Spotlight Saturday: Review of Tatyana’s Havana Top and Annette Skirt

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As an Arizonan of 15 or so years, the burning heat of the desert causes a familiar struggle. My eczema flares up, and even such simple tasks as walking from my apartment to my car results in pain. Finding positives in my city can prove to be challenging, but I do have to admit that I’ve developed a type of grudging kinship with the atmosphere.

While other places might still be happy in their springtime temperatures (like in San Diego where I just managed to get the worst sunburn of my life in 60°)…

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…sometimes it takes a little bit of desert fashion to make your 9 months of summer seem acceptable. So today, up for review, is a gloriously summer friendly outfit from Tatyana, a reproduction clothing store I’ve yet to feature on my blog.

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The Havana Top and Annette Skirt from the shop are a classic retro pairing that’s a great start for anyone looking to start expanding their Western-wear closet.

The top itself is made from a swimsuit-like material that breathes and expands with the body, making sizing quite versatile, and eliminating any sweat stain problems that the heat could cause. As a lover of Le Bomb Shop’s Marilyn Tops, which have a similar design, I figured a comparison would be helpful.

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When comparing the Havana Top and Marilyn Top (pictured in purple right above) in photos, a few differences are obvious: the Marilyn is cut lower on the sides and the middle, and the Havana ties at the neck while the Marilyn ties around the waist. In person, a few more differences are apparent: the Havana is made of a much thicker spandex-y material, and features gathering at the sides on the waist.

These differences mean a few things in practice: the Marilyn is MUCH more revealing, but it’s also more curve-hugging. I never fear I’ll fall out of my Marilyn tops, but the Havana lays less like a second skin since it’s made of a thicker material, and so I had keep an eye on my bust to make sure I was staying fully covered. However, the flip side of the coin is that if you’re self-conscious of your nipples showing, the Havana will help smooth things out the way that Marilyn will not, and the fabric really does cover more surface area when in place.

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When it comes to the gathering at the side, my waist size hasn’t changed much since I wore the purple Marilyn in the image above, but it looks slimmer simply because there’s nothing bunching up and adding weight to my waist. And, the ties at the neck mean you really could have any length of torso and bust size with the Havana as long as your under-bust falls within a few inches of the measurements listed on Tatyana’s site. You also have the ability to choose how to tie the neck which adds versatility to the table that the Marilyn doesn’t have. I do wish that the ties weren’t made of the same thick material as the rest of the top because it bunched up at my neck so much, but I’ll probably just wear my hair up when wearing the Havana in the future so it doesn’t tangle everything up so much.

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The Annette Skirt, obviously the star of the show, is a 24″ circle skirt in a bright, olive-y chartreuse decorated with black, desert-themed line work along the bottom. It has plenty of fabric to fit a petticoat underneath (a requirement for most skirts in my book), but is incredibly lightweight. Again, a great option for hot weather. Although I do generally prefer my skirts a wee bit longer to properly fit my Malco Modes Cosette petticoats beneath, I don’t mind it in this case, and would’ve paired a black petticoat with it if I had one. Fit-wise, Tatyana’s smallest waist size is only a 26″ (while I’m a 24″,) so I definitely had to belt this guy, but I happened to have a belt that matched perfectly! Obviously meant to be.

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All in all, the pairing of the Havana Top and the Annette Skirt is perfect for summer time, whether you live in the desert or not. Heat-friendly styles are few and far between when it comes to true vintage, so I always turn my gaze to reproduction vintage instead when it gets too hot to bare. The Havana with its versatility and the Annette with its thematic novelty print are a perfect addition to the wardrobe of this Arizona gal.

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To purchase either of these items, you can head to the links below:

Havana Top: $56

Annette Skirt: $115

Love,

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

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

A Downtown Excursion in Stop Staring Clothing

As a girl with curves that don’t often fit into tight fitting modern or vintage gowns, I’ve long given up on finding true curve hugging styles. I have exactly one wiggle dress in my wardrobe that fits me in the bust, waist, AND hip. When Stop Staring Clothing, a brand specializing in 40s and 50s inspired styles, suggested a collaboration, I jumped on the chance to try some wiggles from a new brand in hopes of expanding my wardrobe.

The “Clover” Dress in Green

The first gown I tried, the Clover dress in a pretty Kelly green shade, features a soft bust-line and a fishtail hem that I personally felt were wonderfully reminiscent of a 1930s dress.

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When choosing the dresses I liked from the site, I provided a range of options and my measurements so that Stop Staring Clothing could send me the options they felt would fit my difficult measurements best. The Clover arrived in XS. Although the website claims it has less stretch than many of their other alternatives, I felt it had plenty of stretch (and definitely more than the other dress I received). It fit to my 36″-24″-38″ size perfectly without fear of splitting a seam (as generally induced by wiggles that have to stretch to fit my hips). The armholes WERE in danger of being too small, but luckily, didn’t quite make it there.

As you can see in the photos, it hugged my curves insanely well, and showed off my waist without having to belt (another problem I often have with dresses that fit my hips).

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An important note about this dress: it does show EVERYthing. I was wearing tights with it (not stockings), and the seam to the tights showed at the waist no matter what I did. I certainly couldn’t fit panties under either, so one has to be confident in having every little thing show when shimmying around, and confident in not wearing shape wear unless willing to have it be obvious. It might work if one’s managed to put together full body shaping that goes together seamlessly and extends far down the leg, but for most, no shape wear would be the way to go, particularly if sized down to fit.

 

The “Ninnett” Fitted Dress in Blue & Brown Plaid

The second gown is the beautiful Ninnett which shows off a larger draped collar, sleeves to make it more appropriate in a work setting, and is a less curve hugging look than the Clover, coming off as a bit more of a pencil than a wiggle.

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This number arrived in a size S for me instead of XS, and the difference in size was obvious when I put it on. This one most definitely has less stretch than the Clover (although it still has a bit), so getting the S was a good choice. It fit a bit large in the waist, but not so large that it looked baggy when wearing with a belt. I would have liked this style to fit my waist as well as the above, but I’m content as long as I can belt.

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Photos by Fenix Fox

Like the Clover, I stayed in my tights with no underwear to shoot this dress, but I think that this one is thick enough and loose enough styling-wise that one could get by with some shape wear if one desired. Particularly with the strong pattern, it is a much more forgiving dress. There was also ample room for me to fit in a bullet bra with bullet bra pads to firm the shape without feeling restricted in the chest or the arms because of it. The Clover, while it had space for me to fit in the bullet bra pads, felt too tight when I did and looked strange anyway. It simply fits better without the pads.

Since I find wiggles are important to see in action, my photographer and I put together a little video showing the two off as we traipsed around downtown looking for places to shoot.

Although costly, I do think that these gowns are worth the cost considering how safe I felt in them despite my curvier shape. Splitting seams is a big fear (as it has happened once and often felt like it’s going to happen again), so paying for higher quality is definitely worth it in my opinion.

If you would like to find a great gown for yourself, you can head to these sites and look around:

Website
Facebook
Instagram

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar

A Sunday Trip to the Reid Park Zoo

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To break the monotony of sitting at home and applying to jobs, I’ve been working to find free (or close to free) activities to do and events to attend locally. As someone who’s not a huge fan of the city she lives in landscape and weather-wise, I will admit that I generally avoid going outside – particularly in our hotter months (which are most months) – but upon passing the zoo on our Galentine’s Day celebration, agreed with my roomie that a trip to the zoo was long overdue. Particularly when considering the fact that the last time I’d been to our local zoo might very well have been over a decade ago when I was in middle school went to sketch animals for an art program I’d joined. Insane considering it’s such a cute zoo! PLUS, we have our own little baby elephant!

While the Reid Park Zoo is on the modest side of zoos, it still had plenty to see. Including……..greenery!

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Look at all that green grass! And TREES! And in the background, beneath the “thatch” roof, is our little merry-go-round that I opted out of to save money.

We met many a bird along the way, as one tends to do at a zoo.

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Lauren hatched from an egg Indiana Jones style.

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…and I came across this incredibly chill bear:

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…and then met the backside of cactus (and of course, partook in Dippin’ Dots for the first time in…god knows how long):

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But my favorite parts of the trip were definitely getting to see the elephants, and getting to feed the giraffes!

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Elephants have been my favorite animal for several years now. Funnily enough, it developed not because of exposure to the actual animal, but after I bought a Dumbo pillow pet at Disneyland and he became my dear companion on many a road trip and sleepless night. Needless to say, this was before I had my handsome kitty Fiyero, but nonetheless, Dumbo inspired a love for elephants that’s still going strong, and getting to see them interact, play, and show so much companionship to each other really solidified that love.

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And the baby elephant! Nandi’s such a cutie, I couldn’t help completely gushing over her.

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Then it was time to feed the giraffes. While my roommate Lauren’s done this before, I never have (as far as I recall), so I was a BIT nervous, but mostly just excited. Seeing how friendly they were as we waited in line to get our carrots eased any worry I’d had left, and soon enough, we reached the handsome fellows and it was our turn.

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The only disappointing part of the experience was that I didn’t actually get to feel the giraffes tongue since s/he was, of course, quite skilled at grabbing the food without having to touch the hand providing it. But I would definitely do it again and was tempted to get back in line and give it another go. They just make the cutest faces!

Though none of my photos can compete with this AMAZING snapshot of Lauren with her giraffe:

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Definitely new besties.

We closed the trip by walking into the gift shop to see what was available, and I was attacked by a swarm of monkeys! A day in the life.

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All in all it was an incredibly enjoyable trip. The weather was overcast but a perfect temperature for an outing like this one. Next up on our list of local must-dos…our famous Desert Museum!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

Gates Pass Photoshoot for Le Bomb Shop with P. Bencomo Fotography

Relatively recently the wonderful Melissa from Le Bomb Shop contacted me asking to model an outfit for her (as I was given the opportunity to do last year when she found my humble little Instagram), and naturally jumped at the chance! As she had a desert landscape in mind for this range of photos to show off the Senorita Pop-Art style skirt she wanted me to model, I knew exactly where I wanted to go to show off Tucson’s desert without the obstruction of modern cars and houses: Gates Pass. My go-to photographer, the amazing Phillip from P. Bencomo Fotography, was more than happy to take the images for me, so we agreed on a trek up into the mountains to catch the rising sun before the heat waves made shooting impossible.

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While we only got one image that caught the sunrise, I love how moody it turned out! I had assumed I would be exhausted, waking up at 2am to get ready for my shoot, but my body felt surprisingly alert as I posed, and the lack of sleep didn’t catch up to me until the drive home.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the venture:

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This one in particular is my favorite shot showing off the desert. So beautiful! Such a great composition on Phillip’s part.

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I loved getting to play around with the way this top tied itself as well. So versatile, and I warmly welcome any article of clothing that fills out my rainbow wardrobe a bit more. Rust is such a rare color to find with vintage reproduction clothing, yet it matches so much!

Since we were driving up to the desert at the crack of dawn, I figured I might as well pack a few of my own outfits to take advantage of the opportunity, and we ended up with some of my favorite close-ups and sitting images of all time in the batch (we’ll ignore that darn stray strand in my bangs that kept popping out…):

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Hope you enjoy this photoset as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar