29 December 2009

Flashback: Partying in 1999

Remember 1999, when we were young and naive, when we easily believed that computer systems would fail because they couldn't roll over to 2000. There was that collective sigh of relief when time continued to march on like it always did. In 1999 we partied like it was 1999, which was with a bit of fear and anticipation. Looking back on the past ten years, it's easy to see that we should have carried those feelings with us. These past ten years have been turbulent and have tested even the best of us.

In 1999 we thought we were fashionable, but now a lot of us would laugh at our wardrobes of the past or cringe at how outdated they were. We'll do the same to our current selves in 2019. I decided to take a peak at movies from the year 1999 that represented that current year's fashion sensibility. As such, I've left out great wardrobes from films like Girl, Interrupted, The Cider House Rules, The End of the Affair, The Mod Squad, Sleepy Hollow, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The Virgin Suicides.

Let's take a look back at quintessentially 1999 movies:

American Beauty:

American Beauty is THE film of 1999. Though it has lost much of its luster and sparkle now, those of us who saw it when it was first released remember the freshness of it, the perfect capturing of the present. It's hard searching for images from this film since the most iconic image, that of Mena Suvari covered in red rose petals, reigns supreme on the internet. Here, though, is a great capturing of what fashion was. Note Thora Birch's deep red lipstick and matching dark fingernail polish, heavy eye makeup, her beaded necklace, and over-sized hoodie.

Blair Witch Project:

Just admit already that this movie freaked you out. I never bought the whole documentary masquerade, but as someone who lives in the middle of the woods it was a bit frightening. Heather never represented the height of fashion, but in this movie it was perfectly reasonable that she'd be tromping around the woods in a muted earth-toned flannel with hat securely on. Sadly, I can picture this movie now with flashly and scantily dressed coeds, oh wait, I'm sure they already made that one as well.

Cruel Intentions:

Cruel Intentions was the height of the wealthy, preppy look. I suppose the current take on this might be Gossip Girl. Here we see Selma Blair with her sweater tied over her shoulders, muted colors, and plaid. I haven't seen anyone in quite awhile doing this sweater move, but I can see a lot of elements here that are still going strong in today's fashion.


Oh Tracy Flick, with your flared nostrils, tilted head, and penchant for sweater vests. Tracy always had a bit of out of time/out of place feeling to her, perhaps to emphasize her inability to connect with her peers. Her style was hyper-neat and formal. It's obvious that she tried really hard, but had no fashion know-how. That's not to say Tracy was without distinct style. She was the master of button down shirts, plaid skirts, and the headband. In her own way, Tracy is a style icon.

Never Been Kissed:

Never Been Kissed, simultaneously adorable and awkward at the same time. Somehow we're supposed to be rooting for Josie Geller to hook up with her teacher (or that much younger guy) even though the supposed or actual age differences in both those instances place this in the ewww category. Nonetheless, for those of us who were socially awkward teens, it was easy to identify with Josie. This movie is heavily about fashion. In an effort to embrace her new teen identity, Josie throws herself fully into the realm of teen fashion. She's more hit than miss until she's shown the ropes be her more popular classmates. Now, Josie's outfits feel neither here nor there, but they do feel dated, in this picture the over-curled hair, the shrug, and tucked in tee.

Run Lola Run:

If I could have lived in a 1999 movie, it may have been this one. I spent most of my senior year playing the soundtrack on repeat in my car and trying to dye my hair kool-aid red (epic fail). The red hair is really the fashion stand out in this film, since Lola wears the same worn outfit throughout. Of late, I haven't seen a lot of intensely dyed hair, or navel tattoos for that matter.

Runaway Bride:

The much anticipated return of Julia and Richard. In this picture, I'm coveting her hat and will probably be hunting one down. But here, I actually have something to say about fashion for guys. The last ten years has brought us from ultra-comfort for men with layers and t-shirts to a more informed fashion aesthetic that includes trimmer cuts and more details. I feel like now, perhaps, guys have a bit more ability to customize their wardrobe now then Richard Gere's character had in this movie.

She's All That:

Overalls, need I really say more? Except remember when Freddie Prinze Jr not only acted but was in every movie?

Varsity Blues:

This movie is probably best remembered for its scene of Ali Larter wearing nothing but strategically placed whipped cream. Other than that, it shows how sedate some wardrobes were in 1999, a lot of tank tops, some high school paraphernalia, t-shirts and headbands.

10 Things I Hate About You:

10 Things and dreamy Heath Ledger as a bad boy with a soft heart. Here, though, I'd like point out are the baby tee (thank goodness we've moved on to longer shirts), platform sandals, and rolled jean cuffs which in real life were obnoxious for the amount of debris they collected.

Feel free to comment with other 1999 film fashions or add to the commentary about these movies. No more Y2K!

28 December 2009

Keeping Warm for New Year's Eve and Beyond

For those of us in northern climes, New Year's Eve outfits include ways in which to keep warm. According to Wikipedia, those who gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop, experience an average temperature of 33.7. This year, the forecast for the event is currently calling for temperatures of around 34 with showers, right on par with average. Last year, it was a brisk 18 degrees with a feels like temperature of 2 degrees. Brrr.

The advantage of snagging a great New Year's coat or jacket is that you can use it for the rest of the winter on a regular basis. Here's some great options:

Rust red coat with fur trim, with an armpit to armpit measurement of 19". Available the etsy store halfCaf for $80.

1960s black and white tweed jacket with a 38" bust. Available at etsy store Light Years Vintage for $99.

Emerald green cotton velvet trapeze coat with a 45" bust. Available at etsy store Mon Desir Vintage for $120.

1960s off white Lilli Ann coat with a bust measurement of 34". Available at etsy store story boutique for $165.

1970s plaid jacket with a bust size of 36". Available at etsy seller Pistol Bazaar for $41.

27 December 2009

New Year's Eve Countdown

With just 5 full days left until New Year's Eve evening festivities, have you planned out your evening yet? Even if you have, stick around Vint Condition as I celebrate the approach of the next new decade by posting about New Year's Eve this week.

Planning on martini's as a celebratory drink? Smirnoff (or perhaps Bombay Sapphire if you're going the gin route) and I've got you covered. Start out here to learn about the wide range of martinis you can make from dirty martinis to chocolate martinis. And watch a video here on how to make the perfect martini which includes gin and vermouth.

Some interesting notes about the martini is the influence of James Bond on the drink. From here we get the famous line of asking for a vodka martini "shaken and not stirred." I'm assuming the popularity of using vodka for the martini instead of a gin/vermouth combination comes from here. What Bond actually asks for in the film is technically called a Vesper.

But of course we all know the evening is not complete without the perfect outfit to wear, or at least I think that may be true. Top off your martini adventures and kiss as the ball drops with this outfit:
5 days until New Year's eve

Outfit consists of:

Vintage amber-colored shaker for those of you who want shaken martinis a la James Bond. Available at Cocktail Shakers for $175.

Viv martini glasses available at Crate & Barrel for just $3.95 each.

Viscose ruffle edged top available at Top Shop for $65.

1980s cotton blend skirt (30" waist) available at Vintage Trends for $34.

Patent leather Dolly shoes from Modern Vintage available at heels.com for $125.

Early to mid 1900s amber clip on earrings available at Tias for $55.

Vintage-inspired Nicole glasses by Benjamin Eyewear available on net-a-porter for $325.

26 December 2009

Imagined Travel: Lily Dale

One of my beautiful friends suggested that we take more trips together starting in 2010. I'm all for spending some quality time with my girlfriends. Though we've talked about trips ranging near and far, one of the places I really want to go to is the town of Lily Dale, not far from my new home in the Adirondacks.

Lily Dale is a spiritualist community nestled in the heart of New York in Chautauqua County. Founded in 1879 on the shores of Cassadaga Lake, Lily Dale is considered the largest spiritualist community in the world. In addition to it's historic buildings, Lily Dale is perhaps best known for its resident mediums. Not any medium can set up shop in Lily Dale, they must first pass a rigorous test by a panel of town officials.

In preparation for such a trip, I'd like to plan ahead (read daydream) about things to wear when going to a medium. Since things don't really get going in Lily Dale until the spring/summer season, I selected a great warm weather outfit.

Inspired Travel: Lily Dale

Outfit consists of:
1950s rayon and hand embroidered skirt by Linda Michoacan. It's a size small with 27" waist. Available at Monster Vintage for $89.99.

Papaya layering tank. Available at Old Navy for $8.50.

Bronze metallic Legend 5 flats by Me Too. Available at Piperlime for $59.99.

Apple red raw edged scarf by KERSH. Available at Chickdowntown for $65.

1950s straw bag with bamboo handle. Holds a lot at 8"x13". Available at Adore Vintage for $24.

Multi-toned red bracelet by Marc for Marc Jacobs. Available at zappos.com for $78.


Frumpydee frump frump. Ladies and gentlemen (?) that's how I've been feeling the last few months. Fresh back from my honeymoon and we were hit with the dreaded chill of winter. In the summer, when I come home from work, I get comfortable by throwing on a sundress or embroidered tank top. When winter comes, I dream about getting home and crawling straight into my fuzzy sweater pants and my husband's giant sweatshirt. While I know he loves me in all my forms, I don't feel beautiful, or cute, or anything remotely close to sexy in the winter. In such a state, the idea of trucking on over here to my vintage blog seems...well...wrong. What would I have to say about clothing. I know I'm not alone here, yes?

In the interest of feeling cuter, I've been researching vintage nightwear and lounge options. I know all of what I'm about to post may not be suitable for keeping warm on a chilly night, but they certainly up the cute factor.

1910s ivory silk crepe and silk floss embroidered robe. Available on ebay through Violetville Vintage with a buy now of $248.

1940s rayon Asian-inspired pajama/lounge set. Available through ebay with northstarvintage with a starting bid of $39.99 and a buy now of $69.99.

1950s nylon and lace nightgown. Available on ebay through RageVogue with a starting bid of $19.99.

1940s rayon lounge set by Munsingwear. Available at Dorothea's Closet for $255.

Red silk Givenchy peignoir set. Available on etsy through seller queenoftheangels for $75.

And though this isn't vintage, these are some awfully cute and cozy slippers from J. Crew onsale for $29.99

27 August 2009

A break from vintage

I try not to deviate too often from the topic of vintage on this blog, but I couldn't resist posting about the new addition to our family.

Meet _____:

We hadn't met before today, but already he loves me. He's a bit nervous around Jar so far. It's a bit hard to guess his personality, but he seems to be quiet, loving, and shy. His meow sounds like an "ow."

Since we only name our kitties after literary characters (Sameth from the Garth Nix "Sabriel" triology; Thursday Next from Jasper Fford's "The Eyre Affair;" and Gilly from Katherine Patterson's "The Great Gilly Hopkins;" we need an appropriate name for him. We've tossed around Sirius (Harry Potter), Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility), and Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird) thus far, but we would welcome suggestions!

In case you think I irresponsibly went out and purchased a Siamese, none to fear. I believe strongly in rescuing kitties where you can. This little guy is our third rescued kitty, in fact one of our other cats is also a lynx point Siamese. He was found abandoned in a yard at just seven weeks of age. If you are looking for a Siamese, check out siameserescue.org.

26 August 2009

A Plea

Dear women with small feet;

Would someone with size 6 1/2 feet please buy these shoes.

Wear them with dark washed jeans and a pink cardigan. Wear them with a deep forest green dress. Wear them with style and class, but please wear them.

women with larger feet

shoes available at Denise Brain store for just $35

21 August 2009

Project Runway Style

Last night on Project Runway, designer Louise Black stated that she found inspiration in vintage fashion. We've seen this before, most notably in designer Kenley Collins. Kenley, as you may remember, was faulted for her continued use of vintage inspiration in terms of cut and construction. Despite her attitude both on and off the show, it's hard not to appreciate someone who can wear fascinators with style and put together color combinations like this:

But enough about Kenley. I'm not ready to commit to Louise yet as my favorite designer of this season. She didn't nail the ball out of the park, so to speak, on her first attempt on the show, but it was a pretty strong entry.

You can see a 1930s influence with the dress and Louise certainly picked the right fabric and color. It certainly is a pretty dress if not an award winner. In fact, if you're interested, you can bid for the dress here.

Lifetime also provides a series of interview with their contestants. Here's Louise talking about her thoughts on the first competition.

I can't say if Louise will be the winner or not, but I am looking forward to seeing how she'll take on the next challenges.

20 August 2009

True Blood Costuming

I've made no secret of my love for the HBO series True Blood. As a longtime reader of the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris, I was eager for the show to start last year. In fact, the only reason I have HBO is because of the show. Now that I live close to home, I wait until my mom can come over to see it before watching the next episode. Given this, I don't feel like I can always offer up to the minute fashion reporting on the series. But I'm still here, watching and coveting (the clothes, the clothes, I swear!)

Last season, my post on Sookie's fabulous halter dress has proven to be one of the most searched and visited portions of this blog. In fact, most posts have asked about finding the exact dress which I would love to help with but can't. Despite my love for the show, it's been awhile since I've checked in with everyone about the fashion in it. The costumer for the show is Audrey Fisher and this month True-Blood.net (a fansite for the show) interviewed her about her choices for the show and her sources. The radio show takes awhile to warm up, in fact Audrey's interview doesn't start until 20 minutes in. For those interested in fashion, the wait is worthwhile. Audrey talks about her career path and what it's like to style a show with a wide range of characters, particualry one like True Blood that has present and past time.

Audrey shares her styling secrets for the show. She reveals that for most characters, she buys clothing from Kmart, Kohls, and JcPenny. She wanted to keep the clothing choices appropriate to the financial resources of the characters and their access to stores. As someone who lives in quite a rural area, I appreciate her concern for keeping this relatively accurate. She also states that she bends the rules for Sookie a bit. As those of us who watch the show know, Sookie's clothing has a vintage flair. Audrey reveals she does create a lot of custom pieces for Sookie and shops vintage stores for items that suit her. That's why in most cases we can covet her clothing, but we may not be able to find it in the stores. I expect to keeping using Sookie's outfits for inspiration though: her cute floral sweaters, her adorable sundresses.

With that, I'll leave you with some great True Blood outfits and ask you, my dear readers, if you have any favorite outfits from the show. Link to them if you can!

19 August 2009

Bellatrix Lestrange as fashion inspiration?

Bellatrix Lestrange, evil-doer, mayhem maker, Harry Potter harasser, but fashion inspiration? Bellatrix herself would surely say nay, that is before she attacked you just for the fun of it. As many evil doing women, Bellatrix is clothed in all black with leather and lace. A take on the "witch" icon we're so accustomed to, even new-comers to the Harry Potter books or films can easily recognize Bellatrix as a force to be reconed with for our dear hero.

Despite what I believe are somewhat narrowly focused forays into wardobing for evil characters, there is something inherently alluring by the idea of an ideal evil character outfit. Helena Bonham Carter, whom I adore, is frequently cast in madcap sinister female roles. She plays these characters faultlessly and inhabits the essence of who they are. But what if you're an average fashion lover who wants to translate this idea into your wardrobe without looking like you flew through the air to pounce on the unsuspecting good guys?

Today, I bring you something that Bellatrix may wear that you can tone down a notch (or not) for your own daily outfit needs:

1930s crepe and crochet lace dress. Available at Posh Vintage for $525.

1920s black lace evening gown. Available at Woodland Farms Vintage for $245.

1980s lace gloves. Available at The Urban Collection for $16.

1980s leather and studs thigh high boots. Available at The Urban Collection for $122.

Sterling silver ring constructed from an antique Gorham Silver Bridal Flower spoon. Available at Etsy seller spoonsmith for $80.

18 August 2009

A little throat clearing

Dear blog readers,
Please excuse my absence. I had not meant to be gone for such a long time. In the last nine months I have:

Moved across the country:

(this is a photo I took somewhere in another state, somewhere along the drive)

Got a new job:

(one that allows me to occasionally wear 1950s frocks)

Bought a new house:

(picture taken before we bought it so the lawn ornamentation is not ours. The house was built from a kit in 1915 and has been in the same family until we purchased it. You'll be seeing more of this in the future)

Planned a wedding:

(wedding to be held September 12th in a field with flowers much like these)

In these past nine months I haven't written any poems or blog posts, haven't slept much, failed to keep in touch with those dearest to me, and neglected to spend enough time with my demanding felines. But dear readers, I'm back having newly implemented a sleep routine where I get at least 7 hours of shut-eye a night. Vintage world, I'm here.