Feast Your Eyes

I hope you can agree with me that there is much to be thankful for in life. If you have decent friends and family (minus the crazy aunt), then chances are you already have come up in life. But sometimes the going gets tough, and when it does, I often remind myself that things could be worse. And by worse I mean succumbing to gym clothes for Thanksgiving dinner.

Yes, stretchy gym clothes are quite comfortable, I agree. Yet gym clothes have their place in the gym, and there are alternative ways to stay comfy without compromising style. Whether you’re attending a Thanksgiving dinner with family, or enjoying a potluck Friendsgiving, be sure to steal the feast’s spotlight by being a feast for the eyes! Who says you can’t be well dressed while being well fed?

Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce will be consumed, with food stains sure to follow. Black will be the color of choice. Not only can it withstand the stain of spilled red wine, its slimming effect will be much relief after so much gluttony.

Between a figure forgiving shift dress or a glammed up pair of jogger pants, the choice is up to you. Just remember that gratitude is the best attitude, so wear it on your sleeve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Layers Lockdown

Dear Diary,

I have a confession to make: I’m in love with layers.

I remember my very first diary. It had teddy bears on the cover accompanied with the words “Bear Song.” In it I bared my soul. Pages and pages riddled with my cutesy juvenile penmanship declaring my schoolgirl crushes, bemoaning the trials and tribulations of friendships, worrying about good grades and other #13yearoldproblems. To prevent prying eyes from stumbling upon my innermost thoughts and feelings, my diary was secured by a lock. I wore the key around my neck and close to my heart for safekeeping.

It is silly to believe that flimsy little lock could really keep my secrets secure. If anyone wanted to break into my diary, a hairpin or strong yank on the lock would do it. While I no longer have use for a diary, I have discovered an alternate use for that lock. I found these diary locks for dirt-cheap by the handful, and re-purposed them into something wearable. 1 chain + 1 skeleton key + multiple locks = 1 fabulous innuendo laden necklace. A statement piece for sure, it makes a great addition to my layered autumn outfit.

Multiple layers begs the question, how to mix and match? The answer is to stay awash with neutrals of navy, grey, tan, and taupe – a color palette that is perfect for the season.

My dad’s wool cardigan vest coupled with my cotton knit cardigan provided just the right amount of warmth I needed with minimal bulk. I recently wore this outfit to brunch on a cool overcast morning. By the afternoon, the sun had broken through the clouds, and my body temperature was 98 degrees and rising. Luckily, all I had to do was peel back my layers like an onion to keep my cool.

It is safe to say I’ve got this layered look on lockdown. But with so many locks and just one ill-fitting skeleton key, what should I do?

Wait, I have an idea. Call a locksmith!


vintage sweater vest (similar) / BDG cardigan (similar) / BDG moto jeans (similar) / Alternative tee (similar) / Hinge oxfords / vintage necklace (similar)

Autumn Layers

Sweater Weather

Darkness now encroaches earlier each day in the northern hemisphere thanks to daylight savings, and the weather is changing whether I like it or not. Yet I still refuse to succumb to this sweater weather. How will I transition my dress wearing ways with winter on the horizon? All hail the sweater dress as the heroine for this style conundrum!

Sweater dresses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you prefer a chunky longer version of a sweater top, a fit and flare silhouette, cable knit, or fine gauge, there’s a sweater dress for every body shape.

Try wearing a sweater dress with bare legs and a pair of heels for now – if you dare. It won’t be long until boots and tights are needed to stay cozy on a dreary winter day. It’s a cinch with a belt if you’d like.

What other dress can boast to keep you looking stylish, while staying warm and comfortable? You’ll want to wear these cozy beauties until they’re threadbare.

Sweater Dresses

 

1. Alfani cable knit cowl neck 2. Merona drop waist 3. Belted cowl neck  4. Calvin Klein ribbed & belted
5. Calvin Klein ribbed fit & flare 6. Jessica Simpson cable knit 7. LAmade colorblock 8. MINKPINK Chalet Girl
9. Eliza J fit & flare 10. Topshop 11. Treasure & Bond 12. Betsey Johnson plaid fit & flare

Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

It is often said that the zodiac sign Pisces teeter between the worlds of reality and fantasy, so I’m pretty sure Queen was singing about us – or maybe not. As a Pisces, I know first hand of what it’s like to have my head in the clouds. I often daydream about being a starving artist living the vagabond life or being a performer on stage. I’ve been told I’m eccentric, and I know my thinking can be a little offbeat. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Pisces, or perhaps it’s because I’m the middle child – in any case, I march to my own beat, and that beat is my bohemian rhapsody.

A rhapsody like that deserves that 70s dress, and I found such a dress for only five dollars at a garage sale. The wild floral paisley print and the relaxed figure forgiving silhouette all epitomize 1970s bohemian style. I imagine it might have lived la vie bohème in a past life before it met me. I accessorized accordingly with a wide brimmed wool hat, some bangles, and my vintage 1970s wedge sandals. If there’s something a bohemian styled outfit needs, it’s a noisy coin charm bracelet. The jingling on my wrist caused more commotion than the coins on a belly dancer’s hips. And my hips don’t lie…or do they?

Although everyone has just one of them days, the day I wore this dress was certainly no rhapsody in blue. I was flagged by a street style photographer – finally some recognition for an outfit well done!

I parked my butt right next to the “no parking” sign and started posing. The only other thing just as free flowin’ as me was the wind I had to battle during this photoshoot. But instead of fighting it, I used it to my advantage because that’s what Pisces do best: we go with the flow.

Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me.


Uniqlo hat (similar hat) / vintage dress (similar dress here, here, and here) / vintage Natural Comfort shoes (similar shoes) / vintage charm bracelet (similar bracelet)

bohemian

Charlie Girl

The bowler hat. The frumpy suit. That mustache. I’m talking about none other than The Tramp himself, Charlie Chaplin.

charlie

As a child, Chaplin and his mother people watched together and she would imitate the passers-by as a way to entertain him. From her he learned how to express emotions using his hands and face with utmost precision. Through his observations of people, he developed a keen sense of how to read his audience so that he could react to their reactions. It is no wonder that Chaplin was a master of his craft, and he is certainly regarded as one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

I consider myself a fairly funny gal amongst friends and family, and my small desire to be a performer led me to dabble in a few improv classes. However, in a room full of strangers, I found my normally silly self wanting to hide in the corner of the room. Allowing myself to be an inanimate object, make non-sensical sounds, pantomime, and be uninhibited in goofiness was more than I expected and far more difficult than I imagined. Charlie had me fooled – being funny definitely requires technique and practice. Perhaps I shouldn’t quit my day job just yet and stick to what I do best.

This shirt hit my funny bone the moment I picked it off the rack at a vintage shop during my summer trip to Portland. Sometimes I enjoy me a loose fitting boyish shirt, and this retro bowling blouse did just that. Flowers for me? Oh Charlie, you shouldn’t have! This shirt also has an unexpected surprise, but you have to wait for my exit. When I turn my back, there Charlie is, in all his bumbling glory. I prefer myself sans mustache, but I managed to channel Charlie’s look with a mini hat and umbrella cane.

Maybe it was the shirt or the balloons, but things got goofy real fast during this photoshoot. Silence isn’t my strongest suit since I usually talk the talkie, but this was my attempt at putting my improv skills to the test.

Tramp around in heels I often do, yet tramp I certainly am not!


vintage blouse (similar blouse) / Urban Outfitters jeans (similar jeans) / thrifted oxfords (similar oxfords) / mini hat fascinator (similar fascinator)

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta
“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.” – Oscar de la Renta

He could’ve just as easily said “walk with confidence” but that would be banal, wouldn’t it?

Indeed, everything about the late designer Oscar de la Renta is full of style and grace. Born into a family of diplomats and businessmen, he was almost destined to go down the same path. Luckily, his mother encouraged him to pursue his dreams in the arts, which he did, and later found his passion in fashion. From his apprenticeship at Balenciaga to his later work at Lanvin and Elizabeth Arden, de la Renta gained the skills and experience necessary to lay the foundation to become one of the most famed couturiers and ready to wear designers today.

De la Renta leaves behind the legacy of his great fashion empire, one that spans five decades. He once said, “My role as a designer is to make a woman feel her very best.” Indeed, that couldn’t be more true. From dressing famous celebrities to First Ladies, de la Renta’s gowns have always been timeless, classic, and elegant as the women who wore them.

Thank you for blessing the world with your incredible talent.

Illustrious Luster

Miss Mary Mack ain’t got nothin’ on my gold buttons.

This jacket was a recent acquisition from my vintage shopping adventures in Portland over the summer. The babydoll-esque silhouette and statement buttons tells me that this piece could possibly date back to the early 1960s. I immediately fell in love with the shiny gold buttons, and while the chest pocket is too tiny to hold anything, it adds a small amount of charm to the jacket nonetheless. The jacket’s lightweight hand and classic ivory color will make it a perfect companion for many dressy occasions to come. It definitely deserves to be worn with something equally pretty, luminous, and rad – perhaps a little plaid?

I often associate plaid with button up shirts and preppy pleated school girl skirts, but this sheath plaid dress proved me wrong. I rarely fancy a pastel palette, but the lustrous sheen of the silk shantung made this dress rather fancy. Although not quite as fitted as a sheath should be (oh the downsides to shopping vintage!), it’s no problem that a simple belt can’t fix.

To show off the dress or the jacket? That is the question. But buttons this big are virtually fumble proof. I guess I should loosen up my buttons and show off my guns. And no, I ain’t frontin.


vintage jacket (similar) / vintage Erez Levy dress (similar) / Nina pumps / vintage purse (similar) / vintage crystal bead cluster earrings (similar) / vintage crystal bead necklace (similar)

Schoolgirl Rock!

I am a far cry from a school girl’s age, and it’s not even Halloween yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dress like one – as long as it is in Olympia Le-Tan‘s good taste.

Le-Tan is known for her whimsically embroidered clutches, inspired by famous book covers such as Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, and the like. These books you will want to read cover to cover. Her needle point is definitely on point, and her quirky style translates well into her Spring 2015 RTW collection.

Knee high socks, embroidered composition book clutches, and a literal pencil skirt all teeter on the edge of cheeky, and could possibly get me sent to the principal’s office.

These looks are so fetch – dare I wear any of this to the office? I might elicit more of a response from my colleagues than the sound of nails on a chalkboard, but I’ll wear anything to catch the eye of my school girl crush.

Aloha Summer, Aloha Autumn

Autumn has officially begun, but the weather lately has me thinking otherwise. It’s been warm and muggy, and the humidity in the air isn’t doing my hair any justice. Am I in the Bay Area or am I in Hawaii? Actually, let me rescind that statement – even Hawaii doesn’t experience humidity like this.

The first time I went to Hawaii, I participated in all the touristy activities you can think of. When one is in the Aloha State, one attends a luau, eats spam musubi, and dons a sarong. Ah yes, my first authentic Hawaiian sarong! It was a pale tie dyed yellow one with painted flowers that I absolutely loved. However, as soon as I returned home, the poor sarong never saw the light of day again. To it I say “mahalo” for keeping me covered up and preventing sand from getting into my beach bum.

It has been years since I set foot in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get into the aloha state of mind. While there is no appropriate situation to wear a sarong around here, I’ve somehow amassed a collection of vintage Hawaiian dresses to take its place. From maxi dresses to mini dresses, and even a blouse, the only thing missing from my collection is a muumuu.

This 1960s beauty was likely a maxi dress, until some previous owner transformed it into a mini shift dress. The blue and green hues remind me of the clear blue water on the Hawaiian shores. I love the unexpected splashes of red on the dress, and accented them with my red peep-toe pumps. Remember fellas, a flower behind her left ear means she is taken, but behind the right ear means she is single. How about a huge tissue paper flower fascinator as big as her head? It means she’s a fashionista, so be dressed to impress.

If this dress doesn’t get me lei’d, I don’t know what will. Why, a plane ticket to Hawaii of course.

vintage Hawaiian dress (similar dress) / Seychelles peeptoe pumps (similar shoes) / vintage earrings (similar earrings) / DIY tissue paper flower

Watercolor Wallflower

Forget nap time, hopscotch, or storytelling – my most favorite activity in kindergarten by far was spent at the art easel. I channeled my inner Bob Ross and must have painted at least one happy little cloud in one of the dozen masterpieces I created that year. Oh, the joy of painting.

I often painted abstractly with geometric shapes and had a preference for symmetry, so one of my paintings ended up resembling a pizza with the most unusual toppings. The one thing all my paintings had in common was the fact that they were very drippy. At age five, I didn’t understand how to control the value contrasts of my paint with the amount of water on my brush that caused my sad pizzas, and therefore, I was sad. While I was aiming for Georgia O’Keeffe, my abstract pizza painting was something more like the beginnings of a Salvador Dali painting, saddened by the effect of the unintentional drippy paint. At least that’s what the persistence of memory tells me.

Since then, I’ve brushed off the actual brushes preferring instead to wear works of art. To this watercolor floral dress I say: I’ve found a masterpiece in you, a work of art it’s true.

I bought this dress on the clearance rack at Ross a long time ago, and while the conservative silhouette is ideal for the office, I actually wore it to a wedding recently. I have a reputation for busting a move or two on the dance floor, but the sheath silhouette restricted my movement a bit, and I found myself standing on the sidelines.

Chic Vic is never typically a wallflower, but if I’m gonna be one, then I better look my damn best. Shoooot, I make this brick wall look good.


J.Crew cardigan / Nine West dress (similar dress, dress, & dress) / Anthropologie heels (similar heels & heels) / vintage purse (similar purse)