These Boots Were Made for Walkin’

Last weekend Knott’s Berry Farm’s interactive guest experience Ghost Town Alive came to a close. The summer event was like a three month long, family friendly version of Westworld, and I enjoyed getting super dressed up for visits. I originally had much grander outfits planned for visiting during the last couple of days, but humidity and 100 degree days changed all that. The result is only one outfit post from the final days. But at least it’s an outfit that features my new boots!

Last year I wrote an open letter to Knott’s Berry Farm regarding their unique offering of Ghost Town Alive, and took the time to acknowledge specific people involved. I want to do the same, and showcase some of the stunning photographs Patrick took. So I plan to share that sometime soon.

Outfit
Peasant Top: Pinup Girl Clothing
Skirt: Buffalo Exchange
Boots: West of Texas, Redlands, California
Horseshoe Necklace: Knott’s Berry Farm
Deputy Badge: “Earned” last year at Knott’s
Purse: Frock You, San Diego, California

Round-Up Time!

On Sunday many of my fellow vintage and Disney loving friends got together under the theme of western wear! I couldn’t have been more excited! It was truly a fun day of getting together, riding rides and even getting to know new people with similar interests.

Per usual, we got constant questions throughout the day, but it’s always fun talking with Guests, and you never know, you may find another person who wants to join in the fun next time!

Outfit
Shirt & Boots: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Scarf: Portland Outdoor Store, Portland, Oregon
Disneyland Frontierland Pin: Chapman Antique Mall, Orange, California
Hat & Horseshoe Ring: Disneyland
Purse: ???

Cold Weather Cowgirl

The weather has turned quite brisk here in the Rose City and I am finding myself swaddled in wool and leather this fall…

This outfit is pretty representative of what my fall uniform has been these last few months…western wear blouse or sweater (in this case, it’s a fabulous mixture of both!), pants, cowboy boots, and a leather jacket.  And most of what this outfit is made up of, is all of my favorites.  The sweater is one of my favorite pieces, I’ve had it for going on six years, though I hardly wear it. I’m always fearful of something happening to it! And I’ve yet to see another vintage sweater remotely close to this one. And I wish I could have at least five pairs of these vintage H Bar C slacks. They fit wonderfully, and have nifty snap pockets.  And believe it or not, but this is my fifth leather jacket I’ve acquired this year.  I couldn’t pass this beauty up. It’s a little worse for wear, but I think that’s what I like about it. It’s been through the ringer, has missing fringe, and little rivets here and there and a stain or two, and that makes it all the more comfortable and wearable I think, and I don’t have to worry all that much about it’s condition.  And this purse is my favorite purse ever. It is able to hold a lot, and is a nice break from my tooled leather. I own three in this style – if you haven’t been able to tell already, I’m one of those people that when I find something I love, I have to own multiples. I’m that paranoid about my clothing.

I hope my American readers out there had a lovely Thanksgiving! Onward to Christmas! I’m hoping to wrap up my decorating this weekend and share some of it with you soon!

Outfit
Jacket: Plucky Maidens Junk Fest
Panhandle Slim Sweater: Glory Days Antiques, Springfield, Oregon
H Bar C Trousers & Purse: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Cowgirl Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Gloves: ???

Bettie to the Rescue!

Every so often you just need that one specific thing in your wardrobe.  For me, it was a red pencil skirt.  I had one awhile back that I talked myself into buying, despite the fact it didn’t fit very well, and every time I wore it I got grumpy.  So I sold it off with hopes of finding another one…and one never came…and never came…and while I knew Bettie Page had one, I longed for a vintage one.  Then, one day I had just had it and went to Bettie Page where I discovered that not only were they going to be discontinuing the red pencil skirt they currently had, they were all out of the size I needed! Thankfully, one of their ever lovely employees tracked down one (of three left!) in Santa Barbara and had it mailed to me free of charge. Seriously, talk about customer service.  It arrived the other day, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to add it to my closet.

Outfit
Scully Top: Thrifted by my dad!
Red Pencil Skirt: Bettie Page
Boots: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Earrings: Don’t remember
Las Vegas Charm Bracelet: Expo

Palazzo Lavaca

Our time here in Austin is winding down, and it’s been a hit and miss adventure.  I finally did some decent shopping yesterday.  But right now I really want to share with you the fantastical location we hung out at for a good chunk of our trip.

Many companies at SXSW rent out homes or locations as a space for their employees to hang out and interact with attendees, as well as host events and promos.  This year, the company rented out Palazzo Lavaca as their “home base” and it is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever been in…

Palazzo Lavaca was built in 1890 and originally served as a fire house.  But in 1942 it became home to a boot and saddlery.  Today it is available for rentals for events and photo shoots.

Manly Mondays: Shoes

Until around a year ago I wore exclusively Converse and would simply buy a new pair every year when the old pair wore out. Then I found this amazing pair of Justin boots at a local vintage store that felt like they were made for me. Since then I have been hunting down vintage shoes and boots. But I wont lie, finding vintage shoes and boots isn’t easy.

Why Go Vintage?

One word, fit. Vintage shoes (and new high quality shoes) are made mostly of leather (including the sole), which will stretch and break in beautifully. This is also one of the things that makes buying vintage shoes so difficult. You will often find shoes that fit, but were broken in by someone with a very different foot than you.

But it’s still possible to find good vintage shoes, and it’s possible to find newer shoes that still look old and are handmade of leather, many of which are still made in the United States. These often turn up at vintage and thrift shoes for fractions of what they cost brand new.

Boots

Boots are a great addition to your wardrobe, they are stylish enough to go with anything, especially jeans and tough enough to be worn everyday without worrying too much. I own two pairs of boots the vintage Justin cowboy boots and a pair of new Frye boots.

Cowboy boots are easy to find at vintage and thrift stores, costing fractions of what they do new (a very nice pair of cowboy boots will run between $100 to $300).  Just keep looking until you find a pair with a good fit for around $30 to $60.

These Frye boots cost quite a bit, $250 to be exact, but I know I will be wearing these for the rest of my life. They are made of leather, but have a Neoprene sole. The rubber sole is great because leather soles trend to breakdown faster in the rain (and it rains a lot in Oregon) so these make great fall and winter boots.

Wingtips and Dress Shoes

I have had the misfortune to only find one pair of wingtips that fit me really well.  They are newer Allen Edmonds and I love them to death. They are all leather and have a great look and finish to them. I see oxfords and wingtips at thrift stores regularly and they are not too expensive. I also have a pair of newer black dress shoes that I keep for special occasions.

What To Look For

When shoe shopping here are a few things to look for:

  • All leather. Leather shoes are like leather jackets.  You break them in to create a great fit. If a newer shoe has a leather sole it will generally say inside the shoe. If it just has a “Leather Upper” the sole is usually fake leather which will break down sooner.
  • Made in the USA or Italy. The highest quality boots and shoes are still made in the good ol’ US of A or in Italy.
  • Find a good store. If you are going to buy new, buy from a good local shoe store.  The sales staff at at these smaller stores are incredibly knowledgeable. I had a clerk who could tell I needed a pair of 10 1/2s and not 11s, just by the way I walked. They also tend to stock good brands of high quality shoes. So you can try before you buy.

In Portland, I love Louie’s and Johnny Sole to buy shoes at. If you want to look at some good shoe brands, look at Frye boots, which are still handmade (in Mexico and US) of leather are are stylish and tough. Allen Edmonds are all made in the US and they have a great clearance section on their website.

Shoe Care

Now that you are buying leather shoes you need to take care of them. This means polishing and in some cases waterproofing. I use Kiwi polish for my shoes and I treat my Fryes with some leather cream that came with them. Polishing is a simple process,

  1. Clean all the dirt and dust off your shoes, use a slightly damp rag or cloth.
  2. Evenly apply the polish and rub it in with a polish applicator or rag.
  3. Buff the polish with a polishing brush.  These can be purchased along with your polish. Sprinkle a little water on as you polish to add shine.

Polishing helps your shoes look good. You can also apply waterproofing and leather creams to your shoes to help keep the leather soft.