Posts Tagged “nothing-new outfits”

Tuesday’s Calico Crazy

When I saw this dress, I knew I had to try it on. Since I’d never come across anything quite like it, I owed it to the thrift gods to give it a shot. To my shock, this became one of my favorite pieces of the entire week. I mean, what exactly is going on here? One part circus, one part artist’s studio, all parts nuts. All I know for sure is it’s a standout, and it was half price (originally marked $20, I got it for $10).

Nothing-New Insight #3
Fitting in is overrated. I spent a whole lot of my life trying to fit in and somehow be myself. JUST BE WHO YOU ARE. If you’re surrounding yourself with the right people, they’ll not only get it, they’ll support and appreciate it.

  • red and silver scarf - $1 Palm Desert Revivals
  • multi-colored dress - $10 Palm Springs Angel View Thrift
  • cowboy boots - $19 Moreno Valley Goodwill
  • TOTAL - $30

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Monday’s Art Teacher Chic

I’ve always had a secret thing for smocks and smock-like clothing because it seems like the exact thing my 1970’s-high-school-art-teacher alter-ego would have gone nuts over. This smockish jacket selected for the second day of my Week’s Worth of Undies Project is handmade from a kitschy floral fabric and sports adorably mismatched buttons. Underneath I’ve got a shear, pleated, bright yellow blouse with button details and red pleated slacks. The slacks were missing their button, and while I could have sewn another on, it turned out faster to simply add a skinny red belt with a majestic little pony.

Nothing-New Insight #2
Color is powerful. It’s almost physiologically impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re wearing bright red pants. If you’re happy, you’ll attract other happy people to you. When you’re surrounded by happy people, life gets pretty fun.

  • floral smock - $6 Moreno Valley Goodwill
  • yellow pleated blouse - $6 Moreno Valley Goodwill
  • multi-colored bracelets - $3 Palm Desert Revivals
  • red horse-buckle belt - $3 Moreno Valley Goodwill
  • red slacks - $3 Palm Desert As Good As New
  • cowboy boots - $19 Moreno Valley Goodwill
  • TOTAL - $40

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Sunday’s Shiny Tigress

Here’s what I wore to kick off TED Palm Springs Week’s Worth of Undies Project. I loved wearing this gold sequin skirt because so many wonderful people stopped me to comment on it!

For the TEDYou Talk I gave, I paired each day’s outfit with an important life lesson I wouldn’t have learned if not for this crazy nothing-new adventure I’ve embarked on. So here goes the first…

Nothing-New Insight #1
You do NOT have to spend a lot to look great. You can always look amazing for under $100, and you can almost always look amazing for under $50. At $55, this was my most expensive outfit of the week.

  • red jacket - $12 Palm Desert Revivals Thrift
  • red disk necklace - $2 Cathedral City Angel View Thrift
  • yellow and black blouse - $8 Palm Springs Angel View Thrift
  • sequin skirt - $10 Palm Desert Angel View Thrift
  • cowboy boots - $19 Moreno Valley Goodwill
  • TOTAL $55 with jacket, $43 without

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Week’s Worth of Undies

It seemed simple enough… I’ll go on a trip, and the only thing I’ll pack in a tiny suitcase is the underwear I’ll need. All other clothing will be procured at thrift stores once I arrive at my destination. I’ll wear it, photograph it and have a grand ole time with it, but then I’ve got to give it away, returning home with only my original undies.

But what ensued was awesomeness on a level I’m not even sure I’m capable of processing. Let’s just say, short of every person I love having landed next to me in a giant rainbow-colored hot air balloon, I don’t see how life could have gotten any better.

In Summary:
10 Thrift Stores + $275 + A Week in the California Desert + 600 Incredible Folks + 1 Three-Minute Talk = AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD!

I have to attribute much of the magic of the week to where I chose to carry out this project for the first time: TEDActive in Palm Springs. That’s a yearly gathering of more than 600 uniquely intense and beautiful people out in the California desert. We watch TED2011 as it’s simulcast from Long Beach, meet one another, go on field trips, swim, bike, eat, dance and have a generally amazing time. What made this TED truly special was that we (WORKSHOP) actually worked with TED to create the visual identity for this year’s conference, The Rediscovery of Wonder. So as we were walking about, we got to see our design on posters, guide books, signage, iPad apps and more.

The most exciting yet nerve-wracking part of the week was that I was selected to give a TEDYou Talk about the Undies Project. Yippie and yikes at the same time! It was a lot of work for me and Josh to get up at 6:30 every morning to take photos of the outfits before each day got started. Plus I agonized over the words, the slides, pretty much every aspect of the presentation; you name it, I second-guessed myself. But in the end, the Talk felt like a huge triumph! So many people showered me with love, and I started to realize for the first time that my outfit obsession and quest to be true to myself could actually inspire others, particularly those brave souls known as teenage girls. 

Giving TEDYou Talk
On stage at TEDActive! photo credit: Michael Brands / TED

Get ready, because I’m about to post the 7 outfits (plus the set of pajamas) I found to wear during this unforgettable week.

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Who Wants to Show This Dress a Good Time?

It’s finally here! Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m wrapping up this week of red and pink with a color blast from the past. I can only imagine the fun this dress has seen since it left the rack for the first time in what I’m going to guess was 1986.

But the fun doesn’t end here; this dress is about to hit the road! Proudly presenting Lucky So and So’s first ever (drumroll please)...

Closet Share

Do you have a special occasion, dance party or walk in the the park coming up that’s crying out for some pink ruffley goodness? Share your idea for the dress and become one of its next wearers!

Here’s how I think it will go down: I’ll chose three people whose ideas for the dress I like, and they will in turn send me their mailing addresses. I’ll send the dress to the first person on the list who will wear it, document it, dryclean it and then be responsible for shipping it to the next person on the list. Kind of like clothing chain mail… or Netflix for dresses? I’m really into collaborative consumption, and I’ve been searching for some way to creatively lessen my closet’s load. So let’s see how it goes! Ideas will be selected based on creativity and whimsy and may involve a guest judge. To be considered, submit your idea as a comment to this post by Thursday, February 17.

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The Weekender (in Red and Pink)

There was a lot to take care of in a weekend! Errands to run, work to catch up on, thrift stores, friends and art galleries to visit. For me, perfect weekend outfits mean comfort; shoes I can run in; plenty of pockets to stuff lip balm, receipts and cookies in; and color, lots and lots of color. This weekend’s color is in keeping with my theme for the week.

  • magenta cotton dress - $6 Manhattan’s 23rd Street Salvation Army
  • red tie belt - free (because vendor liked me!) Alameda Swap Meet
  • red cotton tights - $10 The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • heart-pattern Vans slip ons - $13 East Village Buffalo Exchange
  • maroon corduroy jacket - $20 Brooklyn Flea
  • TOTAL - $49 with jacket, $29 without

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French Pinky Friday

One of my favorite parts of our workspace is that on Fridays, my Studiomate Skylar brings in his French Bulldog, Pinky. She adds so much joy to the studio, finding patches of sunlight for her adorable naps, jumping from lap to lap, and entertaining us with her games of fetch (or as Pinky interprets it, keep away). Since this week’s theme is red and pink, it’s only appropriate that today’s outfit photos include cameos of Pinky.

  • red blazer - $5 Burlington Salvation Army
  • pink blouse - $3 Starkville Palmer Home Thrift
  • red belt - $2 Baltimore Salvation Army
  • high-waisted jeans - $18 Sideshow Clothing Co. of Hudson, NY
  • magenta Reebok high tops - $24 Etsy (seller Kasifoundthis)
  • TOTAL - $52

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Love Saves The Day Dress

I found this dress the day before the iconic East Village vintage toy and clothing store, Love Saves The Day, closed its doors for good. It was 75% off of $60, so I had to grab it, but until yesterday, I’d never actually worn it. I’m glad this week’s theme of red and pink finally provided the excuse I guess I needed, and now I’m addicted to swooshing around the studio in layers of crinoline and taffeta. This was a great dress for welcoming alumni and professors of the Mississippi State University Art Department to Studiomates for drinks. (In case you’re wondering, bourbon only increases the desire to swoosh.)

I miss Love Saves The Day, which I will go out on a limb to say is possibly the best name for a store… ever. I guess I’ll have to make a trip to its new location in, get this, New Hope, Pennsylvania.

  • pink wooden beads - can’t remember… from college
  • red cashmere cardigan - passed down from my friend Casson’s mom
  • pink and red print dress - $15 Love Saves The Day on 2nd Avenue
  • grey belt - $1 Starkville Salvation Army
  • grey heather burnout leggings - $20 Alternative Apparel (link below)
  • mauve Frye boots - $20 DUMBO Parent’s Association Stoop Sale
  • TOTAL - $56

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Tulips for Typekit

In keeping with this week’s theme of red and pink, I’m unveiling a brand new dress, found this weekend at the Brooklyn Flea. I was so excited to purchase this dress because while in theory I knew the tulip sleeve must exist, it is exceedingly rare. (I myself have never even seen a tulip sleeve in person.) I could barely contain my giddiness on the bus home from the Flea, and Creighton, goodness love him, actually acted just as excited. I guess it’s not hard to see why he’s the one for me.

Today deserves a very special dress because today is the first time an event (outside of Beer Friday) is being hosted in our Studiomates space! Two of my studiomates, Mandy Brown and Jason Santa Maria, are organizing a Typekit Talk with Tim Brown, and we’re expecting 75 attendees! Why wouldn’t I want to look my best?

  • pink satin ribbon barrette - borrowed from my friend Casson
  • pink beads - $2 Manhattan’s 23rd Street Salvation Army
  • red wrap dress - $30 Jelly Roll at Brooklyn Flea
  • purple tights - $10 The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • tan slouch cowboy boots - $48 Etsy (seller PureVintageClothing)
  • TOTAL - $90

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A Perfect Valentine’s “Costume”

I’m kicking off the Week of Red and Pink with this, the outfit I wore last year on Valentine’s Day. We celebrated by having dinner at our neighborhood favorite, Vinegar Hill House. As we waited for a table and drank fancy pants cocktails at the bar, a sweet older gentleman felt compelled to tell Creighton, “You’re a lucky man. Your date has the best costume in the whole place.”

That’s right… costume.

  • pink librarian’s sweater - $15 Jelly Roll at Brooklyn Flea
  • red cherries - $5 Alameda Swap Meet
  • plaid flannel skirt - $10 Jelly Roll at Brooklyn Flea
  • charcoal heather tights - $8 The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • brown peep-toe oxford pumps - $28 Etsy (seller PowBamBoom)
  • TOTAL - $66

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My Go-To Rainbow

If we’ve met, it’s likely you’ve seen me wear this dress. A favorite of mine for obvious reasons (hello rainbow stripes!), it’s extremely easy to wear due to its t-shirt-like top, elastic waist and full skirt. I love the buttons on the shoulder, the puff sleeves, and the fact that it leaves no direction of stripe stone unturned; it’s got vertical, horizontal and diagonal!

  • rainbow-stripe dress - $20, Jelly Roll at Brooklyn Flea
  • wooden beads - borrowed from Creighton, Maui Salvation Army
  • red tights - $10, The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • buckle pumps - $25, Alameda Swap Meet
  • TOTAL - $65

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Alex’s Karaoke Bachelorette Party

What’s my recipe for a ladies’ night out? 2 parts feminine + 2 parts trashy + 1 part cowgirl + 1 part crazy (hello, old lady sweater). Stir in a handful of show-tune lovin’ ladies and one adorable bride, and you’ve got the cocktail for a karaoke bachelorette party liable to knock you on your ass! Oh yeah, I was in a world of pain the next morning.

  • silk Dior blouse - $20 Brooklyn Flea
  • belt with rose buckle - $15 Zachary’s Smile on Greenwich Ave
  • ruffle mini skirt - $4 Buffalo Exchange
  • black fishnet tights - $10 The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • black cowboy boots - hand-me-down from my mom
  • short-sleeve sweater - $7 thrift store in Sarasota
  • TOTAL -  $49 without sweater, $56 with

Alex in her bachelorette veil

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Cherries Served Two Ways… What Should I Wear Tonight?

I’m riding a train on my way to a fabulous wedding in Baltimore, and I’ve got two nothing-new outfits burning a hole in my bag.

So what do you think… should it be Option 1: All That’s Fit And Print or Option 2: Peggy Sue With Cherries? Creighton usually helps me with these decisions, but he’s actually claiming to like them both! Leave a comment and let me know which way I should go. I’ll owe you!

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Peggy Sue With Cherries

The color and cut of this dress reminded me of Kathleen Turner’s in Peggy Sue Got Married. So I decided to watch the movie as I sewed in a red petticoat to give the dress more of a 1960s silhouette. I’d forgotten what a great movie Peggy Sue is! Of course the premise that a woman would create an outfit to look like one of her high school dresses and wear it to her 25th reunion is right up my alley.

  • blue matte taffeta dress - $28 Buffalo Exchange
  • red cherries - $5 Alameda Swap Meet
  • blue velvet ribbon - in my gift wrap drawer
  • nude fishnet tights - $10 The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • blue t-strap pumps - $40 Buffalo Exchange
  • TOTAL - $83 (more than I usually spend… but I had to have the shoes!)

Peggy Sue Shoes


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All That’s Fit And Print

What do I do when I’m slammed with work but need to find something to wear to a wedding? Well, this time I spent 40 minutes at Buffalo Exchange and another 15 at The Sock Man on St. Mark’s. In an hour, I ended up with two possible outfits and an irrational sense of accomplishment.

As a rainbow lover, I’d usually steer clear of a black and white number, but something about this bold print seemed to be screaming for a bright pair of tights. This dress originally came with a black belt, but what’s fun about that? I love, love, love that it has pockets. It’s made from brushed cotton, so it’s super comfortable and easy to wear.

I’m thrilled to acknowledge that the photographs for this outfit (and many more coming up) are the work of the ridiculously talented and overwhelmingly generous Erin Sparling. Erin is my hero.

  • black and white mini dress - $40 Buffalo Exchange
  • cherries - $5 Alameda Swap Meet
  • skinny red belt - $1 Starkville Palmer Home Thrift
  • yellow tights - $10 The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • black t-strap pumps - $2 Starkville Palmer Home Thrift
  • TOTAL - $58

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Foxy Mountaineer

As I asserted during my recent Hobby presentation: if it’s under $20 and it’s got an animal on it, it’s coming home with me.

I like my outfits to be functionally practical, so I cringed a little pairing shorts with a sweater… Are you hot or are you cold? Make up your mind already! But I like how this combo makes me look like I’m ready to traverse the Swiss Alps, and as far as I’m concerned, anything that reminds me of my friend SwissMiss is a good thing.

Don’t worry, Casson, I promise to label this one “rural wear only.” (Casson is my lovely friend who thinks it’s the height of silliness to wear shorts in the city. She’s also the drummer in my band.)

  • hat - Cha Cha’s House of Ill Repute, already in my closet (derby ‘09)
  • fox sweater - $10.00 Alameda Swap Meet
  • high-waisted shorts - $2.00 Starkville Palmer Home Thrift
  • walking boots - Frye, already in my closet (Ladies’ European Tour ‘08)
  • TOTAL - $12.00

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Working Girl

Around the fifth grade, I became enthralled by the concept of the high-powered female executive. My only real exposure came through movies, but I had an intense desire to tote a briefcase through a crowded crosswalk and take an elevator to my office where an assistant would be waiting to hand me messages. I’d stand in front of a packed conference table gesturing at a giant, upward-pointing fever chart, and this would ultimately result in applause from my fellow suit wearers, even the stodgy old guy who was skeptical a woman could hold her own in the boardroom. Of course, the whole fantasy was edited together montage-style in my head over a song about getting a leg up and not turning back. I didn’t really know what kind of work this meant I’d be doing, but I was clear it would garner two things I desperately wanted: respect and the opportunity to wear skirt suits and heels.

  • pleated blouse - $2.00 Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • skinny belt - $1.00 Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • checked linen skirt - $3.00 Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • peep-toe pumps - $2.00, Hush Puppies, Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • TOTAL - $8.00

Now that I’m a designer in Brooklyn and get to wear whatever I want, I can’t imagine a life that requires pantyhose. But it’s fun to play dress up when I can find everything at a thrift store for under $10.

And now, I’d like to take a second to honor the genius of Joan Cusack, starring opposite her hair and makeup, in this reality check from Working Girl...

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Pink Polka-Dot Pony

This reminds me of something Nanie (that’s my grandmother) would’ve had in her closet back in the day… the two of us share many traits, one of which is a love of polka dots. From the tag, I believe this top is actually pajamas, but I won’t tell anyone if you won’t. Somehow all of these lovely pinkish magentaish pieces were lying in wait for me at a single thrift shop in Columbus, Mississippi. And when I went to the shop down the road, the first thing I spotted was this stick horse (a.k.a. my new best friend) with coordinating pink hair. Perfection!

  • polka-dot, long-sleeve tee - $1.00, Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • belt - $1.00, Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • skirt - $3.00, Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • mary janes - $2.00, Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • stick horse - $.70, Columbus Salvation Army Thrift
  • TOTAL - $7.70 with stick horse, $7.00 without

If you’re a huge fan of the HBO series Bored To Death (set in Brooklyn!) like I am, then you’ll immediately know why I had to have this cute stick pony. For seventy cents, how could I not bring home my very own version of Janet? In case you’re not familiar, here’s a quick clip from the introduction of the “character” Janet to the show…

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Red Racer

I like to wear things that make me feel like I’m going fast. For example, I have a pair of metallic silver tennis shoes I call the Speed Cats, and I wear when I’ve got lots to accomplish. These pants go in that category. Maybe it’s that they’re red, or maybe it’s the smart racing stripe down the side. As soon as I put them on, I feel like sprinting out of my apartment, all the way down the street and into my office to kick some major design butt. HighYAH!

  • plaid button-down - $2.00, Starkville Palmer Home Thrift
  • striped scarf for belt - $1.00, Columbus Palmer Home Thrift
  • striped slacks - $2.00, Starkville Salvation Army Thrift
  • Chuck Taylors with red laces - already in my closet
  • TOTAL - $5.00