Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sneak peek: Mini holiday baby/toddler collection

Confession time: I have been squirrelling away vintage baby and toddler clothes for a long time now, waiting to amass a proper amount and trying to find the right time to launch this addition to my Etsy shop. I did some inventory a few months ago and decided that I am going to debut the full collection in the spring in advance of Easter. But there were a few items that were just TOO perfect for the Christmas holidays, so ... I'm putting them up in my shop this weekend.

Here is a sneak peek of the five cutest, most adorable little things you ever saw, all priced reasonably enough that you can get one for your favorite little cherub without breaking the bank. Leave a comment here or on Facebook to reserve any of these listings, which will go live on Black Friday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Fritz shorts suit | $12

Cindy T-shirt | $5

Emmeline coat | $12

Mackenzie sweater | $10

Bobby overalls | $8

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Shop update

My stock has been dwindling a little bit as sales have picked up (yay!) and I haven't been able to keep up with new listings. BUT, the things I have listed lately are some of the best finds I've had in a long time. Here are a few highlights:
Pewter + bronze bias stripe shift
The stripe pattern and details of this simple, elegant shift caught my eye on the rack at my local thrift store, and when I took a closer look, I was amazed to see that it was vintage. To me, it looks completely contemporary and chic, not in the least bit dated. I adore the deep hem and cuffs (which have a zipper closure for a snug fit - what a great detail), and think this would just look so perfect with tights and boots. It's in pretty good condition, with the only flaw I noted being a few small rust spots. Link to the listing is in the caption. 

Maroon oxford pumps
Sometimes I agonize over buying items at the thrift store if the price is a little bit high. I'll walk away, and come back, or just make a mental note to check again when they're on sale. Not these babies. I barely glanced at the price, because the moment I saw them, I knew they were too perfect to pass up. I'm a huge fan of oxford pumps, and to my eye, these have the most perfect vamp, not to mention I'm a sucker for anything maroon/burgundy/oxblood. The leather is the perfect combination of soft and sturdy, and the heels + soles are in great shape. A real treasure. 

Orange / white Creamsicle shift
Another dress that I leaped at, this beauty is such a great example of how simple design + thoughtful details can make a garment shine. The color combo of cream and deep, bright orange complements the geometric lines of the bodice darts, pocket flaps and deep center pleat. Perfection. 

I have lots more goodies to unearth from my last few buying sprees, including an amazing psychedelic print blouse. Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Featured items: Unisexy

Menswear on women can be amazingly sexy, chic and effortlessly cool.

J Crew women's tuxedo shirt
I recently got some great unisex items in at the shop, so I thought I would showcase them with some Polyvore sets to show how they can be styled.

Unisexy 1

This set features a 1970s vintage turtleneck top. When I was modeling these tops, I kept flashing back to photos of my mom from the 70s. The only thing missing would be a kerchief for her hair!

Unisexy 2

For this red tuxedo shirt, I thought it would be fun to put together an edgier look - not something I would probably wear myself, but who knows? 

Unisexy 3

Set No. 3, featuring this suede & knit jacket, got me all nostalgic for high school. I wonder if I still have my old pair of Docs somewhere ...

You can find these three items and more in my Etsy store here

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fall preview #2: Beautiful browns

Here's the second in a set of previews of the fall collection that will be going live in my Etsy shop on Saturday. Leave a comment here, or message me on Facebook or Twitter, to reserve any of these items. You can use coupon code FALL13 for 25% off any purchase of $10 or more throughout September and October - including items already on sale!

Vintage coat: Tan faux leather cropped jacket - $38

Beautiful mushroom-colored cropped faux leather jacket with pleat details on front and plush zip-out lining. Jacket hits at natural waist. Slit pockets at side. Very warm and well-built.

Brand: Avant Garde
Size listed: 13/14
Material: Acrylic, polypropylene
Condition: Excellent vintage condition

Measurements (with garment laid flat):
Shoulders: 15 inches
Chest: 20 inches
Waist: 18 inches
Length: 22 inches

Vintage dress - Young Edwardian floral print peasant dress - $38

This gorgeous brown floral print peasant dress is in excellent condition. Bodie has bronze-colored ribbon details around insets of printed fabrics in three different patterns. Fabric sash is free at the sides to tie in the back. Zipper at rear. Skirt gathered at front. Dolman-style sleeves with elastic cuffs. Ribbon and fabric trim at bottom of skirt matches bodice.

Brand: Young Edwardians by Arpeja
Size listed: 5
Material: Not listed; presumed cotton
Condition: Excellent vintage condition

Measurements (with garment laid flat):
Shoulders, chest free
Waist: 12 inches
Length: 39.5 inches from shoulder to hem.

Vintage dress Tan LL Bean sweater dress - $17

This medium-weight knit sweater dress is khaki with white stripes. Soft, comfortable T-shirt fabric makes this a great transition piece for fall. Bateau neck; lbow-length sleeves; straight skirt, hits below the knee.
Brand: L.L. Bean
Size listed: Small
Material: Polyester/cotton
Condition: Very good vintage condition

Measurements (with garment laid flat):
Shoulders: 12 inches
Chest, waist: 16 inches
Length: 41 inches from shoulder to hem

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall preview #1: 1970s chic

Here's the first in a set of previews of the fall collection that will be going live in my Etsy shop on Saturday. Leave a comment here, or message me on Facebook or Twitter, to reserve any of these items. You can use coupon code FALL13 for 25% off any purchase of $10 or more throughout September and October - including items already on sale!

Vintage dress: Ivory and black 1970s
Victorian dress with lace trim - $14

Vintage 1970s dress with deep V neckline trimmed in lace. Small button closure at collar can be fastened to make it a peek-a-boo style neckline. Lace at elastic cuffs. Elastic waistband; accordion-pleated black skirt. Matching black fabric sash. Skirt hits at the knee.

Brand: Jane Baar
Size listed: 12
Material: Synthetic
Condition: Very good vintage condition

Measurements (with garment laid flat):
Shoulders: 14 inches
Chest: 17 inches
Waist: 11 inches (stretches to 16 inches)
Hips free
Length (from waistband to hem): 25 inches

Vintage skirt - Ombre tweed 1970s A-line skirt - $19

This reddish-tan tweed pull-on skirt has ombre stripe detailing at the hem. No label or brand name; fabric is a medium-weight knit, possibly a wool/synthetic blend. Elastic waistband. Hits below the knee. Good vintage condition.

Measurements (with garment laid flat):
Waist: 15 inches (stretches to 21 inches)
Hips: 20 inches
Length: 27 inches

Vintage boots - 1970s slouchy burgundy leather
Hush Puppies high-heeled boots, US 7 - $24

Classic 1970s boots in cordovan leather. Wooden stacked heel and narrow, rounded toe. Average wear to leather; comfortably broken in, with lots of life left in them.

Brand: Hush Puppies
Size: US 7 (fits true to size)
Material: Leather
Condition: Good vintage condition (typical age-related wear; no major stains, rips or flaws)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hibernation frustration

Happy September! I'm bluffing, I actually don't really enjoy fall and am stressed out about it being September. My journalism class is starting up tomorrow, I am so unprepared, and I've got a hairy couple of weeks at my other, full-time job, as well. And I wish like nothing else that I could just blow it all off and immerse myself in new listings for my shop, because I have so much awesome fall stuff to sell!

So this is to say that I'm skipping the wardrobe challenge this week and probably next. But I do hope to start posting featured listings from my shop here, offering you a chance to reserve items before the listings go live. And you can look for the first of my fall listings starting next week, when I have a blessed few days off work.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fashion Challenge, Take 3

This week's fashion challenge was to style a pair of sensible shoes in a way that felt stylish and work-appropriate. Here's my final attempt: 

I recently dug this Ralph Lauren (thrifted, natch) polo dress out of the closet, where it had been banished with a bunch of other non-nursing-friendly clothes. It was like Christmas. But I digress. I love a good short A-line dress, and this one is no exception, although my choice of cardigan (a hand-me-down from my late aunt) may not have been the best choice.

And, just so you can see what else was going on when I was trying to take this picture:

And no, I'm not sure why my daughter is saluting. It kind of looks like we're watching a parade.

Hoping everyone has a great, safe and happy Labor Day weekend. What are your plans? I'm hoping to take my daughter to a balloon festival here in town, and maybe sneak in some time to work on some fall listings for my shop. Oh, and I should probably prep for the fall semester of my journalism class, which starts -- eep! -- on Wednesday. It's a full life!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fashion Challenge, Take 2

This week's fashion challenge was to style a pair of sensible shoes in a way that felt stylish and work-appropriate. Here's my second attempt: 

Admittedly, this outfit is a little more casual than I usually wear for work. But no one at my office cares, so oh well. I also overdressed for even my arctic work environment in heavy corduroy pants. And, yeah, I realize you can't actually see the shoes in this photo. Sorry about that.

I look pissed off here because it was 9 million degrees hot. For reals.

I picked up these blue chandelier earrings at a yard sale a few weeks ago. Not sure if they are hypoallergenic. I guess I will find out.

I took the day off today but the challenge will continue tomorrow with my Casual Friday outfit of the week.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fashion Challenge, Take 1

This week's fashion challenge was to style a pair of sensible shoes in a way that felt stylish and work-appropriate. Here's what I came up with:

This was actually sort of a double fashion challenge for me; I just picked up this Villager blouse at a yard sale and wanted to try it out as well. This blouse is one of those things that I was drawn to because it's pretty, but find hard to wear because it's not exactly my style.

Wearing a floral button-down made me feel conservative and a bit boring. The khaki skirt, which is Brooks Brothers from years ago, didn't help in that department. So I tried to add a little flair with a pair of large earrings and a dark lip. The makeup in particular was, strangely, an adjustment. I didn't realize until I put it on that it has been a really long time since I wore lipstick this dark. It was like looking at a stranger in the mirror. I used to wear dark lipstick almost exclusively (hey, it was the 90s), but lately I've been all about tinted lip gloss, so I had forgotten what a strong statement a dark lip can make.

So, did I succeed in this fashion challenge. Kind of-ish. I still would like this outfit better with cuter flats or even heels, but it worked well enough for me. But I did feel a little more "me" in this somewhat preppy outfit, thanks to some bolder accessories, so that's a lesson learned.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fashion challenge: Sensible shoes

This is the first in a series of weekly fashion challenges designed to push myself to wear clothes that have been languishing in my closet.
I bought these tan slip-ons about a year and a half ago as part of a frenzy of shopping at the end of my maternity leave. My husband declared them "the most boring shoes imaginable." I've gotten plenty of wear out of them on weekends, but it's been tough to incorporate them into my professional wardrobe.
Check back later this week to see how I do!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Like many vintage sellers, I imagine, I struggle at times with whether to keep a garment, or sell it in my Etsy shop.

I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it. 

A lot of times, the choice is made for me. A pair of shoes that's not even close to my size, or a dress that's radically too big or too small for me, causes me no heartache. In fact, these types of treasures are why I started selling vintage in the first place - to be able to find loving homes for the things I could never possibly use myself.

This pajama set is way too big for me, but I know it will make someone very happy. 

But it's the almosts that kill me - the beautiful blouse that just doesn't hang right on me; the lovely cut that just isn't flattering to my shape; the pair of pants I could squeeze in to, as long as I never want to sit down or bend over.

Such is the story of this teal dress. I bought it in the fall and stowed it away for the season without giving it too much thought. When I brought it out a few weeks ago to measure and photograph it, I was instantly charmed. The fabric is what I consider the best possible sort of rayon - soft, lightweight and comfortable, with an almost velvet-like hand and a wonderful drape. Details like the small pleats on the bodice, turnback cuffs and, best of all, pockets on the side seams, give this dress just the right little touches of flair without making it seem costume-y or fussy. And as you can see from the photos, it DOES fit - technically.

But you'll also notice I'm not wearing the matching cloth belt that comes with the dress.

That's because the belt is a few sizes smaller. And, if I'm honest with myself, the dress is really meant to fit someone a few sizes smaller - that's how it would look its best.

As with many things that wind up in my shop, I've realized that just having had the opportunity to spend some time with this garment is enough for me. I'd much rather see this dress go on to someone who feels confident and fabulous every time they wear it, as opposed to sitting in my closet and rarely being worn because the fit is a bit off.

If you think this dress might be the right fit for you, please note I'm having a summer sale in my shop right now, where you can buy one item and receive a second for half price. Just convo me with the two items you're interested in, and I'll set up a custom listing with adjusted shipping rates.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

In praise of polyester - again

Polyester gets a bad rap. The very name conjures up some of the worst fashion excesses of the 1970s. It's synonymous with cheap, tacky and over-the-top.

But here's the thing: I kind of like polyester. And I'm not even talking about today's more sophisticated synthetics. Nope, I'm talking about your granny's double-knit pant suits and pussy-bow blouses. I'm talking about those cheap-and-cheerful, dime-a-dozen disco dresses. And I'm talking about, yes, those crazy prints and patterns that made the 70s such a dizzying cacophony of color.

Why? Because what made those garments so successful when they made their debut is the same thing that makes them work today.

A 1954 advertisement for Dacron - the first polyester introduced to the U.S. clothing market - makes the case pretty plainly.

image from tuppence ha'ppeny vintage

Synthetic fabrics resist stains and wrinkles. 'Nuff said. Add to that the fact that they are extremely colorfast, and won't shrink, and you've got a winning recipe for clothes that can really take a beating and keep looking good.

Don't get me wrong: I love natural fibers. I grew up on a sheep farm, for cripes' sake, so the smell of wet wool makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. When it comes to woven fabric, cotton can't be beat for comfort. And silk is nothing short of miraculous. (If you've never worn silk long underwear, you have no idea what you're missing.)

But ... let's be honest here. I am not always kind to my clothes. I'll toss a shirt into my closet, only to dust it off a few days later to see if it's still wearable. I rarely iron. I often leave laundry sitting in the dryer overnight. And I visit the dry cleaner's about as often as I visit the dentist. So I truly appreciate a garment that can withstand this type of abuse.

I had this top stuffed in a shopping bag for a month before I hauled it out to photograph it. No joke. 
But that's not the only reason I like poor old polyester. In some situations, I actually find it more comfortable than the natural alternatives. Sure, synthetic fabrics don't "breathe" very well, which means you don't want to be wearing tight polyester around the arms in hot weather. But you know what else I don't want to be wearing when it's hot out? This.

It seems that nowadays you can barely buy a tanktop that isn't body-hugging, like this one from Old Navy. This is great for layering, but unless you look like the model seen here, it's not so great if you want to actually wear said tanktop on its own out in public. I don't know about you, but the only thing I want hugging my body is my husband.

Polyester may not breathe well, but what it does do well is drape. This means that a polyester tank top, in the proper cut and fit, floats away from the body, rather than sticking to it.

Source: via e.p. on Pinterest

So, it might be cool to hate on polyester. But I'm not ashamed to say I'm a fan. What about you?