This post is in honor of paternal grandmother, Clara (we grandkids called her “Grand”), who passed away on July 2. Today, July 20, would have been her 85th birthday. My grandma was the most stylish woman I’ve ever known. She loved her furs (Detroit winters warrant full coverage) and lived to dress up. Grand taught me the importance of making a good first impression with my appearance, and is my greatest style inspiration. I have vivid memories of her teaching me how to iron clothes (’cause wrinkles are never cute); her helping me pick out a fancy Easter frock (all pink everything, complete with frilly socks and a tiny purse); and us going shopping for white tennis shoes in the spring. It was a ritual that my brother and I always looked forward to.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
Clutch: Vintage Stuart Weitzman from Grandma (gifted)
Murals: @batdude88/@awalkingcanvas and @mara.bubblegum
One thing I learned about my grandmother since she passed is her love of designer threads. As a kid, I knew Grand could dress — I never paid attention to who she was wearing. When I went home to Detroit for the funeral, my aunts asked me to look through my grandmother’s jewelry and her closet to see if I wanted to take anything to help remember her. I saw this bright, flashy clutch tucked away on top of some shoe boxes in the living room closet and fell in love with it. It was so ’80s. It wasn’t until I got back to Long Beach and opened the clutch that I saw the label: “Stuart Weitzman/Made in Spain.” Granny?!
Grand had great, no, impeccable taste! I decided to make her clutch the star of this Outfit of the Day. It’s gorgeous, just like Grand. I’m wearing all black to signify that I’m mourning my grandmother’s loss. She was truly a one-of-a-kind woman, and I miss her tremendously. She was the epitome of style, grace, resilience, beauty and love. I’m wearing a headwrap as a crown of sorts. My grandma was royalty to my family and those who knew and loved her. I threw in the pops of red on my lips and shoes to reflect my grandma’s spirit. Her light that shone brightly, and boy did she know how to coordinate. Scroll through the slideshow to see a couple photos of Grand. I wish I had a photo of her wearing this darling clutch. I’m sad that she’s no longer here to serve up more head-turning looks, but I know that I will see her again when I go on to glory. In the meantime, her spirit will live on though me and my family. I aim to make Grand proud with every OOTD I pull together for this here blog.
To see more Outfit of the Day/Night posts, click here.
This Thrifted Thursday is a snapshot of a recent stroll through my old stomping grounds: Retro Row in Long Beach. It had been a minute since I stopped by my personal haven of secondhand scores. The first five snapshots in this slideshow were taken at the Assistance League Thrift Shop, perhaps the most under-rated store on the block, but by far my favorite. I saw a couple of pieces that channeled my inner working woman circa 1980 and said “What up tho?!” to my girl, Liz Claiborne. The contrasting brown and cream leathers made it hard to pass up, but I’ve gotta slow down on buying duplicates of items I already own or that are too similar in style. Another find that was extra hard to turn away from was the vintage wicker picnic basket. I’m a collector, but the $20 price tag was a little steep, considering the handle was slightly warped. It was a sight to behold no less, as was its mini counterpart that I spied resting in the shelf underneath. My friend Fifi bought the tiny basket, which would make a super cute lunch bag or an even edgier handbag, for her sweet little niece. Inside were these itty-bitty ceramic tea cups and saucers. So darling! As my trek down the block continued, I saw some exquisite framed tapestries, the most adorable vintage typewriters, an ultra authentic Western blouse and the pièce de résistance … a VHS copy of Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalker.” You have no idea how many Saturday mornings were spent dancing and singing along to this gem of modern cinema in the Ratcliff household during the early ’90s.
You’ll see the great finds that I purchased that day in next week’s Thrifted Thursday. Until then, to see previous Thrifted Thursday rarities and good finds, click here.
If the pattern of the dress in this Outfit of the Day looks familiar, you’ve got an excellent memory! I found this vintage dress at The Red Light Clothing Exchange in Portland. The very autumn-like colors made this dress the perfect choice to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. See the full look after the jump!
So a little while back, I found myself gallivanting on Retro Row in search of the perfect going-away gift for a colleague. This Thrifted Thursday is just a small fraction of all the amazing finds I discovered on Fourth Street in Long Beach. For starters, I immediately became enamored with the first image in this slideshow, the vintage eye chart from inretrospect. What a rare item! I told myself I was only shopping for my friend that day, but the thought of hanging the dynamic piece in my living room consumed me. I had to have it! So I went back the next day (thankfully no one had snatched it up!) and copped it. I was also happy to see that the stately Glenn Heath owl print was still on display at Retroda: Past and Present. Its smaller cousin (pictured in the slide after it) was at inretrospect, which was a pleasant surprise. Among the other items I contemplated breaking the bank for were some serious pieces of string art, a fun bucket hat from the now-defunct Marineland of the Pacific (think Sea World a decade before it was Sea World and in the affluent Palos Verdes area of Los Angeles), some kitschy scottie dog bookends and an amazing ’70s flower-power printed suitcase.
To see previous Thrifted Thursday rarities and good finds, click here.
This Thrifted Thursday is a peek at all the great finds I made off with in my Birthday Thrift Crawl, Part Deux. I usually have great luck at Assistance League shops in general, so I wasn’t surprised about acquiring awesome goods and wares. However, I was taken aback by how deeply discounted most items were at the Assistance League of Santa Monica. I love a deal! This vibrant red patterned scarf ($2.50) could have been used for a number of things, but I intend to wear it as a headscarf. I can’t wait to tie it up in a big bow and twirl on all the haters.
See all the gems from my second annual thrift crawl after the jump!
Hope you all had a lovely Fourth of July! This whimsical Outfit of the Day pays homage to the red, white and blue of our great United States of America in a major way with this nautical-inspired vintage mini dress. See more of what I wore after the jump!
I’ve been to Pasadena like three times in life. Nothing against the ‘Dena. It’s just so far away that I never visit, but this past weekend I found myself up there for the Bulletproof Conference at the Convention Center. And as fate would have it, the mall across the street houses the Pasadena Antique Mall — a vintage lover and collector’s dream. With about an hour to kill, I got lost in all the old-timey goodness that the shop offers.
Imagine being at a Goodwill that has all the greatest hits. That’s exactly what it’s like at the PAM (I don’t even know if that’s a thing but I just made it one. Boom!). Retro cigarette cases. Vintage cameras. Unusual maps and globes. Fine china. Antique spice jars. Well-maintained typewriters. Tons of them. I think I counted six that were in wonderful condition. Since I’m the daughter of a retired Marine, I was particularly impressed by the selection of rare military uniforms. Who would give that kind of thing away?
The Pasadena Antique Mall also had an abundance of one-off pieces. A bric-a-brac haven, if you will. I was particularly fond of the chalkboard that had images representing each letter of the alphabet around the perimeter. Oh, and the vintage dress form took me back. I wonder where it came from and what kinds of apparel were created on it. The weirdest find of the day? A taxidermy bat, mounted and framed next to other dead things. The moths and butterflies were beautiful though. You know you’re in a premium antique mall when you get that eerie, slightly morbid feeling. At least I do anyway.
Long story short, the next time you find yourself in the ‘Dena, stop by the PAM. You won’t be disappointed.
To see previous Thrifted Thursday rarities and good finds, click here.
You all saw how the day portion of my recent birthday celebration went, but inside you’ll find a glimpse of what I was up to later that evening. Spoiler alert: I was wearing this crop top and high-waisted skirt combo with these killer wedges.
See more of this look after the jump!
I’m still smiling from my birthday thrift crawl! And great finds like these will ensure that I’ll be grinning for a long while. Up first is my favorite find of the day: this darling, one-of-a-kind framed, hand embroidered art piece ($6.29). It basically fell into my lap while perusing the art section at Savers. It was strewn on some shelf next to some generic frames and whispered sweet nothings to me. I’m glad I snatched up this rare gem — much to the disdain of my pal, Lauren.
See my other purchases from the day after the jump!
This big, blue wonder spoke to me while I was out on a recent thrift shop jaunt. Tickling the ivories has always been something at which I dreamed of becoming skilled. Picture this: a full house at a dinner party, when a lull hits. Someone blurts out, “Beautiful piano you have there. Do you play?” To which I respond, “Why, yes. Yes I do.” Then proceed to dazzle and wow my friends and loved ones with a rousing rendition of “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. Slowly but surely, everyone starts singing along, and before we know it, it’s a full-blown party. Then I snap back to reality because A.) I don’t know how to play said piano. B.) Getting a piano into my second-level one-bedroom apartment would be nearly impossible, and C.) What am I really gonna do with a piano? There’s simply no room for it. What am I gonna do? Use it as a dinner table? But, it’s fun the imagine. That’s the beauty of window shopping at thrift shops like the Salvation Army. You get to see some pretty rad things without the burden of actually owning them.
Alas, this bright piano surely has already found its lucky owner. To him or her I say, “Play on playa.”