Jupiter Moon 3, Breaking in a Corset, & Learning from My Mistakes

Over time, as you wear a corset it changes. The way it looked and felt when you first put it on is not how it’s going to stay as it seasons and conforms to your body, and goes through normal wear and tear. In the year since I got my powder blue corset from Jupiter Moon 3, the changes have been significant. You learn from these things.

Now I understand that Jupiter Moon 3 corsets are not intended for daily wear. They’re show-pieces. So for me to wear mine every day is going to be much more than what it was made for, and to see a good amount of wear and tear is to be expected. Some threads holding down the lace have torn, I’ve lost a few beads, and some of the sequins dangle by a loose thread. There are a couple weird folds in the fabric at the waist. And one of the bones over the right hip has twisted. This is annoying, but I can deal with it because these are the expected limitations of the corset.

What frustrates me the most though is through no-one’s fault but my own. I didn’t take the time to properly break it in. I was way too excited and went too tight too soon. As a result I have a twisted bone at the very back so that it bows out at the waist and the sides refuse to sit parallel. The corset is still completely comfortable, but this is damage that would need to be repaired. There’s no way to lace now where this isn’t an issue anymore. More than the twisted bone bothering me though, I’m mad at myself. I paid good money for that thing. I should have taken much better care of it.

The last issue is something that I can’t really tell if it’s my fault or not. But the hips are most definitely too small. The bottom edge digs in and creates a reverse muffin-top instead of lying smooth. Even worse, whether because of this or the twisted bones, the hips now appear to be square instead of rounded. I don’t think anyone else would pay it much notice, but it’s a silhouette I don’t like. All in all I think this corset looked a hell of a lot better when it was new, while I feel that if these faults of mine and perhaps the maker had been avoided it should look better than it did, because it would retain its integrity and pretty silhouette while being worn at a more extreme reduction. Based on this, I feel it’s better to order a corset with hips about an inch larger than your actual size, so it can accommodate the increase in size that happens when your waist decreases, and you get a nice smooth flare instead of any digging.IMG_2109

So keeping all of these flaws in mind, I went ahead and purchased a second one. It’s the same corset-bra combo, but I ordered it with larger hips and I was absolutely determined to be kind to the corset and break it in properly this time. I wore it only 2-3 hours at a time, a couple times a day, at a very light reduction for two weeks. I let the corset tell me how tight is the limit instead of forcing it further just because my body could handle it and I was curious. After each seasoning session I carefully examined it for wear, to make sure nothing was becoming more stressed than it should.

What I find interesting is that even at that light reduction, the curves looked far more impressive than they do with the blue one. I wonder if this is because of the lace creating an illusion, or maybe it’s because of the shape of the hips. I’m really not sure. But the hips of the green corset are still lying completely smooth, and they’re rounded. The shape is absolutely perfect. And I’m managing to keep the grommets completely parallel, which is really the ultimate achievement beyond just not damaging it in any way. I feel unbelievably awesome about this.

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A couple observations beyond this – the bra is way too small, as you may be able to tell from the above photo. I’m not angry about this though, because the label is correct to my size (I think they’re purchased and recovered, not made from scratch). The corsetiere didn’t make any kind of actual mistake here. And while it makes my boobs kind of flat, I can still get it on, and I suppose it being a little overly snug and secure is better than too big and gaping and revealing more than you intend to. The feather trim is a bit crushed and wonky from shipping, and I expected that too, but now I have to figure out a way to fix it. I’m thinking steaming and Elnet hairspray. I’ll have to try that and see. I won’t be wearing this under any clothing because of the feathers, but I’m truly surprised by how well this corset goes with my dresses. I was honestly not expecting that. I’d been wearing it over my clothes for the sake of the feathers and easy access while I put it on and removed it twice a day during the break-in process, and one night I actually forgot I was wearing it. When I got home I saw that it went amazingly well with the cherry-print dress I had on, and the next day it even went beautifully with my deep purple dress. I’m thrilled about this because it means I’ll get a lot more use out of it than I ever intended.

So right now this second corset is absolutely my favorite. I’m in love. I’m going to wear it whenever I can. I’m going to be kind to it. And I’m going to carry this experience with me moving forward.

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Viva Las Vegas 16!

It was clear last year, but it’s even clearer this year. Viva is an art form of strategy. There’s SO MUCH to do, so much to buy, so much walking, so many people…you really do have to plan it down to a science if you want to get the most out of it. Last year was like a test drive. This year, knowing what I learned from last year, went a LOT better.

First of all we went in a much larger group. Instead of two people, we were about a dozen, spread out over three rooms. This meant that no matter what you wanted to do, there was always someone around who wanted to do it with you. So we got to do a whole lot more of what we personally planned, whether it was clubbing on the strip or checking out a ton of burlesque. Here are some other tips I’ve learned.

-Don’t lose track of the time. Keep serious track of that shit. It gets away from you and then that one-time event is over. And don’t forget to make sure your phone is set to the right time zone! D’oh!

-Travel wearing your largest items, like your crinoline. It’s crazy how much space it takes up in your luggage.

-Bring a camera, or a phone that takes pictures if you’re ghetto. Like me!

-Don’t even bother with pretty shoes unless they’re also the comfiest ones you own. You’ll be miserable. The amount of walking/standing/dancing you do is beyond anything else. The foot pain can get pretty epic. The best is to find ONE pair of super comfy shoes that go with everything from a bathing suit to an evening dress, because then you also save room in your suitcase. I have some leather maryjanes with a modest heel that I couldn’t live without. I packed NO shoes, I just wore those the entire time. No regrets.

-Leave room in your luggage for all the stuff you’ll buy. Making all my crap fit for the trip back home was quite the feat.

-If you can’t stay at the Orleans, try to stay at the Gold Coast, Bill’s Gamblin Hall, or somewhere within short walking distance of these places. There’s a free shuttle to the Orleans every 15 minutes and it beats the crap out of taking the bus or paying for a cab.

We stayed at The Palms, and could see - and hear - The Orleans from our room.

We stayed at The Palms across the street from The Gold Coast, and could see – and hear – The Orleans from our room.

-Show up to the car show early. It won’t be as hot, and it makes a hell of a difference when you can quickly get around, take pictures, and get autographs without a big ass crowd in the way. And seriously, if there’s a shop doing a big sale, you’ll want to get there first. I went to the car show on just three hours sleep and nevertheless I’m glad I didn’t sleep in.

-You don’t have to look a certain way by any means, there is no competitive attitude and everybody looks very different (in the same room you might find one girl in glittery evening wear and another in a playsuit). That said, if you have ever wanted to go all the fuck out or experiment, this is the time and place.

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-You might decide that sleep is overrated. Bring a flask. Not for alcohol, but for espresso or Redbull.

-Alcohol however, you might decide is not overrated at all. If you want to get drunk on a budget (while eating some super amazing Italian food) go eat at Batista. It was crazy delicious, and your meal comes with unlimited wine. AWESOME wine.

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-Once/while getting drunk, drink plenty of water. This goes for all year round.

-If you plan on clothes shopping, it’s best to wear something you can try things on over. Change rooms are very scarce.

-If you decide you like sleeping more than setting your hair, do pincurls. They can last 2-4 days depending on your hair and what you do with them at night. I’m so glad I did them Friday night, because they lasted from 9am car show to 11:30pm burlesque competition easily. My hair still looks pretty good after sleeping on it, the flight, over two and a half hours in the car, and I still have curls on Monday.

-For the love of god bring a sun hat or buy a parasol if you have any plans on going to the car show. It’s the fucking desert.

-Glitter.

And now the final tally!

What we did:

-Shopping. So much shopping

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-Relaxed by the pool

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-Attended a dance class, at which I was a total fail train

-Went to the car show and spent absolutely no time looking at cars. There was just too much great shopping to be had.

-Hung out briefly with Cholita and Micheline a couple times. They’re super sweet.

And people to meet

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-Did a ton of people-watching, because absolutely everyone looks incredible.

-Took in a super fun kickoff burlesque show at a pub, a world class burlesque showcase, then burlesque competition

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-Took an amazingly efficient and helpful burlesque class by Miss Karla Joy

-Saw La Cholita and the Kreeps. They’re AMAZING. FYI, Cholita broke her leg in a tumble at the burlesque show on Thursday night, and kept on rocking like a trooper despite being in a wheelchair for the rest of the weekend. I fucking love her.

-Said hi to Tempest Storm

The haul:

-5 dresses

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-2 vintage cardigans, including one in hot pink cashmere

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-3 flower hair clips

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-3 snoods

-1 tshirt

-1 little cherry print duffel bag

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-1 signed DVD, Modern Pinup Hair and Makeup by Micheline Pitt

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Self:

-About 11 hours of sleep over 3 nights

-About 2 bottles of wine, and a boot full of strawberry daiquiri

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-100% foot pain

-Still feeling sore, achy, and mysteriously bruised

-No hangovers

-A tan, no sunburn.

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And when I got home, I found this note that had been left for me.

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Rago

I’ve often said in places where large crowds gather – Especially the Red River Ex, oh god – “this place desperately needs a spanx booth.” And really, it does. Way too many people are going around looking like giant blobs of dough. Ladies, come on. Have a little dignity. Though you have to admit, Spanx aren’t the sexiest thing in the world, despite what Tyra Banks might try to tell you. They’re just not. They’re also a little sissy if you ask me. Women these days are so afraid of being the least bit uncomfortable that they won’t wear anything that isn’t barely more effective than their usual underwear. Ladies, grow a pair. A real girdle is very sexy, and not at all uncomfortable.

I’m so grateful I discovered Rago at the lingerie booth at Viva. I had known for a few years from various internet sites geared towards vintage and pinup culture that it was the best. So I really wanted to try them out. What I found was a special-for-viva-edition red and black girdle and bra set. Normally this model only comes in pink and black. I also found Doris Mayday, who made me look like a 12 year old boy standing next to her. Sigh. She swears by Rago too. And Angela and I were so pleased with what we tried on that we each got matching girdles. I picked up the matching bra too.

I’m going to go ahead and start with the bra. I wanted something that wasn’t a bullet bra, but not round like a grapefruit either. This bra has no padding, but is simply cut to look natural. It’s red satin with black lace, and has a wide band with no underwire. This thing is comfortable as hell. It’s fantastic, by far the most comfortable bra I own. Mike loves it too because there’s no padding in the way of real human boob. He also just likes anything different. I also want to mention that the band is wide enough not to give you back fat. It’s just great.

We tried both zip-up and roll-on girdles, and honestly one was not easier to put on than the other. They both required a bit of effort. So we went for the roll-on version because if they’re going to be the same you might as well not have a zipper to potentially dig into your hip. (For the record, my vintage zip-up girdle does not have this problem. I was just trying to make the best choice of two equal girdles.) This girdle is beautiful, comfortable, effective, and even lifts and firms your butt. And did I mention it’s red and black lace? I mean come on. The only issue I could find is that without stockings to hold it down by the garters, it tends to ride up when you sit. Angela and I were forever trying to tug our girdles down in various airports on the trip back home. In non-traveling real life, this is not that big a deal.

But please, if you do have stockings to wear with this, do. It’s just glamorous as fuck. And isn’t it nice to look sexy without wearing a pushup under-wire and a thong? You don’t actually feel sexy in that. I know you don’t, because I don’t either. This on the other hand is perfect for daily life, which means seduction starts way before the bedroom. And you’ll look hot all day instead of like a big lump of dough. Meow!

The Art of Seduction, done right.

Pinup Girl Clothing

Pinup Girl Clothing specializes in a slightly edgier version of clothing styles from the 1950s and early 1960s, but they are so much more than just pretty dresses, separates, shoes, and accessories. They absolutely epitomize the idea of not just selling you an item, but an entire lifestyle to go with it. This is largely due in part to the accessibility of its owners and models, and the community of customers that was built round it on facebook.

First, let’s talk about the clothes, shall we? What gorgeous clothes they are! You obviously know by now how much I love classy, sexy vintage-inspired clothing, and this site delivers, but they have something a little different. With one of their house brands Deadly Dames, you can get clothes with an edgier more modern feel, perfect for punky yet sweet rockabilly girls. This is just what these clothes need to stand out from all the other vintage-inspired clothing being sold out there today. They even sell monster shoes, super high heels with zombie and werewolf prints. Even while different they retain the ability to be incredibly flattering on absolutely any body type. Going beyond rockabilly, another of their house brands Pinup Couture has a sweet more classic feel, and Dixiefried effortlessly recreates the look of the stars from the golden era. There’s never been an easier way to have fun with your look.

PUG as they’re known are also very unique for the models they use. One of their models, Micheline Pitt, is also the designer for Deadly Dames, and a makeup artist among other things. Another one of their models, Masuimi Max is an accomplished fetish and pinup model and tightlacer. Many of their models have tattoos, and most importantly, they’re all different sizes. The absolutely stunning Doris Mayday (my personal favorite) is envied by tons of girls for her sexy curves, and amazing burlesque performer and PUG model La Cholita remains a prominent feature despite being plus-sized. For good measure they still have slim girls, and variety is the point. PUG is extremely in tune with what their customers want, and one thing that is often lacking from other clothing companies is being able to see what an outfit would look like on YOUR body type. Beyond anything else, this company shows you that gorgeous has no size.

If you become a fan on facebook, you’ll become a member of a community of girls who love pinup style. The boards are always active with topics such as how to achieve the perfect vintage look including what underwear the models have on under certain outfits, what size to buy and how to launder the items, and even items for swap and sell. You can browse through hundreds of customer photos and post your own in the hopes of getting a comment from one of the amazing women behind the company, and they’re always giving hair and makeup advice, and sharing the latest coupon codes.

PUG doesn’t just try sell you a lifestyle to make you buy their clothes, they deliver. And this is one of the reasons why I’m so devoted to this store and its brands. These are beautiful people inside and out, and with these clothes you’ll feel extremely beautiful too. Pinup Girl Clothing offers the whole package.

Vintage Hair Part 1 – The Haircut

There’s nothing like vintage hair to complete the look of a cute and sexy vintage dress. I’ve always been really low-maintenance with my hair. It’s really fine and doesn’t like to cooperate. As far as vintage hair goes I actually really love the 1930s short bob with finger waves look, but I refuse to get a haircut that short, so I’m learning a lot lately about styles from the 40s and 50s. I’d like to pass on what I’m learning to you.
There are three basic elements to the 40s and 50s style; the haircut, curls, and rolls. These go from easiest to hardest respectively. In this article I’m going to focus on Step 1, the cut, which is the easiest since the stylist would be doing that for you.
Since there was a war going on, 1940s hair tended to be short, rarely past the shoulders. Women showed their support by keeping their hair off the collar as women working jobs in the service. THE haircut of the 1940s was the middy, and most modern haircuts are based from it. This is basically just a cut with layers, a requirement for showing off vintage and rockabilly curls, and a true 40s middy comes in 3 lengths, the longest of which is only 6 inches at its longest point. Rita Hayworth was an exception with a 10 inch version. This looks like rocker hair when worn straight, but it’s the very best cut for curling up into adorable vintage styles. The middy was invented for the versatility required for a number of 1940s hairstyles.
Here are a couple videos by Lisa Freemont Street about the middy and how to style it. She has the very best videos about vintage hair, and has taught me virtually everything I know about how to achieve it. You don’t need to have this exact haircut of course, anything with layers will do. But it’s always valuable to know where the roots (ahem) of a style come from. Enjoy the videos!