Thursday, March 31, 2011

~color me pink.....




One of my favorite new additions to my wardrobe is this hot pink off center tie front blouse.  I thrifted this at one of my favorite stores. It's all silk and the most vibrant color.  When I got it, it had long sleeves.  Long sleeves make me feel a bit claustrophobic sometimes, so I cut off the sleeves and made this sleeveless.  I LOVE IT!  It just makes everything look great!

I'm showing it with 2 different outfits.  The first was at our Gym Birthday party.  Paired with black slacks given to me by my aunt, thrifted belt and Doncaster jacket.  This jacket is sooooooo gorgeous!  It has specks of gold throughout and I picked it up at the same thrift store.  It has a matching skirt that fits like a dream and I'm looking forward to wearing it after I chop off a few inches and bring it to slightly above my knee.  Together, the skirt and jacket are a little to Crystal Carrington of Dynasty fame, especially before I ripped out softball size shoulder pads from the jacket......not really the look I'm going for!  The belt is Doncaster and thrifted alson.

The second way I wore it was with my vintage and refashioned red skirt.  I really like the bright color blocking.  I'm seeing this blouse worn year round....with cute skirts in Summer and under fabulous blazers and sweaters in the Winter!

~The Fit Bohemian

I don't know if many of you know this, but I also have another (albeit, sorely neglected as of late) blog.  It's called The Fit Bohemian.  I just posted Ten Ways to Live a Healthier and Happier Life.  These are simple, yet effective ways to improve your health.  It's not all scientific, it's practical.  It's been my experience that most people KNOW what to do to lose weight (I hate that those two words are such an inherent part of our everyday vocabulary), and get fit.  Most people know that if they eat a donut for breakfast every day, that's not exactly health food.  I believe, that the obstacle to health, that trips people up is motivation.  Sometimes, we think that getting fit is just going to cost us too much:  too much time, too much energy, too many sacrifices.  But truly, it doesn't!!  Check out my post and I'd love to hear any of YOUR tips for a healthier lifestyle!

Monday, March 28, 2011

~Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl...

I've been hearing about prom for MONTHS!  Seems my daughter and her friends were over the moon in anticipation of their Senior Prom.  I get's like their last big event in High School.  Their last chance to make an entrance as a High School student.  Every girly wants to make an entrance!  Heck, as I'm coming down the stairs about to walk into my house, I'm usually hoping my sweet husband will be there waiting for me so I can make an entrance for him!

A picture just doesn't do this dress justice.  We got this dress at Celebrity Consignment (they just got a website).  It is a Dolce and Gabana and still had the tags in it (that reflected an $1800 retail).  We bought it for $50!  What I love about it is it's elegance and there is alot of lace detail around the bodice, waist and hem.  I can see her being able to wear this for so many occasions.  That's the thing with prom dresses.  They seem to be so specific and "promish" that it's difficult to wear them anywhere else.  You end up spending an obscene amount of money on something that can only be worn once!  NOT gonna happen!

The shoes were purchased at the same store.  I was actually just showing them to my daughter as an example of what kind of shoe to wear with the dress.  She tried them on (they were a Sz 10) and had been donated to CC by Queen Latifah.  My daughter wears about a 7 1/2. Because her foot slid pretty far down, she COULD have worn them as they were.  We bought these Stuart Weitzman shoes for a song and I took them to a shoe repair place in PO-Dunk, NC!  The man was soooooo nice.  He's an older man and very sweetly country.  I asked him if there was any way he could cut down the front of the shoe by about 3/4 of an inch.  He said, "Well, heck!  I've never done anything like that before!  But, let's give it a try and I'll let you know if I don't think I can do it."  So I drew the line where we wanted them cut down and a week later, we received a call that they were ready.  He did an AMAZING job!!  From a Sz 10 to a Size 8!  POIFECT!!

My daughter gets many compliments about how pretty she is.  But I always tell her and anyone who remarks to me about how beautiful she is, "Yes, S is BEAUTIFUL!  But the lovliest thing about her is her wonderful heart.  She's even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the out!"  It would be an understatement to say that I'm proud of my children.  I just love the people that they are!  And I'm so glad that I could share S's prom pictures with all of you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

~*~Green with Envy

Dress: Vintage, thrifted  Shoes:  TJ Maxx  Belt and Necklace:  Vintage thrifted




Now, a year ago, I would have passed by this dress in the thrift store and thought, "That's really cool. Too bad that's not in style anymore." But today, it gets SNATCHED up and my thought is, "Wow! This is great and I know EXACTLY how I want to wear it!". I was joking with my husband yesterday that one thing I find myself really appreciating in life is OPTIONS. I'm not just talking fashion-wise, I mean in all areas. I think that there are far too many times in our life that we opt out of a situation or circumstance rather than running TO something we really want. So, after living far too long trying to avoid what I DON'T want and never really thinking about what I DO want (the only thing I considered was how not to have to do what I didn't want to do); I now try to focus on positives. My being happy doesn't depend on only ONE particular situation; I can be happy in a number of different scenarios. I like that!

Searching for little treasures here and there makes me soooooooo happy! The other day, after a bit of a stressful workday; the only thing I wanted to do was hit a local thrift store and just treasure hunt. It's not even about the purchase (although, I found a FABULOUS vintage cobalt blue suede envelope clutch!); it's just fun to see all the different things. It's relaxing to me. I told my husband, "It's my cocktail and cigar at the end of a stressful day!" I love that he GETS me!

I digress.....this beauty was rescued from a local thrift shop and came with a matching bolero jacket that ties at the neck. Same fabric, just very simple. That little bolero is going to look adorable with my skinny jeans or white linen pants. To have worn the dress and bolero together looks a little too dated. But this dress on it's own? I ADORE it! The color is vibrant in a never fade polyester and the diagonal of the pattern and column style is PERFECTION in flattering the feminine form. The shoes I'm wearing are a pair that I purchased at TJ Maxx about a couple of years ago. They're really high, but there's enough support with the wedge that they are super comfortable. This is an example of how you can take a vintage dress and add a current funky shoe and really modernize the whole look. With the pattern on the dress, I kept everything else minimal. I can so see Desiree (Pull Your Socks Up) doing something really funky with this. The green would be gorgeous with her blond hair! Love you to all!! Have a FABULOUS day!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

~Tips for wearing vintage...

Skirt:  Thrifted Ralph Lauren, Blouse:  Vintage Thrifted, Shoes:  Franco Sarto, Necklaces:  Thrifted Vintage, Belt:  Husband's

Now Ralph knows how to treat a girl!  Nooooo....not Ralph Macchio, though back in the day, he DID make my heart swoon!  However, as a grown WOE-man, it's Ralph Lauren and his uber feminine details that sets my heart a flutter.  Yes, I AM aware that this skirt is a bit Laura Ingalls circa western expansion.  However, it matters not to me!  As you can see from the pictures above, I'm so happy in this I'll even do a hoe down!

When we last spoke, I mentioned that I would be giving tips on how to incorporate vintage pieces into your wardrobe.  My great friend, Paula of Fashion over Fifty, commented that Stacy and Clinton made over a young woman who was apparently a vintage wearing fiend!  It makes me wonder how many fashion bloggers they would see as needing a makeover.  I say, if the woman is happy wearing all vintage or even all PURPLE....who am I to judge?  Having said that, I really am not interested in looking like an extra from a period movie set.  You know what I mean?  Basically, I want to have the vintage flavor without all the unflattering calories (in a manner of speaking).  So, as my rule of thumb is that whatever I put together, there has to be a sense of elegance about it; here are some tips to help you see wearing vintage as an option.

1.  WEAR WHAT YOU LOVE:  Have you turned away a vintage piece that you really love because you felt like you might look foolish?  Go back and get it and wear what you love WITH love.  It really is the first step in defining your own personal style.  Discover what you love.  There is NO ONE who truly is into fashion that has not worn something only to turn around soon after and say to themselves, "Oh. MY. GOSH!!!  Was I HIGH????" It's okay.  That's how you learn about your tastes. So, if you love it, get it!

2.  START OUT WITH A LITTLE.  You don't have to go full out vintage when you vintage.  Start with a piece that you love and add it to a pair of slacks.  Or pair a vintage skirt with a much more modern top.  Dip your toe in a little first to test the water.

3.  PAIR VINTAGE WITH GREAT SHOES.  I think it's just the most fabulous look to take some gorgeous grandma dress and pair it with some really cool shoes.  It modernizes the entire look!  Invest in a couple of really great shoes, preferably a black pair and a brown pair.  I promise you, these will go with ANYTHING!  And when I say "invest", I mean, take about $40; go to TJ Maxx or DSW and get the funkiest pair of shoes that you love!  I've worn these Franco Sarto shoes I got two weeks ago just about every other day.  I have yet to find something they don't look FABULOUS with.

4.  DON'T BE AFRAID TO ALTER.  Sometimes, you find some really great fabric or style that's vintage; but maybe it's just too long.  Maybe the sleeves feel dated.  Girly, snatch out those scissors and get to altering!  Now if you spent alot of money on something, by all means, take it to a professional.  But you'd be surprised what a difference taking out sleeves makes on some blouses!  I mean, seriously, it's a RADICAL change.  Grab that 25 year old crazy patterned Lesley Faye dress and take it above the knee.  What once looked old ladyish, now looks like something you'd find in Anthro.  Again, you have to love it.  If you find something you love, then it's worth a compromise to feel good in it.

5.  LOOK FOR QUALITY.  There's a difference between vintage and just plain old and beat up.  Be sure that you check for holes, arm pit stains (ewwwwwww), or rips.  I've had to pass up some BEAUTIFUL things because frankly, they just were too far gone.

6.  MIX AND MATCH.  If you're carrying an obviously vintage purse, then wear it with something more modern.  If it's the skirt or dress you're wearing that's vintage, then try for modern accessories.  Head to toe vintage is definitely NOT for the faint of heart.  But anyone who really loves older treasures will feel comfortable incorporating them into their daily wear if they're part of a mixed outfit.

I hope these tips help!  If you are a vintage wearer, please add to these tips.  What are your rules of thumb?  Do you have any rules?  Please share! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

~Everything old is new again....

Vintage Dress...Thrifted and sleeves altered
Liz Claiborne Sweater, Chico's belt (inherited from my fabulous mom!)

Two of my favorite bloggers who wear vintage almost every day are Vintage Vixen and Pull Your Socks Up.  They are so adept at being as comfortable in vintage as most Americans are in jeans and tee shirts!  While my own personal style is no where as adventurous as theres; I must say that my passion for vintage is growing.  For a number of reasons, actually:

Vintage connects the past to the present.  My vintage clothes remind me that someone in generations before me felt lovely in our shared article.   And in that partnership, I feel connected to the past.

Vintage gets back to the basics.  What is it that most women want, in terms of style?  I think it's to feel pretty. To express themselves, to be sure.  But don't we all love FEELING pretty, even if we're the only ones who think we are?!  Vintage clothes are an ode to being pretty, because they cut through political correctness and feminism and give us permission to just be pretty - no explanations needed!

Vintage is dress up!  Like dressing up in your mom's clothes when you were a little girl and feeling so glamourous in them.  Vintage allows me to play dress up without my brain saying, "Oh please Serene!  Just grow up already!!" I am grown up!  I'm wearing this to my grown up job, thank you very much!

Vintage is current.  And this really is the most important.  With so much "vintage inspired" like Modcloth and Anthropologie, why not just go for the real thing?  Modcloth and Anthro have such beautiful pieces!  I go in an Anthropologie store and just revel in all the beauty of EVERYTHING in the store EXCEPT the prices!  When I have picked up so many gorgeous vintage pieces for a song, why go broke buying inspired when I can eat well and look pretty wearing authentic?

My next post, I'm going to give some practical tips on wearing vintage and some bloggers to check out who really master this.  What I'm wearing above is a little black dress that I finally rescued from the local Hospice Thrift store after seeing it neglected and looked over during several visits.  I shortened the sleeves and funkeyed it up a bit and it's an absolute favorite!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

~*~Why Jessica Simpson?!?! WHY?!?!?!


If I ever see Jessica Simpson in person, I think the first thing I'll ask her (after "Looking back, was a Dukes of Hazzard really necessary?") is "Why do you hate us?"  These shoes are from the Jessica Simpson collection and I've seen them all OVER the blogs.  They take a fabulous picture....peeking out from under maxi skirts, making a normal leg about half a foot longer, and giving the height that just  seems to make everything we wear look better.

I've always thought they looked really, I mean REALLY high; but when I was in Jacksonville, I had the opportunity to witness this silent killer in person.  Roaming around Dillards looking for the  elusive corset belt that I've been searching in earnest for, I came across a display of the Jessica Simpson shoe line.  Just about every shoe had this ENORMOUS platform.  I mean, seriously, climb up on top of that thing and the Ten Commandments will be delivered to you because these babies dwarf Mt. Sanai!  

But, not one to rush to judgment, I thought, "Hmmmm, I wonder how these things feel on?"  So I snatched up the Sz 7 display pair and shoved my size 7 1/2 into them.  I got one on and almost threw my hip out trying to stand up.  I kid you not, with only one on, one hip is hanging six inches below the other.  By the time I was able to maneuver my feet into BOTH of them, I started to get a nose bleed and every time I swallowed, my ears popped!  WOW!  I couldn't even walk in those things and I wear heels ALL the time.  How can I describe the sensation of wearing them?  Circus Performer on stilts?  These really aren't shoes, they're STILTS!  I could feel no floor under my feet at all and to walk in them, for me, looked a little like you see Frankenstein walk.....there's no heel-toe action here.  It's flat foot in front of flat foot followed by prayer followed by another wobbly step.  

I could feel panic setting in when I began to disembark from these arks.  There were no chairs near by and I didn't trust myself to bend down and pick up my purse and purchases without falling.  In fact, I really just needed one of those trash wands that has pinchers on the end.  I felt like if I bent over, I'd be UPSIDE DOWN!  So as I start to gingerly lift one foot to the side to unlatch the side, my ankle turns!  I almost had to make a life alert call in the middle of the Dillard's shoe department! 

Jessica, Jessica, Jessica....I ask you again, "Why do you hate us?"  Hasn't womens' history paid their collective dues?  We've forced ourselves into corsets for smaller waists. We've hoisted bussells on our butts for .....actually, I have no idea why we did that!   We've bound our feet because small feet were deemed feminine.  We've put rings around our necks because apparently a 8 inch neck is where it's at.  We've permed our hair with a trillion tiny rods and deadly chemicals because doesn't every woman look better with curly hair?  We tweeze.  We wax.  We blow dry.  We glue fake nails to our fingers.  We put flesh scorching heat to our hair.  We push up our breasts almost over our heads.  We spanx ourselves into those sweater dresses.  I mean Good Night Aileen!!!  What more do you want?!  Will you soon be debuting the Jessica Simpson Ankle Cast collection?!  

I would love to put this shoe into a time capsule and see the faces of women 100 years from now when they pull it out.  I'd love to hear how they describe the primitive women of 2010 who wore 6 inches of wood on their feet and they weren't foraging for top limb berries.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

~*~And now I'm back....from outer space!

Vintage Skirt, worn often.....Sweater & Belt:  Thrifted
Shoes:  Franco Sarto from TJ Maxx
Vintage belt worn as a necklace
Husband's Seiko watch and Mom's bracelet

What can I say?  Vacation is FABULOUS!!!  An entire week with no responsibility!  AMAZING!  It was just what I needed.  To be honest, I've completely been in a funk creatively lately.  My computer's been on the blink and so I took those two combined conditions as a sign that maybe I needed to step back and reevaluate.  Vacation was a great time to do that.

As I was scouring foreign (isn't Florida foreign?) thrift stores, so many ideas and theories came to mind.  Since I began blogging, it's been a very experimental time for me.  Most of my life I've been complimented on how I dress.  Not that I've got the fanciest clothes; but I know how to make due - to turn something not so great into something useable and hopefully with an elegance about it.  But as I started on this blog and putting my personal style out there; it's caused me to really define what my style is.  While I don't like to be pigeon holed, I do like to have a direction.  Hence the name, "Elegant Bohemian".

The Origin

I came up with the term "Elegant Bohemian" in describing my style because in some way, I feel like I'm drawn to opposites.  Maybe it's a balance thing.  I love the bohemian look.  The colors.  The fun style.  The ethnic influences.  But as much as I'm drawn to the gypsy leanings, I equally love the elegance of Old Hollywood.  The clean lines of the film stars of the 30s.  The drama of Hollywood glamour shots.  The ease with which the clothes just hung on the body.  Two very different looks and the refusal to abandon either in favor of the other.    So the solution for me was to combine the two......a bohemian look with an elegant twist.

The Journey

I've read Jentine's blog where she describes her thrifting beginnings and journey.  She said that to begin with she seemed to buy EVERYTHING because she saw potential in everything.  I SOOOOOOOOO get that!!!  I literally laughed aloud when I realized that that's been my dilemma.  It's as if I want to rescue EVERYTHING!  So what happens is that I then come home with a bunch of stuff that really leaves me scratching my head as to how to wear it or has me wanting to rip it off my body at the first opportunity.  I'm now settling into my comfort zone when it comes to my style.  When it comes to style, your comfort zone is exactly where you want to be.  That doesn't mean your comfort zone can't be expanded; but why should any of us wear the latest trend when frankly we're just not that into it.  That's why we're not calling back!  (wink wink)  

My trip and the time alone really helped me sort all of that out.  I really believe I'm not alone.  There are a handful of blogs that I just absolutely am captivated by the blogger's style.    Tons of blogs I love and I love those bloggers; but you know what I mean.  There are just some that you think, "I can so see me in that" to photo after photo or "Man!  THAT'S the look Im trying to achieve!"  One common thread I've noticed in all of them is that when I have gone back to the beginning of their blogs it's evident that their style has been refined throughout the life of their blogs.  I realize, much to my surprise, HEY!  THAT'S NORMAL!  At least it's normal for them, and I think for me also.  I'm curious as I continue blogging and putting my style up for public scrutiny, how my personal style and esthetic will continue to evolve.  I'm looking forward to seeing my blog sister's styles evolve and grow as well!  We're in it together, eh?

Quick Outfit Note

Everything except the shoes are thrifted.   My husband has owned this watch more than twice as long as he's known me!  He put another one on lay-away last year and just recently got it out.  I mentioned to him that I would love to wear his "old" one.  So at the jewelry store when he was picking up his new one, he got a few links taken out of this one.  I've worn it everyday for 2 weeks now and love it!  I love the contrast between the girly bracelet and the masculine watch.... a marriage of jewelry! How romantic!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Out of the Loop......

I'm typing this from a hotel room in Florida.  I'm out of town on a bit of a vacation and loving every minute of it!  The party from work is behind me and soon this time away from home will be as well.  One of the things I love about being away from EVERYTHING for a few days is that it gives one time to really think without a bunch of distractions.  I've got TONS of ideas for all kinds of things!!!  You guys have a FABULOUS week and I'm looking forward to showing you some of my Florida Finds!!  Good stuff......Good stuff!  Hugs to you all!   ~Serene

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This is a bit of a compilation of some favorites.  I picked up this vintage boy's shirt at a local thrift store and took off the flap of one of the front pockets because it was damaged.  I loved the shirt so much I really didn't care about the flaw.....and I've been surprised at how much I've worn it.  The skirt is thrifted as well and is an absolute perfect fit!  The pumps are thrifted Stuart Weitzman and are FABULOUS!  I don't think there's anything I can't wear them with.  The belt is a Chico's belt that I inherited from my mom. 

I love contrasts....casual with dressy, long with short....I think it provides some balance to an outfit.  Big party at the gym tomorrow, the culmination of alot of planning and work.  Counting on a great turnout!