The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Vera Ramone King

Once upon a time, I interviewed a lovely lady name Vera Ramone King.

Courtesy of Vera Ramone King
Courtesy of Vera Ramone King

She was the former wife of the late Dee Dee Ramone, also known as “the cute one” from a punk rock group called The Ramones. You might have heard of them.

The Ramones. Photo courtesy the Lippin Group.
The Ramones. Photo courtesy the Lippin Group.

I’ve been a huge fan of The Ramones and all things old school punk/post punk since I was a kid, so speaking with Vera and learning about Dee Dee was a personal treat of mine.

She shared with me this throwback photo wearing a very dangerous ensemble. I’ve even shared this image with Lady Starlight, a fixture in the nightlife scene and beloved collaborator of Lady Gaga’s, who adored this look as well.

Vera_Ramone pic

And sure enough, I found a piece that made me feel like a rock star’s wife.

Beat on the brat with the baseball bat? Please - I'm packing spikes!
Beat on the brat with the baseball bat? Please – I’m packing spikes!

Truthfully, this is not a piece I would ever wear and sadly, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been to a punk rock show, but somehow I needed it.

I wanna be sedated.
I wanna be sedated.

I wish I knew the story behind this piece. Was the former owner a friend of Nancy Spungen? Did she woo Joey Ramone? Did she party with Debbie Harry after making out with Iggy Pop?

While the ensemble is pretty big on me, it’s nothing that a (bewildered) tailor can’t fix. Fortunately, mine is all too familiar with random ensembles I find while thrifting.

Close-Up
Close-Up

I tried looking for similar pieces to recommend you all, but I honestly couldn’t find anything like it! Although if you search for “spiked bra” on Etsy.com, you’re in for a treat.

You can also go more traditional with a classic bullet bra a la Marilyn Monroe - you'll still poke someone's eye out.
You can also go more traditional with a classic bullet bra a la Marilyn Monroe – you’ll still poke someone’s eye out.

I haven’t worn this out quite yet, but Halloween will be here soon. Perhaps I can convince a certain Jordan Race to be my Joey Ramone (he is only one inch shorter than Joey’s towering 6’6″ frame).

Ready to frighten...in socks.
Ready to frighten…in socks.

I wondered where Vera found hers…perhaps I’m due for another chat with her.

Fire Island’s Cherry Grove

Let’s get one thing straight: I love the beach.

Swimsuit Top: Linda's Bras Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth Photo by Alexcia Foster
Swimsuit Top: Linda’s Bras
Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The salty, sweet scent of the crisp ocean, the songs of soaring seagulls, the warmth of sun-kissed sand caressing my feet, and the soothing sounds of soft waves greatly intoxicate me.

Fire Island's Cherry Grove
Fire Island’s Cherry Grove

Perhaps it is the tropical blood that flows fiercely in my veins that naturally attracts me to all things nautical, or the fact that I am a watery piscean. Regardless, I am truly my happiest when frolicking at the beach.

Swimsuit Top: Linda's Bras Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth Photo by Alexcia Foster
Swimsuit Top: Linda’s Bras
Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth
Photo by Alexcia Foster

For my local escape to beachy paradise, I head to Cherry Grove in Fire Island. I must warn you though, it’s not the easiest place to find. It requires a subway ride, two Long Island Railroad trains, a taxi, and a ferry to reach an island where no cars or traffic exist, but I assure you, the lengthy journey is worth it.

Fire Island's Cherry Grove
Fire Island’s Cherry Grove

Fire Island boasts plenty of resorts, but unlike the party-loving Pines, Cherry Grove is more secluded.

Deer at Fire Island's Cherry Grove
Deer at Fire Island’s Cherry Grove

You can go on a Saturday afternoon and feel like you own the entire island. Only a handful of people, at most, are usually present sunbathing or literally bathing in the sea.

Fire Island's Cherry Grove
Fire Island’s Cherry Grove

Not only do I adore Fire Island’s tranquility, but it’s this same sereneness that puts me at ease in a two-piece. I am not a woman who feels at her most comfortable in a swimsuit, and I appreciate not feeling judged or gawked at because my figure doesn’t resemble a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Rather, I can just be me and savor the day like a fine rosé. That’s more fun, anyway.

Swimsuit Top: Linda's Bras Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth Photo by Alexcia Foster
Swimsuit Top: Linda’s Bras
Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth
Photo by Alexcia Foster

While I do wear two-pieces, I rely on more vintage-inspired high-waisted bottoms.

Actress Rita Hayworth wearing a high-waisted swimsuit bottom.
Actress Rita Hayworth wearing a high-waisted swimsuit bottom.

They suit my curves best and hide any sudden bloats (we are surrounded by salt, after all).

Swimsuit Top: Linda's Bras Swimsuit Bottom: Unique Vintage Photo by Jordan Race
Swimsuit Top: Linda’s Bras
Swimsuit Bottom: Unique Vintage
Photo by Jordan Race

I rely on Unique Vintage to provide me long-lasting, hip-hugging high waisted bikini bottoms to help me channel my inner siren.

Swimsuit Top: ModCloth Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Swimsuit Top: ModCloth
Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

For the tops, ModCloth also has plenty of vivid halters by old Hollywood actress and competitive swimmer Esther Williams.

Esther Williams
Esther Williams

Wouldn’t you want to be like the “Million Dollar Mermaid?” You can also score some matching high-waisted bottoms by Esther Williams as well. A double win.

Swimsuit Top: ModCloth Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Swimsuit Top: ModCloth
Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Recently, I visited Linda’s Bras, an Upper East Side boutique that offers amazing swimsuit tops in nearly every size you can think of. A proper fitting can alleviate backache, enhance your shape, and give you all the support needed. If you haven’t gotten fitted for a bra or bikini top yet, do it ASAP. It will change your life. Promise.

Swimsuit Top: Linda's Bras Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth Photo by Jordan Race
Swimsuit Top: Linda’s Bras
Swimsuit Bottom: ModCloth
Photo by Jordan Race

Cherry Grove in Fire Island is my home away from home. It’s tradition to visit every summer and I’m already thinking about next year!

Sunset at Fire Island
Sunset at Fire Island

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60 Days of Rosé at Amali Restaurant

One of the things I’ll miss about summer? Savoring plenty of thirst-quenching pink wine.

Amali Restaurant, NYC
Amali Restaurant, NYC

Sure, you can enjoy a glass of rosé anytime, but there’s something absolutely magical about drinking this  ice-cold treat that’s as sparkling as the midnight sky in the French countryside. Wonderfully refreshing, carefree, and easy on the tastebuds, rosé is a wine for the people, especially sun-worshippers.

It’s pure bliss.

Amali Restaurant, NYC
Amali Restaurant, NYC

I was invited to attend the “60 Days of Rosé” celebration at Upper East Side-based Mediterranean restaurant Amali, where they honored two months of summer with some of the season’s most delectable wines.  For their guests, Amali provided rosé ice pops, a keg of Paumanok Vineyard Rosé Wine, cocktails, and Italian hot sausage sandwiches.

It was wonderful.

Enjoying a rosé popsicle.
Enjoying a rosé popsicle.

For the occasion, I wore this thrifted eggplant-hued Alice and Olivia silk dress with a sheer sleeve.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Truthfully, I’m not sure from which collection this Alice and Olivia dress is from and it seems to no longer be available. But if you’re loving this rich, succulent shade of purple for a dress, I have a few recommendations.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

I adore this wrap dress for $114 by Pinup Girl Clothing, which is super comfortable and will easily transform any lady into a pinup. For a plunging neckline that’s perfect for date night, I’m really into the lacy That’s My Gala Dress for $64.99 by ModCloth. And because I’m seriously into kimonos lately, I’ve been eyeing this head-turning stunner of a piece for $65.99, also by ModCloth. Isn’t there a holiday coming up?

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

For a pop of color, I added a turquoise necklace from H&M. It’s now sold out, but you can get this braided statement turquoise necklace for $30 by Etsy seller Helen’s Collection.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Summer is almost over, so enjoy that coup nearly overflowing with the sweet stuff before you enjoy it again…in the fall.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The Fitting Room Chronicles: When Your Favorite Thrift Store Has a Sale

When your favorite thrift store has a sale, you know it’s time to celebrate. I can't even.

I can’t even.

These sales don’t happen too many times during the year. After all, you’re already getting a decent deal on pieces that previously cost double, sometimes triple, the price. So when they do offer a sale, you better seize the day.

Do you know when your favorite thrift store is going to have a sale? Black Friday may sound obvious, but this isn’t always the case. Here are two important tips:

the_more_you_know2

Ask (No Really, Ask)

This may sound like a major “duh,” but try to make friends with the salespeople. They know the ins and outs of the store. They can tell you when sales are expected to occur during the year, as well as when items will be discounted to make room for new merchandise. Also, these folks can tell you when new inventory is in stock so you can take advantage of their treasure before anyone else.

Make Note of the Changing Season

As the sun-soaked days of August are slowly (and sadly) coming to an end, salespeople/owners of thrift stores need to think about the changing season. In this case, it’s the cooler month of September. To make room for new fall-friendly merchandise, they need to get rid of all the summery staples they have in stock. My store had a three-day sale to make this possible, with prices going up to 50% off. And even though you may be thinking about autumn pieces too, I still like to get sweet gear on sale that I can use with seasonal layers, like scarves or cardigans. Go back to the first rule and find out when your store will be having any sales to coincide with the changing season.

I had to pull a Destiny’s Child and think about bills, bills, bills before going crazy here, but here’s what came home with me:

FullSizeRender-2

A Free People dress for $14 that requires zero tailoring for a perfect fit? Don’t mind if I do.

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A brand new H&M dress (with tags still on and all) for $13 that also needs little to no tailoring? Sign me up.

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A floor-length gown that could be from any time between the late 1950s-early 1970s for $11? Yes, please. I am also aware that some tailoring will be involved, but I can’t help being 5’2″!

Three dress cost me less than $40. Not too shabby.

Speaking of the fall, it’s nearly here…you might want to begin checking out those end-of-season sales starting…now.

Stop Staring: Part Three

Well folks, this is the final installment from my pinup photoshoot session!

Photo by Michelle Wild
Photo by Michelle Wild

As I previously mentioned, I worked with lovely boudoir photographer Michelle Wild and makeup artist Nicole Francis to make this dream of mine come to life. Nothing makes you feel as fabulous as transforming into an old Hollywood sexpot.

Like with the other two sessions, I wore vintage-inspired Stop Staring! couture. I adore their dresses and I’m a firm believer that every girl should own at least one piece to feel absolutely amazing for any special moment.

Photo by Michelle Wild
Photo by Michelle Wild

The outfit I’m wearing is a Vega Dress. When I first saw it, I was in love. You can never have too many little black dresses in your closet. And this one is just sizzling.  It features faux leather paneling for a sleek, yet dangerously enticing look. You can get it here.

Photo by Michelle Wild
Photo by Michelle Wild

My session with Michelle Wild may be over, but I’m certain this won’t be the last time I’ll rock Stop Staring!

Photo by Michelle Wild
Photo by Michelle Wild

I hope you enjoy these looks as much as I enjoyed making them happen with such a supportive team!

Photo by Michelle Wild
Photo by Michelle Wild

Missed the other sessions? Check them out here:

READ: Stop Staring Part One

READ: Stop Staring Part Two

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