No Hat: The Story Behind the Pink Suit

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Evoking a powerful image of an intelligent, sophisticated and independent woman, the Chanel suit was one of the strongest and sought after fashion items during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The famous pink suit with navy trim was shown in the Autumn/Winter 1969 Coco Chanel collection and it was known to be one of John F. Kennedy’s favorites. Some say the dress worn by Jacqueline is a knockoff created by a New York dress shop called Chez Ninon so she could indulge her French tastes and still buy American to appear patriotic. Most Americans didn’t know the suit was pink given that color TV began to take over our living rooms in the mid 1960’s, after the assassination.

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Chanel Suits, 1961. Time Magazine.

The presidential limousine was passing a grassy knoll on the north side of Elm Street at the moment of the fatal head shot on November 22, 1963 in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Immediately after President John F. Kennedy was shot in the head, the suit became spattered with his blood.

Kennedys in Dallas Motorcade

President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and Texas Governor John Connally ride in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Moments later the President and Governor were shot by an assassin. (Walt Sisco / Copyright Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

“I cast one last look over my shoulder and saw in the President’s car a bundle of pink, just like a drift of blossoms, lying in the back seat. It was Mrs. Kennedy lying over the President’s body.” -Lady Bird Johnson

The pillbox hat was secured by a hatpin. Jacqueline took it off somewhere inside the hospital.

“While standing there I was handed Jackie’s pillbox hat and couldn’t help noticing the strands of her hair beneath the hat pin. I could almost visualize her yanking it from her head.” -Mary Gallagher, the first lady’s personal secretary.

Nobody knows where the famous pillbox hat is but Mary Gallagher is the last known person to have had it.

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Mrs. Kennedy was asked to change her clothes but she refused saying, “Let them see what they’ve done.”  She was still wearing the blood-stained suit when Vice President Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States. It is said she regretted having washed her husband’s blood off her face before President Johnson was sworn in. A composed Mrs. Kennedy let her pink suit do the talking, symbolizing her incredible strength and giving meaning to the feminist slogan, “Behind every great man, there’s a great woman.”

Jackie finally took off her suit the following morning. Her maid, Providencia Paredes took it out of her sight, placed it in a box and sent it to Mrs. Kennedy’s mother. Months later, the box was sent to the National Archives with a note saying “Jackie’s suit and bag worn Nov. 22, 1963.” The hat was not in the box and the suit was never cleaned. It remains out of public view and the precise location is kept secret.

In 2003, a deed of gift was secured from by then the sole surviving heir, Caroline Kennedy . She stipulated that the suit not be displayed for the life of the deed — 100 years. When it runs out in 2103, the right to display it can be renegotiated by the family. The temperature hovers between 65 and 68 °F the humidity is 40 percent; the air is changed six times an hour in the suit’s vault.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in May, 1994. She was 64 years old. Among the First Ladies of the United States, she remains one of the most popular.

Though the years, Mary Gallagher and Providencia Paredes have posted online several items that belonged to Mrs. Kennedy up for auction but not the pillbox hat.

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OOTD: Sourpus Clothing Kitchen

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After learning Sourpuss Clothing was seeking models around New Jersey, I had to send some of my photos. I was thrilled when I got the e-mail saying I had been chosen to pose for their Spring / Summer 2015 Catalog. Everything was super adorable but this little outfit, perfect for looking all cute while baking, took the cake!

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Outfit Deets

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Sourpuss Clothing

Songbird Rosie Dress

$50

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Sourpuss Clothing

Lovely Anchors Apron

$27

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Betsey Johnson

Kitsch Betsey’s Cooking Crossbody

$88

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Bordello

Red White Patent Platform Shoes

£62.00

Or any pair of simple turquoise pumps!

I hope you like this sweet outfit!

Wearing Vintage: Blue Fennel

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Scrolling down #vintagedress on Instagram, I found Blue Fennel Vintage, a vintage clothing and accessories store on Etsy owned by Stephanie. I fell in love with a skirt from the 60s and I made the purchase without giving it much thought. The listing said the waist was 28″ minimum, two inches bigger than my natural waist but I knew I’d alter it. Not really having an occassion to wear it, she has been hanging safely in my closet, unfortunately.

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About a month later, Stephanie posted what I like to call a “skirt teaser” and I adored the lavender flowers thinking they would pop with my hair color. She told me I could pay in installments and I took advantage of her offer. A week and a half later, I was the happy owner of this amazing dress.

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Blue Fennel often has great sales and that’s how I got this beauty:

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The fabric is a little warmer than what I usually wear, so I’m waiting for cooler weather to show it off. What do I mean by cooler weather? 70°-80°. Ah, the joys of living on a tropical island.

Here are some hashtags to check out:

#vintagedress
#truevintage
#vintageetsy

Follow BlueFennel on Instagram and Etsy!

I hope you find the vintage dress[es] of your dreams! What are your favorite vintage shops?

Photos by Da.Art Photography

Heart and Solar System Dress

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As an odd print collector, I constantly search for eye-catching skirts and dresses. When I’m on a tight budget, I always check clothing swap groups before actually looking through pages and pages of items on a website. One of a girl’s ISOs (in search of) was this beautiful space print dress by Fervour, sold exclusively at ModCloth.

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Heart and Solar System Dress, $75
Currently available in XS

I was sad to discover it was sold out and if restocked, it would sell for $75. As a Fashion Design student I know that a simple unlined, cotton dress should sell for a lot less. I told myself that constantly, trying to convince myself not to buy it if someone returned it in my size. I decided to post it as an ISO item to one of the swap groups just in case someone wanted to get rid of theirs (yeah, right) and a few weeks later, a girl told me someone had returned a small one. I bought it. Yolo, people, yolo.  (Too 2013?)

I waited the two weeks it usually takes for a ModCloth package to get to my house and was heartbroken when I pulled this out of the bag:

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The Way I Galaxy It Dress, $42 (50 % off)

This dress was being sold for $85 when I got it.  I thought about keeping it but the material and the fact that it’s lined made me sweat without even trying it on. I did try it on eventually but the only thing that came to mind was “meh.”  A return. I remember chatting with customer service and how nice the lady was.  I asked her if the company was planning on restocking it and I felt a punch to my chest as she said no. I told the girl from the swap group about the situation and she was just as sad as I was because she’s been looking for the same dress but in a different size.

Before I could forget about the dress, I saw a message from her saying a small one had been returned again. I didn’t get excited, but I bought it hoping I wouldn’t receive the wrong one again. I wonder if the mailman found it odd when I didn’t grin as soon as I saw him approaching my house with a package from ModCloth.  I opened it and even though it was finally the right dress, I was expecting the worst, as if it had to have some sort of flaw. Well, it does.

CONS

  • The dress is too short for my liking. The hem hits 3 inches above my knee. I did see pictures prior to purchasing but I thought it would be longer on me considering I’m only 5’03” tall.
  • Runs small in bust area. I’m only a B cup and I had a major armpit-boob issue.

PROS

  • Breathable fabric.
  • Has pockets. Yay!

The story does not end here. I searched for the brand, Fervour, on eBay and voila, a medium Heart and Solar System Dress was listed at only $30. It had the option to start a bidding war but it had 7 watchers so I didn’t want to risk it. I’m happy to say that I now own a Heart and Solar System Dress that doesn’t give me armpit-boob. I returned the small one and saved $40.  Yay for used clothing!

Now please enjoy these pictures of my sexy self wearing the sexy dress.

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Da.art Photography

Want to know a little secret? I was told this dress *might* be getting restocked around August but you didn’t hear it from me! 😉

Recent OOTDs

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I was 14 years old when I started taking pictures of myself.  I remember MySpace was big back then and posting at least a pic a day was crucial.  MySpace is no longer what it used to be and it was replaced by the oh so public Facebook.  Playing silly games like Candy Crush and making the transition from high school student to college freshman made me loose my style a bit.  Looking great wasn’t so important to me anymore.  Stained jeans, stretched t-shirts and Converse that were falling apart was my go to outfit.  It still is, but I can honestly say I do my best to dress up a bit on the weekends.  Having to walk 20 minutes to a classroom under the Puerto Rican sun doesn’t really motivate me to put an effort into dressing myself.  Who wants to see a sweaty dress anyway?

I’ve been trying to document my “good” outfits lately.  I figured if I have such cool stuff, why not show people?  I like using Instagram because I can tag the brands and stores where I got my clothes or accessories, making it easier for you guys to find them.  It’s how I discover new brands and fun bloggers.  I can’t really write much on Instagram and I doubt people would want to read a lot there.  I know I get antsy when I see a long paragraph underneath a pic so I decided to talk a bit more about my OOTDs here.  Hopefully you’ll fall in love with some of these brands.

Tropical Bliss

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I got this super cute floral top by La Cabana on eBay.  I searched vintage pin up top and this popped up!  I don’t think you can get these anywhere else.  I’ve searched everywhere.  If you love the island flair, you can start looking here.  I got mine for $16.

The Joys are back Jeans in capri by Fervour I got on ModCloth.  They looked odd on me so I cut them.  They look more flattering on me like this and are super comfortable.  Unfortunately, they’re sold out on the ModCloth website.  You can check out other Fervour items here.

This outfit is perfect for hot summer days or every single day if you live on an island!

Snack Attack

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This dress screams fun!  The brand is Folter.  They recently changed their name to Retrolicious.  I got this dress on ModCloth for around $70 and it was worn by AnnaSophia Robb on The Carrie Diaries!  The belt does not come with the dress but at least it has pockets, right?  Dresses with pockets are the best.

The ice cream wristlet is by Betsey Johnson and it comes in several colors.  Blue, like mine, pink and glitter fuschia.  I got mine on eBay for $60 (I think).  I thought it was going to be much smaller and was totally surprised when I got it.  I wish it came with a long strap because I’d rather not have my purse dangling off my wrist, but I guess I can make one.

Now for the shoes.  These were a DIY project.  After checking out several shoe stores looking for the perfect flats to paint, I got these at Payless for $20 and the brand is Lower East Side.  They were a darker brown when I got them.  I got inspired by Shoe Bakery.  Knowing I couldn’t afford a pair of their delicious shoes, I decided to try and make my very own.  It took me two days to make these and I’m completely happy with how they turned out!  Shoes + materials: around $35.

Berry Fruity

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away!  Let’s start off with my favorite purse.  I was lucky enough to get the very last Pomme Sweet Home bag on ModCloth.  I remember asking myself if I would ever use this purse.  It wasn’t until I realized there was only one left that I swore I’d use it at least twice a month.  It’s perfect for a tiny little picnic or for a dose of cuteness.  It’s pretty big on the inside and it comes with a long strap.  The brand is Ollie & Nic and I got it for $65.  Please be aware that Ollie & Nic sell the cutest purses.  Click at your own risk.

I got the Strawberry Fields dress… where else?  On the ModCloth website, of course!  The brand is Bea & Dot, a ModCloth brand.  I got this $100 dress for $30!  The quality is very nice and the fabric is thick.  A bit too thick to wear in Puerto Rico, but hey, cooler months are coming and I’ll surely wear this around.

Calling Dotty

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Minnie Mouse, anyone?  This Hell Bunny polka dot skirt was my first ModCloth purchase almost three years ago.  It’s way too big on me now, but I’ll never let it go!  It has comfty pockets and it came with a detachable bow.  I now hold it up with my Pin Up Girl Clothing belt.

The retro crop top was a Go Jane purchase.  I don’t think they’re selling them anymore but a decent crop top shouldn’t be too hard to find.

The phone purse is by Betsey Johnson and it’s the bag that started my novelty purse collection.  You can plug your phone and actually talk through the handset (is that how it’s called?).  I got the bag on eBay for $80 and it went to Paris with me.

The saddle shoes?  Another DIY!  I got $5 sneakers at Walmart and some black acrylic paint.  Sneakers + materials: $12.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these outfits I like to call treasures and that you found a new favorite brand or designer along the way.  Keep your eyes peeled for these posts or follow me on Instagram for more #ootds!

Ever wonder what a vintage-loving gal trying to be gangsta’ looks like?

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You’re welcome.

Q & A with Cat Carney!

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I was looking through ModCloth’s vintage collection, Jingle Belles, when I first saw the lovely Cat Carney.  Something about the hat she was wearing caught my eye and then I actually looked at her.  I almost thought out loud Jeez!  This girl is so pretty!  After much googleing and reading, I found her Instagram account.  I now get a frequent dose of cuteness thanks to her.  This sweet girl agreed to do an interview via e-mail.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t interview her face to face, but I sure hope I get to do it in the near future.

How and when did you start modeling?  How old are you?  You look so young!

My modeling adventure kicked off in the summer of 2011. With my sister as chief photographer, I had, at fourteen, my first real photo shoot in my backyard. After careful review, I sent the snaps along to Pittsburgh/Cleveland agency The Talent Group, who successively called me in for an Open Call and offered an exclusive contract. I was first invited to meet with NYC agencies that winter. The trip was very successful, but I vowed to remain in school instead of working overseas like the agencies suggested. Scouted at 17 by Real Model Scout, I am now signed with the fabulous APM Models New York!

Who are your style icons and why?

Jean Shrimpton, one of the world’s first supermodels, and Taylor Swift are, in my opinion, the personifications of the true feminine style. The delicate shift dresses and chic berets that were so often seen on ‘60’s model Shrimpton now make appearances in my own wardrobe. Combine these pieces with the effortlessly sophisticated looks of T-Swift (flowered frocks, fabulous hats, and the elegant handbag), and my ladylike style is complete! I admire these two ladies for embracing girly fashion, yet adding their own unique twists.

If you could live in any decade, which would you choose and why?

Sometimes, I daydream of experiencing a day in the 1920’s. Perhaps this is because I just finished reading The Great Gatsby, but, nevertheless, the turbulent lifestyle of the 20’s is one I would be curious to take part in. The manner of dress was simply irresistible, what with the intricate detailing of ladies’ gowns and dignified structure of men’s snazzy suits. New York City in the 20’s was nothing short of dramatic, and a day in the Big Apple during this time would have been unforgettable. If I were to need a getaway from the frenetic hustle and bustle in 1920’s America, a lazy vacation in Paris would have done the trick.

What’s your signature style?

As previously mentioned, feminine fashions are dominant in my wardrobe. On a casual weekend out, you may see me donning a fitted patterned or floral frock, paired with oxford-heeled shoes or Mary Jane flats. That being said, I also feel quite stylin’ in my model fashions: dark skinny jeans, fitted t-shirt or black turtleneck, leather jacket, and booties.

What was the best part of modeling for ModCloth?

My year spent with ModCloth helped sculpt me into the model and young woman I am today. It’s difficult to classify one certain tenet of the Mod experience as my favorite, as each shoot, outfit, team member, and model has handed me unforgettable memories. However, I must say that the vintage shoots (ex: the holiday Jingle ‘Belles’ vintage collection) were always a highlight. Showcasing one-of-a-kind retro pieces through larger-than-than hair and makeup, sets, and styling was incredibly valuable as a model and vintage-lover.

If you could change anything about the Fashion Industry, what would it be?

I think all body-shaming, specifically on social media, needs to simply stop. Whether a model be ram-rod straight or plus size, he/she is incredibly unique and beautiful; each and every body shape should be shown in a positive light. As a caveat to that statement, I also believe that all models have a responsibility to their bodies to be healthy.

Have you ever had any negative experiences as a model?

Thankfully, all of my experiences in my career, thus far, have been positive. This past year, when making final NYC contract decisions, I made sure to sign with the agency that I knew was the perfect fit for me. With the guidance of APM, my scout, and my family, I know my career will continue to be one that is not only incredibly exciting, but also safe.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a model?

Each and every moment I spent in NYC this past summer was incredibly rewarding. The bookings and shoots I have taken part in for three years have been leading up to work in the nation’s fashion capital, and I am awaiting my NYC move next summer!

How do you get through a bad day?

I’ve noticed that a great workout can very much lift low spirits. A brisk walk outside is calming for me, as I’ve always felt at peace while one with nature.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my free time, I have been meticulously studying NYC and subway maps (HopStop is truly fabulous), and checking out NYC apartment profiles. Curling up with an enchanting read is always enjoyable!

Coffee or tea?

Does an occasional glass of Diet Coke count?

What does a day in your shoes look like?

When I’m not on set, I usually awaken at about 5:30 A.M., have a healthy breakfast (go oatmeal!), work diligently on my classes and schoolwork for the majority of the day, exercise for one hour, and relax in the evenings with some YouTubing or watching of House Hunters! Days spent on-set are fast-paced, with early call times, hour-long shoots, and a casting or two. Weekends are vital for me, as I utilize them to catch up on any missed schoolwork and/or spend quality time with my family.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In ten years from now, I envision myself living in a large metropolis, such as New York City, Paris, or Dublin, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications under my belt. My career goal, besides modeling, is to write/edit for a fashion magazine or work as a public relations specialist. I also dream of making a purchase of a rose pink moped, the perfect mobile vehicle to scoot around busy city streets!

How do you stay confident?

I believe that the truest way to stay confident is to surround yourself with positive people, maintain positivity in your own life, and make time for your family and close friends. Not only does my family ground me, but they also cement my confidence as a model and young woman.

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What is your definition of a strong, classy woman?

A genuine, kind, determined, resolute, and hardworking woman is one who exudes class, in my opinion. A woman who is acutely aware of what she wants and will not stop working until she is living her dream life, pushing through all obstacles, is the epitome of strength.

Want more Cat Carney?  You can follow Cat on Instagram here or click here to check out her Pinterest board!

Giveaway!

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Not so long ago, I posted this picture on Facebook.  Only one person entered.  I decided to give you guys more time to think whether or not you want this great headband!  Of course you do!  It’s perfect for those rockabilly gals and pinup girls.  It’s reversible, so it’s like having two headbands for the price of one!  Haha.  

 

It’s easy to enter, just follow the instructions in the picture and click on it.  International participants are welcome!  I will ship anywhere in the world– Even Atlantis!  I know how much it sucks wanting something and not entering because the item won’t be shipped to your country.   Good luck!

 

Also, be sure to check out Sabbie’s!  They have cute stuff!  http://www.sabbiespursesandmore.com

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Retro, Vintage & TV Shows!

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Today I had an epiphany!  Where’s my imaginary lightbulb?  Just when I was wondering why I’m obsessed with shows most of my peers consider crappy, I realized they all style at least one character in a retro-esque or vintage-y way.  Before I start defending The Carrie Diaries and Glee, I must explain the difference between vintage and retro.  No, they’re not the same, boys.

So what exactly is vintage?

A vintage item is one that was made at least 20 years ago.  It should fully represent and speak of the era in which it was made.

Your mom wants you to wear her late 1980s wedding dress with the big, poufy sleeves?  Congrats!  Not only are you getting married, but you have the opportunity of showing off a vintage garment—if you’re not intimidated by the cotton candy on your shoulders, that is.

A place to get great vintage dresses is Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique on Etsy.  Check out thrift shops as well!

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1950’s dress, Xtabay Vintage

Can I get a holey moly?

What about retro?

A retro piece is a modern item that revives a style from the past when accessorized correctly.  An example of a retro item would be a neon green (first day with a cold, booger color) swing dress.  Neon green, of course, wasn’t “in” when swing dresses were, making it retro, not vintage.

Warning:  Retro can turn costume-y or look outdated when it’s not accessorized referencing the era you and your piece are trying to revive.

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 Tile and Tile Again Dress, Modcloth

Now that you know the difference between these two, I can now start talking about my favorite shows. 

Glee, other than being awesome, mainly focuses on Rachel Berry, who is probably the most annoying character.  If you’ve watched the show since the first season, you may have noticed that her style has changed—extremely.

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They used to dress her in a preppy, yet retro way referencing the 1950s-60s and sometimes the Mod era.  They rarely do so now that she’s in college.

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Her style consists of sweaters and A-line skirts, mostly in a pastel palette.  It’s perfect for teachers looking for vintage-inspired outfits that are also comfortable.  Forever 21 sells many A-line skirts and button down cardigans for those girls on a budget, like me.  If you have some extra bucks, aim for New Girl’s Jessica Day.  As a matter of fact, you can be inspired by Zooey Deschanel’s everyday outfits.  She screams Modcloth!  Most of her pieces can be found there.

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                      Jessica Day, New Girl                                         Zooey Deschanel, true life

If you’re going for a fun, bright look, focus on Tina, who is now dressed in a very Mod way.  Lots of go go boots, short skirts, bright colors and geometric patterns.  It’s pretty odd because she used to be the goth one of the group.  Maybe her style changed because she’s wanting to get those Rachel Berry solos?

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Great for partying or tone it down a little to go shopping!

Want to look “muted” sexy?  Just look at Miss Pillsbury (hopefully soon-to-be Mrs. Shue) for inspiration.  She’s always covered up but is often dressed and / or accessorized to make her assets get attention.  She’s sometimes seen with a bulky necklace or with a shirt that has an elaborate collar, making her chest the focal point or with a pencil skirt, drawing attention to her curves.

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Her style is absolutely perfect for a first date.  When having dinner, your date’s eyes will be on your face, but most definitely be on another body part when you walk away to powder your nose.  Tone it down a bit and wear something like this for a job interview.  Want her look?  Modcloth is the place to go.  You can also check eBay!

Love the 1980s?  Congrats, VH1 might contact you pretty soon.  It’s time for a remake of those “I Love…”  marathons.   After answering VH1’s call, you might want to check out The Carrie Diaries.  For those living under a rock, it’s a prequel to Sex and The City.  Viewers get to see young Carrie Bradshaw transitioning from high school student to fashion oriented woman.

If you want to dress with an 80s feel, go for bold prints, bright colors and tutu-like skirts.  Don’t be afraid to mix certain prints.

Carrie’s look is a bit expensive.  She’s sometimes dressed in actual vintage dresses.  When she’s not, they almost always dress her in Modcloth, J. Crew and Nordstrom, but some of her looks can be emulated with Forever 21.  Again, be sure to check eBay.  You never know what you might find.

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Too “in your face” for you?  Want to go darker?  Dorrit Bradshaw might be sporting the look you want—at least in the first half of the season.

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A pretty helpful website for gals inspired by the fashion seen on TV is Worn on TV (wornontv.net).  I found it hunting down a matryoshka print dress worn by Zooey as Jess in New Girl.  Sadly, it’s almost $300, since it’s an Eva Franco.  Early xmas present, anyone?  Please?

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Go ahead, have fun creating new outfits with pieces you already have in your closet and make a list of things you want to add to your collection… But please, put away the Giza Pyramids when you’re done.

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