Monday, February 25, 2013

Rest in Peace CjsRedCloset...Rest in Peace

CjsRedCloset is Now Pelham Road Vintage

As many may be able to surmise from my spotty blogging history, I have struggled keeping CjsRedCloset alive as a blog.  In fact everything about having my blog and shop was difficult.  From the day we moved into our apartment five years ago, space was tight.  We had to fit the contents of a  3 story house into a 3 bedroom apartment with 3 really young kids. So you can imagine the chaos and disorganization with the added burden of inventory, lighting equipment and shipping supplies.

My photography studio was my son's bedroom with all the furniture crowded so tightly to the side I had to hurdle his dresser to get to the hallway.  My office was my bedroom.  No, correction.  My office was my bed.  From my modest queen-sized IKEA I wrapped and shipped my packages, I printed my postage labels, I edited my photos and attempted to blog.  If I had not used a broken laptop tray as a barrier, my laptop would be permanently seared to my thighs. 

Under those conditions, as well as sickness and motherhood, my blog limped along looking for a safe place to, well die.  CjsRedCloset took  it's last breathe in August 2012.  It's Etsy shop met an untimely demise in December during the move in to our new house ( enthusiastic fist pump).   According to the Etsy police it was assaulted by internet hijackers.  After a brief resuscitation its banner was removed permanently.  

My new shop Pelham Road Vintage has moved in.  Despite my dramatics this is really more than a name change.  From the start CjsRedCloset the blog suffered from identity issues.  A blog as to have purpose after - all.  It doesn't have to be a DEEP purpose - but it has to exist for a reason.  I couldn't figure out that reason, and I think it showed. 

I blog because I am a writer.  I sell vintage because I love it. When those things became de-prioritized, inspiration for me became as rare as space in that three bedroom apartment I hated.  When I was growing up, it was in our house on Pelham Road where I would tag along with my mom to flea markets, thrift stores and the occasional auction. It was where I became nuts for vintage.  It was on Pelham Road which although I didn't realize it at the time, I started collecting.  Pelham Road was home. And Pelham Road Vintage is going to be home to what I love most - old stuff.

Rest in Peace in peace. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Be the Bride of Your Dreams on a REAL Budget - Part 1

Money is tight for the average Americans. As a result many of us have made significant lifestyle adjustments like downsizing, cooking in, and down-sizing.  The "big is better" philosophy has passed. Who would have thought we would see the day when people brag about how small their cars on.

While most budgets are getting smaller, wedding budgets have gotten bigger with almost $28,000 being the average. The average cost of a wedding gown is around $1,200, which is a bug ticket item. However big price-tags and designer labels don't always equal quality and luxury.  You can be a beautiful bride and have a sophisticated wedding on the cheap.

We live in the Internet Age where at your fingertips there are gifted indie designers, upscale second-hand shops and mind-blowing vintage.  However, there are so many options it can be overwhelming - which leads me to my first two tips.

Tip 1: Do your research. To streamline your search you have to know your measurements and what style is most suited for your height, body shape and complexion. You may have to forego that Kate Middleton dress for something you never even expected. Take a honest but kind friend or family member with you to a bridal superstore and try on a large cross-section of dresses. Your goal is to find the best silhouette, color and style for YOU. You want your guests to say, "She looked beautiful!" not "Oooh, that dress is exactly like Kim Kardashian's!"

Tip 2: Try Vintage:  a) you get a better constructed dress with high quality fabrics; b) you won't be a cookie cutter bride in the latest "it" dress c) you can potentially save hundreds of dollars.
cut your wedding dress cost in half d) With a good seamstress you can customize the dress (unless you are a vintage purist).

Still a little squeamish? Here is my first sampling of vintage wedding dresses from the Bridal Shop of one of my all time favorite online haunts,  FabGabs.  It's a great place to start - they are having a limited time only sale - and you  will be shocked at the prices.

Dress #1 is a Full Skirted Lace Dress from the 50s.  Quintessential Princess Dress.  This is one of those styles that may be adapted from era to era but never quite goes away.  The current sales price? A whopping $276.50, originally $395.00. This dress would retail for several thousand dollars if made with the same materials and quality craftsmanship.

Dress 1: Full Skirted Lace Tiered Dress from the 50s - SM

Dress #2 is a Liquid Satin Dress with Peplum and dramatic train.  This dress would release any bride's inner Hollywood Starlet.  Think Jean Harlow - Josephine Baker. Sale Price - $136.50, originally $195.00. 

Dress # 2 Liquid Silk Dress from the 30s

This third gown is very special and has been lovingly restored by FabGabs owner/curator Julie Bergmans.  Made from quality organza, this 1950s Couture dress features hand finished 3-dimensional tulips.  Sale Price $420.00 originally $600.00.

1950s Couture Organza Gown by Julian Martin

There are plenty more dresses where these came from,  Stop-by FabGabs Bridal Shop and FaceBook Page to see what bridal treasures are waiting for you.
Next Week - I will feature more vintage as well as some great independent designers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The 80s are Back and So am I!

Yes, it's true - in the world of vintage - the 80s are back - and SO AM I.  I have been on extended hiatus due to my families collective illnesses of asthma, pneumonia, stomach flu, and the kicker of them all, Kidney Stones. But Life goes on and so does the world of style and true self expression.

It's true - it's not just a cute opening to explain away my absence, the 80s are back. However, in the life of  the vintage obsessed like myself, the 20s to the 70s are back as well.  The wonderful thing about vintage is that every era is relevant and every era is in style.  That is great for us shop owners, because regardless of whether we serve an era specific community or specialize in it all - there will always be interest in what we have to offer.

So to kick off my return to the business I love most - CjsRedCloset - here are a few of my new items in addition to my favorite online vintage find.

80s Leopard Animal Print Hat on CjsRedCloset

The following is my absolute Favorite 80s find from MetroRetroVintage on Etsy! 

Check it Out

Monday, February 6, 2012

Scared of Wearing Vintage? Start with a Coat!

Visit Snootieseconds on Etsy!

For those of you who are a little gun shy about wearing vintage.  I say grab a coat.  Coats are a great way to introduce vintage into your wardrobe, and there are a multitude of styles.  Here is a sampling of some great coats from my friends at the Etsy Vintage Fashion Team.  

You can go dramatic, demure, classic or downright pimpish.  Throw on the right hat and scarf and you will be stylin' high, turning heads for all the right reasons.

Etsy shop Snootieseconds has a great selection of coats.  Check out her Black Wool Coat with a full satin lining and wonderful brown fur detail.  Warm, classic, and of the best quality! 

Here are a sampling of some great vintage coats featured on Etsy from my fellow Vintage Fashion Team Members.

'Coats, Coats and More Coats! ' by CjsRedCloset

For those a little fearful of wearing vintage, one of the best places to get your style feet wet is jumping into a vintage coat. This Treasury features fab finds from the awesome VintageFashionTeam. Check these beauties out!

Vintage 1960 Faux Leopa...
50s Black Wool Collar C...
Vintage Coat Winter Woo...
Vintage Faux Mink Cape
Vintage Scottish Harris...
WoozWass Vintage Bee Wo...
vintage// 1960s Box Coa...
SALE..... 1960s Ski Coa...
Vintage 1970 Dress Two...
1960s Vintage Tailored ...
Vintage 1950s Lilli Ann...

1970s Original Hooded M...
Leather Jacket / 1970&...
On Sale Vintage 1950s C...
Vintage 60s Jacket - Na...

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Number One Rule of Vintage for the 21st Century Woman

I am not one for absolutes. I generally think that when it comes to fashion and clothes, you have to establish rules for yourself.  But the question remains - are there rules to wearing vintage?  Is there a right way?   And I have to say "Yes"  - I believe so.

For instance, I have heard it said, seen it written, and have even written it myself that you should not wear or be styled in one era of clothing from head to toe.  I get it.  This rule is to keep many of us from looking like extras from Mad Men or Saturday Night Fever instead of  fresh relevant women of the 21st Century.

Yet, there are women who refer heavily to a past era and who fashion themselves after the likes of Bettie Paige or Marilyn Monroe and -- to be honest it works.  For them.

Bettie Page

Which leads me to my number rule of wearing vintage for the 21st Century Woman.

Wear vintage clothing and accessories to ehance and express who YOU are.

The women I mentioned before, even though they may break  the "don't wear one era" rule, it works for them while proving disastorous for others.  Why? Because these women are inspired by the pin-ups and starlets of the 40s and 50s like Paige and Monroe.  They reference these iconic women and fashion trends, to enhance and express thier own styles.   They are not mere copy-cats.  That is why when we see one of these women in a restaurant or walking along, we don't see them as look-a-likes or facsimilies of the real deal. They still appear fresh and authentic.  We get a sense of who these women are even though they carry with them an essence and beauty of the past.

When wearing vintage you want travel through time, reach back to capture the beauty and inspiration from the past and apply it to who you are  - right here - and right now.   Wearing vintage is appealing to those who want their style and clothing to make a statement about who they are.  Any and all clothing can do that - it is not limited to items 20 years or older.  However, with vintage - you are less likely to see 20 versions of your outfit walking down the street.

I think one of the greatest mistakes women make as it relates to fashion, (vintage or otherwise) is to use clothing, accessories and styling as a way to hide who they are.  We can be so brainwashed and poisoned by the commercial media to style ourselves after the likeness of others, that we end up with no style of our own. We end up putting on the personalities of others by way of labels and trends. 
In fact, the question of the red carpet sums up this fashion dis-ease well, "Who are you wearing?"

Well, when we use vintage appropriately, when we allow what the clothes represent inspire us, they become one of the most powerful ways we communicate to the world who we are.  Then when asked, "Who are you wearing?"  We can say, "I am wearing ME.  But the dress is vintage Haslton."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Which Lady in Red are YOU!

Take a look at these fabulous finds on Etsy each in my all-time favorite color RED! 
Can't you imagine wearing one of these gems!  Which woman are you?

The Rocker
Cropped Leather Jacket Womens Black Red Small
80s Cropped Leather Jacket from SkinandWood 

The Classic Lady
Vintage 70s Red St. John Pleated Asian Inspired Suit SM
Classic St. John Asian Inspired Suit by CjsRedCloset

The Bohemian Soul
Vintage 70s 80s Bohemian GYpsy hippie hand Embroidered Reversable black red flower jacket top 12 14
70s/80s Boho Gypsy Reversible Jacket from SHMOOZIN