31 March 2011

The Genius of Vivienne Westwood

I must confess an adoration of Vivienne Westwood's designs.  I love her range and evolution of style in her clothing.  As for Westwood herself, while I don't find myself agreeing with a lot of her statements, I do enjoy how brash and unabashedly herself she is.  She's unapologetic and forthright.  I imagine conversation with her would be a whirlwind.

For Westwood fans, or simply fans of fashion, the Museum at FIT is hosting an exhibition of her work.  It's through their accompanying site to the exhibition that I found this interview with Westwood:


I love that she confesses to hating being a designer and that the love of her profession had to develop over time.

And then this awkward 1988 interview with the BBC:

The whole thing makes me cringe. It makes me wonder why they chose to invite her on the show when their intention was to ridicule her and her work. Westwood begins the show thinking she will seriously be able to preview her work not expecting that the goal was to poke fun at her reputation.

What are your thoughts on Vivienne Westwood?

28 March 2011

Pattern Mixing: Attempt 1

The fashion blogger world is abuzz with the new spring concepts: color blocking and pattern mixing. I'm a failure at both and quite honestly I lack a lot of pattern in my wardrobe.  Color blocking I may be able to handle, but pattern mixing?

Today I stuck a toe out into the waters of pattern mixing, and it felt just fine. I know that color is more prominent in a lot of mixing that I see, but it's still so wintery here that I'm tucked into my wool skirts and cozy sweaters which lean heavily toward the neutral side.

Outfit consist of:
Sweater: black and white striped cardigan by Talbots found at Goodwill
Top: black tank top by Express found at TJ Maxx
Belt: black and clear belt found at Last Chance
Skirt: 1980s wool skirt by Christina found at Goodwill
Tights: black and white patterned tights found at TJ Maxx
Shoes: black Nine West shoes found at TJ Maxx

27 March 2011

Schoolgirl Style

 This weekend I took in Sucker Punch at our local theater.  I had hoped for a film that was visually interesting and yet capable of exploring the divide between fantasy world and reality all the while keeping up with a strong female character. I guess I had hoped for too much.  I heartily recommend avoiding this film and if you want to read full reviews of it go here and here, but I warn you they contain plot spoilers.

The wardrobe choices of this film left it near impossible to consider this a movie of female empowerment, although I'm sure some critics would disagree.  Babydoll, the main character, is committed to an insane asylum shortly after her mother's death. What follows is her escape to a dreamscape of a dance brothel and then from there an additional layer of escapism as her mind flees to various surreal battlefields.

In each of these dreamscapes that she constructs, Babydoll wears schoolgirl outfits. While school uniforms and schoolgirls themselves used to be pretty innocuous, our contemporary culture has sexualized this image.  Google schoolgirl and you will most assuredly find scantily clad women and older teen youths.  Perhaps it is first a failure of the film to properly develop the character enough that her wardrobe choices seem like a natural extension of her being, but whatever the cause, the viewer is left with yet another empty sexed up ingenue. It is not the actual image of the schoolgirl herself, but the lack of appropriate context that seems irksome to me, as though the outfit is less about presentation of self and more about subjecting her to the male moviegoer's gaze.

After viewing this, I decided to do a retrospective on the schoolgirl look over the past 90 years, how we progressed from classic conservative staple to over-saturated images of dance pop videos featuring the likes of Britney Spears.

Hemlines swiftly make their way upward from Edwardian ideals and we officially welcome in the first recognizable schoolgirl look. We often forget how dramatic a cultural shift we took from Edwardian ladies to the next decade's styles. Short pleated skirts paired with loose, often sailor inspired blouses, were the hallmarks of this style.

Shorter skirts become ingrained in school uniforms, further entrenching the schoolgirl style. The photo used above features young women in Australia indicating that the style was not a local or regional style.

We're all in love with seperates, so much so that they pinafore was a strong schoolgirl style contender. Skirts have a bit of pleating and plaid and schoolgirl start their connection here. 

This is the era that brings us one of the strongest images of schoolgirl style that we have today: the Catholic schoolgirl.  Outfits and uniforms worn to Catholic schools are by necessity conservative and easily replicated.

Schoolgirl style takes a big turn in the 1960s. Mary Quant takes credit for creating the miniskirt and it seems as though women and teens rejoice. Hemlines are drastically brought up especially when held to their 1950s predecessors.  Tartan also takes off in the 1960s and we'll always make the connection between the style and the pattern.

As the subversive culture shifts more strongly from hippie to punk, the schoolgirl look picks up steam as a sexualized image. Debbie Harry of Blondie is a strong example of this look.  The skirt lengths are shorter, and here paired with thigh highs and a hint of skin showing, the message is clear.

The sexual overtones of the 1970s are tempered in the 1980s by the overblown and oversized form. Here, from the movie Heathers, we see an example of the requisite plaid skirts paired with weighty blazers.  While the blazers shift in and out of current interest depending on where we are on the love/hate pendulum when we consider the 1980s, the skirts are really still top form and classic.

The schoolgirl look becomes inescapable and the hyper-sexualization of the schoolgirl look is back in full form by the 1990s.  The movie Clueless captured how omnipresent this style was with shortened hemlines and tighter fits.  Britney Spears knocked it up a few notches with her controversial (at the time) take on the full schoolgirl uniform.  With her midriff exposed and her pleated skirt sporting a dangerous hemline, critics couldn't decide if they should be critiquing the culturally complicated lyrics of her hit song or her decision to embrace a look that was heavily circulated in pornography.

26 March 2011

Weekend Snippets

Great cedar tree, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, 1897
Great Cedar Tree, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC 1897 - photo from the Musee McCord Museum Collection


 This week marked the passing of Elizabeth Taylor. Glamorous, gorgeous, and endlessly fascinating, Elizabeth Taylor was the very definition of screen legend. Check out this 1949 Time article billing Taylor as the film industry's savior.

CNN, surprisingly, has started a series on fashion trends around the world.  Rather than high fashion, they're focusing on street fashion.  First up, Idaho and then San Francisco. The comments are really rather negative, but that seems to be the trend for most internet articles.


If you wear vintage, try sharing your outfits with this great Flickr group of other rad ladies wearing vintage.

This weekend is another Maple Weekend in New York State. I missed my pancake breakfast last weekend, but I'm certain I will go this weekend.  Go on, support some local maple farms!


Jezebel gives some tips to buying vintage in their ongoing "How to Shop Online" series.  It focuses solely on fit.  I'll note that they forget to add that there should be a difference between your body measurements and the garment measurements or else it's just not going to work.


Over at Haiku Ambulance, Zoe is rocking my favorite pair of socks (get thee to Target now before they're all gone, gone, gone) and manages a crochet collar perfectly. **sigh**

If I could drive to Kaitlyn of Buffalo Stance's house, tackle her, steal these boots and run off with glee, I would.

Polly of The Littelest Polly takes a gorgeous turn of the century wedding dress and makes it work as everyday wear.

While the snow is still falling here in NY, down in TN the weather seems positively spring like. Quincy of Q's Daydream makes me jealous for warm weather in her amazing spring ensemble that includes pants!

 I'm not really into shorts personally, as in I never ever wear them, but I would make an exception for the pair that Mary is wearing on her blog Mary Van Notes.  She does some ultra skillful color matching/combining as well.

Jenna of Smitten Ideology is just plain adorable. I recently stumbled across her blog and love the layering she does.  Her outfits are lovely, but I'm linking to this one because she's wearing a hint of vintage.

 Megan of Another Day to Dress Up is spot on in her boyfriend jeans and vintage blazer. I love this look so much that I've resolved to copy it soon.  I particularly like how the bright colored blazer lining is exposed.

Tanya and Noa have a great blog where they use thrifted and vintage finds to replicate contemporary looks.  Noa recently posted a piece about her $1.00 thrifted harem pants.  I love how she paired opposing stripes for a great visual effect, and really, those harem pants are wonderful.

22 March 2011

Monday Road Trip

I can't remember the last time I went to a concert. Wait, yes I can. Four years ago, Death Cab. It's been an embarrassingly long time and since I've been feeling so edgy lately my husband looked at my long concert list I handed him and is trying to put a dent in it. He's not usually so quick on such things, but I middle of the night messaged him a list and by morning he was waking me up to tell me that we were going to go see Cold War Kids.  I confess they aren't extremely high on my list of must listen to bands, but a portion of their songs are enjoyable.

Since I do live in the middle of nowhere, we had to drive to Vermont to see the concert.  And since this is the frigid north, the roads looked like the photo below.  Of course this also has something to do with VT's heinous road policy.  I can assure you the NY side of things looked much better.

To get to VT, we have to travel by ferry. Travel time is often dependent on catching the ferry and we were out of luck since they were roping it off while we were at the ticket booth which meant a wait until the next one.  Fortunately for the wait and the ride I amused myself by taking photos of us.  My husband hates when I do this, but look, he's just so darn cute (and please ignore my snow-frizzed hair)!

And because there is a marked difference between my casual wear and my work wear, I've included a full outfit photo below. There's only a bit of vintage present mostly because I abandoned my other outfit choices after realizing the snow wasn't going to stop.  What's significant about this outfit is two things really: 1) my tunic, but more on that shortly and 2) leggings, apparently this is the first outfit that was legging approved by my husband who keeps calling them tights and was weirded out by them when I tried them on several times before. He never usually mentions anything about my clothing choices, so I think he's trying to politely say too much of my butt was showing. 

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: drape front black cardigan by Joie found at Last Chance
Tunic: cotton green and black empire waist tunic by Magazine found at Marshall's
Belt: 1980s black belt borrowed from a thrifted dress
Leggings: gray leggings found at H&M
Socks: black and silver sparkle socks found at TJ Maxx
Boots: black suede buckle boots by dv found at TJ Maxx

So what's so interesting about that tunic? Meet my 2007 Marshall's purchase. Light and airy it seemed perfect for travel.  As in China/Tibet 2007.  Some evidence below:

The thing about packing a medium sized half-full suitcase (saving room for purchases) for a five week long trip is that eventually you'll have to wear the items in there over and over and over. This tunic (or maybe it was a dress then? it seems longer) saw much more wear than these pictures would suggest.  By the time we both limped back into Phoenix, we managed a bit more wardrobe rotation together before it was relegated to the back of the closet because I was sick of seeing it. 

Then the move of 2008 happened and the house buying of 2009.  I'm still unearthing treasures I've forgotten about (please tell me this doesn't only happen to me) and discovered a space bag stuffed with clothes from grad school.  And there was my tunic, super soft, slightly faded, and ready to be welcomed back into the fold.

20 March 2011

Wishful Working

It's the last evening before spring break officially ends and of course I'm playing catch up. Correction, I'm procrastinating while playing catch up. Papers to finish grading, articles to write, attendance records to update all under the haze of a ferocious headache. So to cheer myself up, I made a wish of an outfit. I'm on a shopping hiatus for now, so dreaming is all I have.

Working It 2011
Silk cashmere sweater by Sonia available at mywardrobe.com
1930s art deco pin available at Jean Jean Vintage
1980s striped skirt available at Adore Vintage
blue tights by Diane von Fursetnberg available at Matches Fashion
burgundy Parkside Stroll Heel available at Mod Cloth
red briefcase available at River Island

19 March 2011

The Modern Bettie Page

Australian Showtime's Satisfaction is probably one of those shows that most people only admit to watching in whispered tones. Set in a high-class brothel, the show chronicles the lives of female and male sex workers. To say that it's steamy is an understatement and probably even more groundbreaking in that arena than say, Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

I could probably talk at length about sex work and systems and cultures in which women and their bodies become commodities, but this really isn't a forum for that. I will say that while Satisfaction is presented with a lot of glam and heat, it does manage to quietly skim over these issues. At times, I would prefer it was a bit more hard hitting, the clientele chosen more from reality than an idealized version of what sex workers face.  For example fetish is explored, but the bodies on the screen are predictably fit and attractive.  The bad not  ever as bad as it could be.

Anyway, since this blog is about fashion, I'm talking about Satisfaction because I adore the fashion sensibilities of Nat. Natalie, owner of the brothel, is neat and organized. Her wardrobe reminiscent of Bettie Page.  The connection is most obvious in her hairstyle during season 3: deep black hair with short blunt cut bangs.  Like Bettie Page, Nat usually lets it curl in vague waves at the ends.

 Nat pulls her wardrobe from a very vintage inspired concept, high waisted pencil skirts are complimented by lace or silk blouses.  Always skirts.  Always heels. Well, almost always anyway.  The look is streamlined and close fitting, her waist emphasized either with the line of the skirt or crafty belting.  She's also the master of suspenders. I usually think of them as being appropriate for older men, but Nat makes them understated sexy.

The wardrobe choices made for Nat are critical in terms of building character.  Nat's buttoned up look is a visual reminder of how strictly she controls her life, controls herself. It's quietly sexual, but reserved.  The heavy dark colors are a representation of reserve and unwillingness to engage with the world. At the same time, she doesn't (either in terms of wardrobe or personality) seem to fit into either the world of glam and hyper-color that surrounds the brothel, nor does she fit in in the outside world, one filled with light.  This is Nat's ongoing struggle, feeling like an outcast and abnormal while keeping her piece of the world in control.

18 March 2011

Snippets from around the Interwebs

Every week I come across great articles, tutorials, and outfit posts. I decided that these links would be fun to share, as a what you missed this week on the interwebs. The headings may change, as may the content, but I hope this builds into a good listing of links and resources for living a vintage modern life.

Vint Condition Mentions:

Our model Kim was featured on Alex Keller's blog series on the girls of Etsy. Much applause to Danielle Brown's photography.  Also, one commenter remarked that Kim looks like a young Carrie Fisher. Thoughts?

Our straw hat got a mention over at Yonder as a perfect picnic accessory!

Vintage Tutorials:

Solanah of Vixen Vintage clues us into how she gets that 1940s look for her hair.

I regularly chop off my hair before summer, but Starr of A Thought is in Blossom has a great video showing how to keep hair up in a scarf turban that I may consider for this summer.

Keiko Lynn guest posted on the blog A Beautiful Mess about her Project Restyle Dress. Do any of you craftly remake your finds?

Sustainable Living:

A lot of vintage buyers also support sustainable living since vintage clothes buying and thrifting is a great way to use the resources we already have. The NYTimes had a piece about a younger generation struggling to revive and start small farms in Oregon. 

Also, if you live where I live, you should know that this Saturday the Cornell Cooperative Extension is hosting Food from the Farm where you get to meet local farmers and food producers. They had a meal component, but they've sold out.  Additionally, the Parker Maple Farm is hosting a pancake breakfast (yum!) this Saturday and next. Maple themed events are taking place all over New York, so check here to see what's going on.

Did you come across any interesting pages lately?

* Carrie Fisher photo still from Star Wars Episode IV, copyright held by Lucas Film Ltd.

17 March 2011

The Vintage Modern Remix

I gave up watching "What Not to Wear" about the same time I graduated college. The first time. The show was too expected and I was tired of watching Stacy and Clinton coax women into high heels, Carmindy-ize their makeup, and streamline their look into rather carbon copy examples of what is mainstream and acceptable.

That's why I surprised myself by settling into an episode the other day, but what's a vintage lover and seller to do when they promise to update someone's vintage look? They hijacked Renee and her wardrobe, taking her from New Orleans to New York City to reimagine her wardrobe. As surprised as I was to be watching the show, I also surprised myself by agreeing with some of their suggestions, and since this is "What Not to Wear" I also disagreed loudly with some of their methods. Despite these moments, my overall impression was favorable. They encouraged Renee to take her love of vintage and mix it with modern pieces, something that I hope this blog (and by extension my shop) strives to express.

The great thing about this episode is it does serve as an appropriate vehicle for me to talk about mixing vintage with modern and offer my opinion.

Stacy and Clinton were wrong about:

1. Their decision to throw away polyester dresses. As the garbage can filled up (ack!) with clothes they took away from Renee, it was clear that a good portion of them were polyester dresses that hailed from the 1960s and 1970s.  Our modern concept of polyester is tainted by what we see churned out by sweatshops for big box stores.  The polyester feels cheap in quality and construction. But back when polyester first appeared it was the new wave of fabric and it was integrated into some pretty fabulous designs. Charlotte of Tuppence Ha'Penny has a great history of polyester fabrics on her blog.

2. The fact that vintage clothes must be in impeccable condition or else they look cheap. Stacy and Clinton can some of Renee's clothes because they have some level of damage. There are, of course, some level of damage that buyers should be cautious about especially when shopping online.  This includes heavy underarm stains (a lot of the time this is not a stain but deeper damage to the fabric and dye) and weaknesses to the fabric like shattering. But I cannot tell you how many times I've seen fashion bloggers work around flaws, disguise them, or use them to their advantage....oh damaged Edwardian blouses how I adore you!

3. That mixing of vintage eras should not happen. Renee mixed eras, placing 1980s necklaces with 1940s dresses.  This was nixed quickly by S and C as being rather too much to carry off in one outfit. I mix eras all the time and believe this is actually a fun way to create a wardrobe. What Renee's problem was is actually an issue of balance. To choose what to put in the same outfit, think about what piece you want someone to notice. A bold 1980s chunky necklace paired with a bright floral print can cause both to be confusing.  Essentially each can be at odds with one another for visual dominance.

4. That a full vintage look is too much of a costume. When I think about wearing vintage I think about the range it offers and the ways in which clothing can be interpreted by different wearers. I lean toward the mix and match side, utilizing a few vintage pieces and mixing it with my modern finds. There are women who rock the full vintage look and do it in a way I can't. I think of Solanah of Vixen Vintage or Jill of Tea with the Vintage Baroness whose styles are perfection and suited to each of them.

Stacy and Clinton were right about:

1. Wearing clothing that represents you rather than trying to create an identity through clothes. Renee stated that she was trying to seem more quirky and intelligent by dressing the way she did, but she didn't necessarily feel that way. Indeed, Renee was soft-spoken and rather shy in the episode, a personality that seemed at odds with her look. Dressing to suit your personality will make you feel more comfortable and confident. This is why Solanah and Jill pull off their wardrobe with aplomb, but I wouldn't be able to make it work for me. You style should represent you, not overwhelm you.

2. Fitting your vintage clothing to your body. I know a lot of vintage purists will disagree, but I wholeheartedly recommend going to a seamstress to have your vintage garment fit to your body. As this Couture Allure post illuminates the difficulty of buying 1950s dresses, you can easily see why this is a sound option. During the fifties, for example, the industry standard was a 10" difference between bust and waist, which without a lot of foundation garments and/or the removal of some ribs our bodies simply don't fit into well. I usually recommend getting dresses taken in rather than let out because there can be some faint fading along the seams or even full garment that's not visible until you move the seam. I've had dresses taken in for a little as a few dollars, so have a seamstress in mind when shopping.

3. Vintage having a place in a contemporary wardrobe.  I actually loved the mixing and matching they did to Renee's wardrobe. Vintage cardigans can easily be worn mixed with your favorite jeans.  Full skirts placed with ballet flats and tank tops. Treat vintage pieces as wardrobe staples that you can return to over and over.

10 March 2011

Art Explorer: Kees van Dongen

 Woman on a Sofa by Kees Van Dongen from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

I confess that I stopped doing my art explorer posts (see here and here) because I haven't actually been to an art museum or purchased a major piece of art in quite awhile.  On my last excursion to Montreal, the art museum was closed for some reason or another and I haven't taken another trip up since.

I'm starting to get edgy, what with all the snow and all, so I've been making a list of places I want to go and things I want to do. In looking around the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts website, I came across Kees van Dongen's work.  I can't recall coming across his work in my museum adventures before by there's a gorgeous lush quality to his work but with an edge of darkness I can't resist.

Today's Art Explorer uses van Dongen's Fille-mere as inspiration. I don't always intend to copy an outfit from the subject in the piece of art, but I couldn't resist in this case.

Outfit consists of:
Shirt: 1980s white blouse found at Simple Vintage
Brooch: vintage rhinestone pin found at Moon Dog Cottage
Skirt: 1980s black peplum skirt found at my shop, Vint Condition
Purse: 1930s/1940s floral quilted purse found at Magicmuti
Shoes: burgundy Kona Blend heels from Indigo by Clarks found at Zappos

09 March 2011

A Northern Spring

Today's post includes a few more pictures than usual, because I wanted to show you all what a North Country spring looks like. Because that's what I hear, that spring is right around the corner. Right...around....the....ummm no.  It snowed 22" on Sunday into Monday. That's on top of the snow we already had.  Meanwhile I'm keeping an eye on our river. It doesn't usually flood and we sit up rather high, but in a few weeks this snow will melt and the ice on the river will start breaking up. We live near the old dam and the half destroyed wall slows the water and forces it through a few small openings. While it hasn't jammed before, it's best to be cautious about it.

This is my front walkway, and the front of my house.  Neither the husband or I have enough energy to make this path any wider.  If you look at my January outfit posts, this is also the walkway that I was standing on then. That's back when the snow was so low you could still see the tops of the plants I didn't pull up in the fall.

Today I tried a mix of layering and color combining that weren't immediately obvious choices for one another.  I paired a casual long sleeve tee with a fancier tank top and even fancier jacket.  Collabritively they work to create an outfit that can easily blend.  I taught in this and ran to the grocery store, but I could easily take this to a meeting or on a date.  Also tonally the pale seafoam green shirt and green skirt work together, neither too bright for the other, and weighted with the through line of browns.

Outfit consists of:

Jacket: 1950s white swing coat
Necklace: 1940s book locket necklace found at Jean Jean Vintage (cute book lockets from Jean Jean here and here)
Shirt: stone colored long-sleeved tee by Mossimo Supply found at Target
Tank: seafoam green ruffle tank found at Banana Republic Outlet
Belt: brown skinny belt found at TJ Maxx
Skirt: 1980s green skirt found at Cheap Jack's (similar here at Greatest Friend and here at Great Grandma Agnes)
Tights: brown windowpane striped tights found in Florence, Italy
Boots: brown boots by BP found at Last Chance

08 March 2011

etsy fashion finds! take 2

Vint Condition made the Etsy Fashion Finds email again! This time for a really gorgeous 1940s hat made in Germany. I'm so thankful that I had help with this one from my model Kim and her sister Danielle.  To see the full list of the fashion finds for today, click here.

Birthday Wishes

My family always claims that I'm hard to shop for. And I suppose I am. I don't tend to like all of everything just one particular piece. It drives everyone crazy in a, "But you have mid-century chairs so I bought you a mid-century stand and you hate it?" kind of way. You could call me picky, but I prefer to say my look for fashion and home is eclectic. I'm not particualry tied to any era and love to mix and match which is why you will frequently see 1940s mingling with 1970s or Victorian with contemporary in my outfit posts.

So here it is, the current guide to buying me a birthday gift:


1920s embroidered blouse at Adore Vintage
1920s dress at Adore Vintage
1920s cotton wrapper at Souvenir Souvenir

Vintage Jewelry

1940s locket (love it worn as a bracelet) from Jean Jean Vintage
Vintage lacework earrings (screw back since I don't have my ears pierced) from pinguim
1920s drop earrings from Noveau Motley
Vintage trench art ring from SS Alice and Gypsy Wagon

Modern Jewelry

Girl with antlers necklace by Markhed Design
Bird cuff bracelet by Unique Art Pendants
Lock and key necklace by Ginger Hollow
Teacup and ribbon bracelet by Stay Gold Mary

04 March 2011

Dress in Blue Day

Today the wind made our house creak and snap, not an easy feat for our sturdy Four-Square and I spent my day unsettled. I drove to work, taught class, helped students, and drove home mulling over what I would write in my blog post today. You may have noticed (maybe?) my blog absence these past two weeks.  I could say I've been busy, but it's mostly that I fell down the mourning spiral. Sometime mourning feels a lot like you're walking along just fine and you trip on a hole. It's jolting and uncomfortable. You may look back to see what exactly happened, but just briefly over your shoulder before you continue on.  But sometimes mourning feels like unexpectedly falling off a cliff. You're less able to see where you were when it happened and less likely to continue on without some recovery time.

Wednesday marks three months since my father's passing, oh hell, death. It's past the point that people really know what to do with me or really recall quickly that things have fallen apart. I've received and still do receive beautiful notes, messages, and care packages but I find myself unable to respond directly. These things matter the most to me and I think about writing back all the time, but don't. I'm sure those who care about me understand, or at least I hope they do.

But this post isn't supposed to be about my sadness. It's supposed to be about keeping a torch lit and keeping the darkness from your life. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and today is the day to dress in blue as part of an awareness campaign. People get uncomfortable when talking about colon cancer. Perhaps because then we have to talk about colons, colonoscopies, and **gasp** body functions like pooing. If you see in the news that a celebrity has passed away from a non-specific cancer, it's more than likely that person had colon cancer.  The media doesn't want to say colon or rectum or any such uncomfortable word. Sometimes they name the secondary cancer, the place where wild colon cancer cells spread, but barely ever colon.

The crazy thing is that there's just so many people with colon cancer.  Consider these facts from the American Cancer Society and the Colon Cancer Alliance:

1 in 19 men will have colon cancer
1 in 20 woman will
it is the 3rd most common cancer
it is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths
101,700 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed this year
39,510 others with rectal cancer
an estimated 49,300 people will die this year from colon cancer

Colon cancer death rates have been dropping over the past 20 years. It's attributed to better screening, which means, yes, getting a colonoscopy. They're recommended if you're over 50, but the game changes when you have a family history of cancer, eat red meat regularly, or have an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's.  Getting properly screened can reduce your risk. It's 80% preventable when detected early.

If I'm honest, my dad did not fit in anywhere close to that 80%. He had Crohn's disease, a vestige from his time in Vietnam and Agent Orange exposure. He had another primary cancer, prostate, with spread to the bladder. He knew he was in a high risk category and had colonoscopies at really regular intervals.  As someone who worked in the health care industry, he was up to date on all of his medical care. Somehow things aligned so that his colon cancer was not caught until it was Stage IV with peritoneal and omentum spread, pretty much the worst of the worst for colon cancer. But the truth is that his illness was truly unusual and more people will be able to prevent colon cancer than not.

So here I am, a newly initiated member of a high risk category. You can guarantee I'll be screened.

Outfit consists of:
Necklace: moon and star glass necklace found in Venice, Italy
Shirt: blue drape front shirt by blu heaven found at TJ Maxx
Belt: brown belt found at TJ Maxx
Skirt: blue and tan skirt found at Goodwill
Tights: sweater tights found at TJ Maxx
Boots: brown DB boots found at Last Chance