Yellow Pumps, Polka Dots, and the Spring Equinox

There may be snow on the ground here in Boston, but it’s officially spring, which means my least favorite season is finally on its way out.

Maybe it’s just me, but during the winter I don’t feel like I can dress as my normal self. I’m covered in multiple layers, which usually consist of either black, white, or red, and my hair gets destroyed by upwards of 55 mph wind before I even set foot in the office.

Fortunately, those days are behind us and we’re heading toward warmer weather, which also means warmer colors!

I’ve only recently discovered that I had been depriving my wardrobe of anything purple for the last six years. Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve owned anything in the royal color. It really came down to nothing ever having caught my eye, until I came across this stunning Darlene Swing Dress from Dolly and Dotty.

The most eye-catching feature of the Darlene Swing Dress is the neckline with its slight off-the-shoulder design and two buttons on the lefthand side. The width of the neckline is shallow enough to conceal any bra straps, but deep enough to display some collarbone- a true staple of the 1950s, in which collarbones and shoulders were scandalously sexy.

The Darlene is made of stretchy cotton allowing the fitted bodice to form to your curves beautifully, while flawlessly flowing into a full circle skirt. The skirt comes down below the knee, even with a thin petticoat underneath, and the fabric is relatively thick, making it perfect for the transition from winter to spring.

The sleeves are truly midcentury, landing about halfway down the arm and boasting the most adorable touch of white around the bottom. The zipper is concealed down the righthand side making it extremely easy to zip up yourself. I’m wearing a UK10, which is my normal UK size. Despite my waist measurement being on the larger side of this size, the dress fits perfectly and I could easily wear it all day (and night) long.

The Darlene Swing Dress is priced extremely reasonable at £39.99 ($50.00), which is along the lines of all of  Dolly and Dotty’s beautiful dresses. It comes in 15 additional fabrics, ranging from polka dots to florals and is available in UK8-24.

So if you’re looking for that perfect seasonal transition dress, look no further than the Darlene Swing Dress from Dolly and Dotty.

Dress: Darlene Retro Full Circle Swing Dress in Purple c/o Dolly and Dotty | Shoes: BDG Suede Kitten Heels in Yellow- Urban Outfitters
 Special thanks to Katie from Dolly and Dotty for this amazing collaborative opportunity.

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Foam Rollers, Pomade, and Middy Cuts

I’ve been talking about cutting my hair for about a month, and on Saturday I finally did it. I wasn’t taking this transformation lightly, either. I drove 45 minutes to Providence, RI for an appointment with the owner of a small, but award winning salon called Suite Tart.

Upon arriving, I knew I had picked the right place. The salon is filled with vintage clocks, photographs, luggage and furniture and the owner, Lulu Locks, is everything I hoped she’d be. Not only was she ecstatic to partake in a vintage haircut, but she knew all of the pinup happenings around New England and happily shared them with me.

Now, on to the haircut (which I could not be happier with)! Lulu and I were on the exact same page: a femme fatale middy cut with a slightly modern twist, for those days that I’m too lazy to set it. As for my set, the first one was a complete failure, but I’m quite proud of my second attempt.

I decided to go with a dry set as my first one was wet and a bit uncontrollable. I used Suavecita Grooming Spray before rolling in order to make sure that my curls actually took shape. The grooming spray smells fantastic, having the same scent as their pomade, and made my hair just wet enough to set within a few hours.

Since I have Bettie bangs, I don’t roll the crown of my head like most gals do. I simply roll along the sides of my head, tie it all up in a vintage scarf and call it a day.

When removing foam rollers, I untwist the hair instead of just pulling the roller out. This ensures that my hair stays in smooth ringlets with tamed ends. With my rollers out, I reached for my Suavecita Teasing Brush. The bristles are soft, yet firm, so they don’t hurt while teasing. I run through all of my curls, from base to tip, making sure that I achieve lots of volume.

Once I look like I’ve been electrocuted, I start applying a small amount of Suavecita Pomade (clearly I have an obsession with Suavecita). When I say a small amount, I mean the size of a pea. A little bit of this goes a long way! I use this to smooth down my hair and help shape my curls.

In order to create those iconic curls in the front, I used an old Denman paddle brush that I’ve had since high school. Yes, it’s so good that I kept it for almost a decade. Perhaps I should get a new one, though. The paddle brush has around 12 rows of bristles, but ideally you want somewhere between 7-9 for your brush out, such as this brush.

After finishing my brush out and obtaining the shape I wanted, I placed two alligator clips above each of my ears for about 20 minutes to make sure the sides  of my hair stay down.

And here we have the final look. I’m no expert, but I’m very happy with this set. If you have any questions, or tips for me, feel free to reach out! I would love to learn new techniques to perfect my middy!

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Black, White, and Vintage Bakelite

When I was 16, I wouldn’t walk out of the house without several large bangles on. As the years went by, I became less and less enticed by accessories that led me to stand out. Fast forward ten years later, and chunky bangles are back on my arm.

I’ve always found true bakelite bangles to be rather expensive. The price can range anywhere from $20 to several thousands, and you’re lucky if you find anything for under $50. But sometimes luck is on your side.

Bakelite jewelry was most popular during the Art Deco period (1910-1940s). The bangles were not meant to be expensive. They were intended as costume jewelry, giving those without expendable income the ability to own quality pieces.

The height of Bakelite’s popularity was towards the later half of the Art Deco period (1930-1940s). The pieces were available in major department stores, like Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as high-end designers, such as Chanel. It was made in several different color varieties, but green, red, white and brown were the most popular. Over time these colors have faded, particularly white, which turns into a cream or tan brown.

Since Bakelite is a form of plastic, it was used for numerous things aside from jewelry, such as toys and electronic components. In the early 1940s, however, many companies stopped using it as the demand for products designated for World War II increased. By the end of the war, Bakelite had become obsolete, but much of it has gained more value than when it was originally created.

Because of it’s current popularity, there are a lot of “bakelite” bangles that are actually “fakelite.” Fortunately, there’s a way to test if your jewelry is true bakelite plastic. Because real bakelite cannot melt or burn, placing a match up to the plastic will indicate whether it’s real (has no sign of damage) or fake (melts or burns).

Truth be told, I’m too nervous to test mine. I’d rather live under the illusion that these are true bakelite, than find out they’re actually fakelite. So if you’re fortunate enough to find bakelite for a reasonable price, such as most of the beauties from Brighter Bakelite, don’t hesitate to grab it and flaunt it.

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Fairy Pink, Roses & Polka Dots, and the Return of Winter

I’ve apparently been lulled into a false sense of spring, so much so that I pulled my favorite floral frock from the back of my closet, only to have to put away again.

The Emma 1950s Dress from Hell Bunny is a robust mid-century housewife reproduction. The eye-catching design features pink and yellow roses, white polka dots, and several rows of buttons down the front.

The wide collar creates the illusion that the dress wraps around the bodice and secures with the use of the buttons, when in fact, it zips up the back. With the help of the adjustable belt and full, a-line skirt, the dress creates a flatteringly small waist.

Although the skirt itself is quote voluminous, I wanted to add an extra bit of poof, so I made sure to wear a petticoat underneath.

The weather this weekend put me in such a spring-time mindset that I finally wore my Kate Spade Mother of Pearl Clip-On Earrings. I’ve had these sitting in my jewelry dish for months now, but didn’t feel inspired enough to show them off, mainly because winter is positively dreary.

Additionally, I’ve never fully trusted clip-on earrings. My ears have been pierced since I was a little girl, so I’ve never experienced anything other true earrings. I have to say, though, these babies grip your ears. After wearing them for a few hours I have no doubt that they will stay on all day long.

And once again I’m wearing my Ione in Fairy Pink from B.A.I.T. Footwear. I think I need an intervention or possibly just need to buy some more shoes, but look at how perfectly the fairy pink matches the pink roses on the Emma dress! I couldn’t pass up this pairing.

The Emma 1950s Dress is made out of 98% cotton and is machine washable, although you may want to air dry it. It’s available in US XS-XL, but I find that it runs slightly large, so check your measurements before ordering.

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