Looks. Laughs. Local. Friday ‘Fessional: Fashion Week of Rochester … And I’m Still a Vintage School Marm.

Boutique Crawl. I’ve no clue how I missed signing up for Thursday’s romp ’round Rochester to tons of our incredibly unique, fashionably fab, on-trend chic, luxuriously local boutiques … but I did. Yet, between 4:30pm, when I exited work, and 6:30pm, when I arrived in West Irondequoit for some volunteer work, I managed to sneak-a-peek at what will become one of my most favorite fashion boutiques ever.

Roc Biz at its Best.
Peppermint Grab Bag: Cute Bag. Tribal Bracelets. Subculture Mag.
Fresh woman’s apparel. Local artisans’/designers’ goods.

Off of Park. 
Literally down the street from me. 
Opened in April. 
Between the vintage dresses, artsy jewels, & funky twists on classic purses, alone, this shop is a sweeter staple than the refreshing candy for which it’s named. So Shop ya soon Peppermint … like every single Tuesday when Peppermint offers 15% — FIFTEEN PERCENT — off of all — ALL — merch, even if it’s on-sale. Did we register this??? Even if it’s on-sale. Like on Facebook. Follow on Instagram. …Who said Fashonista Fab breaks the bank?
* * *
And now. 
Why I’ve gathered you all here, today.

Forgive me fashionistas, for I have sinned. Not so much with the outfit–I did pretty good considering the below outlined constraints–but morally, with the attitude. As noted, on Thursday, I had to strake a balance between work-play-volunteer. Yes, technically I could have changed in between the 1st and 2nd innings, but where’s the fun in that?? When I have an outfit challenge, I like to face it head-on & find the perfect solution considering all constraints. Accordingly, Thursday’s ensemb had to meet the following criteria:

 Criteria                                                           Clothing                                                             Check

1. Comfort                          *                     Banana Sloan Crop in Black                    *                     
2. Chic                                 *                    Banana Sloan Crop in Black                     *                     
3. Professional                    *                    HM Beaded Cream Cardi                          *                     
4. Fun                                 *                    Gap Dark Denim Button-Up                       *                     


Funny thing is, while this ensemb certainly met all of the above criteria, and while I certainly felt professional & on-trend at work & chic & comfortable while volunteering, I felt, well … like a Vintage School Marm while Shopping Peppermint
Not the Confession.
Also not the Confession.
Vintage ’40’s Style Shorts on sale for $10!!

Confession is that, I let it get to me. For one, Nicole, who–if I’m #vintageschoolmarm (in all good senses of the term), she is #princess (in all better sense of the term)–in her tall, studded, brown suede boots, and luxe, leather, Coach looked incredibly casually trendy with perfect, glossy lips and even glossier, long black waves–(Am I being creepy-descriptive? Good.)–killed. For two, my pits felt sweaty, my once dark denim button-up was covered in fur from my then-demure cream cardigan, and I still donned the frames. It’s not that I looked bad. It’s that my outfit had turned stale. (Good thing Peppermints don’t go stale…)


Long story short, in my self-conscious, #vintageschoolmarm mind, the gorgeous, funky, chicly fashionista owner who checked-out our purchases, handed a discount scan card to Nicole & not to moi. Obv b/c Nicole looked way cuter and me, way 40. So. Standing up for myself, I asked for 1. Twice. As in, the 1st time I asked, both Nicole & the owner just kind of stared, an–Ah. It’s not the discount. It’s a scan code that brings you to our Facebook. Which you just said you already found.–mouth agape. The second time, when I repeated myself verbatim which is always the best way to clarify yourself…, the owner spelled it out for me. Nicely. No condescension. I got the point. Namely: Card is not the discount. Liking on Facebook is.

The Confession.
Sometimes (lots of the times), I am a self-conscious, awkward, weirdo. Who buys culottes. Which is the only good part of this. Forgive me, fellow shoppers, for I have been awk. 
* * *
I saw. I shopped
I liked. I blogged.

Looks. Fall Fashion Favorites 2012.

Fall Fashion Favorites 2012.
(Inspired by this post from Fashion Style Advice.)
Alright fashionistas. It’s all about texture. Leather. Wool. Silk. Chains. And it’s all about shape. Boxy. Skinny. Structured. Sleek. So heat up some cider. Snuggle into that blanky. Pretend like it’s raining (unless it is). Visualize a few multi-colored pumpkins: coral, white, gray, & navy. (Why not.) And let’s fall into some fashion.

Fall Fashion Favorites.
Fall into the Mix.

Saturday Night.
Outfit from Fall Fashion Favorites selections.


Casual & cute.
Stretch cottons. Slimming stripes. Co-ed chic.
Back: Long-Sleeved Cream. Wool with Side Zipper. Sweat Shirt.
Front: Favorite Gray V. Pouf Sleeve. Breton. All Three.


1. Shop at Big-Lots?? And find a gray V-neck T that keeps it shapes after multiple wears. (Febreze.) … That Gray T? A Momsly find from Big Lots. (I know!) It is my most favorite, most chic, most versatile piece in my entire wardrobe. To work with a black pant. Fav bar with a high waisted black skirt. Brunch with some blue skinnies. …You get it. 
2. I even wore the red sweatshirt-like (AE) long-sleeved shirt to work on casual Friday. It required a sophisticated cropped black pant (see below) & some pearl earrings. But this sucker I’ve had since senior year of high school, so. That’s staying, power. 
Rolled cuffs. Skinny silhouette. Denim, blue, & grays.
Clockwise Left: Denim skinny, ankle length with roll.
Gray LOFT stretch,  tight skinny cropped. Blue HM denim, relaxed skinny cropped with roll. All three.
1. Jeans too long? Roll them.
2. Don’t be afraid of a skinny jean that fits tightly to the skin. (Coming from a gal who has cankles… .) The less material at the ankle, the better. Creates a lean, slimming line. 
3. Pick something with a good amount of stretch, & walk-it-out.
Patterns. Luxe. Structure. Lace & Plaid. Sheer. Classic.
Dresses with waists, ruffles, cut-outs, & florals.
Sweaters that are over-sized but offer structure
Middle: Blazers with stretch, elbow pads, & sleeves that roll.
Bottom: Blouses with accents, surprising lines, & monochrome.
Shells to lay gracefully over your skin, that can stand alone.
1. Try something new. (Like a cut-out dress… .) 
2. Work with bold patterns, especially when they’re color-blocked by a neutral. You’ll be surprised how much of a staple, season after season, a piece like the gray-paisley Anthropologie dress becomes. Especially because it holds the classic shape of a sheath dress.
3. Find a quality blazer. Now. (Bend your arms a few times when trying on to make sure shoulders feel comfortable. If they do not. Put it back. Move on.) You will wear it almost everyday & probably out at night, as well.
4. Plaid. Do it. Lace. Wear it.
5. Sheer blouses. Go go go. Even if you don’t wear it to work (or yet), you will wear it out. Also, find a blouse with a varied neckline. Move away from the collar and the plain ole’ V. Get inspired by vintage lines & looks.
6. Invest in shells. Tanks. What have you. Not just season after season, but year after year, you will use these in your wardrobe in infinitesimal ways.
Cropped hem. Trousered denim.
Clockwise from Left:
Cropped black stretch pant.
Cropped, cuffed tweed pant. Denim trouser-style flare pant.
1. Try a cropped pant. Nothing’s sexier, & yet more demure, than a heel, an ankle peeking out, and a tweed that hits just above. (There’s a reason these ankle-things were banned from public viewings at one point.)
2. Buy the Banana Sloan in black. (Most amazing pair of pants that I own. Look good no matter how I’m feeling or if I’ve gained weight. They are magic. Black magic. I don’t care how much they cost. Buy!)

3. Slim silhouettes are in, yes. But if it’s denim, and it’s creased, think about a flare. Thank you ’40’s.

Is that a culot?
Clockwise from Left: Pleated, patterned skirt with belt.
Pleated, high waisted skirt with pockets. Black culot with high waist and pockets. All three.
1. Patterns, pleats, & bobs. This Target skirt has it all, even pockets. (Even better.) In this pic, you can’t see the old-fashioned key pattern. And that’s good. When you have so many cutesy, fashion things going on, make sure that at least one of them is subtle.
2. Go school-girl. But make sure it’s quality shape & quality material. Look adult. Not cheap.
3. Buy a culot if it is on sale. Then wear it & notice how it does not rise up in between your thighs whenever you walk. So pair it with tights, get your ankle boot on. You don’t look like your Kindergarten teacher from the early ’90’s. You look hot. And sophisticated. And surprisingly comfortable.
Out-do yourself.
Boots. Bags & Pashs. Jackets. Jewels & Bobs.
Clockwise from Left: Riding boots. Ankle boots. Buckles & boots.
Leather bags. Vintage bags. Pashminas in neutrals. Trench coat & leather piece.
Turquoise, corals, chains, grandpa’ watches, pearls, & roses.

1. Buckles on boots. Dark leather-like riding. If anything.
2. Vintage bags. Leather bags (investment). Pashminas will never ever go out of style. (Leopard counts as neutral!)
3. If you see a Kenneth Cole trench on-sale post-season, you will buy it even if you think it’s above your budget. Because it will be the biggest investment piece of your life. And then, you will save it for future generations to come so you can somehow, someday bequeath it to your daughter, & she can then blog about the genuine ’70’s leather jacket she now owns.
4. Go to church sales. Buy the old lady jewels. You look good.

Dark skinny. True jegging.
Clockwise from Left: Both jeans. Only 2 I wear out.
Express Zelda skinny. Aero black jegging. (So worth it.)

1. If you’ve never, try Express jeans. (Work pants, too, while you’re at it!) They last forever. That pair on the left has seen some rough times & all it has to show for it? Tiny pin-hole in the knee like it’s a badge of honor.
2. Jegging. This post about the Fun. concert will show many of the same pieces here, arranged into outfits, & it will also define the varying types of jegging, if you will.

Keep cozy.

Cozy doesn’t have a time of day.
Top: Box ‘o’ socks for use with ‘jamas, & also quite chic atop a skinny to pad the riding boot.
Bottom: L.L. Bean wool slippers. Lifetime guarantee. I could sleep in these puppies. (Haven’t.  …Yet.)

1. Must-have knee-high socks. Trend started last year. Not going away this year. Or probably next. But goes beyond fashion. Also incredibly functional. Add sass to your step, yes, & warmth to your toes. Also easy transition into the pajama. I don’t hate that.
2. Buy these slippers. Ask for them for your birthday. Even if it’s in July. Your feet and your soul will thank you.


Looks. Laughs. Local. Friday ‘Fessionals. Dress I Wore Backwards.

Know when you see it on the rack & it’s love. You suddenly become someone who can afford things, slightly crazed; you rage it off the rack, & then try it on … backward? … Love is blind, no. So when you’re that taken by something that enthralling, & the zipper’s facing the way that you deem to be the forward-facing part of the rack …
Mustache Face.
I like to think this is especially confusing for men,
who want to be attracted by it. But then get distracted by the undeniable Mario piece.
Archimage . Vote for Best Gift Shop & Best Clothing Store & Best Geek-Friendly Business.
 #BestOfRochester #ROC #CityNews #37 #45 #56 .

is what happens
Devon’s 26th Birthday at Mex.
(She’s the hottie front & center with the killer smile & killer somethings else that can’t be seen.)
Left to Right: Anjolee, Matt, Me, Devon, Sean, Heather, Nicole, Shannon.

You completely overlook the incredibly obvious flaw in the logic you developed and the perspective you established. Because you just love it
that much. 

(Notice forward-facing-zipper close to clasped hands.)

* * *
So here’s my confession people. (Let me build up to it… .) Yes. I thought the dress was a true frontward-facing-zipper dress. All adorbs & hipster like. And yet … now that I scour ModCloth, not only can I not find 1 frontward-facing-zipper dress (is that even a fashion term) but, I find my “frontward-facing-zipper” dressfacing the right way. And it doesn’t even showcase the zipper. So yes. I admit it. I was blinded by the light of the zipper reflecting off of its exposed brass-like metal. And I was comically wrong.
But that’s not the confession.
The confession, my Babsiells (can I call you that … think I did it once before) is that, whilst preparing myself for an evening of laughter & bubbles, I saw the tag. The tag! The tell-tale sign that you got it facing the wrong way, baby. And you know what. You know what!? I ignored it. That’s right! I. Ignored. It. Because it felt right. Wearing the dress backward, just … felt … right. So I confess. There you have it. I wore a backward-facing-dress on purpose. Glad we had this talk.
* * *
Archimage sells the same
j’adorable dresses as ModCloth.
But Locally.
Vote & Shop.

Love. Bobs & Jars: Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim, Refurbish, Relove, Refabulous.

Sometimes you buy the lotion because it comes in a really nice glass jar. Or because it’s housed in this huge tub that feels luxurious when you dip your fingers in and looks snug while sitting in your cabinet. I mean, when so many of the same products make the same promises with negligible differences, why not go off packaging? That’s what you’re paying for. …

So why not reuse the packaging.
Silver bells & Cockleshells.
Promise you won’t feel contrary toward these 8 ideas.

In this post, I show you 8 ways to use 2 different everyday packaging products to make your life simpler &, well, more creativeAnd, of course, to make our Earth healthier.

Rules of Thumb?

1. When you find a glass jar. Particularly a glass tub. Keep it. Only good can come. If–if–you’re going to toss it. Toss it into the recycling bin.
2. Not sure if you’re on Pinterest. (…Still locked out.) But if you haven’t noticed, Mason Jars–and all things resembling–are in. In in in. They will always be in. Or if not in, at least useful. Save your glass jars, people. Save them.
3. Cosmetics packaging? Hm. Expensive. And ah. Beautiful. Why waste? You can definitely work it. Believe.

Recycle. Reuse. Refabulous.
Back Row:
St. Ive’s Collagen Elastin Facial Lotion: Tub. Wegman’s Organic Salsa: Glass Jar.
Front Row: Aldi’s Lacura Face Cream: Glass Jar. Sephora Instant Moisturizer:
Glass Jar. Vichy Night Cream: Glass Jar.

How to Use?

1. Glass Jars:

If it’s Mason-like: Bevis. Teas, Cognacs, Wines, Water. It’s sand & heat & retail’s naturally made tumblr all for us to enjoy. Second thought: candles. Stick one in & burn it down. Candles. Third: flowers. Center piece, done.

If it’s jar-like: Homemade body scrubs. You will see above, in the Lacura brand (love it!) tub, I concocted a brown-sugar body scrub. Completely edible. Great for rough lips. Super simple to make. (Find the recipe I use here at The Beauty Department.) My fav way to use is on tender legs right after a shave. The brown sugar is gentle enough to remove any lingering skin bits & the Extra Virgin, extra moisturizing. Plus, when it’s glass, it looks especially elegant perched on the shower shelf.

I also like to keep a spot of EVOO in my Sephora jar. Right bedside the bedstand. Paired with a Q-tip & nothing more, this once empty jar becomes my nighttime solution to dried & cracked & ripped cuticles. I beg you to find a less expensive & more effective solution than this.

Mini-glass jars: Travel. Trust. So long as the packaging uses thicker glass–which it will; no company wants their goods breaking or cracking during shipping & stocking–and so long as it’s not too heavy, use it to pack. My micro-mini Vichy jar is a great travel token for jewelry, like earrings, and even vitamins when I have 0 room in space and weight for a clunky container. Just be sure of 1 thing: if it originally packaged lotion, wash it right before traveling with anything else. 

If it’s Food-like: Other food. The Wegman’s jar above is a great example of both Mason-like and, well, Food-like. If I don’t want to drink out of this, I can absolutely store pasta sauce in it. The heat won’t affect its constitution. And the lid will secure tightly. Presto!

2. Plastic:

Large, Medium, or Small: Body scrubs, of course. These things were made for oils & bits of granulated scrubbies. Just rinse well between each use.

Travel: Jewels, jewels, & more jewels. Especially with a hefty tub that many of the St. Ive’s lotions & scrubs come in. From chunky bracelets to chained necklaces to dainty earrings. These tubs not only help you travel, but also, they help you accessorize in that packed/not-quite-so-packed stage.

* * *
Aside from being cute & trendy & creative. You should reuse these bobs & jars because, well, why not? Resourcefulness is so underrated these days. Not only will you save some money in buying totes or plastic bags or luggage accessories. But perhaps most importantly, you really will save our natural resources from being depleted. That can only be ridiculously good. If anything.
* * *
(send me pics
of your own