Monday, February 23, 2009

Your grandmother called... She wants your outfit back: The Glory of Granny Fashion!

Often in the wintertime, I find it hard to get really pumped about anything, including outfits. The cold weather zaps my energy and with it, my will to look cute. While moping around my closet, I realized that the only thing I really felt like wearing at the moment was this:

Onesie: Thrifted
Hat: My parents' closet
Red lace: My sewing box
Bag: Won it at a Harry Potter festival!
Shoes: Thrifted

Grannytastic, no? And it's a good thing I decided to play inspiration dress up, because when I looked at the picture, I understood that I actually am pumped and inspired about a look right now-- the Granny look! And it can be just as fun with winter sweaters as it is with summer onesies.


Sweater: Thrifted
Pants: They are thermals I usually take hiking.
Shoes, bag: Thrifted

My love of granny fashion has been slowly creeping up on me, and almost subconsciously I have been amassing a collection fit for a woman named Mildred or Gertrude. A simple flickr browse was enough to tell me that I'm not the only one feeling the granny-love either. (All of the pictures not of me were shamelessly stolen from said flickr search. Click the user name beneath the pic to see the flickrs of the younger gals).


Shopambrosia and TheCatsPajamas

The greatest thing about granny fashion is that grannies come in all types and shapes and sizes and so do their clothes-- from extra extra large cardigans to tiny little orthopedic flats. And there are multiple kinds of grannies to suit your every mood! I've organized the Granny Look into three sub-categories:

1. There's the classic "little old lady" granny, adorably awkward in oversized fads from 20 years ago, smelling permanently of moth balls.

2. There's wacky Floridian granny whose greatest loves include slot machines, sparkly colors and pizazz; she's not afraid of gaudy jewelry or a loud heel and is probably looking for a younger boyfriend.

(think Peggy Guggenheim)

3. And then there's your rich New York granny who prefers to be called Mimi, never leaving the house without her eyebrows pencilled on and her designer hat from 50 years ago adjusted just so. Be nice to this grandma, she will give you real pearls at your graduation.

Without discrimination, I want to raid every single one of their closets and complete my collection of:

Comfortable shoes!


Loafer flats and orthopedics both thrifted.

Sassy shoes!

Oversized accessories!
Such as...

Big purses and handbags. 


Super long sweaters 


Big wacky sunglasses

Costume jewelry! 

Gold-rimmed glass fish and gold-rimmed black flower pieces: both thrifted
Hamsa hand: from Israel, gift from sister
Berry jewel ring: A gift from my actual granny!

Granny floral!

CalamityJem and Jodache

Adorably awkward knee socks!

Thimblescratch and Strawberrykoi

Pantsuits and Jumpsuits!


My pantsuit: Thrifted

Belt and Scarf: Antique

Shoes and purse: Thrifted

And let's not leave grandpa out... he has some stuff worth stealing too! I love gramps' giant cardigans, his collection of sweater vests and argyle, and his delightfully ugly practical shoes.
Sweater: Thrifted
Crochet scarf: gift
Jeans: Forever 21
Red bag: H&M
Argyle socks: Hand me down from long ago.
Shoes: Thrifted

What is it about old-people style that makes young cute girls want to take fashion tips from their grandparents? Maybe it's because granny loves comfort. Maybe it's because granny loves bling. But I think most of all, it's that granny just doesn't give a crap! She wears what she wants, no matter how out of style it is or how ridiculously it fits. Granny wears what makes her feel good, whether through physical comfort or fabulosity. Next time I am down in the fashion dumps, I will try to keep this attitude in mind.


(P.S. Can't get enough of the old-people look? Visit this amazing blog dedicated exclusively to the fashion efforts of gramps and grams!! Thanks to Annalise for the tip!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

You brought me here to fish, not to kiss!

Under the picture:
Her-- You have brought me here to fish and not to kiss!
Him-- Ah! When I see you so splendid with youth, with your big smiling eyes and your cherry lips, can I remember why we have come?! I can only recall a desire, that to kiss you a thousand times!
Written on card:
Hello to the whole family!

Do excuse my rusty translation there, but I got the gist of it. What a lovely romantic postcard!

My Valentine's Day was spent kissing AND fishing-- for junk at yardsales and thrift stores all day. It was the perfect alternative to the usual cheesy fuss which I'm not that in to. Here are some of my catches!

Cute little granny purse, found at Value Village.

These gloves are real true actual PRADA. I got them at a yardsale-- the woman said someone gave them to her but she felt too scared to ever wear them out and was finally getting rid of them. Now that I have them, I'm starting to feel the same!
Adorable penny loafers!!

My Valentine's Day Outfit--
Pants: Thrifted
Sweater: Yard sale
Flats: H&M several years ago
Scarf, locket, belt: Antique


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anachronistic Dressing: A Tribute to the Past or an Insult to its Memory?

When one becomes accustomed to incorporating vintage items into his or her daily wardrobe, the question may soon arise as to whether or not pieces from different eras can be harmoniously matched and work together in one outfit. I used to flat out reject the notion of combining clothing from multiple generations... I shudder at the images burned into my brain of this attempt done wrong, like combining an adorable 50's housedress with 80's doc martins,

or a 70's hippie look with a chic roaring 20's hat.

Of course this is all subjective; who knows, maybe someone out there is pulling these combinations off as we speak, or Vogue may declare these looks IN next season and before I know it I'll find myself perpetrating these historical crimes that I now denounce. But fashion forecasts aside, lately I have been observing that mixing eras doesn't have to look confused and awkward, but can be a tribute to multiple moments in the past contained in one ensemble... when done right, that is.

Check out Regan from one of my favorite blogs La Meow combining 20's flapper with 70's punk.
Total badass anachronistic perfection.

The real question is, Why does Regan look so perfect whereas others just look poorly put together? What makes anachronistic dressing work, and what makes it fail? Regan suggested that her look worked because it's combining two rebellious movements in fashion.

Me and my roommate Jackie decided to throw together some anachronistic outfits of our own and have a little photoshoot to explore this conundrum. Did we succeed, or shall we be forever inducted into the historical nightmare hall of fame?

Here is my first attempt at combining eras. The hair is inspired by the 60's, the bow tie and blouse by 40's school girl, the ankle boots are from the 80's, the clutch is inspired by turn of the century tapestry bags, and the skinny jeans are modern!
Lace headband: Homemade
Blouse and clutch: thrifted
Bow tie: Antique store
Jeans: Urban Outfitters
Pink pixie ankle boots: Vintage 80's, found in Cincinnati

Jackie went eightiestastic with the gigantic sheep shirt and matching hair, but her spectator pumps are inspired by the ones that came out in the 40's though I doubt these particular ones are that old (I could be wrong, correct me if I am), her long necklace is 20's inspired, and her shorts-tights combo is distinctly contemporary.
Oversized sheep shirt: Vintage 80's, a gift from her friends' mom
Spectator pumps: thrifted
Jewelry and clutch: thrifted (?)

My next attempt combined some 70's high waisted jeans, turn of the century edwardian inspired blouse that buttons to neck with a ribbon tie, a fedora from the 20s, 80's green pumps, and a D&G bag that was popular over the summer (total knockoff btw!).

Fedora: Vintage from the 20's, found at a garage sale years ago.
Blouse: The Limited, hand me down from sister long ago before I outgrew her!
Jeans: Vintage 70's, found in Austin
Pumps: Thrifted
Dolce&Gabbana knockoff: some undisclosed street corner, of course.

And for her final historical hodgepodge, Jackie had 80's hair, a 20's inspired silk dress with 20's inspired long necklace, vintage pirate boots from the 70's, and a leopard print bracelet which I will mark as contemporary-- she made it herself out of a broken earring!
Dress: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Thrifted
Pirate boots: Vintage 70's, found in Austin last year.
Animal print bracelet: Homemade.

I think we did a pretty good job! I think the truth is that fashion goes through so many cycles that in our day and age it's not unusual to see inspirations from different eras subtly paired. Perhaps the faux-pas occurs when too many distinctive pieces are competing for focus. In the movies and SciFi books, they always warn against playing with time-travel, but me and Jackie had a good time breaking this rule-- arguably too good of a time...

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