I'm just obviously obsessed with Dita von Teese. I mean, look at me -- it's like wondering if the dude with the wallet chain and the pompadour is into Morrissey. She's like my patron saint. She has Lady Gaga-levels of commitment to her signature look -- you will never open up US Weekly to a shot of her in Ugg boots and a hoodie. I imagine she is unable to go camping. But despite her high-maintenance appearance, she seems remarkably down-to-earth.
FOR INSTANCE, I've read she does her own makeup, dyes her own hair and doesn't employ a stylist, ever since one suggested a pair of her 1940s shoes would look "really cute with jeans." I also love all the quotes I've read about her where she talks about the transformative power of glamour, always stressing that she's not the prettiest or the youngest or the best dancer, and isn't it great that she doesn't have to be?
"The truth is that I'm a very ordinary blonde girl from Michigan," she's been quoted as saying. And also, "I advocate glamour. Every day. Every minute."
I love all that shit!
So I am creaming my garters over the fact that she has agreed to be our newest xoJane advice columnist, answering your questions about how to incorporate glamour into your everyday life -- from styling tips, clothing, lingerie, body image, confidence and loving yourself. Just leave your questions for Dita in the comments or email them to email@example.com and she will answer her favorites. And when I say she'll answer them, I mean with her very own half-moon manicured fingers, because Dita does not do ghostwriting -- she made that very clear.
In the meantime, in honor of the just-launched Dita Von Teese collection at Decades Vintage Shop, I'm going to tell you my favorite places to buy vintage reproduction dresses for all your pinup styling needs. I love shopping for actual vintage, but there are some drawbacks, namely that a lot of those shits are teensy! Which is a shame because girls with body look great in curve-enhancing vintage styles. Luckily, there are some amazing vintage reproduction dress shops I've discovered in my years of piling on the retro drag, and I am happy to share my findings with you.
Most of this stuff is the definition of costume-y. You have to embrace that and just move forward. I never really got "costume-y" as an insult, anyway. My best clothes make me feel like I'm in an "Emily costume," like my own personalized superhero garb. They can also be a little expensive on the scale of non-designer clothing, but, hell, they're special. And very easy to resell on eBay, if you're a yo-yo dieter like me and end up with a wardrobe that doesn't fit you every six months. (Right now everything's too small, which is not half as much fun as when everything's too big and I can play giant infomercial pants alone in my apartment.)
Lastly, the sizing on vintage repro is whack and all over the place, so make sure that you measure yourself and check the size charts! OK, here we go:
One of my favorite Stop Staring Dresses -- the "Shopgirl"
Stop Staring is sort of the mother of vintage repro -- their 40s and 50s-inspired dresses actually end up on the pages of US Weekly fairly often on various starlets. Everything is made out of this stretch Bengaline that sort of sucks you in and stretches at the same time. Most of their dresses are cocktail dresses -- I mostly wear them to weddings, although there was a time in my life where I went to work this overdressed just cause. You can buy them at a lot of vintage boutiques, directly from their site, or on a discount site like Daddy-Os or eBay.
Me at AVN in a Stop Staring Dress
The Bettie Page Brigit Dress, $145
BPG is very similar to Stop Staring, but if I'm being honest I like them just a liiiiiiitle bit more. I recommend the Ella Wiggle dress for all wardrobes -- the shape of this is completely magical to a lady body. Again, these dresses are made out of that Spanx-y stretch Bengaline that flatters curves/lumps/clumps. They actually have a retail location in Vegas which I tried to visit when Olivia and I went to AVN, but it was after-hours, so I just made her take a picture of me outside its dark, shuttered locale.
3. Mode Merr
Mode Merr Fitted Peasant Blouse, $50
Mode Merr's slogan is "Dressing Glamorous Gals Size XXS - XXXL," which they do with their selection of peasant blouses, curve-hugging dresses and pencil skirts. This write-up is so boring -- I don't know how to write about clothes, you guys! Just go look at the clothes! Support independent designers!
For cheaper, more casual options, check out Sourpuss Clothing, which is where I got that Misfits dress you were all freaking out about a few weeks ago. This site also carries some brands I really like (Lucky 13, Rock Steady) but am too lazy to do a whole write-up about.
Pinup Couture Annalise Dress, $122
The Anna Dress in Black Cherry, $72
The signature line for PinupGirlClothing.com (the site also carries some other awesome brands), is Rockabilly-inspired dresses with lots of cute cherry and other retro prints, as well as your standard curve-hugging reproductions. While you're there, you should top off your look with a handbag from:
5. Lux Deville
Cruiser tote in red sparkle and leather, $76
Getaway Kiss Lock in Pink Sparkle, $72
I generally need something much bigger to lug around my daily collection of unraveled tampons, crumpled receipts and books. (What if I finish one on the train and don't have a second one to start reading and accidentally feel a feeling or something?!?) But I do own the Sin City Motor Tote in two colors. Because nothing ruins your vintage illusion like that tote bag you got from your local bank slung over one shoulder.
If I were you, I would top the whole thing off with a hair flower.
And if you just want to search a bunch of brands all together, check out Daddy-Os, Babygirl Boutique, Unique Vintage, PinupGirl Clothing or eBay. (If you ever get the chance, you should visit Enz's Boutique in New York City and try all this stuff on.) And don't forget to ask Dita all your style-related questions either in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org!