Monday, December 30, 2013

Dark and Stormy


hat, Goorin Bros / sweater, skirt, and coat, vintage / boots, Zara / necklace, Clyde's Rebirth / bag, old UO



Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and have been dutifully increasing your alcohol tolerance level for New Year's Eve. I had a wonderful Christmas with my family that included cooking/ long talks with my mom, a marathon game of Cards Against Humanity with my dad and his wife who is way too cool for him, morning runs with cows, and doing all the dishes at my grandparents to earn extra points in their will. Speaking of those old people I know, they gifted me this awesome necklace made by my favorite ginger and queen cat lady, Merl Kinzie. I'm never taking it off, I love it so. My whole family dug it, too. Much more than the Mason Pearson hairbrush I asked for and recieved (thanks again, grandparents!). The idea of a $100 hairbrush is still boggling my grandfather's mind, despite the fact that he spends much more than that on each individual golf club he owns. I kept that observation to myself though, as one of my New Year's resolutions is to stop saying things to people that might get me killed. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bare Bones


glasses, BonLook / blouse, vintage / blazer, vintage / bag, vintage / belt, vintage / jeans, Levi's / boots, Clark's



It was 40 degrees yesterday, so like a proper Chicagoan I celebrated by wearing a seasonally inappropriate sheer shirt while Christmas shopping at Market Supply Co. Mike's unmatched selection of vintage menswear helped solve my yearly, "What the fuck do I get my brothers" quandary, and I also managed to find a couple goodies for myself. I mean, it's the season for giving, and I don't know who needs a black cocktail dress and sparkly earrings more than me. So, Merry Christmas, me! 

Speaking of Christmas, I'm excited to head back to Indiana to help my mom prepare our family's festivities. The poor woman slipped on some ice and broke both bones in her wrist, which required surgery to put back together. Before you start to feel too sorry for her, you should know that she didn't believe me when I broke my wrist when I was 12, as nice bedside manner is not a trait you'll find in my family unless someone else has personally experienced your pain and can vouch for you. I was playing basketball (by myself, in my own driveway), when I tripped (over my own fucking foot) and felt my arm snap when I hit the pavement. I ran inside, confused why I couldn't move my hand and suddenly felt like I needed to barf. "Mom, I hurt my arm," I said, holding up my damaged wing. She looked at me skeptically and told me to go back outside and play. Looking back, I can't blame her for dismissing me. In years prior I used to study her old nursing books and would tell my teachers I had the symptoms of various afflictions and diseases so I could get out of class. People stopped humoring me when I tried to convince my second grade teacher I had testicular cancer and needed to go to the nurse, but if there was something I felt I needed to skip school for I was always ready to come down with something that was most definitely pneumonia, maybe Gordon Syndrome (aka clubfoot), or, most likely, rabies. 

A day or two later, my grandmother came to visit, and noticed that I was either getting worse at basketball than I already was, or that my arm was indeed broken. She took me to the ER, where they made my entire year by confirming that I had an actual injury, slapped an ugly white cast on my arm, and gave me the phone so I could call my mom and gloat. She sounded sorry until I tried to leverage two days off school in return for not telling the hospital's social worker about her blatant neglect of my serious medical condition. Did I forget to mention I was also interested in law?

My mother's accident was the first time she had ever broken a bone, and after she drove herself to the hospital she called me and said, "I'm sorry! It really does hurt!" While I wanted to remind her that at least she didn't have to wait until her grandmother came to visit to go to the emergency room, I took the high road and gave her the compassion and sympathy I didn't get those 16 years ago. 

"You'd do anything to get out of fixing Christmas dinner, wouldn't you?"


Monday, December 9, 2013

Type Cast




beret, pants, coat, Coach bag, and gloves, vintage / glasses, BonLook / scarf, self made / shoes, Loeffler Randall / shirt, Zara



Hello! So clearly the above photos were taken before the entire country sans Florida was blanketed in snow (my dog is way pumped, I'm a little less thrilled). Ah, the good ole days of last week. I wore the above ensemble to go on a vintage hunting and pizza date with my hubs. I usually don't don vintage duds when I go to estate sales, as I hate being followed around by the estate sale company's employees as they try to get me to buy ridiculous 80's polyester blouses. It's funny how quickly wearing vintage gets you type cast by others. There isn't a week that goes by where I'm not asked if I'm going to a costume party. I wonder what makes people think they can ask others why they are "so dressed up?" When I see people walking around in the same crummy North Face jacket they've had since college paired with light wash, boot cut jeans and old sneakers I don't approach them and say, "Hey, I was wondering why you don't give a shit?" Maybe I should. But then I'd also have to start wearing sneakers because I'd probably have a lot of running away to do. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

About Face



hat, Goorin Bros / coat, vintage Pendleton / silk blouse, vintage / cardigan, vintage / pants, AA / shoes, Loeffler Randall / purse, vintage



So you may have noticed that in one of the above photos I'm not wearing my glasses. That's not because I don't actually need them (my vision is about on par with an amphibious cave dweller), but because I actually wore eye makeup and I wanted you to see it. Yes, that tiny thin line of eyeliner is what I consider "done up," though it's now apparent to me that you can't really notice it unless you stand 10 inches from my face, which is, not so coincidentally, the distance between myself and the mirror as I put it on. I'd like to get better at this whole makeup/hair/looking-like-I-give-a-shit thing, but it's hard when you're a nerdy tomboy and have very little experience applying makeup that isn't designed to make you look like a zombie. I guess until fake infected wounds hit the runway I'll just have to keep practicing my cat eye.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moss On The Rocks




hat, vintage Ralph Lauren / sunglasses, Anthro / car coat, vintage Pendleton / denim shirt, thrifted / trousers, vintage Bill Blass / boots, vintage Eddie Bauer



Oops! Sorry for the accidental radio silence. Guess I've been busy lately preparing for the holidays. I mean, my winter weight is not going to pack itself on and who else is going to knit everyone socks again if I don't? Right, exactly. Super busy. Anyhow, I've really only been wearing my Bruce Springsteen t-shirt and this coat anyway, so you haven't missed much. I found this coat on a recent trip back to my hometown while wandering the aisles of the local antique mall with my mom. I normally opt for a longer coat since Chicago is colder than a witch's tit (sorry, I saw the opportunity to slip in some hillbilly jargon and had to take it), but I fell in love with this coat's warmth, mossy green color, and minimal silhouette. And since I couldn't afford the $600 antique kerosene chicken incubator I wanted and the $1,500 dollars a month I'd need for an apartment large enough to house it, I settled for a wonderful coat I'll wear for the rest of my life, and then be buried in. Just kidding, I'm going to be cremated then have a sky writer spell obscenities in the sky with my ashes. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumnal


hat, Goorin Bros / dress, vintage / jacket, vintage / bag, vintage / boots, Clarks


Despite the chill, I thought it'd be nice to head outside and show you all my favorite spot in Chicago. I've spent hours this summer running down this soft gravel path with my dog, Ramona. It's one of the few places in the city where you can actually feel alone for a minute. Sometimes I kick off my running shoes and run through these trees barefoot. I get some funny looks for doing so, but it really is the best feeling. When people tell me that they hate to run or can't stick with it because they get bored, I tell them to try it without shoes. You'll not only feel like a kid again, but it's hard to get bored when you're on the lookout for sharp objects and dog shit. 

I'll move on to the outfit before I wax poetic about distance running again. While I hate fall and the majority of things that come with it (pumpkin-flavored everything, my plants dying, cold hardwood floors, having to listen to everyone talk about how much they #omglovefall...) I will give three cheers for hat season. I was lucky enough to nab this one at Goorin Bros sample sale, where some kind strangers and I took turns telling each other, "Now that is the hat for you. Seriously, it looks so good." Hat people are a special breed, and I'm starting to believe you're either born one or you aren't. Take my brothers, for example. The second you put a lid on their heads, it invokes hearty belly laughs from everyone within in a three-block radius. They just look, I don't know, goofy I guess, and because they know this they cringe at the very suggestion they put one on. My husband, too, looks funny in hats, taking on the air of an old timey umpire or a very nerdy and embarrassing dad. Whether it's genetics (it's not) or my deep appreciation for quality cranial attire, my hat collection is what's going to get me through the winter. Well, hats, The Walking Dead, and lots of red wine.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Woody


shirt, jacket, belt, bag, and hedgehog collar clips (squee!!!), vintage / glasses, BonLook / jeans, Levi's / shoes, thrifted Cole Haan

You know what's really awesome about no longer having a 9 to 5 gig? Matinees. You'd think it would be not having a boss, but no, the best part about working for yourself is having the freedom to spend an afternoon with your husband and Woody Allen in an empty movie theatre. Yesterday we went trekked to The Logan Theatre to see Blue Jasmine, which I think made me more uncomfortable and anxious than Gravity. In a good way! He seems to have reached another prime in his advanced age, and his writing has a refreshing sense of urgency. He doesn't waste time to get to the raw stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love the famous Woody Allen banter as much as the next nerd, but it's the take-no-prisoners style of editing, the pared down, sparse, leave-nothing-but-the-crucial-shit writing style I love the most. To me, being able to be honest with your work and be strong enough to make the necessary cuts is what separates the goods writers from the greats. I suppose that's why you won't find any Jane Austen on my bookshelves. I won't deny that Mr. Darcy makes me swoon, but had Elizabeth Bennet and her sister had just told those guys that their wishy washy behavior wasn't cute and if they didn't stop wasting their time they were going to bed a couple of hot soldiers, I would have liked the story a lot more. I digress. The point is, Blue Jasmine was great and Woody Allen needs to adapt Pride and Prejudice. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Style Inspiration: 1940s









Lately I've been really drawn to the stylings of the 30s and 40s, especially all the menswear-inspired stuff ladies were wearing. The way their perfectly rolled hair and painted lips balances their trousers, blazers, and brogues just kills me. I'm also eager to try a look like the second photo. It's like a fashion mullet. Ladylike on the bottom, masculine up top. And being from southern Indiana, you know I can't resist a good mullet. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Scouts


hat, vintage / silk blouse, vintage / shorts, AA / platforms, nicole / bag, vintage Coach / sunglasses, Anthro / belt, vintage








I love uniforms. From the time I entered kindergarten to the day I threw my graduation cap into the air I wished my schools had required them, but they didn't, so I joined activities that did. First came Girl Scouts, which is what this outfit reminds me of. I was so excited to become a scout and loved collecting all the camping gear I'd need to survive (and look cute) in the wilderness. But then, something horrible happened. I went to Girl Scout camp. When my cousin and I arrived everything appeared as I'd always dreamed it would; there was a lake for endurance swim tests and sailing lessons, hundreds of acres of woods to explore, and stables of horses just begging to be nuzzled. Just as I was planning what color wool socks I'd wear on my first hike, a startling figure darkened the doorway of the mess hall, silencing all of the campers without saying a word. That figure's name was Opis, and he, or, she, was my camp counselor. 

I say "he, or, she" because it wasn't clear what gender Opis was, or even identified with. Because of her giant breasts we settled on "she," but her six foot tall frame and thick five o'clock shadow was nothing we'd ever seen on a woman before. To an 11 year old who had a very limited understanding of the gray area of the gender/sex scale, Opis was intimidating, fascinating, and terrifying. I don't think we campers would have thought much of her beard had she been kind to us. After all, we were sprouting hair in new places, too, but Opis had the persona of a bull. Leave her alone and she'd remain aloof. Ask her where the extra milk cartons were for your soap candle project and she'd snort and stamp her foot, ready to charge if you pushed her further. 

Day after day we campers would line up single file, march to breakfast, march to our assigned actives, then march to dinner. It started to wear on us in different ways. My cousin and I wrote tear-stained letters home, begging our parents to come rescue us. The girls in the neighboring tent took advantage of Opis' neglect and sought refuge in drugs, or what they thought were drugs. Their plan to roll up marijuana leaves they found in the woods and smoke them backfired when it turned out they didn't know what marijuana leaves looked like, and smoked poison oak leaves instead. We woke up the next morning to the sounds of ambulances rushing towards the clearing by our tents, and the girls were taken away on stretchers, not to be seen or heard from again. 

Not that I stuck around to find out. The poison oak incident was enough to get my mother to take my cousin and I home early. On the way home, we stopped at Dairy Queen where I sucked down an extra large, lemon-lime Mr. Misty, listening to my mother fill me on all of the stupid things my brother had tried to do to my room since I'd been gone.  

"So, are you done with camping forever? my mother asked. 
"Oh, probably," I mused. "But I really like all the accessories."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Denim





hat, Market Supply Co / shirt & shoes, thrifted / bag & belt, vintage / jeans, Levi's


It's been so long since I've worn something worth dragging Mike out of the house for pictures. Actually, I've just been wearing various of the above theme, but yesterday I wore proper shoes and a belt, so I'm deeming this "put together." 

I was so excited to debut these jeans on the blog, as I thought I finally found a pair that fit perfectly right out of the store. How wrong I was. The minute I loaded these photos onto my decrepit Dell I saw it: the evil denim crotch bunching that happens when your butt wears a different (i.e. larger) size jean than your waist. Sigh. To the tailor they go. I wish clothes were still made like they were in my favorite childhood books, Anne of Greene Gables and the entire Little House series. In those books there was always at least one scene where the ladies would go to the general store, choose a fabric they liked, then have a dress made to their measurements. I loved that purchasing clothes was such a special occasion. I also loved the part when Anne Shirley broke a slate over Gilbert's head. I think if it weren't for the lack of television, gender equality, and sterile medical equipment, I would have really liked living in 1908. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

To the Market






glasses, BonLook / sweater, First Ladies Vintage / top, Everlane / necklace, gift from Clyde's Rebirth / pants, vintage / shoes, Sergio Rossi via a garage sale (score!) / bag, vintage 


Well, it's Fall. Fuck. If I have to freeze my ass off and can't prance around Chicago in short shorts anymore, I'm going to do so in comfy sweaters like this one. I scooped it up at our neighborhood garage sale last week, from an adorable vintage seller named Niki. The plan was to give it to my husband, but once I put it on there was no way he was getting his giant hands on it. I mean, it's a sweater, shaped like a jacket. With gold buttons. The person who knit it 50 years ago must have had me in mind. 

We snapped the above photos before heading to Pilsen to celebrate the opening of Market Supply Co, an awesome vintage general store with a twist conceived by my dears Merl, Karyn, and Mike (yeah, they're sister wives). I knew I'd be impressed with their new storefront, but holy shit. This vintage store/barber shop/jewelry studio is a dream come true for anyone with good taste. Men and women's clothes, shoes, and accessories from decades past adorn the industrial fixtures and rustic wooden accent walls, while Merl's one of a kind pieces dress up the displays and expertly modernize the vintage wears. She'll even make a custom piece for you or your special lady, just ask! It's a wonderfully well-curated place you should definitely check out. And take me with you when you do.