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Guest Blogger- Meet The Strawberry Bombshell

Greetings!  I'm super excited to have The Strawberry Bombshell on the blog as a guest blogger today!  Ever since becoming Instagram friends in 2014 we've bonded over having some twin outfits and being supportive of one another's endeavors in pinup land!  It's also hard not to admire her "all sizes are beautiful attitude" that she's promoted heavily on her IG account and on her tumblr page, even causing Pinup Girl Clothing to promote one of her posts in particular! Without further ado, here is this lovely lady's post!

When Lauren asked me to do a guest post, I was more than happy to oblige. She is a blogger and stylista I admire, and we have supported each other throughout our fledging blogging pursuits. So first and foremost, I’m grateful to be able to contribute to the blog of someone so wonderful and positive! 

One of the topics she’d suggested was writing a bit about your favourite item of clothing. If you’ve followed my few posts, you know that a good number of them have listed why I got into fashion/pinup blogging. I’ve detailed my journey in a number of ways, but I thought it might be interesting to bring it back to where that journey started. After all, it’s important to pay your respects to what inspired you. For me, that piece is the Pinup Couture Masuimi dress. 

In August 2011, I found myself at an interesting crossroads of life: single, unhealthy, unhappy, and on the verge of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. I’d stumbled across Pinup Girl Clothing in the course of online shopping in the spring and was intrigued, but didn’t think much of it until the summer time when I stumbled across it again a few months later. I scoured the site and scoped the company’s social media pages with increasing interest. For a few weeks, I hummed and hawed over spending so much on clothing ($100 for a dress felt like a lot of money for a recent graduate!) 

Normally I would have foregone the expense, but the rave reviews of fans and bloggers won me over. Could a piece of clothing really boost my self esteem and change my life, as they’d claimed? It seemed far-fetched, but I was open to just about anything that would help me feel more confident in my own skin. It was encouraging to see so many women, of all shapes and sizes looking so gorgeous and radiant in their new dresses or swimsuits or separates. They look like me, I thought, and they look spectacular in those skin tight dresses! What is this sorcery?

I decided to make an order. 

After about a week of shifting things into and out of my shopping cart, I decided on the Micheline dress in black with black lace. I hummed and hawed for too long on that - a rookie mistake I was not soon to forget. PUG fans are a ravenous bunch and if they wants, they gets. The dress sold out quick and was not to be restocked for sometime. Crestfallen, I set about picking another. I settled on the Micheline in Tiffany blue with black lace, and the Masuimi dress in black. 

Upon receiving my order, I felt apprehensive when I extracted the dresses from the package. They look so tiny, there’s no way I’ll fit into them! I silently steeled myself and mentally prepared for another teary fitting, like so many that had come before it in mall dressing rooms. To my infinite surprise and great joy, the stretchy bengaline slid up over my thick thighs, curvy hips, and bust. 

I slowly zipped and voila - I’d been transformed. I was a pinup, just like that. 

I’ll never forget that moment. I choked out a laugh and wept happy tears for about ten minutes - just a hot mess in a gorgeous dress. It was the first time I’d felt honest-to-goodness proud of my body, and I am forever grateful for Laura Byrnes and company for it. It was a turning point in my life, and I am still a little verklempt reminiscing about it. 

Masuimi was the first PUG dress I screwed up the courage to wear in public. I’d had some drinks and attended something of a rave night with some friends - and what followed was drunken fuckery the like of which I’ve never achieved since. Being unaccustomed to the shit-kicker stilettos I’d chosen to accompany my bangin’ dress, I slipped and came down face-first on the concrete floor, splitting open my chin. After shuttling me to the hospital, my ever-optimistic friends (bless them) commented that had it been a Halloween, the blood spilling all over my chest and over my bust in that low cut dress would have made for an excellent costume. I had my first stitches in the Masuimi; no doubt I was the best-dressed drunk in the ER. Not my finest moment, admittedly, but she’s battle-worn and I have the scars and hilarious anecdotes to prove it. 

Masuimi has been through a lot with me for the last few years, and she is my go-to if I need to feel like a goddess. When I was in and out of the hospital, she was usually the first dress I’d reach for when I got home to make sure she still fit. She has fit me beautifully at all weights - sometimes with a 30-40 pound difference between fittings. She has earned me many a drink from hopeful, slack-jawed suitors at the bar. She has accompanied me on fancy dinner parties and seen bachelorette party shenanigans. I’ve even fashioned her into a makeshift Dark Side of the Moon dress for a symphony show of Pink Floyd tunes. Sometimes I come home and just try her on and wander around my apartment if I am having a bad day and need to feel better. 

Yes, I am Linus and my Masuimi dress is my security blanket. She will be with me everywhere I go. 

Perhaps the best moment I’ve had yet with my Masuimi dress was with my beau. For our third date, I invited him to a rock show and decided to pull out all the stops. He pulled up to my building and came out to greet me. I was lucky enough to catch his initial expression as he saw me coming down the stairs - his eyebrows shot up and he grinned slowly, from ear to ear. If he wasn’t smitten before, he sure as hell was in that moment. When I finally opened the door, all he had to say was: “wow.”  It was some cliched-movie type stuff, and suddenly it was my life. It wasn’t just the dress he was impressed with: I was finally carrying myself with pride and owning my body and presence in a way I never had previously. I realized that all self-love I’d spent the last few years learning and practicing had paid off. I wear those lessons as comfortably and confidently as I do the dresses. The dresses may help us get there, but they are only the medium to showcase what is beautiful in the first place: our bodies, and ourselves. 

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