Monday, May 23, 2011

"It's too small for me" - Incorporating Vintage Into Your Modern Wardrobe

Hello Gorgeous!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! I went to the drive-in, went vintage shopping, hung out with some of my very best friends, and got a massage! I am SET for the week…AND my next vintage post!

"It's great, but vintage is too small for me…"

OK! Today’s vintage post is dealing with the “It’s too small for me” complex. I hear it a LOT and it’s true that many vintage pieces are small, but it doesn’t mean that ALL pieces are. Regardless of your size, it can be a little discouraging when trying on vintage items if you don’t know what to expect. SO, this post will help you through the mental block and dealing with the “post vintage shopping gloominess.”   

First Things First!
I can not stress enough how important it is to remember that everyone is built differently and that’s 100% fine!!! No one is the same size or shape and that’s what makes us so unique and beautiful. 

Now, we all do feel a little self conscious at one point or another. ESPECIALLY when shopping for clothing. Like me! I hate shopping for jeans…It makes me feel like I’m gargantuous. Now, in reality I’m not and I know I’m not…BUT after trying on the 40th pair of tight jeans under HORRIBLE dressing-room lighting, it’s mentally exhausting and SUPER frustrating to try and stay in a positive mood. Mostly, I blame the companies who are making the jeans. No size 10 is the same. What is the deal!? No matter how beautiful we really are, we mentally abuse ourselves because we have a mental fixation on something other people don’t even notice.

SO, when trying on any clothing (vintage or not) just remember that
We are not made on assembly line, but 
most clothing is!

What to Expect While Vintage Shopping!
Ok, vintage shopping is kind of like dating...You're gonna need to try a few on before you take one home! ;)Most vintage clothing is handmade OR tailored to fit the previous owner which makes it difficult to find pieces in JUST your size. So when vintage shopping, remember these simple "dating" rules:
  1. The good ones are worth searching for! - Be prepared to search a little before you find “the one”
  2. First impressions can be decieving! - Just because something LOOKS like it won't fit doesn't mean it won't and vice versa. Go ahead! Try it on!!!
  3. Less is more - Do not go in expecting to find vast amounts of vintage clothing in your size. You can usually find a few really great pieces that make you feel awesome!    
  4. Get back on the horse! - Don’t get discouraged if the first few items don’t fit. Eyeballing items for fit takes some practice. Just ask a sales associate if you are having trouble. They know where everything is anyway! :)   
    My Date New Years 2010 ;)
    It's not you, it's them - You might feel discouraged because a lot of the items you're trying on are too small. Make sure you remember that this is not an indication that you're "big"! Fact is, people were a lot smaller in earlier generations. They didn't have access to the amount of protein, food, and improved healthcare like we do. AND we do not try and force ourselves into tiny, uncomfortable girdles and corsets on a daily basis like they did. 
  6. Don't try and force it! - When you're trying on vintage items, you may want to try and force a piece over your shoulders, bust, or hips AND you may succeed! However, your momentary feeling of joy will be replaced by panic as you realize you have to take it back OFF. For example, you may find yourself dancing around a tinsy, heavily curtained, dressing-room for 10 minutes trying to ease a very delicate silk dress back up past your shoulder blades...all the while praying you don't have to ask the GUY behind the counter to come help you AND that the dress doesn't rip...NOT that I have expereince in this area...cough* Moral of the story: Don't try and force something to fit.
    Whip it into shape! - If you find an item that is too big or a little bit too small, you can always go and get it tailored to fit you! Just keep in mind if it's too big, fitting shouldn;'t be an issue. However, if it's too small you'll need to check how much fabric is left to play with in the seams of the dress. If all you need is 1/2 an inch, you should be ok. Just check the seams. You can always ask the shop keeper if they think it can be let out.   
  8. Diamonds are a girl's best friend! - If you're having trouble finding something in your size today, there's always tomorrow! Vintage stores get new stuff in all the time! Give your name and number to the shop keeper and tell him to let you know when they get something in your size. This doens't mean you have to leave empty handed! Go check out the accessories case! get yourself a cute 40s clutch or a sparkley 60s broach. AND silk scarves are always a cute addition to an outfit or bag!  
If you follow these simple rules, you should be fine! Remember, when you find the right piece 

Remember, people used to get married much younger than we do now. If you’re looking for a vintage wedding dress (and you’re larger than a 16-year-old) you may run into some issues. Larger dresses do exist, but they are harder to find and are usually more expensive.

If you’re having trouble finding the right dress, you may want to look into a reproduction. I ended up purchasing a custom made reproduction dress and petticoat from
Porches Place
for a little over $250 (VERY VERY reasonable). Femia was GREAT to work with, I received my dress in enough time to have adjustments done if needed. The colors were perfect and the dress fit like a glove.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Million Dollar Quartet

 My birthday was on Sunday so my husband (Dave) took me to see Million Dollar Quartet. It was Fantastic! SO, today's awesome stuff post is about Million Dollar Quartet...and Rockabilly, of course!

If you haven't seen it and you're into rockabilly, it's a MUST see! MDQ is a "musical" about an actual event. It's about the one day Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis were all hanging out at Sun Records jamming together. It was the last time all 4 rock'n' rollers spent time together in the same studio and you get to hear the actual recording they made. I don't want to spoil anything, so I will spare the details, but it's really a great show and a LOT of fun!

We went to the Chicago show and the actors do such a good job...well...ACTING..and also playing their instruments! You want to get up and dance through entire production AND you're super close to the stage the entire time so you can definitley see the action. Check it out!    

Get Tickets Here!

Me at the Sun Records Museum in Nashville!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Incorporating Vintage into your Modern Wardrobe – “I don’t know where to start”

Finding vintage is fairly easy if you know where to look! This post is designated to help you find what you’re looking for a little more easily.

“I am really interested in adding vintage pieces to my wardrobe, but I don’t know where to start!”

Start Small!
When you're looking to expand your wardrobe with vintage, start with some truly classic pieces and work your way up! Maybe look into a black 50s pencil skirt or a white 70s peasant blouse. try them out at the office or on a weekend outing and see if you like
You can find vintage in many different places, it all depends on how much effort you want to put into finding it and your budget.

First, we must assess how you like to shop!
Which one do you identify with the most?
1) Do you like to run in find what you’re looking for with minimal effort & then run out? If so, you’re a Vintage Store Vixen

2) Do you hate trying things on? Would you rather avoid the crowds and shop online? If so, you’re a
Cyber Chic Chick

3) Do you enjoy the thrill of the hunt? AKA: sifting through racks and racks of clothing for maybe one or two treasures? If so, you’re a Fashionable Fanatic

I’m a Vintage Store Vixen!
You know what you want and you don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to find it. The best option for you is to check out your local vintage or antique store. Vintage store arrange clothing a number of ways. From S, M, L to decade you can easily select items you would like to try on and you can be in and out in no time. 

Vintage Store Vixen

If you’re on a budget:
  • If you dig online shopping, Etsy could be an easy way for you to find what you’re looking for. Shipping is usually pretty prompt depending on what country you or the seller lives in.   
  • Check out any vintage store in your area. To find the closest vintage store to you can always Google to find the nearest store OR check out this stellar US Vintage Directory.  It’s organized by state.
If money is no object:
  • Local Antique stores – here is another directory Locally owned consignment shops tend to have a few unique vintage finds
  • Take a trip to Austin! They have some of the coolest vintage stores I’ve ever been to. Lots of selection and each shop ranges in price
I’m A Cyber Chic Chick!
You love the ease of buying with one click of the mouse and the anticipation of waiting to receive your new items in the mail. It’s like Christmas every time you check your mailbox! OR maybe you just hate crowds and fussing with long checkout lines…Whatever the case, online shopping may be your favorite mode of finding fantastic fashions!  

If you’re on a Budget
    Cyber Chic Chick
  • Check out ModCloth they have an array of vintage styles and also true vintage, but you’ve gotta be quick! Of course Etsy is the obvious choice for vintage excellence AND they have accessible home d├ęcor and accessories as well
  • Decades Vintage - some pretty awesome finds at pretty reasonable prices. It just depends on what you’re looking for
  • Etsy, of course!
If money is no object:
I’m a Fashionable Fanatic!
You want to learn all you can about vintage clothing. Maybe you have an interest in history or you work in the fashion industry. Maybe you are just looking for a new hobby…whatever the case; you love the thrill of the hunt.
Fashionable Fanatic 

If money is no object:
If you’re on a budget:
  • Thrifting: You will need to do a little bit of research on vintage before you go sifting through thrift stores, but they are definitely the best place to find vintage clothing at cheap prices. Check out your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. OH! And make sure you check out your local thrift stores. 
  • Estate Sales: Just make sure you get there early!
  • Etsy: it’s really easy to find cheap vintage on Etsy, but it will take some searching know-how to find what you want!
  • Garage/Rummage Sales – You can find some killer stuff and garage sales…especially if they’re held at a church…there is no real explanation for that, but I find some really neat stuff at church rummage sales
Important Things to Know:
If you’re considering going all-out on being a vintage fanatic you’ve gotta do a little homework…but at least it’s fun! In order to correctly identify a vintage item, you should research the following points:        
  • Types of stitching – is the item handmade? Many garments were before the 60s
  • Materials – cotton, polyester, silk, velvet? Materials can help date a piece
  • Cuts – Is it a 60s shift dress or a 50s cocktail dress? Learning about popular cuts according to era can help you figure out when the piece was made
  • Buttons or zips – What are they made of? Are there initials on them? Where are they located on the garment? These kinds of things can help you determine what   
  • Labeling – Is there a size tag? How about a Union Made tag? If so, how old is it? Is it a stitched tag?
    A little research and experience will help you answer all of these questions with ease.

    This is one of the best and most helpful books I’ve found on the subject of vintage shopping. The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping It’s only $13 and it’s got all kinds of tips from shopping to garment care. A GREAT investment!

    Oh hey! If you live in Chicago, check out this article on the best vintage shops in Chicago!
Learning about vintage can be a little overwhelming at first, but it’s a really interesting subject and if you’re into it, it won’t be difficult to learn. I am (without a doubt) in this category and if I can learn this stuff, then you surely can! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Lush for Purple!

So, I've had kind of a stressful day... My friend and I decided that a lunch time trip to Lush (my favorite bath & body store!...I also used to work I'm a tad biased) would be a good idea! This trip resulted in a self-realization/ St-epiphany (get it?? Stephanie..epiphany.ha!...ok...).

I began shopping in my usual spot (the bomb unit) and picked out some of my favorite bombs -- In case you don't know what a bath bomb is...they're awesome (hence today's post)! They're colorful balls of baking soda & essential oil that you drop into your bath. They fizz up in water and turn into bath oil (and maybe some glitter)! You've gotta try em'!--  Anyway, I picked out 2 of the best smelling bombs, Blackberry & Twilight...mmmmm. Very fragrant and very purple....

THEN, I moved over to the bubble bar unit.  A Bubble Bar is a solid brick of bubble bath....Don't use the whole thing at starts to look like you put the wrong kind of detergent in the dishwasher...ALSO not a good thing to do...try learnin' that the hard way...-- I go directly to my favorite bar of all...French Kiss! The key ingredient is makes for the best nighttime bath!  I grab 2 and throw them in my basket.

French Kiss Bubble Bath
As I'm walking around the store someone commented..."Wow. you must really like purple!"...This puzzled me because my favorite color is green...or so I thought... I looked down. My basket was filled with predominantly purple items. I'm wearing a purple vintage pencil skirt (Hulk purple of course!). I also recently re-dyed my colored streak in my hair purple...Eureka! I've been lying to myself!

So, I suppose today's post is about Lush, but also tiny self realizations...Not that this color thing is an amazing realization..BUT,

Has something like this ever happened to anyone else? 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Incorporating Vintage into your Modern Wardrobe – “It wouldn’t look good on me.”

I’m sorry guys! I’ve been having some technical difficulties. My PC got a bad virus on Monday and it had a lot of my info for this week’s Monday and Wednesday’s posts on it. :*( BUT my trusty Mac has my back…even though I didn’t back up my info onto it!  SO, here is your vintage post for Monday the 2nd!

“I’ve tried some stuff on and even though I like it, I still think it looks cuter on other people.”

You tried on at least one vintage piece! (Yay!) BUT you didn’t like how it looked on you. (aww…). I hear this scenario a lot.
1) Someone tries on a vintage piece they really like (yay!)
2) The piece isn’t flattering (grr…)
3) They feel sad and decide they can’t wear vintage at all even though they still want to (sniffle*)  

Don’t worry! I’m here to help! Just remember these few steps. 

Not all vintage is made the same!
In this scenario it is important to remember that vintage pieces are just like modern pieces in the respect that not all cuts are flattering to all shapes and sizes. You may not like how one 60s shift dress fits, but another one may fit you perfectly

Find yourself a good Tailor!  
You’d be amazed at how great a piece of clothing can look on you if you get it tailored. A piece that may be a little too big or a little too small could be taken in or let out in specific areas for a better fit. AND it’s usually pretty cheap. Check your local listings for a tailor BUT make sure you ask around (other businesses in the area, people, etc…) to see if they’re good. Oh! And check to see if they do alterations on vintage clothing.

Decade to body type is a lie!
No matter what decade it was, there have always been people of all sizes. I have pieces from the 20s that fit me and I’m not tiny. Curvy, petite, tall, short…It doesn’t really matter what decade it was…people of all sizes have existed from day one. Granted, it’s harder to find larger sizes from older decades (like the 20s) BUT it’s possible to find! Just keep your eyes peeled and your mind open.