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

Pop Goes the Arteest

Pop quiz: What does Chic Vic enjoy in addition to poppin’ tags? Pop art!

As much as I’d like to believe that I’m artsy fartsy, I can’t say I’m in the know of what’s hip and happening in the art scene. However, as the occasional museum goer, I do appreciate aesthetically pleasing things. It’s hard for me to name my favorite art genre, but pop art is one category that easily pops into my mind.

Pop art was a movement that started in the 50s and 60s that challenged the norm.
The conventional art form at the time was fine art, which was generally very elite. Pop art was a countermovement to this, with the attitude that art should be accessible by everyone. Pop art employs the use of everyday commonplace objects and elements found in consumer culture and poses them as art in satirical ways – thereby making art more easily attainable for the average person. Famous pop artists include Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, and many others.

I recently attended a pop up shopping event, and among the sea of vendors, one particular shirt popped out at me. Indeed it was the vivid pop of color that caught my eye – it was a Roy Lichtenstein wannabe and I wanted it to be all mine. Lichtenstein is well known for his satirical humor based comic book inspired artwork, recognizable by his signature use of Ben-Day dots.

Drawing inspiration from this copycat Lichtenstein-esque tee shirt, I applied his comic book technique to my outfit and Ben-Day-ed myself. The polka dot scarf, the black and white multi-strand beaded necklace, and the perforated clutch bag all spotlight the Ben-Day dots and dotted embellishments all over the tee. Now

I love this look more than anything…


J.Crew cardigan (similar cardigan) / pop art tee (similar tee shirt) / Urban Outfitters pants (similar sailor pants) / vintage Nina pumps (similar pumps) / Gianni Bini clutch (similar clutch) / thrifted necklace (similar necklace) / thrifted scarf (similar scarf)

White Hot Heat

What’s long and hot?

Why, summer solstice of course! The first day of summer officially kicks off this weekend in the Northern Hemisphere. While it may not be the hottest day (although some places have experienced heat waves already), June 21st is the longest day of the year. With up to 16 hours of daylight, what will you be wearing? Better do it right and wear white.

There are many pitfalls to wearing white, namely red wine. Even if you aren’t particularly clumsy, you’re likely to be around someone who is. White can get stained easily, tends to become less white with age, and may also make you look larger than life. But even with all these caveats, isn’t it worth it for the color that keeps you the coolest under the hot summer sun?

It’s time for a new season, so why not get off to a fresh start with a clean white slate? Check out my white hot summer lookbook for key investment pieces that can transition easily from the daytime highs to warm summer night lows with just a few simple accessory edits. Like what you see? Get styled by me for free – details at Keaton Row.

The Little White Dress

 The White Hot Pant

The Little White Peplum

WOW Rosie!

If you don’t know Rosie the Riveter, she was the World War II poster girl that encouraged women everywhere to contribute to the war effort. As men lined up in droves to fight in the war, they left behind vacant factory jobs – a void that women filled. For the first time, women took on jobs traditionally reserved for men and experienced economic independence outside the home. The work they signed up for was no easy task either. It was often dangerous, and in addition to riveting, they also operated heavy tools, bagged gun powder, and made weapons such as rockets and bombs.

It is for these reasons that the famous image of Rosie remains a well known cultural icon. She blazed the way for independent women everywhere, and without even knowing it, also became a style heroine in her own right. Rosie is proof that fashion is not frivolous – instead, fashion is strongly connected to world events. Because women worked in factories during the war, they had to wear the appropriate pant and work shirt uniform. And ever since then, women everywhere have been able to share in the delight of putting on their pants one leg at a time, just like men.

I’ve been on a bit of a denim craze lately, mainly on the hunt for a denim trucker jacket. However, I stumbled upon this utilitarian jacket at Crossroads – it’s just the right type of denim jacket I never knew I was looking for. The pragmatic design seems appropriate for the modern day Rosie. For a more uniform look, I wore it with my new favorite pair of chambray jogger pants. A well worn in tee shirt with patches completes the “we can do it” look. Can’t you tell from the patches that I’m a classy lady? I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves to get my elbows dirty.

Of course, Rosie wouldn’t be without her headscarf. I’m thankful that this vintage headscarf is a fashion statement, and that I don’t actually need it to protect my hair from the flying sparks of a rivet gun. My flexed Rosie pose may not be as fierce as the poster girl, but I’m stronger than I appear.

Dare to look riveting!


vintage scarf (similar scarf) / thrifted Gap jacket (similar jacket) / Zara tee / Urban Outfitters jogger pant (similar jogger pant) / vintage Yoyo shoes (similar shoes and shoes) / airplane necklace (similar necklace)

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)

Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

In elementary school, I remember being forced to take awkward Polaroid mug shots for no reason. As a kid, my siblings and I would fight over using the Polaroid camera, and then watch in awe as it magically spit out the unprocessed image. It was pure magic to witness the pictures develop right before my eyes.

So with this nostalgia, I was elated to find this awesome tee shirt at a museum store during my visit to Toronto a few months back. I had long been looking for a cool “tourist” tee shirt – one with a graphic of a camera slung around the neck – and this one fit the profile perfectly. It was old school in all the right ways.

Lately my go-to casual outfit has been: graphic tee, blazer, jeans, strappy heels, and dog tags. This vintage yellow blazer added the right pop of color to an otherwise neutral palette. I wore this outfit to a quick casual dinner, and soon afterwards, I was ready to shake it like a Polaroid picture at a local bar without feeling too underdressed or too pretentious.

Who’s ready for their Polaroid mug shot?


personalized dog tags (similar) / vintage blazer (similar here + here) / graphic tee (similar) / Me Too shoes (similar)

Sin City Blackout

Meet Vixen Vic, my alter ego.

Last week I went to Las Vegas and committed the greatest cardinal sin of all: I didn’t pack enough accessories!

Specifically, I was missing a belt. I know what you’re thinking: after a couple of drinks and dancing to loud music in dimly lit clubs until sunrise, does anyone really care? I do.

Call me a prude if you may, but I am no friend to Vegas attire; dressing in as little as possible has never been my forte.

However, shopping in my closet yielded an appropriate solution: black short shorts (hey it’s just like running shorts right?) and a sheer black top (the chest pocket placement is not an accident). Add a dash of glitz, gold, and vintage – you’ve hit the jackpot in the city of sin. Oh craps, I should’ve worn a necklace. Send another gin and tonic to me at the penny slots please!

My favorite detail in this outfit: the filigree-like loopy 1960s gold earrings that I scored at a vintage market in Toronto.

I returned home with no photographic evidence of my trip there, because as we all know, “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Enough said.

Vixen Vic vs. Chic Vic – readers, what do you think?


Silence & Noise blouse (options here & here) / Silence & Noise shorts (options here & here)   Nine West Rocha Pumps / vintage earrings (options here & here) / vintage belt (similar)

Day to Night

Oh yes it’s ladies night and the feelin’s right.
Oh yes it’s ladies night, oh what a night.

How to transition an outfit from the 9-5 daily grind to an after work happy hour or girls’ night out? You can dress up a daytime casual piece for the evening, but my trick is to downplay an evening dressy piece for the daytime. I am ready to be your wingwoman.

Unless I was a cocktail waitress or Samantha from SATC, I would never wear this open back dress to work because it shows so much skin. My solution is to wear a blouse underneath the dress. Voila! Instantly work appropriate. I chose my momma’s vintage sheer blouse because the fabric is thin enough to be worn under the dress. To keep my look ultra conservative, I decided to wear black opaque tights and a pair of classic black pumps. My favorite detail is the unexpected cutout on the heel.

For the nighttime look, all I have to do is peel off the layers underneath, and change the shoes and bag. I’ll be ready faster than you can say TGIF.

Thank Goodness It’s Fashion!

Birthday Suit

Remember when you were a little kid, three months of summer vacation felt so endless? How I long for that feeling of eternity again, but never more! I guess I should just come to terms that as I get older, time will just fly by faster than ever, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. The only thing I can do is to ensure that I look damn good, all the damn time. Take that, time! Ha!

It’s my birthday, folks. I can’t say I am eager to turn a year older, but I am excited to get all dolled up to celebrate with a fancy meal, a cocktail or two, and good company. The question remains, what outfit would be best suited for my celebration, a birthday dress or a birthday suit? The answer: neither! I should wear a birthday tuxedo.

This satiny J. Crew tuxedo jacket has been collecting dust in my closet ever since I bought it years ago, and has never been worn. How perfectly it would go with my crepe tuxedo pants that I recently purchased from Urban Outfitters! My outfit wouldn’t be complete without a vintage touch: a 1950s blouse. The sheer fabric is both alluring and delicately demure. The beading, mini Peter Pan collar, and dainty ribbon bow tie are all details that add to the charm of this blouse. A belt is the extra touch to help any ensemble to look clean and polished, especially on this outfit, which requires tucking layers at the waist. The floral buckle adds a splash of color to the black, white, and red palette.

I was having my photoshoot right before a family dinner. What perfect timing for an impromptu photo session with my dearest and only grandparent remaining? At age 87, my grandma is still in excellent health, and can go on three-hour strolls without getting tired. I guess that is the key to her youth. I am told that I look just like her when she was in her prime. Not only do we look alike, but she also has a great sense of style. She loves to shop at Ross and Salvation Army (my favorite places too!). This outfit she put together herself; I just had to help her adjust and button. I hope to be as healthy and vibrant as she is when I’m in my eighties.

Juvenile was right: I get it from my (grand) mama.

O, Be a Lady First!

Our country has had many great presidents, and behind each of them, there has always been a wonderful First Lady. And where there is a First Lady, there is a fabulous wardrobe. And behind that wardrobe is likely a large walk in closet. No, make that an entire wing of the White House.

When most people think about fashionable First Ladies, Jackie O comes to mind. Who can forget her pillbox hats, gowns, and over-sized sunglasses? Currently Michelle O is reminiscent of the late Ms. O, as her stylish outfits have the power to make unknown designers (Jason Wu) become overnight sensations, as well as keep longtime fashion brands (J. Crew) still relevant to the consumer. Oh, Ms. O and Ms. O, you two are kindred style spirits indeed.

I rock the presidential vote because my voice matters. But ask me to go into a political debate with you on foreign policy and I will politely decline. What I will debate on is whether I should wear a red dress + white cardigan, or red pants + blue top, or blue skirt + red top for my salute to the presidents?

I purchased this Michelle worthy J. Crew sweater jacket secondhand at Crossroads some time ago. The first time I wore it, someone commented, “You look very..…president’s wife-y.” I haven’t worn it much since then. However, with Presidents’ Day beckoning, it is my patriotic duty to honor our country’s past commander in chiefs with a little red, white, and blue. I paired it with a red sheath dress and pulled a cream vintage Anne Klein skirt over it. I love the skirt’s interesting gathering and draping – it has pockets also! Nothing declares “First Lady” better than a strand of pearls. I only wish I owned a pillbox hat to complete the look.