Tag Archives: Bess and Evie’s Vintage

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

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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.

Tales from the INTERN…

23 Jul

So my name is Steph, I am a student at Texas Christian University, and I have been working as an intern at Bess and Evie’s for 10 weeks now. Some of my favorite moments from working in the store have come from listening to people who come into the store and visiting people who want to sell us merchandise. You would be surprised just how much people will share with you. It’s also fun to hear how far people have traveled to end up in your store. We’ve had people come in from Washington, New York, and all kinds of great places. We’ve heard stories of how people are heading to rock band auditions, how people met who just got engaged, how someone acquired custom made cowboy boots from someone who rode in a rodeo, we hear about photo shoots and fashion shows people are putting together and how they want to use our merchandise, and so much more.

There are a few things I have taken note of since working here. The most entertaining are the customers that come into the store. Each customer is unique and different so it is important to have sales people who are able to accommodate a diverse range of personalities. So far I’ve noticed that there are about 4 types of customers:

1. First up there’s the Socializer. This person likes to come in and talk while they shop. You’ll end up hearing all kinds of stories about how things have changed today from in the past, something they heard on the news recently, how that dress would look fabulous on their niece or daughter, memories of a style, or how once upon a time they could fit into that dress. Some shoppers just want someone to listen to them and some like to support local businesses they’ve taken a liking too. Talking and getting to know customers just tells them that they are welcome and it helps them to feel comfortable in your store. These customers actually turn out to be some of the most loyal and are more likely to spread the word about your business.

2. Next up is the Big Spender. This person will buy pretty much whatever as long as the circumstances are right. She’s looking for quality and fantastic service. You aren’t sure if you consider her nice or not because she has you running all over the store trying to keep up with whatever story she’s telling you and her many requests to either see something up close or try something on. However, at the end of the day it is totally worth it because the employees got a workout and she actually buys the merchandise instead of just walking out. She’s a loyal customer, but because she kind of stocks up during that one trip she comes through only a couple times a year.

3. Floaters as I call them are my favorite. They claim not to know about fashion and just want someone to dress them and be their personal shopper. This is where we come in. I love floaters the most because they will try on whatever you give them without complaints, let you accessorize them, and then just bask in joy as they admire the fashionista we’ve created.

4. Last but not least, is the Quiet Shopper. This customer can either be really nice and sweet or snippy. If they do not want any extra help then the best thing to do is just leave them alone and let them shop. They have a clear idea of what they are looking and are focused on finding that item. They come in, assess the store, try on items they are interested in, and then decide whether or not they are willing to spend the money for it.

Everything’s bigger in Texas. This includes our hearts, personalities and our collection of vintage cowboy boots! You just cannot discuss Bess and Evie’s without mentioning how Kalen has the largest collection of vintage cowboy boots in the Fort Worth metroplex. But really, these last ten weeks have been a great experience. Kalen is a very business savvy person and I have been able to learn a lot just from being in her presence. Then there’s Paula, one of the brightest most cheery people I have ever met, and an excellent sales person. Finally, a shout out to Anna and our girl magnet Jack, can’t leave him out. Jack is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and the sweetest thing ever. I try to learn something from every experience and I’ve had a blast working with everyone at the shop and look forward to visiting every now and then.

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.

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.

Mothers, Don’t Let Your Daughters Dress Badly…

15 May

If there’s one characteristic I cannot deny, it’s that I’m opinionated. It’s a gift and a curse really. I’ve been told it’s because I’m  from New York. Irregardless, I have plenty opinions on women and parents, namely mothers. Since we recently celebrated Mothers’ Day, you know that one day a year the kids HAVE to behave, and your husband HAS to do the dishes, I figured a little mother/daughter dynamic was in the cards for this week’s blog. Also, since I recently found out I’m going to have a daughter in October, I figured I’d better get these parenting skills mastered. Already messed up the first kid, gotta do the second one right this time! If there is one thing that drives me ABSOLUTELY insane, it’s seeing a mother and daughter out, in public, the mother is dressed to the nines but the daughter looks like she just rolled out of bed, three days ago, and has missed her mouth every time she’s been fed a meal. Where is the pride, people? I understand we are in a recession, and there are parts of this country that the recession has turned into a depression, however, even at my poorest of poor, I have always managed to bathe, clothe, and take care of my son, even if that means I’ve had to go without. I live in a part of this great metroplex where I would say “class” is not always part of people’s moral code. This is a great place to raise kids, the schools are great, the people are nice, but their manners are somewhat lacking. Let’s just say if WalMart had a city, this is where they live. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen this exact instant there. However, this past weekend I had a proud moment. I was in line at Blockbuster, my personal hell, and the woman in front of me had three kids with her. All were well groomed, well dressed, and BEHOLD, their shoes matched their outfits. Now I have been the victim of the child that wants to “dress himself”. He doesn’t have mommy’s fashion sense, and his favorite pair of shoes are Sketchers…God forbid. But every once in awhile I “let” him dress himself, however for public events in which pictures are going to be taken, it’s all hands on deck. I don’t plan on being that controlling parent that dresses their kid until they’re 20, but I also don’t mind throwing out the phrase “he dressed himself” as often as possible when needed. There are definitely a few mommies out there that take the reflection of themselves to the highest degree when their daughters make public appearances. For celebrities I feel like the pressure is always on, and let me just applaud those mothers whose kids’ closets even I envy. Lets face it, could Suri Cruise be any more adorable? And Lourdes has had her own clothing line since, what, the 90’s?!?! We’ve all had our Britney moments, thankfully, the paparazzi don’t following me to Starbucks on the weekends…hence the reason for hitting the drive-thru. Can someone please tell me why I never have to get out of the car until the instant I wear rain boots and capris to the drive-thru??? It’s tempting fate, I know.   So after finding out we will be blessed with a baby girl yesterday, my husband was nervous, but relieved, and even a little excited.Me, suddenly terrified. Do I really have to share my shopping budget with another little fashionista, who I secretly hope loves vintage like I do, but also hope does not for fear I may have to get a real job. I do hope for a camera hog, a mini-me mixed with the best parts of my husband, and the admiration for her big brother that is only found between two siblings. As I pass through Minneapolis next week on our way to my in-laws, I know the perfect vintage shop to stop and see because they always have a small selection of vintage kids clothes. My daughter will have to look fabulous, there is just no way around it.   My best friend had a baby girl in September. The other day she posted a picture of her with rollers in her hair, with the comment, ‘Toddlers and Tiaras here we come!’ To this I replied, ‘Over my dead body’! I definitely won’t be one of those mothers. In fact if she comes to me and tells me she wants to be a cheerleader, I’ll probably make fun of her. And I’m sure one day she’ll tell her therapist about the other horrible things I did to her when she was younger, like made her wear pantyhose on a sweltering, Houston Easter weekend. My mother still insists that it was MY idea to wear those pantyhose with my Easter dress, WHILE I had chickenpox. Maybe it was, I’m pretty hard headed. If the roles were reversed, I’m sure I’d make my daughter wear them too. Scars are not cool, ladies. Oh I rue the day my daughter decides to get a tattoo, and I’m sure she’ll have more than a few boyfriends that her Dad and I disapprove of, but hopefully in the end she’ll still want to be my friend and love me unconditionally, as well she should. After all, nine months of back pain, butt pain, kicks, and what I’m pretty sure is her digging her finger nails into my insides, I deserve her love no matter what. And when she looks back at all the pictures I took of her over the years, she’ll think two things: 1. “Wow, my friend IS an awesome photographer.” and 2. “Thank you Mom for caring enough about me to not let me go out in public wearing purple and red together……… and never buying me Crocs.”

Don’t Tell Mom…I may be a Hipster.

9 Apr

My best friend called me a Hipster a few weeks ago. It has obviously had a resounding affect on me, as I’m blogging about it weeks later. Her definition of a Hipster was someone who didn’t like something every one else liked. She said it was because I shop at resale, vintage, and thrift stores. I frequent flea markets, and quite recently Canton, which I’m currently obsessed over now. Thank you East Texas. And because I liked Adele WAY before anyone else did, and now that the whole world is Adele obsessed, I couldn’t care less. So this got me thinking…what is a Hipster, really? If I went by my best friend’s definition, and I try not most days, I’d have to say with shame that I am a Hipster. But before dive into self loathing and start wearing a fanny pack to be “ironic” let me research this term “Hipster” just a little more.

If Aline’s definition of Hipster is correct, then my mother might’ve been the first one. Dare I say I’ve turned into my mother…? Nope, I will not admit this as of yet. According to my good friend, Google, a Hipster is someone who follows the latest trends and fashions. Well, that makes almost every girl in the free world one then. However, according to my distant cousin, Urban Dictionary:

“Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie- rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”

Oh dear God, it is not looking good for me right now, and I know many of you are starting to feel the same. Or at least I hope you are. However I have to say, perhaps this all has to do with the way I was raised. I thought that it was important to have independent thought, not go-with-the-flow, and appreciate intelligence and creativity. I certain appreciate intelligence in my friends, otherwise, the conversation is quite dull. Urban Dictionary goes on to say that while “Hipsterism is really a state of mind, it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight fitting jeans, old school sneakers…” From this I have to conclude that while Hipsters do not like to look like every one else, they all dress alike…? The article later concludes that they all dress in a fashion depicted in that of Urban Outfitters and American Apparel ads. They also reject the stereotypical male/female archetypes that society portrays as “good-looking”. And while stores like Old Navy, The Gap, and American Eagle now carry “worn-style” jeans, they are simply following a path that Hipsters have carved out before them from wearing thrift store clothing that is worn that way, because it was worn that way.

I have to wonder now, what will the Hipsters of tomorrow be wearing, since everyone is going to start wearing what Hipsters wear? Are the outfits going to become more and more outrageous as time goes on, simply to avoid finding a look-alike crossing their path? As a woman, there is truly nothing worse in this world, or at least to me, as walking down the street to my favorite restaurant, glowing about how awesome I look in my new ensemble and coming upon another girl wearing the same thing. Thank you Forever 21 for making this happen more often than not. Even as most recently we’ve had girls come in the store looking for vintage prom dresses. After all, it would be the end all be all if a girl showed up to your prom in YOUR dress.

So it looks like the world is going the way of the Hipster after all. I don’t think this is such a bad thing. I may have to say that as I may unwillingly admit I do fall under this category sometimes. When I am not taking my kid to school early in the morning, not going grocery shopping, and not going to or from the gym, I tend to dress myself according to my own standards that may not match up with everyone elses’. A girl likes to look her best, and not like someone else’s best. Good luck to all you fellow Hipsters out there! I’m sorry to bring such news to you on this rainy Monday. Take pride in who you are, and please don’t forget to appreciate intelligence, Hipster or not!