Awhile ago (and I apologize for the delay!) I did a shout out across various platforms of social media to see if any of you had any burning questions for me! And I got such a wonderful response in both the number of questions and the range of subjects! Thank you! Now, let’s get to those answers!
xoxogothixgirl asked a few questions via Instagram.
What do you think has been the most significant change in your wardrobe and how you shop for it over the years?
I think I have moved away from being period perfect all of the time. Slowly I have begun to cultivate my own personal style (one I call “California Gypsy Chic”, or “Cosmic American Fashion”), and outfits can include items from various decades. Additionally, I used to eschew repro/vintage inspired clothing, however recently I have been embracing it, especially as repro is excellent for visiting amusement parks. So I have found myself shopping from various repro/vintage inspired lines. Since moving I have noticed I don’t thrift nearly as much as I used to. Which is due to many factors, like not having the easy perfectly mapped circuit I had in Portland, and vintage simply getting harder to come by at thrift stores.
What features do you look for as you hunt for your mid-century home?
For me, the most important thing is actually space, specifically closet and bathroom space (I have a lot of clothes). But I also want a nice open floor plan and a unique roofline. Period fixtures, such as countertops, hardware, and appliances are always nice, but not deal breakers, as we can put in whatever we want later.
rivkah86 also had a few questions asked on Instagram
How has the vintage community you have been a part of changed or had an influence on your perception of the value of dressing/living a vintage-inspired life style?
First I would say I have been a part of three vintage communities over the years. First is on-line, the other two are location based, Portland, and then southern California. On-line, it has changed in that there are more people on-line and blogging than ever before. Which means there are so many more resources of inspiration and knowledge! I don’t think I remained in Portland long enough to see the vintage community change much, and with southern California, it is somewhat the same in that I have not lived here long enough to see it change yet. However, there are a lot of differences between the two. Portland was small enough that everyone knew everyone. Southern California is different and there are so many separate groups, some of which focus on very specific time periods (for example, there is a larger 1920s centric group and an Art Deco Society). I’m constantly meeting new people, and learning about new events.
As for any influences on my perception of the value of dressing or living a vintage-inspired lifestyle; the on-line community proves that there are so many ways to go about dressing, and I like that. And bloggers range as to their dedication to a time period. Some, it ends with the closet. Others, like myself, it extends to their home, and what they listen to musically. But for others still, it extends into every aspect, including how they cook, clean, and structure their whole lives. On a location based note, the same types of people exist, but I have also seen first hand, in both locations, how dressing in the manner that many of us dress, people treat us. In Portland I can say that vintage attire was often meet with two types of looks and comments, either leering and comments by men saying things like “It’s nice to see a woman dress like a lady” or people sneering and just flat out starring, asking “Why?” I think this was because Portland was a very laid back type place that actually put very little stock in what they put on in the morning. In fact Portland was ranked number 13th in “Worst Dressed Cities” by Travel + Leisure. Portlanders tend to focus on wearing what is comfortable and practical, which is understandable considering the climate (rain, rain and more rain) and activities available in Portland (outdoor sports such as rafting, hiking, etc.). Southern California is different, a place that has been known for fashion, and puts high value in attire. I’ve been met with more compliments than anything else. I’ve also received what is best described as “special treatment” by various establishments from restaurants in downtown LA to Disneyland simply because of how me and my friends dressed. While shallow, yes, I find more value is dressing in southern California than I did in Portland.
Do you find it difficult to maintain your wardrobe, as in, is there ever a time where you question how deep you want to commit to it?
Great question! The answer is yes, and I have made changes to adjust accordingly. I used to wear stockings with a girdle or garter belt nearly every day, now I rarely do it. I made the change for a combination of reasons, one was that it was expensive. While I wore both vintage and new stockings, the continued wear meant I went through stockings rapidly, and was always buying more. Now, I wear stockings typically only for special occasions, or events where I want to be period perfect. I also used to buy vintage shoes, and that is something I actually try to avoid now. I lost taps (resulting in going to the cobbler quite often) all the time, and had multiple pairs simply self-destruct. I still own a few pairs of vintage shoes, but I’ve only bought one pair of vintage shoes in the last two years. Also, vintage clothing, while I believe superior in quality when compared to most of today’s garments, does have issues, such as popped seams, missing buttons, etc. So I always have a pile of garments in need of repairs, which is annoying. Sometimes I would find garments with such issues, and bought them anyways, knowing I could repair them, but as my repair pile grew, I knew that unless the garment was spectacular in some manner, I should let the item go, for another person to find and cherish.
These rhinestone detailed blue velvet shoes are the last pair of vintage shoes I have bought. But worked so perfectly with the evening’s ensemble I had to get them! I found them at Elsewhere Vintage in Orange.
Do you regard yourself as an inspiration or or example to others? And if so, in what ways do you hope to encourage your followers/impact their experience?
I would like to think so… It’s what I want to be. I would love to encourage/impact people on two fronts. One is simply being who you are. Dress how you want to dress, and don’t let anyone put you down for doing it. The other is something I have been working on more on the blog, and continue to plan on, which is sharing my experiences at unique destinations and museums, and their historical or cultural significance. I want to encourage others to either go to their own local museums and weird locations, or visit the ones I share here. History is so important, and I want to encourage others to see the value in it too. History lives on through us, and our continued visits to historical sites and museums, and our ability to vocalize those experiences through the various forms of social media, or just talking with friends.
Carla asked “How has your wardrobe changed since moving to Southern California? Is it easier to choose outfits? And what outfits to you miss wearing from your Pacific Northwest days?”
What a great question! The first thing is I wear coats and jackets a whole lot less! And some of them I do miss. I also wear wool a lot less, which I don’t miss that much. I have yet to wear my overshoes down here, and sometimes I miss them. But perhaps the thing I miss the most are my muffs. Especially my fox muff, Earnest, pictured below with brother, Algernon. Another thing that has changed since the move is one I mentioned in another question, I’m less about being period perfect, and have come to discover my own personal style. As for it being easier… I’m not sure. It was annoying and sometimes difficult to always have to think about a coat that would go with the outfit, or how the rain would impact an outfit, but now I think a lot about the heat, like “Do I want to sweat in this?”
Talk about throwback – this is from Portland Fur and Feathers, January 2013.
Kathryn asked “In the past, you had pictures of a red wool felt purse made from a vintage Mexican tourist jacket. Could you please tell me more about it? Did someone make it for you or does it have a label?”
I am so glad to have another kindred spirit with the Mexican tourist jackets. This Mexican tourist purse is one of my most prized possessions, which I received this purse as a birthday gift from my friend Lyndsie of Retro Rejuvenation, as she knew my obsession with the jackets. Sadly, it does not have any labels on the inside, it does have a small coin purse though, which I did not showcase in the blog post, so I snapped an interior shot with that for you. The inside is satin lined, with a small pocket that fits the coin purse perfectly. I think it was home-made, based on the interior stitching, and its lack of a label, however I don’t think it was made from a jacket, simply based on how the embroidered images are placed within the space on the purse. I think a woman was inspired by the jackets to make this purse, and may have used transfers from a Mexican tourist jacket sewing pattern (like this one here) to design the purse.
Alicia asked “Are you OK with readers saying hi in real life?”
Yes! I love it when that happens! In fact some of my closest friends started as readers and/or fellow bloggers. But be prepared I can be pretty kooky in real life – I talk a lot and am quite loud! If you follow me on Instagram be sure to check out my stories for videos of how I act in real life.
Jessica asked “I have wondered for a while now, if your lengthy fingernails are real or not – and if so, first, wow!!!, and second, do you have any tips on keeping them long and healthy that you’d like to share with us?”
I get asked this a lot in person. Yes, they are real. My mother’s are super long as well, longer than mine in fact. So, I think a lot of it is genetic, however I do take Biotin, which is for hair, skin, and nails, and use “nail strengthening” nail polish remover when removing polish. But I just use the Target brand. Nothing fancy.
Ashes asked “Do you have any other hobbies that your leaving out of the blog because they don’t fit here, if you do do you mind sharing what they are?”
I really try to present all of my interests on here, sewing, cosplay, museum visits, etc. because I never want to be boxed in, so I’m trying really hard to expand what I talk about on the blog. However, I do read a lot of comics, and I’ve thought about sharing reviews of the ones I’ve read, as they often fall under similar subject matter I already discuss here, such as World War II, westerns, and the Victorian era. There is one hobby I don’t do as much anymore, which is archery. But any time I come across a bow at an odd location here and there (like Hicksville which we hope to return to soon), I do. I know there is a range at Balboa Park in San Diego that I hope to visit next time I’m down there. Also, I used to follow NASCAR extensively since I can remember, and have been to a few races, but since moving I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to watch races. But I would still jump at the opportunity to go to a race.
Sara asked “Where are the best places to buy vintage pants?”
With regards to true vintage pants, it’s really a gamble. Even the best vintage shops may not have pants in stock at any given moment, let alone in the size needed. But with regards to vintage reproduction or vintage inspired, I can recommend the following:
JoAnne asked “Your photo shots are always so perfect! How do you navigate the crowds especially at Disneyland with your photo shoots? Do you ever feel self conscious posing with a lot of people nearby? Your shots are always so great and I never see people/crowds in the background. I was at Disneyland last August and couldn’t believe the crowds!”
Thank you! Wherever I go when I know I am going to want outfit photos, I always try to pick a secluded location, one not in the line of traffic, this especially goes for Disneyland. If I know I’m going to be at the Disneyland Resort all day, we shoot when we arrive in the morning, often it is less crowded, or people rush for rides, so there are less people milling about. But more than once I have had to move locations because of being in a designated character meet-and-greet location, or people have encroached on the space. And, yes, sometimes I do get a little self conscious, especially when people stare at me like “Who doe she think she is?” or “Why is she taking so many pictures?” because Patrick takes way more photos than I care to admit.
These were shot in what is known as the “small world mall” which is a raise area used for it’s a small world queue overflow during very busy days (think Christmas time) and for seating during parades, but it is a great place for photos!
That wraps it up! Thank you so much to everyone who submitted questions! I love these Q & A posts because I feel like they really open up the door for me to learn more about what you all are interested in, and you get to learn a little extra something about me that I may not have shared otherwise! We’ll do it again soon!