My brother always comes to Pittsburgh for the holidays, but this year, when he left for Wisconsin, he took my sister and I along with him. We've been here since Saturday, and yesterday, we visited Chicago. It was a wonderful, busy day, and though I didn't take very many photos, I wanted to share the few that I did.

I really wanted to see Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, even though it was outrageously cold. (I just looked it up, and it was 14 degrees yesterday afternoon.) My brother, sister, and I took turns snapping touristy photos of one another. In this one, you can see me clutching a bag of goodies from Market Supply Co., a vintage shop partially owned by Karyn of Dethrose Vintage and located in the Pilsen neighborhood. Karyn was nice enough to open her shop just for my sister and I, and it was even better than I expected. I wish I had taken a few photos while we were in there, but I didn't want to seem like a creepy fangirl. Luckily, Leilani of Thriftaholic already wrote up an amazing post (with tons of gorgeous photos) about the shop prior to their grand opening in September. And my purchases--a 1950's barkcloth skirt and a 1960's does 1930's knit set--should make their way onto the blog soon enough.

Another view of the Bean. (Shortly after taking this photo, we hustled to Intelligentsia Coffee, where I ordered a much-needed latte.)

We ended our day at The Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and debuted as a science museum during the 1933-1934 Century of Progress Exposition. I've always been pretty fond of the World's Fairs, especially the Century of Progress, so I was psyched to check out the museum. In this photo, I'm standing in front of the 999 Steam Locomotive, "The World's Fastest Locomotive" (112.5 mph), which was displayed at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

Outfit details: Top purchased at an antique shop in Monongahela, PA || 1950's corduroy skirt via Wildfell Hall Vintage || 1940's knit turban via sonnet and bough || 1950's mink collar via Bohemian Bisoux || L.L.Bean boots and camp socks

And a photo of my brother's adorable cat, Maya. Because cats!


Small Business Saturday

Apart from two brief stops at Anthropologie (where I won a pretty set of ceramic measuring spoons) and Gap (where I buy most of my dance teacher clothes), I tried to avoid this year's Black Friday crowds. Instead, I visited a few local antique shops, and today, I went to Butler Street in Lawrenceville for Small Business Saturday.

I was determined to take outfit photos in spite of the cold. While I really wanted to wear a rayon 40's dress (a brown and teal polka dotted one in particular), this cozy, layered get-up seemed a little more appropriate. You'd think I'd be used to the cold after spending so many Saturday mornings standing outside in estate sale lines, but apparently, I'm not. Just look how pink my hands are!

Lastly, I have lots of new findings to share with you guys: a 1950's sailor-inspired playsuit that I'm slowly bringing back to life, a perfectly worn-in pair of bowling shoes from the 1940's, loads of great dresses for the shop... Stay tuned!

Outfit details:
J.Crew men's chambray shirt
J.Crew men's cardigan
1950's wool skirt via Hey Betty! (a local vintage shop)
J.Crew belt
Bass Outlet boots
L.L.Bean camp socks


Wardrobe staples

My new job at the theater allows me to dress up a little more, as opposed to the dance studio where I wear a less than exciting mix of tank tops and yoga pants from Lululemon and Gap. After finishing grad school, I felt a little strange putting together fancy outfits for the blog when all I really wanted to wear were oversized button-downs and jeans. I still lean towards jeans these days (especially for late evening shifts), but I try to put in a bit more effort every now and again. And I do feel more myself in outfits like this one--all dresses and layers and vintage clothes with history.

I will say that while I love my pretty rayon 40's dresses and vintage wool sweaters, they're such a pain to clean! I'm also getting to a point where my most treasured vintage pieces seem almost too precious to wear, so sturdy cotton dresses like this plaid number quickly become wardrobe staples.

Outfit details:
1950's dress purchased from my friend Amanda
Thrifted H&M striped top
Coach belt
Nine West heels


Gay Disguises for Hallowe'en Revelers

At an estate sale a few weeks ago, I bought four issues of a party planning magazine published by Dennison Manufacturing Co. in the 1920's. (The magazine apparently changed names several times. The first three images in this post are from Party Book, 1929, and the last two are from Parties, 1928.) The magazines were hidden in the basement under a pile of dust and are especially cool because they're discards from the Sewickley Public Library. They still have their original borrowing cards stamped with due dates ranging from 1929 through 1966! I have a small collection of vintage costumes, but they aren't nearly as elaborate as the costumes that the magazine insists can be made from only crepe paper and cardboard cutouts! (By the way, clicking on any of the images will open a larger version in a new window.)


On new jobs and girls of the woods

This is the outfit I plan on wearing tomorrow for the first day of my new job. I'm going to be the House Manager for a local nonprofit community theater. At 26 years old, I already feel so much pressure to have a capital-C Career, but I think for now, this part-time position--in addition to my dance teaching job--feels right. I'm just happy to be working for a really fantastic arts organization.

In an Instagram post, Kater from all this happiness described her outfit as "girl of the woods goes to the mall," and I feel like that's the direction I'm headed in these days. Cable knit sweaters, well-worn boots, oversized button-downs, and lots of rich, earthy colors.

Outfit details:
Thrifted sweater (borrowed from my sister)
Vintage velvet skirt purchased at a church rummage sale
Bass Outlet boots
Vintage Paris souvenir bracelet purchased at a yard sale
1920's barkcloth tote via Demure Folk



This dress--a 1940's rayon number with star-shaped studs--is one of my favorite estate sale purchases. Something about the shape, especially paired with slightly ugly, chunky sandals, looks really modern to me. It came from a house that felt damp the moment I walked through the door. Most of the other dresses were literally rotten, but this one only had a few spots of rust on the studs and a little surface dirt.

It's starting to feel more like Fall here in Pittsburgh, especially with morning temperatures in the 40's. Dance classes are in full swing, and my muscles are screaming, so I tried to take it easy today, icing my ankle, sipping hot chocolate, and indulging in some terrible daytime television.

Outfit details:
1940's dress purchased at an estate sale
Coach belt
Madewell heels



The blog world already seems to be gearing up for Fall, but it's definitely still hot and humid here in Pittsburgh. In honor of late summer's hazy days, here's a photo I bought at an estate sale a few weeks ago. That dive looks equal parts terrifying and exhilarating, kind of like life after graduate school.


Romero at Phipps

I've been sitting on these photos for a while now, because I couldn't decide whether or not I liked them. (I'm trying to get away from the whole look-down-and-away moody blogger pose. In my defense, it was really bright outside?) But this type of outfit--a printed cotton 50's skirt paired with one of my Madewell tees--was pretty much my uniform for the last semester of grad school. Summer already feels over to me, since dance classes start up again on Friday, and I wanted to post this outfit before I'd completely moved on.

I wore this to go see Phipps Conservatory's corpse flower, named "Romero" after the director of the 1968 zombie flick Night of the Living Dead, which was filmed near Pittsburgh. Corpse flowers only bloom once every 6-10 years for 24-48 hours, and for 12 of those hours, they emit a strong odor that resembles rotting flesh (hence the name). Romero bloomed on August 20th, and I hustled over to Phipps right around opening time the following morning. It's a pretty strange-looking plant--like a 6-foot-tall prehistoric peace lily--and I'm glad I was able to catch it while it was blooming. There were also several families there when I went, and it made me irrationally happy watching little kids run around with their noses pinched, dramatically complaining about the smell!

Outfit details:
Madewell tee
Vintage 50's skirt via Very Vintage Store
H&M flats


Knit the Bridge

Earlier this month, a group of 1,900 (!!) volunteers from Pittsburgh and the surrounding area covered the Andy Warhol/7th Street Bridge with 508 knitted, crocheted, and woven blankets. I heard about the project, called Knit the Bridge, a few months ago, and I checked out the finished installation yesterday. It is gorgeous, especially lit by the late afternoon sun, and I couldn't be more excited to see community arts initiatives taking place here in Pittsburgh. So awesome.

Outfit details:
1940's wrap dress via Lawrence
Coach belt
1980's oxfords purchased at an estate sale


Fiberart International

In the two-and-a-half months since my previous post, I finished my last semester at the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with an MLIS in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management. (Woo!) My dance teaching job starts up again in September, but I'd love to find an archives-related part-time gig as well. We'll see how it goes.

Yesterday I went to the Fiberart International exhibition at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Unsurprisingly, my favorite artworks incorporated vintage textiles. For her piece Love Letters, Roslyn Ritter embroidered her mother's wedding dress with excerpts from love letters written by Ritter's father. And Samantha Fields' She Speaks Folly in a Thousand Holy Ways consists of a vintage afghan dripping with heavy, dimensional beading. There are a couple more great art exhibitions coming up in the next few months (like the 2013 Carnegie International and Chiharu Shiota's show at the Mattress Factory), and I'm looking forward to enjoying them without grad school deadlines hanging over my head.

Roslyn Ritter, Love Letters, 2011.

Detail of Ritter's Love Letters.

Samantha Fields, She Speaks Folly in a Thousand Holy Ways, 2011.

My sister, Amy, in front of Scott Hunter's Untitled, 2013. The painting was part of the 30 : 2 exhibition, also on display at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.


Love letter to Squirrel Hill

My sister and I were on our way to Starbucks when we spotted these hydrangeas along our street. We immediately went back to our apartment for my camera (we're ridiculous like that), then spent a few minutes taking photos. And it's a good thing we did, because a day or so later, a heavy rainstorm left the flowers looking pretty sad.

I guess you might consider this post the first in a series of "love letters" to Squirrel Hill, the Pittsburgh neighborhood where I currently live. It's a quiet section of the city filled with coffee and tea shops, bakeries, charming old buildings, and, apparently, outrageously stunning hydrangeas.

What do you like best about where you live?



I always feel a little jealous when I see other bloggers' Instagram feeds. I don't have an iPhone, and my iPod Touch's camera isn't quite up to snuff. So in lieu of a post containing photos taken with Instagram, here are some pictures I took in my apartment on a day when the morning light was especially pretty.

I've been looking for an old rock collection for a while now, and I picked this one up at an estate sale last weekend.

The rose quartz is the star of the collection, in my opinion.

Community yard sales are sort of a tradition in Pittsburgh, and I went to one in Highland Park at the beginning of the month. I didn't have a whole lot of luck, but I did find this Native American clay pot for a whole lot less than a similar one I've been admiring at a local antique store.

This little tin came from the estate sale of a doctor. It was a great sale--with boxes and boxes of vintage pharmaceutical bottles. There was also a beautiful old Gladstone bag (that I reluctantly left behind on account of some mysterious, sticky staining) and a silly old postcard advertising a hypnotist (which I brought home).

And finally, the only "new" item in this post: a ceramic cat dish by Leah Goren. That pose just kills me!


Fields of purple

Guys. A couple minutes away from my parents' house there is a lavender farm--technically a lavender, fresh-cut flower, and berry farm--and today my mom, sister, and I visited for their annual Lavender Festival. I had no idea what to expect, but it was gorgeous--rows and rows of fragrant purple flowers tucked away in Washington, Pennsylvania. We made lavender sachets, then sampled lavender-infused honey and lavender blueberry gelato. But my favorite part was heading into the fields where visitors were able to pick their own lavender. My sister took these photos while I wound through the rows, carefully snipping flowers and avoiding the bees.

Outfit details:
1940's dress purchased from local vintage sellers Vince and Michelle
J.Crew seahorse print shirt
Anthropologie sunglasses


Recital season

I wore this dress to my dance students' year-end recital. When it comes to getting dressed, recitals are weirdly difficult for me. I always feel a little out of place in fancy vintage clothes. Plus, I generally spend most of the evening sitting on the [filthy] floor backstage and sweating as I race around helping kids get dressed and onstage in time. But I had a sudden urge to wear this dress, and since it's been hanging out unworn in my closet for about a year, I figured why not?

This dress is awesome for a number of reasons. First, it cost a whopping 8 bucks, and second, it does not require a bra and reduces my chest to an absolute minimum. It's also pretty unique as far as tiki-print 50's dresses go, what with the enormous bow and unusual straps. Plus, my students really seemed to love it, which is the best way to tell if an outfit is a success.

Outfit details:
1950's dress purchased at an estate sale
J.Crew belt
H&M flats


Macarons and marigolds

This week has been pretty crazy, between my dance studio's dress rehearsals and recitals and a truly absurd amount of schoolwork. Today was a nice break, though. My mom, sister, and I decided to spend the day hitting a few estate sales, buying enormous macarons from a French bakery, drinking coffee, and finally, stopping by a local farm for their annual strawberry festival.

I rarely put any effort into getting dressed on estate sale days, but I decided I wanted to be a bit fancier today. This breezy rayon skirt (printed with columns!) and chambray top with candy-like buttons seemed just right. The top was pretty rumpled by the time I got around to snapping photos, but it seems silly to post only photos of clothes that look barely lived-in.

This year, I convinced one of my senior dance students to use the song Ghosts by Laura Marling for her solo. The music video definitely references the Day of the Dead, and since marigolds are associated with the holiday, my sister suggested that I make my soloist a marigold barrette to wear onstage. Marigolds have been on our minds ever since, so we made sure to pick up a few particularly fluffy-looking ones.

Outfit details:
1960's chambray top via Lawrence
1980's skirt via Allen Co.
Anthropologie sunglasses
Forestbound bag
H&M flats



I had this ensemble from the Met on my mind when I found this striped blouse on ebay. I don't usually buy reproductions, since what I love most about vintage clothes are their long histories, but I couldn't quite resist the ruffled sleeves and red and white stripes. Plus, the blouse was made using vintage fabric and a vintage pattern, AND it fits into the carnival theme that's been inspiring all my outfits lately, so I'll give it a pass.

Over the weekend, I went to a much-raved-about flea market in Tarentum. I was bummed I didn't have more luck there, but I did snag this clutch embroidered with "Philippines 1945" and the name "Julia." Maybe it was a gift from a woman's boyfriend in the military? Or a honeymoon souvenir? Or something else entirely? Regardless, it charmed me in the way that only pretty, old things can, and it seemed appropriate for it to make its blog debut in front of Phipps Conservatory's beautiful greenhouses.

Outfit details:
1930's reproduction blouse via ebay
1930's skirt purchased at a local antique store
1945 souvenir clutch from the Philippines purchased at a flea market in Tarentum, PA
Coach belt
Seychelles heels