Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review/Wishlist Update: Heart of Haute Strawberry Skirt

In my very first Wishlist Wednesday post, I shared one of my most-wanted strawberry-print items: the twirl skirt from Heart of Haute. Well, I'm pleased to report that in my ongoing quest to fill my entire wardrobe with fruit prints, I got my hands on it!
heart of haute strawberry skirt

Monday, June 27, 2016

Guest Post: A Small Dose of Art History and Fashion

Hi everyone! The lovely and brilliant Miss Ani Holly (@missaniholly on Instagram -- go follow her and then come back and read her post!!!) has written the very first guest post ever to appear on this blog, and I am delighted to finally share it with you!! If you like to learn super neat things while you look at gorgeous photos of amazing clothes and a beautiful lady, you absolutely must check out her blog, The Museum Pinup! Thank you so much, Ani <3!!! -Emily

Hello everyone!

Miss Ani Holly [aka The Museum Pinup] here taking over Miss Emily Hallock’s blog for today! When Emily approached me about guest blogging a few weeks ago I was so flattered. I had blogged before, but it was a very rigid academic Art History blog. After much convincing, I started a new pinup blog, fusing my love of art and pinup. I studied Art History at USC, and I am currently working in a museum, so almost everything I do includes at least an ounce of my Art Historical studies. So, thank you, Emily, for the constant support and for this opportunity!

The outfit I’ll be highlighting tonight is very special for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve loved this dress since I saw it, but it’s currently sold out on the Pinup Girl Clothing website. So you can probably imagine my excitement when this dress was up for sale on the PUG Swap and Sell page! Second, I wore it specially for my fiancee’s graduation dinner from UCLA. So since my man and Emily share the same alma mater, I just knew this was the dress I need to highlight in my guest post! Finally, I love [I’ll say it again: I LOVE] spiders and a beautifully rich dark plum color, and my ensemble highlighted both.

For this outfit, I was inspired by two of my favorite artworks. For color, I found inspiration in Mark Rothko’s Untitled 1960. As for details and overall aura, I wanted to invoke the cool, hauntingly beautiful, yet elegant bad-assness of Travis Louie’s Miss Emily Fowler and Her Giant Spider (2015).

Both these artists have a special place in my heart. Every time I visit LACMA, I must see a Rothko. Rothko’s most notable works, the multiforms, filled in the void of what he believed was missing in contemporary art - human expression and a breadth of life. He began using darker tones in his later multiforms, which people believed was a reflection of his internal darkness (after all, he was Arshile Gorky’s student!).

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1960, oil on canvas
Travis Louis, Miss Emily Fowler and her Giant Spider, 2015, acrylic on board

I fell in love with Travis Louie’s bizarre Edwardian and Victorian works of art as a college student. So when the opportunity arose to intern at the gallery representing him and all the other contemporary artists I love, I decided to try my luck and apply. Luck was on my side, since I got the internship! His artworks have so much depth and haunting beauty, you just don’t want to take your eyes away. Miss Emily Fowler and Her Giant Spider is a surrealist dream - as Miss Fowler stares coldly at the viewer while her giant spider is dying next to her. There’s a strange sense of welcoming comfort hidden behind the shockingly dark scene.

My Masuimi dress from Pinup Girl Clothing in plum with black trim was a perfect blend of Rothko and Louie. The dress is shorter than other wiggle dresses, so it was perfect for my 5’2” stature. It has a double kick pleat for double the fun, and a show-stopper neckline with lace trim and bust cups. I will be honest, I definitely am not a fan of bust cups but as usual, Pinup Girl made me love something I usual wouldn’t because they do it so well. The dress is made from a comfortable bengaline, so you get the exquisitely high quality look with the comfort of a t-shirt.

I probably could have worn this dress without a bra, but I did wear a balconette bra with no padding to feel more comfortable going out. One of my biggest fears with bust cups is the most dreaded wardrobe malfunction - I’ll take the extra precautions to avoid that! Although the straps slight show - people actually though that was a detail on the dress, so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable that the straps were showing a little. Sometimes bra straps end up adding to the whole outfit as opposed to taking away from it.


I paired the dress with a pair of black suede Steve Madden pumps I’ve had forever and my black Pinup Couture handbag I got for free at the Yardsale (score!). The purse is deceivingly big, which I appreciate so much. It looks so cute and compact on the outside, but it fits my giant makeup bag and wallet - WHAT IS THIS SORCERY?


I’m usually a minimalist when it comes to accessories, so I wore my spider earrings from Insect Diva in honor of Miss Emily Fowler’s Giant Spider and to show my adoration of spiders. I absolutely love Insect Diva’s jewelry because with every item she makes, she also provides information about each of the species in her jewelry, since she has a Ph.D in Entomology. Talk about an inspirational woman!  I wanted the highlight of my accessories to be my earrings - so I chose not to wear a bracelet or necklace.


I hope you enjoyed my homage to two extraordinary artworks. Fashion is art, and art is fashion, after all. Embrace it!

Outfit details:
Dress + Purse: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Steve Madden
Earrings: Insect Diva
Lipstick: Retro Rouge, Charlotte Olympia for MAC



Miss Ani Holly

Follow this blog on:
Instagram: @emily.hallock
Twitter: @ThoroughlyMLE

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shelter Island

For some reason, my posts on Stuff I Have Done keep getting preempted for posts about Clothing I Love, which means that I'm writing a post with photos from my previous trip to New York while in New York again. In other news, this is my 100th blog post!

I've mentioned before that I never really change my jewelry. I've worn the same necklace and bracelet for nine and ten years, respectively, and I get a lot of comments about my necklace. People often ask if it's a guy on a horse (no), a Wyoming thing (no), a bucking bronco (no), or a degraded coastline (…sort of? To be fair, this only happened once.) While it does look uncannily like the thing in the middle of the Wyoming license plate, it's actually a map of Shelter Island, New York.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #13

It's been a while since I did a proper Wishlist Wednesday post, so I'm hoping today's installment is a real humdinger! I've done a few updates on previous Wishlist Wednesday posts, showcasing pieces that I ended up buying, and I have a feeling that some of these pretties will make their way into my wardrobe sooner rather than later! Today I'm featuring pieces that just say "summer" to me. Fruit prints, popsicles, and open-toed shoes await you below!

$25 and Under
I have this piece in pink, and reach for it all the time, so I'm pretty sure that I'd get plenty of wear out of this orange peony hair flower from Daisy Jean Floral Designs. I love the subtle ombre effect, and the color just screams summer to me!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Trashy Diva Cactus Rouge

I'm in New York for my wedding, everyone! I'm starting to feel like everything that needs to happen (seating charts, the glitter we are painting inside the vases for the centerpieces, the playlist, ceremony stuff) is actually going to work out, so I'm feeling much better than I was two weeks ago. Jeff is supposed to arrive on Thursday, and after we pick him up, we'll drive out to the island and get our marriage license! As you can tell from the excess of exclamation points, I'm super excited to be getting married.

But enough about that: let's talk clothing, shall we?
trashy diva cactus rouge

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review: Hearts and Found

At this point, it's no surprise that I'm a sucker for anything fruit print or gingham. So you can imagine my reaction when I discovered that Hearts and Found, a Vietnamese made-to-order clothier and textile seller, had gingham fabric with strawberries on it. (If you can't imagine my reaction, let me give you a hint: a sharp intake of breath followed by incoherent loudness.)

I'd read an extremely positive review of Hearts and Found on Pinup Persuasion, so about a month ago, I felt ready to take the plunge. I'd heard that it was super easy to set up a custom order, so I messaged Marjorie and got the ball rolling on a strawberry-gingham gathered skirt. I wanted it made to my exact waist measurement (done) in a custom fabric (done) and a 24" length (done), and while I was at it, how about throwing in a cute nautical skirt, also with a custom waist measurement? No problem! I paid, trying not to have a small heart attack over the price of international shipping (which really wasn't that bad: $20 for two skirts!), and settled in to wait.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

On Body Acceptance

What's that I see? A crop top?!? Doth mine eyes deceive me?

Nah, you're not seeing things: I'm stepping wayyyy outside my comfort zone today, and it feels pretty awesome. I came across this turquoise crop top and immediately, a war broke out in my mind between the "it would match my Mary Blair umbrella skirt perfectly" faction and the "we don't show our midriff ever" camp. Obviously, the matchy-matchy contingent carried the day, so here I stand, proudly flaunting my midriff and flouting that stupid '24 Things You Shouldn't Wear After 30' post. (Not going to link to it, because she doesn't deserve it. For a much better take on what you can/can't wear after 30, see this brilliant post.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Happy Birthday, Roon!

Today is my sister's birthday! Unfortunately, I'm spending this one in Chicago, which means she'll be guilting me about not coming home for at least the next decade, but hopefully I can buy her off with a super birthday present and a blog post. (Spoiler alert: I doubt it. She still brings up the time that I got home 2 minutes after her birth time and she 'had to turn 15 all by herself.')

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: Pinup Couture Dee Dee Dress

It's been a long time since I've lived in a place where summer is a Thing, rather than just a continuation of the same perfect weather we had all year 'round. After months of dreary, windy, damp nonsense, this girl's thoughts have turned to flights of barbecue and summer-festival fancy. I've heard that Chicago really comes alive in the summer, and I'm excited to experience that for myself. (Sidebar: 'excited' is probably the single most-frequently-used word on this blog.)
Pinup Couture Dee Dee Dress

Saturday, June 11, 2016

On Ethical Shopping, Part II

Way back in February, I shared some of my thoughts on more ethical shopping practices, and publicly committed myself to a more ethical approach to buying clothing. I'm happy to say that I've been largely successful at adhering to the principles I outlined there. While I failed at my no-buy month, I've kept to my plan of shopping with small, largely female-owned businesses, supporting domestic clothing manufacturing, and working towards lasting body confidence rather than buying new things to try to feel pretty. I'll write about my journey to body acceptance soon, I expect, but for today, I want to tackle two issues that didn't come up in my last foray into the ethics of clothes consumption: the environmental dimension and sizeism.

Before we dive into all of that, here are some photos of a dress that I can genuinely feel good about owning. It's the Kelly from Bernie Dexter in leopard print, it's made in the USA, and it's available in XS-4X. In these photos, I'm wearing it with ancient combat boots from Buffalo Exchange and leggings I borrowed from my little sister.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wedding Planning for Introverts

My wedding is two weeks from this Saturday and I've finally figured out what it is that I don't like about wedding planning: it's an introvert's nightmare! I'm a serial hibernator: I tend to really like alone time and often go off the grid with emails if I don't need to check them for work. This is not a useful trait if you're planning a wedding, which involves contacting a zillion people who want to ask you what you want about things you don't really care about. I have a hard enough time calling people that I know really well to catch up, and I often need to psych myself up for a while to call the cable company or  phone in a prescription to CVS. Cold-calling wedding vendors is basically a waking nightmare. When you consider that wedding planning is also lazy-person hell, I have twice as many reasons to not really enjoy the planning process.

A zillion invitations, painstakingly addressed in my ridiculous chicken scratch.

Monday, June 6, 2016

One Skirt Three Ways: Pinup Girl Clothing Paris Jenny

If you're a fan of Pinup Girl Clothing (PUG), the odds are very good that you already know about the Paris print. It was a highly sought-after discontinued print for what felt like ages, until it was finally rereleased this past spring. For those who, like me, discovered PUG after this skirt had already sold out, it was a godsend when they announced that they'd be bringing the print back with pockets. It's been all over my Instagram/Facebook feeds ever since, and I've seen some outfits people have put together that make me want to own a lime green top for the first time since I was probably six or so.

In case you were wondering, this, like the tiki print, is another one of those prints that fully lives up to the hype. I was a little surprised when my skirt (…and dress… I went a little crazy, because FOMO is a powerful thing indeed) arrived, because the background is a lovely pale pink, and not white as I'd assumed, but after about 0.0001 seconds of head-scratching, I concluded that this made it even better! There are so many vibrant colors in the skirt, which made it super easy to come up with three fun outfits for this post. I've seen lots of ladies wearing this skirt with tops from PUG and while they look beyond incredible, I tried to go a bit off the beaten retro-reproduction path with my three looks. (Well, that and I don't have a Voodoo Vixen or Vamp top…yet!)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Toile and the Deathly Hallows

When I was still teaching, I had two reliable first-day-of-class icebreaker questions. The first was "if you had to choose a song that would play every time you walked into a room, what would it be?" (Mine is the Imperial March, a.k.a. Darth Vader's theme, now and forever!) The second was a bit more relevant to the subject matter of my political science classes: "What is your earliest political memory?"

Today is June 4th, and those of you who obsessively track anniversaries of auspicious dates might have guessed where I'm going with this one. My earliest political memory is seeing the footage of the tanks rolling into Tiananmen Square on the television in my living room, twenty-seven years ago today. I remember feeling so confused, and a little frightened of the tanks, which was eminently reasonable. Since then, I've been to Tiananmen Square and learned a lot about Chinese politics, and it's still hard to wrap my mind around the events of June 4, 1989.

In other, happier news, here's my newest Bernie Dexter dress, along with my new Atomic Lucite necklace!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thoughts on UCLA

I had a lovely review of a cute gingham dress all written and ready to go, but then yesterday's shooting at UCLA changed my mind.
Royce Hall, 2007

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday Update: Effie's Heart Lemons

The theme of today is 'when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.' I've had another pretty rough day of travel and a full day of work after waking at 4:45am. This delightful marathon culminated in a surprise thunderstorm, a mad dash across Museum Campus to my bus (during which time I got absolutely drenched), and a longer-than-usual bus ride in which rain dripped onto me inside the bus. Oh, and a clogged drain in the bathroom sink, which may or may not get fixed tomorrow. Le sigh. However, this makes me appreciate my cozy apartment more than usual, and now that I'm dry, I'm just hoping that Jeff gets home soon, because I'm excited to see him after my weekend in New York!

Way back in the early days of this blog, I went nuts over fruit prints for the first (but not the last!) time. I already own two other Effie's Heart dresses in the exact same cut as this lemon print dress, and since I love them both, I felt confident that I needed another. Well, after waiting a couple of months, I'm happy to update you all on the status of my fruit-printed dress collection! I ordered it in one of Modcloth's sitewide sales, and this was definitely worth it. Don't you just love it when something completely lives up to your fanciful expectations?