outfit of the [yester]day: cute + cephalopoda

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Hey, remember last summer when I felt an undeniable urge to re-curate my outfit photo wall? I loved that marine-themed wall art, but like any museum professional, I also know that you can’t display works on paper for too long without risking damage from the sun and other elements. Consequently, those free printables–I mean, works of art–have returned to my obviously high-security storage facility, and I’ve reinstalled a selection of early modern natural history illustrations of cephalopods, odd deep-sea fish, and phytoplankton.

Then I happened to find this vintage dropped-waist dress in a quaint secondhand store in Pennsylvania, and its cheerful pastel tones nearly perfectly match the faded hues of my new squid-themed mini exhibition. I–alas!–do not currently own a squid pin, but my second (!) mousemoth pin by Minnow & Moss, this version in green and yellow, complements this dress excellently.

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where we’re going, we don’t need roads

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Jennifer isn’t exactly my favorite Back to the Future character (that dubious honor goes to George McFly), but as my flirtation with 80s fashion continues, I’ve found her style pretty exciting to emulate! Here’s hoping no one will leave me sleeping on a porch while they return to the time period of their choice.

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Jennifer’s original vest (or is it just a sleeveless denim shirt? WHO KNOWS, EIGHTIES FASHION) is a little too oversized for my tastes–I made mine by cropping a girls’-size-large denim jacket from the Goodwill. My latticed picnic-basket-style skirt is also a thrifting find from a few years ago: who would’ve thought it might fit into a retro look like this one?

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Time-Traveling Review: Nishe Dress

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Could there be anything more futile than reviewing a dress that isn’t even sold anymore?

Luckily, that’s a strictly rhetorical question, and I will neither answer it nor obey its intimations. I bought this gorgeous secondhand dress by Nishe through a fellow blogger’s closet sale a little while ago, and am now wishing like crazy that I had snapped a few of them up when they were released several years ago.

Consequently, my words of praise for this dress won’t exactly be that useful for your future purchasing plans; on the other hand, time travelers who can pop back to 2010 are welcome to enjoy this review!

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Room Tour: The Little Things

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By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with some staples of my room–my comforter and my ivory desk and vanity, for example, are essential backdrops for my incoming mail shots. I’ve even featured smaller installations from my little hideaway, like my cabinet of curiosities and my letter-writing workspace.

My room is constantly changing, and although I have some bigger projects in mind for the future (the most major? A full restoration makeover for my vanity table and desk!), I wanted to show off some of the smaller decor essentials that I’ve acquired after years of thrifting and garage-sale-seeking. With some patience and creativity, you can make any space look dreamy and romantic on a budget!

Pictured above: I use “orphaned teacups” (this one was fifty cents since the rest of its set was missing!) to hold jewelry and other curios. I also nurture a growing colony of indoor plants: the quickest way to give a room an overgrown, fairy-tale atmosphere!

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Outfit of the (Yester)day: A Love Letter to Pink & Lace

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There’s nothing like that moment when you first meet your fashion true love–and I make no attempt to hide the fact that my two wardrobe beloveds are pastel colors and dainty lace. Because of its beautiful blending of the two, I am relatively certain that this magical dress is not from our Earth, but rather emerged from some alternative Wes Anderson-y dimension, where twee clothes conceal hard truths about living. Or something.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, to be honest: I’m just so distracted by my great passion for this little fit-and-flare. Can someone please just invite me to a winter tea party already?

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Thanks a Vermillion!

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Red has a complex and fascinating past–as a valued commodity, a treasured signifier of wealth, a color of power and prestige. One of my favorite books that tells such scarlet stories is Amy Butler Greenfield’s A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of DesireIn particular, Butler traces the trade history of cochineal, one of the most coveted “New World” substances discovered after European contact with the Americas: all due to its ability to create a vivid red dye.

Luckily, the red that has appeared in my life recently has little to do with empire-building or early modern trade. A pepper plant beginning a vivid transformation and the arrival of my Coach Tour Dress in Rouge from Modcloth has made this a red morning indeed (though I’m glad there was no red sun involved, Legolas).

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The World on a Dress

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Words can only begin to express how much I love the opening credits from Castle in the Sky, everyone’s favorite 80s pastoral steampunk delight (that has aged amazingly well!). A sepia-toned sequence of what appears to be illustrations from some printed manuscript, or travelogue, or old children’s book…all telling the story of Laputa’s past and grounding us in Miyazaki’s world before the adventure truly begins.

So imagine how pleased I was to find a dress that mimicked those credits’ exact aesthetic during a thrifting quest today! Continue reading