Teen Angels, Pink Ladies, and Grease Lightning

Grease has always been a favorite film of mine, and honestly, is there anyone out there who doesn’t feel the same way? The clothes, the cars, the characters… there’s simply nothing like it. When I heard that Erstwilder was working on a limited production Grease collection, I knew I had to add some pieces to my growing brooch collection.

I was fortunate enough to pick a couple of my favorite pieces for review, but if you’d like to see the rest of the collection (and I know you do because they’re all gorgeous), head here.

Rizzo’s Rules Brooch

“She looks too pure to be pink!”

Feeling peachy keen, jellybean? Then Rizzo is the queen for you. My favorite character is just as complex as this stunning brooch, right down to her personalized Pink Ladies jacket. This swinging gal may be tough on the outside, but she’s no stranger to heartbreak and this softer side shows in her facial expression on this beautifully intricate piece. Don’t be fooled, though, she’ll never cry in front of you because that’t the worst thing she can do.

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Top: Pinup Couture Peasant Top in Black– Pinup Girl Clothing | Skirt: Custom Penelope Dress- Hearts and Found | Shoes: Ione in Fairy Pink – B.A.I.T. Footwear | Scarf: Vintage

 

Beauty School Dropout Brooch

“Beauty school sure wasn’t as I thought it would be.”

If you’re entering into the wrong career, don’t fret. This dreamy doll in silver rollers and opalescent robe will set you straight. As a gal who sleeps in rollers, and is attempting to head down my dream career path, I had to own this brooch. The towering rollers are set on different layers of resin, adding depth to this delicate piece, and as you sleep you may even hear her telling you to take off your angel face and go back to high school.

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Dress: ‘Colette’ Taupe Stripe 60’s Jackie O Dress– Lindy Bop

 

Rydell Forever Brooch

“We’ll have so much fun and get to be life-long friends!”

Whether you’re a jock, nerd, Greaser or Pink Lady, you’re gonna want to remember your time at Rydell High forever. This baby is full of pages so all of your closest friends can wish you farewell for the summer. But if you’re anything like Patty Simcox, you can’t wait for summer to end because you love the first day of school.

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Cardigan: H&M | Blouse: Senior Editor Top – Modcloth | Skirt: Pinup Couture Jenny Skirt in Black– Pinup Girl Clothing | Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing | Necklace: Vintage
Rizzo’s Rules Brooch, Beauty School Dropout Brooch, and Rydell Forever Brooch c/o Erstwilder. Special thanks to Natalie and the Erstwilder team for this dream come true collaborative opportunity.

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Fallen Leaves, Golden Flowers & a Fall Harvest

There’s nothing quite like fall, especially here in New England: multicolored leaves, apple picking, pumpkin patches and plaid, plaid, plaid! This wondrous season is just around the corner and I’m celebrating its arrival with this stunning Megan Dress in Harvest Florals from Karina Dresses.

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a severe weakness for anything that emulates the sophisticated style of the 1940s, and Karina Dresses has never disappointed to meet my standards.

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The Megan Dress, in particular, is the epitome of 1940s style. It closely emulates the design of the classic wrap dress from that time, which was typically worn by working women. While some wrap dresses wound around the entire body, others crossed exclusively around the bust, as seen on the Megan. The sleeves have a slight puff at the shoulder, but slide halfway down the arm into a deep cap design. The bodice tucks in the waist and slowly curves outward for a signature A-line skirt.

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The Harvest Floral print is part of the Karina Signature line of in-house designs, along with over ten other equally beautiful patterns. The navy background of this dress changes to a muted green from afar, but look closely and that blue shines bright. The gold flowers provide a beautiful contrast to the navy and perfectly emulate the color of fallen leaves.

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In addition to being beautiful, the Megan is incredibly comfortable, which is something that founder Karina Counsineau strives to accomplish with every dress made. Part of the reason I love Karina Dresses, aside from their gorgeous designs, is that their mission is to produce dresses right here in America for women of every size, shape, and age.

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Karina Dresses come in US sizes XS-XXL. Each size has a range of measurements, for example I’m wearing the S/M, which corresponds to a 34-38 bust and a 27-31 waist. If you’re unsure which size would work for you, try their Best Fit Size Guide!

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The Megan dress is priced at $108, as are all of Karina Dresses’ fabulous garments. In my opinion, this is an absolutely fair price for such a beautiful and versatile piece. They ship for free within the U.S. for orders over $150, but for those under that price point it’s only $5. Shipping internationally will range from $20-25 depending on the location.

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Megan Dress in Harvest Floral c/o Karina Dresses | Shoes: Urban Outfitters | Fascinator Hat: eBay | Brooch: Vintage
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White and Blue Flowers, Ivy Covered Buildings, and a 1960s Flared Frock

The 1960s was a wild decade, or at least that’s what I’m told, and the fashion of that time certainly matched the rebellious atmosphere of those iconic years. Today, we see modern reproductions consisting of bold colors, psychedelic shapes, and florals of every size, but there was a certain modesty to the 60s, at least at the start.

In the beginning, style icons were more conservatively dressed, similar to what you found in the 50s. The most memorable fashionista of this time would be the ravishing Jackie Kennedy with her classic two-piece suits and perfectly white pearls. By 1963, however, the 1950s pencil dress began to change shape, widening the skirt, and became known as the “shift dress.”

The shift dress was generally reserved for home use, being too short for the public eye. Today, of course, this idea is preposterous and the many modern reproductions of this gown, such as this Charlize Flared 60s Floral Dress from Voodoo Vixen, is anything but scandalous.

The Charlize dress has many similarities to the shift dress, but where it strays from this original design is in the length of the skirt. Shift dresses typically landed above the knee, while the Charlize stays below it, adopting the classic length of a 1950s dress. The fabric, however, is dazzlingly 60s.

There were two shades of blue that were popular during this time: robin’s egg blue and teal blue. Robin’s egg blue was popular during the spring and summer seasons, preferably found on party dresses, sort of an homage to Cinderella’s gown. Teal blue, however, carried over from the 1950s and carried on into the 1970s.

Not only does the Charlize contain both of these shades of blue, but it also incorporates one of the most popular patterns of the 60s: florals. And let’s be honest, ladies, who doesn’t love a good floral dress?

On top of being exceedingly adorable, the Charlize is very comfortable. Made from 97% cotton and 3% elastane, this floral frock provides a good amount of stretch while remaining sturdy and breathable.

Despite it’s ability to stretch, it does run true to size, so be sure to check Voodoo Vixen’s size chart if you’re considering snagging this beauty. All of their dresses are available in sizes S-XL and for reference, I’m wearing a size medium, which is my normal size.

At £33, or roughly $42 USD, this dress is a steal and for U.K. costumers your shipping would be free (delivery is free for any U.K. orders over £20)! For those of you throughout Europe, shipping is £7.50 and my fellow U.S. ladies will pay £8.50 ($11 USD, which is extremely reasonable).

So ladies, if you’re looking for the perfect summer dress to show off your flirty floral side, look no further than the Charlize Flared 60s Floral Dress from Voodoo Vixen. And be sure to check out the rest of their wares! They have countless beauties available on their website. As for me, I’m off to ogle at their jumpsuits!

Dress: Charlize Flared 60s Floral Dress c/o Voodoo Vixen | Shoes: Primark | Hair Flowers: Sophisticated Lady Hair Flowers
Special thanks to Nicki from Voodoo Vixen for this groovy opportunity

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A Vintage Picnic Basket & An Art Deco Ring

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a magical place, but not nearly as magical as the events that transpired there on Sunday.

I woke up and immediately began a scavenger hunt that Anthony organized. He surprised me with flowers and a letter with a Hogwarts wax seal on the back of the envelope. This was the first of seven letters. Each letter corresponded to one of the seven Harry Potter books and led me on a search to find the next.

We have several Harry Potter references throughout the house, including a Slytherin pennant (Anthony is a Slytherin), Luna and Snape’s wands, even our car is named Hedwig, and that’s where the fourth letter led me.

The next letter led me to believe that we were going on a picnic at the arboretum and that he would photograph me, “complaint-free,” for my blog. Not having set my hair the night before, I scrambled to produce a beehive (unsuccessfully), but ended up using a vintage scarf to hide the mess I created.

We really did sit down for a picnic, during which I finally used my vintage picnic basket that Anthony got me for Christmas. It was absolutely lovely. There was slight overcast, so it wasn’t too hot, families were walking their dogs and teaching their kids how to ride a bike. I didn’t think anything could top this.

Once we finished our meal, we moved on to photographs. The spot that we chose was off the beaten path of the arboretum, secluded, serene and breathtaking. Despite getting bitten by something on my leg, this photo shoot was heavenly and I love almost every picture he captured.

I thought the day was over until we pulled into our parking lot and he handed me another letter, playing as if he was unsure of why Harry got an owl in the first place. I was immediately confused as to why he asked this, explaining that first years at Hogwarts get to bring an animal of their choice and that owls deliver mail. This was when he dropped the letter in my lap.

We proceeded to walk down a path that I take quite often to get to one of my favorite coffee shops, but took a detour and stopped at a local restaurant that we love. We made reservations for later that afternoon and headed back towards our apartment.

As we approached a bridge that I love to cross, I saw a mirror standing in the middle of it. The mirror had words across the top that weren’t easy to decipher at first, being broken up into fragments, but after taking a few moments I realized that it said “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.” These are the words on the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Once I figured out what the words meant, Anthony said “you know my heart’s desire” and got on one knee. I didn’t even let him ask me to marry him before slightly hyperventilating and shouting “yes, obviously yes.” To be honest, I don’t even remember not letting him ask me. All I remember is crying with joy as he put the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen on my finger.

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A Yellow Dress, Enchanted Rose, and Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere

As a little girl, I had a hard time choosing my favorite Disney princess. I jumped around from Ariel to Jasmine to Mulan. As I grew older, I realized that my childhood role models were all strong-willed women who did things in their own way. And even though I loved them all, I couldn’t help, and still can’t help, but feel the strongest connection to Belle. Thus, you can only imagine how magical I felt when I first put on the Cindy Polka Dot Vintage Dress in Yellow from Dolly and Dotty.

The Cindy Dress combines the simplicity of a mid-1950s summer dress with the boldness of a shawl collar, which was coined a “fancy collar” when it first arrived on the scene. Most collars during this time were white in contrast with the rest of the dress, and Dolly and Dotty nailed this vintage design to a tee, but with one modern improvement: the collar comes around the shoulders and meets as a deep-v in the center of the back. I can’t help but wonder if this would have been considered scandalous back in the day, but in today’s world it’s the type of detail that I love.

The bodice, like most mid-century style dresses, is fitted from the bust to the waist, at which point you can choose to pair one of two belts with this gorgeous gown: a solid white belt (as I’m wearing), or one that matches the fabric of the dress itself (who doesn’t love options!).

The skirt flares out into a perfectly full circle skirt that can be worn with or without a petticoat (but I rarely step out of the house without at least a single layer petticoat on).

The Cindy, like most of Dolly and Dotty’s fabulous frocks, is made from lightweight cotton with a little bit of stretch, making it perfect for spring and summer when you may be eating a little bit too much ice cream (maybe that’s just me), or sitting in the car on a long road trip to the beach. The dress is not lined, which allows the fabric to breathe and keeps you feeling fabulous.

Like all of Dotty and Dolly’s garments, the Cindy comes in UK sizes 8-22, providing a wide range for gorgeous pinups of all sizes. For reference, I’m wearing a UK 10, which is my normal UK size. If you’re unsure, or not accustomed to UK sizing, check their size chart and review their length measurements provided for every dress.

The Cindy is sold through Dolly and Dotty‘s website and is priced at £34.99 (roughly $43), which is phenomenal for such gorgeous dresses, especially one that makes you feel like your favorite princess.

Shipping within the UK starts at as little as £3.50, while delivery to mainland Europe or the US ranges from £12.99-18.99 (about $23). Fortunately for us gals across the pond, they provide free shipping for orders over £50 ($62), so it’s definitely worth ordering more than one dress (wouldn’t you anyway? I mean, look at them!).

I could go on and on about why Belle is my favorite princess: she loves books, she’s fearless, smart, beautiful, but my favorite characteristic of hers is her ambition. She wants nothing more than an adventure in the great wide somewhere, and I, too, want that more than I can tell. I’ve always felt like I’m destined for something great, that I could never settle into a desk job or the corporate world, that I meant for so much more than a provincial life.

Maybe my aspirations are too big, maybe being a woman in science– being a vet–  is too big of an adventure, but when I put on this dress I embrace my inner Belle and feel like I can accomplish this goal as long as I hold onto my ambition.

Dress: Cindy Polka Dot Vintage Dress in Yellow c/o Dolly and Dotty | Shoes: Patent Leather Oxford in Cream – American Apparel | Enchanted Rose Tumbler- Walt Disney World’s Be Our Guest restaurant c/o the best boyfriend on earth
Special thanks to Katie from Dolly and Dotty for this magical opportunity.

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Plaid Dress, Petticoats, and The Road Less Traveled 

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I’m passionate about biology. So it only makes sense that one of the many places I’ve wanted to visit since moving to Boston was the Arnold Arboretum. It’s a botanical oasis filled with some of the most magnificent trees I’ve ever seen. There were even parts of the arboretum that felt like I had stepped into Jurassic Park, filled with plants reminiscent of the Eocene phase of Earth. Needless to say, I was in heaven.

I could have spent the entire day walking around the property. The weather was just as beautiful as the trees and flowers surrounding us. There were Redwoods, Cork trees from Japan, Canadian Maples, countless species (of which I desperately wanted to climb) that left you speechless.

Not only was this week the beginning of school, but it also felt like the beginning of fall, therefore I broke out my new plaid dress. I had been searching for a plaid dress for a while and took a chance on this one. I bought it from the Modcloth B,S,T Facebook page with no knowledge of it’s length, but I love that it’s short enough for my petticoat to stick out underneath.

I plan on returning to the Arboretum when the leaves have started changing colors in an even more fall-inspired outfit. Stay tuned!

Dress: And All that Jazz Fest Dress – Modcloth | Petticoat: Va Va Voluminous Petticoat in White (Short) – Modcloth | Shoes:  Swing Along Heel in Noir – Modcloth

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Bumblebees, Aging Trees, and a Touch of Green

Living in a city is wonderful, but sometimes you need a break from all the hustle and bustle. The Public Garden is the perfect escape and easily one of my favorite places in Boston. It reminds me of Green Park in London, where I spend my last few hours before boarding a plane back home.

The garden is most known for it’s swan boats, which people line up around the lake for during the summer. There are real swans, too, and a plethora of ducks wandering around with no fear of humans. Every twist and turn of the garden is breathtaking and it’s the perfect spot to lay down and read a book.

I think my favorite part of my trip to the garden was the amount of bumble bees flying around the flowers. I used to be absolutely petrified of bees until I started volunteering at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History. They acquired an observable beehive and trained the volunteers on the behaviors and social tendencies of bees. They’re absolutely fascinating and essential creatures whose existence is constantly threatened by natural and human causes.

If you’re afraid of bees, just remember that they won’t sting you unless it’s absolutely essential for the survival of the hive. Whenever a honey bee stings, it dies. So next time you see one, let it pollinate, go on it’s way and appreciate all that they do for us.

It was brutally hot at the garden that day, so fortunately I had one of my lighter dresses on. I bought this dress almost four years ago, as a graduation treat, and wore it on my first Christmas with Anthony. He took me on my first horse and carriage ride and it was absolutely magical. I hadn’t worn the dress since, but figured I’d give it another go. I fell back in love with this dress instantly! The touch of green at the bottom is my favorite part. I’ll definitely be finding more occasions to strut around in this gown!

Dress: Anthropologie | Shoes: Urban Outfitters

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