You Had Me at Aloha

There isn’t a person I know who goes to Hawaii and has a terrible time. With the beautiful sunsets, clear blue waters, and soft sandy beaches, Hawaii is as close to paradise as it can get. Especially because anyone who travels there is bound to get lei’d.

I’ve always been on the lookout for something retro Hawaiian, and luckily found this lovely dress at Mercy Vintage.  It seemed to fit the bill without appearing too touristy. I love how the floral pattern has the qualities of a watercolor painting, and while not the typical Hawaiian hibiscus floral motifs that can often be found on sarongs and beach towels, the dress still evokes the aloha state.

I don’t know when I’ll visit paradise again, but I can at least look like it in this dress. Aloha, I’d like to get lei’d. Next, may I have a side of poke come through too?

vintage dress (similar here & here) / Me Too heels (similar) / vintage elephant necklace (similar)

Party Like a Rockstar

Or how about dress like one?

Mercy Vintage recently hosted a pop up shop featuring limited one of a kind items from the closet of Kim Gordon, rock icon from Sonic Youth.

It was a hot summer evening as a small crowd of people gathered into the cozy boutique. With a glass of spiked lemon ice tea in hand, and a plate of delectable pickled veggies in the other, my eyes devoured the sights of Kim’s clothes – all in perfect vintage condition and only at an arm’s length away. Marc Jacobs, Pucci, and Alexander Wang were amongst some of the designer duds for sale, as well as other vintage items.

I also couldn’t help but sift through the racks of Mercy’s regular merchandise. They have an amazing collection of dresses ranging from casual cotton day dresses to fancy chiffon and tulle fit for prom – no wonder I love shopping here. All of the frocks were so darling and I swear I heard one call out to me, “Chic Vic!” To my surprise, it was not a dress, but Brandy, the fashionista-confectionista blogger from Will Bake for Shoes. We oogled over which of Kim’s pieces were our favorites.

Alas, I was good to my pocketbook by not spending a dime, but I assure you this is one act you don’t want to miss out on.

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

Bonjour St. John

The blue dress. The mysterious stain. The French beret. Sound familiar?

Just a few things I have in common with Ms. Lewinsky, but it stops there.

If I had the choice, I would never wear pants. Allow me to rephrase that: If I had the choice, I would wear dresses everyday. But how to achieve this as the weather is getting colder and the daylight hours are shrinking? Three magic words: tights, knits, and knee-high boots.

I had never owned a knit dress in my closet, nor did I ever desire one, but that all changed when I found this vintage St. John dress at my favorite haunt, Mercy Vintage. They were having a sidewalk sale, and although it was a hot summer day, it did not deter me from trying this simple beauty on, sweat and all. It fit like a glove. There was a mysterious stain on it, but nothing a little elbow grease couldn’t get rid of.

St. John is world famous for their “Santana” knits, which is made from a yarn that is a mix of wool and rayon. This blend gives the knit a wrinkle resistant property. The founder, Marie St. John actually developed this technique as a way to stay fashionable without spending a fortune. Sound familiar?

I accessorized it with my souvenir scarf from Paris, and thought, why not make it a complete French look with a beret and a vintage flower broach? C’est parfait!

Now I’m craving some macaroons.