Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cali Here I Come!

Packing always puts me in a predicament; I inevitably take too much stuff that I never actually end up wearing. My issue is that I often plan for the “what if”. What if I do this? What if I go here? What if it rains? What if it’s all of the sudden unseasonably cold? Well, what if you pack all this stuff and the airline loses you luggage? Either way you’re limited by what you bring (or what you’ll have to buy), so you must make the most of it.

I like to think of the ‘task of packing’ as ‘the art of mixing & matching’ at it’s finest – the important thing to think about when you’re pulling together your travel wardrobe is how many times you can wear what you packed. When it comes to shoes especially, because they often take up the most room, choose ones that are 1. comfortable and 2. can go be worn with anything. It doesn’t make sense to bring a certain pair of heels if they only go with one outfit, or your favorite pair of wedges you can only wear them with another. Think of your suitcase as prime real estate, what can you bring/how can you pack to get the most bang for your buck. **Even more important now, since you have to pay extra for your excess baggage! This is what I have to with…

Packing for a Trip

This will be my first trip to California! I’m looking forward to going to Venice Beach & Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, seeing the Hollywood sign & the celebrity stars, and eating at In & Out Burger (even though I only get ketchup on my burgers). Aside from a little sightseeing & visiting my friend’s hometown, we’re also going to Hard Summer Music Festival! Yay!! It’s been awhile since my last legit relaxation vacation & I’m looking forward to this seven day escape from reality! Here’s what I’ll be wearing while I’m out there…

My airport outfit –

Ivory Maxi Skirt & Floral Print Tank TopIt’s important to dress in layers when traveling; even though it’s 85° here & I’ll probably work up a sweater dragging my suitcase to the airport (bus – walk a couple blocks – transfer to train – walk some more) it’s usually chilly once you get in the airport & on the plain. There’s nothing worse then being on a long flight when you’re freezing cold and all you have to cover up with is the creepy fleece blanket the flight attendant gave you. I’ve decided to wear my ivory maxi skirt, a floral tank with a tan lightweight cardigan over the top for when I get cold, and my plaid fedora (so it doesn’t get crushed in cargo).

A couple casual shorts & shirts outfits for sightseeing –

A Basic White Tank Top with Tan Trouser ShortsA basic white cotton tank top with tan trouser shorts and flops for running around in.

A Basic Charcoal Tank with Striped Sailor ShortsAnother basic charcoal tank with my new ($9.99) striped sailor shorts from Urban Outfitters.

 My festival fashion –

Free People Double-Layered Dress & Suede Cross-body BagMy Free People double layered dress. This  striped cotton dress is the epitome of effortless summertime style, perfect for an afternoon under the sun listening to live music. Worn with it a cross-body bag so I don’t have to hold onto anything and my purple shoes (I’ve worn these shoes to every concert I’ve been to; they’re cute, comfortable, and keep my toes from being crushed in the crowd)!

Floral Print Tank Top, Navajo Shorts & Leather Hip PouchI’ve decided this is the place to debut my dynamic mixed floral print & Navajo shorts outfit – the one I mentioned in my post “Playing with Patterns”, https://expressthrudress.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/playing-with-patterns/. I figure if it’s going to be accepted anywhere, this is the place! Music & fashion go hand-in-hand, they’re both a combination of creativity & expression. Some of the most unique outfits I’ve seen have been at music festivals. I’m wearing this with my leather “fanny pack” so again,  I can be hands-free…and of course, my purple sneakers.

A dinner date outfit for an evening out –

Anthropologie Blue & Yellow Plaid Silk Strapless Maxi DressI don’t get dressed up and go out often, so this may be my opportunity to wear my Anthropologie blue & yellow plaid silk strapless maxi dress this summer.

A couple more outfits for when we’re out-and-about –

A Basic Tank, Antique Motif Silk Slip & Denim Cut-OffsYet another basic tank underneath my ‘antique motif’ silk cover-up with denim cut-offs and comfy lace sandals.

Ivory Embroidered Front Cotton Top with Denim Cut-Offs, A Plaid Fedora & Open Stitch ScarfAn ivory embroidered front cotton top with denim cut-offs, my plaid fedora & an open stitch scarf (that I also just about at UO for $9.99).

Chevron One-Piece Swimsuit & Denim Cut-OffsWhen we go to the beach, I can camouflage my one-piece swimsuit under my denim cut-offs; this makes it look like I’m just wearing a regular top (and if I want I can throw on my silk slip as a cover-up).

Taupe Twist Front Tube Top & Denim Cut-OffsMy Free People taupe twist front tube top, denim cut-offs & Jeffrey Campbell floral print wedges.

Remixing Some of the Pieces I packed –

A Charcoal Basic Tank and Ivory Lace ShortsThe charcoal basic tank with ivory lace shorts & my Jeffrey Campbell wedges (they’re clunky – I have to wear them a couple times to validate bringing them with on my vaca).

Floral Print Tank Top & Ivory Lace ShortsThe floral print tank top worn with my ivory lace shorts

As usual, I threw in a couple more sheer tops & onesies “just in case” :) Thankfully is summer & I’m going to Cali – so all of the clothes I packed are pretty little & lightweight. Surprisingly, even after throwing in the last minute additions, I still had room in my suitcase for more! But I left that open, because – what if I shop a lot while I’m out there!?

If you know of something fun I should do while I’m out there send me a comment…otherwise I’m off to Cali until next week! See ya…………..

P.S. Do you tend to over pack when you go on trips? Or are you good at rationing down to only what you need?

More From the Randolph Street Market Festival

Here are a couple more snapshots from my trip to the Randolph Street Market. To see even more, check out my Facebook page photo album.

Vintage Decor

Vintage Suitcases

Old-Fashion Fur & Pattern Chairs

Vintage Decor - Silver Tea & Tray Sets

Old Books

Old Instruments

Antique Gold Egyptian Table

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

Randolph Street Market Set-Up

Vintage Metals

Reclaimed Blue Satin Chair

Granted my fashion personality style veers toward vintage pieces, so it’s not surprising I found a lot of things I liked; but there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for art or artifacts, textiles or tasty artesian treats, rare vinyl’s or refurbished furniture, or vintage fashions & jewelry at a good value, I assure you you’ll walk away with something. Here are the treasures I took home with me…

Sterling Silver RingsSterling Silver Rings

Early American Indian Head Small Tray

Early American Indian Head Small TrayEarly American Indian Head Small Tray

Brushed Gold Metal CuffBrushed Gold Metal Cuff

Etched Red Dragon Head Ring

Etched Red Dragon Head RingEtched Red Dragon Head Ring

Antique Gold Leaf & Etched Rose Bracelet

Antique Gold Leaf & Etched Rose Bracelet Antique Gold Leaf & Etched Rose Bracelet

The key when you go to places like this is self-control – something I lack at times, especially when it comes to shopping. You’re guaranteed to like something at every vendor you look at, but you have to think “do I like it, or do I love it?” Or, a similar tool my mom taught me when I was young, “do you want it, or do you need it?” You don’t want to spend all of your money right away, because what if you get to the last booth and see something you love – but you’ve already spent all your money (most of the booths are cash only)? Yes, there are ATM machine’s you can always go to, but when you’re in the moment, you have to decide how much it really means to you. Rarely do sellers put things on “hold” and if you pass it up, there’s a possibility it won’t be there when you go back for it – it’s the risk you take!

Again I say, I had such an amazing time at the Randolph Street Market. If you have the opportunity to attend this mecca of irreplaceable treasures, age-old antiques and found objects from around the world I urge you to go. Even if you don’t cash-in on anything…you will walk away with creative inspiration. I know I did!!!

The next Randolph Street Market Festival dates are:

  • August 25-26, 2012
  • September 29-30, 2012

The Modern Vintage Chicago Fall Jewelry & Clothing Explosion:

  • October 20-21, 2012

The Holiday Markets are:

  • November 17-18, 2012
  • December 15-16, 2012

Let me know what you find!

Ranting about the Randolph Street Market

All summer long I’ve been wanting to go to the Randolph Street Market. Beginning in May, purveyors, curators and curious consumers gather at the Randolph Street Market Festival on the last weekend of the month for two days of treasure hunting. Randolph Street Market

Up until now I’ve always had something going on that’s kept me from being able to go – that is, until today. I woke up this morning & put on a “vintage” treasure I already own – my antique motif silk cover-up that I found at Urban Outfitters few weeks ago. (it only seemed appropriate)

Urban Outfitters Antique Motif Silk Slip

I walked down to Michigan Avenue and took a trolley into the West Loop to the market. A $10.00 entrance fee was well worth it to gain access to this amazing assortment of random artifacts (plus the trolley ride over was free). As soon as I got through the gates my ADD immediately kicked in; there was just so much to see! Should I start inside at the Antique Market? Or should I stay outside & weave through the tents? If I go inside should I start up in the balcony and work my way down? If I start outside should I do one side & then the other or should I start at one end & weave through the rows? I know, this might make me sound crazy, but trust me when I tell you – there is sooo much to see!…and you don’t want to miss any of it!

Randolph Street Market

I ultimately decided to start outside and here are some of the things I came across…

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Jewelry Spread

Vintage Jewelry Spread

Randolph Street Market - Old-Fashion Massage TableOld-Fashion Massage Table

Randolph Street Market - Vintage DecorVintage Home Decor

Randolph Street Market - African CarvingsAfrican Carvings

Randolph Street Market - Old-Fashion ChairOld-Fashion Chair

Randolph Street Market - Animal Bone RemainsAnimal Bone Remains

After a while I took a break to have lunch and sat & listened to an amazing acoustic set by The Vitrolum Republic. The Milwaukee-based band’s sounds are a combination of the styles folk, bluegrass, blues and gypsy tango, which they’ve coined “Gypsy Noir”. Look them up & listen to them…I bet you’ll like it too!

The Vitrolum Republic

I could have sat there all day long, but I still had more ground to cover – so I went inside…

Randolph Street Market - Antique MarketRandolph Street Festival – Antique Market

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Jewelry SpreadVintage Jewelry Spread

Randolph Street Market - Vintage VasesVintage Vases

All in all, I had an amazing day sifting through an eclectic mix of vintage jewelry & clothing, knick-knacks, reclaimed furniture and rare one-of-a-kind finds. I hopped back on the trolley it took me right back into this – the Magnificent Mile – one of the most known shopping Avenues in the world. Little do all of these people know that the real treasures are off this beaten path…and at the Randolph Street Market!

Michigan Ave Chicago Shopping

If you live in Chicago, or will be in the city while this is going on, I definitely suggest you check out the Randolph Street Market! You won’t be disappointed!

I’m not done ranting about my fabulous time @ the Randolph festival, but it’s getting too late for me to get into the rest…I’m tired from a long, hard day of shopping…and I need my rest. Goodnight!

I’ve had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day…

All I can say is – WOW…What a day!!!

Do you ever have one of those days when nothing seems goes right and nothing comes easy? Well, today was one of those days for me!

***Let me set up the scenario:  I’ve had an eye infection for going on six weeks now. I’ve seen various ophthalmologists, optometrists, put multiple different drops in my eyes (including ones that ultimately made the infection worse), and was told that I had to wear glasses & could NOT put my contacts in going forward (glasses…I hate wearing glasses…I don’t feel awake when I wear them,  I find them uncomfortable, it’s blindingly sunny outside but with glasses on I can’t wear sunglasses, and when I want to cool off in the pool on hot summer days I do so at my own risk because everything is a blur – because I’m basically blind). Thankfully I went to SEE Eyewear a few months ago and bought new glasses (which was quite a process as well) so at least I have fashionable frames to wear as my new-found accessory. Going from only wearing glasses for about five minutes before bed to all day, every day I’ve had a hard time adjusting and feel like they just didn’t seem stay on my face. After stopping by the eye glasses shop every couple days to have my frames adjusted, seeing the same associates over & over again, and at some points spending up to 45 minutes twisting & tweaking them to make them straight, we finally just decided to order another pair & replace mine, which were bent beyond repair at this point. That brings me to today…..

This morning I stumped the cornea specialist that I went to see about my mysterious eye infection. He called in a second Doc for another opinion and we scheduled another appointment. With no real resolution, he added that this would be a process to clear up and I’d probably be wearing glasses for at least the next month (at least!?!)…till we figure out what it is & how to treat it. Oh, joy.

This afternoon I decided to quickly put in a claim for a new phone because mine’s been malfunctioning lately. Quick?? I think not! After multiple phone calls, being put on hold, transferred to different people, disconnected & having to reiterate my issues to a new tech each time (totaling up to probably near 6 hours of my day) I ultimately hung up the call with no resolution to the problem,  no new phone and furious. Great!

In an effort to brighten up my day and try to get something accomplished, I went to Free People to make a return and hopefully ease my rage with some retail therapy. I must say…that store never lets me down! I came across this adorable sweater jacket that just came in from the new Fall collection. Granted I won’t be able to wear it until it cools down in a couple months, I knew I couldn’t pass up this plush wool sweater covered in perennials…and hey, it made me happy in the moment.

Free People Floral Print Sweater Jacket

Free People Floral Print Sweater Jacket

After that I went to SEE to swap out my glasses. A stop I admit I’ve been avoiding, given I’ve often left frazzled with still ill-fitting glasses. But hey, at this point, could it really get any worse? Ironically, after popping my lenses into the new frames they’ve never felt better on my face. Augh, thank god. We didn’t even have to do the slightest adjustment to make them straight (let’s hope they stay that way!)

Now it is night, I remember that everyone has bad days… and I pray for patience tomorrow – when again, I engage in my pursuit for a new phone. Wish me luck! Or maybe better – luck to the one (or many) who will be on the receiving end of my call…

Hope you all had a wonderful day!!!

All Sale @ All Saint’s Spitalfields!!!

Forgive me for lacking in new posts lately! I had family in town two weekends ago, a hectic work week and friends staying at my place this last weekend. That said…I had little time (well, no time) to focus on my fashion blog! But, just because I’m not blogging, doesn’t mean I’m not continuously coming up with new content to write about; which brings me to the topic of this particular post.

While shopping on Michigan Avenue with my mom, we came across an amazing sale going on at the All Saints store. Well, actually, there were great sales going on at Topshop, Anthropologie, Zara…at one point, I actually thought Zara may have been going out of business because at least 75% of the store was all stuff on sale! A lot of retailers are trying to clear space for the new incoming Fall merchandise right now, which even further markdowns on already discounted merchandise and great deals for shoppers!

As you can see by some of my past posts: My $5.00 Find (https://expressthrudress.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/my-5-00-find/), My $6.00 Steal (https://expressthrudress.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/my-6-00-steal/), My Recent Free People Find (https://expressthrudress.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/my-recent-free-people-find/) I like to get a good deal. Plus, after learning about the massive mark-ups on clothing in my college classes like Product Development, Buying & Global Sourcing and working in retail with an amazing discount for the last 6 years, I just can’t bring myself to pay full price for anything anymore.

So as I said, we went into All Saints (beautiful store by the way!) and everything was an additional 20% off already deeply reduced prices (essentially making it 70% off)! Check out some of the stuff I walked away with without emptying my wallet:

All-Saints Spitalfields Sunset Fringe Top

A fun fringe top – the Faded Ebony Sunset Top. My goal for the day was to find some black tops. I hate wearing black, I barely own any black, but since it is the dress code at one of my jobs I just have to bite my tongue and buy it.

All-Saints Spitalfields Knots Tee

All-Saints Spitalfields Knots Tee

This adorable top – the Blossom Knots Tee.  A hand embroidered crop top with the charismatic quote “The one whose hand I’m holding is the one who holds my  heart.”

All-Saints Spitalfields Siouxsie Cardigan

All-Saints Spitalfields Siouxsie Cardigan

Probably my best purchase – the Siouxsie Cardigan. Originally $175.00, I only paid $42.00 for this open stitch sweater!

In the end, I saved an astounding $341.00 by buying this stuff on sale. Sounds a lot better than the $535.00 I would have paid if I would have purchased it all at original price! Again, what a steal!

P.S. – The fringe top was the only black thing I bought all day! But I did find a really cute floral print high-to-low dress at Zara. Maybe you’ll see it in an upcoming post…