Going for an Ava Gardner Look

Did you know there’s something called “National Vodka Day?”

Neither did I.

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This alleged marketing holiday is technically on October 4th, but truthfully, who wouldn’t mind kicking back with a cool vodka cocktail after a long day at the office?

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I was invited to attend an event in honor of this day with Wyborowa Wódka, a premier Polish vodka. U.S. President of the Polish Vodka Association Andrzej Szumowski was in attendance to share the pride of Poland with us at Schapiro’s Eatery and & Cocktail Bar on the Lower East Side.

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There were tons of pierogis to eat and drinks to savor.

For the evening, I wore this thrifted 1980s label-less electric blue silk dress and paired it with a corselet belt.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Looking back, it reminded me of 1940s glamour goddess Ava Gardner, a sultry Hollywood dame who enjoyed cocktails and was also the love of Frank Sinatra’s wife.

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It’s been described that her swears were like hearing a truck driver and a sailor have an argument. Now that’s my kind of lady.

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For a similar look:

  • 1980s Electric Blue Beaded Silk Dress (size 2) $75, Etsy.com
  • Vintage 1980s Electric Blue Wiggle Dress (size medium) $50, Etsy.com
  • 1980s Cocktail Electric Blue Dress (size medium) $75, Etsy.com
  • 1980s Old Hollywood Glam Beaded Electric Blue Dress (size medium) $112, Etsy.com

Another personal pick you should check out? The super popular Ava dress collection by vintage-inspired retailer Pinup Girl Clothing. Not only are they drop dead gorgeous and super comfortable, but they also come in an array of sizes, ensuring that their brand offers style “for every body.” And who doesn’t love that? I would like to believe Ava would approve.

Pinup Couture Ava Dress in Sky Blue
Pinup Couture Ava Dress in Sky Blue

On sale for $57(!) at PinupGirlClothing.com.

Ava Dress in Teal
Ava Dress in Teal

$114, PinupGirlClothing.com.

I really enjoyed my personal take on this classic look!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Also, if you’re ever in North Carolina, make sure you check out the Ava Gardner Museum. It’s on my bucket list!

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Finding Glamour in Maine: Part 3

Check out Finding Glamour in Maine Part 1 and Part 2.

If there’s one thing everyone goes to see at York Beach is the Nubble Lighthouse. It’s a big thing here and not visiting this monument is as sinful as not having any lobster rolls.

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According to its official website:

In colonial days mariner traffic was important to the commerce of the area. Knowing that Maine’s rocky coast was very dangerous to those mariners and their livelihood, the Citizens petitioned the United States Government for a lighthouse.

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In 1874 President Rutherford B. Hayes appropriated the sum of $15,000 to build a lighthouse on this “Nub” of land. On July 1, 1879 construction was completed on what, at the time, was known as the Knubble Lighthouse with a 4th order light began to protect our men and women on the sea. The men and women serving in the Lighthouse Service were the first guardians who provided great care for the light and its surrounding buildings.

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My initial reaction? It’s smaller than what I thought it would be.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

Hey, what did you expect? I’m surrounded by skyscrapers in NYC, so I’m not sure what I was expecting. And being surrounded by rocks and water was a little too “Scare Tactics” for me. What if I somehow slipped, fell, and landed in the ocean, never to be found? My mother said I’ve always had a vivid imagination.

Trying not to fall to my death. Photo by Jordan Race
Trying not to fall to my death.
Photo by Jordan Race

For my visit to the quaint, picturesque Nubble Lighthouse, I wore a watercolor painting-inspired silk dress that I purchased during one of my thrifting adventures. It was quite fitting, don’t you think?

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look:

And did I talk about the lobster rolls? They’re everywhere, including right by the Nubble Lighthouse. I definitely wasn’t complaining.

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And ice cream. It was also everywhere. Like this vanilla soft serve cone dipped in chocolate fudge. Oh baby.

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Oh, and let’s not forget minty mojitos and beers by the beach. The mojito was mine, of course.

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Later in the evening, Jordan and I decided to have a date night at cozy Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant. It’s your town mom and pop eatery where locals go to satisfy their pasta cravings along with bottles of wine from home (it’s BYOB). Mimmo himself walks to every table to greet his guests. The portions are ridiculously HUGE. Bring your appetite. My pasta was drenched in white wine sauce and the shrimp was merely a handful. But, I ate it happily. Jordan’s lasagna was saucy and loaded on the cheese. He cleaned his plate, too.

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For the evening, I decided to channel Josephine Baker in my own way, spit curl and all.

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I wore a silk fuchsia dress, also from the same thrifting adventure from Manhattan.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

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Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

For a similar look:

I felt like a 1920s silent screen star!

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

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Regrets…I’ve Had a Few

Ever had a moment inside the fitting room where you were trying something on that looks absolutely magical on the hanger, and you think it’s going to work out, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t? Perhaps you look more like a sack of potatoes with one crop too many, a zipper is being rowdy, or a thread is loose…Something seems off. So you leave it behind, thinking, “Oh well, maybe next time.” Your wallet may be feeling nice and hefty, but come sunset, your mind is overflowing with thoughts of that garment. Desire overpowers your senses.

You. Must. Buy. It. Anyway.

Except, when you go back the next day, it’s gone. Poof.

Gone.
Gone.

Here is one thing you must remember:

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Yes, I’ve had many thrifting regrets. There was that Kate Spade navy number made fit for a 1950s socialite. The floor-length gown with plenty of gold beading. The super delicate 1920s flapper dress with fading lace. The silky pink Oscar De La Renta pajamas.

You get the picture.

These things could have been mine. But for whatever reason, I didn’t think we were a match. But we were! And they ran off to another shopper, someone who believed in them. Someone ready to love without commitment issues.

Silly me.

Here’s a prime example:

You're in danger, girl.
You’re in danger, girl.

I found this floral dress by an unknown designer. When I tried it I thought, “Geez, I have that many rolls?” “How big is this thing?” “I’m feeling meh.” “Do I really need another black dress, former goth girl?” “Stephanie wearing florals, predictable much?” “Come on, Steph. That 20 bucks can go to something else. Like another amazing dress.”

Fool.

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The next day, I thought, “But wait! It’s perfect! It’s large enough to hide bloat during you know when!” “It’s florals, I love florals!” “Black everyday!”

When I went back, gone. We never had closure.

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Moral of the story? If you’re unsure whether a vintage piece really looks good on you or not, take plenty of photos from all sides. Really look at your images in the fitting room, while you still have the piece in your sweaty, unsure hands. Is there a part of you that still wants it? If so take it – remember, it’s one of a kind, so you may never see it again. If you feel nothing, well, let some other dame enjoy it.

But seriously, think about it and think hard before letting go. And if you do feel that sense of urgency to get the piece later on, go immediately to the store, no more than 24 hours since the last visit. You’ll have a better chance of retrieving it. However, be aware that someone else may have beaten you to it. This is a thrifting hunt we’re talking about.

I will get over it, eventually. But first, let me deal with my sorrow with some retail therapy.

The Jazz Age Lawn Party Part Une

Vintage enthusiasts all over New York City look forward to one of the most important  events of the year: The Jazz Age Lawn Party.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Recognized as the city’s “original prohibition era inspired gathering,” it was first conceived by bandleader Michael Arenella of the Dreamland Orchestra 10 years ago(!). What was once just a modest get-together of around 50 people at Governor’s Island looking to channel their inner flappers and gents of the 1920s, has transformed into a massive soiree of the retro nouveau movement in the city. And thanks to the 2013 film The Great Gatsby, everyone wants to party like Jay.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

While it has been a long tradition of mine to go every year, I’m gearing up for a weekend getaway outside of the city so sadly, it was not meant to be in June 2015. However, I’m happy to share last year’s festivities with you.

Governor's Island.
Governor’s Island.

For the previous event, I wore a silk dress that I bought at a thrift store in the East Village for I believe less than 20 dollars, Forever 21 mini leggings with a lace trim, and black pumps. I also wore a matching ivory fascinator. My lipstick was Bobbi Brown’s Red, which features a soft-matte finish. In other words, the color would last beyond plenty of giggle water.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Check out Francis’ ensemble. Isn’t she the bee’s knees?

The Bee's Knees.
The Bee’s Knees.

I’m not big on fascinators, but it certainly added a nice touch to the overall ensemble. While most people think of flapper gowns for an event like this, I wanted to give my outfit a unique throwback twist.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Like any swanky soiree, there were plenty of jewels to be found.

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As well as thirst-quenching St. Germain cocktails.

Yum.
Yum.

And yes, pie.

Yum (again).
Yum (again).

I love the fact that everyone, including children, dressed up for this affair!

Cutie patooties.
Cutie patooties.

Seriously, whether you’re obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, want to explore the local vintage scene, or just want something ah-mazing to do on a weekend, I highly recommend The Jazz Age Lawn Party a million times over. While the Jazz Party is happening again today (Sunday), you can also snag tickets for August. In that month, I’ll also debut part two just for you.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.