Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rockin' The Pin Up Girl Look - Part 2 - Stockings

Before there were pantyhose (invented in 1959), there were stockings and every woman wore them. Except during World War II when nylon was needed for the war effort, it was considered the height of sloppiness to leave the house without hosiery.

Now, thank goodness, we have choices, but seamed stockings are still the pinnacle in sexiness for the pin up girl look.

The ultimate in authentic bombshell stockings is the Fully Fashioned (or FFS) stocking, so called because they were knitted in one piece on the machine and then hand finished by an operator who sewed the seam in. The famous hole at the top of the welt was left so the operator could turn the stocking!

There are currently several different types of heel available in FFS; the pointed heel (which was invented by the French and is predominantly a European style), the Cuban heel (the most common and most authentic), the Havana heel (similar to the Cuban but thicker and ending higher on the calf) and the Manhattan heel (a more recent design).

There are only a handful of manufacturers still making full fashioned stockings, one of which is Magnolia Hosiery here in the United States, who have been making FFS on the same machines continuously since 1954. You can still order from them directly! What Katie Did offers a nice selection of FFS including contrast colored seams (most recently blue and red). FFS come in a number of solid colors, in full contrast beige with black seams and also black feet and seams.

Another type of stocking which was introduced in the 1950's is the RHT or Reinforced Heel & Toe. These are seamless and give more casual look. They can also be purchased from Magnolia and What Katie Did.

Leg Avenue and a host of other brands offer modern seamed stockings. The difference between these and FFS is that the seam is sewn on afterwards as a decoration and is not part of the stocking construction. Many people find these kinds of stockings more comfortable because of the stretch (they are more akin to a pair of modern pantyhose than FFS are).

Whichever type of stocking you choose, make sure that your seams are straight. You can achieve a straight seam by carefully gathering the length of stocking up so that it is all in your hands, place the toe of the stocking on your foot and then point your foot on the floor. Slowly pull the stocking up your leg, keeping a finger on the seam and guiding it along the center of your leg. You can try spraying the back of your leg with a little hair spray to make the stocking stay put before putting it on as well.

Whether you choose fully fashioned, RHT or modern seams, in order to up your "oomph" quotient, a pair of stockings is a must have!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Workshop Update!

As of today, May 18 the workshop is half full! That's right we only have five spots left! There are still six weeks left to go until the workshop on July 12. If you or someone you know has been considering taking the class don't get left out! Sign up at $75 will hold your spot in class!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pin Up Beauty Tip of The Day

I don't know why I've never heard of this before, but now that I have, I'm sharing it with all of you! (And if you already know this, I'm sorry. I give you permission to mock me in the comments ;-)).

In this era of daily hair washing and blow drying the "I've just washed my hair and I can't do a thing with it" joke will probably earn you blank stares, but those of us who set our hair and expect it to do fancy and elaborate things know that freshly washed hair is the worst hair to work with.

So what's a glamour girl to do? You may not always know when you need to give your hair two days notice.

Well then - it's sea salt spray to the rescue!

What it's designed to do is give you that tousled, day-at-the-beach look, but it's also good for texturizing and BODY. Viola! "Dirty" hair without it actually being dirty!

There are lots of brands out there: John Masters, Aquage and KMS to name a few. You can even make your own with a recipe found here!

I know what's on my next beauty product shopping list! Maybe even tonight, since I forgot to give my hair two days notice that it needs to be set tomorrow!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rockin' The Pin Up Look Outside of the Photgraphers Studio - Part 1

It's no secret that the pin up girl look is big on the runways and on the street right now. Such diverse influences as singer Katy Perry, burlesque diva Dita Von Teese and those fabulous females in the cast of AMC's Mad Men have all have gone a long way towards resurrecting glamour and showing the world that curves on real women are infinitely more attractive than the anorexic clothes hangers that usually trot down the runway.

Dita Von Teese, Katie Perry, Mad Men's Christina Hendricks

So how DO you rock a pin up look while walking down the sidewalk? Here in Tip #1 we're going to start with the "foundation" so-to-speak (a little play on words there).

First and foremost is "shapewear," aka foundation garments.

Ladies, I don't care if you are Skinny Malink personified, proper undergarments are the basis upon which your gorgeous look is built. Let's face it, no one wants to see your thong line, the outline of your belly button or anything else you have no business showing to the strangers of the world through your dress. That's just trashy and trashy is the furthest thing from glamour you can get (think Beyonce on the red carpet in Elie Saab as opposed to Lil Kim on the red carpet in whatever this is).

OK, so maybe nature didn't give you natural curves, or your waist leaves something to be desired. This is where shapewear comes in! It can give you a waist where there was none before, or flatten a belly that isn't exactly a six pack. Most importantly it gives you a smooth line under your clothes so folks can see how gorgeous you are and not what undergarments you are or aren't wearing. Remember glamour is all about the tantalizing HINT of nudity.

One of my favorite things for under day dresses or any dress that doesn't require a strapless bra is the corselette. A corselette is a one-piece body shaper with an open bottom and attached garters for your stockings. What Katie Did makes a fabulous corselette as part of the Glamour line of shapewear. The nice thing about the Glamour range from What Katie did is it comes and black and peach and all the pieces in the range coordinate with other items that they offer. The Glamour line also features a bustier, Merry Widow Basque, and a waist cincher among other pieces. For my money, What Katie Did are the best source for reproduction vintage lingerie and shapwear out there. If you're leery of order from the UK for whatever reason, Rago Shapewear is a great American alternative and is sold through many different outlets. Another American source for reproduction 50's lingerie is a site called Secrets In Lace .

Glamour Corselette

Don't forget the old stand-bys like Spanx and the new line at Target by Spanx creator Assets by Sara Blakely.

Another one of my favorite pieces of shapewear is the Merry Widow. Slightly longer than a long line bra, they come in shapes that can even tame a bit of belly or hip. Sadly Lady Marlene stopped production on their beautiful products last year, but you can still find some of their fabulous pieces online or in select intimate apparel shops. My ultimate favorite is the Lady Marlene 986 which comes in white or black with a lace inlay. It both hooks AND zips. And here's a trick I learned from the lingerie Wizard of Orchard Street - buy this one size smaller than your usual bra band and it will suck everything in a push it all up! Other good choices in the Merry Widow/bustier department are Carnival and Goddess.

Another great piece of shapewear which is both functional and sexy is the waist cincher. These do exactly what they say; cinch the waist in! Once again What Katie Did comes to the rescue. I'm a big fan of Katie's gold label Lily cincher (seen here on the lovely Bernie Dexter). As you can see it starts just below the bra and ends just under the belly so not only will it cinch the waist, but it will take care of love handles, pot bellies and saddle bags! You can also try the Glamour model from WKD or check into the Rago waist cincher.

I could go on and on; panty girdles, open-bottom girdles, garter belts, strapless bras, and yes, even control thongs - the world of shapewear is a smorgasbord with different levels of support, decoration and uses.

But if you only take one lesson away from this blog it is this:

A good foundation is the basis of a glamorous, pin up look!

Now get shopping :-)!

(All photos in the blog are copyright of their respective owners and all rights are reserved)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pin Up Beauty Tip Of The Day - Eyebrows

Make sure that your eyebrows are perfectly plucked or waxed, and groomed The inner corners of your brows should be the thickest point, thinning out towards the tips. Before you are finished with your makeup, you can color your brows in thoroughly with an eyebrow pencil to add drama to the look.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why Pin Up?

Why Pin Up?

I’ve always been what you would call a “girly girl.” At the age of 14 when I was the proud owner of SEVEN pairs of shoes, my mother declared I had a shoe fetish. Little did the poor woman know that seven was going to be laughable within a few short years.

My clothes currently take up three closets and numerous storage bins in my home. The best way to store shoes is a continually evolving process. I own five sets of hot rollers and at least ½ a dozen curling irons much to my husband’s constant bemusement and I have more make up than I could possibly wear in seven lifetimes!

For years I had a secret pin up girl inside me.

Part of it was the whole attraction that the slightly naughty girls from the 50’s were the ones that looked sexier and seemed more appealing than your Gidgets or teenagers in circle skirts. What fun is it to be a teenager in a circle skirt when it involves only Coca-Cola, curfews and boys who would probably wind up as insurance salesmen?

No, the real fun was in being a naughty girl like Jayne, Mamie or Miss Adelaide.

I would watch the latter do the “Take Back Your Mink” striptease in Guys & Dolls religiously and fantasize about doing that one day myself.

And pin ups! Pin ups are the vision of sassy, sexy, slightly risqué mid-century perfection. Pin up girls always looked beautiful and irresistible and every man wanted one.

It all started with a burlesque class given by the Red Hots Burlesque when they were based out of New York. I learned the basics and then got up there and took it all off! It was fun and the gals involved in burlesque in New York are very welcoming and supportive. But it seemed once I’d done it and got it out of my system I was sort of over it.

Pin up, on the other hand, is just something for which my passion grows!

Somehow I managed to get on the My Space friends list of Philadelphia area pin up photographer, Bombshell Mandy. Some pin up photographers, Mandy being one of them, offer discounted, “group shoot” days; hair, make up, photo shoot, edited pictures and a print or three all for an amazingly wonderful price!

I took the plunge and got hooked up for Halloween 2007. If you take a look at those pics today, all the gorgeousness you see in it is all Mandy’s doing! It was my first time and you can tell! I look as grim as the reaper, but fortunately it managed to come out as sultry!

I’ve created Pin Up Finishing School so that I can share what I’ve learned in the past 18 months with other girls who want to pose as pin ups. Get your feet wet in a secure & supportive environment! Break the ice and you’ll be much more at ease during your first full shoot!

Made by Lena