Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Mystery of Size 14

I just read an article about the mystery of size 14.  Evidently, although the average American woman is a size 14, is it the least purchased size.  I wasn't surprised.  The media shames us into hating our bodies.  Whether it's unrelenting coverage of obesity or a fashion industry that calls a 130 pound woman plus size, we are barraged images and information insinuating that once your size hits those double digits you are fat, ugly and about to drop dead from a heart attack.  Who feels like shopping under those circumstances?

When I was a size 14+, I was in a vicious cycle of not wanting to buy clothes then feeling bad for looking a mess.  I was in a "when I lose weight" purgatory.  After a particularly awful 'I have nothing to wear' experience, my husband turned to me and said, "It is the body that you have right now that needs clothes, so go buy some...that you like. Stop punishing yourself for gaining weight."

Click.  Insanity revealed!  

It wasn't the easiest thing in the world to do, but I came to accept and take care of my body as it was.  It took a minute for me to wrap my head around the fact I could still look and feel good about myself while deciding what to do about my weight.  I could still express myself through my clothes and enjoy doing so. I'm a thrifter and bargain hunter, so I certainly didn't spend a lot of money.  It doesn't have to cost a lot to get your mojo back!

It't so easy to become discouraged about how we look when at every single turn we are reminded about our age and weight. Good grief! They have teenaged girls the size of bamboo shoots selling cellulite cream...but I digress.  I may be wrong, but when all you hear and see is a lot of hoopla that says you're the wrong weight size and age - running off to buy that size 14 can be a bit of a drag.

Vintage was hard to find for sure, which is why I make it a point to find great pieces for the average woman.  

Here are my two of my latest average size vintage finds.  More to Come!!  

Vintage 60s Lane Bryant Sleeveless

Vintage 60s Graphic Print MOD

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Funky Vintage Finds

80s Silk Silver Sequined Mini Dress 
Although I've been quiet in the social media universe, I have been very busy and productive,
feverishly rebuilding my Etsy shop while designing my new blog and website. 

I most excited about launching The Pelham Road Vintage Luxury Shop in the fall.  While everyday vintage still has it's essential place, 
I've decided to go back to my vintage roots and curate a collection of unique and high-end vintage for those who love to pull out the drama every now and then. 

So far I think my pimpin' inner rock queen is showing herself worthy of being a harbinger of funkiness and fun!   

I've even thrown some of my personal items into the mix!  

Check back often for a sneak peek at what I have in store for my vintage funky soulmates.  

50s Brown and Peach Tiered Flemenco  Dress

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pelham Road Vintage is Back on the Road

Come visit me at the Fenton Street Market while you enjoy some great music during the
Spring Blues Festival.

Personally I can't wait.  Not only am I going back "home"  to downtown Silver Spring where my family and I lived for 5 years, I get to be a vendor at the Fenton Street Market.

While living in Silver Spring I hit the FSM frequently, but this is the first time I will be selling my wares!!

It is going to be GREAT!! 

Join me at the Fenton Street Market on June 14th from 10:00am to 4:00pm!

Corner of Fenton St & Ellsworth Dr
Silver Spring, MD 20910

*Free parking in parking garage across Ellsworth Dr.*

Saturday, May 17, 2014

District Flea is No More....At Least for Now

The District Flea was short lived this season.  The creators of Brooklyn Flea decided to put the market on hiatus.  I have to admit, I kind of saw it coming.  It's a shame too because last season was fabulous and I had high hopes for this year.  But the experience was not all in vain.

I discovered a few things about myself doing the flea.  Prior to the flea,  my business was a combination of my Etsy shop and in-person shopping and styling. The District Flea got me off the computer and into the mix of creative like-minded folks, which is where I've decided to stay.

My styling services are expanding (yay!), and Pelham Road Vintage will be hosting quarterly vintage and styling events beginning in July.

As a result Pelham Road Vintage will be taking a brief Haitus as well to revamp my website to reflect my new focus.

See Ya Mid June!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

5 Things Vintage Clothing Vendors Wish You Knew

Photo Courtesy of District Flea
Up until last year, my business was primarily as a personal vintage shopper and stylist with an easy shop on the side.  So admittedly I'm relatively new to this flea market vending business.

However, I have learned a lot being on the other side of the table.  On behalf of my fellow clothing vendors, I have compiled a list of 5 things we wish you knew.

1. Treat our Merchandise nicely.  A young women and her friends came by my booth, whipped my pink vintage Fedora off its stand and threw it on for a quick laugh.  She then carelessly tossed the hat on it's side into a suitcase display of belts and purses.   Selling vintage at flea markets doesn't mean our items deserve less respect.   Here's a good rule of thumb; if you wouldn't do it in a brick and mortar store, don't do it in someones' booth.

2. Vintage Clothing is Sized Differently.  A vintage 60s size 12 can be a 2014 size 6.  Sometimes smaller depending on the country and era it was made.  If something looks too small, it probably is, so if you are unsure ask the vendor.  Don't try to force an item of clothing on just because you think...

3. Speak up.  If you happen to pop a button or zipper, please don't silently sneak the item back onto the rack.  If you are nervous just say something like, "I noticed this zipper doesn't work" or "I think a button popped off."  If you need to clarify cost or want to know how to wear a particular piece, don't be afraid to ask.  Most vintage sellers love to talk shop.

4.  Reasonable Offers are Welcome.  No, I am not going to sell you a brand new $200 dollar suit for $10 dollars. (True example).  Most vendors welcome a good natured haggle, but negotiations will come to a halt if you low-ball.   Also don't get offended if your offer was turned down. Good vendors know their merchandise and price accordingly.  If you see something you really want and your offer was turned down, leave your contact info or stop by before closing.  If the item hasn't sold, you may get the deal you were looking for.

5. Vintage is Vintage. New is New.  Part of the lure of vintage is the idea that every item has a story to tell. For many, the wear and imperfections add character.  If you want clothes that are in pristine out of the box condition - then vintage is not for you.  It's very rare that vintage clothing will show absolutely no signs of wear.  Even if the item still has tags or has never been worn, its been hanging around somewhere for at least 25 - 30 years.    By all means expect quality, no one wants tattered busted up clothing, but the fact that the garment doesn't look brand new doesn't necessarily diminish the value.

Pelham Road Vintage at District Flea

Visit Pelham Road Vintage at the District Flea
Saturday May 3, 2014
945 Florida Avenue  NW
10 to 5

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Keys to Discovering Your Own Distinctive Style

or How Not to Look Like Everybody Else

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” 
Every fashion related TV show, blog or magazine consistently shares tips on how to develop personal style.  However, tips like - look for inspiration, know your body type and find a good seamstress may be practical, but they don't get down to the nitty gritty of true self expression.   Many women want more than good fashion sense. They want style, which Merriam-Webster defines as being; a distinctive manner of expression.

"Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” - Jean Cocteau

Here are 5 Unique Keys to Discovering Your Own Distinctive Style

1. Curb Your Fear. Sounds stupid right?  It's not. Any type of personal change can be scary, but changing the way you look can be terrifying.  Having your own sense of style can often set you apart from the masses, so you can't be a scaredy cat, at least on the outside.

My favorite "I don't give a damn about what you think" style icon is Elizabeth Taylor.  She didn't let the fact that she was often harshly criticized for the way she dressed change how she chose to express herself.

I am LOVIN' this take on Egyptian Style

2. Pay Attention to What you Love.  There is a reason you like the music you listen to,  the movies you watch and the books you read.   There are also very telling reasons you follow the celebrities you admire.  All contain qualities that with a little thought, may give you clues to your own personal style.

If you aren't very familiar with Diana Vreeland, get familiar because she is fascinating.   As fashion editor for first Harper's Bazaar then Vogue,  she changed the way everyday women thought about clothes.  Diana Vreeland was definitely one who knew how to translate her passions and experiences her into personal style.

Diana Vreeland in her 70s

3.  Money doesn't matter.  I know that this can be hard to believe when money is tight.  However, in the 21st century there are thousands of venues where you can get quality for less.  Secondhand is always my recommendation.  I have scored Vintage Burberry, Lanvin, Christian Dior (just to name a few) at thrift stores and estate sales.  Ask yourself , "If money were no object, how would  I dress?"  Then go for it.  Any budget is workable.

Coco Chanel was taught how to sew by nuns in an orphanage.   Eventually she learned to make hats which became her work.  One day she needed something to wear for the cold, so she made a dress out of an old jersey.  As soon as other women saw her creation, they wanted it.  Although she made hats, Coco Chanel's career as a dress designer was launched.  Coco Chanel went on to revolutionize women's style the way the Beatles revolutionized  Rock and Roll.  All because she got cold and possibly couldn't afford a new dress.

4.  Love your body.  Style doesn't come in sizes.  Period.  It doesn't matter how far away you are from your ideal weight,  it is what it is, but you can still express yourself.   Please, pahleeze don't get caught up with wanting TaylorSwift's eyelashes  or Halle Berry's perfect skin.  They don't even have those eyelashes or perfect skin thanks to the magic of technology!

The most famous woman in the world went up and down in weight, but it never stopped her from owning her sexy.  I once tweeted the following photo and noted that if this was Marilyn Monroe today,  people would remark on how she let herself go.

5.  Cultivate real self-confidence.  Do whatever internal work is necessary for you to be comfortable in your own skin.  Diane Vreeland once stated, "The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it."

Platinum Haired Joyce Bryant dubbed "The Black Marilyn Monroe"

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