Memory of summer

Yesterday The Style Line celebrated their first anniversary at Mid-Atlantic Mercantile in Lawrenceville. Shop owner Emily Slagel invited my sister and I to bring a capsule collection of late-summer vintage clothing to the event, and we spent the afternoon sipping cocktails from the Livermore and generally having an amazing time.

I wore this vintage 1950's skirt that I found at an estate sale a few weeks ago. It's an unusual garment. The skirt has button holes around its hem, and the button holes fasten onto buttons around the hem of the attached half-slip, creating a bustle effect. The colors remind me of childhood vacations to North Carolina--peaceful and nostalgic and surprisingly reflective of my mood these days.

Outfit details:
Anthropologie camisole
1950's skirt (part of a blouse and skirt set) purchased at an estate sale
Vintage shell necklace purchased at a flea market
Madewell heels



Every so often I suffer from vintage burn-out. A customer is unhappy with a dress. Or a pile of garments purchased at an estate sale turn out to be riddled with holes. Or my vintage collection seems lacking compared to the items I "like" on Instagram... Vintage burn-out. Something usually shakes me out of it, and this time, it was the outfit I'm wearing in these photos and--more specifically--a friend's reaction to it. The notion that 100-year-old undergarments can look modern and interesting is so, so great! And the possibility that an outfit might spark someone else's creativity is even better.

Outfit details:
Edwardian blouse purchased at an estate sale
Edwardian skirt purchased at a flea market
J.Crew slip
1950's belt purchased at an estate sale
Madewell heels
Victorian mourning necklace via The Deeps
Antique bracelet purchased at an estate sale


Almost summer

It isn't summer yet, but it sure feels like it. I've been drinking almost-daily frappuccinos (which I can only justify because I still have Starbucks gift cards left over from Christmas), and ladybugs have taken up residence in one of my bedroom windows. Two signs that the weather is changing. It was actually a little warm for jeans, but I felt very summery in this high-rise pair from Gap and a funny 80's wrap top that I tied in an enormous bow. And the bracelet! A few weeks ago I went to an estate sale with tons of vintage jewelry. It was mostly costume and not all that old, but while I was digging, the woman running the sale started unpacking some extra boxes. She handed me a Ziploc bag filled with jewelry, and when I opened it, I realized it was all Victorian! Portrait pins, lockets, monogrammed bracelets, etc. This bracelet was one of my favorites in the bag, and it only cost me $3!

Outfit details:
Vintage polka dot wrap top via etsy
Anthropologie tank
Gap jeans
Nine West flats
Antique bracelet purchased at an estate sale


Ode to common things

The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda loved "things." His three homes are filled with his treasures--colored glass, figureheads from old ships, masks from around the world--and he composed odes to birds, to salt, to socks. In "Ode to Common Things," he writes, "many things conspired to tell me the whole story. Not only did they touch me, or my hand touched them: they were so close that they were a part of my being, they were so alive with me that they lived half my life and will die half my death." He believed that everything ever made bore "the trace of someone’s fingers on their handle or surface, the trace of a distant hand lost in the depths of forgetfulness."

I can relate to Pablo Neruda, because that's exactly how I feel about vintage clothing. That by slipping on a dress I might be able to share a piece of the previous owner's spirit. It's not about capital-F Fashion at all. So I wasn't even mad today when the wind kept blowing my dress askew or passersby stared. I felt romantic and content, illuminated by the hazy afternoon sunlight, and it was a nice feeling.

Outfit details:
1940's dress via Dethrose Vintage
Madewell heels


Kicky Feet Vintage at Trade Union

On March 29th, I was one of the vendors at Trade Union, a newly-established biannual trunk show held at the Mine Factory here in Pittsburgh. It was the first time I've ever sold vintage clothing at a show, and I was so glad that the incredibly talented Laila Archuleta took a few photos of my booth. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, and keep your eyes on the Facebook page for more information about the next one!