In the mean time, I just wanted to acknowledge some wonderful things that happened before we left. First, the very talented illustrator Sabrina Vincent drew inspiration from one of my blog posts and painted a portrait based on "precious in pale yellow."
"At a very young age, Kelley Anne learned to adjust her glasses in a graceful and demure manner."
I can't possibly express how flattered I was. I love her whimsical paintings and was even more excited when she offered to send it to me. This was so unexpected and I was so very happy that I could pass on the some of the inspiration that I get from the various blogs that I read every day. I highly recommend that everyone checks out her blog and her Etsy shop. Thanks Sabrina!If that wasn't enough, I was also contacted by Angela from Wicked Plum Vintage about an interview concerning my vintage style. She's very active on Chictopia and chose 10 vintage or vintage-inspired bloggers from the site to speak to and--needless to say--I was very excited and honored to be one of them. I've had such a wonderful experience on Chictopia ever since I joined, and Angela's supportive and friendly comments have been a large part of that. And, if you haven't been to her Ebay store, I highly suggest that you check it out. She has a vast array of very cool and inspirational clothes for sale.
Thanks so much Angela, you have no idea how much this meant to me!
(If you'd like to read the interview, the transcription is below.)
Say hello to the lovely Kelley Anne, our #2 Vintage Style Icon from Chictopia!
We discovered her on Chictopia very early on, and fell in love with her modest, classy, and fun vintage style! We love to drool over her simple vintage floral dresses, moxie-filled blouses, and sassy pencil skirts and sweaters! She reminds us often of a cute 1950s secretary or sometimes a 1930s college girl!
She is on holiday in Italy right now, but she was gracious enough to take the time to answer our questions before she left!
1. Describe your vintage style to us in 100 words or less!
Oh, this is tough! I suppose my style could best be described as pretty, classic or lady-like. I don't aim for a specific period look, but instead look for colors, patterns and pieces that suit my body type and personality. That could mean a mod dress from the 60's, a sweet 50's full-skirted number, something polyester with a bold pattern from the 70’s or an 80's secretary dress...but one picture is definitely emerging: I love dresses and skirts J I like having lots of options, but hope to ultimately still convey myself no matter what I choose to wear.
2. What do you like the most about vintage clothing?
I like the possibilities of it. When I walk into a vintage, thrift or antique store, I never know what I will find, so I keep my mind open.Most of all though, I love knowing that my clothes carry stories and histories that extend beyond me and my experiences with them. Someone else loved them and wore them and went through the events of their lives in them and now I get to do the same thing before I pass them on to someone else.
3. What do you like the least about vintage clothing?
Hmmm…I guess my least favorite thing about it is that if you find something you love and its in the wrong size you’re out of luck. But I usually don’t get upset, I just remind myself that someone else will get to find it and be really excited and that there’s something amazing waiting for me not far ahead.
4. Which era(s) are your favorite and why?
I like clothes from every decade (although 20’s drop-waisted dresses don’t really suit me, sadly) for different reasons and would feel like I was limiting myself if I left any out of my wardrobe. If I had to narrow it down, I would say the 40’s through the 80’s…sorry, that’s really broad! There’s so much to like that its hard for me to favor one era. I truly feel like a wide-eyed and thrilled kid in a candy shop when presented with the vast array of choices out there.
5. What are your favorite places to find vintage (other than us)?
I really love going to thrift stores in New England and antique stores in Florida (where I’m from), especially unexpected ones that you come across during road trips. That’s where I tend to find some really interesting pieces.
As for brick and mortar vintage stores, there’s a long list! In Providence, I like Foreign Affair for crazy prints from the 60’s and 70’s. In Cambridge, I like to visit Oona’s Experienced Clothing and in Brookline Café Society for pretty dresses, skirts and blouses. When we lived in Illinois, my favorite store was Viva Vintage in Evanston (the salesgirls were so nice and helpful there and they had a great sales rack). Overall though, my favorite vintage store hands down is La France in Ybor City, Florida, where my sister and I go every time I visit home. Its amazing and is where I bought my wedding dress and first formal gown. Oh and I’ve also just recently started purchasing vintage shoes and handbags on Etsy.
6. What got you into vintage?
That’s hard to say, it happened gradually over time. I received a lot of clothes from my mother and things that came from my paternal grandmother’s attic when I was growing up, so I always felt comfortable wearing hand-me-downs and really loved the idea of dressing up like the women in my family. I also remember sitting in my mother’s parents’ house for hours when I was a child going through old photos of my grandmother and her sisters from the 40’s and 50’s and romanticizing them. Then, from high school through graduate school, I studied history and came to understand the significance of dress, as well as marveling at the wide variety of styles, especially throughout the 20th century. When I was in graduate school, everything sort of came together when my sister and I started to visit vintage and thrift stores regularly and I decided to dress for myself and in order to express myself, no matter what anyone else thought. I suppose that the progression of my vintage style matched the process through which I really came into my own as a person and became comfortable with myself.
7. What sorts of things influence the way you style your outfits?
Oh there are so many things. Traveling has definitely effected the way I dress. I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad twice and my husband and I alternate between international and domestic trips every year. I get to see people dress in so many different ways that I never would have thought of on my own. In addition, I work in libraries, so I regularly come across books about vintage, history and clothing in general, as well as old photographs, and really like to read biographies of women from different time periods. I also watch a lot of old movies and that always effects what I want to wear.
Over the past year though, one of my biggest influences has been my fellow bloggers. I get so many ideas and so much inspiration from reading the various fashion and vintage blogs out there and can’t put into words how much I enjoy being part of this community and appreciate the women and men who are part of it.
8. How do you think vintage clothing can benefit today's styles?
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I guess it can open people’s minds to the various styles and possibilities of dressing. I think its good to experiment and find what suits you, even if its not currently on trend. What qualifies as vintage is a wide range of clothing that offers something different for every person.
9. What is your favorite vintage item you currently own?
Do I have to pick one?J Hmmm…my favorite dress is a full-skirted wool blend one from the 70’s. Its cream and light brown and is decorated with what might be described as a pattern of zebra stripes and flowers. Oh and it has these great, full elbow-length sleeves. I bought it on my honeymoon in the UK in a Scottish vintage store called Armstrong's.
I’m going to cheat and include something else too. My mother’s best friend (who’s in her 80’s) just gave me two dresses and a silk mandarin jacket of her mother’s that were handmade in Hong Kong when she and her husband were traveling there in the 1960‘s. Its amazing, beautiful clothing that I treasure because of the person from whom it came and the fact that she cared enough about me to entrust it to me.
10. If you could buy ANY vintage item in the world that you cannot afford right now, what would it be?
It would definitely be a 1970’s Burberry trench coat.