Any Burning Questions?

It has been over a year since I did a Question & Answer session, so I think it’s high time to do another!

So, if you have any questions, now this the perfect time to ask me about almost anything! I say “almost” because rude or inappropriate questions will not be considered, and if any are asked they will be deleted. Your questions don’t have to be about vintage or style! Feel free to ask me anything! A friendly reminder that some questions may not be answered, as I may not have a good enough answer, or lack knowledge on a subject. Who knows, your question may spark an entire blog post!

If you have questions, please submit them via the comment section below for them to be considered! And feel free to ask multiple!

I have done two Q & A sessions in the past, so please check them out by following the links below to see if perhaps a question you have has already been answered!
2015 Q & A Session
2016 Q & A Session

Why Do I share My Outfits?

Lately I’ve been in a battle with myself and my blog. With what I want my blog to be, and what my time allows for.

I realize part of the problem at the moment is the time of the year. The later parts of spring and the first half of summer are always rough for myself and Patrick, as it is the time that leads up to a huge work conference for Patrick, which leaves us with limited time to go out. Also, since moving to California we have found ourselves with extremely busy social schedules. Birthdays, random social events, etc. cut down on the time we have to visit unique destinations and museums, often leaving me with just an outfit post here and there, which is something I’ve wanted to work on shying away from. However, recently I had a bit of a revelation.

My recent post Saturday at Knott’s received zero comments. Nada. Zilch. Goose egg. None. This outfit honestly ranks among one of my favorites that I’ve shared, so the lack of comments was a hard blow. It made me feel like my favorite styling was one of zero interest to my readers. But here is the thing…I know that western attire, or even my personal style that I’ve developed, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But what I hope any of my outfits do is inspire. You don’t have to like what I wear, but I would hope that the out-there-ness of my style choices inspires you to go out there and create your own personal style.

No matter what I have on my body, I just want to inspire you to be yourself, wear what makes you happy, and what makes you feel good. That’s the point of clothing; show off your personality. If you’re out there reading this, and you want to start wearing a certain kind of style, I want you do be inspired, to be bold, and do it. Rock whatever kind of style you want, no matter what anyone else says. It’s okay to be different and to stand out. The Harry Potter character Luna Lovegood said it best, “Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.”

My biggest piece of advice on fashion is the following: do not listen to trends. It’s seriously one of the biggest disservices you can do to yourself. Do not allow some random magazine dictate what you should and should not wear. You will be nothing but unhappy, and you will spend more money on clothing, buying items that will be “out of style” in a matter of months, and sometimes you’ll end up talking yourself into buying something you don’t actually like just because it’s what’s “in” this season.

I started out wearing vintage on a regular basis because I liked its styling, and quality. I focused on being period perfect for a very long time, but honestly, that got boring and stressful. I realized I was still allowing something else dictate my fashion choices, albeit sources from decades past. I chose to ignore the desires I had for some elements from current fashion, because I was so hyper focused on looking like I stepped out of a 40s magazine. Today I just shop and when I see something I like, I just get it. I don’t care anymore if it’s vintage or not. I must admit I often still prefer vintage garments, because their craftsmanship and fit is often superior to that of contemporary clothing. However I have found many newer, quality items second hand at various resale shops, like Buffalo Exchange. The purchasing of clothing brand new has been an issue for me in recent years, and not just because of quality, but because of ethics. Books like Overdressed and news stories about working conditions and sustainability make shopping an ethical act. While this isn’t necessarily a style or fashion choice, it is one that plays into my shopping habits, and reinforces my desires to buy used clothing.

Now, as I’ve said before, I still want this blog to be more than just outfit posts, but sometimes that’s all that I have time for. I really think this blog comes down to sharing and inspiring. The United States is one great big amusement park, full of bizarre roadside destinations that I am just chomping at the bit to explore and share, historical locations that offer people chances to reach out and touch history, museums that work to preserve that history, and offering my unique style as a form of inspiration to those who may be struggling and fearful of wearing whatever they want to. At the end of the day, I want people to learn from history, support their local economy, and be inspired to be themselves, and I hope that is what this blog does for you.

What Do You Want to See on the Blog?

I think it’s important to both stay true to yourself, while also listening to your audience, which is why every once in awhile I love hearing what you, the readers, want to see on the blog! So today, I’m asking!

I know many people love tutorials, but I have to admit, I don’t feel confident enough in the areas most in demand for tutorials (such as hair and make-up). Hair is still very much hit-or-miss for me, and I am rather minimal in my make-up. Recently I had given thought to sharing some of my collections, such as my vintage California souvenirs (scarves, table linens, etc.) but part of me thought y’all would think that boring! I shared this on Instagram and Facebook earlier, and received support with the California souvenir post, as well as interest in sharing my charm bracelet collection, vintage shopping tips, a post where I discuss the evolution of my style, and a book recommendation round-up. If these sound interesting to you, please feel free to show your support in the comments! And if you have more ideas, please share those as well!

I’ll also take this time to address a previous request. Last year I received requests for a Disneyland tips post. Which I happily obliged. You can view that post here. However, it should be noted that there is a good deal that is out of date now with that post, and later this summer I will be posting a new guide. It is something I hope to stay on top of and do a new one every couple of years. If you are interested in tips for other theme parks (such as Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios), please comment below!

Thank you again for all of your support and interest in my little blog here! Summer is going to be lots of fun, and I can’t wait to share those adventures and more with you all!

Helping Jessica of Chronically Vintage

It is rare that I feel compelled to ask something of my readers, unless it deals with something that hits so close to home and someone I know personally. For many, this is old news, as I don’t know anyone in the 0n-line vintage community who isn’t familiar with Jessica of Chronically Vintage, but I want to help and do what I can for someone who, although I have never met in person, is one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have encountered.

Recently, Jessica and her husband lost everything within their home to an arson fire. Jessica shares her experience in a recent blog post, which you can read here. For me, this is a large fear of mine, and for it to happen to someone I know makes it all the more real and tragic. Jessica’s home sounds so similar to my own, and I can only imagine the level of heart-break she must be feeling over such a loss of years of collecting not just vintage, but personal heirlooms and those small pieces that make up the memories of one’s life.

Jessica and her husband, Tony, and not to mention their dear dog, Annie, and their cat, Miss Stella, who has yet to turn up, are beginning again, and I ask that if Jessica has touched you in some way, through her blog, as either a beacon of inspiration for both vintage and/or chronic illness, that you aid her in starting over. No donation is too small, as even $5 can be turned into something necessary like toothpaste, or something that makes life feel normal again, like a vintage scarf. If you feel that you are able to donate, please do so through this site here. You can also learn more by visiting the Facebook group that has been set up to help those who wish to help in what Jessica and Tony need.

Thank you for your consideration.

Match D Brooch Winner!

It is time to announce who won the wonderful, new and improved tortoise shell Disneyland inspired D brooch by Match Accessories! Thank you to all who entered! It means so much to me that a great deal of you expressed interest in a company that is so near and dear to my heart!

For reference, 1 is the first person who commented, and 41 is the last. Reply comments that were added later for clarification were not counted. And the winner is…

TWO! Which looks like Danielle! And looking at the e-mail, I believe is one of my friends. I’ve never had so many friends enter one of my giveaways before! So I guess it was bound to happen. I’m so glad to know it’s going to a good home, and that it will be your first ever Match brooch! I’ll be in touch and I believe I can hand deliver this gorgeous brooch to you!

Once again a MASSIVE thank you to all who entered! Every entry matters and without you I cannot host giveaways! And, again, thank you for expressing interest in Match Accessories, a company that means so much to me! Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram, they recently shared a peek at a new addition to their Halloween collection, which I know many of you commented as some of your favorite pieces!

Your Questions Answered!

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.

This outfit is a good example of repro doing good. A Pin-Up Girl Clothing peasant top and Vivian of Holloway shorts for when we spent the Fourth of July at Disneyland.

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:

Vivian of Holloway
Freddies of Pinewood (for jeans)
Pin-Up Girl Clothing’s “Doris” pants (I own these, though they have yet to be featured on the blog)

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!

Have Questions?

It’s been over a year since I did a Q & A post, and I thought it was time to do another one! I did a shout out via Facebook and Instagram, but I realize that not everyone who reads my blog uses those platforms, so I figured I would do a shout out here on the blog!

So, if you have questions about (almost) anything, I say “almost” because I will not answer inappropriate or lewd questions, and if any submitted, they will be deleted. But the point is that the questions don’t necessarily have to pertain to vintage and vintage fashion. Ask about food, music, books, etc. if you feel like it! A friendly reminder that some questions may not be answered, and for some questions that may be because I don’t have a good enough answer, or lack knowledge on a subject.

If you have questions, please submit them via the comment section below for them to be considered! Also, if you have a question, be sure to check my last Q & A post to make sure it was not asked last time.

Happy asking! And also, thank you dear readers! Your thoughts mean a great deal to me!