{Daily outfit} The best medicine. 1.22.13

St John tweed cardigan? Thrifted. Silk J Crew blouse? Thrifted. Citizen of Humanity jeans? Thrifted. Ballet flats? Old Navy.

It seems like all I've been hearing about this winter is how bad flu season is. "Stock up on Lysol!", newscasters screech. "Get your flu shot!" doctors proclaim. "Build an underground bunker complete with air filtration system, Army food rations and sterilized gas masks because you are all going to DIE!!!" says the TV. Though that advice comes from the maniacs on Doomsday Preppers, and they say that kind of stuff all the time anyway.

This year I got smart. I got my flu shot. I bought enough Lysol to spray every surface in my apartment a thousand times over. I even invested in those special Kleenex tissues, the overpriced moisturizing kind that promise to trap and kill 99.8% of all cold and flu virus and provide a false, though pleasing, sense of security.

And I got sick anyway.

This is what I wore when I first realized I was coming down with something.  An almost entirely thrifted outfit might be the best medicine of all.

Vintage muse: Jackie Kennedy

Today I'm starting a new series focusing on style icons - women whose individual style permanently impacted fashion. I really enjoy learning more about woman who have embraced fashion and created trends of their own, and I thought you might too! I decided to start the series with Jackie Kennedy, because though her style transformed dramatically over the course of her life she is thought of as a sartorial muse to this very day.

Jackie Kennedy was born in 1929 in Southampton, New York. She is mostly know for being the wife of President John F Kennedy and her efforts to protect and restore many of America's historic buildings (did you know that she led an extensive campaign to save from demolition and renovate Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan? I didn't!) She is also regarded as the definitive style icon of the 1960s, for her chic, perfectly tailored suits and dresses, and delicate details such as elbow-length gloves and three-strand pearl necklaces.

Jackie Kennedy retained French-born American fashion designer Oleg Cassini in the fall of 1960 to create an original wardrobe for her as First Lady. A long time family friend, Cassini persuaded the first lady that she should use him as the creator of her total look, a decision that proved pivotal – setting the style for the 1960s with her clean suits, knee length skirts, 3/4 sleeves on notch-collar jackets, sleeveless A-line dresses, above-the-elbow gloves and famous pillbox hats. From 1961 to late 1963, Cassini dressed her in many of her most iconic ensembles, including her Inauguration Day coat and Inaugural gala gown as well as many outfits for her visits to Europe, India and Pakistan. In her first year in the White House, Kennedy spent $45,446 more on fashion than the $100,000 annual salary her husband earned as president. Although Cassini was her primary designer, she also wore ensembles by French fashion legends Chanel, Givenchy, and Dior.

More influential than any First Lady prior, her style was copied by commercial manufacturers and a large segment of young women. She is credited with not only making politics fashionable but also inspiring women around the world to adopt her look.

After her husband's assassination Jackie attempted to escape public scrutiny by moving her family from Washington to New York City, but she was continually hounded by paparazzi nonetheless. In 1968 she married shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, and her trademark style changed dramatically - from politico wife to woman of casual seventies elegance.

Wide-leg pantsuits, large lapel jackets, silk Herm├Ęs head scarves and large, round, dark sunglasses replaced shift dresses and pillbox hats. She often chose to wear brighter colors and patterns and even began wearing jeans in public. After Onassis died in 1975, Jackie took a job as an editor at Doubleday, where she worked to advance the contributions of African-American writers. She played an active civic role in the city as well, working with the American Ballet Theatre, the Literary Lions of the New York Public Library, the Central Park Conservancy, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Municipal Arts Society, to save Grand Central Station from the wrecking ball.

Polished, chic and sophisticated until her death in 1994, she never had a bad fashion day and never took a bad photo. She is still referred to as one of the most influential women in fashion.

{Daily outfit} Perfectly Pendleton. 1.15.13

Vintage Pendleton blazer? Thrifted. Vintage Anne Klein button-down? Thrifted. Hudson jeans? Thrifted. Ferragamo pumps? Thrifted. Ruth Saltz suede clutch? Thrifted. Rhinestone necklace? Forever 21.

It snowed this morning, just enough to coat my car and clog traffic and causes innocent drivers to skid helplessly into ditches, yet not enough to form into snowballs or snowmen or go sledding in. This is the most annoying type of snow - all irritation, no benefits. I didn't want to go out. I didn't want to dig my snow brush from the reaches of my closet. I didn't want to dodge trepidations drivers on the freeway. No, I wanted to hide in bed and watch the entire last season of Girls.That's what I wanted to do. That, and polish off a bag of double stuff Oreos.

Instead I got up and put on this newly thrifted Pendleton wool blazer. It instantly cheered me up. And made facing the cold weather much more bearable.

Bits + bites. 1.14.13

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Bits + bites.

1. My thrift holy grail: 1970's suede fringe jacket. Been looking for one since high school.
2. You never know what you're going to see outside Kroger. In this case, the weinermobile.
3. Spent a cold night playing shuffleboard. Got my butt kicked. Had an awesome time nonetheless.
4. Quality family entertainment. Apparently. (Personally, I'll stick with Taylor Swift.)
5. Conquered my fear of baking by making this sour cream apple pie. It was so good! Recipe here.
6. How great is this vintage Kmart tag? If only the jacket it was on had been as cute.

Hope you had a great weekend!

{Daily outfit} Seventies sequins. 1.11.13

1970s Neiman Marcus sequin blouse? Gifted. Vintage suede skirt? Thrifted. Ankle boots? 
Urban Outfitters. Tights? Walmart.

When my friend Jamie gave me this vintage sequin blouse, I was perplexed. Where would I wear such a fine piece of seventies disco iconography? Studio 54 is closed, the Bee Gees are no more, and Bianca Jagger has taken me off her speed dial. Not to mention that Dallas is not exactly a hot spot for disco. Fortunately, I work at in a shop where such expressions of sparkly delight are both encouraged and celebrated. I busted this blouse out during an otherwise unremarkable shift and felt sort of spectacular in the way only someone can when they're dripping in sequins.

{Almost daily outfit} Cropped. 1.9.13

1960's cropped blazer? Thrifted. Striped tee? Gap Outlet. Skinny jeans? Old Navy. Vintage boots? Thrifted.

Yay! I'm back to posting daily outfits. Thank you all so much for the positive feedback and encouraging me to start sharing again. That was really sweet.

I thrifted this cute little 1960's cropped suit blazer a few weeks ago. It came paired with a matching skirt, which I fell in love with it immediately, mostly because the entire outfit reminded me of something Jackie Kennedy would have worn. And I love me some Jackie Kennedy. Unfortunately, the waistband of the matching skirt was so small it would have required gastroplasty, liposuction, duct tape, and the removal of a few ribs to wear. But the blazer fits perfectly.

Hope you have a happy Wednesday!

(Sorry for the weird quality of these pics. I'm trying to figure out the best place in my apartment to set up my tripod and it's been tricky.)

Let's talk about: Where we grew up.

I grew up in a four family house in Queens, New York. There was a cherry tree in the side yard and an apple tree in the back and in the summer, daylillies bloomed in our backyard. I broke my wrist while attempting to do a cartwheel to impress a boy that lived across the street, a boy who hardly knew I existed. I learned that sometimes, love hurt.

I grew up on the beaches of Long Island. Freckles bloomed on my nose and cheeks. My brother and I jumped the waves and avoided jellyfish and glistened under greasy layers of sunscreen. I spent hours alone, constructing elaborate sandcastles with moats and caves and rivers that snaked towards the ocean. I was madly, deeply happy. I learned that solitude was a gift.

I grew up in a practice room. The curl of oboe ├ętudes wafted under the door. Sheet music spilled from my backpack. I studied French composers and minor scales and music theory homework that was perplexing at best. Girls crowded into the room with me, enormously talented girls who played the flute like I did and who were both my fiercest competitors and best friends. I learned that greatness required sacrifice.

I grew up in thrift stores, where I bumped elbows with strung out junkies stuffing tee shirts under their jackets and elderly ladies searching for discontinued china. I thrifted denim shirts with patches on the elbows and 1950's beaded cardigans and distressed brown leather Coach handbags and, one time, a raincoat with a love letter in the pocket. I learned that ten bucks can go a really, really long way.

I grew up in hospital rooms. I stood backwards on scales that gave my weight in kilograms so as to prevent me from actually knowing what my weight was. I splayed, corpse like, on hard linoleum tile, shoulder blades jutting like knives from my back, scribbling passionate journal entries on why 82 pounds was my perfect weight. I learned, eventually, that using my body instead of my voice to communicate feelings was a pointless activity.

I grew up in a white colonial in Alpharetta, Georgia. I spent a deliriously hot summer pregnant with twins, trying to squeeze my swollen feet into shoes suddenly too small. I jealously watched my husband pack his suitcase for work trips as I washed bottle after bottle after bottle. I staggered woozily through my neighborhood, exhausted, pushing a double stroller up and down the sidewalk. I learned that sometimes you can be so tired that you all you can think about is how very tired you are.

I'm growing up in a 1200 square feet apartment in a suburb north of Dallas, Texas. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms and separate storage space for my collection of vintage clothes. I've paid my first electric bill, first water bill, and received my first noise complaint. At night I climb into bed and ruminate on my failed marriage, my ex-husband, and the many mistakes I've made. I vow to not repeat them.

I'm still learning.

I fall asleep with the tv on.


Where did you grow up? Are you still growing?

Bits and bites.

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Bits and bites.

1. Clementines on a pretty thrifted vintage plate. I would eat a box if I could.
2. I thrifted this gorgeous bentwood rocker at the Salvation Army for $20. Perfect start to 2013.
3. A peek inside the flagship location of Half Price Books in Dallas.
4. Leaf pile construction is very serious business.
5. Greatest thrift day ever: Halston wool coat, Pringle of Scotland sweater, Missoni sweater.
6. I love this 1960's gold lame and rhinestone hat!

Let's talk about new beginnings.

I was building Legos with one of my twins the other day. It was cold and dreary out, the kind of afternoon where you just want to hibernate in your sweats. We were making vehicles and forts and secret laboratories with hidden doors that slid open. As we constructed, we chatted, in the easy way you do with a nine year-old.

"You know why I like playing with Legos?" he asked.
"Why?" I questioned.
He grinned. "Because you're only limited by your imagination. And your imagination has no limits!"

In the last month I've gotten divorced. I packed up fifteen years worth of clothes, photo albums, dishes, and furniture into cardboard boxes that towered above me. I lost the house I was prepared to close on, a house I had put two months of bidding, paperwork, and repairs into but unexpectedly lacked a clear title. I had a 24 hour breakdown notable for its emphatic crying. I pulled myself together, found an apartment, signed a six month lease, hired movers and left.

Truthfully, I've never been happier. That might sound like an insensitive thing to say after the demise of a fifteen year marriage. But I love living as a single woman.. I love knowing exactly where my money is and where it's going. I love the quiet moments, when all I hear is the quiet murmur of my children playing in their room. I love decorating my apartment in a way I find pleasing, rather to someone else's taste. Surprisingly, while I'm living alone, I never feel lonely, which was a feeling that chased me throughout much of my marriage. Now that I'm single, I feel completely unencumbered, and hopeful, and free to chase whatever dreams I wasn't able to explore before.

Life is unpredictable. If you had told me when I started blogging two years ago that I'd end up divorced, I never would have believed you. If you had told me that I'd write a book about thrifting and land a job working in a vintage store, I'd thought you were out of your mind. I'm incredibly proud of myself for refusing to stay miserable, for having the strength to change my life, for chasing my dreams and ending the self-victimizing cycle I've subjected myself to for most of my adult life.

I'm thirty-eight years old, and feel more positive than I ever have.

So what's to come in 2013? For the first time in my life, I'm letting myself imagine and construct some substantial plans. I want to make new friends, and reach out more to old ones - actions I'm not completely comfortable with but need to be done. I want to redesign this blog and focus more on thrifting, vintage, and slice-of-life stuff. (I'm not sure outfit posts will continue to be included - do you want them to be? Do you enjoy seeing me style my thrift scores? Let me know!) I will open a brick-and-mortar or mobile vintage shop (this I'm promising to myself.) I want to explore more of Texas and the southwest. I want to love, and experience being loved in the way we all deserve - fully, respectfully, appreciatively. I want to reach out to you more, my faithful readers, for advice and friendship. I want to eat really good food and listen to good music and keep a plant alive without killing it a week after purchase. Mostly, I want to prove to myself that I'm stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.

2013 is going to be epic.