Wardrobe Wednesday: Sunday Go to Meeting

I don’t go to church.

There are many reasons for that, none of which I’ll get into at the moment. My readership is full of lovely people of various theological persuasions, and as an essentially private person, I don’t feel a need to explicate my deepest convictions in a post that is really about my stockings.

However, there are a lot of elements of religion that are pleasing, whether they’re attached to any greater meaning or not. Community, singing together, learning something deeper about one’s values, these are nice. So occasionally I’ll make the Sunday morning meeting of the Ethical Humanist Society, or as we call it at our house, “Atheist Church.”

Please note: “Atheist Church” is a pretty inaccurate description of the Ethical Humanist Society. For one, it’s not strictly atheistic–members have a variety of opinions on the God question. You can learn more about what the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago is about here.

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The Cutest Outfit You Never Saw

It’s spring in Chicago, so that means it’s time for Vintage Garage!

Chicago’s Vintage Garage is a monthly all-vintage flea market, held in a parking garage in the Uptown neighborhood through the warm months. Over a hundred vendors of vintage clothing, appliances, housewares, and various sundries gather, set up their wares, and sell to the vintage loving hordes. And for some reason, I had never gone. I always mean to go, then end up skipping it. Not this year!

Each month has a different theme, and May’s was Mid-Century Modern. Clearly, this requires a mid-century outfit. So I assembled one. It ended up being completely covered by my coat. It was so cold! While 50 degrees certainly isn’t the worst, inside a concrete parking garage it was much colder. I felt bad for the vendors. On the plus side, the people selling coats and sweaters probably had a great day.

This is the outfit I came up with. This is also the first time I got up the gumption to wear cigarette pants out in public. I think the whole thing is rather sweater girl and cute.

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Sweater: Vintage, thrifted.
Cigarette pants: Reproduction, from Collectif.
Scarf: Vintage, gift.
Basket purse: undetermined age, thrifted.
Shoes: Super cheap navy blue Keds knock-offs.

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Vintage Hair for Modern People: Pin Curls

The Internet is full of pin curling tutorials, and I see no reason to add another one.

It’s not secret that heat styling is no good for your hair. Curling irons, blow driers, straighteners, hot rollers–they work really well, but eventually leave you with crispy tresses. Yes, there are heat protectant sprays,  and yes, you can pry my hot rollers out of my cold, dead hands, but for daily styling, I’m trying to avoid heat.

Finally, after The Great Cropping Accident of 2015, in which a hair dresser and I had a very different understanding of “take some of this weight off so the curls will bounce”, I have enough length to do something. It only took a year. I’m not bitter at all. But as my hair has gotten heavier, it has lacked a certain volume and shape, and je ne sais quoi.

Look at me, pretending that was on purpose.
Look at me, pretending that was on purpose.

A hot roller set makes my hair look fantastic, if I do say so. But I am not willing to hot roll every day, because of the aforementioned heat damage potential. Enter the pin curl. Continue reading

Thrift Store Thirties

Most of my vintage style outfits, day-to-day, are not very complicated.

I  usually don’t try to look like I stepped right out of a movie from 1952 on a daily basis. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. I’ve got stuff to do,  and not all of it is really suited to wearing puffy dresses.
  2. I usually forget to wear accessories. I usually forget to change my earrings, honestly.
  3. Weather. Public transit.
  4. While I admire very curated vintage looks, I usually don’t go in for a complete “costumed” look, myself.

So this winter, I’m ending up wearing a lot of variations on this:

Take one sweater, and put it on top of another sweater. Add additional sweater if necessary.
Take one sweater, and put it on top of another sweater. Add additional sweater if necessary.

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An Interview with Milliner and Designer Sarah Haley

All I want for Christmas is every hat Sarah Haley makes.

I had the good fortune to meet Sarah Haley, of Sarah Haley Design and Millinery at a craft fair hosted by Vaudezilla Burlesque and Productions. My booth was set up next to hers, and I spent a good part of the day exclaiming over her work.

Promising “a hint of old-time glamour for  your modern life” Sarah’s work is creative, charming, and just plain gorgeous. With equal parts whimsy and elegance, her hats are expertly constructed.

Sarah graciously agreed to an interview with Retrofitting Vintage.

Sarah Haley
Sarah Haley
Retrofitting Vintage: What is it about hats that excites you?
Sarah: Hats are exciting to me because they make a statement!  Wearing a hat is an elegant display of confidence and style that most people envy.  From the design standpoint, hats are exciting because they’re limitless!  Unlike garments where you’re plotting around the physical limitations of the body, in hat design you can build in almost any direction – gravity is the only real limitation!

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