Ultraviolet Vibes

I’ve been feeling pretty invisible on the blogosphere lately, and I blame it on the new year. I guess that’s one thing I have in common with the Pantone color of the year, ultraviolet.

Let’s make things clear, she’s not your basic purple. Ultraviolet is way beyond the “V” in Roy G. Biv. Our girl UV is off the visible spectrum, a radiation with a wavelength shorter than visible light. Shorter wavelengths, means, in short, that she’s invisible. So if you’ve ever wanted to be visible and invisible at the same time, now’s your chance.

My UV rays simply radiate in this bold jewel-toned hue that penetrates the winter’s cool cloudy days. This vintage St. John sweater offers just the right amount of texture that pops against a neutral color backdrop of camel, navy, and a splash of leopard print. For a regal pairing, I accessorized with collars galore – a gold-toned collar necklace and the softest of fur collars to adorn my neck. Here I am, clearly visible in invisible light.

This ultraviolet is ultra chic, no SPF needed.

vintage St. John sweater (similar here & here) | vintage trousers (similar) | Urban Outfitters pumps (similar) | vintage coat (similar) | vintage necklace (similar)

 

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)

The (flower) Power Suit: Part 1

I love me an 80s themed party. There’s just something inherently fun about getting decked out in the most ridiculous fashion (leg warmers, stirrup pants, Members Only jackets – pick your poison) and dancing to Madonna and The Cure that gets me pumped up.

For these reasons, I have a love/hate relationship with vintage fashion from this decade. I love it because some of the silhouettes from the 1980s are borrowed from the 1940s. I hate it because everything else is…quite “interesting” looking, to say the least.

Luckily for all you 80s fashion lovers out there, I found myself with feelings of love when I purchased this silk flower power suit (for only $6!). I fell in love with the brightly colored pattern; it looks almost like flower camouflage. Although this suit is like, totally 80s, I was able to overlook it after I detached the shoulder pads. Originally a double-breasted jacket, I removed the second row of buttons to give it an asymmetrical flair. I enjoy the subtle side peplum on the jacket, which is a 1940s silhouette. And who doesn’t love a pencil skirt? Certainly not I.

I pity the fool who wears a suit as a…..suit.

Happy April Fools’ Day! Did you really think I would wear this ensemble as it was meant to be worn? Stay tuned if you want to see how I wear these as separates.

Red + Green Holidaze

There’s an elephant in the room and it isn’t white. Because white shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day, duh.

If you’re wondering what to wear to that white elephant party, look no further than your Christmas tree. The red, green, and sparkle that are associated with the holiday’s décor can be applied to your outfits as well. This is the only time of year that you can pull off these color combinations while being appropriately called the Grinch, Santa, or a Ho (ho ho). I’ve been nice and naughty; may I have hot coal with that?

Red and green can be effectively worn together with careful accessorizing. I cheated with this awesome 80s dress that has pops of bright red roses with olive green foliage, purchased at Salvation Army during one of their regular weekend sales (50% off all clothes!). All it needed was some TLC: I removed the shoulder pads, reinforced the buttons, washed, and pressed it. I didn’t think my outfit screamed Christmas until someone at work exclaimed, “What a great holiday dress!”

This dress is an example of 1980’s “power dressing.” As more women started to enter the work force in that decade, the emergence of shoulder pads became in vogue in order for women to feel equal to their male counterparts. The rise in shoulder pad popularity correlates with women’s increasing role in the work place, as evidenced in the 1940s war era as well. In fact, some fads synonymous with 1980s fashion can be traced back to the 1940s.

To soften the power-dress look and stay warm in the frosty weather, I added a vintage knit sweater cape with gold detail buttons that I found at Mercy Vintage. As there are no visible tags, I can only imagine it was lovingly knit by some adorable granny in her rocking chair with a pet cat named Sylvester at her feet. I completed the look with herringbone fishnets and a pair of high platform peep-toe pumps with rhinestone details to keep the outfit from looking dated. All I am missing is a poinsettia or mistletoe brooch on my cape.

Santa, I hope I don’t get stuck with a shake weight this year.

The Grinch