Monday, April 28, 2008

Obsessing about Starfish

I was feeling bored, cleaning out my hotmail and came across an email from J. Crew. Always curious (though seldom buying), I browsed through their Spring sale offerings. A cute necklace caught my eye - some beads and a little starfish. So cute! So, what do I usually do at this point? You guessed, go straight to Ebay and search for "vintage starfish". I found some cute options. What to do with so many starfish? You can cluster a few on a little sweater. You can pin one on the cuff of your shirt. You can attach one to a colorful headband. You can put a few together on a wide ribbon and wear it as a bracelet. In any case, here are some of my faves.






Truckers Protesting Diesel Prices

I can hear the truckers that are circling the White House out my window. I didn't know what it was at first. It sounded like a a very loud band tuning up . . . but, at times, it almost sounds symphonic. Read more about this (via Treehugger):

When diesel costs $4 a gallon in the United States, it does more than force truckers to slow down: it also makes them angry. So angry, in fact, that there has been talk of a nationwide strike today to protest the high price of diesel fuel. So far, protests have been sporadic, with around 100 truckers "rallying on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol asking lawmakers to cut state taxes on their fuel, and nationwide there are others calling for a day of boycott to emphasize their plight."

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association "says many of its members believe diesel prices at more than $4 a gallon is making it difficult for them to stay in business," and they are calling on President Bush to "stabilize fuel prices by using the nation's oil reserves." Granted, that would only temporarily ease the pain. In the long-term, cutting fuel taxes and using the nation's oil reserves won't change the fact that the U.S. fleet of trucks is inefficient. In the meantime, even if the strike does not materialize, consumers can expect to see the price of food, clothes and other consumer goods continue to rise.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vélo-couture: Looking Good, Saving the World

I have lived without a car for almost 17 years now, depending on my trusty Parkpre mountain-bike sidekick to get me on my way. Although I usually wear comfortable biking gear, every once in a while, life will necessitate biking in what most people would normally not consider appropriate attire . . . like high heels and dresses and skirts (oh my!).

But, seriously, choosing biking - whether for environmental reasons, health reasons or just because it is absolutely the fastest way to get around DC (I swear) - does not mean giving up a sense of style or fashion. It just means being aware of the various bike parts and how clothes work when you ride. Be inspired:










First two pictures are from The Sartorialist - click here for more of his rad biking pictures.
All other pictures from: Copenhagen Cycle Chic and the Vélocouture group on Flickr.

And check out these sites for more ideas on biking and biking style:

DC Biking Resources:

Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)

Bike Washington
Critical Mass-DC

And, lastly, when you just can't decide what to wear . . . World Naked Bike Ride Day!!

-

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

For Love of Miss Pixie's!!

On a recent warm Saturday, after cleaning the already sold!!! condo in Adams Morgan, my sig. other and I strolled around 18th street, enjoying the uncrowded bliss of early morning. We glanced in windows, gawked at all the hipsters on the street and were excited to idle away some time at Miss Pixie's - a great find of a store that sells secondhand and vintage furniture and decor and ALWAYS HAS COOKIES TO SHARE. To our utmost horror, the store was empty!!!!!! What could have happened? Did she really close the store? After some deep breaths and a moment of calming our panic, we noticed a sign. And all was good with the world . . . Miss Pixie's has moved to 14th Street (between Q and R)!! The fun! The excitement!

This past Saturday, I biked over to the new space. It is 3-4 times bigger! So many wonderfully unique things (all good for the environment, too since they are vintage or secondhand). Below are some of the things that caught my eye, but I betcha much of it sold already. : ( But, do not despair. Miss Pixie has a sharp eye, a quirky style sensibility and the energy to go to all those magical estate sales . . . new things are added every week.

So much more space at the new location!


Mirrors - $55 - $135

If it is velvet and tufted, I am immediately in love with it. Alas, this was already sold.
The price? A whopping $250!! (what a deal!! now that I am thinking about it, I should have asked if that was the correct price. But, I swear that is what the tag said.)


Thick flokati rug. 4 x 6. $250; Brass star - $75.

A cute little leopard print chair. Warning: not for the heavy set among us. $228. With a matching ottoman that was being sold separately.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The True Power of the Internet - Or, My Search for a Natural Tinted Moisturizer Continues

So, after another unsuccessful purchase of a tinted moisturizer (I tried Organic Wear by Physicians Formula from CVS. Seemed too good to be true. Organic. Cheap. Um, it made my pores look HUMONGOUS and dried to a powdery finish. SO SAD! But, not to discourage you from trying it. It might actually work for you!! I just think my pores are too big for mineral-based foundations/tinted moisturizers. The same thing happened with the Bare Minerals.)

Anyway, I decided that the only thing to do was to try and track down the Juice Beauty tinted moisturizer I have been using. It was recently reformulated and the new tints look horrible on me and make me break out. So, googling I went. I finally found 1 last bottle of the original formulation on Cherry Culture (I know that it was the last one b/c I tried to add 2 to my cart and it wouldn't let me, so I went to just add another item of the same thing and it said that it was sold out). Whew - just made it.

I am looking for at least 1 more bottle somewhere.

Why I Want to Move to the UK - BBC Launches Ethical Fashion Mag Online

Thread looks at the issues facing fashion conscious people who care where their clothes come from.

The designer Katherine Hamnett says “Thread is great because ethical fashion promises to be the next big thing and not just a passing fad. Young people are really interested in these issues.”

Thread is said to cut to the heart of what "ethical fashion" means, covering a range of issues from the environmental footprint of clothing manufacture, to the impact of the fashion industry on human and animal rights and why the choices we make when shopping for clothes make a real difference.

As well as support from Hamnett, London stylist Zoe James, who has worked with the likes of Claudia Schiffer and Davina McCall, was brought in to style the first photoshoot.

Produced by BBC Learning and aimed at 16-30 year olds, the first edition launches online on April 22 in conjunction with a four-part television series due to be aired on on BBC Three.

Entitled ‘Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts’, the programme sends six young fashion lovers to India to find out how their clothes are made.

You can view more information on Thread via the BBC website or at bbc.co.uk/thread

Happy Earth Day!!


Wear something eco-friendly today!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Feeling Less than Stellar . . . Listopad . . . Marvin

Because the day was bright, but my head felt dim, I decided that no true work would be accomplished today and headed over to Marvin for the Listopad vintage sale/event (thanks Ms. Spinach for the heads up).

It must have been the limited amount of sleep I got last night (Howard U. students throwing their end of semester out-of-control shindig 3 doors down - and the subsequent police sirens - did not allow for much sleep), but I just was too tired to to be inspired when I got there. I saw a few interesting things (like the bright coral grecian dress below. . .which, come to think of it, I should have bought - would have looked amazing with a tan!) and a DVF dress (the blue and white one).

But, what impressed me most was the HUGE patio at Marvin (who knew?). I have a neighbor who works there and, of course, I have heard all the hoopla, but I haven't had a chance to head over before this afternoon. It reminded me a lot of the 18th Street Lounge. It was not too crowded and after 2 mimosas and a bit of chatting I headed home.

But, the utmost best part of the whole thing is that I ran into my hairdresser from years ago who just moved back to DC!! I have not had a decent cut since she left over 2 years ago. I actually gave her a hug, I was so excited. (I am sure she thinks I am weird.) Oh well. As long as she cuts my hair! Here are some pics (sorry if they are less-than-stellar . . . I am feeling less-than-stellar today):

Not that you care, but this is what I wore today. Vintage Miss Sixty dress bought in Miami; American Eagle Outfitters jeans, H&M yellow cropped cardigan; Earth gold gladiator sandals.

Marvin Patio (there is a huge section under the roof)

An attending hipster (everyone was very hip there) seated in the open patio space. She was wearing the coolest Lisa Levine earrings with chains and feathers that I had noticed as soon as she walked in.

Great hair and Vivian, the greatest hairdresser in the world (on the right).





On my bike ride home, I was photographed by Graeme King for a project he is doing for Artomatic. He is documenting 24 hours on 14th street. If you have time, go say "hi", he'll be there until 9 AM on Sunday (he was near Pulp on 14th street).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Peek at Loudermilk at Ginger and Thoughts on Mustard Seed in Bethesda

So, I didn't make it over to the happenin' Bethesda Row party earlier this week . . . 'cause, well, I had work to do and a community meeting to go to about how we can get the city not to abandon the elementary school across the street from my house after they close it down. This school is huge. Seriously. But, if the city doesn't make some plans quick, its just going to sit there, unused, wasted, tempting the crack heads. Yep. Good times . . .

Anyway, I took the opportunity of a meeting in Bethesda this aftrenoon to stroll over to Mustard Seed as well as check out the new boutique, Ginger (that I mentioned in yesterday's post).

Well. Mustard Seed. What is there to say? I was under the impression that Mustard Seed was a consignment/second-hand store. I walked in and was *delighted* to see a cute flouncy red trapeze top . . . and then another one in orange . . . then I thought, oh, well, maybe someone brought in several similar tops . . . and then it dawned on me, most of the store was NEW STUFF. Cute, not too expensive stuff, but new. My mistake, I guess. The small (and I would say, frankly pitiful) selection of vintage and secondhand in the back could in no way compare to the bright colors and cute cuts of the new stuff. So, that was disappointing. That, and that everything that was new was made in China (no wonder it only costs $45!!).

On I went to find Bethesda Row. I was looking and looking for Ginger, but, realized that they were housed in some temporary digs in a large store front (sharing it with Lucy, a casual clothing chain that is also, like Ginger, waiting for its new store space to be ready). I am sure the racks were totally PICKED THROUGH yesterday (the saleswoman confirmed that it was mayhem yesterday), but they had some nice things. Definitely. I took some pics of the Loudermilk pieces. The original intent was to try the jeans and white tank on . . . but, um, I couldn't even get the 10!!! over my thighs. SIGH. I take a 6 in every other brand I have ever tried on, but I just couldn't get the jeans over that very last part of my upper thigh. (More incentive to get myself back to the gym!!) And, well, at that point I was discouraged enough not to want to try the tank on. But, all the pieces were really well-made and the fabrics were amazing to the touch. So, if you have skinny-minny thighs, def. go buy yourself some Loudermilk denim!!

White Seacell T-shirt ($218) and Lightweight Organic Cotton Jeans ($285)

"Windstorm" Organic Cotton Dress (which was coated with this metallic . . . something. really neat) ($495)

Sustainable Silk Wrap Jacket; Oeko-Tex approved ($515)

Ginger also had a few pieces by the company Saja, which were made from Modal. Modal is SO soft!! Modal is 100% biodegradable and is a a more eco-alternative to viscose, which is usually made with a very toxic process. It is also a better alternative than some of the petroleum-based fabrics. Modal is made from beech trees in Australia and needs few fertilisers or pesticides. It also maintains its color longer, making the garment last longer. According to Lenzing, the main manufacturer of Modal, "The pulp and fiber production are conducted in accordance with the principle of sustainability. Chemicals and secondary products which occur during the production process are sold as valuable substances. One example of this is wood sugar which is further processed to sweeteners." So there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Boutique in Bethesda Carrying Linda Loudermilk (ecofashion)

There is a boutique opening up in the new Bethesda Row that will be carrying some higher-end eco-friendly lines like Linda Loudermilk, along with other (non-eco) designers. Ginger is a second branch of a store in Winter Park, Fl. The owner, Gretchen Hitchner, used to be part-owner of Periwinkle in Alexandria, VA.

From the Bethesda Row Website:

Gretchen wanted to create the ideal boutique - a place where you can buy a great suit for work, the perfect cashmere sweater and a one-of-a-kind party dress, in an atmosphere that is warm and relaxing. With designers that are both up and coming and established, Ginger strives to try to find the next best thing, so that customers don't have to worry that someone else will be wearing the same piece. This women's clothing boutique also offers the latest in eco-friendly fashion suited for the trendy and fashion forward dresses.

Well, I am bummed that the eco-friendly thing is like an afterthought, but, hopefully, DC shoppers will ask for more lines to be added.

And, well, they're having a party tomorrow. From 12-8, stores like Ginger, Urban Chic and Tickled Pink will be offering discounts beginning at 30 percent off. At 4836 Bethesda Ave. (Hint: go for the happy-hour snacks from Lebanese Taverna) RSVP: dcrsvp@thepattongroupinc.com. (event info care of DC Scout).




Sunday, April 13, 2008

One More Ebay Treat for You!

Just wanted to mention another awesome vintage store on Ebay: Timeless Vixen. I love the model! Makes you feel like she is straight out of a 50s magazine. They sell mostly "dressy" dresses, so if you ever need a special event frock, check them out. Every once in a while, they have some less formal outfits. Like this great Mexican embroidered summer dress, with a starting price of $24 and no bids yet:


I think some of this type of style falls into the "rockabilly" look - but, I don't think you need Bettie Page bangs to look great in these dresses. Here are some more of the things I liked this week (they post new items every Friday):

$31 with 5 bids.

$24 with one bid.

$24 with one bid.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Few Things I Liked on Etsy Today

Vintage White Dress. $88
Vintage Yellow Dress. $90.

Handmade Hemp Bag. $60.

Organic Cotton (which is grown in Texas, ginned in North Carolina,
and made into fabric in South Carolina) Avail. in several colors. $55.

Organic cotton, bamboo and lycra. $65.

Thou Shalt Not Co-Mingle your Vegetables

Grrr - it is getting to the point where I just can't stomach going to Whole Foods anymore for the totally unaware people who are the ones that are supposed to be aware and who are supposed to be educated enough to make the right choices.

So, last night, I was in line behind this guy who had, like, eight different kinds of produce items that were all wrapped up securely in their own plastic bag. Two lemons, some pears, some bananas (who puts bananas in a plastic bag?!?!). I wanted to say, "you know, I am not sure who told you otherwise, but it's okay if your vegetables touch each other."

For those people out there who just can not get their heads around how you can make it through the produce aisle without using a 100 plastic bags, it is simple - follow these easy steps:

1. Pick up produce items.
3. Put them in your cart/basket. It is okay if they roll around a bit - just don't swing your cart around much and you will be fine.
3. Do not put heavy objects on top of, say tomatoes. Put your beer on the opposite side of the cart/basket. Or, use Whole Foods' double basket cart.
4. When you get to the check out, place alike items together to make it easier for the check out person. For example, place the LEMONS with the LEMONS. If you place the lemons with the tomatoes, this is wrong, so think a bit more about it and start over.
5. The check out person will NOT throw you out of her line. He/She is a professional and will be able to wrangle your squash onto the scale without needing it to be in a plastic bag (which kills sealife, is a horrible nuisance litter-wise and is just wasteful of resources).

Try my easy technique. Let me know how it goes. Maybe you'll like it. I'll like you for it - and that is like having tea with the Pope.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do You Really Care What I am Wearing Today?

I read a bunch of blogs where the authors post pictures of what they are wearing every once in a while. Granted, I think most of those people have much better taste then me - and probably more time to build their flawless wardrobes and figure out what to wear on a daily basis. But they all have a unique sense of style - and many of them are happy to thrift, vintage and DIY their way to looking fabulous. Here are some that I like:

style bytes
wardrobe remix
the vintage society

But, even though many of these very stylish ladies wear secondhand proudly, they are not often espousing on the fact that their style preferences are helping the world. However, there was a woman in New York City (of course), who wrote a blog, fiftyRX3, for about a year, specifically about fashion and sustainability. Here is what she says about the project:

"fiftyRX3 was a project in style and sustainability. It consisted of a photo documentary of what I wore everyday for a year with a goal of averaging fifty percent sustainability based on the environmental mantra 'reuse, reduce, recycle'. There was also exploration into the relationship we have with our clothing and how others perceive who we are through what we wear. Additionally, to visually comment on ideas about consumerism, waste and life cycles in design, I included my own experiments with recycled design. The first was a dress made out of umbrellas that were collected from the streets of NYC. The dress inspired a competition to design a better umbrella and was featured in I.D. magazine."

She is no longer doing the project, but you can still view her archives. You should check it out - it is really inspiring.

In any case, I have been inspired to share my wardrobe choices - not necessarily because I am the hippest gal out there, but because I wear my vintage, secondhand and DIY proudly. So, without further ado, here is what I wore on two recent days.


Velvet Tunic/Dress - Vintage; bought in Seattle for $20; You can't see them, but the buttons have little rhinestones that are flawless!
Jeans - Lucky Jeans; bought secondhand for $5 at a Goodwill in PA
White Shirt - H&M (bought new)
Shoes - Dansko Clogs (bought new)

Jacket - Target (bought new) - damn habit
Sweater - Banana Republic; bought at Goodwill for about $6
T-shirt - not sure where, but bought new
Leggings - Ann Taylor, bought new
Boots - Secondhand, bought on Ebay for $9

Friday, April 4, 2008

Vintage Shopping on Ebay

So, again, I have been super busy and not really feeling inspired. Maybe its the rain? But, the least I can do is share with you some links to great vintage clothing stores on Ebay, thanks to The Coveted.

I have personally perused these stores and do, whole-heartedly agree that they have some pretty neat stuff. Unfortunately, the sizes seem to run on the smaller side, but there are some neat gems in there. And a secret: a lot of these vintage stores are popular and get a lot of visitors (read: many bids for the same item, raising the price) - what I like to do is, if I see an item that I like, I will do another Ebay search for that item. Usually, there is some random person selling something similar for a lot less.

Oh, how I wish I lived somewhere cool so that I could have an opportunity to wear this crazy gold thing!



Happy vintaging! (click on links to be taken to the Ebay store)

Nasty Gal Vintage
Indie Cult Vintage
Mama Stone Vintage
MakiMaki Vintage
Liebemarlene Vintage
Calico

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Join Us for Green Drinks DC - April 8th

WHAT'S NEW?: Green Drinks is experimenting with a few new ideas to introduce you to local green products, services, research, technology, etc, in hopes of making the greening of your home and life just a little bit easier to figure out.


THIS MONTH: This month we'll be meeting at a new business in town called Greater Goods (http://www.greatergoods.com/ ). It's located on 1626 U-Street. You can browse around and one of the owners will show you what simple things you can do that can make a big impact in your home and on the planet (yes, we each really do count). Afterwards you can head to Local 16 for the 'Happy' hour part of our monthly gathering. Local 16 is at 1602 U-Street, just before the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue.

**BONUS: There will be a door prize this evening of two free dinners at Local 16!!


DETAILS: April 8th from 6:30-9:30ish. You can come to Greater Goods anytime and go to Local 16 afterwards.

Come whenever you want, stay as long as you want.


LAST MONTH: For those of you who were at last months event, you can see photo's that were taken by Mark Silva. He graciously contributed his artistic flare and time to provide us with candid and not-so candid shots. You can see them at http://www.flickr.com/gp/63292732@N00/q6d5FD

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