Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Super Last Minute Halloween Costumes From Your Pinup Wardrobe

Lots of girls in retro world put together some truly stunning ensambles for Halloween. It's a favourite holiday in the pinup community, probably because of the theatrices involved - I mean if we're willing to wear red lipstick every day, it means most of us have a flare for the dramatic.

But sometimes we get caught off guard. Last minute party invites and quick decisions to attend costumed events can leave you standing in Walmart on Halloween weekend with nothing left but some fake blood and a few capes. Not to mention the fact that Halloween costumes cost an arm and a leg for one night of wear (unless you're me, who wears costumes regularly. Ha) So, here are a few ideas you may be able to pull from your current wardrobe if you end up really stuck!

Candy Striper

I've always been a fan of this look. As with anything retro, it's so easy to turn something sweet like a volunteer hospital worker from the 50s and make it glam. For this look I used my Golightly Bow Swing Dress by Unique Vintage and paired it with the Estelle Blouse from Heart of Haute (with the bow tucked in) . I happened to have a sailor hat left over from a shoot I did a few years ago, but you could seriously make one of these little hats out of paper.

There are plenty of red and white striped dresses out there, such as this one by Le Bomb Shop:

I'm pointing this out as a possibility because it's so easy to put together last minute.

Any top with puff sleeves will do, and most of us pinup girls have at least one in our wardrobes. My personal favourite is the Powederpuff Top by Vixen

Castle Print Jenny Skirt by Pinup Girl Clothing

A quick trip to any fashion store will lead you to a black choker, as 90s jewelery is all the rage at the moment.  Add a big bun like my tutorial here and you're good to go.

Poison Ivy

Harley Quinn is massive right now. I get it, she's cute, sexy and demented. Everything you want in a woman... right? I guess? 
But really, she's nothing compared to Poison Ivy - an intellectual scientist who just wants to cover the world in flowers and look damn good doing it. Ok, she'll kill anyone in her path, but still, she's perfection. Her perfectly coifed hair and smoldering gaze are already Hollywood worthy, so making her into a pinup ain't no thing. Just use any green dress in your wardrobe and get some vines from your local hardware or homewares store. It doesn't even have to be ivy vines, as once you've added pops of green to your makeup and wrapped yourself in plants, it'll be pretty obvious who you are anyway.


The possibilities are endless, especially for girls with big wardrobes and a penchant for bright colors and variety of dress. So shop your wardrobe if need be and enjoy this Halloween!

Thanks for reading,

xo, Miss Betty Doll

Friday, 21 October 2016

Matching Mother Daughter Outfits: All Things Fairytale in Pigtails and Pirates

I seriously can't get enough of Pigtails and Pirates. As I've mentioned before, spending all the time I did when it was just Selene and me, meticulously going through websites to find matching outfits for us, is just not an option with two little ones. Unless, of course, I get them custom made. Pigtails and Pirates does just that for me and I love every piece from them to bits!

I've had my eye on this beautiful Cinderella Dress for ages, but just never took the plunge until recently. This is a very girly print - so much so, that even I thought I couldn't pull it off. I know, me. The one who wears princess costumes and dances to princess music with my toddlers. Ha!

But really, with the pretty little red bows, yellow stars and crescent moons, and varying shades of pink combined with princess silhouettes, the itty bitty dark side of me that listens to nightwish and fawns over gothic movies held me back for over a year. Until it hit me - get it as a skirt. Of course! Pigtails and Pirates do everything custom, from matching outfits with your littles to custom measurements. So when I wrote to them and asked if they could create a matching dress for Aurora for our family photos, I also asked for dresses for the girls and a skirt for me in this perfect, feminine, bubblegum pink piece of pretty. I found that having it in skirt form meant I could break up the pink with another colour and save a little too, which allowed me to get another couple of skirts for the girls in another print (which I will be sharing next month).

The few spots of red in the skirt mean you can easily pair it with red, which is something I will be doing in the near future. I love skirts that have several colours in them so I can mix and match the tops and accessories to create whole new outfits. 

Now that I've seen the fabric in person, I know I easily could have pulled off the dress too. Had I purchased the dress version, I could have paired it with red accessories for winter and little ballet flats for summer. Either version is perfection, as is everything from Pigtails and Pirates.

I also love seeing the girls in such a pretty shade - especially Aurora. There's something about the pure innocence of that first year of life that makes pink such a perfect colour on babies. Selene looks gorgeous in purples and blues now, but I remember as a baby I loved it best when she was in pink as well. 

I can't wait to wear these outfits again, especially if Melbourne is going to keep up this dark, grey spring weather. We may as well add our own sunshine instead!

xo Miss Betty Doll


Monday, 17 October 2016

Gardening Chic

I know, I know. Why on earth would I be posting about gardening outfits. Who cares what you will look like? It's not worth the effort, right? Wrong. Or at least in my opinion

The amount of girlfriends I have that have been sick at the Drs office, or just had to run to the store to get some milk and then ran into an old high school friend is numerous. Women who put an effort into their look and enjoy doing so, only to be caught unawares in a state they didn't think anyone would really see them in.

Same goes for gardening. House guests can drop by and errands to your local plant nursery can pop up in the middle of an afternoon of gardening. Most women I know want to look their best regardless of the circumstances.

If laid back is your style then that's ok too! No one should ever judge you for dressing how you want to. However, to me, if it's worth it to slather on makeup for a night out clubbing with men who will end up too drunk to see you properly, then it's just as worth it to pop some lipstick on before heading to the grocery store or, in this case, doing your gardening.

And besides, most of us retro girls dress this way because it's fun. I enjoy getting dress up to prune some leaves. Over the top is what we do best.

I digress... I've put together a couple of my go to looks for when the sun is shining and for when rain is headed your way.

For Spring and Summer, singlets and wide brim hats work well.

Gardening Chic

And for winter, sweaters and gumboots keep the chill away.

gardening winter

Regardless of the season, I prefer to wear dungarees rather than jeans. I don't wear jeans very often because I find them uncomfortable. (oh, the irony when people ask me "don't you just want to be comfortable in a pair of jeans?". No, no I don't). Dungarees, however, are held up by the suspenders so comfort isn't an issue. You can do jeans too, I just tend not to. Boohoo has a wide variety of dungarees for very cheap. Collectif and several other retro brands have them too, it just depends on if you are willing to spend more money on something you will be digging through dirt in.

I tend to have a pretty pair of gardening gloves handy too. You can find anything on ebay if you just have a browse (especially if you are lucky and live in the US, where shipping is cheap and everything is at your fingertips).

As far as makeup goes, a lip stain or even red lipstick works well with just a tinted moisturiser and mascara. And eyebrows, lets not forget the eyebrows. Of course, no makeup works too because your face is perfection just as it is, but I love me some red lips no matter the circumstances.

Are there any unexpected places you dress well to?

Thanks for reading!
xo, Miss Betty Doll


Monday, 10 October 2016

Comfortable Footwear for the Retro Girl

It's rare that you catch me in flats. It's even rarer to catch me in anything that can match the modern definition of "casual". Nevertheless, with two little ones to keep up with, I have to choose my outfits and footwear carefully. Even before having children, I have never been one to teeter around with aching feet, desperate enough for an extra inch of height that I would sacrifice my own comfort. With that in mind, here's my guide to comfortable footwear.

You'll notice the title of this is "footwear for the retro girl", not "retro footwear". This is because I am a fairly modern pinup lover, in that I choose footwear and accessories that may or may not be what would have been worn in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Let's start with flats. You'll see on my instagram feed that I wear them once or twice a week.

When I do wear flats, they are almost always something inexpensive from Kmart or Target. My feet don't require any extra support at the moment, and I find that I choose flats on the days I will be really running after Selene, like at a muddy park. Therefore I don't want to go ruining a nice pair of shoes, and cheap and nasty isn't so nasty to me!
 Ms Teese herself wears flats fairly often. 

If you are after higher quality flats, Unique Vintage and Pinup Girl Clothing both have a good, ever-changing selection.  

Jessica Simpson's ballet flats, as seen on Amanda and Katie of Junebugs and Georgia Peaches, are crazy high quality. They feel like walking on air and are one of the only pairs of flats I really invested a little money into. They are worth their price-tag, even if you aren't used to spending much on flats like I am. 

If I'm not wearing ballet flats on non-heel days, I will wear cute little Keds look-alikes, again from Kmart. These were $5 and I love them to bits.  The trick with shoes like this is to pair them with shorter hemlines to make the skirts less dressy - otherwise the look can appear a little disconnected.

And again, Dita can back me up here:

 (This is the second time I have referenced this photo in the blog. But, I mean, look at her!?!)

 Another popular option for flats is Bait Footwear. I don't personally own any, but I've heard nothing but positives out of this high quality, retro repro brand.Here are a few of my favourites:
Their classic oxfords are lovely, even if they aren't something I would wear myself. They are a very popular option with many pinup girls.

 They have a few more modern flats options like this shocking pink pair

and these gold lace ups

Outside the world of flats, one of my favourite kinds of shoe is the wedge. I found these simple ankle strap wedges from an Australian shoe store here, but it's impossible to walk past a women's shoe shop without finding a pair or two. They are almost always comfortable and I can walk around in these all day without discomfort.
Finally, the shoes I get asked about most often - TUK bow shoes! I have these in every color from navy to pink polka dots, and they are seriously comfortable and cute. They come under several different names on the TUK website, so I found the easiest way to find them all is to search for "bow" like I have done here and then sort through them.

So there you have it. My guide to staying comfortable.

Thank you so much to the lovely blog reader who suggested this topic. I love doing posts outside of the typical outfit review, and I appreciate your feedback!

xo Miss Betty Doll


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Family Photos in Pigtails and Pirates

My one of my first completely matching mother-daughter outfits was with Selene and I for my second Mother's Day. It was the In the Conservatory Dress from Pigtails and Pirates, and my memories in it are some of my favourites. We went to a restaurant adjacent to a shopping centre, and many of the shop managers still remember our outfit and ask what we are wearing next year.

When I booked family photos with Tina Ramos Photography, I knew it had to be Pigtails and Pirates again. Much to my delight, the ladies over there advised they could whip up a dress in Selene's current size 3, so that Aurora could wear her old dress we could be a matching trio. These photos are even more important to me because the dresses hold such happy memories.

We went to the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, where Tina and I have shot several times before. Capturing the right moments on camera with two little ones can be difficult, but Tina did a fantastic job of grabbing the right mix of candids and poses to create some lovely family portraits.

With that, here's some advice for photoshoots with children this little - natural natural natural. We got a couple of photos with them looking at the camera, but for the most part we didn't make that a goal. We figured out early in the shoot how difficult it would be and instead went for swinging Selene in the air or looking at each other. I think it makes for better photos anyway :)

Thank you again to Tina for taking such gorgeous photos. We partnered up almost two years ago to take blog photos and haven't looked back since.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Baking With Little Ones - Halloween Pancakes

It's October!!! Besides December for Christmas, October has to be the funnest baking month of the year.

Let's be honest - I don't know how many times I will actually rustle up some pretty Halloween Treats this month, because I have two tiny children, and I am studying and blogging and trying to inhale every moment I have with said littles and my husband. However, I found the cutest recipe, or idea, for Halloween themed pancakes and knew they were easy and fun enough to make the family happy and get into the Halloween spirit.

I found these on a blog called Snickerdoodle the very morning I took these photos, so it just goes to show how easy these are to throw together.

I already had the googly-eyes from Wilton sitting in my pantry, because I have a whole shelf stuffed with baking decor, but this lady actually has guide for making them yourself if you have the time (hint - it's just royal icing!)

Anyway, I thought I'd use this month's Baking With Littles to show you how I made this as kid-friendly as absolutely possible, and had fun with it too!

Ok, first off, one word: costumes. Halloween costumes are generally costly, so buy them early and let the kiddies wear the hell out of them. Selene actually has her own little dress-up station in her bedroom, but otherwise I'd be letting her wear her Halloween costume all month. Or all year actually, because who needs an excuse for dress-ups?

Second off - pancake mix. Yeah, yeah, organic and home-made and whole-wheat and sugar-free and all that goodness is, well, good. But if you're going to try to have fun with breakfast and let a toddler help, or a child of any age really, then make things easy on yourself and just use a mix. We are already messing with googly-eyes and orange dye and chocolate topping here, so we don't need a flour explosion too.

 (How almost every baking session ends, which is why I almost never let her help me bake when company is coming hehe)

So, this is super simple:
  1. Add as much orange dye (or green or purple or any other "Halloweeny" colours) as you see fit into a bowl with the pancake mix and amount of water the directions call for. 
  2. Let your little one stir to combine, and don't stress about the lumps.
  3. Make your pancakes nice and little so that your little one can help you flip it, if need be. 
  4. Stack 'em up, top with Hershey's chocolate syrup, or maple syrup, or anything else that is delicious and full of sugar (because these are meant to be fun, people). Top with whip cream, sprinkle with googly-eyes and done!

 (I am not a food blogger - can you tell by my photos?)
Selene and I had so much fun making these. She was a little testy that morning, and I was a little out of patience, and then she found my Cinderella costume while I was organising my closet and asked me to put it on. She put on her Belle costume herself, and I thought some Halloween pancakes would be cute with our outfits. Stirring and pouring and throwing googly-eyes on top of bright orange pancakes made her morning and instantly relieved the tiny toddler tension we had going on right before. And, I mean, look at that smile.

Sometimes life just demands pancakes and princess costumes, you know?

Thanks for reading!
xo, Miss Betty Doll

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