Aug 29, 2014

$30 Fiery Finish Vintage


Seeing how we're a few days away from a new month, why don't we say goodbye to summer with a bang! Enter this fun giveaway from Fiery Finish Vintage, an LA based Etsy boutique that's all about the quirk, the colorful, and the playful. Inside Fiery Finish you can find an armful of wildly patterned dresses, super saturated blouses, and a distressed pair of shorts or two. They have just about anything and everything that'll top off the last of your summer wardrobe (because, real talk, it's never too late to buy that last floarl dress). And one of you lucky readers will be able to win a $30 giftcard to do just that! To enter is easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Mandatory Entry: Follow Fiery Finish Vintage on Instagram and comment with your favorite item from their store
  2. Bonus Entry: Follow on Facebook
  3. Bonus Entry: Follow them on Pinterest
  4. Bonus Entry: Follow Fiery Finish Vintage's blog

This is open internationally and will run for a week- good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aug 27, 2014


Ever seen a trend, liked it, but weren't necessarily sure if you could style it in a "you" kind of way? "How We Wore It" will show you how different women braved the trend and played with it until they got it to fit in with their styles- and hopefully that'll inspire us to poke a toe out of our comfort zones and try something new, too! Today's trend will be sheer pieces. Happy creating!


Aug 26, 2014



Can you tell I'm super into baseball hats this season? Anyone? Has that become clear yet? Haha I literally can't stop wearing them; I love the way they give an immediate tomboy feel to any outfit. 

With this look I decided to play with a lot of contrasts. I took fancier sweatpants and paired them with a silky blouse, really blending the "classy" and "sporty" lines. I've really been enjoying how sweatpants have been finding their way into the non-couch-vegging looks as of late, and I really like how they look paired with structured crop tops and more luxe materials. Actually, if you remember I created this look in my Layering 101: Weather Report post- looks like I took my own advice and tried it out for myself ;)



SWEATPANTS: Forever 21 (only $14!)
SUNNIES: Forever 21
NECKLACE: Cocorrina and Urban Outfitters

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PS- thanks as always for liking my posts on Bloglovin :)

Aug 25, 2014



Are you a lover of retro, 60's vintage? Ever find yourself looking at Megan Draper and being all, I want to rob your closet blind woman! Don't really know where to get these kind of retro duds? Well I can help you with that. Let me introduce you to She & Her Vintage, an Etsy boutique run by two grilfriends, Becca and Lindsay. Bonded over a mutual love of cats, bacon, booze, and vintage clothing (can I join in on this friendship?), Becca takes the reigns on the 90's and 80's clothing while Lindsay scouts out the 50's to 70's pieces. And the outcome? A store as playful, feminine, and one of a kind as they are. And today they want to offer one of my lucky readers $40 giftcard to their store. To enter is easy, all you have to do is:

  1. Mandatory Entry: Follow them on Etsy and leave a comment with your favorite item from their store
  2. Bonus Entry: Like them on Facebook
  3. Bonus Entry: Follow along on Instagram

That's it! This is open internationally and will run for a week. Good luck my dears!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good morning, Monday! Man oh man has this weekend knocked me out. On Friday, my best friend Tom and I packed a couple of beach bags into the trunk of our car and hit the road for an impromptu beach trip to Michigan. We were ready for white sunblock noses, moscato in McDonald's cups, toes in the hot sand, and a sun that was just too happy to hide behind clouds. What we got though? A thick blanket of fog and a nippy wind playing under a grey sky. At first we were kind of bummed. But then we quickly realized all that dreamy, rolling white made us feel like we were inside the pages of a novel, watching the coast disappear and reappear as the thick blanket glided along. So instead we brought our sweaters tighter around ourselves and sat on the sand, watching sail boats silently drift by and pretending we were on some coast in Ireland. Maybe we don't have tan lines, but it was still a Saturday well spent.


And this outfit is one I was really excited to share with you, mainly because of the kimono. And why am I so excited about that top layer? Because it's actually an unbuttoned dress! When I thought of it, it was as if a lightbulb came on over my head and I was all "well, ya, duh." I've been trying to find a long kimono that was more on the neutral (rather than coachella-y) side all summer, and I just couldn't find one within my cheap price point. So I thought, why not just take one of my buttoned maxi dresses and, well, unbutton them? Instant success. 

And do you remember this Fiery Finish Vintage skirt I wore in this post with a crop top? Here I took it more towards a sporty look, by pairing it with a black tee, visor, and soccer sandals. I knew this piece would be super easy to move from look to look, and so far it's becoming a sort of work horse in my closet. It goes with everything! For those of you trying to build your wardrobe, I'd definitely recommend buying a navy, almost denim-looking skirt like this. The possibilities! Fiery Finish Vintage is an Etsy boutique located in LA that specializes in bright colors and fabulous prints and textures. Everything there is poppy, eye-catching, and smile inducing. If you're in the mood to shop some vintage today, pop on over to them here!


To give you an idea what Fiery Finish Vintage has, here are some of my favorite picks. Dress number three has a sheer maxi skirt- so pretty!


DRESS (WORN AS KIMONO): c/o Super Queenie Retro (similar: here, here, here, here)
SKIRT: c/o Fiery Finish Vintage (similar: herehereherehere)
TOP: thrifted:
NECKLACES: Urban Outfitters and Cocorrina
PURSE: thrifted (similar: here, here, here
VISOR: Urban Outfitters

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PS- thanks as always for liking my posts on Bloglovin :)

Aug 24, 2014



Am I the only one around here that's not even a little bit excited for fall? I mean, yes yes, there at the pumpkin spiced lattes to be had and the pumpkins to be picked, but then that means that just around the corner there's also the snow storms to be rued and the five layers of under-armor to be worn. This girl is just not ready for the eight months of winter that seems to be lurking around the corner. Especially seeing how my most recent summer days have been going.

On Tuesday a girl friend and I packed a big ol' picnic with strawberries, brie, pink champagne, sparkling grapefruit water, and muffins galore and headed to a blues concert in the park. We thought we were fancy with our little spread but, let me tell you, these picnickers take their craft seriously. There were real wine glasses being taken out of baskets, fold out tables being set up with white linen cloths smoothed over them, and some even brought vases with flowers to set the ambiance of their little patch of grass. Suffice it to say we were the amateurs, but a blanket under a tree is a blanket under a tree, and it's hard to feel down on yourself when the sky is turning purple with night and there's scratchy blues mingling and weaving itself into those warm summer breezes. 

Smiles for days.


I suppose while I'm clinging to the last of summer, this outfit wouldn't be the hardest to move into fall when the time comes. The dark floral print in the midi skirt makes it cold-months-appropriate with its heavy shades, and instead of pairing it with a sleeveless turtleneck I could match it with a sweater or cardigan. And while tucking sweaters and shirts into skirts is usually my go-to move, I've recently been liking this style more. Where you leave the top untucked on top of the skirt, but you belt it at the natural waist. That way your proportions look a dash more appealing because your eye is instantly attracted to the line of the belt, rather than the line of the hem of the shirt. 

If you're wondering where you can get a floral skirt of that on your own, the answer is a vintage store! I got this one from Dressed in the Dark Vintage, which is actually run by one of our fellow bloggers, Skye from My Kingdom for a Hat! If you want to see pink hair, full skirts, and amazing vintage looks, pop on over to her blog and say hi :)


SKIRT: c/o Dressed in the Dark Vintage (similar: herehereherehere)
PURSE: thrifted
BELT: thrifted

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Aug 22, 2014



While running this blog I've gotten quite a few emails and comments about how much you love the way I mix vintage and modern pieces so easily. But the one common denominator following that compliment usually is "Sigh, I wish I could pull that off." Oi. You guys. You can! Victory curls and tulle under full skirts don't have to be part of the equation; you can start off with just dipping your toe into the water. It's all about trying to use that vintage piece in a modern way- treat it like something you just found at a boutique and make it fit your style. Like some of you have mentioned fearing, you don't have to feel costume-y while wearing it! So for today's "What to Wear to a..." I'm going to share my thought process behind the vintage styling, so you can achieve the same eclectic mix while you go to your park parties and Tuesday bar nights! Let me know if you have any questions along the way. 

The key to making a vintage skirt work is to pair it with a modern, non-fussy top. Sure, this polka dot, high waisted number has some serious 50's potential. I immediately see red lips and sweetheart halter tops. But if you want to go in the opposite, more urban direction, try pairing it with a structured sweatshirt top to give it a laid back feel. Toss in slinky hoop necklace and some minimalist, geometric earrings and you end up being more city slicker than pin-up girl. Now toss on your fringe bag and go scope out the closest patio table by the lakefront that you can. And make sure to order some sort of cocktail with cucumbers in it- to better compliment that cool, late summer breeze.

  1. Little Miss Vintage 3 high waist polka dot skirt
  2. H&M sweatshirt top
  3. Southwest Vintage lace up ankle boots
  4. Urban Outfitters slinky gold choker necklace (only $18!)
  5. Urban Outfitters wire earring
  6. H&M fringe shoulder bag 

Oh vintage hats, the one thing that seems to quake most want-to-be-vintage-lovers to the bone. They look so pretty and lady-like, but they'll surely attract some curious stares. The key to pulling one off is to juxtapose it with a clean, minimal outfit. Let the hat do all the talking- if you add in other competing details then you'll just have a loud shouting match on your hands. In this look I took a structured stewardess hat and paired it with a clean denim shirt dress and a structured, square cross-body bag. The clean, simple lines let the pillowbox hat blend in with the outfit rather than stick out like a soar thumb. Now slip on some southwestern boots, order a round of craft beers, and go kick some butt at trivia night!

  1. Topshop motto denim t-shirt dress
  2. Hey Viv! Vintage stewardess pillow-box hat (only $24!)
  3. Southwest Vintage western ankle boots
  4. H&M clutch bag (only $17!)


You know all those $100+ bohemian dresses you've been dying over at Free People? Where do you think they got their patchwork-and-flowers-in-her-hair inspiration from? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's the 70's. Yea, it's the 70's. So why not save yourself a hundred bucks and buy yourself an actual authentic vintage dress. The styling with this caftan follows the Free People logic: take something patchworky and busy and pair it with sleek modern boots, a structured clean-lined bag, and a modern wide brimmed hat. The accessories act as anchoring agents, where they keep your outfit looking more 2014 rather than something straight out of Woodstock. Now pack yourself a picnic with some brie and sparkling grapefruit water, make your best friend bring the blankets, and go listen to the blues festival at the park!

  1. Poetry for Jane vintage 70s caftan (only $26!)
  2. JC Penny Call it Spring Forirada cross-body bag
  3. Target Mossimo Dawn ankle boot (only $28!)
  4. H&M wool hat
  5. H&M poncho


Long, baggy floral dresses are probably one of my favorite vintage pieces because they're so easy to make grungy. You can either look like a third grade teacher out of the 90's or, if done right, a red lipstick wearing, plaid loving, twenty-something. The formula for this one is easy: grab sleek motorcycle boots, pair them with thigh highs to add some playful youthfulness to the look, and pop a beanie over messy beach waves. Effortless, easy, and oh so modern. And just right for that midnight viewing of Little Shop of Horrors. Make sure to grab a cup of coffee along the way ;)

  1. Height of Vintage daisy midi dress (only $22!)
  2. Anthropolgie opaque thigh high socks
  3. Sole Society mini backpack
  4. Target Mossimo boots (only $28!)
  5. Topshop cable pom beanie
  6. Sarara Vintage 60s southwestern ring


Dramatic evening skirts are making a comeback in a big way, and the key to pull of these glamorous satin numbers during the daytime is to anchor them down in casual pieces. Go for a structured top you'd likely pair with some summer shorts, or maybe one of those sweatshirt numbers with jewel detailings. The overly casual tops will be a fun contrast against the dramatic sweep of the skirt, and they'll take away from that evening feel. Then take it a step further and slip on some clunky flatforms (they're the polar opposites of slinky stilettos) and throw in a panama hat and classic sunnies for good measure. You'll be the most stylish one drinking root-beer floats at the soda shoppe counter. Reward yourself with a banana split for good measure ;)

  1. She & Her Vintage formal maxi skirt
  2. Topshop moto stripe denim tee (only $30!)
  3. Topshop wolf flatform sandals
  4. H&M narrow belt (only $9!)
  5. J Crew panama hat
  6. J Crew Selima Sun sunglasses

Aug 21, 2014



Remember when I mentioned I was at Shark Gravy's big store-opening shindig? Well here it is- now pretend you were there with me! Daisies on the table, shark themed cocktails on the chalkboard, and mid-century goodness at every turn. People got cozy on couches and chatted away like they were in their own living rooms as others weaved in between displays, munching on brownie bits and cheddar peach muffins. Kayla, one of the co-owners, was busy in the exposed kitchen whipping up party platters while talking over her shoulder, almost like we were at a get-together at her own apartment and she was getting the dining room table ready for us. 

Meanwhile, sipping on a concoction with bourbon and lemon juice and eyeing a woven chair with just a touch possessiveness, I found myself unsure over what I wanted to look at more: the gorgeous refurbished dining sets or everyone's vintage getups. Feeling overwhelmed by all the goodness, I took a deep breath, then a sip of my delightful cocktail, and made sure to do a lot of both. 

Congrats Erick and Kayla on the new space! And my Chicago kids, if you ever want to swing by Shark Gravy and check it out yourself, you can find it at 3726 W. Montrose Ave!

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© Messages on a Napkin.Maira Gall.