Imelda May – “Tribal”

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As some of you may (or may not) know, Imelda May’s new album Tribal dropped today in the US.  I haven’t been so excited for an album release in a long time – I had been checking the iTunes page for the album nearly every week, making sure the release date didn’t get pushed back again (it got pushed back twice from what I recall – and both times I was rather upset!).  I waited for September 23rd with baited breath – and it has finally come!  I literally waited up to midnight for the release, but was pleasantly surprised when I checked iTunes at 11:40 P.M. at it was live!

I immediately began listening to the album beyond the already released tracks that I had, which were “It’s Good To Be Alive” and “Wild Woman”.  I have to say, this is one of if not the best album she has put out yet.  Every song has a little something special that fits all moods and will be sure to strike your fancy anytime.

A few of my favourite songs? Here are my top choices off of the record (deluxe version):

  • 1 – Tribal
  • 3 – It’s Good To Be Alive
  • 6 – Hellfire Club
  • 7 – Five Good Men
  • 8 – Ghost of Love
  • 9 – Wicked Way
  • 13 – Zombie Girl
  • 15 – Dreaming (Ukulele Track)

As you can see, I have a lot of top faves here!  There is nothing on this album I don’t like.  If you enjoy rockabilly, rock & roll, or just plain good music, do yourself and your ears a favour and grab this album!

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I am also planning on going to see Imelda on Sunday, September 28th nearby me in Huntington on Long Island.  There is SO much going on this weekend, it makes my mind boggled and a little sad because I can’t do it all 😦 The New York Burlesque Festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, Imelda May is playing Sunday night, I am going to see the TCM showing in theatres of Gone With The Wind on Sunday, and my tattoo artist is having a flash tattoo sale Sunday also!  That and Saturday night the hubby and I are going out with his dad and other LEOs for his birthday.  I am definitely a little sad I can’t do it all, but I am glad we are having an active weekend.  We have been having car troubles plaguing us as of recently, so we have been a tad bit of recluses lately.  But hopefully the car issues are taken care of, and now we can enjoy ourselves a little bit! 🙂

“Summer” Reading

 Since my husband is at the academy in the evenings, I find myself with a lot of personal time after work.  But I fret not, for I can read!  I have really become quite the book hoarder lately, and I seem to order more books even when I haven’t finished the initial ones I ordered yet.  But I have another 5 months of weekdays of solitude, so I can certainly make some headway into my accumulation of books, no? 😉

 I have really found some gems that I am supremely excited about and/or have enjoyed very much.  Since you are here, I am assuming you are all as much of vintage lovers as I, and should therefore know of such pressing matters.  I’ve never really been a believer in “summer reads” or “winter novels” and what have you; I tend to just leap in to whatever strikes my fancy.  If I am on to something that I am interested in and/or am supremely enjoying, who is it to say that it is “out of season”? Not I!

 And so, I present to you: “summer” reading 🙂

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Cary Grant: A Biography – Marc Eliot

This is a very comprehensive biography on Cary.  I have always loved Mr. Grant, and I find that they just don’t make men as debonair, witty, and handsome as he was anymore (minus my husband, of course of course 😉 ).  I have always been interested in his life and what happened within that time, and I had actually been ruminating over buying this biography each and every time I had gone into a bookstore for the past six months.  During a Saturday out doing errands for my husband’s needs for the academy, I just had to stop at the Barnes & Noble along the way for fear that my air supply would be terminated.  I saw this book, and figured, “I need to – I have to!”  I am very excited to make my way through it and become an ever-so-learned person on the life and times of Mr. Cary Grant.

 

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Icon: The Life, Times, and Films of Marilyn Monroe (Volume I: 1926-1956) – Gary Vitacco-Robles

Anyone who knows me knows I simply adore Marilyn Monroe.  I have a tattoo of her.  I have inhaled every biography I have ever known that was decent (qualifier!) that has ever come out.  I have over 5,000 pictures of her.  I can tell you an exact filmography of all her movies, the years they came out, her character in them, the general story line, and what she thought of said movie and what was going on in her life at the time.  So when I happened to stumble upon a new Marilyn biography that had recently come out this year, I needed it.  It comes in at 788 pages, and it is only volume one.  That excites me more than most human beings should be excited over a book.  I have a feeling that this biography is going to be the biography of Marilyn, usurping even Donald Spoto’s benchmark biography of her.  When volume two comes out later this summer, I do not care how much or how little of the book I have gotten through, I will be throwing my money at Amazon!

 

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The Girls of Atomic City – Denise Kiernan

This is an enthralling and encompassing story of how one “town” (if you can call it that) was built purely for the purpose of ending the war.  How exactly, they did not know.  What they did know, however, was that what they were doing was making a very real difference.  They weren’t aware that they were aiding in making the atomic bomb that would end the war in Japan in August of 1945.  Most of this quickly-built town was occupied by women, many of whom were from any place but this small slice of Appalachia in Tennessee.  They were single and trying to better their lives or married and hoping whatever work they were doing was helping their man fighting for them overseas.  What I love about this book is how it is non-fiction, based on real events and actual history, but reads and plays out exactly like a fictional novel.  It is very interesting, highly entertaining, and certainly a crash course in history that we should all have!

 

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The Garden of Allah Series – Martin Turnbull

I absolutely adore these books.  I can’t even tell you.  I don’t even remember how I found these books on Amazon, but I am ever so grateful I did.  I am only just finishing the first book, but I already bought and received the other two in the series, already knowing I will probably love them just as much as the first (especially from what I see from the reviews, they only get better!).  This novel is historical fiction (which I have found to be my most beloved genre, right beside biography) and deals with the lives of three up-and-comers trying to make it in Hollywood starting in 1927.

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                                                          The real Garden of Allah hotel

Kathryn Massey, Gwendolyn Brick, and Marcus Adler have all made it to Los Angeles for various reasons, but the Garden of Allah brought them together as friends.  A famous and actual hotel owned by the actress Alla Nazimova, it was renowned for fabulous and crazy parties, and had famous stars visit and stay such as Tallulah Bankhead, Ramon Novarro, Ginger Rogers, Tyrone Power, Greta Garbo, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Maureen O’Hara, Errol Flynn – I could go on and on!  The interactions the characters have with the stars makes them seem human and real, rather than “above” anyone and untouchable.  I love the situations the characters get in, the stars they meet, the troubles they encounter, and what they do to get past them.  It’s a great read so far, and certainly a series I would recommend to any vintage lover out there…hell, I would recommend it to anyone!

 

What books do you recommend for “summer” reading? 

The Joy of “Masters of Sex”

Recently my husband and I discovered the on demand section of FiOs. And my my my, were we happy! I managed to find the Showtime section, and found “Masters of Sex”, a show based in the late 1950s about Virginia Johnson and William Masters, pioneers in the science of sex when even talking about it was considered “smut”, let alone watching people in the act!

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So far, I have made it through approximately eight episodes – it is fantastic! I think it is the new Mad Men for me. I can’t wait to get home from work and put on the next episode. I love how they weave everyone’s personal lives into the study, particularly that of Masters & Johnson. How their relationship goes through ups and downs at any moment. I won’t spoil it for anyone who has not seen it yet. If you have yet to watch – what are you waiting for?!

The infamous "Ulysses"

The infamous “Ulysses”

Masters and Johnson helped to pioneer research into human sexual response and the identification and diagnosis of disorders in this area. The initial phase of their study lasted from 1957 until 1965, with direct study of 382 women and 312 men. Their findings debunked numerous myths of the era, such as women being unable to orgasm as not just being “frigid”, lubrication was vaginal, not from the cervix, and clitoral and vaginal orgasms were identical and therefore women were capable of multiple orgasms.

This study took place through Washington University in St. Louis, and initially used prostitutes as the subjects. Prostitutes were thought to be isolated, outcast, and were more willing to participate and were good because of their expertise in sex. This however proved problematic due to the numerous cases of STDs they had found, and soon they were recruiting numerous outside couples. Most were married, upper class, white couples. Some were single and arbitrarily “paired” with someone as well.

They wrote two texts from their studies: Human Sexual Response (1966) and Human Sexual Inadequacy (1970). The described sex in the following four phases:

-Excitement phase (initial arousal)
-Plateau phase (full arousal, not yet at orgasm)
-Orgasm
-Resolution phase (after orgasm)

They also discovered that men undergo a refractory period where they are unable to orgasm for a period of time, while women do not experience this; as a result, they are able to achieve multiple orgasms.

Pretty interesting stuff, huh?! The show makes no qualms about delving deep into these findings and showing/going through how they got there. As some of you may know, Masters & Johnson even become study participants themselves!

Portrait Of Masters & Johnson

Portrait Of Masters & Johnson, 1970

I highly suggest this show to anyone who is interested in this field, science, sexuality, and of course vintage lovers! The décor and style of this show is to die for – I keep telling my husband “I want that! I want that too! OMG I need those!” 😉

I bought the book a few months back at Penn Station when I was still working in Manhattan, and have yet to read it. I am going to have to right that ship starting this weekend and let you all know how it is!

There's a book? Yes!

There’s a book? Yes!

Stay Tuned: The flood of Viva Las Vegas 17 posts are on their way! 🙂

My MAC and Sephora Makeup Haul

This past weekend I was itching for a retail fix, so the hubby and I hit up the mall at Roosevelt Field to scratch it. I am normally not a mall person, because I can never find clothes in my style anywhere. Only online and vintage shops for this girl! But there are two places I can never shy away from: MAC and Sephora 🙂

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I saw this on Sephora’s website, and when I saw this I just had to have it! I am on a super skin kick lately, especially with the dryness of winter really getting to my skin as of late, and I have been on a BOLO for some good TLC for my skin. I didn’t want to dive in head first with something that I wasn’t sure about it working with my skin. I am not willing to be cheap on my skin care, either. So, what’s a girl to do? Sephora must have known my plight and created this kit just for me! I tried the Kate Somerville exfoliator so far, and I love it! I can’t wait to see what the other products do for me.

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Anyone who knows me personally knows how much of a stickler I am for a stippler. That would be a stippling brush to apply foundation 😉 Have you ever wanted to not worry so much about having a super exact match in foundation as well as being able to achieve a flawless, airbrushed finish? Well honey, run out NOW and grab yourself a stippling brush! Your foundation will also last you way longer because you are using way less but still achieving the same look! I have had the same stippling brush for nearly two years, so I know I was way overdue for a new one. Sephora has great brushes so it was a worthwhile investment.

I also nabbed myself an Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion, which I have heard nothing but rave reviews about. I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time. I have been using Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance, which hasn’t been bad for me, but I’m sure there is better out there. We shall see what UD can do!

And this last Sephora buy – I can’t believe I nabbed this. I’m in awe and so happy I was able to grab it. It’s Anastasia Beverly Hills’ DipBrow Pomade! I have heard nothing but crazy amazing testimonials about how amazing this stuff is. I can NOT wait to try it! If you would like to see how it looks after I try it for the first time, along with my other looks and life musings, follow me on Instagram at “RockSteadyUSMC”.

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Now on to MAC! I have been buying more and more of their products, and am even starting to consider applying to MAC as an artist. I have a few friends who are MAC MUAs, and I love the work they do – I would love to be a part of the elite! 🙂 Certainly more fun and I could be as crazy looking as I like – lavender hair, tattoos, pinup clothes and all! 🙂

I recently bought two shades or their Studio Sculpt foundation – one for contouring, the other as my all over foundation. I love it! So when I ran out of my undereye concealer, MAC was the natural way to go 😉 The girl there (with awesome bright pink hair, BTW) helped me pick my shade (NW 20) and it is fabulous! I also picked up Viva Glam VI Lipglass, a colour I had gotten a few times way back in high school and loved as an everyday and work shade.

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As some of you may be well aware, I am a bit of a lipgloss and lipstick addict. And you may also know that I have been a fan of Bomber Betty Cosmetics for nearly two years already (my how time flies!). I am a huge fan of Jessica’s Brow Wow as well as all of her lip products – especially her glosses! Every few months I find myself craving some new shades that she whips up. I restocked on My Favourite Me by my friend Cherry Dollface, as well as a nice pink shade called Southern Belle. They’re both fab and I can’t wait to wear them more!

Coming Soon! – I will be having a review and “show and tell” of the Revlon Legacy limited edition lipsticks that just were released. I lucked out and managed to nab “Icy Violet” (1946) and “Snow Peach” (1956). I will prepare a post just for all of you!

CONTEST SOON! – Who is interested in a $20 PayPal gift card?! Well, you’re in luck, because I will have a post soon with all the details to enter. Stay tuned, dolls! 😀

Nifty, Thrifty, and Awesome!

I am currently here visiting my Mom as the semester is over and staying at home for a month with nothing to do does not appeal to me. I can stay here, have a good time with my Mom doing absolutely nothing, and of course – visit a few thrift shops along the way!

Most of the thrift shops down here in southern NJ aren’t bad, and dare I say are actually better than NYC ones just for the sheer fact that all of the hipsters don’t get to everything before us regular folks do. That and it is mad cheap here! As I had mentioned in an earlier post, most of this area is a retirement community, so the older ladies and lads unleash their older clothing to the many choice thrift shops around town. Of course, any time I am down here I just ITCH to go to the many thrift shops around. As of late, my Mom and I have been ill will some sort of stomach bug from some dip we ate at her friend’s house New Year’s Eve. But, I still pulled myself together to go to this thrift shop that I saw as an advert on TV a few days prior. It looked like a fabulous place, and boy was I on the mark!

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It is called “Off The Racks”, and most of the clothes come from a sister consignment shop that has not sold the clothes within thirty days. The layout and look of this store is gorgeous! You really don’t feel like you are in a typical thrift shop, but more like in a boutique. Everything is extremely organized, from dresses to pants to sweaters and everything in between. They are all even subdivided into sizes, from XS/S through 3X. They have sale racks too and everything is $1.99. Everything else is the store, no matter what, is all $4.99. How amazeballs is that? Just check out how well organized this store is:

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They had some fabulous items there, from the high end to designer to rare names and everything in between. They even had a pair of designer shoes worth well over $500 there selling for only $10! Can you believe that?! I am so disappointed that I have such huge feet that I couldn’t buy any of those gorgeous shoes – and most had a vintage inspiration to them! Poo poo 😦

But what did I buy? I still snagged some fabulous things! Take a gander below:

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1950’s inspired bolero – $4.99

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High waist ’40s inspired work/swing pants – $4.99

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What we’ve got here is a polka dot bolero with a chiffon tie – $4.99; blue nautical inspired shirt – $1.99; black wool cardigan with embellishments (see photo of detail below) – $4.99

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This photo of the detail on this black cardi does nothing for how wonderful it looks!

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I LOVE these pants! They have quite a wonderous 1940s/1950s ladies jeans type feel, including the high waist. Just as soon as I saw them, I immediately grabbed them. And, of course, for only $4.99.

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Don’t you just love these? The top is a nautical inspired jean bolero with a Peter Pan collar and this super cute anchor design on the lining. The red cardigan is one I need anyway because for some odd reason I have no red cardis whilst most things I own have at least a bit of red in it – how did that happen?! Red is my favourite colour!

Of course, those two tops above were $4.99 as well.

Do you know what else they had that my Mom amazingly found for me?

LOOK!

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I almost fainted. How awesome is that? I know it’s a CD, but my Bose DVD system will play CDs wonderfully, and I am beyond excited to see how fab it all sounds. The CD itself looks immaculate!

And how much did this incredible thrifting haul cost me? Thirty dollars! Yes, that’s right, 3-0 dollars. And the absolute best part? The proceeds go to helping abused, sheltered, and milled puppies! OMG I literally screamed with glee when she said that. I would have bought the whole store just to help the little puppies. I’m a total softie for animals 🙂

Want to check out more? Head over to their Facebook and see what’s up! And if you are ever in the area, head to:

950 Route 9 North
Bayville, NJ 08721

Have any of you gone on any great thrifting hauls lately? Any shops you are dying to visit?

Passion for Fashion with Wildfell Hall

On Election Day I had the honour of working with the fabulous Amy of the Etsy shop Wildfell Hall. If you all don’t know her, I suggest you go check out her shop pronto!

Amy has such a delicious selection of dresses and other items that it is really hard not to just blow your hard earned paycheck on the whole shop! I am an advocate of buying an item or two, especially since she has a baby on the way and she spends a great deal of time on road trips out vintage hunting for items for her customers! And her items are all high quality – I can tell because I modelled a good 5 or 7 of her items!

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This is a fabulous ’40s dress that is original new old stock! It has already been purchased, as a few minutes after she posted the picture, it sold! That makes me feel good like I am doing my job as a model LOL 😉

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Isn’t this dress amazing? It’s vintage but it has this badass leopard belt and detail on the buttons. It’s also rather warm, so it is fabulous for these colder months of the year to keep you warm without extra bulk. It has a bust of 46″, a waist of 38″, and costs only $82.00. Check it out further here. Oh, and before I forget – LAYAWAY is available now in her shop for the holidays for most items 🙂

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Isn’t this dress just stunning? The print, the peplum, the shape – it all just screams forties. It has a nice drape-y crepe type fabric, and the coloring is great for fall and winter (or even spring and summer – it’s very versatile!). I believe it sold already though, sorry! 😦

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I love this 1950s dress! The shelf bust is amazing and the print is perfect for fall. It fit me like a glove too! The waist measures 34″-35″, and if you are smaller you can use the matching belt that comes with to cinch it in a bit more with no problem. Investigate this stunner more here.

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Those big hands you see there my friends are my hands. And that purse is an amazing 1940s green alligator wristlet-type purse. So cute and such a rich colour! Check it out here.

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Another amazeballs purse modelled by the claws of yours truly. This 1950s purse just feels so amazing, like such a soft and smooth suede! Perfect to match with anything, really. And a great size that is not too small and not too big, for just $30.00. Take a gander here.

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This coat, oh my my, this coat! If I could buy it right now I would. This 1930s duster coat is just stunning in the amount of detail that stands out yet is also subtle as well. This coat has a nice weight to it and I’m sure whomever buys it will be a very happy gal! Check ‘er out over yonder.

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Amy also has another fabulous shop called The Slipperie which contains tons of fabulous unmentionables such as vintage bras, nightgowns, dressing downs, bed jackets, slips, garter belts, and more. This 1930s yellow nightgown has such a great silky feel to its rayon. Quite the way to indulge after a long day! Go examine closer here.

Quite some fabulous items, n’est-ce pas? And she always has more great items that she finds and posts all of the time. Go check for yourself – I’m sure you will find something that will strike your vintage-loving fancy 🙂

Review: Style Me Vintage: Step-by-Step Retro Look Book

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A little over a week ago, I received an email from the lovely Amelia of IPG about whether I would like to review the upcoming book, Style Me Vintage: Step-by-Tep Retro Look Book. Of course, how could I say no to that?!

Some of you may be familiar with this series, as they have a few books out already. This is a meshing of all of them, which is great for anyone looking for a wonderful all-around foundation to begin your retro, vintage, pinup, or rockabilly style. This guide can help take you from know-nothing novice to a savvy shopper. Mind you, this is not the be all or end all, nor are other books – there are just some things you have to learn and experience yourself based on your body shape and a number of other factours.

Now, when I do reviews, I like to give full disclosure on what I received. My disclosure is this: I have the Style Me Vintage: Hair book that I bought about a year ago, and upon inspection, it seems to be very alike, like this picture tells:

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The top book is just for the hair and the bottom is this book I am reviewing. I just felt the need to let everyone know about this, so there are no surprises when you receive your book.

The makeup section if this book is fabulous. As a makeup artist, a lot of tricks and tips are put into this section that will help many women to achieve their best looks.

You can go from a Marilyn Monroe look here:

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To an eighties Madonna or an extreme Siouxie Sioux look as seen here:

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They provide a variety of looks, starting from a 1920s Clara Bow all the way to the 1980s Madonna look and everything in between. Also, in the back of this book there are more beauty tips about how to get the perfect manicure, including the famous ’40s half moon look, as well as getting your brows perfect and nailing false eyelashes and the cat eye look. All of it is explained very well, and helps you to achieve the best look you can.

My absolute favourite part of the book is all about the clothing. If you were to buy this book, just the clothing section alone is well worth the price! It goes through each decade from the twenties through to the eighties, and lists the must have day and night looks and staples of the period. A history of each period is given to explain and rationalize why the fashion was the way it was during that time. Included in each section are amazing tips to help boost your period look, and some definitions of things you may see in the book or have heard of before, such as what a bias cut is.

This section has incredibly useful extras including a whole portion on shape wear and underwear as well as swimsuits of different periods. The most helpful are the sections dedicated to how to make easy repairs to damaged items, from tears, washing, stains, drying, and storage. This is so important for any vintage lover to know, so you can keep your fabulous frocks in the best shape and to help them get even better if need be.

There is also a great section about how to get into vintage clothes. I know this may sound ridiculous to some, but there are different ways to put on different items without tearing them or thinking they don’t fit when in actuality they will but just need to be put on correctly. This will help so many gals get into those amazing and to die for dresses without being disappointed that they can’t get in it when all it needs is a little battle planning! It also includes a “vintage shopping necessity kit” that you should always bring when shopping, such as a tape measure and a wide belt. It also guides you on how to properly inspect items for any flaws and how to get chummy with the sales people to get the first dibs on good items. Another area is a quickie list on how to date vintage, which is helpful to know that what you are pining for is indeed a fifties frock and not an eighties knockoff.

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I found this book to be quite an amazing addition to my collection, and is something I will surely go back to reference from time to time. The layout of the book is gorgeous, as is the cover with its vintage inspired fabric cover. I read this in its entirety, and it just has a wealth of fabulous facts and information on every page that I think will serve all of my readers on numerous levels, from the beginner to the more advanced. It is gorgeous to look at, put together well, and will serve as your go-to reference book quite often!

Style Me Vintage: Step-by-Step Retro Look Book is available for $29.95 (US) or $32.95 (CAN) November 2012 at bookstores everywhere or through Trafalgar Square Publishing. This book is also available on Amazon as well.

Do yourself a favour and go for it – it will be worth it, I assure you 🙂