Monday, May 30, 2016

Black in Black (Spanish Fans, That Is)

As you might've gleaned from previous posts, I'm a major creature of habit. In fact, right before I started writing this post, I was reminded of that fact. Jeff and I were debating whether to watch a movie, and while I've had The Sting on my 'movies to see' list for literally years, when it actually came to the point of possibly watching a movie I'd never seen, I hemmed and hawed and finally said I'd rather watch Star Wars.

The weird thing about it, though, is that I'm generally glad I watched a new movie/listened to a new album/read a new book after the fact. Take, for example, my embrace of all things colorful after about a decade of monochromatic clothing. I wore nothing but black dresses for years, yet now when I look in my closet, I just don't gravitate toward them. The exception is this fantastic, new-to-me Heidi dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

One Skirt, Three Ways: Tiki Jenny Skirt (!!!)

Warning: I consumed a great deal of caffeine shortly before sitting down to write this post, and this was my ultimate Pinup Girl Clothing holy-grail skirt, so this post may contain even more exclamation points than usual.

For many fans of pinup style, the Tiki Jenny is the big kahuna. (Yeah, I did that on purpose. No shame.) It was at the tippy-top of my wishlist for ages, and one magical day, lightning struck! The brilliant Jessica of Warning: Curves Ahead and Fortuna Femme spotted one on the swap group on Facebook, tagged me, claimed it in my name, and even offered to lay out the cash to the seller so that I could have it! When I saw all of that, I actually had too many feelings to function! I was just so excited and touched by her thoughtfulness and kindness. 
pinup girl clothing tiki jenny skirt

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Don't Fly American!

I'm in New York again! Getting here was an absolute nightmare, unfortunately. It's like I used up my lifetime allotment of travel-related luck while I lived in LA, or maybe the problem is that O'Hare is literally the unholy child of Satan and mom jeans. 

Before I commence ranting/warning you off of American Airlines on pain of rage, misery, and frustration, let's look back to an outfit from a happier/not dreadful day!
I've written about why I love this skirt before, and it's become one of my go-to 'omg, need to get dressed in five minutes because Jeff already has his shoes on and is waiting at the door' pieces. I loved wearing it so much that I even bought the black one! 

I liked the idea of pairing gingham and polka dots, and it turned out to be one of those things that worked just as well in practice as in theory. (Score!) I added this ancient red-and-green belt, red flats, and my new dinosaur brooch from Erstwilder, went out to dinner, and felt like absolutely 1,000,000 bucks!
Top: Anthropologie
Skirt: Modcloth
Belt: some thrift store in LA
Shoes: Zulily
Brooch: Erstwilder, from Pinup Girl Clothing

Ok, back to teeth-grinding, appetite-killing rage. This, my friends, is a tale of Why You Should Avoid O'Hare and American Airlines Like the Plague. 

In case you haven't heard, Chicago has been having insanely long security lines recently, owing to some TSA-related nonsense. Sidebar: Hallocks are well-known (among those who know us in real life) for getting to the airport stupid early. (What if something went wrong?!? What if someone [ahem] told her parents that her flight was out of JFK when really it was LaGuardia, like that one time in 2011?? What if I made parenthetical remarks within parenthetical remarks?!?) so when I found out that it was taking people THREE hours to get through security, I rearranged my entire work schedule so I would be sure to make my flight. 

You can probably guess what happened next. I arrived THREE HOURS AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES before my flight. This is actually a new Hallock record. However, the firestorm of attention on O'Hare's greater-than-usual dysfunctionality actually achieved results, so while the line was quite long, I was through in 20 minutes. 

Ok. I ate my sandwich, then got on standby for a flight that was scheduled to leave two hours and ten minutes before my original flight. I got a seat, and while I was annoyed at having to gate-check my bag, I figured at least I'd get home faster and not inconvenience my family quite so much, right?

DING DONG I WAS WRONG. It started to thunder and lightning. They made us wait on the plane. It lightninged some more. We waited some more. Then the captain came on the PA to announce that the crew had timed out because of the delays, and we'd all have to deplane while they got a new crew. This is where I started quietly losing my mind. This flight clearly wasn't going to beat my original flight to New York, and just to add insult to injury, my suitcase with my unicorn Nancy dress was sitting in the belly of the plane, so I couldn't just switch back to my first flight. 

As anyone who has ever flown knows, boarding/deplaning takes a RIDICULOUS amount of time. So I did what all angry millennials do, and took it to the streets, by which I mean Twitter. American Airlines gave me anodyne replies, but what really irked me was that they wouldn't answer my question about why we had to deplane! My suspicion was that they made us get off the plane so that they wouldn't have to compensate the passengers for sitting on the tarmac if the delays stretched past the government limits. I asked the flight attendant on the plane, and she said that wasn't it. But how hard would it have been for the airline Twitter to explain it?!? I just wanted an explanation to console myself with, since I'm an adult and can't just lay in the terminal and cry like a child could've. Getting an answer from one of the flight attendants went a long way. 

Other things that annoyed me: American doesn't let passengers request upgrades unless you have one of their fancy elite-level frequent flier ratings. I couldn't have gotten an upgrade even if the seats were available! No other airline that I've flown prohibits the plebes from asking for an upgrade. 

Second, I saw people pulling two items out of the overheads when I deplaned, which (as I had to gate-check my carryon as the overheads were full) made me want to Learn Those Jerks How to Act. Shouldn't someone be watching out for that while we board?

Third, they don't give out snacks. Delta still gives out snacks! 

Finally, they had the wrong terminal on their website, so my family went to the terminal listed on the website, then had to walk 20 minutes to where I was waiting fuming. Then we had to cart all my stuff back to the car! 

Verdict: 1/10 do not recommend!

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Twitter: @ThoroughlyMLE

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Trashy Diva Trixie in Ruffled Feathers

It's been a very exciting week of retro/pinup-style events! Last week my very first guest post went up at Pinup Persuasion, and I'm currently working on another guest post for one of my favorite hometown heroes! On Saturday I met a woman from one of the Facebook groups I'm in, and yesterday I went to the dunes for a photoshoot with the brilliant mind behind Atomic Lucite! After admiring her work for so long, and filling my (new) jewelry box (which I purchased specifically because of my Atomic Lucite habit) with her creations, it was beyond awesome to actually meet her! Those photos are sure to pop up in a future post.

Tonight, I'm going to a meet up of Trashy Diva fangirls in downtown Chicago, and I'm really looking forward to meeting some local ladies with similar style interests. I decided to wear my newest Trashy Diva dress, the Trixie in Ruffled Feathers. I'm a bit nervous that this is akin to wearing the band's T-shirt to the concert, since it's from their latest collection, but I'll be going straight from work, and I think this dress works better as professional attire than some of my other TD.
Trashy Diva Trixie Ruffled Feathers

Monday, May 23, 2016

Vamping It Up

Wiggle dresses and fitted skirts terrify me. No matter how many crunches I do (and lately, I've done my fair share), my love of eating always defeats the better angels of my nature. What do I mean by this? Simply this: I have a squishy middle, and in fitted clothing, I'm pretty self-conscious about it. I think nothing of wearing a dress with a skirt the size of a house, but oddly enough, when people can see what my stomach looks like, I lose my everloving mind.

But – and there is always a 'but' with this type of story – I may have solved my wiggle-dress problem! I'm totally tardy to the Deadly Dames Vamp dress party, but I've finally shown up and that's what matters.
Fact: it is against the law to smile in a leopard-print wiggle dress

Friday, May 20, 2016

Oreos and Ginger Ale

My mind is like my own personal TimeHop. Let me explain this by way of an example: I know that today is May 20th. This means that 1) I graduated college exactly NINE years ago, 2) my across-the-street great-grandma, Mom-Mom, would have been 103 years old today, and 3) I'll be spending the day reminiscing and ruminating on both of those facts.
Hi Mom!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Today: Guest Blogging at Pinup Persuasion!

Something exciting is happening today: I have a guest post over at Pinup Persuasion! It's one of the very first retro-style blogs I started reading, so I'm over the moon to actually have something I wrote up on her very excellent blog! Seriously, people, I'm trying to tamp down on the urge to use exclamation points everywhere.

My guest post features this amazing watermelon skirt from Unique Vintage, styled three different ways.  As regular readers know, though, when I love something, I really love it, so here's a bonus fourth outfit that I couldn't resist photographing!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Love and Poppies

I have a steel-trap memory for dates: I'm the Rain Man of remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and When Stuff Happened. I can tell you, for instance, that I met my friend Pari's newborn daughter for the very first time on April 18th, 2013, or the birthday and anniversary of every single person/couple on my mother's side of the family.

Luckily, Jeff has an equally good memory, which means that I can expect him to remember that we started dating six years ago today! He's made me promise not to put any photos of him on the blog, though I suspect a few shots of him might find their way onto my Instagram. (Hey, I'm living up to the letter of the promise, if not the spirit!) Our anniversary this year will be more low-key than in previous years, since Jeff is in the middle of grading papers and I have to be at work bright and early tomorrow. I'm planning to spend the evening cooking a giant meal, reminiscing about How It All Began, and lying on the couch groaning "I'm so FULLLLLL!"
Bernie Dexter grace dress poppies

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: Betty Le Bonbon Swing Skirt

Way back in February, I chronicled my thoughts on ethical shopping. In that post, I committed myself to 'shopping small' whenever possible. One of the small businesses I'd had my eye on for a while was Betty Le Bonbon, an Australian creator of custom vintage-reproduction clothing. Jas, the owner, seems to have an uncanny ability to zero in on amazing fabrics, prints, and dress/skirt patterns, and after stalking her Instagram for a couple of months, I finally spotted a print that I absolutely had to have.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dinner Avec Friends

It's been a while since I posted about food, which is surprising because I have so many food-related posts in mind. A couple of weeks ago, Jeff and I tried a new place in the West Loop with some new friends of ours. Our last culinary expedition to the West Loop was a smashing success, so we had high expectations, but Avec managed to meet those expectations handily!
It was a nice warmish day, at least when we left our apartment, so I wore a new-to-me mint-green dress that I got for a song. This purse is one of my favorites, but because of the move, it's spent far too long stashed in my closet, so I was glad to have a reason to bust it out! This dress was definitely the right call for a big meal, too, as it has an elastic waistband.

Avec is one of those restaurants with an ever-so-fashionable small-plates menu, which was great as it meant we got to try a ton of amazing things. We got there quite early on a Sunday, because we'd heard that it gets quite busy, and sure enough, by around 5:30 or so, the place had completely filled up around us. They have a pretty big wine list and a small selection of fancy cocktails, which we all ordered. I went for a 'Pear Today, Gone Amaro,' and quite liked it. After a little bit, the first of our food arrived:
Bacon-wrapped, chorizo-stuffed dates.
Calamari with hummus and watermelon radishes.

The appetizers all looked amazing, but we settled on the bacon-wrapped dates and the calamari, both of which were excellent. I don't know what was in their hummus that made it so much better than normal hummus, but I wholeheartedly approve. I am still having flashbacks to how good the bacon-wrapped stuffed dates were, too!

For entrees, we went for a duck-egg (!!!) pizza, paella, and a cauliflower tagine (not pictured, because I dug in before remembering to take a photo!), all of which were amazing. I think my favorite of the entrees was the pizza, because the egg made a delicious sauce and went so well with the peppers, greens, and cheese.
Duck-egg pizza

I'm not often up for dessert, since I'm usually too stuffed to eat anything else, but for once, I was totally set on getting dessert, so we got two of the chocolate olive oil cake with hazelnut gelato and each couple split one. This was a great/terrible decision: great because the cake and gelato were out of this world, but terrible because I only had half of one. I probably could've eaten both all by myself.
Dessert: chocolate cake with espresso labneh and hazelnut gelato. YES.

Avec was a lovely place and I would definitely love to go back and try some of the dishes that we didn't get this time. I liked the atmosphere (bright, airy, and relaxed) and loved having so many different dishes in one meal.

By the time we got home, I'd ditched the belt long ago (when will I learn?!?), but my collar clips were still firmly attached, so I'm calling the evening a total victory.
Dress: Forever 21, secondhand
Shoes: Gap
Collar clips: Femme De Bloom
Earrings: Atomic Lucite
Bag: Betseyville

How do you feel about small-plates/tapas menus?

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Instagram: @emily.hallock
Twitter: @ThoroughlyMLE

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pinup Girl Clothing Queen of Hearts Skirt

Lately, I've had tremendously good luck getting discontinued prints from a Facebook swap/sell group I'm part of. In the past month or so, I've picked up my ultimate unicorn, the tiki-print Jenny skirt, the tomato-print dress I'd loved from afar for ages, and the subject of today's post: the Queen of Hearts print!
pinup girl clothing queen of hearts skirt

Monday, May 9, 2016

One Skirt, Three Ways: Italian Landscape Jenny Skirt

Reading this post, some of you might be wondering "Emily, you have this print in a dress. Why also get the skirt?"

Answer: because it's so gorgeous! This installment of One Piece, Three Ways aims to convince you that you can never have too much of a good thing! The Italian Jenny skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing gets a lot of love: when it was restocked recently, I'm pretty sure half of my Instagram feed lost their minds over it, and for very good reason. I had picked one up from Miss Amy May right before the restock, or I would have joined everyone who immediately ordered it. Today, I'll show you how I styled this skirt for a casual day of errands, a night out, and work.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Review: Oblong Box Shop MCM Furniture Print Skirt

In case you couldn't tell, I've recently made a life-changing (or at least blog-changing) discovery: outfit photography works better with indirect sunlight! On a related note, now that it isn't freezing any longer,  I've been able to scout out more exciting locations for the blog. During the (never-ending) winter, I'd pretty much run outside, take photos as quickly as possible right outside my building, and run back in to bring life back to my extremities by placing my hands directly on the radiator. It turns out that brick/stone buildings are much exciting than patchy grass, though. Who would've thought!

In any event, I am supremely excited about this outfit! I've written about how much I love the novelty print skirts from the Oblong Box Shop before, and this one is just as gorgeous as my first one.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Today in Space Race History: Let's Light This Candle!

Last month, I chronicled the proudest moment of the Soviet space program: beating the incipient American human-spaceflight program to be the first to put a human being in space. On this day 55 years ago, though, the Empire struck back, briefly sending Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. into space. In honor of this, I'm wearing another space-themed outfit:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday #12: May the Fourth Be With You

Today's very special edition of Wishlist Wednesday is an homage to my favorite films of all time: the Star Wars trilogy! Today is May 4th, which means I have an all-day license to use my favorite pun of all time:
Bet you saw this coming a mile away!

Let's get to the wishlist, shall we?

Monday, May 2, 2016

#AllDressApril Outfits and My #WeekWithBernie

I haven't worn pants in over a year. To some, that might sound unusual or challenging, but at this point, my wardrobe is 90% dresses and skirts, so it wasn't actually difficult to come up with a month of dresses for All Dress April. A few of my Instagram/Facebook friends were participating in the event, so I decided to join in. For me, 'joining in' just meant using the hashtag when posting photos of outfits I was already planning to wear ;).

Anyway, I had a blast participating in this challenge! It was so much fun to see what the other participants were wearing, and to virtually 'twin' with people, or plan to wear the same outfit. I only repeated one dress, because I'd worn it early in the month but when a group of ladies decided to do a week of Bernie Dexter twinning days, I wanted to participate!