Friday, January 29, 2010

Open Minds and Bow Ties

Over the past few days, I've been playing around with a silhouette that's new to me and also with separates. Basically shorter skirts, flat shoes, blouses and sweaters...actually, that doesn't sound so interesting now that I've written it out:) Its so easy for me to throw on a vintage dress and heels because (a) I've collected so many of them and (b) its an easy way to dress without too much worrying. Oh and (c) I love vintage dresses so much:) This felt right this week though, and gave me an excuse to wear the vintage yellow sweater vest that I thrifted in Florida.

I was quite happy with both outfits, but was thrown for a little loop the day that I wore the first one. I'd gone into our city center and stopped at a coffee shop for some tea. When I took my coat off, the girl who works there looked square at my outfit and barely suppressed a sarcastic little laugh. My first thought was, ' that was really mean.' And then my second was to feel sorry for her for being so narrow-minded. There are so many possibilities out there and such limited time to explore, why try to belittle someone else for making their own choice? Choosing their own little adventure?


Pclose up

Pstripey dramatic

Pruffly me

Pstripey close

Pdancing shoes

P Stripey 2

Pruffly 2

Pstripey close 2

Pruffly close


Outfit #1: Vest: Thrifted Vintage, Skirt: Thrifted Vintage, Belt: Thrifted, Blouse: Thrifted Vintage, Tie: Vintage Dress Tie, Boots: Stonefly, Tights: Target

Outfit #2: Sweater: Hand-Me-Down, Pin: Antique, Blouse: Thrifted, Belt: TJ Maxx, Skirt:Anthropologie Sale,
Tights: Target, Shoes: Thrifted Oleg Cassinis

Over the past few years that I've really started to expand my vintage collection, I've realized two things. The first is that nobody has an inherent ability to pull vintage off. When I talk to people about vintage clothing, they often say that they don't think they can do it...not that they don't like it or wouldn't want to experiment, but that they don't think they can pull it off. I remember saying that to myself...and having other people criticize the way I dressed when I first started to explore. Really, its about choosing what you like, being comfortable in what you like and knowing what suits you...In my experience, everyone else has either accepted it as a part of who I am or they act like the fashion snob at my local cafe.

The second thing that I've come to understand is that fashion, more specifically choosing garments and the act of dressing, is a way of communicating, a language without words but instead filled with textures and colors and associations nonetheless. The wonderful thing about fashion is that we don't all have to speak the same language (i.e. sport the same styles), but we can all appreciate that everyone else is trying to say something about themselves. That's why I don't think its trite or frivolous or vain to care about clothes. They say something about the person in them.

And that brings me back to the tea and the girl. Its really too bad for her, not because I think she should dress like I do or even like my style, but because she's missing out on a bigger picture of interest in the world and the people around her.

And honestly, she's not going to encourage repeat customers behaving like that:)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Now this Crush is Crushing

There aren't many instances where I have a real and true style crush on an actor or singer. Don't get me wrong, I admire the styles of many people, men and women. But the thing is, most times people who are in the public eye (and I'm sure this is no big shocker to anyone) have stylists and personal shoppers and all that jazz, so even though I may admire his/her work, I'm just not that interested in what they wear because I either assume its a costume of sorts, or it fits into a style that really doesn't suit me. For example, I'm sure Rhianna looks amazing in liquid leggings, but I can't really see myself wearing them.

Two big exceptions to this are Tracyanne Campbell and Carey Lander: the ladies of Camera Obscura. I have to admit that I love their styles because I can easily see myself wearing any of their vintage dresses. But its also something more than that. It looks like they really wear these dresses, like its not a uniform or a costume, but their regular clothes...and frankly I like that. Vintage can be tricky, sometimes it can feel like the dress is wearing you, especially if one is not comfortable looking a little unusual. These ladies are sporting their dresses on stage...whilst playing instruments and, to me, there's something so inherently cool about that. They also wear the dresses so simply with few other accessories, and despite my new challenge to myself to incorporate more colors and accessories, I really love the look of an interesting thrifted dress with little else to distract from it--especially in the summer.

Maybe its just that I'll be starting guitar lessons fairly soon and it helps me to imagine myself rocking out:) Or maybe its that I love the idea of incorporating old clothing and accessories into my everyday outfits, into my life--making beautiful things normal, but at the same time making the everyday incredibly special through the garments in which I choose to clothe myself.

Quite possibly its a little of both.

Either way, the band is one of my favorites. Besides their (in my opinion) cool sartorial choices, the music is also incredible. The lyrics are smart, interesting and complicated and they're surrounded by a distinct, swelling 60's sound--especially on the last album My Maudlin Career. I'd actually started listening to Camera Obscura through my brother several years ago and didn't know about Tracyanne Campbell and Carey Lander's styles until my brother commented last year that one of my dresses looked like something they would wear.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. I'll leave you with one last thought that fits into everyone's recent wishes for an end to winter. As PJ wrote at The Yellow Stereo "It’s almost as if Spring is already here, as listening to anything from this group is almost like having a little bit of sunshine in the palm of your hand. I dare you to listen to them and not at least feel as if your day hasn’t been brightened even slighty."

Enough said.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

...and I shift into neutrals...

I'm not sure if its the rainy, windy, cool weather outside or the rumpled, muddy conditions that this is creating, but I have been in the distinct mood for neutrals over the past few days. First yesterday I decided to forgo a long pleated purple, pink, red and black Tartan skirt in favor of black and brown florals with a gray skirt.

Pmuted seated


Dress: Thrifted, Cardigan: Anthropologie Sale, Hat: H&M, Belt: Thrifted, Skirt: Thrifted, Stockings: Target, Shoes: Payless, Coin Necklace: Gift

Then today, I chose a recently thrifted brown vintage dress. I have to say that its a great dress though. I don't know if this would make sense to anyone but me, but I feel like Mary Tyler Moore in it. Granted, its been a long time since I've watched the show. The turtleneck makes it a bit conservative, but the clinging fabric, close fit on top and swinging skirt give it a flirty feeling. I love the way this dress moves. But more than that, I love the fact that its such a great palette for building a look with accessories. I am such a sucker for crazy patterns and all sorts of color combinations, but its always nice to have a few neutral dresses in one's wardrobe as well. Oh and I finally wore the new swing coat! Yay, I love the way this moves and drapes too.

Pswing 1




Psd close

Pswing dress



Pswing 2

Dress: Thrifted Vintage, Coat: Vintage, Belt: Thrifted, Tights: American Apparel, Shoes: Blowfish, Necklace: Gift, Bracelet: can't remember

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Irene Adler Made Me Do It...

Friday night we went to see Sherlock Holmes with some friends. I grew up watching the BBC version with Jeremy Brett and reading the collected volumes of stories and was a bit skeptical when I first saw the previews online. But I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Guy Ritchie's version for the action-packed thrill ride that it was. I was also quite taken with Irene Adler's costumes and distinctly remember the moment when I thought to myself, I must find a way to wear my vest tomorrow. I found this piece on deep discount at J Crew a few years ago and really love it. Being me, I had to add lots of vintage pieces and its a bit quirky and I kind of felt like a circus clown when I looked back through the photos. But I did get to wear my felt cloche hat and thrifted black swing coat, so ultimately it was all worth it.

Today, I felt a bit more tropical...well, you'll see...




Pvested 1

Pvested close


Pvested 2

Pblue bag

Hat: La France Vintage, Swing Coat: Thrifted, Pin: Gift, Vest: JCrew Sale, Blouse: Vintage, Belt: Church Thrift Sale, Skirt: Thrifted, Purse: Thrifted, Tights: Target, Shoes: Born

trenched pic

tropical 1 pic

ring pic

tropical close pic

trenched 1 pic

tropical light pic

pin pic

tropical sitting pic

Trench: Thrifted, Scarf: Flea Market, Shoes & Tights: Target, Pin: Gift, Shirt: Target, Dress: Vintage, Ring: Church Thrift Sale

...oh and I was listening to Springtime Can Kill You by Jolie Holland when I started taking photos. I forgot my earplugs were in:) Its one of my favorite albums. I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Oh. My. Goodness.

Oh! My! Goodness! I just wanted to thank several bloggers who have very generously nominated my blog for awards lately. I feel so lucky to have the vintage/fashion blogging community. Everyone is so supportive and wonderful and being part of it has been such a great opportunity for me to meet other people with similar interests from all over the world. I really appreciate everyone who visits, comments and/or follows.

Thanks to Quincy of Q's Daydream for the Over The Top Award! (She has the most wonderful vintage style and Etsy shop if anyone hasn't visited yet.)

Thanks also to the very generous Ines of Cinnamon Eve for the following awards. I've admired her style (along with many others) so much and was so flattered that she would pass these along to me.

Thanks Amelia of Amelia is... for this award. If you haven't visited Amelia's blog yet, please do. I really admire that she creates all of the images on her site and that she takes the time to post every day. Its one of my daily must-views.

And finally to Kirsty of Giggly-Cupcake. Kirsty is such a sweetheart and her posts have an infectious quality to them that makes me happy whenever I read them.

I'm so bad for having waited to do this, I apologize to the people who thoughtfully mentioned me. There are various rules that go along with all of these, but I thought that I would just post seven random things about me as I was also tagged by Rebecca of Cubic Dreams to do a Random 7. So here goes...

1. When I was home last, my sister told me that when I really, truly smile, I still look like I did when I was a little girl.

little kelley.1

warm me-1

2. I love Agatha Christie novels. I actually find the similarities in the plots and mysteries, and even the characters, comforting. We have a growing collection of them found in used book stores.

3. I also really love the smell of old books. I know now that this smell is really the mold in the pages spreading through them and ultimately destroying them, but I can't help it. They remind me of the playroom/dressing room where my grandparents kept lots of interesting things when I was growing up, including paperbacks from the 60's and 70's.

4. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self not to worry so much about all the boys and men who broke my heart because one day a man would come along whose love would make me want to throw a ticker tape parade in our honor every day of our life together.


5. I've come to realize lately that my memory is triggered by smells and tactile experiences. My husband remembers everything, and can recall facts or events in chronological order. My mind resembles an old attic filled with random objects. I secretly like this about myself, but I'm not sure why.

6. If I were a fictional character, I would love, love, love to be Miss Marple, but I think more realistically I would be closer to Annie Hall...a little kooky, silly, not completely sure of herself and with a sense of style that tended towards the unconventional.

7. I've always liked my rooms to resemble old museums where the art on the walls climbs towards the ceiling, layered, instead of one right next to the other. I love the idea of order, but a lack of clutter might just drive me batty.




Thanks everybody! I'd like to pass on the Random 7 to Pemora of Urban Rhetoric, Hannah Sadie of Rethink, Gloria of Alla Cuelga MI Vestido, Anne of A Cup Full of Sunshine, Melly of Green Laundry, Sabrina of Slovly and MJ of dreaming spires and old car tyres.

Thanks ladies!