Thursday, September 30, 2010

flashback to the '90s

two of my favorite movies in the '90s were "Clueless" and "Reality Bites". they both came out around the same time (1994-1995). i was a freshman/sophomore in high school at the time. i loved (and still love) these movies not only because they are really good, but i was also very inspired by the fashion! cher and lelaina have two totally different styles, but they are both so great and SO identifiably 1990s. and i am sure i copied both of their looks more than once throughout my teen years.
um, a watch doesn't go with this outfit, daddy.
don't bogart the can, man.
i am almost positive that my four sisters and i each wore a version of the dress that winona is wearing to my grandma's 75th birthday party.

i thought it would be super fun to recreate updated versions of these looks. so i did. and i was right...SUPER fun!!!

i put 2010 cher into some super cute shorts over argyle tights (cheaper tights here) rather than the argyle skirt/knee high combo.
then i added my favorite white tank, tucked in, and some super cute oxford heels. and to make her a bit more edgy, less preppy, i put her in this great faux-leather hooded blazer. WANT!
i would totally rock this outfit! would you?

2010 lelaina needed to shorten her dress, so i put her in this floral, tunic tank and leggings. i also found these dresses that would work just as well! (here and here). and, of course, she needed some chunky, black footwear. these black engineer boots are amazing (i actually own a pair). i love taking something girly, like the floral dress, and toughening it up a bit by wearing these.
you could also get actual vintage clothes from the '90s (yes, sadly, '90s clothing is considered vintage) and update them with a few current pieces from your own wardrobe!

images via here and here.

teaching your kids the value of a quarter

i don't get to shop as much as i used to. any parent knows that it's hard to get any time to yourself when you have kids. you can't just up and go to the mall anytime you want to shop. schedules needs to be planned out, babysitters need to be arranged, money needs to be saved. that's why i love thrift shopping; i can bring the kids, make a day out of it – the kids love it, i love it, our bank account loves it.

a while back, our kids were going through a bit of a naughty phase. i was racking my brain trying to figure out how to deal with them. time outs only go so far and taking toys away is pretty much pointless when they are just as happy with a stick and an empty box to play with. so we finally came up with a plan. i realized that there was a way to kill two birds with one stone. every day that they were good (no time outs, no fighting, cleaning their rooms, not talking back...the list goes on), we would give them a quarter. every day that they were naughty, we took a quarter away. at the end of the week, we'd empty their quarter jars and go saling. some weeks they would have a full $1.50, some weeks they'd have nothing, some weeks they'd owe us money. but every week, they would look forward to saturday when we'd pack up the car and drive around town going from garage sale to garage sale. they loved it. they behaved because of it. they learned the value of a quarter from it. they came home with plenty of thrifty finds because of it. and i got to go to all the sales i wanted to while spending some valuable time with my kids. win/win.

saling makes them sleepy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the look for less

as much as i don't like to admit it, i am sometimes (okay, a lot of times) inspired by the style of celebrities. unfortunately, movies stars, models and heiresses can afford spend a lot more money on clothes than i! so, i decided to find a celeb look that i love and recreate it for much less! this was so fun that i think i might make it a regular thing!

nicole richie has one of my favorite styles in hollywood. and i love this kimono style maxi dress (from her own line, Winter Kate):
super cute, right? she also wore it with a cute, leather jacket. i love this look:

she sells this dress (just the dress) for $260. i created a similar look (including a faux leather jacket!) for almost $200 less!!!
find the dress here and the jacket here.

images via here and here.

a vintage halloween

i love everything about halloween. cool, crisp weather, carving pumpkins, tricks and treats, scary movies, haunted houses, hay rides! did i mention treats?!? but the best part, of course, are the costumes! i LOVE dressing up. megan and i will come up with costume ideas all year. starting the day after halloween we are trying to come up with next year's costume. in fact, we usually have so many ideas that we never decide what we're actually going to be until the last minute! luckily we have piles of vintage clothing  in our closets. we're bound to find something that will work!

today i came up with three great, vintage-inspired costume ideas. we have a blond, a brunette, and a redhead. something for everyone!

and just for you, i scoured etsy to find everything you'll need for each costume! fun, fun, fun!!! if you want, i'll come over and do your makeup too!


dress (I couldn't decide between this or this! they're both so great!!!)
necklace and earrings

and if you know me, you know i love a great headpiece. especially a 1920s-inspired one. i just couldn't pick between this, this and this. oh, and this! they are all fabulous!

images via here, here and here.

size doesn't matter

i used to be obsessed with the size of my clothes. i had this ridiculous idea in my head that i had to wear a certain size, and i wouldn't even look in racks of other sized clothes. i kick myself now when i think about all the darling clothes i must have missed out on! especially all the great vintage's size 4 was a 12 back in the 50s. so now when i shop, i look at everything. first of all, you never know when something has been placed in the wrong section. secondly, there are some fabulous finds out there, that may not be your size, but could work for you anyways. with a little imagination and a few accessories, you can turn almost anything into something adorable!

for instance, i bought a white tee today. just a plain white t-shirt. it's a size xl. i tried it on and it's perfect. it hangs off the shoulder just slightly, and worn with leggings, biker boots and a yoga tank, i think it will be fabulous. or tuxedo shorts and a blazer. or belted. the possibilities are endless.

don't get me wrong, i still look at sizes when i shop...who doesn't want to find an irregular small size and have it fit? i might even accidentally have the tag hanging out at times...but i no longer obsess about it. whatever i love, and whatever looks great, i'm going to buy.

images via here and here


who doesn't love a great makeover! i know i do. that is why megan and i plan on making over some of our lucky blog readers using great vintage and thrifted clothes and accessories! we will post before and after pictures too. such fun! keep checking back for details and updates!
we also plan on possibly featuring some room makeovers! awesome!

images via here and here.

it's like she read my mind

the day after i write a post about my daughter's great fashion sense, she goes and puts on almost the exact outfit i was writing about. gotta love her!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

six degrees of vintage clothing.

there are so many things that i love about vintage clothing...the timelessness of it, the fact that almost every piece is unique and so flattering on most figures, the price. i love that when you buy vintage, you are doing the world a favor. what i really love is that every piece has a history. each dress has probably been to some special occasion, been broken up in, learned good news in. the possibilities are endless. don't you wish you knew even just one small story about a piece of clothing you have?

a funny thing happened at work today. i was wearing this great dress i found at a garage sale. a woman walked  past me and stopped dead in her tracks. she stopped and was just staring at me. finally she said, "i think i used to have a dress just like that. it was my mother's." i told her that i did buy it used, so it very well could be her old dress. she then thought again and said, 'well i don' think so because mine had a high collar." to which i replied that mine does, too...i just chose to wear the buttons open (times have changed). we chatted a bit more and i decided that in my version of this story, the dress was for sure hers, and it somehow had made its way back into her life. perhaps another day i will sit down with her and talk about the dress and where she might have gone and what she might have done while wearing it.

i think i will start to make note of special things i do while wearing certain pieces in my wardrobe. i already planned on saving my favorites for my daughter to have when she gets older. but now maybe she will also have a little bit of insight on what i have done in each piece. and maybe one day when she's in her 60s, she will see someone else wearing an old dress that used to be hers.


i love these boots. in fact, i just sent an email to two of my sisters with a link to these boots and one word: LOVE! my sister wrote back that she loved them too and that i had sent her this link already a few days ago! so, i decided they should be blogged about. they are amazing, and in such great condition for a vintage pair of boots! and every pair of great boots needs a great sweater. perhaps this one, this one, or this one???

fashion lessons from our kids

i think we can learn a lot about fashion if we look at our kids. i have never been one of those parents who tells their kids what to wear. it wasn’t until my son started kindergarten that i realized that maybe i had to say no to certain outfits.

i guess there comes a point in time where kids just can't wear pirate costumes to school, because face it, in this day and age, i’m pretty sure you can’t bring a sword to school!

but really, i have learned a lot from my kids. for one: who says everything has to match? i adore when my daughter puts on some striped tights, knee high pink boots and a floral dress. it’s eclectic, organic and she loves it. people look at her and know that she dressed herself. i love it. when i do the same thing, it’s not always as endearing to other people.  but you know what? i don’t care. i wear my pink tights and cowboy boots to work.

someone at work once said to me, “it’s not like leggings and cowboy boots are in style.” to which i replied, “actually…”

another thing i’ve learned from my kids: wear what you want. don’t dress for other people, dress for yourself. If you like vintage dresses, wear vintage dresses. if you like sweats and tees, wear them! don’t worry about what everyone thinks. i know that i used to spend a lot of time wondering what people at work would think if i wore a 50’s secretary dress. one guy told me once that he didn’t realize we were supposed to dress up for cinco de mayo because I was wearing an old vintage mexican dress. yes, maybe your feelings get a little hurt every once in a while. what I’ve learned, though, is that if you truly love your style, than even if no one else does, it doesn’t matter. clothing is a way to express yourself, who you are, what you like…keep at it and don’t worry about what other people think.

there are times when i don’t want to stand out in a crowd. sometimes i like a nice crisp, clean look; a bright white shirt and some great black trousers. but most of the time, i want to wear striped tights, knee high boots and a floral dress. try it once…i bet you’ll love it.

fab finds for the vintage loving kiddo

speaking of kids, i just found this great site that has the cutest vintage coats for kids! check these out!

seriously? i want each one in my size!

i also think any one of my nephews would look quite dapper in this sweet getup (found here).


megan and i are both moms. she has two kids: the five year old boy wonder, henry and the fabulous eva, who is three and a half. my deliciously adorable daughter, amelia, is 5 months old.

eva, also known as 'diva', is most definitely a fashionista. and if megan, myself, and, most importantly, eva have anything to say about it, amelia will someday have a passion for fashion as well!

i must say, she looks pretty fab in these 100% cashmere pants, thrifted for $1 (seriously!) by my friend heather in chicago (thanks heather)!!! she's also rockin' that pink patchwork jacket that was made with love by her grandma catherine! so fabulous!

winter's coming, time to shop

i’m in that mood this week…the shopping mood. not that this is different than any other week, but i really feel like shopping. being the kind of person who never pays full price for anything, i always start off my shopping excursions at garage sales. just last week, nora and i found this ridiculous sale full of vintage clothes. we started pulling clothes from the multitude of racks at the sale (it turns out that the woman’s dream was to own a vintage store…she bought everything she needed and then didn’t start the store) not knowing prices on anything. then we heard these words that melted our hearts, “all dresses are $2, coats are $3.” let me tell you, they had to create a whole new rack just for nora and me. at this point, we were both just grabbing things, hoping they would fit. we ended up each coming home with about 25 pieces each. what a day!

however, that wasn’t enough. i am still in the shopping mood. i don’t know what it is. i think it’s the change of weather…the feeling that soon i will have a whole new batch of clothes to choose from. i don’t love winter, but i do love chunky sweaters and blazers and old weathered boots. i know that I will fulfill most of my shopping itch at Mighty Swell this weekend, but I also want to have a few winter necessities.

to start off, everyone needs a nice long layering tank. we found this great one at Forever 21.  i think i might buy one in every color.
nora found this great blazer there, too.

put these together with a nice chunky boot (like these in gray) and leggings or a short skirt, and you’ve got a great outfit!

i’m also loving Kohls this week. i went on a clearance rack shopping spree and found some great pieces that really surprised me. first of all, the new Lauren Conrad collection is pretty cute. i can’t say that i ever watched her on any of the mtv shows, but i really like a few of her pieces, specifically her skirts. this one, for instance, is only $17.60! Vera Wang’s boyfriend jeans are also on my “have to buy list” at Kohls.

so now i have a few necessities. the rest i will buy at vintage stores and rummage sales. i have noticed that even throughout the winter, people are still hosting garage sales in their homes. plus, two birds will be having more sales and hopefully with the success of the first Mighty Swell sale, many more will come!


there are so many reasons to love fall. the cool, crisp weather, the changing leaves, football! but the main reasons that i love fall are sweaters, jackets, scarves, tights and boots! these are some great fall-fashion inspiration photos! i might need to find some bow tights like these ones from river island and that awesome faux leather jacket from H&M. it is so fun to shop for great vintage pieces for fall (a great pair of boots! a fabulous full length sweater!) and pair them with something new. images via here, here, and here.

two birds

not too long ago, my sister and i had a brilliant idea to open a new in-home vintage boutique in south minneapolis. our idea was to sell upscale boutique looks at vintage prices. well, we did just that! the photo above is from our grand opening sale in september of 2009. so much has happened since then!!! we've had many successful sales and are about to start on our biggest venture to date! check out this website for more info on that. you can also go here to see more of the fabulous item two birds has to offer and to become a fan and receive updates on our upcoming events!