21 February 2011

etsy fashion finds!

Vint Condition made the etsy fashion finds newsletter today! I'm very excited about this to be sure.  Today's newsletter captured overall trends for 2011, one of which is tribal prints and we had just the dress for them.  If you want to check out this lovely 1960s dress yourself, head on over to the shop!

18 February 2011

Power Play

There's usually time while instructing that a rowdy class could devolve from an energetic yet slightly obnoxious classroom into something more, well, woolly. I'm trying to avoid such a crisis in my class right now. It's time to refocus and recalibrate and head in the right direction.  I wanted to be a bit more pulled together and professional for today and dreamed this one up in my head while I couldn't sleep last night. Now if only I had managed not to tuck my skirt into my tights things would have gone a bit better.

There's very minimal usage of vintage in this, but I would argue that as a whole the outfit has a vintage feel. I love hints of black and my home decor also has tons of black points spread throughout. I originally had thicker tights on, but wanted more of a semi-sheer look rather than a heavier one.  I really wanted my black patterned tights but I couldn't find them this morning. Despite the skirt fiasco, I think things went rather well.

Outfit consists of:
Blazer: gray blazer by Express found at TJ Maxx
Pin: 1950s circle pin from my great-grandmother { similar here at moxie deluxe }
Top: white cotton tank found at Goodwill
Belt: black tie belt borrowed from a shirt
Skirt: coral Land's End skirt found at Goodwill
Tights: black tights found at TJ Maxx
Boots: black Nine West boots found at TJ Maxx

16 February 2011

Day of Failures

So in a day of failures (Prius injury, cranky students, and a poem that won't write itself), I did manage to get my outfit right.  Since I got this skirt, it has been the recipient of many compliments. It's so easy to mix and match since the skirt carries so many lovely muted colors. Today I paired it with my cozy blue sweater and a pin that I've had tucked away for awhile. It was my great-grandmother Albina's and she had a fondness for costume jewelry.  In the next few months I plan to start a project in which I transcribe her diaries and poems (my dad always said I got it from somewhere) and of course, wear more of her jewelry. You'll be able to read about her right here on the blog.

The last time I wore this skirt, I matched it with brown boots and blue tights, but today I opened one of my many shoes closets and took out these beauties. Tonally they work with the outfit, yet provide more impact than brown did.

Outfit consists of:

Sweater: navy blue double breasted cardigan by It's Our Time found at TJ Maxx
Pin: 1970s silver-tone feather pin { the exact same one here at Chatham09 and gold-tone version here at Lydia's Vintage }
Top: stone colored ruffle trimmed tank by Spense found at TJ Maxx
Belt: Brown belt found at Last Chance
Skirt: 1970s textured knit skirt found at The Greedy Seagull { similar concept here at Cool Vintage Finds }
Tights: brown striped windowpane tights found in Florence, Italy
Boots: 1970s cranberry suede boots found at Vintage Shoe Love { similar here at Vera Vague }

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The Color Wheel

I'm not one for neutrals in general, but I find my closet has been overwhelmed by shades of gray, black, and brown. Spring is almost here and it's time for a bit more color in our lives.  Behold, the Vint Condition color wheel:

Yellow: 1960s yellow silk cocktail dress, extra small
Yellow-Green: 1950s Fashionbilt green plaid coat, large
Green: 1980s Easton Park cotton blend dress, large
Blue-Green: 1950s blue-green brocade dress, medium/large
Blue: 1980s Nipon Boutique designer dress, medium
Blue-Violet: 1980s Flora Kung designer dress, large
Violet: 1970s violet and gold brocade dress, medium
Red-Violet: 1950s feathered hat
Red: 1940s red and green woven skirt, medium
Red-Orange: 1940s R&K Original reptile print dress, small
Orange: 1960s orange and gold brocade skirt { sold }
Yellow-Orange: 1960s floral print carpet purse {coming soon}

15% off any of these items in the color wheel until Saturday at midnight. To get the refund, mention this blog post in your message to the seller.  Refunds will be given through Paypal.

14 February 2011

With Love

Trapped at the writing conference, I briefly interacted with another writer who annoyed me. I usually love people from the start, but he was equal parts self-deprecatory and boastful at the same time. A toxic mix really. He was wearing a fatigue jacket, something he probably schlepped to the Army surplus store to pick up. He wore his military jacket the way most floppy haired hipsters do, with a sense of irony and as a way, presumably, to make a statement.

This particular gentleman was annoyed that he had spotted several other young writers milling around wearing similar attire. "This is my thing," he proclaimed, perhaps forgetting the long history of appropriating military jackets by other and earlier floppy haired hipsters.  In speaking with my friend (also present at the time) whose husband served in Afghanistan, there was a sense of frustration that we both felt.  This man, boy really, felt comfortable weraring his military jacket as a way to thumb his nose at those who serve, as a way to say he doesn't.  I promised my fair friend that I would talk about this moment, and indeed wear a military jacket with respectful intentions.  Because when I wear it, I think of all the men and women who have done so much more than I ever will, who have risked so much for all of us.  When I wear it, I think of all the Vietnam soldiers who were spit on, yelled at, and denied a welcome home.

You see, my father served for 26 years.  He joined the Army when he was 17.  He was just a kid, though I'm sure at the time he felt he was ready.  By the time he was 25, my dad was stationed in Vietnam.  He was a medic, one of those brave souls who face death and try to keep everyone alive, everyone breathing. This jacket is not my father's.  It is his friend's. They accidentally grabbed the wrong ones one evening and this jacket stayed with my father. I would like to think the Goodnow family has the Baker jacket tucked away somewhere.


Outfit consists of:
Jacket: 1960s Army jacket { similar here at Greatest Friend and earlier, warmer version here in my shop }
Sweater: red drape cardigan by absolutely found at Last Chance
Dress: patterned shift dress by biographie found at TJ Maxx
Belt: brown skinny belt found at TJ Maxx
Tights: gray windowpane tights found at TJ Maxx
Boots: brown boots by BP found at Last Chance

12 February 2011

3 Poets in a Photo Booth

I haven't said much about the conference I went to last week mostly because I'm rather discouraged with the conference in general. It only happens once a year, but the process of getting there during the winter and then the frustrations of navigating the conference hotel leave me exhausted. When I first started going, the conference was a bit smaller and though it's heartening to see a growing number of writers prowling around, the sheer size of the space, and well the sheer size of some of the egos is too much for me right now. Maybe next year I'll feel different, but for right now I'm pretty happy with my decision not to go.

Sadly, this is the only time of the year I get to see my distant friends.  The conference affords us with the opportunity to see one another again and everything falls into place and feels right again.  I miss them dearly and wish that we could dial back a few years. Above are two of my favorite people (my third favorite writer was upstairs at the bar and missed this occasion), people I would gladly cram into a photo booth with any day. Meet Meghan and Charlie, two poets who will light this world on fire.

09 February 2011

Strange Parts

The river finally iced over, and now a heavy blanket of snow covers it.  Below the dam, the water is still running and sometimes in the morning we can see tracks leading down to the water, small prints tracing through the snow. In the spring I hope to see the family of muskrats again, burrowing in the muddy bank across the way. For now, though, we wait to catch a glimpse of the mysterious evening adventurer who clamors down the ice banks.

This winter is a thing unto itself and even without the pain of mourning, I feel unsettled and raw.  Everything seems difficult and trying.  I don't want this to become a blog of mourning, nor do I feel like the world needs to see my outfits every day, but chronicling it is serving a purpose. I get up, I get dressed and really that is all I'm asking of myself. Well that's not true, I'm asking a lot more of myself, but that's the minimum standard.

Like the winter, this blog is becoming it's own being.  When I was little, I proclaimed to my parents that I was part vampire, part lollipop, part Aimee. A strange amalgamation of things to be certain, but that's sort of what this blog is as well. Parts of all those things. This space will probably continue to be a collection of infinite sadness, thoughts on writing, pretty clothes, store news, and occasional cat pictures and I think I'm alright with that.

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: gray cardigan by frenchi found at Last Chance
Headband: gray knit headband found at Last Chance
Tank Top: Gap tank found at Gap Outlet
Ring: mid-century US Army ring a gift from my Dad
Belt: black silk blend belt borrowed from a shirt
Skirt: 1950s novelty print full skirt { coming to the shop soon }
Tights: gray sweater tights found at TJ Maxx
Shoes: black peep toes by apepazza found at Last Chance

07 February 2011

Fields Beyond Fields

The title of this post refers to a poem from Alison Stine's collection of poems, Ohio Violence. Her poetry is filled with violent images, images of road kill and drownings, of rape and murder. I chose some of her poems to discuss in my Literature and Composition class because the topics connect to the same rural underpinnings of our small town and I had hoped my students would be able to connect a bit more to poetry if they felt that the topics voiced are ones that they live.

Alison Stine has an interview on her website in which she talks about the understanding of violence, how being surrounded by violent imagery such as say, road kill, anesthetizes us to the horror of such deaths, and indeed to the lives we participate in. There was some lively discussion surrounding the poetry, but the idea of violence proved to be a sticking point for some. That violence, if accidental, somehow negates the act as being violent.

I could see my students struggling with the concept, the idea that our lives contain violence that goes beyond intentional acts forced from one individual to another, that a violent death is its own kind of violence. We carry multiple definitions of the word within us, and this word is malleable based on personal perspective.

Life here up north is incredibly and viscerally violent in ways we don't often discuss and I hope that even the more narrowly defined concepts of violence that some of my students hold has been cracked open a bit.

Outfit consists of:
Dress: striped cotton dress by maple found at Goodwill
Sweater: brown cardigan found at Target
Necklace: Aimee necklace found at Tree & Kimball
Belt: skinny brown belt found at TJ Maxx
Tights: brown tights found at TJ Maxx
Shoes: turquoise ballet flats found at Gap Outlet

01 February 2011

Message from a Snow State

I have to teach a night class tonight and though the snow is already coming down the college is still open.  Despite this, I've been getting emails today from students telling me they can't make it tonight because of the weather. I get that, but it really angers me when I get emails that include lines like, "could you let me know if I missed anything important." What?

At the moment it's not looking so good for my travels tomorrow, and this is how I feel about that:

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: cardigan by Caslon found at Last Chance
Tank: brown ribbed tank by halogen found at Last Chance
Necklace: blue and green faux glass necklace gift from my mom
Ring: blue glass ring found in Venice, Italy
Skirt: 1960s vintage skirt (also gift from mom) found at Capricious Traveler { similar here at Capricious Traveler and here at Small Earth Vintage }
Tights: brown tights found at TJ Maxx
Shoes: brown Jessica Simpson ballet flats found at Last Chance