vintage modern.

vintage modern.


fall is a time of year that always has me wanting an entirely new wardrobe. everything that i have feels impractical and outdated and all of the fall collections that have recently hit shops look so beautiful and necessary to my eyes. this will of course happen again in spring when the weather starts to turn and i want to throw out all of my warmer clothes and fill my closet with all of the raddest resort wear. over the last few years of cleaning out my closet, i have found that the fast fashion facsimiles of trendy designer pieces tend to be the ones that get a head scratching/eye rolling and are donated at the end of their season and easily forgotten. but i find that vintage is much harder to part with because even when purchased because of a current designer item, vintage always seems to have a soul and a uniqueness that feels smart and worth hanging on to. i thought i’d do a piece that shows how easy it is to find vintage items that are similar to current designer pieces that maybe aren’t affordable for the average gal about town.

  1. first up is one of my most favorited sweaters of the season: the pompom embellished wool and cashmere sweater from the amazing stella jean ($653). it feels so circa now, with the pom poms and the bright colors and the bib collar. i love this vintage striped sweater that has a similar bib collar and pom poms ($40), and this adorable vintage pom pom cardigan ($42.75).
  2. second is the skirt du jour, worn by seemingly every fashion girl and celebutaunt strutting it out right now: the patent leather mini skirt from isabel marant ($1580). here is a cool vintage one that also zips up the middle ($40), and what could be cooler than a vintage gianni versace patent leather skirt ($284)?
  3. of all of the amazing gucci sweaters out right now, i’m really hearting this men’s wool cardigan ($890). here is a super similar vintage gucci cardigan ($85), and an amazing vintage tennis cardigan with oh so gucci trim ($58) (another version here for $26).
  4. next is the crazy cool balenciaga double breasted checked wool blazer ($2185) that is all over the interwebs. here is a vintage double breasted check blazer ($18) and a vintage mulberry checked blazer with a similar shape ($84).
  5. speaking of balenciaga, their stirrup jeans ($605) are single handedly dispelling the rumor that jeans are dead. here is a pair of vintage high waisted stirrup jeans ($40), and here is a pair of stirrup jeans that are even pink ($54).
  6. next up are winter white heeled ankle boots, seen everywhere but most notably at acne studios ($800). here is a rad vintage pair ($85) and another similar pair ($25).
  7. last is the fall transitional sandal, which is a sandal that you wear with socks. the pvc or plastic wedge was big for summer, most adorably at maryam nassir zadeh ($408). here is a super similar pair of vintage celine wedges ($155),  and here is a way cute pair of vintage plastic wedges for a mere $8.50, or a red pair for a cool $79.

the end.


vintage modern: the sack dress

the sack dress came of age in the late 1950’s, as a reaction to the girdle required pencil skirts and wiggle dresses of the post WWII “new look.” there was quite a hub-bub over the look as men saw the form hiding silhouette as an affront. in the uber-paranoid mccarthy-era there were many a wise-crack about how the sack dress was a communist plot. while french fashion king paul poiret is the true inventor of the sack dress, balenciaga and givenchy both heavily featured the look in their 1957 collections and really the first “man repeller” was born: a look that chic women loved and the common man resented. these days the look is suddenly on the rise again, due to the whole minimalist craze. i for one love the look. here are a few sack style dresses, from cheap to highly chic.

balenciaga sack dress, 1957

givenchy and balenciaga sack dresses

balenciaga sack dress

balenciaga sack dress, 1957

vintage modern: mid-century credenza.

as a new parent you quickly learn just what a sharp, chaotic little death trap your home is. my son began crawling and we realized that we had made all the wrong choices in furniture. there honestly is no good system for childproofing out there. as my friend jeff says, there is one company who makes childproofing stuff and they make two versions: the crappy version and the more expensive, less crappy version. and they do not make anything that will keep your books, records and tchotchkes from coming right off of their little perch and straight into the mouth of your toddler. gone are the days of stacking books on the floor or keeping anything (really, anything) sitting out at waist level or lower. i look around at all of the open shelving that i have and i curse the furniture gods for not directing me towards storage with enclosed, lockable shelves.

as a child i remember my grandparents had their beautiful teak and maple credenzas and sideboards, with their nifty sliding doors and drawers to keep everything tucked away from little prying hands. i’ve looked longingly at the pretty mid-century credenzas at the shops along valencia street in san francisco for years, and watched their price tags skyrocket with the passing months. a vintage one will run you upwards of $2,000, and that’s to start. recently new versions have been popping up all over, not much more affordable, but perhaps a bit. here are 10 ranging in price for $279 to just under $1500.


vintage modern: courtney love.

it really irks me when i see posts regarding courtney love that are prefaced with some kind of disclaimer. i love courtney love and i find no need to qualify my love. so there. i came upon her at the tender age of 13 and she shaped me as much as stevie nicks, patti smith and those awesome late 80’s winona ryder movies did. she gave me bold red lipstick, platinum hair, third wave feminism and those great echo & the bunnymen records and for that, and so much more, i am forever grateful.  it’s no secret that her style put a big giant rivet in the 90’s and shook it hard, and the adorable “kinderwhore” look has been back for a few years now, in various waves. i still see it hanging around so i thought i’d put a few items up.

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courtney was all vintage in the early 90’s, and her style (like her guitar playing) was very british influenced. 60’s babydoll dresses, velvet jumpers with crisp white shirts, and war-time mary jane’s worn over white cable knit knee high socks or tights. these are the looks i see popping up that make me think of ms. love. the most iconic and most re-produced look has to be her black babydoll dress with peter pan collar. below are some of the courtney-esque numbers floating around. each photo has itself a link.

vintage modern: stevie nicks.

keeping up with this week’s stevie nicks theme, i thought i’d do a post about her epic style. i couldn’t decide whether to do a covet post, or a vintage modern, but decided on the latter because i see some of her signature looks trending yet again.

stevie has always been my numero uno style icon. it all started with my mom’s copy of stevie’s first solo record: bella donna. as a little girl i used to stare at the cover and think she was the most incredible woman ever. over the past few decades she’s seen a definite resurgence and much deserved credit for her iconic style. in the early 2000’s the sort of witchy, rumors era look became popular: lots of gypsy hemmed skirts and bell sleeves came onto the scene. recently kimono tops have come back and this year several designers did a chiffon maxi dress, which quickly trickled down to the masses via urban outfitters & forever 21. southwest staples (spain and mexico meet native american and cowboy) combined with ballet inspired pieces make up stevie’s look. here’s some of my favorites from the little queen:

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and with that, here are a dozen or so stevie-esque looks from around the webs, oh and don’t forget the instant camera for late night self-portraits. each photo has a link for your shopping pleasure.

vintage modern: hudson’s bay

i’m not a canadian but i sure do love hudson’s bay blankets. for my birthday this year my husband got me a vintage 4 point wool blanket. the blankets date back to the 18th century, and were one of the main european items sought after by native peoples, typically traded for beaver pelts. the blankets have been produced by the hudson’s bay company ever since, and the iconic stripes are a favorite of mine. recently i’ve seen them popping up in places other than official wool hudson’s bay blankets and i thought i’d do a little piece about some cool ones.


1. vintage hudson’s bay 4 point wool blanket

2. baby gap boy's knit sweater

2. baby gap boy’s knit sweater

3. baby girl striped sweater dress by the gap

3. baby girl striped sweater dress by the gap

4. minuet striped dress

4. minuet striped dress

5. modcloth rainbow cardigan

5. modcloth rainbow cardigan

6. zazzle hudson's bay striped sweatshirt

6. zazzle hudson’s bay striped sweatshirt

7. multi-stripe bikini from the bay

7. multi-stripe bikini from the bay

8. beach riot bikini urban outfitters

8. beach riot bikini urban outfitters

9. glacier park towel urban outfitters

9. glacier park towel urban outfitters

10. hudson's bay pillows one kings lane

10. hudson’s bay pillows one kings lane

11. vintage hudson's bay cape via etsy

11. vintage hudson’s bay cape via etsy

12. re-upholstered foot stool via etsy

12. re-upholstered foot stool via etsy

13. hudson's bay stripe booties from anthropologie

13. hudson’s bay stripe booties from anthropologie

14. hudson's bay mug via lord & taylor

14. hudson’s bay mug via lord & taylor

15. hudson's bay fleece throw via lord & taylor

15. hudson’s bay fleece throw via lord & taylor

  1. vintage 4 point wool hudson’s bay blanket via etsy, $115.
  2. baby boy knit cardigan from the gap, $27.99.
  3. baby girl striped sweater dress from the gap, $27.99.
  4. minuet rainbow stripe dress from opensky, $89.99.
  5. rainbow with the flow cardigan from modcloth, $34.99.
  6. hudson’s bay pullover sweatshirt from zazzle, $22.95.
  7. multistripe bikini from the bay, $75.
  8. beach riot rainbow stripe bikini via urban outfitters, $19.99.
  9. pendelton glacier park towel via urban outfitters, $38.
  10. hudson’s bay blanket pillows, pair, from one king’s lane, $249.
  11. vintage hudson’s bay cape via etsy, $399
  12. reupholstered foot stool via etsy, $38.
  13. hudson’s bay stripe booties from anthropologie, $189.
  14. hudson’s bay mug via lord & taylor, $7.
  15. hudson’s bay fleece throw via lord & taylor, $40.

vintage modern: wedding dress

shopping for a wedding dress on the cheap can be challenging, lemme tell ya! buying a vintage wedding dress can be tricky and not necessarily cheaper (thank you, etsy). some of my favorite vintage styles are the tea length dress from the 50’s, the maxi dress from the 60’s, the crocheted dresses of the 60’s and 70’s, and the mexican wedding dress (particularly the all white, 70’s variety). luckily the white dress is the big thing this summer and they are everywhere. click the slide show to view my favorites. 

1. vintage lace tea length dress for $175.

2. gilded grace tea length dress for $139.

3. vintage maxi dress will run you $368, but you can’t beat the ornate detail in the lace.

4. modern maxi marked down to $85. not the same craftsmanship, but you get the lace patterning and the flattering shape.

5. crocheted dress from spanish moss for $134.

6. vintage crocheted babydoll dress for $78.

7. the modern version of the shift style comes, once again, from modcloth with this gorgeous shift for $178.

8. nasty gal has this little crocheted number for only $58.

9. beautiful vintage 1970’s mexican wedding dress via etsy for $62.

10. sadly free people is sold out of this gorgeous mexican wedding dress, but the savvy shopper can find one on ebay every now and then. it is just too beautiful not to mention here.

11. since the free people dress is sold out, i’ll give you one to grow on! pixie market has this lovely mexican style dress for just $79.

 view the slideshow below, and click the links to see deets on the dresses. happy shopping!