What are the odds?

I mean, I knew it was coming.  The writing was on the wall.  The re-sale clothing store I was employed at is not doing well…I mean, it’s kind of tanking.  It should have done really well, this being Austin and all.  I went into work today intending to give my notice (I have something lined up already), only to be informed by the owner that my news was a relief for her because she was going to have to let me go.  She had a visit from corporate yesterday, which did not go well, so I was given a check and headed out the door.  I sincerely hope that things turn around for this business because I believe in re-sale, but with a skeleton crew (the owner and 2 employees), it’s not looking good.  This is especially sad as it comes on the heels of the closing of the GAP store across the street.  So sad.

In the midst of this, I took a break from my self-imposed Madewell ban and ethical shopping crusade.  I know…I’m weak, but I have been crushing on a few items, especially these little beauties:

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And this little raw-edge denim dress:

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And here are more looks of the week.  Mind you…all of these outfits are what I actually wear for the day and not planned in advanced for the blog.  It’s all very informal.

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I’m looking at these photos and in all reality, some people may say that a 48-year-old woman shouldn’t be wearing ripped jeans or overalls.  I don’t care.  I was in Buy Backs yesterday wearing the above dress and Birkenstocks and some young late-twenties or early thirties guy complimented my toe nail polish and then tried to strike up a conversation with me about movie genres.  This is Buy Backs mind you, but hey, it’s not everyday this old gal gets propositioned!

Movie/Fashion History: MM & Billy Travillia

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Confession:  I go to Half Price Book a lot.  Every weekend, in fact. My favorite sections of the store are the British History, U.S. History, Entertainment, and the Fashion sections of the store.

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I recently found this little gem during a 20% off weekend:

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This book outlines Oscar winning designer, Billy Travillia, and his relationship with Marilyn Monroe.  He designed many of her most memorable costumes and some pieces for her personal wardrobe as well.  Oh, and they were also lovers for a time!

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For the record…Marilyn Monroe was 5 feet 5.5 inches and throughout her life weighed between 116 and 140 pounds.  Her higher weight was during her marriage to playwright, Arthur Miller, when she had several pregnancies that were not brought to term.  Her measurements were 36-25-35.  At the time of her death (at the age of thirty-six) she weighed 117 pounds.

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The above costume was suppose to be used for the “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” number from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, but was nixed by Fox executives for being too risque.  Instead, this little pink number was created:

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It is interesting to note that horsehair was used to puff out the back bow.

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Side view of Pink dress.

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The dress is a much lighter shade of pink in person than it appears in its’ technicolor glory on film.

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This cream dress was made for a personal appearance.  Notice the dirty hem (from rubbing against a car) and the lipstick stain.

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Notice the intricate pleating.  It’s Travillia’s signature and what he was known for.

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This famous gold lame gown was used in a scene for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, but was cut out for being too risque.  However, Marilyn wore it to a Photoplay function, causing a frenzy (and the wrath of Joan Crawford who called her “vulgar”).  There were 3 versions of this dress made.  Again, notice the beautiful pleating!

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This little number is from “How To Marry A Millionaire”.  It looks pink in this picture, but acturally appears purple on screen.

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This showgirl costume is from “There Is No Business Like Show Business”.

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And probably the most famous of all…the little white dress from “The Seven Year Itch”.  The dress that put the final nail in coffin for the DiMaggio/Monroe marriage.  It is interesting to note that Marilyn is wearing 2 pairs of white panties and her strappy sandals are Ferragamo.  Again, notice the beautiful pleating.  I had the good forturne to see this dress up close and personal in an exhibit.  I would say that the dress is a current day size 2 or 4.

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This showgirl costume was from their last collaboration for the film “Bus Stop”.  Notice the roughing up of this costume.  Sequins were taken off to be a true representation of character.silvermarilynsilver

Another dress created for a personal appearance.  She had to sewn into this one!

Billy Travillia created his own fashion line in the 60’s and 70’s.  His last hurrah was designing the costumes for the 80’s T.V. show Dallas and he was a favorite of the actresses on the show.

So, there you go…a little bit of Hollywood history!

You Are As Young As You Feel…

Or should I say, “You Are As Young As You Dress”?  I don’t dwell on it that much, but right now I’m having an “OMG!!!!!” moment because I realized my birthday is next month, which means I have one more year until I reach (which many consider the end of your shelf life) the half century mark…the big 50!!!!

Last night, my husband, son and I, were in downtown Austin having dinner.  We passed by a couple of noisy bars and it occurs to me that I would never repeat my 20’s.  It is true what they say that youth is wasted on the young.  In you’re twenties you are trying to “find your self” and all that stuff and you make a lot of stupid choices and you are totally wrapped up in things that are totally not important!  Lots of drama and wasted mental energy.  I actually quite liked my 40’s, for the most part.  I absolutely know who I am, but I’m still growing.  I’ve grown into my looks and have definitely found my own style.  Even though my daughter and I like and buy similar things (she often gets my cast offs) we wear them differently.  I shop at stores and buy styles that are not in my age demographic, change my haircut and color often, because I like change…at least when it comes to personal style and changing my hair up.IMG_2472IMG_2464IMG_2463IMG_2461IMG_2450 (1)IMG_2462IMG_2457IMG_2460IMG_2449 (1)IMG_2486IMG_2477IMG_2478IMG_2487IMG_2474IMG_2488IMG_2491 (1)IMG_2492IMG_2493 (1)IMG_2494IMG_2298IMG_2513IMG_2510IMG_2512redbirks

I guess my goal is to dress and keep my outlook on life “youthful” (as opposed to “juvenile”) and not stagnant.  Actually, I’m amazed that so far, the aging process hasn’t been too bad.  I do have a little more around my middle than I would like (the dreaded “menopot”), and I think that living a healthy lifestyle is a huge part of it.  I don’t drink (at all),  I don’t smoke, and I exercise everyday.  If any youngsters are reading this, please be advised that getting older doesn’t have to be horrible.  Just be advised that the lifestyle choices you make in your youth, absolutely play a part on how your golden years will turn out.  This is not to say that there have not been some bumps in the road…I’ll tell you about some of the bumps in future posts.

So…what do you think?  Does getting older scare the hell out of you?  What does “aging graceful” mean to you?

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The “Reverse Sweatshop” and Fashion Weaknesses

The last few months I’ve spent learning about “fast-fashion” vs. “slow-fashion” because it’s truly frightening the conditions of some of the sweatshops that the clothes we buy on a whim are produced in and it’s a serious matter.  But to lighten it up a bit, here is Portlandia’s spin on producing ethical clothing!  Enjoy!

While I’ve mostly been shopping at re-sale shops and I’ve purchased from a fully transparent, ethically producing company called “EVERLANE”, I still have a weakness for Madewell and I have recently purchased when they were having a sale.  I know, I’m weak, but their style is my style and what I’m digging right now.  I try to find similar items re-sale, but often I cannot find the exact item I’m looking for.  I’m really into Madewell plaids and jeans.  I know, I know…I’m working on it!

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Vest from Splendid; Dress Madewell; boots purchased from Clothes Mentor re-sale shop; cami Loft; Kendra Scott ring; boot socks (old) Banana Republic.

 

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Denim shirt & coat Old Navy; Flare Jeans Gap; Justin boots purchased from Style Encore re-sale shop; Kendra Scott necklace and bracelet.

So, what are your fashion weaknesses?

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What’s Old Is New Again!

They say if you wore something during your youth, you shouldn’t wear that trend when it will inevitably come back in fashion.  Well, I’m definitely ignoring this advice because I absolutely love the new high-waisted ’80’s “mom” jeans that are in now!

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This is a 22-year-old me entering Jim’s bedroom at 40 Park Street off the Venice, Ca boardwalk when we started dating.  I’m pretty sure the cardigan and jeans were from GAP.

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These jeans are Madewell‘s Cruiser Straight jeans with a high waist.  J.Crew  (old) cardigan, tee and long necklace Madewell; Blanket Cardigan Old Navy; ankle booties and Dooney and Bourke handbag purchased at Style Encore.

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These, again are Madewell Jeans:  The Perfect Summer Jean.  Blazer and tee Loft; Jewelry Kendra Scott; belt (old) Gap; shoes Clarks.

So what do you think?  Can I pull the high-waisted jeans off like my 22-year-old self?  What trends have you embraced the 2nd time around?