The Fitting Room Chronicles: A Tale of Nos

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t always leave a thrift store with a dress or 10.

Sometimes, I do encounter a day where I just don’t find what I’m looking for. I’m itching to spend money, but nothing speaks to me. Everything looks and feels blah on my body.

And guess what? It’s A-OK.

Aside from the obvious that you’ll have more money in your wallet for future shopping sprees, you should be a bit more choosy when expanding your closet. To get more bang for your buck, it’s crucial to invest in timeless pieces where you’ll rock a particular item for years to come. If an item has a short shelf life, it’s a poor investment that will leave your wallet slimmer and your closet crowded with uninspired pieces.

When it comes to fashion, don’t look for flings or one-night stands that only look and feel good for a moment. Discover true loves, or pieces you’ll treasure for years to come. Look for items that express who you truly are without saying a word.

Here’s what happened on this particular day:

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1980s Sun Dress

Dress #1: A 1980s sun dress

Why it Didn’t Come Home: The fabric was bulky for a sizzling hot day in the city, there were some glaring stains that would be costly to remove, and the colors were on the meh side.

Do I Regret Leaving it Behind: Nope.

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Floral Hot Pink Dress

Dress #2: A floral hot pink long sleeved dress that may/may not have been by Betsey Johnson

Why it Didn’t Come Home: I didn’t feel like it would get much use at the moment.

Do I Regret Leaving it Behind: Kinda. It was a beautiful dress with a bold, gorgeous pattern. However, it did resembled many other pieces in my closet already, which is probably why I gravitated towards it. I never saw it again, so I would like to think it wasn’t meant to be.

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1980s Hot Pink Suit Dress

Dress #3: A 1980s hot pink suit dress

Why it Didn’t Come Home: Who wants to feel like a giant Pepto-Bismol bottle?

Do I Regret Leaving it Behind: Hell to the no.

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Street Fair Find

What I Wore to Shop: A blue and white navy-inspired striped dress I found at a street fair in Manhattan.

Why it Came Home: I usually stay away from striped dresses because I feel wide in them. However, this airy little number made me feel super confident and cool for a warm day in the city.

Do I Regret Buying it: Not at all. The dress is still in my closet. It may fit a little snug these days, but I can still rock it – and I will.

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Photo Courtesy of Independent Fashion Bloggers

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On Dealing with Monsters

Ever had a day where, no matter how hard you tried, everything seemed to just go wrong? No matter what you did, everything and everyone felt against you. Life is just one massive battle with monsters and you’re just a sore loser.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

You couldn’t tell by these photos, but on this particular day, I wasn’t exactly the happiest. A lot of stuff went down from beginning to end and I could have used a break (or a cocktail).

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Nothing is as comforting as hiding under the covers, never leaving the house, and calling it a day, but we’ve got to face those battles sometimes. One way I like to approach an obstacle in life is by dressing with confidence. If I feel good, then my mannerism will reflect that. I’ll feel confident and empowered enough to take on the day. And who knows, maybe it ultimately won’t be so bad.

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I survived this day after all and I moved on.

I approached my day in Manhattan’s Little Italy by wearing a modern H&M navy and orange dress I found while thrifting. It seems to no longer be available, but any navy dress of your choosing with orange or gold accessories should do the stylish trick.

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Here are some of my picks from the popular retailer as well:

It also helps to have great friends who’ve got your back and can rock an outfit like you.

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SPONSOR: Shopbop Eugenia Kim Hats, Rebecca Taylor Dresses, Stella McCartney Lingerie, Pepin, Pared,

Broadway Baby

I love the theater. Any chance I get, I catch a show. It’s one of the luxuries of living in New York City. And I’m not even joking about that – Broadway ain’t cheap.

But it’s one of the best things to invest in for a good time in the city.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I used to intern at a publicity firm that handled several shows, so it was a wonderful treat to visit the theater on a daily basis. And even these days, Francis and I love having a girl’s night out on Broadway.

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For this special evening, which involved an exquisite media tasting of delicious New Zealand-based Kim Crawford wines at Gabriel Kreuther, I wore a black and white 1940s tailored suit dress, which I found at a thrift store in the East Village. I paired my outfit with matching black and white  pumps, simple pearl earrings, and a gold chain featuring a panther’s head. Keeping it classy, y’all.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez
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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

From the office to Broadway, followed by cocktails or wine, this was the perfect outfit for the evening.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez
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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

For a similar suit dress that you can transition from day to night, here are some lovely options I found:

I haven’t had the opportunity to kick off the New Year with a show quite yet, but here’s some interesting trivia. A long time, I interviewed beloved playwright and fellow Latino Lin-Manuel Miranda. He was, at the time, writing a musical now known as “Hamilton.” You might have heard of it.

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2015: My 12 Favorite Dresses

When I started this blog, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My friends have been telling me for quite a long time that I should write about my love for vintage and all things old Hollywood. I decided to try it out and  it’s actually been great.

Sure, like any other writer, I’ve had my share of writer’s block and feeling a lack of inspiration. But really, I’ve had a wonderful time sharing my experiences with you (yeah, you!).

Here are my favorite 12 dresses of the year, in no specific order:

Dress #1: Just Another Rooftop

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Dress #2: Celebrating Marilyn Monroe at Pop!

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Dress #3: Cheating Death in Central Park

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #4: Get Shorty

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Dress #5: Getting Carried Away

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Dress #6: “It Really Was Raining”

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #7: Fire Island’s Cherry Grove (Alright, a Swimsuit)

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #8: Azul Rooftop at Hotel Hugo

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Dress #9: Finding Glamour in Maine (Part 1)

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #10: Spending the Day with Keith Haring

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Photo by Alexcia Foster

Dress #11: Christmas in July

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Photo by Jordan Race

Dress #12: “A Grown-Up Dorothy”

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Thank you all for checking out La Vintage Vida! Your support keeps me going. Here’s to a fabulous 2016.

I also want to thank Alexcia Foster, Jordan Race, and Francis Rodriguez. I love you all dearly.

Getting Hot and Heavy for a Cadillac

I’m a New Yawker, so the idea of driving is laughable. Dealing with Manhattan traffic? You can keep that. We have taxis and silver limos (subways) so owning a car seems like an unwanted expense. I know in other parts of the country (and the world) cars are essential, but for now, I’m fine hailing my temporary ride when needed.

I do recall an event that Francis and I attended to celebrate an anniversary for Cadillac and I fell in love. Truthfully, if I were to ever own a car, I would want a pink Cadillac, just like Elvis Presley, or a red hot one to match my lipstick any time of the day.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Of course, I posed with this sizzling vintage beauty. Who wouldn’t?

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

For this Manhattan affair, I wore a bamboo print dress from vintage-inspired modern retailer ModCloth.com, which I paired with, yes, vintage peacock earrings.

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Photo by Francis Rodriguez
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Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I wanted to channel the glamour of Hedy Lamarr as the character Delilah in the 1949 biblical drama, “Samson and Delilah.”

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Hedy Lamarr as Delilah

While this dress is no longer available, ModCloth.com has plenty of gorgeous options. Here are some of my favorite picks:

And of course, you can’t forget the peacock earrings. Etsy.com has plenty of options.

This event may have been a while ago, but it feels like yesterday. As usual, the bestie Francis and I had a fabulous time. I’m still Cadillac free, but who knows what the future will bring for a dame like me!