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.

amysbefore

sarahsbefore

 

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.

amyshair1

amyshair2

sarahshair1

sarahshair2

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.

amysstyle1

amystyle2

amystyle3

sarahsstyle1

sarahsstyle2

sarahsstyle3

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 ❤

Advertisements

Fashion Friday Featuring Julie Mollo

This week’s Fashion Friday will be featuring none other than the incredible Julie Mollo!  I actually had the great pleasure of meeting this lovely lady when I was in Brooklyn back in May, and I was immediately drawn to her, she just exudes confidence and has such a playful spirit, and her sense of style is the perfect blend of feminine and badass retro babe. These wonderful attributes are carried right into Julie’s designs and its no surprise that several big names have taken notice and commisioned Mrs Mollo to create pieces for them, one of these “Big Names” is none other than Katy Perry! Katy Perry’s style has always been one of the things I most loved about her, and I’ll admit there are several looks of hers I’ve tried to recreate. Now many of us cannot commision designers and don’t have teams to make us look fab…But we can still look like stars because Julie sells her pieces to the masses as well as musicians, performers, and the like. Isn’t that wonderful?352837093584PicMonkey Collage3639378137213564forever twirling38403766and pretending to be a ballerina365937513613and then I happenMy mom was standing out of shot so naturally I had to make a face at her 😉

Earrings: Payless/Similar

Necklace: Homemade/Similar

Blouse: Hot Topic/Similar

Jacket: Forever 21

Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing

Tutu: Julie Mollo I would like to extend a huge thank you to Julie for understanding how so many of us ladies wanted nothing more than to be ballerinas! Now I may not be able to dance en pointe, or just dance in general for that matter, but that does not mean I cannot rock a tutu. This glorious tutu is made from 8 layers of wonderful bouncy tulle and the tie is made from cotton sateen, also another fun factor about the tie is you can tie a bow, knot it, and wear it either fastened in the back or front, its entirely up to you! Since this piece is a true to style tutu it is a bit sheer so I wore a white pencil skirt underneath mine, but you could wear a slip, tights, or even rock a body suit! Julie creates pieces that are easily personalized, and knows that fashion is meant to be fun and a form of expression! So all of her pieces are meant to be styled from one extreme to another, so whether you want to embrace the full girly girl look or want to add a little bit of edge to your attire Mrs Mollo has what you’re looking for.

Heels: Charlotte Russe/Similar

I really hope you all liked this post and that you check out the always fabulous Julie Mollo. Happy Friday!

Fashion Friday Featuring Atomic Swag

Oh my goodness guys I’m so stoked for this week’s feature. As you all know I really enjoy rocking the pinup/rockabilly look, but unfortunately that style can be a bit too dressy. Now I’ve actually come to the point where I no longer care about people thinking I’m too dressy, but some day’s I’d prefer to be a little more chill, and what is more chill than a t-shirt? Well I’ll tell you, a t-shirt from Atomic Swag Apparel. I’m not sure I’ve ever worn a more delightfully soft shirt, seriously it’s like wrapping yourself in your favorite cozy blanket…except these bad boys are way more stylish than walking around wearing a blanket.

Atomic swag’s shirt designs are just fabulous and could fit anyone’s taste, men included, this post isn’t just for the ladies. The different styles offered range from rockabilly, motorcycle, state, to hotrod racing t-shirts and all these designs are printed on 100% cotton t-shirts using waterbased inks so they won’t chip, peel, or fade. Huzzah for excellent quality! Looking good isn’t enough, I need style and quality and Atomic Swag certainly delivers on both accounts.

Shirt 1.

1520160515431588152815971574

Shirt: Atomic Swag Apparel I just love how delightfully cheeky the design on this shirt is don’t you? I’m just so pleased with this soon to be “overworn” piece. Since I’m a pinup and a Texan I’ve always had a bit of a softspot for pinup cowgirls and this shirt could not combine those two styles more perfectly.

Shorts: Target

Boots: Atwoods/Similar

Shirt 2.

1768163117451659and of course I had to do the pistol hands dancePicMonkey Collage176117401663

1775

Seemed like an appropriate sign to stand under 😉

Shirt: Atomic Swag Apparel Oh my word, I didn’t even know it was possible to love a shirt this much you guys. I have a ridiculous amount of state pride and if you’re a fellow Texan you know what I’m talking about, this shirt could not be more perfect! The cream colored background, the vintage soft feel, and the Texas design just combine so beautifully and I am not even a little sorry about how much I am going to wear this shirt. It’s a Texas thing Ya’ll 😉

Shorts: Target

Boots: Atwoods/Similar

I hope you all enjoyed this post and that you get yourself some Atomic Swag gear…In fact both the lovely people at Atomic Swag and myself so badly want you to experience their brilliant combo of style and comfort that we have a 20% off discount code for you to use, its sarahforshaw20. So what are you waiting for? You’ve got a discount code and everything, this could be the smartest decision you make all weekend.

Happy Friday my loves!

Fashion Friday Featuring Punkabilly

This week’s Fashion Friday will be featuring Punkabilly Clothing. Punkabilly is the result of Tom, a man with a passion for punk rock and rockabilly, meeting Naomi,  a highly rated model scout who had always dreamt of becoming a fashion designer. Someone who understands the punk/rockabilly culture and someone who truly understands fashion? A match made in heaven if you ask me. They’re based out of Bangkok Thailand and ship their products worldwide, in fact you get free shipping when you purchase $100 worth of pieces, and let me tell you $100 will get you pretty far. One of the problems I run into with dressing the way I do is that the pinup/rockabilly style can get very expensive! Punkabilly has fabulous prices but doesn’t skimp on quality. My dress is 95% cotton 5% spandex making it sturdy, but comfortable enough to wear for everyday occasions. I actually wore this for Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, so comfort was pretty important. My measurements are 36″ 27 1/2″ 36″ so I got a size large, and it is a perfect fit, so I’d say they remain true to size. I know how that can always be a bit of a gamble when purchasing items online, so no need for worry here.

58835906589159545887590259355922

Flower Hair Clip Got it at a craft fair but Claires has a great option  http://www.claires.com/store/us/goods/hair/cat1260200/barrettes+%26+clips/p65480/glitter+edge+flower+clip/

Dress: Punkabilly http://www.punkabillyclothing.com/pin-up-rockabilly-dress-p-163

Flats: Payless http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?catId=cat10088&subCatId=cat10276&skuId=132564120&productId=69922&lotId=132564&category=&catdisplayName=Womens

I hope you all enjoyed this post and that you check out Punkabilly Clothing http://www.punkabillyclothing.com/ I love you guys, happy Friday!