Blue Hawaii | How To Wear All Colour With Zero Effort

It’s summer, and in summer I like to dress like a tropical island. Probably one with an early 1960’s themed resort and 24/7 kitschy soundtrack, because that’s how I roll. ( If these still exist, please tell me and I will 100% go there to live out my retro resort dreams.)

So in honour of pastel stucco’d resorts and mid century vacation-wear, this week’s look is all about COLOUR. Colour is synonymous with holidays for me, I can’t image lying on a beach or drinking cocktails poolside in neutral tones!
I’ll explain how I put together outfits that are bright and bold with almost zero effort. It’s actually so easy.  In fact, it’s how I taught myself to wear colour after my goth phase haha.

Just read on and join me in a tropical fantasy.

Pin up model and Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 wearing retro tropical vintage reproduction summer tiki fashion

How To Wear All Colour With No Effort

Step One

Okay so step one is actually not even a step, it’s just having a vaguely organised wardrobe.

I’ve starting using a closet organiser app so I can search my clothes by colour, but before that I just hung my clothes in garment and rainbow order. Mostly because it looks pretty, but also because if all your clothes are organised by colour and clothing type it’s waaaaaay easier to find stuff.

Step Two

Start with the one thing you know you want to wear.
For me, it was this tropical print crop top.

Now if the garment or accessory you picked has a pattern this is a piece of cake. Just pick two or three colours out of the pattern that you know you have clothes and accessories in!
For this outfit I picked the blue, purple and bright green from the tropical print.

If the garment you picked is a solid colour you can pick any two colours that you like with it. OR you can pick something with a pattern that uses the colour of the item you picked and use colours from that.

That sounds super confusing so lets break it down; let’s say you picked a solid yellow skirt.
You might pick a yellow, orange and pink colour scheme because you like those colours together.
Or you might choose a floral top to wear with the skirt. The top has yellow and green on a pink background, in which case you’d have a yellow, green and pink colour scheme.
Make sense?

Step Three

Here’s where it all comes together.

Look at your wardrobe and pick out things you have in the colour scheme you’ve chosen.
I had a purple belt, some green and blue bangles, a pair of blue shoes, and a pair of multicoloured shoes.

Basically you can throw on any clothes and accessories in your colour scheme and your outfit should look sweet as tropical punch. Because we limited the amount of colours we’re using it won’t look chaotic.

BUT if you’re worried about your outfit looking too busy – which can be overwhelming if you’re a short, small person like me – you can split your outfit into two halves. I like to keep either the top or bottom half of my outfit a solid colour. Choosing the solid blue shoes and pants keeps my lower half looking streamlined, while the patterned top, bangle stack and belt accentuate my upper body and waist. Patterned clothes and pops of colour can draw attention to the parts of yourself you like the most!


Velvet DeCollete in the Remuera Gardens wearing sixties fashion colourful summer pinup outfit


Uh Oh?

What if you get to step three and realise you don’t own anything that goes with the garment you chose in step two?

Do you know what that means? You’re buying or keeping clothes that don’t match anything else in your wardrobe.
Do you always wear that top or skirt with neutral tones? Or do you never wear it at all? If you’re staring at your wardrobe and nothing seems to go with anything else, you might need to have a clear out and create a capsule wardrobe!

Kiwi pin up icon Miss Victory Violet has a fantastic capsule wardrobe section on her blog. She shows you examples of capsule wardrobes and all the outfits you can make from just ten well chosen pieces!


Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete wearing modern retro inspired colourful pin up clothes

Outfit Details

Crop Top | Custom by Velvet DeCollete ( me!)
Pedal Pushers | Pin Up Girl Clothing – Preloved
Belt & Bangles | Thrifted
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Sunglasses |

See this top with it’s original skirt and bangles

Style Tip | Mixing smooth and carved bangles of different sizes kept my lil’ bangle stack looking ‘ equal parts curated and haphazard‘, as accessory maven Fran Robertson puts it. Fran is the unchallenged queen of stylish overkill and she wrote all about building the perfect bangle stack! I highly recommend giving her post a read if you need some bangle inspiration.

Would you look at my fluffy hair!!! The humidity was killer when we shot this outfit, and my beautiful Priscilla Presley curls and bouffant just turned into frizz and fluff. What a waste of setting spray. For makeup I went with a neutral eye and a 1960’s inspired nude lip.


Velvet DeCollete blue and green retro pinup girl style

Velvet DeCollete at the Remuera Gardens wearing a sixties tropical style inspired outfit

Shoot Details

Photos | Froger
Model, HMUA, Styling | Me


Velvet DeCollete soft summer colours retro style pinup photo

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 5 comments
Monday Style Tip No.4

Monday Style Tip No.4

inspiration, Monday style tip, fashion, tip, advice, style, style file, beckon couture, clothing, vintage, pinup, help, summer, sunhat, beach

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments
Birthday Snaps | A Retro Luau Party

Birthday Snaps | A Retro Luau Party

Remember that lost weekend between Christmas and New Years Eve? The one when everyone (hospo staff included) are on holiday and nothing opens. Nothing.

That’s my birthday weekend.

So this year I celebrated in true pinup style with a vintage inspired Luau at home!

It started with cool drinks on a hot day and ended with burlesque dancers lip syncing the Chicago soundtrack under disco lights. Lei’s and fruity cocktails for all!

Here’s some candid poolside snaps so you can see how it went down. Plus a bonus picture of my not-quite-one-year-old niece dressed like the island princess she is. Because she’s a cutie patootie.

(I forgot to take pictures of the idyllic decorations my awesome lover set up, but trust me, they were amazing )

pinup girls tropical2016-15-2--22-14-01luau, tiki party, tropical, cocktails, drink station, fancy, fruit, garnish, hawaiian, party, pool party2016-15-2--22-22-59




Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
A Classics Museum Carnival

A Classics Museum Carnival

The Classics Museum 3rd Birthday Carnival fell on a sweltering New Zealand summer day.
Normally I’d be happy to swap my petticoats for sarongs in the heat – but after setting up the Vintage Amusements carnival in the midday sun I threw on a cute carnival outfit.

(I managed to win Best Dressed from the lovely ladies at Glory Days Magazine too!)

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Photos | Tiffany Curtis Photography

Outfit breakdown

Top | Forever New
Skirt | Custom made by me – Beckon Couture
Petticoat | Bought online somewhere
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Bangles | Thrifted
Flowers | Equip
Parasol | Gift

Scroll down to see some sassy best dressed contestants and me being a cheese while receiving my prize!

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Photo | Tiffany Curtis Photography


Photo | Tiffany Curtis Photography

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Photo | Tiffany Curtis Photgraphy

Velvets Tips for Summer Pinup Dressing

  1. Keep your fabrics light and try to avoid too many synthetics – They’ll make you sweat!
  2. Keep your hair off your neck. a beehive, cute ponytail or poodle ‘do is a lifesaver.
  3. Deodorant and spray on sun screen. Lots of both! I find spray on sunscreen less sticky and less staining on my clothes.
  4. (a very personal tip) tuck a cotton pad – like you use for toner or makeup – into the front of your bra to catch any chest sweat and prevent unsightly patches on the front of your top or dress!
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At the Kissing Booth with pinup babes Monique Sweet and Betty Rage


James and I cooling off with a well deserved cold Coke


The Jukebox Diner | Tiffancy Curtis Photography

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, OTHER, 0 comments
Easter Eggs and Swing Skirts

Easter Eggs and Swing Skirts

Did a little Easter shoot with Zandy J Photography and Miss Charlotte Cake yesterday. By which I mean I played dressups in a park with a couple of rad girls and a bunch of easter eggs (nom nom nom).  Zandy’s shared a couple of preview pics, check out our cheesy Easter pinup smiles!

easter, pinup, picnic, vintage, 1950s, retro, girls, ladies, women, zandy j, photography, photographer


Miss Charlotte Cake has some juicy juicy gossip, don’t you wish you knew what it was?

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 3 comments
Meet Me in the Olive Grove

Meet Me in the Olive Grove

I feel like I’m running a sewing marathon at the moment! But a nice marathon, where I decide the route and you don’t end up sweaty and red faced at the end. With awesome retro events like the Beach Hop and Very Vintage Day Outnot the mention the Tiki Afterparty – waving on the horizon I feel it’s time to broaden my vintage style wardrobe. After all, I can’t just wear lingerie everywhere … can I?
Thus, I’ve made the Olive dress.

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The Pattern: Burda 5882 – this is a ‘Designed by Gertie’ pattern, she has a rad sewing blog that’s actually a life saver if you’re a beginner sewer, or an expert needing inspiration or a plain english translation of a technique you haven’t tried. This pattern would be easy enough for a beginner sewer, with only the bust shelf being a bit tricky at points.

The Fabric: Before you ask, I found it in the furnishing section. 82% of my fabrics are probably upholstery or curtain fabrics as I find them lovely to work with and a source of super cool prints, like this retro-as olive number. Sadly it’s a 3 way pattern and was a nightmare to match. Normally I’d fight it out but as it’s just for me I didn’t worry about it. The lining is standard rayon lining, often I’d use something else but this is all I could find at the time that didn’t clash horribly. I looked for a matching green but grey to match the black olives works fine.
The contrast bust is a faux raw silk left over from a jacket I made a million years ago for a wedding.

The Details: I might go back and add a horsehair braid to the hem for extra volume, and a belt for extra definition. Also I can’t decide whether I like the strap turned up or down under the bust.

The Style: I accessorised this dress with a pair of white vintage gloves and white leather peep toes. I won’t lie, I borrowed/stole the shoes from my mother. I really need to buy some heels that aren’t 4-6″! I think I’ll make a teeny olive hat to match too.

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pinup, beckon couture, rockabilly, vintage style, gloves, dress, clothing, green, white,

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Photos | James Beck
(also known as the EverPatient Husband, and The Man Who Remembered We Have Olive Trees.)
Model, MUA, Hair | Moi

P.S : I’d just like ya’ll to appreciate how much better I’m getting at this girly hairstyling thing.



Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments