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.

This is Why We Thrift.

{ PHOTO – Don’t mind me neck pillow. }

THIS IS WHY …

THE LOOK | OVER 90% OFF | THE GIVE

WE THRIFT.

Morgan Delapa - owner of Treasure Trove Vintage.

Morgan Delapa – owner of Treasure Trove Vintage.

{ RECAP: This week I went thrift shopping with Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage, and her mama, Honey, photographer + owner of DeLapa Photography. They showed me the ropes + shared < most > of their trade secrets. (I still don’t know how Morgan finds her incredible vintage pieces, and that’s exactly why she has a boutique!) While I won’t “thrift + tell” the secrets they did divulge, this post shares 2 thrifty sources + 3 reasons to thrift on your own. The loot I cashed-in on??? Less than $35. Take a look! }

thrift-ventory

  • 2 sweatshirts
  • 1 chunky sweater coat
  • 1 sunflower cropped tank
  • 1 suede, satin, embellished vest
  • 1 romper (Forever21)
  • 1 skirt, tags-still-on (Zara)
  • 2 pairs of flats (1 brand name, 1 designer couture)
Cropped Sweatshirt.

Cropped Sweatshirt.

get your thrift on: this is why we thrift

  1. On Trend. I’m more a classics girl, myself. But when I find super trendy items for less than $5, I am about that single-season-wear. I want it. The on trend pieces from this thrifty trip??
    • cropped sweatshirt – wear it daily
    • suede + satin embellished vest – cannot wait to debut
    • sunflower cropped tank – welcome back ’90’s
    • romper – my 1st romp with ‘er
  2. Designer on a Dime. I don’t buy designer. I actually don’t care … and I can’t afford. But, when it’s designer for less than $50, let alone less than $5–well, that’s just smarts. And, it’s bragging rights:
    • $3, Zara beaded skirt, tags still on – $140 originally
    • $2.50, Joan & David couture, handmade in Italy leather loafers – $350+ estimated 
  3. Sustainability. Thrift shopping sustains 3 main stakes. When you thrift shop you:

I think we also thrift for the sheer excitement of finding exactly what we want for about 90% less than we normally pay. Some people thrift for the thrill + others, for the romance. Regardless, as you set fourth on your new thrift, take every single cue you can get from these 2 Rochester bloggers.

Handmade Joan & David Loafers. ... And my thighs.

Handmade Joan & David Loafers. … And my thighs.

 thrifty sources

Simply SarahFollow her on Instagram, Like her on Facebook, + Check out the website. Shit-you-not: once your jealousy over her insanely satiable finds subsides, you’ll remember to feel happy. Because this woman tells you what is up in the world of fashion thrifts + home finds.

The Treasure Trove. Okay! Rouse is up. You, too, can figure out < most > of Morgan’s secrets without accompanying her on a thrifting trip. Follow the blog, Double tap both Instagrams (personal and store), + Like Treasure Trove Vintage on Facebook, to … I hate to admit it … thwart my chances of buying up her entire boutique.

* * * 

And tell me, please … Why do you thrift??

#forthehellofit

#thrift

#shoplocal

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. }

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…I woke up like this? Mineral Fusion lip color – Abundance. 1980’s cardigan – Treasure Trove Vintage. Necklace – Machinator Chaos purchased at Peppermint Trunk Show.

 

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.

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.

Tips: 

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.
Tips: 
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.
Work-it.
Patterns. Luxe. Structure. Lace & Plaid. Sheer. Classic.
Top:
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.
Tips: 
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.
Tips:
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.
Tips:
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.

Tips:
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.)

Tips:
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.)

 Tips:
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.

xo.