The Mad Science Behind My Style

Aug 16, 2013

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Want to know why I think vintage is kewl? It's because it throws you outside your comfort zone once in a while and forces you to be creative. Some of it is so zany that it takes a little bit of elbow grease to tone it down and make it work for this decade, but some of it is just outside of your style and takes a little bit of tap-dancing to make it work. Sometimes to make myself not die of boredom with my closet, I choose pieces that I have no idea what to do with and am pretty sure I don't have anything that will go with them. Sounds insane, but picking out another floral dress or kitten printed shirt will just make me whip together another template summer outfit. And seeing how we're three months in I have it up to here with that same old song-and-dance.

So when Miss Molly Vintage asked me to style a piece for them, I forgoed the coral dresses and floral, ruffly  blouses and instead went with a tartan vest. And had no clue what to do with it, haha.
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The way I piece together outfits is kind of funny. I plop the defining piece on the carpet in front of my closet, then proceed to stand in my underwear in front of the messy tetris-style array of clothing hanging from hangers and jammed into shelves, with a hand on my hip and a finger resting thoughtfully against my pursed lips. And, then, cracking my knuckles and getting down to business, I start pulling things out that might possibly work and throw them down next to the piece on the floor. It's kind of like a real life Polyvore set, haha.

And what I came up with was my absolute favorite outfit this season! I just love how jean on jean looks, and I love even more how this vest is tucked into the skirt to give it a dress effect. Add a little spine collared necklace to give it some edge, and my heart is smitten. 
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Vest- c/o Miss Molly Vintage
Skirt- Thrifted
Jean Shirt- Thrifted
Belt- Calvin Klein, thrifted
Spine Collar Necklace- c/o Rusted Revolution
Shoes- UO (recent!)

PS- I only have ONE DAY left in my $30 Super Queenie Retro giveaway! And while you're at it, join my $50 Vintage Urban Renewal one, too!
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  1. That vest is so cool!! I think I need some more quirky vintage stuff in my closet, but you're right, it is hard to style it so it doesn't look costume-y. I need more practice!

  2. Sounds like a vaguely similar situation in front of my closet . . . at any rate, you did nail it because this is my favorite outfit of yours for the year too! What a great top!

  3. Love this outfit! great layering. :)

  4. This might be a new favorite outfit from you. Also, it is so funny that you have mentioned choosing the pieces you don't know what to do with that keeps you interested and creative in your wardrobe. It is a different perspective than one usually hears, but I can see the logic.

    Also, reading your blog cheered up my day. Thanks.

  5. "a real life polyvore set" omfg I DO THE SAME THING, MARLEN! In my underwear and all! But yeah, throwing clothes down and arranging them and shifting them side to side is really the best way to throw an outfit together. Someties it can take so long, though... so... long!

    But in this case if it did take a long time (or not idk idk), it was WERTH IT! Your vest is rad and I adore that necklace with it. Ugh, you are the outfit making queen. Marlen, Vehement Queen of Vintage, I shall call you.

  6. Your style is precious. It looks amazing on you!

    Love, Amy

  7. I love the way you wore the vest as a top and the denim-on-denim pulls the rest of it all together!

  8. I LOVE that vest! I love how you tucked it into your skirt! Great styling! A great way to break up a denim-on-denim outfit!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  9. Articulately put! Fashion absolutely pushes boundaries. I love the red over the denim. You ROCK the denim shirt.

  10. You look very American in this outfit! It has to be all that denim of course. But I'm with you on how the necklace toughens up the look, think it works perfectly.

  11. A real life polyvore set! Sounds like a reasonable way to create an outfit.

  12. Yep that's how I also do it - sometimes I take a piece that is just hanging there and I start throwing things together, it's like a little puzzle, trying to mix and match :) Love your outfit!


  13. This vest is so cool and you did an amazing job styling it. The finished look is perfection. Great accessories too.

  14. Your styling choices are always so unexpected and super cool! Have given me so many ideas! Love how you've paired the plaid and denim here :)


  15. totally love what you did with this vest! The double jean is so chic and what a genius idea to tuck the vest in. I have so many oversized vests and this was SO INSPIRING! as always wonderful :)

  16. I didn't even notice the necklace was a spine necklace at first! What a cool piece! I also love how you styled this plaid vest. The colors in it are great. I really like how it breaks up the double denim. I almost didn't notice there were two denim things going on at once until I started reading what you said!
    So cute, as always. You come up with the best, most creative ways to wear vintage.

  17. I started wearing vintage because I've always considered older, period clothing much more interesting than modern clothing. I received flack from my friends and I had to resort to peer pressure and wear my Hollister throughout high school! But thankfully high school has been long over and now I wear vintage proudly. I often get stares, but who cares? :)

  18. seriously, i bow down to your layering skills!! this is one bitchin outfit, marlen!

    at this volume


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