How I style 1 house dress for late summer, early, mid, and late fall!
I’m all about this house dress trend I’m sure you have all seen on Instagram by now! They’re so easy to thrift, they’re OH SO comfortable, and I think they’re incredibly easy to style up for all the different times of year! This house dress is no different. I thrifted it at one of my all time favorite mom-and-pop thrift shops in the town where I went to college. The dress itself was $4, and considering how much wear I’ve already gotten out of it, and will continue to get out of it, it was worth every penny (all 400 of them).
So, to demonstrate, I thought I would show you guys how I plan on styling this house dress well into the fall months!
I know it’s already September, but time travel back two weeks with me to late August! Or… late summer! The temperatures were still pretty high, so there was no need to layer, but I did want to start integrating some transitional pieces into the ‘fit. So, I paired the dress in its natural sleeveless form with a pair of brown riding boots and a chunky vintage belt! Who said a house dress needed to look baggy all the time? And, I added this Room Shop Vintage hair scarf for the final touch!
Ah, yes, here we are in September! I truly love this part of the fall… With the temperatures just beginning to drop and all the anticipation building for the ~Spooky Season~. But, sometimes it can still get pretty steamy in September, so it’s important to have layers! That’s why this open knit yellow cardi is perfect to pair with the house dress during this time. A little chilly? Put the cardigan on! A little steamy? Take it off! No biggie. And I mean… why not add the cowboy boots for a funky twist?
By October there’s no question about it, the weather has gotten much colder and long sleeves are an essential. But, those long sleeves don’t have to be boring. A puff-sleeve makes everything better! I paired this high collared, puff sleeve 80’s-does-Victorian blouse with the house dress, and it looks amazing layered underneath! And, it looks vaguely witchy with the frilly high collar, black and silver belt, and ankle boots! I felt like Stevie Nicks in this, which is always the goal IMO.
By November, jackets are an absolute necessity. I love a good denim jacket, and this dark wash looks great with the house dress! I also layered a turtleneck underneath as well for some added warmth, and paired the whole ensemble with my favorite autumnal burgundy Doc Martens with a burgundy belt to match. Also, once November does arrive, I would probably wear a pair of tights underneath the dress as well.
Which outfit was your favorite? I love transitioning some of my favorite summer pieces into my fall wardrobe, so if you liked this post, leave a comment down below with any more suggestions you might have! Also, come on over to my Instagram (@thegingerintrovert) and leave a comment there too! I made an IGTV featuring these looks, so be sure to head on over and watch these ‘fits in action.
In which I share some of my favorite YouTubers who love to thrift as much as I do.
I don’t know about you, but I love YouTube. I mean LOVE. I think I may watch YouTube more than actual television, and that includes streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, all those good things (which I still love!). I watch YouTube videos to learn things like new recipes, to work out, and I often watch daily vlogs and have them on in the background as I work. But for the purposes of this post, I thought I would share some of my favorite thrifty YouTubers! Whether they focus mainly on thrifting content, or sometimes feature it in their vlogs, anything like that.
I’ve been a longtime follower and subscriber of Kristin’s. Let me tell you, she has the cutest style and lifestyle videos! Her vlogs are the type that I stop what I’m doing and focus on watching the video, that’s how much I love them. Kristin doesn’t focus solely on thrifting content, but she often features her thrifting adventures in her vlogs, and she always picks up the cutest things. She especially has an eye for thrifted home decor and cooking supplies, so if that sounds like something you’d be interested in, I would definitely check her out! Click HERE to access her YouTube channel, and HERE for her Instagram!
Kia is the absolute coolest! She is a content creator based out of New York City, and if you love vlogs focused in NYC, she’s an awesome vlogger to watch. She has lookbooks, tutorials, “thrift with me” videos, and closet videos galore! And her content is all so high quality and truly a delight to watch. I discovered her channel recently and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I’ve also learned a lot from some of her tutorials, her “How To: Clean & Disinfect Your Thrift Store Clothing” video I found particularly helpful! Click HERE to access her YouTube channel, and HERE for her Instagram!
Taylor Made Style
Taylor is one of those influencers whose closet I wish I could raid. She often posts “Thrift with me” videos, which you can probably already tell are some of my favorite kinds of videos to watch. She’s done a lot of traveling recently too, and I’ve really enjoyed watching her Cincinnati, Boston, and Cleveland vlogs. She has an eye for trendier pieces especially, and I always find her outfits really inspiring. Click HERE to access her YouTube, and HERE for her Instagram!
by Chloe Wen
I recently discovered Chloe’s channel, bevause she did a really fun collab with Taylor from Taylor Made Style! I love her style, but what I love about her channel is she doesn’t solely focus on thrifting videos. She also makes videos about beauty, lifestyle, food, and other fun things. So, if you like a little variety in your content, she would be a fun creator to follow! Click HERE to access her YouTube, and HERE for her Instagram!
Wear I Live
Jenny, the gal behind Wear I Live, is a super chill and laid back YouTuber who posts mostly about thrifted and sustainable fashion, but also lifestyle as well! She makes thrift haul and flip videos, lifestyle vlogs, and other cool videos like her most recent “8 Small Routines to Stay Grounded & Present.” She is also based in NYC, but is a Colorado native and filmed quite a few of her recent vlogs there during quarantine, which I thought was so fun and different since I’ve never visited Colorado before (tho I really want to!). Click HERE to access her YouTube, and HERE for her Instagram!
That Curly Top
Jazmine, or “thatcurlytop,” is the absolute sweetest! Her content focuses mainly on sustainability and lifestyle, but I find the clothing she wears to be really inspiring and mostly thrifted! I discovered her through her episode with The Pre-Loved Podcast, and I so enjoyed hearing her thrifting journey there. She also only recently kickstarted her YouTube again, and I’ve found that each video is such a delight! Click HERE to access her YouTube, and HERE for her Instagram!
Thank you guys so much for joining me today, I hope I helped you discover one of your new favorite YouTubers! Who are some of your favorite thrifty and sustainable YouTubers? Leave your suggestions down in the comments, or head on over to my Insta @thegingerintrovert to start the conversation there! I would love to hear from you 🙂
All the reasons to love vintage and thrifted swimsuits!
I think we all know by now that I’m pretty shameless when it comes to thrifting. There isn’t much I won’t thrift, minus like… used underwear. Of course. But otherwise, it’s all pretty much fair game. A good example of this is my love for thrifting vintage swimwear. However I’m sure you can imagine, in the past when I’ve shared with others that the swimsuit I’m wearing is thrifted, I’ve occasionally gotten looks of disdain or thinly veiled disgust. And I understand the possible distaste someone may have for the practice. However, I thought I would share with you guys the reasons why I love shopping vintage swimwear.
Reason number one for loving vintage swimwear: the patterns are out of this world.
And they’re so unlike the ones you see for sale online or at Target. A good example of this is the swimsuit pictured above! I thrifted this one piece from a sweet seller on Depop, @venusinvintage for my fellow Depop lovers. It’s a swimsuit from the 1990s, and is is super comfortable since I’m pretty sure it’s made out of cotton. The cut is also super flattering, and even has a big open back, with a clip in the middle for extra support. But back to the pattern. I adore this blue, purple, and green swirly floral pattern, which is so of it’s time. I hate to say it like this, but… They just don’t make pattens like this anymore! This was such a fun one to style, as it’s pictured above.
Number 2: It’s often a more affordable price for a sustainable and well made garment.
I know I can’t be the only gal out there who feels slightly scandalized every time she shops online for new swimwear. I mean really, a $100+ swimsuit is just way out of my price range, no matter how sustainable the business itself is or how cute the swimsuit would look on me. For me personally, I would rather spend a quarter (or less!) of that price for a vintage swimsuit on an app like Depop or Etsy, which is just as sustainable an option and is just as cute. And, that way I’m supporting an individual person, like many of the sellers on the Depop app are! I feel like if I’m going to use my dollar to support anyone, I like it to be individuals, not corporations.
Reason 3: Much better support.
This point sort of relates to the last, in a way. For larger chested ladies, swimsuits with a proper amount of support can get to be pretty pricey. And, in my experience they hardly ever look as cute as others that don’t offer the same support. I’ve found that vintage swimsuits offer much better support, as long as you know what to look for and have the patience. Of course, there are plenty of vintage suits out there that are so cute but are out of the question for girls like myself who need some more support, but then there are swimsuits like the one pictured above! I got this from a seller called @megalicious96 on Depop, and it has to be one of the most well-fitting and flattering suits I’ve had in a long time. There is built in support and padding that doesn’t cut into my chest, and the cut of the neckline is so flattering. It even has an open, strappy back! So comfortable, and still so cute all the while.
Reason 4: It’s a one-of-a-kind piece.
When you shop vintage, I’ve always been a fan of how unique each piece is. Every vintage piece is most likely one of a kind, or there are very few of them out there, and are therefore super special. I find that vintage swimwear is no different! When I’ve worn a vintage swimsuit on the beach (when it was safe!), I don’t look like a carbon copy of the other girls. I hope this doesn’t sound elitist, but I like owning unique and special pieces. Ones that will hopefully stay in my closet forever!
Those are 3 of my reasons why I love vintage swimwear so much. If you’re a fellow thrift lover like me but have never liked thrifting swimwear, I hope maybe I helped to convince you otherwise! Because after all, swimsuits wash, and we do too! I will say that real quick, before I sign off. If you’re shopping for vintage swimwear, ALWAYS wash before you wear. I would say that this should always be a rule of thumb for thrifters and vintage lovers, but especially when you’re dealing with swimwear. Also, another tip would be to pay extra attention to the elastic in the suit itself. If the elastic is worn out or rotting, it’s not worth it. No matter how adorable the piece is.
Are you guys fellow vintage swimwear lovers? Drop a comment below telling us why, or start the conversation over on my Instagram @thegingerintrovert. I would love to hear from you! Also, if you liked the looks above, head on over to my IGTV tab on my page! I featured these looks in a Staycation Lookbook, and i wouold love for you to watch! Here’s the video below:
A fun late summer outfit, with some precious pieces included.
If you follow me over on Instagram (and if you don’t already, click here! Let’s be friends!) you’ll know I’ve been talking a lot about dressing for the transitional period that is late August and early September. It’s still hot out? But… It could also be considered early fall? And for a while, these seasonal in-betweens used to stymie me. How does one keep one foot in summer, and the other in fall? But this year, after some pondering and some research, I’ve reached a conclusion that a fair amount of others on Instagram have come to as well: western themed style!
Western themed colors, prints, and cowboy boots have taken over the media I’ve consumed, my favorite being Taylor Made Style’s new video on YouTube. But for me and my wardrobe, this has translated into a renewed love for my cowboy boots. These teal colored boots have a story behind them, and so do most of the pieces in the outfit below! I’ll walk you through each piece, and I hope you enjoy this outfit as much as I do. I like to call it: my yee-haw limoncello ‘fit.
Now, let’s start with the star of the show: the cowboy boots! I adore these, with their hand-tooled embroudery and the white piping lining the tops and sides of the boots. I have had these since I was about 14 (almost 10 years ago!!), and I got them in Wyoming while I was on a month-long cross country trip with my family. In this trip, we planned to drive from our home on Pennsylvania to California, and back, and making as many scenic stops along the way. We saw the Badlands, the Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, Route 66, and so many more! And the only souvenir I knew I wanted from the whole trip was a pair of cowboy boots. I saved up for months beforehand. And finally about 2 weeks into our trip, when we parked our RV in a campground near Yellow Stone, a store with all cowboy boots was right within walking distance. I picked these boots out, and they’ve held a place of prominence in my closet ever since!
The second and another new favorite is this prairie cropped blouse! I recently got this piece on Depop from a very sweet seller, @pdarm on the app if you’re a fellow Depop user like myself. In talking to the seller after buying this blouse, I found out that this top had actually belonged to her grandmother! It is a beautiful piece, and I feel quite honored to be able to give it a new life.
And lastly, I can’t forget the hair scarf! This was a piece I inherited from my grandmother after she passed away 2 years ago. She left me quite a collection of vintage scarves, and I’ve gotten so much use out of them this summer. She also had plenty of autumn colored scarves, so you’ll be seeing me wearing them well into the fall-time, too. I’m thinking of maybe even using them as a layering piece, tied like a tube top over a turtleneck and tucked into red high waisted pants. Can you tell I’m pumped for fall?
Thank you for reading my little remembrances here in this post! What are some of your most prized and special pieces in your closets? I would love to hear your stories, either down below in the comments or over on my Instagram @thegingerintrovert! I would love to chat 🙂
An analysis of all of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s best summertime looks!
I am a long time admirer of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her chic 90s style. In the last few years, I’ve always looked up to her minimalistic style and attempted to emulate it in my own way. I usually do so during the winter and fall, since much of my favorite photographs are featuring her wearing classic blazers, midi a-line skirts, Prada coats, and dreamy boots. However, this summer, I’ve also been taken with her summertime style and how she would dress when she was on vacation. So, I thought I would do a little CBK study for you all, because I think it would be so easy to thrift pieces similar to hers!
Her beachside style surprised me actually, since almost every picture I looked at while I was researching this post features Carolyn wearing longs sleeves, a sweater, or a jacket. I know that if you’re boating or out on a windy beach you’re going to want to bundle up to ward against the chill, but it still made me think about how Carolyn must have viewed her clothes, at least in part. These outfits are all very practical and stylish at the same time. They serve their purpose but they’re still chic. It might just be because it’s Carolyn wearing them, and even her essence was pure style, but I digress.
I had an extremely difficult time picking which photo I liked the best of all Caolyn’s looks, so excuse the extreme amount of pictures in this post! But I think what might work best is if I react to each collage of pictures in order, and explain why I think they’re special. I’ll be going in a clockwise order:
This first photo of Carolyn and John dancing is a gem, not just as a study of her fashion sense, but I just love the clothes all the other women in this picture are wearing as well. And also… JFK Jr. in Birkenstocks?? A classic. But what I like the most about Carolyn’s ensemble here is 1) the daring white-on-white, and 2) pop of color with her red loafers. She’s wearing a simple tank top, linen or khaki pants with a tailored fit. The simplicity of the outfit is what I think I like the most. Because you can tell she wore her hair down, and it draws attention to how naturally striking she really was. My only question… Loafers to dance in?? I feel like I would get some pretty nasty blisters. But these types of pieces are pretty easy to thrift, I feel like I see loafers in this style every time I go to Goodwill!
This picture of Carolyn up next is her with John and some family/friends on a boat. You don’t see her in shorts or skirts this often, so you can see her long legs. She’s also wearing a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt with a possible raw hem (since it looks a little rolled to me), and her hair is down again. Her shorts seem to be cuffed as well. To me, this speaks to Carolyn’s attention to detail. It’s the little things like this that make an outfit interesting or exciting. A rolled cuff, a raw hem, and a shock of leg.
Carolyn in a plain white long sleeve button down and a pair of jeans. Not buttoned up all the way, ofc. Gotta stay casual! Pair it with a loafer or a sandal, a small pair of sunglasses, and you’ve got yourself a look. I also like how her hair is tied back. Very casual, but you can still tell there was thought behind this!
I wanted to feature this picture of Carolyn and John together, because I like how casual they are here in this photo. John in a billowy button down, Carolyn in a blue polo shirt. They look relaxed, and I’ve always liked that about them both. And again, polos are SO EASY to thrift, and if they’re styled well they look super cute and casual. For example, pair it tucked into a denim skirt with your favorite pair of sneakers, and you’ve got yourself a cute summer look. I have two for sale on my vintage page @thegingerthrift, just sayin’ ;P
I have been so into wearing hair scarves this year, and I love this photo of Carolyn wearing one. I’m not 100% sure if this is even taken in the summertime, but it’s still a vibe. I like how she’s wearing her iconic sunglasses as well. According to @cbk_closet, I’m pretty sure they’re Selima Optique “Aldo” glasses. You see Carolyn wearing either these or similar in many of these photos. If you’re on the hunt for a similar pair, this style is pretty popular at the moment and you can find them all over. But, as always, I prefer to thrift, and I got a similar tortoiseshell pair at Goodwill!
I’m wearing the scarf differently than Carolyn it, but I like to think it’s a similar idea! They’re one of my all time thrift finds since I get so much wear out of these sunglasses. They’re Ann Taylor, which isn’t as ritzy as Carolyn’s, but I adore them and wear them every day!
This first photo is another example of Carolyn in a white button down and Levi’s (I think?). She’s also walking barefoot on a pier. The epitome of casual summertime goodness! Since this look is so similar to the other I won’t say much, other than the fact that I love how comfortable she looks here. Hair down, staying cool in her billowy shirt, and well-fitting jeans.
The next row of pictures are all featuring Carolyn wearing one of my favorite pieces from this post– A bright yellow rain jacket! I think she wore this often while boating, and this makes a whole lot of sense, so she didn’t get too drenched from the spray. But I like the examples of what she wore it with. A black turtleneck, a backwards baseball cap, a plain white tee (layered or no), brown khakis (paired with black! Another small rule breaking moment). All choices that made this quintessential and practical piece a little more interesting.
Continuing clockwise, the next two photos show Carolyn wearing a light blue turtleneck and khakis, barefoot again. I have no evidence to back this up, but I have a sneaking suspicion the turtleneck could be cashmere as well? This is just such a laid back look, and I love how cozy she seems on the blustery beach.
This last picture is another one showing Carolyn all bundled up, and is one of my absolute favorites because of how candid it seems. She’s wearing leggings and a baggy sweatshirt, which looks to be long enough to reach her mid-thigh (at least!). It’s obviously chilly on the beach, with John covering himself with his jacket like a blanket and the little kiddo with his hood up. She just looks so comfortable and at peace here.
Another accessory you often see Carolyn with in her vacation pictures is this L.L. Bean canvas tote bag with navy blue detailing. It’s super preppy, but also the quintessential beach bag. These pictures inspired me to look into getting my own, but since new ones are around $40-ish dollars, depending on the size you want. Instead of shelling out that sort of money, I decided to investigate my secondhand options. So I went onto Depop, and you would never guess what I found! A vintage L.L. Bean tote bag, the same large size as Carolyn’s, but with a more interesting touch…
It’s green and navy blue, and it has my exact initials embroidered on it! When I tell you I was so shocked to find this for sale, I mean it. And I got it for a true steal… right around $15. And even though due to Covid it seems I may not be able to get to the beach this year, I’ve still used this tote nearly every day since I’ve gotten it. It holds my laptop perfectly, and other things like my planner, Kindle, bucket hat, and the like. I even take it when I’m out photo-shooting, to house my change of clothes if I’m making a day of it.
The last set of photos! Even though there are still PLENTY more outfits I could have rambled on about, there does need to be an end to this post at some point… Going clockwise again, here is this photo of Carolyn eating at a restaurant with a friend in New York. While this isn’t her on vacay, I thought it still had super cute summer vibes. Again, she’s got a simple outfit together, with a black tank top, linen or khaki pants that seem to be either capris or an ankle length, and Adidas sneakers. I also think I see her wearing a black belt, with the tank tucked in. So if I had to guess, the pants were probably tailored as well, maybe even with a pleated pant leg. My imagination is running wild here, but I digress. This is what I love the most about each of Carolyn’s outfits. No matter their simplicity, she always throws in interesting details to spice it up, like a belt, a pleated pant, or a fun sneaker. And in the next photo she’s wearing a similar outfit as well, only with a spaghetti strap tank.
I love this next photo, because Carolyn’s hair is dazzling! She looks as if she’s been out on the beach all day, and is back home to cook dinner. She’s wearing a black tank yet again, but I also spy a green patterned skirt. We can’t see the full ‘fit, sadly, but I like to think it’s a midi-length wrap skirt with a Hawaiian floral pattern. Who knows, maybe the black tank could actually be her swimsuit? Add a cute wedge sandal and you’ve got all the summery, beachy vibes!
Finally, this last picture shows Carolyn out to dinner with her friends! She’s wearing a gray-silver slip dress with lace detail on the neckline. According to @cbk_closet on Instagram, this picture was taken at a restaurant called Indochine in NYC, and the dress was from Calvin Klein. (See the Instagram post below!) I adore this picture because it shows Carolyn supposedly mid-laugh, and I just love to imagine what she must have looked like sitting with her friends telling stories, swishing her pretty long blonde hair from shoulder to shoulder as she sips her wine. I picture her wearing this dress with a pair of strappy sandals or a kitten heel, and a teeny baguette bag.
Which one of these Carolyn looks was your favorite? For me, I saved the best for last… That slip dress takes the cake, IMHO! I loved putting this post together, so much so I think I may make this a series! Not just with CBK, though i do think I want to make another one of these for the fall/winter, but for some of my other favorite style icons too! Who would you like to see next? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me over on my Instagram @thegingerintrovert, I would love to chat!
Want to try thrifting but feel overwhelmed, and don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered!
About two years ago, during the end of my Junior year of college, I took a Word, Web, and Design capstone course for my creative writing minor. It was possibly one of the most useful classes I took during my entire college career, and I learned so many useful skills then that I still to this day apply to this blog! One of the projects we had to do was create a blog about one specific topic and write three informative blog posts that were in theme. So, of course, my choice of topic was thrifting! The blog was actually The Ginger Thrift, which later became the namesake my vintage shop @thegingerthrift on Instagram, and the blog itself fell to the wayside. But, the three posts I wrote had some pretty useful information in them, so I thought I would re-release these posts here on TGI! With a little bit more info added to them, of course!
When I mention thrifting in conversation to a friend, a lot of the time they voice their interest in the idea of thrifting, but also express to me how intimidated they are by it. I completely understand. Not everyone gets excited when they walk into a messy, unorganized Goodwill. But lucky for you, there are ways to make your first time thrifting easier.
Take a friend.
At least for your first time out thrifting, take someone who is an experienced thrifter, and knows what’s up. And anyway… Shopping is always a task that is made better by companionship. While I typically do thrift alone, someone who both knows your style and the thrift shop well will know what sections to take you to first, and will also know which ones to avoid. That way, if you’re a jeans-and-a-tee girl typically, and you’re tempted by a bright floral dress, sometimes you need a friend there to say to you, “Girl, you’re never gonna wear that.”
Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed.
Although I don’t recommend it for your first time out, sometimes your only local thrift shop may be a big Goodwill or Salvation Army. But if you can, go to a smaller place first if possible. Church thrift shops and sales are always small and manageable, and most of the ones I have been to are pretty well organized. My favorite part? These smaller shops almost always have funky pieces that some eighty-year-old grandmother had in her closet or attic forever before she decided to donate it to her church. However, be responsible. Leave the plus sized and children’s clothing for those who really need them.
Know what you like & take your time.
Know what you like and what you’re looking for, and stick to those sections. If a pattern in the sweater section pops out at you, explore that section for a while and find other things that intrigue you. If the knick-knacks are looking especially eclectic and interesting, concentrate on those. You are not married to any one section, of course. But you’re also not obligated to root though every section in the shop. Take your time, don’t overwhelm yourself.
Don’t feel obligated to look at every single piece.
My favorite trick for navigating a thrift shop is just skimming the racks and finding textures, patterns, or colors that stick out to me and looking at those. Don’t dedicate yourself to flipping through every piece of clothing on the rack. It’s exhausting and just not worth it if you wouldn’t even try on half the clothes you’re looking at.
On the other hand, leave the shopping list at home.
Leave yourself open and free for exploration. It’s so easy to forget that trying new things is fun. Don’t make your first thrifting session into a shopping trip. In other words, don’t make thrifting an errand to run. This is another reason why taking a friend is important – it’ll instantly make a possibly overwhelming situation way more fun!
Don’t expect an Instagram worthy haul your first time out.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you’re probably not going to come home with a giant haul. Instead, trust your gut. Focus on trying to find one or two pieces you really love and can see yourself wearing. Because if you don’t like something, you don’t like something. Don’t buy a dress or a sweater just because it’s vintage or it’s a name brand, just because it’s your first time out. No matter what, if you don’t like it, you won’t wear it. Lastly, remember possibly the most important rule of thrifting: be patient. A good thrift haul takes time. Dedicate an afternoon to the thrift shop, not just an hour in-and-out.
I hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful! But overall, I have one more note to add… Out of all these points to consider in your first time thrifting, what is the most important thing of all? Have fun!
Do you have any additional tips or tricks to add? Leave them in the comments below, or come on over to my Instagram @thegingerintrovert to start the conversation! I would love to chat 🙂
Read all about my experience buying from the popular Insta brand, my overall review of my purchase, and some tips for you!
If you’re like me and you love sustainable fashion, you might already know of Maison Cleo, the mother-daughter owned label based in northern France. They are known for their sustainability friendly tie-front tops, over-sized puffy sleeves, and the fact that each piece is hand made and to-order. Also… They infamously sell out in minutes every time their e-shop opens on Wednesdays. See an example of one of their Instagram posts below, of some of their new arrivals!
Now, I have been following the Maison Cleo Instagram account for a year or two, and I’ve always been besotted by said tie-front tops with the puffiest sleeves imaginable. I’ve also always been super impressed with how they keep it real about how they run their business. Marie Dewet, the daughter in the mother-daughter Maison Cleo team, is staunchly anti-fast fashion, and makes that known, both on her personal Instagram account and on Maison Cleo’s account itself. Recently, they even started a movement where they posted a “receipt” of what all goes into the making of each of their pieces. This receipt includes the fabric, the time of production, fees for shipping and Paypal, and others. But this exercise in clarity proved that Maison Cleo was committed to producing hand made ethical pieces for a fair price, and called for other fashion brands to do the same.
However, when I say fair price, I must also say that Maison Cleo blouses have always been out of my price range. But I knew that I would eventually want to invest in a piece from them, and was recently able to save up enough to buy my own. And, as with all luxury purchases (I imagine), it was an experience.
So first, I did a little daydreaming. Scrolling through the Maison Cleo Instagram and their e-shop, what pieces did I like the most? What would I get the most use out of, and what would be the most flattering on me?
I tried my best to strategize. Their clothes sold out so incredibly fast, I needed to know exactly the pieces I was most interested in. So a day or two before the e-shop opened, I picked three options. Two different styles of a red gingham and a blue gingham top (can you tell I love gingham??). I knew I would be happy with each, in case I tried to buy one and it winding up to be all sold out. I copied the links of the web pages to an email and sent it to myself, so that it might make my life a little easier when I was attempting to access the website on the day.
And then, the day before the shop opened, Maison Cleo posted a new piece they were listing the following day. It was a beautiful yellow gingham top, in a similar style to the others I had selected, with the same tie-front and puffy sleeves. This new addition changed the game. Yellow is my favorite color, if you didn’t know! So I copied down this new link in my email, and fell asleep so I would be ready to rumble in the morning.
I woke up on Wednesday morning on July 8th, and as the 12:30 opening time approached, I prepared myself. I brought up my email, opened each link, and did the same on my phone. To be honest, it felt a lot like I was waiting to buy concert tickets for someone like Taylor Swift or Harry Styles. Or, alternatively, if you’re a former college kid like me, it felt like when I signed up for my preferred housing choices when I was living in the dorms. That is, sitting on the edge of my seat and sweating it, re-re-re-loading until the moment the e-shop opened.
I refreshed the web page for the yellow gingham top, and at 12:30 exactly, I was allowed to choose my size. And it worked! I was so excited, and added it to my cart. Shooting up to the top of the web page, I attempted to check out.
This, my friends, is where I made my mistake.
In order to make a purchase through Maison Cleo’s website, you need to first have an account on their website. Which, of course, I did not know before logging on that morning… Big oops! Frantically, I autofilled all of my info to create my new account, and in the long run it only took about 30 seconds to do. But alas, it was too much time to take in order to keep their arguably most desirable piece in my basket, since it was their newest addition to the shop.
So, of course, it was too late. The yellow gingham was all sold out, and I couldn’t help but feel a teensy bit disappointed. But alas! I wasn’t going to give up just yet. I decided to check the other pieces that I had chosen before, and my next best choice, the blue gingham version of the same blouse, was still available! So, I was able to nab one in my size. I clicked on the check-out icon quick, put in my Paypal info, and voila! A Maison Cleo piece of my very own would be on it’s way to me.
And then, just about three weeks later came the magical moment where I received my package and opened it up!
Let me tell you, I was instantly enthralled! When I tried it on, it fit me like a glove. For reference, I got a size 40 (or a size L), and my measurements are 38″ bust, 32″ waist, and 42″ hip. The stitching and the overall quality of the garment was obviously extremely well done. The blue gingham fabric is so obviously of the highest quality. The collar is even way more intricate and artful than I was expecting… There are two flaps (for lack of a better word?) surrounded by the frilly, pleated detail along the edges. And do NOT GET ME STARTED on the puffy sleeves! This blouse was just everything I imagined it would be and more, and I know I’ll be wearing this piece for years and years to come.
I will say, while this is not necessarily a gripe since this is definitely an attribute of the top that I appreciate, I do think the front of the top should be addressed. The ties in the front leave a big enough gap expose quite a lot of midriff, cleavage, etc. It’s designed to be this way, and I do plan to just wear a bralette underneath it sometimes, even to just make it a little cooler for humid summer days. But in the interest of modesty, if you buy a similar top be prepared to have some tank tops or other light layering pieces to put under the top. What I ended up doing was wear a vintage royal blue scarf (that was once my grandma’s!) tied as a bandeau top beneath, so that a little skin was still exposed, but I didn’t flash the girls to unsuspecting passersby. I may even play around with this idea a little bit more too, maybe even wear some floral scarves beneath to peek through!
Overall, I would give this dreamy blouse an 11/10. Chef’s kiss. Tres bien. It was totally worth the wait (and the investment). I honestly have to restrain myself from wearing it every single day. I paired it with my favorite Levi’s here so we could just focus on the blouse itself, and I really do love how it looks with denim. But I’m also super excited to experiment with this blouse and pair it with some lemon yellow shorts, worn over a slip dress, or even with a pair of simple jean shorts also. The sky’s the limit, and as you all know, I’m pretty shameless.
So, if you’re interested in getting yourself a piece from Maison Cleo but you’re feeling intimidated by the competitive nature of their weekly e-shop opening, never fear! I have some tips for you.
First off, don’t be like me. Make a damn account profile ahead of time. Have multiple different options for pieces you would like to buy, and that way if your first choice sells out you can move onto the next. Have the links to each choice set aside ahead of time, and have them up, loaded, and ready to go well before the opening time. Also, know your measurements and size choice ahead of time! If you’re an American like me, the French sizing chart is a little bit more confusing, and you don’t want to accidentally buy the wrong size. And finally, while I’m not 100% sure if they accept payment through anything but PayPal, I would recommend just using the PayPal app so that check-out is quicker and you don’t have to worry about filling out all your shipping info in the heat of the moment.
What do you guys think of this look? I would love to hear your thoughts/feelings/emotions, and even suggestions on how to style it! Go on over to my Instagram @thegingerintrovert and connect with me there, I would love to chat!
Need some options for where to get yourself some masks sustainably? Look no further!
I don’t know about you guys, but at least for the remainder of 2020, it seems like face masks are here to stay. And to be honest I’m more than okay with that. While I fully believe they’re necessary for our health right now with the Covid pandemic happening right now, I’ve also tried to have fun with the masks I’ve worn. Because why not play around with the options, if we’re stuck with them?
The first masks I wore in the beginning of the Pandemic were so sweetly made for my family and me by my boyfriend’s mother. She did a fantastic job with them, and mine has foxes and seashells on them. They’re adorable! But after a little while, it became apparent that this pandemic wasn’t going away as quickly as I thought, and I needed to stock up on some more masks. While the blue medical masks are a good option now and again, I like the idea of reusable fabric masks to reduce waste. I know everyone’s got their favorite sustainable mask options, so I thought I would share mine as well! Both ones I’ve already bought, have ordered and are patiently waiting for, or ones I’ve got my eye on.
My first sustainable mask purchase was from Christy Dawn. I bought a three pack from them, and click here to access the web page for their masks, since they aren’t listing the same set I bought anymore. I’m featuring two of them in this post! What I like most about them is that they are super light and comfortable. I like using them to wear around friends or family when we’re doing a social distancing visit. My best friend and I like to go for walks together, and on humid summer days these are still comfortable. However, for this same reason they might not offer as much protection in more high-risk situations, so I still use my more heavy duty masks then, like when I’m grocery shopping, or anything like that.
I found Alexis’s masks through one of my biggest Instagram inspirations, Alyssa Coscarelli. Alexis handmakes these masks, and has so many different material options, and each mask is made to order! Before she only accepted orders via DM on her instagram page, but now she also has a website! Check out her page for all the floral, gingham, tie dye, and checked goodness! I currently have an order with her for a purple floral mask, but I’m also considering ordering a checked or gingham mask from her as well, since I love how you can tie these masks behind your ears! Click here to access her Instagram, and click here for her website!
Room Shop Vintage
I’ve featured Room Shop Vintage’s beautiful oversized scrunchies before, but they also recently released two different mask sets on their website! They have satin scrunchies with matching masks, or floral masks with matching headscarves which are my personal favorite! They are also a local business for me, based in Philly, so I love supporting them! Access their Instagram here, and their website here.
I’ve been lusting over Picnicwear’s handmade hats for the majority of the summer. This small independent brand makes bucket hats out of vintage beach towels, but the creator Dani has also teased that she’s making masks from vintage materials! They haven’t dropped yeat, but I’m keeping an eye out for when they do. And for the next drop of bucket hats! Click here to access her Instagram, and click here for her website!
I’ve written about this amazing independent designer before on my Patchwork post last week. Selina also dropped a small range of masks made from vintage fabrics, as well as bead chains. She did a drop of them earlier this week and they all sold SO quickly! I’m hoping she makes more so I can get my hands on a pair, but I thought I would share in the hopes she does! Click here to access her Instagram, and click here for her website!
Want some more sustainable options? I would also suggest checking out the Depop app! If you search face masks, you’ll see there are hundreds of people making and selling them on there, if you want to support an even smaller business! Or even check out Facebook, I’m sure there are plenty of people in you family or circle of friends who have offered to make masks for a small price.
Do you want to try your hand at making masks yourself? There are so many resources out there if you’re just staring out with mask making, or sewing, or both! I love this IGTV from Carly Heitlinger, formerly “CarlyThePrepster.” Check out the tutorial here:
Do you have any suggestions or favorite brands who have been killing the mask-making game? Share them in the comments below, or head on over to my Instagram, @thegingerintrovert, and share them there too! We would all love to hear!
The perfect layered outfit, even in the depths of summertime!
I bet you guys have been wondering what crazy outfit I would come up with next, right? Well even if you haven’t, this one may take the cake, despite the obvious lack of spandex or lycra. Gigantic bell sleeves with an Edwardian cuff? A dress with… vegetables on it?? Yes to all. I’m so in love with this outfit!
The slip dress is a recent thrift find on Depop, from one of my favorite vintage sellers, Saule Vintage. I’ve been into slip dresses this summer, and why not? They’re breezy and keep you cool, and are therefore super comfortable. And if you’re a Sex and the City fan like me, whenever I wear a slip dress I feel like Carrie Bradshaw (minus the thousand dollar Manolos). They’re also really fun to layer with. With turtleneck underneath in the fall time. With a chunky sweater overtop in the and boots in the winter. And, in this case, I chose a wrap top!
This particular piece was an investment from one of my favorite independent brands, Maison Cleo! I got this blouse, or as it’s formally named, the Silver Julie silk-mesh wrap top, on sale from their Net-A-Porter collection. I bought this blouse because of how versatile it is as a layering piece. It can be worn tied in the front or wrapped around the back. I have both styles modeled below. For layering in the summertime, I like how it looks tied in the front, so you can see the details of the bell pepper slip dress even better.
Here it is worn as a wrap top, which I think will be better suited for fall. I’m picturing this worn over a lacy black bra or a spaghetti strap tank top, with those Levi’s I wrote about in this post. Or, I’m also excited to pair this with a black and white plaid pleated skirt, along with some ankle boots! Can you tell I’m already pretty amped for fall?
I love to give you guys little behind-the-scenes snippets and stories, especially ones where I feel a little like a dingus. When I was showing my boyfriend these pictures after my ~hour long~ photoshoot, and he brought something to my attention. Before I left the house, I of course knew that I should check to make sure nothing was… showing through the white slip dress, if you catch my drift. In the light in my room, I didn’t notice anything. However, glaring natural light works differently! So in most of the pictures I took, you could see my light blue underwear through the slip dress. These were the pictures where you can’t see it, especially after editing them on Lightroom, as I usually do. But let me tell you, I’ve learned my lesson!
Also, my boyfriend likes to call this top the “shiny shirt,” like the quote in the last Lord of the Rings movie, “Hands off that shiny shirt!” Here’s a YouTube clip if you can’t remember the exact scene:
A fashion trend forecast for the late summer into the early fall! And an independent designer for everyone.
It’s right around this time of year that I start thinking about the end of Summer and early Fall, and how to dress for that strange transitional period. As I mentioned in my Gingham & Levi outfit post, gingham of all colors is a personal favorite of mine to wear during this time. But I have also been noticing a small uptick in patchwork pieces in my small little sphere (mostly on Instagram), and I am obsessed with this trend! It seems like the perfect way to have both dark autumnal colors paired with lighter, more summery ones. Perfect for the transitional period of late summer and early fall! Especially if, like me, you live in a place that stays warm even into the beginning of October.
If you’re curious about this trend and want to support small or vintage businesses instead of fast fashion, I dug up some lovely independent designers for you all to check out!
Selina Sanders is based in Los Angeles, where she hand makes the absolute DREAMIEST puff-sleeved tops. She uses up-cycled and vintage fabrics, such as tea towels, to make her tops, and makes each piece to-order. Aside from her lovely tops, she also makes the cutest clay earrings! She also posts regularly on her Instagram stories, and shares BTS info on how she sources her fabrics, how to clean vintage clothes, and even cute photos&videos of her family! Click here to access her Instagram account @selina_sanders, and click here to access her website to shop!
Mia, a student at Parsons School of Design as a Fashion Design major, makes the cutest little hand made tank tops that are so gauzy, colorful, and perfect for hot summer days! But she also recently posted about a mixed long-sleeve made from scrap fabrics! She also mentions in her post that they might be a little “bit of a surprise,” which I think sounds fun and exciting! I’ve always been a sucker for a fun surprise. Click here to follow @shopmiahasak, and click here to access her website!
JJ Vintage is an incredible Black owned business based in New York! Jasmine, the designer, repurposes vintage Nike shirts and recreates them into the most incredible patchwork tanks, off-the-shoulder, and one shoulder tops! She has a whopping 22.5k followers on Instagram, and although she currently sells her designs on Depop, Jasmine recently announced the launch of her website on August 1 (8/1/2020)! Click here to follow @jjvintage_, here to check out her Depop shop, and here to read her interview in BK Reader.
Finally, Cassie, a designer based in South Carolina, creates beautifully made one-of-a-kind patchwork clothes, and many of them are hand-dyed/painted. She makes t-shirts, button down shirts, shorts, and cardigans, each one prettier than the last! Click here to follow here @cassies_shop, and click here to access her Etsy shop! Even better? Cassie is the sweetest and is offering my readers $5 off of any purchase from her Etsy shop starting today with the code GINGER5, good for one whole month! She has some SUPER cute things listed on there, so I would definitely go take advantage of this deal!
Want another sustainable option? I’ve found that this trend is easily thrifted! You all know how much I love Depop, and if you search the keyword or hashtag “patchwork,” there are plenty of pieces up for grabs. so I would have a little browse over there as well.
I recently acquired this maxi skirt on the app from another one of my favorite vintage sellers, Saule Vintage ! I will be putting together an outfit post with this piece closer to the autumn months, but I thought I would share this with you! I’m planning on pairing this skirt with a white puff-sleeve top or a colorful tube top during the summer. To switch it up during the fall I was thinking this would go well with a long sleeve prairie blouse or a black turtleneck bodysuit!
Click here @saulevintage to follow them on Instagram, the owner Sierra posts new pieces up for sale both on her Instagram and her Depop page nearly every day! Definitely go check them out if you’re interested.
Thank you guys for reading! Have you been seeing this trend around? And if so and you have a favorite designer, brand, or vintage seller to share, I would love to see them! Start the conversation in the comments below, or head on over to my Instagram @thegingerintrovert! I would love to hear from you over there as well.