Anything But Basic!: A Haute Flair & Parfait Lingerie Revie

Those of you who follow me on any form of social media know: I’m a huge fan of Parfait Lingerie. I’ve reviewed them previously, and carry a few of their styles in my own lingerie shop. I truly believe  their size range and price point is a fantastic affordable option for many full-bust women, and they can be counted on to release fun and on-trend pieces every season. 

A few weeks ago I was approached by Haute Flair, a new online retailer based out of New Jersey that offers a fantastic range of lingerie and shapewear. As a Jersey girl myself, I jumped at the chance to support this great growing business in my home state, and was so honored to be offered the Carol Padded Bra and Lace Hipster Panty in my choice of color. This set is available on Haute Flair in your choice of Lollipop Red and Imperial Purple, and as I’m always aiming to unleash my inner siren, I opted to go with red. 


Best. Decision. Ever. 


Aesthetically, this set is bright, bold, and ticks a lot of boxes for me. Soft molded underwire cups shape and uplift without added padding, while half-adjustable  straps help you get your best fit. Soft stretch lace adorns the cups and straps as a simple and pretty detail, and a center bow at the gore tops off this lovely leisure set. 


Now let’s talk fit!:

I requested this set in a 34FF, and at try on it fit wonderfully. I experienced no pinching, digging, or quad-boob, and the material felt lovely against my skin. The band was snug and secure without squeezing the life out of me, and the underwire was supportive without being uncomfortable.


My only issue came later, and was one that laid squarely on my own shoulders. You see, I lost weight in the two weeks between receiving this bra and shooting it with my best-friend-turned-photographer (shoutout to Sarah King Photography!) which resulted in some gaping in the cups post-weight loss. Oh, the struggles of an already shallow-busted gal–when my weight drops, my boobs go first. (😭). This may be something for shallow-breasted ladies to make note of, so be aware when selecting your size!
The coordinating knickers that came along with this set have quickly become a favorite in my collection! (I snagged a size XL for my ample tush.) Simple and sassy, these soft, stretchy hipster briefs feature a lace panel across the front and a center bow. They definitely prove that “basic” doesn’t mean “boring”! I’m pleased to announce that through a 9 hour shift chasing around little ones, I experienced nary a wedgie, and felt cool and comfortable all day long. My bum was a happy one, and I’ll definitely be adding the other colorway in this set to my collection!🍑


In all, I highly recommend the Carol set by Parfait to every woman looking to add bold basics and everyday lingerie to their collection! 

Love it, need it, gotta have it? Find it at http://www.hauteflair.com. 💕

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!

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 8.33.53 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 9.33.17 PM

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

DSC_7881editname

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.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 7.28.04 PM.png

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!

DSC_7876editname.jpg

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.

DSC_7907editname.jpg

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!

DSC_7911editname

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.

DSC_7870editname

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. 😉

#PinupInIreland

Just days ago, I was in the backseat of a car flying 80 km/h through the winding Irish countryside. My beautiful longtime friend (and photographer!) celebrated her wedding at the incredible Ashford Castle , and I had the honor of standing next to her as she said her vows!

As it were, a destination wedding meant an international vacation for this girl! So off I went, two suitcases filled with PUG in tow.

 

Galway:

IMG_0330

Photo: Sarah King Photography

IMG_0332

Photo:Sarah King Photography

Skirt: Darling Dames Skirt in Fetish Print

Top: H&M Basics Long Sleeved Tee

Coat: Modcloth

Sunglasses: Buffalo Exchange

Scarf: Things Remembered

 

Cliffs Of Moher:

IMG_9823.JPG

Dress: Jenny Dress in Black 

Cardigan: Cropped Cardigan in Pale Magenta

Belt: Deadly Dames Wide Vinyl Belt

Boots: Chooka Women’s Flora Combat Rainboot (Via: Amazon)

 

Ashford Castle (Wedding Day!):

IMG_9899IMG_9952

 

Dress: Monica in Red by Laura Byrnes

Heels: Chase and Chloe (Via Amazon)

(A Quick Aside: Those shoes, ladies, are probably some of the best vintage-styled heels I own! Comfortable and affordable, I was able to explore a castle for hours without any pain! I highly recommend for those looking for a pair of simple and comfortable vintage-inspired heels that won’t break the bank!)

 

IMG_9934

Skirt: Queen Of Hearts Jenny Skirt

Top: H&M Long Sleeved Basic Tee

Belt: Sateen Covered Slide Belt

 

Dublin:

FullSizeRender

 

Skirt: Jenny Skirt in Mary Blair Umbrella Print

Top: H&M Basic Long Sleeve Top in Stripes

Belt: Wide Sateen Belt in White

Headscarf: Vintage

 

Cong Abbey:

FullSizeRender-2

IMG_0119

Photography: Sarah King Photography

Dress: Jenny Dress in Dark Purple

Cardigan: Cropped Cardigan in Black

Belt: Deadly Dames Wide Vinyl Belt

Tights: Via Spiga

Boots: Capelli New York

 

In all, my trip to Ireland was fabulous (and fashionable!). I fell in love with the country immediately, and left a little piece of my heart there when I left. The wedding was absolutely stunning, and I was so proud to be counted amongst the lucky attendees. I can’t wait for my next chance to go, but until that day I’ll have the memories to cherish!

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

FullSizeRender(2)

 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

 

FullSizeRender(1)

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!

The Magic Of Mary Blair Part 1: Umbrella Fancy

As a long-time fan of Pinup Girl Clothing, I have seen the debut of many a collection. But no collection was as excitedly awaited as the Magic of Mary Blair! A collaboration with the estate of Mary Blair, of Disney fame, the line featured skirts and dresses in extremely limited edition whimsical prints, some directly from the art of Blair herself. 

I was lucky enough to acquire quite a few pieces from this collection, and will be debuting my stylings in a multi-part series. With fall fast approaching, I want to keep the warmer days alive with bright pastels and fun prints of this summery collection! 

Perhaps one of the most anxiously anticipated pieces was the Jenny skirt in Mary Blair Umbrella Print:

Pinup Couture Jenny Skirt in Mary Blair Umbrella Print

Falling somewhere between salmon and bubblegum pink, this full, gathered skirt featured pops of teal, red and lime green in it’s cheery Umbrella motif. I was immediately smitten by the website photos, and placed my order within minutes of receiving the In Stock notification email!

Once again, PUG did not disappoint! 

Photography: Sarah King

The whimsical print of this skirt lends itself quite well to the “Wonderland” theme of my last photography collaboration with the fantastically talented Sarah King of Sarah King Photography. Undaunted by the 98 degree read of the thermometer, she willingly traipsed through the 100% humidity index of this sweltering Summer day to snap these photos. (And then painstakingly colored every tree branch , because Philadelphia’s Horticultural Center is decidedly lacking in pink trees.) 

Photography: Sarah King

As far as fit and construction,  I found this skirt to be on par with the usual high quality of Pinup Girl’s offerings. Measuring in at a 30″ waist, I stuck to the size chart recommendation of a size Large, and was not disappointed! I found this skirt to run a bit looser than some of my other color ways (here’s looking at you, Cherry and Italian Landscape print!). It definitely still falls within the confines of the size chart, but I am thankful for the little extra stretch the waistband offers, especially after a big meal! 

Perhaps one of my favorite qualities of this particular skirt is all the outfit combinations it lends itself to! I have seen lovely ladies all across the Internet pairing this beauty with every color from teal, to lime, yellow, black, and my personal favorite, red:

Unfortunately, this lovely is sold out in all sizes but 4x on Pinup Girl’s website. (4x ladies, go go go!) Because this was limited edition, Jenny will sadly not be restocked in this color way. However, if you just can’t get enough of this cheery and bright print, fear not! The Evelyn dress by Pinup Couture is also available on this gorgeous design, and is in stock at Pinup Girl Clothing in all sizes! 

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.

IMG_0456

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

DSC_9269editname

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!

DSC_9388editname

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.

Sultry in Samanta: My First Polish Lingerie Review!

When it comes to Polish lingerie, I am a completely clueless. Their sizing is different, they use centimeters instead of inches, and this blogger can not math to save her life. With it’s rise in popularity amongst bloggers and customers alike and attention to the full-bust market, I needed to hop on this train!  Samanta is no stranger to the blogging community, with product reviews from the likes of Two Cakes On A Plate, The Full Figured Chest , and a very informative fit comparison by Miss Underpinnings that details the fit of several different selections from the major Polish brands.

But it’s better late than never, I say! When I was offered the opportunity to give a shiny new Samanta set a try, I jumped at the chance. After a few weeks of back-and-forth emailing, and some surprisingly lightening fast service from the postal service (shock, awe, surprise!), my parcel was on my doorstep.

After a lot of hemming and hawwing, I opted for the Desert A333 bra and B700 high waisted brief in classic black, as they fit both my pin-up persona and blend beautifully with the rest of my lingerie collection. Completely clueless on sizing, I sent the lovely Marzena my measurements, and she suggested a 70G (which, if I’m not mistaken, coincides with my typical UK size of 32G.), and an XL (for my enormous derriere, which gets larger with each passing day at the gym!).

The Desert A333 push – up type bra is directed to women with larger breasts. Raises, rounds and collects the bust promoting cleavage and providing strong support. Cups cover 80 % of the breasts.The cups are mounted on a 3/4 high gore, which encourages the display of cleavage.Ensuring maximum comfort while wearing. This model is especially designed for women with softer, less firm breast.

I was eager to give this bra a try, given how shallow, soft, and high-set my breast tissue is. The description seemed spot-on, as if this particular style was designed with me in mind. I was also apprehensive, as I have much of my success in plunge bras and the thought of trying new things makes me a bit uneasy. Undaunted, I tore open my package almost immediately.

FullSizeRender

Sometimes I take my knickers outdoors to photograph them.

The very first thing I noticed was the quality. It was very clear to me that this was a piece of lingerie that had been carefully designed. Soft foam cups, neatly sewn seams, and sumptuous materials made up this beautifully designed and classic bra. The front band is made up of soft (not scratchy!) black lace, but the side wings and back band are smooth and silky. The cups are covered with the same breathable lace as the band, and the tops of the cups are edged with some of the most fantastic lace I’ve ever seen. A satin bow and Samanta’s signature gold “S” charm finish off the bra at the center gore, and the entire effect is quite lovely.

IMG_2245

In the 70G, the band fit comfortably (and could have been a bit more snug, I am accustomed to wearing my bands tight. It’s a matter of personal preference), and the center gore/wires did not poke, prod, or otherwise annoy me throughout a day of wear. The band on this bra seems quite stretchy–I perhaps could have gone with a 65GG! I did, however, run into some issues with the shape. Because of the way my breast tissue is dispersed, I typically run into issues with non-plunge bras. They tend to cut me in half, causing overspill, and sizing up does nothing but  leave me with cups-half-empty. Initially, I had the same issue with this piece–slight quadboob and strange emptiness towards the sides. I consulted with the designer and explained my situation. Thankfully, her advice worked! A few wears, a wash, and a little bit of love, and my new bra fits a whole lot better than it did in the beginning! Sometimes, a bra is like a new pair of shoes: they need their “break in” period. While this particular shape of bra may never be 100% to my liking, I am thrilled to find one that is not only wearable, but completely and utterly gorgeous!

Before and After

Before and After

Now, a bra’s a bra, but one thing I love more than anything in the world is a good pair of big knickers. And these, my friends, are good.

Desert B700 High Waisted Briefs

They smooth, they shape, and they look damn good doing it! Despite falling into the size chart for a size Large, I ended up with these buggers in a size XL and I’m glad I did. What I lack in wide hips I make up for in booty, and I can only imagine the kind of struggle I would have gone through to fit the smaller size. These slip on comfortably, and are not overtly constricting. They come up high enough to smooth my tummy, and are fantastic on–even for all-day wear. They are quite at home amongst the other pin-up knickers in my lingerie drawer, and quickly became a favorite pair.

Behold! My booty!

Behold! My booty!

The XL is perfectly long enough for my oh-so-long torso, and covers my bum appropriately. The front panel is a double-layer knit edged with lace, both pretty and smoothing, while the rest of the panty is the same soft lace as featured on the cups. The silicone lining of the waistband keeps these lovelies from shifting around or rolling down, giving a smooth shape from top to bottom!

And the attention to detail:

IMG_2230

THE ATTENTION. TO DETAIL.

IMG_2231

All in all, this was a fantastic first foray into the world of Samanta lingerie. I am so impressed by the beautiful design, quality, and attention to detail. When I had questions about sizing, Samanta’s top-rate customer service was there to help. It made my experience all the more pleasant, knowing that there was a team of knowledgeable people willing to aid me in my quest to find the right fit and size for me! If you are on the fence about placing your first Samanta order, I can not stress it enough: DIVE IN! It will absolutely be worth it!