Summer is in sight … Get inspired with fruits and florals!

I am so excited about the warming weather, longer days and one of the best parts of summer… ditching the winter woolies! Bring on the cropped trousers and summery frocks … time to bring the arms out of hiding with pretty blouses and show off those (nearly) bare legs!

I put together a couple of outfits in my favourite summer combos – fruits and florals and teamed up with David Watson, an Auckland based photographer, to get these summery themed shots! The weather wasn’t entirely cooperative (for light or for my curl set!), but David is an amazing photographer and still managed to get these beautiful images out at Cornwallis Beach.

Strawberry Fields
A  perfect pinup picnic, that’s red, white and strawberry all over! I love strawberry accessories, and this Tatyana dress and petticoat pair perfectly with a gorgeous strawberry necklace from Punky Pins, a novelty brooch made by me (pinned to a cute hair bow from Made With Love NZ) and this adorable strawberry shaped purse found on Aliexpress.

David Watson - Cornwallis
David Watson - CornwallisDavid Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis

Outfit details:
Dress – Tatyana Boutique (purchased secondhand from Your One Stop Pinup Shop)
Petticoat – Tatyana Boutique
Strawberry novelty purse – Aliexpress
Necklace – Punky Pins
Bow headband – Made With Love NZ
Strawberry brooch (worn on headband) – LadyLuxe by Lorelei
Belt  – Deadly Dames by Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes – Ziera

My lovely daughter Juliet came along as my “assistant” and David snapped this cute shot of her striking a pose I just had to share! Her cute gingham dress is from Pumpkin Patch, and I’ve pinned a wee vintage peach brooch on it.


Fantastically Floral
I just adore the bold watercolour floral print of this Stop Staring dress, it’s just a perfect frock for summer events and weddings! It also also comes in a swing version and an adorable skirt and top set!

David Watson - Cornwallis

David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis David Watson - Cornwallis

Outfit details:
Dress – Stop Staring
Necklace – Erstwilder
Hair flowers – Made With Love NZ
Sunglasses – Collectif
Headscarf – Rita Sue Clothing
Bangles – Vintage/thrifted
Earrings – Equip
Shoes – thrifted

Thank you to Punky Pins for the gorgeous necklace, if you love cute and kitschy novelty jewellery, check out their website here! Keep an eye out for my new post featuring more colourful cutness from their range too!

And thanks so much David for these colourful shots! You can contact David through FB here.

I hope these outfits gave you some inspiration and summer feels!

Lorelei Louise xx


Miss Pinup Outfits – Part 2!

Well here is my very long overdue post on the rest of the ensembles I wore during Miss Pinup NZ back in April! If you missed the last post – I shared the details of my custom 40s style playsuit ensemble for the Beachwear section here. Here is a short video I put together of my Very Vintage Day Out and Miss Pinup experience, thanks very much to Zandy J Photography for the footage.

During the day before the competition, and for the Photo Safari, I wore one of my absolute favourite vintage dresses!

IMG_3600 (1)


This stunner is a genuine vintage 50s dress I purchased a few years back from the lovely Agent Bluebelle. Dresses like these are one of the reasons I love wearing true vintage so much (when I can find something that fits!)… it really feels like a piece of art! The details and fit are just something you don’t see as often anymore!



I paired the gorgeous champagne gold of the dress with red and purple accessories – I do love my colour!











Sunglasses – Vintage from Viva La Vintagedavid-rowe-natalie-okane-img_3610wm
Gloves – Vintage (my collection)
Bangles – Thrifted
Petticoats – 2 for extra fun! Red is Tatyana, purple is Hell Bunny
Necklace – Vintage, reverse carved bakelite rose pendant from 1950s, bought from a man online who’s wife inherited is from his mother… and she didn’t like it! No accounting for taste, my gain haha!
Headband – Purple and red felt delight from Made With Love NZ



As I mentioned in my last post, all of my outfits were inspired by Marilyn Monroe, both from her movie costumes, and her casual wear. My daywear section was inspired by the costumes of Gentleman Prefer Blondes (although, now of course, we know they prefer redheads right!)
Now, I’d actually die to own every single one of MM’s and Jane Russell’s outfits in that movie. One of the reasons it came to mind is that every one of the many outfits is so polished, classy, and divinely accessorised!


Those gold cuffs are amazing, and seem so era spanning… they equally could be from Cleopatra, or modern day.

I found the perfect dress at Viva La Vintage and went from there. I went for inspired rather than literal!

marilyn gpb1 marilyn gpb2











Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of several of my outfits at the actual event. But luckily my beautiful friend Katy (and best ever makeup artist!) was happy to take these snaps for me… and got the details perfectly.



DSCN4541 DSCN4544 DSCN4545 DSCN4546


Dress – Vintage – Viva La Vintage
Leopard scarf and brooch – own collection
Leopard muff – Linda McCarthy Costumier (custom)
Shoes – Pinup Couture
Gloves – Vintage – own collection
Gold cuffs and hoop earrings – Lovisa
Hat/fascinator with polkadot netting – Tock Tick Vintage

My talent section, being a “Transformation”, had 2 outfits! The first was overalls, Bomb Girl style with work boots and a headscarf covering my do. And of course, an embroidered name badge with “Lorelei” on it! During my skit, I whipped it off to uncover my va-va-voom red sequin number – ready for a night out dancing!




DSCN4560 DSCN4563 DSCN4573


Lastly, just quickly, here is my evening wear!


Miss T Pinups – Opera Studio

Gown – Pinup Girl Clothing
Silver fox fur, bronze satin gloves and (not pictured) brown velvet heels, brown beaded evening bag all Tock Tick Vintage
Peacock fascinator – custom by Pop That Cassette

I hope you enjoyed this post. My favourite thing is mixing up vintage, reproduction, modern and custom fashion to create my own looks, so this was the perfect opportunity to really have some fun!

If the Very Vintage Day Out seems like a long time ago, or if you missed it – here is the fabulous Monique Sweet presenting some highlights for Very Vintage TV!

Love, Lorelei xx

Pinup on ANY Budget!


In this post I’d like to examine the opinion that “dressing pinup/vintage is expensive” or “I love that look but I could never afford that dress”. I come across this idea often, both in real life and seeing comments on social media. And while that certainly COULD be true, it doesn’t have to be. Let me explain!

Apples with apples, and quality over quantity.

I agree, that most vintage and vintage reproduction clothing costs more than your average chain store at the mall. But most women I know who don’t wear pinup or vintage style clothing don’t shop exclusively at lower end shops! They shop at higher end chain stores like Max, Decjuba or Country Road, make the occasional splurge on a NZ or overseas designer item and supplement their wardrobe with basics from cheaper chain stores or fun places like Kmart. And that to me is comparing apples with apples… and I think the cost would be pretty similar, or even less expensive to wear vintage style (especially if you follow my handy tips below!).
There are also the women who fall into another camp and I used to be one of these! The exclusive thrift, budget and sale shopper! Now thrifting is an awesome way to find unique and quality clothing at ridiculously cheap prices. I did find however that with budget and sale shopping I ended up getting caught in a cycle of buying something cheaply (since that was all I could “afford”) that might not be great quality, or wasn’t quite right in fit or otherwise… and either not wearing it or having it fall apart or look tatty after only a few washes or one season. So I’d rinse, and repeat… It took many years for me to develop the self control to be able to resist the sale and save up for a better quality yet more expensive item! And it might not even be that more expensive… but it was still hard to pry those extra few dollars out of my hard core budget minded wallet! There was still that voice in my head “surely I could find this cheaper somewhere else….” But when I gradually changed my habits it was a revelation and I actually spend less rather than more – because I bought things that lasted, and that I really liked to wear! I’ve also discovered that with careful and creative shopping… you don’t have to spend a lot to have a great wardrobe 🙂

Here are some tips, a quide if you like to building a pinup wardrobe… no matter what your budget!

1. Shop smarter when buying new! Join online communities and mailing lists

Love a particular vintage reproduction brand, or have your heart set on a particular dress or fabulous pair of shoes? Make sure you follow brands you like on social media like Instagram and Facebook, and join mailing lists. Most popular brands like Pinup Girl Clothing, Collectif and Wheels and Dollbaby have very good sales a few times a year, even 30 or 50% storewide, as well as individually reduced items. Many brands also offer loyalty discounts to return customers! Shopping on the other side of the world can be an advantage too, since we can exploit the end of season sales being the opposite season 🙂 Warning, all that exposure to all this pinup goodness can be a double edged sword… see Number 5 below!

2. Have fun exploring new sources – genuine vintage, thrifting, swapping, 2nd hand repro and chain stores!

I think one of the most fun things about dressing in vintage style is how many different sources there are out there! And for me, there is something very satisfying about finding something really unique, or nabbing a super bargain. There is great genuine vintage out there, if you can find something in your size! Online, on sites like Etsy, and in vintage stores and boutiques, curated vintage garments are a treasure trove of unique pieces, often at very reasonable prices. Quality of genuine vintage is, of course, often excellent, since the garment has already withstood the test of time! Thrifting is one of my favourite things to do. By thrifting, I mean looking through charity shops and markets, getting a bit down and dirty sometimes… trying to uncover a treasure! Obviously this requires more time, to sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak… but this is one way you can find some true bargain gems. Swapping with friends or online groups is an alternative too, especially if you have items that are too big or small but in good condition. Quality vintage reproduction brands can be bought second-hand online – through facebook groups and sites like Trademe and Ebay. Often, you can pick up something in near new condition, or even with tags, at much less than the cost new. Just be careful to check feedback on sellers… although I have been lucky and never had an issue. Last but not least, keep an eye out for vintage styles in unexpected places! Often chain and department stores have good basics like cropped cardigans and blouses, very cheaply. Malls can be good sources for cheap and cheerful accessories too!

PhotoGrid_1407826471015This is an example of an outfit put together from many different sources! The felted beret is locally made from shop called Wintergarden, and was a deal at $20. The striped top is from Kmart, the pussy bow blouse underneath is from a mall chain store, the white vinyl belt is from Pinup Girl Clothing (I always add a few accessories when I do an order from PUG), the skirt is Rock Steady (and I got it on sale at Rita Sue Clothing) and the shoes are Mi Piaci, bought from their outlet store at DressMart and were 70% off! Most of my outfits are a hodge podge of vintage, vintage repro, chain store and thrifted pieces 🙂

 4. Maximise what you already have

I’ve touched on this in a previous post… but I’ll say it again! Accessories are a pinup girl’s best friend! Instead of buying a new outfit, go “shopping” in your own closet. Try putting together pieces in new ways and colour combos you haven’t tried! Follow fellow vintage lovers on social media for a wealth of inspiration! If you are like me, there are probably things lurking in your wardrobe you haven’t worn in a while and almost forgotten about… all they need is a fresh look 🙂 I am always amazed at how something like a printed skirt can be worn so many ways by changing shoes, belts, cardigans, scarves and jewellery! Try mixing patterns and prints and pairing colours in new ways! If you have items that don’t fit anymore, look at alterations, which can be surprisingly inexpensive. Even if you are not sewing inclined (like myself), outsourcing works too 🙂 If you love the fabric of a dress but it is too small, think outside the box, it might make a nice skirt!


Here is an outfit based on a dress that I found at a thrift store. I loved the tattoo print, but the bodice was much too small… actually it consisted of 2 triangles that wouldn’t have covered my nipples! So I simply cut off the bodice and… instant skirt! Confession… I didn’t even sew it, I just fold over the top and wear a belt… lazy!

The cardigan I’m wearing I bought on sale at a shop at my local mall, and added the cute iron on pink sequin cherries from a craft store!


5. Don’t get carried away (This is a biggie!)… Have a “wish list” and be organised

I think one of the reasons it is so easy to spend a lot of money wearing vintage style is that it’s seriously addicting! There are just so many beautiful vintage brands and designers and I am always discovering something new. And there are so many beautiful pin up loving gals as sources of inspiration, it’s very easy to get caught up in seeing something new and fabulous and “needing” it. I think there is also a feeling that we put on ourselves, that we have to wear something unique and different every day… and if I wore a different dress every day that would get seriously expensive! I got into a very bad shopping habit in this way, and one of the tricks I have learned is to make a “wish list”. Look at what is in your closet. Sell, swap or give to charity what doesn’t fit or you don’t wear. Make a list of items you really want or love… that would either be a super wardrobe staple, or maybe just something beautiful you want for a special occasion. Planning out what I REALLY want instead of impulse buying is something I found really helpful! Just because that dress looks fabulous on someone else, or is on sale/limited edition/don’t have a flamingo print dress in my wardrobe… doesn’t mean I need to buy it. Sounds simple right!? For instance, here are a few things on my wishlist at the moment… and I’m not going to rush out an buy anything (or everything!) on it. BUT I may keep an eye out and use some of the tips I’ve mentioned to get my hands on something on that list – eventually. And if it’s in the budget… which at the moment, means probably not for a long time!



The items on my wish list aren’t all specific items! Some are basics, some are just things I love! They are – something in harlequin print and/or a Jenny dress from PUG, a black wiggle skirt like the Kinky ruffles skirt by Deadly Dames, a playsuit for summer like this adorable pineapple print on from Glamour Bunny, a novelty print skirt in something cute – love this foxy print from Hell Bunny, a Monica dress from PUG, a summery frock like this Watercolour print swing dress from Stop Staring, a pair of BAIT shoes in coral, a brooch from Luxulite and Modcloth’s cropped cardis, in several colours 🙂 Well a girl can dream right!

6. Be practical… but not too practical!

I just had to pop this one in here! There is definitely something to be said for trying to be practical. Choosing items that will be able to be worn with a maximum number of other pieces in your wardrobe, and that are great foundation pieces is a very good idea. However! I can’t say how many times I’ve ended up with something I liked, rather  than LOVED because I over thought things and bought something I thought would be more practical in my wardrobe… and sure it probably was. I have plenty of lovely things I wear all the time because of this! But there is also a magic in having something in your wardrobe that’t NOT practical. Something special you just absolutely fell in love with… just because… even if it didn’t match anything you already owned. Because you know what? You will probably wear that a lot too… simply because you love it. So be practical… but trust your instinct 😉 Although if you do this too much, you will end up with a shopping problem! Delicate balance…. ah first world problems…

7. Start local, and keep going back!

If you are just starting to build your pinup wardrobe, or want to dabble by just getting something fabulous for a special occasion, I can’t recommend enough going into your local (or nearest) pinup style boutique, if you are lucky enough to have one! This is a great way to try on a variety of brands and styles, see what suits and fits you, and buy something you really love. Living in Auckland we are lucky to have the amazing Rita Sue Clothing, which has recently moved to St Kevin’s Arcade in downtown Auckland. I bought my very first Pinup Girl Clothing dress here, and while shopping online can be great, you can’t beat “real life” shopping… and being able to talk to and have help from ladies who have knowledge and passion for vintage clothing and lifestyle! Often they can order in a size or colour and you never know, you might just make some new friends in the vintage community 🙂

Hope you enjoyed these tips! And if you would like to see my daily outfit posts, follow me on Instagram… I post what I’m wearing and details there most days!

Natalie xxx