where to shop for dummies

About 80% of the emails I get are on where to shop in my area, so here's a post on it. Previous posts on THE places to go if you're in the area can be found here, here, and in pretty much any of my recent posts with the label "outfit".

Let me just give you a runthrough on what vintage/thrift/consignment is all about in my area. Pretty long post, but it's helpful.

manhattan vintage fair

  • Location, location, location.

    In NY it's all a matter of location. East Village tends to have the best thrift stores to me, I also hang out near St. Marks but never on St. Mark's itself; it's a tourist trap and you can find better prices around it rather than on it. Prices here are inflated, naturally, a deal would be a $10 skirt and a $20-40 dress.

    When in NJ, location doesn't factor in so much, you're just paying for the clothes and sometimes the prices are suspiciously cheap you wonder if it's even that. Stores usually aren't within walking distance of each other but you can get to all of them using the Lightrail and/or PATH. Prices vary, from half a buck to new york prices depending on the store.

  • Know the difference between Consignment, Thrift, and Vintage. This is a good article on it. I find the best high end labels in the consignment stores in the city (Tokio 7 holla at cho grrlll), the best deals at the thrift stores in Jersey.
How to Access NYC Stores: Use Hopstop to plan out your route, calculate your transportation into it before hand (if you're anal like me about money, I'm asian that way). I use Smartlink 1-Day Unlimited for $6 in most cases as I transfer a lot.

NJ
Stores: I don't think people realize how easy it is to get from NYC to Jersey City. It is literally one subway ride away. The 33rd St train can take you into Jersey City in various locations, and from those locations you can transfer to lightrail or just walk to any of the shops I frequent. If you want the specifics, you can shoot me an email or comment here.


    My NYC Haunts:
    1. No Relation Vintage. Here's the Yelp Page. $10 skirts, $20 dresses, very good. The dresses tend to need a lot of alteration (the best ones are in the plus sizes) but it's worth it if you can alter. They also have awesome jackets and a rack of petticoats / tutu's from $20-45.
    2. Love Saves the Day. Here's the Yelp Page. I absolutely adore this place. If you're a kid at heart that enjoys Nancy Drew metal lunchboxes and tiered, sheer floral dresses and batman sunglasses you will love it.
    3. Cadillac's Castle. Yelp. The $10 rack is pretty good, it's a minimalist store and the guy is pretty cool too. It's a hit or miss store and prices can range from $ to the $$$'s.
    4. Monk. Yelp. Tavi can vouch for this, I think. She's been there on a trip to the city. Good prices and good stuff.
    5. Tokio 7. If you have money to spend and love avant garde and heavy hitting labels you'll find what you need here. The owners are very cool and the prices are decent for nearly near and superbly kept designer pieces. I can never afford it, but it's nice to drool over and the owners don't kick me out for doing so, = wicked pro and generally love it.
  • Also: Flea Markets and Vintage Fairs are completely worth going to, there's so much to look at and even if you don't buy anything you'll discover new stores and get inspiration.

    My NJ Haunts:
    1. Another Man's Treasure. I did a post on them here.
    2. Hello Again Vintage. If you're going to be in NJ for any reason, stop by here with $30 and you can pretty much buy a whole new wardrobe. I'm not kidding. They are so sweet! *wave to them* I just got your email guys, hellooooo againnnnn. (I had to do it, the pun was so bad.)
    3. G-ma's Thrift Store. 118 Mallory Avenue, Jersey City. What can I say about G-ma's.. other than it's epicly rad? Pepto bismol pink walls, shifting through 10 piles of velour tracksuits and chinos to find your dream vest/capelet/summer dresses while listening to G-ma talk to her daughters in her heavy Jersey Accent underneath her heavy 80's mascara and mullet.. the true New Jersey experience.
    4. Hala Vintage. Small but great selection of shoes and hats and lingerie.
    5. World of Style Vintage. Ebay pricing. I. adore. these. people. Loveable, extremely awesome, outrageously cool people that will parade by in moonboots and lingerie like it ain't no big thang. You can also get your hair cut here, and they're quite famous for it. *twirls hair*
Any more questions? Shoot them my way, and I'll post them. But if you want to know about the real specs of vintage, you should ask Rhiannon and/or Sally Jane, as they run their own (awesome) online vintage stores. These are my own recomendations, I've stopped by every store in this at least once if not purchased something from them. Also, for Helloagain and Another Man's mention the blog and they'll know I sent you! :)

Hope that helped!

because you can only do so much

The hipster post (which the comments are wicked fun to read, btw. Add your two cents in if you'd like) got me plenty of emails, none all too nice but an eye opener to read. I knew it was going to be controversial when I posted it and I like controversial topics / debates / hatemail amuse me.

It got me thinking...labels. What are your labels? I refuse to believe society doesn't label; that's complete bullshit and even if you're in fashion you label. Geek-chic, geek, goth, preppy--fashion can be considered a label oriented industry as much as an industry that goes beyond them. But really, what defines what and who determines what goes where?

I used to consider myself pretty non-conformist when I first started the blog. Which of course is exactly the opposite--I started the blog because of the trends and other bloggers. Not because of my own ideas on fashion, but my opinions on other blogger's and their perspectives on fashion. An odd reason to start blogging but a reason nonetheless. By now, I'm still not clear on my own purpose or niche when it comes to personal style and fashion but I can admit that fashion is by no means or definition, cookie cutter.

Is it shallow? Maybe at first glance....but only first glance. Take into account the references and history behind what you're wearing on your skin, the style of your hair, your makeup, your accessories, how you perceive yourself. Everything has it's own value and meaning to the madness, no?

Which brings me back to labels. What value do they bring to society? From what I can tell, they're only there to make life simpler, so people can identify trends and people. But in the end, there are always blurred lines and misconceptions about people behind the labels. What goes in what category, and why is it such a big deal if people point it out?

This is by no means a post in defense of my previous post. I don't feel like I need to defend myself. I'm just wondering, if we are still so self-conscious about what we're labeled and we call other people assholes for calling us those names... aren't we to blame as well? At one point or another haven't we done the same? Who made it alright to label, and aren't we allowing ourselves to be labeled?

It's not a new idea, granted. We shop at places and read books that are supposed to cater to our demographics, that's how the market is run. It's cause and effect and people make money off of it. The Industry loves controversy and since labels are an age old one at that, sometimes people have double standards on the subject. They hate to be labeled, but they describe something as geek chic, or they think a runway is too punk, etc.

We can choose to ignore the labels and break free of them or let them get to our heads and dress accordingly. Similarly, designers choose to use a story or a person and their lifestyle as a muse and work around a label. I guess it's all a matter of your perception of yourself and your stance on it.

Discuss.

wheat grass? feet grass.


POP QUIZ
and you thought school was on break...

When Arabelle woke up in the morning, she was feeling:
A) Delightfully Peachy
B) Tired / Zombielike and Mindless
C) Eggs


Like most days during the summer, she was running ____ for school:
A) Early
B) Late
C) Bacon

Most people wear ____ clothes when they are running (2) for school.
A) Basic, Comfortable, logical
B) Stripper
C) No (I'm not a nudist..)

Arabelle follows common sense like other people when she is running (2) for school. (T/F)

Answers: Well, judging by what I ended up wearing I think you can get them yourself. I've been playing with patterns lately and if today's experiment wasn't successful, at least it fun to look at.... the colors made me happy. Blue is my favorite color, if you didn't realize by now.

The Neiman Marcus bag is actually something of a treasure chest full of gifts the person I house sat for last week gave to me. She found out I was on Elle.com and gave me a bunch of Elle back issues, Vogue Backissues (I read all of 2005-06 at her house though) and various other things. What's I'm most stoked about are these lovely presents though...


I spy with my little asian eyes.... sheets of semi-sheer white fabric, ribbons, lace, elastic and heaven.

P.S Dudesss I have been posting a lot daily, pretty freaky right Amelia? Considering I suck at schedules.. Anyway tomorrow I'm going to Six Flags and I'll be busy for the rest of the week but expect the Vintage Shopping Guide on Thursday I suppose. Have a great day!

thou shalt not covet

Songe Des Robes

Raphael Dallaporta for Stiletto Magazine

Thou shalt not covet? Pfftttt.... Covet away.






You should fall in love with:

Sacha Hilton.

His eyes hurt my feelings. And you know, his photography is epic too.

And my friends.

"you! horrible horrible person! your blog has single handedly taken my mode of throwing name brands on myself in a conformist-nonconformist fashion and thrown it out the window. I'm gonna be spending a lot more money on clothing because of you. Help me shop?"

That made my day. Hi Kirsten. (And sure, call me. xD)

dear antoine peters, please marry me


FAT PEOPLE ARE HARDER TO KIDNAP.

I'm falling in love, oh I am falling in love so fast....Antoine reminds me distinctly of h.Naoto (very popular, visual kei-like japanese brand... very Final Fantasy and awesome..) in the end statements, but some peices remind me of CDG, the bear bag most definitely. I am not lucid enough to describe my love right now but it's justs so clean, easy, drapey... graphic... and the approach to fashion is just so happy, not serious, you know? I adore that. It's not suppoed to be stuffy. I adore me some Jacob's businesss-fashion but I am always and forever a fangirl of unadultered artistic exploration first, business ventures second.

Antoine states: "I love to play with extremes and proportions in materials, prints, silhouettes and concept. By mixing or even merging these extremes I try to create something new and fresh. For this collection, it resulted in the ancient question of 'thick versus thin'. My whole presentation pleads for being fat, but with a slightly ironical tone beneath the surface. In fact I do not even answer this question – the whole point was a small fashion party!"




Antoine Peters is known for his A SWEATER FOR THE WORLD! project; a 2-person sweater with the goal to photograph as many ‘different kinds of people’ as possible wearing it. These big series of pictures with a weird fun collection of people show ONE world with different kind of styles, ages, points of view,
values, religions and imaginations.

Antoine Peters

I think it's love at first sight because the irony and fun behind it all. Serious, humorless people and I don't really relate so when you name a collection something like that you're bound to make me look into it. Yay for irony.

I have a scarf like the hoody dress thing... How I wish, how I wish it would turn into a dress over night..

Edit: AHHH you're more than welcome, Antoine. o_o I am glad you like my crazy and enthusiastic words. xoxo

i don't want your big guns, i want brownie mix god dammit

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.

My program went to a military base today and we played with robots and nonlethal weapons. I'm a regular assassin, yes I am. It's actually more boring than it sounds because the younger kids kept on pointing the sniper rifles at me.

Anyway, here's what I wore today. I've been watching angsty teenage rebellion movies too much, I swear to god. I only watch Robocop for the anarchists, I was never really into the clothes until now. And as for shopping... I need a purple tutu so bad I'm willing to spend all off my job money on the perfect one. Alright, not to that extent but 90% of it.

I was thinking of getting a two-piece crinoline skirt at one of the Visual-K stores online, or maybe a sex store but then I'd have to explain to my parents why they're getting a package from a sex store and that would be just awkward.

Example of awkward conversation:

Me: Hey dad can I get a tutu online? I'll give you the money to put into my paypal.
Dad: Sure, where are you buying it from?
Me: Uhm... Lingerie Diva......
Dad: So you've decided to become a stripper?

Even though these were a bargain pair of Cheap Mondays at the sample sale they're too long for me at 28/34 inseam and so the crotch is a bit odd. I'll probably sell them off on ebay with a bunch of other stuff in August when I have the time / lack of things to do.

Speaking of Velvet Undereground.... Mark Schwartz emailed me and I'm surprised I didn't know about his work earlier. Mark was a friend of Andy Warhol and his influence is evident in the artwork Schwartz creates, but Mark makes his own individual style. I'd fancy seeing more of his shoe designs as much as his paintings. Which reminds me, I really really want more shoes.

How wicked would it be to own thoses shoes? They remind me of Dries, but more whispy and dreamy. I am no Jane (Sea of Shoes) but damn if it wouldn't be cool to have these shoes realized...and into my closet.

I have brownies to eat. Kinda dry, fudgy ones but I like those best anyway. Have a great day my friends.

a note on hipster scarves and the douches that wear them


Dear Acquaintance that Constantly Refers to Me As Hipster Ditz And Can't Spell My Damn Name Right,

I'll clarify my complete anti-hipster status right now. I do not own anything from Urban Outfitters. I refuse to go to Williamsburg. I don't read French Novels in Internet Cafes. I don't even like Expresso. I do not own a keffiyeh, you could not pay me to own a keffiyeh, and whenever I see a keffiyeh in the summer I have the urge to use it to smother the stupid person who would wear it in 90 degree weather with moccasins. Not only because of the impracticality of it, but also because if I were to walk up to them and ask if they knew about the statement they were wearing (Palestinians and politics in summary) they would just give me a blank hipster stare and try to out-bitch me, which in the course of my 15 years has never happened and never will. (My secret weapon is run on sentences.)

I am also incredibly frugal and feel bad for spending more than $20 on any one article of clothing, which is why I only buy things from the clearance rack at f21 or con my friends into buying things for me. Real hipsters spend $300 on a shitty haircut that makes them look like they just rolled out of bed, and they spend hundreds of dollars at boutiques and Vintage-Inspired Stores to make them look like Don Charney wannabes. I spend hours, nay, days watching Anime (I love me some catboys and Vampires) and Japanese Dramas (yay Hana Yori Dango) so when people say I'm hipster I kind of want to bring them into a dark, cold room and introduce their face to a shovel.

What I am saying, is I probably have more in common with your local ABC (American Born Asian) or homeless person -- I hang out with the local homeless dude here, he's paralyzed and we talk about corrupt politicians -- than I do with hipsters. The hipsters we know of are overexposed, pale headband wearing AA toting cynics who's only objectives are to see who can appear more disinterested in Velvet Underground and online comic cum music blog references than the hipster next to them.

What I am saying, is that I am not hipster. And also, thank god I haven't seen a keffiyeh in months. If you own a keffiyeh and have worn it in the past month, please never speak to me again.

Sincerely,

Not a Hipster / One Fashion Blogger Who Does Not Own Keffiyehs

P.S My run on sentences have more depth than you ever will.
P.P.S The dude is modeling proper keffiyeh technique. Learn from the master, bitches.
P.P.P.S I realize this post is late for the hipster keffiyeh thing, I still see them sometimes. Also, saying I am not a hipster is something a hipster would do, but only a hipster would bring that fact up.
P.P.P.P.S I'm not hipster.

Edit: dudes, dudes, chillax. I know some people who wear keffiyehs know the meaning behind them, some people who wear them aren't hipsters. If you didn't realize this was a joke, maybe I didn't make it obvious enough, and that's on me. We've all got our own definitions of hipsters and perceptions and we're entitled to them. Calling me an idiot for wasting your time isn't going to make me not get irritated at people mislabeling me or spelling my name wrong though. Anyway, im a sarcastic twat so this is supposed to be taken with a pinch of salt and an eye roll. Don't take it seriously, dudes. Your hair cuts / french novels are probably better than the ones I've had, hahaha.

guess who's back back again


Just because it merits a post of it's own (and we all know how I like my long, fat posts of various subjects so this is pretty important)

Agathe be back. Or rather, she never really left--she's just been posting on her backup blog.

Click here.

Mostly photography, less frequent; it's not as extensive as Style Bytes but it's good to know she didn't die, right? Drop a comment.

Now back to Robocop.

random post is random

"Hey Mom, Dad... if you're proud of me, then you're probably high on acid."
I know I've talked about Cole Mohr before (he is not before my love for Mathias Lauridsen and Boyd Holbrook though he is quite close) but seriously I found a bunch of pictures of him and oh my god perfect boy is perfect. Let me lead you through his evolution.

Hi I'm Cole Mohr and even though I have the typical nerd boy haircut and have a bad shirt on I will grow up to be a sexpot badass and ruin your lives with my cross dressing and blue eyes.

He's such a little nerd. I enjoy how if I were like 7 I would still propose to him in a heartbeat despite his obvious nerdiness. I think Pedobear would agree with me.

RUN 9 YEAR OLD COLE MOHR RUN FOR YOUR LIFE


Man Skirts + CDG + Cole = Brb, crying in happiness.


Skirts --> Harem Pants at Galliano (Who's definitely reminds me of a Pirate, I adore him).

He reminds me of Johnny Depp in "Blow" in the first picture.. and Clark Kent in the second.

Mr. P incarnate. Hi dream boy.

HE'S MAKING IT TOO EASY SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL.




I showed my friends pictures of him and here are their responses.

J: I'd hit it.
M: Can I have his numbahhh?
S: He's scary hot. Is he a alien?
B: He looks like he'd beat me and then give me children in the same breathe. I like it.
D: Is he gay?

I don't think so, D... I saw a video of him talking about a girl he has a huge crush on... (damn that girl) So yes, if YOU can match his unrivaled posing skills, his eyes so blue they hurt my feelings, and badass Look-At-Me-Too-Long-You'll-Get-Pregnant glare, please run as fast as you can in the opposite direction because I will kill you.

*Can you tell I haven't gone out and done anything productive in a week? Yes? Sorry.

you should run before you walk...

I get a bunch of emails a week concerning where to shop / how to shop vintage from TV'ers (Hi guys!) and I've decided to just post a mini series on the subject. I'll be releasing posts on the subject in parts, because I talk too much and it's all my insomnia is good for anyway. It'll be for NJ/NY specifically but you can adapt it to wherever you are, methinks. Ask me some questions and I'll answer them in the posts.

Anyway, I've always been into obnoxious prints and I fell in love with a boy dressed all in plaid the other day whilst walking over to my job. Blue plaid backpaid, black / grey plaid vest, white pale striped shirt, plaid pants and gorgeous Frye black boots. It was amazing, hence my stalking him for a good 5 minutes and when he looked back to see why an odd girl with hippy dry shampoo hair was following him, I had to hide behind a bush. I shall call him Mr. P, for both Paradise and Plaid. He listens to french pop and alt rock in my head, and reads Hitchcock in his spare time.

PICT0007

Naturally because of my encounter with Mr. P I haven't been able to get plaid out of my head. It's been in my head for a few weeks anyway, but I decided to take out my plaid two-peice set and mess around with it. A few pins here and there and a new look is formed. Original look, to now.

PICT0008

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It feels like a mix between Henry Holland's plaid and Vivienne Westwood. Eugh... that sounds horrendous but I like the skirt nonetheless.

PICT0014

PICT0015

Also guys, please take two seconds to vote for the lovely girls on the right, Laurel and Isabel! They deserve to win and are so so so close, so every vote counts. Isabel is 50/50 with the other chick, so tell all your friends!

Also, this is the true NJ experience. I wanna go.

you can't spell prostitute without pro

Well technically it's probably after midnight when I post this but who's counting?

video

*Clarification: for some stores, you pay for the location and the overall look of the store, if you buy in Soho rather than some hole in the wall, even for the same product you'll probably pay more. Here, the location is pretty good considering the transportation and the prices are really cheap considering the quality and the store's appearance.

Also, I sound like a caffeinated squirrel.

Now, my outfit. It was so amusing to play with the length and strings on the cape, seriously best $1.40 I ever spent. My program thinks I'm emo and antisocial anyway so I wore this not only because I like the cape but out of spite. They're just jealous they can't blend into the ~shadows.

Example of me blending into the shadows. I know, I'm so invisible.

Surfinn~ surfing U.S.A ~

I went to G-ma's again today (the walls look suitably Pepto Bismol, they're really outdoing themselves).

The jacket is really, REALLY odd, it's not tight fitting so it kind of bellows out, but it's just so wrong I like it. I haven't a clue what I'll wear it with, maybe the leather top I bought with it. All I need are leather and sheer paneled pants and I can look like a hooker / backup dancer for disco videos.

As for the publication dramas...

Imagine my feet going up the ass of every negative commenter concerning Winona and Tavi. Yes, my white frilley laced feet. Remember guys, for every person that's jealous you've got 50 people loving what you're doing. When you think about it, really, there's no such thing as bad press, right? (By the way, Tavi, my best friend wants to eat you. Not that that's weird or anything.)

Byes.

ain't no big thing, the earth just got a little smaller

To all the NYM Tavi skeptics and or/ haters, it's perfectly normal to be jealous of a 12-year old girl. If you didn't detect the sarcasm in that you should probably leave this blog, as it holds no merit for a dead monstrous soul such as yours.

Enlarge, natch.

I haven't seen Batman yet, unfortunately. No doubt I'll be toting these shades when I go.

It was really fun to put these looks together in my head, I hope you guys enjoy them. My camera attempted suicide twice today: the battery lid slid off and the battery plummeted 25 feet, and the other time the camera fell 6ft onto the hardwood floor. My blood pressure probably sucks right now.

Tommorow you'll see the video/(s), perhaps. That is, if it decides to upload. (I tried today, no dice.)

Cheers.

edit: in before "your hair looks odd" anons. There was no A.C in the house. That's right, I wore a winter blazer for you people in 90 degree weather. I'm allowed to look like hell.

great minds think alike

I wasn't going to post this today, but after glancing over at Rebecca's blog I just couldn't not embrace the coincidence: bath tub, spectator shoes, dresses. Come on.

If you were to ask me what was the most sentimental items in my closet, these would probably be them. My first perfect pair of shoes I bought all on my own, and a family heirloom dress. This dress is more than twice my age, and it's still as timeless as when my aunt first purchased it in Paris for herself. It's gone through my aunt, her sister, my mom, and now me.

It's also the dress that scared me out of my mind when I saw it in my closet, I thought it was ugly and frumpy and I'd get laughed at if I wore it. It took me three weeks after I discovered it to actually try it on, another week before I got up the nerve to wear it to school. It changed my life, really; I never felt that confident and comfortable in my skin before and it showed. I think everyone needs something like that in their wardrobe.

Do you? What's your favorite dress, pair of shoes, whatever--just something you own that makes you feel invincible?



Also, I have long given up trying to edit my videos to make me seem just a LITTLE less raging teenager but it's not gonna happen. Do you still want to instill torture upon your eyelids? Genuine question.

Cheers.