Questions Answered!

Awhile ago I did a shout out on various forms of social media, and here on the blog to see if any of you, the readers, had questions for me! Well today I am here to answer them for you!

Rebecca asked: I was a skirts/dresses only girl until about 5 years ago when I bought my first pair of trousers and have been gradually wearing trousers (mainly dress pants) more each winter since. I have been tempted to buy some vintage style trousers several times but wonder if the wide legs and what appears to be heavier material make them as comfortable and easy to wear as modern straight leg trousers.

So I have only a handful of trousers that are truly vintage inspired. I have two pairs from Voodoo Vixen that I adore. One pair is made of a light weight, almost crepe like material (I do not see the exact pair still available, but they are similar to Sara and Stacey) and the other pair, which is the Laura Green, is a little heavier, but still flows nicely and very comfortable. Ironically, neither of these have made it on the blog yet. I also own two pairs of “split skirts” or “riding skirts” by Scully, as shown below, which are extremely wide. They are made of a medium weight polyester which still feels very light.

Vivian of Holloway is a very popular repro company that makes amazing wide leg trousers. I own a pair of their denim trousers, which are thinner than say a pair of Freddies of Pinewood jeans. I have yet to buy a regular pair of trousers yet though. However I own two pairs of shorts by them, which are 100% cotton, and very thick. But it looks like the trousers are typically polyester, which would allow for them to be a little lighter. Miss Lark did a post on them recently actually!

Pinup Girl Clothing has also done some wide leg trousers. I own the Doris ones, however I purchased them before they did different inseam lengths, so I have yet to hem mine! I was going to do it myself, but I LOATHE stretch fabric, which is what the lining is. The outer material is very lightweight, while the lining is a heavier stretch, but they are extremely comfortable!

I used to wear vintage sailor pants a lot in Portland, which are made of wool, and are indeed very warm.

One tip I have to make pants warmer in the colder months is to wear fleece lined leggings under them. I’ve also done this with long, floor length gowns.

Mrs Rat asked a few questions:

You have so much variety on your blog. I’m curious about how much space you devote to your clothing, purses and jewelry, and whether having so many choices ever becomes overwhelming?

I take up the entire closet in the master bedroom, and half of it features a second bar, so I have space for tops and skirts. In total, the closet has 11 feet of rod. Then I have a portion of the office closet (this is where Patrick’s clothes are), which I use for lesser worn items, such as fancier dresses, costumes, and items in need of repair, and that is about three feet of closet space. Meanwhile we are currently using our guest room closet for our coats and my purses (we are planning on adding a coat closet to our entry in the near future) and my portion of that closet is five feet, however the upper shelf space for my purses is seven feet long, but I have put in some additional shelving in there so it is a bit more. I also have a vintage suitcase with evening purses and clutches in it in the bedroom. In addition to the closets, we have two dressers in our bedroom, and I have one entirely to myself, which is made up of five drawers, and has undergarments, trousers, and shorts in it. I have half of the other, which is a long, eight drawer dresser, and I take up four of those, and it has sweaters, sweater dresses, and t-shirts. My jewelry vanity is seven feet in length, and I use the top, as well as the drawers beneath for jewelry.

Unlike many other vintage loving girls, I refuse to have an external rack – meaning a rack of clothing outside of the closet. This rule keeps me in check. Additionally, I rotate portions of my closet seasonally, which for me living in southern California, is mostly color palettes. Out of season garments are stored in my vintage suitcases, and they sit at the bottom of the master closet. I use three suitcases for this.

As for if it becomes overwhelming, it certainly can be at times. But I always try to give myself a direction (theme/color scheme, weather/temperature, how much walking I’ll be doing, etc.) when I have to put together an outfit, which helps me find all of the pieces.

I really hope to do an entire blog post on my dressing room soon! So stay tuned!

If it is not too personal to ask, do you shop on a budget?

I do indeed, and it is a monthly budget. As a housewife I am given an allowance to do with what I please, and typically is spent on clothing, accessories, books, music, small housewares from antique malls, as well as food and other incidentals (parking, entry to museums, etc.) when I go out without Patrick. But every so often Patrick will buy an item or two each month.

How do you react to people’s reactions to your outfits? Do you have any advice or friendly words for how to respond to the varied reactions we vintage-wearers (or any other kind of unusual dressers) get when we are out and about?

The post you mentioned in your initial comment is available here. The two most asked questions are “Why are you all dressed up?” and “Do you dress like this everyday?” to which I just respond “This is how I dress” and “Yes, it is.” Normally people shut up after those responses. But every once in awhile people will ask more in depth questions, or flat out “Why?” which is so jarring. It’s like if I get asked by someone wearing yoga pants I just want to say “Are you going to yoga?” I mean, really. Anyway, I usually respond with things like “I like vintage styling more than contemporary clothing,” “I think vintage is made better than the disposable fashion of today,” “I think vintage is a nice way of recycling, and I’m an eco kind of girl.” All of which are reasons why I like vintage clothing.

Ally asked: What are your top tips for keeping long hair healthy and strong when vintage styling?

First, I use Art Naturals Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner. And I wash my hair typically twice a week. After I wash it I spray it with Pantene Pro-V Serious Repair detangler and then brush it out, from top to bottom. I do not use a hair dryer, so I am not constantly using heat on my hair, and I let my hair air dry. If I curl my hair, which I will admit that I am not very good at, I wash my hair, then use foam rollers, and often try to sleep in them, otherwise I do use a vintage bonnet hair dryer. I don’t often use a curling iron, but when I do, I spray on Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave-In Spray before hand. I also often sleep with my hair in a braid so it is less tangled in the morning – it also saves time in the morning! Then to top it all of I take biotin.

Maria asked: If you have items that are vintage clothing (inherited) and you need them looked at do you have recommendations in where to go for reliable information in terms of worth/appraisal?

If a garment has a label the first thing I do is look up the label. The Vintage Fashion Guild’s label resource is great for learning about labels and how to date garments. Then I do some poking around on Ebay and Etsy to see what people are asking for for items of that maker and time period. That can often give you a good estimate of worth. If you use Ebay, you can look at sold prices. Unless you are planning on selling the items to a vintage clothing store (where you will typically get 30% of what they will sell it for) I do not recommend taking them to a vintage clothing store. Vintage clothing shop owners are busy enough with literally doing everything themselves for their shop (cleaning, prepping, tagging, putting inventory out, responding to social media, organizing their shop, cleaning their shop, book keeping, ringing up customers, etc.) to have time to play appraiser.

Theresa asked: I would love tips for selling on vintage….to buy more vintage, of course!

Awhile ago I did a whole blog post on this, which you can check out here.

But for a more condensed version…I typically sell at the shops I buy from, because I can get store credit, which is usually always more than cash. But I know many friends who turn to Etsy, Ebay, and even Instagram to sell their items and get the most money for them. Back when I was an antique dealer, I would put items I was over in my space. It depends on how quickly you want to get rid of the items. For me, I’m willing to cut my loses and sell at a place like Buffalo Exchange or a higher end vintage clothing store and get store credit (which in my experience is about 50% of what the shop will sell it for), because then it is out of my way, I don’t have to store it, list it, ship it, etc. and I then have store credit for new clothing!

xoxogothixgirl on Instagram asked: Do you have a list of blogs or websites that you follow?

I use Bloglovin’ to follow most the blogs I read, but there are a handful of them that I really, really enjoy. Then there are some websites that I receive newsletters for that I also enjoy reading.

I love the vintage fashion blogger Closet Historian, because she has a spectacular wardrobe, and really loves the “Adventurer Chic” look I love too.

I really enjoy The Vintage Traveler, because she is a wealth of information for fashion history, and shares items from her unique collection of vintage and antique sportswear, as well as visits to museums and fun items she finds when shopping.

Annotations of Jenny is another nice classic vintage fashion blog.

I enjoy Vintage Vandalizm, as she has a wide variety going on in her wardrobe.

By Gum By Golly is perhaps one of the more inspiring vintage fashion blogs out there, because she also highlights her sewing and and knitting skills so well.

I love the clean crisp feel, both of the blog itself, and of Nicole’s style on The Artyologist.

If you’re really looking for a classic vintage fashion blog, Flashback Summer is extremely active, and has tremendous love for the 40s and also incorporates her unique outlook.

A blog I really aspire to be like is Messy Nessy Chic, as she combines a lot on her blog. However, her approach to content is vastly different than mine, as she isn’t afraid to use other people’s images, and talk about places without having be there yet. While I want to only share personal experiences and use my own photos for the most part. She also has quite a few guest writers.

CurbedLA is perhaps one of my all-time favorite websites, and I was following them long before we moved to southern California. The website focuses a lot on development, transportation, history, and architecture not just in LA, but all over southern California, including out to Palm Springs. They often create awesome maps that I have used to find filming locations, restaurants, and haunts of old celebrities. But CurbedLA is actually just a branch of the overall website Curbed, which has different branches for a variety of large metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Hamptons, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Fransisco, Seattle, and New York. So if you live in or near one of those cities I highly recommend subscribing to their newsletter!

I’m not a huge YouTube channel watcher, but I am utterly in love with Tom Explores Los Angeles, which I highly recommend if you love LA or live in the area.

I also enjoy Safiya Nygaard‘s videos on YouTube. She does a lot of fun fashion stuff, and while I may not like everything she does style wise, she is still super fun to watch and an inspiration to just be yourself.

A few of you asked: How often do you give away (or sell?) previous purchases or acquire new ones?/How often do you purge your closet?

For the most part I almost always have a “to sell” bag going. I usually go through my closet when it starts to get a little difficult to move things in it, and play a little game called “Would I buy this again?” where I try on everything in my closet, as if I were in a store, and ask myself “Would I buy this today?” If the answer is “No” it goes in the bag. This happens maybe once every other year. But throughout the year I will wear something and realize I don’t like something about it, and into the “to sell” bag it goes. Then when I have a bag or two I will go sell. This happens maybe three times a year…

A few of you asked: How do you store your clothing and accessories/Any chance your jewelry Instastories series will turn into a blog post?

Yes! I’m planning a dressing room tour post that will also include how I do my jewelry storage and how I organize my closet. I’m currently waiting on my drawer pulls to arrive. As soon as those get installed I’ll work on the blog post!

A huge thank you to all of you who asked questions! There were a handful I didn’t really have answers for, and I am sorry! As always, your comments, questions, involvement, and support is greatly appreciated!

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