Sunday, March 26, 2017

Vintage Shoes: If the Shoe Fits

Well, for me, the shoe never fits. It's a shame, actually. There are some amazing vintage shoes around, but you basically have to be a size 6 or 7.  I'm a size 8.5 (an 8 on a good day depending on the style of the shoe). I'm convinced women in decades past had petite feet.

Way back in college, I learned that women on average have bigger feet than I thought. The owner of a locally run boutique there said she had to stock more size 10s than anything else. I was shocked! It does make me wonder, though. Is the shortage of vintage shoes in my size a result of fewer of those sizes remaining after all these years? Or, have our feet been getting bigger on average over the years?

In any case, what it really means for me is that when I do find some vintage shoes in my size (either at estate sales, thrift shops or vintage boutiques), I almost always buy them on sight. One summer, I lucked out and found three pairs of great flats from the 80s shoes in my size in one spot. Needless to say, I didn't have to do much thinking on those. I bought two of the three at four dollars each (another reason not to hesitate).

My current obsession is to thrift a pair of these Chanel two toned slingbacks.  
A girl can dream, right?

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Note about Confidence

 Do you have what it takes to face your fashion fears? You know what I'm talking about...the articles of clothing you see on others and admire, but think are totally out of your league. I could never carry off that look or I wish I had the nerve to wear that.

I admit, having lived through my thirties, I don't have too many of those insecurities anymore. Peeps, it's one of the best things about that decade. Other people's judgements somehow melt away when it comes to things you can wear and you develop a give no shits kind of attitude. Thank goodness for that, because peoples judgements and opinions certainly don't go away.

Anyhow, probably our biggest critic has to be ourselves. You know what I'm talking about. That nagging voice in your head that tells you what's acceptable for yourself. We can be so harsh on ourselves! Why do we do that?

Recently, I was contacted by the lovely Ashby of Dia&Co, a curated shopping experience for plus sized women, who invited me to take part in their project on confidence. Every Friday, they host Try-day Friday in their office at work in which they challenge each other to try new styles. They challenge that idea that there are certain clothes for certain people by encouraging their readers to step out of the box and do something new.

I love the idea of that message so I was happy to take part here on my blog. So what is that article of clothing for me? Well, there's the mini skirt (I mentioned my self-consciousness about my legs over on Instagram as part of a Warrior Woman project with @StyleMeSunday).

But actually, it's leopard print.  I have actively avoided leopard print for a few reasons. One, I thought it was way too trendy for me. It seems like such a bold print to carry off, and I wasn't sure how it would fit with my vintage style. And second, I actually wasn't certain how to style it.

Then came these two articles of clothing.  First my secondhand Cambridge Satchel with leopard pocket which I've been wearing for over a year, and then these leopard heels which my friend Ann gave me at work last week when she was clearing her closet.  I have to admit, I love them. And, I've figured it out!  You style leopard print like it's a neutral!  How about that?

So there you have it. It's Friday, so why not make it a Try-day Friday. Step out of the box and be daring. It feels good!

Monday, March 20, 2017

One Skirt, Two Sweaters

Have you ever walked out of the house and realized you should have styled your outfit differently? It sometimes happens to me when I come across my reflection for the first time outside of my home, in the window or on my liftdoors. Even though I have a mirror that I check before I leave for the day, somehow the sight of my reflection with my outfit in action so to speak gives a more accurate view.

So it went with this outfit, too. The skirt was a lucky find at a Children's Hospital charity shop this Christmas. I love that the colors are black and brown and the pattern and high-waisted cut of the skirt are perfect, too (they reminded me of skirts I owned in high school).

The reflection in my liftdoors that morning, however, didn't confirm that the black sweater I'd chosen to wear with the skirt was the right choice. Instead, other options flashed into my mind almost instantly. Sometimes outfits come to me that way, like a Pinterest board in my brain.

What came into my mind that morning was a brown cardigan and my skinny black belt with the same scarf, t-shirt and handbag. Somehow I thought the black was too matchy matchy. Does anyone else worry about being to matchy matchy?

Nevertheless, I continued to wear the black sweater all day. It seemed so silly to go home and change midday. I decided instead to let you readers tell me what you think.

Here are the two looks side by side. If I had a slightly thicker belt, I'd wear that, but I don't so I went with the skinny one. Which look do you think is better? Black or brown? I'd love you to let me know in the comments.

Oh, the dilemma...right?

Alternately, if you have other styling suggestions, I'd love to hear those, too. Just drop me a line or leave me a comment (do people do that anymore?)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Date Night with Rock My Vintage

It's Friday, finally. Time to kick back and relax and catch up on some rest for the next two days. And, if I'm lucky and the hubby is free, the weekend means perhaps a sneaky date night.

Okay, maybe not this weekend since he's fully booked with coaching duties, but a girl can imagine, right? Why not. It beats the reality that I'm sitting at home alone in my pajamas on a Friday night.

A little while back, Rock My Vintage got in touch with me about a collaboration opportunity.  Rock My Vintage is an online boutique featuring vintage and vintage inspired clothing and accessories which will suit just about anyone. They have their merchandise neatly organized into occasion, decade, clothing item, etc. The biggest challenge with this collaboration was trying to only choose one thing that I liked. There is so much to love!

This 80s beaded shift dress (an original vintage piece) caught my eye immediately and I thought it would be a fun piece to style up and imagine for a night out with my love. 

There are many ways to envision styling this 80s wild version of a little black dress. The sequins and sparkle make it versatile for any occasion as you can wear it more elegantly with heels for an art opening (it's Arts Month in Hong Kong) or some kind of concert at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. But the sequins also give it a fun feel, no need to be intimidated by a bit of sparkle. So, I decided to style it up for a typical date night with my hubby.

The dress is slightly oversized for me, so I belted it. Wearing the hat and boots helped to make it look more dressed down for a casual night out. I decided to make the other accessories over the top to make it a really outrageous look and I love how it turned out. The cuff is from my girl Paige at The Mauve Hour (upcycling vintage pieces into modern accessories), the clutch and necklace are both secondhand fun pieces, too.  As I look back on this look now, I am already thinking of styling it up again in different ways.

What is a typical night out with the hubby you may wonder? Live music in a small crowded venue and good food and drink at one of our favorite restaurants (Serge et la Phoque usually tops that list -- it helps that we love that crowd). We're not fussy, but we do love to have fun.

Have a look over at Rock My Vintage to see what they have in their store for you!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Working on Casual

I know I used to say that I'm a dresses and skirts kind of girl, and I still claim that to be the case. I returned from a week in freezing cold Mongolia on Sunday, and I could not wait to choose a dress to wear. Having said that, I ended up wearing jeans yesterday.

I've noticed a subtle change in my wardrobe selections lately. Where I once used to admit that casual dressing was a bit difficult for me because vintage has a tendency to always look dressed up, now I'd say otherwise. More and more, I'm finding that I've got options when it comes to dressing down.

Part of the reason I have options comes from the fact that my vintage purchases and thrifted finds of late have been pants! I scored some incredible finds at Savers this Christmas. Among them were a pair of cropped Levi's, a pair of velvet pants and these amazing high waisted brown checked pants.

I think the key to dressing down is to throw in some dressed down essentials. For me that is a t-shirt, and I've been favoring them lately as you may have read here. I've found that graphic tees pair very nicely with thrifted pants or vintage skirts and even under dresses. I'm fully embracing that those 90s trends are back.

Another thing I've tried in an attempt to dress down is to not always wear my vintage blazers. Now that I've written that, I'm feeling pangs of guilt because I know all to well that blazer weather is short lived in Hong Kong and I do so love my blazers. Still, I'm trying to mix in this vintage denim jacket, my leather moto jacket and my bomber when I can.

Don't pay attention to my shoelaces. I only noticed after that they were untied (and tied them in the picture above).

So, there you have it. A little ramble about my vintage wardrobe and my sartorial influences (by the way, this outfit inspo came from Beth from B Jones Style, of course). She always knows how to mis it up and have fun.

I'd like to know, though, what do you do to dress down? Do you have any suggestions? What else can I do with my vintage pants?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Stand Out From the Crowd. Period.

Easier said than done, right?

Still, I stand by it. Don't play it safe with your outfits. Have fun. If you're not turning heads then maybe you should.

This outfit definitely turned heads. I mean, a head to toe black and white checkered jumpsuit. The only thing that could make this any more outrageous is...

...a beret?

Check! No pun intended.

I found this gem at the Savers in La Mirada when we were in California over Christmas. I think it may be handmade, which is basically awesome.  I've been inspired by Amy of A Fashion Nerd who has the most enviable collection of berets, ever.  And talk about standing out from the crowd, boy does she ever. I love her. Check (ha!ha!) her out on Instagram, too. (@afashionnerd)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Reading: Links a la Mode, March 2nd & Rug Lane

It's Saturday morning. If you're lazing around in bed instead of at a gymnastics meet for your daughter, then you'll be able to enjoy some relaxing blog reading.

Catch up with this week's Links a la Mode blogger round up from Independent Fashion Bloggers. Bloggers this week are sharing tips about how to wear old trends in new ways. There are loads of tips for growing your social media and  getting read for spring, too.

Links à la Mode, March 2, 2017
SPONSOR: Shopbop Cinq a Sept, Sea, Ulla Johnson Clothing, Adam Selman, Robert Rodriguez, Shashi, Spring It Bags, Sequin Dresses, Embellished Shoes, Men's PLAC

And if you're in Hong Kong looking for something to do this Sunday, head over to Rug Lane's Vintage and Second Hand Markets Vol. 2 (see event page here). I went to their first event back in October and I found some real gems. I won't be able to make it to this one as I'll be on a plane to Mongolia, so please have fun for me.

Rug Lane has shared my vintage shopping guide, so take a peek.

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