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.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Feeling Lauren Bacall Vibes

My friends know me best for rocking  florals, but one print I’ve always loved? Polka dots, of course.

There’s something about this classic design that purrs old Hollywood. Think of any leading lady from the past and I guarantee you she rocked polka dots. However, no one made adorable circles look so fierce quite like Lauren Bacall.

ba107c542e97a3326b7b24205dbc49db e96c9eb80cdd05ef957e78e8e298c505 1372894886101008687yZP0nuNcYes reader, I’m aware this screen siren owned The Look and no one else can go near that, but I was feeling some serious Lauren Bacall vibes on a recent thrifting trip.

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I found this label-less sheer navy dress with white polka dots and I was in love. I just felt like me…The pearls I wore to my shopping outing definitely enhance the overall appearance of the dress, but I was loving its casual, yet put-together retro style that works for brunch, a casual night out…or just because.

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The shoulder pads needed to be popped. For the record I always take off shoulder pads from any piece. I’m just not into the linebacker look. Yet, this dress was coming home with mama.

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But lately, I was feeling inspired by this fellow New Yorker. Earlier this year, FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) featured an exhibition titled “Lauren Bacall: The Look,” which was dedicated to her legacy in the fashion world, as well as her relationships with the many designers lucky enough to dress her.

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It was a real treat to stand just inches away from garments that once hugged the star.

Check out that pink French creation, a gift from 1968.
Check out that pink French creation, a gift from 1968.

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I may not be BFFs with Yves Saint Laurent, but I’m all about channeling My Look, with the help of Ms. Bacall.

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Get Shorty

A bar named after me? Sign me up!

Shorty in New York City's Nolita.
Shorty in New York City’s Nolita.

Alright, so Shorty isn’t exactly named after me, but as someone who’s 5’2″, the name definitely catches my attention. So when I was invited for its exclusive grand opening party, you know I was going to check it out.

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Shorty, a sexy cocktail den in Nolita (that’s north of Little Italy), can easily be overlooked in a city where lounges, speakeasies, and restaurants are found practically on every block. But if you look carefully for the sign, and head down some stairs, you’ll find a 1970s Parisian bordello-inspired haven where the drinks are cool and the music is sizzling hot like the weather.

Cocktails at Shorty.
Cocktails at Shorty.

My favorite libation from Shorty is the Paloma, a classic cocktail highlighting thirst-quenching silver tequila (a must-have for the sweltering summer season), as well as fresh lime juice, tangy grapefruit juice, and Sprite for some citrusy bubbly.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

For the party, I wore a vintage 1970s black and white pinstriped dress, which takes a lot of inspiration from the 1940s. Seriously, I felt like I could have picked up a gangster named Johnny Knucklebreaker with this thing. Its slinky fabric and pleated skirt hugged all of my curves, yet it was super comfortable.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The dress was purchased from Portland-based Etsy vendor Jumblelaya. If it were up to me, I would buy everything she’s selling. If you’re a vintage fan, her dresses are nothing short of enchanting.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The original designer is by Jen-Jen New York, which was apparently pretty popular during the 1970s for its nightlife-friendly gowns. Sadly, there isn’t much information in existence now. However, you could still find some Jen-Jen New York dresses on Etsy.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

For a similar look, here are my picks: There’s this handmade 1950s-1960s dress on Etsy for $52, a maxi gown ensemble from ModCloth for $32.99, a 1950s-inspired swing dress from Unique Vintage for $138, and another swing style dress in color block form by Pinup Girl Clothing for $142. You can even get similar black and white pumps from Pinup Girl Clothing for $52. They’re way too cute to pass up.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

As for jewels, I stuck with pearls. These are from H&M. It seems to no longer be available, but here’s a similar one for $5.95.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

So yes, you don’t need to be a shorty to visit Shorty. It’s a cozy bar that’s perfect for date nights or when you feel like unwinding on a weekday and prefer being a bit hidden in New York City. Because sometimes, you just need a sweet escape for the night and that may involve heading to a bar that’s secretly the home of a French madam.

Celebrating Marilyn Monroe at Pop!

Blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe would have been 89 on June 1st. Although she passed away at age 36 in 1962, her legacy has lived on, capturing the hearts of millions throughout the world, including mine. So when Pop International Galleries in SoHo was debuting a new exhibition dedicated to Ms. Monroe, you know I was going to be there. The exhibition is called “Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe!” and it features the works of seven renowned photographers who’ve captured the many iconic and even little-seen looks of the Hollywood star. Here are the photographers you can expect to see:

Lazlo Willinger
Lazlo Willinger
Milton Greene
Milton Greene
Kashio Aoki
Kashio Loki
William Carroll
William Carroll
George Barris
George Barris
Bert Stern
Bert Stern
Andre de Dienes
Andre de Dienes

For the exhibition opening, I gave my usual corselet belt a break *gasp* and decided to go for a golden vintage-inspired dress by……drumroll……H&M.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

H&M always offers great deals, but I usually prefer waiting for a sale, where you can easily get nice pieces for half the price, which is exactly what I did with this floral cotton dress.

Photo by Alexcia Foster.
Photo by Alexcia Foster.

It seems to no longer be available, but I’m really into this one ($34.95), this one ($30), and this one ($24.99).

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The lipstick I’m wearing is Revlon’s creamy Certainly Red. It’s less than 10 bucks and lasts beyond glasses of wine and savoring French cheeses at a gallery.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

This photo was taken when I was nearly photobombed by Mike Myers. You might know him from films, like “Wayne’s World,” “Austin Powers,” and even “Shrek” for you youngins out there. Of course, I didn’t say anything. I’m a New Yawker. We don’t do that. It’s all about the quick glances, WTF stares, and quiet smiles of acknowledgement.

Yeah, I know.
Yeah, I know.

The evening ended with a quiet stroll through Washington Square Park in the Village.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

The “Happy Birthday Marilyn Monroe” exhibition ends on July 1st, so go check it out pronto!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Becoming So Hot (and Not)

When it comes to clothes, I know what works for me: chic black ensembles, bold blues, and flower power.

But I also like to shake things up.

At one of my usual thrifting adventures in the West Village, I spotted this vintage dress with a label stating that it comes from India. It’s a sheer grey gown highlighting a low-cut v-neck, as well as loads of sparkles.

Shine bright like a diamond. Kinda.
Shine bright like a diamond. Kinda.

Some people like to reserve their jewels for a special night out. Personally, I believe every day is an occasion to dress up. Life is a grand ball and you’re the star. So why have your jewels collect dust at home? Would a grand dame do that? Exactly.

Rocking three dollar pearls from a church flea market. Tres chic!
Rocking three dollar pearls from a church flea market. Tres chic!

You’re speaking to someone who used to wear shoulder sweeping rhinestone earrings that look as if they came from Blanche Deveraux’s bosom. In high school.

Thank you for being a friend.
Thank you for being a friend.

While I love how I can easily rock this look for either running errands on Saturday mornings or enjoying cocktails past 5PM in the Meatpacking, its look is pretty deceiving. On a sizzling 85 degree day, this outfit overheated, causing me to melt five pounds worth of sweat. At least I’ll be more ready for bikini season.

Do you feel that heat?
Do you feel that heat?

Still, for $21, I took it. Hey, it will keep me warm during the cooler fall.

I’m also a not-so-secret fan of green garments. Except whenever I wear one, I feel like a walking M&M.

I may look tasty, but I feel stupid.
I may look tasty, but I feel stupid.

I really did like this jungle-inspired dress, but something about it made me go no. I don’t know if it was the fit, style, or even color, but it just didn’t feel right. So I let it go. It wasn’t true love because I have zero regrets.

No.
No.

When shopping, if you aren’t absolutely in love with what you find, don’t get it. The outfit may look like a great deal, but if it’s just taking up real estate space in your closet, you’re pretty much just making a retail donation. Save your precious greens for something you’ll really love and actually wear.

Still no.
Still no.

That’s all there was to this adventure. Wait, you’re complaining? Hello, I merely spent 21 bucks and am ready to rock something that will make me so hot…literally.

But I don’t care…I love it. Good luck getting this song out of your head.

So take that and go shopping, lovelies.