Floral Flirt Girdle Reviewed by Blog Crush: Scarlet’s Letter

Recently, Amber St. Clare reviewed our Lucy B Floral Flirt girdle over on her blog, Scarlet’s Letter. Amber loved this cute and sexy retro girdle, as do we! It has an irresistibly fun pinup look, as well as being a really quality piece of shapewear. Here’s an excerpt from her review:

“The Floral Flirt Girdle is made of Jacquard powernet and is a seriously gorgeous shapewear piece. The girdle holds in your belly and hips and gives it a great shape. It also has 6 garters with satin ribbon trim. The powernet mesh features a gorgeous lace, and a satin diamond in the center for tummy control. There is a small bow at the center waistband. It’s so cute and I adore the retro design.”

Head over to read the full Floral Flirt girdle review on Scarlet’s Letter, and while there, check out all her great posts! I particularly love Amber’s musings on how lingerie is typically marketed, vs. how she’d like to see it marketed, in her post, Lingerie and The Single Girl.

A page from lingerie history: The Nylon Riots

As long as I can remember, my grandma has always used the phrase, “Well, we didn’t ever have to do without nylons” to explain the affluence of her household growing up. I had always taken this to mean they lived comfortably without having to spare themselves modest luxury items like stockings. It turns out I was a little off in my interpretation.
Nylon stockings were sold at a rate of up to 4 million in a single day. When World War II broke out, DuPont (the sole manufacturer of nylon stockings) halted the production of nylons, relegating all nylon to be used for war efforts. A pre-war set of stockings could fetch up to $20 per pair. Nylons became the center of robberies and murder motives. Women resorted to painting lines up the backs of their legs to give the appearance of a stocking seam. Songs and stories cropped up pining for the return of nylons. Nylons became a symbol for simpler times, a beacon promising a return to normalcy after the war.

A special pencil designed for drawing stocking seams during WWII

Days after Japan’s surrender, DuPont promised to produce 360 million pairs of nylons. Unfortunately this was a grossly overestimated figure. Tens of thousands of women lined the streets of New York and Chicago ready to brawl for their chance to purchase the few available pairs of nylons. Stores were torn apart. Headlines read, “Women Risk Life and Limb for Bitter Battle for Nylons.” For nearly seven months the Nylon Riots raged whenever a precious shipment of nylons made its way to store shelves.
Women wrote to their congressmen accusing DuPont of deliberately delaying production. DuPont in turn blamed the women for having nothing better to do than wait around all day trying to hoard nylons. Ultimately production of nylons caught up and fewer and fewer women had to resort to painting their legs. Upon educating myself on the Nylon Riots, the connotations of “Well we didn’t ever have to do without nylons,” have drastically changed.

Contrasting top sheer nude stockings with black backseam and Cuban heel
No need to paint your legs today! Get the gorgeous vintage look with Kuhmillion’s
sheer nude stockings featuring a contrasting back seam.

— Karaté

Pinup Friday: Vargas Girls of the Ziegfeld Follies

Alberto Vargas is probably the most famous and most prolific pinup artist of all time, with a body of work that spans more than fifty years. His early paintings of glamorous Ziegfeld Follies girls are my favorites, though. I’m a sucker for anything from the Roaring Twenties era. These beauties speak for themselves, so I’ll just leave you to admire them. Enjoy!

pinup by Alberto Vargas

"Smoke Dreams" by Alberto Vargas
“Smoke Dreams” by Alberto Vargas

"Memories of Olive" by Alberto Vargas, 1920
“Memories of Olive” by Alberto Vargas, 1920

pinup by Alberto Vargas

Pin-Up Hair Hacks

Pinterest and YouTube make hair look deceptively easy. Anyone who has ever dared to follow along with a hair tutorial knows there’s a little more to it than “Ten Easy Steps!” The babes of yore were able to get flawless victory rolls with nothing but sugar water and a bobby pin, but these days we have a wealth of tools and product technology to get picture perfect results every time.

Bernie Dexter rockin' perfect retro victory rollsBernie Dexter rockin’ perfect retro victory rolls

1. Get Nasty
Clean hair isn’t going to do you any favors because it’s simply too slippery. Plan on not washing your hair for 2-3 days prior to when you plan on having it set. Starting with wet hair is not ideal but it isn’t impossible; just “dirty” it up with gel, mousse or sea salt before blow-drying to 100% dry. Test the dryness of your hair by blasting it with a cool setting on the blow dryer. If your hair feels cold after cooling it means you need to keep at it.

2. Clip ‘n Cool
Whether you’re using hot rollers or a curling wand, always coil up the curl and use a hair pin or single prong clip to hold it in place while the curl cools. After your whole head is curled and clipped give it a liberal misting of hairspray and wait patiently.

3. The Big Tease
Two common backcombing mistakes are sectioning and placement. Sturdy backcombing will provide a strong foundation for any style by preventing any shifting or flat spots. Sections should be parted and backcombed in increments of ¼” to ½” Backcombing for up-dos and most pin-up looks should be applied over the entire head and then smoothed and shaped appropriately. If you start to look like The Bride of Frankenstein, don’t fret – it means you’re doing it right!

4. The Rat
Perfect backcombing is something you can aspire to, but it’s unrealistic to expect perfect results every time. Luckily, there are a few tricks to save your wrists and sanity while you fake it – get yourself a Rat. A Rat can be purchased from beauty supply houses like Sally Beauty, or you can make one yourself out of pantyhose and cotton batting. Fill the pantyhose with small pieces of batting, making a sausage shape, then pin underneath whatever part of your hair needs the most dramatic volume. Smooth hair over it and BAM: Fake it ‘til you make it!

Miss Mosh models a perfect pinup look with hair roses - Photographer: Marla RutherfordMiss Mosh models a perfect pinup look with hair roses
Photographer: Marla Rutherford

5. Other forms of deception
Your hair looks great save for one goofy spot? That’s what bows, barrettes and hair flowers are for. Cover it up and no one will notice! Something else to keep in mind is unless it’s going to stay put, your hard work will be all for nothing. Save your sanity and a million bobby pins by going to your local drugstore and grabbing a set of “As Seen on TV” Spin Pins. Your hair will survive the apocalypse.

6. Finishing
You know how a professional manicure is finished by polishing on a top coat? Your hair is no exception. After your hair has been set, pinned and hair sprayed into submission, applying a shine spray will give your style a finished professional result.

Best of luck!
— Karaté

Boudoir Memoir: The Reluctant Model

One of the best gifts I have ever given myself was permission to be sexy. In college, I agreed to help one of my friends expand the reaches of her photography business by posing for her boudoir and pin-up portfolio. It was understood we would spend the afternoon shooting several looks and scenes working up to a nude photo set. As I sat in the makeup artist’s chair having a shimmering baby oil concoction applied to my collarbones and arms, I ran over all of the requisite anxiety any average gal would have before peeling down: What about my scars and stretch marks? What if I look stupid? Oh God! What if my mom finds out!

woman in fishnets photo by Fernand Fonssagrives

Plus, another unique problem- I’m terrible at being photographed.

I am one of those people who takes the phrase “Say cheese!” as a challenge to cross my eyes/flip the bird/stick my tongue out. None of this was lost on the first photo set. I slinked down into position wearing a flouncy (mostly sheer) babydoll nightie with a deck of cards as a prop. My deep seated mechanism to combat nervousness by turning into a 10 year old class clown swung into full motion. I threw the cards in the air and pretended to swim through them. I stuck cards between my teeth then sneezed them everywhere. I licked the back of the Queen of Hearts and stuck it to my butt. Yep. The day was off to an amazing start.

My exercises in jackassery ended up playing an unexpected part in the rest of the shoot. Like a kid dragged out the hallway in the middle of church service and commanded to “Shake the sillies out!”, I had noticeably collected myself, which was great because my next costume was exponentially more revealing. Because of my bang-up job I had just done of embarrassing myself, I barely batted an eye when I learned my next outfit would be a pair of black panties and huge black angel wings. I fully attribute my cavalier attitude to the fact that even being half naked was going to be better than the dorkshow I had just performed.

By the end of the day all of my slapsticky moves had faded away. The last set of the day was a giant, supple pile of silk and a full length mirror. My costume was a large deco necklace with a long hairpiece… and that was it. By this point the false eyelashes I was wearing had irritated my eyes. I popped out my contacts and entered the soft focus of astigmatism. Posing became so much easier as soon as I couldn’t see clearly enough to scrutinize my appearance. By the last shots of the day, I was over being the funny girl or worrying about my freckles showing. I felt sexy and empowered by adopting this new devil-may-care attitude.

boudoir photo of Karaté

The most intimate part of the finished photos turned out to surprisingly have little to do with my body and more of how startlingly accurately the different facets of my personality showed through. The earlier shots showed my quirky, goofy side and the final photos portrayed me as calm and self-assured. It’s been several years since the pictures were taken and I have yet to have a single moment of regret about the experience. The entire process was very revealing (heyo!). I keep my favorite picture framed to remember the moment I decided I was confident enough to bare it all – and to remind me how incredible my ass looked when I was 22 years old.

— Karaté

Retro Lingerie in Bright, Juicy, Summery Colors!

Can’t get enough summery lingerie in mouth-watering colors like tangerine, fuchsia, lime green, and sunny yellow! We have some beauties in the boutique right now, including these adorable pinup style panties from Honeydew:

And I can’t stop pinning beautiful lingerie, clothing and shoes in these delicious shades! See my juicy, sunny summery color board on Pinterest for more eye-popping goodies.

Are you a pinner? Share your favorite board in the comments – I’d love to take a peek!

Adding classic retro glamour lingerie separates to our boutique!

Excited to reveal the first of many gorgeous new retro glam lines we’re going to stock that have true bra sizing (rather than S, M, L), and are sold as separates so you can get your perfect fit! 

Affinitas black satin and lace retro bra and garter set

Affinitas black satin and lace bra detail

Just received this shipment of beautiful black satin and lace bras and garter belts from Affinitas from their Bridal line, and they’ll be available in our boutique very soon. These classics are a must-have! They have that perfect vintage boudoir look, spiced up with cute little rhinestone accents, and the prettiest eyelash lace.

More glamtastic goodies coming soon – stay tuned…

Pinup Friday: Gardening Gals by Gil Elvgren

I just love vintage pinups, don’t you? So cute! I thought I’d start sharing some of my faves here on our blog every Friday. Here are two from Gil Elvgren, a very prolific American pinup artist who produced a plethora of cutesy images from the late 1930’s through the 1970’s. 

The first is a wonderful pinup painting I came across on Pinterest, and unfortunately I can’t find the title or year it was made. Judging by that gorgeous little dress and the shoes though, I’d say it was from the mid to late 50’s. I particularly like this one because of the lovely agave plants in the scene. Also known as Century Plants, they’re very common here in Austin. We have several large ones in our front yard, and boy are those points sharp! This is a totally plausible scene!

Here’s another fun one with a gardening theme from Gil Elvgren: Hose to Blame, from 1960, found at http://elvgrenpinup.com.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these pinups and that you have a wonderful weekend, whether you’re out there gardening in your garters and stockings or not. ; ) If you’d like to check out more of my favorite pinups by Gil Elvgren and a host of others, peruse my vintage pin ups board on Pinterest.

Let us know: Who’s your favorite pinup artist?

Beth Interviewed by Newest Blog Crush: Peaches Magazine

Just in case you missed it, I wanted to share my recent interview in Peaches Magazine. Peaches Louise, the publisher of this delightful online magazine, does an amazing job of providing “straight talk and scintillating stories about sex.” The blog ranges in topic from dating quandaries and straightforward sex tips to an enlightened category called Inspiration, with wonderful body-positive articles such as Sexy is Timeless, a favorite of mine. I simply adore this blog, and encourage you to check it out for some great sex-positive reads and tons of resources and great information.

Peaches and I talked about my take on the Austin burlesque scene, how to look super sexy and fabulous in your retro lingerie, and more! Here’s an excerpt from my interview:

Peaches: What is your advice to a woman shopping for a sexy piece of lingerie to wear in the bedroom? 

Beth: My advice is to try a lot of different styles of lingerie (try a retro garter dress with backseam stockings! try the classic frilly babydoll with ruffle panties! try an athletic-inspired boyshort paired with cute thigh high socks! try a corset or waist cincher! try it all!) until you find the lingerie that makes YOU feel sexy and beautiful. Each woman is different and has her own personal style, but no matter what she’s wearing, she’s at her sexiest and most irresistible when she FEELS sexy. The increased confidence that comes from feeling good about yourself is what makes you attractive. If your partner encourages you to wear a certain style, but you aren’t excited by it, or worse, you feel unattractive or unhappy with your body when you wear it, neither of you will enjoy the experience. But if you take the time to figure out what types of lingerie make you feel amazing, you will BOTH enjoy it soooo much more! 

Check out my full interview at Peaches Magazine. I was super excited and honored to be featured, and I hope you love it, too! xo, Beth

Rock This Look: Retro Pinup Swimwear

Here at Kuhmillion, we love love love all things vintage & retro, so of course our favorite kind of swimwear is the vintage-inspired kind! Now that summer’s in full swing, make sure you’ve got a gorgeous suit that makes you look pinup perfect! Here’s a roundup of our faves:

Turquoise Deluxe Swimsuit from Kiss Me Deadly

Marilyn Swimsuit by Pinup Couture

Bathing Beauty one piece by Esther Williams, available at ModCloth

Norwood Swim Top & Bara Swim Mini Bottoms, Taryn Gerber for Shabby Apple 

Black & Cream Bow Bikini by What Katie Did

Fabulous, no? Grab your cat eye shades, a pretty parasol, & hit the beach! Let us know: do you have a retro swimsuit? If so, where’d ya get it?

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