Friday, January 31, 2014

Brown + blue basics

So I've kind of abandoned the idea of trying to take photos outdoors for now - it's just been really difficult to pull off. Besides, I've been reasonably happy with the quality of photos I've been able to get at home - that is, until today. It was a bit dark this morning, so these shots aren't the greatest.

Explaining something to my daughter — I don't remember what, but she said something that made me laugh.

I am way too much in love with these flats, which I got at a bag sale last summer. They are seriously in bad shape but there is something about the two-tone colors, the squared-off toe box, and the little tiny Mary Jane strap right over the instep, that just does it for me. Plus they're seriously comfy.

My husband gave me these navy blue corduroys for Christmas a year ago and it's been surprisingly hard to work them into my wardrobe. This is funny to me because back in high school these would have been my dream pants — low-waisted, snug in the hips and a slight flare to the leg. Now I've gotten so used to wearing skinnier pants that I have to think hard about how to wear a wider leg.

This outfit gets like a 6 out of 10 for me on the originality/creativity scale, but it feels comfortable and still like "me," so I guess it's OK.

Don't forget, you can still enter to win this fab necklace-and-earring duo until midnight tonight (Eastern time). Here are all the entry details once again:

To enter: 

1. Leave a comment on my original giveaway post
2. Like bon marche couture on Facebook or, if you already do, share this giveaway on your own wall
3. Follow bon marche couture on Twitter or, if you already do, retweet this giveaway
4. Follow bon marche couture on Instagram or, if you already do, leave a comment on my giveaway post
5. Follow bon marche couture on Bloglovin or, if you already do, like this post
6. New! Link to this giveaway from your blog (if you do this, be sure to email me at bonmarchecouture at gmail dot com to let me know so that I count your entry)

Tan zip-up cardigan: W*lmart
Blue and white floral polo shirt: Vintage, thrifted
Wood beaded necklace: Gift
Navy corduroy flares: Jordache, gift
Chestnut and tan Mary Jane flats: Bag sale
Total cost to me: About $12

Thursday, January 30, 2014

False Starts

Time was when I used to spend a long time scrutinizing my outfit while getting ready in the morning. Toddler wrangling*, however, leaves little time for such indulgences, so I've gotten used to getting ready with only the briefest look in the mirror.

Today I had to dash off without even a glance in the mirror, though. So I kept things pretty simple. 

After I got things straightened out at work and dropped off my daughter at day care, I was excited to try shooting photos in a park right next to my office. But it really didn't work out. I was freezing, and so was my camera - it kept just shutting itself down when I would try to set the timer. So I went back to work and took another stab at some photos during my lunch break. 

Can you spot my cat's teeny ears peeking out in this shot? He's such a cutie

This necklace is a longtime favorite of mine - it is one of the first things I ever bought on Etsy, from a store that's now defunct. And I love this mint sweater, but it's a bit hard to wear because it's on the short side, and a lot of my pants are kind of low-waisted. 

What can I say, I'm in a silly mood today. I even tried the patented Kaylah Doolan jump. It took a few tries, this was the best shot I got: 

Please ignore my ridiculous sneaker collection ... nothing to see here

One more reminder that I am still taking entries for my giveaway through Friday night. There are a ton of ways to enter, so please check out this blog post for all the details. Good luck!

Mint cotton sweater: Gap, thrifted
Swallow necklace: Etsy
Gray pleated skirt: Vintage, thrifted
Maroon tights: Probably W*lmart
Silver flats with cutouts: Old Navy

*I realized late last night that I had debuted my "Toddler Tuesdays" feature ... on a Wednesday. I feel like a total idiot! I thought about renaming the post or something, but it's really not worth it. Anyway, it kind of made me laugh once I got over feeling like a big dummy. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Toddler Tuesday: A happy mismatch

So I decided spontaneously this morning that I am going to try to incorporate my daughter into my daily outfit pics once a week on Tuesdays. I am going to warn you right now, there may be matching outfits in the future, depending on how ambitious I get.

It is kind of relevant, though, because I apply the same thrifty logic to my daughter's wardrobe that I do to my own. And thanks to my mom and others, she even has some fabulous vintage in her closet (although none of it is on display today).

I am getting increasingly attached to this brown velvet blazer, which I bought with the intention of selling it. What can I say, I kind of have a blazer addiction. They can be tough for me to wear, because I often feel really boxy/stout if I don't pair them with the right outfit, but today I felt good in this. This blouse was a total impulse buy, but I haven't regretted it - I always get compliments when I wear it, the color is just so perfect.

I got so busy with toddler wrangling that I forgot my necklace for most of these photos, but here's a glimpse. My husband gave this to me for my birthday last year and I absolutely love it. It was lost for a few months after he cleaned out the nursery (which also happens to be where most of my clothes live) but I recently found it and was ecstatic to be reunited.

My outfit: 
Brown velvet blazer: Vintage, for sale in my shop
Aqua high-neck blouse: Vintage, consignment
Coral and gold necklace: Gift
Khaki skinny trousers with side stitching: a.n.a., thrifted
Brown two-tone T-strap pumps: Bongo,
Total cost to me: About $36 - mostly the shoes

Ramona's outfit: 
Polka dot onesie: Carter's, hand-me-down
Pink corduroy pinafore: Boden, thrifted
Gray jeggings: Kmart
Pink and orange boots: Children's Place, consignment
Total cost to me: About $12

And don't forget about my giveaway - you still have until Friday to enter! Details are here

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Too cold to look cute

I unearthed a beloved dress out of my closet this weekend and was excited to wear it today, but it's so damn cold I would up burying it under a load of layers.

It's just one of those days when you need to wear socks, leggings, a dress, a cardigan AND a scarf. Hat, gloves and coat not pictured.

I was randomly looking at different ways to tie a scarf on Pinterest the other night at like 2 a.m., so I decided to try something a little different today. I was pretty happy with the result, other than I forgot to check which side the tag was on, which I always tend to do. Now it looks like I am trying to advertise the fact that this is, at least allegedly, a GENUINE PASHMINA. As if anyone (including me) cares.

But it is soft and warm! I got it at a church bag sale for 20 cents, hooray.

These boots were a total impulse buy a few months ago - they were marked down at the local Salvation Army and they just called out to me. I think I was inspired by Marlen's tan/gray booties, which she always wears so stylishly with skirts, socks and tights (as seen here). OK, I will just admit it, I have tried more than once to copy her layered look. It takes practice!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - this week you can win a necklace and earrings, and international readers are welcome to join in! Just click here for all the details. The contest closes at midnight Friday.

Eggplant cardigan: Abercrombie, thrifted
Baby-pink pashmina: Bag sale
Blue floral print peasant dress: Vintage, thrifted
Gray ankle boots: Thrifted, no tag or label, but they are awesome

Another all-secondhand outfit, yay me. Total cost, approximately $10

Monday, January 27, 2014

In from the cold

Rough night last night with very little sleep. I got up late and, of course, forgot my camera. I tried to psych myself up for taking outfit photos in my yard in the -25 wind chill, but I chickened out, so this is what you get.


I won't lie, I went through about five variations on this outfit before I left the house this morning. I settled on a pretty safe choice of royal blue and white, with mustard flats. Also my hair is kind of a train wreck - see above tale of woe.

Now that I have had the chance to wear it for half a day, I love this skirt all the more, although I did discover a hole in one of the pockets when my phone fell out onto the tile floor - ouch. So, after this wearing, it's going into the mending pile, hopefully to return to my active wardrobe soon.

My husband got me these shoes at the local thrift store a year or so ago, and I have found it strangely hard to incorporate them into my wardrobe. Also there is a pen mark on one of them that I have been too lazy to try to remove. I think I am either going to have to make more of an effort to wear these, or just get rid of them.

I really liked how this outfit looked without the sweater, but that will have to wait until spring. This is the coldest January I can remember since I've lived here, and we're supposed to just get more of the same this week. Whoever said April is the cruelest month clearly did not live in upstate New York.

Royal blue cashmere wrap sweater: Clothing swap 
White top: Vintage, thrifted
Olive skirt: Vintage, thrifted
Mustard flats: Thrifted
Bird necklace: Gift/found object

Total cost for this outfit: probably about $8!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday giveaway: Yellow necklace and rainbow earrings

Sorry today's giveaway post is going up a bit late, but I had a lively toddler who was not very interested in going down for her nap.

I thought I would feature some jewelry this week so that a) anyone can enter regardless of size; and b) international readers can enter as well. This necklace and earring combo seemed like a cheerful offering for these dark days of winter.

These colorful earrings evoke the 1970s to me, but it occurred to me that in all honesty, I know of no way to be sure when they were made. Given that fact, I felt that it would be best to take them down from my Etsy shop, as it's important to me that I can assure my customers that they are buying genuine vintage.

That being said, they're quite pretty, and make for a nice pop of color without being too over-the-top gaudy. The largest hoop measures about 1.75 inches in diameter.

I'm also including this great oversized yellow necklace. It appears to be made of painted shells, which are strung on a yellow ribbon.

The ribbon is extra long at the back, which means you can wear the necklace long with some ribbon showing, or double it over as a choker.

It does have some soil/wear, as you can (sort of) see here. (On the other hand: it's free!) This giveaway is open until midnight Friday (Eastern Standard Time). I'm adding a new way for people to enter this week (see No. 6) - plus, this giveaway is open to international readers as well. I will announce the winner on Saturday. Good luck!

To enter: 

1. Leave a comment below
2. Like bon marche couture on Facebook or, if you already do, share this giveaway on your own wall
3. Follow bon marche couture on Twitter or, if you already do, retweet this giveaway
4. Follow bon marche couture on Instagram or, if you already do, leave a comment on my giveaway post
5. Follow bon marche couture on Bloglovin or, if you already do, like this post
6. New! Link to this giveaway from your blog (if you do this, be sure to email me at bonmarchecouture at gmail dot com to let me know so that I count your entry)

Update: This giveaway is closed - thanks to all who entered! Look for a new giveaway every Sunday.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Wants and a winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered, possibly some of you unwittingly, in my first giveaway. The winner of the navy blue corduroy Woolrich wrap skirt is Sonya Mann, whose comment on my giveaway post was selected by a random number generator. Sonya, email me at bonmarchecouture at gmail dot com with your mailing address, and I'll get it right out to you! I hope you enjoy it.

Sonya blogs at Fashion Fragile

After last week's Weekend Wants, I became obsessed with finding at least one full skirt to add to my wardrobe, and I'm happy to say I was successful. I found an awesome olive green knee-length skirt at my local Salvation Army for only a few bucks. It's in great condition, fits perfectly and for a bonus, it's machine-washable and has pockets. I couldn't be happier. So naturally I decided that my new skirt would be the first thing I wore when I went back to work after this mini vacation. And then I immediately became stumped, because I really don't have any olive green in my wardrobe, and I could NOT figure out what I would wear it with.

Enter Pinterest, where I went in search of inspiration. Here are some of the combos I came across that caught my eye.

My first thought was to take the easy way out and pair the skirt with black. I love the idea of doing a black-and-white checked shirt with it - maybe with a vest? But that seemed too ... safe. (Although this combo does look pretty sharp.) I think I will revisit this again in the summer when it will look more airy without tights.

I've always shied away from wearing pink with olive, but with the cream accents, I thought it looked really fresh and chic. This picture made me think about pairing a pink V neck sweater with my olive skirt and maroon tights. But then I got stumped on the shoes. Black seemed wrong, and brown seemed ... weird. So it's back to the drawing board.

This was actually my favorite color combo that I came across - lime, cream and olive. Unfortunately I don't really have anything lime green that would be suitable with this skirt. So what am I going to do? Well, check back Monday to find out - I'm not really sure myself right now.

You can see more of my inspiration photos, and past Weekend Wants pins, on my "want" board on Pinterest. See you tomorrow for a new giveaway!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My latest finds

I've had a great week off so far, combining being productive with having some fun. I cleared three bags' worth of clothes (mine and my daughter's) out of my closet, which felt great. And of course it didn't hurt that I picked up a few awesome finds at the consignment stores where I dropped off my stuff! I came thisclose to buying an amazing pair of woven black oxford pumps, but I reminded myself that I really, REALLY do not need another pair of black heels, so they stayed at the shop. And I also almost bought a pair of cuddly brown suede boots, but they were a half size too small and I've learned my lesson on that one. Anyway, here's a look at some of my great finds from this week:

Silk floral sack dress | $16
I found this amazing silk dress at my local thrift store, and luckily for me it was marked down to a price I could afford. As usual, it was the print that caught my eye - I have a real weakness for a great print. I probably miss out on all kinds of great solid-colored garments because I'm so drawn to the glitzy ones. Anyway, this is a real beauty, and it's in wonderful condition as well. Wouldn't it look great with colored tights and ankle boots?

Pale pink linen girls' dress - size 6
I am in awe of this beautiful, delicate dream of a little girls' dress. I tried to research the brand name and came up with nothing, but it's clearly a quality made garment. I thought it was silk at first, but the label told me it's linen - extremely lightweight and oh so soft! Absolutely gorgeous. This dress and more baby/girl clothes will be making their debut in the shop within the next couple weeks - I'll post an update when the listings go live. 

Brown velvet pantsuit | $32
This perfect blazer is one half of a fantastic women's suit. It looks like it dates from the late 1970s or early 80s, but the trousers have a surprisingly modern-looking fit - not super flared or high-waisted. It also fits me perfectly ... I had better list it right away before I am too tempted to keep it. 

Girls' autumn floral dress with apron overskirt
This dress is the jewel of my new children's collection. I bought it at an estate sale some time during the summer, and the women told me her mother had made it for her when she was a girl. There were a bunch of other girls' dresses there, but a lot of them weren't in very good condition, plus I was worried that I wouldn't be able to afford everything I wanted to get. But I'm so glad I got this one! It is amazing.

Black-and-white polka dot plus-size secretary dress | $12
I fell in love with this dress the first time I saw it at a local consignment store, but I lay in wait until it went on sale, because I'm crafty like that. It's no secret that I have a weakness for secretary dresses, and this one just has everything - ruffles, a little bow tie, cute round buttons and the perfect A-line skirt. Plus it's a larger size, AND it's in perfect condition. Love it.

Blue sleeveless wool Pendleton shift | $29
I checked out a new consignment store yesterday in a neighboring town, and I'm so glad I did! It took some digging, but I came away with some real treasures, including the brown velvet suit above, and this blue Pendleton shift dress. I did a double take when I saw the tag and realized that it was vintage, because it looks totally contemporary to me. I absolutely love this style, but shift dresses are not a great look for me, so I'm really happy to be able to list this one in my shop.

If you want to reserve any of these items, just leave a comment here or email me at, and I will set up a custom listing for you. And don't forget, you can still enter my giveaway until midnight tonight! I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Guest model post!

Sorry for the blog silence yesterday, I was furiously preparing a bunch of new listings for my Etsy store. I went ahead and listed the mint skirt I wore the other day. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but it's better off on someone who can wear it comfortably!

$19 in my Etsy shop
Since I am slumming it again today in a paint-stained pair of jeans, hand-me-down sweater from my husband and mismatched T-shirt (plus about 10 other layers because it's -6 F), I decided to photograph my daughter today for a daily outfit post.

She is getting to that age where she loves mugging for the camera and saying "Cheese," which can be fun but also makes it harder to get those cute candid shots of her just doing little kid stuff.

But if I wait long enough, she'll usually forget that I'm sticking a camera in her face and go back to playing.

I am not going to lie, I have tons of fun picking out outfits for her to wear. And we are incredibly lucky that we have generous family members who love to give her clothes! She gets massive amounts of hand-me-downs from her cousins, and my mom volunteers at a children's clothing consignment store so you can imagine how that goes!

I bought these snow boots for her, not thinking about the fact that they totally do not match any of her other winter stuff. But if you can't wear mismatched, crazy, bright colors when you're a little kid, when can you?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway - you could win a cute Woolrich wrap skirt! Entries are still open for a few more days. Just click through to Sunday's giveaway post to see all the rules and details.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Vacation week

I am off work this week from my day job - for any of you who don't know, I work as a newspaper editor, which means of course that I have to take a week of unpaid leave every quarter. :(

My 'home office,' aka my laptop

It's really not so bad, because I'm salaried, but it still stinks in principle. Anyway, this week I have a whole laundry list of things to do around the house and out in the world, including (I hope) visiting some out-of-the-way thrift stores to restock my Etsy shop, and re-launching my infant/children collection with an eye toward springtime and Easter! It's exciting and weird to think about pastel colors and delicate little dresses when it's still snowing to beat the band around here, but such is the world of retail, eh?

Taking these monsters for a walk is always an adventure

Today I'm bunkered down at home with my dogs, cleaning up a storm and attempting to clear out my closet (and my daughter's closet) a bit as well. I am hoping to list some more items on Swapdom later this week, so be sure to check me out there - my user name is bonmarchecouture. I can't wait until they launch their phone app, I will totally list twice as many things when I can do it all from my phone.

So my posts this week will probably be a little erratic - fewer daily outfits, more other stuff. If I get my house clean enough I may do a little home tour later on!

A reminder that my first weekly giveaway is active all this week - details on how to enter are in the giveaway post. Entries are open until midnight Friday, and I will announce the winner on Saturday. I have lots more fun giveaways planned, so if you miss out on this one, just check back next week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday giveaway: Navy corduroy wrap skirt

This is the first in a series of (I hope) weekly giveaways. To make it easy, there are plenty of ways you can enter; the rules are detailed below.

This week's giveaway is for a great slate blue corduroy wraparound skirt. I bought it to sell on Etsy, but I am not confident that it is vintage, which is how it found its way here!


Brand: Woolrich
Material: Cotton/polyester blend
Size: Medium
Measurements: waist measures 14.5 inches laid flat; skirt is 26 inches long (below the knee)
Condition: Very good vintage condition

To enter: 

1. Leave a comment below
2. Like bon marche couture on Facebook or, if you are already a fan, share this giveaway on your own wall
3. Follow bon marche couture on Twitter or, if you already follow me, retweet this giveaway
4. Follow bon marche couture on Instagram or, if you already follow me, leave a comment on my giveaway post
5. Follow bon marche couture on Bloglovin

The contest is open through midnight Friday, so you have all week to participate! Each entry will be assigned a unique number, and a random number generator will select the winner. I will announce the winner here on Saturday, so be sure to check back to see if you got lucky! Please note that this particular is only open to readers in the U.S., but I will be doing some international giveaways in the future, so don't despair.

Update: This giveaway is closed - thanks to all who entered! Look for a new giveaway post every Sunday.