Vintage Style: Black and White

Monochromatic, and shoeless.
Monochromatic, and shoeless.

As you have probably guessed, I wear a lot of vintage, or vintage-style, or vintagey-looking clothes. I also wander around a modern city, doing modern person things. This series of posts demonstrates how I do it.

It’s easy to dismiss fashion as frivolous, materialistic, and vain. I know I’ve always felt vaguely uncomfortable with how much I’m interested in clothing, as though it makes me a shallow person, or somehow less serious. But as I’ve thought about it, I’ve come to these conclusions:

  • We decide what to put on every day. It might as well be something that makes us happy.
  • I love reading about other people’s style choices, and I know I’m not alone.
  • Personal style is a means of expression. I’m not going to call it art, exactly, but it’s definitely creative. And I think that has value.
  • Liking pretty dresses doesn’t mean you aren’t aware of problems in the world.

There we go.

So this outfit was put together for a night at the theatre. I like it. It’s casual, but nice. It looks vintage but not costumed. It’s comfy. Definitely a combo I’ll repeat.

It consists of:

Dress: Thrift Shop (label says dBy Ltd.) I’d guess it’s fairly recently constructed. I bought it in 2011. It looks quite 1950’s, all shirtdressy and polka dotted.

Cardigan: Ann Taylor (on very significant sale)

Stockings: Hand-me-down. (I’d bet you they’re at Taboo Tabou, though)

Bag: Also the thrift store. Made by who knows? I paid $3 for it.

Shoes you can’t see: Angel Steps, Margie in black.

The shoes look like this. 

Lately: A Round-up of Projects

Spring GirlSpring is here, and summer is just around the bend, and I am feeling it!

  • Excitement
  • Freshness
  • Allergic to every single thing
  • Happy about wearing dresses

I’m planning plans, and planting plots, and everything feels possible, except when my eyes are running from all this damnable pollen.

I read a lot in the vintage and domestic blogospheres, and so, I bring you some of the things that have piqued my interest lately.

Things I’ve Been Doing Recently

I am currently fascinated by making things at home. I’m baking whole wheat bread regularly, I’m making almond butter in the food processor, I have had soy yogurt success. There is something deeply satisfying about eating a slice of bread with my own jam or almond butter on it. “Look, from these raw ingredients, I have wrought sustenance!” I explained to B the other day.

I’ve also been sewing a lot more. I’m finishing up two pairs of the Smooth Sailing trousers from Wearing History, and I made a pair of shorts from the same pattern–though I hemmed them much higher than is period appropriate. The pattern was great to work with, and I think they’re cute as pie. Pictures are forthcoming.

We went on a massive decluttering mission in April, sparked by my reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We were able to get rid of all of our plastic storage drawers, some small shelves, and most importantly, our loft bed, which did double-duty as a closet underneath. Our home feels so much more peaceful and airy.

Oh, and I got my ears re-pierced because my old piercings had closed up, and were never that great to start with. This only relates to vintage or domestic matters because wearing a cardigan and capri pants to your neighborhood tattoo shop feels equally square and badass. At least until you get blood on your cardigan.

Things I’m Plotting

Delicious Things:

My plan this year is to make smaller batches of more kinds of jam. We have no need for 12 jars of any one kind, and really, we probably don’t need more than 15 jars total for our household.

This Strawberry Balsamic recipe is definitely happening. It is exactly the kind of thing I will find scrumptious and fancy, and my partner will find a ruination of perfectly good strawberry jam. So I will also make regular strawberry jam. (“With enough sugar?” he asks. “FINE,” I grumble.)

I’ve never met a pickle I didn’t like, and these cauliflower pickles are on my list.

Vintage-y Things

I’m going to make this Bullet Bra. Every time I start talking about making my own underwear, B expresses concern that this has all gone too far. “I’ll buy you some underwear,” he offers. NOT THE POINT, B.

My victory garden experiment continues! Tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers go in the ground this very weekend!

Lately I’m Reading…

Dubliners, by James Joyce.  A series of vignettes of turn of the century Dublin, with some writing that’s real pretty.

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, by Jennifer Reese. A woman after my own heart, she tries out a lot of DIY cooking to see if it’s worth the hassle. I love the experiments, but the best part is the warm, slightly snarky, very funny voice of Jennifer herself. I want to be friends with her! And she had a goat, named Peppermint. I would like to befriend Peppermint as well.

Artisan Vegan Cheese, by Miyoko Schinner. I.E. why I have soy yogurt now, and just bought cheesecloth.

Do you have any plans or projects in the works?