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Five Must-Haves for Fall 2012

18 Sep

Hurray for Fall! We have been busy transitioning the store to fall with great sweaters and jackets and coats coming out on to the floor. There are so many great pieces to choose from! I’ve also spent some time perusing the monstrous September fashion magazines and wanted to give y’all a list of Fall 2012 must-have items for your closet. Vintage or not, these are great staple pieces that can add a punch to your current wardrobe without investing a lot of money.

Leather:
Leather for fall is way in and can be seen in everything from jackets to sheath dresses to shorts. Personally, we love these leather trenches and pairing them with sweater dresses, skinny pants and boots, or jeans and a chunky sweater.

Jackets:
Probably one of our most favorite items for fall because they can transform any simple top and bottom to a put-together, polished outfit. Some of our favorites this season are cotton velvet blazers, military inspired cropped jackets and nubby tweeds. Pair with a simple sheath dress, jeans, wide leg trousers, the possibilities are endless!

Sequins:
If you read our post on Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking, you’ll know that sequins are not just for evening. Sequin beaded sweaters are perfect for the office when you need something cozy and warm. A sequin shell can go under a great blazer for day and then take you straight to Happy Hour in the evening. Opulence and extravagance are front and center this fall so don’t be shy about adding some sparkle to your everyday look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embroidered/patterned bag:
Another big trend for fall is a patterned and embroidered bags. If you tend to dress simply or in solid colors, this is a great way to add some interest to your wardrobe. Embroidery is hot, even if you DO think it looks like it came out of Grandma’s closet. In our case, it probably did!

 

Brooches:
Yes, brooches are back. Worn in the hair, stuck on a handbag, or in the classic position on the chest of your favorite blazer, they are giving us another option to the ginormous statement necklaces that have dominated accessories over the last few seasons. Old school designers like Chanel as well as up and coming designers like DSQUARED2 both showed brooches in runway shows and we think that with so many fabulous pieces cluttering up jewelry boxes everywhere it’s time to pull them out and show them off!

Happy Shopping!

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7 Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking

3 Sep

Labor Day. The end of summer, the last pool party of the season, and the official day to transition to a Fall wardrobe. That is, if you live in the Northeast in 1964. These days, especially down South, we still have plenty of summer to survive through before we break out the sweaters and boots. And we’re not partial to fashion rules to begin with, so before you get busy packing up your linen and white shoes for storage, read on for the 7 Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking.

#1. No White After Labor Day
I must admit, I was a stickler for this rule in my younger days. White shoes and bags were meant to be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with the lone exception being Easter Sunday. My girls used to roll their eyes (imagine that) at me when Labor Day came and I would not allow them to wear their white sandals anymore.  I have to say, I’m still not a huge fan of white shoes, probably because there’s still that small part of me that really wants to follow that rule! White pants, jackets, skirts, etc however are a different story. A big trend that we saw this summer continues in to fall and that is head-to-toe white. It’s even more interesting when white is paired with ivory, beige, eggshell, or cream. It’s a sleek, contemporary, cool and effortless look that can transition you in to fall when paired with ankle booties or darker colored tights. And really, what’s classier than ivory cashmere?

#2. Shoes, Bag and Belt Must Match
The iconic 50’s woman with her black alligator shoes and matching bag is the epitome of classiness in my opinion. Fashion at that time was simple and elegant and there were rules that were NEVER broken, and if they were, you were clearly a hooker and should never be seen in public. Well, turn on that red light, because we are clearly shattering this rule to pieces. I’m not even sure there are any guidelines to this question of accessories other than they should just “go”. A contrast bag, shoe or belt can give an otherwise simple outfit a pop of interest. I would avoid going totally 80s however with a different bright colored bag, shoe and belt in the same outfit. That might get you a fashion citation. We are not saying never match bags/belt/shoes, but don’t be afraid not to!

#3. Don’t Mix Black with Brown or Navy
OK, yes, they are all neutrals and in Fashion 101, you were taught to combine a neutral with a color to form the basis of an outfit. Now it’s time to go to Fashion Graduate School and experiment with combining neutrals. We have no problem pairing any of the above colors with white or ivory, but because they are all dark, it scares us a little to pair them together. Your favorite LBD can be made a bit more casual by pairing with brown boots. Or, dress up a navy suit with fierce black satin stilettos. One of the most favorite dresses we ever had at the store was a brown lace dress accented with a black belt. Probably very fashion forward at the time, but elegant and timeless nonetheless. And, because they ARE all neutrals, you can live on the fashion edge by throwing another color in to the mix. A black pencil skirt paired with a brown silk blouse and chartreuse pumps will definitely make people take a second glance. Ooh, I might have to try that!

#4. Don’t Mix Metals
As in your jewelry. This rule has probably been one of the easier ones for people to break over the last few years. Jewelry is such a personal thing for people to wear, they just tend to wear what they love regardless of metal tones. And honestly, that’s the way it should be.  Jewelry is usually the first sign of a person’s personality, and because of that, is rarely is ever judged by “Fashion Police”. Yes, it is possible to go overboard at formal occasions; we’ve all seen the Red Carpet Divas so overloaded in their loaner Harry Winston jewels that they can barely get the arm up to wave. But in every day wear, wear what you love, mix and match, make a statement and be bold about it!

#5. Canadian Tuxedos are a No No
I was not familiar with the reference to Canadian Tuxedo until I started researching for the blog. Apparently, the term was made popular in the movie Super Troopers when a Sergeant wears jeans and a denim jacket. Still not sure what denim has to do with Canada, but denim, like black, navy, brown and white are neutrals, and therefore can follow the same rules as you would when wearing any other outfit of the same color. Mix hues, mix textures, add a visual interest in a scarf or belt or killer boots.  A dark denim shirt with super faded jeans is chic and unexpected. Pair with flat sandals for a casual look or fierce black spiked booties for a night out. Likewise, a denim skirt and tailored jacket is a great suit alternative for the workplace and could even be closer to the same color value.

#6. No Tights or Socks with Open Toe Shoes
Now, hold your horses. I know what y’all are thinking. But before you get your knickers in a knot, notice I said tights or socks; NOT pantyhose. Pantyhose with open toe shoes will now and forever be a fashion faux pas. Just don’t do it. Notice also I said open toe shoes; NOT sandals. Every so often, we do see socks or tights on the runway with sandals and in my opinion it takes a very brave person to pull that look off. If you are so bold, then by all means, go for it. For the rest of us, however, socks or tights worn with peeptoe booties , pumps or wedges are a great way to wear extend the life of those shoes that you might only wear in spring and fall. There are so many fun colors and patterns emerging in hosiery that deserve to be shown off. Plus, an extra bonus is that you don’t have to have your pedicure in tip top shape!

#7. Sequins are Only for Evening or Holiday
We saw this trend emerge several years ago, and it just continues to build steam. So, if you are late to the party (haha!) never fear, it’s not too late to catch up. I see this trend as a protest almost to how casual our dress has become over the last few decades. Workplaces have become more casual, people don’t dress up to go to concerts or other events as much, jeans at least in Texas, have become appropriate to wear just about anywhere. In addition, our busy lives have made it so that we are often running from work to evening events with no time to change clothes in between. Outfits that can take us from day to evening with very simple modifications are must haves in today’s world. As with every trend though, moderation is everything. That green sequin Ariel disco dress we posted a few weeks ago would probably not go over too well in your office. But don’t be afraid to show a little shine underneath a blazer or cardigan.

Happy Fall Everyone!
Some images courtesy of Pinterest: Nina Garcia and Harper’s Bazaar

Vintage Cowboy Boots 101

27 Aug

As we approach September and college football season (Go Frogs!), we thought it was a good time to give you a do’s and don’ts guide to wearing cowboy boots. We’ve heard a lot of nasty rumors lately about cowboy boots being paired with everything from yoga gear to Nike shorts. While I love the fact that some girls think that their cowboy boots are the most comfortable shoes in their closet, it saddens me that they are losing their rank on the fashion totem pole by being worn with athletic gear. So, read up and then go look in your closet to discover the vast possibilities in your wardrobe that will give new life to your favorite Tony Lamas.

DO: Jeans—the obvious no-brainer choice. Whether they are skinny jeans tucked in to show off  that fancy TCU Horned Frog inlay or tucked out (yes, that is a real term) boot cut jeans that give that pointy toe something to peek out of, jeans are the easiest and most conservative option to pair with your cowboy boots. And for those of you outside of the great state of Texas, don’t be shy about wearing those boots in Washington DC, or Seattle, or NYC. We’ve sold many a pair of boots to Yankees who are not willing to settle for the “fashion” cowboy boots you see in stores these days. What a better souvenir from your visit to the great state of Texas than a pair of authentic TEXAS made cowboy boots?

DO: Dresses/skirts—the uniform of the 15-25 year old. OK, yes, I admit. I am not 25 and I do wear my cowboy boots with dresses. So, the trend may have STARTED with this age group, but like anything else, trends migrate to those older and younger. And as long as you didn’t wear the trend the first time around, it’s OK to wear it the second time around. You will typically see this trend at its finest at any college football game in Texas. I have my suspicions that it has also spread to other states in the South, and will be able to confirm that when my new college freshman daughter reports back about the reactions she got when wearing her garnet and red snakeskin cowboy boots to her first Gamecocks football game. She’ll either fit right in, or they will know she’s from Texas. Either way, I see it as a win/win. So, the trend may have started with this young crowd, but rodeo queens were wearing their elaborate cowboy boots with full riding skirts way before anyone thought to do it with a cute little babydoll dress. Why else would bootmakers put so much time and effort in to fancy inlays and stitching just to have them be covered up by jeans? Some boots were made to be shown off and there’s no better way to do it than with a cute dress or skirt.

DO: Denim cut-offs—the Daisy Duke phenomenon. Ahh yes, Daisy Duke. Introduced to us in the 80s by Catherine Bach, and revived in 2005 by Jessica Simpson, she was tough when she needed to be and a Southern Belle when, well, the rest of the time. Although I’m not a fan of the cowboy boots with cut-offs look, I can see its appeal. It’s hotter than a stolen tamale here in the summer and we do not believe in putting our boots away just because it’s a bit warmish. So, jeans are too hot, skirts/dresses are too fancy, the next best alternative is cut-offs. Probably a trend best reserved for that age group I mentioned above. I’m sure not brave enough to pull it off!

DO: Wedding dresses—seriously. Probably only in Texas, but I’ll welcome any challenge to that assumption, will you see brides and entire wedding parties wearing cowboy boots with their dresses. One of my favorite customers asked us last year to outfit her entire wedding party in cowboy boots. It was a ranch wedding, and I think we hunted for boots for her bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, cousins, etc for 6 months in order to get her exactly what she wanted. The result was more than we could have ever asked for, and we were proud to be a part of it. So, be bold! If you just can’t make yourself wear boots down the aisle (or, mom has a different opinion about that subject), then fling off those Jimmy Choo’s once the “I dos” are said, and slip in to your comfy boots for the reception. Trust me, by the time the Cotton Eyed Joe comes around, your feet will love you for it.Courtesy of Meegan Weaver Photography

DON’T: Nike shorts/yoga pants/athletic gear. Like I said above, I love that y’all think that your cowboy boots are the most comfortable shoes in your closet and can be thrown on with anything. But please, don’t. They deserve a little respect. I’m still not even a fan of Nike shorts with Sperrys, but I digress. Athletic shoes with athletic gear. Done.

DON’T: Dress pants. Thankfully, we haven’t seen this yet, so we are gonna kill that rat before it ever gets in the dog food.

DON’T: Cocktail dresses. Unless the specified dress of the party is “Western Chic”, “Cowgirl Cocktail”, or “Texas Classy”, I don’t care how blingy your boots are or how much money you spent on them, take this opportunity to hightail it to Neiman’s and buy yourself that fabulous pair of Manolo’s you have had your eyes on. After all, a girl can’t live on cowboy boots alone.

Flea Market Adventures

6 Aug

I have a friend at church whose daughter Lauren is going in to the 6th grade. She is cute and freckly and you can see the emerging fashionista in her with her copper metallic Sperry’s, friendship bracelets and hair bows. She also apparently loves to shop and when my daughter told her recently about our trips to the Flea Market on Sunday afternoons she thought there could be no better way to spend a Sunday. So, even though it is August, and 847 degrees by 10am, I decided yesterday that we’d brave the heat and go check out our favorite Sunday afternoon shopping sites. We invited Lauren to go with us and before I could get the words out of my mouth, she was nodding and grinning bigger than Christmas. I told her to dress cool and bring water and we’d come by and pick her up after church.

Flea Markets are one of my most favorite places to shop for the store. You just never know what you will find. The Cattle Barn Flea Market has its regular tenants, so at the least you can count on a few great jewelry booths and know the $5 parking fee wasn’t a total waste. But aside from the tried and true vendors we always stop at, it’s worth the time to roam the aisles looking for treasures. Our first stop was at Sue’s, the biggest jewelry booth at the Market. Lauren thought she had died and gone to accessory heaven. She has her $5 bin, her $3 bin and then the major fabulousness locked up in jewelry cases across the aisle. I try really hard not to look in those because I usually can’t afford her prices. We dug in the $3 and $5 bins and through the cufflinks and found some good stuff.

My 14 year old daughter that went with me is in a “I want to redo my room” stage. I swear, I think I hear that every 8 months. It seems every third time she opens her mouth to speak, the words that come out are, “I saw this thing on Pinterest…” and now she is all Martha Stewart. Regularly I’ll get texts during the day with random supply lists for her latest project. Thank you Pinterest and Craft Wars for creating a DIYer with a list of projects I now have to fund. In any case, she was looking for anything she could repurpose in her new and improved room. She came across an antique cylinder shaped tin grater on a “50% OFF” table that she thought she could spray paint and use as an earring holder. Pretty clever, I thought. However, it was still tagged $20, and even at 50% off that was more than she wanted to pay.

 

We proceeded on our hunt and came across a booth with some vintage clothing on a rack. I start flipping through and the owner of the booth came over and said that all the clothing was $2. $2?!?! It’s probably all crap, I thought. But no! Some seriously good pieces! It got even better when we found the $.50 boxes of belts and scarves. We cleaned up there, spending a whole $16 and filling our tote bag. Lauren snagged a cross necklace for $2 at another booth, and as we were now sweaty messes, we made our way to the exit. Allison still had the grater on her mind so I asked her how much she wanted to pay for it. $8, she said. Then go over there and tell him that is all you have. She shyly walked up to the booth owner and he told her it was 50% off the $20, so $10. She showed him her money and said all she had was $8. He held out his hand to take the money and the grater was hers. It is now expertly spray painted and holding the vast collection of earrings we bought at our next stop.

As we got in to the car, we told Lauren we were going to Junker Val’s. She sweetly asked if it was air conditioned and we assured her it was. Junker Val is antique/junk dealer who recently opened a shop on Bluebonnet Circle. She is only open Fri-Sun, and it is a treasure trove of all of her estate and junking finds. The biggest draw, for us anyway, is her $10 and under jewelry table. Again, Lauren’s eyes lit up like fireworks. She planted herself in front of that table and it was a good hour later before her I finally had to drag her and Allison away. Finding matching earring sets was highly rewarding and Allison left with 4 or 5 sets. Lauren got 2 bracelets and I found some great cuff links and an awesome turquoise cuff bracelet. All in all, a highly successful day. I promised Lauren we would do it again soon, but maybe wait until it got a bit cooler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Vintage, Viking Lady

17 Jul

It’s no secret that I’m a little obsessed with vintage. Since my current fascinations have turned from my wardrobe to my soon-to-be little girl’s wardrobe, my gears have switched for the moment. Nothing fits me and I’ve resorted to finally buying maternity clothes. In order to satisfy my fashion cravings, I’ve gone on the hunt for little girl clothes, beyond that Carter’s brand, quintessential, pink crap that every other little girl wears, and sometimes wears badly. I thought we talked about this people!

I have this favorite store of mine in Minneapolis that I HAVE to go to every time we pass through. Last stop, they were closed, andI didn’t feel like waiting around or coming back. It had been a long trip. This vintage store known as Blacklist Vintage is easily one of the most organized vintage stores I’ve visited besides our own. The best part about this place, they sometimes carry vintage kids clothes. There isn’t always a lot to choose from, and its mostly girl things, but every once in awhile you find the perfect petticoat, or sundress. Even better, they are usually around $20 a piece. I once found the most perfect navy blue winter coat with brass buttons. It was about a one year old size and in amazing condition. Unfortunately, that day I’d also found a bag I just had to have, lost my mind, and left with it. I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

Finding vintage kids clothes is like hunting for gold in the desert. I don’t remember the gold rush being mentioned in the Nevada desert, so I imagine it’d be a pointless search. For some reason, vintage kids clothes are almost nonexistent. I’ve only ever run into that one shop that had a regular display for the wee ones. Kalen hit the jackpot a few months ago when she went to Miami and found some girls sundresses, but those lasted about a minute, as you can imagine. What’s the saying? Snatched up like hot cakes.

I’ve recently been introduced what I’m sure will be the death of my bank account: Janie and Jack. While taking the kids to the mall for some fun indoor activities, my friend and I wandered into one last week. She calls this store, ‘the one my mother in-law shops at, where my daughter can’t wear a single thing’! I loved this. I didn’t realize what it meant until I saw the $45 cream silk blouse. Yep, couldn’t ever wear that for more than the click of shutter. Heck, I’m 31 and I can’t be trusted to wear white, or silk, or a blouse without guaranteeing I’ll crave pasta with marinara that day. Upon further inspection, the prices were not unreasonable, but definitely reserved for a special occasion. However, then there is the clearance rack! I found the most adorable spring coat, that was very vintage-y looking, with the big buttons and rounded shoulder cut. It reminded me of something from the 50’s. I also found they carried girls shorts that have a cuff on the leg, giving them an adorable shape on those skinny little girly legs, all little girls have. It reminded me of hot pants from the 40’s, but I could be totally off on this. I’ve also been planning a forties inspired kids shoot, and found the perfect outfit for my little 6 year old, aka my son’s newest girlfriend. She will look like a tiny, Great Gatsby lady, minus the cocktails.

It’s tough out there, trying to find look for your kid that isn’t like every other kid’s look. When it comes to boys, they are easy. Girls are a whole new ballpark. I’d like her to have a style all her own that all the little girls in her Gymboree class aspire to. I’d also like her to not show up to her first one year birthday party in the same outfit as another attendee. Talk about self esteem killer. Can’t even talk yet and she’s already running to hide in the bathroom from the embarrassment. I’ll have to make sure I bring a backup outfit for just such an emergency. I would love to find another shop, maybe not so far from home, that carried vintage kids clothes so I could add to her “collection”. Believe me, this tiny tot’s closet is already a collection of who’s who, and ‘where did you get that?’ I’m already jealous.

Junkin’ in Houston

10 Jul

While I still count myself a New Yorker, I spent most of my adolescent life in Houston. First living in southwest Houston, and then north Houston, and now I’m pretty sure I’ve lived in just about every part of this large, thriving city. People always ask where you are from, and once you tell them Houston, they want to know what part. There are about a thousand parts, and a dozen new, hopping neighborhoods popping up every few months. The trendy parts are ever changing and adapting to the hipsters that want to be where all the action is. My mom, aka the original-hipster as I have coined her, swears she was cool before cool was cool. She has always been a “thrifter”, and says she used to go “junkin”, as her friends called it, way before it was cool to do it. One of my girlfriends had mentioned an amazing resale/vintage shop in Houston, in one of those trendy parts of town, of which I don’t remember the name. I decided last Friday that I needed a girl day. Too many days at home, in the summer, with MY child, lets just say it wears on you. I made a few calls, mom promised to babysit, and the day was planned. We were going “junkin”, just us girls.

For some reason, this shop closes at 2pm on Saturdays. Coined the “best resale experience in Houston”, The Guild Shop may be the largest store of “junk” that I’ve seen in a LONG time. And as big as it was, filled to brim with patrons as well. Apparently, this is the Saturday shopping hot-spot. My friend being the expert that she is, took me on a tour of the store before we found a section to begin in. The store is broken up into housewares, a room full of dishes, bowls, mugs, etc, a smaller room of just silver and brass, a large room full of large furniture, the showroom has clothing, bags, and a jewelry section, for which you need to take a number and it closes before the store closes itself. Now, being the daughter of a “professional thrifter”, I’ve been dragged to a lot of thrift/resale stores. This one topped them all. Of all the resale stores I’ve experienced, not including ones that carry strictly clothing, this was the most organized and thought out, well planned resale store I’d ever seen. They were a well-oiled machine. There must’ve been 50 people working in this store for the five hours it was open. I was thoroughly impressed, and I’m rarely impressed by much these days. The phrase, “customer service is dead in this country,” must come out of my mouth several times a week. But these people…These people knew what they were doing.

So not only was I impressed with the lay-out, the staff, the organization, but also the price points. Each tag has a starting price on it with the date it was brought in. A month from that date the price goes down a certain percentage, something like 20-25%. It may vary per type of product. Two weeks from that date, the price goes down again. Two weeks from the above date, the price goes down to its lowest price point. For most products this is $1, unless it’s something like furniture or other big ticket items. From what my partner-in-crime has experienced, it never usually makes it to its last and lowest price point. This place is serious business. If you see it and you like it, you better get it before the person walking in behind you does. This stuff is priced to sell and does. I found a dresser that would be perfect for us to take home refinish and repaint and add to our baby room. My husband comes home this week. Hopefully it’ll still be there when I get a chance to go back. Fingers crossed!

 

 

Needless to say, The Guild Shop will be a frequented destination in the years to come. What did I come home with you ask? Well, let me brag here: an shiny orange bowl, two Fire King mugs that were a set of four that I split with my friend, and a set of six New York theme dinner plates by Homer Laughlin. Total spent: $34. A mere drop in the bucket for the amazing finds and great quality items.

The next place we wanted to stop was Bluebird Circle. Bluebird Circle is a charitable organization, started in 1923, helping womens organizations and childrens charities, they are one that has left there mark on this city for many years. My mom remembered visiting their resale store as soon as I mentioned it. Unfortunately they also closed at 2pm and we were unable to make it this time. Because of its reputation, I know we’ll be back to visit soon.

If there is one thing Houstonians take seriously, it’s their resale shopping. I’ve never been to a city that has more resale shops than Starbucks, and I think that says a lot. I’ll definitely keep you guys updated on all the great spots to hit up, and all the stores that take the word “vintage” to mean “expensive”. What’s the point of green-shopping if you can’t afford it?

Kalen’s Guide to Thrifting

2 Jul


A few months ago, one of our favorite customers, Margaux, asked me if I would be interested in going Thrifting/Vintaging (yes, those are real verbs!) with her as research for her blog. We think Margaux has one of the most unique styles around and I was thrilled to say yes! We decided to go exploring in Dallas since I never get out much and it was a good excuse to go East. We both did some research on places to go, both thrift stores and vintage stores and we headed out. We didn’t have much luck on our first two stops as they were both closed at the time. One place we really need to make time to go back to was Voodoo Chile. Described by one reviewer on Yelp as being a “…very special opium den themed episode of Hoarders”, this thrift/antique/junk store is only open from 7pm to midnight. Its owner, Jimi Hendrix, (swear), dresses as his namesake and “lurks” around the store with a “fishbowl glass of red wine”. This definitely sounds like our kind of place and worthy of a trip back to Greenville for Bluefish Sushi and Voodoo Chile.


Anyway, our first real stop was at Buffalo Exchange. Advertised as being a mixture of modern resale and vintage, we had to actually dig to find much vintage. We did end up with a sweet yellow lace 60s prom dress and a 70’s Lilly Pulitzer poly tunic. The tunic, we noticed when we got back to the store, had the points of the collar CUT OFF (!!!) no doubt to make it less 70s looking. Thus, bringing us to Rule #1 in vintaging/thrifting; look over everything VERY carefully, and then have someone else look over it again. People do weird things to their clothes, and age does even weirder things to clothes. We have made many a buying blunder by not looking over things closely enough and it’s heartbreaking.
Margaux found some killer cobalt blue rhinestone encrusted platform sandals that she carried around the store for a while but then decided against. If anyone could rock these shoes, it would be her, no doubt with some sweet Hello Kitty ankle socks.


Next stop was Lulu B’s Antique Mall in Deep Ellum. Whereas most antique malls have only a smattering of vintage clothing, the entire upstairs at Lulu B’s is full of vintage. We really didn’t know where to start, kinda like walking in to a wine tasting with 10 bottles lined up in front of you. Margaux is searching for items for her new apartment, so in addition to vintage clothing, we were on the hunt for fun, eclectic things for her. Our first find, something everything needs, was a blowfish on a stand. Sadly, she passed on that, but opted for painted busts of Diana and Adonis. So versatile, we thought; jewelry holder, hat holder, perpetual party guests so she never has to drink alone. I once picked at a house where the owner collected dolls. There were dolls on the sofas, dolls at the breakfast bar, dolls on the bed, and 2 giant teddy bears (like 6 feet tall giant) seated at the head and foot of the dining room table. It was a little creepy, hopefully Margaux will be satisfied with Diana and Adonis and not feel the need to go all William Randolph Hearst with the Roman statuary.


Anyway, we ventured upstairs and hit the jackpot with a 75% off section. Now, Rule #2 of vintaging/thrifting: Just because it is a cheap price, doesn’t make it a good deal. I have learned that lesson as a buyer for the store and with my own personal wardobe. Even if it’s a $1, if it won’t sell, it’s not a good buy. Personally, if you spend $5 on something you’ll never wear, it’s worthless. And those $5 worthless purchases add up to big money that Wendy could spend on a really great bag! Those of you who shop our store know that I’m very picky about what I buy. It was hard at the beginning to not buy every vintage item I saw while thrifting simply because it WAS vintage and I was afraid of what would happen to it if I didn’t buy it. I know now that I’m not in the business of rescuing vintage from the throes of thrift stores and I have the strength (most of the time) to walk away if it isn’t right. Your wardrobe deserves the same respect. It’s OK to walk away from the $5 Tshirt bin.
I did walk away from the $5 Tshirt rack and found some great dresses for the store. I tend to look more for cocktail dresses when I come across these sales just because those are the items that can give you the biggest bang for your buck. And vintage cocktail dresses are just one of those things that if you are me, I can always sell; and if you are you, you will eventually have a need for. Rule #3 of vintaging/thrifting: If it passes Rule #1 (intense inspection) and Rule #2 (a good deal) and it fits you like a glove, BUY IT. I don’t care if you don’t know where you are going to wear it to, you will, someday. And trust me, it saves you the stress of going in to a store at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon frantically trying to find a dress to wear to a wedding the next day. Every girl should have at least one (or eight) “go to” dress for each season that you love and fits you impeccably. Buying when you find the perfect dress is way better than being forced in to buying something that you don’t love for three times the price because you ran out of time.
After a quick lunch at La Duni (because sadly we have to get our Latin food fix in Dallas), we ended our day at Genesis Thrift. No such luck there, so we said goodbye to Margaux and Dallas and headed back to the Fort. It was a great day and loads of fun to shop with someone with such great style. Make sure you check out Margaux’s blog at http://thegirlwhoworeeverything.blogspot.com/.

The Art of the Link

19 Jun

My husband has recently had to change his daily wardrobe. He starting working an office job and realized his regular “work clothes” just weren’t up to par. Taking him shopping is a personal shopper’s worst nightmare. He thinks black can only match black or red, and insists on pairing dark shirts with dark pants. It’s a regular Johnny Cash situation. We recently attended his sister’s wedding up in Minnesota, and he decided him and our son were going to dress up and dress alike. First, we had to find an outfit for the monkey. Of course, he’s the one who’s hard to please. Then we went in search of finding my husband a shirt that was close in color. Unfortunately he’s a very popular size. The only shirt we could find with all the specifications was a Donald Trump original (we’re high class like that) and was french cuff. My husband has never been the one to dress up. In fact, first words out of his mouth were, ‘this one doesn’t have buttons on the sleeves, what a rip off’. My ex husband was the exact opposite. He spent more money on clothes for himself than me and my son combined. I am very well aware of a french cuff shirt, the need for cufflinks, and the fact difference between a sport coat and a blazer. So here I am, explaining to a 31 year old man what a cuff link is, in the middle of the Katy Mills mall.

I have come to realize my husband is not the only person who doesn’t realize the importance of the cufflink. So I am taking it upon myself to educate the masses. I feel like it’s my calling in life. Well, not really, but here it goes:

A cufflink by definition is a “decorative fastener worn by men and women to fasten the two sides of the cuff on a dress shirt or blouse”. Originally a cufflink was made of string, and referred to as “cuff strings”. The cufflink’s popularity grew during the reign of Louis XIV, then being made of colorful glass buttons and jeweled studs, typically diamonds, connected by gold links, so becoming the cuff-link.

Today cufflinks come in all shapes and sizes. Some are more gaudy, in my opinion, and remind me of used car salesman, others are more depictive of the wearer’s personality. Even Apple and Star Wars geeks like cufflinks! Working in the store, one of our biggest conversation pieces has to be the large tray of cufflinks we keep at the register. People will spend thirty minutes examining the tray, going through all the pieces. Kalen finds some of the greatest shapes and designs, some looking more like trinkets and something you would keep on display than wear. But where better to display something so unique than on your person. As women we spend hours putting together the perfect outfit, just hoping it will make heads turn and show our personality in a way a few words can’t. I met a woman not too long ago that said she likes to wear mens’ french cuffs, if nothing else than to show off her cufflinks. Cufflinks are like jewelry for your clothes. The best part about them is you can find them for just about any interest you may have. We’ve found train ones, golf ones, peaches if you’re from Georgia, even beer steins. Those are still my favorite.

I was SO excited when my husband bought his first cufflink shirt. I immediately thought of all the cool cufflinks I could get him, Viking related most likely. He’s not into jewelry, he owns like four watches that he never wears. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him consider a bracelet or a necklace. He says they’re for girls. I love not having to compete for shopping time with him, but after awhile, he’s a little hard to buy for. At least I’ve opened the door to something new I can shop for when it comes to him. We were in a time crunch for the wedding, so I had to settle for some boring, ordinary, run of the mill cufflinks. He still needs help putting them on, but I definitely see more french cuffs in our future. Even a manly man likes to feel pretty sometimes.

A Hat in the Right Direction

13 Jun

I bought this cool little sports-like car after my divorce. It wasn’t the nicest, or the coolest, but it had a sunroof. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the little things. One Easter weekend, I decided to take myself and my sunroof down to Galveston for the weekend. Yes, it is sad that when you’ve lived in and out of Houston as much as I have, you consider Galveston an acceptable beach. On my way down to “the coast”, third coast if you speak “gangsta”, the sun was shining and the weather was amazing. You get few days in Texas when the weather is amazing. This was one of those days. Sunroof open, speeding down 45, I thought I was the coolest person ever. Little did I realize that the wonderful sun was giving my wonderful scalp a sunburn. Not my whole scalp, mind you. Just the part. I had a nice red line marking the spot where I had neglected to remember, even in spring weather, the sun will burn you. Had I took the time to wear a hat, this never would’ve happened. Hi, my name is Wendy, and I was hat-ignornant.

We’ve all been guilty of it. It happens to the best of us. We leave the house without a
hat and head out, literally, into the gleaming sun. Up north, we never left without a hat in the winter. That would’ve been dumb. But in the summer we all suffer from hat-ignorance. You know when that cute girl comes wondering in your local shop or restaurant and everyone turns and looks at her as she walks by. It’s not because she’s a celebrity, or even necessarily that cute. It’s because we notice something going on north of her forehead. What is that? Oh my gosh, she is wearing a HAT!!! Do people even DO that anymore? I have often been guilty of rolling my eyes after hearing the statement, ‘I wish hats would come back in style,’ or my favorite, ‘People just don’t wear hats anymore’. I’m sorry my hat-ignorant friend, people do wear hats. People like me. People like my mother, who is told when she does wear her hat, she gives “hat-itude”. Trust me, my mother doesn’t need a hat to give you attitude. Needless to say people DO wear hats, and you are not cool if you don’t wear one occassionally. There, I said it. If you don’t wear a hat every once in awhile when the weather, or an outfit calls for it, you are NOT cool. Or you’re not in style, either way, go buy a hat.

I am currently nursing my summer fedoras through reconstructive therapy. My movers decided it was appropriate to shove two straw fedoras into a small box, and crunch them down to make space for, oh I don’t know, toilet paper. If you are in need of movers, I can officially tell you who NOT to call. Normally I would be donning my two favorite fedoras with just about everything I wear. I try to match them to my outfits or throw one on when I know I’ll be outside for a while, or I don’t feel like washing my hair. I give them one more week of reshaping therapy before they will make their appearance again. One problem I have with hats is that my head is too big. Kalen can sympathize with me. There are few vintage hats that fit my massive head. It’s massive ’cause my brain is so full of sarcasm. Needless to say when I find a vintage hat that fits, I buy it. Most of my vintage hats are winter hats, while my fedoras I had to opt for local shops to find my head gear. I fell in love with this all feather hat just over a year ago. It was one of those pieces that sat on your head, more like something from the 20’s than an actual hat. Whoever bought this hat, if you are reading this, can we time share??!?! It never really fit on my huge head, but I’d like visitation rights. We had many great talks together, and I miss it desperately.

I have an obsession with shoes and purses, but I cheat on my high heels sometimes with hats. They are a little more comfortable for the feet anyway. I don’t care who you are: young or old, tall or small, big head (like me) or small head, like so many of you I am jealous of, a hat looks good on everyone. It not only protects your head from the scorching sun, the cold,wintery day, it also makes a fashion statement. And that statement is, I’m seriously too cool for you to be seen with me, hence the hat.

‘Put a Brooch On it!’

22 May

According to Google, the brooch is the most coveted piece of jewelry, worldwide. Most people take them for granted today, however it never goes unnoticed when I wear one with an outfit. So why don’t more people wear them here? Is there some part of the country where woman still don these wonderful pieces of fashion? One of my favorite vintage shops in Minneapolis carries a slew of vintage pins, brooches, even those funny tag line ones from the eighties. Remember the days you covered your backpack in pins with funny saying, until the adult figureheads figured out you were making those snarky comments to them, via Jansport. So much for self expression in the schools.

Brooches and pins haven’t always been as much fun, or fancy. The origin of the brooch dates back to the loin cloth. Yes, I said it…the loin cloth. Obviously those cave men needed something to keep their boys from always making an appearance. And remember those kilt wearing Scots…well, imagine trying to make 9 yards of fabric stay put on your body with out a fastener in sight. I’m pretty sure they encountered the same problem those cave men did. The definition of a brooch is actually just a pin with a clutch back. It wasn’t until the 18th century that people found a way to make the brooch a fashionable item. It was the era of the gem that had brooches donned with diamonds, pearls, and other precious gems, hence the brooch we think of today.


Brooches were wildly familiar in the 50’s and 60’s, and almost always seen on a secretary with her work attire. Some are fancy and flashy, others meaningful. Don’t think that brooch bouquets are a new item either. Made popular again by Miranda Lambert, in her nuptials to Blake Shelton, they gained momentum and are currently offered by many designers, pre made. I even carried one in my wedding, but I made my own since I felt like it would mean more.
While I still feel the brooch is ever present in our daily lives, I still think it just gets dealt a crappy hand. Some think the brooch is just something your grandmother used to wear. Let’s not forget though, Grandma was one flashy and fashionable lady. In a world of fashion where everything old is new again, and there is no original thought in anything these days, why not bring back something as fabulous as the brooch. I’ve also seen the brooch worn as a hair piece, or barrette. But a brooch on a plain handbag and jazz it up. Instead of just tying your scarf, clip a brooch on to keep it together, and give you a looser, less uptight look. On a wedding budget? A brooch bouquet is a perfect solution, and even better, it won’t die in two days. You’ll have a wedding keepsake that will last your lifetime, and your children’s. There are so many reasons to own brooches, and so many uses for them. They are a fabulous piece of jewelry that can take your style up a few notches, and then some. Like I said, any time I add a brooch to my outfit, it never goes unnoticed. The brooch definitely falls in the hat category for me, as in I hear people say all the time, ‘Why don’t people wear hats anymore?’ I happen to think if you like something, you wear it. It doesn’t matter if people just don’t do that any more. You do it. And you look great doing it. That’s all that matters.