Sunday, March 29, 2015


   I will admit I can be a fairly hard person to shop for.  I hate the implications of that statement but this girl knows when it's time to fess up.  So here it is, I'm finally ready to face the fact that I can be a real snob when it comes to choosing my clothing and accessories.  Whew...well, that was like a weight being lifted.  
   I want to make it clear that I've never wanted to be the kind of person who returns gifts.  In fact, I simply refuse to do it.  I find it literally impossible to admit to someone that I do not like an item they may have chosen for me.  I guess I feel like by acknowledging this difference in opinion I'm rejecting them, or at the very least their version of who I should be.  Who am I to reject that?!  I admit there have been times I was given something I did not initially like and then realized over time that I should.  It's like the first time you listen to a new album by one of your favorite bands.  At first you're super excited to check it out.  Then upon listening to the beginning tracks you start to realize this couldn't possibly be the same band that recorded the previous album you so dearly loved.  By the end of the album you find yourself full of feelings of, "Meh," followed by the urge to immediately switch the tunes to some Top 40 garbage that you can mindlessly sing along to.  Sometimes you just want a no-brainer.  Actually most times a person just wants to go with what's familiar to them because it's an old shoe...they picked out and bought for themselves.  My point here before I got grossly side tracked was many times upon buying a new album it takes me a few listens before I warm up to it.  Fashion can be very similar.  Sometimes, it just takes a couple spins around town before one realizes, "Yeah, I can pull this off."
   Now don't get me wrong, when I say I can be a snob I'm not stating that I will only accept gifts of apparel that are high end labels.  "Oh contraire mon fraire."  Being the self proclaimed champion thrifter I consider myself, I actually prefer to indulge in one of a kind vintage treasures.  At times, this can prove less expensive than the modern day designer brands.  However, it has become very apparent that the definition of a vintage treasure can greatly vary depending on the person defining it.  In other words, when looking for this type of unique gift there is a lot of room for error.  
   So once again I am forced to acknowledge my snobbish behavior.  I'm reminded to be thankful for any gift that may be given to me.  Especially, if the individual put enough thought and attention into it to recognize I do like the unique stuff.  I was confronted with a potential situation like this the other day when I came home to find the coat I'm wearing in the pictures above.  I walked in the door and my boyfriend handed it to me stating, "This used to be my sister's coat.  She thought you would like it."  I accepted the item thinking, "Great, what am I going to do with this now," until I actually looked down at it and responded, "Wait, that's a really cool coat!"  The best part was I meant it!  I love this little 80's number and was thrilled to add it to my collection.  Especially, since I know the previous owner so well.  I've always loved the idea of giving vintage clothes a new life.  I consider this gift from her a loan until someday, the much older and less trendy me, can pass it on to some other picky, "bizzo," who will adore it's perfect vintage flair.  Surprisingly enough, my boyfriend responded, "they knew I would love the coat." Perhaps I'm not that hard to shop for after all.  Maybe all it takes to make me happy is a trip into someone else's closet.

Coat:  Gift from my, "Sister-In-Law."  (Vintage)
Sweater:  Tulle
Jeans:  Kasil Workshop
Boots:  Palladium
Purse:  Monserat De Lucca
Mittens:  Purchased at a craft fair.  (Repurposed from an old bedspread)
Sunglasses:  Vintage  (Gucci)


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pining for Pere Lachaise

   Not that long ago a close friend of mine had the opportunity to take a trip to Paris, France! Upon hearing her exciting news, I reminded myself to be a gracious listener and glaze over my extreme feelings of jealousy with the most simulated smile I could muster.  Let me tell you I've always claimed my favorite color is red, but that evening one could have sworn it untrue because this girl was positively GREEN with envy! 
   Now please understand that I care about this friend very much.  I've had many wonderful outings and conversations with her.  I can truthfully say that I was excited by the fact that she was going to the fashion, "Mecca," but why, OH WHY, couldn't it be with me?!  I've pledged my allegiance to appearance.  I jumped on the almighty fashion blog bandwagon.  I say charge me the annual dues and teach me the handshake because I'm ready to get into this Europe...which is so far away from my usual hangout of Fargo.
   Being a former art major in college I do realize there is more to Paris than just fashion.  The opportunity to see the historic landmarks and museums alone would be...blah, blah, blah we all know what the cultured me is supposed to say about that.  What I'm not supposed to admit is how excited the superficial me would be to check out EVERY vintage boutique in town followed by a mandatory trip to the flagship Louis Vuitton store.  (Side note:  Thank you K. for taking a picture of LV for me. Friends don't let friends miss out on such beautiful sights.)  Conclude these outings with some major street style watching while sitting at an outdoor cafe, sipping on what I assume would be one heck of a latte and I could define this as the perfect experience.  
   While daydreaming about my perfect day in Paris I tried to envision just what I would wear on such an excursion.  What could I possibly put together that would be runway worthy enough for the streets of chic?  The outfit I styled in the pictures above was my answer.  OK, so the beret may be a little bit clique, but I did resist the overwhelming urge to wear a giant sparkly Eiffel Tower t-shirt.  Like I said before I'm desperate to be in the club!  Overall, I was quite pleased with the look I came up with.  I felt like it would be appropriate for my mandatory meeting with the Mona Lisa and Louis Vuitton. Above all else, I felt like it would be worthy of my visit to Jim Morrison's grave site at the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  Sorry Louis, you'll have to wait.  Even the extremely superficial can put certain art ahead of fashion.

Blazer:  Vintage
Jeans:  Guess
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  The Limited
Hat:  Wooden Ships
Scarf:  Vintage (Yves Saint Laurent)
Gloves:  Vintage

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"All my Bags are Packed. I'm Ready to go" Fargo, again.

   Shortly after the holidays I had the opportunity to leave town and take a mini vacation.  Now where would a person go to escape the post holiday winter blues?  Uh...Fargo, of course!  So I found myself northern bound.  A girl on a quest to leave behind her dull day to day routines and seek out new adventures on the tundra.  Yep, a woman on the road pushed north by the wind searching for the independence only travel can provide.  Of course, I did this from the crowded backseat of my parents SUV until they finally allowed me to drive.  Being the, "child," I have to wait my turn to get behind the wheel but hey, I was still a bohemian wanderer!  I just had to ask the driver to pull over when I needed a rest stop.
   All kidding aside, I have to admit I don't get to travel often.  I have a significant other who is the ultimate workaholic and doesn't often have the time to go further than his office or workshop.  I also have to confess I'm a bit stingy when it comes to paying for life's essentials like food, lodging, and transportation.  Undoubtedly, when it comes down to a decision between a fantastic salmon dinner with Thai noodles or an 80's vintage sweater with leather and sequin details I will pick the sweater every time.  Which is ironic since the salmon dinner I described was an actual meal I had on a trip many years ago.  To this day I still claim it to be the best food I have ever ingested in my life. Equally ironic, I do have that 80's vintage sweater and must admit I have not worn it yet, due to my lack of inspiration to style it.  Thank goodness that particular trip I did not have to give up the best meal of my life for a potentially, only great on the rack, sweater.
   My point is sometimes it's worth spending your money on memories rather than mere stuff. Luckily for this cheapskate traveler my parents often let me tag along on their adventures. Nothing says cool like a 35 year old woman traveling with her Fargo... North Dakota.  I will interject that I still stand by the idea that Fargo is an extremely interesting community that has a a lot to contribute in the way of art, shopping, and pure quirkiness.  Plus, my brother lives there so the whole trip always becomes a family reunion.
   Since I'm such a creature of habit who often travels to the same locations, I have become extremely familiar with my favorite, "haunts," in several different towns.  This allows me to experience some of the local perks without being bored by actually being, "local."  It also makes me super efficient at knowing where my money will be spent in between super cheap meals on the road.  I got to say there is nothing better than importing a haul of new treasures for the closet from somewhere other than home.  Despite the fact that every thrift store carries one of a kind items, it just feels more exotic to raid another town's vintage vault.  I mean a coat is always a staple piece, but a vintage coat from Fargo just seems more legitimate. Logically, what other town would have a better variety of coats? 
   Interestingly enough, the trip I photographed above was spent mostly in coffee houses, movie theaters, and my brother's apartment.  At the time it was just too cold to go shopping!  Besides, I may be cheap with food but coffee is a different story.  I said I was cheap, not uncivilized!

Outfits on the trip

Style #1
Coat:  Vintage  (Betty Rose)
Blazer:  Vintage (Pendleton)
Shirt:  7 For All Mankind
Jeans:  Miss Me
Boots:  Sorel
Scarf:  Vintage
Gloves:  The Limited
Pin:  Vintage (My own from childhood)
Sunglasses:  Gift from Al  (Versace)

Style #2
Jacket:  Mossimo
Skirt:  Vintage (Pendleton)
Boots:  Sorel
Gloves:  The Limited 
Sunglasses:  Gift from Al  (Versace)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Open Mic Night (Zebulon)

   Well, it's that time again.  It's time for this narcissistic blogger to take a step back from the limelight and feature another individual's personal style.  I must state that this time I'm really excited to give up the glory because I finally have the opportunity to, "toot the horn," for one of my favorite fashionable friends.  Actually, he's not just one of my favorite friends he's one of my favorite people...on the planet...Earth. (and yes, that does count his home of Fargo, ND.)  Now I know millions of people are dying to know who this fashion icon must be and all I can respond brother, of course!
   I like to think of Zebulon and I as best friends.  He is probably reading this and thinking, "uh, depending on what she writes next we may still be in touch."  I have to say though, after numerous conversations with other people, I have come to realize that not all siblings get along as well as Zeb and I.  OK yes, there was those years we tried to share an apartment after college where it became apparent that I may have a slight problem with mothering him but hey, it was also clear he hated doing the ever.  I say, "Tit for Tat," right?
   Despite, our failed attempt at being roomies, my brother and I have always maintained an excellent friendship.  Our shared love of ridiculous banter regarding pop culture is one of my favorite pastimes. Lucky for me, fashion is one of the topics Zeb has the tolerance to discuss.  He allows me to, "yack," on about labels and thrifting endlessly, and can the man hold your purse while you're in a dressing room?...FORGETABOUTIT!  What a brother!
   However, I must admit Zeb is not totally selfless.  My brother, like his blogging sister, has always shown an affinity for the creative side of life.  My hypothesis is that with this artistic gene, comes the desire for an equally interesting appearance.  So justifies the addiction we both seem to have for original vintage pieces and Ray-Bans.  And yes, I have always been a science wiz!  
   Anyway lately, I have found myself admiring Zeb's growing interest in personal style.  I thought other's may enjoy an explanation of fashion from not only someone else's perspective but their exact words.  So here it is, and not too shabby if you ask me.  Especially, for a kid who used to wear a Rat Fink t-shirt.  Hey, can I still get one of those?

Q.  How would you describe your personal style?
A.  Most people would probably describe my style as a, "Bro," style right now.  On a daily basis I usually wear jeans and a t-shirt/sweater.  However, I've been wanting to change that.  Recently, I've become interested in Rockabilly, and/or the mod look and I'd like to explore that more.

Q.  Which pieces in your wardrobe are in heavy rotation?
A.  Hoodies.  I do like a hoodie.  I have an Arcteryx one in particular that I wear quite often.

Q.  Where are some of your favorite places to shop?  (stores or online)
A.  I like Banana Republic.  It isn't the highest fashion store and they don't have the most quality things, but I think you can find some nice stuff at a fair price.  I've also been frequenting Macy's and Express Men more as well.  Occasionally, I will find myself in a thrift store too.

Q.  What is currently on your style wishlist?
A.  The wishlist has become long.  As of now I'd really like to buy some suits.  I've been researching companies, colors, styles, and even fabrics as to what makes a quality suit.  I've also become interested in watches.  In my opinion, there isn't many accessories a guy can wear, but a nice wristwatch works well.

Q.  If your house was on fire what three pieces from your wardrobe would you save?
A.  Most of what I'd save would actually have sentimental value.  I'd save my White Zombie t-shirt that I've had since I was in high school, and old cowboy shirt that I wore all the time throughout my 20s, and probably the sweater I'm wearing since it's one of a kind vintage.

Q.  Who are your style icons?  (real or fictional...famous or not)
A.  Well James Dean is one of them.  When I think of 50's Rockabilly style, he is the first to come to mind.  I don't know if I really have anymore, "icons," that I look towards though.  Generally, I look more towards eras.  I like when, "grease monkeys," slicked their hair, and rolled the pack of cigarettes up in the sleeve of their white t-shirts, or when kids from the projects saw the rich wearing clean fine pressed suits and thought,"I could do better".  It isn't about mimicking a person to me, but rather a time.

Q.  Define in one word how you believe others would define your style?
A.  Right now, eclectic.  But I'm working more towards throwback.

Coat:  Calvin Klein
Scarf:  Banana Republic
Jeans:  Banana Republic
Shoes:  Merrell
Sunglasses:  Ray-Ban (Clubmaster)
Watch:  Vestal Zr3 
Shirt:  bar III
Vintage Sweater:  Original 1953 Minnesota State Letterman's cardigan (Thanks, Jerry!)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

When Che Met Rhoda

   Not all that long ago I found myself hanging out with my parents.  Oh, who am I kidding?!  I find myself socializing with the, "rents," almost weekly.  It's the classic story they're both retired, I have no real social life so, what the heck, right?  Actually, I quite enjoy spending time with my parents. They are both insightful, hilarious, and charmingly odd individuals.  It is not wasted on me that these are the top characteristics I look for in my closest friends.  However in addition to all that, my parents know how to compile one heck of a reading list for someone in need of entertainment.  In fact, my favorite Starbucks owes these two a debt of gratitude due to the amount of money I have spent on lattes while reading the endless novels they have recommended me.  Yep, hanging out at the coffee shop book club style!  Say hello to your mid thirties.
   Anyway, a while back I was enjoying yet another afternoon of book talk, music musings, and random tangents with mom and dad.  On this particular visit I was wearing the outfit pictured above.  At some point during the conversation my rather unpredictable father asked me, "just what was I wearing?"  I describe dad as unpredictable due to the frequently meandering, often inane conversations I find myself in with him.  Now please, do not think that I do not enjoy these talks with my father.  In fact, it is these kind of ridiculous exchanges I live for.  I mean hey, the TV show, "Seinfeld," was a hit for a reason.  At times, talking to dad can be a lot like watching one of those episodes.  Of course, get my mom involved as well and the conversation can get pretty abstract.  I swear after forty-some years of marriage the two of them can communicate solely through whistles, eye rolling, and hand gestures.  "Not that there's anything wrong with that," as Seinfeld would comment.
   On this particular day, dad had interjected his rather abrupt question, "what are you wearing?" during the middle of some such conversation that I would bet revolved around books or Pinterest. Before I could respond, my mom answered that my outfit was very Che Guevara.  To which my dad replied, "of course he could see that."  At this point, I was confused at how certain they both were that I had designed my outfit around a Cuban revolutionist.  "Not that there's anything wrong with that."  I continued our collaborative random stream of consciousness by verbalizing that I was thinking the outfit was more Rhoda from the, "Mary Tyler Moore Show."  I mean come on, the hat screams Rhoda!  To which my mom emphatically agreed.  After about five more minutes of random bantering about the origins of my outfit we all decided that the look was clearly what would result when Che met Rhoda.  Everyone seemed happy with this revelation even though it took about twenty minutes of ridiculous conversation for us all to define it.  "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

Jacket:  Thrifted and Upcycled with Cynthia Vincent purse remnants by me.
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Lucky Brand
Gloves:  Anthropologie
Necklace:  Dead Things

*All pictures taken by Clark.  Thank you Dad.