Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cry Baby

Welcome to another addition of Fash Math! This outfit is kind of my mash up of the opposite ends of the style spectrum in the 60s. I'm drawn to both the classic style of Betty Draper on Mad Men, for the architectural shapes, the soft colors and ladylike details. On the other hand, I love the bohemian freeness that Janis Joplin was known for and I always find it creeping into my outfits. Check it out, do you think the math works out? Everything in this outfit was thrifted from The Arc. Isn't the vest adorable? It was only $3.99 and it's Nicole Miller.

The skirt is definitely my favorite recent purchase and it was only $6.50. The pleats give it such a nice shape and the colors are so unexpected for a plaid pattern. It's also great for the colder weather we've been getting because it's made out of this really nice, thick wool.

Mixing and matching pieces inspired by figures from different decades is one of my favorite ways to communicate a vibe with my clothes. I want this particular outfit to say, I'm classic and stylish with a rebellious heart. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Beginner's Guide to Thrifting

In today's economy, spending a lot of money on new clothes isn't really an option for most people. Personally, I shop pretty much exclusively at thrift and secondhand stores like Goodwill. Some might find the idea of wearing someone else's clothes unappealing, but I mean, just wash it before you wear it and everything will be fine. Also, ethically, shopping at thrift stores is kind of the only way to guarantee you're not giving money to companies who use sweat shop labor or are just overall super corrupt. Anyway, as awesome and fun as thrifting is, it can be pretty overwhelming if you're just starting out. If you're like me and find yourself having sensory overload in big department stores or any shopping experience really, thrifting can be a welcome relief from the pushy salespeople and flashy advertisements, but it can also be tricky to find the treasures amidst the inevitable trash. NEVER FEAR, I'll get you through it.

Top 10 Thrift Tips

How to Have the Best Thrift Shopping Experience

thrift haul1. If you're new to thrifting, start out going on weekdays and earlier on in the day:
It's a jungle out there, especially on weekends which can often be when stores like Goodwill and The Arc have specials (50% off day at The Arc is my JAM but it can get crazy).

2. Learn the lay of the land:
Most secondhand stores are split into sections based on gender and clothing type. Secondarily, the racks will be roughly organized by size and if you're lucky, color. If you're new to a store, take a few laps around it before you dig in to the racks so you can map out a game plan.

3. Don't miss out on the accessories:
I personally get everything from shoes to sunglasses at thrift stores, but if you're a beginner, start with the belts and jewelry sections. They're usually set off pretty distinctly from the clutter (jewelry often in a case by the checkout counter, belts typically to the side of the clothes racks).

4. If you're shopping to save, avoid the more selective "vintage boutiques":
While they'll have an undoubtedly tempting selection, they're also charging for the service of picking out the clothes. That means an item that would normally be $6.99 can go for upwards of $30.

5. Don't be afraid to trust your eye/gut:
A lot of times a pattern or color will jump out at you but the shape/fit is all wrong once you take a second look. I like to pick up that stuff anyway because you never know how you can DIY it into something awesome. I've made dresses into shirts, shirts into scarves, the possibilities are endless.

6. Keep your options open:
I've found some of my favorite items in the men's section, maternity section, you name it! Don't be afraid to branch out and see what's out there.

7. Check out the book section:
I've found countless treasures for my bookshelf, but also a ton of children's books with amazing illustrations that I like to use to collage.

8.Take your time:
Thrifting is about the experience. Half the fun is that every item you find will be a diamond in the rough.

9. Get creative and the magic will come:
A thrift store is all about the endless possibilities. One time I found an entire collection of Gustav Klimt prints for ten bucks and a couple antique looking frames. Now my sister's apartment is beautifully decorated! Open yourself up to all the possibilities and all sorts of amazingness will come.

10. Know when to call it a day:
If your feet are achey and you can feel the grump coming on, get yourself to the checkout register, you're experiencing thrift overload.

Check out the rest of my lens on Squidoo for links and more!

Postcard Art and Accidental Inspiration

So I have a confession you guys, I'm addicted to collaging. I seriously can't stop. Every piece of paper I get my hands on can fall victim to my relentless scissors. I have an entire drawer of my tiny, cramped dorm room dedicated to the art of collaging. And yes, my friends, it certainly is an art. I may not be very good at that art, but it doesn't matter, I still make awesome stuff! My most recent endeavor has been making post cards for friends and family, a whole host of which I sent off too soon to scan :(. I've also gotten into collaging on pages in this floppy moleskine I accidentally bought because I thought it had lines. Luckily this error came right at the time when I discovered my obsession with collaging. You guys should seriously try it, it's such an awesome, mindless release of creative energy. I've found myself wanting to do it every night before I go to sleep to wind down. Anyway here's a sample of what I've been up to:

Ben I will give you this eventually! It's one of my faves cause I mix-matched pictures from this skater magazine with 1960s National Geographics and of course, a fair helping of GLITTER~!

This is just a page from my accidental moleskine. I also accidentally spilled nail polish polish on this page, inspiring me to trace my hand and 'make it work' as they say, around it. 

So this one has a whole other spectrum of awesomeness going on. The center image is from this children's book about the Circus that I got at The Arc. The caption underneath reads, "O Mr. Lion, don't you wish you could climb like this?" The whole book is filled with accidentally hilarious captions and hyperbolic stories, and also CATZ R AWESUM! Hence my other obsession of late: my leopard print duct tape. Yeah, it's as awesome as it sounds...

This one's mostly from those old National Geographics

As is this one, but I added a picture from Wired and some commentary with the help of my Circus Animals book. Notice "The Man" giving cheers to the hetero-normative behavior...PUPPETS I SAY! eh hem...moving on.

This one's a postcard for my Rayanne Graff <3 
The feline theme running throughout all this stuff all started with this postcard to my friend Zanny who's abroad for the semester!

This one's mostly pictures from Nylon with a few additions by moi. Notice the money sign stickers  $$$! If only that were real money cause I'm livin' the broke lyffff.

And another post card!

Okay so this one's a combination between Nylon and Martha Stewart Halloween Special. That bottom image is make-up instructions for an 11 year old! Umm what?!! This one's like a comment on media pressures to conform in order to please the male gaze and shit.

Some text and a drawing from the Circus Animals book. Good lesson guys, moms are the best! Oh and more pics from old National Geographics. They really are just so visually pleasing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

FASH MATH: Grungy Prep School Edition



(Eloise + Margot Tenenbaum) ÷ Angela Chase = 

Coat: Goodwill (buttons from Michael's)
Corduroy dress: The Arc Thrift
White Shirt: Sierra Trading Post
Belt: The Arc Thrift
Tights: Delia's
Combat Booties: The Arc Thrift
I'm pretty much obsessed with this outfit and want to be buried in it. First of all, CHECK OUT DAT COAT! It's faux fur and super snuggly, and you can't really tell from this picture, but I sewed the sparkly buttons on myself. I had Xander (the boif) take pics for me as we were walking around campus on our way to lunch. I think the field with the fall colors and mountains in the background kind of captures that boarding school rebel vibe I got going on. Now that I've died my hair red, I kind of channel Angela Chase in everything that I do, but I was really feeling her today with those shoes and the corduroy dress. Have you guys ever seen anything as cute/tough/awesome as these combat booties??

For a height-challenged gal like myself, a little lift is always appreciated, especially when it's a clunky, easy to walk in lift. I really don't know if I'll ever take these off. They go with literally everything. 

I definitely swiped my color scheme from Eloise with the white on black jumper/dress thing. I used to read those books all the time and fantasize about hiding in elevators and of course those mary-janes! I was originally gonna rock a pair of my own for this outfit, but my closet is an abyss and I came across these, which tickled me even more since they definitely rough up the look a bit.

Here I am trying to look snooty, a la Eloise and chilling in my trippy dorm room.

I think the Margot inspiration kind of speaks for itself with the coat. When I saw it in Goodwill over the summer, I almost died right there between the mom jeans and the wedding dresses. I had been looking for a Margot coat forever and this one is just too spot on to be real! The original buttons were uggo-tastic and I knew they had to go, so I picked up some way appealing sparkly ones (I can never say no to sparkle) and remedied the situation super easily. Living in Colorado, you learn to never turn down an awesome/warm coat for $9.99 because real stores charge way (I mean WAAAYYY) more for stuff that's only a fraction as cool.

Check out the rest of the pics. What do you guys think of my math skills? Does it add up to you too?

RA! school spirit...

Please excuse my blank stare.