Tag Archives: style

What To Wear To A Champagne Tasting (or when you want to feel fancy)

27 Mar

My California adventure included a visit to Napa Valley aka Wine Country.  Instead of doing a wine tasting Vera and I opted for champagne tasting.  We were in a fancy kind of mood.  Dressing fancy has different meanings for me and Vera because we have different styles.

Dresses are a wardrobe staple for me.  I will always choose a dress over a pair of pants because I feel less restricted and that they are more flattering.  I chose to wear a long vintage lace dress in a cobalt blue shade paired with a nude slip under it. I accessorized with white drop pearl earrings and a pair of nude heels.

Vera chose to wear a pair of dark wash jeans.  Yes jeans can be fancy, but a dark wash is key.  She paired her jeans with a tucked in plaid button down.  She accessorized with silver earrings and brown clog heels.

What do you do when you want to feel fancy?


Honor Roll

11 Mar

Here is this week’s link roundup of all the things we are talking about.

move over cadbury eggs, check out these chocolate eggs

a bike lock i could get with

“the help” and domestic workers rights

10 reasons why feminism is good for boys

20 most beautiful bookstores in the world

Sarah and Jareth Labyrinth painting

Kitschy, Kitschy Needlepoint

9 Mar

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I am currently in a vintage craft phase and the more kitschy it is the more I love it.  I in particular really like needlepoint work.  What I like is that handmade touch and that no one else has it.  It also reminds me of my grandma’s house where there was a Raggedy Ann and Andy needlepoint pillow my mom had made in college.  And of course there was needlepoint art hung on the walls.

I collect my vintage crafts from thrift stores.  All my needlepoint items I found in Chicago.  The midwest is great place to find homemade, kitschy items.  Etsy also has lots of cute needlepoint works.  Now I was always aware that needlepoint is done by hand, my grandma had taught me how to do cross stitch needlepoint.  It just never occurred to me that I could make a needlepoint work of my own!  Honestly though, I prefer the already made vintage version.  If you like vintage crafts you should check out Cathy Of California’s blog.  It’s where I discovered Erica Wilson who was the queen of needlepoint work in the 1970s.  She was lucky enough to have a PBS show to share with people the joys of needlework.  It’s so simple, yet so fascinating to watch.

You must check out her boots!!  She made a pair of needlepoint boots…who does that?!



Fashion Inspiration: Top Hat? Hair Wrap?

8 Mar

Living in Upstate NY, I always encourage everyone to wear a hat (it’s the one item that can make or break a cold day). So I thought I would turn to one of my favorite artists for a little inspiration: Erykah Badu. Top Hat? Head Wrap?

I love her for her music, lyrics, style, her politics and much more. I would describe her style as bold, unique, and eclectic. Before there was Gaga and Nikki Minaj, there was Erykah, trust.

So I say go bold and daring with a Top Hat or a head wrap… aren’t we all tired of the extra “cool” beanies? Come on!  I myself have been a victim of that comfort zone…don’t get stuck there. Take the risk. I personally like to use scarves to wrap my hair.  So take this as a little inspiration… share with us what hats you’re wearing these days!

Below is one of my favorite videos by Erykah Badu, inspired by Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf . Awesome.

“The World Needs Class”

6 Mar

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I recently met up with Ms. Red, the Creative Director of Adela Red, at Café Mustache.  A great little café off the California Blue Line filled with quirky décor.  The atmosphere is laid back and cozy.  So cozy in fact, that our interview turned into a four hour long chat about life.  Here are the Cliff Notes.

*Can you intro yourself?

I’m originally from Wisconsin and moved to Chicago to study fashion design.  In school I got told “no” a lot because my designs didn’t go with the standards.  Telling me no motivates me to prove you wrong.  I learned when to be quiet and work and when to stand up for myself.

*Are you a feminist?

No, I do not consider myself a feminist.  I’m old fashioned and like traditional roles.  I don’t want to be taken care of though; I want to take care of myself.  I believe women have the right to do what they want and my choice is to be more traditional.  I want to make dinner for my family.  My big issue with feminism is that it is the reason chivalry doesn’t exist anymore.

*Is this your full time job?

Yes, as creative director for Adela Red and designer for my clothing lines.   As a creative director I’m in charge of projects such as photo shoots and fashion shows.  Individuals come to me for my vision and ideas.  I oversee production and do casting.  I provide the theme and direct the process and flow.  As a designer I won’t give people just what they want.  I custom make clothing for what works for you.  The customer isn’t always right.  Let me do my job, but I’m not cocky about it.  I’m not talking just to talk.

*What do you do to lift your mood when you’re feeling down?

I change it up.  I do something I didn’t plan.  I quit my job without another one lined up.  Spontaneity.  Thinking about my accomplishments and where I wanna go.  Remembering that I‘m capable and kick ass.

*Where do you find creative inspiration?

By trying everything you realize your style of creativity.  Listening to people’s needs and looking at what worked in the past.  My life is my inspiration.  I use new fabrics with classic cuts.  Audrey Hepburn. Marilyn Monroe.

*Best fashion advice?

Base your whole outfit on the item you most want to wear that day.  It makes it easier to create an outfit because you have a starting point.  People do not pay as much attention as you think they do, stop basing your life on others and base it on what you love.  The way you dress informs people of how you feel.

*What is your favorite quote/s?

I really like Marilyn Monroe.  There are 2 by her.  “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are” and “Women who want to be equal to men lack ambition”.  Another is “You have enemies?  Good, that means you stood up for something in your life” by Winston Churchill. My own personal favorite saying is “Never forget your roots, or who put you where you are today even if that person is yourself.”

*Any last words of wisdom?

Stop being someone else, be yourself.  Don’t stop caring, don’t stop worrying, don’t stop living.

For more Adela Red and creative inspiration you can follow:

Street Style Across The States

27 Feb

Happy Monday everyone!  We are excited to let you in on a new feature to the blog.  On Mondays we will be sharing street fashion from Chicago, San Francisco, and New York.  Since we are each living in these locations which have very different temperatures and populations we wanted to share how people are expressing their je ne sais quoi.


Name=Charlotte (along with her fashionable friend)

Location=Hyde Park

Fave Item=Vintage coat scored at The Village Discount Outlet (the best thrift stores in Chicago)



Location=Binghamton, NY

Fave Item=All of them.  I can’t choose because I use them all so often and I got them from local thrift stores!

Style=Rhapsody in blue.



Location=San Francisco State University

Fave Item=skirt from Zara

Style=A work in progress.  Almost minimalist while emulating some bad assness.

How To Wear An Animal Print Skirt

25 Feb

While on my Christmas break I purchased a leopard print mini skirt from Goodwill.  I have never owned anything with animal print and was unsure of how to wear it.  While reading the blog Haute Design I came across this picture which renewed my interest in my animal print skirt.


The mixing of patterns was inspiring.  I gathered items from my wardrobe and the inventory from our vintage store.  These looks are my favorite ways to wear an animal print skirt.

Mixing patterns.  This is a silk, vintage Liz Claiborne blouse that buttons up the back.  The  texture and colors of the floral fabric contrast well with the leopard print.  Keep the bottom neutral by pairing with all black.

Elvis goes perfectly with this outfit.  The key to this look is wearing a solid top that picks up on one of the shades in the animal print.  I chose a yellow bodysuit that picked up the colors of the leopard print.  The shoes are also a brown found in the print.  When wearing  a mini keep your top simple and covered to balance the outfit.

This is a dressed down version of mixing patterns.  I wore a vintage denim floral shirt that I tied at the waist and rolled the sleeves up.  It was then paired with brown leggings and brown boots.  Again you want to keep the bottom a more neutral, solid color so it flows together and doesn’t compete with the patterns.

This is a dressed up version for a night out.  I wore a vintage gold top that has some sparkle.  I kept them bottom simple with black tights and high heeled mary janes for the finishing touch.

It started raining which is what caused the spots on the sweater!  Keep it simple on top and a party on the bottom. I wore a vintage, fuzzy Express angora sweater with a black bodysuit underneath.  I added color and texture with a pair of vintage, purple snakeskin heels.

Animal print on animal print.  This is the cute, kitschy version of print on print.  I paired a favorite vintage puppy sweater with the skirt.  The sweater is hand embroidered and has wooden buttons on the shoulders.  It looks adorable with the leopard print skirt and a pair of brown boots.

This is an example of how NOT to wear an animal print skirt.

Do not wear animal print with anything too revealing on top or with high boots.

Unless of course, you are deliberately going for Julia Roberts’ look in Pretty Woman.

What do you think?  Do you have any favorites or combinations you really don’t like?  Have you been inspired to wear animal print?

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