Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Maternity Basics

My Maternity Basics

When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew that I really didn't want to invest a lot into maternity clothing. So I set to making myself a list of basics that I could integrate into my existing wardrobe and make my clothes last as long as possible. I added a couple of things as time went on but here's my "core wardrobe" - the pieces I wear regularly and that can help turn something non-maternity into a stylish maternity option.

1) First up was black and white tanktops. I got mine from and they came in a two pack - one black and one white. (here) These have been my most worn maternity clothes. I wear them under blouses and dresses to "smooth out" my bump or just by themselves around the house and at night. I ended up going back for a second pack so I have 2 black and 2 white.

2) Black and white leggings. I wear a lot of leggings, so I knew I wanted some that would fit my growing bump. I got these from as well (here) though the white ones I had to find in the store. The thing about maternity leggings is sometimes they have the weirdest seams or the fabric isn't soft or it's too tight or too loose. These are perfect. Comfortable enough to wear around all day long, thick enough not to be see through, and light enough for any temperature below 75. A must-have. 

3) Two maxi dresses - one in a solid color that you love, and the other in a fun pattern. These don't have to be maternity items. I got my solid color maxi dress at a thrift store for about $6, and my printed maxi dress from Old Navy for $15 (on sale). The solid color maxi was Liz Lange from Target and I found that you have to have a bump to make it work because I'm 5'4 and the length in the front would be too long without it. 

4) Chambray dress. I'm lucky - I found this item at a thrift store for about $4. Mine is from H&M Mama, and is short sleeve. You can mix this one up with a variety of belts, leggings, and shoes. The look is totally different with a pink belt and flip flops than it is with leather boots, belt and a scarf. That kind of diversity with your existing accessories is a must!

5) A striped shirt. Stripes do something fun to the baby belly and I enjoy wearing a good striped shirt. I went for thin stripes because bigger ones make my already huge bust a little over the top. I picked black and white, and I pair it with anything from a black maxi skirt and jean jacket to blue jeans and flats. 

6) A solid color shirt. I got a pink one in a two-pack from (here) - Can you tell I love the two-packs? This can be paired with just about anything, and I find just a couple of maternity shirts are essential for the days when you try on a number of things and "nothing fits" - You always have a fall back option!

7) Maternity shorts. Being summer, shorts are necessary. I am not a big fan of jeans, and after my first trimester my hips expanded so fast I couldn't get any of my pre-pregnancy pants over my thighs. I take this as a good sign that my body is "getting ready" but it certainly didn't make it easy to have my hips jump 5 inches in a matter of weeks. I do personally find that I like the "full panel" pants and shorts better because they put less compression on my lower abdomen and are more comfortable (but they also don't stay up as well). When I wear the shorter, tighter elastic waistbands they cause cramping and a foul mood, so I recommend trying on any pants/shorts before buying!

8) Maternity overalls. This one was kind of a surprise to me, but sometimes I really wanted to wear shorts or pants without having a waistband to contend with. Overalls are coming back into style, and they look adorable on pregnant people. So grab the advantage while you can! I bought a pair of Motherhood cropped jean capri overalls, and then found another pair of khaki short overalls while thrifting. Perfect. 

9) Not pictured - Black maxi skirt. Find a nice, super comfortable, super stretchy black maxi skirt. You'll be able to pair it with a lot of your non-maternity blouses for a stylish look and because these are usually stretchy anyway it doesn't have to be maternity! So you can wear it after your pregnancy too.

Well I hope this list helps someone out there... I feel like maternity clothing is such a racket. You want to look cute while you're growing a baby, but sometimes it can feel like you have to break the bank, especially if it's your first pregnancy and you don't have any friends you can borrow maternity clothes from. This list of "basics" got me through the first 6 months of my pregnancy without issue. After that, maternity clothing becomes more necessary so I really recommend shopping thrift stores, consignment shops, and EBay. Remember that a lot of these clothes were only worn a couple of times before mama had her baby and didn't need them anymore. It's nice to cut down on the environmental impact, as well as the budget! Save it for stuff you really will need - like baby wipes. Hehe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

1958 NYT Magazine Swimsuit Spread - The New Two Part Story!

So I bought a scanner! I've really been wanting to scan in some of the wonderful photos I find in vintage magazines (along with some of the funnier ones). Today, I found a copy of the 1958 November copy of the NYT Magazine, and was instantly attracted by this super swimsuit spread.

Here's what 1958 had to say about bikinis: Normal Waistlines may have vanished everywhere else, but on southern beaches this resort season they are not only back but also bare. Not for a decade have so many two piece bathing suits been seen. More daring types may even try the Bikini for maximum exposure to the sun. With these brief swim suits go hats almost as big as parasols. 

(about the polka dot suit) A classically cut, body-molding suit for free-style swimmers has a bit of dash added by dots. This is black on white in cotton and lastex knit. By Elizabeth Stewart. $20 at Saks Fifth Avenue. The shiny licorice straw hat by John Frederics.
(about the stripe suit) The midriff plays peek-a-boo here - covered in the center front by a striped triangular piece hooked onto the briefs. A detachable strap loops around the neck. In black and white lastex wool knit. By Rudi Gernreich for Westwood. $23 at Lord & Taylor.

A large dose of sun is prescribed for this suit. The top is almost pure Empire, cut straight across the front above and below a rounded bosom. Hand-loomed wool and Helanca nylon of a rich green shade, with blue and white stripes. By Margaret Pennington. $30. Available exclusively at Bonwit Teller. The enormous, floppy straw sunshade hat by John Frederics.
The basic black uniform in every woman's resort wardrobe, with this season's difference - cut in two to reveal the middle. Bandeau around the bust is gently shirred for subtle fullness. In hand-loomed wool and Helanca nylon. By Margaret Pennington. This is $30 at Bonwit Teller. Striped hat in red and white denim is a Sally Victor design.

For the more adventurous soul, a Bikini, seen up to now mostly on European shores. This miniscule amount of cotton is printed with a giant Paisley pattern: purple, green and red on white. There is a "surf ruffle" all the way around the hips. By Jeanne Campbell for Sportwhirl. $12 at Arnold Constable after Jan 15.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

DIY Vintage Hair Bow

You will need:

- A sewing machine or sewing needle
- Thread/scissors
- Fabric glue
- Vintage fabric
- A metal hair barrette (I used 3" french barrette)

I used one of my favorite tiny floral fabrics. A beautiful field of poppies and daisies. Very Liberty of  London I think.

First, cut two pieces of fabric measuring 5.5" x 4.5" - The longer side will be the top and bottom of your bow, so arrange your fabric print so it is upright.

Then, cut another strip of fabric measuring 2" wide x 3.5" long. This will be to go in the center of the bow.

Next, place the two sides of the fabric with right sides facing each other. You want to sew the back side of the fabric - if you can see the bright front of your fabric you don't have it placed correctly.  (see here if you are still confused)

Now sew around the edge, leaving a quarter inch seam margin. On one of the long sides of the fabric, leave a hole about 2" long in the middle of the fabric square. Double stitch on each side of this hole.Trim the corners, without cutting into the stitching.

Your end piece should look like this. Now use the hole in the bottom of the fabric to turn the whole thing inside out. Reach your fingers inside and pull the right side of the fabric through the hole, as if you were turning a t-shirt right side out so you can wear it.

Sew the hole closed by folding in the edges and sewing over the hole.

Now, take the long strip of fabric and with an iron (or your force of will) fold in both sides of the fabric strip so that the reverse side is a nice clean strip about .75" wide of right side printed fabric. Again this is for the center of your bow. After you've made a few, try a little knot-work or try doing the center out of a different matching fabric.  

Next comes the tricky part. Take one of your metal french barrettes or whatever closure you decide to use, and grab your fabric glue.

I didn't photograph the next part so I'm going to try to explain this with just words.

Take your fabric square and pinch it in the middle, fluff it up and arrange it until it's just how you like it.

Now, keeping it pinched, squeeze a little fabric glue over the center and hold it closed for about 30 seconds.

Next, open your barrette and place the bow on top of it where the solid strip of metal is. Dab a bit of fabric glue on the top of your bow, in the center, where you will place your fabric strip. Have your scissors at hand for the next part.

Take your piece of long fabric and with the right side facing up, place the center of it on top of the bow where the fabric glue is. Wrap the ends around the metal, and fabric glue them together, trimming off the excess.

Rub in more fabric glue to keep the edge down and secure the loop. Let it sit for an hour, and voila! a new hair bow.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Sale!

Snap up some of my amazing Brimfield finds for 20% off, including the pictured dress above! Wow-ee!

Sale runs from Saturday morning until Monday at midnight EST. No holds, so grab it while you can!

20% off please!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thrift Store Review: Salvation Army in Medford, MA

My favorite Japanese market is in Medford, MA (Ebisuya). They're unbeatable because everything they carry is Japanese, so it's not like a mixed Asian market but a true Japanese market. I visit as often as I can, and recently I took a road trip down just for my favorite Shokupan and bento ingredients. While I was down there I decided to check out the local thrift scene and I went up the street to Salvation Army.

For a Salvation Army it was definitely very small, and (surprisingly!) curated. Now generally I like Salvation Army a huge deal because they do not curate their merchandise. They just kind of throw out whatever looks sale-able and walks through the door. This one, however, was different. With a small amount of square footage they have to be particular, and what results is an experience slightly akin to shopping your friend's closet.

Now the prices were definitely higher, which you can expect considering the area (closer to Boston, and Cambridge where MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and Boston University all reside). And it was actually not a great store for vintage-hunting...but if you're looking for some sweet threads for yourself it's definitely worth checking out!

Here's what I picked up for myself... a little vintage planter which now has a home by my bed, a knock-off LeSportsac bag that is made with a Fifi Lapin print I couldn't resist, a silk floral Mossimo Dutti dress (for sale on Ebay) that I totally would have kept if I wasn't pregnant, and a super-adorable polka dot fit-and-flare dress I won't even be able to fit into until next year, but bought anyway because it's so me!

The whole store was filled with the kind of things you'd find in the closet of a college kid from a pretty wealthy family. Anna Sui dresses, and other name brand and designer items.

An entire rack of colored cords and jeans... Yes please! All Jcrew, Talbots, Banana Republic, etc.

And the movies and books! Never have I been to a salvation army and seen such an intellectual group of books! Not one trashy romance in sight - all of it was literary fiction, psychology, popular science, and nonfiction. I've never seen 3 copies of For Whom the Bell Tolls at a thrift store before...

It looked like you were looking through your friend's bookshelves... Good picks!

And the movies were the same! $2.99 for most every movie, including Poirot box sets, foreign films, a few classic animated titles, 80s classics... it was hard not to walk out with a few movies, but since we downsized after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I try to be really conscious of what I'm bringing into my home.

 Seriously, how could you resist those mustard yellow cords!?!?!?! If I weren't pregnant, they would have been mine.

And the movies! Annie Hall, Benny and Joon, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Random foreign movies... and all in perfect shape.

Their furniture section, while the tiniest thing ever, was filled with amazing mid-century pieces (with price tags to match, though!) Awesome sideboards, china hutches, mirrors, etc.

They also had really clean dressing rooms, and a clean public restroom (amazing! Being pregnant and over an hour from home sometimes you don't have a choice).  So props for that.

So whether it's just the stuff they get donated from their local population, or whether they've learned to curate for what is selling, it's definitely worth a fun visit. Just don't take someone who's your size.

Friday, May 8, 2015

SPRINGing Back into Vintage!

So you may have noticed I've been gone for a while! Life's been busy, but the best news is that now I'm doing this full time!!! Between my two etsy shops, and a baby on the way I'll have my hands full, but I couldn't be happier. So here we go - back into vintage just in time for the spring's best weather!

Remember that when you order from Foxburrow you could have your item in just a few days! Nothing says instant gratification like a quick delivery!

Here are today's new arrivals to help you celebrate spring:

1970s Red Polka Dot Pussybow Blouse

1930s Yellow Iris Garden Dress

1950s Strappy Velvet Heels

1950s Bright Pink Poppy Dress

1960s Teal Scallop Dress

Liberty of London Scarf

1980s Leafy Tapestry Bag

1970s Silk Sari Skirt

Vintage Black and Red

Vintage Black and Red

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