Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 45: Every Gal Should Own a Caped Stole - and Wednesday Weigh-In

This post is late! Since we had a photoshoot yesterday, which is odd, I never got my post up. And I didn't photos til late anyway. But I feel bad about being tardy to post my weigh-in.

Current Weight: 179.7 lbs
At Last Weigh in: 181.4
Starting Weight: 185 lbs
Weight Loss to Date: 5.3 lbs
*I AM OUT OF THE 180s*
This is the slowest I've ever lost weight. I feel about 85% good about that - I know, it is much more likely to last! - but it is about 15% really frustrating. When I tried phentermine, I was sort of crazy, but the weight just MELTED off and that was fun. (It DID, of course, all come back.) Sarah has reminded me, however, how FUN it was gaining all the weight that quickly. Lots of dinners out, decadent breakfasts and many, many evenings out for cocktails. So, she's right. That sort of fun is (mostly) over. Time to work.
But speaking of fun. 

Last night, after our photoshoot, I went out for cocktails with Janey of Atomic Redhead and Solanah. This photo is courtesty of Janey - many thanks for sharing! They're be covering the evening in their blogs, so I think I can just focus on the outfit! Solanah's post is already up - go take a peek, we had so much fun! We all happen to own caped stoles. That was the whole excuse for the evening. And EVERYONE asked why we were so very dressed up. I giving silly reasons like that!

Every woman needs a gratitous accessory like this. Something you could technically live without, but the wardrobe is just so much more complete for having. 

All outfit pics courtesy of Solanah. Thank you!!

Suit: Late 1930s or war-era 40s, rayon jersey with rayon crepe. Realizing that while it "fits" without damage, it sure doesn't fit the same way it used to. Purchased at Antiques by the Bay
Shoes: Goodwill
Hat: Junk Maidens Antique Show
Fur: 1940s, racoon fur, Antique shop
Mexican silver bracelet: Estate sale (NOT cheap)
Laminate bakelite bangle: Vendor at Viva Las Vegas

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 44: Wardrobe Series Day 5, Try Something New! {Rodeo Runaway}

I couldn't wait until tonight or tomorrow morning to show you today's outfit. It isn't at all what I'd originally had in mind for Day 5 - it was spontaneous and exciting, and I love how it came out.

On a previous wardrobe post, someone had commented that they had a lot of accessories they'd accumulated that just don't get used. Who doesn't? It's so easy to accumulate cute scarves, oddly colored gloves, or decorative collars - and have no idea when or how you'll use them. I have a LOT of pieces like that.

So, I started with an accessory that I have *NEVER EVER* used. I love it. It's this tiny ladies "bowtie" scarf, just a little thing. And it's western - cacti, broncos, ropes and cowboys. Obviously I had to buy it. But since it is yellow, it just hasn't ever made it out of my "oddities" drawer, and I've had it at least a year and a half. (Side note: the oddities drawer contains dickies, unusual collars and strangely shaped scarves, and little things like cuffs and mis-matched shoe clips.)

Once I put the scarf on on, the whole ensemble came together on its own. I NEVER wear that sweater buttoned to the neck, so that was a big change. I seldom pair my boots with things aside from my western skirts or peasant dresses. And I've never worn that hat outside of straight-up 40s ensembles.

A side note about the bangs - there's no hair-rat in there today. The hair was so well sprayed, and so "trained" from being wrapped with the net rat for two solid days, that it just rolled right back up, and into the perfect shape. I can't make it go another day, though, I need to wash my hair!!

It's an amazing hat. I'll show you a little more.

I can't fit a lot (read: ALL) of my western wear pieces, so seeing this ensemble come together really thrilled me. I bought the 1950s child's costume belt as a prop for the shop because I love it, but I managed to fit it on the largest setting. HURRAY!

I think this ensemble sums up the wardrobe series much better than I could have continuing to illustrate mixing and matching the various skirts and tops. You have more outfits in your wardrobe than you know! It just takes a little extra inspiration. So the next time you're stuck, find a great accessory that you never wear, and force yourself to build around it. You may be as pleased and surprised as I have been with this outfit. Now, go play dress up in your closet!

Cardigan: Goodwill
Skirt: Spiegel brand, Goodwill
Boots: Estate sale (sorry P&S. I still feel a little guilty about that misunderstanding!)
Hat: Expo Antique Shoe
Necktie: Estate Sale
Children's gun holster: Estate Sale

P.S. J., this outfit is dedicated to you, because I know you'll love it. You know who you are!

Day 43: We Interrupt Your Wardrobe Post for Glamour Night

I know, I know. Yesterday should have been Day 5 of the wardrobe series. But you see, those bangs lasted perfectly overnight, and I really wanted to do something more impressive with them. I got dressed up. Jesse took me to Italian. (We were good and SHARED a meal.)

This dress was in my inventory for a long time. It nearly sold a time or two - went through inquires, etc. I finally kept it. Because it is bias cut, it is super accommodating. I do have to wear a "squisher" bra with it at this time, in order not to strain it though.

The shawl came with a lot purchase that I split with Stutterin' Mama. She and I were sorting like crazy, trying to weed out damaged items, modern pieces, etc. Somehow this shawl was tossed aside, and Jesse rescued it for me to look at the next day, when we weren't quite so tired. It's a fabulous 1940's wool piece, with flowers of sequins and beads. Of course, it's moth chewed. Big deal. I dare someone to notice when I'm dressed like this!

The hair - oh, I wish we'd gotten an indoor photo! There was slightly more light than it looks like, but not enough to not need flash. I was pretty thrilled with it. I'm making those bangs go for day 3 today. These photos are interesting, because it shows how asymmetric my face really is. I have a "short side" and a "long side" and when I'm heavy, that translates to a "smooth side - the short" and a "fat side." I am really looking forward to losing enough weight so that it doesn't show in my face anymore!

The difference is dramatic, no? You should see what happens when I do those half-face programs! Yeesh.

And the finishing touch. I don't have 1930s bangles, sadly. Even when am slim, I still have big hands for a girl, and find most Deco era bracelets just too small. And a little too expensive, since I already have one all-consuming bracelet obsession. But these work alright for a night out around people who don't know or care. And work GREAT in black and white. Ha.

Dress: Rad Summer
Shawl: Lot Purchase
Shoes: Goodwill
Bracelets: Clamper on at left, and rhinestone stretch bracelet were my mothers. All others various sources.

I promise, Day 44 will bring a final installment of the Wardrobe series!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 42: Wardrobe Series Day 4, Play To Your Strengths

Play to your strength. That seems obvious, of course. But I hear a lot of gals say things like "oh, I love it, but it's navy. I have SO much navy. So much more than anything else. I should branch out." Well, yes, you should, but that doesn't mean to leave that item that you love behind. When you're fond of a color or style, you'll tend to accumulate more of that, and that means that while you might not have a lot of pieces in your wardrobe overall, what you do have ... will match.

My strengths:

red and black.



Rolling over the clothing item again - Day 42 uses the same skirt from Day 41, but while the palettes are similar, the outfits are disparate. Of course, this project about wardrobe isn't really done in the way that you or I would normally - the day to day "rollover" is for the point of illustration. I find that I have "groups" of items that I tend to mix like this with, so too-similar colors don't get worn back to back. I have the black, red, and tan group. The navy, pink and white group. The brown and chartreuse group. And of course, there's cross over between those groups, too. Navy and Red. Brown and pink. Black and chartreuse. Etc. I feel like I should draw a real-life clothes mixing chart, but I feel like it would look as confusing as Lil' Abner's family tree.

So, what are YOUR strengths? What do you find you tend to lean toward in collection. Is there anything you have a hard time pairing up with the rest of your wardrobe?

Cardigan: Goodwill many, many moon ago.
Sweater: Expo Antique Show
Wool Scarf: Estate lot
Bakelite: Various
Skirt: Spiegel, purchased at Goodwill
Shoes: ReMix

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 41: Wardrobe Series Day 3, Understated is Versatile

So, in keeping with the theme of maximizing one's wardrobe, yesterday's blouse was the same as the previous day. Black velvet tops are incredibly versatile, flattering, and timeless. One of the things I like about this one is how flattering the line of the waist can be, when paired with a contrasting color, allowing the slightly longer line of the top to be seen.

What looked flirtatious with the Day 40 ensemble is toned down and reserved in Day 41's look. I added a 40s dress clip for an elegant touch. The jet necklace is fancy, but still suitable for a day at the office, and the single bracelet is tasteful - doesn't scream "look at me!" in the manner of an armload of bakelite bangles. I kept the same purse for the look.

Just like Day 40, a hat helps to set the mood. This little black hat goes with almost any 50s ensemble you can find - it is just perfectly classic.

We brought chocolates for a friend's birthday, and they matched. That always makes me happy! I wish I could show you my shoes, but the photographs were a bit wonky yesterday.

Two toning an ensemble is a great way to make basics look really different. Also, while an outfit loaded with Bakelite and bold accessories is likely to be remembered in detail, an outfit like this will just leave people remembering how well put together you looked. You can wear it in to work again next month, with slightly different accessories, without feeling as though it will stand out as having been "done" already.

Velvet top: Bombshell Vintage
Circle Skirt: Newer, from Spiegel, bought at Goodwill
Hat: Uncertain
Chocolates: Rx Missionary Chocolates
Purse: Sold to me from the window of a truck driving past- the guy recognized my style, and had just bought it at a garage sale for his wife to sell on ebay. He sold it to me instead. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 40: Wardrobe Series Day 2, Accessories are Key

So, before we get to the serious stuff: Jesse always gets ONE great shot of me, the most flattering to my figure and best composed. That shot is always the one where I have an eyelash in my eye and I'm busy pulling it out (as below) or someone yells a "hello" from the street, and I"m in the middle of responding. But I like this shot, so I'm including it anyway!

So, this outfit incorporates that ideal black circle skirt from the previous day's ensemble, pairing it with a second indispensable wardrobe piece: the basic black velvet top. I own four, in four slightly different sizes, because I really can't bear to be without one. I consider them a must have!
Here's links to a few random such pieces I found on Etsy: 1  2  3  4  5 Just search "50s black velvet top"

That said, two black pieces makes a pretty basic ensemble. But with accessories, which are both easier and less expensive to accumulate than clothing, you can make the outfit anything you want! Play to your strengths - accessorize with colors that you have a lot of, and which look best on you. Of course, you usually have more of what you look good in!

The "belt" is one of a few massive silk chiffon scarves I picked up some time ago. If you see any pieces like this, they're worth almost whatever the seller is charging for them, because they are incredibly versatile. I paired this ombre red polka dot piece with a butterscotch bakelite buckle to fit in with the red and yellow theme.

When in doubt, add lots of bangles. You've noticed that I wear a lot of Bakelite. It happens to be a passion of mine. But metal, wood, plastic, etc. It's all fair game, and helps to make an outfit fun. Also, a fun purse definitely spices up a basic "canvas" ensemble.

Both my crinoline and shoes were bright colors to add light to the black ensemble. These pieces look very different with even very similar accessories in a different palette, and I may show that off later in the week. I don't want you to think I'm cheating on my daily outfit by wear the two same base pieces.

The hat is always the finishing touch of an outfit. A couple of you have mentioned being uncertain about hats, and I know! They're an accessory largely gone by the wayside in modern fashion, and can be a big step to take into the world of vintage style. But I'll tell you, there's no better way to make a basic dress or ensemble look bold and unique than pairing it with a bright, unusual, or eye-catching hat.

Final note - pretty thrilled about my hair!

Velvet top: Bombshell Vintage
Skirt: Goodwill Bins
Bakelite & Plastic Necklace: Expo Antique Show
Hat: Expo Antique Show
Earrings: ??
Shoes: Goodwill
Snood: Estate Sale
Stockings: Backseamed stockings from Nordstrom
Crinolines: Estate sales
Scarf: Estate sale
Bakelite Buckle: Gift from Jesse

So, there you are! More basics on maximizing your wardrobe tomorrow!

P.S. MY FAVORITE ACCESSORY - a man who matches, for the win.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 39: Wardrobe Series Day 1, Dresses Can Be Separates, Too!

Finally! I promised you a post on wardrobe mixing, but I realized that I just couldn't do it without making a full series of it. So, for the next 5-7 days, you'll get me mixing and matching related pieces, for inspiration on expanding the possibilities of a limited wardrobe.

Today's post starts with the dress that I first wore on Day 23 - as seen below. Sorry for the terrible photos!

Now, everyone knows you can toss a sweater on over a dress for a slightly different look (and I will do that this week) but skirts are something else. Put it in the category of #stuffIlearnedfromvixenvintage - Solanah is a genius with mixing, and does this little trick during our Fab Gabs photoshoots somewhat regularly.

Why this dress works great as a top: for one, it is shorter, making it unlikely to peek out underneath the skirt. It is neutral colors - a very, very soft tan, and black. Gingham is eternally cute. And it has that NECKLINE. Honestly, the neckline really makes it, both as a dress and as a separate. I paired it with a 1950s black homemade acetate satin circle skirt, that works with just about everything.I compromised on condition on the skirt, because it fits, and a black circle skirt is one of the most useful 50s garments you can buy.

Funny thing to note - fifteen minutes after these photos were taken, with that BRILLIANT sunset, the clouds broke open and it absolutely POURED. Yeesh! Glad we snagged them when we did.

Dress: Goodwill Bins
Skirt: Goodwill Bins. This is funny, because I really don't go that often.
Shoes: Goodwill. They're Reaction by Kenneth Cole. Not really vintage enough for my fancy days, but REALLY comfortable. Like, as comfortable as tennis shoes.
Earrings: Bakelite, gift from Jesse. They are brown now, but will polish down to purple. I can't wait!
Bangles: Bakelite, various

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 38: Stealing Sunlight and Sparkling Sequins

Yesterday, while still overwhelmed with catching up from our huge cleanout sale and the
30% off Spring Cleaning sale in the shop, I just couldn't stand to stay in rainy day mode the whole time. There were little breaks of sunlight, and we managed to catch the tail end of one. I wanted the outdoor photos badly enough that I went for the photos, even though my hot rollers were steal heating up. (Read: my hair wasn't done.) Heck, I wasn't even entirely finished with my makeup!

It was WINDY. And cold. And the sunlight was very brief! But better than pouring.

Even though it isn't my FAVORITE shape, I used my pink crinoline, because well, it was windy, and if someone should see it, I'd rather it be cute and matching!

The pendant was a gift from a random stranger at Burning Man last year. At the time, I was wearing a reproduction black and white circle skirt with a touch of gold, and a 50s style halter top. (And, ahem, my skin was painted gold - trying something different.) I wear it when I'm stressed out, or need to remind myself to be a nicer person. The idea of giving with no expectation of receiving anything returned is literally stamped into the copper with the symbol of the Man. I like that. 

Sweater: 1950s Jantzen, purchased from a friend
Skirt: Goodwill, on half-off day, for $3.50 . Are you ready for this? IT'S A REPRODUCTION. Yeah. I need to remove the lining, which isn't cut in a full circle skirt like the exterior. Did my close-up give it away for you? I wish all rip-off styles were this good!
Crinoline: Estate sale.
Pendant: Gift at Burning Man
Bakelite: Various, but a number from the Antiques by the Bay flea market. Blues have been polished down from ugly greens.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 37: New 49'er - and a New CAMERA ... ZOMG

So, Sunday, I went shopping for ME. Which is a change of pace. At a local thrift, this 49'er literally fell across my path, and the shop was having 50% off day. HURRAY!

My favorite 49'er is always my most recent acquisition. But I do particularly like the colors in this one.

This one is missing buttons, has a bunch of moth chews, and is great colors. That makes it perfect for a day working at a home.

I WILL replace the butttons, of course. Eventually. A belt worked for bumming around.Wait! Do you recognize that belt? I thought I'd lost it. Jesse went out and HUNTED IT DOWN FOR ME. It was lying in the rain, soaked, but came out just fine in the end. He's my hero.

The photos? Taken with my new Canon Rebel, recommended by well, just about everyone I know. Unfortunately, since I spent almost the entire day indoors wrapping packages. It will take me (and Jesse) a while to figure out the settings and best lighting for these daily photoshoots. But wait until you see today's outfit, out in the sun! First thing tomorrow, promise!

Pendleton: Thrifted
1940s Corduroy Pants - a size 32" waist!: Viva Las Vegas weekender, 2010
Wedges: ReMix, bought at VLV