Sunday, September 19, 2010

An unemployed fashionista

It isn't that I don't have time to blog; it's that I don't have much to put together outfits for.

Choker: thrifted
Top: H&M
Skirt: F21
Tights: Nicole Miller via Marshall's
Oxford pumps: DKNY via eBay
Vintage 60s patent leather bag: birthday gift from aunt

This was donned for a dinner date with some old friends, and so I had a reason to fancy myself up a bit and go through the ordinary motions of life. Important things! Like matching a skirt to one's lipstick and then proceeding to subdue the look because, let's be honest, you just inked your face with hot pink and are wearing a mini-skirt to dinner but really don't want to appear as if you are trying too hard or screaming for attention, because you desperately want to appear put-together and somehow laid-back, even though you aren't laid-back because you are a girl who buys lip liner to match her wildly-pigmented lipstick and photographs herself so as to showcase her outfits on the internet. But still.

Really, though, this job search has transmogrified me into an essential puddle of goo. I vacillate between attempting to put together an outfit every day and tossing the whole process out of the window, so as to avoid the especial if not isolated embarrassment of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. If a gal is all gussied up and doesn't go anywhere so no one sees her, does she still make a sound?

If you have recently heard an employer musing about how difficult it is to find Soviet History and vintage fascinator enthusiasts these days, please let me know. Until then, it is nice to change my non-pace by piecing together an outfit for dinner.

Because Fiona seems somewhat obliv to sartorial pursuits, no?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Tragically, sometimes shoots do not go as planned. Case one:

Umbrella: Liquidation store
Black and white striped top: Target
Black blazer: Ruth via Crossroads
Skirt: Target
Tights: Target
Shoes: Payless
Vintage 60s frame bag: thrifted

This was the best shot out of a bucket's worth. I think it is a shame that I look so irritated, because I don't believe myself to have been. The look of irritation is made more acute by the vaguely pinkish red shadow cast on my face by the umbrella.

The umbrella, however, is obnoxiously happy. Ultimately, the power of it and my pissy face combine to formulate an average effect. Win?

...the painful after-story is this: The sun came out immediately after this shoot and warmed the Earth by 20 degrees or so. Of course, this was after I already left for the day. I ripped my fingernail, which in turn snagged my tights. And my sense of self-worth.

Case two: being unaware of the girth of your fabrics (ugh, and the angle of your lens,) can result in an experience which should serve as a valuable lesson for your readers. Because if these things are off kilter, you could easily go from this:

Vintage chain bag: thrifted
Necklace: gift from friends in Taiwan
Tee: Charlotte Russe
Skirt: thrifted
Flats: Target this:

So, wearing a camisole wouldn't have killed me. Unfortunately, not wearing a camisole did. I am relieved that I am able to access Blogger from the afterlife, but I am starting to worry that some angel might see it over my shoulder and accuse me of committing the deadly sin of vanity.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fit for a feast

This outfit whisked me from a job interview to a birthday interview. Actually, I whisked myself - the outfit did very little of the walking.

Headband: Wal-Mart
Vintage scarf: from Grandma
Tuxedo jacket: H&M via Crossroads
Black and white dress: DKNY via Salvation Army
Tights: Target
Oxford pumps: DKNY via eBay

Wearing a bun makes it very, very easy to forgo washing one's hair for an irresponsible period of time.

I celebrated my birthday with family at my favorite Italian restaurant. I have been ordering their cavatelli for over a decade. Cavatelli, though, is a very dense and ruthlessly bloating pasta. I had the foresight to acknowledge the fact that after a plate of it, I would have a carb gut. This dress' waist is cut a bit high and has some extra room in it. And fill it I did.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gingham and floral in the hot hot sun

I am obviously concentrating on not flashing the camera. My expression may change, but the position of my thighs won't.

Vintage fascinator: thrifted
Shades: Target
Silver necklace: gift from aunt
Gingham blouse: H&M
Magenta tank: Terranova
Black and white floral skirt: thrifted
Madden Girl Booties
Vintage '60s frame bag: thrifted

This skirt actually wouldn't be my thing...just a generic thing from Anne Taylor from a few seasons ago. I almost passed it up before realizing it was a size too small and also from the petite collection (and I am 5'10".) Suddenly, I visualized it as a high-waisted mini.

I am developing a '60s frame bag infection. It is metastasizing.

I wore this whole get-up to an outdoor party and built the whole concept around my new MAC lipstick. It is basically tattooed on, and I will need a brillo pad to get it off.

Not that I mind.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Off the beaten tracks

When you are severely unemployed, there are few preferable ways to spend a weekday than a thrifting adventure with a bee eff eff. Mary and I decided to celebrate this year's annual August 27th by taking a trip to some faraway thrift stores in dodgy neighborhoods.

The trouble is, neither of us have any sense of direction. What began as a clever way to avoid traffic rapidly devolved into a haunting and unfamiliar microchosm of everything that is wrong with the world. Specifically, we watched in veritable horror as the street we knew turned into a quaint winding road that dead-ended at what appeared to be an abandoned farm. There were no farm animals, however. They are presumed dead.

We got some photos on the railroad tracks, which at no point appeared to harbor an actual train. The sun was more distasteful than kissing someone who has just gobbled up a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

Flower top: Forever 21
Vintage jumper: thrifted
Gold leaf cuff: antique store
Olive tights: A sketchy liquidation sale store
Oxford pumps: Baker's
Vintage chain bag: thrifted

...Though we apparently both dressed for Fall, it is worth noting that both Mary and myself suffered gravely for our choices. Mary's van does not have air conditioning, and we were both made to pay the price for our sartorial missteps.

On Mary:
Vintage dress: thrifted
Belt: thrifted
Tights: A retailer who presumably intended them for wear in non-August months
Boots: thrifted in Colorado

Ugh, I wish I got a photo of Mary's boots. They are lovely with dresses, but also so utilitarian that they could probably facilitate the construction of a motorcycle factory on a bed of nails. Or something equally brawny.

one for the road.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I break in new shoes; I pay a price in blood

I am wearing a few items for the first time.

Dress: thrifted old school Old Navy circa I don't know
Tights: Hue
Vintage gold leaf cuff: antique store
Oxford platform pumps: DKNY via eBay
Vintage '60s frame bag: antique store

Though it may not appear so to the untrained eye, drama bubbles beneath the surface.
It festers, threatening to break the very seams of tranquility and seize upon us in an unrestrained burst of fury and pain.

Clearly, I am referring to the process of breaking in shoes. More specifically, damn. Humanity has figured out a way to afford humans the luxury of flicking a tiny, wall-mounted switch and illuminating rooms of any size hours before the rising of the sun, but it has yet to solve the problem of the inherent crappiness of wearing a pair of shoes for the first time. I am more of a cannonball than a dip-one-toe type of girl, and so I generally reserve my break-ins for a time I know I'll be walking around a lot. Naturally, a girls' day out at the mall filled the bill, but I took these shots at the end of the day upon my apologies if my agony and disillusionment with the world in general are somewhat visible in these photos. On the plus side, I found a few cute things.

...that photo is about as blurry as the lines between life and death after a five-hour stroll.

A quick sidenote: I thrifted this dress at a thrift store just near my house the other day. I saw it about a week ago and thought to myself, "meh, it is Old Navy. It is pretty silly to thrift Old Navy," and went about my business listening to Broadway musicals on my iPod and sipping an enormous and costly beverage from Starbucks. A few days passed, however, and my yearning for the simple shirtdress failed to wane - I loved the color, shape, and figured it is the sort of piece I could easily wear to death with the right layering. So I returned to find it; it was meant to be.

...this is what I must look like to a rather short person, as my mom held the camera unfortunately low to snap this. Oh dear.

On the plus side, she got the camera appropriately all up in my business to shoot my earrings.


Monday, August 16, 2010

If it isn't socially acceptable to be downing cocktails, may one still wear that kind of hat?

It is never unreasonable to admit to yourself the simple fact that, if you wear a fancy vintage cocktail hat outside for no particular reason during the day, people will think you are odd.

Vintage aqua velvet and lace cocktail hat: roadside antique store
Black dress with eyelet: thrifted, Target
Gingham belt: removed from thrifted dress
Black pumps: Steve Madden
Vintage shoe clips: eBay

...Indeed, I elected to pair the hat with plain, classic things so as to tone down the perceived mental illness factor.

I haven't posted for several days, because Chicago endured a heat-and-humidity-wave so severe that I could barely be bothered to function, let alone dress myself. I did throw a Jersey Shore themed party on Saturday, which was met with great success. I cannot post the pictures, though. Let's just say that the photos are such that if they ended up in a time capsule and were found, say a few centuries into the future, the images would pretty much discredit everything humanity has achieved up until this point.

Shoe clips are delightfully fun, but I advise you to listen to the cues coming from your foot. If it hurts, your toe might be bleeding profusely. This has happened to me. It may happen again.

Fiona and I have oodles of fun together.

...her face, however, tells a slightly different story.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

girl of a feather

So, I've got the trappings of a long-dead pheasant on my head.

Vintage pheasant feather fascinator: antique store off highway
'n' pendant: gift from aunt
Black tee: H&M
Gold leaf cuff: antique store
Vintage leaf belt: from Grandma
vintage tan skirt: thrifted
Tights: Target
Miu Miu knock off pumps: Baker's
Vintage frame bag: antique store

A friend and I took a six hour round trip yesterday to Galesburg, Illinois, which boasts a fine antique store as well as the college attended by my little sister. We managed to patronize both.

On the way there, though, we made a pit stop for gas and bladder relief. I noticed there was a po-dunk-a-dunk antique store next door to the gas station and I decided to stab two pheasants with one stiletto and use the bathroom there.

I was waiting for the toilet for a solid seven minutes or so, which is a long time when you consider the fact that there are 420 seconds crammed into that and I was staring at a door. I kept hearing decidedly non-bathroom noises - some clinks, dings, and hums. Needless to say, I was confused. I finally knocked and a lady confusedly poked her head out of the door.

"Oh! Is someone waiting?"
"Yes, I am."
"Oh! Okay. You go. I will go back in after."

I was puzzled until I realized that there was a bargain shelf in the actual bathroom. I am not sure what marketing model they are pursuing, but someone decided at some point to put a shelf of doo-dads into the bathroom and no one has apparently objected since.

Then I noticed the pheasant fascinator. My inconvenience was immediately legitimized and the universe restored its order.

Maybe someone could rig up a pheasant trap and DIY this?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

party and the art of red pucker maintenance

Black, white and red is my all-time favorite color combination.

Silver headband: H&M
Swan earrings: Forever 21
Vintage lace and sequin shell blouse: antique store
Polka dot skirt: H&M
Bow flats: Target

I wore this to a fundraising happy hour at my aunt's house. I feel terribly happy and awfully me in a vintage piece and pin-up lips.

Oh em gee! Scalloping!

Red lipstick, you may know, is a profound commitment. I use MAC Russian Red, and with it I am deeply obsessed. Thus, I am usually willing to enter into a behavioral contract with it for the duration of a day or evening. The terms include frequent touch ups, great care with drinks and food, and non-kissing of other humans.

Naturally, after a few hours and a few drinks some or all of these terms are tossed out the proverbial window. It is not uncommon for me to head home with pink lips after having forfeited the game. Silver lining: this is usually the sign of a splendid evening.

...there's no accounting for beer goggles, though. I spent most of the night flirting with this gentleman.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I discover a frock in the ruins

The torrential, merciless rain in Chicago has forced me to dress like this the past few days.

True, I generally favor a more vintage-inspired wetsuit, but I can't argue with practicality. (Editor's note: wait, yes I can.)

The rain let up for a collective 48 seconds over the course of the day, at which point I donned this.

Butterfly necklace: thrifted
Vintage '70s dress: swapped with roommate
Belt: thrifted
Olive tights: Target
Oxford pumps: Baker's

I am living with my family right now, and we are trying to sell our house. This means that every day, I have to make my room look as if I don't exist. This is no simple task for a person who generally hurricanes through her closet in search of what to wear. My things are all tucked away in bins or boxes. Furthermore, I have been out of the house for a few years and it is difficult for me to remember which pieces of my wardrobe are still here and which have wandered to friends' homes or charity bags. This dress is one that I'd forgotten. I traded my lithe roommate a skirt for it years ago, and it has popped back into my life after a particularly exhaustive Rubbermaid raid. The thrill of the hunt is dwindling, so please buy my house.