Snowpocalypse 2016

It was bound to happen: New York City would get hit with some major snow.

And after experiencing some 70 degree weather during the Christmas weekend, Mother Nature was showing zero mercy on us.

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My morning view.

According to reports, the recent snowstorm we had this weekend, or what we’re lovingly referring to as Snowpocalypse 2016, was the second largest one in New York City history. Central Park was hit with 26.8″ of snow.

What did I do? Stay home, of course.

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Wintry, makeup-less selfie.

Despite being born and raised in New York City, I’m very anti-cold weather. I loathe snow and count the minutes until we’re hit with the sweltering summer season again. To prepare for the dreaded weekend, I headed to Trader Joe’s to stock up on food – only to experience pure mayhem. You would think the world was coming to an end and we only had one final chance to savor mandarin orange chicken again.

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There goes the neighborhood.

But this weekend, I relaxed in my cozy, warm apartment. I savored my day off making great use of my Netflix account. Of course, I ultimately did step outside to see what the weather was like, wearing just PJs and my father’s old Calvin Klein shirt (which you cannot see here for obvious reasons).

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Photo by Jordan Race

Yes, I was wearing my Batman pants and no eyeliner was in sight, but you best believe I wasn’t going to leave the house without a swipe of red lipstick. If I wear absolutely nothing on my face, I brighten it up and keep things fresh with my signature color: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red ($14).

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Photo by Jordan Race

This bold red color is not for the faint of heart. It won’t budge and will stay on your pout for hours on end. As a matter of fact, it won’t even come off unless you slather your lips with coconut or argan oil. However, I believe it’s the brightest red shade on the market and I always carry a tube wherever I go.

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Photo by Jordan Race

You just never know when you’re going to need a signature red lip. Like exploring a snowstorm before midnight.

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The Fitting Room Chronicles: Dress of Many Colors

I’ve been thinking about David Bowie a lot lately. Actually, I’ve been in mourning, but I don’t like to think of him as gone forever. In my mind, he’s back in his planet.

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As I mentioned in my last post, The Thin White Duke has had a profound effect on me. I still can’t believe he left us. His music has been on heavy rotation and I’ve been feeling quite sad.

Rightfully so, I want to celebrate his life. And in the city he has called home for quite some time now, there are many tribute parties. There’s even a Carnegie Hall Tribute Concert happening, although honestly it’s a bit stuffy for my taste. I would much rather just hit the floor, put on my red shoes, and dance the blues.

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Of course, there are many other events happening here lately, even a sing-along in Union Square Park. But I personally cannot wait for Bowieball. It’s a huge extravaganza celebrating the life and legacy of David Bowie. Even Debbie Harry of Blondie is a fan. I can only imagine that this year’s festivities is going to be one of epic proportions.

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While no official dates have been announced yet, I’m already fantasizing about what I would wear. I received this beautiful gift from Jordan, which came from one of my favorite Etsy vendors, The Braided Bandit. It’s a 1980s floral rainbow dress.

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Photo by Jordan Race

I thought how great this could look with a galaxy-inspired headdress, but it also reminded me of Frida Kahlo. And then of course, I started singing melodies from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

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In other words, I can wear it for many reasons. Best of all, it’s a perfect fit – no tailoring required!

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Whether for Bowieball or not, how do you think I should rock this dress?

 

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.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Ariel (and Failing)

Confession: This entry does not take place in a fitting room.

I know, I know, this can’t be a fitting room chronicle if it doesn’t take place, well, in a fitting room right? Well, this lady here has been quite busy with a move an all, so bear with me.

Have you ever spotted an outfit that looked heavenly, it was on sale, and you thought it would be an amazing fit, when it was a major no? That just happened to me.

Lately, I’ve been stocking up on casual accessories from H&M and lucky for me, they’ve been having a sale. I spotted this gorgeous teal dress that I thought would transform me into Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.”

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Walt Disney Studios
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Walt Disney Studios

Let’s just say it didn’t work out.

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Walt Disney Studios

Sure, the dress below may have looked like a million dollars on, but I felt more like a two buck chuck. I can assure you, it had nothing to do with H&M’s design. However, their sizing was on the super tiny side and my big ol’ butt wasn’t having it.

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Photo by Jordan Race

God forbid I would bend down…or exhale. But while holding my breath, I looked fabulous. Sadly, I really felt like this:

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Walt Disney Studios

Nope, I would not become part of your world with this outfit on. I wouldn’t become a sexy siren for a date night, or any night for that matter. And I was fine with that. I could use those $15 dollars to buy a vintage dress that would indeed make me feel like a gorgeous dame.

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Photo by Jordan Race

My advice to you? If something looks spectacular on the hanger and you don’t feel like trying it on at the store because you’re feeling that lucky, make sure you can return the item back and get a refund. It’s important you try on everything you buy because you’re dressing for your body. Sizes, cuts, designs, and fabrics can all impact your shape and it may not look like the best investment after all. This has nothing to do with you, going on a diet, or avoiding being an Ursula because let’s face it, Ursula’s got major red lipstick game.

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Walt Disney Studios

It’s about purchasing a quality piece you can feel comfortable in and rock effortlessly.

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Photo by Jordan Race

When it comes to buying dresses, there are plenty of fish in the retail sea. You’ve just gotta catch something made for you.

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Walt Disney Studios

And really, why should I be Ariel when I can be Stephanie? I hear she’s quite the catch. Yes, I’m speaking in third person (well, writing). Fin.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Unpopular Opinion Alert: I’m not a fan of Christmas and I don’t really celebrate it.

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I’m a mean one…

Yes, I had a wonderful childhood, filled with memories that are as sweet as freshly baked sugar cookies. I remember staying up until midnight so I can attack a pile of presents, eating plenty of pernil, and just basking in the glow of my family’s Christmas tree lights while watching “The Nutcracker.” It was a magical time in my life.

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Over the years, things changed. I remember my family struggling to spend money on gifts, just so that the holidays could seemingly be joyous. Visits from relatives became less and less. The holiday became quickly associated with going in debt and just sitting in front of the TV. The excess commercialization became unbearable and the financial stress was unwanted. When I finally became an adult, I chose not to celebrate it.

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Now? I’m pretty happy. I spend the day treating it as if it was Halloween, my most favorite holiday. This involves watching scary films and real-crime documentaries. It’s quite fabulous.

Speaking of Halloween, I was in the middle of moving, so I didn’t check out the Village Halloween Parade, a long tradition of mine. I still wanted to dress up, so I came up with my own costume: Alice Cooper in Wonderland.

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As you’ll soon see, I channeled both “Alice in Wonderland” and shock rocker Alice Cooper for one costume.

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Welcome to my nightmare…

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Photo by Jordan Race
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Photo by Jordan Race
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Photo by Jordan Race

The piece is a 1960s square dance dress that came from one of my favorite Etsy vendors, The Braided Bandit. With the help of my tailor, I removed a lot of the extra ruffles and popped out the sleeves to give it a more modern look for day or night wear. The lace rabbit ear band also came from Etsy, via ShopGinaMichele.

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Photo by Jordan Race
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Photo by Jordan Race

I had a blast becoming this character for Halloween! As for Christmas, I’ll be wearing my Sid Vicious mugshot shirt with yoga pants, while watching a murder mystery or three. Happy holidays!

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Selfie by me.

Christmas in July

The holiday season is officially here, and with that comes the blistering winter temperatures one could except in December.

Oh, joy.

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Winter is coming.

Now before you call me a Grinch, hear me out. I may have been born and raised in New York City, but I am a woman of the tropics, someone who is at peace with rising temperatures and is truly myself at the beach.

So when we suddenly had some 70-degree weather, I was like a kid waking  up to Christmas morning. For the occasion, I decided to look back at one steamy day from this summer.

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Photo by Jordan Race

For a stroll down the Village, I wore this thrifted one-piece with a paisley print by Madewell. Normally, I’m not a fan of the print, which was en vogue during the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s, but I do appreciate this subtle earthy tone.

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Photo by Jordan Race

I paired my mini dress with a gold chain featuring Roman coins, which I also thrifted, along with simple sandals and my navy Longchamp purse. I adore Longchamp and I would score a bag in every single color if I could. They’re perfectly versatile and wonderfully chic for any outfit.

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Photo by Jordan Race

As expected, my outfit is thrifted, but I do have some recommendations if you’re looking to capture some of that retro bohemian spirit:

No sizzling hot day would be complete without cocktails, right? Well, there was La Isla Escondida, a Mexican speakeasy in Little Italy that’s part of The Mulberry Project. They may be closed for the winter, but I highly recommend it for some refreshing libations.

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As for the rest of winter? Sadly, I might be hidden in coats for a while, but who knows…we might get an unexpected heat wave one of these days. Here’s to hoping.

Happy holidays!

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Photo by Jordan Race

Going Italian (In Greenpoint)

Manhattan girls don’t like to leave the island. We just don’t. From food to shopping, there’s really no reason to visit the other boroughs.

But Brooklyn knows what’s up.

Roses of Greenpoint.
Roses of Greenpoint.

I don’t need to tell you how Brooklyn (at least some parts of it) are the playgrounds of hipsters, or how everything cool is somehow made in the BK. And if you watch HBO, chances are you know about one particular show where its setting happens to be Brooklyn.

But I really don’t go to Brooklyn unless I absolutely have to. And when I found out about this massive warehouse where you can find tons of vintage pieces for affordable prices, you know I was making the trip down under.

I know, I know.
I know, I know.

For my visit to Greenpoint, specifically Dusty Rose Vintage, I wore this sheer 1970s label-less dress I thrifted many moons ago in (yes) Manhattan.

Photo by Jordan Race.
Photo by Jordan Race.

I paired it with a (more modern) sparkling matching floral cardigan from Topshop that I also thrifted. The pearls are also vintage, and I kept the lipstick more natural looking, all thanks to Milani’s Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick in Naked ($5.99). I felt like I was in the streets of Italy. But I wasn’t. I swear.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look (all Etsy.com):

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

I adore Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint. It’s a true shopping haven for thrifters who relish on the hunt. Make sure you reserve some hours just to go through bins and bins of clothes from various eras. There’s even a “Goth Witch Noir” bin(!).

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Jordan was trying to find a leather jacket, but he wasn’t as lucky. Perhaps we’re due for another visit sooner than later!

Jordan was attempting to find a leather jacket.
Jordan was attempting to find a leather jacket.

I wish I could tell you NOT to visit Dusty Rose Vintage, only so I can have this whole place to myself. But seriously, this place is the bee’s knees. Every thrifter should make a visit to Mecca. So make your way to Greenpoint and shop until you drop!

Fin.
Fin.