Fall/Winter Looks

1) Painting the Town Red Spotted Dress SOLD!

Story: This AMAZING dress found me in a quaint little establishment that no longer exists :(, and it was the catalyst for a very crazy New Years eve starring my 2 sisters and I. While I don’t remember much right now, I can distinctly recall literally dancing around a broom as the owner begged us to leave, as the massive crowd, champagne flutes, and Dj were long gone and he REALLY needed to turn on the alarm to the building.  The good news: we had zero trouble locating our car! ;)
Specifics: 100% Silk; size “4” (Maybe a little bigger, but the waist is really small, at about 24-25 inches); 36 inches from shoulder to hem; cut-out back (sweet!)
Caveats: None. I love this dress!!!

2) Sequins are a Girl’s Best Friend Black Sequined Sweater

Story:  I happened upon this adorable sweater during a solo trip to Japan, where I met an adorable, “bad-boy” Japanese guy who spoke no more than 5 words of English (whereas I speak zero Japanese) along with a less cute but super sweet and super fluent other guy who would later become my digital “pen pal.” (Sigh. I guess the “bad boy” appeal even transcends cultures… Who knew??)
Specifics:  55% Silk + 33% Nylon + 10% Angora + 2% Lambswool = 100% Soft!! Size medium; about 22.5 inches from shoulder to hem
Caveats: A couple of the sequins aren’t perfect, but it’s hardly a deal breaker. Honestly, I think that it only adds to the vintage appeal. :)

3) Warm Honey Mustard Yellow Skirt and Charming Green Sweater (SWEATER=SOLD!)

Story:  This skirt is actually a very new find.  The unique color against the gray winter sky caught my eye, and I was drawn to it because of the perceived level of comfort that could be felt while wearing it.  It also calmed my nerves after a grueling day of working on this very site (non-stop), while having to endure the incessant ticking of a wall clock, mocking my very existence.
The sweater is like an old friend. We’ve made appearances everywhere from corporate America to classroom to soiree (literally!) to cold winter nights in the Windy City. It’s been paired with jeans, slacks, skirts, you name it. I’ve always particularly liked the neckline.
Specifics:  Skirt--23 inches from waist to hem; 15 inches wide when laid flat; cotton stretch material. Sweater—47% cotton, 29% linen, 14% Ramie; 25 inches from shoulder to hem
Caveats: Given that it’s a knit sweater, it is slightly translucent. The skirt is ready to roll!

4) The Quiet Sophisticate’s Tan Silk Pants SOLD!

Story:  I haven’t know these pants for long, either, but I envisioned myself wearing them whilst strolling leisurely down the beach in a foreign land, namely Mexico, pant legs billowing and hair blowing in the wind. Yeeeeah, no. Not only did I end up with sand in my scalp, but I also received a quick lesson on the physical limitations of silk. Specifically, YOU CAN’T WEAR SILK PANTS IN 75 DEGREE WEATHER, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE MORE POROUS THAN STANDARD SILK SHIRTS. End result? I cut my losses and quickly threw on a bikini.
Specifics: 100% Silk (I’m an addict, what can I say?); size “small” according to the tag (TOTALLY disagree. More like a medium given the fact that they stretch.); elastic band waist 12 inches un-stretched; 39 inches waist to hem; flowy.
Caveats:  While they may behave like softer linen, and look more like cotton, they are, indeed, SILK. That means that they are designed to keep heat inside, so please keep this in mind during the spring months! :)

5) Day-to-Night Deep Purple Warm Wool Dress SOLD!

Story:  Oh, purple dress. (Well, actually it can be worn as a sweater on larger frames, but it works just fine as a dress on petite women.) This dress is a classic. Actually, I can’t think of a setting where I wasn’t able to wear it. It’s SUPER warm (Read: functional during the winter), classy, and slightly slouchy. I once wore it during Thanksgiving dinner, and I was able to go from day to night, dining room table to VIP booth, stuffed to hungry, effortlessly. (And the best part is that no one was able to tell that I had just devoured a few Thanksgiving staples!)
Specifics: 100% wool; 29 inches shoulder to hem; size “medium” (Vanity marketing at it finest. This sweater/dress is most certainly a large, if not bigger.)
Caveats: Nada.

**Note: While it may appear to be blue in the picture (NO clue why lol), I can assure you that this dress is a dark plum color. As for the belt and tights, they are actually burgundy (in case you were curious/puzzled by my color combination!) Okay, I’m done. ;)

6) Well-Knit, Tan, “Not-So-Sweatery” Sweater and Vintage Brown Belt

Story:  Sigh. This is another veteran companion. I’ve always loved the ornate knit pattern of this sweater, and it has accompanied me through my transition from spur of the moment undergraduate dorm parties to corporate settings to professional “meet and greets” to girls nights out…and back again. It’s light-weight, and good for days when you want to look like fall, but not necessarily feel like fall. The belt is standard vintage, and I suspect that it had a rather wild life prior to meeting me.
Specifics: Knit sweater; 24 inches shoulder to hem. The belt is 54 inches all around.
Caveats: This is definitely an “I just wanna look cute and in-season during the fall/winter but not REALLY wear a suffocating sweater just yet” sweater. The intricate knitting does not allow for you to stay warm and you will definitely need to wear either a shirt underneath (obviously, since it’s see-though) and/or a jacket. Now, carry on!

7) Smooth and Chunky Cream Sweater

Story: Think of a big, fluffy cloud. Soft, chunky and warm all at the same time. Now that the poetry is over, (ha!), I’ll tell you about where I found this piece. It was many moons ago (Hey, I said “moons,” not “years.”) during my solo trip to Japan. Only this sweater invokes memories of meeting a certain beautiful Brazilian male with whom I was only able to communicate in Spanish (YES. He was a gorgeous as you are imagining!),  and a really funny yet possessive (?) group of French guys who (as the stereotype dictates) could not pronounce the letter “h” to save their lives lol. (I only mention this because they kept asking me if I’d seen the movie “The ANG-O-VAY-AIR.” That’s “The Hangover” for those with native English-speaking ears.) Hilarious!
Specifics: 66% Silk, 24% Nylon, 10% Angora; size medium (but meant to be bigger at the top and tapered at the waist; 20 inches shoulder to waist. Soft!
Caveats: Each wrist has a barely noticeable, .5 inch slit, surely meant to facilitate wrist moment. (That’s important.)

  8) Not Your Ordinary Little Black Dress and Exotic Black,Yellow and Red Belt

Story: This dress will redefine how you view the phrase “little black dress.” It’s warm, versatile, stretchy, and chic. Rather than hug your body, it gently drapes over it, allowing you the freedom of revealing only those curves of your choosing at the moment. You can shorten it with a belt (or not), and wear it anywhere! The belt speaks for itself. Cool color combination and even cooler braided pattern. Nuff said.
Specifics: 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool (read: Warm and stretchy); size small petite (Easily passes for a medium or even large though); 34 inches shoulder to hem; cute faux buttons on the sleeves; 22 inches wide when laid flat. Belt 29 inches end to end (very slight stretch).
Caveats: None. Let’s go!

9) Go Anywhere Hunter Green Wool Dress and Golden Leaf Belt
Story: This is my baby!!! This dress has taken me places, and the fact that I was able to find a black one just like it completely blew my mind! (Never mind that it took like 4 years, and it turned up in a whole different state!)The most bizarre story that this piece has encouraged (and there have been many) happened during what was supposed to be a relatively calm New Years Eve. I was conversing with my close friend (completely oblivious to the people around us), when all of a sudden a huge, random guy bear-hugged me—while I was in mid sentence—kissed me as though his very life depended on it, and threw a wad of cash into the air above our heads. Rather than scurry away, he was incredulous at the fact that I was not willing to meet his friends nor be his girlfriend forevermore. Because that’s how it works, right??
This belt speaks for itself, too. Two metal, golden leaves for a buckle and similar braided pattern, 32 inches long.
Specifics: 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool (read: Warm and stretchy);  size small petite (Easily passes for a medium or even large though); 34 inches shoulder to hem; cute faux buttons on the sleeves; 22 inches wide when laid flat. Belt 29 inches end to end (very slight stretch).
Caveats:  Shoulder pads are still attached. I’ve always felt that they add a certain splash of glamour, so I could never bring myself to remove them.

10) Business in the Front, Party in the Back, Plum Purple Dress SOLD!

Story:This dress is pure GENIUS. Turtle-neck, fully covered front and flowy. You enter the room exuding pure sophistication, if not modesty. No one even thinks to look twice—that is, until you turn around, and the crowd goes wild (albeit, silently)! The back of this dress is the show-stopper. It is cut from the bottom of the neck in the back alllll the way down to the lower back, with a cute plastic chain link at the bottom to seal the deal. In case you missed it: your back is completely exposed. The above scenario is exactly what happened to me during a high-end social event in Chicago. It was entertaining to watch the looks on their faces as they toyed with the fact of complimenting me flat-out or simply remaining silent. Priceless.
Specifics: 94% Rayon, 6% Spandex; size large; extremely light-weight; slightly translucent
Caveats: This is NOT the dress to wear when your primary goal is to be warm. If you want to turn heads from both men and women alike and dazzle the masses, then this is your dress! :)

11) “Vintage blue” Blue Jean Vest

Story: I honestly can’t recall picking up this vest. It’s like one day it just appeared in my wardrobe?? (Spooky…) I’ve worn it with everything though, and we’ve come to like each other very much. I think it really pairs well with black pieces such as fitted dresses and distressed jeans.  
Specifics: REALLY small; 17 inches long; 16 inches across the mid-back Caveats: If you are well-endowed in the upper region, you may have trouble getting the buttons to snap together. In fact, I will go on a limb and say that most women would not be able to actually button-up this vest.  (This doesn’t inhibit its cuteness, though!) Solution: I just wear it open! It is small and it fits snuggly. :)

12) High  Seas Turquoise Blue Sweater

Story: I had made it through the grueling group interviews, and earned entrance into an accelerated grad school program. In many respects, I had all the promise of my life ahead of me. Except for a place to sleep.  You see, this is the very warm, cheerful sweater that I chose to wear for my meeting with the housing coordinator for graduate students, on what had been the first day of sunshine in weeks. (I even had earrings to match! Boy, was I excited!) Still an undergraduate student, I had left my dorm with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (literally), only to be told by an also very smiley man who was not much older than I that, despite our constant communication during the application process, he didn’t have anywhere for me to live--though there were plenty of places to study! Before I had the chance to FLIP OUT, I realized that I had relatives in the city who would almost surely allow me to sleep in their basement for the 2 months until on-campus housing would “probably” become available.  (And, if nothing else, I had my beautiful sweater to keep me warm!!)
Specifics: Warm, warm, warm. Size “small” due to the slouchy fit, but I’d say it’s definitely a medium, if not a large; 70% Acrylic, 30% extra fine Merino wool; 24 inches long; 19 inches across chest; well-knit, comfortable, heavy. This is a REAL sweater! 
Caveats:  None!

13) I Love Fall in New York! Cream, Brown, Orange and Gray Native American-Inspired Sweater SOLD!

Story: Who doesn’t love NYC?!! I initially thought about taking the scenic route to the East coast, having heard many people rave about how beautiful New England is during the fall months. Yeeeea, I didn’t quite make it that far. I decided to make a pit-stop in Soho (where I met this gorgeous sweater!) and never made it out of the city--and I barely escaped alive! I don’t exactly remember if I was wearing this sweater at the time, but I DO remember that it was during this particular trip to NYC that I also had my first experience riding in the back seat of the car of a born-and-bred New Yorker. Fear is not a word that I generally associate with, but while my eclectic group of amigos and amigas chatted nonchalantly as we repeatedly flirted with high-speed collision, I was crouched down on the floor of the car, anxiously awaiting the minute of my untimely death. It couldn’t have been later than 11:00…in the morning. Gotta love New Yorkers! :)  
Specifics: Very soft and warm. Size medium; 100% Acrylic; hooded; 26 inches long, 16 inches across chest; the furry balls down the front are actually the buttons, so you can wear it open!  
Caveats: Fairly new, very little wear, but it’s handmade, which means that there are some imperfect strings on the inside. They are not noticeable from the outside, and they occur naturally during the knitting process (for anyone who’s curious).

14) Midnight Rainbow Multi-Colored Striped Silk Shirt

Story:  This is another one of my good companions! We’ve essentially done it all. The most recent story that stands out in my mind happened hours after the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve, many years ago. It was now New Years day and I had just left a very lively (and hilarious!) house party hosted by my good friend. After saying my goodbyes, I started my journey home.  Mid-way, I noticed that my car seemed a little wiggly, and that there was suddenly a police officer following close behind me. I continued to drive and to wait for him to flag me (for reasons unknown, given that I wasn’t speeding), but he never did. Only after I exited the highway, pulled into a gas station and got out to examine my car, did the officer make any contact with me. He told me that he had noticed that my tire had gone flat miles back, and that he wanted to make sure that I made if off the highway safely, while not scaring me into thinking that I had done anything wrong.  How nice of him! As luck would have it, I was near my aunt’s house, and she loves to flex her car-repair knowledge.  It was an interesting end to what had been an interesting night, for sure.  
Specifics:  Size “12” (Which gives away the actual age of the shirt, as it is nowhere near a size 12 by today’s standards. Maybe an 8. Maybe.); 100% Silk; 21 inches shoulder to hem, 18 inches across the chest.  
Caveats: Aside from being perfect, it’s perfect!

15) Always Eat Your Pea Green Vest

Story:  Ah, the pea-green vest. This baby is a classic! One time I wore it to a very interesting party…One that would have been an anthropologist’s (or sociologist’s) dream! The venue was designed to be a social scene for people from various African countries, but those of us with hyphenated ethnicities seemed to love it, too. Seeing the mixture and range of skin complexions, hair textures, and facial features go from 100% West African to 100% East African to South African to only 25% African-American was simply breath-taking. It was here that I began to truly understand the frustrations behind perpetuating only ONE image of what “Africans” look like. Okay, class dismissed. :) 
Specifics: 100% cotton (though the outside looks and feels more like velour); Lining is a Nylon and Acetate blend; size “2” (I’d say it’s closer to a size 4) and I can button it without a problem; 18 inches shoulder to hem, 17 inches across chest; snug but comfortable fit.  
Caveats: Three practically unnoticeable marks the size of a pinhead (I measured) on the front that I honestly never noticed until now, even in pictures and under bright lights?

16) Crazy 80s Acid Jean Dress SOLD!

Story: New Years Eve, once again! Same super fun friend’s (sister’s) house party, different year.  I remember there being a basement, speakers as tall as I am, a nice group of people, a mystery punch and a “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” game still attached to the wall from a kid’s party past that translated surprisingly well into the adult festivities! (Okay, fine; I closed my eyes and played alone, but it was still fun, and guess what? I won!!) After that, it was off to a party across the border! (Okay, so it was only to a neighboring state, but still!) Hahaha Jokes aside I really did have a blast!  
Specifics: 100% cotton; size 10—in GIRLS! (Hold the jokes lol.) This is how you know that it is authentically from the 80s! 27 inches long, 14 inch bust, 22.5 inch sleeves.
Caveats: As it was made with 10 year olds in mind, the sleeves are a little short and even tapered at the ends.  I’ve gotten around it by simply cuffing the sleeves.  (Because cuffing is GREAT.) There is also a small mark under the button, but it is very light and would be covered up if the button was closed. This dress is definitely for a smaller frame, and you will have to wear shorts underneath!

17) No Ordinary Halloween Orange Sweater

Story: Halloween night. College. I get the bright idea to go to a haunted house that’s purported to be extremely scary, and only costs a few bucks! (The internet is a funny place.) Eager to be frightened, I convince my very sweet and easy-going roommate to come along. After a commute of 2 trains, a bus, and a nice walk in the cold, we finally arrive to a place that is nothing more than the local (we were in a tiny town at this point) YMCA devoid of lights and using teenagers in “Scream” masks to scare 6 year olds. I apologize to my roommate for having wasted her time, sigh, and decide to make the best of it, if only for the sake of keeping the Halloween spirit for all of the toddlers and their parents... Sigh. So we stand in line and walk through the boys’ locker room, laughing, making jokes, and pretending to be afraid. The end is in sight, and we begin discussing what we want to eat afterwards. Here’s the part of the story that I still don’t fully understand.  As we are walking past the last stall, oblivious to the “frights,” suddenly a 3-foot tall angry clown creature hops out of the darkness and begins to chase us out of the building!? All traces of laughter were drained from our bodies and we RAN and RAN and RAN (without looking back!) all the way to the bus stop! After stopping to catch our breath, we look back at the small-town YMCA in utter shame and embarrassment as the teenaged actors, parents, and even children laugh hysterically at the sight of two adult college students (who had been making fun of the place the entire time) running away screaming from a building that 8 year-olds had found only mildly entertaining. My roommate said that she had nearly wet her pants, and I made the executive decision for us to walk to the next bus stop and to never return to the small town of Skokie again.  
Specifics:  Size medium. (True. While the chest might fit a bigger size, the slightly tapered arm holes would not necessarily fit. Then again what do I know?) 21 inches long, 17 inches across the chest; slouchy fit, light-weight; 55% Ramie, 45% cotton.  
Caveats: This is a very OLD sweater, and it is obviously hand-made. As such, there are a few wayward strings in unnoticeable places on the inside of the sweater. (In case you’re curious, they are not itchy!)

18) “Back to Black” Surprise Black Dress

Story:  Aw, man. I haven’t had this dress for as long as I’ve had some of the other pieces, but my oh my have we had some adventures! One time we stumbled upon a night-time salsa dancing party on a beach in a coastal town in South Korea. (The fact that I was also wearing Mephistos at the time just adds to the madness!) Then there was the techno club that was a blur of bright lights, confetti, and bunny ears (?) in a different Korean city. This dress is definitely full of life and personality!  
Specifics: Approximately a size 5; Polyester/Lycra/Cotton blend; stretchy. 29.5 inches shoulder to hem; 16 inches across bust; “unfinished” (Read: Cut) hem. Caveats: Despite the strategic cut-outs, this dress is NOT meant for the summer months! It is a polyester blend. When I tried to wear it during the summer, I was quickly reminded of this fact! Because of the Lycra, it moves with you, and is very versatile and comfortable!

19) Back into Time Timeless Black Jean Jacket

Story:  I can’t even pinpoint the exact year that I bought this jacket. I know that it was before distressed denim had made its permanent come-back from the 80s. I also remember wearing it at a time when distressed denim had officially “come back” (whatever that means).  Either way, this jacket is truly a gem, versatile in every way. I’ve dressed it up and down, and worn it through all the seasons. It pairs well with anything, yet it’s still unique.  
Specifics: Size medium; 19 inches shoulder to hem, 19 inches across the chest; 2 hidden (but functional) front pockets; 27 inch sleeves.  
Caveats: LONG sleeves, so I just cuff them! It has a classic fit, so it’s not meant to necessarily fit tightly.

20) “I’ll Have Another, Peas” Long Green Dress SOLD!

Story:  This dress literally set me up for a fun night! Although it was a sunny Saturday afternoon, I was feeling kind of “blah.” I had a few things in mind that I could do, but nothing seemed to really tickle my fancy.  Every single bone in my body wanted me to put on a black hoodie and black pants and retreat into a corner, but I resisted the urge and decided to wear this dress, all for the sake of seeing where such a lively piece would lead me to. Well, I ended up attending a very interesting Kwanzaa celebration storytelling/dance performance….and a drag/comedy show! (The former had been planned while the later had not lol.) The drag show also ended up being a blast (after performing, they made jokes about themselves—what confidence!), and given that I don’t really seek out that sort of entertainment on my own, the fact that I ended up in such a spot is still hilarious to me now! And while this dress certainly didn’t tell me about these events, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been as open to doing anything else had I dressed as I’d originally felt.  And one can never have enough cultural experiences, no? ;)
Specifics:  100% Wool (NOT scratchy); Size Medium; Light-weight; Stretchy but not tight; 16 inches across laid flat; 20 inch sleeves; 47 inches long and oh, so regal!
Caveats: None!

21) Woven Snowflake Soft Cream Dress

Story: This is my lucky dress! I went to a 1920s-inspired restaurant, complete with burlesque show and their special variation of bingo. Well… While everyone else was focusing on their bingo boards, I sat and sipped my handmade ice cream fountain drink and grinned at the names of the performers (“Roxy Red Rockets”? I love it!!), paying little mind to my then-empty boards. After a few minutes of playing, nearly everyone in the restaurant was only one square away from winning, and suddenly my board began to fill up! As I chuckled to myself about the fact that I had somehow managed to catch up, the last ball was drawn and guess who won??! Moi! I was hoping that I’d win (who wasn’t?), but I definitely didn’t expect to have such luck during the very first round?! I guess you could say that “luck was a lady…that night.” (Get it? Okay, it was a lot funnier in my head lol.) :P 
Specifics: 45% Cotton, 55% Ramie; Size Medium; 15 inches across laid flat; 44 inches long with a 32 inch knit lining underneath; Woven; Light and airy; Good for the fall or spring!
Caveats:  None!