27 April 2011

Take 2

Pattern is such a rarity in my closet. Obviously solid colors are easier to work with and pair up and this is why they overwhelm my closet.  I'm slowly starting to embrace patterns and I've noticed I'm particularly drawn to abstract ones.  I like the idea of seemingly random splotches of color that resemble a painter's palette.

Do you have any wardrobe hangups that you're working to overcome?

Outfit consists of:
Jacket: black cropped blazer by Allison Taylor found at Last Chance
Blouse: abstract print tank by Petticoat Alley found at TJ Maxx
belt: vintage black skinny belt borrowed from another dress
Skirt: vintage skirt found at Nautie Godiva
Shoes:  black peep toes by apeppaza found at Last Chance

This skirt showed up earlier this semester here.

25 April 2011

Spring Slump

It's the time of the year when my winter pallor starts to catch up with me. I'm exhausted, ready for warm weather, yearning to open up all the windows.  I'm ready to recoup and reset.  This week, I'm going to make an appointment for a haircut, because let's face it, my hair has gone from fabulously tousled to heavily bedraggled. I also need a good night's sleep and to actually pick up some makeup at the store.

Even though I can't plant flowers yet, I can wear them. Nothing says spring like a bright floral blouse. I plan on mixing this a whole bunch of ways so expect to see it again.

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: chocolate brown cardigan by Merona found at Target
Blouse: 1960s Mr. Dino shell found at Miss Wonderful 1950
Belt: skinny brown belt found at TJ Maxx
Pants: cream linen pants by classique entier found at Last Chance
Shoes: yellow suede platform sandals by Franco Sarto found at Last Chance

23 April 2011

Not Vintage But Plenty Political

I make no secret of the fact that I'm plenty pro-choice.  We live in a climate where people comfortably proclaim their anti-choice/pro-life views, but to express that you're pro-choice is something to keep quiet. We allow ourselves to be silenced, and in the end we can only blame ourselves for this. The only place I ever keep my political views to myself is the classroom since I believe that students should develop their own critical thoughts and expressive selves without adjusting their views to suit my own.

So here I am, yesterday on Good Friday.  I rolled out of bed and dressed for warmth, not fashion. On went my jeans, my cowl, my thrifted jacket. I added to it a sign provided by my local Planned Parenthood. You see, every year my small town health center gets 150-200 anti-choice protesters standing outside its doors.  In turn, PP holds a visibility event.  I'm here to support them because I want a world in which men and women can access preventative health care, sexual health education, birth control options, and yes, abortion if they choose to. Because that's what choice really means, the choice to seek services or not, the choice to make the right decisions for yourself whatever those may be.

We live in a world in which we try to boil everything down to its simplest points.  Don't believe for a second that either side is just drawing a line in the sand over the issue of abortion. Because the truth is greater and messier than that.

I'll step down off my soapbox for now and we'll get back to our regularly scheduled vintage ASAP.

20 April 2011

Worn Vintage

Today I'm wearing a dress that's probably in its last stages of life, but I plan on keeping it and wearing it anyway. When I bought it, it was bound for the shop but the overhead lights in the store kept me from seeing some pretty major flaws. This dress is wash faded, heading more towards gray than black. The fading is a bit heavier on the sleeve where it looks like it got some sun fading. The white apostrophes or commas are painted on and are chipping here and there and there's a small hole on the back of the sleeve. All of these flaws made me hold back from listing it in the shop and on a whim I tried it on this morning.

It fit, so it's now mine and I love it so much it's going to stay with me. 

Do you have vintage with flaws that you still love despite the issues? Or vintage that you love because of their issues?

Outfit consists of:
dress: 1950s black vintage dress found at Goodwill
tank: red lace trim tank found at TJ Maxx
belt: vintage black skinny belt borrowed from another dress
shoes: red ballet flats found at Last Chance

16 April 2011

Weekend Snippets


Andreea of Thrill of the Heel looks absolutely amazing in this outfit. I love this idea for work (although I'd have to wear a longer skirt) and I always advocate for black in any outfit.

I love all of the outfits this week, but I confess this is my favorite. It's the perfect blend of vintage and modern. I feel like I could easily wear this to work, but it has a bit more edge than my typical choices with the addition of that jacket. You can follow her here on chictopia. 

Coury of Fancy Treehouse has miles of style. I love this classic vintage dress and that amazing basket purse. **sigh**

Do you think Lexi of The Second Shop would mind if I stole her dress? And her sweater? I hope not because I want to. 

This dress is Jacqueline's first online vintage purchase! I love to see people trying it out. Jacqueline shortened this dress a bit and I think the length is so much more flattering.

I love the combination of mustard and blue in this outfit styled by Mitzi of Night Lights. Plus, Mitzi's coat is super lovely and has ruffles. I adore me some ruffles.

Staring down death because of fashion? Lady Edith Russell, a lady of fashion and style, almost didn't escape the Titanic because of her choice in skirts. Read about it here and listen to Lady Russell speak here.

Brush up on your 1920s slang. I now know I need to avoid Corn Shredders and Dewdroppers.


Was your mom super stylish? I know my mom was. She got married in pink at the county court house. If you loved your mom's style, you can submit photos of her to My Mom the Style Icon.  I'm pretty sure I can sense my mom scrambling to hide her photos as we speak.

15 April 2011

Birthday Suit

Well, not quite. Today is my birthday. There's a few presents sitting in front of me and I'm trying to resist opening them. Delayed gratification for sure. I'm suprised my husband left them downstairs with me without supervision since I'm the master of opening gifts, peeking, and wrapping them back up.

This is my first birthday without my dad. If he was here, he would be giving me a hug and making me a steak for dinner. Instead, earlier this week I used the gift card that I bought him for his last birthday to get myself a book. I pretended that it was like him buying it for me. If he was here, I would tell him that this book is the start of my research for a new set of poems I'll be working on. It's a long way off, this project, but this is the start.

Here is my outfit today.  As my students said, it's a bit Lion King:

Outfit Consists of:
Sweater: black cardigan by Cable & Gauge found at TJ Maxx
Blouse: black drape front cardigan by soprano found at TJ Maxx
Belt: 1980s black belt borrowed from a vintage dress
Skirt: 1970s yellow lion print full skirt found on ebay
Shoes: black peep toe wedges found at TJ Maxx

And since I forgot to post on Wednesday, here's what I wore then:
Outfit consists of:
Sweater: coral cardigan by Gap found at Second Time Around
Belt: skinny brown belt found at TJ Maxx
Skirt: vintage skirt found at Cheap Jack's
Shoes: brown platform sandals by Nine West found at Marshall's

14 April 2011


Today would have been my grandmother's 93rd birthday.  When I was growing up, I loved that our birthdays were so close together because it seemed like the cosmos were confirming how close we were in life.  For a lot of reasons, I spent a huge portion of my childhood tromping over to her house.  She lived next door and I spent long summer hours sitting on the cool cement of her steps.  We looked after each other as strange as that may seem given that I was just a kid.

My grandmother was a tough lady, not in terms of her personality, but in her ability to survive and make do with what came her way. She was born in 1918, the only daughter of Albina and William. Her father was a carpenter and her mother cleaned houses. They lived in a small house in town filled with visiting family.  She never finished high school.  The first time she married, I would like to believe it was out of love, but maybe I'm just saying that because I want that for her, I want to believe that she felt that bright and shining moment of early love. That marriage didn't work out and neither did the next one or the next one. By the time she finished with her third marriage, she was done with men and I can't say that I really blame her. Though obviously she was a common denominator in all of these relationships, I believe it was less her fault and more her inability to partner with men who were in a good place in their own lives.

As I said in my earlier wedding post, my grandmother worked and saved to secure her own property not long after her first husband (my grandfather) left.  She worked hard, weathered a lot of storms by her own self-sufficiency and despite some missteps along the way, raised two of the greatest guys I know. 

My grandmother didn't have a lot of advantages in terms of education or finances, but what she did have she managed to share with others.  Many people who hadn't spoken to her in years came to us after she passed away to let us know that they survived and managed based on what she was able to give to them. I think she would have brushed off any compliments, she wasn't one to take them, but I'm proud that we shared this life together.

Thelma wasn't one to embrace fashion in any way. She made her own clothes which were constructed for practical purposes, she cut her own hair, and tended to dodge the eye of the camera. But here, is my lovely grandma in the few moments she was caught by the camera:

This is my grandmother and grandfather in 1937

My grandmother and my father in 1943

My grandmother wearing my grandfather's suit

11 April 2011

Some Days are Better than Others

This is not one of those days.

I could complain, because trust me I have plenty to say, but this is neither the place or the time for that.  Instead, I'll focus on the positive:

1. my vintage to modern ratio for my outfit is leaning heavily toward vintage. I love the apricot color of this skirt!

2. I finally renewed my driver's license! It expires Friday, so that's one less thing to worry about.

3. It's 55 right now with an expected high of 73. This means the snow is melting and the river is rising which is fascinating to watch from our direction (hat is if it doesn't rise more)

4. I started spring cleaning the house starting with cleaning my carpets and couch. Surely I'm not the only one who finds it cathartic to see all the nasty stuff that used to live in your carpets being drained away.

5. I've got a new poetry project started in my head. It's going to live there for awhile until the first one comes to fruition, but for now it's germinating.

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: chocolate brown cardigan by Spense found at Marshall's
Blouse: 1950s cream blouse by Morlove found on Ebay
Belt: 1950s brown belt rescued from a trashed dress found at auction
Skirt: 1980s apricot pencil skirt found at Birds Chasing Bugs
Shoes: brown platform sandals by Nine West found at Marshall's

09 April 2011

Weekend Snippets


I've linked to Polly of The Littlest Polly before, but how could I not. That girl has great style. I feel like I would wear an outfit like this, but she takes it to another level with her unexpected shoe choice.

Brit of Disarming Darling does some pattern mixing and DIY to come up with this one. It makes me want to snip away at some awkward 70s pants to make them into awesome shorts.  I also love how the outfit pulls together tonally and that purse she has is too wonderful.

Ally of The Vintage Valley has achieved outfit perfection in this one. A graphic print dress paired with bright red, but then she adds the unexpected brown shoes and yellow hat. The whole thing is delightfully charming.

Over at Some Like it Haute there's the originator of this lovely outfit. I love the classic lady look on top and the heavier boots on the bottom. This is also some vintage dress DIY, so remember to think of possibilities when out thrifting!

Hey there cute outfit from Kitsune-kun! This is being tucked away in my head as an inspiration for work clothes. I feel like I'm obsessed with longer skirts right now and this one is extremely flattering. Also, plaid love!

Morgan of The Treasure Trove thrifted this great vintage skirt and I like seeing someone working a midi-length. What on some can be awkward looks perfect on her. I love the classic black and white with the pops of red.


CNN's fashion focus takes a look at Nashville where there's a lot of vintage integration and thrifting finds.

Real Simple has a guide to creating a wardrobe-malfunction kit. Since I've been that girl walking around with a magically unbuttoning skirt, I think I should make one. What do you carry with you? 

Check out a brief look at the use of white for wedding dresses. Queen Victoria not so much the originator she's painted as being.

This is actually more of a view, but check out the original photo sources for some pinup pictures at Buzzfeed. What I really love is how in the original photos the ridiculous facial expressions and awkward body positions become much more apparent.


A guest post over on Casey's blog Elegant Musings on how to make a fabric necklace. I have one of these that I bought years ago at H&M and just might have to whip out the ol' sewing machine and try my hand at this. 

I'm kind of in love with old school tutorials and educational videos in general. In fact, I've found a whole channel through my Roku box and can watch them til my heart's content. Check out this one on making the most of your face shape.

08 April 2011

The Flamenco Dancer

That's what my students said I looked like when I walked into class. While for all sorts of reasons I can't get into what happened today, I can say that I needed some extra sass on my side. This blouse just came in the mail and I couldn't resist heading out in it almost immediately. I'm sure this gorgeous beauty will get quite a bit of wardrobe airtime in the future.

And with that, I will end this relatively short blog post and collapse into a puddle on my couch. 

Outfit consists of:

Blouse: vintage mustard silk tiered blouse found at Pickled Vintage
Skirt: black pencil skirt by classiques entier found at Last Chance
Tights: black Hue tights found at TJ Maxx
Shoes: black peep toes by apepazza found at Last Chance

07 April 2011

How to Land a Man in Just 16 Easy Steps "The Girls of Pleasure Island" Way

*as a warning, you probably shouldn't read this if you actually want to watch the movie. I will also say I don't want to make light of war or the pain of waiting for a loved one to return, but rather add commentary about romantic conventions.

1. Live on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere, but in a strategically placed location so that it will make sense that a herd of Marines wants to use your pretty little island as a landing strip. Even though this island is already packed with men, they're only there to serve your family and as we know British ladies like yourself don't talk to servants. Use this to your advantage. Any of your awkward moments can easily be excused away by your sheltered upbringing. 

2. Live in a nice house. Just because you can and because men will naturally flock to the only place on the island the looks like it has all the comforts of home. This will drastically reduce the amount of effort it takes to sort through all those men once said 1,500 soldiers conveniently fall into your lap.

3. Make the most of your windfall by being the right sister. Obviously the saucy and freakishly worldly older sister won't work. We all know that girls who like a good time never land the man. It also doesn't pay to be the youngest one (sorry for the bad screenshot, darling!). She's stuck wearing pigtails and awkwardly puffy dresses. And as we know, the youngest sister is always the most man crazy and obnoxious. She's only bound for superficial puppy love heartbreak.

But the middle sister? Yes. You're literally the glue that holds the family together. You're responsible, mature, capable, and the most virtuous. Let a man see you put on stockings? I don't think so. Let a man get fresh with you? Hell no! After all, you know he'll respect you more later which is the golden path to landing a man and a ring.

4. Select the man. Sure you could meet a few guys, have a few laughs over tea and crumpets, maybe even do some island fun like walking the beaches or swimming, but it's best just to pick the first one who has any sort of authority and talks to you. Bonus points if he likes to be shirtless. In 60 years when the ideal body type for men is completely changed, you may question this attraction, but don't think too hard about it now.

5. Let the shirtless man kiss you a bit on the beach. Remember hands must remain firmly placed above the waist at all times. Limit the kiss to less than 10 seconds. 

6. Act horrified over said kiss. Tell him that it's your first, this will remind him that you're virtuous and pure and his manly lips are the only ones that have been on yours. Be sure also to question him about how free he is with his kisses. This line of questioning serves the following purposes: 1. reminds him of your virtue (again) 2. lets you know how many ladies he's been canoodling with before you 3. will wring a confession from him along the lines of how you are the best kiss he's ever had. Now don't you feel better? 

7a. Bathe in the bubble bath that he gave you. It's important not to question why he's on a tropical island in the middle of a war carrying a bottle of bubbles in his knapsack, just luxuriate in sudsy heaven before the party that you're throwing him and all the other officers. All of this will ensure man feels special and makes him feel like he bestowed his bubbles upon the right lady.

7b. Make sure you luxuriate long enough that the perfume soaks into your pores and hope the fumes will disorientate your shirt-deficient hero long enough that he won't notice your wonky eye.

8. Expect that your party will be broken up by the sudden departure of the Marine unit. You know that the plot has to thicken somehow, but be sure that you have a look of surprise on your face when he rushes to your house to let you know. It's okay, but only as long as you've been following the plan. We know you haven't done much beyond that sneaky beach kiss, but if you threw in some longing looks and thoughtful nods you should be good. Make sure you get a promise that he'll come back to you. After all, you're not the one going anywhere, right?

9. Stand solemly on the dock as the men leave. Don't cry, but look sad. Your man will know that you're one tough lady but that you have a soft side as well.

10. Commence moping. Look through everything he ever gave you. Wait, what is that you say? You only have a drawing pad? Make sure you return to it again and again.  Also insist to everyone you see that he's the type of man who will remember you exist once the war is over and return to your waiting arms. Glare at anyone who points out that you only knew him for five seconds.

11. Make sure you vary the scenery while moping. Mope by the dock.

13. Mope by a rusted out jeep in the middle of the jungle.


14. Mope by the ocean late into the evening.

15. Be prepared for your family to suddenly decide to leave the island after living there for twenty years or so while you're in the middle of moping. Protest! You need to wait for your man! How will he ever find you!

16. Spend your last day moping on the beach waiting for his return in mildly inappropriate clothing for sandy sitting.  This is the moment of truth, after all.  Will he arrive in time? Walk the beach alone, head cast down, locked in your own thoughts. This causes you to miss the arrival of an airplane and your manly man calling your name as he runs down the beach toward you. Finally hear him and run toward him. Wrap your arms around him.

He has returned! You are victorious!

Cue palm trees and end credits.

02 April 2011

Weekend Snippets


The darling Sarah Louise (who runs Slubird and Branchbound) took a trip to Nashville and wore this lovely outfit. Perhaps because of the soft blue color of the Rodarte dress she reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, but the real inspiration point is the gorgeous collar she scored while down there.

Talk about glam perfection. I'm dying with jealousy over Nicole of Gary Pepper Vintage's pitch perfect outfit. 

Zoe of Lion Heart Vintage is utterly adorable in this. Who wouldn't love to mix leopard and lacey crocheting so easily! And of course, I love her Fieldguided canvas bag.

Celita of Celita Daily Style channels some Edie Sedgwick in this stylish outfit that features a vintage hat and trench. I love the hit of leopard in there!

When I was 17, I was awkward and poorly dressed. I can't say the same for Chloe of Urban Tease who has buckets full of style. She's wearing an adorable subtely printed vintage shirt paired with a skirt she made herself. Kudos to Chloe!

This Chloe is also spectacular. I love the layering and the pairings of color and texture. Plus, eyelet shorts! Me want! 

The Style Voyager looks wonderful in this striped vintage dress. Extra subtle addition to this perfection happens with her tights that also have banding! And I vow to get a hat like the ones she's wearing. 

Vintage skirt with a cat print? You so know I'm in love and Annalise of Hummingbird Girls pairs it beautifully with a modern sweater and vintage hat.


This Victorian dress was made from 1,000 beetle wings and worn by Ellen Terry when she walked the boards in London's Lyceum Theatre as Lady Macbeth.  It's beyond words stunning.

The Sartorialist posts pictures of this beautiful woman and decides that in addition to fashion, he finds it necessary to add commentary about her body. Anger ensues. But follow Angelica Ardasheva regularly here.


Vanessa of The Velvet Bird takes matters into her own hands and makes the perfect pair of Audrey Hepburn inspired capris. She shows you how at the link so you can have a pair too! 


Mystery abounds over the contents of a vintage locket over at Duff's blog. Care to hazard a guess at the mystery lady?

01 April 2011

Change of Plans

I had a slightly different outfit planned for today.  I had intended on more pattern mixing but my leopard print tights didn't exactly seem work appropriate and I wasn't feeling up to my lace ones, so plain black it was.  Also, I wanted to wear my 1980s Flora Kung red silk skirt that used to be in the shop but crept into my closet the other day, but the weather seemed more sweater skirt than silk skirt.  Then I couldn't find my solid black belt. I suspect it's under a pile of clothes, but when you're running late like I was, looking seemed too daunting and time consuming.  So here it is, a close cousin of the outfit I had planned.

Outfit consists of:
Sweater: drape front cardigan by Joie found at Last Chance
Top: tie dye print tank by a.n.a found at JC Penny
Belt: clear and black belt found at Last Chance
Skirt: red sweater skirt found at Goodwill
Tights: black tights found at TJ Maxx
Shoes:  black peep toes by apeppaza found at Last Chance