Monday, March 6, 2017

When trousers first bloomed into being

The Pits

While the wearing of trousers by women took solid root in WWII, the practice dates back nearly a century. The first women to dress one leg at a time on a regular basis were the romanticized mine workers known as The Wigan Pit Brow Lasses. Their outfit of choice included skirts worn over trousers, with the skirts rolled up at the waist to keep the hems out of the way when working.

"Pit brow women working outside in the cold and dirt developed a distinctive 'uniform', they wore clogs, trousers covered with a skirt and apron, old flannel jackets or shawls and headscarfs to protect their hair from coal dust. The women's unconventional but practical dress drew them to the attention of the public and carte de visite and cabinet card portraits and later postcards of them in working clothes were produced commercially and sold to visitors as novelties." [source: Wikipedia]

"Before 1842 it was common for women to work underground at the pits, usually as drawers pulling carts of coal through tunnels up to the surface. Lancashire in fact had a much larger number of women working in the mines than elsewhere in Britain. The Mines Act of 1842 however made it illegal for women to work underground. The law was generally ignored, with women dressing in men’s clothes and bosses turning a blind eye. Women could earn 2 or 3 shillings a week more if they worked underground and the tasks above ground could be just as hard work and dangerous, but for less money." [source:]

Revolutions in Fashion

The sporting life for women, popularized by cultural icon Coco Chanel, saw the rise of leg coverings for women as a practical part of engaging in athletics. The way had already been paved in the 1890s with the rise in cycling. Turkish style bloomers became part and parcel of the cycling costume, and Parisian women took to wearing them both for fashion and exercise. Bloomers were then introduced as apparel for basketball, swimming, and eventually as 'gym class uniforms'.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sexy is as sexy doesn't — getting rid of the lines & bulges beneath

In this age of itty bitty thongs so scant they truly are G "strings" the knickies in the image shown here may not be considered sexy by many. But let me assure you, there's nothing sexy about panty lines or thong wedgies.

For quite some time I've been seeking out a solution to these ongoing inconveniences, as even my 'best' underbottoms seem to have one issue or another. I'd perused every make of 'boy shorts' I could find, but they either had too much constricting, bulge-inducing elastic at the top, or they had too much wedging thonginess in the back, or frankly, they appeared to be made for 13 year-old gamines who'd not yet developed womanly curves

Finally I resolved to search for 1920s style tap pants. Their elastic would be located up at the waist with far less resulting bulge, and given their 'boxers' type of cut, they would ultimate in a flat, eleasticless edge of lace. Thanks to Amazon I found one or two makers of these silky underpinnings, and just purchased a single one in order to test its effectiveness ... My email tells me they shipped this morning, by the by.

I then recalled that recently I'd been to an old favorite haunt to purchase a dress, only to find the store was phasing out its dress department ... *gasp* ... During that fruitless visit I'd spoken with an employee who was busy hanging some pretty-ish underthings. Now, mind you, this chain store is probably the last place I'd ever expect to carry 'lingerie,' but I felt compelled to return and take a closer look at their under-offerings.

What I purchased (for $12 all told) was the 4 pairs of knickies pictured here. They were exactly the sort of this I've been searching for the past year or so. They have smooth tops and are without elastic in the cheek area. Even better, 2 of the sets are lace! I'm a lace lover and have been very saddened that lace brassieres have been out of vogue the last few years. Finding these little goodies, and at such a steal, makes up for the lack of lace up top. And bras will at some point come back in style, I have no doubt.

For now, I'm just glad to have removed a few unsightly lines and bulges from beneath my clothing — no plastic surgery or personal trainer needed. *wink*

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Star-Spangled Spandex

While perusing various swimsuit sites and flipping through the swimwear racks at stores, I found it difficult to locate any styles I would actually want to purchase, let alone wear.  And so I resorted to my new fashion stand-by—the ever delicious Unique Vintage site.  Here are a few of their red, white & blue gems, in keeping with the holiday.  Now declare your independence—you bathing beauty, you—and get out there in a swimsuit!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quick & Dirty - DIY Halloween Costumes for procrastinators

If your planned costume proved far too involved for your timetable (or skill set), or you just never got around to figuring out what you wanted to be for Halloween, you may find yourself scrambling at the last minute to find something, anything to don for that weekend party.

We usually seek to post things of beauty and grace on this blog -- not so today, where we offer a hodge-podge of ideas for the truly desperate.  Should such desperation apply to either you or your man, we hope that these wiki DIY ideas will inspire you to come up with something of your own. You may not win the costume contest, but you'll avoid having Halloween tricks played on you for being a costumeless party-pooper.

Umbrella Girl
Fighting crime & staying dry

Quit your wining, grab some balloons, greenery 
& a bottle of vino as a host gift. Boom! 

Easy-peasy scarecrow

Your local chain store already has their Christmas stuff on display.
Wear something green and decorate yourself!

Comic relief
(if it doesn't work you can always claim you were going for 'chicken pox')

Snakes on a Head
instant Medusa

Go to closet, take out TLBD
transform into Holly Golightly 

The Brawny Man
what guy's guy could object to this?

Lady Bug Lady Bug
just add black dots

Don't throw out those old gloves.
Turn them into antlers

Nuff said

Drug Kingpin 

Still Cool... Heyyyyyy

Tourists, and proud of it!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

How to Make a Magnificent Maleficent

Many a mental wheel is spinning as Fall begins to insinuate itself and awaken our base Halloweeny instincts. This year's coup de costume is that of Maleficent, the maligned, mistreated, misunderstood, and mostly beneficent protagonist in Disney's live action fantasy twist, featuring the perfectly cast Angelina Jolie.

Let's start with a few of her various looks — from the ingenue protector of the moors to the brazen baddy out to curse the king's infant daughter.

Now... for the makeup... and those lips.. those glorious lips!  MAC makeup wings to the rescue with a delightful and fantastical arsenal of products to give you that gorgeous classic look: smokey eyes, porcelain skin, red red lips.

Here's a thorough tutorial that will help you get the look, and most challenging, the cheeks

Available costume looks:

Should the Mac shade not work magic with your own coloring, here are a few other rich and lush options as seen in Harper's Bazaar:

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick
in Diva Red, $7,
Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick 
in Boho Chic, $10, available in October.
Lipstick Queen Silver Screen Lipstick in Have Paris, $50, 
available in September at

Now go look magnificent! And by all means, share with us your pics!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Burlesque for the rest of us

Grace incarnate
Social Grace, Flirtation & even Tease for the Modest

When we hear the word burlesque most of us picture women clad only in g-strings and pasties, performing bumps and grinds to a crowd of strangers, spotlights bringing every curve into sharp relief. And most of us wouldn't be caught dead in that situation!

So what about the woman who wants to feel confident and alluring in the dining room as well as the bedroom? In the absence of finishing schools, where can she learn social graces? Even more challenging, where can she learn the seductive arts in a playful yet classy, and decidedly non-tawdry way? 

Siren School now offers a pair of classes designed to answer these questions and teach women how to feel fabulous in any situation, social or romantic.

Siren Soirees' Charm Class goes back to the basics as well as adding instruction on more delicate topics. Teaching includes:
  • Posture
  • Elocution
  • Conversation
  • Dining
  • Personal Presentation
  • Body Language
  • Out in Public
  • All alone -- setting the scene for romance

Tease for the timid -- Have you ever wanted to do something a little extra special for your man as a birthday or anniversary gift?  Have you ever wished to feel like a tantalizing tigress behind closed doors?  Fantasy Fitness' Burly-Q Tease class can teach you how. Instruction includes:
  • Managing girly-wear and accessories such as stockings, corsets... even boas and gloves
  • Posture and Poses -- standing, seated and supine
  • Peeling & Teasing
  • Classic Bumps & Grinds & Shimmies (and how & when to use them)
  • An easy-to-follow routine intended to be performed for & with your sweetheart

Regardless of your relationship status or performance goals, both of these classes will increase your poise and comfort in your own skin.