The Girls
Friday — October 10th, 2014

The Girls

Somewhat embarrassed to admit this sincerely happened when I was in line with Tina for Dita.  I don’t even think she knows this occurred, but oh man, when I think of it, it still makes me laugh.

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cozy wishes

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I finally got my first ’49er Pendleton jacket.   I’ve been keeping my eye out for awhile for one with colors that grabbed me.  I saw this one on ebay and I knew it was THE ONE.   I was drawn to the warm colors; mustard, red and navy blue.  I’ve definitely been in a comfort/casual phase as I’ve been actively trying to get more vintage casual pieces.   I want cottons, cozy knits, wool jackets….  I already purchased a second Pendleton jacket (one with knit sleeves!) and I’m looking into making my first Freddies of Pinewood jeans purchase (I hope they’ll be as good as I hear!).  I hope you all in the US have a fun and cozy Thanksgiving!

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Vintage Pendleton jacket, 1960s jeans: Ebay
Minnetonka’s: Bill’s Footwear on Telegraph
bakelite ring, sweater: Thrifted

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a 60s surprise love affair

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Haven’t done an outfit post in a while, be it time constraints, or just plain ol’ lack of sartorial inspiration, but I finally had the urge to do one because I wanted to capture this outfit fully because it became such a surprise love affair.  You know what I mean?  You kind of just throw something together, put it on, and then realize you love absolutely everything about it?  This was that.

The colors are so perfect for Fall, with the kind of patinaed hues you’d see in a display of vintage bakelite bangles– rust, dark green, goldenrod, but what I love about this outfit is the combination of an awesome print mix–brigitte bardot babe print and butterflies– with the depth of textures–thick leather, crisp cotton, soft chenille.

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Novelty print 60s shirt: Thunderhorse Vintage, Sacramento
60s moss green leather jumper: Moon Zoom Vintage, San Jose
vintage butterfly carpet coat: ebay
90s boots: etsy
tights: Target
belt from an old F21 dress
baklite ring: thrifted for $.25

Thank you all for the comments on my last post!  I love knowing it resonated with so many of you and I especially loved hearing your own vintage horror stories as well.   So glad I’m not alone in suffering from coveting/hoarding/spending too much and all other vintage-related ailments!

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The 12 Ugly Sides of Vintage

The 12 Ugly Sides of Vintage

So guess what?  Collecting and wearing vintage isn’t all celluloid unicorns and bakelite rainbows.  It can also be nasty, dirty, and a real pain in the ass.   But I’ll never stop loving vintage, even despite these 12 Ugly Sides of it:

1. SIN
You will break one of the Ten Commandments.  You may not kill, but you will most likely worship some false idols.  Who hasn’t bowed in front of a rack of glorious bakelite (and maybe taken the lord’s name in vain)?

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Some folks instagram photos of arms decked with carved and polished bangles, you tell me #thedailybake isn’t our version of the stations of the cross?  And covet thy neighbor?  HELLO!  How could you not want a 40s Mexican jacket because of Atomic Redhead?

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Or pretty much anything that Nicole of Fashion Forestry posts…

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You probably never thought in your wildest dreams that you would need a vintage birds in flight sweater in your life, but now it haunts you.

2. ADDICTION
I’m not trying to downplay true addiction.  I know jonesing for a vintage score isn’t the same as shooting heroin.  But when you find yourself antsy because haven’t been surrounded by antiques in a while, haven’t pawed through racks of old clothes in 5 days.. it kind of feels like you might have a problem.  A fun one!

3. PACKED CLOSETS
Oh no!  First world problem.  But hey, it is kind of a problem when you can’t find that 1940s knit skirt that you NEED to go with your new 40s novelty print blouse.  Where the hell is that skirt?!?!  And you can include clutter and dust mites in this category, oh, and an irrational fear of moths.

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4. THE NEVER-ENDING MENDING PILE
Get used to the sound of precious fabric tearing!  There’s pretty much no way around it.

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I’m afraid to say that there are dresses that have been sitting in that pile for close to 2 years now.

5. EPIC WASHING FAILS
Oh yes, it will happen to you, just wait.  Twice now I’ve sadly shrunk gorgeous 1940s dresses that used to fit me like a glove.  You’ll learn to not wash as much as you can and use those sexy underarm guards!

6. EBAY BATTLES
Every once and awhile you will pay way more than what you really wanted to spend for that Edwardian blouse, perfect 1940s top hat tilt, or Hawaiian Shaheen because ebay auctions SUCK YOU IN!

7. “UPCYCLED” FACEPALMS
Occasionally you will see people misuse or mistreat vintage.  This will make you physically ill.

Livia Firth

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Like Livia Firth who took  a bunch of excellent condition 1930s gowns to make this monstrosity.

8. EMPTY WALLETS
Say goodbye to your hard-earned cash.  Yes you can do vintage on a budget, but when you catch that vintage bug and find yourself absolutely needing a genuine 1950s matching playsuit in your life, be prepared to fork over some serious bread.  And be careful – once you make your first steep vintage purchase it’s a true slippery slope.

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(one of my most expensive, most impractical vintage purchases!)

I find myself sometimes rationalizing a large purchase, “I can buy this 1940s hat for $100 because I found one the other day at a thrift store for $4 so it kind of evens out!”  Sometimes I think of what I could be spending my money on if I weren’t collecting vintage: Travel, retirement, going out with friends, good food.  (Note to self: transfer some money into my IRA!)  And yes, sometimes prices are SO obnoxious.  $150 for a cotton 50s dress?  A house dress some lady made with scraps… who today I bet would be like,  “WHAAAAA…?  You want to spend a $150 on that piece of garbage?”

(for sale here)

9. FIT OR FAT
One thing you’ll notice about pre-1960s vintage is that there is no spandex in it!  In modern clothes you can gain weight, and keep gaining weight, and you’ll be none the wiser.  With vintage you’ll know immediately when that 50s shirtwaist dress isn’t fitting around your waist.  And there might be nothing sadder than not being able to fit in your most favorite dress of all time.  Upside to this downside: you’ll realize you’re getting fat and hopefully take some life-changing measures.  Me?  Work in progress.  Probably why I’ve been more interested in collecting hats and jewelry, they will always fit!

10. THAT THRIFT STORE SMELL… AND HEALTH RISKS?
Ahhh, that good ol’ thrift store stench.  You know what it is?  Mold.  So says, The Doctors!  And there’s been many a time where some vintage I ordered online comes shipped to my house with cigarette smoke attached, free of charge!  And there are times where garments, no matter how often I try to wash them, have a built-in olfactory archive of all the armpits that have ever been near that fabric.

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Yeah, I love me some bakelite, but that’s formaldehyde smell and that’s rubbing on your skin, hence seeping into your bloodstream…. they stopped making it for a reason!  Do I still want it?  Hell yeah!

11. BED BUGS
Yikes!  This is a for real concern for anyone who buys second-hand clothing or furniture.  Inspect furniture, and clean thoroughly.  As soon as you come home with any vintage clothing from thrift stores, or even vintage online sellers, wash if you can in hot water and dry with high heat.  If that’s not possible, get out your iron and steam those garments.  Bed bugs will die from high heat, and steamers are what professionals use to get rid of them.

12. STRANGERS COMMENTING ON YOUR APPEARANCE ALL THE TIME
See this post.

What am I missing?  What downside of vintage irks you the most?

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Hello Curls

The current mainstream trend of 1990s fashion/pop culture/nostalgia has brought with it….. curls.  Glorious natural CURLS!  Is it possible that Andie Macdowell and Minnie Driver curls are as popular as babydoll dresses, combat boots, crop tops, plaid and high waisted denim are right now?

90s:
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Today:
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I love her curly hair and that Tsumori Chisato dress!
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A billboard I pass by on my way to work each day is of this saucy curly-haired lass:


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And a newcomer to the pop scene with billboard charting hits (not since 90s Alanis has an “alternative” female artist hit the charts) sports her hair wild and curly:

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Another current pop singer Regina Spektor also rocks the curls:

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I’m STOKED (with the full 90s sense of the word) that curls are being seen, being popularized by these ads/stars/streetstyle blogs.  And I think subconsciously it may have influenced me to just wear my hair naturally curly lately, well that and not having the desire to put the time and effort into trying to do Dita Von Teese 40s waves and victory rolls.  Although in my vintage hair research I did find one example of a 40s actress who worked with natural curls, Ann Miller:

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Ann Miller
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Now to figure out how to do the above with my hair.  I have a salon visit tomorrow, my first in over a year.  Here’s to hoping that my new stylist can offer me some tips.

I’ve been trolling pinterest for hair cut ideas.  If you want to follow along.  Do you have any suggestions of vintage or current curly hair icons?

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Halloween 2013: Undead Suffragist

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Earlier this year I watched Ken Burns’ documentary Prohibition and was inspired to be a suffragist for Halloween.  I had no idea that the prohibition helped fuel the women’s suffrage movement in the US.  Thanks to some Downton Abbey obsessing I independently had bought an Edwardian blouse on Ebay so I already had part of the costume down.  Took a look in my hat and purse collection, modified my Past Queen sash, stopped by a trusty vintage shop for a black velvet skirt, and voila — Suffragist costume accomplished.

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I could’ve exerted even more effort and made a sign or pennant, but I did download a couple authentic women’s suffrage leaflets and printed out a few to hand out to people.

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Now, just adding zombie to a costume is pretty hacky, and I’m aware of that, but I can’t help wanting to be a bit spooky for Halloween.  And in a way I like that this costume is a direct result of some of the entertainment I’ve loved and consumed over this year; my love for Lady Sybil Crawley on Downton Abbey, finally being afraid of zombies because of The Walking Dead series, and learning history through Ken Burns’ documentaries.

Have to thank Google Images for inspiration photos, and authentic leaflets.  And makeup courtesy of Katie’s Makeup.

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Via Instagram:

Undead suffragist duck face selfie!
The Undead Suffragist duck face bathroom selfie!

Not ready to wash my face. #zombie #halloween #makeup

Because of the placement of the holiday this year, I managed to dress up a few times and get some mileage out of the same costume.  I wore it to the Alameda Vintage Fashion Fair and won 2nd place in their costume contest!

@tina_vines and I at @alamedafaires tonight. I dressed up as a suffragist who came back from the dead to hand people pamphlets and demonstrate. Won second place! Drinking the wine I won right now!

I plan on trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew tonight in the same costume, minus the makeup.  Just a suffragist for All Hollow’s Eve!  What are you dressing up as and what are you doing?
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Fall in Love Friday – summer never ends

I really don’t want summer to end.  Proving this is everything I’ve been eyeing on the internet.  Here’s a little round-up:

Les Yeux sans Visage: Sretsis Fall 2013

Les Yeux Sans Visage posted some of the Sretsis Fall 2013 collection, and holy crap I’m in love with everything about this look.  I guess I’m not the only one not wanting to let go of Spring/Summer looks in the Fall.  Totally unnecessary side-note: I NEED THIS JACKET!

Stuff I loved and didn’t win on ebay:

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1940s green striped sundress with embroidered flowers.  (source)

vtg 50s/60s trerry cloth swimsuit cover up - ladie's face with yarn eyelashes!

1950s/60s terry cloth swimsuit coverup with ladie’s face and yarn for eyelashes! (source)

And what I love on Etsy but can’t afford:

Yes We Have No Bananas.  Vintage Dangle Pin 1940s. Carved Celluloid &  Plastic.

1940s Bunch of bananas brooch (for sale here)

1930s Deco Jumpsuit 30s NOS NWT Deadstock

1930s Beach Pyjamas (for sale here)

SUMMER SALE - Rosalie - 1920's Pink Sun Hat Cloche with Horsehair Visor

1920s hat with horsehair visor (for sale here)

I was searching for the perfect vintage summer purse and I found one right at the end of summer:

Of course I find the perfect #summer #vintage purse at the end of summer. #loveit #fruit #raffia I'll use it until it's absolutely gray and rainy.

Found this baby at the Midway Antique Mall.  I’ll be using it until it’s absolutely gray and gloomy out, and hopefully that’s not for a long, long time!

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5 ways to decorate a bathroom with vintage

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Here’s a little peek into my bathroom.  From a previous post where I showed you some of my little apartment you probably remember how much joy I get from decorating my place with all the little vintage bits and baubles that make me happy.  I guess that’s what living a vintage lifestyle is all about.  Want to inject some vintage happiness into your life?  Here are some tips.

1) Whatever you need in a bathroom – find it in vintage form! Need something to hold your cotton balls?  Use a vintage tea tin.  That old cute perfume bottle?  Have it hold your eyemakeup remover.  You’ve probably seen other vintage ladies use a lady head vase for makeup brushes, but how about using one as a toothbrush holder!  A vintage milk glass Jergen’s lotion dispenser is now my dish soap dispenser.  A vintage tiki mug (not pictured) now holds some of my everyday makeup.  Switching out all your bathroom containers is a great way to inject vintage into your bathroom in a functional way.

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2) Vintage-ify your window dressings! You can search for the perfect barkcloth curtains, or the cutest vintage novelty print fabric with mermaids and make your own drapes, but I needed a curtain for my bathroom window pronto.  If you’re like me you have a bunch of vintage half aprons that you collected or inherited from your grandmother.  And half-aprons…. um, who actually wears those today?  Come on!  I’ve worn a couple maybe a couple times.  But they’re so cute!  So I had an aha moment when I was putting away the aprons — pin them together, I can see them everyday AND they’ll be like curtains!  Done and done.  Now I get to see my grandma’s cute handmade aprons everyday, and I love the way they look.  They really add to the girly wonderland that is my apartment.

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3) Use those vintage towels! I know there are some people who are afraid to use vintage because you don’t want to wreck or stain them.  I’m not one of those people.  I like using items the way they were intended to be used and a great example of that are cute embroidered and appliqued hand towels.  Mix them in with your new towels for you and your guests to use and it’ll really standout.  Although not pictured in this manner, a favorite way to display the vintage towels are hanging over my bathtowels, folded over the towel rack.

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4) Function-alize your vintage decor! I made the brooch display last year.  It’s such an easy DIY and so useful.  My brooch-wearing went up instantly this year because I saw them everyday when I was thinking about what to wear.   It’s a piece of art that you can wear.   So think of devoting some wall space in the same way with your necklaces, scarves, or other accessories.

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5) Display your vintage ephemera! If you’re like me you have a hard time throwing out vintage packaging and you collect all kinds of quirky vintage ephemera.  Don’t stuff them in a drawer – put them out!   This little ledge above my sink was just an empty space before, but now it’s a little showcase of vintage cuteness – a blow-up hanger package, a glove soap booklet, and a hair net package, all sit on that little ledge.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  What do you have in your bathroom that you love?

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Just because I wear vintage…

I was hanging out with Tina the other day, and it never fails that we get some kind of comment from people.  I get it on my own as well, but when I’m with another girl who also dresses vintage I think it just blows people’s minds.  I was inspired to make some graphics combating some of the comments I tend to receive.

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I mean, I’ve even had people laugh in my face!  I have to say though that I’m always a bit surprised when I do get weird responses or comments.   I’m lucky enough to live in an area where pretty much anything goes.  What would you add to this list?

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camping, wedding, vineyard, fireworks

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Our friends got married a couple weekends ago and the wedding was FUN.  Camping was involved – in a beautiful spot on this vineyard with a little lake.  There was fireworks, dancing, bonfires, and ghost stories.  It was actually the first time Ben and I have been camping since we’ve been together, and it’s got me excited for more weekend camping trips with friends.

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1990s rayon dress: thrifted
sandals: Payless
1940s pink horsehair hat with purple velvet ribbon: TheMadHatLady etsy shop
abalone pendant necklace: antique store in Santa Cruz
bakelite bangles: thrifted, ebay
abalone ring: ebay

Knowing I would be camping I brought my easy 1990s dress.  It’s a good thing I did, too, because when I was chasing a runaway roll of paper towels to save it from falling into the lake, I ended up falling in myself!   Could you imagine if I slid in the mud, into the water in some 1940s perfection?   It’s for this reason that I keep my eyes peeled for these 90s frocks at thrift stores.  They’ve become throw-on staples for work, play, travel.  Even their odd mid-calf lengths have grown on me.

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JESUS!

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I adored the DIY/thrift store vibe of the wedding decor; handmade gingham bunting, daisies and sunflowers, and the pick-a-mug-to-drink-from-and-keep table.  I managed to take home a couple cute vintage mugs.  The tables were decorated with quirky thrift store finds, coordinated by color.  I loved how personal the touches were, such a reflection of the quirky and fun couple.

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The view from our tent in the morning.  I loved seeing the steam rise from the lake.  Gorgeous.

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Mercer Caverns and Murphys Hotel

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On our last trip to the cabin we did some pretty touristy things by going to some historically touristy places.  Mercer Caverns was open for public tours in 1885.

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Tour guides would have to hold this in their mouths with the candles lit to light their way, rappelling down the cave with tourists.

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And back before they had respect for the living cave the owner would let the visitors sign their names on the walls.  Well, they had some respect then because the names were signed with gloves on so the limestone will continue to grow.

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The aragonite crystals in the cave won a special prize in the 1900 Paris World’s Fair.

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It was my first time ever in a cave.  It was truly impressive.

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My new favorite roadtrip/camping/traveling casual outfit is this 90s denim and rayon romper (thrifted) paired with this cozy 70s space dyed hooded cardigan (from Moon Zoom Vintage in San Jose).  My vintage 40s cotton tourist scarf (from the Sacramento Antique Fair) also makes its way into a lot of my traveling ensembles, acting as an eyeglass cleaner, sweat rag, hair wrap, neck warmer/sun protector, and just a plain old cute accessory.

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On the way back to the cabin we grabbed a couple beers at the historic Murphys Hotel.  I just visited their website to add the hyperlink and saw that this place is haunted!  Now I have to go back so I can try to hear some ghost stories.  I knew the place was old (being in continuous operation since 1856), and that people like Mark Twain had stayed there, I even heard the walls still had some bullet holes, but no one told me about the ghosts!

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The next day Ben and I did what a lot of some of the visitors who stayed at Murphys Hotel did; we visited Big Trees State Park!

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The #vintage scarf that's holding my hair back. #hollywood on one corner, #California cities all over it.

Hugging trees at Big Trees, #California #redwood #giant

This might be the biggest tree I’ve ever tried to hug.  It was the first time Ben and I went on the North Grove trail.  It’s self-guided with a little pamphlet you can get.  The trees there are really the biggest I’ve seen.  It’s an incredible site.  Sadly the park has a few examples of utter destruction with some of the largest trees there being cut down to make a dance floor, or to be shipped overseas to be placed in a fair, but it’s that history that’s interesting.  I wonder what people in 150 years will be pissed about with what we’ve done to our planet.  Yikes, probably way worse than making one dance floor out of a giant sequoia.

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Wearing my 1940s rayon playsuit shorts (wore the full set last year to the lake) probably wasn’t the most practical, but who cares!

Do you live in the Bay Area?  Know people who do?  Please come out and tell anyone who might be interested about my show Comedy Stylings!  It’s a really fun show that combines comedy, fashion and vintage!  It’s this Friday at 8PM in the Mission.  There’ll be some really great comics on the show, plus a vintage pop-up shop with items from my personal collection!

Comedy Stylings on Aug 16, 2013

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