HAPPY SECOND DAY OF SPRING EVERYONE!!!!
It’s March 22nd and officially the second day of spring. But I didn’t have to tell you that for you to know — and get excited!! — about that fact and its accompanying opportunity to jumpstart your online vintage shopping for spring.
I was contacted by Etsy seller The Vintage Mistress to participate in what she’s dubbed a “fashion challenge.” She contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I’d be up for the test.
Here’s what her email said:
I have an idea for a fun “Fashion Challenge” based on a theme (say Spring) or a certain look (Bohemian) I would put together a huge box of clothing (vintage and modern) and send it to you. You would fashion it all creating a wonderful outfit! I would need sizes; belts and accessories would be included. Shorten or dye the items as you see fit. All items would be of great quality and condition- an outfit you would be happy to wear anywhere!
If you’re reading my site right now, you are already a vintage lover, or perhaps someone becoming stylishly swayed to “our side.” Understandably, persuasion is needed! With such amazing, fulfilling & fabulous lives, it can be hard to integrate another element of creativity.
And that’s exactly what wearing vintage is — reaching your highest creative self by experimenting with a variety of styles and designs representative of fashion’s extensive history and influence on culture then & now.
I’m accepting the Mistress’ fashion challenge so that I can show you all how I style a mish-mash of vintage clothes into outfits that look and feel great. It’s one thing to buy a solo vintage piece and pair contemporary shoes and accessories to style for the times — but the REAL challenge? That’s in mixing and matching multiple items and making them WORK for you.
Keep reading after the jump for a sampling of the vintage fashion wish list I sent to The Vintage Mistress.
She’ll be vintage hunting the pieces for me from her home in Florida, and listing her other great finds in her Etsy shop, which I highly recommend and suggest checking out!
Today, in honor of new style, new season and soon-to-come sunshine here in New York City, I’m SPRINGING forward with positivity and confidence! I leave you with this quote to remember as you enjoy your truly sensational selves & days.
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze that it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” – author Jack London
Your spirits burn bright — LET THEM SHINE!
WHAT: Black floppy hat with bow and oversized brim
HOW: Buy this one for $45 from SkinnyandBernie on Etsy
WHY: It’s almost Breakfast at Tiffany’s, almost Lady Gaga — the perfect stuff-it-to-wear-it-anywhere floppy hat.
I’d wear it to the beach in my ’50s pin-up style suit and a virgin mimosa in my hand. Oh wait … that’s just orange juice! ;-)
SUNDAY BRUNCH: CANDY STRIPED PINAFORE DRESS
WHAT: Candy cane pinafore dress
HOW: Buy this one for $26 from gracevintage on Etsy
WHY: When the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp remake of Alice in Wonderland hit theaters last spring, it this year’s prequel to Black Swan fashion hysteria — the movie’s lead character became a fashion muse for a hot second. Thankfully, the hype has passed and us vintage lovers can return to wearing our pinafores in peace.
Alice wears a crisp white one over her blue Princess dress in the movie, but I’d rather opt for a ’70s version of the pinafore with a full dress structure. Cover exposed skin with a tiny tank or a full-fitted blouse below.
Add straw wedges and a parasol umbrella for a look that will leave a longer impression than even the most marathon of Sunday brunches!
GRABBING GROCERIES: FLORAL ROMPERS
WHAT: Floral rompers with cross-strap backs, fitted for fashionable function … like hitting up the grocery store!
HOW: Buy this one for $38 from somegirlsvintage on Etsy
WHY: Rompers are quite literally like putting a shirt and shorts on at the same time, all in one-swift-changing-move.
’90s cuts are more figure-flattering than the bell-bottom rompers of the ’80s [although those are cute too, just styled right!] and were often designed in tiny florals for all-over brightness that isn’t blinding … only beautiful!
SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVALS: GRUNGE PRINTS
WHAT: Anything with a darker, more ethnic-inspired print using sharp lines, diagonals and slightly psychedelic design reminiscent of a Nirvana show. Wear with the still trendy lace up ankle boots and you’ll have some serious style for stompin’ at your next outdoors musical festival.
HOW: Buy this one for $52 from aiseirgh on Etsy
WHY: So here’s the secret: us ladies don’t have to look all girlie to ugh … look good! Sometimes , for lack of better descriptors, “edge” is a magnet for not only attraction, but magnetic magic to everyone around you. A few slices of diagonals and dices of cut and design won’t have you looking cookie cutter.
If you want to be a cookie, then delicious! But if you’re looking for some new flavor, rejuvenate your teen spirit and look for grunge inspired vintage gear for spring/summer 2011.
SUMMER NIGHTS: LACE & SEQUIN BUSTIER
WHAT: Lace & sequin bustier, worn as a top with high-waisted denim and a sheer sweater. Or worn alone — its only added layer being the shadows of a nightclub or dark restaurant/bar.
HOW: Buy this bustier for $32 from pistolpoppy on Etsy
WHY: You haven’t heard? Wearing your underwear on the outside a la Madonna is cool again! Ha, well seriously, folks … either we have a bustier lying around gone unworn, or our mothers have one lying around gone unworn for 30 or so years. Pick up your nearest bustier and brush the dust off for what might have looked slightly trashy a few seasons ago, can now be styled chic and casual.
For dancing, pair a bustier with an a-line patterned knee-length skirt, taking note of this season’s popular Navajo-Indian inspiration. Or, grab those high waisted tapered pants from two seasons ago and wear a sheer past-the-waist cardigan on top in a contrasting color. Think white with black, or even a pale yellow.
Avoid wearing shorts and short skirts with your bustier. And when wearing alone, wear in the right situation — this is not your grocery shopping romper, ladies!
PICNIC TIME: CROPPED TIE TOPS
WHAT: Crop tie tops in crazy, eye oogling geometric patterns
HOW: This lovely can no longer be found on Etsy ;-( but you can turn that frown upside down BECAUSE I found a few more options for you ;-) some cropped stripes for $12.99, some cropped gingham checks for $28, and some cropped calico for $25!
WHY: Cause crop is COOL, that’s why! Not to sound like a 13-year-old girl or anything, but it’s true — take out your scissors and hide the paper, because fashion authorities everywhere are saying the “croppier, the better.”
In other words: shorten the length of your tees and your shirts. Take no prisoners! Length must GO and midriff must SHOW.
4th of JULY: KITSCHY PATRIOTISM
WHAT: A kitschy way to say, “I love you, America” — with stripes, stars and … SEQUINS!
HOW: This lovely number isn’t currently for sale [it found a happy home somewhere else!] however you can support it’s seller by visiting Rock Paper Vintage on Ebay
WHY: I’m a sucker for 4th of July. It’s one of those holidays I remember fondly from childhood — think big family gatherings with hot dogs, caffeine and cotton candy; thousands upon thousands of dollars [er –fireworks!] exploding in the sky; and that never ending warmth of summer and quiet excitement of its spontaneity.
So when America’s birthday rolls around, I want to go all out like I did last year, when I DIYed Goodwill pieces for multiple outfits of nonstop American pride.
Rock kitschy holiday wear to the extreme. Like that ugly sweater you wore last holiday, you can accessorize your 4th of July look with hyperactive American pride.
Just stick to one focus point piece and downplay the rest. I’d wear these sequin stars & stripes with knee length cut-off denim shorts and subtle flats.