26 January 2010

Packing it up

The suitcases still aren't out, my clothes still need to be washed, my plans aren't printed out, but at least I found a cat sitter. I'm off to NYC on Thursday. While my husband attends the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators conference, my dear friend and I will be tromping around the city scooping up vintage clothes. Or at least that's how I picture it, handfuls and handfuls of glorious vintage.

Some things I've got on my list are:

white belt
boyfriend cardigans
cigarette case
white ruffly camisoles
bulky gold necklaces
full mini skirt
sailor pants
beaded top (like here and for exactly this reason)
perfect pencil skirts (the ones that actually fit my hips/thighs), bonus if at least one is graphite gray
floral and/or beaded cardigan
industrial/commercial/military items (as in military coats, USPS bags, etc)

I'll try to post while there, but at the very least I'll take photos so that you can see I'm a real live person who actually does frolic in vintage.

24 January 2010

Where I go

Sometimes, you'll notice that I disappear. I never mean for it to be intentional, but one day passes and then the next until whole stretches of time have passed.

In my alternate life, I work for a nonprofit. In my best life, I'm a writer. While you may not be able to tell that from the depth or quality of the narrative here on this blog, I have a degree in writing. I write stories, or at least I used to until I began a poetry series about missing women.

It began with Maricopa Jane Doe. She was pushed or shoved from a car speeding down Highway 10 in Arizona. She lived long enough to be transported a hospital in Scottsdale where she passed away. Her blue heart tattoo and her beautiful blond hair were her most salient identifying features.

On the 9th anniversary of her death, I read an article about her. There is a group of individuals like you and I, just average people, who spend their evenings working on missing persons cold cases. For many of them, Maricopa Jane Doe held a special place and they worked diligently on reuniting her with her family. They had yet to be successful, but they still chased leads.

In a world of increasing connectivity, it's hard to imagine a reality in which your loved one disappears without the ability to trace them in some small way. I thought of Maricopa Jane Doe and the countless other women whose stories we have forgotten. Stories that need to be told and carried in more hearts. Stories that matter, women who matter.

Twenty poems later, I am over thirty shy from where I want to be, yet even that is so far from the number of the missing and often forgotten. So I write about them. I pull together information from police reports, autopsy photos, message boards, networking sites, news articles and try to create a small part of them on paper.

Like most people, I'm sure, I like to believe I'm tough. That I can handle a lot. But when I write one of these poems, I drop off from the world for a bit. I need to take a breath. And though I know and can confess now that it is hard, I also know that I have the luxury of taking that breath where others can't.

And Maricope Jane Doe, I still hold her in my heart. I waited over a year into the project to write about her before I began her poem, Maricopa (unidentified woman discovered January 27, 1999 on Highway 10 near Case Grande, Arizona). And here I learn she was identified just months after I read her story. Her name is Tawni Lee Mazzone. She was 17 years old.

04 January 2010

That Sookie Stackhouse dress

Sookie, through the vision of Audrey Fisher, is one of the most stylish ladies on TV. I've already blogged here about my quest for the red and white vintage inspired dress in the above photo and here about how getting any copies of Sookie's clothes is near impossible since most are original.

Given these realities, what were left with is getting the aura of Sookie's style without being able to replicate it exactly. I know, collective sighing and groaning out there in the interwebs. But really Sookie's style is so vintage-inspired and is so easy to integrate into your wardrobe.

So here's the best of what I can currently find for takes on Sookie's beautiful red and white halter dress:

Sookie: The Lead Contender:

What you get: the ruched bodice, the seaming under the bodice, the sweet and romantic look, the floral pattern, the nipped in waist, the sweetheart neckline, vintage

What's different: the color pallet relies on pink rather than white, the floral pattern is larger, it's not fully a halter, it comes with rhinestone straps

Available at etsy store Fab Gab's vintage
for $138

Sookie does Hawaii version:

What you get: happy floral print, romantic look, halter top (not shown in this picture), nipped in waist, vintage

What's different: no white, bolder print, no sweetheart neckline, fuller skirt, no ruched bodice

Available at ebay seller Forever Lovely Vintage for a buy now price of $125 or best offer

Sookie: bridesmaid by day, Bill's girlfriend by night version


What you get: feminine look, flattering bodice, less full skirt, sweetheart neckline

What's different: fabric, empire waist, lack of floral print or pattern, not vintage

Available at J. Crew
for $215.

Sookie on a budget friendly version:

What you get: red and white floral print, waist accentuating, flattering cut, summer inspired

What's different: more red than white, heavy red border, lack of halter or even strapless cut

Available at Chadwick's for $19.99.

03 January 2010

A hint of vint

Here, without much commentary, are two outfits with a hint of vintage to them.

Girlfriends weekend

Outfit consists of:
Violet Calvin Klein tights available at ASOS for $23.80.
Black faux suede slouch boots by Adi available at Target for $37.
Black acrylic pointelle dolman sweater available at Forever 21 for $14.50.
100% organic cotton giraffe tank available at Belle and Dean for $40.
Black 8mm stud earrings by Carolee available at zappos for $28.
1950s cotton swing skirt with 28" waist available at Vintage Trends for $38.
Weekend Away
Outfit consists of:
1960s/1970s beaded necklace available at Adore Vintage for $24.99.
1940s cream and floral clasp purse available at Adore Vintage for $36.00
Gold clasp elastic belt available at Top Shop for $30.
Wool twill club pant available at J.Crew for $59.99.
Gray satin and crocodille accented Lianne heels by Marciano available at heels.com for $112.49
Green modal and polyester drop-waist top available at Old Navy for $6.00.

02 January 2010

Vintage Lite

If I were to describe my vintage aesthetic, I'd go with vintage lite. While I appreciate the beauty and skill it takes to fully embrace a full vintage or vintage-inspired outfit, my personal ability and inclination lends itself to utilizing one or two vintage pieces in an outfit comprised more completely of modern pieces.

The intent of this blog has always been to embrace this aesthetic and encourage people who may be interested in vintage but are unsure of how to use that in their daily lives. Using vintage beyond style considerations is smart for a whole variety of reasons some of which are the quality of the clothing is in general better, the cost for a lot of it is cheaper, and it's a smart, environmentally friendly way to approach clothing. This isn't clothing to wear and toss, this is clothing to buy, maintain, and keep. By mixing it with modern pieces, you can have a staple to reinvent as time goes on.

In this year, I hope to explore more of this "vintage lite" look, take a peak at vintage items in household items, and examine some vintage dilemmas that I've always faced. For now, let's take a peak at a vintage lite look that I've thrown together and if my waist was small enough you'd never be seeing this skirt until it was mine, all mine.
New Job

Outfit consists of:
Sheer ivory chiffon shirt from Forever 21 for $17.80.
Slouchy faux suede boots from Michael Antonio available at Arden B. for $68.
1980s dark gray pencil skirt with a 25" waist available at Adore Vintage for $46.
Black square framed Thierry Lasry glasses available at Browns Fashion for 125 pounds.
Checkered wool blend tights by Marni available at net-a-porter for $84.
Draped front acrylic cardigan available at Forever 21 for $19.80.
Black embossed vinyl clutch available at Forever 21 for $15.80.