Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weekend Finds: Black is the New Black

Good morning!

I'm a little late on posting today, but that's because I got to sleep past seven AM omfg what does that even mean. I told you earlier in the week that I drew the freakin' Powerball lotto ticket odds of a Wednesday through Sunday OFF WORK sweep, due to the government holiday on Thursday and Friday and my already in place weekend off. Sure, I've been to work seven of the past seven days, but I also have a five day spree! I intend to spend most of it in the bathtub catching up on my drinking habit and about fourteen books I've been too busy to read, but in the event that I did wear clothes and leave the house, this might be the outfit you would catch me skulking around your local Goodwill in:

I picked up this 1940's dress and 1950's handbag at the flea market last week! The dress is one of those Joanie-shoulder padded numbers, complete with a long, I don't know what you call it...sash? It's a draped piece of fabric that hangs from one hip to the hem, adding fullness and swish to an otherwise structured, straight up and down gown. I was digging through a large cardboard box in the Antiques shed at the flea when I came across the dress under a pair of heavy sixties' curtains. It's always hilarious to ask clothing advice from my dad, but we discussed a peacock blue, similar evening dress in faded/poor condition versus this black, perfect condition (it needs drycleaning and to be pressed, pretty much, but no damage whatsoever), and both of us went for the more wearable piece. I was even more pleased to see it fit when I got it home! A tad bit tight in the hips, but I hadn't even noticed the ruching on the bodice to make one's waist look slim and bust I'm totally ok with that.

For the true hour glass effect of the dress, I strike a pose in the space between eating area and living room in my house.

It occurred to me while I was shopping this weekend that I have turned to black, black, and more black in my old age with regard to wardrobe selection. Pretty much the only thing I've been enjoying about my much-looked-forward-to third season of American Horror Story is Jessica Lange --well, in general, but specifically, her jet black, chic as a Parisian ensembles. Fiona Goode's seventies' style shifts with sheer long sleeves, capes, tight fitting, peplum-over a pencil skirt outfits make me want to join a coven myself (that, and seeing Stevie Nicks make a guest appearance this season, are the only things keeping me watching...ugh! Why is the narrative so bad this year?! After last year's sophomore triumph! But I digress). I'll never give up my neon mod explosion dresses, but I feel like lately, it's either wild-pattern-plus-black (a polyester pattern shirt tucked into a black highwaisted skirt, worn with a black jacket, like this), or black-plus-black, and everything very polished looking, or I'm going to throw a fit in front of my closet (odds of the former vs the latter, about 80/20, in all honesty). Dress? $5. Purse? $5. Five bucks was my magic number on Saturday!!

I'll admit it, I just want to be Jessica Lange....but if I can't be Jessica Lange,
at least I can dress like her!
The other pieces I picked up at the flea market were in keeping with this minimalist design aesthetic-- more black, please, and make it pre 1960 if you can.This Persian Lamb shortie coat had been marked $20, but I ended up getting this, a couple of sixties' shirts, and a bed jacket all for that price, which was great! The texture of the jacket's pile makes it look ultra luxe, and all the buttons/closure hooks are intact. Hallelujah!

Inside, the former owner had their unusual initials stitched into the lining. I bet this was a helpful trick when it was 1955, you were pretty well bombed on Brandy Alexanders at a friend's cocktail party, and you were trying to find the mink or stole you brought, which would probably look very similar to your fellow party goers wraps in the dark, on a guest bed, in a pile. The monogrammed customization reminded me of Mick's blog post about having his friend's letters stitched into the lining of a birthday mink  (the best kind of present, if you ask me)...I should find somewhere in town that still does this, and have mine under the others!

Even more interesting than the monogram was this maker's label. "Haute Fourrures" is French for "fine furs"(you may be aware from the term haute couture, "high fashion", high in the sense of high quality, or "fine", in this case). And then the manufacturer's name, "Halifax S.D.", and then the city of origin....which is Athens? I think what we're dealing with here is a Francophone furrier in a Canadian town called Athens? I was able to find a city called Athens, Ontario, but it was tiny and had 1% French speaking population. Maybe it was a French Canadian furrier in Athens, Greece? Also sounds like a longshot (you'd be more likely to need a persian lamb coat in North America than the sunny Mediterranean), but anything's possible! If you can shed any light on this lining mystery, let a girl know.

Last but not least in this parade en noire, you've got this heavily beaded black cardigan from the fifties'. I passed up one a lot like this in Gallatin at the Goodwill, even though it fit, even though I liked it, because I thought it looked too much like all those early 2000's copies of the sweater that were briefly in vogue and cluttering department store racks in various successful or unsuccessful iterations. I think I myself had a white one with sequins and seed pearls in early high school. At any rate, I have been kicking myself ever since, so when I saw this one, I snagged it up. Lining? Intact. Beadwork? Perfect condition. Moth holes/snags? ASTONISHINGLY ENOUGH, none. And plus it's in black, which, as previously stated, is exactly the color I'm interested in at present. Five bucks, again! Not bad at all.

I have to go get cracking on some housework that sorely needs attending, but let me know what you think about my finds! And how about you? Do you shy way from solid colors that aren't black, or are you a color warrior, wearing pastels and patterns and whatever strikes your fancy with aplomb? Have you been watching JL in AmHoSto this season? What do you think about the show? What did you find at the flea if you went? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I'll see you back here tomorrow for a holiday-themed post! Have a great Wednesday, and I'll talk to you then. :)


  1. my closet had turned to mostly grey and black this year. you are right about coven, i want to LOVE It but it is mostly so scattered and weird. but YES Fiona is amazing and looks great in every episode. (i'm still to scared to watch season two! i want to SO BAD because my boo zachary quinto is in it, but i'm a big chicken. )

  2. beautiful finds! wow, the dress is fantastic, the little fur jacket is a dream (just found one recently too) ... the beaded cardi makes me swoon. wow.



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