Oct 30, 2014



A few weeks ago I teamed up with Little Miss vintage 3 to see how we could move summer dresses into fall, and I've kindaaa been playing with the dress ever since. It was a fun challenge because the chambray color made it easy to pair fall colors with, but the summery floral embroidery made it difficult to just go full-on sweater mode without looking like you got dressed in the dark.

So enter a lot of mix and matching and throwing clothes on the floor for me to come up with this: the best way to move embroidered summer pieces into fall is to go with a darker, bohemian look. I paired the vintage dress with a crushed velvet blazer in a deep rust hue, and buttoned it up so the velvet could make an equally bold statement as the embroidery. Then I took a dark floral scarf and wrapped it around until I could tie the ends together, making it full but tidy. To keep the bohemian vibe going, I paired the look with a large wide rimmed hat, and then tied in the fall hues by choosing a forest green bag and suede grey booties. 

After taking a step back and looking in the mirror, I couldn't get over how fun and autumnal this outfit turned out. It's definitely going into the hall of favorites for me! 

How about you clever gals? How do you like to style those summer pieces for colder weather?



DRESS: c/o Little Miss Vintage 3 (vintage similar: here, here, here, here)
BLAZER: c/o Ellenface Vintage (vintage similar: here)
SHOES: Macy's (vintage similar: here, here)
HAT:  Urban Outfitters
SCARF: H&M (vintage similar: here)
BAG: thrifted (vintage similar: here)

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Oct 28, 2014



Show off your Jack-o-lantern skills by popping on your favorite fall colors and heading over to your neighborhood bar to carve pumpkins with your neighbors. Mix teal with a deep coral to create an eye-catching color palette, and tie together the whole look (literally!) with a mustard bow scarf. Now that you look like the epitome of fall, grab yourself a pumpkin spice martini and get to carving spooky faces!

  1. Lucy Blue Vintage boho dress
  2. J Crew schoolboy burnt orange blazer
  3. Indulgy mustard knit bow scarf
  4. Zara gusetted shopper bag
  5. Little Miss Vintage 3 green suede bow heels

In the mood to sit somewhere dimly lit and quiet with a good book? Take your favorite tropical print dress and pop on a cozy knit cardigan and head over to your favorite wine lounge. There you can slowly flip pages over the clink of wine glasses and sip on a concoction with strawberries and ginger as you fall into the story. To make your floral dress a little less summer and a little more fall, dip it into autumnal hues by pairing it with cognac colored booties and a cross-body bag in a rich forest green. Chin chin!
  1. Barnaby Jack off-white fisherman sweater
  2. Shop Vintage Minnie tropical garden dress
  3. Zara high heeled leather bootie
  4. Mango double compartment bag

Break the pumpkin spice latte rut by jumping into a pumpkin spice cocktail rut. Dress the part by pairing your plaid shirt dress with a fur stole for a touch more coziness and go sample the pie-inspired cocktail menu at that quietly fancy bar down the block. Choose concoctions that mix bourbon, apple cider, and caramel; or maybe cinnamon, allspice berries, and juniper. Bonus points if the glass comes with a caramelized pie crust rim. Basically...I want to drink a boozy pie. 

Get into the Halloween spirit by popping a pair of overalls over a thick cablenkit sweater and heading over to a rumored-to-be-haunted mansion for an Edgar Allen Poe reading. Up the coziness factor by pairing your look with a pompom beanie, and then balance out the cutesy look with some over the knee suede boots and a structured bag. Then sit back, take in the chandeliers, scan the room for any white apparitions, and enjoy the actors' rendition of The Raven. 

  1. Mango tencel short dungarees
  2. Little Miss Vintage 3 fisherman sweater
  3. H&M over knee boots
  4. H&M cable knit hat

Oct 27, 2014



Ok, I'm just going to go ahead and say it: this is just about the best vintage pairing ever made, ever. 

That's a bold statement for a Monday morning, but here we are. 

When I first saw this Fiery Finish Vintage peter pan collar dress, I instantly got ideas of looks that revolved around curled hair and blushing cheeks- just everything feminine put into one outfit. I knew it'd be easy enough (what with a closet full of midis and lace) but I didn't think it would go so flawlessly with just about everything I threw at it. And my favorite combination? Pairing the soft, blush toned dress with a floral, pleated skirt. I like how the rigid pleats contrast against the soft top, and how the darker hues of the skirt pop but also blend with the light mauve. It shouldn't make sense but it does. 

Now all I have to do is resist the urge to do Snow White type of spins through out the day.   

how-to-layer-dresses-for-fallTips on How to Style Vintage Dresses


DRESS (WORN AS BLOUSE): c/o Fiery Finish Vintage
SKIRT: c/o Dressed in the Dark
SHOES: Old Navy

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Oct 25, 2014



Today I'm teaming up with an Etsy favorite of mine- Nemres- to shower you with love and presents! Based in Slovenia, Nemres manages to curate a cool, American Apparel type of vibe, what with their tailored plaids, chunky knits, and preppy loafers and clog sandals. If you want to look like the above models all fall long, then you're in luck because Ida, the owner, is offering one lucky reader a $40 giftcard! To enter is easy, all you have to do is:

  1. Mandatory Entry: Like them on Facebook and comment with your favorite item from their store.
  2. Bonus Entry: Follow Messages on a Napkin on Facebook
  3. Bonus Entry: Follow Messages on a Napkin on Twitter

And that's it! This is open internationally and will run for one week!

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Oct 24, 2014



Hi guys! I have a fun giveaway for you today, hosted by Hey Viv! Vintage! This is a spunky Etsy boutique that's full of fit-and-flair dresses, colorful prints, and quirky styles. If you're a girly-girl then I think you've just found your Mecca! One of my favorite things that Viv said was, "I still get a thrill when I open a box of vintage that's just come in. I never know whether I'll find a velvet dress, a faded beauty hat or a purse with possibilities. " And today you can get that same thrill! Viv is offering one lucky reader three gifts: a pillbox hat (in either black or red), a clutch, and a vintage scarf in a color of your choosing. And to enter is easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Mandatory Entry: Comment with your favorite item from their store and follow them on Instagram
  2. Bonus Entry: Follow them on Twitter
  3. Bonus Entry: Like them on Facebook
  4. Bonus Entry: Follow Messages on a Napkin on Twitter

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


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Oct 23, 2014



Today I'm excited to introduce you to a gorgeous Seattle based shop called Deja Vintage Boutique! A boutique that specializes in 50's and 60's dresses, they live by the mantra "good things happen twice" and they scour Seattle charity shops and dive head-first into estate sales just to bring you the prettiest of dresses and the cutest of accessories. They literally have collected over a hundred of vintage dresses so there's a special like something for everyone. And today one of you will be able to get a lil sumin sumin- Leta, the owner, is offering one lucky reader a $40 giftcard! To enter is easy, all you have to do is:

  1. Mandatory Entry: Favorite them on Etsy (press the little red heart in the top right hand corner) and follow them on Facebook
  2. Bonus Entry: Comment with your favorite item from Deja Vintage Boutique
  3. Bonus Entry: Follow Deja Vintage Boutique on Instagram 
  4. Bonus Entry: Follow their blog
  5. Bonus Entry: Like Messages on a Napkin on Facebook

That's all! This is open internationally and will run for a week- good luck!

PS- obsessed with these gorgeous, gorgeous photos? Check out their other lookbooks here!

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$40 New Old Fashion Vintage Giveaway


I'm not exaggerating when I say New Old Fashion Vintage is one of my favorite stores ever- I have a bevvy of my top dresses from them. Everything from plaid peter pan collared ones to mustard shift ones. And that's not all they have: they have a stock of riding boots, quilted skirts, structured winter coats, turtleneck dresses- really anything you can think of.  And Amelia, the amazing gal behind the store, is offering one lucky reader a $40 giftcard today! To enter is easy, all a girl's got to do is:

  1. Mandatory Entry: Follow New Old Fashion on Instagram and comment with your favorite item from her store
  2. Bonus Entry: Follow New Old Fashion on Pinterest
  3. Bonus Entry: Follow New Old Fashion on Facebook
  4. Bonus Entry: Follow Messages on a Napkin on Twitter

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

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Oct 22, 2014


I like making my closet work for me by never breaking up things into specific sections- there is no "casual wear" and "evening wear"; no "day pieces" and "night pieces". I like to wear evening gowns with chunky knit sweaters during the day, and flannel shirts with sequined evening skirts during the night. The fun contrasts make for some playful, inventive outfits, and it really makes the wardrobe you took the time to curate work for you. So in the spirit of that, I'm starting off a new series called "From Day to Night", where I take a piece of clothing and style it for dramatically different events- like grabbing coffee with a friend at 2 o'clock, and then going to get drinks at the swanky new bar at midnight. 

And today's piece? This New Old Fashion Vintage denim jacket (which I have also styled here). Let's see how versatile it really is!


FROM DAY: Bundle into a fisherman sweater and tassel scarf and pair the look with high waist shorts to juxtapose the chunkier top half. Pair it with some heeled booties to keep the fall vibe going, and add a camel colored hat for some interest and a gold clutch to add a touch of fancy. Then top off the whole look with your denim jacket for a touch of color and an extra layer for both warmth and interest. Now go get that coffee- your friend is waiting!


FROM NIGHT: When mixing fancy with casual it's all about balancing the two different vibes. For example, if you have an elegant full skirt, tone it down with a relaxed denim jacket. To make sure that the denim doesn't take over the look, pair it with a swanky accessory like a gold bauble necklace or a pair of chandelier earrings. Then to balance the extravagant top-half, choose shoes that are more casual like suede booties or a pair of Chelsea boots. That way you have two different forces in your look but an even amount of each. Now that you're all dolled up and ready to go, hail your cab and get ready to sip on pretty pink cocktails under those dim and dreamy lights!

Outfit One:

JACKET: New Old Fashion Vintage
SWEATER: Thrifted
SHORTS: American Apparel
SCARF: French Connection
SHOES: Macys

Outfit Two:

JACKET: New Old Fashion Vintage
SKIRT: Choies (only $25!)
SHOES: Macys

Oct 21, 2014



This week, ohhh this week I have plans. I'm going to listen to Doris Day croon over how stars fell on Alabama the night before as she kissed in a field of white. I'm going to make a home on the couch and open to a well-worn chapter in a favorite book: The Boy Who Lived. I'm going to string Halloween decorations all over the house, dusting corners with spiderwebs and cluttering ceilings with black and orange garlands. I'm going to play Practical Magic on the TV like background noise on a radio, and I'm going to figure out how to make my pumpkin spice tea not taste like shrubbery in cinnamony toilet water. And I'm going to discover that mauve is officially my favorite fall color. I'd never guess it, but here we are.

When first styling this Choies's column dress I was trying to go for a sheer, dreamy look, but this velvet blazer kept catching my eye in the back of the closet. Feeling like I should give it a go, I tried dressing up the color with fall favorite hues: burnt orange, forest green, and a light nude. And, to my surprise, it all came together like a dream. The dark colors helped move this summery shade into fall, and the high necked dress looked like it was made for nippier weather. I'll definitely be repeating this look all season. 

What's a favorite trick of yours to move summer dresses into fall? Other than the usual cardigan + infinity scarf combo.


DRESS: c/o Choies (only $33!) (vintage option: here)
BLAZER: c/o Ellenface Vintage (vintage option: here- in olive)
PURSE: thrifted (vintage option: herehere)
BELT: thrifted
SHOES: Old Navy (only $10!) (vintage option: here, here- as loafers)
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Oct 19, 2014



Ya see all this goodness here? This is all from Beehive Chicago Vintage Collective, a loft-space turned showroom nestled in East Garfield Park, home to eight vintage stores and a treasure trove to all of the vintage obsessed. Decked out in strings of fairy-lights and clusters of pink tissue pompoms, this loft acts not only as a workspace for the vintage vendors, but also a mini mall come every Saturday, when they open up their doors and invite you to come poke around their loot. 

I went last Saturday with Tom (ready to spend my lunch money on the first plaid dress I laid eyes on) and found myself kind of crushing on the collective, getting more and more fond of them as I went deeper into the loft.  You see, the thing that struck me about them is how wonderfully warm and inviting they all were. Customers were sprawled out on vintage couches, talking and laughing with the vendors as they noshed on free cookies and drinks laid out on the bar. Girls came out of dressing rooms decked out in mod dresses and full skirts- first a little uncertain and unsure- then softened into delighted smiles as the owners topped off their looks with vintage hats, fur stoles, and encouraging winks in the mirror. Some of the vendors were busy dressing models in incredible outfits, getting ready for lookbook photoshoots as customers (well, fine, me) gawked on the sidelines. (And feverishly stole styling ideas for future looks.) 

There was tons to rifle through, and we spent a good handful of hours weaving between rows, thumbing fur coats, testing out barcarts, and trying our hardest not to blow all of rent money on vintage dresses and boots. If you're in the Chicago area, definitely come through one of these Saturday afternoons. And if you're not, scroll to the bottom of the post and visit their Etsy stores and sites!


Beehive Chicago Vintage Collective
  • 2950 W Carroll St, Suite 3S (3rd Floor)
  • Chicago, Illinois 60612
Marthette Vintage RentalLost Girls Vintage
Imaginary Girl
South Loop Loft
Take 2 Vintage
Tweed Creative Vintage
Yetti Treasures
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© Messages on a Napkin.Maira Gall.