Monthly Archives: March 2013

1 Sale Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways – Now That’s a Deal!

Like I said last week, I’m surprised the Lucia Delphinium Shawl Sweater lasted long enough on the sales floor at Anthropologie to be marked all the way down to $19.95! If I could’ve bought the digital pattern knit at its original price of $248.00 I probably would’ve; and following the first markdown to $129.95 I was entertaining the idea even more. I must have missed it when it was marked down to $39.95, because I definitely would have bought it then; but thankfully I spotted it once again after the final markdown – and ended up saving even more!  (Luckily, I got the last one in stock!)

Anthropologie Lucia Delphinium Shawl Sweater on Sale

Everyone else must not have seen the potential in this unique, versatile piece like I did or I’m sure they would’ve scooped it up much sooner! The innovative design allows for a ton of options when wearing this hand-knit top. I spent some time playing around with it over the past week & check out some of the different ways I styled it…

1.   Buttoned all the way up in the front & the back

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

2.   Basically worn in reverse – with the cozy wrap in front & pop of pattern in the back

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

3.   This is probably the most creative way I could wear this piece – here I’ve unbuttoned the top entirely then wrapped the two panels around to the back. A single button at the bottom secures it in place and wha-lah – thick-knit sweater turned twist-front top!

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

4.   Here, I swung the shrug around again so the pattern’s on the back. Either wear the poncho loosely draped like this or undo the top button and sling an arm though for a one-shoulder look

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

5.   With the simple oblong shape, when totally undone the sweater turns into a standard scarf that can be simply wrapped around your neck

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

6. Or, left open & looped through, the sweater can be wrapped like a handkerchief scarf

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

7.   Buttoned up the front but left open in the back, now it’s baggy like a blanket (a stylish snuggie perhaps?)

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

8.  This is my 2nd favorite way I styled the sweater – into a one-shoulder top! Simply shift it to the side & slide an arm though; buttons line the single slouchy sleeve while the other shoulder stays exposed.

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

9.   With all but the top button undone & the back left open the sweater is now a cape vest. Other obvious variations would be to only fasten the center button, or the bottom 3 buttons, or every other button. Ok, ok, not really…now I’m getting a little carried away – but you get the idea!

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater Styled 9 Different Ways

See what I mean?! There’s so many ways to style this super-soft sweater…and to pay only $19.95 for it – that’s what I call a steal! If you divide the 9 different ways I styled it by the price I paid, that comes down to $2.20 a look. (And that’s just counting what I showed you – there’s no doubt even more ways this top can be worn!)

A practical purchase?? – I’d say so! Would you have bought this unusual piece had you come across it? What price would’ve you been willing to pay? And lastly, which way is your fav?

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Vintage Treasures Aren’t the Only Thing of Value at Randolph Market – the Vendors are too!

What better way to spend this dreary day in March…than at the Randolph Market, of course!

Randolph Street Market

Yup, my favorite time of the month rolled around once again; but this time, I took much more than a few vintage pieces away from my trip to the market!

I’ve started to establish relationships with some of the vendors that I come back to visit every month. They know what I like, they know what I’m looking for, and they’re willing to bring me what I want – what more could you ask for?!? Space is limited inside Plumbers Hall so obviously vendors only bring a small selection of what’s in their collection. I’ve recently started on a new project (yes, another project, that yes, I’m going to keep a secret for now :)), so I spoke with some of the merchants last month to see if they could help me find what I’m searching for. Not only did they bring me pieces that were perfect this month, they’re bringing more next month, and also offered up other insider connections as well! One very generous vendor, from whom I’ve bought several pieces from in the past, gave me one of her VIP Access Passes to the International Antiques Fair happening later this month! An invite to the opening night party + access to special events (like a tour of the jewelry at the fair led by vintage jewelry expert Ellie Thompson) + 3-day admission passes for the fair featuring over 100 of the world’s best dealers, filling the Merchandise Mart with an array of art, antiques & jewelry = of course I’ll be there!

But that’s not all! At last month’s market I was debating over which Bakelite ring I wanted to buy. Yellow rose?

My Vintage Finds - Randolph Street Market - Bakelite Ring

Or, green rose?

My Vintage Finds - Randolph Street Market - Bakelite Ring

Yellow rose…green rose…tough choice, I know ;) (Hey, after a long day of looking at a lot of stuff, you’d have a hard time deciding too!) Regardless, when the dealer accidentally dropped the gold floral ring on the ground, breaking it into pieces, my mind was ultimately made up…I’d be going with the green (but yes, yellow was my 1st choice). After finding all the scattered, shattered pieces, she so kindly offered to glue the ring back together and give it to me for free this month if she was able to fix it. She did – and because of the ring’s detailed carving you can’t even tell it was once ruined! It was so nice of her to do so; so now, I guess my debate continues on a daily basis – yellow rose…green rose…or, both? :/

My Vintage Finds - Randolph Street Market - Bakelite Ring

Here are some of the snapshots from my day at the market…

Randolph Street Market - Vintage FindsI was trippin’ out over all the cool stuff I saw, including this standout ‘shroom necklace!

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds An old-school paint-by-numbers = so cool!

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds Sterling silver rings…I will never have enough!!!

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds Hand-woven rug circa 1890’s

Randolph Street Market - Vintage Finds   Randolph Street Market - Hand-made Cowhide Rug (3)

Randolph Street Market - Hand-made Cowhide Rug (4)Said to have been made of cattle from the psychedelic 60’s (ok, not really) this colorful custom-made cowhide area rug was hand-stitched in Brazil and has a price tag of $700.

Randolph Street Market - Hand-made Cowhide Rug (1)

Randolph Street Market - Hand-made Cowhide Rug (2)If you’re not into the bright…then go with the white for half the price ($450)

So, what did I go home with (and pay for) this month? Well…

My Vintage Finds - Randolph Street Market (3)A namesake “E” ring for my last initial!

My Vintage Finds - Randolph Street Market (4)A intricate hand-woven embroidered tapestry from the 1950’s

My Vintage Finds - Randolph Street Market (2)Another Native American accessory

…and a unique gift for my sister, who’s birthday was earlier this month!

What has to wait til next month?

Randolph Street Market - Vintage FindsThis amazing hand-woven embroidered chenille tapestry – delightful vintage floral motif, super soft with a slight sheen, impeccable quality with an intricate design. One day…someday…soon I hope…

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday like I did!

Spring is Here…but it’s Still Sweater Weather

Well, today is officially the 1st day of spring…but it sure doesn’t seem like it! The average temperature in Chicago on this day is right around 45°, last year it reached an unseasonable 85°, and the forecasted high for today – a whopping 25°!

Mother Nature sure can’t make up her mind! When all we can think about is sleeveless shirts & miniskirts, we’re still stuck wearing sweaters. But, during this transitional time in the season, I think I’ve found a solution…a hand-knit halter-top!

Anthropologie Lucia Delphinium Shawl Sweater

This chunky shawl-wrap sweater buttons in the front and in the back. Designer Janis Stemmermann applied her past work as a printmaker to create the colorful unique digital motif on the taupe top. I’ve had my eye on this thick knit from Anthropologie all winter long; but with a price tag of $248.00 my bank account just wouldn’t budge. That is…until now! I came across this one-and-only sweater while closing down the sale section on Monday night for a mere $19.95! What?!

How this piece got marked down to a price that low without being bought is way beyond me! But for my sake, I’m glad no one else swept up this winter-weather wonder! Since it was too late to make a purchase by the time I found it, you best believe I was back at the store bright & early when doors opened the next day – I couldn’t risk anyone else getting their hands on it. And while I was there, I snagged a pair of stretchy coral cords on sale as well. (Originally $88.00, I bought for $19.95) Personally, I think my purchases paired together make a pretty good outfit…

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater & Coral Cords

Anthropologie Shawl Sweater & Coral Cords

What do you think?

Clearly no one else saw the value in this versatile top like I did! I’ll follow up with my other ideas for this innovative piece in another post…

I Survived St. Patrick’s Day…but I’m Sick of Seeing Green!

Following my 7-hour shift on Friday night, I stayed after until 1 a.m. preparing ‘chug mug’ giveaways for the next day’s festivities. Then I was back at work again at 7 a.m. for our annual ‘Wake & Shake’ celebration!

Public House Chicago Wake & Shake

A mob of people dressed in green waited eagerly in the cold yesterday, ready to get inside and get wasted on green beer, whiskey shots & whatever else. I don’t think I’ve ever really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day myself; for one, I’m not Irish, two, the idea of getting bombed by 11am just to go home & pass out does not sound appealing to me, and three, I have a general dislike for the true green color that is associated with the holiday. I don’t mind any other shade of green – mint green, hunter green, olive green, neon green, emerald, even sea foam green; but the shade of shamrock green…not so much.

I will, however, work on St. Pat’s Day – it makes for some pretty good people watching and I can’t help but love seeing the creative costumes people come up with to show-off their spirit. It was kind of amusing observing the length people went to to achieved their head-to-toe green garb. From the feather boas to the beads, top hats to tutus, everyone got festive with their fashion! Even if it was mismatched, it’s like people made every effort to wear every piece of green clothing in their closet…even bath robes. (p.s. oh, how I love what gets captured in candid snapshots :)

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

Earl

I wore a promotional shirt and since I was going to be standing for 16 hours straight, went with my choice in most-comfortable shoes – Sperry’s! I’m sort of surprised (but very grateful) that they weren’t ruined, given all the green beer that was spilled on the floor.

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

From house music to oldies-but-goodies, the DJ hammered out fist-pumping beats all day long. The blasting music was only put on pause once…long enough for bagpipers to make their way through the crowd bellowing out Celtic sounds.

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

I’m not sure how they did it with those big instruments; I could barely get through the sea of people to get myself a glass of water! By mid-afternoon the bar looked more like a battle field – with people flailing their arms & convulsing and calling it dancing and stumbling through the invisible obstacle course that only existed in their obstructed mind. :/  As if an open bar from 8am–noon wasn’t enough, we also had a little leprechaun stop in to pour Jameson shots down people’s throats from on top the bar.

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

St. Patrick's Day Wake & Shake - Public House

All in all, it was a pretty good day! Despite logging a lot of hours on very little sleep, I spent the day working with friends and having fun while watching the drunken demise of society. With one broken window, only a few small scuffles and no puke puddles inside Public House – I’d say it was a successful St. Pat’s! :)

After being surrounded by the color green all day and all night it’s an understatement to say I’d had enough of the hue! Today, when I went outside on a walk someone ran passed me in a green puffy vest and I almost gagged. (ok, a bit of an exaggeration) But seriously, the only green I want to see going forward, is the cash in my pocket from all the money I made working!

How did you spend St. Patrick’s Day? Were you one of the ones dressed in all green?  If so, share what you decided to wear!…

Accenting My Home with Accessories

I have an eclectic mix of accessories that, lets just say, aren’t exactly made for “everyday”; but just because I can’t wear them all the time, doesn’t mean that I don’t still want to admire them! Instead of packing away my statement stuff, I decided to merchandise it among the other décor on my shelves. Check out how I accessorized my home with what usually adorns my hands…

Statement Shoes Mosaic Home Decor (1)

Statement Shoes Mosaic Home Decor (2)

Let’s be honest, my Jeffrey Campbell Lita booties aren’t exactly Monday-Friday footwear. The 5 inch platform patchwork booties are a bit much for the office…but come the weekend – I’m all for rockin’ em on a night out on-the-town! And when I’m not wearing them, I like to think of them like a mosaic ceramic vase – a unique work of art that’s thoughtfully pieced together to be appreciated. On the shelf, my statement shoes are the focal point that brings together the photo frames & finishes that surround them.

My Accessanctuary (1)

My Accessanctuary (2)

The amazing artwork my friend made creates the background and sets the color scheme for my “Accessanctuary” – the place I pay homage to all that adorns my hands. A hot pink glass tray & olive green velvet jewelry box act as alters that display my array of accessories. With a skeleton on praying on bended knee behind, I fill my knuckles with the striking sterling, luxe leather, sparkling diamonds & pretty pebble baubles. And of course, an “Accessanctuary” wouldn’t be complete without the aroma of burning incense.

My accessories aren’t the only things that are overflowing! My bookshelf is filled to the brim with fashion resource books, so I’ve started using some of the publications as added accents to theme my merchandising around.

Gypset Style Home Decor (1)

Gypset Style Home Decor (2)

I couldn’t imagine carrying my multicolored chevron clutch on a regular basis – I usually leave my house with a huge hobo and another bag as well! There’s just no way I could fit everything I need during a typical day in this tiny little carrier; but together with a globe, my bold brass jewelry, a random rock my mom mailed me (yes, she shipped a rock she found :)), a tribal tile picture frame hand-carved out of bone by artisans in India – the title of the book says it all. Gypset – an approach to life that fuses the wild and unconventional ethos of a gypsy with the sophistication and speed of the jet set.

Savage Beauty Home Decor

Atop the book, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a vintage tin tray builds the base that holds my everyday outfit add-ons. Generally speaking I wear the same set of rings & bracelets every single day (with the exception of swapping here & there). After getting ready for the day, I head over to my tray and add-on the finishing touches to my ensemble. With nature & Native American accents, my peaceful presentation is artful and appropriate for my pretty little things.

My Closet (1)

My closet…….Ohhhh my closet!!! It is way beyond it’s capacity! My clothes have spilled over onto not 1, but 2 rolling racks that permanently reside along the wall. I have no choice but to have my colorful dresses and patterned tops on display.

My studio apartment has basically turned into a walk-in closet – but I wouldn’t want it any other way :)