Friday, September 26, 2014

The Shoe Nazi

hat, Dethrose Vintage, jumpsuit, Millay Vintage, loafers, Lost Girls Vintage, vintage Coach bag, Michigan antique mall

Yesterday was one of those perfect days. Our animal roommates were kind enough to let us sleep off our hangovers we earned from a rowdy Cubs game the night before (they actually won!), followed by egg sandwiches and french toast on the pretty patio of a local neighborhood breakfast joint. I also did something extremely brave yesterday. After months of creeping around outside his shop, trying to work up the courage to actually go in but always chickening out, I finally took my beloved patent leather, Loeffler Randall brogues to the "Shoe Nazi," as he's not-so-lovingly known, to be resoled. Our neighborhood cobbler has a reputation for being the meanest son-of-a-bitch who ever lived (just read some of the Yelp reviews, they're hilarious), and I've heard him bark people out of his shop countless times over the years while while getting coffee across the street. Apparently he only works with "real" materials, i.e., leather, and if you bring in any shoe or handbag not up to his standard, he'll toss them back at you and tell you they're not worth fixing and would be better off in the garbage can (he did this to my husband). Oh, and he shouts all these mean nasty things to you in a German accent that's thicker than melted German chocolate. Getting yelled at I can handle, but being told my shoes aren't good enough was something I didn't know if I could survive. I was tempted to take my shoes elsewhere, but I'm a sucker for crotchety bastards (I hope to be one one day), so I gathered my shoes and courage and went to face the Shoe Nazi. It went something like this:

Shoe Nazi: (speaking to another woman with a belt that needs repaired) I NO FIX THIS! Not worth my time, go, GO!

(she looks at me wide eyed and stunned, then slowly backs out the door)

Lora: Hi, I'd like to have these shoes resoled, please.

Shoe Nazi: (forcefully grabs shoes from my hand, inspects them, seems to approve) You want light sole, not black?

Lora: Yes please. The lighter color. 

Shoe Nazi: 15 dollars up front. You pay in advance, and I have them ready in hour and a half.

Lora: Do you take cards?

Shoe Nazi: CASH ONLY!

Lora: Oh okay, I'll have to go get some cash. I'll be back after we go to breakfast. 

Shoe Nazi: Fine you go get cash then pay me then I fix.

Lora: Sounds like a plan. 


(30 minutes later, with the cash) 

Lora: Here you go, for the shoes.

Shoe Nazi: Okay. Hour and a half. You come back before then, NO SHOES. I here until six o'clock. You come any time before I leave. Whenever. 

Lora: Got it. Thank you.


(two hours later)

Lora: Hello! I'm here to pick up my shoes.

Shoe Nazi: You come in today? Shoes (he points to a shelf behind me where my shoes are sitting).

Lora: They're beautiful! Thank you!

Shoes Nazi: Okay okay have a nice day.

Lora: You too, bye!



While he was definitely curt, I appreciated his no-bullshit take on customer service and left his messy little rat's nest of a shop with perfectly resoled shoes. If I thought he gave a shit I'd write him a nice Yelp review, but instead I think I'll ask him if he needs an apprentice. Not to master the art of European cobblery, but to learn how to terrify people in 10 syllables or less.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Embrace Another Fall

heels, Zara / glasses, BonLook / everything else, vintage

I know it's a little silly to take photos with your dog, but dammit, we just coordinated so well that day. And, as a childless person, it's kind of nice to have photos of my baby as she ages. I love her new salt-and-pepper muzzle, though I have to admit the thought of her getting old makes me a little weepy on the inside. In addition to being the first dog I've had on my own, she's the most perfect dog on the planet Earth, so my love for her is fairly maternal/obsessive. She's my coworker, marathon training partner, dutiful cat babysitter, and my excuse to leave lame parties early ("I'm sorry, I have to leave to take the dog out, but fantastic party, really."). The day I have to start pulling her arthritic ass around the block in a wagon is not one I look forward to, but when that time comes I'll be happy to do it. Plus, maybe she'll be too slow by then to shake hats off her head. 

p.s. I was going to name this post "Autumn's Eve" but then found this, almost spewed my coffee on my computer in a fit of laughter, and decided against it. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Right Angle

hat, Goorin Bros / dress, SwaneeGRACE / jacket, thrifted / jewelry, estate sale / sandals, Birkenstock

When I tell people that my husband is from Gary, IN, they all say the same two things; "Murder capital of America!" and "Michael Jackson!" Yes, both were once true at one point, but to reduce an entire city to two simple (and depressing) statements is ignorant, and sometimes hurtful to said husband who grew up on the city's stretch of beautiful Lake Michigan shore. I mean, I could write an essay on how even the most politically correct people's opinions on certain cities have racist roots that they unconsciously or otherwise allow to paint an image of said place and to blame it's problems on the people who currently live there instead of the city's founders and history (i.e. white people and their actions), but this is a fashion blog, and you didn't come here for all that. So instead I'll implore you to take these photos, which were taken on Gary's Miller Beach, and my word for it that every town, like every dumb old fashion blogger, has it's good side. You just have to find the right angle. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Leave Well Alone

hat, Goorin Bros / vintage dress, Dear Golden / vintage Coach bag, antique mall / sandals, Sam Edelman / bracelets, estate sale and Clyde's Rebirth 

So it just dawned on me as I uploaded these photos that this outfit is almost identical to the last outfit I posted, which was almost a month ago. I'm a shitty blogger two times over. While I'm going to start posting more frequently again (I miss it!), I can't promise that I'll change up my outfits all that much. I seem to have hit a groove with the whole boho dress, big hat, leather bag, no makeup/dirty hair thing. Oh, and lets not forget the contact lenses. It's my big (read: only) style decision I make when getting ready these days. And I like that. I'm sure once fall rolls around I'll be back in lipstick and trousers, but until then I want to look like I'm simultaneously coming and going to the beach.

Anyhow, how have you all been? My summer has been packed with weekend trips, vintage hunting, running, and listening to jazz with my dog (you have to follow me on Instagram for that last one to make sense). I used to listen to jazz a lot, and even play it when I was high school (baritone saxophone, Lisa Simpson style). Once when I was a freshman, my parents came home one evening to find me in our formal living room, laying on the fancy sofa we never used unless people we didn't know came over, listening to a John Coltrane record with my eyes closed. I opened my eyes to find them standing over me, staring at me with the confusion and intrigue one might apply to an alien. While I was over the moon for John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and James Moody, the concept of any music without words was foreign to people raised on 70s love ballads and 80s hair metal. "Oh, sorry, I'll leave," I said, figuring I was busted for resting my feet, still in their dirty shoes, on the arm of the couch. "No, it's okay," my mom said. "You look peaceful." Just then my little brother came running in to see what was going on. "Don't bother your sister," my dad said. "She's listening to jazz." I didn't realize it then, but while my parents often struggled to understand me, they did the next best thing. They left me be.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


hat, Goorin Bros / vintage 1970s dress, estate sale / sandals, Sam Edelman / vintage Coach bag, thrifted / vintage wooden bracelets, estate sale

K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. While I first heard the acronym while watching The Office (good advice imparted to Dwight), it's origins come from a 1960s U.S. naval principal that maintains systems work better when kept simple. While I'm not signing up for the Navy any time soon, I've been applying the idea to my summer outfits. But not just to the quantity of pieces I'm wearing, but the shapes and colors of the individual pieces as well. When I wear simple silhouettes made of quality fabrics, I feel like the focus of the outfit goes beyond it's static state, to how it moves, how it catches the light, how it changes over the course of me wearing it. Pieces like a plain cotton sack dress and a black straw hat have lives of their own, and it's nice to get out of their way and let the evening summer sunshine do it's thing. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer in the City

hair scarf, AA / 60's reproduction sunnies, Shangri-La Vintage / vintage 60s playsuit 

Long time, no see, friends! My little blogging break was half unintentional, half me not wanting to be photographed with the worst swollen allergy eyes I've had in years. But the allergy season from hell is over and I'm enjoying every waking moment of summer. When not working or *running, these days you'll find me here up on my roof, enjoying the lake breeze and beautiful container garden my mother helped plant. It seems like summer is already going to by too fast, so I'm trying to savor each sunny day, each case of Oberon, each new awkward tan line. I hope you enjoy these nostalgic-y summer posts, because that's what you're getting until October. 

*So I don't bore those of you who just come here for outfit posts and the occasional cat photo bomb, I started a running blog with a few other lady runners who are also training for this year's Chicago marathon. You can follow our training misadventures here if you'd like! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Overalls and Other Drugs

hat, Goorin Bros / shirt, overalls, and bag, thrifted / clogs, Click on Southport

Oh, overalls. While I love them, I feel like they are the clothing equivalent of drugs. Both are very fun when used responsibly, in recreational amounts, and in the company of friends you trust. But lately people have taken overall use too far. So far, in fact, that now large companies are making them in terrible skinny jean versions in spandex blend fabrics with pristine fake denim washes. It saddens me. As someone who is from a part of the country where people still wear overalls for their utilitarian qualities, I feel like I owe it to the big bellied farmers of the Midwest to establish some sartorial boundaries for those of us who wear them simply for kicks. So, without further adieu, my personal rules for donning overalls...

1. Overalls should never be "skinny." You want to wear skinny jeans? Go ahead! But overalls are not the time and place for that. Not only does it fuck with your proportions, but you look like a city person who is too excited about seeing a cow for the first time. It's weird, and not cute.

2. Overalls should not be worn with heels (or done so very, very carefully). The last phrase you want to conjure in someone's mind is "farmer stripper."

3. That said, don't wear them with cowboy boots, either. One nod to the country is enough. Two means you're looking for a fight. Three means you're bat shit crazy and everyone will leave you alone. So do one or three. 

4. Hats and overalls are like chocolate and everything. They go together. Personally, my giant butt looks even bigger in overalls, so I like the balance a wide brimmed hat provides and it's easier than getting a smaller butt. 

5. Wear a shirt under your overalls. I don't know what it is about gas station attendants or girls at music festivals, but nipples and neon bra straps are two things no one wants to see outside their home.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend, folks! Remember to use your drugs and overalls responsibly. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Stefon Dress

sunglasses, Anthro / vintage dress, Fairseason / bag and shoes, vintage 

As Stefon would say, this dress has everything. Candy colors. Stripes. Bell sleeves. An adjustable waist. A borderline-inappropriate hemline. An army of hobocops (homeless robo cops). I may never wear anything else ever again. 

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet, as I've got a buttload of new beautiful summer dresses to photograph for the shop and I want to get to it while I'm still riding this sugar high (I had cake for breakfast). 

Later dudes! 

Monday, April 28, 2014


dress and purse, vintage / heels, Zara / glasses, BonLook / necklace, Clyde's Rebirth

Sartorially speaking, I'm pretty simple minded. I don't know how to masterfully layer eighteen necklaces, I feel too showy wearing more than two colors at once, and have the hair/makeup routine of a teenage boy. Fortunately for people like me, people who love fashion but loathe fussiness, there is the little black dress. Obviously touting the merits of the LBD is as tired as brunch and Ben Stiller trying to make serious movies, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or as we style bloggers say, if it ain't broke, position yourself strategically amongst the shadows during the golden hour and make your husband take pictures of you.