Adventures in Thriftland

Dress: Thrifted (vintage?)
Tights: Target
Belt: Target
Shoes: Thrifted

From Al: You all remember Rachel, right? Well, since my life is getting more and more busy–and because she just so durn cute!–you might be hearing more from Rachel and other friends around here. If you’re interested in contributing to this little fashion blog–give me a holler.

Rachel says: I found this dress the same day that Alison found her beautiful bright red dress (how fabulous does she look in it, right?). On the hanger, I thought it looked like a horrible polyester mess from the the early 80’s, but when I tried it on I was converted.While I still think the pattern is a bit 80’s crazy, the jewel tone blues and purples are some of my favorites wear, and the fit is almost perfect, which is one of my favorite things about vintage clothing. What a novel concept for fit to be considered in garment construction.

This pair of shoes is one of my favorites (found on my first thrifting trip with Alison), but they are ripping at the seams. For awhile I refused to wear them in an attempt at preservation, but eventually I decided that if the inevitable end is in sight, I’m going to wear them out with flair!

Now as much as I like this dress (and vintage dresses in general), I sometime wonder how wearable the style is for regular life. I have been debating hemming this dress a couple inches and perhaps altering the neckline a bit. What do you think, to hem or not to hem?

Lady in red

Dress, Belt, and Jewelry: Via’s Vintage
Shoes: Kenneth Cole (circa 2008?)
Glasses: Warby Parker Sinclair

Weddings are so fun–they’re beautiful and festive, you get to see old friends, and maybe best of all? You get to dress up to go to them! For a wedding of an old friend this past Saturday, I decked myself all out in a vintage outfit (minus the shoes) of bright, bright red for Fall (and for fun!). I found this dress at a local vintage shop, Via’s Vintage, and after mulling it over for 24 hours, I went back and made the purchase! I was so excited to wear it I even dyed my hair a darker shade of brown. I usually do it for winter anyway, but the timing underscores just how silly and excited I was about this outfit. 

Mandi was a bridesmaid in the wedding, and looked absolutely stunning in her bridesmaid dress. Can you believe that gorgeous purple dress was from Target? They were about the thriftiest–and some of the cutest–bridesmaids dresses I’ve seen. Kudos to the thoughtful and thrifty bride, Katie!

I also wore my not-so-new-anymore Warby Parker frames to the wedding (which I do almost every day), and discovered that another of the bridesmaids, Megan, also owns a pair of WPs! She looked so cute I had to include a pic of her, too, dancing with her hubs. We bonded over our mutual love of thrifty frames. (Right Meg? ;))And yes–the reception was hoppin! I soon lost my Warby Parkers for complimentary silly sunnies and rocked out the dance floor (and later, the bar) in those beauts. It was so fun to see old friends all decked out in their party clothes. So, in that spirit–I have a few more photos to share.

Many thanks to Katie and Ross for their fantastic wedding, and may you find many years of happiness and companionship in one another! Mazel tov!

Chicago is delicious

Top: Target
Cardi: Swapped
Jeans: Gap Outlet
Boots: Corso Como
Scarf: UO

 Brian and I went to Chicago a few weekends ago to meet up with a good friend we hadn’t seen in a while. We were going to run a race with her, and instead, we ended up eating our way through the city. Not a bad switch, I’d say!

Our first stop was at Hot Doug’s, where I had a hot and spicy chicken sausage with pesto aioli and mozzarella (not in the photo below). Who knew hot dogs could be so gourmet? And to top it all off, the fries were cooked in duck fat. DUCK FAT, my friends! You can’t get much better than that.

For the trip, I packed a fall palette of blues and greys, of which I then forgot to take any photos, except for this one outfit. It didn’t help that we spent the (very cold, very windy) weekend pretty much hopping from restaurant to restaurant, so I actually didn’t much want many pictures taken of me and my very satisfied belly. 😉

We stayed with a great couple through AirBNB in Bucktown. We ate (and drank) at, among other places, at BigStar, the Map Room, and Ipsento Coffee. At Ipsento, Brian got a delicious latte with the flavors of coconut and cayenne. I stuck with the nutella latte. Yum.

Conclusion: Chicago is delicious! I wouldn’t mind going back in a heartbeat. (And psst–can you spot the Sears tower in this final pic?)

 

 

Just another day in…

Tee: Heartbreaker
Cardi: Gap Outlet
Jeans: Target (swapped)
Scarf: A market in Ecuador
Oxfords: Thrifed

Ever had one of those weeks where you just can’t keep up? Uffda! Friends, this is one of those weeks, so I’m pulling some backlogged photos from an outfit I never posted. It feels especially weird since when we took these pictures, it was probably in the upper 50s, and today in Minneapolis? Mid-80s. Just another day in paradise the Upper Midwest.

This outfit: very simple, not too interesting, but I was pulling these flares out of the closet from way back in the day. They’re coming back, right? Even if they’re worn out and frayed in the back of the cuffs? Ah ha, I thought so.

It’s nude to me

Dress: Vintage (handmade, I think?), purchased at Tatters
Nude-to-me Fishnets: Also from Tatters
Nude-to-me Pumps: Shoegasm

Here begins a rant. Does it ever bother you, dear blogosphere, that the “nude” color only comes in one shade? Seriously. I know it’s got to bother someone besides me (well, I know for sure it bothers Rachel) that SKIN TONES come in all sorts of shades and colors, but “nude” is pretty much limited to one tone. So from now on, I will say only that it is nude-to-me. My pumps today? Nude-to-me. My awesome new fishnet tights? Also nude-to-me. Friends, let’s start a new fashion trend: it’s nude-to-me! 😉

Rant #2? Having the words “nude” and “fishnets” so often in this post means I will almost certainly get some unintentional visits from certain individuals utilizing their search engines to find nude and fishnetty things. Won’t they be happy to find me in this adorable, full-coverage outfit? Gentlemen (and perhaps a few ladies), thanks for visiting. Now be on your merry way–and hey, thanks for helping out my blog’s statistics for a day.


Cat confessions

Dress: Via’s Vintage
Tights: ?
Oxfords: Thrifted

I’ve decided I need about 30 more of these dresses. So simple, so flattering, appropriate for work, but visually interesting and a little off-the-beaten-path (at least for folks I encounter in my daily life).

And, you can coordinate them to the colors of the seasons! Won’t this be a great Halloween dress?! Perhaps with a little black shrug and creepy black-cat earrings? (Yes, I am a cat lady. It’s true. Y’all might as well prepare yourself to see some cat pictures on this blog sooner or later, because it’s going to happen.)

Men’s fashion with Morgan

From Al: I’m loving this friend-blogging thing, and today I’m so thrilled to introduce one of my besties, Morgan! As a personal shopper at J. Crew, I feel so flattered that he’s decided to grace my blog with his presence, and share how he’s accessorizing his wardrobe with custom accessories. Take it away, Mo!

From Morgan: First, hi! I’m in the same boat as the previous two guest bloggers on Al’s blog, Alison and Rachel. I never thought I’d be writing a post for a style blog. Same deal with the lurking around other people’s style blogs, though, too, so. My interest in style is pretty recent, but I’d like to think I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on the basics.

Which brings me to the subject of my post: how us regular guys can go about jazzing up our menswear. Here’s how it goes. You learn the fundamentals. Belt and shoes match? Yup. Shirt and tie work together? Sure. Throw on a blazer, and BLAM, you’re put together and people will start telling you how much more, I dunno, put together you look these days.

This recipe is basic, though—the mac and cheese of menswear—and sooner or later you start thinking about how to add to it. But the problem is how to add to your look (I guess we can say accessorize, even though I don’t want to) without coming off as a foppish dandy. We’re supposed to look stylish and classy without looking affected and false. Pocket squares are a possibility, as are things like scarves and bracelets. But there are such better options! Here’s one.

 A few months ago I rummaged through a box of trinkets and found an old key my grandfather had given me years back. He was a civil engineer, and at one point he worked on the huge crawlers that moved Apollo rocket components around the Kennedy Space Center. The key he gave me went to some long-obsolete part of one of the crawlers. What it opened is a mystery now, but when I found the key I had an idea. I looked up a quirky local jeweler and had him fashion the key into a tie bar for me. It took a day, and about thirty bucks. Cheaper than most tie bars you’ll find out there! And more importantly, it’s not just a key anymore, or a tie bar—it’s a story.

Boots: stolen from my dad, who stole them from his dad
Jeans: J. Crew, by way of Mr. Porter
Shirt/tie: J. Crew
Belt: J. Crew Factory Store

*Pssst–like reading about men’s fashion here? Leave a comment on Morgan’s post and tell him to keep blogging!!! 🙂

Super Cincher

Tee: Heartbreakers
Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Swapped
Belt: Picky Girl
Shoes: UO
Blazer: Swapped

This post is like Superwoman, but instead of saving humans, I’m saving WAISTS, my friends! Just call me the Super Cincher–and check out the waist-to-hip proportion on this outfit!

Actually, in all seriousness, my vision for this outfit did not pan out into real life. What I imagined was something simple and monochrome: navy and grey with a cinched waist and scrunchy scarf. What I lived in real life was a scrunchy blazer! I think the key to making this outfit work next time would be a skinnier belt not cinched quite so tight. This one is elastic and wide, making it rather right. and I have such a dramatic waist that perhaps I don’t need such a dramatic belt. Your thoughts, dear readers?

Also, ANNOUNCEMENT! My next guest fashion post will be one of my besties, Morgan, here to talk about MEN’S fashion. (Ya hear that, gents? This blog is not only for the ladies!) And PS, Mo is a personal shopper at J. Crew. So stay-freaking-tuned.

Power to the sweater dress!

Sweater/Dress: Gifted
Skinnies: Gap Outlet
Boots: Corso Como
Glasses: Warby Parker – Sinclair (just cause I haven’t reminded y’all in a while)

Remember? I told you I had more sweater dresses on the way! Actually, folks, this might be it for a while… but then again, I might be creating a trend out of this: a Minnesota(/Midwest)-based, potentially-scandinavian(-or-andean)-inspired, non-jacket-wearing, hot-mulled-whiskey-drinking trend out of…. THAT’S RIGHT–Sweater Dresses.

Hell, let’s make this a public call for mass wearing of the sweater dresses! If YOU wear a sweater dress, please tell me! I’ll link to it! And if you don’t have a blog, send me the picture and maybe I’ll even POST it (if I’m not lazy)! Because guest posts are awesome. Power to the street stylists!

And PS – About this pose (below): Rachel told me to do it. (But she also told me to pose for the cuter ones above. These things don’t come naturally, friends).

Behind the Lens: Alison!

From Al: Second in my “Behind the Lens” series is (the other) Alison, my photographer friend who took those photos that so many of you loved. Alison works down the hall from me, shares my love of margaritas and photography, and blogs ever so beautifully at left in front of right… Please welcome her by leaving lots of sweet comments! 😉

ruffle shirt: jcpenney
cardigan: gap outlet
pants: gap
shoes: famous footwear eons ago
belt: that french boutique, target

I’ll start with this – I never, repeat that, never thought I would be writing a guest post for a style blog. I’m a long-time lurker around sites like Selective PotentialCalvintageWhat Would a Nerd WearLulu LettyThe Daybook, and on and on and on. Style has been something I’ve been fascinated by, but something other people did. They were those blogger girls who pouted and looked down at their in-turned toes while their doting boyfriends/husbands/friends snapped shot after shot of their perfectly thrifted, stunningly paired, imaginatively styled outfits. It wasn’t something I could do, and to be honest, it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Did I want to gawk from the safety of my web connection? You betcha.

And then that all changed. Someone I knew and admired was starting a style blog. A style blog, kids! And to top that, she was making it all about cinching. Enter the paradigm shift. All of a sudden style and fashion weren’t just something in magazines and on the web, they were written, being created and being lived right in front of me. How could I not be effected?

Because of Alison’s cinching, I paid attention this fall to the color trends that were happening. I looked at the skinny little belts that were circling the middles of every mannequin, every magazine ad, every lady I passed on the street. And then, to top it all off, I went shopping. I went shopping and I bought things that were in style. I bought a freaking belt. A little cinchy one. My world has changed. Now, I’m not cinching every day, and I certainly do the jeans and t-shirt the moment I get home from work (if I’m not going out that evening), but I’m not afraid to put yellow and teal together and tie it up with a little bow. I can wear big ruffles without fear! Alison’s style blogging just down the hall gave me the push to step out of the shadows of internet lurk-dom, and in front of the camera for a change.

Many humble and cinched thanks, friend!
Alison from left in front of right…