Saturday, 30 May 2015

A Matching Wonderland - Heart of Haute Mother Daughter Outfits

After a minor car accident last week, I've found myself too busy with sorting out this car business to blog :( But I'm so happy to be back!  Most words out of my mouth the past day have been "blog comes first" when other commitments have arisen. I love my little blog and the few beautiful readers that it has. If it never grows, the few of you following it have made it so worth my while!

Onwards - I have been wanting dresses from Ava Adorable by Heart of Haute since before Selene was born - but alas, they come in sizes 2T and up. After seeing this post by the gorgeous Ashley of Southern (California) Belle, I decided it was time to give it a whirl, even though my Selene is only a petite year and a half. 

If you follow me on instagram and know of my myriad of matching mother daughter outfits, you will not be surprised that I ordered myself a Heart of Haute dress in the same fabric. How can I not?!

The fit of the Chambray Anchor Irene dress is perfection. I am wearing a size small, and for once - there is ample room in the bust AND my girls look nice and perky! Seriously, having a large gap in your bust to waist ratio generally means either having things too large in the waist or having the waist fit but your girls squished into an awkward square shape. This dress ticks all the boxes, because not only is there enough room in the bust, but the tie back means it can be tightened to whatever comfort and fashion level you prefer. And bonus, for any of you pregnant ladies out there - whilst this dress gives a lovely slim sillouette, if left tied looser it can actually accommodate quite the bump. When my husband and I expand our family, I will definitely be ordering more of these. 

The fabric is on the thinner side compared to some retro-inspired brands, but it's very sturdy and still definitely high quality - you won't see pilling, pulling or tearing from anything by Heart of Haute for years to come. Take note however - there is no stretch. I wish there was as I am constantly bending and lifting my daughter, so I find the arms can feel  a little tight at times. This isn't enough to ever hinder me from wearing it or continuing to have a love affair with all things Heart of Haute. I love them!

 As per Ashley's advice, Selene fits quite comfortably into the 2T dresses, especially due to the pretty tie at the back that cinches everything together! There is quite a bit of room in the arm holes, but that means this dress will fit her for at least another year or more, so to me that's just bonus points.

We took some photos inside to show off our dresses without any layers, and then ventured to the park to finish off out little photoshoot and have fun on the swings :) 

*Set, run to pose, chase the child, bring her back to a spot nearer to me so that when she runs away again she is within catching distance, repeat*

Her wonder at the world never ceases to amaze me and remind me to be thankful for the beauty that is our surroundings <3

Shoes - Gift

Little Miss advises - that's a wrap!

Have you ever purchased from the Ava Adorable line? What has your experience been with Heart of Haute? xo, Miss Betty Doll

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Wishlust Wednesday - Dollbabies and Junebugs

It took all of my self control not to make this entire entry dedicated to the items in the Coming Soon Section of Pinup Girl Clothing . Wishlust Wednesdays are supposed to be about spicing it up and exploring all options of the retro net, right? BUT THERE ARE SO MANY GOODIES TO LUST AFTER ON PINUP GIRL! Stop that, PUG. Right now. You're killing my marriage with my constant pestering of my husband to buy more of your stuffs.

Having said that, it's all too easy to scour my pinterest board dedicated to my "wants" and find things I am craving for my wardrobe. Whenever I need a little clothing and beauty order inspiration, I go there. It helps me keep track of what I am wanting and how long I've wanted it.

A - The Duchess Charm Ring by Wheels and Dollbaby - I am a huge Wheels and Dollbaby fan. Their prints are iconic, their Dita cardigan is to die for, and their outfit pairings are always inspirational. This ring is on my lust list right now because of the charm! I love anything with charms, and half of my jewelery collection is charm bracelets and necklaces. I've yet to own a charm ring, however, and can't wait to grab this one.

B - Sgt. Dollbaby Cardigan - This cardigan is what all my childhood fantasies are made of. I legitimately remember watching my daddy put on his uniform and comparing it with Zenia Onatopp from James Bond - Goldeneye and thinking how badly I wanted a femme fatale uniform one day. This is it. Paired with deep red lips and anything from jeans to leather jeggings, it would be amazing. Ah-may-zing.

C - Charlotte Dress in Navy Gingham by Lindybop - As shown in my previous post, I love shirt dresses! They give you instant Stepford Wife status and I love it. I would pair this dress with a sexy white cami underneath and leave the dress halfway unbuttoned. Again, I don't like everything to be conservative! I have yet to own anything from Lindybop and plan on making a purchase soon to test them out.

D - Dorothy Dress in Black with Cream Trim - Peter Pan collars aren't normally my thing. I have always felt prettiest in lower necklines. However, since purchasing the Estelle Top by Heart of Haute, I think I am a high neck convert. I do think I would get this dress shortened so I have a little leg showing. I am a big believer in showing a little of one asset per outfit, and since the bust, back, arms and leg are all conservative, I would probably opt for a little leg. This dress is part of the collection inspired by the gorgeous girls at Junebugs and Georgia Peaches . If you are somehow reading my blog and haven't read theirs, then bless you because you have made my day and made me feel semi famous. Most likely though, you are well aware of Katie and Amanda!

E - Little Jun Skirt by Pinup Couture - I have been looking for a pink swing skirt for months now. Whilst I have come across a few that I've wanted, I worried about the quality of the brands the skirts were by. Because this is by Pinup Girl Clothing, I know the quality will be second to none. I love the pleating detail and the pale pink color, and have so many outfits planned for it. As this is to be released in June-July, I can only pray to the pinup godesses that it will come out earlier in its collection release rather than later.

How would you style the Sgt. Dollbaby Cardigan? xo, Miss Betty Doll


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I Love Lucy - A Le Bomb Shop Review

I love my Heart of Haute and Pinup Girl Clothing as much as the next retro repro lover, but sometimes we need an inexpensive alternative. This was my line of thought when I made my first purchase from Le Bomb Shop last year.

My opinion has totally changed and I am now a huge fan of Le Bomb in and of itself, without comparison to other pinup brands. Their styles are truly unique, and they don't do cheap knock-offs of more popular retro brands. 

One of those unique styles is the Lucy dress. One of my biggest frustrations with other brands is when you love a clothing style and wish it came in every color of the rainbow but - alas, it comes in only one or two shades. Not so with many items from Le Bomb Shop, including the Lucy dress. She comes in a myriad of colors, so the problem is not whether you can find your favorite, but rather practicing restraint and not buying them all!

Regarding fit, my measurements are 36-25-36 and I am wearing a size small. The dress has a bit of stretch to it, making it very comfortable. The cut of the dress keeps it from clinging too closely to the body, so it's ideal for spring and summer. I do find the cut to run a little big, however if I were to size down I wouldn't have room in the chest area to fit the, ahem, girls. As you can see below, the dress has plenty of excess in the waist area when worn with the cloth belt that it comes with. I remedy this by wearing it with wide belts from my own closet, though looking through these photos I think I may prefer it with the cloth belt now!

Unfortunately the pale aqua shade I am wearing above has sold out, but there are still many other colors to choose from.

The quality of the dress is what you would expect for a price tag of $41. It isn't lined and the fabric is quite thin. As mentioned above, this does have its benefits. I can wear this comfortably in the peak of summer, something you don't find very often in short sleeved dresses. I have also worn and washed these several times and have experienced no pilling or fading. They are very handy for those "I don't know what to wear" days, as the single tone of each dress makes accessorising easy. Couple that with the ease of wear and you're set.

They do wrinkle fairly easily in the closet, however once ironed they stay perfectly pressed all day. This is coming from someone who spends half her time on the floor either chasing, or cleaning up after, my child. You can take my word for it ;)

 The skirt of the dress is a-line, and I can comfortably fit a good sized petticoat underneath. I tend not to as I like to wear this dress on more casual days, with flats and a charm bracelet. Petticoats take away from the ease of wear, but that's not to say the dress doesn't look great with one underneath.

Shipping from Le Bomb Shop is surprisingly quick. I thought only Pinup Girl Clothing could deliver in record time, but I tend to get orders from Le Bomb in 1.5 weeks from the US to Australia. Not bad!

(Ran out of poses. Figured this would work. Dork alert.)

This is also a good beginners dress for baby pinups who love the retro look but aren't sure where to start. Many of my completely modern girlfriends have asked me where I got these dresses, and I receive compliments on a regular basis from strangers and mother's who want to emulate this look. Definitely a winner!

Do you own anything from Le Bomb Shop? What's your favorite way to style a shirt dress? xo, Miss Betty Doll

Friday, 15 May 2015

Retro Workwear- Part 1: Estelle Tops by Heart of Haute

After a year off of work to spend time with my little girl, I returned to work in March of this year. As sad as I was to have less time with her, I have so enjoyed getting to dip into my office wear again. I love pencil skirts, but Australia has such a laidback culture that what I wear is already above and beyond what anyone else wears here. Therefore, I don't wear pencil skirts too often unless I'm at work. I find them to be dressier than full skirts. Plus they tend to show more when I have a big lunch. Which I do a lot. A. lot.

Anyhoo, wearing all of my work clothing has inspired me to do a work appropriate series of my favorite pinup brands. There are several brands which deliver beautiful and high quality pieces time and time again, which can be styled to suit a corporate wardrobe.

To start with, I had to pick the Estelle Top by Heart of Haute. Since purchasing them, I wear them at least once a week. I just can't help myself. I am a big fan of pussybow tops. The feminine bow at the neck. The couture feel. The high neck. I love it all. I haven't seen any brand do a classic pussybow top better than Heart of Haute.

A little about the brand itself: Heart of Haute is owned by the fabulous mother/daughter team of Mandie Bee and Teresa Becker. This in and of itself gets me all giddy, because I am very close with my mother and have a daughter of my own. The thought of doing what these two gorgeous women do gives me butterflies. What a dream! Their clothing is made in the USA and always delivers on quality. They are amongst my favorite pinup brands.

Now - the feel of the Estelle Tops. The fabric of these tops is on the medium to thin side and has a lot of stretch. It is breathable and comfortable enough to wear in winter and summer. The stretch in the fabric is just enough to make it form fit to your body while still keeping the bow at the neck nice and structured. This is part of what gives it such a high quality look. It does wrinkle easily in the dryer, but it does not wrinkle easily through wear, which I love.

With regards to sizing, I am 36-25-36 and purchased a small. I find it to be a perfect fit - especially when tucked into a high-waisted skirt as shown. The waist could afford to be smaller, but it's not something I ever notice or would complain about and lines up with their size chart anyway. Their size chart says a small is bust 33-34", waist 26-27", hips 35-36", however I find my bust, which is bigger than the size small on the chart, has enough room and is very comfortable. There is lots of room in the arms and they don't feel the least bit tight or uncomfortable.

(I have more booty than I thought I did hehe!)

I purchased it in White, Black, and Mini Dot Blue to go with the colors of my workplace. I wear work uniforms but use these on days when perhaps I haven't gotten the laundry done in time and need something that matches well with our color palette. They come in a huge variety of colors, however, including lots of gorgeous florals!

The Mini Dot Blue is my favorite! It's a gorgeous sky blue shade and compliments blue eyes really well.

Overall, I love this brand and love these tops, and can't wait to do some reviews on their toddler line!

Do you own any Heart of Haute pieces? What is your favorite? xo, Miss Betty Doll


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Fairytale Fantasy - Queen of Hearts Skirt by Pinup Girl Clothing

If you don't know what the Jenny Skirt is, baby, let me fix that for you. It is the best thing to ever happen to your wardrobe. It may be the best thing since sliced bread, too, but don't quote me on that (since advances in science and the medical field are maybe supposed to take precedence over a skirt.... *cough*).

I digress, this skirt is awesome. The Jenny Skirt by Pinup Couture features a full silhouette due to the gathers all around the waistband, which in and of itself is the perfect size so it doesn't fold over when you sit down. It comes in a variety of patterns and colors, from basic black to one of Pinup Couture's latest offerings - the Queen of Hearts Skirt.

This skirt is amazing. It is vibrant, fun, quirky, and can be styled in many different ways. I have worn it with the pink peasant top from Pinup Girl Clothing, (instagram post here) this top by Bonsai Kitten (review coming soon), a plain black top and the white peasant top.

Side note - I found I wasn't a big fan of the length of the Jenny Skirt (I am 5'6" and it falls a couple of inches below the knee) and felt it made me look a bit stumpy until I started wearing them with petticoats. The way the skirt fans out with a petticoat gives it a completely different appearance and one that I much prefer, however these skirts are so versatile that I know many women prefer then without petticoats for a more casual look. It's totally up to you!

Regarding fit - my measurements are 36-25-36. I wear a size small in almost all Pinup Girl Clothing items, including the Jenny Skirt. I find that whilst the black Jenny fits me perfectly around the waist, all other color ways have been looser around the waist (as you can see below where the thin belt I tried to use to make it tighter has slipped up and the skirt has fallen further down my waist) I fix this by wearing wide belts with it and it does the trick. The reason I do this is the silhouette of the Jenny is in true 1950's style and really best worn right at the smallest part of the waist. When you wear it any lower than that, it can give you an awkward shape and make you appear thicker around the middle than you really are. So if you fall between sizes and want a good tight fit, take it to your tailor or pair it with a belt.

 Thick belt shown here <3
Of course I had to get my little miss in on the photoshoot action. That rose is from my Mother's Day bouquet. At first she was doing a cute little "he loves me, he loves me not" kind of delicate plucking of the petals. Then she ripped the entire head of the rose off and threw it. Thank you, tiny princess. Mommy hates flowers anyway. Not.  
Dress - Pumpkin Patch, old stock
Shoes - ebay, search for "baby red mary janes"

Shoes - Pinup Couture, similar here
In conclusion, the Jenny is awesome, and the new colorways Pinup Girl Clothing has been releasing has made it even awesome-er. (I speak perfect English at all times. Can you tell?) Many of the Jenny's currently on the market are limited edition, so get in while you can!
Do you own any Jenny Skirts? What is your favorite print/color? What color would you see done if you could? xo, Miss Betty Doll
 Outtake... child is sneak attacking me.

Wishlust Wednesday - Gingham and Bows

I have to say, people, I am totally getting a grasp on this photoshop thing. I made the below collage by myself.

I know, I know. Try to contain your excitement. The below is a masterpiece requiring skill of epic proportions.

Ok, not really. But honestly, I made it all by myself with no help from my lovely husband (who, bless him, tends to grunt and point in between video games when I ask for help, so he will be relieved that I am finally learning what he has "taught" me).

Anyway, I missed last week's Wishlust Wednesday because I was working extra hours and simply didn't have the time to get it together. I highly doubt I have enough readers to justify an explanation, but, you know, in case anyone was wondering ;)

A - Jenny Skirt in Blue Castle Print by Pinup Couture - To be honest, when I first saw this skirt I thought it was pretty but a little too juvenile for my tastes. Then, I bought the Jenny Skirt in Queen of Hearts print, remembered I already own a mermaid dress (speaking of juvenile) AND I saw the gorgeous Southern California Belle do an outfit post on it and decided I'm sold.

B - Dita Bardot Dress in Cream by The Pretty Dress Company - I am a total sucker for bows. I am 10x more likely to purchase anything - clothing or otherwise - if there's a bow involved. This dress has not one, but two bows, one on each pretty off-shoulder. I do wish it was a sweetheart neckline, but those bows just make me not care. 

C - Grand Dress in Grey Houndstooth by Stop Staring - Before my workplace introduced uniforms, I was working on re-building my corporate wardrobe since going on maternity leave. This was on the buy list, but now it's on the very wishful thinking list until I have a reason to purchase it. But just look at it. Again with the bow, coupled with a cute print and feminine sillouette. How could you not?

D - Avery Dress in Red Gingham by Stop Staring - Ruching at the bust. sweetheart neckline, puff cap sleeves and a picnic-esque print make this dress an ideal spring staple. I would wear this out to brunch with a girlfriend in the city. Stop Staring have beautiful, figure-hugging fabrics that never fail to please, and it's that combined with all of the above that make this dress to die for. (Has anyone seen "The Giver"? The dis-utopian book in which people are not allowed to use dramatic or untrue sayings? I would fail.)

E- Light Pink Tulle Skirt by Dark Pony Designs - I am waiting for a function to wear this to. I almost wore one to my daughter's birthday but had trouble finding a top to wear with it that was also appropriate for a first birthday. Many of the bustier tops from Wheels and Dollbaby would suit this skirt. I feel the fullness factor and bow make it too dressy for casual wear, but I will own this skirt one day.

Are Wishlust Wednesdays a keeper? What are you currently lusting after? xo, Miss Betty Doll


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mother's Day 2015

I was sick last year on Mother's Day and we got up to basically nothing. I wore a pretty robe for a few snaps around the house, but that's about as fancy as we got.

This year, the hubs did good. Reeeeal good. I came home from work to find a sparkling clean house, and a mini treasure hunt. It started with a note telling me to go to the kitchen, with a trail of rose petals to lead the way. There in the kitchen were roses and chocolates, and another note leading me to the fridge. There, there was an American cheesecake with a cherry on top. And to top it off there was a note from him advising he would do the dishes.

<3<3<3 Very nice, baby, very nice. <3<3<3

The cherry on top of the day was definitely the matching dresses that Pigtails and Pirates custom made for Selene and I! For a mama and daughter who always matches, I have never actually purchased custom-made clothing. I've always been able to find things that match well enough. 

Now, I think, I have passed the point of no return. The matchy-ness was absolute perfection and send my pinup heart a-fluttering. I don't know how to go back to less-than-perfectly-coordinated clothing. What have you done to me, Pigtails?!?!

I don't even know where to start with my experience, so I suppose the beginning will do.

I discovered Pigtails and Pirates through random suggestions by Instagram from other similar profiles I liked. After months of lusting and saving for the perfect dresses, I contacted Laura Jones, creator of the brand, to see what she could do. I asked for pink, matching dresses. She replied almost instantly and provided me with several digital fabric samples of what was available. I decided in the end on the white, red and pink floral fabric, as I felt it would do better in winter than the other cheery and bright fabrics they had, and would match well with the white coats Selene and I wear almost daily.

The dresses arrived within 2.5 weeks, and she even sent them express to ensure they would arrive in time for Mother's Day. 

I squealed when they arrived. The fit was exactly as it should be, with the waist and bust fitting to a tee. Never before have I donned such a perfectly fitted dress, even though I just ordered a standard size 8 and didn't give her my measurements. I ordered Selene's dress in a size 2, and found that though it is a little big (even at 16 months, she is still between sizes 0 and 1), it is still something she can wear now without it falling off her shoulders, and she has lots of room to grow into it.

It was a very chilly day today, with rain to boot, so whilst I took a quick couple of photos to show off the dresses without additional layers, Selene and I wore cardigans today to fight the cold.

I find that the fabric is so light weight, and the skirt full enough that even a thing petticoat adds alot of swing and fullness. It;s not even properly portrayed here because Selene is squishing some of the dress down, but it really was twirl-worthy.

We went out to lunch and dessert today as a family, and everywhere I went, people were stopping me to ask where I got Selene and my outfits from Mothers in the restaurant, sales assistants in Pumpkin Patch, random passerbys who were telling their friends that's how they will one day dress with their daughters. I felt amazing. I even had a photographer doing portraits for mother's day practically beg me to come take some photos because he had all these ideas in mind. Now I'm not saying I'm all kinds of fabulous. No. I owe it to these kick-ass dresses. 

Shoes - Mary Janes in White from Pinup Girl Clothing (similar here, strap is lower)

So thank you, fabulous Ms. Jones, for creating a company with which I can indulge in my pinup style and perfectly coordinate with my favourite little princess. Your customer service, eye for detail and designs are second to none. <3

To order your own custom dress(es) from Pigtails and Pirates, simply contact Laura through the contact portion of the website, or via her instagram page

What did you do for Mother's Day? xo, Miss Betty Doll

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