We traveled up to Virginia last weekend where MWF is currently showing a piece at the Virginia Beach Arts Center [VBAC]. He got twisted booking accommodations and we ended up staying in Yorktown [which is fifty miles north of Virginia Beach]. I had no complaints as I was tagging along, acting as moral support, lounging near the hotel swimming pool. As for Yorktown, it is a colonial looking place. Its’ beach is a dirty bay with weekend warriors looking like busted cast members of any MTV reality show in the past thirty years, littering the place. Away from the “beach” was where it was at. Now, if you are in the Virginia Beach area, check out their art, their beaches and everything else. All smiles. No frowning.
Two of my three outfits I was able to capture. The first outfit is one I think suits me and wears with ease. I have most certainly gotten my money’s worth out of the black boxy shift dress [that can be worn two ways]. My one issue with this item is that it has no pockets. Paired with this look are a black oversized straw boater, black faux leather fisherman tote bag, assorted bracelets and bangles and a pair of black faux suede espadrilles. Rounding off this look, a pair of black bat wing sunglasses with silver accents.
The second outfit is clearly a knock-off of a designer whose name escapes me as I write this. The balloon-style blouse and crisp high waisted shorts are a dream. So perfect for spring and summer seasons. This piece and another matching piece I will be passing along with pleasure. As with the first outfit, the straw boater, stacked bracelets, bat wing sunglasses and black espadrilles played a part. My feet felt so good in these shoes. The black faux leather angular handbag with metal hardware has a strong No Wave vibe on it. Hearts flying from my peepers.
A bit of drama wrapped in casualwear? As I have made the case, it can be done.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – The mannequin needs a re-haul and the cocktail dress needs to be tended to.
Featured is a late 1960s Emilio Pucci cocktail dress I found thrifting many, many moons ago. I ran out of money when I spotted it, begging my sister to buy it for me. I have never worn it and it still has the thrift store tag on it. When found, it was in very good condition but since the multiple moves to various states I hang my head low in shame. Honestly, it needs a good cleaning and some of its’ snap fasteners can be tightened up. Paired with this groovy piece, pink wavy framed sunshades, a grey beaded necklace with oversized crystal, blond wood bracelets, black plastic hard shell lip-shaped clutch [all from various vendors at AliExpress] and a pair of black patent leather, pointed toe slingbacks [Qupid]. This outfit is pure sunshine and just a bit snobby. It’s love.
As for the mannequin, its’ legs [I feel] are ill-fitted. Perhaps there is a trick to get it to stand where the garments do not bunch up or slide off. I have one fully functional arm/hand to work with and no assistant, so I have got to be crafty. Add: After this shoot wrapped up, its’ [the mannequin] glass base shattered into raindrop-sized pieces.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – Nothing special is going on. In my personal life, I am trying to find options to manage chronic pain as well as line up medical appointments to make sure everything is in order. The shots above were taken of an outfit I wore last night and roughly two weeks ago. This is today’s feature.
The western-style sundress with Vargas-esque cowgirl print [Queen of Hollowdy] is a comfortable piece as it is made from a cotton blend. I initially ordered this item in red but the vendor ran out so I chose black.
The multi-colored woven tote bag and most of my assorted bangles were found thrifting. The two-tone sunglasses, leopard-print textured belt, red beaded necklace and sheer black scarf I nabbed from AliExpress. The gold and silver Polly of Hollywood-style mules complete The Look [Patricia Field for Payless ].
This outfit is fun, flirty and functional. It is a simple look if I want to go to market or go to a local bar. Hair and makeup can be clean and not so fussy. The same goes with those accessories. Dress it up or dress it down.
Today’s outfit is called – Vamping from the comfort of your own home.
The black wiggle dress, bat shaped-rhinestone studded sunshades, a few of my vintage style bracelets, the alligator brooch and that black velvet wide belt I scored from AliExpress. The true vintage leopard print clutch and Nefertiti cuff bracelet are secondhand finds. My lucite high heeled sandals and black rabbit fur pom-poms shoe clips are from separate vendors on Amazon.
For those of us clotheshorses who are not sponsored by fashion designers and/or an individual brand, flipping a personal wardrobe is no cheap task. Depending on your style, your income, and how you envision the end result, a wardrobe flip can be a manageable thing. In 2016, I flipped my wardrobe venturing into minimalist territory. I have always revered those who can rock clean lines with neutrals. I tried it with much success. I finally felt like me which I had not felt in many years. Also, my wardrobe was sorely lacking the basics [i.e., winter wear, quality fabrics, good undergarments, etc.]
I roughly spent under $1,600 to achieve a minimalist look [plus, add needed wardrobe staples]. The amount spent would have been lower but I did not [and currently do not] own a vehicle. I make all of my purchases online. I make no returns as I carefully examine listed sizes, customer reviews and the photos of each item. If I had a vehicle at my leisure, I would have simply taken the time and extra effort in sweeping through thrift shops and yard sales to piece together a minimalist wardrobe. What I wore during my minimalist phase I since have given away some pieces to family, friends and local thrift shops.
As I stated in an earlier post, I wished to make a return to femininity through looks of the late 1940s and early 1950s. This wardrobe flip has proven to cost a bit more than the last flip yet it has been worth it. I will stick with my current vintage/ vintage style wardrobe as long as it will allow me to. I used to own a great deal of real vintage [circa 1940s to 1970s] in the 1980s and 1990s. Through time, I have lost or thought I had outgrown my commitment to vintage. I have not. To date, I own less than a dozen vintage pieces. Everything else are vintage reproductions or vintage style pieces. Shoes and outerwear cost me the most as I choose to present a somewhat authentic look.
Again, the goal isn’t to spend all of your income in an unfocused manner. The goal is to pick pieces that you will keep and wear for many years to come and have some dollars left. Below are a few items to help you on your way:
I own and joyously wear this lovely sundress. I’ve got it in two colors: black and green. The material is decent [It is of a cotton blend] and the length [on me] is below knee length but above mid-calf length. I like my clothes to hang authentically, so this piece is a cheat. If you are a stickler about getting a pin-point perfect period look, you are going to have to be willing to spend the money on true vintage or small vendors who recreate period looks to a ‘T’. Otherwise, many ‘retro’ pieces on the market are made from cheap materials and cut shorter allowing item to be cost effective and more modern.
I own this cap sleeve blouse in white and in navy. It, to me, is an essential piece for achieving a 1950s-style wardrobe.
Having a parasol while on foot is a must. Walking or standing in the hot sun is no fun especially if you have taken the time to do your hair, makeup and wear all of the undergarments that go into a vintage look. I own two parasols and they have been a godsend.
This skirt would be something I would steer clear of. Never have I been a fan of kitsch-y vintage style prints. This item is pretty bad ass to me as it comes from the collaborative union of Ben Cooper and Vixen by Micheline Pitt. I own and love this skirt. It hangs just right and is definitely a talking point when out on the town.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – Friday evening we sauntered downtown to an art crawl and dinner. None of what I saw or tasted was interesting, amazing or even evocative.
My outfit was simple – a late 1940s bohemian look. Perfect for a warm and muggy night. You can’t go wrong wearing black and white. It is very clean and sharp. The ankle length black skirt is lightweight and nice when it catches a cool-ish breeze.
The high heeled black sparkle, vintage style mules come courtesy of Bordello shoes. I bought mine new a few years back. This style [called ‘Genie’] is a perfect replica of a Polly of Hollywood shoe. Love. Love. Love. Bordello no longer churns out this look, so if you are interested in a pair, do an online search. A few vendors are re-selling them on Etsy, Poshmark and Ebay.
The bat shaped sunglasses with red tinted lenses I picked up at a party store. The striped top [Shein], black 3/4 length skirt, necklaces and bracelets were purchased from various vendors via AliExpress. The 1960s vintage faux animal print clutch was sourced from a thrift shop.
Atlanta, Georgia – Ventured down yonder to catch an act I quite fancy: the hard rocking, riff-driven rock band from The U.K. – Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. If you follow this blog, you already know my love for this outfit and that I’ve a few pieces of their vinyl in my record collection.
The opening act, Twin Temple, my friend and I missed. I really wanted to see double-T do their thing up close and in person as they perform what they coin ‘Satanic doo-wop’ with a hearty side of theatrical ‘sacrifice’. I believe they are from L.A. which is my neck of the woods. Perhaps, I may catch them when visiting in the near future.
As for Uncle Acid, we came in when the group was powering through Mt. Abraxas – off of Mind Control . The ‘Heaven’ section of The Masquerade was filled with great energy. The upper level and ground floor was packed but not uncomfortably so. If your head wasn’t banging in the place, you gave it up with your tall boy raised high in the air. Crowd surfers were in full force. The quartet rocked hard and steady. No time for posing and rambling. They were all business. Their graphics, sound and light show was stellar.
I had been hoping and praying that they would consider touring this section of the U.S. and my prayers were answered. It was well worth my time and money.
Many thanks to K for being more than a friend. K drove up from Georgia to N.C. We did a turn-around and were back in Fulton County-area within hours before showtime. Her take on what she witnessed was that Uncle Acid felt very ‘Alice In Chains’. I never listened to A.I.C., so her comparison was lost on me. Both of us were glad just to spend the time together. It had been awhile.
My concert outfit: Black mock turtleneck sleeveless minidress [American Apparel], ‘Velvet Charm’ tuxedo jacket [LC by Lauren Conrad], 1960s vintage animal print clutch [thrift store find], necklaces [various vendors from AliExpress or Ebay] and ‘Reece’ black leather lace-up boots [Ellen Tracy]
Somewhere in The Carolinas – I am over the resurgence in womenswear mimicking the blocky, boxy, chunky minimalist shapes of the 1980s that has been a happening since 2016. It is the “new-new” with the general public. And, cool – because it is easy, roomy and relaxing.
Sometime in early Autumn, I decided I’d begin flipping my look, winding it back to the late 1940s. This style go-round will focus less on the kitsch and more on the tailored femme looks of the Mid 20th century. Think a broke woman’s Atomic aged [but very bogus] Christian Dior wardrobe. Not ‘Rockabilly’ or ‘Pin-up’ style but a straight ahead upper class, bohemian femme look of the period. Here we are, at my next style stop. Vintage of this period is not new to me. It is an old friend with freshness breathed life into.
I am not dismissing my full wardrobe [although many pieces have been recently purged]. Most anything black and in-step will be staying. Black high waisted jeans, black rock band t-shirts, Chelsea boots, 80s vintage black leather motorcycle jacket, black boots, and that forever pair of Optic white Chuck Taylors are solid. Honestly, I am sick of looking ambiguous. It is alright to embrace the feminine side, to step into that light.