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:)


  1. Ha, exactly she will lose customers at that rate. I think you looked great and if I saw you, compliments would have been given. Both outfits are such wonderful treats. I love your vintage collection. I really want to start investing in more vintage instead of buying mass produced clothing. Have a great week dear and ignore those fashion snobs.

  2. wow that girl needs to grow up, you look great!

    I think vintage works if you mix it with other newer elements, you shouldn't look like you walked off the mad men set though haha

  3. I found that interesting, it's like at highschool with the rabid conformity. One still sees the highschool views expressed in adult life, surprised... I guess not. They are frightened of not being the same, it's so sad.

    I really liked what you said about wearing vintage and finding what works for you.

    I have to say this is one of my favorite blogs out.

    I love the second last picture. The blouse and brooch with the clinched in waist, just comes off really well. I just love the boots in the first.

  4. really like the red shoelace detail!
    also i love a good vintage dress too :)

  5. What a nasty girl at the coffee shop! Just ignore people like that - so narrow minded...

    These outfits are great! I know what you mean about dresses being an easy option. I feel the same, as I can just throw one on with some pretty tights and I'm done. It's much more tricky putting together an outfit with separates, but these are lovely. And I love the red laces - so fun!!

  6. i completely agree that fashion is a form of expression without words. sometimes, i get made fun of for my fashion choices (and i live in nyc!) but i never feel bad. probably because, like you, i wish everyone had an open mind about fashion. alas....

    i love both outfits, but that ruffle-collar blouse is just stunning!


  7. Fashion is about expressing yourself, and like expressing yourself with words, someone is going to shoot you down every so often. Someone was really rude to me the other day and I honestly don't think my style is as far away from the norm as yours is... Be proud that what you're wearing is enough to cause comment, rather than fading into the background!

  8. that girl should seriously grow up. i think both your outfits are wonderful!

  9. I think I already commented on chictopia on this outfit and how much I love that blue tie.

    I experienced something similar recently. I was at Goodwill waiting in line to pay when a girl in line at the other cash register whispered to her friend and then pointed at me and they both giggled. I totally agree with what you said though, it's too bad that girls like that are so close-minded!

  10. I'm glad you brushed it off, what a awful person. You look gorgeous here, I love the tie and the little touch of the ribbon shoe laces. Style is very personal to each of us, I really agree with what you wrote.
    ps It's not that I don't think that I can pull off vintage its that I just can't find any. do you have any tips?

  11. You have the ability and the style to pull off the vintage look. You are a natural.

  12. i think you look great. i really don't see why someone would even think anything negative, but even if they did, i think it's awful to communicate it. i mean, it's not like what you're wearing affects her. i think you're right: it's sad she's so limited. you look fab.

  13. You have totally inspired me with that adorable bow!!!

  14. Love the outfit with the blue tie. It is so true that fashion is a form of nonverbal communication. Also, I wish people wouldn't be so afraid to try things out and wouldn't limit themselves! We are all often capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for--even small things like wearing vintage!

  15. Okay - I love, love, love the little blue bow! and you my friend have a total eye for putting outfits together...whatever to that girl, she was probably just jealous, seriously. humor/sarcasm are often defense mechanisms, this is my guess as to why she did that, she probably felt threatened by you... why else would she even feel the need to do something like that? why should she care? ya know?
    i really like your take on vintage fashion and why its not silly to care about clothes and i agree 100%

  16. The addition of the blue bow is genius. You pull off vintage wonderfully :)

  17. I think it's good to care about fashion - it's often an outward expression of ourselves. People get so caught up in what they think is normal that they don't appreciate uniqueness when they see it. The world would be awfully dull if we all dressed alike.

    The pink blouse in the second outfit is such a good color on you! And I love the red laces.

  18. Well, all she did was reveal her own level of breeding -- a classy person would never act that way. That exact thing happened to me and my friend the other day, and it can be very shocking. I know people stare sometimes, but when they actually make remarks (or a derisive snort) one can really experience a moment of crushing self doubt. I always try to shake myself of a do exactly what you did -- feel a bit sad that such individuals close themselves off from their fellow humans.

    Anyway, that ultra blue neck tie is shockingly amazing!


  19. what a rude employee! i have seen many a wackadoodle outfit in my day, but i dont think i've ever laughed at someone else's appearance. you should keep your head held high and keep on looking beautiful!

  20. You look so gorgeous in all the outfits - I adore the second one.

    It's funny because I'll read on so many blogs, even some of my favorites, about how one should dress - with makeup, heels, no jeans, etc. And it seems so odd because, well, would we really want everyone to dress just like us? I think it's marvelous that there are girls who like to wear heels all the time but I could never handle it (my feet are wimpy). I love the variety of fashion.

  21. i hate people like that coffee shop girl. That happens to me ALOT, not many people in Portugal dress like I do, and i get looked at alot, giggled at and some people even say for me to "contemporize". well, it used to get to me, not anymore. I'm happy i don't look like a clone like they do. I believe clothes are a way to express yourself. I love vintage clothing in particular cause they have so much more meaning than a chain store garment, so much more history..
    anyway, keep having your own personal style, not only it's a way for your to express yourself, but you look utter adorable in them!

    (sorry for the long comment. and btw, i have added you to my blogroll. thank you for reminding me^^)

  22. For sure, that girl needs a more open mind. Is she young? I'm hoping she is cos then maybe that could be an excuse for her. I was very much close-minded when I was younger, towards people who are different from me. Haha like only my kind of people rock?

    Yeah, so it's great you shared your thoughts with us here! I'm guilty of having evil thoughts about the way people dress but I definitely don't show it on my face or laugh out loud... so here's to teaching me a lesson about being even more open minded!!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!