channeling nora in watercolors

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I used to be of the sort who thought wearing summer dresses in the winter just Wasn’t Done. There’s such a thing as seasonal color, dammit. I recognize that this is very much a me problem, though. I can be unbearably fastidious about the smallest things, and seasonal appropriateness is one of them. I divide everything into quadrants, and I always have: music, food, color, texture. My life rotates every three months, and I find it soothing.

Nora Finds is changing that, though. Nora is without question my favorite vintage blogger, and every. single. thing she puts on her body just works. She’s not matchy like some, but somehow everything comes together just this side of eccentric, and it’s perfect. After seeing some of her summer dress/winter coat ensembles (here and here), I had to dig out this dress. And nearly brain myself prancing around in heels on the icy sidewalk. My New England upbringing has taught me absolutely nothing.

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Dress: vintage, via brick-and-mortar store

Hat: vintage, thrifted

Coat: via Sammydress

Shoes: from Kristina

Everything else: thrifted

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new in the shop

This shop update was a looong time coming, and I still have more vintage to list. Along with some gorgeous dresses I found at a costume sale last summer, I’m selling some pieces from my personal collection.  I need to be more realistic about what fits me, rather than stuffing myself into any vintage dress with a halfway pretty print. If it doesn’t fit, I must (ac)quit.  Quality over quantity. So I’m selling about a third of my own dresses, all things you’ve seen me wear on the blog.

(Forgive the ModCloth titles – it’s cheesy, but it sells.)

gourmetgreen

Gourmet in Green Dress / $40.00 / worn here

eyelet

Winsome in White Eyelet Dress / $50.00

stripes

Secretarial in Stripes Dress / $50.00 / worn here

greenmaxi

Green Glory Maxi Dress / $40.00

ferns

Fabulous in Ferns Dress / $30.00

alice

Alice in Blue Dress / $40.00 / worn here

belle

Belle of the (Beach) Ball Dress / $30.00 / worn here

blackbrown

Black (& Brown) Beauty Dress / $35.00 / worn here (oh how it pains me to sell this one)

sleevelessblue

Red, White, & Sleeveless Blue / $50.00

cowgirl

Swingin’ Cowgirl Dress / $40.00 / worn here

schoolmarm

Schoolmarm Chic Dress / $40.00

honeycomb

Heady in Honeycomb Dress / $40.00

purpleskirt

Prancing in Purple / $40.00

square

Square-Dance Siren / $50.00

blueberry

Blueberry Babe Dress / $35.00

velvet

Velvet Va-Va-Voom / $40.00

bloodsucker

octopusVIMy partner’s favorite animal is the noble octopus, so of course he’d want to see his favorite lady bedecked in them. This dress, my Christmas present, arrived two days ago from Dracula Clothing. Within my first hour of wearing it out, I had to tell a very appreciative lady in the sandwich shop exactly where I’d gotten it. She wanted to buy one for her daughter. And for once I had a response other than “sorry, it’s vintage”. Buying new has its perks! octopusXVoctopusVII

I’d wanted a Dracula Clothing dress for a while. The whole label is one man’s passion project. From the shop’s about page:

I started Dracula Clothing in 2007. … I had traveled around in India and knew they have some tailors that are the best in the world. So I decided to make a shop that has tailor made clothes at a more reasonable price. One of the ways we keep the price down is by sending the clothes directly from the tailor to the customer. … We thought we would sell mostly to our friends and some random people, but have ended up selling a lot more than we thought.

I already have my eye on the map print and the “Leonardo’s Inventions” print. It’s nice to know I’m supporting a fellow eccentric. Plus, I feel like Mrs. Lovett, and that is never a bad thing.

Dracula Clothing ships free (!) worldwide from Prague. (Lots of good things in my life come from Prague, it seems – you might recall that I used to write for a magazine based there, and you’ll find the best cup of tea in Vermont at a cafe that started as a Czech chain.) The cotton is stiff and sturdy, though I have yet to see how it’ll stand up to a wash. The dress comes with a lace-up corset that’s really more of a belt; there’s no boning, so the effect is more visual than physical. My only complaint? After a few hours of wear, the sleeves’ elastic got mighty scratchy on my underarms, though that might be because I’d just shaved that morning.

(Also worth mentioning: unfortunately, they don’t carry over a size US14, and even that runs a tad small, being European. It fits 43-34-46 me just fine, but if you’re even a couple inches bigger in the bust or the waist, it probably won’t work.)

I’m not saying the steampunks/gothabillies/dandies in your life don’t already love you…but they’ll probably love you even more if you get them something from Dracula Clothing.

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Dress: via Dracula Clothing

Coat: hand-me-down from a friend

Everything else: thrifted

octopusVoctopusIVYou might recall that 2015’s New Year goals included hair long enough for fancy Victorian updos. A year later, I’m not quite sky(e)-high yet, but I’m well on my way! octopusXVII octopuscollageIIoctopusI octopusXVI octopusIII octopuscollage

in summation

Last year I wrote:

I may be just as insufferable as I was last year, but dammit, I think I produced some pretty good art in 2014. If 2013 was the year I “actually took on some semblance of a recognizable style“, then 2014 was about figuring out how to work my goddamn camera.

Today I venture to say I think I’m right again, on both counts – that I’m no less insufferable and that I produced some pretty good art in 2015. If 2014 was about figuring how to work  my goddamn camera, then 2015 was about upgrading to a real!live DSLR. I sure as hell don’t miss my point-and-shoot.

In classic fashion, here are my favorite posts of the year. You can find my previous roundups here and here.

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the magic shoot / still tacky and the leibster award 

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why i don’t write about body image / kitchen witchery 

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vintage gingham, pink accents, & pure americana / gingham, spring fluorescence, & freshly dyed hair 

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brace the sails to starboard / incantatrix

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yellow polka dots & a touch of scandal / ash & me 

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bitch, i’m fabulous / luna

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imp in the garden / polka dots & fireworks 

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ride with the moon in the dead of night / black on black on black

Other happenings:

This year I’ll actually finish that collection. I’ll write many more articles for Bustle (I have, like, three in the works right this moment…), and my first piece for Caboodle Magazine will come out this spring. I’ll keep entering Glimmer Train‘s emerging writers’ contest until I win, dammit.  I will grow my hair until I am a mermaid with split ends that start at my waist. I will visit oceans and cities and always crawl back to my home between mountains. I will perform on many stages in many degrees of undress. I will eat more Thai food and drink more Manhattans, and suckle the cherry stem when I’m done. I will deface pretty dresses with drool.

I will hunt down beauty in every corner, and I’ll raise my Manhattan to it each time I catch a slice.

first

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I woke up this morning in a place I’d never been. Not a bad start. I spent the night with friends in Windsor, and I don’t think I ever want to leave. It’s the quaintest place imaginable, all squat bricks and sprawling Victorians carved between twin mountains. I went for a walk in my pajamas to work off my Kraken hangover, and it was nice to care more about the adventure I’m having than about how I look having it. I love the way railroads and rivers curve out of sight.

nyeXnyeIIAfter talking a big game about how much I loved this maxi dress, I gave in and shortened it. At the end of the day, I love the print too much to let it languish in a length I know I’m not comfortable in.

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Dress, hat, & coat: vintage, thrifted

Everything else: thrifted

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