It’s Not You, It’s Your Pants

I was shopping with a girlfriend a few weeks ago, and just to give you a little background: this is one of the coolest girls in the world. Beautiful, smart, hilarious, and always makes everyone feel like the most important/interesting person in the room. So you can imagine my heartbreak when I heard those discouraged words come out of the dressing room: “I’m too fat for these clothes.”

"Does this mirror make me look fat?"

“Does this mirror make me look fat?”

“No you’re not,” I replied. “The clothes are too small.” I wish I could have thought of something more clever, or reassuring, or somehow made her feel better. Even more, I wish I hadn’t said the same thing about myself hundreds of thousands of times in dressing rooms before that one.

dressing room hell

I’m betting you’ve said it too at some point in your life, or some variation on it. I guarantee every woman has said some variation on this. I’m too short, I’m too tall, too fat, too thin, my butt is too big, my boobs are too small, yadda yadda yadda. In some way, YOU do not measure up to the standards set by this $30 dress and it is all your fault.

"The Snobbish is a bit large, do you have anything in Confident?"

“The Snobbish is a bit large, do you have anything in Confident?”

It’s pretty rare to hear a comment like this out of a man. If they try on a shirt that doesn’t fit, they say “This shirt doesn’t fit” and they put it back and try on another one. No therapy needed.

"...and when I was too fat for the Large t-shirt, I just knew no one would ever love me."

“…and when I was too fat for the Large, I realized no one would ever love me.”

If you’ve read any of my other rants, you know that I’m no Skinny Minnie. I’ve walked the line between the women’s dept and plus size my whole life. Even when I was a junior, I wasn’t built like one – I think I had round hips before I even had hair. I suffered through the boxy-sweater era and the boyfriend-jeans trend, none of which suited my physique. Did I buck the trends and wear what looked good on me? Of course not, I blamed my body. I can’t count the number of times that I burst into tears in a dressing room because “I didn’t fit” into the clothes.

My first mistake was covering my own eyes instead of the audience's.

My first mistake was covering my own eyes instead of the audience’s.

No. This is wrong. Self-effacement has gone too far. My body is fine just the way it is. There are plenty of clothes that look great on me. There are also plenty that don’t, and that’s fine. Lots of people aren’t shaped like me and they need clothes too. Plus, I would need several secret high-limit credit cards if I looked great in everything I tried on. But I can’t say I’m not discouraged when a really cute dress looks terrible on me, or worse: won’t even zip all the way up.

Try as she might, Bertha could not find a top that fit.

Try as she might, Bertha could not find a top that fit.

Think of how awful you’d feel if your best friend saw you in the dressing room and said “Ugh, you are WAY too fat for that dress.” Or if she said “Your boobs are too small” or “your ass is huge, you’ll never be able to zip that thing.” Yet we say these things to our own reflection over and over and over. Why??? If your best friend was trying on a dress that didn’t fit, you’d say “Let me go get the right size for you” or “That dress sucks, you’re too good for it.” You’d never blame her for the poor fit of cheap clothing, but you blame yourself all day long. It has to stop.

"Hey, pants! J'ACCUSE!"

“Hey, pants! J’ACCUSE!”

The day after that shopping trip, I spotted a cute dress online that I wanted, but I read the measurements I realized it would not fit me. I immediately responded “Oh bummer, my waist is too fat :-(” Less than 24 hours after being sad to hear my friend berating her body, my reflex was still to say the exact same thing about myself.

“I mean,” I corrected. “The dress is too small. My waist is just as it should be.”

Stay pretty, my friends –


Planet Pinup

Snood Wearing Made Simple!

It has definitely been a while since I made a video for you, so today I made TWO!

Over the past year, I’ve seen all kinds of pretty ladies wearing snoods on all kinds of hair.  From super-long, curly hair to super-short wispy hair, from elementary school girls to grandmothers, and everything in between – it’s amazing how many ladies look adorable in a snood!

To answer one question I get all the time: No, I did not make up the word “snood.”  This hair accessory dates back centuries; women have always needed a convenient yet beautiful way to keep their hair neat and tidy, and Goody Ouchless Elastics were hard to come by back in the 1500’s.

You must tell me where you got that glorious SNOOD!

You must tell me where you got that glorious SNOOD!

The snood enjoyed a huge surge in popularity in the 1940’s, when lots of women went to work in factories and everyone wanted to look like Scarlett O’Hara, who famously wore an incredible snood in Gone With the Wind. Ladies used them for fun, fashion, and function: they came in different colors and styles and they all kept your pretty hair out of the 3-ton metal stamper.

For the hundredth time Betty, lefty loosy and righty tighty!

For the hundredth time Betty! Righty tighty, lefty loosy!

Cut to 2013, and the 1940’s/50’s/60’s style is becoming more and more popular.  Some of my Planet Pinup fans love to create the perfect retro ensemble, with a coordinated snood to complete their look.  Others prefer the modern look, but are tired of ponytails and want to hold their hair back in a more stylish way. And still others just want to keep their hair fashionably hidden while they wait out a bad dye job or a too-busy-to-shower week.

Of course the snood looked better, but the fedora keeps my head warm.

Of course the snood looked better, but the fedora keeps my head warm.

So now that you’re fully convinced that snoods are awesome and you must have one (from Planet Pinup, of course), how in the heck do I get that thing to stay on your head?  While I’ve had a few customers that are Snood Experts and much better at putting them on than I am, most ladies need a little help.  And while I can’t personally come to your house and snood-style your hair, I am here to help!  There are two basic methods of attachment: Super Duper Easy, and Slightly More Complicated But Still Pretty Easy.

Which snood method is right for me?

Which snood method is right for me?

Let’s ease into it with the super simple Shower Cap Method (a.k.a. The Bad Hair Day).  This works best if your bangs are not elaborately styled, or are styled in a way that you feel comfortable messing up before nudging them back into place.  If the front of your hair involves a lot of hairspray, styling gel and bobby pins, please feel free to skip this video and move directly to the next one.

Clearly, if you have worked very hard to style the front of your hair into perfect Victory Rolls or Bettie Bangs, you’re not going to smash any hair accessory over them no matter how adorable or fine-handmade-quality it may be. This next method is really not much more complicated, and if you’ve mastered Victory Rolls, this will be easier (and prettier) than falling off a log. If you’re more like me and your biggest hair achievement thus far is “curling your bangs,” you can still master this. Believe me: until last year my only comb was my fingers, so if I can do this, you can do this.  As proof that I can indeed do this, I humbly present: The Bobby Pin Method.

Questions? Leave a comment, drop me a note, or stop by the Planet Pinup shop and tell me which snood is giving you problems.  Or perhaps, score yourself a unique custom snood to match your favorite outfit – I have lots of yarn in lots of colors, so send me your requests!  And I will always be here if you need extra advice and tips to help achieve the look you want.

Stay pretty, my friends!



“Do or do not do. There is no try.”

Probably true in Jedi circles; I never applied to Jedi school and probably would not get in if I did. But in my book, trying is everything. Nobody is really expecting perfection; the best we can do in any situation is to simply give it a try.

Three words: Ear Hair Trimmer

Three words: Ear Hair Trimmer

Yesterday I wrote an article about some of my personal fashion pet peeves, and they all have the same bottom line: it upsets me when people don’t try. I’m not talking about spending hours on hair & makeup to prepare for a trip to Target, I know you’re busy and I suspect you don’t give much of a rat’s ass what I think anyway. However, I do think it’s good for the soul to put some thought into how you present yourself to the world. I want you to give a rat’s ass what YOU think.

"I know all about art. I just don't know what I like."

“I know all about art. I just don’t know what I like.”

And I don’t mean spending lots of money, following the latest trends, emulating your favorite icon, or dressing for the job you want vs the job you have – UNLESS these are things that make you happy. What I’m really talking about is dusting off that old freak flag and flying it high.

Don't forget to use the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall...thoughtfully.

Don’t forget to use the Lord & Taylor Accessory Wall…thoughtfully.

I personally spent the decades between ages 13 and 39 trying to figure out what kind of clothes would best represent me and look halfway decent on my figure. I did a neon 80’s phase, a preppy phase, a goth phase, a dressy phase, a punky phase, a business phase…I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing. My inability to either fit in or stand out continued into adulthood. I wore pink vinyl go-go boots with boxy sweaters & frumpy homemade skirts, long shapeless knit maxi-dresses with sequined flip-flops…to the OFFICE. I’m surprised they didn’t drug-test me.

If only I'd had the confidence to rock it with attitude.

If only I’d had the confidence to rock it     with attitude.

The thing was, I thought about fashion all the time, I just didn’t know what to do about it. I’ve always walked the size line between “Misses” and “Plus” so my options always felt limited. So, I bought whatever fit, regardless of style, and the result was either hopelessly boring or borderline mental patient.

You bore me, baby.

I’m bored, baby.

But at least I was trying. I tried and tried and tried until one day, I stumbled upon a look that worked for me. I was too nervous to fully embrace it at first, but eventually became comfortable enough to lean into it and embrace my newfound personal style. Then I began looking around, to see how other people embrace or ignore their personal style. It’s actually pretty fascinating to see not just how people want the world to perceive them, but how they perceive themselves.

Lord have mercy, I am fabulous!

Lord have mercy, I am fabulous!

I may have sounded a little negative yesterday, but the truth is that all kinds of fashions make me happy. In my hometown, there are a lot of very stylish people who dress on-trend, having lunch with artists who can make a fabulous ensemble out of thrift store finds. We have men who dress like women, women who dress like construction workers, people who dress for nightclubs on a weekday morning and people who go to nightclubs looking like they’re about to clean the garage. Folks here know a little bit about flying their freak flag, but it doesn’t always have to be so extreme. If a tailored, designer suit makes you happy, then maybe your freak flag is subtle and tasteful. My personal flag has polka dots and red lipstick and hair flowers. What makes YOU happy??

I said, polka dots make me HAPPY, dammit!!

I said, polka dots make me HAPPY, dammit!!

Think about how little kids would dress, when left to their own devices. Would you ever see a 6-year-old girl opt throw on an old pair of jeans and a faded sweatshirt? I don’t know that many kids, maybe they would. But my perception is that dressing wild and crazy is fun. They don’t know a lot about New York Fashion Week, they just know what makes them happy.

Cape NOT optional.

Cape NOT optional.

My objection to “the lazy look” is that it just isn’t making anybody happy, especially yourself. If you don’t already do this on a regular basis, give in to your inner child sometime and see how it makes you feel. Wear lime-colored tights and a pink tutu with a leather biker jacket and saddle shoes. Or wear a designer suit if that’s how you feel inside. Copy the latest “Who Wore It Best” ensemble from a gossip mag, or wear rubber boots & a prom dress. Just put some thought into how you’re addressing the world with your appearance. Wrap yourself in your freak flag and rock it like you mean it. It might not turn out the way you wanted at first, but all that matters is that you gave it a shot. Will people stare? Maybe. Most of them are just wishing they had the guts to have a little fun with their own clothes.

Feeling nervous about your style? Try "beer" for instant confidence!

Feeling nervous about your style? Try “beer” for instant confidence!

And don’t tell me how hard it is to find cute clothes because you’re not a certain dress size. I KNOW this one, very very well. I’ve never been small and there are still fashions I covet that simply aren’t available in my size. It takes more work to find flattering clothes that fit me, it really does. But it’s worth it. Is it more “comfortable” to just wear soft yoga pants and baggy tops when I leave the house? No, it’s lazy. It’s comfortable to feel good inside, knowing that I look sharp and feel happy, knowing that I could still turn heads and have strangers ask me where I shop. That makes me feel good. Feeling good about yourself is more comfortable than feeling bad. Don’t take my word for it. TRY IT!

Stay pretty, my friends.



Yes, We’re Judging You

Dressing to impress” might be a pretty out-of-date phrase, other than maybe for job interviews or blind dates. But think about the word “impress” – it means to create an impression, yes? And no matter how you decide to present yourself to the world, you are creating an impression. Even if you downplay everything and try to look invisible, that tells the world “I’m trying to look invisible.” You actually are not invisible…unless you are, in which case I hope you’re using that superpower to do something more subversive than shop for groceries.

Not pictured: invisible woman

Not pictured: invisible woman

Lots of people are judging you based on your appearance, and most of them won’t admit it. I’m not only admitting it, I’m here to offer you a handy reference list so you will no longer have to guess! Views expressed here are my own and may not reflect the views of WordPress or society at large, although they probably should.

Powdered wigs are sooo 1813.

Powdered wigs are soooo 1813.

The bad, the borderline, and the truly unacceptable:

1)   Stained, baggy, “comfortable” sweats or jeans: Like it or not, this always says “I don’t care.” And sometimes, it’s okay not to care! You’re sick, your kids are sick, your dog is sick, you’re in the middle of a move or a divorce or a major landscaping project. Shit happens, and you sincerely do not care – the errands aren’t going to run themselves, even in the middle of a crisis or a project. As long as it’s only for emergencies, you get a pass on this one.

Yes ,I do need cough drops, and no, I don't care what you think.

Yes, I do need cough drops, and no, I don’t care what you think.

2)   CHRONIC stained, baggy, “comfortable” sweats or jeans: When this becomes a habit, it makes me sad. It makes you sad too. I know you’re about more than your clothes, but do you really feel excited about life in that ensemble? Confident? Dynamic? Sexy? Cute? If you said “yes,” would you feel the same way if you ran into your high school sweetheart? Your boss? A TV news crew? That smug neighbor who does everything with Martha-Stewart-level perfection?

What do YOU wear to scrub toilets? Hmmmm?

What do YOU wear to scrub toilets? Hmmmm?

3)   Workout gear: Again, this is based on the situation. If you need to pick up some vitamin water or vegan cupcakes or a case of beer on the way home from spinning class, I understand. You don’t have to go home and change into shopping clothes first. But if you’re purposely gearing up in Lululemon to meet friends for lunch without going anywhere near a yoga studio, I object. Yes, it’s comfortable. No, it’s not fashion.

Sometimes a girl just needs to stretch in aisle 7.

Sometimes a girl just needs to stretch in aisle 7.

4)   Stretchy leggings & a big shirt: This also makes me sad. It tells me that you think you’re fat and nothing fits you properly, so you might as well be comfortable. I don’t care how big you are, it’s not true. There are clothes out there in all kinds of styles that fit all kinds of sizes. Sassy tights with a stylish tunic and boots, is one thing – stretchy pants with sneakers and a big shirt just says “I give up.” Don’t give up. You’re better than that.

Major Design Flaw: no pockets

Design Flaw:         no pockets

5)   Pajamas in public: the only way to excuse this lack of self-respect is if a) you are en route to the emergency room or b) you are under age 4. I know you think you look super cute in your Nick & Nora flannel pants and that you are telling all the other shoppers that you’re just too cool to care about putting clothes on. You don’t, and you’re not. Grow up. Put some clothes on.

Don't you look adorably devil-may-care?

Don’t you look adorably devil-may-care?

6)   Too tight, too short, too high: Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dressing sexy when the situation calls for it. Date night, looking-for-a-date night, Girls Night Out, Lunch with Ryan Gosling, whenever you need to look hot. It’s the “too” part that equals trouble: if you’re tugging at your hemline, adjusting your bra strap, and limping in your 6” stilettos, that is Not Hot. It doesn’t fit and you don’t feel good. Size up in the dress and inch down in the shoe; I promise you’ll still be sexy. MORE sexy, in fact, because you’ll be dazzling the room with your confident smile instead of worrying about whether your Tuesday panties are showing on a Friday night.

When choosing a fabric for your evening gown, remember that a hand towel may be more practical than a washcloth.

When choosing a fabric for your evening gown, remember that a hand towel may be more practical than a washcloth.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a very judgmental person and I hate every outfit I’ve ever seen. You’re only half right – I’ve seen LOTS of outfits that I don’t hate, in fact many of them positively tickle me silly! But I’m out of time and space for today, so you’ll just have to wait for my next post. I promise not to make you wait too long, and I promise you have probably already made my “Fashion Do’s” list. Here’s a hint: Yoda was wrong, there IS a try…

And as always, bonus points for accessorizing ANY ensemble with Planet Pinup hair accessories 😉

Stay pretty, my friends.

love, Jean

Creativity: A Tribute


Sandy Hoagland got a D in Sewing.

D in Sewing

She was Sandy Richards then, an average student in the early 1960’s at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan. Like most speedbumps that she would encounter in life, the poor grade left her completely undaunted. She might not have known it consciously, but was always confident that tenacity and creativity would get her much further in life than technical skill.

After high school, she sprinted through college – finishing a four-year Bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in only two & a half years. This was due mostly to her extreme hurry to marry Eric Hoagland immediately after graduation, and if you’ve ever met him, you know why. His quick wit, quiet intelligence, and even-tempered patience were the perfect balance to her wild ideas and sense of adventure. With his support, their lives would be full of fun and excitement, and just the right dose of reality to keep them out of bankruptcy court, or jail.

Eric & Sandy Hoagland, circa 1968

Eric & Sandy Hoagland, circa 1968

They married in 1968, and in 1971 gave birth to a daughter, Jeannie (spoiler alert: that’s me). That D in Sewing became an ironic anecdote as Sandy created endless outfits for her little girl, often making the same dress for herself so they could match on family outings. At age 4, I found such fashion coordination to be absolutely delightful.

Matching and quite happy about it

Matching and quite happy about it

In the hopes of creating the same positive relationship Sandy enjoyed with her own brother Kent, five years her junior, she & Eric waited just over six years to expand their family again with a little boy, Clint. Because little boys are not nearly as tickled by homemade matching outfits, Sandy decided to learn how to make clothes for dolls.

The first porcelain doll she ever made was a gift for her daughter, whose favorite character in the book Little Women was the tomboy Jo. Jo was part of a complete Little Women doll kit, so Sandy made the rest of the set and gave the remaining dolls to nieces and daughters of friends. With that project completed, she now knew how to make doll clothes and the ideas were coming fast and furious. To keep the ever-growing collection of handmade porcelain dolls from taking over the whole neighborhood, Sandy’s best friend Genny offered to try selling them at local high-end boutiques, and Heirloom Dolls was born. The dolls were gorgeous, incredibly detailed, and highly collectible; you can still occasionally find them for sale on Ebay.

Current listing for a Texas collectibles shop

Current listing for a Texas collectibles shop

After a few years, fancy little dresses started to feel stagnant and Sandy wanted to make lots of other things – grapevine wreaths, quilts, pillows, rag dolls, and anything else that popped into her creative mind. So, Sandy and Genny used their doll money (and a generous bank loan) to open up a little strip mall store in Troy, Michigan: Heart’s Treasures offered all kinds of handmade country décor, gifts, stuffed animals, and of course, dolls. Her now-teenage daughter and a few other responsible young ladies worked at the store, learning how to provide excellent customer service, to use every spare moment to be creative and productive, and how to count out change manually without a cash register to tell you the correct amount.

Holidays at Heart's Treasures

Holidays at Heart’s Treasures

After a few more years, the excitement of running a store gave way to a yearning for a new life out in the country. Sandy wanted to get away from the crowds and the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” and find an old farmhouse with lots of acreage, where she could have trees and deer for neighbors and her beloved dogs could have room to run and play.

Big dogs, big yard, big love

Big dogs, big yard, big love

Her creativity found the next big challenge in a dilapidated, hundred-year-old farmhouse on the perfect piece of land: 50 acres of rolling hills and mature trees, just over an hour’s drive from her family and friends back in Troy. Over the next 15 years, she turned the crappy old eyesore into an adorable, cozy home full of whimsy and cheer – a life-size photo of a cow leading into the bathroom and a toy train circling the living room ceiling were just the tip of the iceberg, the place was hilariously fun. She and Eric raised pigs, chickens, geese, turkeys, and endless vegetables in the garden. They proudly saw both of their children enter into their own happy marriages, while still remaining close as a family. Sandy joined a meditation group, which eventually led to becoming an ordained minister and leader of the Metaphysical Church of Davison, where she helped and inspired more people than she had ever dreamed possible. She rescued as many dogs as she could, giving them a dog fantasy life full of biscuits, hugs, running through the forest and snuggling on the couch. After having overcome a horrible auto accident in the early 1980’s, she now had to beat cancer, heal a shattered elbow, and eventually fall into a long-term battle with congestive heart failure.

The old Farmhouse, decked out for Christmas

The old Farmhouse, decked out for Christmas

When the old farmhouse could no longer contain her massive creativity, she and Eric made plans to build their dream house. It would be on the same piece of land, tucked deep into the woods at the end of a winding, overgrown, borderline terrifying half-mile of dirt driveway. It would have a glorious great room with oak walls & floors, endless windows, and a warm fireplace made from hand-picked stones and topped with backlit stained glass. It would have secret passageways, a claw-foot tub, and a huge wraparound porch – everything they had ever dreamed of since childhood. As it was nearly completed, Sandy encountered yet another speedbump in the form of a massive stroke. True to form, she stubbornly refused to let it slow her down despite the damage to her brain’s speech center. She clawed her way back from this new health setback and kept going. A year or two later, you would never have known it happened if you didn’t notice that she couldn’t recall many words when she was tired.

It has walls now, but it's still a secret!

It has walls now, but it’s still a secret!

Months after the stroke, my husband Bob and I moved back into the old farmhouse, still on the same piece of land. I was able to join Sandy and Eric on their regular visits to Lapeer for lunch and shopping, sometimes for clothes or groceries but often for nothing in particular. Over the years, I developed my own love of sewing and crafts, so we shared ideas, supplies, and cooperated on projects like making dozens of blankets for Project Linus. Sandy loved nothing more than a good celebration, so we continued with birthday cakes and balloons and epic Christmases, complete with seven decorated trees and mountains of presents, well into my late 30’s. For my 35th Christmas, she directed my dad to build me a custom Barbie house and decorated every room with battery operated furniture – glowing fireplace, flushing toilet and running water in the little Barbie bathtub. No, I don’t have kids. I just like Barbies, and she knew it.

2011's Christmas Barbie, complete with bikini AND roller skates.

2011’s Christmas Barbie, complete with bikini AND roller skates.

Even after Bob & I moved back to the Detroit suburbs, I still saw my mom nearly every week. We lunched, shopped, and best of all, saw every horror movie ever released, right from the front row of the Lapeer Cinema with a huge bucket of fresh buttered popcorn to share. I was so proud to have finally started my own crafting business, Planet Pinup, and ran to her constantly for both advice and applause. She was particularly thrilled by the popularity of my snoods, and on most visits I would be greeted by a new bag of yarn she had found on sale and wanted to see how it would look in snood form.

Mom's favorite snood, from yarn she picked out. I made a custom one just for her.

Mom’s favorite snood, from yarn she selected. I made a custom one just for her.

At 1:45am on my 41st birthday, my cellphone rang and just for a moment in my sleepy haze, I thought my crazy, festive mother was calling early to sing Happy Birthday. Instead, it was my dad, calling to say that Mom was having a heart attack. Bob drove me to the hospital faster than I thought our little car could go, but it was already too late. On November 9th, 2012, the world lost an incredibly positive, creative, generous force; a being that overflowed with energy and joy in the face of seemingly endless health setbacks had finally lost the fight. Her light burned so brightly that I don’t know if our eyes will ever quite adjust to the darkness she left behind.

Mom & Me, circa 2010

Mom & Me, circa 2010

I am what my mother made me, good and bad, and will carry on, yet never be quite the same without her. Planet Pinup won’t be the same without her advice, guidance, and especially her cheerleading. With a brand new year right around the corner, I hope to keep it growing and evolving into something that would have made her proud. I’m sure it will involve lots of snoods.

Headbands + Wigs = Awesome

Halloween is right around the corner – do you have your costume picked out? Does your costume include…A WIG? Wigs can completely change your whole look, and are a lot of fun to wear year-round. I’m fairly new to it, so my good friend (and dazzling fashionista) Tess tipped me off to a little known secret of the wig world: headbands!

No shoving, there are plenty of headbands for everyone.

For a halfway decent wig, you’ll want to step out of the temporary Halloween store and into an actual wig shop. I’ve had good luck online at Jenny’s Hair Sense, and locally at Lee Beauty Supply (Detroit area, also available online). Expect to spend around $40-50. If you cheap out, you might end up looking like this:

All the headbands in the world won’t fix this $10 Halloween wig.

One of the problems with synthetic wigs is that the color is sometimes a bit too shiny and a bit too monotone, unlike natural hair. Also, if the hair isn’t thickly woven, the skullcap might be visible at some angles. And, even with lots of bobby pins, I always feel like my wig might slip or move around, so I keep my head unnaturally still while I’m wearing one – this may not be a universal issue, just my own paranoia. Adding a headband will:

  • break up the flat color
  • cover any thin areas
  • keep your wig securely in place
  • and, add options for a variety of looks!


Another common issue with wigs, particularly those without bangs, is that they sit too low on the forehead, which looks unnatural even on those with larger foreheads. Lifelong fashion icon (and good friend) Live Wire Lizzy showed me this crazy little trick: add a headband UNDER the hairline! Suddenly you can slide the wig back to a more natural-looking location, plus the obvious line between wig and forehead is GONE – so simple, yet so genius!


So, how do you get your wig to hold still long enough to position a headband over it? Here, I’ll show you:

The bottom line? On Halloween or all year-round, wigs are a fun way to change your look and absolutely anybody can do it. And clearly, a headband will make your wig-wearing adventures even cuter and much more fun! For a superb assortment of really great headbands and hair ties, check out my shop, Planet Pinup – enter the code “AWESOMEBLOG” before checkout to save 10% on your entire purchase!

Stay pretty, my friends.

love, Jean

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

When my little shop, Planet Pinup, is open at a public show or artist’s market, I like to post little signs around my hair tie displays saying “Long Hair Ties: for hair, belt, scarf, or bondage.” This blog will NOT be offering a tutorial on at least one of those options. What you do in your own home is your business, and I don’t want to see pictures.

Bondage: not pictured.

However, if you simply want to wear a lovely, long, handmade, and totally affordable hair tie in your hair, I’m here to help! Hair ties fit all size heads, and can disguise all manner of bad hair days: dirty hair days, windy hair days, curling or flat iron failure days, and most especially, I-really-need-to-dye-my-roots days. You can fashion your hair tie into a headband, a big bow, a tiny bow, long pony tails, and a variety of other shapes if you are creative (“snake” and “eel” are all I have mastered so far). I was going to write out concise instructions on how to create each look, but I thought it would be so much easier if I just explained it out loud. So grab your favorite hair tie, a couple of bobby pins, and a glass of wine, and enjoy!

At Planet Pinup, all hair ties are only $5! They range in length from 35″ up to nearly 50″, and whenever possible they are upcycled from vintage & thrift garments that could no longer be worn. Visit my shop at for the current listings, or drop me a note if you have a specific color request!

Stay pretty, my friends –


I Love My Snood, but Hate My Snood Closure

If you’re not yet hip to the snood, get ready – this classic look is picking up steam, and fast. Women started wearing them in the 1920’s, when shorter hair started becoming more popular and long hair needed to be contained if it didn’t want to look soooo 1917. Then when Gone With the Wind debuted in 1939, everyone saw how gorgeous a snood looked on the beautiful Scarlett O’Hara, and BAM, everybody wanted one!

Pulling the hair up reveals the coveted “wasp waist” and “giraffe neck.”

Then when so many men went off to fight World War II, the women got jobs in the factories, where snoods became a fashionable way to keep one’s luxurious hair from falling into a non-luxurious machine press. Back then, a lot of women made their own snoods out of netting, or crocheted them in their spare time. Nobody had the internet, so spare time was a thing.

Fashion, meet function.

Now here we are in 2012, and snoods are making a huge comeback! Fashion-minded ladies from ages 6 to 60 are keeping their hair tidy and pretty in brand new snoods. Snoods come in all colors and styles, from mass-produced netting to hand-crocheted snoods made from vintage yarn (which coincidentally, you can buy at my store: Planet Pinup). Some snoods close with a bit of light elastic, and some close with a matching drawstring, and some ladies strongly prefer one way or the other. So what do you do if your favorite snood does not close your favorite way? I AM HERE TO HELP! Here are two videos to show you how to get your DIY on and customize your snood for your personal preference.

First up: if your snood contains elastic and you’d prefer a drawstring.

And going back the other way: if your snood contains a drawstring and you’d prefer elastic.

And there you go! Have any questions? Want a snood of your own in a very special color or style? Leave a message in the comments and I will see what I can do!

Stay stylish, my friends –

love, Jean

Planet Pinup

Who? What? Where? WEN??

Okay, I’ve been real busy this week, but I don’t want you to forget about me. I also want to introduce you to a really fantastic blog about makeup, skincare and all things beautiful called Here’s to Beauty! And I’m not just saying that because the blogger is super cool, funny, gorgeous, and pays me.

Here’s looking at you, beauty.

But don’t worry – I’m not trying to ditch you like a boring party guest so I can go hang around the keg! I know you miss me. So here’s some good news. I wrote a couple of guest blogs on that very site! If you always wanted to know more about the Wen hair care system that’s always on the late-night infomercials (they are hypnotic, admit it), I’m about to make your day.

Well? Do you?

First, I’ll take you on a journey: one vain blogger’s sojourn from drunken infomercial-watcher to luxurious hair-haver. Our focus group suggested that we call that post “Wen Part One” (just click the underlined words, isn’t the internet magical?).


Then, just like an MTV True Life Story: the bottom dropped out. I had some hormonal issues, and then some surgery, and a few weeks later, my hair started drying up and breaking off. To paraphrase the classical philosopher Wally Cleaver, I looked like Wilson’s Airedale when he had the mange. Want to know more? Click here to read “Wen Part Two.”

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, Whitey.

So there you go, some really valuable opinions from me, so you can start your weekend off right. Happy now? I’m going on break.

Don’t forget to shop early and shop often at Planet Pinup. But only if you want to be the envy of all your friends.

Great Headbands Throughout History

As I was stitching together a new batch of headbands for Planet Pinup, I began to wonder: who invented the headband? When did it come into vogue? Who are some icons that made headbands so popular? Then I decided, rather than do a bunch of tedious research, to google some photos of Mary Tyler Moore. Turns out, Mary Tyler Moore didn’t actually wear a headband. I don’t know why I thought she did.

You mean that’s just hairspray?!?

Clearly that line of thinking was getting me nowhere, so I needed to go back much, much further in time, way back to when the first caveman looked at the first cavewoman and noticed her hair was in her eyes, and helpfully handed her a strip of fur he had ripped off a recently killed saber-toothed tiger. To which she said “Eeewwww, this is all bloody!” and they realized that they needed to come up with more sanitary manufacturing methods if this thing was ever going to take off.

You’ve come a long way, cavey.

In the 1940’s, the men went off to war and the women went to work in the factories. Rosie the Riveter set a good example by using a bandana to keep her hair from falling into a mechanical press and becoming part of a B-52 bomber.

Touch-a my bandana,
I punch-a you face.

It wouldn’t be long before pin-up icon Bettie Page was spotted wearing smaller, more feminine headbands, and she looked shockingly frumpy and unattractive! Just kidding, Bettie couldn’t have looked ugly if she tried.

Naughty or nice? Bettie sure was versatile.
And flexible.

A few years later, or possibly a decade (anybody want to look this up? I’m busy), the gorgeous French model/actress Brigitte Bardot kicked things up a notch by sporting a super-wide headband on her pretty French head. Of course she looked amazing, because she would look amazing with a nest of maggots in her hair, and then every young model would run out and pick up some hair maggots in the hopes that people would mistake her for Brigitte Bardot.

For Bardot, it’s all about the girth.

Then in the fake 1960’s, fashionable cast members of the incredibly awesome show Mad Men wore a lot of super cute headbands, just as fashionable cast members did in the real 1960’s. In keeping with the awesomeness of this awesome show, they looked awesome.

Are you a Peggy or a Betty?

The fake 1960’s (or possibly 1950’s – seriously a research assistant would be great) also brought us Grease, along with it’s far superior sequel: Grease 2. Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy Olson wore a headband and inspired John Travolta to change his whole outfit in order to win her love. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Stephanie Zinoni did NOT wear a headband, and her dark roots looked just terrible.

Has a Headband vs Needs a Headband

As I may have mentioned, I was stunned to learn that Mary Tyler Moore didn’t wear a headband. Not on the Dick Van Dyke Show and not on the Mary Tyler Moore show, leaving me with no option for a 1970’s photo other than this:

Notice me! Notice meeeeeee!

In the 1980’s, Lisa Bonet’s Denise Huxtable broke all the rules: posed nude in a semi-creepy movie, pissed off Bill Cosby, and wore headbands every which way but loose. She went on to inspire young co-star Raven-Symone to also buck the Hollywood system by being famous and talented despite not being a size 0.

If only she had used one of those headbands to cover her lady parts, Bill Cosby might still be her friend.

Fast forward to present day (**hopes you won’t notice that Mad Men is technically present day**), and everywhere you look there’s another talented young fashionista like Reese Witherspoon, Sienna Miller, Zooey Deschanel and Mary-Kate Olsen being photographed wearing headbands of all shapes and sizes. See? Headbands rock.

If only she had more heads, she could wear more headbands.

So as I had started to tell you, I was working on a new batch of really great headbands when I decided it would be way more unproductive to look up a bunch of photos of headbands on the internet. My point is, if you want to be super cool, you can buy yourself some handmade headbands, hair ties, or hair flowers at my store, Planet Pinup, by clicking on the pretty blue letters.

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