Outfit Post: Blue Beret Goes to The Monuments Men

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I took myself to see The Monuments Men at the movie theater at the Grove last night.

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Blue beret – Jet Rag vintage shop, LA

Olive sweater – my mom’s

Blue skirt – Etsy

Ankle boots – Target

Gold hoops – Target

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The movie theater itself is very pretty:

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There are a lot of beautiful theaters and Art Deco-era buildings in LA and I’ve been to tragically few of them.

When I got home I ate some spinach on my mom’s China, drank some Royal Tokaji out of my grandma’s Grand Marnier glass, and finished (yippee!) my book about Victorian interior design.20140210-150756.jpgMy thoughts on the Monuments Men – it’s not necessarily great filmmaking, but I still enjoyed it. The editing is a little weird and a lot of the movie feels like a trailer as opposed to a movie. I think the problem is it’s trying to be a lighthearted action drama with widespread appeal but it could have been a great movie if, like its subject matter, it aimed to be fine art. What’s great about the movie, though, is it is entertaining to watch, I learned about a group of people I knew nothing about, and I was reminded of the vital importance of our artistic cultural legacy. It’s really beautiful to see people who fought and died in the name of preserving the master works of Western civilization and it made me feel inspired to learn more about great works of art.

 

My Current Wish List: Home Decor Edition

I never really cared what my room looked like – as long as it was relatively clean, didn’t have a bug infestation, didn’t smell like garbage, and has some pictures of my family around, I was good. Lately as I’ve gotten more into fashion and making my life beautiful, I feel a greater need to surround myself with beauty in my own space. There are several items I’m just dying to buy right now and hopefully if I have some money left over after tax season (why are taxes such a bitch when I’m wellllll below the poverty line?), I will buy some of them. Or if I find same major bargains. Wish me luck?

1) An antique dressing screen.

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These are in general ridiculously expensive, but I’d really like one to block off my plastic drawers. I can’t afford an actual dresser so I have cheap plastic drawers from Target where I put my clothes that don’t need to be hung up. Instead of splurging on a dresser that would be heavy and hard to move, not to mention difficult to get into my small room, I’d love a screen to cordon off that part of my room. Also a dressing screen is just insanely glamorous.

2) A fringe Victorian lamp. If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love these.

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3) A victrola/phonograph/gramophone. Or a record player. This is more of a far-off wishlist item, most likely, because they’re expensive and I don’t NEED one.

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4) A vintage/antique/Victorian-style curtain.

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My room used to be a porch (right now you are like DANG GIRL, YOU ARE POOR, and you are absolutely right. I also have to walk through my roommate’s room to get to my room) so my door is a large sliding glass door currently covered with large pieces of construction paper (so classy), partially obscured by the giant German flag you have likely seen in the background of some of my outfit photos (I’m German. Not a Nazi. There’s a difference). I’d love to hang a beautiful curtain over my door to cover it up (not the flag. The ugly door. I’m into parentheses today).

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And I also want a satin pillowcase and a nice face towel, but those are boring.

Are you guys into interior decorating? Anything you’re currently wishing for?

Outfit Post: A Dapper Dame at CityWalk

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I took myself on a date to see Dallas Buyers’ Club at CityWalk yesterday – CityWalk is a giant, gaudy shopping center connected to Universal Studios, similar to Downtown Disney.

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Vintage-style hat: bought in Hong Kong
70s button-down: Jet Rag vintage shop in LA
Wide-leg pants: custom-made in Beijing
Vintage sunglasses: Wild Man vintage shop in Lawrence, KS
Red vegan bag: Matt and Nat

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Dallas Buyers’ Club was fantastic – I’d definitely recommend it. I thought it might be one of those Oscar movies that’s bleak and depressing but the performances are good, but it really wasn’t. It definitely was sad, and the performances were fantastic, but it wasn’t bleak. Some parts were funny, some parts were inspiring – it isn’t the story of a man dying of AIDs, it’s the story of a man who refuses to die quietly and accept the discrimination and the backwards FDA regulations systems of the late 80s. It’s an important and moving story and I’d definitely recommend it.

Outfit Post: Bomb Girl Goes to Six Flags

 

 

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This outfit makes me feel like a ’40s gal who’s pitching in to help the war effort. Like sure I’ll wear pants and a button-down… but it’s gotta be cute.

Shirt: Custom-made in China (I bought the vintage buttons on Etsy and put them on myself)

Jeans: Custom, bought on Etsy

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I realized I never smile in my pictures so I’m trying to prove that I do actually know how.

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On Sunday I went to Six Flags – that’s right, I have a season pass. You should, too. It’s SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS to ride sick-ass roller coasters ALL YEAR LONG!

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The Green Lantern ride – I love it but a friend of mine characterized it as “a series of jump kicks to the chest and balls.” So I guess you’ll have to make up your own mind.

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Riding roller coasters is definitely one of the #1 things I want to do with my life. Hit me up if you want to go to Magic Mountain, you can find me on the Superman ride, Tatsu, or complaining about having to put my things in a locker to go on X2.

Outfit Post: Lady Detective

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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries has been making me crave her silky, glamorous wardrobe. I’ve also been in a bit of a pants mood this week (which is CRAZY and very rare) so I tried to channel my inner lady detective with this outfit.

Silky 70s camisole – etsy
Silk 60s bed jacket – The Hidden Closet
Pinstripe black pants – custom-made in China
Unpictured shoes – red Minnetonka moccasins
Vintage necklace and earrings – from my grandmother
Hair clip – bought in China

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Love this barrette. Looks very 20s to me.

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Isn’t this a fantastic necklace? I wish I knew more about it.

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My plant and I.

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I don’t normally think I was born in the wrong era, but I feel it some days. I may not be a fashionable 1920s lady detective, but it sure was fun to dress like one for a day.

TV Shows for Vintage Lovers

TV can be fun! Just clean your room or do some squats while you watch it and it’s like you’re being productive. There are a surprising number of wonderful vintage-themed shows out there where you can get your fix of vintage clothes, classically handsome men with good hair, and gorgeous cars and houses. Oh yeah and plots and characters and stuff. Unfortunately a good many of these shows only lasted a season or two – because why watch well-crafted, gorgeous storytelling when you could watch Big Brother? (Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know, it would probably just depress me.)

Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

This show is kind of the hot bitch on the block right now, and if you’re a vintage fan you’ve probably already watched the first season on Netflix and obtained the second season in some underhanded way that you’ve justified to yourself as “not that illegal.” Don’t worry, I understand. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an Australian show set in the 20s, starring the glamorous, independent Phryne Fisher, who solves a new mystery every episode and usually kisses a new handsome man, as well. It’s a fun, light-hearted show (even though it’s about murder. But it’s mostly about fabulous Phryne, really), great for when you feel down in the dumps and need to watch a few episodes of beautiful distraction.

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Bomb Girls

This Canadian show features a large cast of young women working in a munitions factory in World War II. It’s also pretty light-hearted and cute, and there are tons of great 40s hairstyles and dresses to go around. There are some really great, complex female characters that show how difficult midcentury life could be for women who didn’t conform to societal expectations. Too bad it was canceled after two seasons! There are some cute boys, too.

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Downton Abbey

The first episode starts right after the sinking of the Titanic and now in the 4th season we’re well into the twenties. The set design is fantastic and especially the first two seasons are really well-done. It’s interesting to see a period of such change – from Downton getting electricity for the first time to the Great War and beyond, and all the ensuing cultural upheaval – and how different types of people react. I mostly watch it for the sets at this point though, if I’m being honest.

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Mad Men

One of the best shows in television history. The attention to detail and historical accuracy is fantastic, and the themes of American culture in the 60’s will be recognizable to anyone with grandparents. Or parents. Or who were adults back then. Times are changing, women and minorities are claiming their place in the business world, and midcentury formality slowly gives way to Free Love and psychedelic rock. It’s a fascinating period and Mad Men is the TV version of fine literature. Don’t think it’s boring, though – this shit gets cray. And oh yeah I love Joan. And Betty. And Pete (in a hate way). And Rachel Menken. Ok gotta go now

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The Bletchley Circle

There are only three episodes on Netflix (I suppose it’s like a mini-season? Idk, British TV is weird) but they are fantastic. I watched them all in a row, sucked in by the story and the characters. This show probably features the smartest people on television right now – a group of women who worked for Alan Turing’s Bletchley Park during World War II, cracking Nazi codes and staying one step ahead of the enemy. Now it’s years later and they’re all living mundane lives – until they band together and use their skills to catch a killer the police can’t track. I think there’s a second season of this, can’t wait.

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Titanic: Blood and Steel

The story of the Irish men and women who built Titanic at the same time as many struggled for freedom from British rule. As a Titanic enthusiast, I loved this show and I find her construction fascinating. Personally I could have done with more Titanic and less romantic drama, but, you know, it’s a TV show that people besides me are supposed to enjoy. Sadly canceled after one season. I’d really love to see a post-sinking show – delving into the investigations and cultural ramifications. Eh, one can dream.

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Foyle’s War

I just discovered this show (that’s been on for like ten years) on Netflix and I love it. Every episode shows Detective Foyle solving a mess of mysteries, which often put his patriotism to the test. Is it worth investigating the murder of a German citizen when Germany is bombing Britain? Do you probe into national secrets if they might be covering up local crime? This show isn’t as much about glamorous costumes and settings as much as most of the other shows on this list but it’s really interesting and well-done. In fact, I might go watch another episode right now.

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HONORABLE MENTION:

Boardwalk Empire: I’ve been meaning to watch it, but it’s not on Netflix instant so it just hasn’t happened. Someday.

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Land Girls: I watched the first couple episodes of this and it was OK, but people seem to really like it so I’m going to get back into it.

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Any that I’ve missed? I’d love recommendations I haven’t heard of!

Outfit Post: Amelia Earhart

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For once I actually felt the desire to wear pants! My, my. I feel like Amelia Earhart in this look.

White shirt: Owned since high school

High-waisted khakis: Custom-made in China

Vintage scarf: Gift from my grandma

NASA jacket: Bought at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Brown boots (unpictured): Target

I’d love to get some classic black shoes (men’s style) to wear with outfits like this. Or maybe just some saddle shoes.

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This was a surprise – I knew I got a free drink for my birthday at Starbucks for being a rewards member (sign up for free or put a gift card on your phone) but I had no idea that you could get ANYTHING YOU WANTED. I assumed it would just be a small regular coffee! I got a venti soy mocha frappuccino FOR FREE. I intended on saving some for the next day but ended up drinking it all and that was my dinner. I still went to bed at a reasonable hour, caffeine just doesn’t get to me. If you like Starbucks, you should definitely sign up for their rewards program!

My fancy vintage party!

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To celebrate my birthday I had a fancy party where everyone was instructed to dress up in clothes inspired by the 20th century. I thought that left plenty of leeway (my friends are not vintage enthusiasts) and most people did really well!

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I wore my great-grandmother’s top from the 50’s, a vintage black skirt, vintage clip-on chandelier earrings, and swing dance shoes.

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Here’s one of my friends sipping tea from a teacup and saucer out of my mom’s china set.

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Some of my guests! We had a greaser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy, and some good old-fashioned retro glamour.

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My new favorite picture of my old roommate and me – I think we look late 1800’s in composition and facial expression.

All in all, it was a really fun party. We had tea and coffee so the non-drinkers would have things to drink, and several types of wine for the drinkers. I made celery sticks with peanut butter in them, which surprisingly went like hot cakes. We used my mom’s wedding china, vintage wine glasses, and my great-grandmother’s 1920s silver (I had a lot of careful cleaning to do after the party was over). One beautiful vintage glass of my grandmother’s did get broken, which was really upsetting. But I’ve decided to use my nice things and the only way to keep them all unbroken is to put them in a cabinet and not touch them. And then what’s the point?