Traci Lords in “Cry Baby”(1990)
I admit it. All my life I wanted to be a 1950′s b-movie bad girl, just like Traci Lords in John Waters’ ‘Cry Baby’. But I was always such a shy, goody- goody in school I used to get awards for being the most well-behaved kid at lunch. They called it “The Neater Eater” award. Try living that one down. I couldn’t even make crank calls because I was always afraid the person on the other end would die from shock and then I’d be guilty of murder.
Needless to say, my career as a Traci Lords-style-juvenile-delinquent never really took off. Luckily, through the magic of fashion, I can look like a 1950′s girl-gang member or ‘Cry Baby’ extra on the outside, while on the inside maintaining the level of neurosis of any Woody Allen character you can think of.
The girl-gang-juvenile-delinquent is my basic everyday look and is surprisingly easy, because it revolves around two of my all-time favorite fashion pieces. First, the pencil skirt. Second, capri pants, or as they were called in the movie ‘Cry Baby’, “hysterectomy pants.” Here’s a list of places to go to get your Juvenile-Delinquent-Look fix.
Wheels & Dollbaby
Wheels & Dollbaby is a personal favorite of mine because of their pencil skirt and Cake Ruffle tops. I love their pencil skirt because it is high-waisted, which I think just looks better on a pencil skirt. However, one of the dangers of wearing a lot of pencil skirts (like I do) is that you may start to look like you are wearing the same thing all the time. This is why I love the Wheels & Dollbaby Cake Ruffle top, because it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and different Cake Ruffle tops make the pencil skirt look different each time.
Pinup Girl Clothing
As for capri pants, I love shopping at PinupGirlClothing.com, because their pants have that super tight “hysterectomy pants” look but the material the capris are made of has stretch so you don’t have to give up sitting or laughing. PinupGirl’s clothes are vintage inspired, but in my humble opinion, they are so much better than actual vintage, because lycra and spandex were generally not used in clothing in the 1950′s. So curve-hugging 1950′s clothing could literally leave you gasping for breath. PinupGirl, on the other hand, uses more modern fabrics with stretch, so the clothing fits your curves better while without cutting off any life-sustaining supply of oxygen. In fact, PinupGirl’s in-house brand, Deadly Dames, has a few separates directly inspired by ‘Cry Baby’.
Hot pink capris, inspired by Cry Baby, by Deadly Dames at pinupgirlclothing.com I’m waiting for them to re-stock this item!
Bettie Page Clothing
Another great place to go for retro inspired separates is BettiePageClothing.com. Bettie Page Clothing is a little less dangerous looking than Deadly Dames, but that shouldn’t fool you into thinking that these pieces are too demure for the juvenile delinquent look. In particular, the purple Vixen Skirt has the tapered silhouette that was so popular with those b-movie girls in the 1950′s. Paired with the iconic midriff baring Comfy Blouse in black, and you’ve got a simple, but tough looking girl gang delinquent outfit with an unexpected pop of color.
Vixen Purple skirt by Bettie Page Clothing
But sometimes when I’m just running errands or hanging out, I don’t like wearing such good clothes. So one of my favorite tricks for capri pants is just to get any pants with a high or natural waist, take them to a local alterations place, and have the pants legs tapered with a side vent put in. For pencil skirts, once again look for a high or natural waist, and have the skirt tapered with a back vent put in. After that just add a cute top. Voila! I’ve multiplied my separates exponentially by doing this.
Comfy Balck Top by Bettie Page Clothing
Get Your Clothes Altered
But I cannot stress enough to make sure your pants are made of material with enough stretch. Once, Dee and I were in Vegas and we were running late for a show at The Crazy Horse. As the cab came into driveway of the MGM Grand, Dee opened the car door and pushed me out. As I flew over the bellboys, I heard a fearsome rip and felt a breeze where no one wants to feel a breeze in public. I begged her to let me go back to the hotel and change, but she wouldn’t let me because the show had already begun. I spent the whole night praying I had accumulated enough good karma to keep my pants up. No such luck. Every step I took I heard another thread pop. I had to tie a sweater around my waist 80′s douchebag style. By the time we got back to the hotel, Dee had to hold up one leg of my pants while I held the other. We looked like conjoined twins connected at the seam. All because my pants did not have enough stretch in them.
So remember, the look doesn’t work if your pants are falling off.
Here is my inspiration wall:
- Mamie Van Doren
Tags: 1950'S, b-movie, bad girl, cry baby, hysterectomy pants, juvenile delinquent, traci lords