thrifted

Modern Girl Goes Vintage

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist

This is the sort of outfit I would imagine a “modern” girl wearing, if she were trying to dress in a vintage style. Or the sort of thing that Vogue magazine would style, if they were doing a series on classic styles of the past. It has a sort-of vintage feeling, with the full skirted silhouette, the structured handbag, the classic button down shirt, and even to some extent the head wrap, but at the same time, it feels very inauthentically “vintage”. The style of the shirt, with the contrast placket, the geometrically patterned silk scarf from India, the feather earrings and the strappy sandals, all expose it as a modern ensemble that is pretending to be vintage.

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, feather earrings

I have come to realize in the past year or so, especially since starting my blog, that I am not a diehard vintage wearer. It sounds kind of bad when I say it like that (especially since this is supposed to be a “vintage” blog, after all) but I think it is completely true of where my style has evolved to. A few years ago, I did the whole vintage thing- every outfit was easily recognizable as a specific era. I wore hats to coordinate with every outfit, and always made sure that my purse and shoes matched. Even when I worked in a hardware store, I would wear 1940’s workwear inspired ensembles, and styled my hair to coordinate. However, in the past year or so, I have started drifting away from that.

Margaret of Denise Brain Vintage recently featured me in a post on her blog, about different kinds of vintage wearers. You should hop over and read both of her posts, here and here, as they are very good reads. When I read her post; I had a revelation! She had completely hit the nail on the head! Her description of my vintage style was spot on correct! (are there any other analogies I can use here? . . .) But really, isn’t it funny how someone else can see so clearly what you haven’t been able to successfully articulate yourself?

I have come to discover, that while I absolutely love styles of the past, and have ever since I was a child, I will never be that person who is always dressed head to toe vintage. Sometimes I just happen to dress in all vintage, or vintage inspired and you can pick out a discernible era, but the majority of the time, I feel most comfortable in clothing that nods towards vintage, but isn’t necessarily representative of one entire era or look. I’ll easily throw a 1960’s pillbox hat, with a 1950’s skirt, and a modern shoe. Or a 1950’s skirt, with a t-shirt, loafers and no hat or hair accessory. Almost everything I wear could be described as “classic”, but I don’t necessarily pair things together that “should” go together. Sometimes I put things together and discover that it was an absolute failure.

I want fashion to be fun.

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, navy blue and tan skirt

While I admire those who wear vintage, or vintage inspired looks, like the “time travelers” mentioned in Margaret’s post, I am not 100% comfortable wearing that. I don’t feel like me when I do. Instead I feel trapped in a box, being forced to choose between vintage and modern, instead of happily marrying them together like I am wont to. And, this doesn’t mean that I don’t love vintage- I do!

I love fashion, both vintage and modern, but my main concern with choosing an item should not be whether it is vintage, and fits into the “vintage aesthetic”. It should be whether I personally love it. I used to buy things just because they were old, without truly thinking about whether I actually liked them. (and then I ended up with a lot of things in my wardrobe that I didn’t actually like.) There is a lot of terribly ugly vintage out there, and just because something is old does not mean that it is instantly valuable. It might be valuable to someone else who appreciates it, but that doesn’t mean it is valuable to me. There is also a lot of vintage and reproduction that is quite nice. . . for someone else. Just because everyone else likes something doesn’t mean you should too.

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, brown leather purse

I guess the main point of what I want to say is, at the end of the day: fashion should be fun. What is fun for you, is not necessarily what is fun for everyone else. But, if you choose to wear what you love, without worrying about where it falls on the “vintage spectrum” it will end up being great. Or at least you’ll be very happy with it! If your closet is full of things that you love and enjoy wearing, whatever “era” they are, you can grab anything out of your closet and be pleased with it.

Like this shirt I am wearing here, I saw it at the thrift store and I thought it was pretty. The rayon fabric is nice, and the navy blue with the lighter blue goes surprisingly well with a lot of what I have in my wardrobe. Just because it isn’t a true vintage style, didn’t mean that it wouldn’t work in my wardrobe. I wasn’t going to pass it up, just because it is modern!

So, I guess this post is a bit rambly; it’s just been something I’ve been thinking of lately. Am I going to “give up vintage style”. Nope- and I don’t see myself ever doing so. In fact, I suppose I have been dressing this way for a long time, and I’ve touched on it before too, I just didn’t realize that there was a term for it. But now, thanks to Margaret’s post, I know I’m a proud vintage mixer! 🙂

Do you like to mix modern and vintage? Or do you tend to dress strictly either vintage style or modern style? Maybe you don’t fit into either- hop over to Denise Brain Vintage and read her posts- what kind of “vintage wearer” are you? I’d love to know!

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, vintage style

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, vintage style turban

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, vintage look

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, feather earrings and collar detail

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, 1950's look

A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park

A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , sitting on step, the artyologist

I just got back from a short holiday in Calgary, and while I enjoyed my time in the city, it’s good to be home again. I actually grew up in a town on the outskirts of Calgary, so it was strangely like “coming home”, but also different than I remembered, since it’s been 10 years since I moved away!

My friend Chantelle and I took a trip to the city for a few days to visit a friend of ours who is working at Heritage Park for the summer. We had a great time visiting the park, as it has been close to 15 years since I last visited, and Chantelle had never visited. It was fun day stepping back in time, not only to the history of Canada in the 1800’s, but also stepping back in time to my own childhood! The best thing about a historical park is really that nothing changes- the one room schoolhouse was exactly as I remembered it from when I was in Grade Three. 🙂

I wanted to share some photos from the trip right away, before I get distracted and move onto other things. I have shared some of the photos I took on my phone already on instagram, but I also took a lot of photos with my camera, which I’ll share here.

A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, in-doorway-and-log-detail

Today’s post includes the photos of my outfit at Heritage Park. These are the only outfit photos I got while I was away, and they were taken at the Hudson Bay Trading Post replica. I look completely out of place in my 1950’s styled outfit, but there were no crowds of people here, so it was a good place to take some photos.

In the photos, does my hair seem to have a mind of it’s own, despite being styled that morning? Yes! Is my blouse rumpled, disheveled and coming untucked? Yes! Is my necklace crooked? Yes! Are my feet tired of walking and my shoulders sore from carrying around my heavy purse (with camera inside)? Yes! Is the sun in my eyes, and casting strange and harsh shadows all over? Yes! Do these photos represent real life, where I am completely living in the moment, and having a great time spent with friends? A resounding yes!

A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, gate-and-purse-bracelet-detail

Even though these aren’t great fashion plate blogger photos, they are a great memory of a fun time spent at Heritage Park, and I would much rather spend a fun time with friends then go about worrying whether my necklace was straight.

Regarding the outfit details, there’s that homesewn tan skirt again, but this time paired with my brown lace up flats, a new thrifted white peasant blouse top, a stack of Indian bangles from Ten Thousand Villages and my new purse from Top Vintage. I really debated purchasing this purse, since online shopping and I don’t mix well, but in the end I decided that since it is basically the purse I have been searching for my entire life, I would go ahead and get it. After a small hiccup, which was resolved very nicely by their customer service, I can say that I am very glad that I did get it. It was an investment bag for sure, but the timeless and vintage shape suits my style, and it goes with almost everything I own. Although, for future reference, I will not bring it on a holiday (even though I love it!) with the thought of being able to carry my camera around in it. It was simply too heavy to have on a holiday even with the shoulder strap, and it was a real pain (both figuratively and literally) to lug around for three days with no relief. Next time I will bring a cross body bag, or a backpack. But aside from that detail, it was a great holiday, and I am sure that the purse will serve me well for purposes other than vacations!

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, hudson-bay-company

Have you ever visited Heritage Park, or any other kind of historical village? Do you worry about your outfits, and getting outfit photos while you are on your holidays?

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, trading-post

A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, in-front-of-window-2

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, flowers-at-trading-post

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, trading-post-gate-and-inside

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, garden-at-trading-post

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, purse-and-flowers

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, in-doorway

 A Period Incorrect Outfit at Heritage Park , the artyologist, doorways-and-garden

Photo Shoots with Friends

photo shoots with friends, chantelle-and-i, the artyologist

This post is coming to you pre-scheduled as I am on a holiday this week with friends, one of whom is my dear friend Chantelle, who is pictured in these photos today. I decided it would be a perfect time to share these photos, which I got back in June when I visited her, as they are too special to not post at all despite the lateness of them!

It is a bit of a tradition that when my friend Chantelle and I get together, we do a photo shoot- we did this even in my pre-blogging days. (Maybe sometime I will share some of those old pictures. . .) Sometimes our photo shoots are themed, and usually the theme is some kind of vintage style, because that is what I have for “costumes”. As in, it is a costume for her, and regular clothing for me 😉 We’ve done “model”, “wedding dresses”, “1940’s” and last year we did “1950’s“. This time, we didn’t have any theme planned- and as I was traveling, I didn’t bring extras in my suitcase. However, while I was visiting, I found this great straw hat at the thrift shop and Chantelle was able to borrow this lovely blue topper, so we figured that was good enough.

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-hat-detail

The photos of both of us were taken with self timer and, as I didn’t have my tripod with me, we precariously balanced a pile of wood on top of a kitchen stool and placed the camera on top! It was a bit dangerous for the camera, and we had no way of knowing where we were in the frame, so the results were a bit interesting. Somehow we still managed to end up with these lovely shots though- and even with me running back and forth, I managed to not look too disheveled!

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-and-i-standing

I’ve shown both this skirt and shirt together before, but why mess with a good thing, right? I am not above repeating an outfit if it worked out well the first time. And, I wasn’t kidding last week when I said I have worn this skirt too many times to count. I even brought it on my trip this week, so I might be wearing it as we speak 🙂 However it is nice to share my new hat, especially since I have worn it a few times now. Sometimes, like in the case of this hat, thrifting can be very rewarding. I saw a hat very similar to this one, with an asymmetrical brim, and green ribbon and accent, for sale online, but it was quite expensive. It was a justifiable price, for a handcrafted piece of millinery, but I am so glad I found this secondhand one instead!

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, hat-detail-nicole

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-adjusting-hat

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, nicole-spinning-skirt

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-portrait-1

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, wildflowers-and-nicole

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle

She looks like she should be going to a Royal Wedding. 🙂

nicole straw hat, photo shoots with friends, the artyologist

And because you can’t have any photoshoot without silly ones. . .

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-and-i-being-creepy

I didn’t realize I was so far away from Chantelle in this picture, and instead of hugging her, I am just creepily/awkwardly putting my hand on her shoulder! It doesn’t help that I have that strange expression either. . .

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-and-i-snobby

These expressions, above, are just too funny. . .

photo shoots with friends, the artyologist, chantelle-and-i-laughing

Do you enjoy doing photo shoots together when you meet up with friends? Have you ever been looking for something in a shop or online, only to find something similar in a thrift shop?

Crossing Over to the “Solid Separates” Side

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, blog feature image

For the longest time I have had a “fear” of solid coloured garments. OK, I don’t actually run screaming when I see them, but I am always afraid that they will be too boring. Prints, no doubt about it, are fun and come in everything imaginable- from novelty prints featuring pineapples, to more classic stripes or dots. I have an abundance of patterns and colours in my wardrobe (and a weakness for a good floral pattern). For dresses, which are basically an entire outfit in one, it doesn’t matter much. But when you start trying to pair separates together, this can cause some problems when you look into your closet and see clashing stripes, florals, polkadots and geometrics staring back at you.

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, tree at sunset, cream coloured cotton skirt

So, here are three reasons why solid separates are great additions to your wardrobe; and are anything but boring if, like me, you are afraid of them!

1. They go with everything. I can’t tell you how many times I have worn my solid black t-shirts or my tan “Roman Holiday” skirt. They coordinate with patterns and they coordinate with other solids, as pictured here. A good neutral basic, such as beige, black or navy, will go with almost every colour. The options for mix and matching are endless. And solids don’t automatically mean they have to be neutral colours either- you can have just as much versatility with bright colours.

2. They are classic and “vintage”. Of course people have worn prints all through history- as soon as they discovered ways to dye, paint, embroider and weave patterns into fabric. However, looking through vintage images shows a lot of solid coloured garments. I think this is because of the simple fact that they are so versatile. Clothing cost more in the past, and good quality clothing costs more today, so investing in a solid coloured skirt is often a better investment than a print, which will only coordinate with a few other pieces in your wardrobe. Solid coloured garments also recede and allow your accessories and patterns to shine. Vintage style is made of accessories- whether it’s hats, gloves, purses or shoes- so it’s nice to let them take centre stage every once in a while.

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, cream coloured skirt and penny loafers

3. Solids don’t “date” as quickly and you don’t get as tired of them as quickly as prints. Although vintage/ vintage-inspired patterns and prints could be considered already “dated”, when you have pull out your hummingbird printed dress for the umpteenth time, it gets a bit boring. As much as I love my patterned garments, I do get a bit tired of them, if I wear them too often. Because they are more bold, I remember them more, and I feel like “I just wore that”, even if it has been a while. And although probably no one else notices, I do hate wearing the exact same thing too many times in a row. With solid coloured separates, you can wear them over and over, and each time change your garment pairing and accessories for a completely new look.

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, necklace-detail

I’m working on creating a more cohesive wardrobe palette, and this cream skirt I picked up a few weeks ago at the thrift store is a perfect example of versatile solid separates. It goes with nearly every colour I own, except a clashing colour of cream. I paired the skirt here with a solid black t-shirt, a belt, and simple jewellery for an “everyday” dressed down look, but the next time I wear it, I will style it with one of my patterned tops for a different look.

I think that slowly I am crossing over to the “dark side” of solid separates. . . how about you? Are you a prints and patterns person, or are you drawn to solids? And, how do you mix and match your clothing to keep it feeling fresh?

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, portrait-and-tree-at-sunset

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, everyday vintage blogger photo

This is my “oh I just happen to be nicely posed and you have a 50 mm lens pointed at me” blogger photo.

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, tree-silhouette

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, belt-detail

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, shadows-on-bushes

My sister and I at sunset

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, orange-hair

Now I know what I would look like with orange-red hair! 🙂

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, everyday outfit walking away

Crossing Over to the Solid Separates Side, the artyologist, field