I’ve long been a fan of Pinup Girl Clothing (as attested by the many reviews I’ve written here on Hourglassy). But in the last year or so, the quality and customer service have been suffering.
Additionally, I’m feeling that the designs they put out seem more and more juvenile. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but as I get older, I’m gravitating more toward clothes that look more authentic vintage and less kitschy. Of course I’ll always stick by my bright colors, but more and more I’m choosing prints that are less cartoony and silhouettes that are less doll-like.
As such, I was pleased to see that Micheline Pitt, former PUG model and senior designer, has branched out into her own company called Vixen by Micheline Pitt that’s already getting rave reviews. Micheline was responsible for the “Deadly Dames” PUG range, which was a sexier, more mature and occasionally racy line of garments. After a falling out with PUG, she’s taken that style and run with it.
To be honest, so far there isn’t that much by Vixen that I feel the impulse to buy. The makeup prints and all the pink do nothing for me. But I’ve read tons of positive reviews, and I recently joined a Vixen Facebook fan group in which Micheline herself pops up to answer questions and give sneak peeks of upcoming items. I’m really impressed with the customer service and positive feedback, so last week I used a coupon for DollMeUpDarling.com and picked out a “Powder Puff Top” to try.
Since I need another black or red shirt like I need a hole in my head, and goodness knows I can’t keep a white shirt clean to save my life, I went with the only remaining color—light pink.
I’m not much of a pink wearer, especially baby pink like this, but I’ve also been looking for a potential replacement for my PUG peasant tops, and thought it would be a good idea to compare the pink Vixen top to my pink PUG top. The PUG peasant tops are not entirely boob-friendly, but they come in an array of colors and go really well with high-waisted bottoms, so they’re a good basic despite the fit issues.
Unfortunately for this review, the PUG tops are actually in the midst of a redesign, and I only have the old style. So this comparison of the two shirts is going to be outdated pretty soon. But I hope it’s helpful in the meantime!
Both these shirts are a medium, and I measure 37”-29”-41” with a height of 5’6” and bra size 28G–30G (UK) depending on brand. In these photos, I’m wearing the Fantasie 4510 Molded Smoothing Tee-Shirt Bra in 30FF.
First up, here is the old PUG peasant top:
And the new one:
The underbust seam is contoured in the new version, but straight across on the old. As far as I know, it still has a zipper up the back (but there’s no description or back photo on the PUG site since it’s not in stock yet, so I can’t be sure). It also looks like there’s more distance from the underbust seam to the neckline (I hope!), but that might just be due to the model wearing a slightly too-big size.
In any case, here’s the old PUG top on me:
Some fit issues to note: The underbust seam is up on top of breast tissue. There’s not enough space in the bust shelf for larger breasts, and if I yank the top down to get the seam in the right place (which you can do, thanks to the elastic), then it exposes my bra. It’s not really noticeable in the photos, but the elastic at the neckline also cuts into my breast tissue on my bigger side, just a little, to cause a wee bit of pillowing. While the zipper up the back means the shirt is nice and fitted, it also makes the back bubble up. And finally, it should be noted that the sleeves are just narrow enough to cover my bra straps in back. In fact, if I move a lot, then the straps can peek out.
Now for the Vixen top:
This top has no zipper. While they’re both 97% cotton, 3% spandex, the fabrics feel totally different. PUG’s top is a stiff sateen that holds you in, while the Vixen is a thick, soft, stretchy jersey fabric. Both tops allow you to wear the sleeves on or off the shoulder. I’ll discuss more differences and details after my photos:
As for comparisons, obviously it’s different shades of pink. I won’t be replacing my existing PUG top because these match entirely different skirts that I already own. Next, the neckline of the Vixen top is a gathered V-shape with no underbust seam, the sleeves are longer, the back scoops much lower, and there are vertical seams up the front for shaping.
Both tops fit about the same in the body, although the Vixen one doesn’t hide bra band bumps like the PUG top does. However, Vixen is much more forgiving in the boobs department (though I must admit I think it makes my chest look extremely prominent). I’ve seen photos of women in this top at all different sizes, and it looks fabulous on everybody. I also think the longer sleeves balance a big bust better than PUG’s, though I wouldn’t mind if they were a little less princess-puffy.
I love the deep scoop in back, and it’s still high enough not to show off your bra band. However, the shoulders are a little too tall and wide-set for me. I have to yank the shirt up to get it into the right position, otherwise the neckline rests too low and cuts into breast tissue, giving the same pillowing issue as the PUG top. You can also see both bra straps peeking out in the untucked back photo, even after I tried pushing the straps further in. With my narrow shoulders, that’s a real problem. If I push my straps over any further, they’ll fall off!
So which shirt is the winner? If the Vixen were a more saturated color, I might be inclined to say that one, due largely to the underbust seam issue and the more flattering sleeve length. But really, it’s more of a tie. I hope Micheline releases more colors in the future, and that they’re different colors than what PUG offers. I don’t really consider one a replacement for the other, but it’d be nice to have a little more variety among my basic pinup tops.