Thursday, January 31, 2013

NUETP: A Hand-Me-Down

NUETP (Never UnderEstimate The Power)

My aunt gave me this dress along with a bag of other unwanted clothes of hers for me to either sell, keep or donate.  The interesting thing about this dress is that it's not something I think I would have picked out for myself.  I mean, I probably wouldn't have even considered taking it into a dressing room!  I didn't think it was me.  But, hey, if she's just GIVING clothes away, I'll give it a shot!

And I'm soooooo glad I did!  It's easy to wear.  It's got a gorgeous print.  It's buffet friendly!  C'mon! Nuff said!

And since the dress pretty much speaks for itself, I only had to had my favorite boots (which, by the way, make everything look just a little bit better) and I had a great look that felt very "elegant bohemian". 

 photo fotoflexer_photo-18.jpg

 photo fotoflexer_photo-19.jpg

Dress:  label was taken out, so I have no idea   Boots:  Nine West

And a couple of weeks earlier, I wore the dress as a blouse with my favorite leather skirt!  Seriously, if I ever had to make a run for it fast; I'd be grabbing this skirt on the way out the door!  I've also worn it here, here, and here.

 photo fotoflexer_photo-20.jpg

Dress:  Same  Boots:  Same Leather skirt:  Vintage and thrifted

So the moral of the story is, hand-me-downs are good.   The price is right AND sometimes, it helps push you out of your comfort zone!

And if you're so inclined, check out my other NUETP posts here.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ode to the glossy lip!

Maybe it's because I'm a child of the 70s/80s, but I just ADORE a glossy lip!  I remember as a middle schooler, laquering up my lips and talking to myself in the mirror.  I just felt soooooo sophisticated and glamorous and my speech was soooooooo expressive.  Okay, so maybe I spent too much time in my imagination when I was a kid, but what can I say?  The idea of glamour has always captivated me.  And, no matter how you slice it, a glossy lip is just GLAMOROUS!!

Matte lips come and go, but the glossy look never goes out of style!  


I LOVE me some Lynda Carter!!

I remember carrying this in my purse!  There was even a chocolate flavor!



While Cher would have a difficult time NOT looking fabulous, the glossy lip just sets off her face!
I think this is my favorite of the bunch!  A clean look and a lip that stands out!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

"If I saw this at Walmart, would I still like it?"

Have you seen the I Love Lucy episode where they go to Paris and Lucy insists that she has to have a very expensive Parisian designer dress?  Not one in particular, but ANY one actually, because, well....IT'S PARIS!  And we all know that Paris is THE final word on what's fashionable.

The punch line of the show is that Ricky and Fred have dresses made for them using burlap sacks and horse feed bags, and have the designer label sewn into said dresses!  Well Lucy and Ethel are thrilled!  As they dine at a local outdoor cafe, feeling "Oh so chic!!"; Fred and Ricky can no longer contain their amusement and give up the gag, to the horror of the girls.  The following day, berated and humbled, the husbands have consented to purchase the real deal for there wives.   As they're all sitting at the same cafe, the models from the famous Parisian fashion house walk by wearing the EXACT same outfits (and coming off "Oh so chic!!") that were the butt of the joke the day before!  

And while that makes for a hilarious bit, aren't we really the same?  I've seen the below picture of Anna Dello Russo all over the street style blogs a while back (shows you how long I've been sitting on this post!) with comments lauding her style and creativity.  Apparently Ms. Dello Russo can do no wrong when it sartorially speaking.

But do we really believe that?  If I walked into my local Starbucks to pick up a Cafe Misto and a woman walked in wearing that hat, would I clasp my hands to my chest, throw my head back and swoon over the fashion statement she was making?  Probably not.  In my opinion, it's a silly hat that isn't practical or flattering and for the most part, serves only the purpose of garnering attention.  

 photo fotoflexer_photo-17.jpg

But it's amazing how our perspective is changed when A) A fashion icon wears something or B) It's a designer label.  Our label love is the delight of design houses everywhere!


Case in point:  Do we REALLY like Carrie's outfit that she wore to a Middle Eastern Market?  Or have we been TRAINED to like it because, after all, Carrie Bradshaw is Fearless Fashion Icon?

If style is performance art, then I get's all good.  But if style/fashion (I know they're not the same, but I'm making them quasi synonymous for the sake of this post) is about putting one's best foot forward and showcasing OURSELVES, then sporting labels for the sake of labels is counter productive and, dare I say, kind of silly?  But don't we know this already?  Even though we may get caught up in the fashion game every now and then, don't we all really know what's for show and what's really wearable; regardless of the label?

I used to love to shop or magazine peruse with my mom.  Often, we'd find ourselves critiquing designer looks with the question, "If I saw this at Walmart, would I still like it?"  If the answer is "No" then it's "No".

If that Marant shoe is fabulous, then by any other name, it will still be fabulous.  If not, then it wasn't so hot to begin with!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Some Saturday Morning 70s

LOVE the big hair and LOVE the colors!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A loud dress & a "Should Free" Zone

Let me say from the start that I would love to have a photographer available to me when I'm freshly groomed to take my picture in the perfect outdoor glow.  Alas, I do not!  And if I have to start dragging out the tripod and timer, well......, let's just say, I'd probably never post again.  So here we with are with the handy iPhone and mirror and what can I say?  It works for me!  

Also, as I mentioned before, my blog has a concerted thrift theme now; but not just why thrifting is great, but also how a great wardrobe can be compiled through shopping second hand.  So, actually, the emphasis of my posts are really less to do with the exact pieces I'm wearing, but more to do with how things are put together and finding one's own aesthetic.

This dress is Tracy Porter, and apparently, Anthropologie used to carry some of her items.  My understanding is that her company (apparel end) has gone bankrupt and is no more.  When I spotted this dress, I just KNEW it was quality.  The colors, the long wide matching sash, the silhouette.....all of it just spoke "Top Notch!".  And when I tried it on and the fit was great?  We're going home together little loud dress!


I kept everything else simple.  An elegant heel and minimal gold jewelry.  Really, it's all about the dress and the dress speaks volumes!

Other ways I'll style it:

  • With skinny jeans
  • Worn open over black cigarette pants, like a jacket
  • With a brown leather belt
  • With my high heel brown Nine West boots
  • With a skinny belt and cute flats with the sash around my hair


Dress:  Tracy Porter, thrifted, Shoes:  Ann Taylor, Yard Sale for $2!

There is about $7 in this whole outfit!!

I also want to take a quick moment to add that although I am an avid advocate of thrifting (for MANY reasons), at the Elegant Bohemian, no one gets "should" on!  Truly, my purpose is pure:  to showcase thrifted finds with the intention of building a great wardrobe regardless of your budget.  Period.  I'm absolutely NOT saying...
  • You SHOULD be thrifting!
  • You SHOULD love it!
  • You SHOULD never shop retail again!
  • You SHOULD be as bothered by fast fashion as I am!
  • You SHOULD do what I say!!!
NO!  One thing I LOATHE is for someone to should on me!  So whether you love to thrift, think it's disgusting, are mildly curious or it just ain't your thing, you've got a friendly little corner of the internet right here!  

Oh!  And sliding it in at the last minute, but hooking up with Patti for Visible Monday!

Peace Love and SOUL to you all!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Woman of Signature Style: SADE

This week, Patti has been discussing "Signature Style".  It's a topic that's fascinated me for a while now.  I wrote about my own search for a signature style here.  And while I find experimentation to be a necessary ingredient for creativity, I realize that there are common elements that define our style.   Really, don't we ALL have a signature style, whether we realize it or not?  For me this issue has been cultivating that style and asking myself, "Does my style truly express who I am or is it basically an easy default?"  For creative types, like myself, style is almost a personal artistic expression.  Just like there are many types of art:  cubism, surrealism, impressionism, modern, abstract, etc...all of them being just an expression of emotion or personal aesthetics, there are many types of style.  While abstract art may seem to take less talent than impressionism, the truth is that they are both valid expressions of a similar desire.

There are several women whose signature style, I really relate to.  Today, I wanted to highlight one of my all time favorite singers AND style icons, Sade!

  • Sade almost makes a uniform of black and white and yet, always looking different and striking!  Her long hair and minimalist style have remained, save for a few occasional experimental digressions, a constant through her long career.


  • She also has a way of taking functional jeans and making them seem somewhat elegant!  In this photo, the cowboy boots, the jeans, the white tunic.....all add up for a look that is NEVER outdated and seems more feminine than the utilitarian nature of the pieces would suggest.


  • Okay, this right here pretty much sums up Sade's style in a nutshell.  The slicked back pony tail.  The red lip.  The hoop earrings.  The black palette.  This is all her signature style components in one AND it just all works!  It's classy.  It's easy.  


  • Here we are with the denim again.  Only this time it's denim on denim.  Again, it just works!   Add to that the signature braid, hoops and emphasized lips and all of a sudden those jeans, look  inordinately classy!  As a side note, how about that fabulous bracelet?  See, I think that's one of the things I can relate to about Sade.  Like her, there's nothing subtle about my features.  Good or bad, they are pretty much in your face.  So delicate earrings or barely there necklaces, just. won't. do.


  • Black and white perfection.  Notice the hoops.  Again with the pony tail.   It's such a great look that it makes me wonder, "How does she pull off these same components without looking like she's just stuck in a rut?!"  Ownership maybe?  She knows what she likes and unapologetically moves forward with it.


  • A short lived foray into the bangs arena, but her signature is still in bold!  The black and white uniform looks sexy, appropriate and still a bit edgy.

She has a video that I've ALWAYS loved, a lot for the song, but actually, more for her style.  The jeans and jacket she wear in this video are so simple, yet so perfect!  Her style, like her music, is comfortable, easy, bold and sexy.  There's a bit of rawness to it, that's difficult to mesh with elegance, but she does it seemingly effortlessly!

I send you off to your weekend with my favorite Sade song and look.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year.....New Focus

Well Happy New Year everybody!  

I had a WONDERFUL Christmas!  And for the first time in YEARS, I just didn't want the Christmas season to end.  It was great having all the kids home, baking, cooking, playing cards, eating junk and laughing a LOT!

But now it's time to get started on 2013 and I'm excited about that too!  While my blog has always had a prominent thrifting theme; I see that topic taking even more center stage this year.  What has started out as a hobby has become a bit of a mission.  With all my heart, I believe that we can dress EXACTLY how we want without incessant shopping or patronizing the fast fashion retailers.

Most of us know we can "make do" with thrifting, but I believe that we can also build an enviable wardrobe through 90% thrifting and 10% thoughtful retail purchases.  And while we're doing that, we're cultivating our own personal signature style, not following trends, but identifying, embracing and creating our own aesthetic.  

So, that being said, I want to start my first post of the year with just what I was talking about.  Below is what I wore yesterday and can I just say, that much to my delight, everywhere I went I just collected compliments!!  Well, my boots collected most of them!  


Dress:  Soft Surroundings, thrifted  Over the knee boots:  Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx  Jacket:  Thrifted  Black Slip:  Vintage, thrifted   Bag:  Cynthia Rowley via TJ Maxx


I purchased these boots last Christmas on clearance at TJ Maxx for (insert drum roll here)  $56!!!!!  That's right girlies!  All leather, over the knee, high heel, corset back boots for only $56!  They absolutely elevate everything that they're paired with!!

I thrifted the dress a few months ago and wear it often as a blouse, dress, belted, loose, you name it! As you can see from here, and here, I wear it quite often.   For $ was a no brainer!

And one of my favorite new bag!  It's the only new purchase I wanted to make this year.  I'll save the story of this bag and why I think it's important to make a couple of well thought out retail purchases a year for another post.  But lemme say here and now, I. LOVE. THIS. BAG!!

I'm linking up to Patti's Visible Monday today, so please be sure to check out all the very visible looks from your friendly bloggers!

Again, I ask everyone reading this to please consider taking the "Shop Secondhand First" pledge that Bella has started.  Please take a read and while you're at it; feel free to take a look at this article on Refinery 29 regarding the fashion industry's reliance on underpaid, overworked and very often abused labor.  I simply can't, in good conscience, turn a blind eye to ramifications of  our aspirational, fashion/trend, consumer driven culture.  I truly want to be a part of the solution or at the very least, don't want to be hypocritical.

And last, but for me, not least.  I'm going to be spending more time this year working on my eBay store.  I'd be tickled to death for you to take a look!  And while you're at it, be sure to check out Bella's goodies on eBay AND Etsy.  And Terri has some fabulously fun pieces on eBay that you won't want to miss!