29 April 2012

Shoe Story: Pretty in Pink

I once took an interior design class to round off my last semester of college. One of our assignments was to design a polychromatic room design and then a monochromatic room design. I chose a pink bathroom for my monochromatic design and when I told my friend Patti, who owns her own interior design business that I was struggling with my monochromatic design she automatically guessed that I was working with pink. Why? Pink is difficult, almost all shades of it are super saturated, even if you mix it with neutrals it jumps right out at you. Its not that I don't like pink, in fact I don't even find it overly girly most of the time if worn correctly its just that I feel like the color is too much most of the time, if that makes any sense. That aside, it is a great accessory color in all of its varied and wild manifestations.
47.) These shoes are slap to the senses, and I will admit, rather girly. I feel like they are a present or a box of chocolates just waiting to be opened up. Another pair of Audrey Brooke shoes from DSW they are a lot of fun, though they are a little on the roomy side width wise. I do like that the wrapped material hides the platform, which honestly I find rather unsightly in most cheap shoes. The fabric is not actually satin but it does have an nice sheen to it which makes these shoes work for casual or formal wear. In fact I like them the best paired with jeans, an unusual preference for me.

48.) A recent purchase from Goodwill these Steven Madden pumps are in mint condition, they have silver colored metal heels. The geometric pattern is bold and doesn't exactly mirror each other between the shoes which I think makes them more visually interesting. They other shades of olive green and chocolate brown also accent the pink and make it more palatable across the board.

49.) These shoes are sort of odd ducks, they don't fit with any one color. In fact every time I look at them a different color seems more prominent in the floral pattern, though the reds and pinks tent to pop out at me the most. Last year the teacher whose classes I covered from March until the end of the year gave me a fifty dollar gift card to DSW as a thank you gift. I bought these shoes and a black leather shoulder bag, for $23 dollars each, the four remaining dollars on the card has sat in my wallet ever since. I was very happy with these Bandolino sandals, both the shape and the fabric. Three season a year they are great heels.

50.) These Nine West mules are also very old, but are a great fabric which makes me very reluctant to ever let them go. Mules are neither the easiest nor the most comfortable shoes to wear, in fact most of the time I feel they're too awkward for everyday wear. However on as a dancing shoe they deliver even with only a kitten heel. Can't say I even remember where I got them.

51.) I actually bought these Seychelles for my mother, she had admired the blue and brown pair that I have which are very similar. She also has a bad ankle, from a car accident thirty years ago which unfortunately left her with a limp. That compounded with forty years as a nurse on her feet everyday makes finding shoes that fit and support her difficult. For whatever reason these didn't work, though they seemed wide enough and have only a small wedge on them. So I inherited them by default. They aren't really stylish enough for me, and feel a little old to me but they get an occasional wear.

52.) I can't take credit for these No Boundaries pumps, they were actually a birthday present from my cousin Madeline a few years ago. They are beautiful and well made and I can't complain about any aspect of the design. The round toes do pinch a bit, but I find that in general. Its funny, people always ask me if pointed toes pinch toes, then I explain that your toes aren't anywhere near the point. Ironically round toes do, there's much less wiggle room. But overall the fabulous floral fabric, purple and green leather with cutouts, bows and whimsy make them a real favorite.

Shoe Story: Neutral Zone

The trend for nude shoes irritates me quite a bit. I'll be watching something on television, the Today Show, of The View and look at the women and usually at least two have a nude shoe that blends right in with their skin, and I just don't get it. I find nude shoes very boring, I find neutrals in general very boring. I think the trend is so huge because people are afraid of color. Even with a dress that has say red and black, people wear nude shoes. Red shoes to them are far too daring, nude even seem a safer choice than black sometimes. That being said I do have some shoes in the neutral spectrum, but none match my skin color (for that go back to the white sating shoes, they're closer) and all of them have an interesting aspect that saves them from being too vanilla.
43.) These were in perfect condition considering where I pulled them out of. Another trip to Building 19 with my mother and there was a 'five dollars and less' shoe clearance table. These were on the dusty bottom shelf surrounded by the carcasses of destroyed shoes the tan patent leather without a single scuff. They are Enzo Angiolini, probably a few years out of season but really well made and have a charming grown-up dock shoe feel. I only with the sweet striped fabric was visible hen you wear them. Final price, three dollars.

44.) These are Fioni from Payless and more of a blush color than actual nude, I wear them as a pink tone with outfits as a result. This picture doesn't show the heel, but its a stacked faux wood. They are very comfortable and have a great patent leather finish that wipes clean if scuffed. The Mary Jane strap also makes them invaluable for a stylish so that is easy enough to wear when running around and keeps your feet cool in the summer.

45.) These shoes are Miss Selfrige the young adult brand from Selfrige's department store in the UK. They originally had a black patent leather T-strap running from under the flower and across at the start of the heel. The buckle that closed them was always twisting around so that the strap wouldn't catch and the strap would suddenly slip open. When I bought them for a very reasonable six pounds last summer I was staying with my friend Kenny who had a knack of fixing this issue. I continued to play with them each time I wore them when I came back stateside, however one morning when running late in frustration I got a pair of scissors and sliced the whole damn thing off. now I wear them more and don't feel that they have lost any of their appeal because they still have the patent leather detail around the edges.

46.) These are perhaps the must boring of my neutral shoes, they are several years old and Issac Mizrahi for Target brand. As you can probably see they are also dirty feet victims, a hazard with any summer shoe. They are still a go to for summer dresses but are a bit too tea party in design for me too really love them, again they are one of my mother's picks, she has a good fashion sense its just very different from my own.

27 April 2012

Shoe Story: Heavy Metal

Strictly speaking neither of my grey shoes are metallics(though you should see my silver boots), however they fit as well here as anywhere. Metallics is such a wide range that its hard to define, even if you have trouble defining shades of a color even  kindergartner can tell the difference between a red shoe and a blue shoe. Metallics are harder, is it the color? Or the sheen? SO here's how I defined it, not guaranteed nomenclature.
38.) Yet another pair of Nine West that I don't actually remember buying, I think its because my mother brought them home after spotting them, she went through a phase where she did that. She also always asks me why I don't wear them very often, because really I don't. I like them, they're very architectural and ladylike, great color and well built. But they are dressy, something about them screams for a cocktail dress and drinks at the King Cole Bar, dressing them down is very hard, which isn't usually the case for me. It may also be that YSL showed a somewhat similar pair a few years ago in bright primary colors, I remember everyone had them on at the MET Costume Institute's Gala that year, fancy by association.

39.) A Christmas present I picked out myself this year these Rocket Dog pumps came from J. C. Pennys back in December. I like them, but I don't love them. The fabric is a pretty, raw silk in a mushroom/cement colored brownish grey (was that too many adjectives?) The detail is nice but the round toe pinches my toes, over all the arch is funny and just not comfortable, so they don't get as much wear as they might.

40.) Five year's old these Steven Madden bronze/gold metallic flats were another Christmas present I picked out myself at T.J. Maxx...I think, it was at least five years ago. I didn't realize they were salt stained until l i really looked at the picture, but its okay they're well worn and a little beat up but still get the job done.

41.) These Leifsdottir shoes are one of my favorites and despite my sick obsession with Anthropologie, the only pair of shoes that I have ever bought there. I have again a disturbed need to buy in there, I don't think I've ever come out with nothing, and often I buy average things because they're good deals. These shoes were not something I needed or was looking for but were very attractively priced at $24. A ridiculous discount off of the $250 plus retail price. People also often ask if they are vintage and they do very much resemble the shoe styles popular form the 1920's to the 1940's especially with the Art Deco detailing on the front and around the buckles. The heels which are thick and cylindrical are a bit scuffed, but the metallic shine hides it pretty well.

42.) Pretty sure these hail from junior year of high school 2003-2004, and are Splash brand from Charlotte Russe (not that I've really shopped there since but it was one good afternoon). I remember there was a buy one get on free sale and I really wanted this high heeled pair of slip on sandals with a wood heel and embroidery across the strap, my mother kept trying to convince me to buy these instead. So they became the get one free half of the deal. Needless to say, much as I hate to admit it, she was right the other pair was trashed within a year or two and here are the others, still kicking. The beading is certainly metallic with a sort of Turkish harem flair to them, but the background of the shoe itself is actually more of a butter yellow.

Shoe Story: White Album

White shoes... most people would categorically dismiss them as being impractical and move on. They might be okay with bridal gowns or nurses shoes or even certain all-white sneakers, but in general most people just don't go there.
35.) In terms of impractical white shoes, these are it. Ann Marinos, like the turquoise satin high heeled sandals, the fabric does stain easily. I found these at DSW, and they also came in black but those were rather blah, besides the white satin does have  sort of magical quality to it. Surprisingly I get a lot of wear out of these, both summer and winter, they pair great with opaque tights.

36.) Another pair from DSW, by Audrey Brooke. I'm not a great fan of wedges, however these were only ten dollars and I had a spend ten dollars, get ten dollars off so I bought them alongside another ten dollar pair and got two for ten. They have a multicolored basket weave on the top and sides and get a fair amount of summer wear, the only thing I find limiting is that the gold buckle is so prominent that I feel the need to not mix metallics when I wear these.

37.) This was my other recent great buy at J. Marcel's semi-annual sale. These Cynthia Vincent beauties were in their back room sale area, not that it mattered because everything was on sale, I almost missed them because they were separate from the shoes, over by a full length mirror and a sunglasses display. To dark grey boxes were on the floor with a discreet hand written sign that said "Cynthia Vincent sandals! Wow great value, only $20" of something like that. There was a 71/2 and an    8, it turns out I needed the bigger size. They retailed for $325, the J. Marcel price was $200. Either way you look at it I save at least $180, at most $305, either way a wicked deal as we say in Rhode Island. They are also really worth it, the leather is the softest I've ever felt, they are padded and comfortable, and the colors, including the bronze metallic lining are stunning.

25 April 2012

Shoe Story: Pitter Pattern

 I have lots of shoes with patterns, but these four pair fall into the sort of neutral category, they have a white of beige base and lots of colors added in from there.
32.) When my step-brother got married on Martha's Vineyard his fiancee gave dire warnings that heels should not, could not, be worn for fear it would ruin the lawn of the house they rented for the occasion. The dress I wore was too long to wear flats or sandals, and the wedding was only on June 2nd so it got cool in the evening. These were my compromise, with about a half inch heel. They're a beautiful patterned raw silk by Hype, from DSW. The strap is very thin and the fabric frays making it hard to find the holes to thread the buckle through, I've thought about cutting the strap off, but I would slip right out of the shoes, they weren't designed to be worn that way. The outfit I wore them with is pictured below, and you can see the house, and lawn in question in the background. It belonged to Chevy Chase's second ex-wife Jacqueline Carlin, after her alimony payments of course, however she lost it due to bankrupcy in 2010 three years after this picture was taken.

Dress: Odille via Anthropologie
Hat: Betmar via T.J. Maxx
Ring: Forever 21
Earrings: vintage (Capri brand) via Wickford Village Antiques and Collectables

33.) When I was in Spain I saw another girl on the trip wearing them and I had to have them, and got them at Zara for maybe 9 euro. Now they're a little worse for the wear but comfortable and like slippers, people always seem to like them due to their very faux Burberry pattern.

34.) Another really old pair from Marshall's Super Shoe Shop at Lincoln Mall, the same era as the two heeled sandals. They're an Asian print Steve Madden pump with a cream background nad lots of different colors, they unfortunately do stain fairly easily and are a bit battered looking as a result.

Shoe Story: Purple Haze

Short post on this color today. Purple is a color that has grown on me over time, and like turquoise I find lots of ways to combine and recombine it, especially a bright, royal, purple. Lilac and lavender I rarely if ever wear, like most pastels it makes me look pasty pale and I find it a little insipid. Royal purple on the other hand is the color of royalty and rock stars.
29.) These are a recently acquired pair of BCBGeneration suede booties from J. Marcel on Hope Street in Providence, so new I haven't even had a chance to wear them. It's a designer shoe shoe with discounted prices, small but lovely and organized very well. I picked them up during their annual sale where everything in the store was on sale, the shoes retailed for $185 and their in store price was $135, I got them at the closeout discounted price of $25. they have a slight platform outlined in black leather but the balance is very good, something I sometimes struggle with when it comes to platforms. The silver studs also give them a badass edge on what could otherwise be too sweet and pretty purple.

30.) These Chinese Laundry pumps have been very well loved, as you can tell by the worn out tips which I colored in with a marker that didn't quite match, but I didn't have the heart to toss them just yet. They are purple, but more of a wine colored python. The four buckles actually open and have open spaces in between, but I've never opened them, no reason to really. They came from Burlington Coat Factory back when the sold better quality shoes, my mother was guilted into buying them for me by a girl in a wheelchair who told us how pretty they were, actually I feel a little guilty just saying that.

31.) These were the other half of the buy one get one half off deal at the Nine West Outlet store in Wrentham, alongside the blue snakeskin pumps. Obviously these are a similar patter in a different color, but these actually are textured while the blue ones are smooth leather with the pattern printed on. I have the Mary Jane buckles buckled straight across however I rarely do this when I actually wear them, I over lap them and crisscross the buckles so the shoes fit more snugly and it adds some visual interest, I do the same with the green and blue plaid Mary Janes with the lace overlay.

24 April 2012

Spring Fling

Now swaps are a commonplace thing in the ever so chic world of fashion blogging, and one I had read a lot about. Unfortunately RHode Island, while the mecca of many things, including but not limited to quohogs, the Big Blue Bug, Buddy Cianci and cronism, and coffee milk, we also have the oldest shopping mall in America, the Arcade in Providence, is not known for swaps. Indeed if any are held here I've yet to see evidence of it. That being said we're less than an hour from Boston, which seems to have an abundance of them. Now a very limited amount of research reveals that in Boston if not everywhere, The Swapaholics arethe girls you want ot go to if you want to swap accordingly. So when I saw they were having an event on April 18th at 40 Berkeley I immediately signed up, you know, go big or go home.
The location it was held at is pictured above. It is essentially a hostel in the more European fashion, with both hotel short stay accommodations and longer term units. The lobby has a cool vibe with its old fashioned mailboxes meeting mid century modern furnishings, but the whole building is unassuming from the outside. The bottom two pictures show what is called the living room where the swap was held. The picture on the left shows looking into the area that is shown in the picture on the right. The swap was behind where those chairs are overlooking the courtyard in a big room with many couches and chairs as well as a fireplace and refreshments table. And of course clothing racks. Now I had a few preconceived notions about swaps that have now been dispelled:
1.) I assumed that like when you consign clothing all items you brought to swap would be scrutinized. Now I'm not sure what its like for other consigners but usually a full body scan is less invasive than having clothing gone through. No one even looked in my bag, let alone examined my items, in fact I consigned a Chadwick's black and white polka dot skirt that had been rejected by my local consignment shop because it had a pull in it (a white line running through the black part of the silk) I time it, the skirt was on the rack less than a minute before a woman snatched it up and put it on over her red leather pants.
2.) No exit scrutiny either, we were on the honor system, trusted to only take out the same number that we brought in. Again no one checked my bag, and I'm sure some people took a few extras. I had reached my limit and was really tempted by a mauve ruffled blouse, which I probably could have taken. In retrospect I should have left the shoes and taken the blouse instead. However my conscience is clean I don't have to go to confession now.
3.) While the invite said that we would "be sipping cocktails in the beautiful courtyard" I shouldn't have believed it. Now logic dictated that even with the beautiful weather we've been having the courtyard would be too cold at 7PM. However cocktails implies that the hostel/hotel has a bar, which it didn't. Almost every hostel I've ever stayed in regardless of he location either had a bar (in cities usually) or you could buy a limited selection of alcohol at the desk. The event organizers brought in some sandwiches and some pink wine, but somehow that differs from the vision of cocktail a la Gatsby in the courtyard. Next time eat and drink first so by 8:30 you're not ready to pass out and have to stop at McDonald's on the way home.
4.) Don't be shy, I didn't really get that you flaunt your finds over you clothes like Brad Pitt wearing German soldiers scalps on his coat in Legends of the Fall. In fact if people weren't wearing things, they were trying them on. Some right over clothes, of in my case I slipped the shoes and belt on for an easy fit on the spot. Then I went to the bathroom which was full of half naked women just throwing clothes around with abandon. God, I really must be a prude not only would I feel like a fool wearing random bits of commandeered clothing over my own, there is no way in hell I strip in a public restroom with total strangers, even fashion has some limits.

I ended up leaving around 8:35 because I had my limit and no new swappers had come in for at least 20 minutes, plus I didn't want to get lost in the pitch black looking for my car. Overall it was a great experience, and something I would definitely do again. I met a lot of people including a dorky run in with Amy from Stylish Year, whois even cuter in person, in which I asked "are you Stylish Year?"As well as the entire staff of Artifacktori , and though I've never been I have a sneaking suspicion I'd be right at home there.

My first find was this black leather belt with a rhinestone buckle by Below the Belt, its really good quality leather and a nice fit with zero scuffing on it. I've been getting into belts lately, but big, bold ones and this qualifies even if it is a little narrow. It was missing one of the teardrop shaped rhinestones in the inner circle, however I replaced it with another rhinestone I pulled off a Christmas ornament, its cheaper looking and a slightly different shape but blends in well enough and is less noticeable than the empty spot was, if you look closely its around the 7 or 8 o'clock position on the inner circle.

This dress was definitely my best find, I zeroed in on it and was fighting my way to the rack and fervently praying the woman in front of me wasn't reaching for the same thing, I got it so apparently someone up there is on my side. A few minutes after liberating it I met the person who may very well be my fashion soul mate, Sara Antoinette Stevens of The Technicolor Dream Shoes when she saw that I had her dress, saying it was one of her favorites and hoped I enjoyed it, because it had been well loved. Check out her blog and in her latest post you can see the outfit she was wearing that night, fabulous!

The bodice is gathered and has three decorative buttons, and I believe that it actually can open up at that point, but really with such exquisite detail, why would you?

I did have to mend one or too places on the seem on the right hand side of the skirt. I think the dress is homemade because of this at the hem. It looks to me like the company logo printed on the edge of a piece of fabric off a bolt. The stitching inside is definitely machine but not super neat like a finished garment would be, that an the lack of a tag points to a home sewed item, not that I have any problem with that.

The colors were tricky to catch on camera, I had too play around with the brightness and blue saturation quite a bit. Over all it has a very opulent jewel tone quality to it with a cream colored background. Needless to say Sara is welcome to my firstborn child is she so wishes. Incidentally she also supplied the mauve blouse with the riffled color I valiantly walked away from.

I found the rhinestone belt first, then began to despair that I was out of luck for the rest of the night until I saw this. Now I suspected that it might be too small, and it is right across the widest part of the bust, but nit uncomfortably or unflatteringly so. If I lost five pounds I'm sure it would fit perfectly. Wouldn't everything?

Again the color came through very off, I'm still learning the camera's quirks. This is really a deep chocolate brown, and I have high hopes for it. I have not had great luck with brown clothing. I had another brown blouse like this from Banana Republic in a cotton blend, similar shape but with buttons rather than ruffles down the from that got mysterious bleach spots on it, the same thing happened to a brown skirt with a gold belt I had. I'm not sure if brown dye is very unstable of  what, but I'll make sure to wash by hand.

This was the real wild card item I picked up, it combined both things I gravitate towards and things I'm very wary of. I liked the ruffle and the lightweight cotton-denim-like blend, colors, and the zipper gave it character. THe length, a tunic type style tends not too be good because it clings to the butt and the Empire-waist makes you look pregnant. The halter top and tiny cutouts above are also not friendly for a busty girl. In this case however it works and didn't distort me to cartoon character proportions.

The fabric is really easy to iron and doesn't wrinkly like 100% cotton or linen does, there also has to be some Spandex in there because it has a lot of give.

I feel like this could be very preppy-conservative with a little sweater, but you can also unzip that zipper which opens up a whole other realm of possibilities.....

Shoe Story: Green With Envy

Green is my favorite color, oddly enough I don't actually have a lot of green clothes or accessories. I'm not sure why, maybe its because I spent all of high school wearing a hunter green and white uniform! I also think that green is a tough color both to find and sometimes to style. face it, its not easy being green.
23.) I bought these Danielle brand shoes the same day as the Nine West black patent leather bow shoes with a similar style at the Marshall's Shoe Superstore at Lincoln Mall. The black shoes actually had a green version, but these were much cheaper, and my mother said that I should buy the black ones at full price 'because I would get more wear out of them anyway'. Eight years later I still have both pairs, so its a tossup who was right. These have a quirky little design on the front, with a buckle that doesn't actually buckle, and a bow that appears to be cut in half, maybe that's why they were discounted, at the least it keeps the two pairs from looking too much alike.

24.) This Fioni pair was the first pair of 'fancy' shoes I ever bought at Payless. I wore a cream and spring green dress from Victoria Secret (what they have real clothes too!) for my high school graduation. My mother had bought me these little slip on sandals with these clear plastic flowers on them, which were frankly hideous and really uncomfortable especially in the summer when you're sweating. I went to Payless with my friend and carpooler Alyssa because she needed shoes for graduation as well. I saw these which are about a four inch heel  with ankle ties and a basket weave in multi-color (predominantly kelly green of course) like an old school folding chair you would take to a parade or the beach. I didn't carry money back then so I dragged my mother back, and bought them for the astronomical price (at the time) of $16. We compromised I wore her shoes to the awards night and mine to graduation, her needless to say were consigned to the Johnston Landfill before i even started college, these are still around.

25.) Forever 21 was one of my favorite store in high school, now I find that the quality is crap for the price of things in there. I will occasionally pop in for accessories however because they're selection is huge and varied. A few years ago the gladiator sandal was very trendy but the price tag was not. On a whim I picked these up for around $20 at Forever 21 and figured I'd feel less guilty if I hated them. They are plastic and the sole is not at all cushioned or proportioned to a human foot. When I have the time to wrestle myself into them I wear them because they are cute and a great, vibrant, green faux snakeskin, but had a spent about $10 more I could have had a zipper up the back and made my life easier.

26.) These Ann Klien shoes were the first pair I ever bought at DSW, the one on Rte. 2 in Warwick so it was a while ago, before we got one closer to us in North Attleboro. If I had to guess they're from spring 2006, because I didn't have a license yet and my mother had taken me home from college for the weekend. I feel like mules were in at the time and I have several pairs from that era, but you never see them anymore, for a good reason, they are hard to wear. These did get me a job offer from a female principal once however, for which I will be eternally grateful.

27.) These Seychelles shoes were one of the first things I really saved for, I ordered them from the Urban Outfitters website for $88 in 2005 when I was a freshman in college. I loved the color and the shape and they are of very good quality leather and super comfortable. Of course my mother had to ruin it by telling me she had a pair exactly like them in cordovan leather in the 80's. Way to be a buzz kill Ma,

28.) These probably should have gone with the blue shoes but there were less of the green shoes to share space. These are really old...2003, 2004? as you can probably tell from the scuffed soles. They came from Old Navy and are of decent construction and are unusual which is why I kept them around. Not the most comfortable for lots of walking but practical because they go with lots of things.

23 April 2012

Wheeling and Dealing

Every year for the past 64 years the Wheeler School on the East Side of Providence has held a clothing and more sale to benefit school programs. As the East Side is the wealthiest area of Providence, with a lot of "old money" some of the clothing donated is really high end. If they have Fendi bags and St. John suits now imagine the treasures they must have had at the first sale in 1948. Elsa Schiaparelli gowns? Dior New Look ensembles? Coco era Chanel? Now it is an extreme shopping event, sort of like the day after Thanksgiving at outlet stores; hot, crowded, 85%crap, 15%gems. You have to be willing to claw your way through and have unlimited patience, because you wait in line everywhere, to get into the high end Boutique area, to get close to jewelry and housewares in the White Elephant section, to try things on (really most things are so cheap, why bother?), and to check out. But any true shopper knows, its all about the hunt.
Wheeler was founded in 1899 by Mary Coleman Wheeler, from Concord, MA she was the next generation transcendentalist following in the footsteps of Thoreau and Emerson. She disagreed with the beleifs about women's education of the day, that women only needed domestic lessons taught in finishing school. She started a practical women's academy teaching astronomy, biology, and most importantly agricultural knowledge in keeping with the farming predominant in New England. She also instructed them in the fine arts taking them to Giverny to study painting with her good friend Claude Monet. Since then the school has expanded significantly and has become coeducational serving grades pre-K through 12. It does have the reputation for being somewhat alternative, I've always though it was a bit of a hippie school (come on a private school without uniforms, that's the best part!) but it still has a very high reputation, if very exclusive.

This is the sign from last year's sale, but identical to this years except for the dates. The sale is held in the school's gym, which is on Brook Street. I swear that all the kids there were directing people there. You entered through these hidden doors down an alley, there were discreet signs with balloons on them but it still felt a bit like a clothing scavenger hunt.

This photo shows the set up of the gym, as you can see the aisles are tight. Even tighter if you picture several hundred people milling among them. They were playing the 80's greatest hits and had a sort of MC announcing how things work every 15 minutes or so. I spent about an hour there from 10:30 to 11:30, and the first wave was quieting down as I was leaving but when I went but later around 5 it was still packed. I went home with three dresses, a silk scarf, three brooches, a necklace, and a jacket. All the prices were set except for in the Boutique area with the high end items. Dresses were $10 each, the scarves $2, and all jewelry $0.50.  So I spent a total of $34 in the regular area, and $12 on the jacket in the Boutique, a convenient low end price in the high end area. Overall $46 was very reasonable when I would have spent more than that on one item retail, and the money goes to help the kiddies.

This dress is a 1980's relic, cotton, and now minus the shoulder pads. I like the long sleeves, otherwise the figure hugging cut would be a little too sexy for everyday wear, as is though its extremely wearable.

The only flaw this dress had was a small hole on the left side of the lapel, a small fold and a few blanket stitches fixed that in about five minutes. I haven't worn it yet but I may have to insert a hook and eye to control how much cleavage is visible, often a trouble with us curvy girls.

Despite its vintage age I think the colors and pattern on this are very modern. Comparable to what I've seen in stores within the past year. Black, cream, purple, red, brown, and gold give a lot of options for mixing and matching. The pattern a mix of animal prints, leopard, zebra, and giraffe is a lot of fun and not something I've seen anywhere else. 

This to me is a classic 1970's polyester dress, a fabric that doesn't breathe but is very comfortable, machine washable, and dame near indestructible. It also holds color well, much better than natural fabrics which tend to fade over time. This dress was very well loved by someone, the seams at the waist had been mended on at lease three occasions, judging by the different color threads. Not a thrilling color but a dress I know I'll get a ton of wear out of, I always do with retro polyester threads.

I loved the little school marm style tie at the neck. I love ties and ruffles at the neck, my mother is the one who terms things school marmish, I always have to remind her I am a school marm, I might as well play the part well. The other major selling point on this dress, it zips up the front, with my big bosom and short stumpy arms I constantly struggle to zip things up so I did a little happy dance when I saw that and the tie covers it up so it isn't unsightly.

This was my Boutique item, its from the Peony Company in Shanghai, circa late 1940's early 1950's when the Far Eastern style was hip post WWII. I have wanted a bed jacket like this for some time, but often the silk is faded or frayed or simply too small. This was quite a find and at a very good price, but I think it was priced so because there were several of them in different colors probably from the same donor.

The colors, mainly turquoise, lime green, gold, and red were what really sold me on this particular jacket. I've already thought up dozens of combinations it will work with, the first bring the skirt below.

Wait you said, didn't she say three dresses? Welllll this was a dress, I didn't take a picture of it in its original shape. It was a definite 1970's very high end relic, the tag was from a boutique on 5th Avenue in New York and I saw a dress very similar to it last year in the RISD Museum's Cocktail Culture exhibit. It original had a high oversized collar with very long points in a sheer overlay and long sheer sleeves finished in gathered cuffs edged with the same trim as the skirt. The top was too tight so I turned the dress which was a little dated into a mid-calf length skirt.

A close-up of the trim, the natural skirt actually ended below the second piece of trim at the waist but I though it would be prettier with both so I left about an inch of gauze from the bodice of the dress at the top then tucked it under and sewed it flat inside the trim. The whole process took about an hour and left me with a unique really beautiful skirt. I also thing the flame colored red orange would be a little too bold and over the top as a whole dress and is much more striking as part of an outlet, it has a lot more potential for creative styling than a flaming red dress with a dated cut which could be sort of a one trick pony.