STYLING FROM THE INSIDE

Hello Dear Friends,

This week, I’ve been thinking about the transition from summer clothing to fall and winter styles.  Because Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, I’ve always looked forward to the September issues of the fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle.  In addition, beautiful home decorating magazines like Victoria and Romantic Homes offer gorgeous images inside the covers of their Fall issues.  As usual, the latest fashions shown in these magazines always feature many retro styles in clothing, accessories, and home decoration.  Loving vintage fashion does not lessen my excitement in seeing these historic nods to eras like the 1940s or 1970s in current sartorial suggestions for the season.  For example, the September issue of StyleWatch had a page of menswear-inspired shoes for women, similar to this image from styledrops.com. At Nostalgia, we often sell vintage men’s shoes to young ladies looking for the latest trend in a very affordable, very well made vintage pair.  Foot sizes for women have changed in recent years, allowing for these girls to now wear vintage men’s styles.leather oxford

Brocade is showing this Fall, and I always enjoy seeing that fashion as it harkens back to some of my favorite time periods in historic dress, such as the Renaissance and the Victorian era.  In fact, brocade and other sumptuous fabrics have become quite timeless and are seen every Autumn in some way, shape, or form, often extended to accessories like shoes and handbags.  brocade RLThis Ralph Lauren jacket, for example could be worn with almost anything vintage or current and still remain stylish and elegant for years to come.

This brings me to the theme of this post.  The wearer must not simply follow fashion, he/she must create style based upon mood, personality, preference, and self-image.  That said, I find that many people (women especially!) fear expressing themselves through their fashion choices.  Now, this is less common with younger folks, but for those of us over 40, we may feel intimidated to show any side of ourselves that may be different from what is believed to be “acceptable” in terms of style.  I will admit that, owning a store that includes vintage fashion and accessories makes it much easier to experiment with style and with different periods, but everyone can and should have fun getting dressed every day.  This is the magic of developing one’s own personal style.

How can I start, you might ask?  Take baby steps if you must, but make a change in your shopping and buying habits if you feel that you are in a “style rut.”  The following steps can help to get you started on small, but significant changes.

  1. Pick one favorite item of clothing that speaks to you on the “inside.”  Do you love the color, the cut, or is it a sentimental piece for you?
  2. Go shopping for an item that will match this favorite item, but that is different in some way from what you would normally choose.  For example, a favorite pair of jeans could be worn with a plain white tee and a “statement” jacket in a color or fabric that is new to you.  Be sure this new item “speaks to you.”
  3. Once you have discovered the magic of this new pairing, slowly add accessories, vintage or otherwise, that will express this new side of you while not taking you too far out of your comfort zone.
  4. As you feel more confident in your new choices, try shopping in stores that you don’t normally frequent.  You may go to a vintage clothing store or charity shop and discover something wonderful to add to that favorite skirt or dress that will mix things up a bit and express more of who you are NOW.
  5. Lastly, try these steps with other items that you own and see how many creative and fun outfits you can come up with.  Before you know it, your personal style will shine through and you’ll receive compliments like crazy!  Have fun!

Next week, I’d like to focus on health, fitness and style, so please stay tuned!

Ren

 

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STYLING WITH VINTAGE

Hello Friends!

It’s been awhile since my last post, but we’ve been busy at Nostalgia preparing for the launch of our new website and our online store!  Yes, that’s right, we shall be ready within the coming month to surprise you with a wide variety of all things vintage and vintage-inspired.  Below is just a sampling of the merchandise that we will offer at Nostalgia Online.  Computer terminals set up in the store will be available to allow customers to shop while browsing at Nostalgia, but customers will also be able to order from the comfort of their own home.

 

Although in the brick & mortar store, we sell mostly authentic antique and vintage items, many customers have shown an interest in antique- and vintage-inspired pieces, which have the great look of the old, but are new items.  The good news about these wonderful gems is that they may be obtained by the click of a mouse.  For example, shortly after the arrival of 2 table and chair sets similar to the green set above, both of these sold within a few days!  Obviously, some customers do not mind if the item is a true vintage piece or not, as long as it gives them the look that they want.

Along these same lines, I can say that I feel the same way about styling my wardrobe.  Although I adore “real” antique and vintage clothing from various eras, I also enjoy mixing vintage-inspired pieces with the real thing or with basic, staple clothing items and accessories.  As an example, the image below is of me channeling a 1940s look.  None of the items are old, but all are inspired by the glamourous ’40s.  The dress was purchased from a Nostalgia vendor and is a fairly recent style designed to resemble a 1940s silhouette.  The snood is one of 4 that I ordered new from an online vendor and, lastly, the shoes are from the J Peterman catalog.  I have so much fun getting dressed in the morning, and I am very fortunate to be working in a creative fielf that allows for dressing “outside of the box!”  I encourage all of you out there to have fun with fashion and experiment like crazy.  Personal style needs to evolve, just as our personalities and lifestyles tend to evolve and change over time.  Our online store will eventually have offerings of vintage- and antique-inspired fashions and accessories to complement the home décor and other lifestyle pieces at Nostalgia Online.

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When I hold my fashion era presentations at libraries, historical societies, and other venues, I often dress the part using reproduction clothing and accessories from catalogs such as Victorian Trading Company and Pyramid Collection.  These offerings allow me to feel as if I am dressed in the clothing of the era I am representing, without compromising the integrity of delicate and fragile antique pieces.  That said, I had fun putting together this outfit for my “Fashions of the Gilded Age” presentation at Warwick Public Library.

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The blouse is a repro Victorian piece from Nostalgia, the skirt is only a few years old and was purchased at a boutique on Newbury St. in Boston.  The shoes are repro booties from Victorian Trading Co., and my bun is a faux ponytail wrapped and pinned.  The earrings are Victorian style, but are less than one year old.  I felt comfortable presenting in this ensemble, invoking the spirit of The Gilded Age.  Try to incorporate vintage pieces with newer items, and you will create a personal style that is authentic to YOU.  If you need help getting started, please contact me at 401-480-2903 for a consultation.  Happy Styling!

Ren