Hello lovelies!!

I've ben looking through the archives of blogs and articles on here, and it seems like most ladies do something like this when they join PUG Style...I, alas, did not when I joined back in the spring. So here is my little intro-blog-thingy.

Greetings! My name is Iris Mae, but I usually just go by Iris. I live in New Hampshire, and I'm a university student. I'm pursuing a double major in Musical Theatre Performance and English, with a minor in Criminal Law.

Now that those boring facts are over, here's some more interesting stuff.

I first got into the pinup style when I was a sophomore in high school. I had a childhood filled with I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and mountains of old Hollywood classic movies. I developed crushes on all the old starlets, and that was when my minor obsession with Marilyn began. All throughout elementary school, I idolized her (along with many other starlets), and I tried incorporating the vintage style into my every day outfits...I know, an odd thing for a fourth grader to do. Which is exactly what everyone said to me. So I fell out of the vintage world for a very long time. I would still binge watch I Love Lucy with my mother, and go on thrift shop adventures with her, but I stopped trying to be a vintage girl.

Fast forward to seventh grade. I moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts with my father and step mother. Finding where I fit in in this new place was hard enough...but then, come spring, my mother passed away. I was devastated. I would sit in my room for days, watching the old movies we used to watch together, and crying over episodes of I Love Lucy. It was one of the lowest points in my life, even though I was so young.

Fast forward to my freshman year. I was at an incredibly low point in my life. I hated myself, and, most of all, I hated how I looked. I was definitely bigger than many girls my age, and I felt that I looked ugly no matter what I wore. I would hide in baggy sweatshirts and loose-fitting dresses, just trying to mask my body. I was convinced that no one would ever love me, and I would always be stuck with the feeling of isolation surrounding me. That was when I started my battle with depression and anxiety. Quite a way to enter high school, right? And even after I began dating my beau, a senior that I met through Drama Club, I could not overcome the low feeling of worthlessness. And no matter how many times he would tell me that I was beautiful, I could never seem to believe him. I felt as if I was going no where in life.

Fast forward to the summer before my sophomore year. I decided, for my Sweet Sixteen party to have an Old Hollywood theme. Everyone came dressed as a different star, and we had mocktails and danced on the veranda to the sound of my dad playing old jazz music. I bet you can guess who I dressed as...yes, complete with a vintage red circle dress, silver heels, pearl jewelry, and a blonde wig I had spent 17 hours styling to look perfect, I was Miss Monroe. As I whirled around, swing dancing with my beau, I realized that this made me feel happier than I had in quite a while. I felt beautiful and happy, and I loved it. I started researching the vintage style, and found that there was this magical thing called...pinup? And other girls felt drawn to this look like I did? What? I was beyond joyful.

So, slowly I started dressing vintage. I hadn't heard of many vintage reproduction companies yet, so I would just go to thrift shops, or find vintage-esque items at random stores. I started pin-curling my hair, and sometimes attempting victory rolls, always accompanied by some winged liner and red lips. It was the best I could do with what I had.

People noticed. I would be walking down the halls, and people would shout random compliments. Teachers told me I looked much happier than usual. And my beau went crazy over the style. He's a bit of a vintage nerd himself, so he could not have been more thrilled. 

Gradually, I added to my vintage wardrobe. I bought a swimsuit from Unique Vintage, and found a vintage skirted suit at a thrift store, as well as a handful of lovely dresses, skirts, blouses, and shoes. I started trying more and more daring hairstyles, and, eventually, I was full-time pinup.

Winter of my junior year, I discovered Stop Staring! Clothing being sold at a local boutique. Immediately, I convened my father I needed the black Madstyle dress for the vocal jazz performance class I was in at school, and thus, I acquired my first piece of vintage reproduction clothing. And I was beyond in love!!! 

Spring of my junior year, I discovered PUG and Tatyana. I convinced my father, while on a trip in NYC, to take me to the Tatyana Boutique in the city. I managed to acquire a sailor style swing dress, a red crinoline, and a pair of red white and blue Lola Ramona heels. I think that's when my father realized I would't be stopping this "phase" any time soon. Towards the end of the year, I began my love affair with Lindy Bop. I purchased a pink and white floral "Hetty" dress from them, and won my step mother over. She fell in love with the dress, and basically forced my father to buy me two more. That year, I believe I ended up with ten Lindy Bop dresses. 

My senior year, I became "that Marilyn girl" in my school. One teacher told me that, with my ginger hair, I looked like the love child of Rita Hayworth and Miss Monroe. I managed to get through high school keeping to my vintage style without a problem. That spring, I was accepted at the same university my beau went to. We were beyond thrilled, and counted down the days till I moved in.

I have never found myself happier than when I am dressed to the 9s in my pinup style. People treat me with so much more respect, and I find myself respecting myself more. And my beau has adopted the vintage style as well. I like to think we make quite the pair walking down the street :-) We just bought our first apartment together, and it is filled to the brim with dresses, makeup and shoes that I insist I need (and the mountain of bow ties he insists on). Pinup truly saved my life. I don't think I would have ever learned to love myself the way I do now if I had never discovered it. I found where I belong in this world, and it's here, among, all you lovely ladies. Pinup isn't just a fashion. It helps you make incredible friends that you keep for the rest of your life. 

There you go! The rambling is over! I think I might continue the blogging part on here...but I want to thank you ladies for being so accepting and lovely when I joined this site. You truly are some of the best people in this world <3

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Comment by Aoife 24K on September 12, 2015 at 12:39pm

Iris, thanks for publishing this history of yourself and your entry into vintage. I am sorry that you had to overcome some obstacles to get here. But that is just a part of life, I guess. The good thing is that you made it this far and you are stronger for it. And I think that our beauty only develops as we mature and find out whom we are.

This group has done so much for me. I have made so many friends as a result of being here. Sadly things have gone a little quiet. Most people have gone to the PUG Facebook groups. Drop by if you want to find yourself in wonderful company. Of course, the danger is that your time will be sucked away from you! LOL.

If you don't mind, let me send you a virtual hug over the internet. You are amazing!

Comment by Miss Iris Mae on September 21, 2015 at 10:05am

Thank you so much, Aoife <3 Everyone here has just been so welcoming and kind, but I have noticed especially your kindness to every single person on here. It is truly refreshing to see such a ray of sunshine :-)

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