Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sentimental heart

I am not a hoarder. In fact, I think I tend toward the opposite extreme, getting rid of great swaths of stuff in fits of cleaning energy. This is especially true of clothes - my closet has a pretty high turnover rate. This is one of the things I love about buying inexpensive, secondhand clothes - I can gamble on something I'm not sure of, and if it doesn't work out, back to the thrift/consignment store it goes without me feeling too guilty about money going down the drain. 

But I am stumped when it comes to garments that hold some sentimental value. I have a storage bag of clothes in my room right now that includes some of the few pieces of clothing I still own from when I was in high school - a tattered T-shirt, a beat-up hoodie, a pathetic pair of sneakers. What am I saving these clothes for? I don't know. I just know that they have outlived their usefulness, and the thought of putting them into the garbage can is more than I can bear. 

Now I'm facing another difficult decision. My wedding shoes are dying. 

When my husband and I got married six years ago, we kept things pretty low-key. My "wedding dress" was a white vintage dress from eBay; my shoes were a $45 pair of brown spectator pumps. Only the second pair of high heels I ever bought, these shoes proved comfortable and versatile enough that I have worn them nearly every week since my wedding. And I'm amazed they have held up this long, but they are finally giving up the ghost. The narrow piece of elastic at the end of the ankle strap is frayed almost to the breaking point. I can't quite see how to repair it, and I'm scared to wear them for fear that they will break completely. 

So, what to do with these very sentimental but not functional shoes? I don't know. If I were the crafty type, I would probably put them into some sort of shadow box with souvenirs from our wedding. But let's be honest, I'm not that person. Shoving them into the back of my closet doesn't seem like the best option either. So, I'm stumped. 

What do you do with your sentimental clothing? 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend wants: Silver and gold (and copper and jade)

I have been digging back into my jewelry box this week, and I definitely feel like there are some holes in my game. Here are a few pieces I would love to add to my collection (in that fantasy world where I actually spend money on stuff like this):

I don't have a single bib necklace, and I love the neutral tones of this one - a lot of the bib necklaces I see are kind of over-the-top, which makes them fabulous but a little intimidating to incorporate into my wardrobe. This one would be a great way to add texture to a plain sweater or blazer, but you could still wear it with prints as well.

Source: via e.p. on Pinterest

I have a thing about the full moon. As a kid, I used to go out in the yard at night, climb up in the apple tree and just stare at the full moon. Or when the moonlight would shine in my window, I would wiggle around in bed so that I could see the moon from where I lay. So the idea of being able to wear a full moon around my neck is just fantastic to me.

I was laughing at myself the other day because this is literally the only "crafty" thing I have ever saved on Pinterest. Usually I look at that stuff and just laugh or sigh, because I feel like I have no time to do cute fun crafty stuff these days. But this one caught my eye and I thought, "OK, I could actually do that one." It's really simple and cute, and I think it would be fun to try different combinations of beads (wood? glass?).

I was looking at Alexis Russel's jewelry the other day when A Cup of Jo posted a link - it's really gorgeous, I love the rough finishes she uses. I don't wear bracelets a lot, but this one caught my eye. It's so sophisticated, yet easy to wear.
Source: via e.p. on Pinterest

You didn't think I would get through this list without posting an Etsy link, did you? These barn owl earrings are so adorable, I could die. But they stop short of being too cutesy.

I have more fantasy shopping here on Pinterest, including a gorgeous butterfly necklace and a lightning bolt bracelet! What's on your "want" list right now?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Wants: Scarf print

I'm sure this is horribly not on-trend of me (as if I care), but I have suddenly become enamored of scarf print. Here's a little roundup of my virtual scarf-print shopping for the week:
Pastel scarf print dress by George for ASDA
This feminine sundress was featured in an Easy Living spread highlighting "Mad Men"-inspired fashion. If you say so ...

Navy and white scarf print dress by Nautica
The epitome of easy, casual dressing - classic palette, no accessories needed. Somehow I doubt I would look this much of a knockout if I wore it ... but I can still admire the idea.

Sea NY mitered stripe dress
Regardless of how sullen the model looks, this dress makes me want to smile. Yes, I do love a good, mad print ...

Lovestuck dress, modeled by Chocolate
I love everything about this look. It's not everyone that can pull off a boater. Hats off to you, Ron (warning, I just feel down the rabbit hole of her blog for like half an hour, it's gorgeous).

Silk dress by Dolce Vita
A refined and subtle take on scarf print courtesy of Piperlime. I love that they paired it with black tights and boots; it makes the blue of the dress look so much more vibrant.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekend Wants: Better red than dead

Here's my roundup of fantasy shopping for the week:

Thanks to a tip-off from The Dainty Squid, I am now obsessed with these skirts:

/Custom skirts by Ananya on etsy

I will take one in every color, please!

Red faux leather booties by little den vintage on etsy
These vintage foldover booties are amazing -- and, coming from someone who is very "meh" about booties in general, that's saying something. If they were in my size, I so would have bought them already.

Source: via Joanna on Pinterest

A Cup of Jo tagged these as "perfect red flats" and I can't argue with that. I haven't even clicked through to see how much they cost because I'm afraid I will just get depressed.

Source: via e.p. on Pinterest

I came across this gorgeous purse while looking for a replacement diaper bag. Just lovely, even if it doesn't suit my needs.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Transitions, decisions

When I decided to start selling vintage a few months ago, I honestly did not put a lot of thought into it. It was more of a, "Hey, why don't I give this a try?" kind of thing. I was still out on maternity leave after the birth of my daughter in January, but I finally had some energy and was eager for a project of some kind. Browsing vintage stores on Etsy, I was struck by the demand for certain types of garments that I seem to see regularly at local thrift shops and rummage sales. So I figured I would give it a whirl.

Six months later, I am trying to evaluate my "success" as an Etsy seller. I am inching close to a few of my rather arbitrary goals (50+ followers on Facebook and Twitter; 100+ items in my shop) and recently reached one goal of making it to 50 sales. I am in the black, financially speaking, which is good, and have learned a lot about photographing and describing my items, communicating with buyers, crafting realistic and fair shipping policies, and promoting my shop.

But am I "succeeding"? I really don't know. Between work and family/home obligations (not to mention trying to have a little down time now and then), I struggle during the week to devote any time at all to my shop, which is frustrating. Due to some changes at my job, the time I used to be able to spend in the mornings and occasionally on my lunch break, taking photos or writing item descriptions, seems to have evaporated.

This blog is another example. I toyed with doing daily outfit posts (because, let's admit it, I'm vain and I like showing off my outfits), but again, time got away from me. The simple act of having to pull photos off my camera and crop/color-balance them was more than I could fit in on a day-to-day basis - especially while juggling a screaming infant. I would really like to get back to this some day, but it doesn't seem realistic right now.

So I'm struggling to figure out what I can do, what I should do and what to let go. I would love to have cute custom tags and packaging for my clothing like some other shops I've seen, but is that really the best use of my time/money? Probably not. I am also scaling back my buying right now, since a) I have a pretty sizable backlog of clothes that still need to be listed, and b) I am trying to be more judicious about what I buy, based on what my customers seem to be interested in. (Although I am still surprised sometimes at what gets the most clicks!)

And I am thinking hard about what direction(s) to take this blog so that I can post more often and do so with a distinctive voice and point of view. I have to be honest with myself about what I can and can't do. I am not a great photographer and I'm not much of a graphic designer, so I have to admit to myself that this blog is, at least for now, probably not going to be visually stunning. But I can at least make the content the best it can be. The blogs I enjoy reading the most are the ones where the author's personality really shines through. So I'm looking forward to refining my voice and finding ways to communicate my passion for fashion (sorry) to all of you. I hope you'll stick with me as I try to forge ahead and make a go of this whole thing!