Spotlight Saturday: Vivien of Holloway’s Katharine Trousers

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As someone whose body type has always easily fit into 1950s clothes, my dream of late has naturally been to expand out of my comfort zone into the 1940s and 1930s styles that don’t flatter me quite so easily. One of the key wardrobe staples from these eras is, of course, the swing trouser.

Watching actresses like Katharine Hepburn (my idol) in their films and seeing their photographs has always instilled a deep desire to replicate this menswear inspired ’40s look. Katharine’s straight-forward yet debonair fashion sense – a fashion sense frequently punctuated by beautifully tailored trousers – felt like an unattainable ideal given my proportionally small waist, large hips, and short, stocky legs. The likes of Katharine and Lauren Bacall had tall, lithe, lean bodies that perfectly accentuated the structure and look of trousers, and I could only imagine what such a flared fit would do to my strong, thick legs, yet my love for ’40s overpowered this fear enough that the search for the perfect vintage swing pants always hovered in the back of my mind and at my fingertips during every online (and in person) search. Despite this, nothing ever appeared, and so it remained a pipeline dream. At least, until I turned my gaze to reproduction clothing.

Several brands offer some version of a swing pant. My roommate greatly favors Pinup Girl Clothing’s Doris pants, which fall with a wonderful weight and basically have enough fabric in each leg to make two skirts:

Power stance pants. I can't get over how much I love these!

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But these have never been offered in a size small enough for me, and the amount I would have to pay to get the smallest size tailored made them not worth the search. So, I set my heart elsewhere still, and found myself continuously coming back to Vivien of Holloway, my favorite vintage reproduction brand. With several of their blouses in my arsenal as well as a dress and a pair of capris, I knew they were a reliable brand. Having tried both their capris and 1950s jeans, I knew they made a size with a small enough waist and ample enough room in the leg and hip, but fear of their 1940s trousers hugging my legs in an unflattering way (and/or being cut with less leg room) remained ever-present. It’s amazing what fear of the unknown coupled with self-consciousness can do. Add the factor that I had to order directly from them in the UK to the pot, and my fingers were officially stilled.

I never thought I would take the plunge until Viv had a 50% off sale on a sarong set and skirt I had been wanting for work. With the excuse of not wanting to order from an international shop out the door, I took a deep breath, threw in a pair of trousers in my dream shade of emerald green, and never looked back.

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When I received my selection of goodies (which arrived faster than shipments from many USA-based brands), I pulled out my Katharine trousers, nearly jumped for joy upon seeing the waist-to-hip ratio and the beauty of the pants, before setting them aside to try on later. In retrospect, the fact that my pants went untested for nearly 3 days (unprecedented for new clothes in my book), speaks to how self-conscious I was about my body. No matter how much self-confidence and self-love one develops, there will always be certain things that get to a person. My legs are certainly mine.

Yet somehow, I steeled myself. And I put them on one foot at a time. And I buttoned them up. As if I wasn’t just trying on a pair of pants, but facing some great obstacle from the fantasy novels I so adore reading.

When I finally looked in the mirror, I let out a breath of relief and confirmed that the trousers looked as good as they felt: perfect. The waist fit snuggly. The legs flared out softly and dropped after my hips without squeezing them. During the sitting test, I found that the rise didn’t cause them to ride up uncomfortably as high-waisted pants are wont to do when cut too short for me. They ran quite long on my 5’5, short-legged frame, but this was an expected problem, and I knew it would be an easy fix. The only real difficulty was that the crepe material used for this pair of trousers was very light – meaning panty lines were definitely a thing. I don’t have an aversion to skipping underwear, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but the more squeamish sort might want to invest in a pair with different material since Vivien of Holloway offers a good range of fabrics.

Finally, feeling like I really had just overcome a battle in a fantasy novel, I threw together an outfit, and out I went to show myself off!

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Since I now had the perfect pair of swing trousers, I knew I had to at least try to find some more 1940s blouses in my size, so my roommate and I headed to How Sweet It Was, the biggest vintage shop in Tucson.

I left with the PERFECT 1940s blouse for work, and a 1940s houndstooth cropped jacket with green detailing that matched my trousers exactly. I was definitely a happy camper.

Since we didn’t really want to end the day, we then perused 4th Avenue a bit, what Tucsonans consider to be their “cultural hub,” so to speak. After deciding on a few new books to add to my pile of “to-be-read” items, we went home, and I felt deeply contented with the day’s proceedings.

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Although these trousers still may not flatter me as much as some other options, the fact that I don’t mind speaks volumes for the pants. They’re comfortable, soft, casual, yet cool. The perfect option for work, lounging, or simply days when you can’t be bothered to shave your legs. I’m still undecided whether I actually want to get the pants hemmed since I prefer them a bit long, but I have few shoes with high enough heels to accommodate the length. Perhaps this is my excuse to add 1940s platform shoes to my ISO list, right? Now, to continue the hunt for 1940s shoulder-padded tops to match!

To purchase these trousers and view the myriad of colors and fabrics available, you can head here on Viv’s website. The pair I’m wearing are the crepe in emerald green in the size Waist 24 Hip 36. My measurements are 24″-39″, and I would definitely not suggest sizing down in the waist as there was no extra room and they fit true to size. The hips, however, fit with plenty of room to spare, so sizing down is perfectly fine. Now I just need a black pair for work! And…well…basically every other color, too.

Have you tried Vivien of Holloway’s Katharine trousers? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear opinions from gals with different body types!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

How to Brush Out a Wet Set (2.0), ft. a Baby Middy Haircut

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Welcome to the second half of my tutorial on creating the quintessential late ’50s, early ’60s hair do that’s my personal go-to. You’ll see gals like Elizabeth Taylor and Ava Gardner rocking a similar look.

 

Make sure you caught my tutorial on wet setting the hair and what pattern to use, as you’ll need to follow it pretty exactly (though a heat set will work just as well, depending on preference):

…if you did, then you’re ready to finally style your hair!

The products you’ll need are:

  1. Hair Pins and/or Duckbill Clips
  2. Hair Brush
  3. Teasing Comb
  4. Teasing Brush
  5. Hair Spray (or Pomade)

…and get ready to rumble!

I would love to see photos if anybody tried this wet set + brush out, so tag me on Instagram, Facebook, etc.! This is how mine looked out in the wild later that day:

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Stay tuned for a post showing the evolution of my wet set through the week!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

How to Wet Set (2.0), ft. a Baby Middy Haircut

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I’ve been promising a brand new hair styling/wet set tutorial for some time, so here it is! A few of you will have been following me long enough to have caught my original post and videos (head here for the original wet set tutorial and here for the original brush out tutorial), but I wanted to film it with more controlled light and, more importantly, I wanted to show you all how much faster and easier, and more controlled, the process is when one has the proper vintage haircut.

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Since the middy haircut is a crucial part of getting the proper 1950s look, I’ll save the truly in-depth discussion it warrants for another post. For now, I will simply say that I have the “Baby Middy,” and while the basic principles I use are applicable to all hair lengths and cuts, the process I’m going to demonstrate in the below youtube tutorial is very specific to that haircut. If you’d like an in-depth discussion of basic pincurling and wet setting, and are working with longer hair, or less of a “u” shape framing your head, I would suggest watching the “How I Wet Set My Hair” video previously filmed. The most important differences in the process are direction and size of the pin curls. But, if you have committed to the Baby Middy or something similar and are wondering how to achieve the hair do shown in my Instagram video here…

…then look no further!

Before you get started, you’ll need three or four basic things:

  1. Hair pins
  2. Setting lotion (I personally use Garnier Fructis Spray Gel as I find it holds best on this length of hair)
  3. Spray bottle full of water
  4. Comb (optional)

…and now, you’re ready to go! 

If you have any questions about wet setting, feel free to ask away, and stay tuned for part 2, how to brush out your wet set!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

Disneyland After Dark: Throwback Nite

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What better way to start off my blog than with a post about the Happiest Place on Earth? My vacations to Disneyland are something I look forward to year around (no matter if one’s planned for the future or not), so when Disney announced that they would be hosting (aka capitalizing on) their very own version of Dapper Day, I was over the moon. As the first in what is supposedly to be a series of events that take place after park closing, we all knew little of what to expect – only that we knew we had to go; and since the first date fell only a week after my little sister’s birthday, my roommate and I took the opportunity to give her the proper Disney bash she’s never had because we always go a month later on my birthday.

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Disneyland’s first After Dark event was described as a “Step back in time to the ‘50s and ‘60s for a taste of the classic after-dark experience at Disneyland,” and so we approached the event as a replication of their 1950s “Date Nite” events where guys and dolls would dress their best to experience the park at night with swing dancing and bands adding that little extra something.

With excitement, anticipation, and a dash of worry, the three of us planned our outfits (opting out of in-your-face Disneybounds for the first time in years in favor of being era-accurate), and made the drive from Arizona to California. Morning of, I woke up at 4:30 am to brush out my roommate and sister’s hair to give them updos I had yet to practice on their hair, but came out beautifully: a poodle on on Lauren’s once stick-straight hair, and a half-poodle on Julide’s a la Annette in “Babes in Toyland.”

After a 30 minute standstill at the parking lot to get in, we walked up to the parks only to realize that it opened two hours after we had assumed (shame on us!). We decided it wasn’t such a tragedy (and I willfully ignored that I had just woken up at 4:30 am when we were going to be in the parks until 1:30 am) and took the opportunity to snap some photos.

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My roommate, Lauren, who’s fashion sense is modern (and generally leans toward ’40s when she goes vintage for an event,) ended up opting for the most beautiful silk taffeta 1980s does 1940s/50s gown that I still envy her for. While I’m not generally a fan of ’80s-does, this one won my heart and flattered her tall frame perfectly. It also easily made for the best photographs because of its long, full skirt, and reflective material. We topped her look off with a new 3-strand pearl necklace, gold heels, red lips, and a pair of my purple rhinestone earrings to give her that red carpet glow.

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My sister, Julide, who tends to lean towards 1950s found a perfectly fitting (and fitted) dress of black with pink embroidered flowers, and topped off the look with a pink satin 1960s hat, pink lips, pink 1950s gloves, a shrug from Pinup Girl Clothing, and the cutest flats around. While Lauren was the glamour gal in the group, Julide was definitely the epitome of the cute party girl who would’ve attended Date Nite.

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In my search for an outfit, I landed on a 1950s party gown in this stunning shade of green. Since I wanted it to feel more special than my usual Disney attire given the event at night, I added some perfectly matching green gloves to the equation, my own 3-strand pearl necklace, gold heels, and a little frog brooch to my glove to give a nod to Tiana.

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Of course, the direct sunlight proved too intense for the pale shade of green I was wearing, but that didn’t stop me from snapping more images!

After a good amount of time spent taking photos, we finally made our way into the Happiest Place on Earth.

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The day went swimmingly and aside from not going on Space Mountain (a definite first), it was the perfect day.

We met some of our favorite characters…

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…and even played hide and seek with Peter Pan (the love of my sister’s life) before she was swept away by Hook in a waltz (the new love of her life):

I threw in a fast outfit change (since the under bust of my dress was too tight, making the bodice shove my shoulders down painfully):

Saw the elusive Belle in her town gown rush by without being able to talk to her (as usual…how do I meet her, dammit??), so settled for second best and posed with her statuary and ate in her restaurant:

We went on Small World which was still decked out for Christmas and none of us had ever experienced it as such – and it was MARVELOUS. We, of course, rode the teacups – a feat my sister and I quickly realized was much more difficult when only two people were turning the wheel and one was practically useless due to gloves:

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And before we knew it, it was time to pick up our event passes and exclusive park maps, and reign in the normal operating hours by watching Fantasmic! (the first time we’ve seen the show since it was revamped). Side note: the map was absolutely adorable, and in retrospect, we missed out on a lot of things due to exhaustion.

A little video of the exclusive After Dark guide we were all given 😍

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I quickly changed back to my original outfit when I realized that my beautiful Belle gown had a large hole starting by the zipper in the hour between park close and the official start of the event, and off we went for a night time of fun.

Although we were exhausted after 12 hours already spent in the parks, being greeted by the peppy ’60s party tunes coming from a stage set up by Walt’s statue and seeing the decade-specific wardrobe put that bit of spring back in our steps. After wandering around Mainstreet for awhile greeting new chums and generally taking in our surroundings, we quickly shuffled through the huge crowd gathered in front of the castle to find a spot for Disney’s “Fantasy in the Sky,” a replica of the firework show that first started playing in Disneyland in 1958. It was a happy moment, being surrounded by fellow ’50s lovers, and although plenty of guests weren’t dressed up for the event, enough were to make it feel truly special. From Hairspray-inspired ’60s looks, to poodle skirts, to true vintage, all interpretations of the decades ran rampant and it felt like home.

After the fireworks spectacular, we branched out into other areas of the parks (primarily Fantasyland), and were greeted by the swing band playing near Small World. While we waited in line to ride the Storybook Land Canal Boats, we watched as varying levels of couples took to the dance floor, and then spotted an incredibly rare character greeting guests just off to the side – the Blue Fairy! Since we had picked up our wristbands and event brochures earlier in the day, we had known that the “classic” characters we were promised ahead of time would include people from “Sleeping Beauty,” “Pinocchio,” and “Sword in the Stone.” Although we were shocked that Snow White and Cinderella weren’t represented in the lot, seeing the Blue Fairy almost made it better. Once we’d made our way around a bit more, we finally found the Blue Fairy again and waited to meet her.

Her gown was absolutely stunning and I fell in love with her 60s bouffant and elegant hands. She was definitely one of the most beautiful characters in the parks, and waiting for the PhotoPass photographer to show up didn’t seem such a trial when we could watch Merlin wandering around giving sage advice to park guests.

Although we didn’t manage to meet Merlin (so little time!), we did manage to find Aurora again…and this time, with her Prince! I was bemused but happy to discover that in order to walk up to the pair, one had to ask permission for a photograph. With difficulty, I mustered up the will to do so, and we got our images. We’ll ignore how far away I was standing from Phillip because my nerves got the best of me! What can I say? I’ve never met a character wielding a sword before.

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After meeting characters, we decided to take advantage of the photo ops set up all around the park depicting original attractions:

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Even if we were absolutely exhausted by the time 1 am rolled around, we felt the usual sadness sink in as we had to make our way to the exit. The music still playing was difficult to leave behind – even more so than usual knowing that official 1950s events in Disneyland would be few and far between. We felt that the extra $90 spent on a mere 4 hour event was easily worth it, with the fireworks show, the rare characters, the dancing, and just seeing everyone wandering around.

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Next time, we plan on trying to find a way to go two days so that the previous day can be spent at the parks, leaving the day of the event free so we can recharge and move a bit faster when the event was actually happening, but this was a lesson we learned at Mickey’s Halloween Party and failed to follow through with already, so who knows? If you were unsure about investing in this event due to cost, I would say that it’s definitely worth it. While Dapper Day brings out more cosplayers and eras of vintage, being able to experience the 1950s IN the parks feels completely different. I doubt anyone would argue with a few extra hours tacked on at the end, a few more characters, and maybe even a mini parade (something closer to what the Halloween party does, and who knows, perhaps they’ll develop the event as time goes on,) but the immersive feeling was certainly unique and made it worth every penny.

Did you attend Disney’s Throwback Nite?  Let me know your thoughts!

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Re-Launch of Miss Lark Bahar

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Welcome one and all!

It has been approximately HALF a year since I posted on my blog! Lots of changes have been happening in my life and without realizing it, my blog fell by the wayside. Since I work full time now in a position that doesn’t allow me to wear anything but black, white, and the odd pop of magenta or orange, it was difficult to find the energy to get dressed up just for a blog post on my days off, not to mention juggling setting my hair for images since my weekly set usually happens on said day off; however, I miss you all terribly and with nothing to look forward to vacation-wise since I’m now officially in “save up for beauty school mode,” I figure re-launching my blog might give me a little something to plan out.

With that said, first, let me send out a request for requests! Feel free to comment here or on my Instagram if you would like to see anything specific from my blog or my youtube channel as (per New Years Resolution,) they’re both back, baby! I have a brand new how-to-wet-set a baby midi haircut video coming next week, a blog review of a darling new brand, and a few other things on the schedule, but would love to hear from YOU.  Any questions you’ve always wanted to shoot my way? Hair styles you’d like to see replicated? It’s your call!

In the words of Frasier Crane, I’m listening.

Until next time,

Miss Lark Bahar

The BĂ©same Cosmetics Series: A 1950s Makeover

Welcome to the next installment in my BĂ©same Cosmetics series!

Having recently gained access to a higher quality camera, I knew I wanted to film my next video in my series focusing on my favorite vintage-inspired makeup brand as soon as possible. For this video, I made over my little sister by tossing her hair up in its first poodle hairdo, throwing her in a close-fitting wiggle, and making her face over exclusively with BĂ©same Cosmetics products. With the authentic product range that BĂ©same offers, its easy to create looks from any era, but I wanted to start with the routine that most closely resembles my daily routine.

List of products used:

Cashmere Foundation Stick in Bisque

1920 Black Cake Mascara

Mascara Brush Set

1915 Rose Delicate Rouge

1930 Raspberry Delicate Rouge

Violet Brightening Powder

Rose Brightening Powder

Vanilla Brightening Powder

Short Hair Contour Brush

1946 Red Velvet Lipstick

Lipstick Brush: No longer sold

With the new camera at my disposal, I can finally really work on videos, so expect many more installments in this series as well as new hair tutorials! And I’m always open to suggestions.

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar

The BĂ©same Cosmetics Series: Cashmere Foundation Sticks

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For those who have been longtime followers (and even those who’ve recently joined me for the ride), it has been no secret that my love for a certain vintage-inspired makeup brand is rampant. As such, I’ve been trying to find the time to put together proper review and how-to videos using their products showing off the one company who has earned my brand loyalty. Well…now is the time!

BĂ©same Cosmetics, founded by the stunning Gabriela Hernandez, is a makeup brand that constantly strives to recreate shades and formulations from the 1920s-1960s, all in the most beautiful, retro packaging. Although I can’t remember how I first discovered the brand, it was certainly years ago, and it began with their lipstick Red Velvet – a beautiful, incredibly wearable neutral red shade based on a 1946 color. Since then, I’ve collected (almost) the entirety of their lipstick range, cake mascara, cream and powder rouges, perfumes, powders, makeup brushes, and most recently, their new Cashmere Stick Foundations.

As their most recent product release, I wanted to start with a review of their Cashmere Stick Foundations as well as a mini how-to to show off how the foundation applies. Of their 8 shades, I tried 5 to find the perfect shade, and settled on my three favorites for concealer, foundation, and contour. You can catch the full review on my youtube channel:

I’m excited to get the first video of my BĂ©same Cosmetics series up and running and can’t wait to play with the video lights on their way to me so I can stop relying on ever-changing natural light! Stay tuned for more videos reviewing, swatching, and gabbing about this unique brand.

P.S., any other Bésame Cosmetics fans geeking out over their announcement of the new Snow White and Agent Carter range?

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

 

Spotlight Saturday: Call My Baby Lollipop with Doll Me Up

Could anything be sweeter than apple pie? Debatably, and my newest outfit from Doll Me Up might certainly take the cake. All puns aside, in the good ol’ summertime it’s a constant struggle to find items that capture the bright cheeriness of summer while being comfortable in the heat and offering functional pockets. Doll Me Up is certainly the place to cast one’s eyes in this search as their collection of garments not only features cute prints, heat-friendly designs AND pockets, but also clocks in at a wide range of prices to appeal to those shopping on a budget as well as those with the means to afford more. Doll Me Up is a one stop shop with all any pinup or vintage-fashion lover could possibly want.

When putting an outfit together for myself, I knew I had to tick off a few necessities, first being pockets, second being separates that I could mix and match with my preexisting wardrobe while bringing something new to the closet, third, being some sort of a novelty print that doesn’t resemble anything I already have. The most difficult decision was definitely choosing between their amazing and absolutely adorable range of novelty prints. Although the watermelon print dress was tempting (particularly considering how summery watermelon is,) I decided to opt for the Unique Vintage Candy Shop High Waist Circle Swing Skirt.

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With the pinks, reds, mints, and checkerboard floor pattern, I knew this would be a smart investment that would easily fit into my closet, and anyway, who am I to pass up a skirt with a candy shop on it??? I can’t resist anything that would look good in Honeydukes. And besides, the smallest size exactly fit my waist according to the size chart (which clocked it in at 24″), and it had pockets.

To pair with the skirt, I decided to try out the Vixen by Micheline Pitt Powder Puff Top in Baby Pink since I’m lacking pink tops in my wardrobe and I’ve been dying to try the style since they were released. To finish off the look, I opted for Doll Me Up’s Scalloped Edge Square Scarf in Pink to give it that extra something.

When I received the items, a few things quickly stood out to me. The Powder Puff top is made of a soft but VERY stretchy material, meaning a cone or bullet bra might actually work! Another was that the skirt was made of a lighter weight material than most of my modern novelty print skirts, making it cooler for summer and puffier due to the lack of weight.

When I tried the outfit on, I naturally gave it a go with a cone bra and my petticoats. I noticed that my cone bra worked perfectly under the Powder Puff top, but the top’s stretchiness also made it hug the figure in a way that showed off where my bra squeezes me in the back. I would definitely wear it with a longline bra next time to eliminate the back fold. Otherwise, the shirt was cut with a beautiful, nipped in waist that fit me perfectly, the large puffy sleeves (the best part of the top) fit without squeezing me even the tiniest bit, and the seaming lined up exactly with my cone bra.

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For the Unique Vintage skirt, at 26″, it was a bit too short for my Malco Modes Cosette petticoat and I’m not a huge fan of my pettis showing, so next time, I will definitely shorten them to avoid petti-peek. I also noticed that the sweep was a bit smaller than what I’m used to, but I was still able to fit my two petticoats in easily. I would say that the bell shape of the gathered skirt probably wouldn’t fit a petticoat much more voluminous at the bottom than the ones I wear.

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To complete the outfit, I threw in my pink seemed stockings from What Katie Did, pink earrings from Daisy Jean Floral Designs, and pink satin heels that I thrifted for $0.25. I challenge you to find a cuter outfit!

Although I anticipate many photoshoots in the future in candy shops, Honeydukes, ice cream shops, etc., for now, I took a stroll around the garden to show everything off.

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Since the true test of any top in the summertime is how it fairs when you sweat buckets, I would say this top faired extremely well. It remained breathable and comfortable despite having sleeves, and I didn’t have a problem with sweat stains.

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You can see in the closeups that there’s absolutely no digging in of the top (my bra’s another story……), and it moves easily with me. It’s nice having a blouse that doesn’t restrict my movement as vintage and reproduction tops are wont to do.

All in all, I absolutely adore this outfit and know it’ll see the light of day often. All of the pieces are versatile, and the scalloped edge on the scarf makes it a special addition to my growing scarf collection. I can’t wait to mix and match all of these items and create new looks!

If you would like to follow Doll Me Up and/or purchase one of their wonderful items for yourself, you can head to these medias:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

All Was Well: A Very Potter Review of Bettie Page Stockings from Playful Promises

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To say that I’ve become an avid stocking fan in the past few months would be a a gross understatement. I’ve come to the point where I’m wearing stockings more often than not for going about town (also known as working) despite the 110Âș+ weather Arizona’s been experiencing lately. I truly find that they complete an outfit, and help give a look that special something extra in a uniquely vintage way. When Playful Promises asked me to feature their new stockings from their collaboration with Bettie Page lingerie, I happily agreed, eager for a pair of fully-fashioned nylons with proper seams. While I only have limited experience with fully-fashioned stockings (as the stockings I wear these days outside of photoshoots are a modern interpretation), I’ve been in love with the feel of them since I first donned a pair – no matter how much more delicate they are.

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While modern, stretchier stockings are shapeless until pulled onto the leg, fully-fashioneds are shaped so you can see the curves of ones legs and feet even when off the leg. This makes them fit and wrap around one’s body like a dream, and the silky, slinky material is unbeatable. Playful Promises’ recent collaboration with Bettie Page lingerie has led to stockings that are no exception to these tendencies. The black ones that I received are particularly flattering as the material used really slims my leg.

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As someone who’s always been self-conscious about having thicker ankles, calves, and thighs, I love what these do for me. However, the pros of this style of stocking also lead me to the cons. As someone with larger thighs specifically, having some stretch to the welt of a stocking is much needed. Although I adore the foot and leg fit of fully-fashioneds, I do wish that the style was more comfortable in the thigh. I also found that Playful Promises’ style featured narrower welts that couldn’t help but squeeze my thighs when walking around. I would love to see a design that was friendlier to curves comfort-wise. Nothing worse than walking around tugging up one’s welts (or feeling like one has to)! Although I instinctually try to pose to camouflage spill-over, you can still see it a bit in the image below. The welt is pulled tight around my 24″ thighs and so, not terribly comfortable.

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But goodness, look at that beautiful pointed heel! And the reinforced heel detailing. Truly dreamy. One must choose one’s battles!

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Since the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone happened recently, I wanted to pay a little homage to one of my favorite book and movie series by shooting these perfect black seamed stockings against the backdrop of the Gryffindor common room (which I decided to crash despite being a Ravenclaw…because it’s my living room and I can do that). Although the bookshelf you see on the left is permanently set up as our “Harry Potter” corner, as is our bathroom, my roommate pulled most of it together for a mini Potter-themed shoot. I also paired my navy vintage silk skirt ft. silver triangle detailing with my Cinderella heels ft. glittery rhinestones to rep my (movie) house. My Reed wand naturally also made an appearance.

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And it really, really made me miss the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I also tried my hand at a few Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

And we all know how that goes……..(cue blurry candid).

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And, of course, with the book that started it all: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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Although my earliest memory of Harry Potter is sitting in an orthodontist’s office waiting to get myself fitted for a retainer as my mother read the Chamber of Secrets to me, this first novel will always be nearest and dearest to my heart, and it’s given me happiness in the darkest of times. Nothing can beat the magical innocence of those early years and Harry’s wonder at his brand new world always echoes mine. Since that first book, I’ve often found myself glancing at flickering street lights wistfully, or dreaming of getting a piece of mail that will never come and how very much my life would change (even if I’d stick out like a sore thumb as a 25 year old at Hogwarts). I’ve grown up with Harry Potter as most my age have and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to.

Playful Promises’ fully fashioned stockings certainly help give a bit of witchy pizzazz to my Potter-inspired look, and are the perfect pairing to any vintage or vintage-inspired outfit. This Ravenclaw gives them a definite thumbs up. Now, to start my Harry Potter movie marathon, eat licorice wands, and play with some polyjuice potion!

To purchase these stockings and take a look at the rest Playful Promises has to offer, you can head to their website. I’m personally eyeing the Bettie Page overwire longline bra and can’t wait to try more items from the brand!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

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Put on a Happy Face! Featuring Dick Van Dyke and Disneyland

As anyone who follows me on my various other social medias is aware, this past week I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet one of my idols and have been unable to stop talking about it since. What originally began as a simple plan to take a much needed trip to Disneyland for a few days was upended by Phoenix Comicon’s announcement about a month ago that an astonishing guest was joining the line up: the incredibly talented, dashing icon of a man, Dick Van Dyke.

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While I’ve always had a great appreciation and love for the man since I grew up with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins, it wasn’t until I first began watching the Dick Van Dyke Show a few years ago that my appreciation began to grow exponentially. Of all of the actors and actresses out there, he’s been my favorite of the lot. With his gracefully goofy ability to execute all ranges of comedy, and his perfect family of costars Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, and Morey Amsterdam, the Dick Van Dyke Show has gotten me through the many ups and downs of my life the last few years. Upon reading his book, “My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business” and the discovery of his vocal quartet group, Dick Van Dyke & the Vantastix, I came to realize that he is one of my few idols who’s still alive and kicking – and boy is he kicking!

When the stars aligned and we realized we could pull off meeting Dick Van Dyke, we immediately went to work on last minute outfits for Comicon and could think of much little else.

While I debated for awhile whether I ought to create this blog post since I think I’ve worn the topic to death, I decided to write it up as a memento and diary entry of sorts for future me! So, apologies for the gushing and rambling that will inevitably happen. The excitement is something I don’t ever want to lose!

Part 1: Disneyland!

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Since I never managed to take a graduation trip for myself (being jobless and all for a few months after getting my Masters,) my lil sis Julide (who just graduated from high school) decided to combine our trips and take a Disneyland weekend for ourselves. As always, we simply HAD to Disneybound!

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My roommate Lauren and I had planned a Pinocchio bound awhile ago for a cancelled trip that was going to take place on a hot summer day, so my sister hopped on the bandwagon and we opted for the group bound that would help keep us coolest in steamy weather. Ironically, it was freezing! While my roomie and I had something to throw on over our looks, poor Julide was shivering all day long.

We drove up to Anaheim after Lauren and I got off of work and got into our hotel around midnight. Excitement kept us awake longer than intended, but we soon crashed and woke a few hours later to prepare for our outing.

My look was composed of a Pinocchio Mickey ear hat that I’d seen in the parks for ages before deciding to make use of it, a black shrug sold by Pinup Girl Clothing awhile ago, a 50s bustier/bikini top that I strung a blue piece of fabric through, an apple brooch (to represent the apple he has when beginning his journey), a 60s overskirt from the Instagram shop Far From Here Vintage, 50s shorts from Etsy, and old character shoes that I cut the strap off years ago. The whole outfit was then topped with the perfect vintage cottage purse:

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My sister’s dress was from Forever 21, and my roommate’s Jiminy Cricket look was made up of an old cardigan, mustard scarf, and sandals paired with an infinity wrap top from Le Bomb Shop, shorts from Pinup Girl Clothing, a hat from Amazon with the ribbon changed, and a handmade Official Conscience pin.

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Although just a one day trip, we managed to meet many characters we’ve never met before including Pocahontas and (now one of my favorite characters to meet), the Shadow Man!

We also met some old favorites like Peter Pan (my sister’s absolute favorite character of all time), and, because we simply had to considering our impending meet and greet, Mary and Bert.

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Bert was perfectly goofy and charming and only raised our excitement levels.

One of the most exciting parts of the trip was getting to FINALLY head to the Red Rose Taverne. While ironic that the time we pulled together a Pinocchio group bound was when his Village Haus was made over for Beauty and the Beast, I still couldn’t really argue with the change! I’m a sucker for anything Beauty and the Beast.

I naturally tried the grey stuff (despite maybe technically being allergic to it kinda) and it was DELICIOUS. I’m hoping we can head back before the Taverne changes back because the menu options sounded absolutely mouthwatering, and we had to opt out of food since we had reservations at Cafe Orleans.

The day was overall incredibly successful. We watched both parades currently running in the parks (I wish the Electrical Parade would never leave again!), met new characters, and even went on rides we rarely go on. While we missed out on a few key things, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and Storybook, and were freezing most of the day, we had a wonderfully relaxed, happy, and successful trip with our friends Pinocchio, Jiminy, and the Blue Fairy.

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Part 2: Phoenix Comicon!

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As mentioned above, the preparations for Comicon began as soon as we realized we were attending. Since this was Lauren and my first Comicon (as well as Dick Van Dyke’s!), we knew little of what to expect. While we’ve both attended Broadwaycon, we assumed it would operate a bit differently, and hadn’t been able to get together outfits for that anyway. This time, we KNEW we had to do something despite huge budget and time restrictions.

Since we had previously put together a Mary Poppins themed bound, my sister decided to simply add to that outfit to make it into more of a costume, while Lauren wanted to put together a better Bert than what she’d done before with a pair of Pinup Girl Clothing’s 1940s Doris pants that properly matched Julide’s Jolly Holiday Mary. While I had personally loved my Mrs. Banks bound (despite nobody recognizing me in the parks), I knew I couldn’t in any way afford recreating her actual outfit and decided to go with something that I could both pull off more easily and represented someone even closer to my heart: Mary Tyler Moore’s Laura Petrie from The Dick Van Dyke Show.

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While I knew going as Laura to a Con was a risk, and that I wouldn’t get noticed in a sea of Mary Poppinses I crossed my fingers that hopefully Dick Van Dyke would realize who I was trying to represent if no one else. I tried two trial run bouffants in the time I had and perfected her hairdo, found some vintage capris with my measurements, purchased Pinup Girl Clothing’s Jane top in white, and desperately tried to repair my pointed-toe flats to pull off Laura’s perfectly casual 60s look. I was so happy with the whole thing that I think I might try to expand my wardrobe forward to the 60s (even if my curves aren’t as easily shown off by the styles).

The night before heading to Comicon, we had heard about the prop weapon ban in reaction to a man who had managed to get in loaded with weapons, and anticipated long lines to get in, but our sole worry was getting to Dick Van Dyke’s panel early enough to get a decent seat. Once we made our way in, we managed to get better seats than we’d imagined and proceeded to stock up on the snacks and coffee we’d had to forego in favor of arriving early.

Lauren and I also took the time to take a few photos for our Instagrams, quickly realizing that the lighting was absolutely atrocious and we probably wouldn’t manage to get anything in passable quality.

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But in the end, I was too excited to care or experience my usual frustration at bad lighting. After all, we only had an hour or so left before getting to hear and see Dick Van Dyke LIVE!

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Photo from Phoenix New Times

Seeing Dick Van Dyke walking on stage might be one of the happiest moments of my life. As he’s 91, we were all a bit anxious to see him in person and unsure how he would handle such a big panel – after all, you never can tell how a person’s really getting along when your only exposure is through media; yet he walked on with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen someone give in real life with a spring in his step. And that smile never left his face.

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His panel was a breath of fresh air. At a time when negativity and discontentedness seems to be celebrated, particularly among actors and artists, Dick Van Dyke’s only negative comment was an opening joke about Trump. Every question asked or story told was tied to statements of how lucky his life has been, how much he loved filming, how much he loved his costars. When asked what his favorite song from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was, he answered with “You Two,” surprising the audience who had been muttering “Hushabye Mountain” expectantly, and resulting in a chorus of “awws.” He talked about living in New York with a family and being jobless, and how that had pushed him to audition for anything and everything even without any experience in song and dance, which then led to him landing his role in “Bye Bye Birdie” alongside Chita Rivera, which then led Chita to suggesting he be given a song since he wasn’t doing anything, which then led to his casting in the Dick Van Dyke Show. He mentioned “Me Ol’ Bamboo” being the hardest dance he ever had to do – unsurprisingly! And his amusing story about begging to be the old banker in Mary Poppins. Perhaps the funniest moment was his story about asking a girl to prom where he walked up and her response was “Your fly’s open!” to which his response was to promptly laugh and blow snot all over her. The only moment his smile fell was when he spoke of the beautiful Mary Tyler Moore’s recent passing, a moment when the sadness was palpable in the room, but he also spoke of the best laugh the show ever got: the episode where Rob thinks they were given the wrong baby after Ritchie’s birth, only to find out that that couple their child was supposedly given to is black at the end.

My favorite moment, however, of all of these wonderful moments, was when he sang us the Dick Van Dyke Show theme song all the way through. Although he sang pieces of many other songs during the panel, this is the one that really got me. I wish I had a video to share of that spur of the moment rendition, but if you didn’t realize the song had words to it, you can hear him singing it here with his quartet:

He left the stage to a standing ovation and, of course, threw in a signature trip on his way out. I don’t think I’ve ever clapped so hard in my life!

Next on the agenda was to try to book it to our photo op with him, something scheduled for only 15 minutes after the end of his panel, and upon finally finding our way there, we realized that half of the giant auditorium was taken up by people waiting for their photo op with him as well. Phoenix Comicon had grossly overestimated the number of people that could go through within one hour, and they were understaffed. After 4 hours, we finally made it in for our photo, an experience that lasted under a minute including time to walk up and out. I was one of the few who retained her excitement for the opportunity as I had hoped that the delay was due to Dick Van Dyke being able to take a smidgen more time with fans, and was sad to find that this was far from the case. It was rumored that they had forgotten to book him a lunch, and nobody could believe that they had so crammed his schedule (autograph session, 15 minutes later a panel, 15 minutes later a photo op, 15 minutes later another autograph session, 15 minutes later another photo op). He did end up having to take a break, but was constantly having to jump between photo op and autograph sessions, and all other photo ops were postponed to try to get his line down. I am amazed that a 91 year old could keep up with this kind of pace with the smile he retained. Astonishing.

So this happened

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When we got our photo, he complimented Lauren and Julide’s outfits and asked if they were handmade basically as the picture was being taken, but he sadly didn’t get to see me since I was behind them and obviously less eye catching, and he wasn’t even given the time to glance over. It all happened so quickly that when someone was trying to let him know that “Laura” was standing there, he only had time to ask for clarification as I awkwardly hovered for a split second, hoping he’d realize what was happening, before being yelled at to leave. I was admittedly quite heartbroken, and the high from the panel left as I left the room. Everyone could tell that he was a gentleman who seemed to want to take the time to talk with fans a bit more instead of just stringing everyone through in an inhumane chain as fast as possible. Those first few moments, even the physical photo that helped serve as proof that I’d been near him, felt like a sad reminder of not even having the time to meet his gaze after more than a hundred dollars and 4 hours in line holding spots.

Luckily, this feeling was soon to change. After receiving our photo, we quickly headed to the autograph area, unsure of what was going to happen. After all, while we were a part of the second autograph group, our time had passed two hours ago. We were told it would be at least an hour before he could get to us, but he would be there, so we decided to head over and take a seat in the surprisingly sparse line. After the line of thousands we’d left, the line of around 10 seemed too good to be true. As we waited, I worked on trying to readjust my thinking and be positive again knowing that I had still experienced something unimaginable, yet before we knew it, no more than half an hour later, Dick Van Dyke was walking up to the signing table! Disappointment immediately forgotten, we all jumped up and tried to brush ourselves off and look halfway presentable again as he took his seat. We were standing right in front of him in the line, and I couldn’t believe he was truly up close. There sat an icon, yet he looked more approachable than anyone I’ve ever seen. Big grin stretching across his face, he started to greet fellow fans and sign their items.

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There was a table set up with photographs to get signed if needed, and upon seeing my favorite photo of Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, I packed away the little “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” booklet I’d brought in favor of the new image (if you follow me on Twitter, this sweet image has been my header photo…basically since I first got Twitter). It was made all the sweeter when he told me that this is his favorite photo. Who knew such a little comment could warm a heart so?

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When I finally got to walk up to him, he greeted me with a, “Hello, Laura!” and I honestly can’t believe I retained my calm demeanor as much as I did. He had recognized me! No explanations necessary. His wife (who was sitting beside him) asked if my hair was a wig or really my hair and I mentioned it’s easy for me since I have a lot of it, and it was nice to see Arlene involved instead of just sitting off to the side and looking bored as is often the case in such circumstances. As I had hoped (and feared), DVD asked me if I could do Laura’s iconic, “Oh, Rob!” and in the moment, while I instinctually began to oblige him, I panicked and bashfully backed out. Luckily, a chorus of “Oh, Robs” followed – including from Dick Van Dyke and Arlene – and I joined in quickly, laughing at my foolishness as I walked away.

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There’s a part of me that’s avidly against all fangirling from years of holding it back in the music scene, but it certainly happened with DVD. After we walked out with our autographs, the three of us stood nearby, gabbing excitedly with a fellow fan and gushing about how astonishing a man he is while we watched him give each new person the same kind of rapt attention. Talk about a smile that can light up a room! He’s definitely that rare kind of charismatic person who feels approachable and friendly despite his successful career and fame. And heaven, he has more energy in him now than I do! And I’m 25.

After about 8 hours devoted purely to Dick Van Dyke, we finally had the chance to walk around a bit more. Perhaps if our time had been taken up by anyone else, we would’ve been disappointed that we hadn’t been able to actually enjoy Comicon, but we had nothing but joy. We did some light shopping and entered the Doctor Who world momentarily. There, I met Cassandra, and 10 (who needed a little motherly comforting from Laura – one of my favorite photos of the night!).

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We took a few more photos where I did my best to emulate Laura (despite how different our body types are):

And Lauren and Julide finally got the chance to pose together as Mary and Bert:

Then we decided we were a bit too exhausted to stay at Comicon, had already missed all of the other panels we’d been interested in, and had a two hour drive home, so we took off. I realized I didn’t have any photos with Bert and Mary, so we snapped a few of those outside:

Along the way, Lauren happened to open the door for a Phoenix Comicon worker who had been on Dick Van Dyke’s team, and he told us that we’d been the standouts at the photo op which immediately made all remaining grievances about it disappear. Plus, I’ve had his wife and another Comicon worker find me on Instagram and tell me they appreciated my Laura Petrie, so you could say I am pretty content with my choice to emulate this marvelous woman. I was certainly the only Laura Petrie, and I was amazed at how many people knew exactly who I was and were excited by it. Of course, outside of the Dick Van Dyke universe happening, Elizabeth Taylor was the most common assumption I got, and even within it, there were a few who didn’t know Laura Petrie at all and couldn’t give more than a dismissive shrug when they were told who I was, but hell, I’m not sure if I can top my Laura Petrie considering the circumstances. I hope that I paid her a proper homage (even if I was having a bad hair day and froze up when asked to say “Oh, Rob!”), and managed to show that Dick Van Dyke did something other than Mary Poppins.

All in all, it was probably the best weekend of my life. It’s bittersweet knowing that I will never get to see his brilliant smile in person again, but I wouldn’t change the weekend for anything in the world. I definitely plan on ordering his other books next paycheck, and I haven’t wanted to watch anything but the Dick Van Dyke Show or listen to anything but his music. There’s just no-one like him around and I’m still on cloud 9. The only thing keeping me going is knowing I have a trip to New York City coming up!

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To think, this year I’ve gotten to see my musical theatre idol perform (Bernadette Peters), met my biggest idol of all time (Dick Van Dyke), and now I get to see the singer who started my love for pop rock music finally perform on the Broadway stage as I’ve always wanted him to (Brendon Urie). I can’t truly can’t imagine a better year for myself.

Have any of you met Dick Van Dyke? I’d love to hear some personal anecdotes! Also, kudos to you, if you made it through this whole post ❀

I have a few exciting things lined up for my blog and my Youtube, including a how-to video on getting a bouffant flip, and a huge review of Besame Cosmetics’ products, so keep an eye out! And thank you, as always, for reading.

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar