Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Retrospec'd Flamenco Elizabeth Dress

Every time I see a new dress from Retrospec'd, my heart squeezes a little at the amazing painterly prints and gorgeously executed vintage styles. After seeing how lovely and well-made my first Retrospec'd dress was, it wasn't hard to convince myself to splurge on another. And when I saw the Elizabeth dress in Flamenco on the lovely Bristol, as well as all over my Insta feed, I absolutely fell in love with the print. Once I realized this dress was available from a US stockist, it was only a matter of time before it appeared in my closet.

Retrospec'd Flamenco Elizabeth Dress Daisy Jean floral designs

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Day in My Life

Routines are how I calibrate my life. I find comfort in familiar things and adapt fairly slowly to change, so I enjoy having daily and weekly rhythms that I can rely on. (I also don't get tired of the things I like, which is why I often order the same things at the restaurants we go to, and why I've seen Star Wars literally hundreds of times.) My little routines also help me to stay on track and be productive; without any concrete plans, I tend to just sort of relax and lose track of time.

Today, I figured I'd give you a peek into my daily routine. Since I'm such a creature of habit, it won't be too hard to remember what I do each day ;). I'm going to stick with the weekday routine, since it's a bit more fixed and definitely less embarrassing: the weekend edition involves far too much 'read the internet' and 'put feet up on the arm of the couch' for my ego to comfortably share.

vintage 1960s day dress and sears tower

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Review: House of Foxy

While the 1950s will always have my heart, sometimes I just can't resist the siren song of a 1940s silhouette. Case in point: this lovely red floral tea dress from the House of Foxy. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and had almost worked myself up to paying for international delivery when I discovered it on Unique Vintage's site during a sitewide sale!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Bus is Back

You may have seen me mention that I lived in LA for eight years before moving to Chicago. Well, I might not be an Angeleno by birth, but as a lifelong gearhead (or petrolhead, for my British readers), I certainly appreciated living in a place that showed so much love to the automobile.

Trashy Diva red picnic Lena dress and lola von rose purse

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Pretty Dress Company Priscilla

Like seemingly everyone who's put on a Pretty Dress Company frock, I'm a massive fan! Ever since I saw the yellow gingham Priscilla swing dress on the lovely Miss Amy May, I've been longing for one of my very own. So when the Pretty Dress Co. offered worldwide free shipping in May, I jumped at the chance to grab one for my own without paying close to $40 in shipping fees, and today I'm finally sharing a long-overdue review of this gorgeous sundress!

Pretty Dress Company Priscilla

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Maternity Photo Shoot!

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a leisurely morning with my friend Devinne, strolling around the University of Chicago campus for a maternity photo shoot (!!!) before eating all the brunch. I'm beyond excited to share some of the photos from our shoot with you today! Brace yourself for a zillion exclamation points (and photos)...


Saturday, July 8, 2017

What I've Learned From My Parents

One thing you might not know about me is that I'm quite close with my dad. I've written quite a bit about the women in my family before, but recently I realized that surprisingly, I haven't really shared too much about my dad.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Babymoon: Lincoln Park Zoo

Every once in a while, I realize that for all my efforts to see major landmarks and local attractions, I've been missing out on a major one. (This is why I went to the Bronx Zoo for the first time at twenty years old, despite living forty-five minutes away, and why I still haven't seen the Statue of Liberty up close.) Recently, our Chicago staycation adventures took us to one of the most glorious places I've yet seen out here: Lincoln Park and its famous zoo!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Red, White, and Hearts and Found

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I've honestly felt more conflicted than usual about celebrating the Fourth this year, and I wasn't even sure if I wanted to mark the holiday with a post. As I said last year, I'm not much of a flag-waver.

hearts and found elizabeth dress

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Babymoon: A Walk in the Park

I'm still playing catch-up in the ongoing quest to document all my Chicago adventures, so it's time for another installment of food-and-sightseeing Stuff We Did. Jeff and I enjoyed last year's staycation so much that we decided to revisit the idea for a mini-babymoon last month. Needless to say, our babymoon itinerary was all about good food and interesting local destinations, and we started off on a high note: with Frontera Grill and some relaxed sightseeing around downtown Chicago.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

21 Things I'm Thankful For

This year has tested my natural optimism quite a bit. Recently, I wrote about my journey to accept my feelings of sadness and anxiety. And while I do think it's crucially important to learn to be ok with not feeling ok or upbeat all the time, I also make it a habit to consciously look for the bright side.

hell bunny sunflower dress

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It's Bumpin'

If I'm perfectly honest, one of the things I was most concerned about after I got pregnant (after the baby's health of course!) was how I'd live without my wardrobe for months on end. After all, I've put serious effort into assembling an A-Team of brightly printed, cheery, full-skirted dresses and skirts.

Venus Flytrap petite Jenny skirt

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pirate Treasure

What does my favorite neighborhood mural have to do with a pirate-print Trashy Diva dress? Well...nothing, unless 'both things make me happy' counts.

Trashy Diva Pirate Treasure dress

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Star Wars Ethical Dilemma

Well, it's happened: I'm grappling with my first parenting-related ethical dilemma, and I have no idea what to do. No, this isn't about whether to use cloth or disposable diapers, or whether to cosleep, or anything like that. My dilemma involves a much weightier issue: raising a child in the post-Star Wars-prequel era.

Trashy Diva Sci Fi Rockets Annette

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: Trashy Diva Birds of a Feather

One of my favorite places at the Field Museum is the birds collection. It's always a hotbed of activity and there's usually something nifty to see, whether it's eggs collected near Shelter Island in the 19th century, rainbow-bright stuffed birds from all over the world, or a live peregrine falcon accompanying its owner to work. So when Trashy Diva released their latest collection, Birds of a Feather, I was flying high! (Sorry.) And with a dress in my all-time favorite TD cut, the circle Day Dress, this collection felt like it was meant to be.

trashy diva Birds of a feather

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago is filled with breathtaking sights, from Lake Michigan to the historical architecture all over the city, but one of my very favorite things about living here is all of the green space. It's quite a change from Los Angeles to have so many public parks and open space in the very heart of the city, and I'm always so charmed by all the flowers planted along the city's streets.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

It's ok to not be ok.

I spend a LOT of time trying to maintain a positive attitude. Usually, this is great: I've found that focusing on happy thoughts helps to keep anxiety at bay, and helps me to dwell on what I have rather than what I've lost or wish I had.

Lately, though, I've found that it's much harder to maintain my usual equilibrium. This year has brought some truly difficult times, which have made even the happiest moments bittersweet. While I haven't lost hope for improvements on one front, I'm still mourning for the days when my family was still more whole than it currently is, and still coming to terms with losing my grandma.

retrolicious rainbow tickets dress

Monday, June 12, 2017

Berry Chantilly Hopscotch

Every time Trashy Diva releases a new collection, I drop everything, flail around in excitement for a little while, and order immediately. Every time, that is, except once. The Berry Chantilly release coincided with my unintentional hiatus from the internet, so I discovered that the new collection had dropped several days after the fact. The horror! Thankfully, my new favorite cut, the Hopscotch, was still in stock in my size, so this tale has a happy ending.

Trashy Diva Berry Chantilly Hopscotch

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Our Long National WTF

So I've got a million other things to blog about right now, but if I'm totally honest, all I've been able to think about lately is the cavalcade of unforced errors, Watergate-esque actions, and genuinely disturbing decisions made by the Trump White House.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: Lola Von Rose

Ever since I picked up my first wicker bag last year, I've had a massive thing for more structured purses. Let me tell you, it took a truly impressive amount of self-control to keep myself from taking any cute lucite purses home at May's Vintage Garage, but happily, this lovely little Lola Von Rose number was dangling off my wrist, reminding me that my white-lucite-bag needs are totally fulfilled.

white lola von rose purse review

Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: Unique Vintage Watermelon Dress

Fact: there is no finer fruit on the planet than the reigning queen of the summer BBQ, more commonly known as the watermelon. Not only is watermelon my actual favorite food at the moment, it's been one of my very favorite choices for a novelty print. The only things I've bought for my baby so far are two watermelon dresses and a watermelon tutu. I'm that kind of obsessed.

unique vintage watermelon dress


Friday, June 2, 2017

25 Things About Me

Today I'm trying something a little new: I'm indulging that side of me that'll stay up until 3am taking Buzzfeed quizzes under the covers. (In case you're wondering: I'm mostly Gryffindor, my Game of Thrones alter ego is Jon Snow, and if I were a Lord of the Rings character, I'd be Gimli. Accurate!) I was nominated to do the '25 things about me' questionnaire by Kirstie of The Kirstie View! Thanks for the tag, Kirstie, and here goes!

bernie dexter rocket dress

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vintage Garage Chicago

May was quite an exciting month for me. Between Member's Night, the Windy Pretties meetup, and my mother's visit to Chicago, there wasn't a dull moment in sight, and I'm so pleased to share one of my favorite May adventures with you today: my day at Vintage Garage Chicago with some of the Windy Pretties!

vintage red gingham dress

Monday, May 29, 2017

Baby on Board

It's taken a Herculean effort to keep this news off of the internet, but at last, it's time to spill the beans: we are having a baby in October!

zoe vine green velvet dress

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Star Wars turns 40

Today is basically like Christmas, the anniversary of the moon landing, and Cake Day all rolled in to one: Star Wars is 40 years old! I know #MaytheFourth literally just happened, but it's not every year that my favorite thing in the world turns the big 4-0, so I decided to save my geeksplosion for a dedicated birthday post.

atomic lucite star wars brooch

Monday, May 22, 2017

Members Only (Anyone Can Join!)

The past four days or so have been absolutely bonkers. (Sidebar: 'bonkers' is one of my new favorite words to use.) Between Members' Nights at the Field Museum last Thursday/Friday and the Windy Pretties meetup on Saturday and yesterday, I've just had so many exciting events to attend!

trashy diva purple floral rosalind

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Remembrance of Things Past

My Mom-Mom had a blanket that her sister made for her. Her sister finished it right before she passed away; I'm not quite sure whether her sister gave it to Mom-Mom, or whether it was given to Mom-Mom after her sister's passing. Regardless, Mom-Mom would always tell us about how that blanket sat up on the shelf in her closet ever since. It just made her too sad to use it. I could never quite see why something made with love would make Mom-Mom feel this way.

The other day, while looking for something to wear for a day of very long train rides, I came across this dress and finally understood.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Dogwood L'amour

If you'd told me two years ago that I'd have more than one blue dress in my closet, I'd've said you were mad. However, it's a bit of a pattern with me to spend ages actively, vocally disparaging something (in this case, one of the primary colors) before unexpectedly embracing it, with no apparent reason for the change of heart. (Other times this has happened: blazers after college, pencil skirts, and that one John Mayer song.) Trashy Diva's Dogwood pattern, though, was easy to fall for., and after an first unsuccessful attempt at this print with the Day Dress, I grabbed a L'amour and fell in amour. (#Sorrynotsorry. I'm genetically predisposed to bad jokes.)

Trashy Diva Dogwood L'amour

Friday, May 12, 2017

All Bodies ARE Good Bodies

Earlier this week, I went to a talk at work on millenials' attitudes about gender. (Sidebar: it was really nice to take in some sociology on my lunch hour!) One part of the talk really stuck with me, particularly since we're in the middle of #WiggleWeek and I've got body acceptance on the brain, so I'm going to air out my thoughts in today's post. Strap yourselves in, people: I'm letting my inner political theorist out to play (at least a little bit)!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Pretty Dress Company Hepburn Pencil Dress

Over the past year or so, I've gone from somebody who barely tolerates florals to someone with a closet full of bright, bold floral dresses. I guess it's the logical outgrowth of my tendency to use color to keep the winter doldrums at bay. So when I saw that my beloved Hepburn dress from the Pretty Dress Company was also available as a perfect little pencil dress, I knew I'd be adding another gorgeous floral PDC wiggle to my closet.

Pretty Dress Company Hepburn pencil dress

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Wiggle Week II

If you're anything like me, you were born sick and tired of looking at gorgeous clothes and thinking 'that's so pretty, but I could never wear that.' My style-obsessed heart aches for all the gorgeous people out there who've internalized society's garbage beauty standards. I've been there and it's not fun. Last November, I decided to devote a week to breaking through these negative thoughts, and thus Wiggle Week was born!

World's silliest graphic.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

On Milestones (My 200th Post!)

Since the ability to remember idiosyncratic anniversaries and count small achievements is one of my hidden superpowers, I'm excited to report that this is my 200th blog post! (Seriously, I'm the kind of person who passes the time on the elliptical machine by multiplying the number of strides or calories per minute by the number of minutes remaining in my workout, and then trying to beat my projected totals. What can I say: it keeps my mind engaged!)

purple hawaiian hideaway dress

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Trashy Diva Carnival Annette

By my count, I am currently five collections behind in my ongoing question to geek out over everything Trashy Diva does. This is obviously shameful, and must be remedied immediately, so today I'm taking the first step with a review of the glorious green Carnival print!

trashy diva carnival annette dress

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Every time I leave my apartment and see these tulips, they brighten my day immeasurably. I always point them out to Jeff, and insist that he express adequate appreciation of their glory before we continue on our way. (Usually it goes like this: "Jeff, aren't those the most beautiful flowers ever?!?" *silence* "Jeffffffff!" "Yes, they're fine.)

bernie dexter grace dress tudor rose

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can't Change My Spots!

Like many people, I consider myself a principled person. Many of my principles are things like 'black lives matter,' or 'feminism without intersectionality is bullshit,' or 'lying is morally impermissible,' or 'never fight a land war in Asia in the winter,' but some, of course, are style-related. Today's outfit conforms to two of my guiding style principles:

1) leopard is a neutral, and
2) red goes with EVERYTHING.

trashy diva leopard annette mini

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I'm Back

Hey, remember when I updated this blog like three times a week? Yeah, me too. I certainly didn't plan on taking a two-month hiatus from blogging, but 2017 hasn't exactly been kind to my family. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have some idea of what I'm talking about. Some of it isn't my story to tell, and truth be told, I'm not ready to get into the details that are mine to share. Suffice it to say that since my last post, I've either been sad, worried, or sick (or sometimes all three!), and just haven't felt up to photoshoots and upbeat posts.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The (Other) Love of My Life

I'll be honest with you: I'd envisioned my Valentine's Day post a bit differently. This time last year, I was enjoying the #7ShadesofRed challenge and plotting an epic feast involving large quantities of cheese. This year, I spent most of the past week in pajamas, propped up in my bed next to a large mug of tea. It doesn't do to dwell on what might have been, so let's just hope that next year, we'll see my planned post about ways to avoid the morass of cheap sentiment and commodified conceptions of love that plagues V-Day.

Instead, I'm going to tell you a bit about the love of my life that isn't Jeff, or dresses, or Star Wars.

trashy diva lovebirds ruby dress

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wardrobe Remix: Lavender Vamp

After eight years in Los Angeles, land of year round perfect temperatures, it's taken me a while to readjust to the idea of seasonal wardrobes. And since we don't have a cedar closet like the one I grew up with for storing off-season clothes, I've mostly just pushed my sundresses to the back of my closet rather than packing them away entirely.

lavender vamp top bernie dexter winter wonderland skirt

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My Before-30 To Do List

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 30. Recently, I pulled out the journal I'd written it in and decided to have a cry-laugh over the goals I set at 21. I'm not sure whether to celebrate the successes, bemoan the failures, or feel ashamed over some of the items on that list. Since feeling ashamed of myself isn't really my thing, I decided to go with Secret Option D: Share List Publicly on My Blog, complete with annotations!

My 30th birthday was spent at a winery and the Nixon Presidential Library. You can probably guess where this photo was taken.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: Collectif Delphine Swing Dress

With every collection Collectif releases, I fall a little more in love with them. As soon as I saw the Autumn/Winter lookbook last fall, I knew I had to have the Delphine swing dress in mulled floral. I debated ordering it during Collectif's free shipping a few months back, but balked at paying full retail. When Collectif's massive Boxing Day/New Year's/clearance sale hit and the dress was suddenly half off, though, I finally went for it.

collectif delphine swing dress mulled floral

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Top Ten: The First Year


Does anyone else enjoy looking back through old diaries? It's always been fun for me to look back on a snapshot in time, and think about how much has changed since I put those words to paper. When I think about it now, the decision to start this blog was a natural extension of how much I enjoy reminiscing about Stuff I've Done, combined with my lifelong journaling habit. Every so often, I'll go back and look over old blog posts, cringing over the photography and formatting where appropriate and making notes about things I need to wear/eat/cook again.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Weekend Update

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might've noticed that updates have been a bit thin on the ground for the past couple of weeks. What can I say? Life comes at you pretty fast sometimes, and truthfully, it's been a little hard to sit down and write a post about style when it feels like the entire planet is imploding.

Since I haven't wanted this blog to be a giant Debbie Downer, this means I have loads of half-written screeds against the Muslim Ban/non-intersectional feminism/anti-science people sitting on my computer, waiting till I find a way to frame them constructively. (I'm also sitting on one very silly story that feels a little too out-of-touch with reality to post, but I'm hoping I get there soon!).

red toile bernie dexter dress

So, rather than forcing myself to write something that doesn't feel right, I thought I'd give you a little update on what I've been doing since the New Year started.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jenny January 2017

One year ago, I never would've dreamed that 1) I'd own so many gathered novelty-print skirts, and 2) Jenny January 2017 would be quite such a life-affirming week. ICYMI: #JennyJanuary is a week where all the gathered-skirt enthusiasts on social media bust out their favorite Jenny skirts/dresses from Pinup Girl Clothing and coordinate massive twinning days. Jenny January 2016 was a low-key affair for me: I was only able to participate in one day, and I didn't yet know very many people in the pinup community.

Oh, what a difference one year makes! While the two fabulous ladies I twinned in 2016 are still some of my favorite folks on the internet, I've met so many lovely friends over the past year, and I wanted to twin with as many of them as humanly possible. What's a thoroughly modern pinup to do? Well... in my case, the answer was 'make a spreadsheet, post daily in all my pinup groups, and rally as many folks as I could to the #twinup cause!'

So how did it go? Well, check it out...

Jenny January 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review: The Pretty Dress Company Hepburn

After I tried on my first Pretty Dress Company dress, I knew I'd be adding more to my wardrobe. Well, it didn't take long. I'd already been eyeing the Hepburn swing dress in forest green, especially since I'd heard it was a good style for shorter people, but the shipping is steep (we're talking over $30 to order directly from TPDC) and I wasn't sure exactly what shade of green it was. After Amelia Jetson of Junebugs and Georgia Peaches posted a closeup of the black floral version, though, I was obsessed. I honestly hadn't realized how pretty the colors in that print were until I saw that photo, and once I saw it, I couldn't stop thinking about that dress.

Well, we know how this kind of story ends for me.

unique vintage hepburn black seville floral

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Thoroughly Modern Emily Turns One Year Old!

O frabjous day! Today marks one full year since I first hit 'publish' on this blog, and my goodness, the time has flown by. [Sidebar: I've always wanted to use 'frabjous day' in context, and now I've crossed one more thing off my bucket list!] To mark the occasion, I'm wearing one of my favorite skirts and hosting my first-ever giveaway!

first blogiversary

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Swingin' Vixen

Recently, I've realized that I have this tendency to approach shopping as if it's a game of Pokemon. When I find something I like, I immediately go into "gotta catch 'em all" mode, and before I know it, I've added a zillion things to my already-overstuffed wardrobe. (In retrospect, this is less a Grand Realization and more of a 'geez, Emily, that's so obvious!' moment.)

In 2016, I might've gone a tiny bit overboard in the shopping department, but I've resolved to rein myself in for 2017. Fortunately, I snuck a few purchases in under the wire from my latest obsession, Vixen by Micheline Pitt.

vixen swing dress makeup print

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

On Managing Anxiety in the Age of Tr*mp

It might surprise you a bit to learn that I've struggled with anxiety a fair amount in my life, and continue to do so. While I'd thought that I'd finally mastered the art of outwitting my brain after about five years of relative calm, the presidential election brought some of my old fears roaring back to life.


To be honest, I feel a little silly even typing that, but it's true. Tr*mp's election opened a Pandora's Box of things I had forced back into shadows reserved especially for extremely-low-probability, extinction-level threats to humanity, and I've struggled somewhat to regain my footing. (Yes, I've decided to treat the name of our incoming President *shudder* as the expletive it deserves to become.) I've been thinking about this quite a bit as the Obama era draws to a close. But I think I've finally started to sort out how I'll get through the next four years, and I want to talk about that a little bit today.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Review: My First Pretty Dress Company Frock

For my first review of 2017, I've chosen one of my Black Friday faves: the Cara wiggle dress from the Pretty Dress Company. I saw this dress on my friend Ani and absolutely fell in love, but even with her encouragement, I just didn't feel ready to take the plunge on a wiggle from the Pretty Dress Company, rather than a swing. Their dresses are a bit of an investment, after all, and I'm usually more of a swing-dress gal. Happily, two things conspired to change my mind: a very nice sale at Unique Vintage, and a super-successful #WiggleWeek, which has forever converted me to a wiggle fan.

pretty dress company cara wiggle

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Wardrobe Remix: Bernie Dexter Veronique in Oranges

Among other things, in 2017 I'm working on appreciating what I already have, rather than going out and buying new things all the time. To document my efforts, I'm launching a new wardrobe-remix series on the blog, where I put a new spin on pieces I already own. My oranges-print Veronique dress from Bernie Dexter was the perfect first subject for this series, since I've had it for almost a year and was recently tempted to buy the same print in a long-sleeved shirtdress version. (I resisted! Geef me compliments.)

bernie dexter oranges veronique