I have been contemplating posting something on this site since I created my own page some time ago now. Overall, I have yet to be very active on my own page, and involving myself in many of the discussions that take place. However, it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful this community is, and though I have not been vocal here until now, I felt it necessary to make it known how much I appreciate the existence of such a company, and the beautiful community that surrounds it.
I first stumbled upon Pinup Girl Clothing a few years ago when I was looking for a dress to wear to my cousin’s wedding. I remember briefly browsing through a few stores near my town, and realized that what I was really searching for does not exist just anywhere. Eventually, I found my way online searching for vintage style dresses, and it did not take long to discover PUGs website. Within a few moments of browsing through their website, I was absolutely thrilled. Finally, there before me was a website that possessed everything I had been searching for and more. I was mesmerized by the selections, and needless to say, I was instantly hooked. Though, it would not be another year or so until I would finally make my first PUG purchase.
I am a woman with curves.
The statement above was nearly impossible for me to accept, and embrace for many years. For many years I have excelled at putting myself down, and not embracing the body I was born with. This is the most vocal, and public, I have ever been about this, but I cannot think of any other place I would rather speak out about the matter. Not only did I constantly battle with my body, but I have also struggled greatly with the vast difference in tastes and interests that I have compared to so many my age. I grew up in a household passionate about history. I myself am an art history major, concentrating in film history as well as photography. I often say I am a sort of “unhealthy” history major, in that, in my head I live in the past more than the present as I drift through my modern days. To say that I am obsessed with the history of film, is a complete understatement, and I find I am truly happy while watching an old film.
The more immersed I became in my studies, the more I realized that I wanted nothing more than to look like all those lovely leading ladies from the golden age of Hollywood. It was not until I came across PUGs website that I thought it even remotely possible for this to be true. Before I purchased any PUG apparel, I started investing my time into learning how to do vintage hairstyles. Every now and then I would wear my hair in this fashion, and even this change felt so right. Before this, I had never been one to “style” my hair, and would more often than not, simply wash my hair and let it air dry, for that was the extent of my skills and patience (or so I thought). It was just this fall that I finally made my first PUG purchase. I decided on the Doris top in black, and Dixiefried's, Perfect Pencil Skirt in red (pictured below).
After “preceding to checkout”, and finalizing the order, a nervous excitement came over me. When I received my new PUG in the mail, I could hardly wait to slip into them. When I did, I could not believe whom I saw in the reflection. Without risking being too dramatic, I will simply say that it was an overwhelming experience. I, for the first time in my life, was amazed by my own body (and that is still not the easiest thing to admit, but it’s true). Clothes had never hugged my body that way before, and I saw before me a body that could in fact look good in clothes.
Since that first purchase, I have also bought the Nicole Dress in White Floral Meredith Satin for the holidays. The same feelings I had the first time came back, and I twirled about my room with delight (something I do not think I have EVER done before, and even still, have a hard time admitting). I did not feel ridiculous. I felt free. Free again from the nasty comments I littered myself with over so many years.
I had never before been able to speak kindly, and confidently about my own body. It has been hard enough to admit it to myself, and even as I am typing this, I can hardly believe I am saying it here. I have even recently set up a photo shoot at Vavoom Pinups here in Chicago. This is something I have wanted to do for myself for quite some time. It is terrifying, and exciting to be pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
This is where the beauty of this company comes in.
Not only are we so lucky to have a company that creates beautiful, high quality vintage style clothing, but we also have a company that has gone above and beyond to create a community of vintage style lovers feel not only welcomed, but like we are a part of something much larger than what one may see at first glance. As I have browsed though many blog posts on this site, I have been so touched by all the personal, and inspiring stories that have been shared thus far. I never thought that I would ever be affected by a company in such a way, but it has happened, and at this point, I cannot imagine my life without PUGs inspirational staff and supporters. It is so empowering to be a part of a community that sees beauty that comes in all shapes and sizes. So all I can say now is, thank you. Thank you all for being a part of this, and allowing me to be a part of it as well. Here's to a new year of breaking through our boundaries, loving ourselves, and ultimately, because our best selves.
As a “P.S.” of sorts. Two quotes for inspiration (on the tougher days):
“The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is move along, get on with it, and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but being tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated.” -Katharine Hepburn
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald