Little French Flea Market

Dress: thrifted (the tag says “14 years old, Made in Portugal.” So it’s meant for a 14-year-old Portuguese girl?)
Loafers: Payless thrifted, remixed
Tights: Kohl’s
Belt: thrifted
Coat (below): thrifted, remixed

I love flea markets. Unfortunately smaller ones are kinda tough to find in LA (the Rose Bowl one is huge.) So imagine how excited I was when I found the Little French Flea Market – not only it’s small, cute and full of vintage, shabby chic things that I love, but it’s also just a 10 minute bike ride away from my apartment. Of course I immediately made plans with my like-minded friends Katie and Debbi to meet up…

I only have that one outfit picture (taken by Debbi) because I was too busy taking pictures of the flea market myself. Check it:

Does this count as an outfit picture?

These tiny vases are so damn cute. I just don’t have anywhere to put them

I want this Monet umbrella so bad (he’s my favorite Impressionist.) Why oh why does it have to have a $125 price tag?

The place is full of pretty little flower arrangement like this

The must-have Nutella crepe

Katie found a cool vintage sequin top that makes her look like a mermaid:

And even though I’m still on the shopping ban, Debbi picked out this lovely blue vintage dress for me  (it’s very Mad Men, though more Megan than Joan.) But unfortunately I failed to, shall we say, sufficiently fill it out:

Yeah… no.

That doesn’t stop me from breaking my shopping ban though. My haul:

3 pieces of vintage lace/trim, 3 brooches, 1 pendant, 1 pair of clip-on earrings (I have something else in mind for them.) Total damage: I don’t want to talk about it.

I just couldn’t control myself. How could I, when there were these many pretty things around:

I’m Failing The Shopping Ban

Yes, I’m failing big time. This week I spent $20.50 on these:

Now I can justify the purchase all I want – I’ve been looking for a pair of close-toed wedges for a while now, and the belts are genuine leather, etc. – but there’s no avoiding the fact that I’ve spent 4 weeks’ worth of allowance. So it’s no more shopping in the next 4 weeks for me. I think I’ll have to go back to the rubber band therapy now…

Anyway, I have an exciting DIY project in store for those wedges, so stay tune!

Shopping Ban & Remix Update

Since I seem to be running out of material for the “Awkward and Awesome” feature, I’m moving the Shopping Ban update to Thursday for now.

This week, I spent $6 on a pair of shoes. I know I went over budget, but I’ll take the difference out of next week’s allowance, so it’s OK.

I’ve also decided to edit my 33×33 remix list a bit. I realized there were 2 pairs of shoes that I just couldn’t incorporate into my remix, so I took them out, added in this pair that I just bought and another top (which I’ve forgotten about.) So I still have 33 items, just less shoes and more tops:

As for the other two pairs of shoes, one has been returned to the store (the oxfords – they’re just too big for me), and the heels I’ve put away, to wait until I can wear heels without straps (me learning to wear heels is like learning how to ride a bike – I’m still in the “training wheels” phase :D)

Cat Lady

First order of business:

So I’ve made it through one week of my shopping ban. I found a pair of T-strap pumps and a striped cardigan at Goodwill but ended up not buying them because 1) I don’t like T-straps that much. I like ankle straps and Mary Jane’s, but not T-straps, and 2) The cardigan is almost exactly like my Forever21 cardigan, only with red stripes. I told myself I don’t need it.  And then I went right to the second-hand store next door (who put a Goodwill, a Buffalo Exchange and a Rewind Recycled Fashion store next to each other anyway?!) and spent my $5 on this:

I know, I know. I don’t need another shirt dress (a plaid one at that!), but it’s only $5.45! No? Not allowed? I should be ashamed of myself? OK. New rule: I can spend my allowance on accessories (jewelries, belts, maybe shoes. Maybe. But it has to be something I don’t own – like yellow flats or a pair of wedges) but not clothes. One exception: if I find the perfect mustard cardigan, I’m buying it. I’ve been looking for one since forever.

OK, on to today’s outfit:

I thrifted this cat dress a while ago because – kitties! And they’re wearing bow ties! Yeah, according to this cartoon, that’s pretty much how you will think whenever you’re in proximity of a cat. These aren’t even real cats and they still manage to shut down my brain. But I’m destined to become a crazy cat lady anyway, so I don’t mind 😀

The thing is, this dress is too casual for work, and somehow every time I went out for a casual thing (book sale, class, writers’ group, etc.) I always forgot that I have this dress in my closet, waiting to be worn… Well, no more! It’s kinda chilly and rainy today (rain! In LA! In the middle of May! Inconceivable!), so I threw on my old sweater to complete the look – every cat lady needs a black cable-knit sweater, right?

Dress, worn as tunic: H&M, thrifted
Sweater: hand-me-down from my sister
Skinny jeans: Target, remixed
Belt: Wet Seal, remixed
Boots: Bamboo thrifted, remixed
Necklace: pendant bought from Michael’s

Shopping Ban and 30×30 Remix Challenge

I’ve mentioned before that my thrifting habit is becoming a problem, but it was sort of half-joking. But now I mean it. It’s becoming a problem and I need to take care of it.

You might say, But you can’t spend that much at thrift stores. Sure you can, when you add it up. And besides, it’s more about money to me. It’s about wasting time and running out of space – I don’t have room in my closet anymore, and there are pieces in there that I haven’t even worn yet!

I’m determined to nip this problem in the bud before it’s become full-blown, especially after reading about Sally of Already Pretty’s 6-month shopping ban. Because, unlike Sally, who says she has an addictive personality, I have an obsessive personality. Which is even worse, I think. You’re addicted to something, you can quit. But once you’re obsessed, that’s it. So I’m taking a stance. And I’m announcing it publicly (well, as public as this tiny blog gets, anyway) to keep myself honest. Goals:

1. No more shopping. I’m not setting a deadline because I’m afraid that once I reach that deadline I’ll just reward myself with more shopping. So I’ll start small, like 4 weeks, and see where I’ll go from there.

2. I know quitting cold turkey isn’t a good idea so, like Sally, I’m giving myself an allowance each week. But I’ll make mine $5 instead of $10 like her. Like I said, I’m running out of closet space, and with $1o you can still buy a lot.

That’s it!

Oh and I’ve made this banner to put at the end of a post to count the number of weeks I stay on the ban (sort of like AA chips, but with shopping :P)

She’s watching me…

Now, on to the second part of the post. I said there are pieces in my closet that I haven’t worn yet. And lucky for me, Kendi of Kendi Everyday just decided to start up her 30×30 challenge again, but with looser guidelines and no time limit. It’s simply taking 30 pieces of clothing and creating 30 outfits out of them. So that’s what I’m doing with my unworn pieces.

As you can see, I have 33, not 30 pieces. So I will make mine a 33×33 challenge. Because the goal is to wear all of them – at least once. The problem is, there aren’t a lot of tops (I don’t thrift tops, for some reason.) But the good thing is that the dresses/tunics can double up as tops. Also I don’t have to do this all in a row, so it won’t become a chore.

So, yeah. A shopping ban and a 30×30… oh, excuse me, 33×33 challenge. I’m embarking on a whole new journey of style exploration here, people. Wish me luck.

Weekend Round-Up: I’m A Dirty Rotten Liar

Almost typed “Weekend Update” instead of “Weekend Roundup” – I’ve been watching a lot of Saturday Night Live reruns on VH1 lately 😀 Anyway, another week’s passed, and here we are.

Lesson of the Week: After trying out my new rust-colored tights on Friday, I learned that you shouldn’t have more than 3 colors in one outfit. Everybody was saying how the tights didn’t work, but nobody – except for Melissa (thank you!) – realized that it wasn’t the tights’ fault. It was because I had three colors on my dress, boots and belt, and also because the color of my boots is different from the tights but not different enough (if they had been black boots or orange-red boots then it would’ve looked OK, know what I mean?) So, in conclusion, I have to look for a pair of black boots (in theory any black shoes will do, but when it’s warm enough to wear flats I won’t be wearing the tights anymore, so boots + tights = make sense.)

That brings me to the “dirty rotten liar” part of the post. Remember how I wrote in my Thursday post that it was my last shopping trip for a while? I lied. I stopped by Goodwill again (a different Goodwill) and got a few more things, among them are these two:

A brand new Ann Taylor Loft trench coat for $20 and a dress/tunic with kitties wearing bow-ties? I couldn’t pass them up! Anyway, I’m afraid the print on the coat might be a little too loud, too busy, but I don’t wear a lot of prints so it should be OK.

Now I only have to find a pair of black boots and then I’ll really, really be done. Cross my heart.

Blog of the Week: Academichic. This blog is run by four lovely ladies (“feminist academics” as they call themselves) and it’s filled with their helpful tips/lessons on color combination, belting, layering and pattern-mixing, among other good stuff. It’s going to be a long time before I can reach their level of chicness, but in the meantime I consider myself a diligent student.

My favorite outfits from the ladies of Academichic:

Book of the Week: “A Good Year” by Peter Mayle.

I love Peter Mayle. A Year in Provence is the first travel book I read (I admit, I used to turn up my nose at non-fiction, but thanks to Debbi’s introduction to Peter Mayle and Bill Bryson, I no longer do), and now I’ll grab anything by him I can see at the book sale. When I first picked up this book, I didn’t even know the movie by Ridley Scott was based on it, but it made sense – this book is pretty much A Year in Provence done as a novel.

So, the book is not spectacular, but it’s OK. As for the movie… I felt compelled to watch the movie, because a) I was curious, and b) it has Tom Hollander (I didn’t see him in Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or 3 or whatever, but I love him in Wives and Daughters) and also Richard Coyle in a small role. But after watching the first 30 minutes, I thought that Ridley Scott was the absolutely wrong director for this. It’s a drama/comedy/romance, and it was shot like a freaking thriller/action! Weird, constant camera moves, Russell Crowe being Russell Crowe… it just didn’t work. A waste of good sceneries and Marion Cotillard, in my opinion.

Song of the Week: “Superhuman Touch” by Athlete. (I just love the line “You pick a color and I’ll sing it for you.” Might borrow that for a post title.)

For years the only song I had of Athlete is “Wires” (which I didn’t know was written when the lead singer’s daughter was born prematurely. But when you listen to the lyric, it’s exactly that – a song about a premature baby.) But then my Pandora started playing them more and more, and I liked what I heard, so I went ahead and bought 2 of their albums. They’re like a mix between Travis and Snow Patrol (my two favorite British bands of all time – they’ll show up here one day), but with a touch more edge.

This Is The Last Time

(Named after a song by Keane.)

I went to a different Goodwill today and had a pretty good haul, so this might be my last shopping/thrifting trip for a while. Here are what I got:

Let’s see now. Colored cardigans? Check. Dresses? Check. Skirt? (with pockets, finally!) Check. More prints? Check. I think I’m good.

What do you guys think? Any suggestion as to how to pair these pieces with what I’ve already got?