully soft and stretchy, and does not dig, pinch or itch in any way. If your measurements fall slightly beyond the size chart, I think going with the smaller of the two is a safe bet!

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Pretty lingerie isn’t the only reason I felt so strongly about Impish Lee. Because what are pretty outer-things without also being pretty on the inside? Aesthetics aside, one of the biggest draws of the brand was their moral compass. I had the opportunity to have a bit of a chat with the ladies behind the brand, and was able to dig a little deeper into who they are, why they do what they do, and what keeps them going!

Warning:Curves Ahead: You two are women to be admired! Strong female entrepreneurs with an eye for business, a heart for diversity and inclusion, and a love for lingerie. And the fact that you are sisters makes it even more special! What inspired you to go into business together as a dynamic duo?
Impish Lee: Well it just kind of happened… You know the expression “if the shoe fits”? Well, the lingerie just fit, so we went with it. About 3-4 years ago Noelle started sewing as a hobby, making some very simple lingerie pieces. These were very beautiful and ephemeral, but very crude. I say that really just to emphasis how far we’ve come and to stress how Noelle has always been the visionary and I the perfectionist. We started an Etsy shop with the images that I would shoot and we pretty did well. It was really just something we did for fun until we got a few wholesale orders from stores like Urban Outfitters. We realized after trying our hand at wholesale and mass production that it wasn’t really the direction that resonated with us, and after A LOT of research we started to plan out how to transition Impish Lee into a mass customization business model instead. It was all a very natural progression from there.
WCA:. It isn’t often that I (as a consumer) stumble upon a retailer that is getting SO much right–all at once. I mean, beautiful diversity? An incredible size range? Customizable options? Made in the USA? Check, check, check, and check! Doing it all can’t be easy, and is clearly a labor of love! What inspired you ladies to stand apart from the crowd and do so many things right–right from the start?
ILCompassion is definitely at the heart of our company. We are inherently each very thoughtful individuals, constantly brainstorming ways to heal the gaps in our society and our planet, not just the lingerie and mass production industries. We feel deeply for individuals that suffer in any way whether it’s frustration at not finding garments that fit properly which may lead to body image struggles, or whether is people, often very young people, suffering due to unethical labor practices. We wanted to build a company that does as much as possible to adhere to our values while being something we love to do as well.

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WCA: While I can imagine spending your days surrounded by lacy underthings is wonderful, it must also be hard work! What would you say your biggest challenges have been, and what keeps you motivated to keep going strong?
IL: Some of our biggest challenges since launching in November have been getting our name out there. It’s such a big world and we’re still a little fish. If I didn’t have Noelle, my sister, business partner and best friend, I probably would not have the motivation to keep going. We are an incredible duo, if I might say so myself. In areas that I am lacking she keeps me on track with staying positive and pressing on and vice versa. We’re a power couple because we bring very different skills and strengths to the table.
And one, just for fun! (Because even business owners can choose favorites!)
WCA: Do you ladies have a favorite piece/pieces from your collection? Why is it your favorite?
IL: Personally, I just love our bralettes. We size them just like our underwire bras, 28A-40J, which I think is something you don’t see very often. Bralettes are often size XS-LX, if that. I think women of all shapes and sizes should have bra options that are cute and comfy while offering the right kind of support for their unique body. Pair one of our bralettes with our highways panty and you’re set. I also really love anything cream and dusty rose these days!
And there you have it, folks! I was, and continue to be impressed by the dynamo that is Impish Lee.
Those of you who have followed me since the beginning know that I have a very strong sense of loyalty to the brands that I pitch here on the blog: meaning, I won’t pitch something if I don’t truly believe in it to it’s core! And quite frankly, what’s not to love about a small, by-women-for-women business dedicated to bringing beautiful, luxury lingerie to as many sizes and shapes as they can?!
I’ll definitely be making room in my lingerie drawer (and my budget) for more lovelies from Impish Lee!
Come on, ladies. We work hard, we play hard, and we deserve to treat ourselves once in a while. 😉

The Pursuit Of Pants

Pants.

The very bane of my existence. Shopping for pants gives me all kinds of anxiety because when you’ve got a donk and any sort of waist-to-hip ratio, you’re in for a ride on the struggle bus.

My booty in particular has seen to the demise of many a pair of pants. Whether it’s a weak seam or a stubborn zipper, you can bet that if there’s something to go wrong with a garment, my butt is bound and determined to make it happen. I have to reinforce the back-seams of every single pair of pin-up pants that I own. And my waist? Not helping! While my booty bulges the seams of even the best-fitting trousers, my waist sits there, bagging and gaping like a champ. (Thanks, waist. Thanks a lot.) I know that you ladies understand my pain!

With all that in mind, I actually surprised myself when I opted to toss a pair of pants into the basket of my most recent Collectif order. Specifically, the Sally Denim Capris:

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I am currently measuring in at 40″/30″/44″. According to Collectif’s size chart, my waist falls into a size UK12, while my butt and hips place me squarely into a size UK16.  In order to accommodate my largest measurement, I ordered the 16 and hoped for the best. Three weeks later, my new pretties arrived safe and sound from England! And?

 

Jessica Tested:

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Booty Approved!!

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Made from a thick stretch denim, the Sally Denim Capris can be worn turned up, or folded down into long pants! I was really impressed with quality of the fabric and will definitely keep me warm through these last few winter weeks! They have four (count ’em, FOUR!) pockets, and fasten with a side zipper that lays smooth against my waist. As I suspected, my 30″ waist is too small for the size 16, but my thighs and bum fit comfortably. I may take the waist in if time allows for it, but they are truly wearable as-is! Thankfully, these babies won’t require any sort of shortening, as they fall right below my ankle. (For reference, I am 5’6″ tall!)

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Collectif Clothing, you have converted me! All in all, I’m thrilled with these jeans. In my opinion, they are the best ones I have tried from the pinup-universe and suit my frame the best. It’s definitely refreshing to put on a pair of pants that fit comfortably with minimal fuss. I can’t wait to style these through the rest of these chilly weeks and into the springtime, and can absolutely see the Sally capris becoming a wardrobe staple!

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Want to snatch up a pair for yourself?! The Sally Denim Capris are on sale in select sizes in black, and available in sizes 6-22 in navy! 

My Vintage Valentine

NINE DAYS, ladies and gentlemen. Nine short, fateful days until Cupid rides into town.

 

Now I’ll admit, I typically don’t buy into the Valentine’s Day madness. My love and I opt to hang around the house instead of partaking in the pink-and-red free for all because we simply can’t be fussed with overpriced restaurants and cliches. This year, however, is different. This year has me feeling all oozy-gooey about love.

Maybe it was all the weddings. In the past year I was lucky to be apart of not one, not two, but THREE beautiful weddings. Through the madness, I was so thrilled to be apart of these special days. There’s nothing quite like that up-close-and-personal glimpse into the love of those that you hold dear. Whatever the reasons–be it the love that’s in the air or something in the water–my heart is going pitter-pat for Cupid this year! And what better way to celebrate the day than gussied up in some seasonally appropriate pretties?!

Whether it’s casual date-night, a fancy dinner, or a Valentine’s Gala, I’ve put together some of my favorite frocks with some even more sultry lingerie.

(Because the only thing better than a Valentine’s frock is the surprise underneath! 😉 )

Valentine’s Day Brunch:

Maybe you’re keeping it kind of casual this V-Day. You don’t want to spend hours primping and fussing! No! You’re a simple girl with simple desires, and you want to throw on something sweet and carefree, step into your sensible heels and bustle out the door before the brunch-rush hits. Enter the Unique Vintage  1940’s Formosa Swing Dress! There’s something about the sweet red and ivory polka-dot pattern that emanates sweetness, and the full skirt just begs for a good twirl. BUT… don’t let all that sugar fool you! Underneath it all lies sumptuous Italian lace and delicate embroidery. There’s nothing quite like the secret of rouge colored underthings to quicken your heartbeat and put just a little bit of strut in your stuff.

Love it? Need it? Have to have it? Find it here.

(Formosa Swing Dress: Avail. Sizes XS-4X from Uniquevintage.com/Vanessa Bra & Panty Avail. Sizes 32B-38DD & S-2x from Secretsinlace.com)

 

Galentine’s Day Bar Crawl:

So maybe you just don’t give an F about February 14th. Maybe you’re kind of a badass, and instead of buying into some “Hallmark Holiday”, you’re hitting the town with your girls with every intention of painting it red. What says “I am woman, hear me roar!” better than painted-on red (p)leather and a cool-chick cropped moto jacket? (Nothing. The answer is nothing.) The Deadly Dames Deadly Curves Skirt in red faux leather has got your curves covered (and animal-friendly, to boot!) on the outside. And underneath? Slip into the sultry Monique girdle from Secrets In Lace. Lingerie worn for yourself is the most important kind of lingerie, and this sexy little red-and-lace number will have you feeling fine as you make the sidewalk your catwalk!

(Deadly Curves Skirt: Avail. Sizes XS-4x from Pinupgirlclothing.com/Monique Girdle: Avail. Sizes S-3x from Secretsinlace.com)

 

The Luxe Evening Out:

Maybe your sweetie is taking you out for a grand dinner. Perhaps it’s a gala. A fundraiser. A masquerade. Perhaps you’re just getting dressed to the nines for giggles, and you need something extra fabulousOr maybe you’ve hit the lottery and it’s time to (as they say) treat yo’self. Whatever your reasonings, you’ve got money to spare and you want “luxe” oozing out of your pores. WELL.

This dress. That lingerie.

I’m having palpitations.

The Lesley-Ann dress from Pinup Girl Clothing is everything I’ve ever wanted in a dress and more. Red. Tulle. A full swing skirt. Maximum twirlabilty. I want to wear it with diamonds. I want to wear it with pearls. I want to be a god-damned princess! If I could go back to high-school right now, I’d wear this to my prom. And underneath? Deep breaths, ladies, because I’m pretty sure that the Bricolage Collection from Dottie’s Delights is what Heaven looks like. Eyelash lace? Check. Chantilly lace? Check. Black Satin? You bet.

Oh, and it’s handmade to order. 

The two paired together: delicious disparity.

(Lesley-Ann Dress: Avail. Sizes XS-4X from Pinupgirlclothing.com/Bricolage Longline: Avail. Sizes 32B-36DD and custom sizes from Dottiesdelights.com)

 

And For the Bois/Boys:

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Retro-Style Bowling Shirt from Pinup Girl Clothing

Not exactly the “dress” type?

Whether you’re a more masculine-presenting lady, a dude lost in a sea of boring dress shirts or anything in between, you’re sure to look fantastic in this Retro-Style Bowling Shirt from Pinup Girl Clothing!*** Slick back your hair, shine your shoes and coordinate with your pinned-up sweetheart for a night on the town.

(Bowling Shirt Avail. Sizes S-3x from Pinupgirlclothing.com)

No matter your style, you’re sure to find the perfect dress (or shirt!) to heat things up this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re the lady in red, you’re trying to impress one, or you are one, you’re sure to sizzle when February 14th rolls around.

 

***As always, KUDOS to PUG for their incredible inclusivity! The image featured above is from my absolute favorite Lookbook: Mrs. & Mrs. . It warms my little lesbian-pinup girl heart to see myself represented in advertising, and it’s things like this that keep me coming back! Thank you. ❤

Mix And Match Wardrobe: Round One

Tis the season, ladies. The season of sales.

“SITEWIDE SAVINGS!”

“BLACK FRIDAY STEALS AND DEALS!”

“LOWEST PRICES OF THE SEASON!”

And along with the wheeling and dealing, it is also the season of “Account Balance: Zero”. In laymen’s terms: I’m broke. Between Christmas gifting, personal responsibilities, and an upcoming destination wedding trip to Ireland (Congratulations to my beautiful photographer Sarah King, of Sarah King Photography!), there just isn’t any extra wiggle room in my budget for shopping.

However, despite my dwindling account balances, I find myself thankful. After all, I am one of the lucky ones. I have food in my belly, a roof over my head, (mostly) up-to-date bill balances, and heat to keep me warm this winter. I have a little bit of money to spend on Christmas gifts for my loved ones, I have money for extras like the occasional Starbucks, or my monthly gym membership. As I sit here, I am aware that we live in a world where so many people struggle to acquire even the simplest of necessities. I work hard, I do my part, but I also know how fortunate I am to have all the things I need–and even some of the things I want. So, instead of pouting over sales I missed out on, or pretties that I can’t afford, I launch Mix and Match Wardrobe: Round One.

I have a closet full of beautiful clothes, and in all reality, I don’t need any more. Instead of spending this season lusting over things I can’t have, I am making a conscious effort to love the things I do.

Without further ado, I give you:

Round One: Queen of Hearts Jenny Skirt

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 For styling number one, I kept it simple. Pulling the pink details from the vibrant pattern of the skirt, I paired it with the Pinup Couture Peasant Top in Baton Rouge. A simple black slide belt and cross-strap heels finished the look!

Skirt/Top/Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing

Shoes: Charlotte Russe (Similar: Amazon.)

Petticoat: Malco Modes

 

 

Style number two played around with layers and bright pops of color! Once again I tried to play up the pink tones in this skirt, this time with a vibrant pink v-neck cardigan! I layered my cardi over my Pinup Couture Doris top in white, tucked them both in and topped them off with a shiny vinyl belt. To finish it off, I slipped into my black patent flats from Bait Footwear.

Skirt/Top/Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing

Cardigan: Old Navy (Similar: Pinup Girl Clothing)

Shoes: Bait Footwear

Petticoat: Malco Modes

 

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In an effort to winterize my wardrobe, I bring you look number three! Pulling the gorgeous greens from the bright pattern of the skirt, I cozied up in a this dark teal sweater from H&M. It has glitter thread woven throughout, giving it a distinct holiday feel. Jersey knit high-waisted leggings, warm socks, and flat boots from Steve Madden helped me battle the declining East Coast temps while still sitting pretty in my favorite skirt!

Skirt/Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing

Top: H&M

Leggings: American Apparel

Boots: Steve Madden (Similar: Nordstrom)

Petticoat: Malco Modes

 

Just one round into wardrobe mix-and-match, I’m already blown away by how versatile the clothes I already have are. I am most definitely an impulsive and emotional shopper: “new is always better!”. But efforts to become more financially responsible means a spending freeze. As I rifle through my wardrobe in an effort to put together new and creative combinations, it made me realize how much I can do with the pretties that are already mine. This definitely eases the sting of missing out on Black Friday sales, and leaves me feeling contented!

Feeling up to the challenge? I want to see your skills! Use the hashtag #PUGMixAndMatch on Instagram and show off your stuff! Need inspiration before you begin? The beautiful Miss Victory Violet has done a 10 Items Collection that you don’t want to miss!

Dive In! With Kiss Me Deadly

Anyone who has been following me at the blog knows that I am a HUGE fan of Kiss Me Deadly. A tiny, independent lable out of the UK, Kiss Me Deadly specializes in gorgeous retro-inspired lingerie and swimwear for those of us that are a little more Bettie Page verses Betty Grable. I have purchased and reviewed several of their pieces, all which have received glowing marks. 

Again

And again

That’s right, ladies and germs. My first KMD review went live back in 2013. Since then, my body has changed, but my love for the brand has stayed the same. 

I can’t stress enough how much it matters to me that I support independent labels. Knowing the people my clothes come from, seeing their wit, reading responses to social media straight from the owner’s mouth–that is all viciously important. Knowing my money isn’t supporting sweatshop labor, but instead is making sure that beautiful items that are ethically produced keep coming? Bingo. 

So here I am, gentle readers, waving the “Support” flag for Kiss Me Deadly’s latest venture in business: 

Crowd-funded Swimwear. 

First, the eye-candy. 

  
And this:

  
And THIS:

  
(A playsuit, guys. With FLAMINGOS. )

And my favorite? 

THIS:

  

Now that your heart is all aflutter, here’s the deal. 

KMD usually raises their money the old fashioned way: through selling in stores. This year, they’ve decided to try a different approach, and have launched a Kickstarter campaign! All the designs in the collection are based off of true vintage styles, as detailed in this post on the Kiss Me Deadly blog! 

If you’re as fervently supportive as I am, yet perhaps a little light-of-funds (like this blogger. YIKES, moving is expensive!), you can donate as little as £1, to the most gracious of “Thank You’s”. (The folks over at KMD are ever so grateful.) 

Have a little more to spare? Or perhaps you’re jiving for a new swimmie? Donations of £69 and above land you the pick of the litter–one of the fabulous offerings in your choice of size. If you’ve just struck oil, or perhaps came into some inheritance, £250 lands you with ALL FOUR designs, be still my beating heart.
Have I caught your attention? There are bits and bobs in between, as well as the potential for your very own Shark in A Swimsuit sketch. (It’s as fabulously hilarious as it sounds.)

Kiss Me Deadly has also put some Stretch Goals into place, the highest of which brings us the potential for THIS breathtaking piece:

  
If you find yourself intrigued and willing to help a fantastically deserving brand, I recommend checking out their Kickstarter page for more details! I can count on one hand the number of brands I know that cater to their customers the way KMD does, which is just one of the many reasons why I’m happy to support their dream. 
…Plus, I mean, did you SEE that leopard print bikini!? 

How Darling!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I’m not much of an “accessorizer”.

Sure, I’ll throw some flowers in my hair, or the occasional pearl something or other on my neck/wrist/etc, but for the most part I’m a simple chick. Reason being, I simply prefer spending money on pretties of the clothing persuasion. Whatever my feelings on accessories, I don’t let that stop me from browsing!

I’ve been following Oh Darling Jewelry on Instagram for quite some time. I’ve always enjoyed their wares–subtle and beautiful pop culture and Disney-inspired necklaces, bracelets and keychains. I love the idea of being able to sport something childhood related without looking childish! Timber (the creative mind and driving force behind Oh Darling) puts together pieces that are both fun and sophisticated.

Recently, Oh Darling Jewelry had an Instagram flash sale. A number of her pieces were discounted, and shipping was included in the price! On a whim, I bit the bullet and ordered two pieces that caught my eye. An Alice in Wonderland inspired bangle, and a Mary Poppins inspired bangle.

OBSESSED.

SERIOUSLY, GUYS. OBSESSED. This gets the Nanny Stamp Of Approval.

If I were asked to name my top three favorite Disney movies of all time, Alice and Mary are, respectively, numbers one and two. (Followed shortly by Beauty and The Beast, of course!) Also, my recent shopping binge landed me with two new gorgeous (and appropriately coordinating) Jenny skirts from Pinup Girl Clothing.

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Queen of Hearts and Umbrella Print Jenny Skirts by Pinup Girl Clothing

Between Stephanie Buscema’s beautiful re-imagination of Alice’s journey through Wonderland, and the beautiful Umbrella print directly from the estate of the fabulous Mary Blair, it was like a match made in heaven.

The bangles are fully adjustable, and beautifully made. Forever the Queen of losing things, I double checked the fastenings for the charms, and they are steadfast! They are handmade, and if it tickles your fancy–customizable! In all, I am over the moon about my new purchase–not a lick of buyer’s remorse here! In fact, now that I’ve opened the floodgates, I can’t stop myself from drooling over some of the other offerings.

Here are a few of my favorites:

And did you think I’d forgotten Beauty?!

I can not stress enough how happy I am with my purchase from Oh Darling Jewelry.  It was a fabulous start to my accessory-shopping journey, and I will definitely be adding more pieces to my budding collection!

Bella Italia

Sometimes, ladies, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, a friend, a pair of shoes–sometimes you just don’t see something for what it truly is until it slips from your fingertips. 

In my case, that holy grail item–that Unicorn, if you will–was the Italian Landscape Print Jenny skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing. 

When it first hit the site months ago, I was underwhelmed. I’d never given Jenny a second glance, thinking that it wouldn’t work for me. 

“Long torso!”

“Wide hips!”

“Too bulky!”

You name it, I had the excuse. It wasn’t until long after the Italian Landscape print skirt had gone out of stock that I spotted a picture of some lovely PUG fan in the exact item. Her styling choices were magnificent, she looked fantastic, and from that moment, I was a goner. I. Had. To. Have. It. 

If you’re as much of a PUG fan as I, you are familiar with the PUG Swap/Sell Community on Facebook. It is a place where shoppers from all over the world can list their gently used or sometimes brand new items for sale or swap. Maybe your tastes changed and you want a wardrobe revamp! Maybe your size changed and you want to trade up or down! Maybe you’re moving and need to cull your clothing. No matter your reason, list away!

It was there, in the Looking For section, that I found my unicorn. (My unicorn actually found me. Shout out to that seller, you’re a doll!)

And ladies…. The wait was worth it.  

 

The color popped, the print is divine, and from the moment I zipped her onto my body, I finally understood what the hype was about. 

For those of you unfamiliar with my blog, I measure in at around 40″/29.5-30″/44″ at the moment, which puts me (fairly) consistently into a non-stretch size L in most PUG garments. (That being said, always see the size charts on every item you order, or read customer reviews! They are so helpful.)

As stated in the reviews for this particular colorway, the fabric is sturdy, and does not provide stretch. My skirt was purchased BNWT and was from one of the earlier runs of the design, meaning that while I could zip it: it ran small. (The actual waist measurement is 29″ flat to the size chart’s 30″-31″)

 While I can not speak for the newly restocked (!!!) version of this item, I recommend paying close attention to the size chart and reaching out to PUG and even other PUG fans for help! (We’re a friendly, helpful bunch!)

  
Logistics aside, it is plain to see that this skirt is just lush. Yards of fabric and a gathered waist mean that while a petticoat is a fun addition, it is not necessaril required to achieve that full skirted (and tiny waisted!) look! The color positively pops, and the design lends itself to a few different color pairing options. (With my ultimate fave being the Zebra Vamp top/Italian landscape skirt combo.)

  

Reds, whites, blacks, blue. Long sleeves or short, cardigan or bare arms, I think the pairing options alone speak for the versatility of this item. Not to mention the dress up/dress down aspect–heels and lipstick for a night out, flats and dummies for a daytime stroll! I may be biased (this was, after all, one of my unicorns…), but I truly feel that this is yet another offering from PUG that is worth it’s weight in gold!

  
Have I convinced you? If you’ve fallen as truly-madly-deeply as I had, run! don’t walk, over to Pinup Girl Clothing to snag a Jenny of your very own. Retailing at $98.00 and available in sizes XS to 4X, this beauty isn’t guaranteed to hang around long.

  
As always, a great big shout out to the lovely and talented Sarah King Photography for creating consistently beautiful images! Anyone in the tri state area looking for a fabulous photographer, I highly recommend. 

Take Me Downtown (Dames)

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been reduced to tears over something as simple as a dress. (One. It has happened one time.)

You see, when Pinup Girl Clothing had their sitewide 20% off sale a few months ago I was pinching my pennies, unsure as to whether or not I wanted to finally take the plunge on my long-beloved Downtown Dames dress in pink and white polkadots. True, I had been waiting months for it’s redesign to be restocked. True, I was desperately in love with everything from it’s wing bust to it’s polka-dotted pastel color palate. But did I really need it? I hemmed and I hawwed, and at the very last moment, I decided yes. And you know what happened when I went to place my order?

SOLD OUT.

I sniffled and I wiped sad tears from my soggy face, as my girlfriend gathered me into a slightly-amused-at-my-dramatics hug and assured me that everything would be okay. Of course everything was okay, but you can rest assured that the very MINUTE it was restocked in my size, I placed my order. without hesitation. (Lesson learned.) And guys.

GUYS. It was worth every penny.

Available in sizes XS to 2XL, the Downtown Dames dress by Deadly Dames retails for $148.00

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As with pretty much every single one of my Deadly Dames dresses, the Downtown Dames dress is excellently constructed. The bodice of the dress is fully lined and boned, and the straps are adjustable. The bustline features a contrasting white wing detailing. While the bottom of the dress is not lined, I don’t feel that this compromises the fit or look of the dress at all. The straps are fully adjustable, and, paired with the strong boning of the bodice, allow this dress to (potentially) be worn sans-bra!

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According to the Pinup Girl Clothing size chart for this dress, a large is best fit to 39-40″ bust/30-31″ waist/40-41″ hips. At 40″/30″/44″, my hips were well outside the recommended size chart measurements,  but I took the risk.  (For the most part, I hate having my clothes altered. I want it now and I don’t like to wait!) I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome! While my hips were definitely being squeezed at first, I found that once the dress was on, I was able to move about easily. The fabric, though not particularly stretchy, did a great job of forming to my body. Hell, it was so comfy, I even climbed up in a tree.DSC_9498editnameJust for fun, ya know? We drew the attention of a passing photographer, Q Stern Photography, who snapped a few images and was kind enough to send them my way!

Photo by Q Stern Photography

Photo by Q Stern Photography

The lovely Tulip Noire of The Lingerie Addict fame lives in my city, and joined in on the fun! (What’s better than one pin-up in a tree? Two.)

DSC_9505editnameOnce again, I find myself impressed by the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into PUG’s offerings. This piece very quickly became a favorite, and has been worn several times since it arrived on my doorstep. During our galavanting and photographing around the city, it garnered many a spoken compliment and even more appraising glances. The Downtown Dames dress is a head-turner, there’s no doubt about that! I highly recommend this as a “must have”.

Have you been on the fence about this dress? Go for it! I promise you, you will not regret it.

As always, all photography was shot by my lovely and talented best friend Sarah King of Sarah King Photography! Sarah is available for tri-state area bookings, and can be reached by email at sarahrkingphotography@yahoo.com.

A Fine Folly (Review of the Folly Flair by Deadly Dames Clothing)

Fear not, readers. I am still alive, well, and fully functioning! I realize it’s been quite some time (bad, bad Jessica!), but as life has finally settled into a lovely routine, I’m back. And I’m back in a big way!

You see, recently I had a birthday. 23 was a big year for me–I ended a relationship, found new love, moved my whole life to a new city, and landed an amazing new job. It was a year filled with heartbreak and new beginnings, sadness, love, lust, and transition, and while it ended wonderfully, I’m very happy to bid it adieu. With all of those changes, it makes sense that I wanted to welcome year 24 with a bang. It will come as no surprise that when I found out that our one of our local LGBT bars would play host to a masquerade party on January 17th, that I was over the moon. I set to planning a prize-winning outfit almost immediately. Naturally, I turned to my favorite online retailer: Pinup Girl Clothing.

Enter, the Folly Flair by Deadly Dames.

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Be the center of attention walking into any room in the Folly Flair! Inspired directly from highly sought after 1950s mermaid dresses, the Folly Flair Dress offers up all the delicious details of classic vintage gowns but with modern comfort and wearability. Made of stretch cotton sateen, the dress is fully lined in a soft and silky stretch charmeuse and the bust line is fused for hidden support and structure. The hemline features eight layers of tulle to give you that perfect poof at the mermaid ruffle. The entire body features an overlay of stretch lace that is soft and comfortable to the touch. Finished off with a removable black velvet belt and a back zip.

Designed by the wonderful and talented Micheline Pitt, the Folly Flair dress is part of the Deadly Dames line. These garments are known for their fantastic quality, attention to detail, and incredible fit. This beauty was priced at $200.00 and my expectations for this dress were set high. I was not disappointed.

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Dress: Folly Flair by Deadly Dames RRP $200.00
Photography: Sarah King Photography

HOLY. WOW.

Readers, I wish I could offer you a more intellectual first impression of this piece of clothing. I’m afraid that it’s damn near impossible because LOOK AT IT.

Stretch cotton sateen. Lace overlay. A MERMAID SKIRT. And it comes in red.

ticks. all. the. boxes.

The day that this beauty arrived at my door, I received a text from my former housemate/best friend that stated something along the lines of “You better thank your lucky stars that I love you, I answered the door naked to sign for this package and communicated with the FedEx man through a 2″ sliver of an opening”. Dear friend, you have no idea how thankful I am, not only for that instance. I picked my parcel up immediately (risking a late start at my job), and wiggled myself into my purchase almost immediately upon arrival at work.

Readers, I was blown away.

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For reference, I measure 40″/30″/44″ and I purchased this beauty in a large, despite my hip measurement being two inches outside of PUG’s suggested 42″ measurement. While I definitely felt a bit squeezed in the rear-region, I could not have sized up in this without requiring significant tailoring. The bust and waist fit perfectly–as per the size chart. I measure in at 5’6″ tall, and the bottom of the mermaid skirt hit me just below the mid-calf line.

The dress is fully lined in red stretch satin, and expertly designed to hug every single curve of your body. I found that while it was snug, it was one of those dresses that “molds” to my curves, and was far easier to shimmy around in after a few try-ons.  Even the slightly-snug hips and fitted mermaid cut were amenable after “breaking in” dress. But how did it hold up after an evening of dinner (yum!), drinks and dancing?

Laura is super cool. ;)

Laura is super cool. 😉

A few glasses of champagne, and I kicked off my heels and got grooving. The party was popping, the drinks were flowing, and I was surrounded by people that I love! Midnight came, and the winner of the “Best Dressed” award was announced.

Me!

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Naturally, this was the face that won me the award. 😉

 

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday, and I definitely couldn’t have asked for a better dress.

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Like what you see? Head on over to Pinup Girl Clothing to snag your very own Folly Flair!

 

Photography by the incredibly-talented and lovely Sarah of Sarah King Photography

 

 

Another Dose of Deadly: Kiss Me Deadly Review

Suffice to say, I’m addicted to Kiss Me Deadly.

Besides the fact that I’ve always had a soft-spot in my blogger heart for smaller independent brands, I also have mucho respect for anybody–person, business, or otherwise–that does their own thing.  And if any of you are even remotely familiar with the Kiss Me Deadly brand, you know that they do the hell out of their own thing!

With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that when my birthday (and subsequent birthday monies) rolled around last January, I leaped at the chance to give some of my lusted-after garments a try.

Enter the Pink Alouette six-strap waist cincher and brief:

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Pink Alouette Cincher and Pin-up Brief by Kiss Me Deadly

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

If you pair blush pink satin with a sultry lace overlay, I’m already hooked. But put these two characteristics into a piece of lingerie that not only cinches in my waist,  but offers six detachable suspender clips to hold up my stockings? Love. Love, in it’s truest form. It meets in the back with a hook-and-eye closure, which requires a bit of patience to close up, but once on, you may never want to take it off!

Back in January when I purchased these items, I was a bit larger then my current stats, so what was a perfect fit on my 33″ waist back then is a bit loose on my now 29″-30″ waist. For reference, I own a size Large in this piece, which is still wearable at my current size. However, it does not necessarily offer any compression or shaping that I suspect it would in the size smaller that I now need!

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The sexy-sweet briefs showcase the same lace print as the cincher, and feature sheer mesh at the sides and back. A sweet little bow finishes off the keyhole. I ordered these briefs in a size XL way back when, and I am happy to say that because baby got back, they still fit my newly reshaped derriere! I measure 44″ at the hip–most of which is rear–and I find these to run a tiny bit small. I was happy with my size choice, as the waistband does not cut into my hips.

The only issue that I have come across with these pieces is that the suspender clips require a bit of gentle coaxing to stay in place. The first few times I fastened them they slipped from their positioning and left my stocking falling south. Once I’ve convinced them that they’re to hold tight to my stockings, I fell in love all over again…

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…and I mean, come on. How could you not?

(As I am sized out of Kiss Me Deadly’s bra offerings, I happily paired this set with my trusty Freya Deco in black. It’s not a perfectly cookie-cutter match, but I’m not complaining. And I daresay I don’t think my girlfriend will, either. 😉 )

Because I have a serious shopping habit healthy appetite for lingerie, I also popped a Lydia suspender belt into my cart at the time of my order. As Lydia is a discontinued set, I got it for a song. And you can imagine that many moons later when I scooped up my first Avocado lingerie set and I realized that the two different brands were actually a perfect match…well..

It would have been a crime to not pair them up and take some snaps.

DSC_3322editLydia is another one that had my heart a-fluttering. Gorgeous teal (Teal? Turquoise? whatever the color, it’s lovely.) satin with a black lace overlay, six suspender clips and a wide top to hide a multitude of sins? Bow details around every corner? And it closes easily in the back with three sets of three hooks-and-eyes. How did they know!

Kiss Me Deadly, are you sneaking into my dreams at night?!

I also purchased this lovely in a size Large, which is sadly too large for my new frame. However for size reference, at the time of purchase (41″/33″/45″) this piece fit my body as if it was made for me! I wore it lovingly underneath my swingy-est of dresses, and eventually took a seam ripper to the bows so that I could utilize her underneath more form fitting wiggles. Lydia shaped up to be both a sexy and utilitarian piece of lingerie. Ten points to KMD!

If you are looking to inject a little functional ingenuity and creativity into your lingerie collection, I highly recommend Kiss Me Deadly as a brand to follow. Their personality shines through in every photoshoot, blog update, and Facebook status, which is something that I really admire! They are a brand that obviously and truly cares for their customer base. They listen, and they deliver! Passion is obviously in the forefront of what they do. From corsets, to cinchers, to girdles and everything in between–I firmly believe that Kiss Me Deadly has something to suit every body!

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Cupless Vargas Dress in Red: Limited Edition! Preorder at Kiss Me Deadly

 

(Don’t believe me? Check out this Cupless Vargas dress that has just been released for pre-order! Available in both black and red, it is perfect for large and small busted ladies alike. Versatile and sexy. Kiss Me Deadly, I think you’ve truly outdone yourselves this time!)

 

 Hey guys. I have the best photographer ever. Check out Sarah King Photography on Facebook! Any questions? Interested in booking? Want to tell her she’s awesome? Email her at SarahRKingPhotography@yahoo.com!