Picnic Chic

There’s only one thing that can stand between me and grass stains. Think picnic.

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Red gingham print conjures up images of the quintessential picnic, complete with a wicker basket, a spread of delectable snacks and refreshments, and of course, a row of ants stealing crumbs of food in a perfect assembly line, just like in cartoons. And because nobody likes grass stains, all of this couldn’t take place without lying atop a cheery red and white gingham printed picnic blanket.

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Gingham was having a moment in the spring, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue into the summer. I looked past all the 80’s elements of this dress with a few snips, stitches, and simple modifications. With a thinner, more elegantly striped gingham pattern, who knew such sweetness could belie in a frilly, puffy sleeved, and shoulder padded number? I pinned open the otherwise buttoned up prude collar with a pretty little 60’s enamel daisy brooch. No wicker basket here, but a jute bucket bag will do just fine.

In the process of putting together this outfit, I remembered the flowers, but forgot my sandwich. I guess you can say I’m one sandwich short of a picnic.

shoes / hat / bucket bag / skirt / belt / blouse

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Pop Your Easter Collar

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Hardboiled, scrambled, or sunny side up? I personally like ’em easy – and for eggs, make that over easy.

Although I don’t participate in any egg hunts or other Easter festivities, I still like to dress the part in a floral spring dress. By the transformative power of my sewing machine, I turned this drab, superfluous fabric of a 1980s dress complete with shoulder pads, puffy sleeves, and prude ankle length into a flirty feminine sleeveless sundress. The oversized collar is so wide, it takes popping your collar to new heights.

I hate to dangle a carrot before you, but that’s all this bunny rabbit’s got for you today. Hoppy Easter!

Express cardigan (similar) / vintage dress (similar here & here) / Crown Vintage sandals (similar)

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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)

Leather Bermuda

Leather Bermuda, come on pretty mama.

Wearing white after Labor Day has been known to be a fashion faux pas, as it is the unofficial end of summer (it’s really September 23rd), but did you know there is a secondary reason? In the 1800s, socialites used forms of dress to differentiate themselves from the lesser elite, and this no white nonsense was just one of the many made up fashion standards adopted and rejected throughout history. Luckily, the no white after Labor Day rule has fallen out of fashion and we can wear whatever whenever our heart desires. And right now my heart desires a pair of white Bermuda shorts.

Bermuda shorts were first worn by the British Army as a way to deal with tropical temperatures. However, the term “Bermuda” shorts wasn’t coined until WW2, when there was a clothing shortage in Bermuda. The solution? They modeled their shorts after those of the British Army. Such shorts are also known as dress shorts since they are basically a pair of trousers in short form. Although I live in a mild climate, there are still 19 days of summer, so I don’t see any reason not to embrace the Bermuda short.

In honor of a post Labor Day white outfit, I went monochromatic white. Despite the wide leg, pleated front, the less than flattering behind, and just general man-repelling properties of these leather Bermuda shorts, I couldn’t resist purchasing them when they cost me only a dollar. Is there a Bermuda triangle back there or did my ass just magically disappear when I slipped this on? I offset the the shorts’ manly silhouette with a feminine silk blouse and a white clutch with gold accents that is so clutch. The result is a mock romper in head to toe white that would make those socialites turn in their graves.

Who wants to go to Kokomo?


Gap blouse (similar blouse) / thrifted leather bermuda shorts (similar bermuda shorts) / Guess pumps (similar pumps) / thrifted clutch bag (similar clutch bag)

Chambray for Days

Gonna dress me up in chambray, all over all over. From my head down to my toes.

I’ll be having naysayers of a head to toe chambray ensemble saying touché by the time I’m done with this post. I rarely go monochromatic in my outfits, but I was inspired by my recent purchase of a pair of chambray jogger pants. The natural lightweight hand of the soft fabric coupled with the relaxed pant silhouette means that I will be wearing these pants down to the threads.

I paired the jogger pants with my one and only chambray top and a wide belt to help create the illusion of a jumpsuit. I couldn’t have topped my look off better than with a chambray floppy hat. If my times tables is correct, and I’m normally pretty glam, then chambray x 3 = glambray, correct?

Chambray is the new neutral, which means this outfit is the perfect blank canvas to be punched up with some color. A lemony yellow cardigan helps brighten up the outfit with the all-over felted flowers acting almost as a print. Both the color and flower “pattern” of the cardigan helps compliment the solid monochromatic look. Checkout my chambray lookbook for ideas on how to piece together your head to toe chambray outfit.

Normally, I don’t like to over accessorize, but I couldn’t refrain from wearing this cute cork beaded necklace and earring set from the 1970s. Not only are the shades of Easter pastels enchanting, but the necklace itself is as light as a feather. I also couldn’t stay away from this darling 1960s daisy brooch. It serves a functional purpose to keep the floppy hat from being so floppy over my face.

I recently wore this outfit to a friend’s picnic in the park. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, and I got to mingle and meet new people. The best part was when I found out the bocce ball set she had brought matched my necklace precisely. I had a ball doing a photoshoot with them, so much that it caused a scene. I guess I’m just a ball hog.


H&M hat / Old Navy blouse (similar blouse) / Urban Outfitters pants (similar pants) / Natural Comfort shoes (similar shoes & shoes) / Fossil bag (similar bag) / vintage daisy brooch / vintage cork bead necklace & earrings

2 Legit Knits

I was saving this outfit for a rainy day but did not think that day would come so soon. Dress, tights, and boots – a combination I miss like the deserts miss the rain. So I must do like the dry Californian soil and drink up the wet weather opportunity while it is here.

This awesome 80s lacy eyelet nubby knit dress was another great find from Buffalo Exchange. The body-hugging silhouette combined with the light ivory color makes it possible to see everything going on underneath. I also had to worry about the short hemline. My simple solution: a pair of sweater tights. There’s nothing that a pair of knit tights or opaque leggings can’t fix, especially with short hemlines. The result is a knit on knit combination that is perfectly cozy and makes the outfit appropriate even for work. And that’s legit.

My warm and comfy ensemble wouldn’t be complete without a cozy jacket, so I reached for my canvas parka.  Although real shearling is warmest, this Sherpa lined collar will do just fine – plus, no sheep were harmed in the making of this coat. You can’t say baaaah humbug to that!

And that, my friends, is how you make a splash into the rainy days of spring.


Camaieu parka (similar parka) / vintage dress (similar dress) / Urban Outfitters tights (similar tights) / vintage boots (similar boots) / Urban Outfitters necklace (similar necklace) / Urban Outfitters watch (similar watch) / vintage belt (similar belt)

 

Dirty Flirty Birthday

When I was 17, I did what people told me. Did what my father said, and let my mother mold me. But now I’m in control ’cause I’m all growns up.


Today marks a milestone birthday. As I reflect on turning the dreaded “dirty,” I must give thanks to two of the most important people in my life: my mom and dad. They are the reason that the world is graced by my wonderful presence. It was their unspoken love, support, discipline, and sacrifice that has helped shaped me into the woman I am today.

It only felt natural to dedicate this birthday post to them by literally clothing myself in their clothes. These unwanted items were collected from their closets over the years. I bet they never foresaw their daughter to have such a keen interest in “old” clothes – the concept of vintage still falls on their deaf ears. I can only imagine how my mom used to wear this blouse and purse while toting my siblings and me around. Or my dad who only wears ties when attending a wedding and always dons a sweater vest under his shirts because he gets cold easily.

The similarly striped tie and blouse look as though they were made for each other. The direction of stripes going every which way makes the combination even more charming and keeps it from looking too intentional. My dad never saw the need to teach me how to tie a full Windsor knot, but I learned anyhow thanks to YouTube. I added gold toned and pearl accents for a touch of femininity to the balance out the “old man” sweater.

I can count on my mom to embrace me with a hug and my dad to bestow some words of wisdom on this day. No matter how many birthdays come and go, I will always be their little girl in their eyes who still has a lifetime of learning to do.

What can I say? I get it from my mama (and papa).


dad’s vintage sweater cardigan (similar men’s cardigan & women’s cardigan) / dad’s vintage tie (similar tie) / mom’s vintage blouse (similar blouse & blouse) / mom’s vintage Mervyn’s purse (similar purse) / Cooperative trouser skinnies (similar pants) / Pour La Victoire pumps (similar pumps) / vintage belt (similar belt) / vintage sweater clip (similar) / vintage earrings (similar earrings) / Express brooch (similar brooch)

Textural Context

Look first, and then touch.

It’s finally been cold enough for me to wear my beloved woolens that have been in hibernation all season. Time to work my pattern play magic – winter edition.

All of the elements in this outfit are great stand-alone pieces that beg for individual attention. You would think they clash together, but instead they actually cozy up quite well. This is thanks to the color palette of blues, grays, browns, and creams – all of which are neutrals and will always be in each other’s good company. The plaid print of this 1980s pleated skirt and the blazer’s checkerboard weave are both classic patterns that work together in sophisticated harmony.

To lighten up this winter woolen look, I opted for a lovely chiffon blouse. It adds an effortless airy touch to the outfit, and the Swiss dot pattern takes the sheer factor from humdrum to noteworthy. As much as I love pattern and texture, sometimes there is a need for solids. My solid opaque tights and cream beret add some balance to the otherwise texture rich outfit. Baby it’s cold outside, so why not layer on the hosiery? I chose to wear a lacy pair of ankle socks over my tights cause I’ve got fancy feet.

The resulting look is one that is visually stimulating and makes the eyes travel from head to toe. Whether it is the pleated wool, the woven checkerboard, or the textured chiffon, I bet this is one outfit you can’t keep your hands off of. What can I say? I’m easy on the eyes and oh so tactile, not to mention lovable too.


Urban Outfitters beret (similar) / Orofino blazer (similar) / Daniel Rainn blouse (similar) / vintage skirt (similar here & here) / lace ankle socks (similar) / Guess platform pumps (similar)

My Vest Friend Mickey

Oh Mickey you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!

Although I have never watched an episode of The Mickey Mouse Club, I still have a favorite Mouseketeer: Ryan Gosling. From an awkward boy to a fine man, he has certainly grown into his chin. Let’s take a moment to dwell on God’s gift to womankind, the best Mouseketeer there ever was.

I was still in diapers when I went on my first trip to Disneyland. Needless to say, my memories of the happiest place on earth are quite hazy. I’m sure my mom purchased this tee during that very trip there in the 1980s, but now it’s vintage and all mine. Time to pay homage to everyone’s favorite oversized rodent.

Make it denim and blues for this mouse, starting with a vest. I made the $15 inVESTment (on sale!) and have become best friends with this denim vest; one could say I am VESTed (I’ll stop it with the vest puns). The versatility of a denim vest is endless. The look and feel of the outfit can be determined by whatever sleeve you wear underneath, be it faux leather, camouflage, knit, or, as I have chosen, a ribbed solid color cardigan. We all know that behind every great mouse is… a great mouse. The little red bow is my tribute to Mickey’s better half, Minnie. Finish with a pair of skinnies rolled up to show off my red shoes, and I’m ready to stroll down Main Street, USA.

How I would like to be on the happiest place on earth right now. And by that, I mean on Ryan’s hot bod. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

Vintage Tee (similar new) / Levi’s Vest (similar) / William Rast jeans (similar) / Dr. Scholl’s shoes (similar) / Urban Outfitters cardigan (similar)

Circus Circus

Circus Tent

Come one, come all! I may be a lady, but let the freak show begin!

I went to my one and only circus show when I was ten years old. It was actually my dad who really wanted to attend, so he insisted on taking my sister and me. As much as I protested against going, I actually enjoyed the show – minus the smell of elephant poop.

While the circus I visited took place in an indoor arena, I am still enchanted by the whimsically striped circus tents from the olden days. The dizzying array of vertical and horizontal wide stripes on this dress is reminiscent of just that. The crisp blue and white can only be complemented by bold pops of cherry red in my belt and shoes. I kept all other accessories to a minimum except for a bracelet, a brooch, and a blue headscarf to match the blue stripes.

I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes: beneath this tent is the greatest show on earth. That’s what he said.

Where’s a lion tamer when you need one?


thrifted I. Magnin dress (similar) / thrifted Selby shoes (similar) / thrifted scarf (similar) / vintage brooch (similar) / red belt (similar)