The Brit and The Belle: Hawaiian Hideaway

Sarah Forshaw (@Forshawsarah) and Miss Amy May  (@miss_amy_may) are southern belle and southern brit pinups, respectively, who found one another on Instagram part way through their pinup transformations in mid 2013, at which point they tentatively, then all of a sudden, become devoted and divine friends. Bonding over their urge to bring full on glamour to their every day lives, their shared opinions on cake, and their fierce nerd hearts, the two quickly began to look upon one another as fabulous sisters–who simply hadn’t met yet outside the confines of the interwebs. Due to finally meet IRL to share many squishy hugs and swing-skirted spins in fall 2015, they’re opening up their friendship and their closets to you in this shared blog post while they eagerly await their meeting. It’s been quite a while since my darling Sarah and I have been able to join forces for another installment in our The Brit & The Belle series, but finally we’re ready to share another joint post with you. Sarah and I are alike on many different levels, too many to list. Two of the easiest to focus on is our shared belief that a good dress is a terrible thing to waste by waiting for a good excuse to wear it, and our love for Pinup Girl Clothing. The combination of those two things means we both happen to own the same fabulous dress in the same colourway, the orange and purple Pinup Girl Clothing Hawaiian Hideaway dress. We don’t want to taunt you too much with this dress because unfortunately it’s now out of stock after going on super sale at $60 down from $160–yeah, no wonder that bad girl sold out, and fast. (Such a sale is part of the Pinup Girl Clothing Online Yard Sale, where no item is over $60 and the sale section is updated regularly.) So while we’d like to focus a little on the dress and it’s fit to give you PUG newbies an idea of the brand’s quality, we want to focus as well on the parts of us that aren’t so similar; our differing sizes, shapes, colouring and styles. I, Amy, am pale and red-headed compared to Sarah’s olive skin and rich brown hair. I’m an L/XL in most reproduction style clothing, curvy, modest of bust and generally quite soft around all my edges, while Sarah is, despite being my same height and curvy herself, much more slender, toned, and a touch broader of shoulder, a dainty size S-M. We admire each other’s styles but don’t often find our wardrobes overlap–in part, though, possibly due more to Sarah’s admirable shopping restraint and my lack thereof. To us, this dress is fun, classic, summery and stylish. In the L it fits me snugly without being uncomfortable, the pockets are handy (no pun intended,) and I feel a bit like a tropical princess despite the fact that where I live in England we have probably never had even a second’s worth of weather that can be deemed tropical. Hhideaway4Hhideaway5Hhideaway6aHhideaway1 (1)Hhideaway10 As my lovely counterpart stated it is not often she and I have the same pieces, because I tend to be more restrained in my spending (buyer’s remorse is a beast) and Amy is far bolder than me and is more likely to snap up what she wants. I feel the same could be said of our styling, I tend to be a bit more reserved and Amy lives by the motto “Go Big or Go Home…and then relax in your curlers and yoga pants.” To be completely honest she’s my hero. Despite these difference in our style and shopping habits neither one of us could resist the charms of the Hawaiian Hideaway.  I found the fit of this gem to be comparable to the fit of PUG’s Ella, decent room for the girls but not baggy, cinched waist but not suffocating, and the skirt is what dreams are made of. The Hawaiian Hideaway made me feel as lovely and as exotic as Dorothy Lamour. The cut of this dress is not only flattering on both of us, but the bold colouring works on both of us and our differing colourings; the bolero can be used as a safety blanket for ladies who are perhaps less happy with their arms, like Amy is, or simply for the killer style bonus that it is, while I’m happy to rock the dress bolero free and bare shouldered. In our differing sizes of S and L it looks just as lovely, and can be worn with petticoat and without. It’s an easy dress to save for vacations and tropical themed events, parties or restaurants, but we think it’s important that no woman stares at a dress in her closet and repeatedly pushes it aside because she doesn’t want people to stare, to think she’s tried too hard, to ponder where she’s going or to scoff and deign it ‘too much.’ None of that matters. If we give in to the notion that clothes are nothing more than a way to cover up our socially-deemed-unviewable body parts then we lose a rich, fun and wonderful way to express ourselves, not only our personalities but also our views on life. Wearing a dress you like when you like for no reason other than wanting to express that you like it is a tiny, unimportant, joyful act of rebellion, of stylish stubbornness, of expression and chicness and certainty. And we Brit and Belle both fully support all of those things. 36933846373537243677

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The Brit and The Belle: Little Miss Savage

Sarah Forshaw (@Forshawsarah) and Miss Amy May  (@miss_amy_may) are southern belle and southern brit pinups, respectively, who found one another on Instagram part way through their pinup transformations in mid 2013, at which point they tentatively, then all of a sudden, become devoted and divine friends. Bonding over their urge to bring full on glamour to their every day lives, their shared opinions on cake, and their fierce nerd hearts, the two quickly began to look upon one another as fabulous sisters–who simply hadn’t met yet outside the confines of the interwebs. Due to finally meet IRL to share many squishy hugs and swing-skirted spins in fall 2015, they’re opening up their friendship and their closets to you in this shared blog post while they eagerly await their meeting.

Sarah: Amy and I have been crazy busy lately, so we’ve been a bit delayed in bringing you this post about accessories maker Little Miss Savage, but finally it’s here!

Little Miss Savage, Emily, hand makes headwraps, necklaces, pins, keyrings and bags/wallets, which she sells on her Etsy store and eBay. When we first came into contact with her we immediately fawned over several of her items, and we were so thrilled when she was kind enough to send us both a selection of cuteness.

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​Here are the Grey rose skinny bandana $8.60, Flamingo Original Bandana $10.16, Cup of tea brooch $4.68, Cupcake brooch $4.68, Moth necklace $7.81.

When I first started incorporating pinup looks into my life I found headwraps were one of the easiest ways to achieve a rockabilly/pinup look, and over the years I still find this to be true. I’m much too lazy to pincurl my hair every night, and sometimes you have a last minute outing that you were unprepared for…but you still want to be your cutest most retro babe self, and nothing helps a look get there more than the right accessories. Headwraps are a great way to frame a good hair day, but on the flipside they’re also great for camouflaging a monstrous bedhead hair day, and I can honestly say Little Miss Savage’s head wraps are some of the best I’ve ever worn.

Oh and can we all give Emily a round of applause for her jewelry? The moth necklace I have is so me I cannot even believe it, it’s a little bit edgy and almost has a Victorian taxidermy feel to it, but it’s still pretty and girly. And teacup and cupcake brooches? I mean who doesn’t want to indulge in something as sweet as that?

Below are some of the looks I put together using the headwraps. I didn’t use the jewelry in these pics because they kind of got lost, but in person they’re real statement pieces.

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​Flamingo Headwrap: Little Miss Savage

Chambray Shirt: Target

Pencil skirt: H&M/Similar

Wedges: Payless/Similar

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​Headwrap: Little Miss Savage

Moto Jacket: Forever 21

Dress: Lindy Bop

Wedges: Restricted Footwear

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​Buy me a giant cookie and throw me a party! I finally managed to get some decent bumper bangs. Now when you have a great quiff, pomp, or bumper bangs day the last thing you want to do is mess them up with a tricky bandana scarf situation, this is where Little Miss Savage comes in to play. Emily’s headwraps are made from 100% cotton so they’re not slipping and sliding all about, and you don’t have to worry about folding your scarf just so. Emily has done all the hard work for you by getting rid of cumbersome fabric and leaving you with a streamlined easy to use headwrap that finishes off any look. She’s basically the fairy godmother of the hair accessories world.

 

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Here’s the Music Notes ‘Original’ headwrap £6.49, Anchor ‘Skinny’ headwrap £5.49, Cherry Polka dot ‘Skinny’ headwrap £5.49, Cherry necklace £7.99 and a Pinup Brooch £3.99.

I love the headwraps because I am awful at wrangling headscarves and bandanas, and with a wrap like these all you have to do is throw it on and tie the cute little bow, something I can handle. The availability of them coming as thicker wraps or skinny versions is great because it gives you the choice to have a custom made piece in the width that you most love and the fabric you love–because here’s the awesome thing, Emily hand makes every piece to order so she will create your reversible wrap out of any two fabrics of your choice available in her store. This means that at your request you can have whatever combo you like.

The cherries necklace is adorable. Red is my favourite accessories colour because I find it really pops within a lot of different colour combos. Below I’ve styled it with whites and reds for a classic and casual pinup look but I’ve also worn it with colours like my purple gingham Hell Bunny dress and it totally made the whole look.

I’ve styled some outfits below to show you these cute pieces in action.

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Little Miss Savage Skinny anchor headwrap

Tatyana Alika White Blouse

Collectif Red Capri pants

Primark striped ballet pumps

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Little Miss Savage Cherry Necklace

Little Miss Savage Skinny headwrap

Pinup Girl Clothing Doris top in white

Collectif Black Capri pants

Primark ballet flats bedazzled by myself

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Little Miss Savage Pinup Brooch

Hell Bunny Claudia dress

Red Mary Jane heels

I am just in love with my pinup pin! It’s the perfect addition to any collar or top. At only £3.99 each it’s hard to resist the urge to collect the full set.

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Little Miss Savage Musical notes Original Headwrap

Unique Vintage Manhattan Gingham Day Dress

Dorothy Perkins clutch bag

Primark pumps bedazzled by me

Since Sarah has shown you how great it looks to add one of these wraps to a well formed hairdo like her lovely bumper bangs I thought I’d show you the other side of the coin; how useful they are to have around when you’re not doing so well with your hair that day, or in too much of a rush to spend a lot of time crafting yo’ curls.

I have a couple of go-to dos that I whip out when I’m having a busy day or my hair is misbehaving. One of them is what I call the Messy Poodle. It’s like the Lucile ball and carmen Miranda style Poodle Do…but with much less skill. It basically involves piling all of my hair on top of my head as quickly as possible, tweaking only slightly to make sure it doesn’t look totally insane, and then adding a super cute headwrap to detract from my laziness. It’s great on busy work days or when I’m heading out for something more casual.

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So if you’re looking for an adorable piece of jewellery or a custom bandanna or two, head over to Little Miss Savage, and while you’re there tell her The Brit & The Belle send her our love!

Amy and Sarah

xxx

 

 

The Brit & The Belle: Our Pinup Transformations

Sarah Forshaw (@Forshawsarah) and Miss Amy May  (@miss_amy_may) are southern belle and southern brit pinups, respectively, who found one another on Instagram part way through their pinup transformations in mid 2013, at which point they tentatively, then all of a sudden, become devoted and divine friends. Bonding over their urge to bring full on glamour to their every day lives, their shared opinions on cake, and their fierce nerd hearts, the two quickly began to look upon one another as fabulous sisters–who simply hadn’t met yet outside the confines of the interwebs. Due to finally meet IRL to share many squishy hugs and swing-skirted spins in fall 2015, they’re opening up their friendship and their closets to you in this shared blog post while they eagerly await their meeting.

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Amy: I’ve always adored the glamour and style of the 1950s and the elegance of those Old Hollywood screen sirens, an admiration that Sarah shares. It was not at all unusual for us both to yearn for 50s style dresses we spotted in movies set in that era, wanting the shelf busts, the full circle skirts, the juxtaposition of both structure and fullness. But it almost never occurred to either of us that we could ever adopt that style in real life in our modern world. Given that our admiration for the decade revolved most intensely around the clothes, it may come as a surprise to learn that our pinup journeys both began with our hair, almost by accident.

Sarah and I had both done some damage to our hair in recent years: Sarah with extended use of straighteners, and myself with a one off use of wet-2-straight straigheners that damaged my hair so fully that my natural curl was unable to form from then on out, my ‘lion’s mane’ as I called it, a full head of wild ringlets, instead hanging limp, lank and stringy. Unbeknownst to one another, strangers on different continents, we both did a little research into non-heat methods of setting our hair and found pincurls.

Personally I can say it took me a while to get the knack of pincurls, and longer still to find a setting lotion that worked best for me, but I kept practicing and began to look into retro hairstyles more and more. I attempted victory rolls, as did Sarah, but while Sarah is much better at them than I we both find we tend to get one perfect pert roll and one sad limp roll that won’t stay up in place even with a dozen hair grips. Pincurls are our true loves, and we’re both fine with that.

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With our pincurled tresses continuing to improve, we next changed our makeup because a wonderful retro hair do on a fully modern canvas can look a bit out of place. Learning the art of winged liner was a scary next step, but over time our flicks became measured and we learned which wing angles were flattering on us and which were not. For me, red lipstick still seemed too dramatic a statement, almost as though that alone declared ‘Yes, I am very fancy, I cannot deny it!’ So it was with an almost pinned-up face that we each updated our wardrobes–with a throwback.

I began with circle skirts, cheap, thin ones created by dancewear companies, a step above costume circle skirts but far below the PUG beauties I sport today. I paired them with ‘normal’ tops I found on the high street, and for a long time my number one concern was in finding my clothing inside a narrow budget because I couldn’t commit to the more expensive repro wares that I was worried I would buy and then cast aside if the pinup look didn’t stick. But it did. I should have known it would. Because along every step of my journey, through the hair to the makeup, and finally to the clothes, my confidence began to grow. I eventually added in that red lipstick, and when I made my first purchase from Pinup Girl Clothing–that was it. That was the moment I became a pinup. Not because I’d splurged on a reproduction brand name skirt for the first time, but because the feeling it gave me was the feeling I was searching  for–the sensation that I had found my style, my niche, the look that made me feel polished and elegant and glamorous whether I dressed it up or down. I stopped making small concessions to certain situations by tampering down my style, I wore the red lipstick whenever I wanted to, even when it was over the top, even when it meant I drew a dozen pairs of eyes as I walked down the supermarket aisle in full retro glamour while surrounded by people in jeans and sweats and yoga pants. I was finally transformed, my style metamorphosis complete. I had arrived as the leading lady in my own life.

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Sarah: Well lo and behold, mine and Amy’s stories are practically the same yet again, much like many other things about us. Both of us lost weight and gained confidence, and nothing gave us more confidence than dressing pinup. But here’s the thing: I don’t really think it was the physical change of style that made the difference, not completely anyway–I think it was because of what was going on in our heads and our hearts. We finally had the courage to dress the way we wanted to dress, and were worlds happier because of it. Think of it as exercise for the soul. The end product you want is beautiful but getting there is difficult. Yes the process requires practise, research, money, and enduring a lot of attention. But isn’t doing what’s right by you the most important thing?

At the beginning the stares made us both uncomfortable and maybe even a little embarrassed at times. I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe my hair reminded people of their grandma’s but not in a good way, or perhaps if I had lipstick on my teeth, or something else equally dreadful. But as we continued on our paths to pinup we learned to no longer feel judged and self conscious. Instead we learned to take the stares and whispers to mean maybe, just maybe, people liked what they saw, but even if they didn’t it didn’t matter, because being different isn’t something to be ashamed of. The moment you stop caring about how people perceive you is the same exact moment you learn that your own opinion is the one that matters the most. So if a swing dress and petticoat make you feel like the goddess you are then by all means wear it to pick up your groceries; if a wiggle dress makes you feel unstoppable then stop waiting for “the right occasion” and just wear it!

Society is so incredibly rule-centric, it dictates everything from what we should eat, to what we should weigh, what we should earn, and how many magazines have you seen with taglines like “How To Dress For Your Shape” or “What Hair Color Is Right For Your Skintone”? Hundreds, if not thousands. Well guess what? I don’t care about those rules and neither should you. You’d never let a stranger come into your home and tell you how to live, so why should you let media, peers, or anyone else have a say in your life? Because that’s the thing, it’s “yours” and no one else’s. Life is too short and there are too few “appropriate” occasions to dress the way you want to dress. One of my favorite things Queen Dita has ever said is when people would snarkily ask her what she was dressed up for, she’d respond with a simple statement that encapsulates everything I feel on this matter, “I’m dressed up for life”. So the next time you feel judged or insecure about your style choices just ask yourself What Would Dita Do? That is mine and Amy’s new mantra in life as pinups, and we feel it’s opened us up to endless joys, both big and small.

I swear you’ll be a much happier person when you start living your life for you. The pincurls and pearls make me feel like the me I always wanted to be, I look forward to getting ready for the day, I’ve reverted back to the joy I felt as a child playing dress up! And I have made some of the greatest friends of my life because of it, Amy is undoubtedly my soul sister and it genuinely upsets me to think about a life without pinup in it, because if I hadn’t found pinup I wouldn’t have found Amy, I wouldn’t have found my old child like happiness, and I wouldn’t have found my true self. The pinup style is so much more than the pretty dresses and glitzy jewels, it’s inner beauty shining through to the outside, it’s the boldness to not care about standing out, and it’s a community of women who love and support each other.

If you’ve been entertaining the idea of joining the “Pinup World” consider this your formal (we like things to be fancy after all) invitation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about how we become the little pinups we are, and we’d love to hear about you. Let us know in the comments about you and your pinup journey, whether it be beginning, in full flow or complete. We so look forward to hearing from all of you lovelies ❤