Hey everyone! It's me Tahitia and I FINALLY have some PUG product reviews for you. Now as the name of this post implies yes, a few of these items DID come courtesy of PUG's big Black Friday sale, but a few of them I've had for a few weeks now and what with a crazy work schedule I just haven't had the time to share them... but no more excuses now, I promise :)
So without further adoo.... heeeeEEEEERE are the reviews!!!
Hooray for Pin Curls!!
Okay I lied a bit, the first thing that I want to are my pin curls that I had DURING these pictures below. Pin Curls were the suggestion that Harlow Napalm and Viola Von Kitten had for me in the Pinup Hair 911 forum thread that I started a couple of weeks ago and I could not be any happier with the results.
I think that the curling technique will still take a little time for me to get use to, but after I tie my pinup head scarf around my head I can actually sleep normally at night, something I could NEVER pull off with rollers.
So THANK YOU SO MUCH Harlow and Kitten for the idea and to everyone else who shared advice, I'm a better pinup girl for it.
Scoop Neck Tee with Haunted Mansion Girl Art
Alrighty, so our FIRST PUG item of the day is the Scoop Neck Tee with Haunted Mansion Girl Art. I just want to say off the bat that I already am in love with PUG's t-shirts, so much so that I think they were the only graphic tee's that I wore this past summer. Without a doubt, this is now my favourite of the whole lot.
It's comfortable, it's casual, the length of the shirt is perfect and the original artwork by PUG's own Micheline Pitt is just to die for :)
Now at $38 this isn't the cheapest t-shirt you'll find by any means, but like with all of PUG's clothes what you pay for you get back in quality. You know the second you put this shirt on it's great material, and a shirt you'll be able to wear for a lot of years to come.
So what's my final verdict you ask? You'll definitely be happy having the Scoop Neck Tee with Haunted Mansion Girl Art in your closet for Christmas :)
Joanie Top in Navy Knit from Laura Byrnes Black Label
So next we have the Joanie Top in Navy Knit, and this one was no surprise at all, I LOVED it. Before getting this I already had the Joanie in Grey and Red knit in medium so I kinda knew before hand that this one wasn't going to disappoint.
All I can say about the Joanie in ANY colour is that it's a must have for the formal/business casual section of any woman's wardrobe. I never used to both with snug fitting tops like this before the Joanie, but the cut really is flattering and comfortable as a glove to wear. I never wore a shirt with a back zipper before, but it really lends itself well to the Joanie.
So just like the red and grey knit version, I'm definitely calling this a must have :)
The Grace Dress in Flocked Red
Moving along we come to the The Grace Dress in Flocked Red. Now right off the bat I'm going to say FORGET anything I posted here before about knowing what my PUG dress for New Years Eve is going to be this year... because THIS IS NOW IT!
I love the flocked red colour, the cut (I got it in medium) is very vintage and classic and the material is actually pretty warm and comfy. Another note on the material is that it's just the right weight so that it flows with you as you move in it, that aspect of the dress doesn't really come through in the pictures but trust me, it only adds to the classic glamour look.
The only issue at all that I had with the dress is the positioning of the straps, they're a little further to the outside of the bustline to hide most conventional bra straps, so either clear straps or a strapless bra are in order.
Otherwise, like I said, this is my dress to welcome in 2013 with :)
Vintage Inspired Opera Length Gaspar Gloves
So I've never really worn gloves that much before. I didn't have an aversion to them and they didn't really bother me, I just thought that aside from my Steampunk outfits gloves didn't really suit me.
Trust me when I say then that if you can manage to save up a bit, even if it takes a few months to do it, you will not be sorry that you bought the Vintage Inspired Opera Length Gaspar Gloves for Laura Byrnes in Bla.... They're so comfortable to wear (it was easier to figure out what glove size I was than I thought, I'm a 7.5 :) ), the leather is so beautiful and the best part is that they really do match almost every single PUG dress/combination outfit out there.
I'm going to be pairing them with the Grace Dress for New Years Eve this year and also with my Birdie Dress for a Christmas party in a couple of weeks. Believe me you'll want to use them as much as possible once you have them :)
Perfect Pinup Shrug in White
Just like it's black counterpart the Perfect Pinup Shrug in white can go anywhere and goes with anything, what more do you need to know?
I went with a small since that's what I ordered with the black and with the Masuimi, but I honestly think that I could have gotten away with an extra-small. I feel like thanking PUG just for making any kind of outfit that a woman like me could be considered extra small in... wow :)
I'd say that the white shrug is definitely more at home with spring and summer dresses, so I'll probally getting the most use out of it come spring time. Just another reason that I can't wait for it to get warm again!
Psychobilly Halter Top in White with Black Polka Dots
Oh.... My..... God..... This.... Top.... Is.......... Wow. In all seriousness I cannot think of a single reason why It's taken me 18 months after finding PUG to get this top. It is... well just look at it! This shirt rocks, plain and simple! I truly don't think that there's a body type out there that the Psychobilly Halter Top in white with Black Polka Dots won't flatter.
The shirt's has a really good length and the cut around the bustline really covers your bust well (I'm a 36D and I ordered a medium. The halter collar with the flared lapel really are what makes this top a legend though, so much so that I don't think at this point it needs another good review to make it a top seller, but believe me no matter what size you are this is a top you will love.
After I recuperate from this Black Friday shopping spree I'll definitely be saving up for this in black next, and who knows, I might even try the Polka Dot Wiggle Dress too now that I know the style of top is so gorgeous. Next year's already shaping up to be another great PUG year :)
This is definitely another buy ladies :)
Jersey Cap Sleeve Top in Navy
When I first saw this and all the other Jersey tops on PUG's serpates page I really had no idea what to expect. Most were already sold out, including this one that I just loved the look of, the Jersey Cap Sleeve Top in Navy, and as gorgeous as they looked on the always stunning Masuimi Max, I know I'm a long way from Masumi's size, and this and ALL the Jersey tops were one size fits all.
The prices were reasonable though and with the Black Friday sale I thought it was worth the gamble. As you can see... this was definitely the right call to make. I'm a 36-29-40 and the single size really does fit me just right! The length is good, the material has a good stretch to it without being too tight at all, and the colour really is just as rich as it is in the website's picture.
You can pair this with any skirt, pants and shrug that PUG has to offer or pretty much any skirt or pants that you already have. Seriously, the Jersey top really is the most versatile all purpose, all function and all around awesome looking top that PUG has to offer, you really can't go wrong with it in any cut in your closet :)
Jersey Off-Shoulder Long Sleeve Top in Red
So next we have the Jersey off-shoulder long sleeve top in red, which fits just like the Jersey Cap Sleeve top except the sleeves are long and it rests off the shoulders... but you probably didn't need me to figure that part out :)
All I can tell you is that this Jersey works just like the other Jersey's, which is to say it's a wardrobe essential, plain and simple. The cut is definitely a more formal look than the Cap Sleeve but every bit as comfortable to wear. You can still dress it down with a pair of jeans for a more casual look, which I'm planning to for a get together this coming weekend.
The best part of the Jersey Off-Shoulder Long Sleeve in Red is that the colour is just as brilliant in person as it is on the website, a real plus for the holiday season :)
So this is the last comment that I have for you all on the Jersey line of tops. They are, in my opinion, THE BEST BUY on Pinup Girl Clothing. They fit like a dream, are comfortable as anything you'll ever wear, and still glow with the look of vintage glamour that's made us all love this site.
Luckily PUG's restocked all the Jersey tops since Black Friday by the look of things, and since I'm still hoping for the Cap Sleeve top in at least one other colour, I know what I'll be hoping Santa leaves for me under the tree this year ;)
Perfect Pencil Skirt in Red/Black
Now the last two items that I want to review tonight aren't actually ones that I just picked up. I've had them for close to a year now and I've only just realized that I still haven't reviewed them yet, so here we go!
The Perfect Pencil Skirt's in red and in black are the first pencil skirt's that I have EVER owned, and even it though it took me more than a couple of decades to discover the pencil skirt I now can see why women love them so much. The material offers a perfect and comfortable stretch to conform to your curves that's great to wear but not so tight that you feel like your stuffed inside of a sausage.
The end result is the most figure flattering skirt you'll probably ever have. You can throw on one of the off-shoulder jersey top's for a glamourous formal look, or just a tank top for a crazy rockabilly girl look or anything in between. There's serisouly no "favourite" top that I have to pair either skirt with since they honestly just go with almost everything.
So what's my final verdict on the perfect pencil skirt's in red and black? They're another PUG must have and you won't be sorry that you own or, two or even three :)
One more little note, the gold and lime's are also just too cute for words and perfect for the spring and summer. I'm definitely thinking of getting one or the other before it gets warm again.
Another little note about the Perfect Pencil Skirt, in particular the one in black is that it's so sexy AND badass it's actually given me the idea for a new costume to wear next year once the convention season starts again... a Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper Female Officer costume. Here's a bit of concept art my hubby drew up the other day based on this idea :)
Now we didn't see that many women in the Imperial military back in the original trilogy, but there are a lot other cosplayers out there who have already done female Imperial officers at conventions, and I really think that the Perfect Pencil Skirt along with the pinup look could really make for an awesome costume.
Now first I'd have to get in touch with the 501st Legion to make sure that the long pencil skirt meets Imperial dress protocols, yes there are rules for dressing up in Star Wars costumes :) Even still I'm sure this will work out, I mean, can you just picture a pinup model in uniform leading a batallion of armed Stormtroopers? Wow... I can't wait for convention season to start to put this plan in action :)
So all and all as you can guess PUG now makes up the vast majority of my everyday wardrobe, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Since I first discovered PUG a little more than a year and half ago now I've gone down a dress size or two as the result of losing a good deal of weight. As anyone who's ever struggled with weight gain and weight loss will tell you, it's not an easy process and there's no single solution that's guaranteed to work for two women.
A lot of the weight loss that I experienced had a great deal to do with making lifestyle changes, eating healthier, finding a more physically active and demanding job and such. One important part of the weight loss that I wanted to share with you is one that I never saw coming... Tahitian Dancing :)
Tahitian Dancing with Tahitia
So right off the bat YES, my love of Tahitian Dancing IS where I got my burlesque name. It was actually a suggestion by my awesome friend and burlesque mom.
Now the first little fact about Tahitian Dancing that I'm going to share is that it's commonly mistaken for Hula Dancing, or sometimes even belly dancing. While those are both beautiful and rewarding styles of dance in their own right, Tahitian is it's own unique style. You might have seen it earlier this year in Nicki' Minaj's music video for the song Starships (it's the style of dancing the background dancers are performing aroud Nicki on the platform at the end of the song).
It's a beautiful style of dance that really puts the emphasis on moving your hips that's performed to high tempo island drum beats and rhythms while maintaining a tightly controlled upper body.
I came across the dance when my husband showed me a few videos that he'd found on YouTube a few years ago. I grew up dabbling in latin dances and salsa, but they never really got into them with enthusiasm. I also tried belly dancing, but again I just found it wasn't as appealing to me as I'd hoped.
Tahitian Dancing though offered something really different, I just fell in love with how the women dancers moved their hips so gracefully and skillfully and seamlessly to drumbeats. Also it was hard not to love the dancing costumes, the beautiful flowers in their hair, the multi-coloured grass skirts, and of course the beautiful smile that ever dancer wore.
So at first I started trying to mimic the dancers in the videos that I could find online. After that I bought a few instructional DVD's for Tahitian Dancing beginners, which really taught me a lot about the fundamentals and terminology like the 'ote'a, otamu, varu and the fa'arapu!
I was actually able to speak with a very talented Polynesian dance instructor in Vancouver who told me that if you really do want to learn properly you have to learn from a true Polynesian master. So I started driving an hour just get to classes taught by a truly beautiful and masterful Tahitian Dancer.
All the while I studied new videos of performances, videos of classes and videos of general group and or individual workouts to teach myself new skills and techniques as well. I've been lucky enough to even perform my Tahitian Dancing a few times now, and have taught a few classes of my own.
You see my own goal is to one day start up my own Tahitian Dancing troupe to perform at cultural events and parades. So far I've gotten a few friends interested, but a full blown troupe might still be a few years away ;)
It doesn't matter though, even though it took me a long time to find it Tahitian Dancing really has become a part of my life and I really am better off for having learned it. I attribute a great of the weight loss to the hours and hours of endless practicing, and it's really helped to teach me focus and concentration too, all important aspects of learning to dance Tahitian.
If any of this has interested any women out there I definitely encourage you to take up Tahtian Dancing, whether to lose weight, meet other people that love the style of dance too, wear the costumes or just because it looks so much fun.
Even though the style originated in Tahiti and South Pacific, there are actually a good number of troupe's here in Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States too, along with Central Canada and the American Midwest.
The most troupe's however are found in British Columbia here in Canada and the West Coast in the U.S., especially California where it really is quite popular. There are even festivals and competitions known as fête's and heiva's around the world as you can see in this collected chart here. I've never managed to get to one before but I definitely will one day. There are even a couple in Las Vegas, but sadly not on at the same time as Viva Las Vegas.
So that's the story of me and Tahitian Dancing. It really was chance that I came across it but I honestly can't see having the same amount of fun in my life without. It already is quite popular around the world, but I think as more people discover it for it's therapeutic value it will get even more popular.
I'm actually going to be performing a Tahitian routine a New Years Eve show, which should be a lot of fun :) So that will be my New Years Eve. For my New Years Day... I have a little tradition of my own that I do every year now, my annual Polar Bear Plunge :)
Swimming with the Polar Bears
So the last time I had a blog entry I promised to talk about the Polar Bear Plunge/Swim, so here we are!
So growing up here in Canada as a little girl I'd always heard about the Polar Bear swim but I never quite saw the appeal of running into freezing cold water in the middle of winter of my own free will.
Then just after Christmas time a few years ago my hubby had mentioned that there was a big organized mass plunge at a local beach every New Years Day, and on a whim I decided to give it a shot, thinking that at the very least I wouldn't be the only person running into the water on January 1st :)
I never would have thought that something as simple as plunging yourself into the water on New Years Day could have such a profound effect on your life, but it did, even from the first time I did it a few years ago.
Before the organizers began the countdown to plunge time for the gathered mob of polar bears on the snowy beach that day, I found myself standing on the cold sand in the falling snow in my white bikini (I thought white made sense since it was winter) thinking about all the things that hadn't gone right the year before. It was only for a second though that I dwelled on those disappointments from the previous 365 days, because just a quick glimpse around at the huddled mass of tweens to retirees around me made me realize that I really was surrounded by positivity, optimism and just really good energy. So as the countdown neared zero instead of dwelling I shouted to myself what I was going to do differently this year, what changes I would make to my life and where I wanted to be one year from then.
So with that promise made to myself I ran into the water with the mob of positivity and craziness around me, and OH MY GOD THAT WATER WAS SO FREAKIN COLD!!!!
I knew it was the right thing to do though, I felt like I was walking on air for the rest of the day, and even the week. So after embracing the warm towel my waiting hubby gave me and after a complimentary hot chocolate and french fries at the beach side diner nearby, I gave the New Year all that I had.
A lot of things changed for me that year, I finally found a job that I'm happy and stable in, one that I'm proud of and look forward to doing when I wake up in the morning. I made a lot of good friends that year too, women who are strong, career minded, caring, respectful, and accepting of me for who I am, the kind of women I wish I'd been hanging around with my entire life. It was a really good year, and although it was a good year because of a lot of hard work and determination, I always saw that Polar Bear Plunge of being the start of those good things.
So every year since then (including last year as seen above when I sported my Vintage Red Bikini Top and matching High Waisted Short) (also I've only done it three times now so I'm not a veteran by any means... yet ;) ) I've gone back to that beach with the crazy masses to take the plunge and start off the New Year right! I'm always on the lookout for a friend to take the plunge with me, but sadly so far I haven't been able to convince any of my friends.
One this year told me that she'd consider it, but it would depend on how stupid she was feeling that day (that's the best response response that I've gotten so far). It really looks like there just aren't that many Tahitian Dancing, Pinup loving Polar Bear Swimming girls like me in Southern Ontario... go figure eh?
This year I'll be wearing my Fables Sophie Top in Red, White and Blue along with the high waisted bikini bottoms my friend will be making for me into the water. These bottoms are going to be the most high waisted bottoms/shorts that I think I've ever worn, practically a reverse tankini really. Luckily with such a high waist the odds of my shorts slipping down as I run out of the water AGAIN aren't likely :)
Around the PUG Style Blogosphere
Alright girls! It's time for another spin around the blogosphere!!!
First off my fellow cannuck Amanda King wrote a beautiful post on learning who she really was, coming into her own, finding PUG, and finding that beautiful confidence inside of herself. I never get tired of reading these stories like hers, they really are beautiful and I think that in some way we can all relate to each and every one of them. That and she totally rocks the Sandra Dress in Jade which is one of my all time PUG favourites! Amanda also had another good post on the question of what PUG clothes to wear in these dreaded winter months of ours. I think the Joanie's are a good start personally.
Viola Von Kitten recounted her own Black Friday haul, I swear PUG could probably make a good profit for the year that one day alone with shoppers like us:) From the gorgeous Ginger Dress to sizzling capris Viola rocked it all!
Amber shared her Very Birdie Christmas card story along with her beautiful pictures that really do sell the fact that at least my opinion the Birdie dress is the most "Mad Men" dress in PUG's wardrobe in all of it's class and glamour. You look amazing Amber :)
Leanna Bruce shared her own story of her Halloween costume turned award winning night on the town outfit, the Military Secretary Dress in tan. It's a really great story, and it really makes me wish I could have one in my own closet already. Oh well, it's for the best that they don't have any left in sto... wait... what's this? They DO have my size in stock now??? WHY DO YOU KEEP TEMPTING ME PUG???? :)
Lastly Fanny Freckles has become my winter wardrobe PUG icon ever since Kristen shared a link on Harlow Napalm's PUG Winter Wardrobe Help thread to her blog Midnight Maniac and her entry on accessorizing a true vintage cold weather outfit.
Forum Time :)
Now it's time to have a quick trip around the PUG Style forums :) Margrete shared her experience and some pictures of just how a bullet bra, in this case the Maitresse bullet bra from What Katie Did really wears this day and age. Also important, how it looks under clothes. After reading her thoughts and seeing her pictures myself I think that I can imagine wearing one under a few PUG outfits and it suiting the look just fine, so thanks Margrete for the advice and insight!
Lastly Stephanie Folden ended up giving me some VERY awesome advice on old fashion silk stockings, the kind that you wear with a garter belt. The best part is that this advice came up as were talking about an incident with them on the Embarrasing Stories thread, but how aside from that one incident they're otherwise amazing. I love how one second you can be sharing funny or embarrassing stories with each other and then exchanging really good fashion tips the next :)
Here we are at the end once again. It's been fun sharing my fun times wearing PUG and reminiscing on Tahitian Dancing and Polar Bear swimming, but it's time to call it a night.
I will say that I did end up listening to a podcast of Harry and Edna On The Wireless program that Aoife had mentioned a little while back in her Aoife starts to ramble post, and I actually got an amazing idea from one of their guests, to start a vintage/retro/swing/rockabilly club night! I've never organized a club night before but wow, that would be so much fun to take a shot at in the New Year. I'll have to make it one of my promises before I run into the water.
So in conclusion, I hope you've liked my product reviews, I hope I've piqued your interest in Tahitian Dancing and that if there's a cold body of water nearby you can take a swim some time this winter and feel awesome about it.
Take care guys and keep living the life you want to live!