31 August 2008

Fall Fashion Colors Shopping Guide

MSN tells me that this years fall fashion colors are black and white, purple, gray, chocolate, and gold. While I'm not sure who exactly the authority on fashion and color is over at MSN, I'm game. I love all of these colors probably because I look good in them. So in an effort to stock up for the fall, here's some goodies I found for you out on the internets:

Black and White
Zebra stripe linen shift by Elizabeth Arden at Vintage Martini for $128.

Black and White 1970s cotton/poly blend Mexican skirt at Debutante Vintage for $40.

Purple polyester 1980s shirt dress by Rona at Alley Cats Vintage for $22.

Purple 1930s silk crepe evening dress at Contentment Farm for $495.


Dove gray 1970s acrylic sweater at The Urban Collection for $47.

Gray 1940s pumps by Natural Poise from etsy seller LivingDollVintage for $24.

Brown silk/cotton dress from Cemetarian on ebay starting bid of $39.99.

Brown 1970s Amano slingback heels at sabrosavintage on etsy for $16.


Gold chain belt at Penelope's Vintage for $20.

Gold lame 1950s dress from ebay seller The Tartan Princess, starting bid $19.99.

30 August 2008

Imagined Travel

If I were going to Greece ( a girl's gotta dream), I'd wear this:

The dress is vintage and is available at Posh Girl Vintage for $365. It's one of those dresses that would force me to lose 2 inches from my waist, but I can dream about that too.

I'd also have to pierce my ears. It's something I consider only when I see a cute pair of earrings. For now I'll stick with nabbing the non-vintage swallow mirror case.

29 August 2008

A Find From Every Era Friday

I'd like to take Fridays to feature vintage finds from every decade, that is from 1900 to 1980. I don't think I'm quite ready yet to start seeing the 1990s as vintage just like I'm not ready to hear Nirvana on the classic rock station. Fridays are a day when everyone is eager to leave work, you're counting down the minutes until the weekend. This way you can start the weekend off early and maybe get a bit of shopping in.

Bustown Modern, one of my favorite ebay sellers, has this great turn of the century top for sale. Back in the day this would have been worn with a long skirt, but I appreciate what Bustown has done with this. They're using it as a jacket and I think it would look great on a cool night grabbing drinks with the girls. Pair it with some dark jeans and flashy heels and you'll be good to go. Starting bid is $9.99 and if I thought it would fit me I wouldn't be telling you about this.

Often I find myself with nothing to wear to special occasions like weddings. I mean I have plenty of clothes, but never quite the right one that I want at that moment. If I had this dress I'd be wearing it to every wedding that I was ever invited to plus finding some excuse to wear it to the grocery store. "Oh this? But I thought you said we had a wedding to go to after picking up milk!" This pretty little dress is made out of pink velvet. That's all I can tell you because it's new to Hemlock Vintage. Harass them and find out how to get it and what size this is and it could be yours!

I love embroidery on clothing. Okay I take that back, I like certain kinds of embroidery on clothing. Above is a 1930s organza blouse that has the perfect amount in exactly the right way. This even has little drawstrings on the arms so they can be tightened to flounce perfectly. This pretty little number is over at Posh Girl Vintage. At $165 it's at the higher end of my personal range for vintage buying, but it's so cute. I think it would look great for a weekend gathering with friends.

This dress passes one of my vintage tests, would you wear it to work? I give this a resounding yes. I'd even throw on some red heels as well. If I was feeling particularity ridiculous I'd wear this on the 4th of July. Violetville Vintage informs me that this dress is actually a rare larger size and it's merely pinned on the model to show you its silhouette. As any vintage hunter knows, finding vintage in modern sizes is a bit tricky. More than once I've tried to tell myself I could whittle down to a 24" waist in order to buy something lovely. But this dress is pretty on its own without any starvation. Bidding is currently at $34.99.

I'm going to take a moment to warn you about the 1950s beaded sweater. They are simply gorgeous, it's hard not to stare for hours at the intricate work that goes into constructing them. At the same time, they can come across as dated and that's the last thing we want. I personally think to carry this off you need to make sure that the rest of your outfit and accessories are modern. Modern jeans or pants, a tank for underneath, a well cut bag. Oh and don't button this all the way to the neck either. This sweater is a perfect example of the loveliness inherent in 1950s beaded sweaters. This one is made by McMullen, a clothing designer that worked in Glens Falls, just a stone's throw away from my hometown. The label used on this sweater is consistent with the ones from the 1950s, so this is the real deal. You can pick it up on ebay where bidding is currently up to $52.99.

I admit I have an embarrassing love for animal print. I have four pairs of leopard print ballet flats alone. If I ever leave the searing heat of Arizona I am more than certain that I'll buy myself a leopard print coat just like this one. Until then, you can snatch this one up from Posh Girl for $325. It's faux fur as well!

Maxi dresses were an answer to the 1960s mini skirt. They're long and amazingly forgiving on most figures. It probably has a lot to do with the empire waist construction. Not only are they great now for throwing on to go to a barbecue or over a swimsuit, but they'd be equally great for the early stages of pregnancy. It's all about planning ahead. This lovely little number has such a great mix of colors and for a starting bid of $19.99 on ebay it would be hard to pass up.

The other night I watched 200 Cigarettes on television and it filled me with some 1980s fashion love. In particular Casey Affleck's punk look and Christina Ricci's black and white furball of a coat. It makes you think the 80s weren't such a dark time for fashion. I know that the style world tried to convince me the 80s were back not too long ago, but I refused to listen. In any case here's a cute example of 1980s wear. It's not punk or layered, but I'd throw it on any day. It's made by Leslie Fay and it's being sold on ebay right now for $16.00.

28 August 2008

Project Runway Style

Last night's Project Runway featured a rather extreme challenge for the designers. We've already seen past contestants construct garments out of trash or candy, but this week they worked to make innovative designs from Saturn car parts. The materials they were given included seat belts, rubber floor mats, side view mirrors, and carburetors. These are not exactly ideal materials to work with, yet in Tim Gunn's words they "made it work." Well, at least some of them did. While it seems unlikely that any of us will be donning a rubberized dress with extra hip padding proclaiming that we found a new way to interact with our cars, this design challenge does speak to the long-standing attachment Americans have with their vehicles. Sure this love affair has cooled in recent years, fueled in part by auto companies being unable to offer us distinctive and beautiful conveyances, but it is to this interaction between vehicles and fashion that I dedicate today's blog.

Beautiful women featured in car ads have become rather cliched and irritating as they are designed apparently to appeal to the stereotype of every straight guy's basic impulse for women and cars. I won't even begin to get into how much of a stereotype this is, but instead turn your attention to the Cadillac ad above. It's commendable that Cadillac is at least advertising to women and as much as I want to hate the fact that they're specifically advertising a pink car, I kind of would love to own it myself. In any case look at the ladies in this picture, so elegant and pulled together for their meet-up. They looked good just hopping into the car. This elegance isn't seen often today as a growing number of people schlep to the store or to meet friends in the pajamas they wore to bed. So how can you snag this look for today? Please see below and excuse Polyvore's overzealousness with the white tones.

Outfit consists of:
1960s day dress, no tag, on ebay (vintage-basement), current bid $9.99
Silk blend trench, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, net-a-porter.com, $903
Kacy red pumps, rsvp - Kacy, zappos.com, $72
Brass ring, Alexis Bittar faceted ring, Nordstrom, $74
Beetle, Volkswagen, MSRP $17,630-$25,890
Or what about an opposite extreme? Remember that film Tank Girl from 1995? Probably not, it was so awful most is best forgotten. It features a post-apocalyptic world where a girl and her tank are trying to defeat the bad guys. While not a car, the tank serves as a means of transport and protection. Here's our inspiration photo, and yes I know what you're thinking, I'm already thinking it too, but trust me, we'll "make it work":

Outfit consists of:
1970s safari style shorts, no tag, on ebay (sally-janevintage), current bid $9.99
Sateen vest, Rampage, $19.99
Tank top, Abercrombie and Fitch, $29.50
Savory Spice Belt, Anthropologie, $58.00
Prada leather tote, Bag Borrow or Steal, rent for $125 a week
Eullia heels, Guess, currently out of stock
Hammered Cuff, Max&Chloe, $46
military tank not required


In a time when the Internet is glutted by blogs, it seems a bit overdone to have one, let alone two blogs like myself. In a way, blogging is a moment of fame, such as it is. We create a public persona that we present to the world in the hopes of some unnameable something. If my blogs had identities, The Refutation Process is the part of me that wants friends to know what I'm up to while occasionally weighing in on literature, film, music, and my noisy neighbors. Vint Condition is an entirely different blog. It's less personal and more practical. It's the side of me that loves vintage clothing and finding stellar deals, the side that will spend hours scouring ebay to unearth a ruffled hem leather jacket from the 80s, or a black mourning skirt from the turn of the century that would look great with layered tanks and some chunky jewelry.

So why have this blog at all? Why not just proudly display my love of vintage at arts events and date nights? Because I believe there are other women (and men) like myself out there. Ones on the hunt for something wonderful and unique. And there's others out there who want to use vintage but are worried about looking "too vintage." We've all seen vintage gone wrong. It's vintage that is overwrought, a head-to-toe look that seems dated or clownish. Let's face it, it may be fun to be rockabilly chic on the weekend, but often that look doesn't transfer to the office. Vintage can work anywhere from a corporate board room to the beach. It can inspire jealousy in your coworkers and friends as they realize that they can't get that great top you're wearing anywhere else. It can cause people to stop you on the street to let you know they love what you're wearing. Trust me this does happen.

The advantages of vintage are endless. We've all experienced that moment at the store when we realize that the figure flattering empire tops we've loved aren't being carried at the moment, or that every pair of jeans has been replaced by skinny jeans that only look good on models and fourteen year olds. Shopping vintage allows you access to years of clothes to find the styles that suit you best. It also lets you ride the wave of the latest in fashions without breaking the bank account or buying cheap clothing. This year, maxi dresses are in. They were also in during the 1970s. You can score one at a reasonable price just by shopping vintage. And if we're going to mention quality, I've got to tell you, when I buy a vintage piece that's managed to stand up to 40 or 50 years of use, I'm pretty certain that it can last awhile with me. The construction and fabrics used are certainly better than a lot of what I purchase at the store now. And if you're environmentally conscious, what could be more fun than recycling cute clothes? Really, I can't think of one.

Vint Condition is about coveting, acquiring, and integrating beautiful clothes into your closet, and hopefully mine as well along the way.