style

My Latest Thrifted Finds

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. Here in the DMV region, the weather was rainy on Saturday and then we got typical summer heat on Sunday. I made the best of it, and I’m happy to welcome this new week.

I’ve thrifted for all of my life, though it isn’t always my first choice when it comes to certain ensembles. When I need something specific, I will go to either Amazon, Nordstrom or White House Black Market, where I’m (almost) guaranteed to find what I’m want. But, for unique ensembles and accessories, I prefer to thrift.

Here are some of my latest finds. I often go to one or two thrift stores a week, though there are periods where I don’t thrift for a few weeks at a time (this usually happens when my schedule is hectic). I’m thinking about writing a post on “How to Thrift”. If you’d like to see that, let me know in the comments below!

Peignoir set by Flora Nikrooz
Lace detailing on peignoir
Ceasikery faux wrap dress
Closeup of the faux wrap bodice
Vintage Bergdorf Goodman pleated dress
Closeup of the bodice
Tag inside the dress
Tahari shift dress
Gold detailing on the dress
Maggy London dress
Closeup of the architecture of the dress
Vintage dress by NPC Fashions
Closeup of the fabric
Back of the NPC Fashions dress

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow, with a topic that I’ve been eager to discuss. Talk to you all soon!

beauty · hollywood glamour

Vintage Beauty: Francine Everett

A few months ago, I was browsing one of the many Facebook groups that I joined for photos of vintage fashion. While perusing some pics, I was quickly drawn in by one beauty that I’d never seen before. After a little digging, I confirmed that the lovely woman was Francine Everett, a Black actress from the 1930s and 1940s. Her career was brief, but she was a luminous and talented woman. I was so intrigued by her that I spent some time watching a couple of the movies that she starred in, as well as a few shorts that featured her.

Francine Everett (from Tumblr)

I want to discuss “Dirty Gertie from Harlem“, which echoed the theme of “loose” women being doomed to a tragic ending. During this period, female characters that were not traditional or conservative were almost always written as tragic figures. It’s fascinating to see how, less than 60 years after “Dirty Gertie”, shows like “Sex and the City” thrive on the premise of women being in control of their sexuality and not “doomed” because they refuse to marry and “settle down” with one man.

Screenshot of Everett in “Dirty Gertie from Harlem” (from MoMa.org)

I wish that Everett had more movies because she truly “lit up” the screen. I was impressed with her acting and I know that should could have been a star if she had only been born at a different, later time.

I hope you check out Everett’s movies, and tell me: do you have any vintage actor or actress favorites?

style

Social Wardrobe for Soft Classics

During the holiday season, you all may find that you have more invitations that you expected . . . At least, that’s been my experience. With all of the parties, galas, and gatherings this season, I realize I needed to assess my wardrobe and see if I had the clothing I needed to stylishly sail through it.

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I figured that it’s important to have a basic “social wardrobe” that flatters my Soft Classic Kibbe type (more about my Kibbe type here and here; click here for general information about body typing). My social wardrobe takes into account my Kibbe type so if you have a different type, you may want to ignore some of the highly personal suggestions and just think about the concepts overall. Even if you have a different Kibbe type, you still will likely benefit from assessing your social calendar and what few items you’ll need to look your best.

  • A fitted sheath

The silhouette should be fitted but not tight: the goal is a structured look that emphasizes the waist without looking overly exaggerated. I really like this very affordable option by Muxxn: it comes in a variety of colors, and it’s easy to dress this up with glamorous jewelry and ornate shoes. However, there’s always the possibility of wearing this with a blazer and nude pumps and then you have a great ready-for-work ensemble.

  • A sleek turtleneck

This is a versatile piece that goes from work to social settings with ease. I love turtlenecks with little extra details that make it look festive. I recently got a turtleneck from White House Black Market that is positively divine. It has small buttons on the sleeves that add a feminine touch. This looks great paired with ankle-length pants or tucked into a voluminous skirt in a dressy-looking fabric (like faille or satin). Sadly, my turtleneck has since sold out, but perhaps they will eventually make it available again. . . Until then, this lovely turtleneck with inset sleeves by PattyBoutik is a pretty, unique interpretation of the traditional turtleneck.

  • 1950s style dress

Fitted bodice, A-line (or fuller) skirt – think swing dresses – and perfectly coiffed hair are all timelessly chic elements of some of my favorite looks from previous social events. I really love how Amazon has a lot of 1950s-inspired styles for reasonable prices. I wore a lacy blush dress by Dressystar when I was a bridesmaid this summer, and I fell in love with the design. However, if you’d like something a little more luxurious, there are many vintage-inspired retailers that have incredible offerings. Unique Vintage has a great swing style coat dress that would look elegant at a variety of events. If coat dresses aren’t your thing, then check out Scarlet Rage, Modcloth and Bitter Root Vintage (full disclosure – many of the dresses on Bitter Root are identical to designs being sold for much less on Amazon. So if the designs start looking similar . . . That may be why).

Dressystar Floral Lace Dress

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Retro Style Black Double Breasted Swing Coat Dress by Unique Vintage

Full skirt (any length)

The trick with full skirts is to make sure that the top you pair them with is fitted. The contrast of a fitted top with a full skirt can give you the look of a 1950s-style dress (discussed above) but it allows you to customize it more. The full skirt can have any color or print that you like, and you can easily pair it with tops that have different colors, sleeve lengths, necklines, etc.,. The options are endless! I really like this pleated skirt by Girstunm, which comes in over 40 designs.

Those are some of the basics that I think would be a good starting point for creating a solid social wardrobe. There are probably a few more pieces you’d recommend – if so, let me know in the comments below.

Take care, and enjoy your Tuesday!

international · music

New Alice Francis Music!

You all recall that last year, I mentioned my love for singer Alice Francis. This vintage-inspired songbird is still a fave, though I hadn’t been checking her YouTube page regularly. I just hadn’t had her on my mind recently.

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Still from Francis’s “Gangsterlove” video

However, I checked out her Youtube a few weeks ago and found she had released several songs in the past few months. My current fave is “Coco Baca Bum Bum”. The Cuban backdrop and vintage fashions are everything! And the song is super-cute, too.

Why don’t you take a listen and let me know what you think? I’ll be back tomorrow!

hollywood glamour

Two Lena Horne Movies to Honor Her on Her Birthday

It’s finally the weekend! I’ve been looking forward to this ALL WEEK LONG.

So, what am I going to do, now that the weekend is here? I’m going to enjoy some quiet time at home LOL! I was looking up things to do, and I decided to watch a few movies while I chilled out.

As it turns out, today would have been Lena Horne’s 101st birthday. You all probably remember how excited I was when she got a commemorative stamp. It’s only fitting that today, as I stay in and stay cool, I watch a couple of her movies!

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Resplendent Lena Horne, in a still from Cabin in the Sky

I’ll be checking out Cabin in the Sky and The Duke is Tops. Both movies are part of the public domain so I’ll watch them on the Internet Archive website. Lena’s role in Cabin in the Sky is minor, from what I recall, but I’ll still check it out. And I’m excited to see if she has a bigger role in The Duke is Tops, or if she is a minor character in that one, as well.

Let me get to my movie watching – I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation · luxury

Time for an Aston Martin

seanconnery

My favorite James Bond, Sean Connery (Lot 91, this photo is expected to sell upwards of $470)

You all know that I love a vintage car. So I squealed with delight when I saw that Bonhams is having an Aston Martin auction. Its in the UK, but at least I can view the lots online!

Aston Martins are sporty, luxurious and exclusive – it’s no wonder that I love them! The auction will feature nearly 200 lots. There are all sorts of auto memorabilia, vintage car parts, autographed photos of celebrities posed with Aston Martins, and, of course, a little more than 30 automobiles available.

Here are my favorite offerings from the auction:

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Lot 222 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, expected to sell between $190,000 and $240,000

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Lot 226 – 1979 Aston Martin V8 Volante, that’s expected to fetch anywhere between between $200,000 and $240,000

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This chic model of a 1963 Aston Martin is valued as being worth $4,000 (Lot 141)

The Aston Martin sale will occur on June 2, 2018, starting at 10:30 BST in Reading, Englefield House. You can always contact Bonhams if you want more information on this auction. It should be a thrilling one!

hollywood glamour · style

More Hollywood Glamour Ensembles

This will be a short post today, as this is a busy week and I have to give a bit more attention to my “offline” life.

While looking up glamorous recreations of Hollywood fashions, I came across the PsychedelicPinup. This Etsy shop features some authentic vintage pieces as well as recreations of familiar designs (as seen in classic movies). One of my favorites from the shop was the recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s fur-trimmed jacket from her movie Niagara.

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There’s also this beautiful orange top which looks identical to one that Marilyn wore in a photo shoot in 1962.

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Even if you don’t see any styles that you simply *must* have right now, you may want to save PsychedelicPinup in your Favorites, just in case that ensemble of your dreams becomes available. Many of the designs are one of kind, so if you see something you love, snap it up quickly!

 

 

international · style

My Latest Fashion Obsession . . .

While looking at a few items to spruce up my Spring & Summer 2018 wardrobe, I realized I have gotten stuck in a bit of a style rut. For years now, I’ve adored a pared down, minimalist look (just see my purchases in my Boohoo haul posts here and here). I preferred clean lines and little-to-no patterns: lots of monochromatic or simply striped pieces. That look is elegant and easy to wear, but I find myself getting . . . bored.

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Not my closet but the lack of visual variety is very similar to my situation (from Pinterest)

So, it was time for something different. And, BOOM! Just like that, Joe Browns clothing popped into my Amazon recommendations. I found myself drawn to the whimsical, vintage-inspired designs. The quirky prints and bold color and fabric choices are a huge departure from my usual aesthetic, but somehow, I think adding a few of the pieces will suit my personal taste as well as add some visual interest to my wardrobe.

Screenshot 2018-02-27 at 10.59.41 PM - Edited

Here are a few of the pieces that I saw on Amazon that caught my eye:

The floral detailing is a far cry from anything that I normally would choose, but this is not only pretty, but looks like it could be worn either as a tunic or as a chic mini dress during those blazing summer days.

The asymmetric lapel is one of my favorite designs, and this boldly-colored nubby tweed is perfect for those cool spring days that aren’t chilly enough for winter coats but not warm enough for lightweight shawls.

This espresso and bronze pump has a vintage flavor and a heel that is high but not uncomfortably so.

This striking dress has an eye-catching blue, white and red print and a body-conscious fit. It has a tropical feel but without the kitsch.

I’ll order some of the pieces from previous seasons from Amazon, but for the latest Joe Browns fashions, I’ll go directly to the website here. Ooh, I can’t wait to post my pieces when I do a Joe Browns haul in the future!

hollywood glamour · luxury · style

How to Look Like Marilyn Monroe

As part of the Hollywood Glamour series, I wanted to find clothing that channeled the old Hollywood aesthetic. There are a lot of vintage clothing stores, that specialize in authentic vintage as well as recreations. But these stores are plentiful and, honestly, you could easily locate them on your own.

I wanted to bring something a little less known and even more special that what you’d find in the average Google Search.

Enter Iconic Dresses.

This Etsy shop features replicas of some of the most stylish ensembles on the silver screen during Hollywood’s golden age. They have quite a few Marilyn Monroe outfits from various movies, but they also have recreations of outfits worn by Jayne Mansfield, Betty Grable, Jane Russell, and more. These custom-made pieces capture the authenticity of the period reflected but the designed are so timeless that they look perfect on the woman of today.

One of my favorite ensembles is the leopard muff and cape, black top and black skirt that Marilyn wore in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Here’s a glimpse of what Marilyn looked like in the film:

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(from Pinterest)

I mean, come on: who wouldn’t want to look like that daily? This ensemble is just as stylish today as it was when Marilyn first wore it. These pieces are more expensive than most of the vintage reproduction shops’ offerings, but Iconic Dresses doesn’t mass produce the clothing, so a higher expense is expected. Also, the clothes are so striking and gorgeous: you’re getting the uniqueness that you’re paying for.

I plan to get an ensemble or two from Iconic Dresses before the end of the year (I have to downsize my wardrobe a bit more, so that I have room for new clothes!) I’ll let you all know as soon as I get it!

 

hollywood glamour · luxury

Baubles, Hollywood Style

Have you all ever wished you could own a little bit of Hollywood memorabilia? Even if the memorabilia was a replica, doesn’t it still sound fun to inject a little bit of that glamour into your daily life?

I know I LURVE all things Old Hollywood (hence the Hollywood Glamour series). So I was super excited to share The Hollywood Collection, a website that specializes in recreating jewelry worn by stars from the first half of the 20th century.

I came across this website several years ago, when I was regularly searching for clothing, accessories, makeup, and all other things inspired by Old Hollywood. I admire not only the beauty but the apparent craftsmanship of the jewelry: these pieces are recreated with painstaking accuracy.

I’m still deciding which piece I want to buy: they’re all so gorgeous! Here are some of my favorites:

mmearring

Marilyn Monroe earrings

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Marilyn Monroe bracelet

vlring

Veronica Lake ring

bdwatch

Bette Davis watch-brooch

Have any of you purchased from The Hollywood Collection? Let me know in the comments below!