Pinup Anti-Haul #2

As mentioned previously, I had another one of these planned down the pike. Now that we’re out of the Halloween collections and right before the holiday season, I wanted to put out something to also keep my pinup anti-haul game strong, because there’s a lot of temptation coming out this time a year with Black Friday and other sales, and I want you all to keep your bank accounts as strong as your spirits should be.

If you are not familiar with the concept of an anti-haul, please use this post for reference. As a reminder: this is not intended to be mean-spirited, it’s supposed to encourage smart purchasing habits and minimizing unnecessary consumerism. There are always better ways to spend your hard-earned money (be it paying off debt, savings, whatever), and while I believe moderation in all things, I also believe it’s OK to be spending on things with the caveat of being smart about it and really knowing yourself instead of buying aimlessly.

Without any more delay, let’s get into this holly jolly not buying shit discussion.

Janie Bryant x Unique Vintage


Before we get into it, I have to be upfront and tell you I have a bone to pick with them. Unique Vintage bothers me for a few reasons, but mostly because of its slow and exorbitant shipping rates and fees. There are plenty of vintage reproduction sellers that offer faster shipping at lower rates in that same neck of the woods (e.g. Micheline Pitt, Heart of Haute, etc.) Hell, even for some of the UK brands they carry–it’s cheaper (and faster) to buy direct from them than Unique Vintage. It bugs because, primarily, I would like to support American companies (as an American) and would like to help keep them afloat, but when I’m staring down $12 for shipping for a product that comes within 8-12 business days versus going to the UK and having it free because of the cost of the product between the exchange rates (and getting it faster), what’s the point? Stop making it so difficult for me to love you, Unique Vintage; that’s all I’m asking.

All right. Now, here’s where it gets back to being an anti-haul. As with a lot of anti-hauls, some of the products in them are really subjective. What I think is not worth it may not be what you think actually is worth spending money, and that’s OK! But after seeing this hyped collaboration I’m not sold for the most part.* Here’s an example of why I’m not sold on this collection:


$138 for a black and white polka dot strapless dress and another $48 for the matching bolero. So, in total, we’re looking at $186 for a matching set.

Are you for real?

Looking at that dress, I’m having a hard time justifying that price tag, especially with mesh as one of the fabrics. Mesh is not a favorite fabric of mine; I’m not sure of your own experiences with it, but it gets caught up in everything.  Because this gets caught up in things, it’s prone to tearing easily and gets worn out faster. Outside of petticoats, you won’t see my ass shimmy into any piece that is primarily mesh. I know it was a popular fabric back in the day, but there are some vintage things that should just stay where they were. When I see anything over $75 with mesh as a fabric, you better be able to justify the costs by at least being a unique piece.

And guess what?

Vivien of Halloway


Collectif Clothing


It isn’t. Black polka dot dresses are a dime a dozen and one of the first stereotypical pinup outfits you could probably think of thanks to I Love Lucy’s influence on pop culture. There is nothing unique about this $186 set that can’t be found cheaper and just as high quality elsewhere. If that’s the case, what’s the point in buying that?

The entire collection is riddled with similar pieces like this that fit the mold of “stereotypical” pinup but at extremely high prices when there are similar products out there for cheaper, better shipping (prices and time-frame; although, both pieces together do hit the $150 USD free shipping threshold), for me, it’s not worth it. Not buying it.

* = I won’t lie, the suit dress is incredibly tempting and probably the most unique piece out of the collection. Plus, it never hurts to have professional-style clothing in your repertoire.


All the velvet limited edition dresses/gowns



There’s a handful of brands doing this right now so they’re all getting lumped into one.

Much like mesh, velvet is another fabric I don’t love. It’s fussy, it’s difficult, can be really stifling, and really, it’s not something that you can wear all year round. My personal clothing habits are generally things I want to wear as much as possible and can be worn both in summer and winter (with the exception of items intended for winter use like a coat for obvious reasons.) If I’m going to be spending a decent amount of money, especially on a reproduction piece, it has to be something I will wear more than once and at least semi-regularly.

In being honest with myself: when am I really going to wear a velvet dress/gown outside of the holidays, and even then, that’s assuming there’s a holiday party to go to where it would be appropriate? Answer: there isn’t a time (outside of maybe a Halloween costume? But even then, there aren’t a lot of stars that I can think of that would be recognized on velvet gown alone.)


Erstwilder Christmas Collection


This isn’t a traditional reason to encourage you not to purchase something, but this is one of those companies that really chaps my hide with its lack of transparency. I don’t dislike Erstwilder, but I do find it to be unethical in its marketing practices, and this is one that’s been driving me nuts because it’s the most obvious one out there.

We all know the pinups that sport these brooches for an Instagram photo or two all around the same time and then you never see them wearing the brooch again (seriously, when was the last time you saw anyone that hustled how much they “so loved!” the Grease brooches actually wear one in their IG photos?)

I can’t confirm for certainty (because, obviously, no one is knocking on my door), so this is pure speculation on my end, but my suspicion is that Erstwilder is giving them as PR (so they can be given for free), or, and possibly as a sponsorship or ad. I don’t know for sure because no one discloses it, but it’s sure pretty suspicious when you see the major players getting all these brooches before the official release talking about how they all love them…

That is a problem.

The pinup community (versus the makeup/beauty community, at least–which isn’t great, but yards better in comparison), in general, is terrible about being transparent–some stating that “it is my page and I can support whatever I want,” and to a degree, I agree. You can absolutely put what you want on there. Though, I strongly err on the side that the line gets drawn when you get compensated for it–be it monetarily or with items–for your support, especially when others don’t get cut the same deal and you know your influence is part of why people are buying it. So, the very, very, bare minimum thing you can do is put #sponsor or #ad on there when you’re pushing something on Instagram. It won’t kill you or make you look bad, I promise. Also, not disclosing makes it look like you have something to hide and that makes me think you’re untrustworthy and shady, so why risk it?

I bet you $10 that after the holidays, we never see any of the people who are peddling these brooches that they think are so adorable never break them out again. (And why would they? The holidays are over and there will be another holiday collection to replace it next year that they will be asked to promote.) So what’s the point in buying it in the first place? It’s just more clutter in your house that you don’t need because you’ll wear it a handful of times throughout a very small portion of the year. Move on.


That’s all for now, folks. Feel free to tell me all the things you’re not going for this holiday season!


Yours ’til Niagara Falls,

Jupiter Gimlet

Pinup Anti-Haul #1

If you are a big fan of Kimberly Clark (and you should be!), you are probably familiar with the concept of anti-hauls. However, on the off chance you are not, the point of an anti-haul is to discourage empty consumerism and encourage empowered, thoughtful purchases. In the current pinup culture fueled by social media, it can feel very pushy to buy more and more so you can fit into that perfect aesthetic. I, for one, am not the type to buy mindlessly. Because I don’t get sent things for free (though, I would not mind if I did!) and money is a finite resource, it’s important to know I’ll be able to use what I buy.

The purpose of an anti-haul isn’t to be mean to brands and businesses (there are some I don’t like and won’t purchase from and there are plenty which I do like, but will not be buying because I’m going to be smart about what I do spend on!), but to be smart about what you do choose to spend your money on. Unlike a wishlist of things to pine over, these are things I know I will not be purchasing and why I will not be spending my money on it. While Kimberly Clark focuses on makeup and skincare, I’m choosing to focus on pinup related purchases.

For me, this also feels more like a “genuine” attempt to be reliving the pinup life of the 1940’s. Purchases were often tactical, and as such, it’s a nice way to be reliving that kind of culture. So, without further ado–here’s what (sung in Kimberly Clark voice) I’m not gonna buy~

Erstwilder Grease Brooch Collection


Let me start with this: I’m not generally the type to collect brooches to begin with (or jewelry, for that matter). But were I to be the type that did, this is not the collection I would spend money on.

I was a theatre nerd in high school and still love musicals (hell yeah for Hamilton!), but let’s be honest: I’m not entirely sure Greased Lightning is going to be recognized on sight by most people. The “Eat Your Heart Out” is actually very cute and would be one that’s definitely something you can wear with multiple outfits, but that’s one out of quite a few in this collection. There are some others that are recognizable (Frenchy, Rizzo, and Sandy, for example), but these aren’t ones that I will use often enough (they don’t look like they would go with enough outfits, and may clash with styles other than the 1950’s) to warrant the $39.95 AUD cost (approximately $32.07 USD) per brooch.

While we’re on the subject of cost, I live in the USA and the shipping for these alone only becomes free if you spend over $100 (AUD). At the time of writing this, the conversion rate for $100 AUD = ~$80.28 USD. While this is better than a lot of clothing shops (ahem, Unique Vintage) and the conversion rate is in my favor. Without the $100 AUD, it’s approximately $9.95 to ship. So it’s an additional $10 (rounded, but close enough) for a $32 brooch? As much as I may like Grease, for $42 USD, this is not worth the money spent.

Be honest: how many times are you really going to wear Kenickie? (Name one person you know who likes Kenickie best. I’ll wait right here.) Is this something you’re really going to get use out of or are you buying into the social media hype and it’ll sadly just sit there on your vanity? Erstwilder has a bunch of other cute brooches you would be much more likely to get use out of wearing, if you truly need a brooch from them. But my answer is none because I will not be purchasing this collection because it’s not the one that I want.

(Side bar: we can all agree Rizzo was the best thing in that movie, right?)


Besame Cosmetics Cashmere Foundation Stick


I love Besame Cosmetics. Out of all the brands currently on the market, Besame is one of my ride-or-dies. It’s the go-to brand for many pinups because of its dedication to authenticity.

The problem with adhering to authenticity in some ways is that when you only create several shades of foundation, there is in no way you are going to be able to represent a wide amount of the population. In addition to the three shades above, there are a few more in its line-up:



But that’s it. There are 8 total shades in this foundation line. 8. In response to client requests for extending the shade range, they add they are a small family business and will be working on expanding the range. There is a chance you may be able to find a match in this line up, but unless you live close to the brand’s stores, there’s no way to test in person to really be sure if you fit in one of the current 8 options.

The product itself is $25 for 0.31 oz making it $80.64 per oz. While this isn’t completely outrageous, there are stick foundations by other brands with significantly larger ranges. For example, the Anastasia Beverly Hills foundation stick line is also $25 for 0.32 oz (~$78.13 per oz) in 29 shades, running a much larger likelihood of being able to find a match. So, not only is it [slightly] cheaper per oz, you’ll also likely be able to find a better match.

But let’s say you test out the Anastasia Beverly Hills formula and don’t find it to your tastes or skin type. There are more foundation brands coming out with foundation sticks, should you feel the need to replicate the Max Factor Pan-Stick experience (but with something that actually is your shade range and likely something you can test). There are plenty at different price points and with a variety of shade ranges that will meet your needs.

I know some people will say, “But I love Besame and I want to support a small, family business!”–that’s well, good, and commendable, even. At the end of the day: Besame is still a business. They still want your hard-earned money. If you are going to give it to them, give it to them after they have expanded their shade range and are willing to make shades that cover more than just 8 skin tones that probably don’t include yours. Reward them when they have done something to earn it, not just because the pretty packaging makes you feel glam as hell and you might be featured on their Instagram page.

I don’t need the foundation stick and I won’t be buying it.


Ben Cooper x Vixen (Micheline Pitt) Collection


I have to be clear on this one: I love Micheline Pitt, her style, her dedication to artistry, and her work ethic is inspiring. Her clothing line is outstanding and very high quality, based on the pieces I have and having owned items from Deadly Dames. It’s clear to me that she poured her heart and soul into this, and she is the one true Queen of Halloween.

Having said this, there are several reasons I won’t be purchasing anything from this collection. The first being: Halloween is once a year. While this is great for that time between summer ending (which I guess starts September 1st when Starbucks pulls a dick move and gets rid of S’mores Frappuccinos–not that I’m bitter or anything) and Halloween, how often are you really going to wear pumpkins or Halloween-themed items throughout the year? Are you really going to wear it often enough or are you only going to wear it for a period of maybe 8 weeks out of the year? If that’s the case, you’re only wearing it for 15% (8 weeks / 52 total weeks of the year) of the year; is it really worth spending the $78-144 on it? (This is not even including shipping!)

Personally: I am not a Halloween stan. I’m not a person who jumps for joy when fall rolls around (gimme back my warm temperatures and S’mores Frappuccinos). Although this is an interesting collaboration and it is executed well, it’s not going to be something I would wear enough to warrant the money spent, and I don’t care enough about Halloween to wear it. If I feel like I need to celebrate Halloween, why not invest in a black skirt or dress? It’s something I’d get much more use from, could wear year round, and therefore, a better use of my money.

That’s it for this first anti-haul. Do you have anything you don’t plan on buying? Or is there a reason you’re buying anything from this list? Feel free to share your thoughts.


Yours ’til Niagara Falls,

Jupiter Gimlet