My Journey into the World of Vintage Inspiration... What brought you here?

For me, it all starts with the movie White Christmas.

This is the best picture I could find of my favorite outfit on Vera Ellen.

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Followed closely by this one.

As a young dancer myself, watching Vera Ellen prance her way across the screen resulted in an instant obsession with the era. As I grew up, I watched more and more old movies. My mom often had TCM (the Turner Classic Movies channel) playing in the mornings, and more often than not, I would find myself sucked in to another classic.

Roman Holiday
On the Town
The original Robin Hood
Literally anything by Alfred Hitchcock

I was hooked on the glamour of old Hollywood.

The Fashion

I have always loved fashion, treating fashion magazines as sacred works to mimic, but after graduating high school, I found myself frustrated with modern fashion. I joined a church that is near and dear to my soul, and modesty became a priority in my life.

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Wait... PINUP style is modest??

When you compare vintage fashion to many of today's styles, the PUG look is a throw back to a unique brand of sexiness, demonstrating how to be sexy without always having to bare it all.  

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Just a few of the more modest options that I am currently coveting...

The Music

The first time I experienced anything event remotely retro-sounding was when Christina Aguilera released her CD "Back to Basics". I fell in love with the concept of the music video for "Candyman", and the whole album planted a seed that would later blossom into an appreciation for vintage style and music.

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As a 90's girl, Christina is one of my queens. You can watch the music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ScjucUV8v0

On a lunch break one day, I purchased a Frank Sinatra CD on a whim in the $10 section at Target. Pretty soon, I owned CD sets with all the hits. My music collection now features Rosemary Clooney, the Andrews Sisters, Elvis, and much more. Every time I play those tunes I feel centered and happy.

"I'm supposed to have a PH.D on the subject of women, but the truth is I've flunked more often than not. I'm very fond of women. I admire them. But, like all men, I don't understand them."

Living the Lifestyle

The day I found PUG's website I knew I had found the quintessential style for me- I remember setting up an account that very day and creating my "loves" list. I had just graduated high school and knew I couldn't afford the things I desired, but I knew that someday I would have to save up enough! My first PUG item was the Evelyn dress in feather swirl print, and to this day I cherish that piece. Eventually I found other sites like Bettie Page (now Tattyana), Lady V London, and Bernie Dexter. I was in heaven and feeling very inspired! 

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My first PUG dress!

Getting married strengthened my passion for the PUG look. While my wedding wasn't as retro-themed as it would be if it took place today, there were definitely a lot of vintage inspired touches! When we walked back up the isle after our ring ceremony, we walked to "Love and Marriage" by Frank Sinatra. I wore a tea-length tulle dress and big curls.

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August 10th 2012... My favorite day!

Today, I live for all things vintage. The 1940's are my favorite era, followed gradually by the 1950's and 60's. I love antique stores and authentic vintage clothing... I learned how to make my own circle skirts, (that was long process... I didn't know how to sew at all,) and now I wear them all the time. I dream of owning a vintage and vintage-inspired clothing boutique someday.

EDIT: New picture! Wore this little number for the 4th!

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I consider myself a feminist, so when I see some vintage advertisements (http://gizmodo.com/selling-shame-20-outrageously-offensive-vintage-...I thank my lucky stars I wasn't born in that era... But every once in a while, it's nice to put on my rose colored glasses and watch a season of Leave it to Beaver. Perhaps today's world could use another June Cleaver, anyway.

So, what about you? What brought you into the wonderful world of all things vintage? What inspires you today?

PS- This blog post is also on my tumblr, Modern Vera Ellen (http://modernveraellen.tumblr.com/). If you have a tumblr where you post retro inspired stuff, send me a follow and I'll follow right back! :)

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Comment by Amber on July 8, 2014 at 7:19pm

I think Mad Men got me started.  I've always loved dressing up, I've always loved the 40's and 50's but I didn't get ballsy enough to start dressing it until I started watching Mad Men (and getting old enough that I don't care what anyone thinks of me). 

Comment by Nikki on July 8, 2014 at 8:22pm

I haven't seen Mad Men, but I've heard the style is flawless. I'll have to check it out! It definitely takes some guts to dress totally retro, but I've found that every time I go all out I get lots of compliments. :)

Comment by Sammi on July 10, 2014 at 10:08pm

What brought me to PUG & vintage in general was my love of stockings.  I've been a stockings gal for nearly 15 years, stockings brought me to Dita, and Dita brought me the rest of the way here

Comment by Andrea B on July 11, 2014 at 12:18am
I am with Amber. It was totally Mad men,looking at the clothes and thinking they could work for me.
Comment by Nikki on July 11, 2014 at 12:51pm
Okay, apparently I need to be watching Mad Men! ;) Sammi, I love your story! What a unique way to fall into this beautiful style!
Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on July 14, 2014 at 10:15am

My three sources of inspiration to this day who're also responsible for me falling in love with the pinup genre absolutely have to be also White Christmas, Betty Boop and Jessica Rabbit. With White Christmas the glamour and beauty of vintage Hollywood was just impossible not to love. The trendy outfits of the day, the over the top musical numbers and the silver screen smiles are just timeless :)

As for Bettie and Jessica, even as a little girl I could see so much appeal in what those two represented. Confident, outgoing, and never afraid to be exactly who they wanted to be while dressing up and having fun all at the same time.

Also Bettie helped me fall in love with the whole Tikki/Polynesian pinup aesthetic too which helped lead me to my passion for Tahitian dancing which lead to my adopted pinup name ;)

Comment by Sammi on July 14, 2014 at 10:20am

I <3 Jessica Rabbit

Comment by Nikki on July 15, 2014 at 9:42pm

I am so glad I'm not the only one that completely fell in love with White Christmas<3. Jessica Rabbit is a doll... as well as Bettie Boop! Tahitia, what exactly is Tahitian dancing, anyway? I love learning new things about pinup culture. :)

Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on July 18, 2014 at 7:49pm

What's not to love about White Christmas, Jessica and Bettie right? ;) As for Tahitian dancing, it's a style of Polynesian dancing that comes from Tahiti. Some people mistaken it for hula dancing but it's defined by very fast hip rotations and motions to drum rhythms with names for the different motions combined with different leg stances and positions like fa'arapu, ta'iri, varu, otamu, afata and tiare. 

Here's a video from a girl who's tutorials taught me a lot online when I was first learning. It's not as popular or well known in Eastern Canada or the Eastern U.S. either, but it's really big in the U.S. southwest, Pacific coast states like California and provinces like British Columbia. It's also really popular in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Hawaii and of course Tahiti :)
 

Comment by Sammi on July 18, 2014 at 11:51pm

It is so cool that you can do that Tahitia, I'd fall flat on my face in 30 seconds if I tried!

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