Teal’s the deal

Have you met Yvonne? Yvonne is a long favorite of mine. This dress is a double breasted style in rich teal with gingham trimming along the collar and end of the sleeves. It feels nice on the skin, the fabric flows beautifully and creates a smooth silhouette. The main material of this dress is polyester, however, due to its crêpe-ish texture I did not experience any sweat issues ever. Other bonus points in my book are the longer sleeves [which are not tight so you have full movement and you are protected from sun burn] and the elegant neckline which does not need any fancy bra solution to be pulled off. This is the perfect dress  for days when you have to hurry in the morning or you know that you need comfort and full range of movement. To make this clear: you can wear granny panties and your oldest comfiest bra and you can see no lines, frayed bra straps or trimmings of full cups. It is totally office and teaching appropriate. For pale people like me who shy away from colours this is a very pleasing shade, a subtle touch of colour that won’t make you look washed out as many lighter colours do. I also own the WIlhelmina dress in the same shade and fabric for my winter wardrobe. The Yvonne dress was brought back as the Yvonne Hanna Check Trim Swing Dress in black with a tartan trim. I hope for more colourways to come, a dark plum with a gingham collar would be great, right?

What is your „comfy as pj’s“ go to dress?

xoxo,

Katha

 

 

 

A vintage girl’s careguide to phantasy hair

I’ve had my fair share of different hair colours in the last three years. I started out with blue highlights and then went crazy on the colour wheel. However, from the beginning I was a bit worried about destroying my hair, about having to cut off the last inches faster then my roots grows back. Wet sets and pin curling with my curling iron does not make it easier for my hair to stay healthy, but I managed to keep a few rules that helped me a great deal.

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I’ve had my fair share of different colours in the last three years: blue, purple, orange and Pink highlights, red and burgundy all over, rainbow etc.

 

  1. Avoid bleach – Yes, I do bleach parts of my hair and I do it myself as someone who is not trained as a hair stylist. I have colourful underlights and one colourful strand of hair at my forehead. Although nobody likes out grown roots I try to wait until they are at least half an inch. When I used box dye bleaches my hair was brittle, prone to breaking and I got a lot of split ends. Now I use the Directions White Fire Kit which a) saves me a lot of money because I can mix just so much as I need and keep the rest for later. According to my Amazon history my current kit was bought mid August last year and there are still some touch up uses left in it! If you need to remove colour that turned out wrong try a good cleansing shampoo (I use Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three -Cleanse which is also cruelty free and vegan!) or a more gentle bleach wash.

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    Here you see how you want your roots to be outgrown before bleaching, my bleached roots and the result. Don’t bleach a part twice (hence the blue lengths).

  2. Avoid heat. This is really a no brainer, right? We all know that heat is drying and damaging to hair and even more to hair that is already treated with bleach and colour. I usually just towel dry, detangle, separate my front part to make a roll and put the rest of my hair up in a messy bun over night. Then again, I have naturally curly hair and can get away with unpolished curls and waves and a suicide roll when I put a headscarf on.
  3. Detangle gently. As those of you with curls may know (and here it is no difference if you are blessed with natural curls, have a perm oder do your weekly wet set like my grandmother does) there will be tangles. If you tease your roots to get volume and stability for your victory rolls there will be tangles. Anyhow to solve this mess tangle teasers are great. Start brushing out from the ends of your hair. I start with holding my hair 4-5 inches before the ends and brush the last inches, when those are detangled I grab my hair a few inches from the roots and brush from there downwards again. Only when I’m finished with that I brush through the full length of my hair.  The reason behind that is that when you start brushing through the full length of you hair you will accumulate all the tangles and knots on your head at the bottom and loose knots will be pulled tight when you move them a few inches down and will therefore be harder to detangle. When your hair tends to be dry in the lengths it will also be more prone to get knotty. A good oil which is sold to prevent split ends might also help you – I use the excess of my hand creme (Lemony Flutter by Lush) for that purpose.

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    Don’t let unwanted knots take a chance! You can also see here that it is possible to dye your hair and grow it longer.

  4. Use gentle shampoo and nourishing conditioners. I heard a lot of girls with phantasy coloured hair use baby shampoo to give their hair a mild cleanse which is also gentle on the colour. For me that does not work it is in fact the only thing that will give me horribly greasy hair. What I also find to be not optimal is slapping a whole scoop of shampoo (however good) on your scalp. That will result in your roots fading out a lot faster then your lengths and might irritate your scalp as well. I use a travel size bottle for cosmetics, put my shampoo in dissolve it with two times more water, shake it gently so it mixes without being all bubbles and then pour it over my hair evenly, massage everything briefly in and rinse it off. However, trying to not strip your hair from colour and oils is only half the deal -you have to nourish it as well. I like to put in leave in treatments over night, do hair masks and hot oil treatments (those only when the colour is already faded). I personally prefer natural treatments which are either home made or from Lush, but every hair is different and you need to find what is right for your hair type.
  5. Updos and braids are your friend. Did you know that when you wear your hair down a lot chances are it will be more damaged? When your hair is shoulder lever its tips will bump on your neck and shoulders constantly and the mechanic strain will cause them to get damaged, split and break eventually. If your hair is longer it will likely get caught in your jacket, your handbags shoulder strap or your backpack. These things will rub and pull on your hair, put pressure on it or scratch the surface of your hair. Once damaged other hair is more likely to get caught up in the damaged hairs and when trying to brush out your knots the damage can work its way up with every tug. To keep my hair in pace I do up dos quite often and braid my hair for the night. That way each hair is nicely in line and can’t get caught in spaces it is not supposed to be. To prevent ends sticking out of your braids (be it baby hair or layers) you can use pomade [e.g.: Suavecita) to gloss the strands over before you braid or a thick hand creme. In winter I sometimes also use coconut oil, but if you live in a warmer climate this will melt too easily and might even smell rancid after a while. If you are interested I can do a look book on braid styles and how to make them look more vintage.Markierte Fotos

„Beauty is pain“, or: Sneezing in a corset

„Beauty is pain“, or as we Germans say it „Wer schön sein will muss leiden“ (who wants to be pretty, has to suffer [in order to get there]) is a saying we have all heard or said at least once in our lives, I guess. I do have a very special relationship to this line, because I have  scoliosis. That means my spine is curved and twisted in ways it is not supposed to be. When I was a young teenager I had a hunchback (I refuse to say I was or am a hunchback, as this is not the defining feature of my personality). To set the matter, and my spine, straight I had to wear an orthopaedic corset or, as they are often referred to, „backbraces„. This thing is neither comfy nor pretty, but I am eternally grateful that this therapy was available to me, because although those were three and a half very painful years in which I had to wear this corset for 23,5h each day -it saved me a lot of trouble with health issues in the long run. I am not sure if you can understand how emotionally attached you can become to such a torture device. It was a dark time and as a teenager health issues that may impact the rest of your life are nothing you take lightly. However, this corset provided a routine and a hug that was so tight it hurt. Nontheless, it was a hug, a reassuring feeling to be held save. When I was fully grown I was allowed to gradually reduce the hours I was wearing it while upping my exercise to strengthen my muscles to keep the results of my therapy in shipshape. That meant I could spend my days feely and then return to my corset’s firm hug for the evening and night. Then it was time to say goodbye completely.

I value the opportunities I was given by this therapy. So when I went to London for my semester abroad I took the opportunity to go to the What Katie Did Boutique in Portobello Road to get myself a good steel boned corset. My first „real“ corset was their Morticia underbust corset in peach. Before that I have owned a really cheap and dodgy black underbust fashion corset. It gave my a really tubular shape and was really bendy. Morticia is so different to that. First off, she is made for hourglass figures like mine: she cinches the waist nicely without pinching my hips while leaving enough room for my ribcage so I can breath comfortably. The best part about her is she helps me with my back pains when I have to work long hours on my essays fand papers for university. Usually, I try to sit straight at my desk, sucking my out-sticking shoulder in and trying to balance the way my spine bends, but that gives me cramps after a few hours which result in a migraine. Not really a glamorous situation. When wearing my corset I can give the responsibility for my posture to Morticia for a while, she keeps me straight up on the outside while I relax on the inside and focus my potential on my tasks. The only time the beauty of having killer curves and the posture of a ballerina while going about my life is when I have to sneeze, because even the comfiest corset is restricting your torso in some way.

Over the years I added two more steel boned corsets: a What Katie did Antoinette halfbust corset which I wore to a lot of parties and last year’s Halloween photoshoot with my boyfriend. I chose the Antoinette a size bigger than my usual corset size, because when trying to lace the back up evenly the bust part would have been a problem in the 20″ version. My most recent addition to the collection is from Revanche de la Femme, a German corsetier. It is a beautiful black waspie with the prettiest baroque velvet flock print and which creates a really extreme silhouette. In the picture collage below you can see the different shapes those corsets help me achieve, especially in comparison to the cheap alternative I started out with. I have to admit that while in hospital to get my scoliosis sorted out my young mind was trained well in seeing my imperfections in order to correct them. Unfortunately once you see something you cannot unsee it and for years I was mortified that everyone else saw how broken I am, too. Actually, that is what I love so much about pinup and vintage culture: I am not pretty or healthy by nature, but I can mold and shape the image I present to the world, and there is no better thing to mold and shape that image (at least to me) then a corset. Noone notices the troubles I want to keep private when I use my little distraction tactic aka killer curves and I can go about with my live untroubled and pain free. Weird how backbraces did not only shape my back, but also my life and made me a corset and vintage lover.

What is your corset story? Have you found your perfect match yet or is it still a painful journey? And to all you with scoliosis out there: please consult your doctor first before trying a corset as a fix for your back pain.

Love,

Katha

Korsette Vergleich corset comparison WKD Revanche de la femme

Mix and match pieces: The Vixen top

English:

If you have been around with us for a bit you know that I am still a student and Sush just entered the work force, so we are all about keeping within budget. Yes soup and noodles are always an option, but it is hard to be glamorous and gracious when you are starving. So here comes our fist mix’n’match basic pieces for pinups on a budget. The Vixen top is from Vixen by Micheline Pitt and is 46,74€ +13,47€ shipping to Germany when ordered directly on her Etsy-site and 64,96€ with no shipping fees when ordered via TopVintage. Yes, that sounds expensive, but the quality is amazing and if you keep your eyes open there is a Sale every now and then when you can catch Micheline’s creations for a bargain.

As you can see in the pictures below these tops can be styled with a flirty circle skirt for a date or a stroll on the park, but also with jeans for a casual day at home or under a pencil dress for an office ready style. I think they also look bad ass with a cropped biker jacket with some lapel pins. Tucked in or worn over your bottoms both ways look great and open the range of possibilities even wider. What ever you do these soft, comfy, zipper-free tops are a perfect companion for all walks of life.

Deutsch:

Für diejenigen, die unseren Blog schone eine Weile verfolgen, ist es nichts neues, dass wir beide diesen Blog als Studentinnen begonnen haben. Sush hat erst kürzlich ihr Masterzeugnis erhalten und angefangen zu arbeiten, während ich für das Staatsexamen in meinem Zweitfach pauke. Daher sind wir immer sehr auf unser Budget bedacht. Klar kann man sich am Ende des Monats von Tütensuppen ernähren, aber das will doch niemand. Wir achten darum immer darauf in vielseitige Dinge zu investieren. Das Vixen Top von ‚Vixen by Micheline Pitt‘ ist so ein vielseitiges Teil. Von Micheline’s Etsy-Seite kann man die Tops für 46,74€ plus 13,47€ Versand bestellen und bisher wurden alle Päckchen von ihr ohne Aufpreis durch den Zoll gewunken. Wem europäische Händler (allein schon wegen einem eventuellen Umtausch) lieber sind: es gibt die Teile auch bei TopVintage für 64,95€ und gratis Versand. Das klingt happig, aber die in den USA handgemachten Tops sind von toller Qualität und wenn ihr geduldig wartet kommt immer mal wieder ein Sale bei dem sich wahnsinnige Schnäppchen schießen lassen.

In den Bildern unten habe ich mal mögliche Styles zusammengetragen. Das Top lässt sich super sowohl mit einem taillenhohen Rock darüber als auch über einer Jeans tragen. Zudem kann es von flirty, über lässig, bis hin zum Business-Style soziemlich alles sein, worauf du grade lust hast. Durch die tolle Qualität von Stoff und Schnitt braucht es zudem keine kratzenden Reisverschlüsse um seine Form zu behalten wie es bei vielen anderen Vintage-Repro-Marken Standard ist.

 

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Red Vixen top paired with

or

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Baby pink Vixen top paired with:

or

or

 

As you see you get a lot of wear out of these tops which in my opinion saves you money because you need to buy less to build a solid wardrobe when you have quality versatile pieces in it.

 

Wie Ihr seht sind die Tops tatsächlich sehr vielseitig einsetzbar und sparen einem, meiner Meinung nach zumindest, auf diese Weise Geld, da man nicht noch hundert andere Tops speziell für den einen oder anderen Zweck braucht, wenn man ein paar gute wandelbare Teile im Schrank hat.

 

Love,

Katha

P.S.: This post is totally #notsponsored -but just to let the fangirl in me out for a second: look who commented on my picture!

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Wild for Erstwilder

For years I wore brooches I got from my grandma and her sisters – cheap vintage brooches they didn’t wear any more. Then about three years ago some quirky resin brooches I saw on other pin-up style loving ladies caught my eye and they were from Erstwilder. About December 2015 I got my first piece: Curling Cassandra. In the meantime I got some more pieces from various stockists. So I thought I would give you a brief overview about prices, shipping and selections available. There are, of course, more stockists of Erstwilder in the UK and around the globe which I am looking forward to check out. However, for now these are the ones I have experience with shopping at.

TopVintage

price per brooch:28,95€ –no additional customs for EU citizens

ultra fast and free shipping available for Germany and other EU countries

carefully packed with bag and sent in a parcel

small selection of styles

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Erstwilder

price per brooch 34,95 AUD

price for the ear rings: 29,94 AUD

free shipping for international orders over $150 and national orders over $80 (delivery between 2-7 business days, fully tracked), layby option available! Shipped in a sturdy, but cutesy parcel.

Lastest styles and greatest selection.

Customs and federal taxes will be charged by your country upon delivery.

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Daisy Park

price per brooch £23 (does have a Sale section though where bargains can be made)

Shipping to Germany is £4,95 -no customs or taxes added when ordering from another EU country.

Great selection of current or generally speaking newer styles.

Comes with a nice personalized note

 

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Glitterally UK

price per brooch £23

Shipping to Germany £3,95 – no customs or taxes added for EU customers

Great selection of styles

Comes in a bubble wrap envelope with a little handwritten note.

GREAT customer services. My order had to be broken up since the ‚Treasure Within‘ brooch was sold out pretty soon and Glitterally put it in as a pre-order option for their next stock-up. They sent me e-mails as soon as they noticed there had been a glitch and some customers were not able to see that this was only pre-order and would take a time to arrive. I was updated through out the process and got the ‚Tulip Bouquet‘ immediately while they sent the ‚Treasure Within‘ to me as soon as they got their stock and free of additional charge for the added postage and shipping, too. Really pleased with the experience!

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They just make everything look more put together and it’s so much fun choosing which one to wear in the morning. It really mixes things up if you are used to vintage ones 🙂

Let me know which stockists you love to shop with!

xoxo,

Katha

P.S.: if you want to enter Erstwilder’s give-away to win vouchers or 10 brooches of your choice klick the link below!

http://lp.megaphonemarketing.com.au/erstwilder-feb17?kid=E23N0

 

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I wore my ‚Seasonal Symmetry‘ for a photoshoot earlier this year and it sat on my coat basically all winter.

 

 

How to Pinup 101: Swap and Sell / Tauschrausch

Don’t be a hoarder: swap and sell!

On our vintage/pinup journey Sush and myself had some hits and misses. And with misses I mean bad buys. Sometimes expensive bad buys. At first you think you can make them work for you, but then you just never reach for them. When you are way past your return date you suddenly realize you will never get out enough wear of that piece for the money you paid. When you’re on a budget like us it hurts especially. My bad buys are not necessarily bad because of their quality, but because they do not work for me in regard to by body type or colour preference. So you have all that money buried in clothes you don’t use while at the same time your wish list for new stuff is endless? Swap and Sell!

„Swap and Sell“ options are everywhere: on Facebook, eBay, Depop, Kleiderkreisel (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) Gumtree…, but what is it you will want to look out for?

Brands in the Vintage/Pinup range are often unknown to people outside the scene.
This means they often do not grasp what a price that says „Deadly Dames“ is worth and you might find it for cheap on local sale side.
  • If you want to sell such a price and get a fair price (don’t price gauge -that’s not lady
    suchergebnisse-fur-verkauf

    The coins are good for size reference.

    like!) you should take it to a buy/swap/sale group which is dedicated to the specific brand or at least to vintage style brands. There are groups on Facebook specifically for selling and buying Pinupgirl, Irregular Choice or Collectif Clothing. Some even specify even further to the region (USA, Australia, EU etc.)

  • Take good pictures of the actual item you are selling (adding stock photos is ok) and of any flaw or good asset the item has.
  • Give a detailed description of the item. If you still know the name of a dress it is worth adding this to your offer as well as size, colour and condition of the dress.
  • If cross-posting (posting the same item on many websites and groups) is allowed, do so! It will maximize your chances for a quick sell.
  • Be open for negotiations and swaps -it’s better to sell a piece for five bucks less than never sell it. Plus, this is still a small community: the favour might be returned one day in the future.
  • Post and read ISO’s. ISO means „in search of“. There is also DISO which means „desperately in search of“. These items are not for sale, but wanted. If you have another person’s ISO it is a kind custom to give them „first refusal“. This means you tag them when you are posting your item and give them the opportunity to be first in line.
  • Never send your PayPal money to sellers you do not know through the „family and friends“ option. Yes, the selling option costs a small fee, but you and the person buying are protected from fraud. I have been there once and a scammer took my money and I never got my Blackstone Cherry tickets. Be smarter than me back then, please.
And now have fun de-stashing your bad buys.
Yours,
Katha

 

Tausch- und Verkaufrausch

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This beautiful „Lisa“ top by Laura Byrnes is from the PUG swap/sell site. It was owned by two ladies before me who never wore it (it still had the tags). I’m glad the ladies did not store it away, but took it to the swap/sel

Fehlkäufe. Wir kennen das doch alle. Am Anfang findet man es noch ganz toll, oder zumindest nicht ganz schrecklich. Man glaubt ich kann das toll kombinieren. Oder: ich ziehe ab jetzt mehr buntes an und dann greift man nie danach. Am Ende ist der Kleiderschranke in sehr glamouröses Grab für hart erarbeitetes Geld und die Auswahl an schönen Sachen in denen man sich wohlfühlt und gleichzeitig gut aussieht is sehr begrenzt. Grade wenn man wie wir ein sehr enges Budget hat muss man rational haushalten um sich die Schätze auf den diversen Wunschlisten leisten zu können. Da passt ein Spruch meiner Oma: alles raus was keine Miete zahlt. Und „miete zahlen“ heißt im Falle von Klamotten: sich durch tragen lohnt. Also: Verkaufen und tauschen!

Zum Verkaufen und tauschen hat man viele Möglichkeiten. Kleinanzeigen, Kleiderkreisel, eBay, Depop und Facebookgruppen bieten viele Möglichkeiten schnell, einfach und oftmals kostenlos alten Kram gegen neuen einzutauschen oder sich das Taschengeld aufzubessern. Wenn man dabei ein paar Sachen beachtet ist alles ganz easy:

  • Marken aus der Vintage-/Pinup-Nische sind normalen Käufern in der Regel total unbekannt. daher kann man auf lokalen Kleinanzeigen und Online-Flohmarkt Gruppen manchmal wahre Schätze finden, da der Verkäufer nicht weiß, dass es dafür einen Markt gibt.
  • Wenn ihr selbst verkaufen wollt sind spezialisierte Gruppen wesentlich besser. Die gibt es exklusiv für manche Marken (z.B.: Collectif, Pinupgirl Clothing und Irregular Choice) und allgemein für Vintage (z.B.:Ooh lala Vintage Swap and sell auf FB) . Hier weiß man was eure Teile wer sind und ihr bekommt eher einen angemessenen Preis als in der Kleinanzeige eurer Lokalzeitung wo keiner weiß wer diese „Miss Candyfloss“ seins soll.
  • macht gute Bilder eurer Ware. Verschiedene Winkel, wichtige Details und kleine Mängel sind wichtig für Interessenten.
  • schreibt eine detaillierte Beschreibung zu euren Sachen: Größe, Farbe, Marke, Zustand. Was ist es für ein Stoff, wie sitzt der Schnitt etc.
  • sofern von den Seiten erlaubt macht „cross postings“ also postet den gleichen Artikel auf mehreren Plattformen um eure Reichweite zu erhöhen.
  • Seid offen für Verhandlungen und Tauschangebote: besser ein Teil geht für 5 Euro weniger weg als niemals. Abgesehen davon ist die Community recht überschaulich und vielleicht wird der Gefallen ja eines Tages erwidert.
  • Auf englischsprachigen Seiten ließt man oft etwas von „ISO“. Das heißt „in search of“ -also, dass der gepostete Artikel von der Person nicht angeboten, sondern gesucht wird. Habt ihr diesen Artikel und wollt ihn verkaufen könnt ihr entweder direkt of den ISO-Post antworten, oder ihr postet separat und verlinkt die Person als „first refusal“. Das heißt wenn sich Leute für euer Kleidungsstück interessieren ist die ISO-Person die erste Person in der Schlange die das Kaufrecht hat, selbst wenn die Person erst abends wieder an den PC kommt.
  • Bitte sendet niemals Geld über die „Geld senden“/Familie/Freunde-Option bei PayPal. Das so gesendete Geld könnt ihr nämlich im Falle, dass etwas schief geht nicht zurückfordern. Ist mir einmal passiert, war nicht schön.

Auf Kleiderkreisel findet ihr mich als katha_vavoom 😉

Frohes entrümpeln!

Eure Katha