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Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide 2009: The Preview!

Renegade Craft Fair San FranciscoIt was some time in early November when I caught wind that holiday gift guides were already being written, and I said to myself, psssh, that's so early. Until I realized that last year, *we* were writing gift guides in early November. Oops! This is the trap I always set for myself, isn't it. And now that it's time to start bringing out the Charlie Brown Christmas tree and the Frasier Fir candle, it's starting to look like it's gift guide time for real!

So here is a warm-up as you're emptying the fridge of your last Thanksgiving leftovers (I still have a big yogurt container full of sweet potatoes)...

- First off, you can find all of our past gift guides at the 'gift guide' category here on the blog. I think they're still good!
- Secondly, I do want to disclose that if we're linking to a book or a DVD or any other Amazon.com item, we are likely using an Amazon affiliation link. If you choose to click through and make a purchase using one of our Amazon affiliate links, we will receive a small percentage from the sale. That said, I highly encourage you to support your local bookstores!
- Finally, here are the dates and links to the awesome Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sales and Bazaar Bizarres that will be going on in the next three weekends, for your indie shopping pleasure:

Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th:
Chicago: Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse

Sunday, December 6th:
Boston: Bazaar Bizarre at BCA Cyclorama

Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th:
San Francisco: Bazaar Bizarre at San Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park
Cleveland: Bazaar Bizarre at 78th Street Studios

Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th:
San Francisco: Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale at Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason

Stay tuned! We'll have more gift guides coming up!

image from renegadecraft.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Thanksgiving Outfit... for Eatin'!

About a week ago, I was discussing what I was thinking about to wear for Thanksgiving with Karen, and, well, this is verbatim:

Jeanne: I want to write a post on Thanksgiving fashion and "eatin' dresses"
Karen: Oh, yes, you must.
I made that mistake one year.
Jeanne: Because my feeling is that I should wear a dress to eat lots of food, but -- EXACTLY
Thus the dilemma: I don't have fancy pants that I would feel comfortable eating a full meal in (in fact, I may not even have fancy pants), and for some reason I feel weird wearing pants to family events. I also don't like wearing dresses with bare legs for family events unless it's the middle of summer, and, well, Thanksgiving is not in the middle of summer. And when you're sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing you want to think about is the waistband of your tights getting tighter and tighter around your stomach. (Let's not get into the "I'm spending the morning cooking in my pajamas because this food needs to be done, dang it, I don't have TIME to shower and get cute if you all want to EAT" situation.)

I've planned for the "eatin' dress" before -- dresses with little to no pressure on the stomach. (The phrase comes from Margaret Cho's Notorious C.H.O. -- "you go home, you put on your eatin' dress, and then you eat the couch.") But I have yet to deal with the eatin' plus covering my legs conundrum.

And so when I was browsing through one of my favorite boutiques on Friday, I realized -- ah hah, over the knee socks! I'd meant to pick some up at some point, but obviously didn't make it a priority until I swung through Japantown and realized I could buy socks at Amiko. Of course! And thus I now have a pair of over-the-knees to cover my shins and bruised kneecaps, but not press on my turkey-full tummy.

Of course, instead of actually focusing on packing, I made a Polyvore of my outfit:


It's not an exact copy of my dress -- mine is more of a spaghetti-strap baby doll, but it's still black and white buffalo plaid, and I'm still going to wear it over a pink long-sleeve top with the OTK socks and flats. (I wish I had Repetto flats, but no, I'll be wearing the Volatile Harp flats as pictured in my ballerina outfit.)

Jewelry and make-up will be simple -- my standard small silver jewelry, which lately has been just a single necklace and tiny skull studs, both from Dogeared Jewelry. The necklace is particularly important to me on Thanksgiving, as it's a daily reminder of my late grandma, who passed not long after Thanksgiving '05. Since I'll be busy eating, I'll probably go with a tinted lip balm like Fresh Sugar Rose instead of lipstick so I don't have to keep retouching -- I can just keep eating! And if I have time, I'd like to paint my nails with Chanel nail polish in "Jade" for an interesting contrast, but who knows if I'll get the chance...!

What are you planning on wearing for Thanksgiving? Is it a holiday that you like to dress up for, or are you more concerned with getting the meal out on the table? Either way, here's to a good one for us all!

image from polyvore.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Antiques Extravaganza

Lately, I've had a lot of success shopping for vintage. Either I have a good eye for this stuff or I am just focusing my shopping adventures on retro/vintage style, because in the last month, I have managed to find about five times as much great vintage clothing/accessories as I ever have before in my adult life. Having a mother who collects vintage aprons and hats (1920s-1960s, she does not discriminate) certainly helps, and a long-standing fascination with interior design, architecture, fashion history, and obviously, independent fashion businesses does not hurt! Great antique stores seem to find me and want to show me their hidden gems.

Since I've traveled back and forth amongst the East Coast, California, and Tokyo, Japan frequently over the last few years, I've got a pretty solid list of great antique/vintage clothing stores I always love to hit up. It's really like a treasure hunt, first finding the shop, then digging through its wares to find what really calls to you. In my mind, when I visit all of these fabulous stores, I make up a eidetic encyclopedia of the types/eras of design I particularly appreciate--a cheap way to educate yourself on design possibilities for fashion and home.

So, to share with all of you lovely readers, I've created an easy Google map featuring my most favorite places in the world.

View Favorite Antique Stores, Periodic Elements of Style in a larger map It may stretch across thousands of miles, but each place is close to my heart!

-Halltree Antiques, Salinas, CA:
When I used to drive from Silicon Valley to get back to school in Monterey almost every weekend, I HAD to stop at Halltree to check out their vendors' furniture, vintage jewelry, and great collection of weird little knick-knacks. If you're into it, they have loads of vintage embroidered linens and tablecloths. I've personally found awesome 1940s-1950s sewing patterns for a pittance, including a 1950s young lady's 4-H dress pattern that I promptly made for my college graduation. Downtown Salinas itself is dying, sadly, but has great historical significance for you fans of Steinbeck, including the National Steinbeck Museum.

-The Garment District, Cambridge, MA

A local favorite, hidden just beyond the edge of MIT's campus and a brisk walk away from the Kendall T-stop on the red line. The basement is their dollar-per-pound extravaganza, freshman year of college I found a huge black velvet vintage overcoat there that I still wear today. According to my sources (aka my cousin who was in Boston recently), the dollar price is now more like $1.25. Upstairs at the Garment District is a veritable cornucopia of 1970s vintage, used denim, and cheap/schlocky clubwear that college girls go crazy for. It's really more of a go-to place for frat party and Halloween costumes, but the odd gem can be found with a sharp eye.

-The Globe Antiques & Cafe, Mishuku, Tokyo, Japan

When I lived in Tokyo, for the first six months I rented a room in an apartment outside of Shibuya, one stop away on the subway and a twenty-minute bus ride from that glorious hub of humanity. Walking around the rather boring but quiet residential neighborhood of Ikejiri-Oohashi, I discovered the fabulous Globe Antiques and Cafe. It quickly became my go-to spot for reading on the weekend (despite being bilingual and spending all my time reading in Japanese for my schoolwork, I desperately missed reading English books) and perusing their stock of antique farm tables, lighting fixtures, and prints. They are inspired by Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, of course, and managed to create a veritable English countryside oasis in one of the world's most hectic cities. If you visit the cafe, get one of their homemade mango and white chocolate muffins for me. All of the furniture in the cafe is rotating inventory in the shop, so it's all on sale.

-Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

If you ever wonder where all of the U.S.'s great vintage clothing has gone, this is where it ends up. Shimokitazawa is a twenty-minute train ride west from Shinjuku and Shibuya, and the absolute mecca for Tokyo's hipster scene. There are underground bars with live music from Japan's up and coming rock bands, jazz and wine bars, indie art galleries, and the best vintage clothing stores you'll ever experience...if you are a size 00-6, max. Tons of polyester, crazy colorblocked 1980s sweaters, and acid-wash jeans to be found here. I spent many evenings pounding the pavement here as a young, spry 19-year-old and shopped my little heart out in the accessories shops. When I went back last year, more foreigners had discovered my little corner of heaven in Tokyo but there was still a very hush-hush, don't-let-the-tourists-in vibe about the place.

-Junkees Antiques & Clothing Exchange, Reno, NV

A more recent discovery from my roadtrip to Reno from California (Grandma loves playing those slot machines!), Junkees is turning into a real Reno institution since business at the casinos is way down. Its owner Jessica just published the inaugural issue of Reno Style Magazine, which does a great job of styling outfits with affordable options and vintage/thrifted items. Junkees itself is half antiques mall, half used clothing store, and they only accept good quality, non-stinky clothes! Can you imagine a fashionable thrift store with clothes that don't smell of BO and death? I found a great 1940s black dress, a funky vintage sexy-secretary blouse with a very Pop Art flower pattern, and a nearly new 1950s beaded wool cardigan that is going to get a lot of use this winter.

-Vintage Playclothes, Studio City, CA

We've linked to the glorious fashion paradise that is Vintage Playclothes before, and as you may know, it is the go-to store for Hollywood TV and movie wardrobe departments, including the costume designers of Mad Men and The Closer. They even had a party for the Mad Men third season premiere, could you die? Being a modern-sized woman, I've always had trouble finding the lovely vintage clothes my daintier friends could, but Vintage Playclothes has up to size 16 for women. Everything is well curated and very organized. I saw a black and white oversize houndstooth coat from Playclothes in the second to last episode of Mad Men!

-Addison Antiques, Palo Alto, CA

A bit pricier than your average warehouse-sized antiques mall, Addison Antiques caters to the quirky tastes of suburbia. A lot of their vendors' stalls don't change much, while others are continuously turning over and bringing in new, fascinating little items. I've seen a Napoleonic Maltese military hat with medals and huge feathers, Civil War compasses, and bought a sequined bow pin with pearl accent and a freaky little broken babydoll head with a hole in it.

-Reincarnation Vintage Clothing, Pacific Grove, CA
There was a time in my life when sleepy little Victorian fishing town Pacific Grove, California, was the most exciting place to visit. Reincarnation is just a half a block away from Lighthouse Avenue in what is Pacific Grove's historic, residential downtown district, hidden in a row of small restaurants. The owner is a chain-smoking lady who will hand you armfuls of things to try on and accessories to match. Reincarnation has a great selection of truly unique vintage bags and dresses in particular, I still wear two cotton day dresses that are tres Peggy from Mad Men (are we sensing a theme here?), and picked up a crazy straw bag with an owl made entirely of sequins on it. FABULOUS.

-Fabulous Fanny's, New York City, NY

Which brings us across the country to the East Village's notoriously funky vintage glasses destination, Fabulous Fanny's. It's basically the world's greatest closet of amazing vintage glasses from the 1920s through the 1980s, if you want fly sunglasses like all the hip kids are wearing or pearl-inlaid cats-eye frames. It's wall to wall, floor to ceiling glasses, HEAVENLY. Miss C. and I visited one afternoon and while crowded, it's definitely worth it. I must have tried on every pair of frames in the store, and I walked out with a pair of robin's-egg blue cat's-eyes with gold and pearl inlay, and sides that look like birds' wings. They'll even direct you to their preferred optometrist to get your new glasses set with prescription lenses within the same day.

-Housing Works Thrift Shop, New York City, NY
These local non-profit thrift shops are all over the city and are known for celebrities and socialites donating their gently used high fashion goods to benefit low-income housing in NYC. The Upper East Side location on E. 77th Street is particularly fetching, the interior design of the store is pretty much like an Anthropologie, with window displays to match. They always have the greatest furniture and vintage luggage, plus your standard fancy business clothes on the racks!

-Lee Alex Decor, Denver, CO
One of my recent discoveries in Denver on my trip there this past August, Lee Alex Decor is a quiet little treasure trove of midcentury interior design greatness. Immediately upon walking into this shop in an up and coming Williamsburg-esque Baker neighborhood, you face a wall full of every kind of bar and martini-related item your little heart could desire. (Friend of the blog Miss C. was over the moon since they had highball glasses with both medieval knights and card suits on them.) They have a steady Flickr stream (link above) and Twitter feed with all new merchandise and nifty furniture finds you can check out if you don't make it to Denver very often!

-Janakos & Company, Burlingame, CA
A perennial favorite of my boss', Janakos is more of a museum-type store for those of us of more modest means. Excellently curated, with items on display ranging from Art Deco vases to full rows of antique movie theatre seats (oh, be still my heart!!) and Bauhaus-inspired bent wood furniture from midcentury European designers. On weekends, they hold estate and junk sales in an old storefront next door with some interesting, if overpriced, pieces--check out the pins and antique necklace pieces if you stop by. I've picked up cuckoo costume jewelry for a song there. It's dusty, but if you dig with an eye for DIY remakes and design value, you'll find something you love.

-Antiques Unlimited, San Carlos, CA
This is one of those neighborhood places that's been around forever, yet I only just stopped by last week after an afternoon of outdoor skate practice with Jeanne in Belmont. Don't be deterred by the freaky mannequins modeling the vintage clothes in the crazy front window, I nearly jumped out of my skin when I walked straight into the giant African mask section myself. Antiques Unlimited has a condition that all sellers must only have items that are pre-1950s, so my search for tiki items for Miss C. was futile--I did find a couple of fabulous vendors chock full of luxurious furs, vintage skirt-suits, and HATS GALORE. Etsy's Booty Vintage (a.k.a. Anna Newman) had some cards there, although I didn't see any patterns. I found an incredible navy and cream polka-dot skirt suit from the 1950s in perfect condition, it fits like a glove if anything, double-breasted lapel with self-covered buttons...you'd better believe I took one look at the beauty and said, COME TO MOMMA!

Speaking of suits, I love incorporating vintage pieces into my daily wardrobe for work in particular--it breaks up the monotony of black pants, solid top, heels that is so easy to fall into. I came close to pairing the navy and cream polka-dot suit jacket with a pair of wide leg navy/grey herringbone slacks for work the other day, but one look in the mirror had me hearing Tim Gunn say it was "too much look." I say unless you are going full-on retro/vintage in your hair, makeup, eyewear, shoes, whole hog femme fatale, keep your vintage pieces as the highlight to your wardrobe basics.

Jeanne's advice is to shop for accessories, as the old solid real leather handbags, hats, bracelets, and rings, which always a great deal for the quality and style. For years, I watched other girls buying armfuls at Haight Ashbury thrift shops in smoking jealousy, and it's taken me this long to find the few styles, fashion trends, and shops that will suit my taste and fit/size. I know for a fact that you just can't find the quality in beading on a pure wool, made in the U.S.A. cardigan at Macy's like the one I found at Junkee's in Reno. It's a hunt to find the best and brightest of previous generations, but if we don't preserve and celebrate vintage fashion, who will?

(I promise to do a couple of outfit shots with my various vintage scores soon! Keep your eyes peeled, darlings.) Where do you go for a truly unique, fabulous vintage treasure? What do you keep an eye out for at random estate sales in your neighborhood? I am a sucker for ornate Victorian keys and straw/Bakelite handled bags...oh, sweetness! There is a big Art Deco show coming up at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, December 5-6th, maybe we'll see you all there!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where's our Uniqlo?

Here's a question I've been pondering lately, especially after returning home from New York in September: Why doesn't San Francisco have a Uniqlo?

Here's my reasoning (beyond the fact that I love Uniqlo and don't want to have to get on a plane for my favorite skinny jeans, or have to beg New Yorker friends to buy pants for me):

- San Francisco is full of denim fanatics -- we have Self Edge in the Mission, and just digging around Yelp for a tailor, I found people talking up and down about finding good tailors for their fancy jeans. While, obviously, Uniqlo isn't the same as Self Edge (I'm sure there are people gasping and clutching their denim-covered pearls that I would even mention the two in the same sentence), it could be a good way for people to work their way up into Japanese-style denim. Plus, they'll hem your pants for you at Uniqlo, which means you don't have to go searching through Yelp for a tailor who will keep the original hem when they shorten your jeans. (I am not one of those people.)

- Right now, San Francisco's Japantown is having a boom period -- with the new New People World mall, which features fashion boutiques Baby The Stars Shine Bright and Black Peace Now, Japantown is more of a shopping draw than before. Of course, they don't need to put Uniqlo in Japantown; they could easily put it in the Union Square area along with H&M/Zara/Mango etc. And, frankly, Uniqlo's much more accessible, affordable, and wearable Japanese fashion than BTSSB or BPN.

- Technically, when you get down to it? San Francisco is closer to Japan than New York is. They wouldn't have to ship things as far. Basic logistics, yo.

- San Francisco does have a lot of retail real estate open, along with people who need jobs. I would die of joy if we had a big giant Uniqlo in the Virgin Records building... but I'd die of joy no matter where it would be in the city.

- We had to wait forever for H&M to come to SF, so why not get Uniqlo sooner? We've been very patient with the rollouts. So come on. It's our turn.

In the meantime, Uniqlo's got an online store for their HEATTECH products, so you can buy camisoles, 3/4 length tops, turtlenecks, and leggings online, then check out through PayPal. Fair warning, they charge in yen and the exchange rate is pretty lousy. Alas.

Other than that, all I can do is look at the Uniqlo explorer and shake my fist that I don't live in New York... while my wallet breathes a sigh of relief that I don't live in New York. Or that Uniqlo doesn't have a full online store.

Seriously, though -- where's our Uniqlo? Are there any stores that you wish were in your town? I know that if there were a Sephora in my college town, my years there would have been very different...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another favorite pair of earrings for fall!

sofiamasri.etsy.com earringsI have a pair of earrings that I've been wearing on a regular basis -- to the office, out to dinner, and even when I met Tim Gunn in July! I'd planned out my outfit so it was perfect, and the earrings from sofiamasri.etsy.com were the final touch.

I picked up my earrings at the Renegade Craft Fair this summer; I walked by and saw these bright, darling, unusual glazed-ceramic earrings, and knew I had to have a pair. Apparently I wasn't the only one -- she was so popular she ran out of business cards! I have a little handwritten tag with her Etsy site.

Mine are the Dahlia dangle earrings, as pictured here, but instead of the lovely coral color, I have "blueberry" glazed ones. (Aren't those beautiful? They remind me of Wedgwood plates...) Really, though, there are so many pairs I'd like to have...!

I like to wear them with pink, grey, white, and black tops -- the periwinkle really pops against a pink or raspberry. Considering that I've realized just how much of my wardrobe is pink, grey, white, black, or blue... I'm wearing these earrings a lot! I think this week's count is four or five days I've worn them, including out to a fancy French dinner on Saturday for Meeting The Parents for the Boyfriend's Birthday.

What are you reaching for over and over again this fall?

image from sofiamasri.etsy.com

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Deodorant Soap That Doesn't Stink

This is embarrassing, but I am 90% sure that many of you share this problem. I'll be damned if I can't find a deodorant or antibacterial bar soap in the drugstore that doesn't already smell like rank body odor. (Clogged pores from sweating+bacteria=B.O.)

Regular drugstore bar soaps billed as deodorant/disinfectant just don't smell CLEAN to me, they all have that distinctive smell that says, "YES I TOOK A SHOWER THIS MORNING, WHY DO YOU ASK?" After trying out all different kinds of bar soaps for the last few years, many samples thanks to various family members' and my own stays in nice hotels with tiny bars of fancy-schmancy soaps, I still haven't found a bar soap that will both get rid of body odor, keep me feeling clean, and doesn't completely melt after two minutes sitting on my shower rack.

My body odor is not the problem here. Obviously, I smell like roses and baby-soft skin all of the time, because I am A LADY. I do, however, work out hard and play hard, often coming home from a plain ol' workday pretty smelly from stress-sweat. I think you get the picture. Add to that some of those random clothing items that seem to hold on to stink for dear life despite washings with extra-strength detergent, it's a miracle I am ever sweet-smelling at all.

The drugstore alternatives have been exhausted after a decade long search (remember puberty? THE STENCH OF IT!). They get rid of odor, but leave you smelling like a Manly Man who does Manly Man Things and Smells of Great Manliness all day long. I've heard good things about castile soap, but you have to take great pains to dilute it lest you burn your delicate skin with the soap's intensity. Dainty "spa"-ish soaps, the kind you also see at the drugstore and little gift shops, with the lavender buds in them--also all Lush soaps--absolutely disintegrate when exposed to water. You just can't leave those sitting in the shower, or in a soapdish, it's A MESS. I've tried the DHC for Men little round soap, which works great. It is, however, completely translucent and DISAPPEARS in the bathroom. Ridiculous. Your beauty/bath bar soaps with the skin-softening and claims of moisturizing smell lovely and feel great but I think they leave residue on your skin and have zero deodorizing power.

So, we turn once again to our friends at Etsy, where there is a preponderance of artisan soapmakers, for a solution. I started out looking for soaps with natural antibacterial properties, like the ever-present peppermint, tea tree oil, anything that was not a harsh chemical. I don't want to leave my skin all scaly and dry because of my overzealous washing. Smelling nice is a good criteria as well--despite those lavender fancy soaps, I still want to smell lovely and clean, like old-fashioned soap.

-Etsy seller LuckyLather has a sandalwood bergamot shea butter bar soap that purports to heal stretch marks (you know you have them, I sure do). I love the smell of real sandalwood, like antique Japanese carved fans in lacquer boxes, but I'm not sure if it's MY scent. Sandalwood oil is a natural antiseptic, according to LuckyLather! We are big, big fans of bergamot around here, so that is mighty tempting.

-Lobos from Alabama has an intriguing deodorant soap with sea salt and rosemary, which makes me think of yummy Christmas roasts. I am also taken in by the dachshund backdrop in those photos! To my great embarrassment, about 60% of my search results for "deodorant soap" on Etsy came up with DOG SHAMPOOS. Obviously dogs get dirty and smelly, but I AM A HUMAN PERSON.

-CrowleyManor's "Into the Woods" bar soap smells like the forest after a rain, much like the wild white sage and pine-needle tea Jeanne and I split a bag of from the San Francisco Ferry Building farmer's market last year. (It tasted like Christmas and falling snow, only hot--the holidays are on my mind today!)

-The Visions of Violet soaps by SonataSoap look like huge chunks of taffy or vanilla mousse--I'd be hard pressed not to try a bite in my half-waking state during morning showers! Yum. I love the fragrance of violets, it reminds me of young ladies with their bobbed hair and perfume atomizers getting ready to go out for a night of dancing with their young gentlemen callers in the 1920s. Little did you know, I am also an old fuddy-duddy lady stuck in the body of a twentysomething internet addict.

-Did I not just mention the lavender-bud-filled soaps? Here's another one, lavender tangerine dream handmade by Etsy seller DrBubbles! According to expert DrBubbles, this soap is so effective it will remove icky kitchen smells (garlic and ginger, anyone?) from your hands. That should take care of any gym odors, for sure!

-Another soap in danger of sleep-chewing in the shower is this chocolate cinnamon number, oh MOMMA. Have you seen those cupcake soaps that look so real you just want to take a bite out of them? This is the grown-up version, so you can smell like Mexican hot chocolate all day long, YUM.

-For a more unisex scent, Etsy seller mamabird has a bar that smells of oak leaves and acorns, perfect for fall. I think this would be a great alternative to the drugstore's strong-smelling manly man deodorant soaps, leaving behind just a faint trail of fall scents that isn't overpowering.

What do you think? Have you had any success with artisan soaps outside of the drugstore? Are there any drugstore-available (i.e. mass-market) soaps you think do the job?

Sweetheart soap ad from Found in Mom's Basement.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The oh-so-frightening... fanny pack.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw this charming yet terrifying tweet in mid-October:

Twitter: Fanny Pack

How did I come to such a conclusion?

I was walking home for the day and thinking about going out skating -- since Karen and I are in roller derby training, I need to be out on my skates as often as possible. But, I said to myself, my skating gear doesn't have any pockets to hold my keys. My purse is an across-the-body strap (as I did ultimately find a new bag), which means it would swerve and bang around on my legs and hip while I skated; forget a traditional shoulder strap bag that would just fall off or need me to hold it to my body with my upper arm.

Thus, I needed an extra exterior pocket that would strap to my body without getting in the way of my motion or weighing me down too much. All it needs to hold would be my keys, my phone, and my ID/some cash.

Which means: yes, I needed a fanny pack.

American Apparel Shiny Denim Fanny PackHilariously, I knew exactly where to purchase a fanny pack, which was to go directly to American Apparel. I bought the shiny denim fanny pack in black, as pictured here. It's not super-shiny, alas, but it does its job, which is to strap around my waist and hold my keys.

I decided to take a look and see what I could find on Etsy in terms of adorable fanny packs, but found the selection to be rather more sparse when searching through for "fanny pack". Turns out the term we're using these days is "hip pouch". I see what you did there!

- jennyndesign.etsy.com features the "Traveler" bag in various styles and fabrics, including houndstooth (yay, houndstooth!).
- maytreeark.etsy.com has a super-cute and streamlined pouch called the "Hipshack", in fabrics like pinstripe denim. Love it!
- I totally love the Fancypack by carrotcake.etsy.com. It's what Lady GaGa would wear, uh, every day, but especially when skating. They're seriously awesome and I totally want one.
- The ruffled waist bag from kinies.etsy.com is another sweet ruffly option. I have to admit, I also really like it as a bustle, a la Susie Bubble's "bum bag" post. (I'm not sure how comfortable it would be if I, you know, fell on it, but...)

Have you ever had the realization that you might have to sacrifice fashion for function? What did you end up doing? And -- do you think you would wear a fanny pack in public? Considering the cute ones I've found, I don't think it's such a bad thing after all!

images from twitter.com and store.americanapparel.net

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Halloween! A Duo of Costumes

Alas, the promised stegosaurus costume did not come to pass (my mom has promised that she will help me for next year), but I love Halloween so much that I felt the need to dress up a couple different ways anyway!

Saturday, Day:

This is a true "from the closet" costume -- I already had the leotard and tights, and actually went to ballet class in this outfit (except in my real Sansha ballet shoes). The black flats are Volatile Harp. The skirt is from H&M. I originally bought it for going out dancing (not ballet dancing) in, but never actually wore it until today. Hooray for having ruffly tutu-esque skirts in the closet!

Bonus: the tights are convertible, which means they have a reinforced opening at the ball of the foot to wear the tights footless or full-foot. I might have to get some more of these in black...

Friday and Saturday Night:

Halloween: Andy and Edie
I spent the evening on Friday and Saturday as Edie Sedgwick, along with the boyfriend, who I strong-armed into being Andy Warhol. His outfit is entirely from Crossroads (except for the striped shirt, which is American Apparel), while mine, again, is H&M. They're selling these sequined shirt/tunic/dresses (I want to say it's too short to be a dress, but we all know how these things go...) right now in several different colors for Holiday, and I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to have it. (I think there was some self-talk of "oh please please please let it come in black YES please please please let it be in my size YES OKAY DONE YES AWESOME" as I went through the rack.) The tights are also H&M, while the earrings are Aldo. (I actually bought three pairs of shoulder-duster earrings, because I just kept finding better and better ones; the Aldo ones were the ultimate winners.)

I also had a coat, of course, because Edie needs a coat, and because San Francisco needs a coat:

I took the made-over coat from my closet, and added a fake fur collar from Claire's Accessories with safety pins. I didn't want to get a full fake fur coat, because of the expense ($80 at H&M, no thanks) and because I wasn't sure how often I'd actually wear it. And then there's the whole "even if you buy fake fur you support the aesthetic appeal of fur" thing... anyway. It was easier and cheaper this way, the coat was still plenty warm, and the point came across!

Because so much of what really makes Edie Sedgwick style is above the neck, I've written up the whole Edie look over at Periodic Beauty Reviews, including the perfume I chose to wear as Edie. Because perfume choices are important!

What did you dress up as for Halloween? I love to hear what other people did, since one of my favorite parts of Halloween is seeing everyone's creative costumes! We saw an awesome Dovima With Elephants, which I thought was extremely clever. In fact we were walking through the Avedon exhibit, I said, "gosh, wouldn't it be awesome to be Dovima With Elephants? But no one would get it..." only to see a Dovima with a large stuffed elephant later that night. Whoever you are, anonymous Dovima, you're fabulous!

images from periodicstyle.blogspot.com and flickr.com/sfmoma

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