Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Clothes Off My Back (4)

Back to the blog, people!! It's hard to believe we're already four days into 2011. The holiday season has put a kibosh on estate sale and thrift store hunting (as, well, who wants to have an estate sale on a holiday, and getting out to the thrift stores in last minute Christmas traffic is a H-A-S-S-L-E), so I was forced back into the depths of my costume closet for some creative seasonal outfits. I have also learned, over the course of the last two days, that taking even semi-decent outfit photos with a self-timer is well nigh impossible. How do you people do it?! I managed to improvise with a stack of old National Geographics and a TV dinner table balanced on top of my coffee table, but I now know to ask for a tripod of some kind for my birthday. Or to stop being so vain. Whichever comes first. But please, if you have any photo tips, pass them along to a pitiful first time blogger who would very much appreciate them.

In the pictures above I'm wearing a forest green cocktail dress I've had since high school, that came to me from the half price Goodwill when it had just opened up at its old location behind the Dollar General at Farmer's Market. Miss that place. Made of feather light chiffon, I think this "Miss Lili's of Dallas" creation ended up being something like seventy five cents? No tears, no stains, no nothin'. It's far and away the best dress I've found in terms of quality at a Goodwill... when I first pulled it off the rack, it seemed short and squat, but when I put it on, the pretty draping at the front, the nipped waist, and the elbow length sleeves were love at first bite. I remember specifically wearing this in the eleventh grade, possibly making me the most overdressed person to ever sit in sixth period Chemistry. This year, the dress made a much more occasion-appropriate appearance at the Corner Bar Christmas Party.

The red dress (left) is recently from Goodwill, $7.99, from the Sears Fashion Place line, some time in the mid 70's. I added my black belt to balance out the tights and cover an elastic waist (one of my least favorite features on many otherwise great dresses...to wear this beltless wouldn't be half as much fun) and I really love the vibrant sort of color to which the material lends itself. Also, the dress's skirt is extreeeeeemely swishy... just walking around in it is kind of fun. Also, cowl neck. I've never owned a cowl neck top or dress and this year I've come up with like three. It's like they multiply in your closet.

This sweater (right) came as a skirt and sweater set, with a a skirt of the same material, from the Western Avenue DAV in Knoxville (best...store...ever...). I think it was less than five dollars for the pair. The skirt I've never worn, and have actually lost track of, but the top is a favorite of mine (in spite of the slightly poufy, 80's sleeves), due to the wow factor of the glitter encrusted bow. I've seen similar motifs on newer shirts, but there's something about the fact that they're actually pieces of glitter somehow permanently affixed to the front that put THIS top heads and shoulders above others of its kind. It always reminds me of something someone (yet thinner than me) would have worn on the television show Solid Gold. I wore it on the last day of work before Christmas break, with a pair of gold poinsetta and pearl earrings from an estate sale (couldn't find them for the pic, but $2 for a pin and earring set) and a bag of homemade cookie for my coworkers, pre-divided into tiny ziplock bags and affixed with gift labels reading "Happy Holidays, From Lisa". Yes, I am that ridiculous about holidays. If there's a reason to be seasonal, then by God I'm going to be seasonal.

Last but not least, through the magic of photo editing, I present a photo of your host and hostess from New Years Eve at my house. Yes, we're both standing in front of the Fleetwood Mac poster...I think it's my new favorite back drop. I'm wearing a Ruby Rox dress with a crinolined skirt that also comes from the back of the closet and high school homecoming circa 2002. The earrings, though, are new...a present from Bab and Pangea, the body is made up of an anchoring large rhinestone, two strings of smaller rhinestones, and a huge black stone at the bottom. Bab's wearing a yellow gingham, mid 60's collared shirt (new with tags at Goodwill! $2.50!), a woefully wilted bowtie (it looked better or worse, depending on which part of the evening), a black blazer and cummerbund (Salvation Army, $2 and 25 cents, respectively). Doesn't he look like a doll. And very kind to let his fiancee dress him, to boot!

Above, just for kicks, our New Year's spread... amongst the peanuts, the Zodiac sign chip and dip, the canteloupe, the antipasto platter and palm tree candlesticks, a T-Rex and a rhino vie for dominance...!! I thought of these at the last minute as the table looked so bare without the Christmas tree! Don't ask me why I happen to have oversized figurines of rexes and rhinos scattered about the house, but hey, why not. Halfway through the party, I thought what a good idea it would have been to have added little paper saddles to the two of them, labeling one as "2010" and the other as "2011", but there's always next year. :)

Happy New Year, everbody! Let's make 2011 a keeper.


  1. I love the red dress and for that price, it is a steal. Great deal!

    Maybe we can follow each other?

  2. all three dresses look cute, just not a huge fan of that sweater =/ haha

  3. I can't remember whether or not I took shoulder pads out of it... again, not an era I ever seem to know what to do with...I think it's just the massive amount of glitz that keeps me sold on it, lol. But thanks for your ten cents, anyway! Always appreciated. :)

  4. I don't know what part I liked the best! The dresses, the table, food or your home decor in the backgrounds! Great job.. It's like walking back into 1959! (or so) lol :)

  5. hee hee I love your New Year's spread! And those are some fantastic thirft-finds. I love the sweater with the little bow. Adorable! I gotta go to Knoxville!

  6. All three dresses and the sweater are completely gorgeous and stunning. What lovely photos...you house looks so enchanting. Following you now:) xx Marisa

  7. Thanks so much, everybody! I so so so love feedback. @TrophyBoutique: That one DAV on Western Ave was like stepping into a multi-decade vintage Sears. I mean, EVERYTHING there was funky retro and cheap as cheap could be. I miss it a lot. @Cher: especially kind of you, my house decor is very much "1959 or bust!". @Marisa Noelle Thanks for following! More outfit posts to come, I'm so lazy about transferring from my camera.

  8. You two made the perfect host and hostess that night, I'm sure. Adorable, both of you!

    You did a good job with the camera timer - great pics, fab clothes (esp. the green dress!) - but I definitely feel your pain. I was going to ask my readers the same question - how do they manage to take photos with a timer? Yuck! I guess a tripod would help quite a bit, but still...I'm not very photogenic so need to take about 30 photos to get one decent shot, I hate it!

  9. @ Sarsaparilla: Ain't it the truth. My favorite shots (which I will have to compile for some bonus post) are the ones where I either hit the button too fast or knocked the blamed camera off the improvised stand and you get these closeups of the carpet, the side of my head, or my own face with a distinct look of "Huh...wha?". Priceless. But seriously, there's gotta be a better way!



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