I had completely forgot about how amazing Pushing Daisies
was is until Sam and I started watching it on Netflix yesterday (it's his first time and while the narrator and general whimsy ground his gears when he watched the pilot, I think he's slowly becoming obsessed). What's even more amazing than the kitschy plot and vibrant candy colors are the characters' wardrobes. I find myself most drawn to Charlotte "Chuck" Charles' character's clothing choices: bubblegum pink dresses, monochromatic outfits, hyperbolic accessories, 50s/60s-inspired looks, and overall über-feminine shapes. Everything she wears just looks so rich and fancy without being over-the-top and costumey. Plus, her look lands her Lee Pace, and who wouldn't want that thick-eyebrowed, long-eyelashed sexpot?
So, how does one get this look without spending a fortune? One word: Etsy. If your budget is a bit higher than mine (my dress maximum tops out at like $30), you'll be rolling in thousands of choices. Simply search 50s or even 60s in the "Dress" subcategory under "Clothing" under "Vintage," and scroll away. Feel free to adjust your price min and max or even sort from lowest to highest price in order to get the best deals. Here are some details to look for:
♥ Bright Colors - The more vibrant the better! Focus on bold blues/aquas, grassy greens, bubblegum pinks, bright sunny yellows/oranges, hot reds, and true purples. Chuck also wears prints and pastels sometimes so really you just need to avoid "dull" colors such as browns, whites, blacks, and beiges (unless they are included in a pattern).
♥ Monochrome - Chuck is very fond of wearing the same color from head to toe but varying it by a couple of shades. This means pairing canary yellows with mustard yellows and baby pinks with melons. Be creative!
♥ Feminine Shapes - Cinched waists, full skirts, hourglass shapes. You want your dress to be tight at the top with an interesting neckline, fit at the waist, and then end in a full skirt (if you can pull off a shift dress [I absolutely cannot] you can also look for that shape). Most Etsy sellers include the dress measurements at the bottom so do your best to choose a dress that matches your bust and waist size almost exactly.
♥ Understated Details - Ornate detailing is also important, but not necessary. If all else fails, get a simple shirt dress (like Chuck's in the bottom right panel). If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, go for items that have some crochet work, beading, lace detail, and even eyelets. Keep it simple though: these details are only accents and should not cover the entire dress.
♥ Eye-Catching Accessories - When you're ready, feel free to search for some accessories to pair with your dress. You want to focus on oblong hats, funky rounded and cat eye sunglasses, basic flats and heels, and flower and bow-adorned headbands/hair ties (the bigger, the better).
If you're not into scouring Etsy, you can check out stores like Asos, Zara, Modcloth, Anthropologie, or Dorothy Perkins (H&M would probably work out too, but they don't have a U.S. website, jerks). If you click on the store names, I have already pre-selected a Lonely Tourist-friendly dress from each site! Also, pants, skirts, shorts, and shirts are not off-limits. Just remember to follow the above rules and you can really make any piece into a Chuck-worthy creation.
And in case you're wondering how I channeled Chuck today (with limited clothing options, mind you), here's a polyvore of what I'm wearing right this very moment:
I know I know, It's not ideal, but I worked with what I had. Do note that the yellow top is a brighter, more pastelly yellow than the photo is letting on. Also note that I am in no way a fashion blogger or fashionista. I can barely dress myself 97% of the time and end up defaulting to a slouchy/over-sized shirt and jeans. Anyway, have fun! And whatever you do, don't touch any pie-makers.