Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Scaredy-Crow Cat

I got to wear another coat! Yay! Is it bad that I get this excited over the concept of cool weather? I guess not since tomorrow is another day and that day will probably be 95 degrees.

Florida is a fickle, fickle mistress.

Anyway! I made this skirt. The fabric was found cut into panels, so I pieced it back together and made myself an extra wide waistband with the leftover striped parts, because I like that look.

And then- a zipper.

Did I thrill you with that story? I know. My life is fascinating.

Also, I have not worn heels in about a year and I soon regretted it after taking these pictures. Lesson learned about my ankles. They are weak like thin, wobbly daisies and should not be put into heels anymore (even if they are a measly 2 inches high...the heels, I mean, not my ankles...).

Unless, of course, the outfit requires heels.
That's obvious.


More after the jump!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

For the Love of Coats

Nothing is more true and real than a person's love for their coat.

Yeah. Their coat. I said it. And I stand by it.

I remember finding this vintage Lord & Taylor beauty. It was this infamous (well, to me and my mother, anyway) estate sale where I got bumped out of the closet. Granted, this was a number of years ago when I first started looking for vintage clothes and I was terrified. Now I would have tackled those ladies and pried the clothes out of their hands.

I'm just kidding....sort of.

Even though I was brutally knocked out of a closet full of gorgeous and high-end dresses, I did manage to grab some fantastic coats (which I cling on to like a hoarder) and cashmere sweaters (which I sold...like a non-hoarder...). This here coat is one of them. It's that perfect color and weight and cut and was "Made in Sweden", which makes it that much better in a weird way, and will last forever.

Paired with these boots it makes me feel like a fancy Englishman from the early 20th century. And that is a way every young woman wants to feel.






More on the rest of the outfit after the jump!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Post, New Outlook

I've debated writing this over and over in my head. 
Eventually I figured I needed to write it for myself rather than as an excuse to others about my almost year-long absence from blogging. And what a better place to do it. So here it is.

Warning: it's not about vintage (entirely).

When you're dealing with health issues a number of emotions go through you. I think number one is embarrassment- especially if it's something that people can't physically see. Double that if it's also something doctors are telling you isn't real. You feel crazy because they make you feel crazy. In the past couple of years, but this year in particular, I've made the rounds through doctors and have had so much radiation blasted into me I probably glow in the dark. But there's nothing ever there. I barely want to discuss it with the next new doctor I get pushed on to because once that seed of doubt is put in your mind it sticks. So I definitely didn't want to put it out into the world and let others decide for themselves what they think they see.
So, number two is the (probably) false sense that somebody somewhere out there is going to agree and think you're putting all this out there for attention when the exact opposite is true. The judgement of others has never been a deep concern of mine except regarding just this. I would never want somebody to pity me, either. I'm too head-strong and stubborn for that. So what does one like me do? Publicly I pretend it's not there. I don't mention it. I gloss over it. Hiding away how I've been feeling has been the easiest way of coping even though it's made me somewhat of a recluse.

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you make lemonade.
Sometimes it throws the lemonade in your eyes and so you lie in bed and secretly cry about it.

And finally, number three, which is the point to this whole rambling manifesto. The searing pains in my legs and arms, chronic twitching, crippling fatigue, and various other less than pleasant new experiences have kept me from going out and living my life. I've mustered it together enough to keep the shop going because, well, I have to and I've even managed (with some looong breaks in between) to get some sewing projects done. But my beloved vintage lays by the wayside. I have make-up left untouched, still in the package, and wasted. My daily outfits are "whatever is comfortable" and that makes me sad. Not because comfortable isn't great, but because I want to wear what I want to wear. I want to do what I want to do.
My body just says "hell no".
But I need to move along. I need to forge ahead. Looking toward the new year and what possibilities lay ahead in my life and realizing that if I stay the way I've been I'm going to miss them is worse than any pain.
There are so many people out there worse off than me. While that does not negate what I'm feeling and the difficulties I'm personally experiencing, it does make me see that others can carry on to. So I'm going to try to move along with my life. The doctor visits will continue (I'm not giving up on figuring out what's going on with me), but in the mean time I think the outfit posts and job hunting and shop running and the less-serious-than-this-trust-me-I'm-not-always-this-sad-and-awkward writing will start up again. Because I love doing it. And because being "sick" (or, you know, "crazy") isn't all of who I am. Or, at least, it shouldn't be.

I've probably forgotten some of the things I wanted to say here, but I think the important part is that I've gotten it out. In a way. Even if no one reads it or even if they do. Doesn't really matter at this point because I probably won't mention it too much more after this.

I still don't have any answers as to what's going on, which I think is one of the most frustrating parts. Sometimes I have good days and sometimes I have bad days. Sometimes I have good mornings, but bad afternoons.
So I'm going to still have days where I "just can't", but on those other days I have to "just try". 

And maybe I'll wipe the lemonade out of my eyes and put on a damn dress.

-Melissa

P.S. I didn't realize I could be so deep. I'm like Ernest Hemingway. Or Dr. Suess.

Oh yeah, and Happy New Year?

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Come Bearing Swimsuits

Oh boy it's been awhile. My last post was back in the beginning of December, and that wasn't really an actual post with, you know, words and stuff, so really I haven't posted anything since October.

Yeesh. I'm bad at this.

In my defense the past number of months have been those crazy "can't get a minute to think or do anything" periods of time when all of a sudden you realize it's Easter and you're like: 

"When did Christmas happen?!"

and then you're frustrated because you haven't accomplished much in the way of things you really wanted to do/were planning on doing/should have done already.

But...now I bring you swimsuits as an apology.

So. That makes up for it, right? :-P

I found these awhile ago- back in August- and I've been hoarding the majority of the swimsuits for summer, but I can't wait any more because they're just too cute.



My favorite is the Alix of Miami embroidered number in the top left. So gorgeous and super flattering! They just don't make them like they used to. I mean, that swimsuit has a metal zipper, inside back placket with hooks and eyes, super-ruching in front, and this pleated petal bustline detail thing (that's legtimate-professional-vintage-talk, you know) that makes you look like Esther Williams. 

These will be coming to the shop this week and, hopefully, I get back to posting more regularly and about less boring things soon!

Unless I don't. Then I'll have to find more swimsuits.

-Melissa

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rule #1: Always Open the Suitcases


Source

Garage saling/thrifting/vintage hunting is a job that one learns on the go. I've found that it's taken many trips and many years to learn the ins and outs of garage sales. It's a tricky business and, believe it or not, every sale lends a new life lesson.

Kind of like a weird 'Grimm's Fairy Tales' except probably grimmer.

Like, I've learned to always have a hand free because the last thing you want is to be trapped behind someone while carrying an armload of heavy coats, watching as they take out beautiful dress after beautiful dress from a closet that you so could have gotten to were it not for these 100 pound coats.

It eats at your soul. 

I've also learned one of the most important rules to remember when garage-saling.

Always open the suitcases.

How did I learn this?

Around two months ago we ventured to an estate sale that a young man was having. He had just bought this house and when he finally opened it up he was surprised to see the contents still inside. So, he was having a sale.

We were the only people there interested in clothing, but there wasn't really much in the closets. So, I relaxed a bit and just started casually looking around.

My mother came across some vintage suitcases. I had already seen these, but passed by them without a second thought because we already have too many of them.

Being the wise Yoda she is, my mother opened them.

Duh. Why didn't I think of that?

Out popped a swarm of vintage bathing suits, folded up neatly, and unworn.

The guy said he was planning on throwing the suitcases away along with the rest of the contents if nobody bought them at this sale.

:-/

Now, this rule could apply to many situations, and they don't neccesarily have to be concerning vintage suitcases.

I found cashmere sweaters stuffed in those thick plastic bag things new duvet covers come in, sitting idly on a closet shelf behind some bedspreads.
Gorgeous sweater sets were unearthed under piles of fabric scraps crammed into a box with towels and linens.
A beautiful antique brass and topaz necklace (that still makes me weep and will be buried with me) was found in a little plastic box inside a dresser's drawer.
Just this past weekend I found a vintage sweater stacked underneath some modern pajamas. I have no idea what it was doing there- but there it was!

So, if anyone finds themselves at a fabulous vintage estate/garage/yard sale always remember to dig in unexpected places because sometimes that's where the treasures are waiting! You could be rescuing things others may just absent-mindedly toss away! 

Most of the time suitcases are empty, but sometimes (as I've recently found) they are not.

Look in those darn hat boxes too! 

I've learned that lesson one too many times.

-Melissa


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Horse and Stagecoach

I love novelty and border print circle skirts from the 1950s! Who doesn't, really?

The problem is you rarely see them pop up and when you do they aren't usually ever in my size.

So when I saw this baby I knew I had to grab it (even if it was a little more than I typically like to spend on myself).












Details
Skirt - Vintage via eBay
Blouse - Vintage from awhile ago
Purse - Vintage via an estate sale (of one awesome woman whom I call The Sweater Lady...I'll have to make a post about her one day!)
All Jewelry and Watch - Vintage via garage sales
Shoes - Vintage via garage sale
Belt - Vintage via garage sale

The skirt is labeled 'Cherni Creations". I'm pretty sure it's a John Wolf fabric (who made great western prints including this Overland Mail Company one) and it's just fabulous- so detailed and interesting! Plus, it has a great fall color palette that will be fun to pair with a lot of different things!

I went super western with it today and accessorized it with a lot of my favorite cowboy and country-themed jewelry.

I think this is the most pictures I've included of an outfit in a post before, so it's a testament to how much I love this skirt! Plus, my mother did a wonderful job as photographer!

Now I'm sort of addicted to these scenic print skirts and will definitely be trying to nab a few more in the future! I've seen New York skyline prints and even the Grand Canyon- hello! :-)

-Melissa