Fashion Denial Spiral: Fight The Polar Vortex.

{ What up Polar Vortex. My name is Barbara Ellen. }

THE

fall

POLAR

rochester, ny

VORTEX

{ All of these things are taboo here in snow-central, Lake Ontario, upstate Rochester, NY. And yet all are incredibly palpable + anything anyone can ever talk about. … Lucky for me, I ♥ winter! (I do.) However. I do not ♥ when my fall fashion is disrupted by seasons that try + steal the spot-light before another season has ended. }

Whether you’re a season stubborn fashionista like me OR a weather despising winter wonder-nope (unlike me) … I have some tips + tricks for you. 

be a snow bunny 

with a fall coat

{literally}

  • Winter blues got you down … and it’s technically not even winter yet?
  • Hanging onto fall like the gold + orange + red leaves on the trees??

No need to let Polar Vortex dictate your fall fashion sense. { No need to let anyone or anything dictate your fashion sense. } Below is an info-fashion-graphic to show what I did to lay claim on the fall that is still here + that I still love!

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Yeah. We’re calling this an: infographic.

This is how you thwart winter + delay dragging out all of your winter clothes until you say when. (Read – locks on your car door freeze.)

Fashion Denial Spiral

Tips + Tricks

  1. Snow Coat – Trade it in for a super thick heavy sweater or a supped up fall jacket you already have out + about. { Canadian accent. }
  2. Winter Scarf – I love them. But it’s just not their time. Get extra miles from the pashy that { let’s be honest } you probably already wear every single season of the year, including summer.
  3. Snow Boots – No.  No need until there’s accumulation on the ground or unless you’re still addicted to Uggs. { Come on. } Warm-up the fall riding + combat boots with a super cute + super thick sock. Promise you feel cozy + cute + not controlled by winter weather.

where can you shop for all of these??

Great question! Here are my top picks.

  1. Super Thick Heavy Sweater – Vintage + Thrift! I purchased this one while thrifting with Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage. In fact, TTV has one in brown { I do believe }. I’ve also seen a ton of great items at Far Out Vintage on Monroe Ave. My top 3 are:
  2. Winter Pashy – Boutiques! Fahsye in the North Winton hood on Blossom + Winton along with Peppermint in the Park Ave hood on Park + Meigs are both known for their incredible selection of beautiful, classic, and unique scarves. Before you go anywhere else, I highly recommend both of these spots.
  3. Riding + Combat Boots – This place has a shoe room, so. Peppermint has to be the spot. With selections raging from knee-high riding boots to calf-level combat boots to fashionable + durable ankle booties … the question isn’t – Will I find something? – it’s – How do I choose just one?? Thing is, with prices generally always below $40 … you can buy more than 1! Love how that works.

insider tip

Each of the above stores + boutiques have prices comparable to–often lower than–your favorite store that … inconveniently doesn’t rhyme with any words { Co-Targe-ugh }.

#polarvortex

#shoplocal

#roc

XO.

Give {biscuits} + Get {$10}: Peppermint Fundraiser for Verona Street Animal Society!

{ Rescue Dog/Shop Keeper/Tanvi Pup Cooper sniffing some treats I brought by Peppermint! psst – he has the best hair. }

PEPPERMINT

{get $10}

GIVE + GET

{give dog treats}

VERONA STREET ANIMAL SOCIETY

{ I am extremely passionate about all of the causes represented here. Yesterday, I donated dog biscuits to Peppermint, who will donate to Verona Street Animal Society, + today I have to tell you all about it. So you can do it too! 4 Days left – You have until Sunday, 11/9. }

our furry friends need treats!

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Penny + Rocky.

♥ CAUSES

  1. Dogs + @vsas_ras – This society, the shelter, it’s volunteers, + the animals who they serve are a saint. Our pitty-pup Ms. MoneyPenny is a Verona Street dog! She’s a rescue who was a stray found wandering the turf of the Public Market in the freezing cold as just an itty bitty with a huge gash of a scare on her back. (Our other dog, Rocky, is from Lollypop.) My dad works across the street from Verona Street so it made sense we adopted from here.
  2. Fashion + @shoppeppermint – Affordable + Boutique. Trendy + Classic. International + Local. What more is there to say about Peppermint on the corner of Park + Meigs?? … Well actually, a lot. {See Below.}
  3. Shopping + #shoplocal Barbara Ellen Shops Local. ‘Nough said.
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$4 when you bring in doggy treats.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

  1. Buy your favorite dog treats
  2. Walk or drive to Peppermint
  3. Donate dog treats inside of Peppermint
  4. Get $10!
  5. Shop now + get $10 off your purchase OR Shop later + receive $10 as a gift certificate
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$8 when you bring in doggy treats!!

$10 full dollars is bank!
Unless you plan on spending over $50, it beats 20% off any day

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<$20 when you bring in doggy treats! {Burr. It’s getting cold.}

HERE’S HOW IT REALLY WORKS

Interested in something for you, gifts for another, or getting an early start on the holiday shopping?? Peppermint is your spot.

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$12 … when you bring in doggy treats.

  1. Unique. Quality. No one is going to have the jewelry, accessories, scarves, shoes, + clothing that Peppermint offers. Partially because much of the clothing Tanvi sells comes from her own Peppermint line that she designs! And almost all of the jewelry is locally made or handcrafted locally in other regions of the world.
  2. 1 For Me. 2 For You. Peppermint has everything you want, + an innumerable selection of jewelry, clothing styles, + accessories for your: best friend, mom, girlfriend, aunt, sister, grandmother. They even have letter press cards! And if I’m being really honest … it typically goes – 1 for you. 2 for me.
  3. Affordable. Selection. It’s absurd. Bracelets typically range form $12-16. Necklaces, $14-24. Rochester jewelry at $24. Blouses around $22+. I even found a cardigan wrap for $24!! What’s this mean for you???
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$12 with doggy treats!! {It’s true.}

you do the math

With prices this low + a deal this fabulous, your purchase can be as low as:

  • $2 for bracelets + earrings
  • $12 or $14 for beautiful blouses
  • $14 for rocking #ROC jewelry
  • $26 for solid boots
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$26 with doggy treats. {Must see new shoe room!}

HERE’S THE PLAN

  1. Buy some dog treats.
  2. Head to Peppermint before close on Sunday 11/9.
  3. Donate something good to the people + animals at VSAS.
  4. And get your shop on!
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$14 with doggy treats! {I bought it!}

{ and tell me what you bought! }

#shoplocal

#shoppeppermint

#vsas

XO.

Pre-Halloween.

{ I vant to suck your blood. – Finger Lakes Wine: Dr. Konstantin Frank Salmon Run Petit Noir. }

HAPPY

tips + tricks + treats

PRE-HALLOWEEN

{ Halloween is a magical holiday for so many reasons. Including the making of Hocus Pocus, which receives many a-mention on this blog. This year, the bewitching hour befalls a Friday. All will wake from the dead … and become the dead the next day, rest assured. Best part?? Halloween in Rochester – we still celebrate early! So grab your costumes + get yo’ freak on because this weekend proves to be wild. }

ghastly pre-Halloween gasts

WICKED WEEKEND CHOICES

  1. SPECTRAL CARNIVAL: Friday + Saturday. St. Joseph Park {“a piece of local history“}.
  • Family by day.
  • Freaky by night.
  • Incredible artists … follow The Yards on Instagram to get a taste + discover more.

#SpectralCarnival2

2. AL SIGL CENTER WALK ABOUT: Saturday. Eastview Mall.

3. FINGER LAKES RESTAURANT WEEK: Ends Sunday. 11 Finger Lakes Restaurants.

  • Lunch + Dinner Pre-Fixe Specials.
  • Local Food – celebrate the harvest!
  • Frighteningly delicious – a great way to try new cuisine at affordable prices … and an incredible excuse to see that Finger Lakes Fall Foliage + landscape!

4. DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS: Ends November 1. 1975 Gallery.

  • Coincide this exhibit ends on All Saints’ Day?? {I think not.}
  • Devilishly decadent does not begin to describe.
  • 666 or 60+? Like an incantation, the website says it best.

#devilsinthedetails

5. LUX LOUNGEOn Going. South Wedge – 666 South Ave.

  • Located at 666 South Ave. So. “Let your freak flag fly.”
  • Chillest outdoor scene in Roc – picnic tables + hammock, penis stool + ring toss, fire pit + once I roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on it … creepy lady in the window. {Just go.}
  • Incredible art. Last time I was there – Shawnee Hill was up. Just insane.

let’s all raise hell this weekend

Are you not as excited as I that this year, Halloween is a week-long celebration. It’s phantasmic.

#happyhalloween

#eatlocal

#candycorns

#drinklocal {not blood}

#artlocal

XO.

Two Weeks to Find the Perfect Halloween Costume!

{ Disgruntled House Wife – I was fake smoking that cigarette + real drinking the wine. DHWs often do. }

HALLOWEEN

tips + tricks + treats

COSTUMES

{ Below is a list of simple + creative + fun Halloween costumes I’ve worn from the past. And some twists I (or you) could take. I’ve also included resources – my favorite Halloween costume inspirations! }   

Unless you master-mind this thing – admit it. Who knows what they want to be yet for Halloween? Throwing something together in the last quarter + killing it is half the fun. I’m not even sure I’ll celebrate with a costume party this year, but rest assured, I have options. You never know when watching Hocus Pocus on your couch with a bowl of caramel popcorn invokes the spirit of Halloween … just for the spell of it.

Halloween is only 2 weeks away!! Now is the perfect time to: plan + prep, make or buy, try-on + wear all of the time … your perfect Halloween costume!! 

FROM THE GRAVE

1. Quail Man – Last Minute Super Hero. I threw this together day-of a few years ago when my other costume felt too un-costume-y. (I was a vintage pin-up – see below for tips!) I felt incredible. And it was super simple.

  • To Know – Only a very specific subset of a demographic will know, recognize, + honor who you are. Namely: 28-32 year olds. … What a great opportunity to disseminate the word on Doug Funnie + early ’90’s cartoons.
  • How To – Underwear over shorts | Red cape | Belt on head | Q cut-out on shirt. (Brown shorts + sweater vest are a bonus. I used swimming bottoms instead of undies.) … Wish I had a pic of this magnificence. I had a green sweater vest + my belt even stood-up!

2. Raggedy AnnThe Magic of Childhood. This was my senior year of college get-up + I rocked it 2 ways. 1 – Childlike (as pictured). 2 – Adult like (not as fun). It’s true … you can take Raggedy Ann to any number of extremes. Have fun with it!

  • From The Grave – If I resuscitated Raggedy Ann this year, I’d go Steam Punk! Gaunt face make-up, dark lips, and maybe some killer boots or heels.
  • How To – Cheeks + freckles | Doll clothing | Apron | Red yarn in hair. The last part may seem the most difficult but really, just buy some red yarn and tie strands throughout your hair. Best tip – I bought most components from a thrift shop!

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3. Disgruntled House WifeGirly + Ghoulish. Another last minute costume I threw together day-of 2 years ago. This is a costume that can be done so many ways using simple items you probably already have laying around the house.

  • Go Period – Every decade works because … every decade has DHWs. To make this costume pop, hone-in on 1 specific decade or era + focus the details on that.
  • How To – Hose | Heels | Apron | Gory make-up. The make-up really drives this one home. It’s Halloween, guys, so you can get gory. The main thing here is NOT to disrespect or misrepresent spousal abuse. Draw the line. If you can’t, stay away.

4. Vintage Pin-Up So Much Fun. Incredible excuse to wear all your favorite make-up all at once + all of your favorite costume-y dress-up clothes. … And to try your favorite vintage hair styles!

  • Be Aware – Both vintage and pin-up are back – you run the risk of feeling like any normal day, or worse … that you’re trying to hard on any normal day. That’s what happened to me a few years back, zoinks!
  • How To – Red lip | Vintage hair | Sturdy heel | Exaggerated clothing. All of these fit into my normal repertoire, especially the first 3. Exaggerated clothing means you include all components–i.e. heels, hose, dress, bag, gloves, hat–and/or you go true-blue vintage, at least on the dress. Vintage-like styles can work. But nothing beats the real deal. (See below for 2 shops!)

5. InstagramSee What I Did There. Yes. I incorporated pop culture + pop media into my costume … and took it to a meta-level by taking Insta’s! I suppose there’s another level of meta in using cardboard + Sharpie’s to recreate technology.

  • Don’t Filter the Details –  Everyone knows what Instagram is these days! Don’t be caught with the majority not knowing what you are. Focus-in on precise details.
  • How To – Instagram logo | Black clothing | Sharpies or paint. The silver Sharpie really made things pop, so get your hand on metallics if you can. This costume can be built in so many different ways, and it’s pretty easy. My interpretation is one of the simplest. The most difficult part was printing out pics of a tree that I took in all the different filters + getting them onto a belt.

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INSPIRATIONS

Costumes

1. What I Wore – Jessica Quirk hand makes a mean costume. You’ll be stunned.

2. BuzzFeed – How Tos, lists, videos, + even costumes for pets.

Vintage Clothing

1. Treasure Trove Vintage – Incredible period everything: coats, dresses, heels, bags, hats, gloves, blouses, skirts.

2. Far Out Vintage – Fun vintage + also a huge selection.

Hair + Make Up

1. The Beauty Department – Great for everyday + for costume-y tips.

Whatever you do this Halloween, I hope it’s full of mischief + merriment and tricks, + treats! … (And at least 1 viewing of Hocus Pocus.)

#happyhalloween

#hocuspocus

XO.

The (Skeleton) Key to Shopping Local.

SSSHH

MAKE-UP | JEWELRY | VINTAGE

IT’ A SECRET … {TELL EVERYONE}.

{ Changes ahead: I’ve focused mostly on feature posts. I’m adding more routine to the mix! Beginning of Week – Lifestyle. Mid Week – #ShopLocal Tips + Tricks (like this guy). End of Week – Wrap-Up (like the Week Wrap-Ups + Around Towns from before). Send me some love + let me know what you’d like to see!! ♥ }

ABUNDANCE COOPERATIVE MARKET | PEPPERMINT | MACHINATOR CHAOS 

TREASURE TROVE VINTAGE

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Today’s #ootd: 1980’s bouclé sweater – Treasure Trove Vintage. Handcrafted necklace – Machinator Chaos.

There are 3 undeniable best-case scenarios when shopping

  1. Sale
  2. Everything Fits
  3. Shopping Finds You

Over the past 2 weeks, all three happened to me. And that’s exactly where I’ll start – #3. That’s what this post is dedicated to: The (Skeleton) Key to Shopping. Keying yourself in to the very spots + circumstances that make shopping feel:

  • fit
  • fun
  • and flawless

your skeleton key awaits

NATURAL FOODS MARKET – It’s not just the food.

I love shopping Abundance Cooperative Market. It’s on Marshall St, near downtown, just off Monroe, and it’s: Quiet. Uncrowded. Local/Organic/IPM/Non-GMO/Fair Trade. Delicious. … Plus, they have a beauty isle. I strongly encourage all of you to buy:

and

  • Make-up! Abundance is where I bought this Mineral Fusion lip balm. Only $9.99 {well-priced compared to its competitors} + friendlier to the face.

{ Bonus: It’s the perfect dewey-pink to give me that – Oh, I just woke up like this – look. }

 

TRUNK SHOWS – They’re not just for connoisseurs. 

Stepping inside Peppermint is like going to the cool kids’ party. You belong. Peppermint on Park + Meigs rivals any boutique I’ve ever been in (which includes: Davos, Switzerland; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and those along Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain.) Owner Tanvi Asher:

More?? … Decor rivals the racks. Tanvi is an:

  • entrepreneur, designer, and seamstress {think Asher Bridal}
  • who creates artistically renowned window displays and interior store decor.

{ She a lady boss. }

She also hosts Trunk Shows for artists like Machinator Chaos. Meet your favorite artist face-to-face + sip on wine or champagne and snack on treats. Aside from having the opportunity to buy this incredibly well-priced handcrafted industrial necklace from Machinator Chaos and meet its maker (who is another young Barb!), I love Trunk Shows. They are:

  • Affordable – quality, one-of-a-kind, well made, handcrafted art.
  • Unpretentious – who says class has to be an ass?? Not me. A Peppermint Trunk Show: vibe is always right.
  • Awesome – self-explanatory.
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Look at that craftsmanship! Handmade by Barb of Machinator Chaos. Purchased at Peppermint Trunk Show.

VINTAGE SHOP – You don’t have to be rich, a fashionista, … or a grandma.

Do yourself a favor and find your favorite vintage–or thrift–shop in town. If you’re from Rochester, NY, look no further: Treasure Trove Vintage. Convenient – it’s in the same building as Peppermint on Park + Meigs!

{ Pssst – Everything is well-priced. Sweaters range from $15 – $20 pops a piece. Coats are a steal! Get your winter-on, now. }

At this point, a good 75% of my working wardrobe hails from TTV. Day dresses, party dresses; sweaters, skirts; casual wear, work wear; shoes, bags. I could go on. Why do I find Treasure Trove irresistible?

  • On Trend – Morgan, owner, has that eye. Every single time I’m in that shop, I find exactly what I’m swooning over. At Treasure Trove Vintage, it exists.
  • Quality – Morgan is a pro. All pieces are in premium shape. Combine that with the tendency for older clothing to be made better, anyway, and … you will own this piece for another 20 years.
  • Fit – It fits. All of it. I’m not talking miracles. (An XS still does not fit me.) I mean decades. Be it ’50’s waists, ’60’s hemlines, ’70’s styles, or ’80’s cuts … clothing from Treasure Trove Vintage fits, really well.
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The iron broke… 1990’s pencil skirt – Treasure Trove Vintage. Picture doesn’t do it justice.

I’ll be honest

I didn’t mean to shop the past 2 weeks. Shopping found me. Quality, Unique, Affordable, Handcrafted, Good for Me + Good for my Community shopping.

{ Psst. – For all my #ShopLocal finds … Follow me @babsiell on Instagram. }

I love when that happens. … Now go find your Skeleton Key.

#shoplocal

XO.