thrifted 90's DKNY bodysuit, Babaton off-the-shoulder bodysuit, Helmut Lang Jeans, thrifted mules
Took some time away from the city with Jevins. Everything in our apartment is completely bagged up in the midst of 2 rounds of bed bug fumigation (AAARUGH!), but the details of this experience are for a different post.
I'm wearing two (2!) layered bodysuits here, if you can believe it! I found the button-up and mule heels at The Barkin' Basement in Hailey, Idaho. I made a fast B-line towards the table and rack of Western-themed finds that they were grouped together on (big yee haw energy).
I actually wouldn't have seen the button-down bodysuit if Jevins hadn't pointed it out going "wtf, look at that weird top!"- I recognized it and snatched it immediately.
I then came back to the ranch, sat with Imp and Whisper in a field, and felt content.
Here's a question: the pony hair pattern on the heels, is it Tobiano, Overo, Sabino or Tovero ya think?
Thank you to Silver bell Ranch for letting me deplete food in the kitchen and frolic with the minis. Love ya, Mel.
Vintage top, A Current Air pants( ℅), T.U.K. creepers, Karen Walker sunglasses
Could this be more maximalist? I'll honestly take any opportunity to do the most with the least.
We got these excellent pants that are made of hot pants (shorts) with sheer windowpane legs and attached belt. We have a striped top with one sleeve, and we got creepers with one of my favorite animal-inspired prints: dalmatian. Finally, to top it off with an accessory that was appropriate for this June afternoon before it rained: tortoise shell sunglasses fit for Steve McQueen.
Fun fact about creepers: they're super fucking uncomfortable to break in, but SO worth it once you do. These were the shoes that got me to cave into ideal judgement and buy shoe stretchers. Not only can you avoid destroying your feet, but you can do it passively! While you sleep or forget about them! I usually just break them in on one shoe because my right foot is like, a half size bigger than my left- the bane of my shoe-buying existence.
So here's something I wasn't expecting to do this year: I got the chance to visit the Catbird HQ ♡
You know Catbird - purveyors and designers of the daintiest, slightly magical, poetic jewelry offerings, and re-imaginers of wearables, responsible for the ring stack.
I first heard about Catbird back in 2009, when I took part in the Weardrobe bloggers' conference (De Lune was 'Faboo' before I could learn about "personal branding"). Kelly Framel, in her most elegant glory, was donning probably 3 or so golden threadbare rings on her fingers, and I had never knew jewelry could be like that. I was so accustomed to fine jewelry being these formidable heirlooms or treasures your mom would suggest you look at while perusing the mall.
Instead what sparkled back at me from across the table, clutching the stem of a wine glass at dinner , were these rings the thickness of several strands of hair. Something clicked - the whisper thin gold was so casually worn and yet so incredibly delicate. It was so captivating for me as a teenager, and it's a story I repeated to the kind and creative ladies who took me on a tour of the offices- now 10 years later from when I first saw the rings
The team at Catbird assembled a group of us blogger-types, and led us on a tour of the office-slash-studio-slash-workshop. there were neatly organized drawers at every turn, full of bits 'n bobs and fully-assembled orders alike. Décor reminded me of what you'd expect a working girl in nyc media would decorate her first apartment with: a mix of eclectic antiques and photos of loved ones; each jewelers' workstation equipped with impressive soldering machines, trays of sparkly stones and wisps of chain. Everywhere I turned there was a reflective surface: from the pools of light from mirrors on walls and tables alike, to the glass cloches protecting pearls and a disco ball hanging in a corner or two; light was everywhere, and in every turn there was something to catch it.
soon after the tour of the battlestations, I got my permabracelet! I cannot for the life of me settle on a tattoo design, but offer me the chance to wear a sparkly thing forever and I will show you my wrist.
Fun fact about the chain Catbird uses for this: it's a twisted rope chain that stretches comfortably over time while offering a nice sparkle
Thank you to the sweets at Catbird for opening your doors for a visit! It's certainly one for the books, and the 17 year old inside me who was dazzled by a thin wisp of gold doubly thanks the team for consistently creating the stuff of dreamy dreams.
If you take the time to go thrifting, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, of, if you're a 65 year-old retired schoolteacher or engineer and love *~ThE ThriLl~* of hoarding things you'll eventually restore but never get around to and thus fill your garage (that's not to say people don't do these incredible restorations where they take $10 man cave trash with coffee mug ring stains and return it to its midcentury hardwood glory) you probably have your favorite thrift store locations because you always find something there.
We usually chalk it up to that particular location receiving incredible donations from retired(dead) eccentric heiresses or former thrift store and antique-hoarder hobbyists, and this might just be the case- however, I would like to posit that most of us just know where to look when we go thrifting. We'll hit up the sections of the store that always have something, and honestly that's all style aaaaaaaaand well, life! is really all about: knowing what you want.
So what do I usually want when I go thrifting? What is my intent?
I think on this and I hear myself saying: "usually it's just to find something *interesting*, I guess" but what does that even mean?
I suppose *interesting* just refers to those mundane, everyday objects of yore that are in fact well-conceived pieces of design that were likely taken for granted when they were first shoved onto store shelves and then touched by be-manicured housewives in polyester satin headscarves, who, in my mind, were smoking while shopping for canned green beans for some reason.
Okay, so that means household items and accessories from the 50s-70s. This is all a fantasy, but I think you get the idea?
Where I tend to find the kinda stuff I crave from a good thrift shift
My gOd, do I love a good enamelware bowl! I have a small collection of enamel bowls in different sizes for various kitchen vessel-ing needs. I also have a beautiful marbled robin's egg blue enamel pot. Enamelware is smooth, colorful and easy to separate and mix ingredients with. Sort of a "you can't beat the classics" kind of situation- these things are a delightful, abundant, useful and cheap thing to have a mis-matched collection of.
As for glass stuff, I tend to look for Pyrex or lab-grade glassware for keeping various things in.
Now, if you do happen to find a lab vial or two, please for the love of jeebus do not eat or drink from it unless you're a dumbass like me and occasionally keep your Tylenol in one after vigorously washing it.
There's always a weird bin or basket of hosiery in thrift stores, tucked alongside sewing pattern envelopes with illustrations of bridget doll lookalikes on 'em. This (as I have shared in my Instagram stories) is not a bin you should overlook, my friends.
I have found Mary Quant m'fkin tights (pictured here) for 25¢. I have found weird patterns and funky colors and puzzling decorations galore- and usually for suuuuuper cheap.
Now, you need to be careful of stale nylons and elastics getting worn out, and make sure to look at the size guide on packages before you throw them in your basket.
3. Bags and Luggage!
I love finding rattan baskets and beaded purses in thrift stores- I think that's a well documented move nowadays with folks filling their Depop shops with dainty little vintage purses made from natural materials from beads to grass weaving and even woven paper (as it was popular in the 90s). I tend to seek out the 60s beaded bag or the top handle suitcases or rattan picnic baskets. Even as decor, a stack of old picnic baskets look really cool in an unoccupied corner in our apartment
4. Winterwear and Tulle underskirts
I'm not gonna talk about clothes at length, but I will say that knits and coats are the more surefire racks to find something really cool if you're into finding clothes that are designed to be valuable. Why? Think about it: when folks donate things to their local charity shops or thrift joints, they're getting rid of things they can't make money off quickly through resale and just need to make space. Coats and sweaters are, more likely than not, something folks will splurge on for their needs over a t-shirt or rayon dress, and so what they have will probably be relatively nice. Granted, the 90s Express Tricot dresses and Looney Tunes tees are valuable now, and they are thrift go-tos, but you already knew that.
Hell, you probably knew everything I'm bringing up here, but you know what? I could go on, so I did.
The light in our bedroom is super weird when the sun sets- we have some linen curtains, which tend to shove the light in weird directions on our walls, and the placement of our windows is such that when the sun sets, the warm orange glow hangs out in the middle of the wall. So if any of youse were wondering why I appear to have a tan in that last photo, that kinda lets you know why. Also, I'm just garbage at editing photos, so we'll just have to wait and see if I can improve...
So let's talk about this sweater: it's by Social Work, a brand founded by two Parsons Grads who aim for production transparency from stitch to send. Assembled overseas in China, their last collection was modeled by the factory workers who make their clothes. I really dig the collection this here piece came outta, built around the 60s-70s hipster shapes a la polyester suits and sweater vests. Pants are cropped with kick flares, collars are starchy, pointy, severe. Give their kickass instagram a peep: https://www.instagram.com/socialwork_studio
If I can wear six different kinds of plaid at once, I will. I threw these two plaids and Vivienne Westwood's famous toothy snake print via tiny satchel together. Perhaps a Bowie moment is what I was going for- who knows, this was back when I still had hair
I expect this'll be the last time I'm able to go relatively bare-legged for a while, so I saved this for a breezy day. Also peep the blue fishnets that I have allowed my cats to rip and claw at while I walk past them in the apartment. I don't expect them to last very long but boy, are they fun to throw in with stuff!
Instagram did this weird thing after I had one of my photos queued to share, but it cropped the photo waaaay in once I posted it (peep the first shot). Little did I realize that people responded to it far more when it was cropped than when I had posted the full-length shot. Interesting- I'll chalk that up to an experiment.
Before our trip to Idaho last month, I bought a copy of Seiichi Hayashi's 1970 hit Red Colored Elegy to read on the plane. It's not really something you "read"- I'd be more comfortable with the idea that you just fall into the story. It's an indie manga with an elusive, loose plot about two young artists living as a couple, while trying to get their shit together and figure out what it is that they want on their own. I bought the book because of this series ^ which is from a calendar Hayashi made in 2008 called "Modern Beauty".
I love this series not just because each person is incredibly elegant and stylish, but also because Seiichi Hayashi is able to sneak in tons of information and texture into each moment- whether it's a cocktail winking through a glass or the combo of graphic earrings + pulled back hair, there's something to contemplate from each moment. It's an enviable everyday, probably taken for granted, but also quiet and humbly beautiful.