April 30, 2010

Feature!

I am just not feeling the blogging buzz this week so just a quick post to let you guys know I was featured in a Greek Online Fashion Magazine this week! The article is here. You can read all about my inept advice on what to wear on a date and how to build a vintage wardrobe here. Thanks to Athena for putting together this little feature!

April 28, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

Jury Duty wiped me out. I'm not all here. I am very glad I wrote this post before. Good night.
Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

Okay, so y'know how we all have our fashion guilty pleasures? Like some people who really actually like UGGs, or those saddle bag pants, or hippie wear, or grunge? Well I have them too. I mean I was a kid in the 90's who desperatly wanted to wear grunge clothes, and plaid shirts will always make me happy, and in jr. high and high school, I really wanted to time travel to Woodstock wearing crazy hippie clothes (and I still want to time travel to Woodstock wearing crazy hippie clothes), but my most recent fashion guilty pleasure is 50's style weastern wear. I know. Forgive me.


Like TexMex food, 50's weatern wear was not exactly accurate. My favourite scene in the last Back to the Future is the one where Marty shows up in the old west wearing 50's cowboy clothes. With all the ever practical fringe, pastels, satin (I wrote satan at first! haha!), and the Atom symbol, cracks me up everytime! But I really do like the weastern wear that was so popular then. I attribute this to my life long dream of owning a horse named Athena, and solving a crime on a dude ranch. Whatever the reason is, 50's style western wear is actually quite easy to pull off with modern clothing. This is my interpretation of it.

Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender


I cheated a little again (oops!) with this top, which is a late 70's top, but red gingham blouses are fairly easy to find. Even if you can't find one in a chain store, check out your local Goodwill or Salvation Army for modern gingham blouses. They literally are a dime a dozen. This was actually one of the first items I bought after I finally abandoned my jeans and hoodies and it came from Goodwill. I love the gathering at the yoke! I also love the versatility with this blouse. When I first bought it I paired it with white Keds, jean high waisted shorts, and some red lips for a more 40's look, but it looks equally cute with black capri leggings, a black belt, and flats.

Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

For this more fifties casual look I paired it with a demin pencil skirt. This skirt came from a rummage sale and cost me maybe 50 cents. In it's former life it hit my ankles and made me look like a home-school mom (I was home-schooled and my mom was a home-school mom, so I can say that). I cut off a good foot or so and hemmed it and voila! easy-peasy pencil skirt. It's also totally modern. If you aren't into the pencil skirt you could also pair the top with cuffed or capri length jeans. If you're not into denim, maybe think about trying a brown leather skirt. And remember the more fringe the better! haha!

Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

Because I was home all weekend and wanted to keep this casual, I went with my red mock Keds, which I bought at Target in January. I'm normally not a tennis shoe girl, but I love these! They're comfy and cute and have a definite vintage appeal. However, flats, sandals, or some cute cowboy boots would be just as great (my search for vintage cowboy boots is ever on going).
Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

As for accessories I kept it simple for being at home. Just these button earrings my sister bought me from TopShop when she went to London, and these hair clips, which I am 90% sure came from Forever 21. If I'd been going out I would have braided my hair and worn a straw hat. Of course I didn't have a bag picked out to match seeing as I was home, but a vintage hand-tooled bag, or simply a brown leather purse would look great!
Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The Southwest Weekender

The key with all these looks is to go as literal as you want. In 1950 someone might have worn this same kind of outfit with a black circle skirt with some sort of western insignia on it, but personally I like the pencil skirt better. Last week's was my take on the early 60's little black dress, but a woman in the 60's probably would have worn a pair of black skinny heeled pumps, and maybe pearls. For those of you just getting into vintage fashion, it's going to take a little while before you find "your" style. My goal with this series is to inspire you to think outside the box and personalize the things you wear. So if any of you have a better, or different idea on how to wear this, let me see it! I love seeing the way other people put things together based off of one inspiration! The point is, wear what you want, the way you want, and you'll suddenly find yourself so incredibly happy with your clothing.

Also if anyone would like to see a specific look next week, let me know. I had one planned, but I'm afraid it is not going to work out (thank you shipping confusion). So if there's a specific kind of outfit you'd like to see vintage-ified, let me know! Oh and sorry for the long post again! I swear I try to keep these things short!

April 27, 2010

Civic Duty, Pivish Schmooty

I have a post all prepared for today sans pictures, but I am currently waiting to see if I will be chosen for a jury. I could dedicate an entire blog to how much I hate Jury Duty, but oddly enough this one has almost been enjoyable. I had a friend, who was also called in today, whom I haven't seen in like two years, and while we weren't discussing knitting projects and pattern drafting, I read The Great Gatsby. There was the whole coffee situation, which I will tell you all about later, but the best thing is the case I got called in on is a criminal case and the defendant is self-represented, and has dreds. I think we've got ourselves a MaryJane case. I actually almost want to serve on this jury. Almost.
Funny enough the DA is a gal who I am sure thinks she is the shizz in the fashion dept. and since I made sure to dress up today, she made a point to make eye contact and smile widely at me. Unfortunatly for her I am already rooting for the guy in the Lion of Judah t-shirt.
Oh Jury Duty....

April 26, 2010

Monday Inspiration #37: The Yellow Dress

yellow dress




A friend of mine is getting married at the end of June and ever since I found out I could go (with the whole me not moving yet thing), I've been thinking about the perfect dress. Not that it matters what I'll be wearing to anyone else, but it matters to me! Haha! So I've been casually searching for something that is wedding appropriate, vintage, and that I know I'll get lots of use out of. Originally I was hoping to find something baby blue like the dress Zooey Deschanel wore in 500 Days of Summer but so far no dice.

yellow dress

Well last month I was in an antique mall a few blocks from work and I saw this butter yellow, early 1960's dress that I fell in love with. It was $45 and too small, so I passed it by. I went back about two weeks ago and it was still there. I kept going back to this seller's stall and looking at it, holding it up to me and twirling. In my head I picked out a whole outfit to go with it. But I put it back only to have four dreams about it over the next week. It made me so curious. There's a name written on the zipper! I love finding things like that, evidence of it's former owner. My mom and I are thinking it was probably a debutant or pagent dress and all the girls labeled them. Of course I like to think Lou was actually Louise, who went by Lou much to her mother's chagrin and really didn't like the pagents or debutant events. So it's former owner had my middle name (at least in my fantasy land)? To weird.

yellow dress


So Friday I went back to the antique mall and it was still there! And the seller was have a 15% off sale. I stood there staring at it as that evil voice in my head kept telling me things like, "have you not figured out yet that this dress was made for you to own?" and "if you pass it up now, it won't be here next time and then you'll be sorry!" So I grabbed the dress and held it up again, and twirled again, and planned a whole outfit again. It was just so pretty! My favourite shade of yellow, the pretty over skirt, the bow; it made me go weak in the knees. When a dress makes you weak in the knees, you need to buy it. So I caved into it's siren song.


yellow dress


So there I was standing at the checkout still debating why I was actually buying a dress that was too small, when suddenly I remembered the wedding. And then I looked down at this dress and all my doubt was gone. The perfect dress had been staring back at me the whole time! Well the almost perfect dress. There's still that little fact about it being too small.


yellow dress


Which brings me to this post! I've decided to use this dress as super motivation to finally shed some extra pounds. I have two months to do it and I know I can! And I'm excited! I bought some really histerically hilariously awesome workout videos that my sister uses and swears by (she managed to lose something like 30 lbs in two months before her wedding useing these things so I'm holding her to it), and I got gym dates with Bri and Jess. I've also taken to hanging the dress on the back of my door so it's the first thing I see in the morning, and the last I see at night (brain tricking at it's finest). So I will keep you guys updated on my progress. I'm really excited about it (mostly because there is a dress involved, but y'know...). I know this might be silly as a Monday Inspiration, but it's the thing I am most inspired by today (and since it's my blog...). But I also couldn't help but show off this pretty thing. It still makes me weak in the knees!


yellow dress

April 23, 2010

Skating Through Life

Today has been pretty great. I slept in a bit, got dressed, ran errands, stopped by work for a bit to finish some work up, had Chipotle, did some thrifting and bought a dress for a friend's upcoming wedding (more about that on Monday).

Once I got home I cleaned my room, took some measurments for Etsy stuffs, started working on a project I'll show you next week, oh and went ROLLER SKATING! I found some vintage roller skates in my size last week for $8. Tlak about a score. The problem is I haven't skated since I was 12 and apparently 10 years off wheels really effects your ability to skate. When I was a kid, skating was the thing everyone did, and I was a skating queen. I even had a show down between myself and a boy I went to school with. it was judged by my best friend, and I won. Totally desereved it. Right? Luckily, I only fell twice! I figure with a little more practice (and some new shoes laces. I'm thinking something sparkly or polka-dotted) I can show my face at the roller rink (we still have one in all it's awesomly 70's glory!) and wow everyone with my mad skating skills. At least that's the fantasy in my head.

Skating Queen




Skating Queen




Skating Queen




Skating Queen

I fall with so much grace.


This dress is new to me. Actually it's pretty much brand new because it's deadstock! I was so excited to find it! I'm fairly sure it's 1940's, but I need to do a little research before I can call it, however all the details point to 40's. It's made by Top Mode Frocks, which my google-ing has yeilded little-no info on. I did find another dress that was being sold which had the same tag mine did. It was labled as early fifties, though personally I still think that looked very 40's. Eitherway, I'm in love with this dress. It had the original belt and everything! Look at the bows and scalloped neckline! So, so, so stinking cute!

Skating Queen





Skating Queen




Skating Queen




Skating Queen

Now I'm off to go rent The Young Victoria so I can cry my eyes out and wish for decadent clothing. Le sigh.

April 21, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Vintage: The LBD

Hello everyone and welcome to the second installment of Thoroughly Modern Vintage! First off a big thank you to you all for the comments on yesterday's post. They were all so sweet! I always feel bad about posts where I am less than chipper, so thank you all for the kind words. I woke up this morning to crashing rainfall, and well, you all know how I feel about that (and if somehow you've managed to miss it, rain makes me feel very, very, :-)! )
So I thought I'd feature an LBD look for the second part. Since Coco Chanel first made black fashionable, we've all felt the need for a classic little black dress. And why not! LBD's are one of the most versatile, and elegant items you can have in your closet. They also are perfect for a vintage look.
(and I apologize for how white I am in these pictures. Pale people shouldn't go outside when it's bright!)
Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
This dress is one that I thrifted a couple weeks ago and despite it's very vintage feel, it is completely modern. It's actually a Jaclyn Smith dress (which I believe is a KMart Brand (and yes, I am refraining from any Charlie's Angels references.)) and is probably no more than a few years old. But the shape of it is very vintage inspired. (and I have no idea what I am doing with my face, but I was really hungry, so maybe this is my hungry face?)

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
The dress had a very 60's feel, so I styled it that way. I also really love red as a pop of colour against black (plus red was the only colour purse I have that's not vintage).

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
This bag is from Target a few years ago. While it isn't vintage, it definatley works in a vintage wardrobe.

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
These earrings were a gift from my grandma, and the necklace is from Forever 21.

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
I love bows, and they are a perfect vintage-y accessory. This is from LuLu Letty's Etsy shop.

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
These flats are from Pinupgirlclothing.com. Totally modern, but very vintage inspired.

Thoroughly Modern Vintage Pt. 2
My belt is from Torrid years ago, and the cardigan from Costco (I know!).
While each piece is new and totally not vintage, together they make a very vintage looking outfit.
I wore this out Saturday to Long Beach (which I'll tell you about tomorrow) to go shopping and to see a dance concert. I really liked how well it transitioned from day to night wear. Next time I might bring a pair of heels for the evening portion, but as it turned out, flats were a good idea (I'll tell you all about it tomorrow).
I hope you guys liked this part of my little series. I am trying to keep it short since yesterday's post was so long! Haha!

April 20, 2010

Dear Tuesday,

Dear Tuesday,
You didn't really start out so well. In fact I kinda hated you this morning. I was mad, and tired, had inexplicable bad skin, and upset with my own head. To top it all off, I was beginning to feel forgotten. It was silly and pitiful, but I was feeling it nonetheless.
So I tried to fool myself into feeling like my world wasn't spinning out of control. I wore my cheeriest dress, which is also brand new to me, which of course makes me happy. Right? But I wasn't having it. So I wore pretty socks that I normally feel self conscious in and new shoes. But still I was kind of gloomy. The fact that I didn't have to work until noon wasn't enough to cheer me.
So I went down stairs and got a cup of coffee and ate some bacon. Bacon and coffee weren't even doing anything for me. And even after a good long chat with my mom and sister (which always makes me happy), I just couldn't shake this feeling. So finally I left for work.
I called Bri and asked her if she wanted to get Chipotle. Chipotle Always makes me perk up. But not today. Today, my veggie and stake quesadilla didn't taste very good. And the pile of filing on my desk never seemed to get any smaller despite my working on it all day long. And there was the air conditioner wars that made me so mad and frustrated with the idiots in my office. And then there was the idiot's stupid slight disguised as a compliment about my dress, and I realized that I was just tired of the people in that office, because I don't actually like any of them, and I'm just tired of being here in general, and I'm really way more upset than I'm letting on about having to move in September instead of June, and why can't anything I plan go right for once in my life? And even the suddenly dark grey clouds weren't enough to help, because the storm that we were supposed to get would pass by as usual, and I'd still be dry and hot, and it was probably only hazy clouds anyway.
So I took a break. I bought cream for the office and cupcakes for everyone. And even though my Raspberry cupcake was really, incredibly delicious, it reminded me of that diet I'm supposed to be sticking to and then I was mad at myself for being a total loser, who will probably never do anything with my life and will be 30, married to Paul Blart: Mall Cop (a nickname for someone I know), still working for my dad and still dreaming of getting out of here.
And so I left. Or I started to. I saw my tripod in my car and said, what the hell, I might as well take a picture or two. So I set up my tripod and camera, but I couldn't get the thing level so all my photos were going to come out crooked. And that's when I gave up, threw off my jacket and went to take a damn picture, because y'know what! I just don't care anymore! I'm sick and tired of being stuck in my own head all day and not being able to get out and I just want someone to say "hey, are you okay, or do you need someone to let you cry at them for half an hour?" and no one cares, so there-
And that was when it started to rain. Heavy, hard, buckets of rain that caught me by total photographic surprise.

Surprise Rain

(Everything's thrifted, except the dress which is from a vintage shop I'll tell you more about later, and the socks which are Betsey Johnson.)

Surprise Rain




And I genuinely smiled. Because I remembered that the Big Guy upstairs cares. And He usually does a pretty good job of taking care of me. And He usually knows exactly what I need. And He usually gives me what it is I need, when I need it. And He's in control, not me, and He's pretty sure He knows what He's doing.

Surprise Rain



Surprise Rain



I took a few pictures, trying to keep my camera as dry as possible, but I stopped feeling so self centered all of the sudden and realized how incredibly blessed I really am, even if I do really need a haircut that I've had no time to get done. And as I began to drive home, listening to my tape of Irish Folk songs, I kept smiling, because it's the simple things in life that really make a difference, and the big things generally try to get in the way. I just have to remember to tell them to go wait their turn in line and I will get to them. I was calm, and things began to fall into place and make sense and my least favourite signal light didn't even bother me. Instead I was so taken with how pretty everything seemed in the rain. Like the roses on Victoria Ave. Or the fog on Allessandro.

Surprise Rain



Surprise Rain



And when I finally did get home I began to realize how nice you'd actually turned out to be. because despite my tendency to get stuck in my own head, you brought me out of it, and washed away all my worry. And then I saw my box of Polaroid film had arrived and I forgave you entirely for any bad beginnings. So now I am going to get a cup of coffee, put on Badlands , put away and go through my clothing, and listen to the rain and wind hit my bedroom window.

Surprise Rain



Surprise Rain



What I'm trying to say is thanks Tuesday. You turned out alright in the end. Now if you could just see that Wednesday get's the rain memo, I'd be very grateful.
With lots of love,

Surprise Rain


~Ashley
P.S. Don't forget that tomorrow is the second instalment of Thoroughly Modern Vintage, and I think it's pretty darn good!

April 19, 2010

I have a bunch of stuff to show you this week, but for now here's a quick outfit post. I found this dress this weekend (which I'll tell you all about later).



091




Hot Spring




081

April 16, 2010

All Booked Up

I really like books. Not just reading books either. I love the smell of books, the look of books, the feel of books. I especially love old books. Does anyone else think that the smell of old books is the best, most comforting smell in the world? Well I do. I remember being about 12 and my mom and dad took us all to this used book shop that was just FULL of books (we're talking towers, and racks, and rows upon rows of old books) and I just sat in one of the isles and smelled. I really like books.

It's funny because I didn't read until later in my childhood. I refused to read until I was seven when I started reading American Girl doll books (the Samantha and Molly ones to be exact). Then when I was 10 my mom gave me some old Nancy Drew books she had as a kid. I don't think we need to go into how much I loved those. That was when I really took of reading. I would save up my pennies to go buy the sets of six Nancy Drew books that Costco was selling at the time. Each time I'd earned $12.99 I'd beg my mom to go to Costco so I could get another set. Then came Madeline L'Engle. For a girl who hates pretty much anything to do with science, I loved those. I found Meg Murry to be the closest I'll probably ever come to a literary doppleganger. She had ugly mouse brown hair that was kind of bushy, was terribly awkward, and didn't relate to her peers very well (I was much better at pretending to relate to my peers, but most of my friends were always a couple years older than I). I devoured Madeline L'Engle's books. Then came Little Women and an obsession with all things Louisa May Alcott. My mom's former Aunt gave her the whole Little Women set for Christmas when she was really little and I have already put in my claim for those when my mom finally kicks the bucket (I love you mom).

Between all those there were of course other books, like the Royal Diaries, and Dear America series (I'm a huge history nerd), Trixie Belden, Sherlock Holmes (I also am a sucker for anything mysterious. I spent a good portion of my childhood hoping to solve a mystery), and various stories of Celtic folklore (okay so I'm really just a nerd in cute dresses). My library card was well exersised, and I probably still owe $400 in late fees. In high school my Jr. and Sr. year Lit classes were year long (I was homeschooled, but we had a co-op that did classes every Friday) and we read 30 books per year, all classics. Don't get me started on The Gilgamish Epic (epic my foot, more like drug induced ramblings of a crazy person). I got marked down on papers for proving that Helen of Troy went willingly and was not just a vapid, weakling who was kidnapped. Hello Paris was hot, he liked her, she had a beast of a husband. She went willingly. (someday I will have an album called Helen Went Willingly). I made a whole chart on War and Peace to keep track of all the Sashas. My community college had a pretty good library with an extensive folkelore section and an awesome section on fashion, makeup, and costuming. In my English 1B (upper division English) I had a nutcase professor who forced us to read Kafka and Freud. I'm fairly sure he had shrines to both of them at his house. His entire class was based on the premise that Freud was the only original thinker ever. It was one of the most enjoyable horrible classes I've ever had (and I very recently learned that this professor was punched by a student in one of his classes. He made a habit of insulting his students in a most obnoxious manner. I won't even tell you what he told me, but basically I really need therapy to clear up the fact that I have distict memories from before I was 5. Cuz Freud couldn't have been wrong at all, right?).

The point is, I read alot of books, and have alot of books (you should see my mom and dad's collection). This love of books coupled with my love of thrifting has gotten out of hand. Observe:





Too Many Books

This is my big bookcase. The three middle rows are double stacked. Double Stacked? Yes:






Too Many Books








Too Many Books








Too Many Books

See? Then there's the single stacked shelves:





Too Many Books







Too Many Books







Too Many Books

It's bad. I mean that's alot of books. Oh did I mention the stack in front of the bookcase or the two fabric shopping bags full of them?:




Too Many Books






Too Many Books

These are music text books that have been transfered to binders. The joys of Music School.

Too Many Books

And this is sheet music. I kind of have alot. Plus I have this weird thing about getting rid of sheet music. So yeah it's bad. Oh and what's this? Another bookcase full of various editions of Nancy Drew as well as scrapbooks?:



Too Many Books



Oh and um, this is my book overflow:



Too Many Books


So clearly I need more bookcases, but seeing as I don't have room for another bookcase right now, and I'm not willing to part with any of them, I decided I needed to reorganize. So the Nancy Drew Shrine got shrunk to a single shelf and I moved the stack in front of the big bookcase and Time Life cookbooks I collect to the other shelf:

021



And that freed up room so that I could move everything from my desk to the book shelf!:


020

Clearly I still need more room, and the two bags of books and music are still sitting on the floor, but it looks mighty better. Now I just need to stop buying books!

Just be glad I'm not showing you my shoe collection!

What's something you love and have too much of?

Happy Friday guys!