Dapper Day at Disneyland!

I’m a Disneyland annual pass holder but this past weekend was my first ever Dapper Day! Dapper Day is an unofficial tradition where twice a year Disneygoers dress in their best, specifically in vintage fashions, to enjoy the park as the first fashionable guests did 60 years ago. The first day I went into the park and met some dapper people from Meetup! 
   
    
   
  

My dress is a 1940s vintage original bought at Wild Man Vintage in Lawrence, Kansas. Vintage scarf from my grandmother. Swing dance shoes from DanceStore.com and socks from the Disney store. 

Enjoying Disneyland and California Adventure in one of my cutest dresses was so fun, and I even waited ten minutes to get that picture with Dapper Mickey. I felt a little silly waiting in line to get a photo with a character – even though I am a full grown adult who goes to Disneyland at least twice a month. 🙂 

The next day brought even more fun at the Dapper Day classic car show and expo! 

   
  I loved this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air and the owner was nice enough to let us get in it. I felt like James Dean.    
Dress: 1940s vintage original from Cactus Flower in Bloomington, Indiana 

Shoes and parasol bought in China 

Vegan leather bag: Matt and Nat  
I didn’t buy these cool glasses at the expo but I thought I looked cute 🙂   
 

So in love with this bag. If I had $70 to spare, this would be mine. 
   
 

With my dapper girls! 
And more classic car porn:

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Dapper Day was a great time but I really do wish we could just live that way more often – wear our best clothes, feel beautiful, and take pride in our appearance. And man it was cool to carry a parasol without people giving me any weird looks. 

  
Until next year … 

The end of disco ruined American culture

I joked on Twitter the other day that a world that allowed disco to die is inherently evil. While “evil” might be a bit of a stretch, I really do believe that American culture (and not just American culture, but that’s the one I know best, being American) has suffered ever since disco’s demise in the early ’80s. Here are a couple things we know about disco:

1) It’s fun

2) It’s diverse.

Studio Portrait of the Village People

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Disco was created by people of all races, genders, and orientations. Women and men alike sang; blacks, whites, and Latinos danced in the same clubs. Women sang freely about their sexual desires. LGBT people not only found clubs they could dance in with each other, but also found mainstream success. I can’t think of a single popular band today as diverse as the Village People – both racially and based on sexual orientation. During the disco era, people really were hopeful that everything was getting better. Then Reagan and wolves of Wall Street came in, shat on everything, and set us back decades.

The “disco sucks” movement was tinged with homophobia and led to an era of rock music dominated by straight white men. Yes, I love KISS and Motley Crue, but get real – rock and roll since the ’80s has been almost exclusively the provenance of straight white men. The “disco sucks” movement told black and LGBT people and women to stop singing, stop dancing, stop having so much goddamned fun.

Ah yes, fun. Disco was all about fun. Clubs with extravagant light displays, musical groups that didn’t take themselves too seriously, costumes ranging from divine to ridiculous, and bold dancing were all mainstays of the ’70s disco movement. But then fun was frowned upon, and ironic detachment and a “too cool” attitude reigned supreme in American culture – and has ever since. Today, disco is derided as tacky and lame. Fashion has reached an all-time low point of creativity and color. Every man I know wears the same outfit, and almost nobody wears prints outside of your basic flannel. The “cool” music among my peers is still mopey indie rock (I guess? Sometimes I don’t know what people actually LIKE because disliking stuff is apparently cooler).

I love Nirvana, and yet I believe their influence has generally been harmful. The glamorization of depression and suicide is dangerous for impressionable teens and 20-somethings. The music you listen to DOES matter. When I was listening to a lot of Nirvana and The Mars Volta in high school, I started to realize that I became less happy, less social. A friend of mine who was extremely depressed in college was advised by her therapist to stop listening to Jeff Buckley. While I think there certainly is a time for sad music that you can identify with when you’re feeling low, there’s also a need for joyous music that helps you feel great. Dancing lifts your spirits. When you’re having a crummy day, put on a song that makes you want to move and 9 out of 10 times, you’ll feel better.

I’m dying to see a return to fun in America. I want to see America dance without derision, to dress differently without being labeled “tacky” or “trashy” (just classist terms invented by yuppies, anyhow). I’m sick of a culture that praises ironic detachment, where everyone’s in a battle for who can care less and the mark of coolness is is being the asshole in all black, sitting in the corner making fun of everyone dancing. Having fun is one of the greatest parts of being alive, and I’m gonna keep doing it – and looking great and dancing to disco ’til I die.

Summer Style

I’ve definitely been undergoing a style transformation lately. It’s weird how one day you can just wake up and be like eh, I don’t want to wear these clothes anymore. I still love my vintage clothes, and I’m keeping them, but at least right now I won’t be wearing them very often.

Right now, summer style means:

  • tanktops
  • shorts
  • sunglasses
  • flip-flops
  • printed shirts
  • friendship bracelets
  • minimal makeup
  • of course, tons of sunscreen

But anyway, let’s look at some cute outfits I’ve been wearing lately 🙂

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White tanktop with anchors on it from Pitaya and a headband from Claire’s.

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Heart sweatshirt from Victoria’s Secret. I love this sweatshirt so much.

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I love this outfit! Shirt is from American Eagle, shorts from Urban Outfitters.

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I saw this shirt at Target and thought 1) that’s the dumbest shirt ever 2) I neeeeeed it.

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Me being a cool lumberjack

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New sunglasses from Target!

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And finally, new summer hair. I am loving it. I think lighter hair might be more flattering on me than darker hair, even though I naturally have really dark hair. I just started really wanting to switch up my hair!

I know I haven’t been posting much for a while but I have some more posts ready! Next up will be a review of some natural beauty/hygiene products I’ve purchased recently.

Hope you’re having a great summer!

Un-Re-Inventing Myself

I’ve been thinking a lot about self re-invention lately. Madonna’s famous for it. Maybe you’ve tried it. And for me? It’s been a life-long burden. I always wanted to re-invent myself, become a better version of me. Every new school year was a chance to change how I dressed, how I acted, how everyone would see me. My motto was essentially “Maybe I’ll be this type of person now!” Going to college was a big chance for re-invention, which pretty much failed because I made no friends and college sucked. Moving to LA was my biggest chance for reinvention, which went terribly because my first year in LA sucked really hard and I just got super depressed and had a terrible eating disorder. Because here’s the thing I realized – I CAN’T BE A DIFFERENT PERSON. I try to be a different person and eventually that fails because of course it does. And then I feel like a failure. And I wallow in that shit for a while and then I try again.

I’m done. I am done reinventing myself. I don’t want to be a different type of person. I’m not going to be the type of person who wears size 0 pants or golfs or wears heels every day. I don’t wear all black or look like Sofia Vergara. I don’t wake up early, I’m not a minimalist, I’m not serious. I don’t want to be cooler or sexier or cuter than I really am. I want to be me. There are so many pictures of me where I don’t really see myself. Ones where I’m sulking and wearing a black hoodie, or I dyed my hair blonde, or I’m too skinny, or I’m covered in too much makeup. Or where I can tell that I was JUST FUCKING FAKING IT.

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This is me at my college graduation. I just don’t see ME here. I’m too skinny. I wasn’t happy.

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This is me dressing up for New Years Eve, going to a BIG HOLLYWOOD PARTY! I felt really fat. None of this is me. This sucks.

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I think I look pretty in this picture, but it doesn’t look like me.

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This doesn’t look like me, either. I look like I’m trying to be Salma Hayek. I’m not Salma Hayek.

Here are some pictures I love because I just see ME in them:

 

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And here’s me from today:

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I don’t necessarily know who I am yet. But I don’t want to try and figure out who I WANT to be, I want to find the things that were good about me all along. Playing pretend is fun, but you have to have a self to come home to.

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: 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.

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?

Outfit Post: Sleek Black and White

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Silky button-down (70s) – Jet Rag
Pencil skirt – borrowed from my mom
Necklace – vintage, passed down from my grandmother

Also featuring my brand-new purchase, Coty L’Origan. I plan on doing a post on vintage perfume soon and I’ll tell you more about it then. So far, I’m in love. And I’ve gotten no complaints, which can be almost like a compliment when wearing perfume around my family.