Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Against The Rules

Here's an old garment that has had new life breathed into it. This floral minidress started out as a romper back in the early 90's, with me as its original owner. I remember purchasing it at Express back when they were still a fairly new chain, and I remember it being one of my favorite things to wear. After I decided that it was out of date and no longer wearable I still couldn't manage to part with it, so I packed it away in a dress bag and stashed it under the bed. Last month I thought it'd be fun to pull out that collection of clothes and see if anything could be restyled; among those old things I found this and another floral romper, plus the velvet vest I wore a few weeks ago. After well over a decade they suddenly looked wearable again, albeit with some modifications in the case of the rompers.

I got the idea to turn this into a dress from Erin over at Work With What You've Got. She did the same thing with a romper and it looked so cute I had to give it a try myself (it was actually her post that prompted me to brave the dust bunnies and pull the dress bag out from under the bed in the first place). Sure, I know it's against the 'rules' to re-wear a trend you sported the first time around, but hey, the trend back then was rompers, whereas this is a dress. And there's nothing exclusively 90's about floral dresses, now is there?

Also, I'm pretty damn stoked that I still fit into the same things I wore when I was 22. If that's not reason enough to break the rules, what is?

Silk shirt: thrifted
Romper: Express
Tights: Sock Dreams
Boots: Fly London

Monday, March 30, 2009

Popsicle Toes

It felt really great to put on sandals with no tights today, but as I feared it's still just a smidge too chilly for exposed feet, and I ended up with frozen toes when the evening breeze picked up. Walking to my car after work I was reminded of that cheesy 70's song called Popsicle Toes, and then I was truly unhappy indeed.

These jeans, however, are just the thing for a spring look that still keeps out the chill. If I'd worn some socks, this outfit would have been weather-perfect.

Jacket: Vintage
Shirt: H&M
Jeans: Dittos
Shoes: Camper

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Since it's now the weekend and I'm no longer in blogging mode, I'll keep this post brief and just skip straight to the details...

Jacket: Forever 21
Dress: J. Crew
Belt: Anne Klein
Tights, socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: John Fluevog

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This amazing cape was another find from the Vintage Expo over the weekend. Despite my unbridled shopping habits I was relatively restrained at the expo, and only brought home 3 clothing items for myself: the mod yellow and gray set I wore on Tuesday, this cape, and a little plaid vest that still needs some alterations before it's ready to be worn. The rest of my purchases at the expo were vintage silk flowers that will be used in trimming my hats, which will all be for sale in the near future.

The cape is reversible and has a removable hood, which I left at home today. As it turned out the cape was the perfect outerwear for the sunny-chilly weather; and as with Tuesday's outfit, I fear I may have limited opportunities for wearing it again before next fall.

Cape: vintage
Strapless top: Mica
Skirt: Merona
Shoes: Camper

Corporate T-Shirt Challenge

Yesterday we had an unofficial "Wear Your Company T-Shirt To Work" day. Now, I work for a company in which it's perfectly acceptable to wear T-shirts to work EVERY day, so for most people this really isn't that big a deal. But since T-shirts are not part of my normal repertoire, I was perfectly willing to just ignore the whole thing and pretend I'd forgotten it. However, on my way out on Tuesday evening I just happened to run into my boss, who just happened to casually mention something along the lines of, "If anyone could make a giant, boxy T-shirt look fashionable, it would be you." My ego and my pride both being at stake, I decided to accept the challenge.

So here is my effort. I actually didn't have any corporate T-shirts in my possession, since the ones that have been distributed since I joined the company were all huge enough to pass directly on to my stepdad, so I had to 'borrow' one from a coworker. She thankfully gave me full license to modify it as I saw fit, so I cut out both the sleeves and the neck. In order to give it some shape, I paired it with skinny jeans and a belt. It might not have looked very fashionable, but at least it was more flattering.

Hat: A gift from Kimberly
Drape-neck shirt: Sunhee Moon
Scarf: Ralph Lauren
Arm warmers: Sock Dreams
Belt: thrifted
Jeans: Joe's
Boots: vintage

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dead Stock

I got a lot of compliments on this outfit at work today. And really, what's not to love about a mid-1960's dress and jacket set that hasn't ever been worn until today?? I found this at the Vintage Fashion Expo over the weekend, and the sales lady told me it was 'dead stock' -- apparently an item that is unworn but vintage. I'm pretty certain that I gasped upon rooting this out of a tightly-packed rack of garments; I may have even emitted a squeal of joy as well. Even Mark had to agree that this one was made for me.

I was extra motivated to wear this set today because with the increasingly springy weather, I feel like my window of opportunity for wearing a thick, lined wool dress might be closing for the season. And anyway, this bright lemon yellow is just perfect for spring, while the dress itself is plenty warm and insulated for the still chilly temperatures.

I think I prefer the outfit with the jacket on but left open, though I've included a picture of it closed as well so that you can see the shape of the jacket. I also love the fact that the jacket is designed to be flasher-length -- that is, longer than the dress it's made to be worn over.

Turtleneck: H&M
Tights: Sock Dreams
Boots: Fly London

Monday, March 23, 2009

Faux Wrap

I was very excited to give this skirt its first wearing today because I altered it myself. Well ok, altering in this case only involved moving 2 buttons and the small strap at the waistband over about an inch, but still. Sewing isn't really my strongest skill, and this is the first thrifted item needing alteration that I haven't promptly dumped off at the tailor's. For some reason I'm somewhat nervous about putting a piece of clothing under the sewing machine, perhaps because I have a latent fear of damaging it beyond repair. I think what saved me in this case was the fact that no cutting of fabric was required.

The skirt is a lightweight wool blend and is a faux wrap style. That front overlapping part is actually just a fold; the aforementioned strap and buttons cause the fabric to fold on itself and create that long pleat, but the skirt is a continuous piece of fabric rather than having 2 ends that overlap one another. Thus, no kilt pin is required here for the sake of modesty. I have to say I like this design a whole lot better than a regular wrap skirt.

I've had this floral top for ages but rarely wear it because its short length and lace back make it tough to work with. This bright turtleneck filled in the open back and kept me warm while still looking springy and fun.

Hat: Seeberger
Turtleneck: H&M
Floral top: La Redoute
Skirt: thrifted
Tights, socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Seychelles, via Solestruck
Cardigan: ??
Handbag: Tracy Reese

Friday, March 20, 2009

Star Spangled Banner

I haven't worn this little jacket in ages because a button fell off long ago and I was too lazy to sew it back on. Today I finally got around to it and what do you know, it only took me about 2 minutes to complete the task.

I like the nautical theme going on here with the stripes and the red, white and blue. In order to keep me from looking like a walking Star Spangled Banner though, I mixed up the colors a little with these rust colored tights, which just arrived yesterday from Sock Dreams. They're a super soft, stretchy cotton blend, and they feel great. I think they'll be light and breathable enough to wear on chillier days during the summer, which we get a lot of in San Francisco. The tights come in a lot of different colors, so I'm sure I'll be ordering more. At $24, I'd consider these to be a really good deal for quality tights.

Hat: Not sure, but probably San Diego Hat Co.
Jacket: Crystal Candy
Shirt: H&M
Skirt: Old Navy
Tights: E.G. Smith
Shoes: Born

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Brighter Shade of Teal

I've had this cardigan for well over a year now and this is the first time I've worn it. I've tried; oh, believe me I've tried. For some reason it just hasn't quite worked in any combination until now, perhaps because it's a brighter shade of teal than anything else I own, which makes it tough to tie into an outfit. I'm glad I didn't give up in frustration and get rid of it, because I like the way it brings out the grass green in this beautiful (and as far as I can tell, unworn) J. Crew shirt that I found a couple weekends ago at Goodwill.

Hat: Alternative Design Studio
Shirt: J. Crew, thrifted
Cardigan: Solemio
Trousers: Anthropologie
Shoes: Gabriella Rocha

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cold Enough for a Jacket

I have to confess that I don't really understand the notion of short-sleeved jackets from a functional standpoint. So your torso is cozy and warm, but your arms are freezing, because... well, because it's cold enough for a jacket, isn't it? This particular jacket, adorable as it is, usually leaves my poor arms in goosebumps all day while the rest of me is on the verge of sweating; hence I don't wear it very often. Today though, it was the perfect way to top off this contrasty outfit. I love how all the piping almost makes this look like a suit.

Jacket: Kenzie
Blouse: Caramel, via Red Dress Shoppe
Belt: came with an F21 top
Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: BCBGirls

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Looks Like Candy

I thought it was high time that Georgie made another appearance on the blog, especially since she just had a bath last night and is looking particularly fetching. As you can see she likes to lick clothing; usually it's shoes or your pant leg, but since my belt was all she could reach today I guess it was an acceptable substitute. That Georgie has some interesting habits, to be sure.

My jewelry and shoes all look like candy today, with the bright colors and shiny finishes. The enamel necklace was a gift from Jess and is 2-sided; the larger circle has navy blue on one side and red on the other, while the smaller circle is yellow and orange. I love getting a gift that shows just how well someone knows your taste; this was one of those gifts. The turkey vulture necklace is from Seattle but I now can't remember the name of the designer (it might actually be the same as the enamel necklace, but I can't be sure). The earrings are made of red coral; Mark bought them for me during our Christmas trip to the Yucatan. Normally I'm not a huge fan of anything with hearts on it, but I instantly fell in love with the deep red color and asymmetrical curves of these.

Shirt/dress: Thrifted
Gray shirt: H&M
Obi belt: Sunhee Moon
Skirt: ??
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Camper
Enamel Necklace: Orange Peel Enamel

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Free Pair

This beautiful new pair of shoes arrived last week, courtesy of the lovely folks at Solestruck. When they offered me a free pair, I was of course intrigued, but when I started perusing their selection it quickly became apparent that choosing them was going to be quite a task. I ended up with a long list that ultimately got pared down to these. I think I made the right choice -- these adorable brogues by Seychelles fit perfectly and were really comfortable to wear, even with a lot of walking today.

In my thorough investigation of the Solestruck site, I came across loads of great deals among their selection of sale items. The store carries many of my favorite brands such as Camper, Bronx, Steve Madden, and Mia, but in the end I'm glad I went with the Seychelles because it gave me an opportunity to try out a brand I didn't have any experience with before. Now that I know how comfy they are, I'll definitely be purchasing more Seychelles shoes, having seen many a cute style by them before.

Acting on the advice of a number of my readers, I secured this wrap skirt with a kilt pin today, which definitely solved the problem of the skirt flying open in the wind. I'm still not quite satisfied with this skirt though, and I'm trying to think of ways to modify it to give it a more interesting and less conservative shape. I'm thinking of adding some sort of folds or pleats in the front to make the plaid hang at different angles. Hopefully the next time you see this skirt it will look less boring.

Scarf: import store
Sequin top: vintage
Jacket: La Redoute
Skirt: thrifted
Tights: Falke
Shoes: Seychelles

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fueling My Desire

Today I was accosted by a woman in the cafeteria who just had to tell me that these were the cutest shoes she'd EVER SEEN. Did she realize she was just fueling my desire to purchase another pair of John Fluevogs? They have so many adorable new styles right now that are just melting my heart; I may need to invest in a new pair soon.

Today's unlikely mixture of colors is held together by the jewelry, which contains navy, green, and teal. I added the red belt for a little shock of contrasting color, since the whole outfit is fairly washed out otherwise. The green jacket is thrifted; originally it had one really ugly brass button that by itself didn't hold the jacket closed in a very flattering way. My local tailor added another buttonhole for me and I replaced the buttons with these cute anchor motif ones. They were very bright and shiny when I bought them, but I 'antiqued' them by holding them over a flame until they blackened, wiping off the excess soot, and then sealing them with a clear resin.

Hat: Seeberger
Cardigan: H&M
Dress: Noa Noa
Belt: Anne Klein
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: John Fluevog
Jewelry: ?? wish I could remember

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I've had these amazing Fluevog boots for a few years now, but rarely do they ever make an appearance at work. With most outfits I feel like they're a little too dominatrix to be work-appropriate, but with this one they add just the right amount of edginess without the whole outfit being too over-the-top. I also like the way they accentuate the curves of my legs, which helps offset the very angular jacket.

The jacket is from the 80's and is one I picked up a few weekends ago at Goodwill. Normally I steer clear of any of the resurging 80's looks, having been a participant in some of the most unfortunate of 80's trends the first time around. Had this jacket been longer I'd have recoiled from it in horror, but the wide shoulders combined with the cropped length and fitted waist gives the jacket a 40's flair, which I quite like. And since the dress is very straight and somewhat clingy, the shoulder pads in the jacket help to fill out my top half. I added the skirt underneath the dress to bring just a little more volume to the lower hem -- balance is everything, especially when shoulder pads are involved.

Jacket, dress: thrifted
Necklace: H&M
Skirt: LA Made
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: John Fluevog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

70's Boots

I found these boots on eBay a few weeks back but haven't worn them to work until today. My first thought upon seeing them was, "Wow, those are cool!" My second thought was, "Wow, they're sort of hideous!" With these two thoughts in my head I decided to take no action. A few days went by and I thought about them a little more. And then they haunted me in my dreams. I kid you not. The next morning I bought them.

I was inspired to wear this outfit today after seeing Karen's post about how unflattering patchwork is. I'm sure Karen is right; in fact I'm about 99% convinced that these boots are unflattering in every way. That doesn't stop me from loving them to pieces though. I love them all the more because I suspect they are actually men's boots, which leads me to picture a guy, probably of small stature since he fits a woman's 8.5, in a wide-collar satin shirt, tight jeans, and these boots. Maybe he was a hustler of some kind, or perhaps he fancied himself an urban cowboy. Either way these boots have somehow found their way from his swinging 70's hipness all the way to their loving new home in San Francisco.

Another noteworthy item in this outfit is the vintage brooch, which I picked up last weekend in Seattle. It's a Trifari jelly belly, which apparently makes it a collectors item. I was only vaguely aware of the brand until I found this brooch, but since then I've looked them up online and discovered that some of these pieces are going for $1200 or more. Mine was nowhere near that price, but frankly of all the ones I looked at I think this is the cutest, collectors item or no.

This crazy houndstooth jacket is another recent thrift store score; I think I got it for $2 when Goodwill was having their sale. I didn't really plan for all my thrift store purchases to go together this well, it just sort of worked out that way. If anything could compete with the outrageousness of the boots, it's certainly this jacket.

Hat: purchased in Hamburg, Germany
Turtleneck: thrifted
Green shirt: F21
Jacket: thrifted
Belt: local import store
Skirt: thrifted (shortened)
Boots: vintage

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jury Duty

Today I had to report for jury duty, so I chose the most comfortable of my pre-planned outfits since I was walking to and from the courthouse. Mercifully the parties involved decided to settle out of court, but not before many an hour was whiled away in mind-numbing boredom. On the upside, it was a gorgeous day to get out and do a little walking, and this outfit was just perfect for the sunny but slightly chilly weather.

The orange tunic, striped top, and plaid skirt are all from my weekend shopping excursion in Seattle. The tunic is super soft and drapey, and I like the way the striped shirt shows through the thin fabric. It's from a great little shop in the Capitol Hill area called Retail Therapy, which I always make a point to visit whenever I'm in town. The skirt and top are both from Target, which I hardly ever go to when I'm home because there aren't any stores within San Francisco city limits. I had no idea that they were selling such cute clothes these days; I also bought an adorable dress as well as a couple turtlenecks I picked up on sale for something like $3.39 each.

Hat: a gift from Kimberly
Shirt: Merona
Tunic: Skunkfunk
Scarf: Banana Republic
Skirt: Merona
Tights: Noa Noa
Shoes: Camper

Monday, March 9, 2009

One Skirt 3 Ways: Day 3

Here's the third and final day of outfits for Jane's skirt challenge. This is the outfit I was supposed to wear last week, but thought was too casual for the meeting I had to attend. With this one I let the skirt peek out beneath this long denim dress in order to add some femininity to the otherwise rugged looking outfit.

Over the weekend in Seattle I spent a lot of time shopping with Jess and our friend Lisa. With this trip I was focused mainly on finding some silver necklaces and colorful turtlenecks. By the end of the weekend I'd crossed off all the items on my list and then some. The jewelery, which I added to the outfit at the last minute this morning, were part of the haul. The enamel necklace is reversible; the other side has the same pattern but with the black and white areas reversed. Lisa has one by the same designer and I have long coveted it; finally I have my own.

Hat: San Diego Hat Co.
Dress: thrifted
Shirt: La Redoute
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: Noa Noa
Leggings: American Apparel Boots: vintage
Enamel necklace: Foxy
Multi-chain necklace, ring: H&M

Friday, March 6, 2009


I've had this lace-up velvet vest for ages and ages -- so long that it's probably now considered vintage by some people. I'd put it away and forgotten all about it, but the other night I decided to pull out some of my old dresses and such to see if anything in there might be of use to me now, and there it was, looking almost as good as the day I bought it. When I used to wear it long ago, it was part of a dressy, evening-only outfit, but I thought the vest would look better with a more casual ensemble instead. Adding it to this combination of mixed neutrals gives the whole outfit a dressier look without being too flashy.

Tonight I'm headed up to Seattle to spend the weekend with my dear friend Jess, who you may remember. I'll be back on Monday to complete Jane's skirt challenge. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Hat: Alternative Design Studio
Shirt: Banana Republic
Vest: vintage!
Skirt: H&M (shortened)
Black leggings: Kersh
Boots: Bata