Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guest Blogger: Kjrsten Madsen

Don't forget to vote for your favorite Father's Day makeover candidate on the sidebar.  The post can be found HERE.  

The first fashion blog I ever read was Have A Cute Day. I have always loved the Dyer family, and as a little girl Kjrsten and Anna were my idols. Whenever we'd visit them in the big city, I'd think they were so cool and wore the most stylish outfits. Their family dressed like they walked straight out of an 80's Nordstrom catalog. Their styles have changed/evolved, and I love them all the more.  Kjrsten is a vintage genius with both her wardrobe and her photography.  Check out her daily vintage inspired wear here, and her photography skills here and here. She might even be coming to a city near you!  I asked Kjrsten to share her vintage shopping secrets with me and you, and she happily obliged.  I appreciate all her work!  (please replace this post with the one that popped up in your Reader earlier!)   

I am a dedicated vintage shopper.
It started in high school, as it often does with some rebellious-ish teens. It is so cliche, isn't it?... Wearing grandpa's over sized sweater from value village to look "different" or alternative. Well, that was just child's play. Once I hit college I really got serious about thrifting, with what I like to call grown up Vintage! That chapter began like this: I found myself head over heals in love- married my Jr. year. Being that I was still in college, and he was still in college, we didn't have a lot of money to play with. Of course I wanted to look fashionable, but what was I to do? What with living on a modest budget and such? A few blocks from our apartment was a little treasure trove called Grunts & Postures. It was a buy/sell/trade Vintage shop. There I found stunning dresses, timeless skirts, and a beautifully crafted wool coat. That was 13 years ago. And so it has continued and I have scoured quite a few Value Villages over the years since, so I thought I would impart some tricks of the trade with you.

I Vintage shop in 4 types of second hand stores:
1. THE MEGA THRIFT: Goodwill, Value Village, Etc.
2. THE LOCAL THRIFT: St. Vincent De Paul, or other local no name thrift shops
3. BUY/SELL/TRADE: Buffalo Exchange, Etc.
4. ANTIQUE MALLS: self explanatory
Some things to remember whilst thrifting:
  • The Mega thrift stores tend to be priced higher than the locally owned ones. It's like brand name vs. no name, same concept applies here.
  • Not all antique malls are created equally. Some are WAY over priced, and you aren't going to get any good deals, so don't waste your time in these. I find that small town antique malls are cheaper, sometimes it's worth the drive, and also a little adventure!
  • For best selection, there are certain days to hit BUY/SELL/TRADE that are more beneficial than others. For example- find out when most people are selling to them, the next day would be a good day to shop! Same concept applies with a Thrift store and donation drop off days.
check out this Victorian blouse {photo below} I saw at my local antique mall for $12! Pretty sure I could pair this with an Anthropologie skirt and look like I stepped right out of the winter catalog!...{Oh, and the baby dress in the lower right corner was only $10, if I had a baby girl, you better believe that would have gone home with me! But this isn't about babies, let's get back to women's department...}
ok, let's talk about what to look for. I always hit the skirts first.
-I find that skirts are the easiest to modify if desired/need be... like raising a hemline is a simple fix, even I can do it!

Here is a vintage apron I bought with the purpose of layering over a skirt!
the waist band was too small on this one (sadly I am not a 26" waist) so I added this black elastic instead!

look for little details like pleats, pintucks, dotted swiss, unique buttons... fun fabrics, pockets, lace, ricrac, and ribbon.

Now for dresses, they are timeless. In style, and well made with quality fabrics. I have noticed with my own girl's clothing, the dresses are the best for handing down- they don't wear out as quickly as their other clothes. This is true with vintage ladies dresses as well. The trick is finding the right fit, often times vintage dresses were made specifically for a ONE person, homespun if you will. So you might need to get out your sewing machine, call your mom, grandma, sewing friend, or just find a good tailor. I have had a few things altered (in the shoulders, through the waist) it usually runs about $15... but if your dress was only $10 = $25 is still pretty good for a complete one-of-a-kind dress!

the key to wearing thrifted items (for me) is to mix old with new, a vintage skirt with a current top from JCREW or the Loft. A vintage dress with a stylish modern belt, you get the idea...
some examples of wearing thrifted items...

1.} Vintage Dot Blouse: Vintage Orange
2.} Suede heels: Red Light Vintage
3.}Pink dress: Antique Mall
4.} Vintage Leaf dress: Flashbacks Vintage
5.} beaded kiss-lock purse: Coal Umbrella Vintage
6.} Green Skirt: Vintage Pink
7.} Pink Mexican skirt: thrift shop
8.} Vintage keys: Antique Mall
9.} Sweater & Pin: St.Vincent De Paul thrift.
10.} Red Check skirt: Goodwill
11} Blue Wool plaid skirt: Goodwill
12.} Vintage Apron: Antique Mall.


NaDell said...

I WAS a little confused there since I read her blog because you were featured on it and recognize the dresses. Now it all makes sense. I thought, "What? Why did Chelsea buy the exact same dresses as the ladies on the other blog?"
You are fantastic, Chelsea!

Madeline P said...

I have a few vintage pieces that I mix and match with the rest of my wardrobe. A few skirts, and some costume jewelry that I inherited from my grandma. I love sewing with vintage fabric too!

As a sad side note, Grunts & Postures in SLC went out of business.

enSTYLEpedia said...

i love have a cute day! they both have amazing style.

Jill said...

Kjrsten would look cute in anything!

Molly W. said...

I agree, Kj would look cute in anything! She has lots of talent fo sho!