An unexpected stroll through the cobblestone streets of downtown Lowell. Busco invited me to the New England Quilt Museum for the opening of their new exhibition, SILK! So I channeled my inner Carrie Bradshaw for an impromptu outfit of the day moment.
- Vintage 1980’s knit dress (thrifted)
- Vintage 1980’s patent leather check-style bag
- Banana Republic open-toe heels
- Betsey Johnson knotted belt
- Goldtone cuff and earrings
- 14K gold necklaces
NY Stroll: Straight into Hell’s Kitchen
A weekend in NYC, crossing paths with Busco. We made a stop in Hell’s Kitchen. I felt like I was 21 again. But better dressed.
- Vintage 1980’s coat (thrifted)
- Opaque monogram tights (TJ Maxx)
- Kenneth Cole patent leather platform heels
- Black Fendi baguette
- Moschino scarf
Dress code at work is pretty flexible; business casual. But I don’t want to get to casual, so I’ve adopted a more “creative business casual” approach to dressing for work. I seldom wear jeans to work, even though they are allowed. And when I do, it’s a dark wash. Co-workers have been very nice in complimenting my style, and not only do I appreciate the good vibes, it keep me wanting to raise the bar. And I can always pretend that the walkway between cubicles and offices is a runway.
- Vintage 1960s Sweater Dress (thrifted)
- Prada baguette
- Sterling Silver hoop earrings, cuff/bracelet
- Zara platform booties
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Meet Your Makeup
My good friend, comadre, and soon to be blogger Cara-lista, asked that I join her for a make-up event at the Prudential Center in Boston. We signed up through Facebook for consultations at the Makeup Forever Makeup Bag Remix Tour. I was familiar with the brand through Cara-lista, who is quite the makeup connoisseur and loves their products. She has been obsessed with makeup since she was about thirteen years old, so I consider her a makeup expert.
The event brings makeup education to cities around the US. They teach techniques and best practices that work for your face shape and skin-tone. And did I mention it was free?! I liked that they asked that we bring our own makeup bag to teach how to properly use makeup with products we already own.
Truth be told, I was a little intimidated. Mixing foundations and concealers on your own to get the right color for your skintone? Unheard of! And not to mention the hundreds of color choices and combinations! But with Cara-lista by my side, I knew I wouldn’t be swindled into buying things I didn’t need. With Busco’s help on what would be an appropriate outfit for a sunny cold Boston day, I spent the day playing with makeup.
- Forever21 Cardigan
- Vintage 1980s leather skirt (thrifted)
- Viktor&Rolf for Samsonite luggage bag
- Guess black leather boots
- Red Plastic Bangles, Forever21 earrings, Vintage 1980s green belt
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Embargowatch: Tapered Shift Dress
Following the Sinspiration of the tapered chevron dress, we wanted to call out the retro silhouette that is new again: tapered shift. Comfortable, forgiving, and thoroughly modern.
- Vintage 1980’s Nicole Miller tapered shift dress (thrifted)
- Obsession Rules booties
- Vintage 1960’s turquoise color chunky beaded necklace (thrifted)
- H&M tapered green metallic hoop earrings
- Polished goldtone finish cuff
We couldn’t help ourselves to call out the similarities in the textile design of Mary’s dress with a vintage dress we recently thrifted. Not an exact match in term of pattern and silhouette, but you get the trend gist. We would’ve wanted to recreate the set of Ellen, but that would have meant buying a blond pixie cut wig.
- Vintage 1980s chevron tapered batwing dress (thrifted)
- Arden B. platform strappy heels
- Vintage 1980’s patent leather envelope clutch (thrifted)
Tibes in the Temple
Centro Ceremonial Indigena de Tibes, in Ponce. Only 15 minutes away from the ranch, we made it just in time for the last English tour (the kids aren’t very fluent in conversational Spanish).
I first learned about Taino indians when my father took me to a different ceremonial park about 20 years ago in Utuado. On this tour I learned about the four populations of indigenous people: Arcaicos, Igneris, Pre-Taino and Taino. We learned about the tangible (tools, pottery) and the intangible (life expectancies, ceremonies). I also learned about the digs and some of the politics. I didn’t understand why archeologists would leave pieces of what I thought would be valuable pottery shards. I guess they weren’t as valuable as I thought. Regardless, we had a great time learning about the pre-colonial history of our ancestral indigenous patriarchs.
- Old Navy v-neck t-shirt
- Tuleh shorts (thrifted)
- Fendi multi-colored baguette (thrifted)
- Kenneth Cole platform heels
- Silvertone “bamboo” earrings, sterling silver cuff, bracelet and necklace
- Gucci prescription sunglasses
A Fishtail To Tell
I’ve had this dress for a while, but hadn’t worn it. I love the back design, the graphic print, and the structured shoulders (even with removed shoulder pads). But when I tried it on at home, it felt like a little too much dress. So after putting my head together with Busco, we decided the remedy would be to hem the dress. Thus, a new Do-It-Myself (DIM) quick project was born.
I’ve been changing hem lengths on my dresses for years. However, this dress has a row of buttons down the back that I didn’t want to loose. So we decided to do a fishtale hem, which was a new way of hemming for me. I did a quick check for online tutorials, but they all left the skirt unhemmed. This could work for some fabrics, but not for this dress. So I measured, pinned, cut, pressed, and sewed with very satisfying results!
Busco had been wanting to style me in a “neo-global tribal” look since we started writing the blog. It’s not really my style, so I had been politely putting it off. But he brought it up again from being inspired by the dress, so I could object no longer.
- Vintage 1980’s dress with customized hem (thrifted $1.00)
- Vintage 1980’s Carlos Falchi clutch (thrifted)
- Nine West suede heels
- Betsey Johnson black knotted stretch belt
- Vintage 1980’s red hoop earrings, bangles, Puerto Rican camandula bead necklace worn as bracelet, handmade animal bangle by The Sin Embargo
Sinspiration: Channeling Chanel
We haven’t found one of the holy grails of a thrifting (a Chanel bag), but a recent vintage find reminded us of a bag used in Chanel’s SS 2013 collection. Recreating the entire look would’ve meant putting Mira in a bathing suit in January. Instead we pulled the fakiest Chanel-looking outfit, and got “sinspired”. We learned that the bag was actually made with real hula hoops. Hula hoops are a no brainer to find on the cheap. Now if only we can find a couple yards of Chanel leather and hardware.
- JCrew black ruffle button down shirt
- Vintage 1980’s jacket (thrifted)
- Vintage 1980’s Liz Claiborne skirt (thrifted)
- Vintage 1980’s Echtes Leder Handverarbeitet leather bag (thrifted)
- Jean Michel Cazabat sequin open-toe heels
- Vintage 1960’s daisy brooch; Jessica Simpson oval-shaped goldtone earrings
A Brown Coat in a Round
Old Abrahm Brown
is dead and gone
you’ll never see him MOOORE!
He used to wear
a long brown coat
that buttoned down BEFOOORE…
— Benjamin Britten
I learned this composition in elementary school music class, and all but forgot about it until I heard it in the movie Moonrise Kingdom. It’s supposed to be sung in a round, but when I would try to sing it with my siblings, we couldn’t get past a second round because we’d burst into laughter.
I don’t know why we had to learn such a dismal song in elementary school, or what it had to do with our music education other than learning to sing in a round. And there really wasn’t anything funny about it, other than trying to keep up the round. But I’ll chock it up to being a silly kid. When I decided to write about it, I tried to sing it with Mira. We still can’t get through a second round.
- Tulle brown coat
- 1990s DKNY scarf
- Longchamp lizard embossed leather bag (thrifted)
- Kenneth Cole Collection black patent heels
- Vintage 1980’s silvertone brooch, hoop earrings
We love to travel, and every time we travel, we include some time for thrifting. The hat and cape came from two separate thrift sources in two different states over a thousand miles away. Vintage from two different periods. Put them together, you’d think they were a set. Reunited and it feels so good!
- Vintage 1960’s Kathryn of Fort Lauderdale pillbox hat (thrifted)
- Vintage 1980’s Lord & Taylor cape (thrifted)
- Vintage 1960’s black leather handbag (thrifted)
- Forever21 black & white striped sweater
- Betsey Johnson faux leather white belt
- Kova&T jeans
- Obsession Rules suede booties with goldtone heel
- Assorted vintage and contemporary wood, plastic, and brass bangles
- Vintage 1980’s black & white polka dot earrings
Embargo Watch: Suede
I took a course in 20th Century fashion last year, which partly inspired the writing of this blog. On more than one occasion we talked about the impact of the industry on the environment, and how that affects current and future fashion trends. One such conversation was regarding the use of furs and leathers. The general consensus was that as long as there is a demand for luxury items, and as long as animal skins are considered a luxe material, there will be a demand for animal skins. So in tribute, I’m calling out a skins trend - suede, in particular.
Mira and I do not believe in the inhumane treatment of animals. We are hopeful that that technology will provide the industry with a quality alternative to leather. But until then, we are content purchasing vintage leather garments. This will minimize the demand for leather, not to mention minimizing the impact on coin.
- Vintage 1980’s purple suede peplum jacket (thrifted)
- Gap cinnamon red suede front-slit skirt (thrifted)
- Diane Von Furstenberg forest green suede strappy heels
- Vintage 1960’s black suede handbag (thrifted)
- 1990’s goldtone earrings and heart-shaped brooch (on shoulder)
- Goldtone cuff
New Year, New Stroll
On break for the holidays, the family and I decided to get out on New Year’s Day for some fresh (FREEZING COLD) air. We took a scenic drive up north.
- Vintage 1980’s leather bomber jacket (thrifted)
- Missoni for Target shirt
- Vintage 1980’s wool plaid skirt (thrifted)
- Stubbs & Wootton Palm Beach carpet bag (thrifted)
- Black pashmina from NYC
- Silver cuff, silver bangles, silver hoop earings, silver dome rings
- BCBG leather boots
With New England winters being what they are, I wanted to wear out a recently acquired thrift store purchase: my fur capelet. As much as Busco might not like real fur, he agreed to style my capelet-centric winter look, even though it was just to the supermarket.
- Vintage 1980’s fur capelet (thrifted)
- Old Navy Collection trench-style coat
- Rebecca Minkoff handbag
- Kova&T jeans
- Zara colorblock platform booties
- Cable-knit wool scarf from Scotland (gift)
- Vintage 1960’s black daisy brooch
Ugly as Sin
We decided to get on the ugly sweater wagon this year to celebrate our first Christmas blogging together. We know they’re supposed to be “ugly sweaters”, but we kind of like them! We think they’re “fashion ugly”: only certain people might see the good in them. And that’s us. Seeing the beauty in the ugly. It’s all relative.
- Vintage 1980s sequin poinsettia top (thrifted)
- Michael Kors black knit pencil skirt
- H&M leggings
- Obsession Rules “Casi” black suede booties
- Vintage 1980’s patent check pattern bag
- Vintage 1980’s goldtone “door knocker” style earrings
- Assorted plastic bangles
- Vintage 1980s sweater (thrifted)
- Hugo Boss jeans (thrifted)
- Adidas blue canvas high-tops