grandma chic: dapper flapper edition

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Rachel‘s note accompanying my Etsy order. When I spotted this pink polka-dotted suit for a mere $20 in her shop, The Floral Prince, I pounced. The Floral Prince, by the way, is chock full of quirky clothes and all sorts of handmade items, and I highly advise y’all to browse.

Grandma chic indeed. All I need are some finger curls (which my gurl Hailey has promised to teach me to make), and maybe a scandalous flask hidden in my bloomers.

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My mom took most of these. She was into photography long before I was, and I think she’s pretty damn good.

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I just plain feel my best when I’m swaddled in other eras and personae. It’s not about insecurity or needing to hide in the past: it’s about the sheer number of styles the past two thousand years of human civilization have seen. Hewing to the style mores of just the past decade seems terribly confining and, honestly, just lazy. So many fashionistas seem to forget or just plain disregard where they came from. The semiotics of clothing fascinate me: I can broadcast a completely different mood, dissolve into a completely different era, with just a few tweaks. Why wouldn’t I take full advantage?

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Really digging the contrast of grandma suit and visible sparkly bra.

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Suit: The Floral Prince Boots & Tie: Goodwill Tights: Handed down from Marissa Hat: Gifted

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wicked west, sordid south

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I’ve always been drawn to the “weird West” and “southern gothic” aesthetics and assorted paraphernalia. Spooky, ghost-dripping Americana tingles my spine and makes me yearn to crawl beneath the skin of the world, into the underbelly of fog and freaks. My mindscape resembles Deliverance, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and a Flannery O’Connor novel. But only in the summer does this particular demon haunt welcome me: something about the way summer trees are just a little too ripe evokes its specter like nothing else.

(Before you ask: every other season has its associated ghoulies and ghosties, too. But this one has long been my favorite.)

Today in theatrics: the forest is just slightly too bright not to harbor some atrocity or other. I also pulled inspiration from Amy of Amy Flying a Kite, whose romantic prairie aesthetic often informs mine.

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“Follow me.”

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Weird West and southern gothic are all about queering traditional landscapes and mythologies. To find my place in that tradition, I (GASP!) modernized this prairie look a little with printed tights and generally eclectic accessories. As a costumer, I love exploiting and/or squashing expectations of a particular look, and today I did this by pulling the eye out of the past and a little more abruptly into the modern than usual.

And let’s be real: my pink hair always does that whether I intend it or not.

Also, if I have to choose between hewing to every period detail and setting the mood I want to set, I’ll usually choose the latter, even if it means a little imprecision.

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Oh lord, these boots. I found them at Battery Street labeled only with the tag “very old boots!”. They’re so fragile they seem about to liquefy. One is missing most of its tongue. And they fit me almost perfectly. A little pinch at the toe is well worth it to wear a piece of history.

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This is my pet gremlin. We call him Nick Teppelin.

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Dress, Hat, & Boots: Battery Street Jeans Tights: Plato’s Closet Belt: Goodwill Necklace: Handed down from Mom

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One of my favorite photos of myself ever.