22 January 2013

Appropriately Funereal

Bad luck really, but I have to attend two wakes this week. Now I don't fool myself into thinking that anyone wants to attend these things, but they are a necessary evil. Now because I work during the day unless it was a close friend or relative I rarely attend funeral, opting to pay my respects at calling hours in the evening instead. I thought this was common practice everywhere, but my boss, who is from just outside Chicago said in the Midwest not as many people have wakes. Personally I've never known someone who only had a funeral without a wake. Than again New England, especially Rhode Island is predominantly Catholic and wakes are a very big Catholic thing, maybe in the much more Protestant Midwest and South its less common.

Regardless, I'm a bit old fashioned when it comes to such occasions, whether it be a funeral or wake. Today, I've noticed more and more when attending these things (and I've been to my share) that anything goes in terms of dress. People come as they are, whether its direc I've tly from work in say scrubs or in jeans because they're comfortable and that's what people change into when they get home. Again call me old-fashioned but I can't do that, I always try to wear something that is appropriately somber, not necessarily black, but certainly not a red dress, and most importantly is suitably dressy because I think it shows a certain amount of respect. There are always exceptions, been to funerals where you're asked to wear certain colors because they were the deceased favorites, or pink in honor of breast cancer, when our superintendent of schools died two years ago we wore red and white to his funeral in honor of the North Attleboro team colors. Certainly there are exceptions, and I think the families wishes should be respected. When my father died I wore black but it also poured that day and the only raincoat I had was pastel plaid, anything but funereal. One of the last funerals I attended last spring, one of the woman'd nieces who had flown in from Wisconsin and wore jeans and a tee shirt, of the variety I would wear to clean out the garage. Later her mother apologized for her saying that in Wisconsin people just got to funerals as they are, no one bothers dressing up.

Maybe I'm way off base and behind the times but I stick to what I know, and I try my hardest to be respectful, even if the deceased doesn't know any better. Even when circumstances prohibit wearing dar colors I make an attempt. I had to go to the wake of the father of one of  my coworkers and it was a long line, almost three hours to wait, and I anticipated this. I knew I had to be somewhere else right after and there would be no time to change. So I wore my own clothing with my navy blue raincoat on top, which kept it appropriate. Today and tomorrow while midterm exams are going on, my boss and I are wearing grubby clothes to clean out the dusty little used storage rooms. Never would I dream of going straight from work, so I just planned my outfit out this morning and it was there waiting for me to change into. These situations are never ideal, but like anything else wardrobe plays a factor in how we live this life.

That being said Whitley's outfit today over at the Queen City Style is very appropriately funereal, and extra fabulous to boot. I can't lie, if I had her body and her budget I would definitely go in style like that.

21 January 2013

A Trip to Circa

After a busy week I suddenly found myself with one of the great luxuries of a long weekend, a Sunday afternoon with no responsibilities and a playoff game that didn't start until after 6...so obviously I went shopping. I've been wanting to stop by Circa in New Bedford for a while not (like since last summer) its definitely a word of mouth type place. No advertising and you have to really want to get there (lets put ti this way I've lived in New England all my life, forty minutes from New Bedford and I've only been there twice, once in high school for a debate meet and the other time to take the high speed ferry to Martha's Vineyard. I was an hour or two early for the ferry so I toured the New Bedford Whaling Museam and that pretty much sums up everything there is to do in New Bedford, regardless of the fact its most famous as the place where the idea of Moby Dick originated from. Go past the historic downtown a bit and the town gets a little dodgier, there area lot of very poor areas of New Bedford and a large immigrant population. Cove Street, where the large old factory warehouse buildings that house New England Demolition and Salvage are located, dead ends at the water and is in the midst of the docklands. Circa is tucked in the back corner of the immense warehouse, well hidden except to those truly dedicated to finding it. Providence has a growing vintage trade, however the number of true vintage stores, as opposed to consignment shop which are selling modern clothing second-hand can still be counted on one hand. Its nice to know that there is a quality vintage store that can be easily visited without the traffic and parking hassel which tends to make me steer clear of Boston and the much larger vintage trade. I first heard about it through the grapevine from the vintage vixen herself, Kristen Minsky, whose dance exploits I have featured here several times. The first time we met, I was actually wearing the same dress I have on in this post, which I ordered from a retailer in Michigan on Etsy. We got to talking about vintage stores in the area and she said that Circa was her favorite. So into the vehicle I climbed and braved 195 to get to New Bedford. Honestly I think half of the fun is wandering through the warehouse to get to Circa. I posted one photo of the salvage portion just to give you an idea of the scale. Any type of fixture of portion of housing you can think of is there from claw foot bathtubs, to crystal doorknobs,  to an entire train station ticket window. When I was making my purchases I chatted for a minute or two with Chris Duval, the owner who has been in the vintage trade since before I was born. He said that it was really the perfect location because of the kind of clientele that the warehouse attracts, people who are homeowners, are established and financially secure, and appreciate older things with character and a re willing to go the extra mile to acquire them. Clearly its worked, despite his out-of-the-way location he does a very good business, not just in sales but in rentals and theater, newspapers are taking note and recently has been in the news for the outfits he's been sending to L.A. for Zooey Deschanel to wear as the quirky Jess on the show New Girl. That being said he did have wonderful stuff, too much to really see on one trip. I focused on one half of the store and merely browsed on the much more densely crowded back side. Its rough in the way of most small stores, the dressing rooms are tiny and primitive, but as far as I'm concerned that's half the fun of vintage shopping. I've read he has great stuff for men, a rarity in many vintage shops, though I didn't look too closely. His prices I thought were also very reasonable for the quality, and because I paid cash he gave me the best price on everything I bought ( I came prepared because I had read he only took cash and checks). At the end of the day my only complaint, and the thing that stopped me from lingering longer to browse was the temperature. It was close to 55-60 degrees out yesterday and it was maybe 40 degrees inside. Granted I know its in a warehouse, and outside the walled in shop it was probably closer to 30, but even the proprietor was bundled up. I only had a blazer on because it was so nice out, next time I'll keep the climate in mind
Dress: vintage, Shelton Stroller, via Etsy
Blazer: vintage, Pendleton, via Goodwill
Purse: vintage, Jaclyn, via Rhode Island Antiques Mall
Belt (off another dress): Karen Millen
Earrings: vintage, gift from my grandmother
Brooch: vintage, via church fair
Shoes: Krista via Sole Society (still available!)


Despite the fact that I have more than enough coats to keep me warm through even the longest winter, this 1960's Lawrence of London turquoise velvet coat called me. Most of my coats are either black or brown, or a very neutral palate. I think I deserve at least one vivid coat, and this had such a great Carnaby Street in the swinging sixties feel to it.

 Perhaps its was spending a summer in Belize, maybe I'm a lost flower child at heart, regardless I have a thing for everything embroidered. I love peasant shirts, skirts, mumu dresses, either way this number (no label) from the 1970's spoke to me, I tried on several along the same lines but the primary colors and intricate detail on this won out. It only has a drawstring tie waist so I think before i wear it I'll put a button on just to save with bother.

This dress was love, if I had to guess judging from the material and zipper I would say its a 1950's party dress, but I could be wrong. The fabric is sheer enough to see through, so I'll have to wear a slip with it but the wheat print is just lovely with a pale metallic gold paint over the top of the pattern. Its clear to anyone that I have a thing for full A-line skirts, and this fits my style to a 'T', it might even make friends with a crinoline soon.

10 January 2013

The Muse: Pencil Point

 I can't remember if I've complained about this before, but today's youth (is the 1300 kids that inhabit my school for most of the day) have some warped ideas about fashion. Now I have no problem with them wearing what is trendy, but please don't try to talk about it because they are so woefully off in left field that its almost funny. A tube top you wear around your ass is not a pencil skirt. Though if you asked any one of these tube top wearing sixteen year olds on the days they have to "dress up" for a sports team they will swear up and down that its a pencil skirt. When I tried to correct one girl one day by pointing to this skirt, she claimed it couldn't be a pencil skirt because it was "so long". I will admit that this is about as short as I would dare go for work. Then again I have never accidentally flashed a private area in public because my skirt was too short and tight as I have seen many of them do, so I guess semantics aside, we're even.

Incidentally though, this is one of my favorite (really long) pencil skirts. It has a great, really unusual, architectural shape and a retro feel with its fabric and overall style. It also was my other striped item left over from tomorrow. A little pattern mixing and even a really long pencil skirt gets to the point.

Blouse: Merona via Target
Skirt: Eva Franco via Anthropologie
Shoes: A Touch of Nina via DSW
Brooch: Blue Suede via J.Marcel
Earrings: vintage via Top Shelf Flea Market
Jacket: vintage rabbit fur, no label via The Bargain Box
Purse: Bueno, gift
Observe real 1960's secretaries as imagined by McCall's....all wearing really long pencil skirts

09 January 2013

The Muse: Between the Lines

 So after a holiday hiatus Marionberry Style is back with a new Trend of the Month linkup, which in case you didn't get it from the post title is stripes. I confess I had very little to choose from, its apparently the #1 trend of 2013 which goes to show how much I care about/follow trends. I own three items with stripes, the dress I'm wearing in this blog post, a black and white striped dress that reminds me a little of prisoner's outfits at Alcatraz (I showed it here back in the summer) but I had just worn that dress before Christmas, and a wool skirt that has a very subtle stripe but is actually more of a tweed. I don't own the Breton stripe bateaux neck shirt in black/navy blue/ red and white stripe that apparently every woman is supposed to own. I have a black and white chevron patterned shirt I could maybe have gotten away with. It doesn't really matter because I'm still stuck on stripes being the #1 trend for this year. I feel like one of the old rules of dressing was never wear horizontal stripes because they mage you look fat. Apparently nobody follows the rules. But I do like this dress, I liked even better that it was swapped for free. Incidentally not thrilled with photos, crappy weather forced me indoors and the track team was practicing in the hallways so I was forced to use the trade book room for photos because it was the only on with no people and enough light. Angles were hard because its really a glorified closet, but its half the fun. Also I wore a slip under my dress, didn't realize it made the skirt lumpy until I took these. People still said the dress was flattering and made me look tall so its a win, win.

Dress: vintage, Virgo II, via Wedding Season Swap and Shop
Belt: no label, thrifted via Goodwill
Tank( not visible in most because its too bright): Forever 21 (really old)
Shoes: Styluxe thrifted via Twice the Diva