• art,  creativity,  design,  fashion,  local,  madison,  style,  wisconsin

    Read(y) to Wear Benefit Fashion Show

    Most of the time, being a writer is decidedly NOT glamorous. I shudder to think how many hours I’ve spent sitting in front of my laptop, shoulders hunched over the keyboard, with coffee stains on my leggings. But every now and then, the author life opens the door to a “pinch me I’m dreaming” type of opportunity. The Read(y) to Wear fashion benefit was one of such opportunities. On April 29, 2017, I got to “model” a paper dress made by fellow writer Holly Tierney-Bedord, and walk the runway with several lovely literary and design-minded people from Madison and surrounding areas. Proceeds from ticket sales went to Madison Reading Project, a…

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  • 80s,  fashion,  style,  trends

    Yes, you can wear neon

    Yes, you, thirtysomething, fortysomething and beyond. You, in the Dansko clogs. I see you there. Some people say that if you’ve worn a trend once in your life, you can’t wear it again when it comes around a second (or third) time. To that I say hooey. You can wear it again, but you might have to wear it in a different way. For example, maybe you can’t pull off the neon jeans shown below. Maybe, like me, you wore similar yellow jeans to a YMCA dance in eighth grade and simply hate to be seen in the same look twice. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The…

  • budget-friendly,  fashion,  seasonal,  style,  summer,  Uncategorized

    Summer Wardrobe Syndrome

    I have a recurring problem that pops up every year around this time. My husband has come to anticipate it. The sequence goes a little something like this: First, I stand inside my closet with my hands on my hips and declare that “I have no summer clothes.” Then I remember that they’ve been packed away in a huge Rubbermaid tub since September. I retrieve said tub and promptly throw half its contents into a bags destined for Goodwill, ReThreads (my favorite secondhand store), or an upcoming swap party. A garment gets tossed in a bag if it meets any of the following descriptions: (a) I can’t zip it or can only zip it…

  • 80s,  budget-friendly,  fashion,  green living,  style,  vintage

    Vintage Obsession: 80s Power Pumps

    My latest obsession is 80s pumps. I just love the shape of them, from the pointy (but not too pointy) toe, the fat-to-skinny heel, and the ladylike curve of the side of the shoe. They’ve got a sassy, fun feel to them. Here are a few favorites I’ve found recently. [topcollage] Clockwise from top left: 80s heels from Etsy sellers SkinnyandBernie, TigerlillyFrocks, CleverlyCurated, StarletsVintage, OldSchoolSwank.  

  • art,  booze,  decor,  design,  modern,  style,  vintage

    Are You Ready for the Madness?

    I’m not talking about basketball. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Mad Men. My thirty-first birthday fell on the premiere night of the fourth season, and I somehow convinced my husband and friends to come dressed in costume. The start of the fifth season on Sunday doesn’t fall on my birthday, but that’s okay. I’m not sure I could wait any longer, anyhow. It’s already been a year and a half! In the meantime, I’ve been feeding my addiction for all things mod on Etsy and Pinterest. A peek at some of my favorite Mad Men-inspired items: Each row, left to right (all images from Etsy): 60s rocks glasses…

  • beauty,  books,  fashion,  literature,  style

    On Style and Smarts

    [Image from theberry.com] Oscar Wilde had a lot of great, pithy quotes, like this one. Do you agree? I agree with the overeducated part. Just ask my grandmother, who is working her way through the Great Books in her eighties.  As for being overdressed, I have to say that it is possible, and I’ve been guilty of it once or twice. Being overdressed isn’t so much a question of what you’re wearing, though. It’s a question of whether you can pull it off.

  • fashion,  film,  style,  vintage

    Red Vintage on the Red Carpet

    For most of us, life calls for few occasions where we can’t show up in jeans or at least some shade of business casual. That’s what makes the Oscars so intriguing. The annual fashion frenzy that surrounds the awards show is one of our society’s last bastions of true glamour. I peruse the red carpet pictures like any other fashion blogger, and I always like to figure out who wore vintage gowns. This year, there were two red vintage stunners that stood out on the red carpet: a 1954 Dior gown worn by Natalie Portman and a fringed Versace dress worn by Kate Hudson. I can’t find details anywhere about…

  • fashion,  style

    Coast to Coast Couture

    This week delivers a double whammy for style junkies. In LA, the Grammys provided their usual spectacle of cleavage (Rihanna) and craziness (Sasha Gradiva and her “gun dress“). And on the other coast, New York Fashion Week is in full swing. Say what you will about bad wardrobe choices on the red carpet and too-skinny models on the runway.  There’s plenty to criticize about the fashion industry if you take it too seriously. But I subscribe to the school that thinks fashion is fun, both to wear and to watch. Kate Spade said it best: “Playing dress up begins at age five and never truly ends.” Some favorite looks from…

  • creativity,  design,  fashion,  handmade,  style,  upcycling,  vintage

    Why I Won’t End Up on Hoarders

    I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with my new friend, Helga. She doesn’t have much of a brain, but she’s got a killer bod. Helga is a dress form mannequin. Yes, I now own a mannequin. And I named her. Let me tell you, doing Google searches for mannequins ends in some creepy results. I know my husband loves me because he didn’t bat an eyelash when I took Helga out of her giant box, assembled her, and immediately proceeded to play dress up. I bought Helga to aid me in styling clothing for my shiny new Etsy store, CleverlyCurated. I’ve been amassing a collection of vintage and…