2014-03-28

Spring in my Step

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60's floral coat? Vintage (similar on Etsy here) Jeans? 7forallMankind (here in a slightly darker wash) 
Shoes? Thrifted, Guess Necklace? Vintage Clutch? Hilary Radley 

Ripped jeans, high heel pumps and some wacky vintage to top it off. I feel like that is my vintage formula. 

Whenever people ask me for advice on when or how to wear some vintage, I have two answers...
'Wear it for brunch on a Tuesday.'
'Wear it with ripped jeans.'
I think what I'm trying to say that if you love it and you feel great, just wear it. 

And I know it's a little more complicated than that but it's not a bad thing to enjoy getting dressed. To think I wasted so many years being afraid to wear some of the weirder things in my closet because I was scared people might look at me funny. Now I know the real scary thing is going down the stairs in a floor length floral jacket. High heels and flowy hems are actually what I should have been afraid of all that time. Not going to lie, I had a few near misses (I actually tied the jacket around my waist when I was transporting some stuff up and down the stairs at work...) but the risk was negated by the feelings of fabulousness. I felt like spring in a pair of high heels.

2014-03-26

Twittering

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Necklaces? Vintage (I sold the red one and its green glass sister on Etsy already... they went to a good home, but they were hard to part with, ha...) Lace cardigan? Vintage, from Merl Jeans? Old and destroyed from Zara 
Boots? Joe Fresh Backless tank? Old (similar here and on sale here)

On occasion this past winter, Shelly has been taking my outfit pictures for me. If you think this is because I am at the level where I have a professional photographer following me around, you are obviously right. Or it's because I 'met' Shelly on twitter and then met her for real when she came in the store and I totally appreciate her helping a sister out with her skillz. (Sidenote: At first I did not clue in who Shelly was from her twitter account because she had a pink streak in her hair on her profile picture but not in real life at that moment. That's just misleading... and I'm not so bright.)
When I told Matt that Shelly would sometimes be taking my outfit pictures for me, he told me that even though he never met her, she was his new best friend. 
I'd like to take a moment to thank Twitter. Because that's how I got a new photographer friend and more importantly, how Matt got a new best friend. 

2014-03-21

Bandwagonning

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Overalls? Marshalls (very similar darker wash and lighter wash) Clutch? h&m 
Cuffs? c/o unikati & co (here) Boots? Nine West

Overalls have been over all the Internet (see what I did there?) lately and yes, I jumped on the bandwagon. I'm mostly just impressed that I found a pair that was long enough for my torso and didn't give me a wedgie with every step I took. 
Overalls had a moment back when I was elementary school and I had to miss out because I was too tall. Then they had a moment when I was in high school, this time with a tighter fit, a flared leg and a name brand label and I had to miss out because I was too broke. This time, at the ripe age of 30, I can afford and fit into overalls, so my childhood fashion dreams finally came true. Is there potential that a future outfit post will see me with one strap undone in true 90's fashion? Yes, there is, you've been warned. 

And those cuffs? They are from unikati and co. and made of a fascinating (and sobering, to be honest) choice of material. One of the ladies who runs unikati and co is from Hamilton and that original connection is how we got in touch. They kindly gifted me with one of these Cambodian made cuffs and I liked it so much, I then decided to buy another one myself. I got the second cuff to support a great company with a great philosophy. But also because wearing two cuffs makes me feel pretty freaking cool... maybe even like a superhero.

I guess my super power would be jumping on bandwagons in heels.

2014-03-18

Salvage

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Skirt? Vintage, rescued off a dress (even better skirt on this dress on Etsy) Sweater? BCBG (worn backwards) Sports bra? Old Navy (here on sale) Shoes? Nine West Clutch and necklace? Vintage 
Fabulous mural? Wall of The Refinerie

This skirt, like the bustier from the last post, is a rescue from one of my vintage buys. But instead of being a crazy 80's piece with potential buried under cheap taffetta, it was a great 50's dress with its potential ruined by damage to the taffeta. 
That's just the worst, when you find a beautiful vintage piece and you get so excited until you notice the damage... Ancient moth holes, old perspiration marks, wine stains; so many decades passed by with so many chances for something to happen to the piece. I guess when I think about it, it actually blows my mind when clothing has made it 50-80 years unscathed. If I could turn back time, I would go back and tell the ladies to stay away from tipsy Aunt Ethel and her spilley drink and while we are at it, stay off the dance floor as well. Don't go sweating in my future stock ladies...

This two tone dress did not make it through the years unscathed. And from a fiscal standpoint, it's obviously disappointing because I can't sell it and I guess that's supposed to be the point of this whole venture... or something? But it's also just disappointing because it's not like new stock, where I can replace it. I saved the skirt off this dress but there are also pieces that are completely (and I mean completely) unsalvageable. I need to get rid of them because I can't keep unsellable vintage taking up space in my house but yeah, I'm a sucker and it makes me sad to get rid of something that could have been so special.
The top had quite a few bigger holes in it and could not be salvaged. The skirt had a few tiny holes too and while I didn't feel comfortable selling that, I'm glad it fit me and I could ignore the holes because that cording detail (look at the workmanship in the pic below...) needed to be saved. So I had the dress turned into a skirt and just hoped no one would notice the pinholes. 
Which probably no one would have noticed if I hadn't just told you all that my skirt has holes...;) 
  

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2014-03-13

Second Chances

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This 80's prom dress was never intended as a 'seeing potential' post (see others here and here...)...

One way that I acquire vintage for the shop is by buying lots. Not lots as in a large amount (though that too...) but 'lots' as in purchasing the whole amount, including good and bad, from one particular seller. This often means I don't see it all beforehand but I take a chance on what I can see and make a judgement call over whether or not the price is worth it. So far this has worked out well for me. It does mean I sometimes get large amounts of vintage that I need to store, sort and then put in the shop or donate back. I probably donate back about 50% of what I get in a lot but it's still a worthy investment. 
This particular lot was about 25 80's dresses and they ran the gamut from being really good to really hilarious (I mentioned and showed an example of this over on my shop Facebook too...).  On the afternoon that the lot came in, I had a friend in the shop and as a joke I tried on a bunch of the worst offenders. Sometimes I love the 80's and sometimes they just had to add another bow and a ruffle and ruin a good thing.

This dress with it's gold lace bodice, giant bow and asymmetrical teal skirt was a tad much. But when I tried it on, it actually fit perfectly. And the bodice had a great sweetheart neckline and maybe I could just make it work? So, it came out of the donate pile and it met up with a pair of scissors where all the teal taffeta was promptly removed. 
And when teal taffeta is swapped with a pair of leather pants, the whole thing suddenly looks quite modern, no? 
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And then when the leather is swapped for a 50's midi skirt from my shop and some strappy heels, the look goes from edgy to something much more demure...

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This is probably both cheesy and obvious for me to say, but sometimes I just have too much fun getting dressed.

2014-03-12

Crazy

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Faux fur coat? Vintage (I found the exact one on Etsy if you wanna twin it out or a toned down black coat here) Denim shirt? Vanilia (similar here) Boots? La cappacucio (similar in leather here)

Heavily under the influence of a bitter winter and Pinterest, I thrifted this vintage blanket coat. It's Fairweather (this may be just a Canadian brand) and while that store is now very fast fashion, I remember it being a really fancy ladies' shop back in the day. Mind you, when I was young, I was easily impressed with what was fancy. A childhood friend's mom worked there and I would be nervous to go in with my hand-me-downs because it was so meticulous and pricey in there. 

I dropped the coat off at the dry cleaners and when I picked it up the lady greeted me with 'Oh, it's the lady with the crazy coat!'. 
Indeed, it is. And if you think that the most crazy thing about me is my coat, then you might be in for a surprise;)


2014-03-10

Nautically Titled

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(sequin shirt here and striped clutch here)

Just put up a cute little Nautical themed collection on Etsy. Stuck between calling the collection 'Ahoy Captain' and 'Batten Down the Hatches'. Naming collections is tough and mostly cheesy. I have a lot of new found respect for those responsible for titling magazine editorials... 
So Etsy... I've decided I am going to do one themed collection a month (or so...). Right now I don't have the room to run Etsy from the shop, so I do it from home and it all takes a lot more time than I care to admit (I'm so slow...). I know I can't handle a big Etsy collection or compete with the huge (and amazing) vintage Etsy sellers so I figured I might as well do my own thing... hence, monthly themed collections. 
Changing up the collections every month will keep it fresh and exciting, both for me to put up and hopefully for you as well. This month the theme is Nautical because navy and red and gold and stripes and polka dots and anchors are fun. Maybe the next collection can be something a little more offbeat like 'What to Wear to Your Frenemy's Wedding'. Eh, that's perhaps too snarky. 'Fabulous Cat Lady' is a sure contender though. So many options, so many months.

And what's my favourite piece in this capsule collection? I'm glad you asked (or didn't, whatever...). Besides the red sequin shirt up top and the perfect peplum dress below, it might be this circle skirt. I can't say it enough, circle skirts are so fun! Hard to get anything done when you are distracted by your own awesome swirling circle skirt... 

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(this fabulous dress here

2014-03-06

Stripes and Studs

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Dress? c/o Zamrie (here) Cape? Vintage Belt? Vintage Boots? Nine West Clutch? Hilary Radley

I can't believe I am saying this but I was looking through posts from this time last year and maybe I do prefer this crazy winter over last year's mild one. Blasphemy, I know. But last year the pictures were all grey and dreary looking and this year, the bright snow makes for a much more appealing back drop. 
I am also probably almost OK with this winter because this is the first year I am not getting phone calls at 2:31 a.m. to go out snow clearing... If I were on snow duty this year, I would have a lot of unpleasant words to utter right now.
Anyways, moving on from the dull weather talk, we should talk about this dress...this rather fabulous dress, sent to me by the lovely folk at Zamrie.

For a few reasons I am a bit lazy on blog collaborations* but I always take a second look at independent designers, especially when they produce in Canada or the States. In another life (a.k.a. university..) I thought I would be a designer myself and knowing how crazy and difficult the industry is makes me have deep respect for those making their designer dreams a reality. Not only that, the current Zamrie lookbook features their spring line shot in 4 ways. The same clothes are modeled by professional models for a more high fashion look, by some local Chicago ladies for an everyday casual look, styled as work appropriate wear and  lastly, transitioned over into fall. Clothing produced in Canada or the States is going to come as more of an investment so I love that Zamrie showed examples on how to make each piece work in a variety of ways. 
Might I add that the stripe matching on the seams of the dress is impeccable?
And might I also add that this dress actually came in a totally work appropriate length but I threw a temporary hem in there to keep the cape hemline and the dress hemline apart. And because I am a chronic hemmer...  




*I don't say that ungratefully. I am thankful for the opportunities this blog has provided but it's always been a struggle for me personally to get comfortable in the business of blogging. I  know many people who can balance the personal and professional part of blogging beautifully but it has  caused me ridiculously disproportionate amounts of stress in the past. Five years in, I am here to have fun with fashion and if it feels right and I have the time, I might go for things here and there. Ground breaking  approach, right? I'm a slow learner;)

2014-03-04

Curve

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Jacket? Vintage, Victor Costa Boots? From a lady I buy jewellery for the store from? Ha, kinda random...
Pants? Joe Fresh Pictures? Shelly Spithoff Photography

I got this jacket (suit actually, it comes with a velvet pencil skirt) from an auction at a thrift store. I saw it hanging with the other jackets way up in the rafters and left a $40 bid in the book based on the fact that it was a Victor Costa. Victor Costa is kind of a master of the 80's and has been good to me in the past. I honestly thought that between the weeks left to bid in the book and the live auction night, I would be completely outbid. I was right... 
But a crazy snow storm on the night of the auction kept people away and the two people who outbid me in the book never picked up the phone, so that left me as the surprised winner of the auction. And since I never even saw the suit close up until after I owned it, I was really happy to see that it was in mint condition, impeccably made, perfectly fit and absolutely crazy... 

Also, not that this will get me an award or even a participation ribbon, but these pictures were officially the coldest and fastest outfit pictures that I've ever been part of. Shelly shot these in 22 second increments over about 3 minutes. She would set up the shot, I would drop my coat, get into place and put on a brave face. Behind the scenes there was a fair amount of cold cursing going on but the pictures came out all fabulous ice queen. It's all smoke and mirrors... and frostbite.