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Fall 2013 Must Haves!

10 Sep

This past week kicked off New York Fashion Week with all the major American designers showing collections for Spring/Summer 2014. If you follow any major fashion bloggers or magazines on Instagram or Twitter, you’ve been seeing all the fresh, sheer, cropped loveliness that awaits us in February. For the time being, at least here in Texas, we are caught in the “It’s September and I want to wear boots and sweaters but it’s still 100 degrees outside” trap that late summer and early fall brings us every year. So with a few weeks to get our fall wardrobe put together, we wanted to give you a list of the top 5 things you need in your closet for Fall 2013.

A fierce leather moto jacket. Black is good, basic, goes with everything. But don’t be afraid of white or a fabulous jewel tone. Wear with skinny jeans and a silk cami, a flowy chiffon dress that you just can’t give up quite yet, or anything in lace for that perfect Stevie Nicks homage.

60s leather moto jacket, 60s ivory lace cocktail dress

60s leather moto jacket, 60s ivory lace cocktail dress

Bullet and Bling pendant necklace from Bluebird Jewelry

Bullet and Bling pendant necklace from Bluebird Jewelry

Plaid. Think 80’s preppy meets classic Ralph Lauren. Pair plaid pants and skirts with cashmere sweaters, sweet floral prints and chunky boots. Even a leopard print if you are so bold! If you like things a little more on the subtle side, consider tweeds, glen plaid and houndstooth.

60s tan cardigan, 50s Pendelton reversible wool plaid skirt

60s tan cardigan, 50s Pendelton reversible wool plaid skirt

Embellishments. Whether it’s beading, feathers, fur or heavy embroidery, super embellished pieces can add a punch to your basics. Choose a beaded top with jeans and a blazer, an ethnic embroidered skirt with your favorite cashmere sweater or go all out in a feather hemmed cocktail dress.

60s beaded sweater

60s beaded sweater

60s hostess dress with maribou trim

60s hostess dress with maribou trim

Warm neutrals. Winter doesn’t have to mean black and gray and dull. Infuse your wardrobe with warmth with beige, eggshell, blush pink and camel. Mix together for a soft, fresh palette that will brighten the dullest winter day.

50s Chinese silk blush pink suit

50s Chinese silk blush pink suit

Feline fancies. If you have yet to get on the leopard/cheetah print bandwagon, just know that it is not going anywhere and it’s time to suck it up and climb on board. Choose from shoes, booties, bags, hats, coats; any or all of the above. Trust me, it’s time.

80s Anne Klein lion silk scarf

80s Anne Klein lion silk scarf

60s leopard print muff and hat, 60s alligator handbag

60s leopard print muff and hat, 60s alligator handbag

Fall in love with what you saw? Contact us here for pricing and availability!

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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!

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/.

Purse, Purse…Where For Art Thou, Purse?

26 Jun

It has been my sole mission in life to find the “perfect purse”. I found it once. It was a small caramel colored shoulder bag made by Nine West, when Nine West used to make purses out of leather. It was awesome. It fit everything, but not too much, perfectly. My best friend bought the exact same one. Then it got a tear in the front pocket, a small one, but I obsessed about it. I went to buy a replacement one, but they were out of the amazing color. Figures. Lesson learned: When you find the perfect purse, buy every one they have.

 

I was 21 when I owned the perfect purse. I am now 31, and my hunt continues. I bought a vintage doctors bag last fall, mainly because I saw Blake Lively had one and I thought, well, THAT’S gonna catch on, so I hurried and got one for myself. It’s nearly perfect. I love EVERYTHING about it, except the way I have to carry it. It only has a handle, like a doctors bag would, and it won’t go on my wrist without hurting. Add that all to the fact that I’m a mom, and an avid shopper, and that leaves me with only one hand to shop. You can see my dilemma.

I’m quite fond of the “Kelly Bag” style, named after Grace Kelly herself, who made the bag so popular, but again, sans child. The only bag I’ve found that is “child-friendly” is the shoulder bag, but again, sometimes they make them only big enough to carry those teeny-tiny tampons that only supermodels and women with eating disorders use. I am neither of these. I love food and don’t like people to tell me how to look or dress.

I’ve collected many purses

over the years; so much so that my husband doesn’t question my need for a “new purse”. I am not that into labels anymore, and most of those labels don’t include a bag made of real leather anyway. I like something no one else has, isn’t made of fake, petroleum-smelling leather, and isn’t what I consider gaudy. Yes, I live in Texas and I don’t carry a purse with a thousand rhinestones or a giant cross. I know, I’m a horrible person and should be banned from the state. I like something simple, but I also like getting the compliment on what an awesome bag I’m carrying, and then followed by the question of “Where did you get such an amazing bag?”… There’s no better advertising than the free kind.

We had a Lucille De Paris alligator bag at the store earlier this year, well actually we’ve had a few. But this bad boy was full cream colored alligator, and without imperfection. Many had eyed the beauty but only one became “Lucy’s” lucky owner. I’m sure she’s gone to a good home. I can’t image myself carrying a purse like that without a security system permanently attached to the item. I don’t think I’d ever let it touch the floor, and I’d probably be less likely to open the latch as often as need be for fear I’d wear it out too soon. Needless to say, it wouldn’t suit me and my active lifestyle. I’m also quite accident prone and probably put a tear in it immediately, which of course would put many a tear in my eyes.

 

So there’s the rub. I’m needy when it comes to purses, which may be the reason I own so many. That perfect purse is out there somewhere. I have yet to find it. I currently find myself in the dilemma of finding a purse/diaper bag that I don’t hate and want to cuss at every three seconds. I won’t get into the horrific choices in diaper bags that are out there today, but just be warned, it’s slim pickins. I really want a Coach diaper bag, for the simple fact that it comes in a shoulder bag, I wouldn’t mind carrying it in public, and for once, the non-leather material would work to my advantage. My little cousin says she is going to buy it for me when she goes to the outlets next time. We’ll see. I’m pretty sure they cost close to $300. Would it be wrong to have a diaper bag that was more expensive than the crib? I’m sure my daughter will appreciate it one day. In the meantime, I’m on the hunt. What have I said before? Don’t get in between me and a vintage Louis Vuitton, or a Coach diaper bag on sale for half off. Ah, the joys of Mommyhood.

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.

EdiTORIal

24 Apr

If you don’t know who Tori Spelling is, please tell me you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, or you were raised by wolves and they wouldn’t let you watch TV. Tori Spelling is the only daughter of television’s most famous and well known producer, the late Aaron Spelling. She was first seen on TV as the loveable and quirky Donna Martin on Beverly Hills 90210. If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s like I did, then we should be up to speed. Since then she’s become a regular made-for-tv-movie star, and has appeared in her own hit reality series, Tori and Dean, Inn Love, and Tori and Dean, Home Sweet Hollywood. She has written several books, all of which I’ve read, except for the latest, CelebraTori. She is a huge advocate for the gay community, and is working on her 4th child as we speak. If you don’t know her, then you probably don’t love her. If you do know her, how could you help but love her? This is the time of the year now where I will start to convince you to love all the people I love. First Lucy, now Tori!

Tori Spelling has definitely come full circle for me. At first glance, she was annoying, maybe seemed a little spoiled, or at least that’s the impression I got. Through no fault of her own, I might add. I went to one of those high school where if you didn’t drive a BMW or Lexus or Mercedes, you were a nobody. I didn’t drive a car at all. Hence, nobody. I grew up thinking all rich kids were the same, and Tori exuded rich to me. After all, if my dad were the infamous Aaron Spelling, creator of, well, just about every hit show since the 70’s, I’d dress the part too. I think it was about 2 or 3 years ago when I stumbled upon a tabloid article, saying how Tori Spelling and new husband, Dean McDermott were going to be starting a B & B. I just knew I had to see this for myself. Luckily, Oxygen was going to be airing the spectacle, and I was tuned in. I expected her to be the girl I went to high school with; bad with money, great with credit cards. Instead, she still wound up being bad with money, but loveable and funny to watch. She laughed at herself when she fell on her face. She had way too many animals, and did a great pregnancy waddle. She was then pregnant with baby numero uno, Liam. She made all the wrong choices, but let the whole world watch her do it. There’s something about someone who makes mistakes, but then laughs them off, as if to say, ‘Eh, at least I tried’. And tried she did. I wouldn’t call it an epic failure. I’ve thought of a million things I wanted to do, and never even attempted. I had to give her credit there.

A year passed before I revisited their new show, Home Sweet Hollywood. Now, two kids in the saddle and a third on the way, we followed them through their busy lives, and through the public spectacle that is living in Hollywood. Now, also, several businesses deep, Tori was expecting baby number three, but you would’ve thought nothing had changed. She was still as hard, if not harder, working than before, never slowing down. There is nothing that motivates me more than watching this woman work herself to death. I think this has to be the number one thing I admire about her. Her drive. Her ambition. Her motivation to find anything and everything she can do to make money for her family, but never give up spending time with them. She says in her second book, the reason they keep doing the reality show is not because they like putting everything out there to be watched and criticized, but because, simply, it gives them an income to spend time together and be a family more often than not. They take their kids everywhere, and embarrassment or not, they keep plugging along. She also comments on how most of the time she has full-time, live-in help. She gives props to the moms who do this everyday on their own, without help, and admits without the help of Patsy, their baby nurse, or other nannies she’s had in the past, she couldn’t imagine how she would survive. Humble, and honest. Two qualities I happen to like in a person.

Another reason for my Tori Lovefest, is her obsession with vintage and antiques. She recently took a friend shopping for an outfit while the friend was pregnant. She said the reason you shop vintage, is because it’s cheaper, it’s better quality, and it’s always in style. I love that she finds ways to be thrifty, even in Hollywood, but is always fashionable. She has a voice and a brand that people listen to, and instead of sporting the latest Prada bag around town, she’s treasure hunting for vintage finds, and scouring Round Top in an effort to find antiques for her LA store. She’s down in the trenches, getting her hands dirty. She’s mentioned in several of her books, that all she ever wanted to be was “normal”. She wasn’t sure what that was, but she’d seen what she thought it was on TV. She wanted to live in a neighborhood where your neighbors come over and borrow a cup of sugar. She wanted to her kids to be able to ride their bikes on the sidewalks where other kids played. She wanted a smaller house, where her family could huddle together on the couch to watch a movie. Having grown up the way she did, of course I could see how the grass looks greener. But again, growing up as she did, she now realizes all that is really a possibility. She is after all Tori Spelling, and that will never change.

I can’t help but love Tori for so many reasons. I admire her desire to have as many kids as her and Dean can, and the little ways she seeks out normalcy for her family. I admire her drive and ambition to work work work for everything she has. I love her style, and her obsession with vintage that could only match that of Kalen’s. I can’t help but watch her weekly on her reality show to see what new adventure she takes her husband on, and how her husband lovingly goes along with each and every crazy idea she presents. After all, that’s real love right there. Taking the risks your wife wants to take in order to make her happy, right? Well, maybe we could all learn a little something from them. Even if it only is to appreciate the little things, and always be fashionable.