I’ve Got An Addiction

An addiction to thrifting, that is!

After I was informed of something that made me rather irritated and disappointed, I decided I needed some retail therapy – or thrift therapy, more appropriately!

The first thrift store was in a town called Beachwood, NJ and was my favourite of the two I went to. I don’t recall the name, how horrid am I? 😉 This store was set out in a very classy way, and wasn’t just a mish mash of things. Everything was organized by size and clothing type. I found me these goodies:

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The first is a very ’50s soft pink sweater. Another to add to my collection, perfect with a bullet bra! Next is a distinctly ’30s type shirt, with the flowiness and the details of it. Just beautiful. And lastly, I managed to snag myself a great pair of high waist cuff shorts that scream 1940s.

But my most prized acquisition? These pretties:

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I can’t believe I found these, I nearly shat myself! I have enormously large feet, coming in at a size 11, so it’s hard to find anything in my size, let alone in a thrift store. A lot of times I don’t even look, because I already know it’s futile. But out of the corner of my eyes I saw these, and despite being a size 10, I tried them on and they fit rather comfortably. And the kicker? They were only $3, but they were having a half off sale, so they ended up being only $1.50! Not bad for a pair of ’40s inspired shoes 😉 The total came to $10.

The next store I went to was the usual Goodwill just a few miles down the road.

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This store, as are most Goodwills, was very large and there was a ton to sift though; I actually didn’t manage to get through it all because I was so tired. Thrifting can be a lot of hard work!

On the way inside, I saw this sign, and my dirty mind immediately kicked in. It was too funny not to share:

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If you have ever been to a Goodwill, you know they have massive amounts of stuff, and it takes a lot of dedication and work to check out everything. And just skimming over things is not good enough – you need to file through each item and look at it, because just a half inch view from the side really can’t tell you much of anything. I spent over 90 minutes in that store, and still didn’t make that much of a dent! But these are the goodies I got:

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These are some great rockabilly shirts! And of course I had to get some requisite cardis:

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The first is a nice peach colour with a gorgeous cream lace. The other is a thicker knit greyish blue cardi, which is perfect for fall/winter, or places with a little too much of a good thing (A/C).

All in all, only $30 for everything I purchased!

Have any of you gotten any great thrift finds lately?

Thrifting – Part Deux

I was feeling a bit restless this afternoon, and I was still feeling the thrifting bug itch. There was the one store I had also wanted to go to yesterday, but decided against it as the weather was very poor due to severe thunderstorms. I got ready within five minutes (no makeup, since it was 2:45 at the time and the store closed at 4:00), and was out the door. We got there within ten minutes, and as soon as I got inside, I was excited to see what treasures I could find.

There are two stores in the area here that are rather large, and I like to visit. The one I visited yesterday was just called “Charity Resale Shop”, and this shop I visited today was called “Second Time Around Consignment Shop”. This store also is a non-profit that has its profits go to the local branch of the Barnabas Health system of hospitals. I also like another store called “Encore Thrift”, which has all of its profits go to an Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine Corps veterans associations, which I love naturally 🙂

Here are today’s finds:

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I bought that white tank just for the sheer fact that it has an over-the-shoulder boulder holder built in, and in my size! Great as a basic to build on. The other shirt has a great tiki feel and would go great with high waist shorts.

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I call this my “nautical collection”. Both of these have basic rockabilly elements of the stripes on the first, and the button details on the second. I’m a sucker for the nautical look, so I had to have them.

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Oh my, how excited I got over these earrings! I have been wanting a pair of cherry earrings for a while, and as I was working my way to pay for my items, I checked out some of the jewelry they had going on. Lo and behold, I find these little lovelies in a random basket! Three bucks? How could I not?

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This is something I got rather excited about, since I had just talked about using hand fans to keep you cool during the summer. I know this will serve me well to keep me looking lovely during those hot and humid summer days coming up soon. I found this fabulous fan in a random basket of clutch purses for 50 cents.

Another great day of thrifting down around my mom’s house!

Another Thrifting Trip!

I am down by my mother’s house again, which means that I had to go thrifting, natch 😉 It was pouring rain outside from the thunderstorms around, but despite that, I implored my Mom to go to the nearby charity shop after I faxed some things I had to do. And we did, and I found some great things, all for great prices of course!

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Sorry for the lack in quality of this photo. I wanted to try and appropriately capture the detail in this fabulous peasant shirt. This would give a great ’50s gypsy look that was popular back then.

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Amazingly, this orange shirt is my first Peter Pan collar! I have been wanting one for quite a while, so when I saw this I had to nab it. The other shirt is a very lightweight fabric with polka dots on it, and almost has a vintage house dress type feel to me. It will go great with my high waist shorts.

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These two are my pride and joy! The first is a nautical boat neck type shirt, and I just love the rockabilly nautical look. I have several pieces that this will go with, including a pair of capris with red buttons in a sailor style that will be a great 4th of July look after I mend it.

The second shirt is my absolute favourite, and I can not wait to wear it! It has an absolutely ’40s look to it, even down to the wooden buttons. It is also made of rayon, which was the fabric de rigeur of the time. Quite an authentic looking fabulous piece for only $5!

I also bought my Mom a great coral and red floral shirt since her birthday was two weeks ago, and I wanted to do something for her 🙂 The grand total? $27.50. Fabulous, is it not?

Hot Weather, Cool You

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Today, it will be 98 degrees outside, with pretty high humidity. I don’t mind the heat so much from living in Vegas for two years, but the humidity is what can get to me. That sticky, sweaty feeling? Yuck!

In times like these, how is a girl to look vintage fab yet stay cool? I have found several tips and tricks to looking good yet staying cool in these times of being able to fry your morning eggs on your car’s hood.

1. One of the best ways to keep cool is to have your hair in updos as much as you can. Whether it is a simple rockabilly ponytail with a bandana, or an elaborate wartime style, you can’t go wrong with having your hair up and away from your face. I will soon be posting my first YouTube video on how to achieve a fabulous updo which I just had recently:

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2. Day/house dresses are your best friend. They tend to be lightweight, flowy, and made to be comfortable. I have a good deal of them, and I would much rather whip them out to wear than pants/capris/shorts any day. As a matter of fact, I much prefer to wear dresses just in general as I find they are much more comfortable. Am I alone in that? I somehow don’t think so 😉 Try to go for light fabrics such as linen or a light cotton, and you will be nice and fine.

3. If you haven’t already, invest in a good parasol! I just bought one recently from On The Trashy Side, and I love it! It is amazing how well they keep you cooler than being right out in the sun. And as well all know, long sun exposure is a big no-no! At least wear some SPF 30. But as most of us vintage gals tend to do, we want nice pale, porcelain skin. I have SPF in my foundation and powder, and I use SPF 85 sunscreen on the rest of my body as well. Don’t forget places such as the tops of your feet, the tips of your ears, and such!

4. Hand fans are also a great investment. Not only will you look elegant and divine, but you will cool yourself off at the same time. Check on eBay for some good hand fans for not too shabby of a price.

5. Wear lighter colours, such as white, pink, yellow, et cetera. Lighter colours are known to reflect light/heat, and darker colours absorb it, making you much warmer than you would like to be. Plus, it’s summer – why would you want to wear dark colours anyway? 🙂

6. Go hang by the pool! Whether you have your own pool, use one in your neighbourhood, or go to the beach, spending some good time in the water does wonders. So put on that gorgeous vintage suit you’ve been dying to show off, grab your parasol, and have at it!

What other tips and tricks do you ladies have to beat the heat?

Imperfectly Perfect: A Review of Vintage Suits by Mary

Today I received my eyelet swim suit from Vintage Suits by Mary today. This is the suit I had ordered way back at Viva two whole months ago. When I pre-ordered it, I was told it would only take a month to receive it. I willingly obliged, knowing I should receive it before the swimming season began.

I began to wonder what happened about a week after I was supposed to receive my suit. A week after that, I sent the owner, Mary, an email asking what was up. She replied quickly, and said the suit would be going out in the next few days, as it was just getting finished up. I figured okay, sometimes things come up, and I gave it some more time.

Another two weeks later, I had still not received my suit. It had been a full two months, double the allotted time frame. I sent another email to Mary, this time a little more terse than before, stating that if I did not receive the suit by the 15th of June (for a trip to Florida I will be going on soon), I would need my money back and I would invest in a suit elsewhere. In the next day or so, I received an email back from her, saying:

Imagine my surprise when I got this email from you, since I sent out your order shortly after your last email! I looked into it, and apparently the order was “misrouted” (whatever that means), and was not ever delivered. It possibly will eventually be delivered to you, in which case you may keep it. In the meantime, I came to work immediately after our sample sale yesterday and made you another suit. I have already mailed it, and your tracking number is 910115013471139516XXXX. I’m sorry about all of this, it rarely happens, but occasionally the mail gets sent to the weirdest places.

Okay, I have a few questions here. First, if the first suit did get “misrouted”, then how did she know it got misrouted? She must have had the tracking number. And if she had the tracking number, why was it not given to me initially? I just did not understand that, and I felt as if something was awry in that explanation. But I checked the tracking number religiously, and indeed my new suit she made again was resent. I received it in a few days, no issues.

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As soon as I opened the package, I investigated the suit, checking its quality and seeing if there might be anything wrong with it. I found the suit to be quite sturdy, and the bottoms were actually fairly heavy, which I felt at least denoted decent fabric quality

However, I found two issues that I deemed to be problematic. First, the straps on the top are entirely too long, and being that I have big girls to reign in, offer absolutely no support for my chest. It’s basically like I wasn’t wearing a top at all. I knew as soon as I saw those straps I would have to shorten them. Luckily, I know how I could maneuver that without damaging the aesthetic of the suit too much.

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Second, that bling in the middle of the top? Yeah, that’s a pin. I could take it right off if I wanted to. And I also know that it will start to rust after a few dips, as it’s not plastic, but metal. I am disappointed in this, as I felt like it was such a stunning part of the suit. It may be fine if you just want to lounge pool side, but I actually love to swim, and a swim suit is to most likely swim in, am I right?

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I must say I do love the overall look and design of the suit – the eyelet fabric with the flesh tone underneath gives a classy yet sexy vintage vibe. The suit also has an authentic vintage cut to it, which can be hard to find sometimes. But I must say I was very disappointed in how it took such a long time to get to me, and that I had to basically give an ultimatum to receive my suit. Also, the weird explanation puzzles me as well. Just frustrating, but I am glad I have my suit now, and this is all over. I would probably never pre-order from this company again, but I would probably try to order a suit from Etsy from them, if some of ten are already made. But from what I know, the majority are custom made, so I would hesitate about ordering again. Not saying I would, not saying I wouldn’t. I would check other outlets and shops first to see if they had a similar version of what I liked before returning.

Have any of you ordered from Vintage Suits by Mary before? What were your experiences?

Dealing with Medical Issues, Still Trying to Look Glamourous

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I must admit something to all of my readers: I have two chronic pain conditions that I deal with on a constant basis. One is in my foot, something called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), as well as having recent surgery for a HAGL tear in my left shoulder and instability causing it to dislocate constantly, and constant pain from that as well. Most times, it’s hard for me to stand up for more than ten minutes at a time, and even taking a shower is something I really have to build up my bravery for. I have a huge boot for my foot, and my shoulder is basically frozen solid with very limited range of motion. That is why sometimes I won’t post for a week or so at a time, because the pain can just get to be too much sometimes to where all I want to do is just lay in bed all day. But I try not to let it defeat me, and not let it take my style.

Doing my hair has become a very big challenge because of my shoulder. When I roll my hair, I have to practically tilt my head completely to the side to roll properly. I have to take frequent breaks to let my shoulder chill, and then return again. But I make sure I get done what I need to. I guess it is the military side of me that tells me “unless you’re dead or unconscious, you can go on”. I really enjoy doing my hair and embarking in the vintage styles, and I don’t want the pain to take away what joys I have in my life. I don’t bitch to many people at all, only my orthopaedic surgeon really. He has been so amazing to me so far, and I have been so thankful that he is my doctor. But I just can’t tell other people in my life how much of a high level my pain is on. I don’t want to burden my mom, my boyfriend, my friends, or anyone else with my pain. I don’t want to weigh them down with my problems and make it seem like I am bitching to them; plus, what is the point of it when they can’t do anything about it anyway? I see no point. So I go along this path on my own, with just some help so far from my orthopaedic surgeon.

But my love for all things vintage and rockabilly has really ignited a passion in me. It have given me something to work on (like this blog), to yearn for, and to try to attain. I have also gotten more involved in music, restarting my singing and songwriting as I had a few years ago. I am also going to be going back to school, this time for the nursing program. I am beyond excited, as being front row in the health care industry is what I want, ultimately going on to medical school and becoming (what else?) an orthopaedic surgeon.

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I know my pain will stand in the way for a long time, but I am trying to live my life as best I can. I have to make changes to accommodate here and there, like not wearing high heels and just low vintage style pumps or flats, to having to tilt my head totally to one side to roll my hair as not to stress out my shoulder too much. It is a task, but I try and make do with what I have. And you know what? I am happy with that. Yes, of course, my life could be better, but it could be a hell of a lot worse, and it has been. I am thankful for what I have now, and I am smarter and wiser than most my age because of what I have been through. I’m not saying I have it all together, not by any means, but I am trying to make it a little bit better every day, despite the constant pain I am in.

I know a lot of you out there have your own trial and tribulations, and I want you to know you are not alone. You will never be alone. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and rise above, not to let it defeat you, but it is worth doing. Do I have my bad days? Sure – as a matter of fact today wasn’t so hot of a day for both my shoulder and my foot. But I rested, wrote some posts, cleaned up a little, and watched some TV. There’s not much else I can do.

And I don’t let my conditions affect the way I dress either – I always intend to look fabulous! Even despite wearing a huge “storm trooper” boot, I go full out with circle dresses, petticoats, victory rolls, and red lipstick. Do I get some stares? Of course. But I mostly get wonderful compliments, and it makes me feel good. I am even known at my orthopaedic surgeon’s office as “the vintage girl”, and the girls who work there always pop by my exam room to see what I am wearing. Some of them are so sweet!

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Ultimately, I never try to let my condition own me, and I always try to look my best, no matter what. Sometimes, getting all vintage glam actually helps me feel better a bit. It really has renewed my life in such a way I never thought. I have met some wonderful people, experienced some great things, and have found a true passion of mine. I also have some great people supporting me, which I am ever so thankful for. And after all, isn’t that what’s important in life?

Pin Curling Perfection! – A Review of the Sculpture Pin Curler

I never really pin curled my hair before, because it is rather labour intensive and with my bad post operative shoulder it made it very difficult to do it. So basically all I had were foam rollers for wet sets and hot rollers. That was until I had the pleasure of using the Sculpture Pin Curler.

Yuan, who runs the site which sells the Sculpture Pin Curler at Vintage Hair, was so sweet and very helpful. She sent me the Pin Curler and I received it from Australia in a matter of 7 days, which is no small feat, considering! Everything was packaged very well, and it all was very crisp and in good shape.

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The packaging is gorgeous, and it makes it feel like it is straight out of the forties! Even the inserts have a vintage feel, as well as the two gorgeous posters that are included to give you some hair inspiration! This is packaging you will want to keep with the curlers because it is so lovely 🙂

Now, onto the curler! Initially, you may think the contraption is very basic, which it is, but that is what makes it amazing. You don’t have to have an engineering degree to use it. I found it very easy to use despite my bad shoulder and not being able to keep my arm up for more than 5 or 10 minutes. All you do is insert one end of the curler into a section of hair (I have to do small sections, about a half an inch, due to my large amount of thick hair), comb it through to the end as much as you can without it falling out, and roll it up towards your scalp. Now I recommend going only to ear level, as that will give you a more authentic set, and no crazy clown hair 🙂 Then all you need is to bobby pin it in place in an “x” shape or to use pin curl clips, which I used myself.

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I used Lottabody setting lotion, and used an down-up-down curling direction in order to get that perfect retro wave. I let it set overnight (as I tend to like to have my hair get more than enough time to dry and set, with it being thick and all), and awoke the next morning all excited to see what the results were.

What were they? Glorious! My first time really authentically pin curling on myself came out to be magic. I got those perfect ringlets you need in order to brush out to a perfect glam retro look.

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It took me a little while to brush out, as most pin curl sets do, and it is a bit of a practice in patience. But you will get it if you keep at it and keep brushing, don’t despair! Unfortunately, I don’t have an after picture of it all brushed out because I was in a rush to go run an errand that needed to be done ASAP, so I was going to take the picture later. Sadly, my set did not last as I accidentally got caught in the pouring rain walking to where I needed to go, and it made my set fall mostly flat! I was a little disheartened by that, but that had nothing to do with the performance of the pin curler. That would happen no matter what kind of way you set your hair, almost like taking a shower!

I would highly recommend this product to all of my readers out there, and despite the $35 price tag, it is completely worth it. You will get so many uses out of this little wonder, and it is sturdy and not something that will only last for a few times. It is also available for $15 for just one curler (the other set you get two), and you can let Yuan know you wanted the inserts and she will be glad to email you a PDF. The Sculpture Pin Curler is based on an authentic vintage styling tool, so you will get the most authentic sets that you can possibly get! This tool does everything from setting to styling, and it will soon become the go-to tool in your beauty arsenal for fabulous vintage hair. I plan to use it as much as I can!