Flower Child

I am a flower child with the occasional rock and roll heart… and a gypsy soul.

 

Because of that I put in my two week’s notice at Weissman’s last Monday… today was my last day. I’m going back on Friday to give a coworker a birthday gift… and I’m meeting them next week as they all want to have a goodbye lunch for me (their idea).

 

Oh how I will miss the land of tulle… and sequins.

 

Those wonderful, wondrous women. The kindest coworkers I’ve ever had were within those walls. Walls I have called one of my homes for the past year and a half.

A necessity though. A necessity for my sanity… and it was the logical one to drop, because my ever changing availability was not very fair on them (I firmly believe a job should be benefiting from your employment as much as you’re benefiting from your paycheck)

photo 5-9

Do & Be Flower Child dress photo 4-22 The dress is from Do & Be. I purchased it from Vinted (a girl on Facebook said I should check it out). While I am not impressed with Vinted, they did give me a $15 credit for signing up (to exclude shipping – must be used in one transaction) – so this dress (that was NWT) cost me less than $3… Can’t complain about that, at all.

 

and goodness, I need to get my hair redone.

I’ve decided I’m going to give away my well loved Jimmy Choo Malena sometime soon via this blog. Stay tuned for details when I have more time to figure them out.

I don’t use the bag at all anymore and would love it to go to someone that might not be able to ever own a Jimmy Choo purse otherwise. Yes, it’s been loved, but I’m certain someone else can love it as well.

I Like My Hats Floppy and My Hair Long

So I worked this morning and have this afternoon off. I should be prepping for tomorrow’s Girls Night Out at Harry + David by making pinatas… but if I don’t get around to pinata making, I can always just use cellophane bags. I would much rather go outside and romp around. Oh the joys of management ;)

Seriously though, while the new role or rather expectations were unexpectedly thrown into my lap (with the store manager quitting my first day), there is a huge plus. I am getting to learn so much that will help me obtain my goal of becoming a manager at Anthropologie (I think one outside of St. Louis though). Also the fact that I am now part of the hiring process now (I’m in charge of the second round of interviews) and am in charge of events will help bolster my resume for that desired future position.

Oh and I think I fixed my issues with the comments… I had installed a plug-in that I think was prompting errors for certain people. If any of the people that emailed me are still having issues, let me know :)

 

Nanette Lepore black and white silk dress Anthropologie floppy hat Nanette Lepore black and white silk dress Anthropologie floppy hat Nanette Lepore black and white silk dress Anthropologie floppy hatI’m wearing nude wedge sandals from Francesca’s, a black and white silk Nanette Lepore dress (there’s polka dot fabric underneath all of the lace, and a red and white floppy hat that’s currently for sale at Anthropologie (I can’t find it on the website, but I think it’s fairly new as I got it on Saturday)

The Vault by WCE in St. Louis: A Review

NOTE: For the #TLDR version, scroll to the very bottom, as this is a long review.

 

A year or so ago a friend of mine graced the small screen with a small appearance in the St. Louis based show Resale Royalty. The show highlights a mother, her two daughters, and their resale store. After seeing Maren (who was a highlighted supplier) on the show I thought I’d pop by the Women’s Closet Exchange in South County. While I gave it a pretty stellar review on Yelp, I wasn’t entirely blown over. The women there were what made the experience for me as the location was not anywhere near my stomping ground and the clothing wasn’t anything truly special. The prices were fantastic (especially compared to regular retail). The fact that the owner came up to me and told me I belonged in the window (I was wearing my Daksha Stitched Blouse and Jeffrey Campbell Skates)

Well, they’ve recently opened up a second location much closer to my Victorian flat. Since, I committed to taking back my pantry — Erm, yes… I may or may not have turned my pantry into a second closet — after I found myself rationalizing having done so by saying, “well, I do wear clothes more than I eat,” in a complete Blair Waldorf way, I decided to try to visit this new location.

So I pulled clothing. Lots and lots of clothing. A bizarre amount with the tags still on it.

I decided to bring it to the Vault. It seemed a great way to check out this new location.

The Vault is definitely more high end than their sister store. What I felt the sister store lacked this store had in spades.

The merchandising was much better. The displays were crisper. Things were nicely lit. There was more room. Everything seemed like it had been carefully selected. It made you want to browse the racks (which was a lot easier to do in this location). The clothes themselves also seemed better. They were definitely above the quality and design of those at the other store. I had mentioned in a Yelp review RE The Womens Closet Exchange that they didn’t have the Alice + Olivia pieces that made you do the double take… this store did.

Additionally, they had this wonderful little lounge area that made the store have a beautifuly boutique feel. It reminded me of some of the higher end stores I visited when I was in California last.

I went in there to sell the closet pullings and buy a dress. I wound up buying black and white blouses instead of a dress though (thank you Harry + David for confining me so…). The white and metallic accents were just enough and made the place feel so much more airy than the other location does. Airy, light, and wonderful.

boutique feel

The lounge in The Vault by Women’s Closet Exchange in St. Louis

The staff member that greeted me (this lovely African American woman who was so incredibly sweet) and the lady that rang out my purchases were definitely the nicest of the bunch. A couple of them seemed to be bored and one ignored me entirely (and I was definitely dressed nicely — Jimmy Choo Malena, Nanette Lepore silk dress, Anthropologie floppy hat). However, I have worked retail long enough to know that sometimes people just have off days (goodness knows I do!). The super nice women totally made up for it though. If anyone from The Vault ever reads this, the lady that greeted me is a total keeper.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand:

I brought in quite a few items – anticipating they would never take them all. Truthfully, I’m glad they didn’t. It shows that they carefully curate what they sell… which means going there as a buyer should be more pleasant.

They took the ones I thought they might… Though it did surprise me they took two of the three pairs of Seven for all Mankind jeans and not all three (since they all still had tags and were completely identical). I guess they didn’t need three identical pairs anymore than I did ;) They took the NWT $598 Diane Von Furstenberg Issie Sequin Dress, the $398 Catherine Malandrino dress, the $199.50 Michael by Michael Kors dress, the Nicole Miller $330 road sample dress, a $200 Nicole Miller top, the Chloe skirt, a Juicy Couture jacket, a Laundry by Shelli Segal jacket, a NWT $350 Betsey Johnson dress, NWT Elie Tahari top (it was over $200, but can’t remember the exact amount…), a $178 NWT BCBG top, a $148 NWT BCBG skirt, the two NWT $235 Seven For All Mankind Jeans, and a few other things. Definitely a lot of NWT dollars.

They didn’t take some Nicole Miller pants, a pair of BCBG pants, a Cynthia Rowley jacket, a Zara woman skirt, an Adrianna Papell dress, a Nanette Lepore dress, a pair of Miu Miu slacks, and one of the pairs of Seven for all Mankind jeans

They offered me $270 store credit or $250 cash. I am not sure they realized (the DVF dress didn’t have the $ amount on it – I purchased it at Therapy in Pasadena and they tear off the bottom half of the price tag when you buy the item to prevent returns) how much that dress was new otherwise I imagine they would have offered me a bit more. For the sake of taking my pantry back I took the cash.

I also chatted with one of the daughters – from the one episode of the show I watched (yay Maren!) I feel like her name is Diane?? -  about my new management job. They were probably wondering (afterward) how in the world someone working as a manager at Harry + David can afford so many items. Since I stated I would be honest and open about finances on this blog, I can explain here.

I work 40+ hours a week at Harry + David, 10 hours a week at a local dancewear company (they are behind Dancewear Solutions) as a merchandiser, 4-5 hours a week at Anthropologie, and I receive around $1000 a month from something that was setup for me (contingent upon a few things – please do not make any “trust fund” references… not okay or at all based in reality or off of fact). Couple that with living in a Victorian flat, having no car payment (I will drive my Jetta until it dies, because no car payment is the best thing in the world), etc and you have my insane wardrobe.

My conclusion?

While I was totally content with the $250 in cash (and will probably go again to sell stuff as my closet gets out of control fast), I don’t think a lot of people would be. With my retail experience, Business minor, and passion for Economics, I happen to understand they’re in it to make a profit and to make fashion accessible. They also have (I would imagine) increased overhead costs associated with their expansion and new location. To me that makes it worth it, especially when you consider that they’re doing the work and taking the risk of the clothes not selling immediately. The space on the rack a garment takes up while it’s not selling is valuable. Anyway, I’m content and happy… and you know what? Accessible fashion is SO important. Them paying me less, means they don’t have to have as high of a markup and someone else can enjoy those labels brand new with tags for a fraction of the cost. I’m okay with that! It’s kind of cool.

I think I might go to Avalon Exchange (someone mentioned this on FB) with the rest just to compare what happens as it could be interesting. It won’t be a perfect comparison and I have absolutely no doubt that store won’t smell as nice as The Vault did, won’t have as wonderful of a staff, won’t have the easy parking, and undoubtedly they won’t treat the discards with as much kindness as the woman that greeted me did.

Again, I say, I hope The Vault keeps that sales associate for a long time. I might even have to drop off some Harry + David goodies for the staff to thank them for her great customer service (I truly think retail people who are nice are not given the props they deserve)

 

 

TLDR: Go there to browse higher end clothing than their sister store has. Admire the purse displays (and purchase – I know I will if they ever get a Chloe Paddington in!). Enjoy the friendly staff. Sell items if you need space in your closet (not if you’re strapped for cash). Enjoy the boutique feel without the boutique price.

Body Talk + Money Talk

A little bit of housekeeping: I promise an outfit post is coming soon (as in Friday!!). I’ve literally been working 60 hour weeks, so I’ve been incredibly busy. Being a human doing is not nearly as much fun as being a human being.

Anyway:

I’m somewhat of a unicorn. Though I have had food issues in the past (read into that what you will) to the point of having a heart condition and feeding tube (again, read into that what you will), I have never had those issues truly be fueled by poor body image. However, those issues have led me to become friends with quite a lot of women with body image issues.

I myself am currently 5’2″ and 120ish pounds (according to my dietitian, due to my bone structure, growth charts, and muscle mass my ideal body weight is between 125-130 pounds). I can type this out despite not being ultra thin, because I don’t care. It’s a number. Just like my age, 26; my credit score, 742; or the number of times I have questioned my love for B, 0.

At every weight I have been in I have had curves, because I am Portuguese Canadian. These curves are why I tend to wear dresses and skirts most frequently. They’re the easiest to wear for my shape (my hip to waist ratio is a bit skewed shall we say). In fact, despite working retail, the only jeans I have found that fit my shape properly are AG Stevie Ankles (a la Anthropologie). It’s sort of crazy if you think about it, since I am definitely “normal” weight. (I put “normal” in parentheses as I truly believe it’s a construct that is different for each person… if you ever want an interesting read, look up how BMI was originally intended to be used – cliff notes version? NOT on an individual basis, rather on mass for insurance companies)

My mother, on the other hand, is a larger woman. As a child I never understood why she would dress the way she did. Seemingly without care. Seemingly defeated. I especially didn’t understand when my parents started making more money (once my father got out of the Air Force). As an adult, looking back, I now realize. Fashion is not always readily accessible to those whose shapes are different or who are plus-size.

It should be though.

I saw a campaign on Kickstarter recently where a girl from St. Louis is trying to raise funds to start a mobile boutique (a Fashion Truck) for plus sized clothing.

I asked her a few questions about it (to make sure if funded she would have enough resources, etc), but wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to actually laying some money down.

Then the other night I went out after a couple of double days at work followed by a regular day (aka 9am-10:30pm for two days followed by a 9-5:30 day). I went to Maggiano’s and with drinks and food I had a $100 tab to pay by the end (oh how we were laden down with food bags when we left) .

It was this morning at work that I realized if I could go out and spend $100 for dinner I could afford to spend the same amount of money to fund something that would allow women that are plus-sized to realize that they are enough as they are. That they aren’t wrong. That their sizes and shapes aren’t wrong. Something that could make shopping for enjoyable and easier for them.

I backed the project.

If you have some time tonight  (or anytime before July 15th), check out her project and see if you aren’t inspired in some way. It feels like more than a fashion truck to me. lt is fashion with a purpose. If you feel so inclined, sharing the concept is lovely as well.


From The Person Behind the Campaign:

Fashion boutique owner and recent Fashion Merchandising grad Antoinique Halton has a dream of expanding her boutique from online to on wheels and selling trendy plus-size fashion curbside. She created a Project Campaign on Kickstarter.com titled “Fund A Midwest Fashion Truck” to help make it all happen. All pledges will go towards transforming an ordinary step van box truck into a fabulous mobile boutique in which she will stock the shelves with independent plus-size labels like Zelie For She and Ace Blakely and bring them to curvy fashionistas throughout the midwest. Her Kickstarter “All or Nothing” campaign has less than a month to reach its $6,500 goal

 

 

——

On another side note about accessible fashion. My neighbor has convinced me to partake in the block yard sale on July 12th… I am going to be cleaning out my closet (I have no doubt I will be conning B into helping me). I have already started pulling pieces (BCBG MaxAzria, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Robert Rodriguez, Nanette Lepore, Miss Me Couture, Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti, Miu Miu, Laundry by Shelli Segal, etc) and even plan on selling my Jimmy Choo Malena as I closeted it shortly after starting this blog due to the wear it was starting to show. I want to make my closet accessible for everyone, so I plan on pricing things incredibly low (far below value, or ticket price – for the items with price tags still on them). Some people think that’s crazy… But if I’m not currently enjoying those items, why shouldn’t someone else? And why should they have to pay retail or even resale prices for those pieces?

Am I crazy?

Am I crazy?

New Week, New Love.

First off, I’m behind on blog reading. I plan to remedy that tonight and tomorrow morning.

I’ve literally worked 58.5 hours this week (and no, I’m not joking) even with Sunday off. So I’ve been a bit rushed and on the go. It seems whatever spare time I’ve had has been spent walking my dog or doing the necessities (and not even all of those as my house is a bit of a disaster zone at the moment… whoops!)

Anyway. I’ve been enjoying a bit of spare time after early morning work and I was browsing Revolve Clothing’s website. I fell in love with a brand that I’ve seen before (and I think I’ve posted a dress of their’s here before… only from a different shopping website), For Love & Lemons.

 

There’s something romantic and sexual about their clothing. Quite a few of the pieces have a lingerie inspired look (they also sell lingerie), but I don’t find it cheap looking (some might, I have no doubt). I am definitely becoming a bigger and bigger fan.

 

For Love & Lemon  Screen shot 2014-05-31 at 1.49.01 PM Screen shot 2014-05-31 at 1.49.06 PM Screen shot 2014-05-31 at 1.49.43 PMYou can find them all on Revolve Clothing (and just search by designer or by item name)

 

photo

So I went in to fill out paperwork today and as it would have it the store manager either quit or was fired… Should make my first few weeks as the 2nd assistant manager a bit more interesting ;)

Anyway, I went thrifting recently to get jeans to wear to this new job… Yep, that’s part of the uniform and I actually don’t own any denim colored jeans… I own colored denim and a pair of gray ones… but none that actually resemble jeans. Problem. I also didn’t want to shell out $188 for a pair (I tend to buy AGs) that I’d only be wearing to work… so I bought a pair for $3 instead…

I also bought the skirt you see me wearing for $4… I’ve been wanting a skirt with a bow on the waist. It’s actually striped – which you can’t tell in the picture. It’s marked as a size 8, but there’s no way as it fits my waist fairly perfectly and I’m a 2 or 4 depending…  Sometimes even 0 if it’s a skirt or dress in a brand that’s more generous with their sizing….

My top is 5 years old and from Target – haha.

I’m also wearing Chuck Taylor’s that I painted scenes from the Lorax on. Yes, as in Dr. Seuss

Days Gone By….

So I’ve been a very busy person. The last couple of weeks of school (presentations, capstone projects, numerous papers, a final, etc), job hunting, interviewing (as a result of job hunting), crying, a bout with strep throat, and of course working my present employment.

Happy to say that school is over. I graduated on Saturday (though I didn’t attend the commencement ceremony) and my parents came into town and have left. I have secured a job (pending the background check that is taking place as I type this – which should be squeaky clean). Life has calmed down.

Here’s a snippet of what I’ve been up to:

moscato at yo my goodnessFrozen Yogurt Fun

photo 4-21The Lush City Life. I swear I have the greenest backyard in the City…

Skirt, Anthrologie (old), last seen HERE

Blouse, Boutique, last seen HERE

Cardigan, Vintage and Thrifted

photo-33The bearded Irises came up

Robust Wine Bar Apple Crisp and Love Potion

Dessert and Drinks at Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves

St. Louis Romp

sweet art vegan cupcakes

Cupcakes from Sweet Art in Shaw in St. Louis… Vegan Fauxstess, Mudslide, Chocolate Mint

yoga gear yoga gear2Yoga Ready

Sports Bra: Victoria’s Secret

Tunic, Dillards, (old)

Speaking the Good

I took a Business Statistics course one summer. It was highly condensed, incredibly fast, and the instructor was definitely a brilliant person. The first day of class they informed us that they did not believe in giving out As. That As were for exceptional people and that only people like Thomas Jefferson were exceptional. That we, in turn, were not Thomas Jefferson, thus none of us would be receiving As.

 

He also didn’t believe in writing tests that you could conceivably finish in the allotted amount of time. He admitted this. He said he was not only testing your Business Statistics capabilities, but also your abilities to test strategically.

 

I’ve never been more proud of a B+ in my life. Truly.
However, the thing he taught me that sticks with me the most had nothing to do with statistics. It had all to do with life.
Apparently one year the university asked him to analyze the responses for the student surveys. Each semester the university sends out survey links for students to rate their professors. This professor told us that by large, even if students were given an incentive to complete the surveys, those that chose to take the time to fill them out complained. He said that his analysis revealed that it was remarkably rare for someone to fill out a positive survey if they were not solicited by extra credit (not extra credit for a positive survey, rather to just fill one out). This saddened me. He said it was reflective of society in general though. That we rarely take the time to speak of the good of someone, but we’re more than willing to take that time to speak of the bad.
So about a month ago when I got an email inviting students to nominate faculty members for “The Last Lecture,” I decided I needed to take time to speak of the good. I didn’t nominate that professor. I instead nominated this Economics professors I had the first semester back after I’d taken a break from school. She’s a wonderful person who did something no one had in awhile. She’d gotten me truly excited about something. There was definite good in that. Especially considering the fact that as a Sociology major and Business minor I have had classes all over campus in multiple departments. There’s such good in being able to excite students and get them passionate about a topic (and life). She also allowed me to do independent Economics research with her the following summer (actually the same summer that I took my Business Statistics course).

 

Well, she didn’t win, but they had a reception for the finalists and she was among them.

 

She emailed me to thank me for my nomination and asked me if I were going. i hadn’t planned on it, but decided to. I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but she hugged me and told me how thankful she was that I had taken the time to do that.
Such a simple thing. Yet it clearly meant a lot.
Here’s to speaking the truth, but making sure that also includes the good.

 

*for those that don’t know. The Last Lecture is a reference to a Carnegie Mellon professor who gave his last lecture about a topic unrelated to his course – about realizing your childhood dreams. His lecture became a phenomenon (and was turned into a book). Certain universities are now continuing it by having students nominate professors from whom they would like to hear, “The Last Lecture.”  Essentially professors are asked if this was their last lecture what would they talk about. What are the things that they would wish to pass along to their students?

Neon Boheme

Spending the morning with my dog… enjoying our lush (shared) backyard and writing lovely handwritten notes to a few people that I hold dear to my heart.

It’s a little cloudy out and I wanted some color in my life. I find I can finally carry off the bohemian/festival look I love because of my new hair… excellent.

This dress wouldn’t be for everyone, but I rather love the neon tie dye look and the nearly backless nature.

 

neon tie dye dress neon tie dye dress 2 neon tie dye dress 3Dress: Urban Outfitters (old), high-low tie dye dress HERE (red and pink for under $20) and a backless one HERE (albeit in a more neutral palate)

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