Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bohemian Spring - A Shop Update

It's been a long time since I did a cohesive shop update! Here's the first one of many more to come this year. This one is themed with the idea of bohemia in mind. Both modern vintage bohemia and 60s/70s bohemia. I'm really pleased with all of the finds - and I hope you will be too!

1960s Metallic Silk Dress Maxi Length
1960s Metallic Silk Dress

1960s 1970s alphonse mucha print maxi dress
1960s Alphonse Mucha Print Dress
1970s embroidered oaxaca mexican dress kelly green
1970s Oaxaca Mexican Embroidered Dress
1960s bohemian druid caftan kaftan
1960s Druid Caftan
1970s arts and crafts movement hand crocheted dress
1970s Hand Crocheted Dress
1980s embroidered peasant blouse
1980s Embroidered Sleeveless Blouse
1980s burnt orange sleeveless blouse
1980s Burnt Orange Blouse
1980s button front tie back silk blouse
1980s Clay Orange Silk Sleeveless Blouse

Click on any of the garments to go to their specific page, or browse the entire shop here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fall / Winter Outfits Recap

So once a week or so I'll post an outfit on Facebook for my friends and family. It's kinda fun, because I love style bloggers but have a hard time doing the big "outfit post" thing. So I just overindulge in selfies. One thing it's great for, though, is to recap what my style was like this past fall/winter. I thought I'd do a little post here collecting all of my selfies from October to mid-March and maybe look back on it next fall.

I collect cardigans like they're going to disappear off the face of the planet. I tend to wear a lot of dresses with cardigans and tights - I think this turns them into immediate winter-wear. The dress on the left is from Target, the one in the middle is a fox print dress from Ebay, and the one on the right is a 1970s polka dot dress. The middle cardigan is for sale in my etsy shop. It's so warm and cute.

Looking back, I wore a lot of darker colors for the winter. Lots of navy blue, which I think looks good with my pale skin. In the photo on the left I wore a sweater over a fox print dress for a skirt-look. The right photo is a black dress I bought on Etsy. It's very nice and I think it looks rather classy. ;)

I wear my fair share of pants, especially when the wind chill is below 20 degrees (which is most of the time from January to the end of February). In the middle photo I'm wearing  my favorite vintage Etienne Aigner leather riding boots, and a vintage blazer I picked up at the Davis Flea. In the right photo I've got on a great vintage blouse that has a neck that looks kind of like a ...peter pan style cowl? It's neat, and I love it under sweaters.

This vintage skirt I had listed in the Etsy Shop but had to take it out... I just love it too much. The teal and brown combo goes with so many things. I found two matching Banana Republic wool cowl-neck sweaters at thrift stores this year and they are so warm and comfy (left and right photo).

This last set of photos includes a vintage wool L'aiglon dress I bought on Etsy this year and had to do a lot of repairs to (very loose woven wool that had developed a number of holes). The middle is a polka dot dress from Adriana Pappell (one of my favorite modern ready-to-wear designers) and the right is a vintage pointelle sweater and a gray dirndl skirt from the 1970s that is one of my new favorite things in the world.

Well that's it... for now!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Green, Green, Green!

Since today is St. Patrick's day I thought I'd do a quick little post with some fun green items from the shop!

Photosi Blazer
I'm in love with the color on this spring green blazer. Perfection for when you still want to be bright and cheery but it's a little chilly.
Emerald Pencil Skirt
This emerald pencil skirt would go with...well...basically everything. Super lines for an amazing fit and pure wool to boot!

50s Wool Green Coat
This wool green coat I picked up from an estate sale with some great pieces. By Cisa and princess cut!

Emerald Isle 40s Dress
The buttons down the front of this and nipped little waist make this dress fun and classy at the same time.
70s High Waist Pants
These 1970s high waisted forest green pants. Yup.

Vtg Fedora with Tassels
And this vintage fedora with tassels just about wraps up my favorite green items in the shop right now.

There's plenty more, so get your bum over there and have a look! SHOP NOW

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to do a Wardrobe Cleanout

Well, it's February, the coldest month of the year, and also the month when I start thinking about Spring. Since March can go either way (hot or cold) you really have to be prepared around here for any weather!

Today we had a big snow storm (it's still snowing, in fact) and so I spent most of the day inside cleaning out my wardrobe. My goal was to eliminate items that aren't flattering on me, and make room for some of the new items I have coming in. Being a vintage seller I am always crawling thrift stores and consignment shops and so I tend to buy a lot of clothing for myself as well as the shop.  And my closet is relatively small, so I have to be proactive about cleaning it out regularly. Today I'm going to share with you a few of my tips for cleaning out your wardrobe at the change of season.

Wardrobe before cleanout

I clean out my wardrobe twice a year, once for spring and once for fall. Throughout the year I also pull and donate items regularly. Sometimes I will wear an item and suddenly decide I don't feel like I look good in it anymore (or maybe I never did!) and I will sell or donate it. So it's an ongoing process, but the two big clean-outs happen at the change of season.

I find that my taste in clothing changes from year to  year. Maybe I loved something last year, but this year I'm more into different colors, or fabrics, or texture. When you do a closet cleanout here are some things to keep in mind/ask yourself as you're going through the clothing.

Ask Yourself

- Does it fit? I mean REALLY fit...not like can you squeeze into it, but more like does it look good and flatter you. Are the proportions right? Can you move your arms freely or is it tight in the shoulders? Does the waist fall in the right spot on you? When you lift your arms, does your stomach show when you don't want it to? You need to be comfortable in your clothing, and sometimes even though you may love a garment, you just have to admit it doesn't look good on you and pass it on to someone else. Try it on and confirm!
- Is it something you wear regularly, or a special occasion item? If it's not something you wear regularly, and it's not a special occasion item, you should ask yourself it it's worth keeping. When was the last time you wore it? When do you think you'd wear it again?
- Would you buy it again today? Are you still obsessed with it or are you kind of over it? If you're kind of over it, do you want it clogging up your wardrobe, making it hard for you to get dressed in the morning?
- What would you wear it with? Maybe you love something but you never wear it because you don't have anything to wear it with. Well, either get something to wear it with or take the item out! No point having a useless garment hanging around in your closet.

Ask yourself, what would you wear it with?

Now that you know some of the questions you'll want to ask yourself, here's how to begin:

  1. Do NOT pull everything out of your closet at once and dump it onto your bed. Go step by step, so if you are interrupted or have to stop you don't leave your room in total chaos.
  2. Get some large bags/reusable bags and make these groups:
    1. Sell/consigment - is it worth selling on ebay or taking to consignment? Put it here.
    2. Donate - is it still in good enough condition but not worth trying to sell or consign? Put it here.
    3. Trash - is it dirty or torn? Don't donate it, throw it away.  
    4. Mend/Clean -  You may also end up with a pile for mend/clean items that you like but need a little TLC.
  3.  Start with one area of the closet - for example shoes, and go through all of your shoes, deciding what stays and what goes and sorting them into the 3 bags. 
  4. Organize as you go.
Organize as you go

It's really as simple as that! What's most important is knowing what looks good on you, and not being overly attached to items simply because they were a gift or you had them when your husband asked you to marry him. If it's not something you want to wear NOW, then let it go.  And for anyone who wants to hold onto items that they may one day fit into again.... don't. Unless it's super amazing/special like a vintage cocktail dress, you know that if you lose some major weight you are going to want NEW clothes, not the stuff sitting in the back of your wardrobe.

I know I look bad in slouchy clothing. I love it, because I think it all looks super comfy and cool, but I know I don't look good in oversized items. It's tempting sometimes to bring home an item with that style, but keep your closet full of items that look good on you. Sometimes it's just going to happen that you love a "look" or style but it just isn't for you.

Once you clean out your closet and everything is neatly organized, follow through with donating, trashing and selling the items you designated as such. If it's designer or higher end ready-to-wear (Think Anthropologie, Jcrew, Banana Republic, etc) , sell it on websites like eBay, Tradesy, or Twice. Or if you don't like to sell things online, just take it to a local consignment shop and get a little money back while letting them do all the work (note: Make sure you know what season your local consignment shop is taking and what their best-selling brands are! Right now, it's February but my consignment shop is taking only spring/summer items.)
Closet after cleanout - looks about the same, but all the clothes fit!

Other Tips

  • If you're unsure what looks best on you, try on your items as you go and have a friend there to yea or nay items for you. 
  • If you're not ready to let it go now, keep it for one more season - if you don't wear it, it's time to let it go.
  • Try to keep just 1 of each type of item - How many white long sleeve cardigans do you REALLY need? Which one is your favorite?
  • Other bloggers suggested hanging all your items with the hangers in one direction, as you wear the item, hang them with the hangers going in the other the end of the season you'll know what you wore and what you didn't. 
  • Make sure to clean out your wardrobe before you pack it away for the season. 
Good luck on your closet clean-out adventures! After my cleanout, I had given up 6 pairs of shoes, 5 grocery-sized bags of items to donate, 1 bag of trash, 1 bag if items to consign now, 1 bag of items to consign this coming fall, 1 bag of items to sell on Etsy, 1 bag of items to sell on Ebay, and a huge stack of items to sell on either Etsy or Ebay depending on age. I was able to get all of my clothing into the closet and my dresser, and made sure everything in the closet fits and looks good!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Caring for Your Vintage Clothes on a Budget

One of the biggest hang-ups for people who buy vintage clothing is how to care for it. Heck, half the time there are no fabric labels and the other half they say "dry clean only" - but don't take everything at face value. When I first started really wearing and selling vintage I was testing the waters - what could I safely clean at home? The answer is quite a lot, actually. Laundry day doesn't have to be some big terrible chore that makes you want to throw all of your clothes into a trash bag. In fact once you learn some of the tricks of the trade you won't find caring for your clothes such a task at all! Right now this is probably about how excited you are about laundry:
One of my favorite things about vintage, and about thrifting for my own personal wardrobe, is that I can buy things that are beautifully made with high quality fabrics and I am not breaking the bank. I mean, how many times have you bought some cheap top at the mall you thought was cute, and then three washes later it's pilled, shrunk, and overly clingy? So now you're filling your wardrobe with silks, rayons and wools and they're great materials but you don't know how to care for them. Here are some of my favorite tools and tips - hopefully they will help make your laundry days a little more pleasant! For even more detailed information on how to care for different fabrics look in the right hand column of the blog for cloth-specific pages.

First things first - immediately go to Target and purchase one or two of these Tide Bra Bags if you do not already own them. (I say get Tide because they are great quality)
They enable you to wash things you really should not be able to machine wash. Pack them tight and it's about as gentle as hand washing. I use these to wash cashmere and wool sweaters, tights, blouses, name it. If I can fit it in there I am washing it in a bra bag. You may also want to invest in a sweater bag which is a larger version of the bra bag, great for bulky sweaters. Make sure to put in more than one sweater or add a towel in. The fuller the bag, the less the delicates get jostled around. One thing to note, though, the looser the yarn fibers are, the more likey they are to come apart - for example the gray sweater here would be sturdier than the yellow sweater, and you may want to hand wash the yellow sweater.
Now for the cleaners... I have three cleaners that I use aside from my regular detergent (7th generation free and clear). The first is Oxiclean, which I swear by for stain removal on ALMOST anything. The second is Woolite which I use to wash wools and delicates. The third is shampoo, which is an awesome budget cleaner for natural hair-type fibers such as silk and wool. With fibers like silk and wool, you want to treat them like you'd treat your hair...and if shampoo is good enough for your head then it's good enough for your silks and wools too! Added benefit - you already love the smell.

I clean a lot of stuff in oxi clean. Perfect for cottons and polyesters, but it also works on other fabrics that need brightening. Awesome for perspiration stains, too. Sometimes if I have a spot I want to treat, I make a little paste with the oxy clean and water and treat the particular spot. If your stains are persistent and your fabric is sturdy (so no silks, rayons, etc.), let it sit for 4-8 hours, or overnight.

Another great tool is a plastic tub or bowl for washing 1 or 2 small pieces. You've been spitting toothpaste in your sink, so you don't want to go washing your nice silks in there. Get a plastic tub and use it for washing in small batches in your bathroom tub or sink.

So if you love vintage clothes you'll want a good iron that doesn't spit water and steams when you tell it to. You'll also want one of these handy dandy little tools. It's a mesh protector for your clothing. Costs you about $5 for two of them, so get one and split the cost with your room mate. It makes it a breeze to iron silks, rayons, polyesters, acetates, or other synthetics that can burn, scorch or become shiny when heated. As long as the mesh protector is over your fabric, you can use it on a much higher heat setting than you normally would and can get the steam setting going which gives your fabric a beautiful starched look. Plus, it makes ironing over buttons or cuffs a total breeze. I'm saving you some serious dry cleaning money here and you don't have to be afraid to buy things that wrinkle easily.

Another awesome tool is the steamer. Once you start doing this you'll never go back. Steaming garments is perfect for silks, cottons, wools, rayons, etc. Almost all fabrics except leathers, suedes, furs, etc can be steamed. You can invest in a very nice steamer if you're into garment care for the long term...I went with the Jiffy 2000 with a metal steam head. You can also get hand steamers but most of the reviews I read talked about spitting hot water on unsuspecting hands and arms and well...I just went with quality on this one. However if you can't afford a steamer here's a tip - hang your wrinkly garments in the bathroom with you when you are taking your hot shower. The steam in the air will loosen them and the wrinkles may fall out.

The Fuzz Wizard is one of my favorite tools in the world. It's an electronic sweater shaver that makes the world of difference to your clothing. Now you don't have to pass over that nice wool sweater in the thrift store that is a little pilled under the arms. And you don't have to worry about your vintage wools pilling if you wear them too much because you've got this baby! I've even used it on cashmere - it's got a special guard attachment for delicate fabrics. Here's the difference it makes.

I'm still on the hunt for a really good lint brush, but a sticky roller is a nice substitute for most people - sometimes you can find them in the dollar section at Target. No matter what you're wearing, a little lint rolling never hurt anyone before you walk out the door and it's great for getting rid of lint when you wash and hang dry.

And one of my best tips is that you don't need to wash your clothes every time you wear them. Washing garments weakens them, and while it's great for getting out stains or doing an overall clean, it's really not necessary to wash clothing every time it's worn. I use Biokleen's Bac Out Fresh on my vintage garments and all of my sweaters it works WONDERS to eliminate smells...even powerful under-arm smells. I turn the garments inside out and spray them all over with Biokleen. It's super gentle and I've used it on anything from rayon to silk to wool and always get good results and no spotting or staining. If you're local you can buy it at Mother and Child in Amherst, otherwise grab it online.

Wear washable cotton t-shirts under your sweaters, they will absorb most of the perspiration from the day and keep your sweaters fresh and clean on the inside.

 My very last tip for this post is to use a drying rack to dry all of your vintage clothes, cotton or any other fiber - do NOT put it in the dryer! The dryer is the kiss of death for vintage clothing.

Now that you've got some of my tips - I hope you'll be able to better care for your wardrobe! Be thrifty - buy used and vintage clothing and learn to care for it. When you do, you have a better connection to your clothing and you care more about it. Well, enjoy your laundry day!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

SHOP UPDATE: Beat the Winter Blues

It's been far too long since I've done a shop update post, and I spent yesterday listing like a madwoman to get some fresh stock into the store. I'm wrapping up the last of my winter listings and am building up my spring collection on 50s dresses and vintage super soft rayon (my current obsession).

But in the mean time it is still freezing all over the US and there's some serious need for cozy goodies.

Here's just some of what is new in the shop this week:

Leather Fur 1970s mustard yellow coat
Leather & Fur 1970s Mustard Yellow Coat

1970s Estevez Eva Gabor Maxi Dress in Black and White

1980s Peplum Black Velvet Dress

1950s Tweed Hourglass Jacket

1970s ESTEVEZ Eva Gabor Chevron Maxi Dress

1970s Adele Simpson Winter Dress
1980s Purple & Teal Polka Dot Shirt Dress

Vintage Nordic Fair Isle Sweater (Corgi Not Included)

1960s Wool and Fur Mustard Yellow Coat

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Foxburrow Boutique Setup Day 2

Foxburrow Vintage 257 main st nashua nh

Well, the boutique is ready for action! There are still a few details I'd like to take care of but all in all it's ready for shopping.

The garment rack is filled with thick wooly sweaters, crisp blazers and cozy coats. On the shelves you'll find a selection of various things I find appealing.

vintage strawberry items

Such as this miniature strawberry collection.
vintage stuffed tiger
This very silly vintage tiger toy.
vintage flannel shirts
These cozy flannels and button ups for both men and women. Plus some field binoculars for all the adventures you'll go on in those flannels.
vintage pig cookie cutter
This silly piggy cookie cutter.

Vintage fabric bundles and handmade zipper pouches.

And other goodies. As you can see, I finished up the shelves. I love the blackboard background...Terribly fun. I think I need to work on my lettering though.
So come by and visit when you can...257 Main St, Nashua NH 03060! Second floor in its own room.

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