Friday Finds: the most exquisite vintage handbag

One of the perks to working at a vintage shop is being surrounded by beautiful things and getting to buy them before anyone else! I am now the owner of the most beautiful vintage handbag I have seen…and I have a feeling it may not have been used, as it is in pristine condition.

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While I did not buy this bag the first time I saw it, I had been lusting after it seen first laying eyes on it. I may have even gasped when I saw it on the shelf, sitting there so modestly. I was so surprised it lasted as long as it did in the shop. Each week when I came in for my shift, I would look to see if it was gone yet. I expelled a sign of relief when I saw it had not sold yet.

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I decided it was finally time to make it mine, when I purchased the Downtown Dames swing dress from Pinup Girl Clothing. I got the dress to wear to see Guys and Dolls. The blue in the handbag was a match to the blue of the dress, so of course I had to finally get it! I can’t believe that I forgot to take a photo of my outfit, so you will just have to wait until next time to see the pairing.

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This handbag was an absolute steal for the condition it was in…which is practically perfect. This is another reason why I was so surprised no one had snatched it up. I got a little discount which made it even sweeter. I plan to only use this beautiful handbag on special occasions, in order to preserve its beauty.

20150626_084357 (2)This divine handbag was purchased at Swish Vintage downtown. Swish has so many gorgeous vintage handbags from the 1920s upwards, all in varying condition; from the ones that have been very loved, to ones that may have only used used once or twice. Go, Kittens, and see  the wonder of vintage handbags at Swish!

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Pinup Couture: Make me Blush

Pinup Couture really hit it out of the park with this gorgeous blush halter swing dress. It oozes Hollywood glamor of the Monroe era. The fabric is so silky and luxurious; it hangs beautifully; it is smooth and velvety; it is perfection.

11009487_901327579887380_1447437912_o (2)I felt just like Marilyn Monroe when I put it on. In fact, I said, get me a heating grate to stand over! I want to be just like Marilyn!

This dress is a beautiful blush champagne colour – it is sweetly and gently pink. It has a huge skirt, which means there is tons of room for crinoline. I am only wearing one, but if this dress is worn by a bride or to a prom, it could easily fit a few crinolines. The bust line has plenty of pleats to accentuate the bust

11001085_901327566554048_1570387324_o (2)I was shocked when I saw the price tag of this beauty. It is only $138! This is an insane deal, considering the detail and weight of the piece and of course, it is made in the United States, which means it is a quality garment.

I fit a medium in the blush halter, I measure 37-30-41 and it was a perfect fit for me. This dress runs fairly true to size, so you should be fine to order your usual size. You can find this beauty at RetroGlam.com  and at Rowena.

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I didn’t get many photos in it, so had to search the internet for a few more photos to share with you. If ever you wanted to feel like a vintage Hollywood starlet, this is the dress to do it!

*photos of Danger De Lux by Hello June Photography

Laura Byrnes Delia- Your new little black dress

The moment I saw the Delia dress from Laura Byrnes black label, I knew this dress would be divine on and it absolutely did not disappoint.

In my experience lace sleeves can be hard to wear, especially if you have any meat or muscle on your arms. I relieved a sign of joy, when I noticed the lace sleeves on the Delia dress were stretchy! This was even more important when I had to size down from a medium to a small- usually in this case the sleeves simply would not fit and I was slightly resistant that despite the stretch it still would not fit…but to my excitement, the small fit and it fit beautifully.

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The Delia is simply stunning. It has all the elements to make it your new favorite little black dress. The rouching on the sides make this bengaline wiggle dress highly flattering, hiding or camouflaging any trouble spots. The Delia also has the coveted sweet heart neckline, which gives this saucy number a touch of sweetness. This dress also has the slightest hint of a princess sleeve, further adding to its elegance.

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The fun continues onto the backside, with a keyhole on the upper back and a beautiful kick pleat which is something Pinup Girl is coming known for – no need for a simple slit when you can really punch up a wiggle with gorgeous pleats. The kick pleat is a beautiful selling point when I shown gals these dresses – we have, for some silly reason, come to expect a simple, boring slit, but why should we accept the bland, when we can have so much more thanks to Pinup Girl Clothing.

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The Delia comes in two other colour ways aside from black; it also comes in a cherry red with black lace, and a deep purple with black lace. All three equally as elegant.

As mentioned, I sized down in the Delia to a small. My measurements are: 37-30-41 ( they have changed a touch in the last few months). A small fit me perfect, so be sure to check the size chart before ordering. I have seen a few other gals try the Delia on and they had to size down as well.

At $145 the Delia is worth every nickle! This is sure to be my new go to, party dress.

Retroglam.com has all three colours to order online and Rowena has them in store. Don’t let this number slip by, as it truly is a timeless piece. I felt beautiful, stunning even, in it and that is a sure sign that one should own such a dress!

11002938_901327449887393_452642708_o (2)Photos taken by Hello June Photography

Hair, Makeup, and Styling by Danger De Lux

Semi- Formal Holiday Dresses with Rowena and Danger De Lux

Some holiday parties require something a bit more subtle- still beautiful, but simply not covered in sparkles. The dresses you will find below are perfect for those events in which one needs to be dressed nice, but not over the top

Heart of Haute makes great dresses, which are simple cuts and designs, but in fantastic prints and colours

The Heart of Haute Elaine dress, in Eden, is a great new style in a bold floral. This dress comes in sizes:small, medium, large, and extra large. I fit nicely into a medium. The Elaine rings in at $165.

You can get the Elaine here

_DSC3404e _DSC3405eThe Heart of Haute Beverly is a classic cut, which is oh so flattering. This red just screams ‘ take me to a holiday party!’. The Beverly come sin sizes: small, medium, large, extra large, 1 & 2 extra large. Meagan wore a medium in this frock. The Beverly is $118

You can get the Beverly here

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Heart of Hautes Marie dress in Odyssey is a lovely holiday and party dress. The Marie shows off your curves in this flattering cut- nipped at the waist and cleavage baring. The Marie comes in sizes: small, medium, large, extra large, and 1 & 2 extra large. Meagan wears a medium on the Marie . The Marie comes in a lovely crane print as well and is $120

Get the Marie in Odyssey here

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Pinup Girl Clothing makes great semi-formal frocks, like the Lydia and Jenny. Both of which are ideal for events and parties that require one to dress the part without being too glitzy.

Both are available is sizes: extra small, small, medium, large, extra large, and 2 extra large.

The Lydia comes in two other prints and is $164. The Jenny comes in two other colour ways and is also $164

You can get the Lydia here

You can get the Jenny here

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All photos were taken by Hello June Photography

All Clothing provided by Rowena/Retro Glam

Styling and Makeup by Danger De Lux

All hair accessories made by Danger De Lux and are available in store or for phone order

I hope you found the perfect holiday dress and that maybe my guide helped you find it! Stop in at Rowena or RetroGlam.com to find the dresses you have been searching for!

Danger De Lux & Rowena present accessories for the holidays

No holiday ensemble is complete without the right accessories….from hair flowers and fasinators to handbags and heels.

Rowena always has the best and biggest selection of handbags and what I have here is only a tiny piece of the selection available in store and online.

Sourpuss has come out with some adorable handbags, which retail at amazingly low prices! These are in their Bettie Page line so are extra glam!

These handbags come in: black, gold, oxblood, and bubblegum pink and in two sizes!

sppu56_cover_girl_purse_black_1sppu52_ceterfold_purse_gold_1indexkkkkkkTatyana has made a divine coffin shaped vintage inspired handbag, that I drool over every time I see it. You can’t see it in the photo below but there are copper flecks in the black, which makes this retro handbag even more delicious!

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Lux De Ville has come out with limited edition flame diablo darling clutches which I can not get enough of. These clutches are the perfect size too- big enough to fit more than just your lipstick and phone, but still compact enough to not take up too much room; the handle is a great size too and actually functional.If you have your eye on one of these, snatch it up quick, because they are  limited addition. You can find them in the store or for phone order.

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holiday 2014 005Rowena also has the Lux De Ville Sin City kiss lock handbag in lime green and black, which make for a great hand bag if you need something a touch bigger than a clutch.

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Not only does a gal need a handbag, she needs all the other goodies too…

Danger De Lux has made some one of a kind hair fasinators to help you feel extra festive this season. Starting at $8 up to$30 there is something is everyone’s price and glitz range. These are only in the shop, however feel free to phone the shop to order one for snail mail.

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And for something a touch less dramatic..

holiday 2014 008 holiday 2014 009 holiday 2014 010Rowena also has a fabulous array of the jewelry in shop, which are the perfect statement pieces to go with your holiday dress.

A shop favorite is always Sweet Romance. The gorgeous pieces below are just dripping with vintage inspiration and I find them to be just darling.

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We also all love Classic Hardware, who makes jewelry with the modern pinup and rockabilly gal in mind.

holiday 2014 016 holiday 2014 019Of course no outfit would be complete with out lashes and stockings, and you bet we have all your bases covered!

holiday 2014 020 holiday 2014 022 holiday 2014 023And the final touch…

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These Pinup Couture flats are the icing on the cake- the perfect heel for any holiday dress.

holiday 2014 026Be sure to stop in at Rowena or surf the website, Retro Glam,  to get everything you need for your holiday outfit ( and more!)

Stay tuned for my last post on Holiday Dresses coming early next week. Have you found your perfect holiday dress yet? Which one?!

Holiday Dresses with Rowena and Danger De Lux

The holidays are upon us! And that mean festivities, celebrations, and holiday parties. Rowena and Danger De Lux have teamed up to bring you the very best holiday dresses, for all budgets and styles from all of your favorite pin up brands.

_DSC3431eThis multi-part post starts with some gorgeous, glamorous dresses for those oh so fancy parties this holiday season

The Ava Swing from Pinup Girl Clothing is made of a fabulous taffeta, that swishes with delight when you walk.  The Ava Swing comes in sizes: small, medium, and large, with plus sizes on the way. This dress fits true to size and feels fantastic on. The Ava swing is $138 and comes in black and teal.

Get the Ava swing here

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Pinup Girl Clothing also brings us the Folly Flair in Champagne. This dress is one of my all time favorites. It screams old school Hollywood glamor. This is the ultimate wiggles dress, that drips sex appeal. This one can fit a bit snug. I am wearing a medium in the photos, however if I wanted to be able to sit or walk with any poise, I would need to wear a large.The Folly Flair comes in sizes: small, medium, large, extra large, and 2 extra large

The Folly Flair is $231 and is available in store or for phone order

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_DSC3394eThe Valerie from Pinup Girl Clothing reeks of glamor, with its one shoulder silhouette and the silky satin fabric which drapes like a Greek Goddesses gown. The Valeria Swing comes in sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. The dress fits true to size and is just dreamy. The Valerie comes in Black and Royal Blue and is $131.

You can get the Valeria here

_DSC3433e_DSC3439ePinup Girl Clothing’s Micheline is a classic black dress that is just perfect for a holiday event or party. The newly re-designed Micheline features a key hole on the upper back and a lovely kick pleat. This beauty comes in sizes: extra small, small, medium, large, extra large, and 2 extra large and fits true to size. The Micheline is $112 and comes in black, baby blue, purple, and black with chiffon over-lay.

You can get the Micheline here

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_DSC3387eTrashy Diva makes divine reproduction frocks that are just simply stunning. The Lena in Olive is the perfect dress for a formal event this holiday season, especially if you want to be the belle of the ball. Trashy Diva sizes run from a 2 (xs) to an 18 ( 2xl). An 8 is usually a perfect fit for me in trashy diva dresses. The Lena is a cool $225 and worth every penny – the fantastic detailing on the bust kicks the glam on this dress up a few notches.

Get the Lena here

_DSC3477e_DSC3479eTatyana’s Silver Roses dress is a shop favorite. This classic swing has an early 60’s party gown feel to it that I just love. Paired with a crinoline below, the Silver Roses is a sweet statement dress to dance the night away in. The Silver Roses comes in sizes: extra small, small, medium, large, extra large, and 2, 3, & 4 extra large. This dress never lasts long on the shops racks, so if this dress has tickled your fancy get it quick, before its too late. The Silver Roses is $165.

You can get the Silver Roses here

_DSC3486e _DSC3487eAll photos were taken by Hello June Photography

All Clothing provided by Rowena/Retro Glam

Styling and Makeup by Danger De Lux

All hair accessories made by Danger De Lux and are available in store or for phone order

Up next on the blog, the second part to the holiday dress series, gorgeous holiday dresses that won’t break the bank.

Fast Fashion- You Get What You Pay For

Most of the clothing available to us is mass produced in a run down factory in a third world country. Just look at the tag inside a garment and you will see that is was probably made in China or Cambodia or India or somewhere similar. It is rare to find clothing made in Canada or the United States. Pinup Girl Clothing, Heart of Haute, Steady Clothing, and Cherry Velvet have brought production back to North America, to provide quality clothing. Quality clothing has a price and unfortunately  a lot of people will just look at the price tag and scoff at how much a dress costs. These people have become accustom to fast fashion and its prices- H & M, Forever XXI, Zara, and the like pump out new styles every week at a fraction of the cost of a Pinup Couture dress; these stores drastically cut prices when a item is no longer in “fashion” to make sure they aren’t left with any of yesterdays fashions. Pinup Girl, Steady, Heart of Haute, and Cherry Velvet cautiously mark down their items or will have flash sales, as they create timeless pieces that do no go out of style. When a customer is surprised at the price tag of a Heart of Haute or Pinup Girl dress, I tell them these dresses are made in the States and are very high quality; I have owned a few Pinup Girl dresses for 5-7 years and they still look brand new. I have also never had a zipper break on a Pinup Girl dress, or a Heart of Haute, or Steady Clothing…hmmm, imagine that.

tumblr_l75z7rlm3a1qcc0h5o1_500Then there is the other half – the other pinup brands we love but which are mass produced in a dingy factory in China. The great thing about these brands, is that they are usually cheaper, and thus make pinup and rockabilly clothing more affordable to those people who really just can not afford to buy a new Pinup Girl Clothing dress for every occasion. Brands like HellBunny, Sourpuss, and Hearts and Roses offer cute pinup dress in the $50-$100 range. These dresses, however, fall in the fast fashion category. Because they are cheaper people feel more inclined to toss them, donate them, or not bother getting them fixed when a zipper breaks…which it will.

I am lucky enough to work at the mecca of pinup and rockabilly clothing, so I get to see everything brand new, try it all on, feel it, see its construction, and also see its destruction. Zippers break, buttons fall off, seams split- it is a fact of the fast fashion life and everyone had just better accept it if they are going to continuing buying fast fashion. Do you know how often I will see a zipper break or have a customer come in/call/email to say the zipper broke on the Hearts and Roses or Sourpuss dress? And I think to myself “….and your point is?”. Do not get me wrong, I love Sourpuss…I own a ton of dresses by this brand because I love the designs and the affordability. However, I do not hold it up to the same expectations as a Pinup Girl dress and neither should you!

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I am tired of hearing complaints that your button fell off your dress or jacket… guess what? It was bound to happen! That garment was most likely mass produced in a very short period of time, having to meet minimal quality expectations, so it could get here in time for you to wear it this winter. Here’s a little tip your grandma should have taught you- reinforce your buttons or when they fall off, simply sew them back on. Stop phoning/emailing the stores you bought it from to complain about the quality – guess what? I didn’t make it! And I didn’t make you buy it. And you should not be surprised when the zipper on your $50 dress breaks…instead, you should just drop it off at the tailor to pick up next week with a brand new zipper and get on with life.

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I have made it a habit to always look at tags to see where an item was made and then base that on my decision to buy it – I gauge the quality, the price, how much I will wear it, and if I think its going to last. This is why I own a handful of Sourpuss dresses and HellBunny Jackets…the cost and quality meet in the middle, which allows me to decide I will take the risk of buying a fast fashion item, which I know will get a lot of wear. Consumers need to take responsibility for their own purchases, as “I didn’t know” is simply not a valid excuse. We should all know what we are buying – we should all look to see where an item was made and what material it is made out of- that is 100% a consumers responsibility.

A store like Rowena offers up the best of the best of pinup and rockabilly fashion. It provides the consumer with options in style, design, brand, and cost because we feel every one should be able to be a pinup if they want to…and who doesn’t want to be a pinup?! In providing this service however, we bring in a select selection of brands that we feel meets the demands of our customers – this includes both made in North America slow fashion brands and out-sourced fast fashion brands. If the demand for both was not there, we wouldn’t carry both. Until the consumers stops buying fast fashion, until they demand more of the brands they love, they will remain the same, and zippers will break and buttons will fall off, because that’s life.

I have said it many times- you get what you pay for. If you spend $110-$250 on dress you can expect that dress to last, to see you through rough times, and to be there in happy times. If you spend $40-$60 on dress, you should love it for what its worth and remember what you paid for it when the zipper breaks or a button falls off.

I highly recommend every one l read “Over-Dressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion” by Elizabeth Cline to learn a bit more about the fast fashion industry. She also talks about the environmental impact of the industry and how something needs to change…now.

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 We all know why Pinup Girl Clothing can be expensive and why Hearts & Roses isn’t, so lets all stop fooling ourselves into thinking every dress we buy should stand the test of time. Some dresses are meant for better things, while others are meant to be worn once or twice before being sent off to the tailor to fix a zipper or fallen hemline.