Category: Personal Style

7 Cute and Punny Vintage Valentines

deerAfter poking fun last year at the vintage valentines that didn’t age well from the wonderful collection over at the Vintage Valentine Museum, I should really show the other side of the story. There are plenty of cards that didn’t lose their charm over the decades. The copywriter in me is amused by how these cards rely so heavily on puns and plays on words. Corny by today’s standards, sure, but probably cute and witty back then. So if you’re stuck for card ideas this year, draw inspiration from these nuggets.

Aw, Prince Charming found you (finally!)

FairytaleAnd they lived happily ever after…

Cowboys can make puns, too.

vintage valentines cards with retro charm

Typically retro Americana: cowboys that look a little like the Gerber baby.

Old world charm

PolishAccording to the Vintage Valentine Museum, this card depicting Polish dress was part of a series with an international theme. Cultures depictions were commonly used in vintage valentines, especially Dutch and Irish.

Valentines for writers

valentinenewsThe most adorable part of this card just might be that the paper used to cost three cents.

And the award for best romantic pun goes to…

Just my typeThis pun is still in use today, as I discovered while putting together a Valentine’s Day gift guide.

Puppy love!Chews You

Nothing says true love like “I destroyed your belongings,” am I right dog lovers?

Thanks to the Vintage Valentine Museum for the use of these images. Their online library of cards is available for use in personal craft projects, just to give you some ideas for Valentine’s Day DIY projects!

Essential Components of Gatsby Party Fashion

Gatsby party fashionHeadband / Earrings / Bracelet / Tan dress / Clutch / Black beaded dress

The movie version of The Great Gatsby in 2013 brought with it a flurry of 1920s inspired fashion that hasn’t gone away. The current trend of low headbands and tassel jewelry is proof that art deco themes are still making their mark on style.

Gatsby Party Fashion

Since Gatsby-themed parties are so popular (hello, it’s a party theme based on a party), here’s how to look the part with gorgeous pieces that you can wear long after the event ends. And you don’t need to have a Gatsby party invitation to try the look, as it’s also a fun and classy style for any formal or cocktail party. Here are essential components of a 1920s-inspired outfit that’s party ready.

1. Headdress — a dress for your head!

Daisy Headdress Channel Daisy in a flapper headdress that sparkles. When the movie came out, Tiffany released limited edition replicas of Daisy’s onscreen headband. These were quickly copied and available online for quite a surprisingly affordable price–if you’re willing to trade real diamonds for cubic zirconia, that is!

2. Jewelry

Art deco necklaceTassels are the height of popularity right now, so finding tassel earrings or necklaces is easy. Art deco style drop earrings are gorgeous, as are geometrically inspired necklaces like the one above.

3. Beaded or ruffled dress

5 essential components for Gatsby party styleDropped waists, beaded elements, neutral colors, ruffles and fringe are all hallmarks of the Gatsby era. Pair one of these dresses with classic heels and you’re ready to party like it’s 1923.

4. Beaded, tasseled or fringed clutch

Tory Burch fringed bagThis is totally optional, but you can complete the look with a little clutch.

5. Shoes

Fringed heels perfect for Gatsby themed partyUltimately, there’s a lot of leeway when it comes to shoes for your Gatsby party fashion outfit. Anything gold, silver, glittery or fringed would be perfect.

Going to any themed parties soon? Let me know what you think of these outfit ideas!

Gossip Girl Day Link Up–XOXO

Blair outfitBetcha didn’t know today was Gossip Girl Day! Seriously. I’m linking up with other bloggers to share our style ensembles inspired by the show. Thanks for hosting, The Monogrammed Midwesterner, Carrie on Blogs, and Behind Her Monogrammed MacBook! It’s slightly ironic that bloggers are crazy about Gossip Girl because it’s about the creepiest, most drama-crazy blogger in NYC. But no matter–we won’t let that plot point get in the way of an opportunity to discuss the amazing fashion landscape that is this GG. The show was really a fashion magazine disguised as a six season soap opera and I loved every designer-saturated, exaggeratedly dramatic moment.

The stylists for this show were very clear on developing each character’s personality through style. Serena is sequins, bohemian, and effortlessly sexy; Blair is classy, polished, and traditional; and Jenny…well, that just went downhill fast. Personally I loved both Blair and Serena’s styles. Style-wise I’m more Blair than Serena, but I’d have to be crazy not to admire Serena’s daring and fashion-forward looks. Although, side note: I really disagreed with Serena’s choice of husband in the finale. You really shouldn’t get me started on this.

Gossip Girl day1. Who is your outfit inspired by and why did you pick them?

There are so many good gossip girl fashion moments to draw inspiration from–headbands, capes, classy wool coats, and tights come to mind. I was inspired by Blair’s blazers and colored tights for this outfit. So here is contribution to Gossip Girl Day 2015, in the form of a Blair-inspired outfit, which I found pieces of at Marshalls/TJMaxx (a place Blair would not be caught dead in–don’t tell her).

Gossip Girl day link up2. Favorite Gossip Girl Moment?

Probably the finale, minus the above mentioned Serena wedding thing. I know most fans of the show will disagree with me–let me know what you thought of it!

Peach laceDress: Similar / Jacket: Similar at H&M / Necklace: Similar by Trina Turk / Tights: Nordstrom / Boots: Similar / Bracelet: Similar (The jewelry made appearances earlier).

I’ll leave you with the iconic words of Blair Waldorf from season 3, episode #19: “Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.”

Gossip Girl Day

How to Upcycle Leggings with a DIY

So I wear leggings a lot. Like, a lot. I’ve often thought “I hope my readers don’t notice how often I’m wearing leggings in all these outfit posts.” Whether it’s regular black leggings, LuLaRoe leggings, or even Lisa Frank leggings, my drawers are full of them all the time. If not, the laundry situation is seriously dire. One thing is sure though: leggings do not last forever. As any avid leggings wearer knows all too well, they get baggy, thin, ripped and unwearable. There are things you can do to delay this such as line drying, but eventually your relationship with your dear wardrobe stable will come to its inevitable end. Or will it?

Since I care so much about the environment, I like to avoid tossing things mindlessly in the trash. Since you’re reading this, I bet you do too.

If they’re truly beyond any hope, I cut them into squares and upcycle leggings into rags. The soft cotton is ideal for cleaning. If they’re kind of still good, you can patch them using old sweaters or sock cuffs, as in this tutorial:
Upcycled LeggingsThis upcycling project is inspired by a pair of boutique leggings first worn in the New Year Style Guide. I realized these unique, comfy, cuffed leggings could be easily recreated as a DIY upcycled leggings project. Here is the original pair:

DIY cuffed leggingsThe cuff part can easily be made out of the sleeves of old sweaters, or old decorative crew or knee socks. You’ll need a coordinating pair of leggings to sew the cuff to.

For a sewing project, it was pretty easy! I don’t consider myself a confident sewer (I gave up trying to get the machine properly threaded for my Princess Anna costume and ended up hand stitching practically everything) but this was totally doable.

DIY cuffed leggings How to Upcycle Socks as Legging Cuffs

Step 1: Cut the arms off the sweater or the foot of the sock. Up to 12 inches is a good length for a cuff. You should now have two tubes of fabric which will become the cuffs of your upcycled leggings.

Step 2: Slide the tube onto the ankles of the leggings. Fold down the edges if needed and pin to secure.

Step 3: Hand or machine sew both the top and bottom edge, securing the upcycled cuff to the leggings. Wear them with flats or ankle boots to show off the cute cuff of your new upcycled leggings!

Full price, the boutique leggings were $36. Congratulations, you’ve just made a pair for the cost of a basic pair of leggings, plus created a new use for an unwanted garment that might have ended up in a landfill. Not to mention this is a totally exclusive item that no one else will have!

Here’s what they look like on.

DIY legging cuffsFor more reading, here are more of my favorite ways to reuse old items. And read my upcycled corkboard tutorial here.

Do you upcycle leggings? What do you do with them? I’d love to know in the comments!

Ode to the 80s

Ode to the 80sI’m excited to share this guest post by Felicia Capers, the author I’ve partnered with for the upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27. After connecting over our shared bond as children of the 80s, Felicia was kind enough to write this ode to the 80s on childhood experiences that shaped her as an author. Make sure to check back later this month when we will be giving away a copy of her book!

80’s Made Writer

Being an only child for seven long hard years just tore me to pieces. I mean to smithereens, shreds, broken fragments of yesterday reflecting on today’s-enough of the drama already….

I am certain that for the seven years before my sibling was born, I was fine. I was a normal private school attending, long bippity boppity ponytail wearing, skinny as toothpicks, little girl. It was the early 80’s and I can recall seeing Ronald Reagan on television in a really nice neat suit several times a week. I didn’t know why I had seen him so much back then but I get it totally now. Let’s see, there were always my favorite dolls to keep me company: JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS! Can I tell you how much I loved JEM and her squad? From the pink rocker hair to the tour bus accessory my mom had saved up to buy for me, those were the days. And in my world called my room, JEM and friends were way cooler than those stinky Thundercats.

80s toys
source: ebay

Next up were my tea sets. Oh how I loved to wear my mom’s heels (I swear I think she sported four inches every day to her office job) and hats and sit down at that round pink tea table with all that fake china and sip my even faker tea. Usually tea parties came after I’d watch an episode of the A-Team on Saturday afternoons or the Cosby Show on Thursday nights. Some of my other favorite shows were Different Strokes, ALF, The Wonder Years, Full House, and Saved by the Bell (Mario Lopez hasn’t aged a bit, but I have. I don’t know how I feel about that fact.) Of all my shows, my favorite 1980’s TV discovery was none other than MTV! Yes, I’d sneak into the living room when my mom was asleep. Yes, I’d turn the volume down extra low so I’d have to sit so close up on the screen to hear that my nose was touching. And yes, I’d scream on the inside when my favorite videos played. I loved everything Bobby Brown in those days. Michael Jackson came in a close second. (Yes she had all the Michael Jackson albums. And albums meant records and record players people!)

Source: imgkid.com
Source: imgkid.com

Secluded in my room surrounded by Rainbow Bright, Teddy Ruckspin and the pegs to my Lite Brite, I had a lot of time to imagine. Who didn’t set their dolls up around their tea table for a tea party? Well I did that too, but what was fascinating to me, now looking back all those many many many years ago, is I also had a note pad. There were no fancy password journals and my mother couldn’t afford those lock and key journals. I’d rip papers from a school notebook, grab a dull pencil and make up stories. Jem would have an affair with Ken and upset Barbie. Then the Cabbage Patch dolls would all fight over who would get to bake the last brownie in the Easy Bake oven. I’d set up my toys in an effort to make them ready for action and I’d write the stories, play by play. I do believe a writer was being groomed!

Babysitters Club
Source: Goodreads

Later, I learned to explore my imagination between the pages of classics by Ann M. Martin. You guessed it: THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB series. My friends and I traded these books like baseball cards and Bazooka gum on a muggy summer day. Oddly enough, required school reading intrigued me more than it did my peers. Classics like The Good Earth,The Outsiders and Lord of the Flies (which I was happy to read twice, what a dweeb I was) gave glimpses into adventures that I assumed awaited me just outside my small bedroom window.

As I got older, and put away girlish play, I traded it for big girl panties- in the form of a laptop computer, hours long client meetings to tweak a manuscript, large cups of coffee, two hours of sleep and matted hair because the night before I just couldn’t rip myself away from the salacious scene I’d been writing, and expensive cigars and red wine to celebrate the sendoff of a final manuscript to my editor.

80’s- Made!
Felicia Capers AuthorFelicia Capers is the publisher and author of Enough of Frankie Already! an anti-bullying book for young readers. To learn more about Felicia and upcoming projects, visit her on the web at www.frankiethebully.com. Contact Felicia directly for more information on this topic and other writing topics in general. info@frankiethebully.com.

Did you play with any of these 80s toys? Share your favorite childhood toy memories in the comments!