31 January 2011

Sad Face

The title of this post refers to my inner sadness while my outfit pictures are actually cold face, since we're rocking out a whole 5 degrees today.  What gives me sad face is this:

A giant winter storm standing between me and the AWP Creative Writing conference in DC. I'm supposed to leave Wednesday evening and it kind of looks like that might not happen.

Meanwhile, back here in the cold, I dashed outside for a quick photo today.  Notice the slightly blue hands and face. Also, I think I'm holding my breath in these shots. I'm not sure how all those other bloggers can stand to frolic in the snow and cold. 

Also, this is my hair in its native state.  When I straighten it, this is what it fights to get back to, a wavy, puffy, frizzy disaster.  At times like this, I just need to remind myself that this is a trait that I get from my father. Whenever I have a new hairstylist, there is always exclamations over how thick my hair is and my response is that it's my father's fault.  That and the curly eyebrows.

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: gray cardigan found at Gap Outlet
Shirt: white cotton tank found at Goodwill
Necklace: 1940s book necklace found at Jean Jean Vintage { more great lockets here and here }
Belt: clear and black belt found at Last Chance
Skirt: vintage skirt by Massimo found at Call Me Chula { more vintage yellow plaid skirts here at The Bea Project and here at Cappywanna Vintage }
Tights: gray sweater tights found at JC Penny
Boots: black Nine West boots found at TJ Maxx

30 January 2011

What I Wore: Day and Night

Yesterday was an extremely busy day. The night before was a can't sleep night and I didn't actually close my eyes until 6am. I'm sick of hearing that I should go to sleep earlier, because trust me, I'm not trying to stay awake that long.

Under a heavy cloud of exhaustion, my husband and I went to my mom's friend's house to fix her DVD player problems, then we had lunch at Panera Bread and ran errands.  We didn't get home until 4:30 and I frantically got ready for our night out.  My darling friend Erika planned a surprise 30th birthday party for her husband Keith and it was also my friend Danielle's birthday.  We ate dinner and then went to a local bar to listen to a cover band where I danced poorly, sang loudly, and sucked down some amaretto sours.

So yesterday included two completely different outfits, which was interesting to my husband since he claims, "Dudes just need one outfit a day."

Day look:

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: green cardigan found at Sears
Necklace: Aimee necklace found at Tree and Kimball
Tank top: stone tank by American Eagle found at TJ Maxx
Jeans: Beau jeans found at TJ Maxx
Shoes: gray ballet flats found at Gap Outlet

Two things about this outfit: 
1) the lovely Lisa of Tree and Kimball designed this necklace and named it after me! Her new spring line is filled with gorgeous dip dyed lace creations that she named after fellow etsians. I can't begin to say how flattering that is and how sweet Lisa is. 

2) this sweater may be recognizable to family and friends. That's because I bought it over 10 years ago to go to college. It's like the Energizer bunny of sweaters. There's no pilling, or fading, or wear of any sort (except one of the buttons escaped and I have yet to fix it). It's done this well and I must say I've never been careful with it. I mean it lived through 4 years of college washings!

Night look:

The second picture is what happens when your husband says, "Do something interesting!" Incidentally, this is also my signature dance move.

Outfit consists of:

Sweater: drape front black cardigan by Joie found at Last Chance
Sweater: 1980s zebra print sweater by S/J designs found at Purple Deer { more zebra print here at Greatest Friend and here at Volenska Vintage }
Belt: clear and black belt found at Last Chance
Pants: black jeggings by 7 for all mankind found at TJ Maxx
Boots: black Madden Girl boots found at TJ Maxx

28 January 2011

Getting Dressed

So for the last month my life has consisted mostly of sitting on the couch staring at the television.  Under normal circumstances I'm busy, busy, busy.  All summer I worked hard at setting up the shop and running errands, but now all I want to do is sit in my pajamas and eat chips and cookies and glug down gallons of soda. It's to be expected, really, but it's probably a good thing that the semester started today and I had to actually wear something other than what could be classified as pajamas. Okay, that's technically not true. Some of my fellow instructors do teach in sweats and velour, but that's frightening to me.

Today's class was a bit rockier than I'd hoped, but at least I managed to 1) to photocopy things on time and 2) find something to wear with that skirt!

Outfit consists of:
Top: Anne Klein found at TJ Maxx
Skirt: vintage skirt found at Nautie Godiva {similar here at Elora Vintage and here at Purple Deer}
Belt: brown belt found at TJ Maxx
Tights: blue tights found at Target
Boots: BP found at Last Chance (I swear I really do own other footwear)

Expect more outfit photos since I'll be working outside the "store" 4 days a week

25 January 2011

House Heartbreak

Darling Rebecca of the blog The Clothes Horse posted a link to the Flickr group Looking into the Past where users overlay contemporary photos with historic views of the same site so that the viewer is jolted by the juxtaposition of the two images. I had seen this group before, but hadn't looked at any of the newer photos.  As each image crept by on the slideshow, I paid little attention until I came to this one:

And immediately recognized it.  Ten years, hundreds of miles, thousands of houses passed by in my car and still I knew this house.  It's in the little town of Potsdam, New York.  Tucked away up in northern New York on the street heading out of town.  I drove by it on my way home to see my parents.

This dear heartbreaking house has been torn down now. How I love houses, old houses filled with laughter and voices.  Think of how many frat guys clattered around this place. The years it saw.  Only to be torn down.

But on another level, it's reassuring now, how strong and easy memories can be to access.  Dear house, I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I remember passing by you on those full sunlit days of college.  The kind that are brisk with cold, my radio scratching away from my one working speaker, and the drive in front of me.  Just an hour and a half more and I'm home to my dad chastising me for driving too quickly and carrying my laundry and bags into the house.

*photo by Russ Nelson

24 January 2011

Outfit mayday!

Sometimes I buy something amazing, and then I panic when it comes to working it into my wardrobe.  Like this cute skirt I got from Nautie Godiva.  The problem? My real inclination is to pair this with neutrals like a chocolate brown cardigan or a black one, but I'd much rather load up on more color. So, thoughts for a great outfit?

19 January 2011

Dust Dreams

Insomnia, or maybe just difficulty sleeping.  Once I'm asleep, I'm out for a good 7-12 hours, but it feels impossible to get there every night. And this is how I discovered that MTV, after reruns of Teen Mom, actually does play music videos.  And I heard this band.

I'm out of the music loop, I confess, so you may have heard about them years ago. I once was dedicated to finding new music, new bands.  I was that girl, but along the way I stopped listening to a lot of music somewhere after the Poe and Luscious Jackson years and before the local "alternative" stations got stuck on Linkin Park (Wtf?). Now I'm the person who has multiple NPR stations programmed into the radio and a half collection of CDs floating around the car that always seem like the same CD.  Brandon Flowers, you again?

But anyway I did like this Middle Class Rut song, but really all I want to do is watch this video and the scenery as it pulls by. Those wide landscapes, the muted tones.  And here blue sky and dust.  I need to go back to the southwest soon.  Four years in Arizona and it's a deep part of my soul.  To me, the southwest is like a wool sweater, an uncomfortable prickly itch.  I belong among treed mountains and streams, hard crunching snow and cool lake breezes, but there's something equally magnetic and repelling about the southwest.  It's strange, this yearning for a place that never manages to satisfy me.

15 January 2011

Sophia Loren

The other night, while half despondent with despair, I curled up on the couch (okay let's face it I barely ever leave the couch) and watched The Millionairess staring Sophia Loren.  My adorable husband walked through and I pointed out how gorgeous Sophia Loren is. He stopped, stared at the screen and replied, "Eh, she's not my thing."

Not my thing? It's Sophia f'ing Loren! How? What? Huh? I submit for evidence these photos:

14 January 2011

An Education

I finally watched An Education. I know I'm late to the party and many of you have already seen it, but I must say I was entranced. There are obvious parallels to Humbert Humbert of Lolita fame with the seduction of young innocence, the seduction of those around her but I will say that An Education manages this in a bit of a different way than in Lolita. In An Education the viewer is aware of the seduction, the treading into dangerous territory for the young Jenny.  We want to warn her away, tell her parents to be more cautious.  In Lolita (the novel), Humbert Humbert is less easy to guard against.  Even in grad school I heard my classmates refer to Dolores as a seductress, somehow culpable in these hyper-sexualized encounters.  But the truth is, dear readers, you too have been seduced by Humbert Humbert in a way that Peter in An Education fails to do.

In regards to fashion, the transformation of Jenny is visible in her wardrobe, she ventures from her pitch perfect school girl garb to lady-like perfection, but even in this perfection we see her as playacting, trying to be the woman and adult she's not quite ready to be.

I also must add, that a few months ago I sold a similar gold dress, I wonder if the buyer knew how closely it resembled Jenny's outfit as she waits for Peter.

I know that the blogger world and the fashionistas have a strong adoration for Carey Mulligan and I agree, she's got style and immense acting ability, but I was geekily happy to see Rosamund Pike (who reminds me of actress Jewel Straite in looks) in this film.  I've loved her since she starred in Wives and Daughters and Pride & Prejudice. I think I'd also be remiss in not pointing out her wardrobe as well.

10 January 2011

Beautifully Broken: True Blood Ep. 2 Season 3

Sookie, classic American girl next door.  Sure, she's got some mystery to her, but really she represents that concept with her sweet nature, love of family, romantic ideals. It's no wonder that in episode two of season three she's in a classic American shirt. The one she has on in this episode has a bit of a western flair to it with a small floral print and pockets, but the button down for women is iconic.  Shirts like this are great under cardigans, blazers, or alone like this one.  Wear it all year round like here in this summery look where it's paired with jean shorts.

Here's where you can find a similar one for yourself:

1. 1970s western plaid shirt available at Pretty Little World Vintage
2. 1970s embroidered floral blouse available at jessjamesjake
3. 1970s metallic stripe blouse available at The Bea Project
4. 1970s floral and berry print blouse available at Clever Nettle

09 January 2011

Bad Blood: True Blood Ep. 1 Season 3

One of the things my mom and I do is watch True Blood together (don't worry, I make her close her eyes during the sex scenes).  I made my husband get us HBO over the summer so that my mom and I could cozy up and watch our show, but that didn't happen.  My parents were over a lot this summer, but my dad wasn't feeling well even then.  I think we were both hesitant to start watching television when it was obvious he was uncomfortable and tired. 

My plan had been, at the time, to do outfit posts around the show.  The Sookie posts on this blog are, after all, the most visited portion of the site.  Today, my mom and I watched the first two episodes, drank coffee, and snuggled with the Siamese and though much of the world has already seen True Blood, we're still catching up.  When I watch an episode, I'll post about it.  It keeps me busy and blissfully thinking about something else for a little while.

This episode was light on fashion.  Sookie wears a purple dress, which frankly I didn't find very inspiring.  The most obvious stunner of this episode was Evan Rachel Wood's outfit. As Sophie-Anne her wardrobe is lush with strong vintage influences. It's about the only thing I appreciate about her character, or Wood's acting for that matter.  In this episode she dons a lush silk harem pant ensemble topped with a fur. Easy and elegant, non?

Version 1: The Light Side

1. Vintage 1980s harem pants available at Starlet Vintage
2. Faux fur bolero Dorothy Perkins
3. Apiece Apart tank top available at La Garconne
4. Pixie T-bar heels available at ASOS

Version 2: The Dark Side

1. Vintage 1980s harem jumpsuit available at Midnight Flight
2. Faux fur bolero available at Far Fetch
3. Stein & Blye Enamel Cuff available at Nordstrom
4. Vintage 1980s heels available at Allen Company Inc.

07 January 2011

Sick and Tired

I'm sick, tired, and sad. And sick of being sad and tired of being sick. The thing about any of these, is that the world keeps moving. Mourning is deeply painful and a bit awe-inspiring in its intensity, but the cats still need to be fed and the laundry washed.  The Hospice care nurse told my mom that I can contact her if I want.  They check up with the families after everything to see how we're doing.  I don't really want to talk to anyone about it right now, though.

I will say I haven't been sleeping well. Once I get asleep, I'm okay, but the path there is rough.  My eyelids get heavy and I head up to bed only to find myself thinking and thinking and thinking.  Most nights I drag myself down to the couch because I don't want to keep waking my husband up.  The sleepless nights left me open to this annoying cold that everyone seems to have, a rasping dry cough.  The only benefit is that I get to have an excuse to dose myself with NyQuil and have a few hours of sleep.

I didn't post anything yesterday because even though I made it into clothes, I just threw an oversized sweater dress over a long-sleeved t-shirt and camped out on the couch. Today, I had to go to the post office to send out some Vint Condition packages.  I stared at my closet for awhile before throwing this on:

It's actually a great low effort outfit. The sweater tights are my fav winter addition to my wardrobe since I'm constantly nice and toasty and the dress feels like a nightgown.  Unfortunately, poly/nylon and sweater tights combine to create the perfect storm of static cling ride up.  I'm pretty certain this could be why the firefighter at the post office let me go ahead of him in line. The only things I did when I got back from the post office is take off my boots and belt and I was cozy all day. No one here cares if my dress rides up.

I took some photos for the shop, but then I gave up and drank some chamomile tea my amazing team members sent me and put on a pair of fuzzy pink slippers my friend, Sara, sent in the mail.  I've been camped out on the couch since trying to get up enough energy to work on the store, but really I'll probably go back to reading Sarah Vowell's "The Partly Cloudy Patriot."

Outfit consists of:
Top: a.n.a found at J.C. Penny by my mommy (thank you, mom!)
Dress: 1970s jungle and cheetah print mini dress found at Thistle and Lace (similar here at IKAHN)
Belt: found at Last Chance
Tights: sweater tights found at TJ Maxx
Boots: BP found at Last Chance

05 January 2011


What's exciting about today's outfit? Not really anything, except for the fact that I made myself get dressed and out of the house in the same day, which, let's face it, is an accomplishment lately. I actually planned on going out today thrifting but canceled because of the snow. I live in the middle of nowhere and my thrifting location is 1.5 hours away (really 1ish when I'm driving but if my mom is driving it's much much longer) and it just seemed too much of an annoyance anyway.

Instead, I ran some errands and had lunch with my mom. Which is really just as nice sometimes.

So here I am, in my yard with crazy hair.  Inside my hair was all nice and cutely curly but once it hit the windy outside it got puffy big.  You may also note that I'm standing all weird. That's not some random blogger affectation, but the fact that when I put on these boots I head out and remember that I need the left tap replaced. Every. Single. Time.  And interestingly, I dressed to match the landscape.

Oh wait, you're wondering where my coat is? I'm tough about the cold, but not that tough.

This was meant for the store, but I couldn't let it go even though it is real fur and my husband is a vegetarian. I think it makes him sad inside.  Whatever.

Outfit consists of:
Cardigan: Gap found at the Gap outlet
Shirt: ruffle front blouse found at The Bee's Knees Clothing (similar here at Thrush and here)
Tank: Gap found at the Gap outlet
Jeans: Beau found at TJ Maxx
Boots: BP found at Last Chance
Coat: 1950s mink and wool coat found at antique store (similar here at Suzy Berry and here at Dear Golden)
Bracelet: 1950s braided rope bracelet found at auction
Necklace (the last Christmas gift my dad helped pick out): 1940s book locket from Jean Jean Vintage (other great lockets at Jean Jean here and here)

Also, just to rub it in a bit. Here is a better view of my shooting location otherwise known as my yard:

04 January 2011

A New Year

What's this? Me? An outfit post? Crazy right? I rarely show my face online, yet here I am. It's my first attempt so you'll have to forgive the part where the photo is a bit blurry and you can see my new lighting equipment in the corner.  Also the fact that I look really exhausted.  It's a learning curve over here at Vint Condition.

This is part of my attempt to be more present and active in the blogging world and infuse a bit more of me in my posts. 

This outfit is pulled together from a few of my favorite things, but I really must take a moment to talk about the beautiful and thoughtful Lisa who created the best thing here.  Lisa runs her own Etsy shops, Tree and Kimball and Tree and Kimball Market.  Both are amazing to say the least.  When Lisa learned that my father had passed, she made me this very special necklace that I'm wearing. It's made of these adorable charms, but most importantly it has two lockets where I can put photos of my dad.  Even though I haven't picked the photos yet, I basically haven't taken it off since it arrived.  Lisa really is truly one of the best, and I don't say that lightly.  Even before she sent this necklace, I appreciated her spark and kindness.  I'm happy that the world of Etsy brought us together.  Thank you always, Lisa.

Outfit consists of:
Cardigan: Cable and Gauge found at TJ Maxx
Tank top: Psst! found at Last Chance
Necklace:  from Lisa, find more of her jewelry at Tree and Kimball
Belt: stolen from a thrifted 1980s dress
Skirt: 1980s faux bois skirt by Yves St. Laurent found at Prance and Swagger (similar here at Lola Vintage)
Tights: Christmas gift from my mommy (thank you mom!)
Shoes: Nine West found at TJ Maxx (similar here)