Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Belated Jubilee Fun

Hi there pickles,
Another amazing Old Hat event, another chance to be delighted by lovely people and beautiful clothes!
Check out Like Johnny and June's post for pictorial awesomeness! And head to Emma aime for royal kitten cuteness!

 The amazing Laurel treated us with many many snacks and scrummy punch. Here was my contribution to the royal party: A Pimms Union Jack cake with cucumber and mint icing plus strawberry-orange jam.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Short hair set

Whenever I'm in need of a change, my hair is under attack. While I didn't go for the drastic Louise Brooks bob this time (maybe in a few months), I did get my hair cut much shorter.

I know last time I got my hair cut a few of you were keen to see what it look like without any styling, so here you are!
Note: This time, I did not get my hair cut in a "middy" exactly. Instead I asked for a short cut, with a "U" back and framing around the face. As usual, I specified no razoring the ends and told them how I prefer to style my hair. On my left side I had it cut slightly shorter, into a longish "fringe" which I like to curl.
From this... to this!

And here's how!
As my hair is very resistant to curls I find a cold (wet) set is the only way to get lasting vintage styles.
By gum, By golly's late 30's/early 40's sponge roller set is the best tutorial I've seen that demonstrates how to roll and set your hair using rollers. Though I didn't use her exact set I follow many of the same steps, such as waiting till my hair is damp (not wet), using a setting product and rolling my hair in a similar direction.
There are many differences between By gum, By golly's set and mine but some of the most significant are:
  1. I do not push the rollers down as she does in her last step. This is because for my hair style I want lots of body and don't want the flat crown she is aiming to achieve in hers.
  2. I do not use her trick for preventing dents with sponge rollers, instead I use velcro rollers for the topmost layer of curls.
  3. I attempt to roll my curls on base, not off base. (notice I said attempt. I don't always suceed!)

Another hair set that's similar to mine is Snoodlebug's pageboy hair set.

Size of rollers
I used larger rollers at the crown of my head for two reasons.
Firstly, I don't have enough smaller ones and secondly I was going for a smooth set, where the larger curls end up almost "cupping" the smaller ones. The aim was to have all my hair ending in a similar place to form a smooth roll.

In the extremely messy diagram above I've tried to breifly illustrate the basic setting pattern I used.
I try to roll most of the rollers on base, especially the ones in section 2 and the tops of section 1 & 3. I do this to ensure I get as much body as possible at my roots.
Section 1 and 3 cascade down the head. When brushing out, I start with the sides and back to get a nice round "roll" or "curve". The back of my hair mimics the sides.
Section 2 goes straight back along my part. This includes my shorter hair/fringe section.  As you can see in the photo below, the hair in section 2 stands up more than the other sections. When brushing out, I often leave the hair from the first 2 or 3 rollers in this section till the end.

Once my hair is in the rollers I leave it until it is dry. For this set I rolled my hair in the morning and let it set for 5-6 hours before getting ready that night. Note: it must, must be dry! Otherwise all your hard work will be wasted.

Here's my hair straight out of the curlers. I've had to lighten this photo considerably to show the details, so don't be too alarmed by my pale face!

Below is my hair after I've brushed it out and set it with some hairspray. It's not perfect, but for a first attempt (after my hair cut and with this new shorter length) I think I did alright! I did film the brushing out of my hair, but it's very poor quality and extremely boring. However, if enough of you would like to see it I will try to fix it up and post it for reference. I hope in the future I can borrow a video camera and film a good quality tutorial.

The mirror photos were taken once I'd got home, as you can see some of my set has dropped and fallen out. More hair-spray next time!

Questions and comments encouraged!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The weird, the wonderful, the bullet bra!

Note: I admit it, I've been quietly wondering whether I should post this blog for days months, the prospect of complete strangers (and worse, family and friends) extensively critiquing my chest causes a sick rumbling in my stomach and a tickle at the back of my throat. However, upon researching, there appears to be little else out there on the internet and I thought, maybe, just maybe, someone else has the same queries I have.

After years of consideration, I have taken the plunge and purchased my very first bullet bra. The What Katie Did L6035 Padded Bullet Bra in Peach.
At first I was confused. Padded? Padded? Where is my padding? Where is the huge squishy device that in times of disaster could be used as a make-shift pillow? Where is my chicken fillet, or at the very least, chicken drumstick?
Then it dawned, the padding is there, just a little more subtle, a little more discrete. Within the layers of satin and cotton in the What Katie Did padded bullet bra, is a sort of soft foam. A gentle covering over the entire breast, not just a single lump of styrofoam.

My second impression was disappointment. Oh no... did I get the sizing wrong? Ordering online this is certainly a possibility (however carefully you double check measurements). I seemed to be squishing and squashing everything in, but at all the wrong angles. It was not uncomfortable, but I started wondering if I was doing it right.
Having only just tackled the inconsistent sizing of modern day lingerie, it seemed a cruel prank so stick me with a new, more confuddling system!

So I stopped, I took a step back and looked.
 It looked odd.

Without any surprise, I found my beau was not a fan. With, what I imagine was considerable effort, he pulled one face followed in quick succession by another face to hide the first. In an attempt to disguise the distaste, he went for a look of curiousity. Following on from a previous conversation we'd had that day (about the modern breast shape and the bullet shape of the 1950's), he said in a timid voice "I know it's probably just because I'm used to them, but I like the melon-boobs better".
A small dimple in the centre of my chest hinted at cleavage once there, and in its place stood two decidedly haphazard cones, arching (much to my dismay) in a considerably less perky fashion than imagined.

See, unlike the picture above, my bust was not pointing upwards but sort of downwards, in a deflated kind of manner.

I blinked, I looked away, and then I looked once more.

And strangely, things became a lot less bizarre. With a deep breath I pushed my shoulders back and saw the perkiness I'd always desired. It didn't seem odd anymore to be wearing traffic-cone-esque breasts, but instead, I felt overwhelmingly feminine. My posture appeared stronger and my d├ęcolletage, if not larger, simply appeared more... apparent (and not in a bad way).

I decided to give it the test under vintage clothing, because ultimately, that's what I bought it for.
Deep breath, slip the first dress on, a loose 1940's number... hmm... mildly impressed. Not blown away by the difference, but it did give a bit more structure to the billowing blouse.
Dress number two, a gingham 1950's dress.

And... Wow!

 Now I understand what people are talking about. It's not jaw-dropping, but there's a slight change that gives the whole look more shape, more figure. It's as if someone has restructured the foundations of a building and now, the archetecture sits perfectly. Darts in the chest sit perfectly, and the whole dress just seems to look... more authentic, more true.
So here's some pictures to show you what I mean..

 Without the bullet bra.
 Bullet Bra Roulette, can you pick the bullet?
(left without, right with)
With the bullet bra

 Without (above) and with (below)

 With (left) and without (right)

 Without (above)

 Without (left) and with (right)
Without (above)

So, the Bullet Bra! Weird, but also wonderful.
For me, despite the intial shock and awe, it has become a wardrobe staple. Though I don't wear one everyday (as I don't have the patience or money to wear vintage everyday), bullet bras are perfect for adding extra shape to 1950's dresses and creating that hourglass silhouette.

Bullet bras: be perky, be proud!

Other bullet bra blog posts:

Hope you enjoyed my bullet bra encounter! If you have any questions or advice, write them in the comments below or email me! If you want to see more posts like this (maybe on the girdle or different bullet bra brands) let me know!!!

Up with the birds

Just me in a 1940's suit and 1950's hat... 

I love the birds floating above the hat, they remind me of flamingos on garden lawns...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hinky Dinks

In the last few weeks, I've been treated to some absolutely wonderful cocktails from the delightfully named Hinky Dinks!
A small cocktail bar situated in Darlinghurst (a quick walk away from the stick-floor side of Kings Cross), Hinky Dinks is all about 1950's fun. From its mint green walls with customary flying ducks to the plush leather couches and atomic bar stools, it is fresh (in a nostalgic way), but friendly.

Certainly, what I enjoyed a lot about Hinky Dinks was the atmosphere. When you walk in, you are greeted with free paprika popcorn and a smile. When you have a question, the staff are more than happy to answer it (even if you are a cocktail novice who's only desire is for "something sweet").Throughout the night, the bartender consistently checks up on you retopping your water, removing dirty plates and taking new orders. (No queuing at the bar here!)
What I found really sweet was the fact that the staff remembered me from a previous visit several weeks prior, even taking guesses at what I ordered. This thrills me because perhaps in a few visits time I will have the chance to simply swagger in and ask for "the usual" (whatever that is!).

Now onto the drinks...
I ordered a Cherry-black spider which is described as Bacardi 8, fresh lime, in-house popcorn & vanilla syrup, Cherry cola, vanilla bean ice-cream float, served in a tall glass.

Excuse the over-exposed photo it's my poor old camera struggling in the light. But note the cute complimentary popcorn!

The Cherry-black spider is a great drink to savour alone, it was sweet enough to satisfy my sugar-craving but with a nice rum kick.

Then onto the Gin 'n' Jam oh, the Gin 'n' Jam... a clear favourite made of Bombay Sapphire, Aperol, in-house rose-petal jam, fresh lemon, cranberry bitters, egg whites.

It really is a beautiful drink; a delightful peachy-pink with a smooth white foam topped with dried rose-petals. I think what made me enjoy this drink so much was that drinking it felt so... feminine. So sweet from the floral jam, but seductive after the lemon and bitters gave it that slight edge. Yum!

On my second visit, torn between reaccquainting my love with the Gin 'n' Jam or sampling the plentiful menu, I asked for a recommendation and was hit with the super satisfying Hotel Georgia which consists of Bombay Sapphire, fresh lemon, almond syrup, orange blossom, freshly grated nutmeg.
Apparently this drink came right out of the 1950's from, you guessed it, Hotel Georgia. Perfect for a beginning a winter's night out, it was refreshing but really smooth. The nutmeg ontop made the whole drink seem like a comforting stroll through the alpine.

My Hotel Georgia and Renata's Hinky Fizz!

 The lovely Renata from Hepcat Vintage

On the downside, it is a little costly. The drinks average $18 and bar snacks sit around the $10.
While the food is good, it is nothing to write home about. My pick is the Three cheese arancini ($12). Also, they don't split bills so make sure you have enough cash handy to pay your share.

Overall, I'm happy to say Hinky Dinks does not disappoint. Hinky Dinks gives you exactly what you would expect from its name: a place that is a bit quirky, a bit sweet but also a whole lot of fun!

For more information check out Hinky Dinks website or Timeout Sydney's review.

Have you been anywhere wonderful lately?