September 21, 2011

Toms VS Bobs

I've been trying to find comfortable shoes to wear to work for a while now. I need something that I can slip on and wear to work, run around in, and still be stylish. I've wanted these gold Toms for the longest time, and I love glitter (as you might be able to tell some of the items in my etsy shop). They just seemed a little out of my budget - expecially since I'm running after a 1.5 year old in the playground. I also read some reviews stating that they only last about 2 months, and I usually wear my shoes to the bone, so I needed something that if it did get ruined, I wouldnt feel totally guilty about spending $60 on. So I went to Famous Footwear to find some $30 keds or something and I found these knock off Toms there. I was outraged! How dare they copy a style (which lets be honest most fashion is just a direct copy of something else) of Toms shoes with out the actual and most important thing - the meaning behind them. For those of you who are not familiar with Toms (which, might be no one at this point) they're a wonderful company that started in California and with every purchase of Toms shoes a child in a developing country gets a pair of shoes.

"In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers."

An awesome missions statement. So awesome that other companies are copying them. Bobs by Skechers is ultimately the same. Skechers partnered up with Soles 4 Souls and is promising two pairs of shoes donated for everyone one sold.

"SKECHERS USA, Inc.  a global leader in the footwear industry and the Number 2 footwear brand in the United States*, today announced that for every pair of BOBS alpagarta shoes sold, the Company will donate two pairs of BOBS shoes to children in need through the Soles4Souls shoe charity organization."

Although I felt kind of crummy about Skechers totally copying the idea, the ultimate point of this is that now there are two great companies that are donating shoes to children that really need them.

So okay, I bought the pair of Bobs shoes from Famous Footwear after doing some research on them. They're super comfortable, and glittery, and look EXACTLY THE SAME. I kind of wish they looked a little different. Then I wouldn't feel like I was the one copying Toms. Oh well. (pssst - the Bobs were half the price)


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September 18, 2011

Sister Saturday in the Suburbs!

Since Kawtar started school, I haven't been able to see her much so last week we planned a big trip to the suburbs to go thrifting and exploring. Since we're both from a fairly small state, having suburbs that are large and like a city of their own is very new to us! We went up to Chicago's richest suburb (according to the internet) and it turns out they don't have any thrift stores! We should have known! The rich don't thrift! Anyway, after some exploring, we found an awesome flea market and some thrift stores and had a super awesome day!

Coffee Studio coffee at hand--ready for the day!


Kawtar and I are now forever drawn to things that look like junk. The more the better! Treasure hunters!


So many amazing pieces! What a collection!







 This was our favorite booth (the above three images). She had the most personal amazing collection from the 1940-60's. I know Amy is just dying over that elephant belt now.



Kawtar: 
Dress/Leggings: Target 
Moccasins: Minnetonka Moccasin 
Scarf: Urban Outfitters

Me:
Shirt/Cardigan/Pants: Target (sigh) 
Scarf/Bracelets: Vintage
Purse: Dooney and Bourke


We saw cows on our drive home...cows.   

The suburbs were really refreshing. I can't believe how used to the anxiety the city gives me! It was calming, there was always parking, and people were really friendly. (Although, I will admit, most Chicagoan are super nice!) They remind me of Maine, the quiet family life, open space, overall peacefulness. I think this is going to become a frequent thing!

September 15, 2011

Nanny Chic

I'm a full time nanny for two little boys, ages 3 and 1.5. They're adorable, fun, cute....and super messy! Last time I tried to dress up before going to work I ended up with apple sauce and spaghetti sace all over me. I need to be able to run, jump, play, and get messy with them so being cute, just isnt an option. Sooo, on my days off, although I'm resting, I like to dress up a little!


Skirt was upcycled - it was originally below the knee.





Blouse, Skirt, Purse, Belt, Bracelets: Vintage 
Boots, Cardigan, Socks: Target
Sunglasses: H&M

I've also been working on listing and photographing things for the Etsy shop all day!






Well, I guess I need to stock up on some yoga pants and sweat shirts. Sigh.

September 13, 2011

How to Modernize Your Vintage Look - Without a Sewing Machine!

It's really hard to dress up and look cute when you're running around after kid all day. That's probably the main reason I haven't been updating my blog. When I had my old job at the boutique, I had to look nice and represent the store (I failed at doing that sometimes too!) but now...3 year olds don't really care about what I wear. I'm going to attempt to do non-outfit related blog posts during the week, and maybe one or two during the weekends when I have some time to get dressed in the morning.

Today I had an afternoon sitting job, and I thought, why not look cute! It was way too hot to wear any form of pants or sweater so I threw this on. I found this dress while thrifting a few weeks back. Originally it went way past my knees, but I chopped it up to make it more modern. The only problem was when shortening the dress, I failed to measure it correctly and I cut it about an inch too short - so now I have to hand hem it.




I was taking these pictures and Ismail had to jump in... not really sure why. I don't really know if he understands why I take so many outfit pictures. (check it out -- this dress has pockets!)





I just listed this necklace...but I'm really debating on keeping it. It's just so cute and unique!


Dress/Belt: Vintage
Necklace: Zzouzi Vintage
Shoes: Target


A lot of the time I'll find a dress that has an amazing print on it, or a great silhouette, or color (like this one!) and I don't buy it because it falls under the bad 80's/90's category in my mind but I found some simple tricks to modernize the look:

The easiest one is to shorten the dress/skirt. Even if you aren't an expert sewer, just buy some stitch witchery and iron that hem up. Make sure you measure it correctly (remember measure twice, cut once!). tip on measuring: If its a circle skirt measure from the base of the skirt up how many inches you want it shortened. 

Next - Remove the shoulder pads!  Simple! Easy! Voila! 

You can also remove the sleeves -  Often, even if you remove the shoulder pads on a dress, the shoulder spacing will be so far out it still makes you seem broad shouldered. Simply make your dress sleeveless by carefully removing the sleeves from the shoulder seam using a seam ripper (or small scissors). Turn the dress inside out, and at the shoulder seam cut the thread that is surged on there carefully and hand stitch it back in place.

But the easiest way to transform a look is to just simply add a belt! The 80's were full of drop waist dresses that work so well for many people (not me), so whenever I encounter a drop waist dress, I just add a belt and make it a blousy top!  (Okay, this dress is really not the best example because the waistline isn't that low - but give it a try with a real drop waist - it makes a really cute mini dress!)


September 6, 2011

Studio

Before:


After:



Well folks, this is where the magic happens-- vintage and handmade creation magic that is. Ok, so not much has changed but I actually just redid this to include that large table that you see to the right. I realized that my small desk was not large enough for me to sew and did not have enough space for me to spread my supplies out. I longed for a corner table, but since I have that silly heater in the corner, I had to find another solution. The long table also doubles as a table for craft and vintage fairs! It folds up and fold in half with a handle! They've seriously thought of everything.

What I'm most excited about is the Babar et Les Balloons Water color poster that is in front of my desk. When I was a kid I loved Babar and my mom used to always read me his stories. I scored this large scale water colored poster at the thrift store the other day. I knew it was the just the thing I needed to replace those records. (Although the records will probably end up on another wall).