1

Shop my closet!

poshmark

I’ve been busy sorting and organizing my clothes and shoes over the past few days, getting some ready to sell. I have so much clothes, so little space, and I’d love to find new owners for the stuff I can’t keep any longer. I’m using the Poshmark app to upload the information about my closet. If you don’t have the app, but have an iphone, you can download it and use the code HCQAN to get $5 credit for yourself (and me!).

You can check out the things I’ve added so far and I’m planning to add new things every day. If you don’t have the app, but would like to buy something, please email me at smooreink (at)gmail(dot)com. or tweet me @redheaded. If you’re buying off-app please add $5 for shipping (the app automatically includes shipping to the purchase price).

 

6

My dress fabric shows up as another dress and skirt!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you see something that looks really familiar to you, before realizing you own something made with the very same fabric? I wore this dress back in 2011, when my hair was red and shorter than it is now.
IMG_4954 copy

I came across this dress and this skirt on eshakti and noticed the fabric immediately.

It’s the same fabric as my dress! So weird and yet so cool.

9

Over halfway done

Can you believe my shopping ban is almost over? I can’t.

The beginning of February marked my halfway mark, yet here I am, in March, and finally talking about it.

When I started this challenge in November, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, or if I would be able to even last this long. Well, my friends, it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. Sure, there are some really annoying bits (like not being able to buy something because I don’t have a gift card, and knowing I’d feel a little guilty if I did), but the majority has been pretty painless.

And, as you may have seen on twitter or heard me mention here briefly, I moved. Holy crap, you do not realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it all into boxes and cart it to a new place.  Because of my lack of desire to pack things I no longer wear, I went through much of my clothes, and left a giant pile of donations behind, most to be donated, with a few select pieces going to some friends I know will appreciate the pieces (Jenni, Katie, Goodwill- you’re welcome).
IMAG0096
(Yup, that’s my pile so far. There’s also some kitchen items and a printer buried in there. It’s like pirate’s treasure, but no gold.)

When I was sitting in the middle of my room, throwing things into the donate pile, I realized that I had fallen victim to the cycle of consumerism that [mostly] everyone else falls into as well. Thankfully, my descent didn’t push me into debt, or cause me to have a secret storage locker full of clothes. Going through this stuff, I realized that most of it was left-over from my high school and college days. As I started putting more items in my “to-donate” pile, it hit me like a ton of bricks:

Why do I have stuff that I don’t absolutely love? Why do I keep it if I’m not going to wear it? Why do I allow it to take up space in my closet? And why the hell do I own seven shirts that look THE EXACT SAME?! As style bloggers, we (yes, I’m including myself in this “we”) often talk about how my we love “this” or “that” and how we can’t get enough of it. Well, there were plenty of items in that pile of donations that used to be my go-to item, but have been replaced with something new.

I’m not even done with my shopping ban and I’ve already learned a lesson; don’t keep it if you don’t love it. My closet isn’t going to get mad at me if I get rid of shirt X,Y, or Z. In fact, I think my closet would thank me (if it  could talk!) for removing some of the wasted space.

We all have certain items that we are attached to, and feel like we can’t give up or give away. I’m not talking about those items, because I have some of those too. For example, this brocade coat I wore here:
5087854826_8931daa3ce_o

I snagged that at Value World for less than $5. It’s a vintage Saks robe (I think it’s a bathrobe). I feel like an art teacher when I wear it, because of the cut, but I just can’t bring myself to donate it. I feel like it needs to go to someone else who would truly understand the beauty and quality of the piece. It’s crazy gorgeous.

But, at what point do you have to stop thinking like that (let’s face it, I can equate everything I own to a good deal, or being crazy gorgeous, if I wanted to), and when do you start taking a long, hard look at your stuff and actually decide it’s OK and needed to purge?

It’s items like this that makes me feel a little crazy, because I want to make sure items like this get “adopted” into a great home. (Yes, I just equated my clothing to the likes of a living, breathing pet. I’m nothing if not a little nuts). Sounds crazy, but I bet most of you know exactly how I feel. It’s something that’s a great item, but maybe it just doesn’t fit in your closet, lifestyle, personal style, or maybe it just plain doesn’t fit anymore. I know that I will have to get over my curious nature of where an item went (did it go to a good home, etc), and just drop off the box outside Goodwill and call it a day.

Thankfully, that pile you see above fit into two oversized garbage bags and was dropped off at Goodwill earlier this week. Joe’s trunk was full of our donations, and I really hope that someone else is able to find value in those items. That’s all I can really hope for.

10

One month of not shopping- done!

One month of not shopping is under my belt and I feel great. I haven’t purchased anything for myself since I began this experiment November 1, and to be honest, I don’t miss it a bit. Perhaps it’s because I’m really busy at work, am taking a night class and am focusing more on my family right now than worrying about what’s hot and what I should own. Perhaps it’s because I’ve stopped caring if I have the next big thing or if I need something new to feel like I’m keeping up with the Joneses. Whatever the reason, I feel very content with my shopping ban, and am really excited to continue.

One thing that I’ve discovered that has helped me tremendously is going shopping (at the mall or online), looking at items, trying things on, filling up a cart, but not buying a thing. Yes, this sounds very counterintuitive and like it shouldn’t work, but for me it does. I’ve been to the mall, I’ve gone to stores online and picked out items I like, pinned them, saved them as inspiration, tried them on, thought about how I’d style them. But in the end, they go back on the rack or back into the digital archives. I suppose because I know I’m not going to purchase anything I feel more free to try items on I normally wouldn’t (whether because of price or style), and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. I tried on a slim black dress with feather detailing at Ann Taylor. At $300, it’s out of my usual price range, but since it was never going to come home with me, I tried it on, stared at myself in the mirror, showed it to Katie (who was at the store with me), and put it back. No pangs of sadness or guilt when I put it back. In fact, I was almost relived in a very strange way that I was able to try something on that was so interesting and delicate, but was also able to put it back without feeling like I should be buying it, just because I liked how it looked or a salesperson talked me into it.

I also survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much to the surprise of other shoppers, and I suppose the chagrin of stores. I felt no need to wake up early on Friday morning (or stay out all Thursday night) to wait in line for items I don’t need. On Monday, I woke up to 20 new emails from stores celebrating their percentage off and free shipping. Although I clicked through to a few sites, I didn’t feel any urges to purchase anything. Maybe this is what growing up feels like, or maybe this is what happens when you just don’t give a damn anymore, but I feel pretty good with the items I currently own, and although I may still covet a few newer items, I don’t think I’m going to feel like I’m missing out on anything by not purchasing them. Sure, I could’ve gotten some great deals over the past few weeks, and I could be walking around right now in brand new boots, a fabulous new sweater and a great new pair of gloves, but I’m not. My Target boots are working just fine, as are my already-loved sweaters and my comfortably worn-in gloves. Nothing I currently own needs to be replaced, and I’ve yet to shed a significant amount of weight that would force me to buy new pants (I’m still waiting to see if my new gym routine forces me into a new pant size or not), but for now, not shopping is working out really well.

I’m even more excited about my ban because it’s allowing me the ability to save money, find great gifts for others for the holiday, and it’s giving me and Joe a chance to do things other than shop (like DVR 30 movies from HBO’s free preview weekend and watch them all together in the span of three days…). This ban is also allowing (and forcing me) to think about this blog, where it’s been, where I’d like to go and what I want to do with it. This time of year isn’t as great as I’d like it to be. It’s the first year without my dad. This time last year he was getting worse, and worse, before we lost him in January. Thanksgiving wasn’t the best holiday; it was painful and will never be the same because he’s not here. So my silence here is a mix of being busy at work, taking my class and taking care of myself and my family. I am hoping that these next five months will help me find a focus for this blog that may or may not be the same as it’s been for the past two years, but hopefully it will be something I am happy and comfortable with, and hopefully you will also enjoy it.

Here’s to a fabulous first month, and five more of not shopping and resisting the temptation to purchase anything for myself.

(Come back next week, I have three different giveaways and a few reviews coming up, so you may be able to win something great for yourself or as a gift for something else!).

4

Congrats to the winners!

I am so very excited to announce these winners. There were nearly 100 comments, which is great!

The video contest is still open today. If you check out Cheer’s Facebook page, you’ll get more details. If any of you guys won anything, send me photos when you get it and I’d love to create an online album showing all your cool stuff.

And, for the winners of these items, please also feel free so send me photos of you and your items- I’d love to post those too!

Without further ado, here are the winners:
winner of stuff
Congrats Julie! You’ve won the clothing items and the Cheer sample!

winner sunglasses
Congrats Deb! You’ve won the Ray Ban sunglasses!

ipodwinner
Congrats Cel! You’ve won the iPod!

Winners, please email me at vinylahoy (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your prize, and give me your address.

Congrats to the winners, and I have some really cool giveaways coming up in September, so I hope everyone is excited for those!

94

Giveaway! Do you want an iPod, Wayfarers or some new clothes?

So it may be my birthday week, but I’m going to give you guys a gift instead!

Do you remember this post where I teased out some items I had to give away? Well, this week you’ll have a shot to win something. Three of you guys will win some pretty sweet items, if I do say so myself.

There are three different prizes:

1. iPod nano 8 GB, orange (complete with a Suze playlist!)

2. Red Ray Ban Wayfarers

3. Crop top, tube socks, scarf, tights and Cheer laundry detergent sample.
IMG_8806

I really want to reward my readers with this giveaway, so you must be a follower of this blog in order to win. I don’t care if you follow through Google, Bloglovin, twitter, facebook or bookmarks- as long as you read this blog, you’re good.

To enter, just leave me a comment below. It can be anything from “hi, you’re awesome,” to “hey skunk-face, I want to win!” But please tell me how you follow my blog in that comment.

Now, onto the important details: one (1) entry per person. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Shipping is paid for the US only. If you’re from elsewhere and win, we will make arrangements for that item to be shipped. There will be three separate winners, all chosen via random.org. Oh, and you don’t get to choose what you win. If your name is drawn, you win whatever that item is, deal?

Giveaway ends Monday, August 29 at noon EST (eastern standard time). Winners will be posted and have to contact me to collect their prize.

All prizes here have been provided by Cheer.

71

How to: 8 simple rules for mixing patterns

I realize it might be really easy for me to walk into my closet and walk out wearing floral patterns head-to-toe and looks fine, but it’s often harder for other people. I use these eight simples rules when mixing patterns and with a little practice and confidence, anyone can rock the look. (I’ve included real-life examples at the end!)

1. Mix patterns from the same color family.
Using hues from one main color when mixing patterns can create a very subtle look, while still showing your daring side. It’s still visually stimulating for the eye, but in a refined way.
Diane von FurstenbergAnna Sui 3
Diane von Furstenburg, Anna Sui

2. Think of some patterns/textures as solids
If you have a houndstooth skirt, think of that as a solid. Same can go for small polka dots, thin stripes or checks. They’re small enough and understated that the eye can view them as a solid, even though they’re really not.
Jonathan Saundersmarc jacobs
Jonathan Saunders, Marc Jacobs

3. Look for patterns that complement each other
The last thing you want to do is look like you got dressed in the dark. One way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to choose patterns that complement each other. Stripes and floral always mesh well, as do leopard and stripes or polka dots.
Alexander Wang2dkny pattern
Alexander Wang, DKNY

4. Don’t go too matchy-matchy
Mixing patterns is supposed to be fun. Although it can look cool, don’t go out head-to-toe in one pattern. That’s too matchy-matchy and can make you look more like Peg Bundy than you want. Although, if you want to push the envelope, switch up the colors of the matching patterns like Rihanna did. It’s a new twist on pattern mixing that keeps the overly matchy-matchy concept fresh.
Anna Sui2rihanna-435
Anna Sui, Rihanna

5. Space the patterns out
There is no need to wear a patterned skirt with a patterned jacket, or top. Sometimes mixing a top or skirt with patterned shoes can give your outfit the right amount of “wow” you’re looking for. Or try a patterned scarf with a solid top and patterned bottoms.
alexander wangZac Posen 3
Alexander Wang, Zac Posen

6. Include neutrals in your outfit
When you add a solid with two or more patterns, you allow the visual space of the outfit to be broken up. You do this with stockings, shoes, accessories or another article of clothing. Whatever you chose to add, it’ll help your outfit look even better.
dries van notenzac posen 2
Dries van Noten, Zac Posen

7. Combine patterns of different densities/sizes
Rather than mix dense prints with dense prints, which can cause a big mess, try mixing a dense print with a sparse print. The same goes for larger prints and smaller prints. Usually if you mix different densities and sizes, the prints balance each other out, because one becomes the focal point and the other becomes the sidekick.
marc jacobs2Zac Posen
Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen

8. Use accessories wisely
As discussed in #5, sometimes spacing out patterns can help breakup the visual space. Accessories are your friend and your foe when mixing patterns. They can overwhelm or balance an outfit. Using a colored belt to break up two different patterned pieces can work really well, as can colored shoes or a neutral purse. Just be careful not to overdo it, because the focus of the outfit is the pattern, not the accessories.
proenza schouler2anna sui
Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui

Here are some great examples from other bloggers who’ve taken that bold step into the world of pattern mixing:

Vanessa of Snappy and Savvy mixes different sizes, densities and stays within the same color family for a fun, graphic look. Plus, her accessories add a pop of color.
snappy and savvy print mix

Jenni of Pixie in Pumps mixes complementary patterns in the same color family, of different sizes and makes sure to work with her accessories.
Pixie in pumps mixing patterns

Nicole of Employed Panache mixes her polka dots and florals with ease! (See what I said about polka dots and florals?! Amazing!). She also keeps her accessories minimal and understated.
employed panache Mixing patterns

Collette of Statements in Fashion mixes stripes and dots in similar colors for a strong, graphic look. She even varies widths of stripes and size and density of polka dots.
statements in fashion Mixing patterns

Erin of Work With What You’ve Got shows how easy it is to mix stripes and floral, while adding a pop of color with her tights.
5237902951_209e336680_b

Tiffany from A Reason to be Fabulous is a girl after my own heart with stripes, florals and bright colors! (Not to mention the twin-like hair!)

Heather of Embracing your inner cupcake mixes stripes and florals, showing how navy can be a neutral and a focal point!

Me! Rockin’ out floral and polka dots from the 30 for 30 challenge.
Miss vinyl ahoy mixing patterns

Do you mix prints? Why or why not?

(runway images from style.com)

32

30 for 30 (again)

First, thanks for all the kind thoughts yesterday. It’s not work burnout or anything, it’s a family illness, and sometimes it’s tough to deal with. But anyway, onto today’s topic!

Once again, I find myself participating in Kendi’s 30 for 30.

I’m pretty excited to do this again, because life is REALLY busy right now, so this will be a welcome change for me (plus I’ll only have to focus on 30 pieces for the entire month, so I can concentrate on doing all the laundry that’s been piling up for months…)

It took a little time and planning, but I’ve picked my 30. I forced myself to choose different pieces than I had for the last challenge because I didn’t want repeats.

Shoes
Shoes
1. Nine West
2. Jessica Simpson
3. Target
4. Spring
5. Forever 21
6. Target

Pants
Pants
1. Kenneth Cole
2. Old Navy
3. Old navy

Tops
Shirts
1. Forever 21
2. Tucker for Target
3. Kensie
4. Erin Fetherson for Target
5. H&M
6. Target
7. Old navy

Skirts
Skirts
1. Thrifted
2. H&M
3. H&M
4. Vintage

Dresses
Dresses
1. Vintage
2. Anthropologie via Buffalo Exchange
3. Charlotte Russe
4. Vintage, c/o Archives

Sweaters
Sweaters
1. Jcrew
2. Target
3. Target
4. Target
5. Forever 21
6. Hand-me-down

What do you think? Enough crazy stuff to mix and match? 🙂

PS- lighting sucks when you take photos by flash at 11 pm. Just warning everyone. Don’t do it!

31

Welcome back fall. How I’ve missed you.

Dear Kendi,

I was uninspired Wednesday, until I saw your outfit post and though “oh hey! I can do that!” because I own the same Tucker for Target shirt, some high-waisted pants and even nude heels! Even though I wore my Tucker for Target shirt only a week ago, I decided to wear it again, and “borrow” your look as my inspiration.

Did I do you proud?

9-22-2010 15
9-22-2010 4
9-22-2010 8
9-22-2010 6
9-22-2010 3 9-22-2010 7
9-22-2010 2
Top: Tucker for Target
Pants: Kenneth Cole via Marshalls
Vest: Hand-me-down from Cher
Shoes: Forever 21
Belt: Borrowed from shorts
Sunnies: Vintage Ray Bans, from my mom (they were/are hers)

Like I said above, Kendi inspired this outfit. I was ready to go naked to work, because I had no outfit in mind that I wanted to wear. So, rather than be unproductive, I was reading blogs, came across her post and thought her outfit was really killer, so I decided to do it too.

Oddly, or maybe-not-so-oddly, none of my coworkers or friends thought this outfit was a stretch for me, maybe because they know me and I probably would’ve paired the shirt with pants at some point. I don’t think I would’ve thought to add the vest on my own, but I love what it adds to the overall look.

Kudos to Kendi for making sure I didn’t wear PJs to work, even though she had no idea.

Suze


Find Miss Vinyl Ahoy on Bloglovin’TwitterFacebookRSS
Ask a question on Formspring
22

Welcome to my kitchen. Hungry?

122_5575
122_5572
122_5580
122_5578
(Me: Loafy do you want to be in the picture?
Loafy: NO!)
122_5585
Dress: Vintage, salvation army ($5!!)
Shoes: Nine West
Pearls: Old (and fake)
Belt: F21

Sad thing? I actually was cooking as I took these photos because I was just that hungry! I found this dress at the salvation army. I couldn’t tell if it was actually from the 50s or from the revival in the 80s. I don’t really care, because it’s awesome!

Welcome to my new haircut. I did it on a whim Wednesday night. I had my scissors in my hand, and asked for advice on Twitter. Yes, Twitter. Isn’t that where you go for all your advice?

Simply because I had some pink Manic Panic around, I added some to my hair. It fades out in a few washes, so it won’t be in for more than a few days.

And, because I was so amused with my hair this morning, this is what it looked like when I woke up:
IMG_0038
(Yes, I slept in my makeup. No, I’m not proud of it.)

♥ Suze