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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Magnolia Blvd AND Then some ..... A Ruby's Musings on Tour Post

Last week I shared with you my experience of having my very first pin up photo shoot with Dream Out Loud Photography, and shared a little video slide show over on my You Tube channel.  The day did not end there! Once we made the very long drive for a short distance from Anaheim back to Burbank, it was time for this girl to go on the shopping trip of her retro/pin up dreams! It was time to visit Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. Located a short distance from the Safari Inn is a several block and really much more if you include the mall area at one end, of retro/vintage/pin up heaven. Many of the top shopped web site/ stores of retro gals are right there very close to each other. Unique Vintage, What Katie Did, Pin Up Girl Clothing, Besame Cosmetics, Audrey K and in the local mall, Sidecca.... I got to shop at them all!! Hubby had been saving up for some time it would seem to treat me to a very special (mind blowing) shopping trip and I took full advantage. My first stop was Unique Vintage. 

Located at 2013 West Magnolia, Unique Vintage is just that in the pin up world, as it carries fashion ranging from designs based on the 1920s through the 1950s , and everything you possibly would need to complete an outfit from head to toe. If you follow me on Instagram I did a little review/write up.  I was very pleased with the selection of clothing, many of the top brands including Bernie Dexter, like the dress that I am wearing in my shopping photos, and as mentioned their own house brand clothing lines. From floral to novelty, plaid to solids, it is all there. Tops, sweaters, skirts, pants, dresses and more. The prices are about what you would expect for the quality they carry, but good clothing is an investment  Their customer service was top notch . It was very hard for me to decide what to buy, so much to choose from and it being the fist stop, I wanted to budget myself. I had a few items on a list I was looking for and it came down to two or three items, but with a little input from my hubby and the sales girl that was working there, I was able to narrow it down and finally landed on a beautiful dress, which happened to be a UV design ... and I think I made the right choice and I can not wait until I can share it fully in a dedicated blog post in the future.  If you can not make it to their shop, you can visit their web site and sign up for their newsletter as well. 

This seemed the theme of the can indeed
be exhausting LOL 

This pretty little number is a Unique
Vintage house design. Stay tuned to a
future blog where I share this pretty.

Can you guess what is in this bag? 

The next stop was to Audrey K. Located at 3414 W. Magnolia, a tiny hole in the wall shop exists and on this particular day the owner, Audrey K herself was behind the counter. A slender red head with a pixie hair cut, dressed in a most adorable drop waist sailor dress greeted me with a warm smile and offered to help me personally. I had my eye once again on several items, but landed on three dresses that Audrey thought might work for me perfectly and set me up in a dressing room, but all it took was trying on an Audrey K original and limited design dress in a beautiful pink plaid design. The first size was too big on me, even though it was my normal size that I wear, but I was in love with it and was going to purchase it and have it altered once I was home, but Audrey asked me to try the next size down, a size I have not been in years...asking me to trust her, I did just that and I tried it on and well to my delight it fit!! I explained to Audrey who I was, and what my trip was and asked her if we might film a little interview, and thus my first one I shared over on the FB page belonging to Pin Up the Movie as well as my own... and will be attached to this weeks YouTube episode. Audrey K carries as mentioned her own designs in limited numbers, as well as more common brands found at many similar shops. I could bore you with the list of brands, but if you are interested in top notch clothing and accessories and customer service, either pop in to their store or , you can go to their website just as you can to any of the stores that I am sharing with you. 

One of my choices ...but not the final purchase... it was close tho!

Audrey K and myself discussing fit of this AK original. 

I left a happy customer and know I will be shopping with Audrey K
online in the future too! 

Just a short walk down the block sits What Katie Did. Situated at 3420 W. Magnolia, this tiny shop houses a U.K brand that many pin up style ladies are very familiar with even those of us in the states thanks to their web site and word of mouth on social media. Home to bullet bras, silky stockings, waist trainers, and corsets and all things pretty that go towards making pin up/retro ladies properly outfitted UNDER their outfits. I was on a mission with this visit, I wanted a bullet bra. I had purchased one a while ago and it never has fit as properly as I wanted or needed, lucky for me they recently redesigned the BB and they had my size, so it was not long before I was in a dressing room trying it on, complete with cone shaped inserts that I needed to get the proper shape and out the door with my little bag... be on the look out for this gal to be looking like a 1950s sweater girl in the near future. 

From What Katie Did, it was across the street over to a company you may have seen me mention a few times, Besame. Located at 3505 W. Magnolia, this small cosmetics house is a magical place for many a pin up/retro girl, filled with lipsticks, facial powders, blushes, mascaras, perfumes and more, all designed, produced and packaged based on cosmetics from eras past, dating from 1910 through the 1960s... I know this girly girl was in her happy place. There is so much to see and to take in encased in these four walls from the owner and creator of Besame, Gabriela Hernandez 's own collection of vintage cosmetics and cosmetic containers, to the four walls filled with product artfully displayed and history of make up and the current products. I know personally I did not get to spend nearly enough time in this delightful store....but I did have time enough to purchase a few items for my growing Besame collection and to chat with the lovely ladies that work there. You can visit both the Magnolia Blvd. store or their new location on 3rd street in Los Angeles, but you can also visit their web site and social media sites including back ground and how to videos on YouTube. I can attest to the quality of everything I have ever bought from this company and that their customer service is top notch, be it via the store, the web site or even over the phone. 

The ladies at Besame really know what they are doing, and
know their product...they are there ready to help out
with all your cosmetic needs ...and what they
do not produce, they just might in the future! 

I could barely contain my giggles I was so thrilled to
be at Besame!!

Composure once again contained...

The next place on our tour, located at 3606 W. Magnolia and a shop that for many a pin up/retro gal is the crown jewel if they are lucky to visit, or shop from their web site and own one of their many original house designs, Pin Up Girl Clothing.  Now of course if you know me I often buy from small independent seamstresses and and I like to look a little more individual. There are a few exceptions to the rule.... on this day Pin Up Girl Clothing was not. I have heard mixed reviews about PUG, from quality to customer service... it seems in the pin up world you either are on one side or the other. A brand that has created FB buying and trading groups, lust lists and tears spilled if someone misses out on their personal "unicorn" and euphoria if that unicorn is finally found and owned. Pilgrimages are made to their store, lines stood in for hours at a chance to be a part of their "yard sales" ...I personally I know many friends who own quite a bit of PUG, I myself only own a pair of shoes... I had not actually had a chance to see PUG clothing in person until this day, though I am very familiar with their whimsical and often copied designs, and find they adorable, but just not for me over all tho I do admire them on others. Walking in, there was indeed a lot of visual eye candy, all the fun prints I have seen in my instagram and Facebook feed....every where you looked was a recognizable clothing item, very signature PUG.  I was very impressed with the product, it seems well made and the prices all fall in line with the vast majority of their competitors. The store was clean, decorated with a fun vintage vibe, and was well laid out. Customer service, was a bit lacking I must admit, tho I was eventually greeted and told if I needed help....but it just did not seem as if it was meant. I did not let it sour me however as I already knew what I really wanted, what my personal PUG desire was, a canvas, petticoat alternative to a petticoat under skirt.... lucky for me I was able to find my size and it was going home with me....along with a really pretty chiffon, lace trimmed pink petticoat.  I will not say that I won't every purchase one of the popular designs/prints, but it will have to be something that is just so "Ruby" that I can not resist. All that being said, I as I said know so many swear by PUG that I urge you to visit the store or their web site and decide for yourself. 

I admit I was tempted by the orange print sun dress.

The last shop on my shopping spree list has two locations, one just opened in Pasadena Ca., and the other is located in a mall there in Burbank at 201 E. Magnolia suite #234, Sidecca. I have long known of this small company selling budget friendly retro influenced designs. I discovered them on Amazon and most recently they have started selling on their own store web site. Sidecca was the company I first began to grow my retro wardrobe with. They carry a variety of brands that many other smaller online and brick and mortar retro stores carry so they are not unique in that, but their customer service has always been tip top and with great prices, and easy returns and exchanges it really has been a company I have enjoyed working with, because of this I wrote to Kim, the owner of Sidecca asking if she would be willing to sponsor me on my blogging tour.... I was thrilled when she said she would love to do so.  I was determined that I would not let that influence me on how my experience went within the store and sharing that with you here. Sidecca's mall location is like many mall shops crowded and filled to the brim, making it hard to see everything as there is just so much to see....but that being said it was like a kid in a candy store for me.... and the number one thing I was after was sweaters ...cardigans to be precise....they have every style, every length of sleeve from bolero to long sleeve and in almost every color...and I do love a good cardi! Of course I also went home with a couple simple A line daily skirts, slightly kitsch and yes I know what I said about PUG and their prints, but the two I bought are cute and well, I caved. Customer service at the Burbank location was friendly and helpful, and as I said the prices are affordable, and for retro style daily staples, that is a real plus. Visit their web site here.

The next two places I am going to share are not SHOCK places where I went shopping, instead it is where we ate and where we went for a late night snack, drink and to just have the experience of being there. First up, Bob's Big Boy! Bob's is a perfect example of a true 1950's coffee shop style eatery, the actual structure has not changed since 1949 and on the evening we visited it was packed and there was a waiting list! Being on assignment for Pin Up the Movie, I was determined to eat there and have a classic burger and that is just what I did. Despite being super busy, not an empty table or seat, our service was top notch and so was the food! I had a really great cheese burger and tho given a huge pile of fresh made french fries, I sampled only a few, but they were really good. The prices were moderate but appropriate for the amount of food and the quality and I left full, satisfied and two Bob's Big Boy mugs left with me. You can visit Bob's if you ever are in Burbank, you will not regret it. 

The next place and the last for both this blog and for that Saturday night was Clifton's Cafeteria in Los Angeles. Located in the downtown area at 648 S. Broadway, Clifton's is a throw back to a different era as well as happening night spot with their multiple bars on several floors. Opening in 1935 and redecorated in 1938, it reached a peak of popularity in the 1940's and sort of just got forgotten by all but locals and those in the know for decades, but recently it has seen a revival, with another remodel and the addition of the different themed bar/night clubs and with the help of retrophiles and swing dancers being drawn there like moths to a flame with a regular rotation of live swing bands and burlesque shows appearing, not to mention the travel and food networks doing spots on this "cabinet of curiosities". I knew it was someplace I just had to see for myself. I had heard mixed reviews about the food, but I was going for the experience, well and the jello! They are famous for the selection of jello and classic varieties such as stain glass.  It is hard to explain what this place is like from the opening of the door by a door woman to the dark interior that makes you feel like you just walked into a wooded forest, complete with animals and a tall as the building tree.... the food offerings made me think we might have thoroughly enjoyed the offerings, but as I said it was all about the jello and I was not disappointed! SO MUCH JELLO! It was so hard to decide, I wanted it all! After making our choices and "trying" to take video and photos..not easy in the dim lighting, we ventured upstairs, ordered a couple of glasses of bubbly, served in the classic bowl glasses and not flutes, we settled into our front row seats eager to listen to the live music playing in classic big band style and watch the swing dancing...let me tell you it was quite the show! If you ever have a chance to be in L.A on a weekend, I urge you to go!! And on your way out be sure you stop for a street taco as a late night snack from the food truck located on the way back to the parking structure across the street.  

So this brings us to the close of this weeks recap, be sure to tune into this weeks YouTube video for a video montage of this blog with not previously seen images. Also follow me on Instagram for more photos and information/reviews. 


  1. How stupendously fun + exciting! Thank you for the delightful tour of these world famous (okay, at least within our vintage adoring community :)) shops. I can scarcely imagine what a joy it must be to hit that many repro/pinup related stores in such a short time span. I was very fortunate to make it to one such store that exists in Edmonton while we on holiday there month and that alone felt like an off-the-charts thrill (as we have zero stores of that nature anywhere near where I live). I truly hope I can follow in your footsteps and visit this awesome part of the States one day.

    Looking forward to hearing/seeing more about the fabulous items that you picked up. I'm sure they're all sensational!

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    1. Happy to share! It was exciting ...we don't have such shops here either, closest is over 2 hours away...that might be safer tho LOL I'm going to share all the goodies once I get through the trip recap. So stay tuned.


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