May 22, 2010

DIY ankle boots

Here's some poor person fun I had this morning! I'm pretty pleased with myself for this one. It was a scary thunderstorm outside. Dark, startlingly loud thunder, raining super hard. The perfect morning for a DIY project I dreamed up a few nights ago.

I've been doing an intense spring cleaning all week long, which basically involved moving all my furniture to other rooms in the house, selling large pieces on craigslist, and buying new furniture and linens. A complete re-decoration. This meant going through all my clothing, shoes, and accessories, and re-arranging my storage. In the process I came across these boots, buried up high on a shelf in the darkest back corner. Clearly I had not been wearing them regularly. So scary.

Guys, I seriously don't know what I was thinking. All I know is they were on sale, and it was the mid-2000s. At that point in my life I probably thought these were a timeless classic.

I wore them once. It should be a known fact that style doesn't come easily to me. I actually don't think of myself as having very good style at all. I'm just a sucker for "things." And "finds."

Anyhow, back to the DIYing. So I was like, what do I do with these ugly boots? I could wait till fall and sell them, maybe? Then something popped into my head. It was this J.Crew ankle boot from last fall. They were nothing special, but looked seriously great in all the catalog shots. I loved them more than you can know in a gray suede. But alas, J. Crew wanted like $300 for them. Too much, I said to myself in the fall time.

But then I looked at this big slouchy boot again. And wait, look at that seam! I shall have my J. Crew boot in black!

So I got to cutting. With my Ikea scissors, because clearly I'm no expert leathersmith.

There is this one little issue I realized. There is a white lining material that might show. So I trimmed the lining a little shorter than the outer.

One boot done!

Not bad, right?

Voila, ankle boots!

I realize that the white lining still shows a tiny bit. It's not that bad. I'm thinking of using some leftover strips of leather to create a raw edged trim to line the opening. I'm not sure yet if I want to. If I do, I'll update you on how that works out. I could also just dye/color the white parts black somehow.

And now, what to do with this extra leather leg warmer that is left over?

In conclusion, cutting up your things can be such a good time. I have some more DIY ideas in store for the summer that don't involve much more than a little cut and sew. I'll be sure to share them all with you! Hope you enjoy!

May 18, 2010

A few more favorites

I talked a little while back about my vintage cardigan with lots of buttons (seen also in the post below) as being one of the only things I've had for quite a long time. That's a very special thing because we aren't joking in that little story on the right hand side of the page; we moved here with next to nothing. I had divested myself of worldly possessions. I did so with the intent to start my "grown up" life once I got to Minneapolis. So with this blog, you are watching a wardrobe in the process of its making.

It has turned out that living in Minnesota is not such a bad place for a cheapskate like myself to begin the processes of finding awesome shit that I will actually want to hang onto. We may not have the world's best shopping in terms of up-and-coming edgy designers, but the vintage is to die for here.

I don't think I've shown this jacket on the blog before, but it is one of my favorite things. Both it and the shoes are from Blacklist Vintage, circa one year ago. The black dress is a few years old from Buffalo Exchange in San Diego.

The perfect lightweight summer evening time jacket.

I love these shoes.

I promised last week I would show you all the other new things I recently found. Then I didn't. I'm aware that maybe I shouldn't say I'm about to do things then not do them. It's a problem. I've come up on some great vintage recently, but things got a little overwhelming with the end of the semester, and I had to place self-portrait time lower on the priorities list. But this time I really mean it. New things soon!

May 11, 2010

May Showers

Things are all mixed up here. The flowers bloomed in April, when it was warm and sunny. Now, it just rains all the time. There was a break between storms this weekend, and I finally got back out into the world and said hello! And guess what was out there waiting for me in the world? Well, 3 things, but here is 1: new black shorts from Blacklist Vintage! They are sorta baggy, like a black diaper. Rad, right?

Things that keep me happy when it's rainy are my Hunter rain boots and this vintage coat.

Buttoned up! It's so windy.

I got this coat a long time ago living in San Diego. I think it was part of my coat hoarding in anticipation of moving somewhere with weather. That was good planning. I bought these boots shortly after moving here during this frantic period of worrying about being under-prepared for weather. I was so spastic for the entire first year of living with seasons! Anyhow, I'm happy to report that these boots paid off. I wear them all the time. The top part if canvas, if you were wondering.

There is a real puddle problem on all the streets near my house. Some are so very deep, and it's quite fun to stomp right through them. As I've told you before, I cherish the small joys in life. Which brings me to this masterpiece across the street from my home:

Too bad it's probably washed away in the rain. I can't wait to show you the other new things I bought this weekend! All vintage, all black, all under $20. Stay tuned.

May 10, 2010

Paying My Respects

Don't worry, no one died. In fact, that may be the problem.

I came across a post last weekend that overheated my cockles and I decided I'd comment on it. My gripe comes in the form of this Esquire piece on David Lynch: click over to check it out, and then come back real quick so we can talk about it.

Men's style, in general, is a finicky beast. If you're putting in too much effort, you're trying too hard. Not enough, and you're a slouch. There seems to be a strongly-held belief that if you're not playing by the rules, you're doing it wrong.

In making a case for Lynch as a(n "Accidental") Style Icon, Esquire describes him as "badly-dressed," with tailoring that is "too long...too wide," crafting the tale of a man who's too "head in the clouds" to be bothered to run down to J. Crew to score all the items on the latest GQ Buyer's Guide.


David Lynch is a master. Not only of film, but also of style. He embodies the effortless cool of a Steve McQueen or a Paul Newman, names which are lauded ad nauseum in men's style media, but the difference is that Lynch doesn't abuse patch pockets or ride motorcycles or fuck supermodels (that I know of.) Oh, and he still sucks air, which I guess complicates the whole hero worship pathos.

You see, there is a fine line between what Lynch does and looking like your lazy, balding uncle. But Esquire tells you that you can't do it because it reinforces them as somehow important, vital to our tenuous grasp on the ever-changing world of men's style. It's style writing like this that keeps publications like Esquire in business--they make you think you need them, because without them, you're doing it wrong.

Mainstream men's style media are getting out of hand. Current trends and today's standards need to be called in to question, always. Failure to step out looking like a Brooks Brothers ad doesn't preclude good style. In fact, I'd encourage it. Lynch's refusal to bow to current trends may position him as an outcast in the sartorial world, but his no-frills utilitarianism is a look I can wholly endorse. Besides, it provides the perfect palette for that hair.

All this is to say that I won't be making that Blue Velvet style inspiration post anymore, because it just seems redundant. Long live Lynch.

May 6, 2010

In Hiding

It has been a dreary week all around in Minneapolis/in my life. That heat we experienced was but a teaser, and it went back to chilly, windy, and rainy. That's ok, because I needed to live at my desk in leggings and sweatshirts for the last week and a half or so. I have had to relish in small pleasures, such as taking walks in my new poncho and picking dandelions. Not so bad, considering how great it feels to wear this poncho. It's like wearing your own personal tent. For the record, it was supposed to start raining. It didn't.

It's from Gap, which I'm really, really not trying to overtly endorse here. It's funny, actually, because I saw this cape in Elle and then was at the mall, and it was already on clearance. Thanks, Minnesota! The employee who rang me up was like, "I have never seen anyone touch this thing since we got them. You are the first person to buy one. What do you do with your arms?" Way to sell it.

Later, I was asked at school if it was my "Korean War chic," which is the most hilarious thing anyone's probably ever said to me about something I'm wearing. Gotta love when you wear a conversation starter... I guess.

May 1, 2010

Shabd Sneak Peek

As summer is once again approaching, I find myself looking back on last summer's clothing pondering which items to keep, which are done for good, and which to shelf for future possibilities. One item that I acquired last summer that I do still very much treasure are these hand dyed bike short made by Shabd Simon-Alexander, or more simply known as the brand Shabd.

I introduced you to these shorts (along with my bffs) last summer, and since then got myself on the mailing list. Sometimes mailing lists make me hate email, technology and computers. But sometimes my inbox brings me lovely images that make me appreciate the connectedness of it all. These particular images made me pause and wonder at how beautiful dyed fabric can truly be, and at the talent of the woman making all these fabrics by hand. The email that brought me the following images was labeled as a "Sneak Peek" on the yet-to-be released fall line. You can preorder from the secret website and get 10% off orders before May 10. I got Shabd's permission to share this information and these images with you all.

I am really loving these silhouettes, especially the long shapeless blouse over the maxi-skirt. The colors are superb, and combined as a collection are a bit different than most of what is out there right now. I would love to wear one of the full-length looks in all its simplicity. While the urge may to be layer to tone down prints, I am kinda into the idea of wearing "print monochrome" and featuring the fabric itself. Rarely do my clothes allow me such an opportunity.

Don't neglect to look at Shabd's main site either. I look at it once in a while just for those fabric close-ups. I still have the galactic postcard image that came along with my shorts hanging out in a big picture frame with my other favorite small scale images. I am saving my pennies for these tights.

Hope you all are having a lovely Spring weekend. I am almost to my next break! Hooray!