Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Retro Top Shop: Your One Stop Retro Top Shop


Shopping for quality pinup fashion at a reasonable price can prove to be a challenge, and on this blog, I am on a mission to help women from all walks embrace their inner pinup girl and I know that not every woman can (or wants...) to spend 100+ dollars on one shirt. So I did a little research and found a shop called Handmaderetroshoptop it's a shop that sells affordable pinup/rockabilly style clothing, mainly tops.


I spoke with the owner, Charlene Andersen to get to know more about her and amazing shop,
Here's how it went;


Why did you start hand-making tops?

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''I’ve always been a creative person, and a number of years ago, I had a feeling inside of needing to create, but I didn’t know exactly what to create. My mom didn’t teach me to sew, but she taught me to mend. I grew up teaching myself how to sew. This was all done by hand, not by machine.

Around 2014 (after my boys were old enough I could pursue something creative), I started deconstructing and reconstructing clothing. Retro and vintage, ultra-feminine styles always appealed to me, so most recreating involved making a piece of clothing look more streamline, more feminine and more youthful. ''

I soon had a desire to go back to the Rockabilly days (back in the late 1990s) when I dressed 1940s and 1950s every single day. So, my pursuit was to revamp my own wardrobe with my own creations. In August 2015, I finally bought a sewing machine and I hit the ground running. The learning curve was straight up!''
Why did you want to make them pinup style?
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''The World War II era had a strong influence on me when I was very young. When I was a little girl, my grandparents would take me to a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, the 100th Bomb Group, which we all called “The Bomber”. It was filled with WWII memorabilia (parts from planes, the music of the era, vintage photographs, letters from servicemen, advertisements of the day, and pinup art). The food was superb, but I loved every aspect of what I saw and heard even more.
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Back in 1995, I was exposed first-hand to the Rockabilly world. Not only did I meet and instantly fall in love with my husband, Joe (the upright bass player in a Rockabilly band playing the wedding reception that evening), one amazing December night in 1995, but I fell in love with the music, and especially the fashion and style of the whole Retro and Rockabilly world.
In 2015, when I started making clothes from scratch instead of reconstructing, I found myself drawn to sewing patterns mainly from the 1950s.

I love the simple, feminine clothing from the World War II and Mid Century Modern era, so it made sense to learn the techniques and styles. From there, I changed little details until it was my own creation, based heavily on authentic retro patterns. By nature, these creations resemble the pinup look that embodies femininity and simplicity. Joe (a fine artist himself) always has a big part in helping me design each style!''

How did you get into pinup fashion?
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''After I met Joe, we visited every second-hand store and antique shop in our area. My wardrobe slowly became nothing but retro/pinup style clothing.
With having children and moving, the retro clothes were given away or donated. So, when I had the opportunity to pursue creating “something” I easily fell back into the desire to revisit the pinup style clothing. Little did I know, I’d be designing, creating and selling my creations for many to enjoy!
Basically, everything I sell comes about from my pursuit of something I want for my own wardrobe - halters, blouses, playsuits, shorts, skirts, dresses, jackets, capris, and even hats and purses. I design it, make it, assess it and re-design it when needed. When everything feels as perfect as it can be, I then list it as a new design in my stores. So, there are always new designs in the works!''

In your opinion what's your best design?
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My favorite is my best-selling design, the Ava Halter Top, aptly named after beautiful Ava Gardner. I love this style because it is simple, flattering and “free size”, fitting many sizes and shapes (it fits bra size 30A up to 34/36DDD). It also has a very strong nod to the 1940s (the flap detail) and 1950s (cropped, bra top style) summer halter tops.

Which pin-up style top do you recommend first time buyers to buy the most?
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"Because the Ava Halter Top is so free size, comfortable and hands-down flattering for women, this is the top I recommend. I’ve had many, many satisfied customers."

Click here To start shopping at Retro Top Shop and use the code: THANKS10 to get ten percent off your order!
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