Thursday, July 30, 2009

New and New-to-Me

Well if misery loves company, mild dissatisfaction loves shopping! I try not to spend loads of money and I'm really not a self absorbed materialistic person. Pretty clothes just makes me happy. Even when I was little I didn't really play with Barbies except to dress and redress them. I didn't care about the "play pretend" aspect of it. And fashion doesn't have to be shallow. It can also be a form of creative self expression. And I have two jobs and both are fashion related and I have this blog, so I'm kinda obligated to some extent to buy new, or new to me, clothes. At least I don't care about trends or brands. That's when it starts to get a bit shallow.

So...Here's what's new...

This is a cute blue jacket with white polka dots. I'm a sucker for polka dots....and big buttons. And I love how the bright yellow liner is picked up in the yellow thread on the big buttons.

And yet another sundress to add to my collection, even though fall draws ever nearer. I like this because it looks like it was sewn from the scraps of someone's old table cloth. It also incorporates two patterns at once, the floral, and the kinda loopy stripes.

And here is what's new to me...

A fabulous find! It's a vintage tennis dress. It's very short so I need to get some white shorts to wear under it. Kelly green+ white= awesome.

Another vintage dress but this one will work well into the fall/winter because of it's dark colors. I've been wanting to wear blue and purple together because it's so delightfully moody. The close up pic reveals sheer "stripes" down the front of the dress. I can't wait to break out my black tights for this one.

I've been inspired a lot lately so I have about three dress-ups planned for the coming weeks. Those are my favorite posts to do!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daily Wear: Down By the River

I usually feel pressure to have an eventful weekend, to DO SOMETHING, in order to make up for my dull work a day world. But this past weekend I just felt kinda bored and boring and couldn't think of anything that I could get excited about doing. Coupled with some of the no-money blues, where theoretically I couldn't afford to do whatever it might be i could think of doing.

And yet, I was quite busy somehow. I posted on this blog of course. And I spent all of Sunday (and I mean ALL of Sunday) trying to help husband work on the kitchen, finishing up some of our endless list of home renovations. And although that was quite a lot of work (for somewhat limited results) it was very fulfilling. I liked spending time with husband doing something that was important to both of us. And I take such bashful pride in the ways we've made this poor dilapidated house a real home, and a cute one at that!

Luckily on Saturday, we did sneak out for a little bit. With our limited funds we went to out local bakery that reminds us of Paris, and got coffee and lovely, lush danishes, utterly gourmet, delectable European, rich not overly sweet---just heavenly. And then we drove to a discount bookstore chain (partly second hand resale, partly publisher new old-stock) and got some books to read. We stayed in bed for most of the day reading our respective books. From time to time we attempted to take a walk but every time it would start to pour as soon as we peeked our heads out, like magic, telling us to go back inside and enjoy some actual relaxation.

At some point, as evening came on, husband took a short nap on our dining room sofa (yes I know! so avante garde-ha ha). So I took that opportunity to slip outside, in the brief calm between storms and road my bike down to the river, a few short blocks away...and took some pictures!

Here I am with my vintage Dutch bike, which partly influenced my decision to visit Amsterdam. She has malfunctioning breaks and gears. I call her Mabel. I'm the only colorful thing in this gloomy post industrial town. Blue bike. Pink purse. Green dress. Gray everything else!

I'm standing on a little ledge above the river, looking a bit wistful in the gloom. It started raining as soon as I got back home.

The bridge connecting the north to the east. Overcast. Grimy. I think it's nice to appreciate what you have sometimes.

And before I forget, the details in case you care: The dress is vintage and I posted a pic of it earlier. It's the one that has a matching jacket. I think it's more flattering to my figure without the extra bulk. I'm hoping to find another way to wear the jacket. Pink purse also vintage. 1940s style fall-down stockings. Ivory wedding shoes again. I may have only been able to wear the dress once but I get lots of use from the shoes.

Check back in a couple days as I have some new dresses, of course, again, that I want to post pics of.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vintage Amsterdam

My vacation is drawing ever near and so I've been doing lots of research of sights I want to see, restaurants i want to eat in, nightclubs I want to dance the night away in.....and shops I want to shop in! I've been looking into Amsterdam's vintage/secondhand clothing scene and have stumbled across some potentially interesting finds. I've found a list of vintage shops, many selling secondhand couture and even a couple of markets which I think will probably be more fun to browse if less fruitful.

Waterlooplein: I'm definitely going to check out this market as i don't think it's too too far from where I'm staying. Though from everything I've read, Amsterdam seems pretty small and walkable. Apparently this market doesn't just have clothes, but vintage everything--housewares, instruments, and assorted curios.

Noordermarkt: This market seems to focus more heavily on vintage clothing and accessories. It carries goods mostly from the 60s thru the 80s with an emphasis on jewelry and handbags. This one is a little more out of the way for me and my stay is so short but I think I'll make the markets a priority over individual shops.

Vind it Vintage
is a vintage clothing and music store. The website is a combination of Dutch and English but from what I can make out it's a consignment shop and sells men's and women's clothing. The clothes look second hand but not necessarily vintage. I did detect some famous brand names though so it could be worth a look.

Zipper is another shop that carries men's and women's clothing and it appears to have multiple locations around Amsterdam. This place sounds like a shopper's paradise with its assortment of 50s-80s vintage, house label, and designer brands all in one place.

Lady Day Vintage
has clothes for children as well as men and women. It combines 50s-70s vintage as well as newwer secondhand quality clothing for the whole family. It seems to have the best selection of men's formalwear.

laura Dols brings us back to strictly ladies territory with their collection of dresses and skirts from 30s-80s. The main location houses vintage clothing with a little sister store across the street for coats and vintage linens.

Jutka & Riska has three locations in Amsterdam. They carry mostly old season high end designer brands but also have a private label as well as a smattering of other designers.

Spiegelbeeld is another shop specializing in high end secondhand clothing. This store rounds out its selection with local designer labels.

is a chain throughout Amsterdam and Belgium as well as London and Paris. Episode focuses on more recent vintage from the 70s-80s as well as assorted odds and ends in a boutique setting.

and last, and perhaps least, Daffodil, caters to the over 40 set. I'm not there quite yet. This place seems to be a standard second hand clothing shop selling clothing to the mature woman. Which I'm definitely not ha!

I'll certainly try to check at least a few of these places out during my four day stay and I'll let you know what the results were. I'll have another little outfit post soon. I guess I'm still hoping something exciting will happen this weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How I styled it: Faeries!

When thinking about how I would make faerie style appropriate for real life, all I could think of was what i couldn't do. I couldn't be nude or wear clothing so sheer I might as well be nude. I couldn't be bare foot. I couldn't have wings, reality hey! I couldn't get too precious with sparkles and beads. I could do nothing that screamed Faerie. So how am I so supposed to adapt this influence. So what it came down to was being all about the makeup. So of course that means it's more of an evening look because for day, sigh, just too many stares.

A close-up on the eyes...

To get ethereal effect, i applied a bright yellow eyeshadow over the lid and up into the crease. They I used the blue in the outer half of the lid, creating the green hue. Then more blue under the eye as a sort of liner but really smudgey.

The full face...

Instead of blush I used a golden apricot highlighting cream all over my cheek bone and temple. The shimmer effect didn't exactly photograph so please doll, use your imagination. On the lips i used a plum lip stain with a berry gloss on top.

Makeup used:
Eyeshadows: Mac Style Warrior eyeshadow in Bright Future and Mac Rose Romance pigment in Mutiny.

Cheeks and lips: benefit's Moon Beam highlighter, Mac Rose Romance Lipstain in Tender Tryst, and Lancome Juicy Tubes jelly in Berry Bold

And then I did this:

Not part of the actual imitation, at all, but I cut about three inches off my hair somewhere in this process.

And...without further ado....

This is how i styled it:

I put a few little braids in what was left of my hair. And I have a really pretty satiny pink dress with asymmetrical ruffles. I couldn't get any good pictures. It was raining, I was my own photographer, and I was sick. So I'm standing in some very overgrown weeds, looking shy and slouchy. But somehow my feet made it all worthwhile...

I love the combination of mint green toes with pink sandals. This is the first time I've ever allowed my feet to be photographed. I guess I'm just exposing all my insecurities on here. I hope I don't get a rash from those weeds.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Something Old, Something New

hello there! Just a quick post to show off some lovely new purchases. I'm spending my spare time stressing over how to make faerie style work for real life. Yikes. I think I may have bit off more than I can chew and should probably stick to easier to imitate style icons, at least for the near future.

first up, no surprises, my vintage cream/tan/brown handbag. This found it's way in an outfit post already. I've had it for a few weeks actually and it's been my near constant companion, particularly with all the fall colors I've been wearing.

My other pretty vintage ind is a brightly floral skirt. I have it hung incorrectly (somehow I have no pants hangers?) but if you look closely it has a double row of red button down the front. I have yet to figure out what to wear with this. I don't think I have anything that won't compete.

Then from the modern end of the spectrum, again no surprises, my thread peacock earrings. I've already debuted these in my West Side Story post and i wear them quite frequently for everyday.

Also new, and running out of time to wear white yet it's too hot to wear a jacket major dilemma, an awesomely discounted DKNY jacket. I think it looks like audrey hepburn. Husband thinks it looks like a chef jacket. Either way it was raining in this picture and the jacket was horribly wrinkled from spending its life in a plastic bag. Hopefully it looks better on the body than on the hanger.

This was all so hurried that I only got one shot of each. Now back to work on becoming a faerie...hmmmm.....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Wear: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I had to work all weekend so i thought I might as well have some fun with it and turn it into a post. Now this isn't my Job job that we're talking about here, the one that pays my way and corrodes my soul. I work that all week long ( so yes this means I'm on a 12 day work bender yikes!) But sometimes on the weekends and a few evenings I get to work at what my yoga instructor refers to as a Joy job. The one you do for personal fulfillment more than any financial gain.

My Joy job is at a little vintage store in my neighborhood. I became friendly with the owner from buying a ton of stuff there and in a round about way, she's the reason I found my house. A lot of my clothing and decor come from her shop. And I make sure I stop in to visit every few days even if I'm not working because she's constantly getting new stuff in and it's all so affordable. So while she was on vacation, I was manning the store.

I got to meet lots of people both interesting and annoying. And I got to play with all the stuff and pretend like I lived there. And of course, I took a few pictures. i think I'll save the shots of the store for another post and just focus on my playing dress up for this one. Here I am on Saturday, the way busier of the two days...

I'm wearing the purple and black paint splatter dress that was a recent purchase of mine. Still bravely baring my legs and wearing little silver flats.

It was a chilly day so luckily I had my little denim jacket with me. Every year I say I'm going to bring back the denim jacket and I never quite manage to do it.


Here I am hamming it up for the camera in that pink sailor-esque dress, actually bought from that shop. The sunglasses are vintage French, borrowed from the store. They're a pinky-mauve color with a blue marbling effect.

Here I am pretending to read an old gossip magazine about Elvis, sitting in a chair made by a local artist. I'm also wearing my cream heels (my wedding shoes, darling) and little blue and white striped ankle socks.

Playing dress-up helped the weekend fly by but now I must be off to my real work week. Blah. I've also killed some time buying some lovely things which i will share with you soon. You can help me figure out what on earth I'll do with it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Style Icons: Faeries

I can't think of any style icon more feminine, flirty, and delicately pretty than faeries. And I can't think of better adjectives to describe my summer clothing desires either. Popular images that come to mind when one hears a word like faerie (or fairy if you prefer) is Tinker Bell, obviously, or sci-fi/ fantasy role playing, or maybe even that Paris Hilton fragrance ad. And I certainly don't want to imitate any of these. Still, I can't help but want to clothe myself in something pink and wispy and to shimmer glitter my face, even if it's just for one day.

Some semi-random images taken from various website showing faeries in some popular conceptions...

Taken from:

Taken from:

Taken from:

I'm not sure how to take inspiration from butterfly people without looking like I'm going to a closplay convention. And I'm deeply concerned about how much skin one would need to expose. But I love a sartorial challenge and I think I can create a real life version of this.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Going Dutch

I really wanted to do a blog all about Amsterdam street/style blogs to compliment the post i did on London. I'm going to visit there in early September as part of my vacation/second honeymoon. But I just really couldn't find much. maybe my search engine got sleepy or depressed. One blog I already had picked out isn't actually from Amsterdam, but I'm completely open to bloggers in the Netherlands. Another blog I found was the only one I kept running into through other blogs in their international section. And then I stumbled into the third one somehow. Three! That's it! I KNOW more are out there, so please, if anyone is receiving this transmission, send me info/links on Amsterdam/Netherlands style/vintage/??? blogs.....

Renee Sturme has a lovely blog that I've been reading for some time. I really love her creative outfit posts and living vicariously through her travels. She's a prolific poster, so check back often.

Dam Style is , of course, a street style blog. I love getting to see how real people in foreign lands dress themselves. The more ordinary and less self consciously fashiony they are the better. I think I like street style blogs so much because they show male style and i think most bloggers are girls, or at least the ones I'm finding.

fadtony is another street style blog. And the only thing bad about those types of blogs is that they can be a bit more impersonal. Sometimes it's nice to feel like you know someone through their blog. But this still has some nice pics of local characters...

So I guess that's it for now. I'm sorry this was such a lame thrown together post. i promise I'll have some more style inspiration next time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How I styled it: West Side Story!

So I finally got around to trying my hand at dressing up like the lovely Latinas in West Side Story. As always I tried to do vintage with a modern twist. In case you are too tired to scroll down to my original inspiration post, here's an example of what I was going for...

I got all gussied up in a fancy red party dress and matching heels, paired with very bright orange tights. I added to this some peacock-esque earrings in teal and yellow. Miraculously, I had a very vibrant magenta pocket door to pose against.

I have a way less sassy pose than real Broadway girls, but I'm extremely fidgety and shy even though it's my husband taking the pictures. I'm not sassy at all, I'm really just holding my hair up to get the earrings in the picture. Those shoes in the picture are actually retired. I bought them from a street vendor in Paris on my honeymoon last year and wore them out pretty quickly. Both heels are broken but I brought them out of storage to give them one last hurrah!

I also did some super bright makeup colors to match the theme. Here's a close up on the eyes...

First i used a yellow eyeshadow all over from lashline to crease. Then I added a matte orange shadow to the inner corners and blended out. I toned it down a little by using a khaki colored shadow as an eyeliner.

On the cheeks, I swirled on a shimmery plum blush and the lip were double dipped. First with a magenta lip stain and then they were topped with a lavendar lipstick. All MAC products were used.

The shadows :Bright Future (style warrior collection); Rule; Flourishing
Cheeks: Grand Duo (mineralize blush duos)
Lips: Tender Tryst(Rose Romance collection);Lavendar Whip (cremesheen)

This was a really fun look to try but definitely for dressing up occasions. I still kinda felt like I was in costume but I guess that's part of the fun. i think I may reserve this for my upcoming trip. I think when you go to another country you're expected to have fun. I'll feel less self-conscious wearing this to a London nightclub than I would wearing to one at home. Which is very silly of me.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Daily Wear: Off to the Market

This weekend has consisted of a lot of moving boxes and furniture and cleaning out spare rooms. This house is actually too big for just the two of us (plus one kitty!) so we currently have four !!!! storage/junk rooms with some original vintage dust in them still. We might be renting out a couple of rooms to a good friend of mine and in order to prepare those rooms, two other rooms need to be cleaned and emptied out so we can consolidate our junk and make things clean again. We threw away some old junky furniture that came with the house, though we've kept the best things of course. But despite all the work, I managed to slip out of the house for a while yesterday and today. Today husband and I went down to the Strip District, which if you don't know is our version of a market. It's mostly fresh produce and flower stalls, food stands and tables set up to sell Mexican handicrafts, counterfeit sports memorabilia and cheap knock off sunglasses. Saturday is really the big day to go so there wasn't nearly as much going on. I was sad thatthe Amish weren't there because they have the best bake goods. There were no lively street musicians either. The only good thing about going on a slow day was there also weren't hoards to push me around and elbow me away from the good stuff.

Husband sneakily took this picture. He swore you wouldn't be able to see my underwear through my dress but he was wrong. C'est la vie! You can hardly tell but the print is tiny green and brown flowers. The dress is perfect for summer (despite the fallish color combo) because of how lightweight it is. Like being naked really.
Afterward we stopped at a vintage shop in our neighborhood and bought a little side table with an attached lamp that had a fiberglass lamp shade and a little vanity chair and some clothes, of course. Everything is super cheap which is the only way I can afford anything.

I love the little tulip shaped pockets! This is husband's favorite dress and I'm wearing it with tall fake suede boots. Just like a magazine I'm always dressed for the wrong season. Come fall I'll slip back into the snugly warn ribbed tights. Oh yeah, I just realized I'm wearing my locket in this picture too. I adjusted it for my neckline but it's actually quite long. I feel boring right now so I'll say ciou!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Three dresses and a locket

This is just a quick post before I dash off to work to show off some recent purchases for summer. This time I have three dresses, two new, one vintage, and a vintage necklace. Obviously pretty, girly dresses are an obsession of mine. I even bought one today but that won't show up until a later post.

This is a really fun dress with a crazy neon pattern on the skirt. I thought I was over playing with neon until I saw this dress.

It's hard to see the belt because it hangs down when not wrapped around a body so I've included a close up shot....ignore my chipped nail polish please!

I also got this lovely sundress with sort of a paint splatter effect. i just couldn't resist the combination of light purple and black. It's a little blurry because the wind refused to stop blowing. It was just a little breeze but this dress in particular was very light weight.

Here's a close up so you can get a better look at the sweet ruffle detail...

Now on to the vintage! This little yellow and white dress is from the late 60s. I already have big plans for it so keep a lookout for it to appear in a future post!

This dress has no zippers, just these adorable buttons...

No matter how many pictures I tried to take of this locket, with and without flash, i couldn't get anything that wasn't blurry or glaring or something. This was the best that it got...

You can't really tell, but it's bigger than a half dollar and has a design etched into it, making it very medallion like. It opens and I plan to put a picture of my sweetheart in it! Despite the breeze i think these outdoor shots turned out a lot better than the indoor pictures I took last month. I don't know where I'll take pictures come winter.

Sorry this is all sorta blah, I have to run but I'm working on some more interesting posts for the upcoming week, like my take on west side story.......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This old house

As I guess I may have mentioned, I'm renovating an old house I bought in December and moved into in, uh, March? We got in pretty livable before we had to move in but it stills needs tons of work. The problem was, is, that it didn't look too bad when we bought it but every time we attempted to right one wrong, another even worse made an appearance. This house is very old. Which I love, it just desperately needs some TLC. It was built in 1900 as part of a housing development for workers along the Allegheny River. Since the corporation built it itself, there is no deed information on it that far back but I'm really interested in finding more on the history of this house.

It was eventually converted to tenement living for poor people during the Great Depression. It got a little updated. No more gas lighting! The grandfather of the man I bought it from acquired it in the 40s. His son, the owner living there until he , well, died, moved into the two room attic when he got married and had a little apartment there. When they had a son, the heir from whom I bought the place, they made a room for him in the kitchen and built an addition to the house to make a new kitchen. This spare bedroom still has a vintage sink in it. The incredible thing about this house is that it doesn't and never had a Pittsburgh Toilet. Look it up if you don't know what that is.

Anyway, i love this house and it's many old details. I love that it has updated plumbing and electrical most of all. But I have been very lazy the last few months about fixing her up. But ever since I saw the old interiors in Public Enemies last weekend, I've kinda gotten a second wind and I really want to get back to work and make this place a real home.

So here are some pictures of the living room. The most finished room in the house I guess, though it still has a way to go.

This is the only "before" picture I have after work had already started. Butas you can see it was dark and dirty and yucky.

This is the front window with my 1960s sofa. I have a tapestry from Urban Outfitters thrown over it because it could use a reupholstering. It's a bit sloppy because the cat sleeps there and jumps up and down to the window. I still haven't even bothered to a hang a curtain rod and curtains. But you can't really see in from the street. I hope.

This is my mantle. You may remember it from my flapper post. I actually just cropped myself out of it for this post. The workings have been removed and capped off but I could return it to its former state if I felt like it. The poppies oil painting was done by my teenage sister in law. I can't decide if I should hang it or let it just rest where it is.

This is an old Ikea shelf with a collection of mostly color coordinated items both old and new. I plan to add some stuff, take some stuff away but in the meantime it's a nice colorful place to display my finds.

This is something else you might recognize from one of my daily wear posts. These striped walls are my favorite part of this room! Not wallpaper. I painted this and I'm very proud of myself since I'm so unartistic. This is where I play my David Bowie and Blondie records.

These are my 1950s chairs that I got from the vintage shop I work at sometimes. I get the most amazing things there. My house is almost entirely decorated with vintage from work and Ikea. Yard sales and thrift stores make up the rest. So I guess I need to get back to work so I can have some more rooms to show off a little. I'm running out of good places to take pictures and I wouldn't mind having people over more often. I'm determined to make good use of this weekend! I'll keep you updated on my progress.