Month: September 2012

Hello, fall wardobe

The weather here in New England has been getting cooler – there’s definitely a nip in the air when I leave the house to go to the gym in the morning. Time to pack away my sundresses and break out the sweaters. While I’m sad that the season for bare shoulders and open-toed shoes has passed, I’m excited about reviving forgotten outfits…cute blouses with cardigans, warmer skirts with tights, and, of course, boots.

I LOVE boots.

I’ve developed a process for my seasonal wardrobe change. A messy process, to be sure, but it works for me. For starters, I do all the laundry in the house to make sure that I’m not missing anything. Having all my clothes clean at once forces me to examine how much I own as opposed to how much I actually wear. Then I drag all my storage bins out from behind the eaves and drag them into my bedroom. I empty the bins with the clothes I’m taking out, then start packing away off-season shoes so that they’re on the bottom of the tote.

Now: goodbye, black and whote polka dot peeptoes, blue canvas slingbacks,  raffia sandals with the woven wedge heels…and several more pairs of summery shoes. Next I fold up shorts and ’70s wrap skirts to make a protective layer between shoes and sundresses. Sundresses go next – anything that won’t work for fall gets packed away. Then I go through my closet for blouses and short-sleeved cardigans. Drawers go next. By the time I’m done, I typically have a bin full of clothes for storage as well as a giant bag for the next clothing swap. If I’d done this last weekend, I would have been better off, since I just went to a swap on Thursday and only had a few things then.

Now I get to unpack everything that’s been in storage. And try everything on and put it in a drawer or my closet or the laundry or the swap bag. And think about new outfit combinations.



Apron appreciation

Last Friday night, my friend Lisa gave me two wonderful aprons she found:

Yosemite National Park apron

Yosemite National Park apron

orange apron

A wonderful orange apron with tons of pretty pockets.

They were in a trunk that belonged to her grandmother. She thinks that her grandmother made the orange one. It’s got such great details – as soon as Lisa gave me the aprons, I put the orange one on and wore it around the house all evening.

Two other recent additions to my apron collection:

blue gingham apron

A blue gingham apron

I aquired this blue gingham apron around the same time as the car show at Ralph’s over the summer.

plastic rose apron

This apron is actually some kind of plastic.

My mom found this plastic apron in her attic – I’m not sure what it was intended for. Obviously, it offers better clothing protection than the fabric versions. It’s even got a pocket.

Any clever ideas for apron display?

Make-up mistakes from 1946

The May 1946 issue of The Homemaker identifies a number of ways women misuse makeup. Not only does the article have good tips, it’s hilarious because it’s written SO SERIOUSLY. “Women today have been made well aware that they cannot do without cosmetics, but many have still to learn how to do the most with them. If this mass beauty suicide has never made you flinch, it may mean that you’ve been equally blind to your own mistakes.” Heavy.


Oddly, the writer calls eyeshadow “eyebrow shadow.” As well as “one of your sculptor’s tools.” Overblown writing style aside, there are some interesting tips here worth investigating. Enjoy.

The striking Rita Morley

Rita Morley

Rita Morley as a washed-up actress in “The Flesh Eaters.” I wish I could find a better still from the film.

Yesterday, my husband and I were flipping through TV channels and came across a 1964 low-budget flick called “The Flesh Eaters.” We quickly abandoned it, as we came in during some huge plot problems, but the actress who played the lead really caught my attention: Rita Morley. She looked somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t place her.

I also LOVED her outfit: A black blouse with a deep V neck secured with a brooch and sexy leopard-print pants.

An internet search revealed that she appeared on the soap operas As The World Turns  and The Edge of Night in the 1950s and ’60s and…. she was a spokesperson for Coty cosmetics. She seems to have done primarily TV ads for Coty as opposed to print advertisements, and searches for her photo yield mostly images of Rita Hayworth. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.) I’d love to know more about her.

My first Victory roll

As I may have mentioned before, I stink at styling hair. But this past weekend we hung out with our friends Lucas and Bernadette, and her hair looked inspirational (as usual). So yesterday afternoon, I played around with products and bobby pins and managed to achieve this:

my first victory roll

My first victory roll. Somewhat dilapidated, but I was still excited.

Yes, the back is a mess and I had to wear the scarf because the sides were wonky, but hey–it was my first shot. I’m sure I’ll get better with practice. And maybe a haircut that lends itself to that sort of thing. Anyway, I liked it and so did my husband. Yay.


Style errors I made on our trip.

I haven’t travelled much before: Japan was my first overseas experience. And I definitely made some mistakes in packing for the trip–errors I will not make again.

1. I didn’t bring any heels.

I knew we’d be walking all over the place. And the Japanese are short. And my cousin we stayed with is (maybe?) 5′ tall…I wanted to be comfortable and avoid towering over people more than necessary. Good ideas, but it meant that a lot of the time, I was frustrated with my footwear and didn’t really feel like myself when we went out to dinner.

2. I wore things that were appropriate for the weather, but that I wouldn’t typically wear out.

In the summer, I wear a lot of vintage ’60s and ’70s wrap skirts for things like running to the store, gardening, etc. But they’re not really what I wear for going anywhere else. It was also too disgustingly hot for jeans, and I’m a huge fan of rolled-up jeans with cute shoes. So again, I didn’t really feel like myself.

3. I forgot to bring my sunglasses.

Squinting is never attractive.

4. I brought a modern, practical bag instead of the teeny vintage things I normally carry.

Yes, it was practical–great for traipsing around a foreign country during the day with maps, camera, bus passes, passport, bottled water, sunscreen, etc. Less great for popping down the street to the store or heading out for a quick bite to eat. Next time, I will bring a vintage purse for evening adventures.

5. I overpacked, but with things I didn’t really want to wear.



Wouldn’t this have looked so much better with cute wedges?

Things I did right: remembered to bring–and apply–sunscreen so I didn’t get burned. Had multiple lipstick options, which helped me feel at least a little like myself. Brought several cute sundresses, which I love. Reminded myself that none of these people are ever going to see me again, so who cares what I look like, anyway? Stop being vain!

September 2012 hideous handbag

Hideous Handbags: September 2012

This month’s bag comes from a discount store. Which means that at one point, it was in a fancy department store. Probably next to the mother of the bride dresses. That’s all I have to say.

Really. This little number speaks for itself.

September 2012 hideous handbag

Normally, a little sparkle is a good thing. Alas, not here.

You people are holding out on me–I know that you’re stumbling across  tremendously ugly purses. AND THAT YOU’RE NOT SENDING PHOTOS. Sometimes, we need to bond over shared monstrosities. You know what I mean. Email photos of the most wretched purses you encounter to