More often than not I awake early on Sunday mornings to Tom's shadowy figure quietly slipping out the door, camera bag slung over his shoulder, as he wanders off to photograph some long forgotten home or abandoned factory (his explorations are well documented here). This week was no exception. In my sleepy haze I rarely realize exactly where he's off to until he returns to tell me about the morning's adventure. When he returned this Sunday he instantly told me that he knew I would love the house he had just photographed. When he showed me a few of the shots I could barely contain my excitement; peeling paint, pretty wallpaper, beautiful windows with light pouring in. I'd been mulling over the idea of doing some sort of spring editorial style shoot for the blog and knew this would be just the place.
I grabbed some clothes and shoes (all things I've been wanting to wear if only the weather would cooperate) and we headed out the door. Unfortunately the weather wasn't cooperating and I was pretty much freezing the whole time! But the house is scheduled for demolition and we knew we'd better grab the chance to photograph it before it's all razed. I could see my breath in the house and if you look at these shots full sized you can see all the goose bumps on my legs! Despite the cold, we had a lot of fun exploring each room. The wallpaper in the house was mind-blowingly perfect! It's so sad to know it will all be gone soon.
I braved the cold for as long as I could and we ended up with lots of photos. I'm trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with all of them. I think Tom is going to help me make a little lookbook where you can flip the pages but since we've never done that before we're going to have to figure it out. Until then, here's a little sampling of what we ended up with.
I'm really admiring these simple pieces from the Portland based line Filly. They have me rethinking my spring wardrobe. The idea of having a few simple, easy pieces in my closet that will always be in style is so appealing to me right now. I really need to de-clutter! Not to mention, the spot where these photos were taken is perfection!
...to the farmer's market to buy fresh flowers & vegetables. (Monki top, Topshop skirt, Libris Lunaris tote, sandals)
...on a Sunday stroll around my neighborhood. (Rachel Comey dress, See by Chloe purse, Topshop hat & oxfords)
...to eat crepes at brunch with my girlfriends. (Topshop skirt & sunglasses, Secret Squirrel top, Madewell sandals)
...to walk on the boardwalk in a seaside town. (Secret Squirrel skirt, Topshop blouse, Swedish Hasbeens clogs, Topshop tote)
...exploring a new part of the city. (Modcloth dress, Topshop loafers, Steven Alan hat, vintage backpack)
I was so excited to see the result of the collaboration between two of my favorite gals on these ol' interwebs; Anja of Clever Nettle and Hannah of Hetterson. This lookbook, full of the Hetterson spring collection and photographed by Anja, is simply amazing. Their cooperative efforts resulted in some of my favorite photos of the season.
You may recognize that striped sweater from the "How to Wear" project that I participated in last month. It was seriously hard to ship it off to the next blogger. I really wanted to greedily keep it for myself. I was trying to figure out how to scrape up enough pennies to get my hands on one when I realized it's already sold out! Congrats on such a success Hannah! Not to worry though. It seems that she has more wool on the way to complete any future orders. Also worth noting, Hannah is generously donating 5% of the sales from the opening weekend of her spring collection to the Red Cross as relief aid for the Japan Tsunami/Earthquake.
Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind so I didn't have time to share many details of the weekend shoot. Thankfully today promises to be a little less hectic so I thought I'd take a moment before the crazy sets in to share a bit more about the day. It all started several months ago when Amber contacted me to see if I'd be interested in styling a shoot for her. I jumped at the opportunity since it was an idea I'd had in the back of my mind.
When she asked me what I thought for a concept for the shoot, I was in the midst of watching Boardwalk Empire and knew I wanted to do something inspired by the characters on that show. Of course, as the months passed and the weather warmed up the concept evolved a bit. It ended up being 20s-carnival-with-a-touch-of-70s-Stevie-Nicks.
On the day of the shoot, the weather was fairly cooperative with lots of sunshine, a light breeze and temperatures that kept Sarah from completely freezing. She was such a trooper! I was cozy in my sweater and she braved the weather in sheer chiffon and sleeveless dresses. Oh, and she had the coolest silvery blue ombre hair (how does one even do that!). It looked amazing with all of the clothes.
Amber, who was wearing the prettiest white lace blouse that her mother had worn on her wedding day, took hundreds of photos of the five outfits I styled. Everything looked amazing on Sarah and I can't wait to see all of the photos! As soon as I get my hands on them, I'll be sure to share them with you. Hopefully this was the first of many shoots I'll style!
This weekend marked the arrival of an event I've been anticipating for months... my first attempt at styling a photoshoot! My partners in crime for the day were Amber, the photographer, and Sarah, the model. It was tons of fun and I can't wait to see how all the photos turn out. I only have a moment today to share a few behind the scenes photos with you, but I'll be back tomorrow with more details and more behind the scenes shots!
Today I'm featuring one of my wonderful March sponsors, The Blouse Shoppe. Jane and Jenn, the lovely ladies behind the blog and the shop, share loads of thrifting tips, reveal their sources of inspiration and offer a refreshing outlook on the fashion industry.
Oh, and I almost forgot the best part! Jane and Jenn are generously offering SJV readers 15% off on anything in their shop! Just use the coupon code "iamtheeverydaygirl" when you checkout.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves! Who are the gals behind the Blouse Shoppe?
Jane and I definitely love vintage - there's a special place in our hearts for polyester blouses, cotton day dresses and labels with names like "The Fire Island Woman." Jane's style can be described as an everyday rockstar look - and I'm more along the lines of granny chic (ok less chic, more granny).
When we're not finding vintage for the shop or traipsing around the state for blouse shoots, Jane is the lead singer of the band Panther Moderns and can often be found sporting around town in her red mini cooper with her sidekick, a floppy basset hound called Poppy. My non-blouse life includes doing community organizing around women's rights, reading trashy magazines and spending quality time with my lady friend, like late night grocery shopping.
Also - we both love coffee and hate pants.
Your motto is "vintage clothes for the everyday girl". Can you tell us more about that philosophy?
From the beginning of blouse, Jane and I knew that we wanted to niche out a little section in the fashion world that revolved around making women feel good and where all women had options - whether it be decade, style or size. Immediately after we launched, a long distance fan from California emailed us, gushing that she loved our shoppe because in her words, we had vintage options for the everyday girl ... for her. Instantly, we knew she gave us the language for the feelings that we excitedly stammered about from the start – we wanted it to be all about the everyday girl.
It's hard to deny it -- the fashion world can be overwhelming, intimidating and expensive. Although Jane and I both love fashion -- we've both had moments where we have felt its exclusiveness. And being everyday girls ourselves (really, who isn't?), we're looking to create a world where fashion can be empowering, liberating, expressive and accessible. Unfortunately, the fashion world can tend to lurk around corners on bus shelters and glossy magazine pages, tempting us to wish for longer eyelashes, thinner thighs, bigger boobs, thicker wallets. Fashion should use its power to make each of us feel beautiful, not inadequate.
At blouse, our hope is to provide you with a variety of vintage fashions to make you feel as gorgeous as you are -- and to create a place where every everyday girl fits.
What do you look for when you’re out picking for your Etsy shop? Any tips for finding great pieces when out thrifting?
Everyday girls play a big role in what we choose. We love finding dresses and blouses that we know are going to look perfect on our everyday girl models and the garment's future owners. That's part of the beauty of having a shop. You're not limited when it comes to size. Our customers and models are all shapes and sized so we get to buy it all.
Here's blouse's tips on how not to be overwhelmed by the local thrift shop:
1. Edit your picks. We usually fill up our cart till it's absolutely overflowing, find an empty spot in the furniture section, and sort through everything on top of a 1970s velvety couch. Remember: Just because it's $1 doesn't mean it's perfect (I have to frequently remind Jane that one).
2. Shop by section. Dresses first, then shoes, then coats, etc. It makes it a lot less overwhelming to break it up.
3. Set your intention. Jane went shopping the other day with the clear goal of finding high waisted, wide legged, vintage blue jeans. She certainly came home with the perfect pair!
4. Be creative!!! This one is the most important! When in a thrift store you are surrounded by possibility. It's so much fun to think outside of the box and try and figure out how to make someones discarded clothing into a fashion forward look. And the best part is that no one else will have the same look as you! Way better than wearing that one dress from Urban Outfitters that everyone has.
What are some of your everyday sources of fashion inspiration? Do you have favorite blogs that you look at daily?
Jane and I can both get lost in internet-land for hours on end ... with so many good looking women out there doing their thing on such amazing blogs - it's so easy to be inspired. Some of our favorites --- delightfully tacky (www.delightfully-tacky.com), with her bright and fun style and her courage with her songwriting. We love the perfectly put together Lulu Letty (http://lululetty.blogspot.com) - in fact, she immediately inspired Jane to buy a pair of oxfords and start wearing lace collars. Tick Tock vintage (http://ticktockvintage.blogspot.com) is incredibly real and she makes homemade limoncello. We adore Holland 1945 (www.holland1945.com), the perfect everyday girl. Dear Beatrice (http://dearbeatrice.blogspot.com) buys jewelry on the home shopping network and makes her own dresses, need we say more? Jane is grossly jealous of the beautiful blogging duo at Louder than Silence (http://wearelouderthansilence.blogspot.com) and I'm grossly jealous of the wit and smarts over at Huzzah! vintage (http://huzzahvintage.blogspot.com).
You put together a really lovely lookbook for spring! I love all the diner shots. Can you tell us about that?
At the beginning of blouse -- it was definitely the vintage that brought Jane and I together -- but quickly, we realized that our best blouse days were the day long photo shoots -- Jane, as the epitome of the everyday girl and myself, as the wannabe fashion photographer. We travel all over for blouse's shoots -- hauling suitcases of vintage clothes and once in a while, a few extra, willing, everyday girl models. We sneak into football stadiums, take over diners after the lunch crowd leaves and spend some our favorite hours on the docks while the lobstermen pull in their boats. Between styling the looks, finding the location and getting that perfect shot, blouse loves a photo shoot.
Our hope is to inspire all the everyday girls out there with beautiful photographs of beautiful everyday girls wearing our vintage clothes ... doing the everyday things we love.
Do you have any fun, new or exciting things planned for The Blouse Shoppe this year?
We are planning on becoming more involved within out little city, Providence. We're hosting a clothing swap/champagne party, working with local designers and etsy shop owners to do a fashion show, and having a sidewalk shop all summer long where you can shop blouse in person! On the blog - we're going to start a little series called "In the closet with blouse" and start profiling some our our favorite everyday girls.
I always love Whistles, but this collection really has be rubbing my hands together greedily and wishing for a winning lottery ticket. I've never been one to wear much pink but paired with khaki or navy it doesn't look too intimidating. I'm going thrift shopping tomorrow and I'll definitely be keeping these images in mind while I'm digging through the racks.
photos by Tom b.
- Dandelion Wishes Dress courtesy of Modcloth
- H&M tights
- UO boots
- vintage wool coat
- vintage wool beret
- listening to: Rival Schools - Pedals "Wring it Out"
On a walk around the block this afternoon Tom and I did the following: stopped in random doorways to take photos (hi neighbors!), got to pet the friendliest husky ever that was chillin' outside his owner's shop, realized that just because daylight savings has started doesn't mean it's warm outside.
This week's photography spotlight comes in the form of August Sander. You may recognize that name as the other photographer that The Sartorialist name checked as a source of his inspiration. I actually didn't realize that fact when I ran across these photos but when I figured it out, thought is was quite a coincidence since I posted about Mike Disfarmer just last week.
August Sander was a German portrait and documentary photographer in the early part of the 20th century. He traveled across small towns of Germany photographing people from all walks of life. His portraits were banned during Nazi rule because they did not adhere to the ideal Aryan type. His most well-known work is Man of the Twentieth Century a book that divides his subjects into seven groups: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City, and The Last People.
60s plaid day dress, capri pants & top, 60s chambray mini dress, 70s floral skirt, patchwork babydoll blouse
pleat collar blouse, heart print blouse, denim mini skirt, cropped stripe cardigan, 70s reversible wrap skirt
navy polka dot dress, 60s print blouse, 60s mini skirt & blouse, 50s print cardigan, 70s a-line skirt
70s print sundress, 60s chambray dress, silk polka dot blouse, navy pleat skirt, 60s plaid high waist shorts
Lacoste striped dress, 70s denim jumper, 50s pleated skirt, 70s high waisted jeans, pin-tuck knit top
- thrifted Gap sweater
- UO jeans
- 80s woven leather flats
- vintage Coach purse
Rather than the usual gussied up outfit post, I thought I'd do a casual going-thrifting sort of outfit. I'm not a big jeans-wearer but I do love how high waisted these are. The sweater is one I thrifted but is originally from the Gap. I also have it in black and white. They're the best soft wool!
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to deal with the hair-growing-out situation. My best defense these days is the messy side ponytail. I got the idea from this hair tutorial. I'm also trying out the one with three buns. I haven't quite gotten that one down yet. :)
Today I'm taking a little road trip to visit some thrift and vintage stores that I don't usually get to during the week. I've got my fingers crossed that I come home with lots of goodies for the Etsy shop. Speaking of the Etsy shop, I'll be adding 35 more spring pieces this week. Yay!
A few lacy bits and pieces I've picked up for this spring! The top row consists of three vintage camisoles that will all be paired with high waisted shorts and skirts. The bottom row shows three very different but equally lovely dresses; a 40s sheer lace dress, a 60s mini dress and a 70s gauze maxi dress.