malco maiden


Today in “words I never thought I’d say”: this petticoat is too full.

Well – not too full period. Obviously there’s no such thing. Too full, though, for what turned out to be the majority of my dresses. Only true circle skirts will do: no halves, no three-quarters, no gathered-waist approximations. I have maybe…four dresses able to accommodate this monstrous pouf. Honestly, though? I think it’s worth it.

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After reading Miss Hero Holliday‘s review guide, I was itching for a new petticoat. Literally itching: my only halfway decent petticoat was a thrifted Leg Avenue number made of scratchy nylon mesh. Our Miss Hero gave Malco Modes a 10 out of 10 for comfort, immediately piquing my interest. Then I saw that a) the company has been around for 50+ years and b) their products are 100% American-made. Sold! I’m especially pleased that they’re such an old company. Petticoats are one of the few things I resign myself to buying new, so it’s nice to find a company with a vintage legacy.

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I’m wearing the Malco Modes Jennifer petticoat in ruby red. It is every bit as soft as it looks. In a pinch, I could ball it up and use it as a pillow. Its coverage is excellent – I could wear it as a skirt in its own right, and I probably will. The waist is a little too big. Size L stretches from 27″ to 50″; at 32.5″, I could have even worn the small. I wanted the extra two inches of length that come with the large, though, and in the end I think it’s a fair trade.

And the Jennifer isn’t even the fullest petticoat they make. I’m almost scared to attempt the Michelle

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1940s patio dress: thrifted

Hat: vintage, thrifted

Shoes & belt: old

Petticoat: Jennifer by Malco Modes

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kitschy witchery


Would you believe I’ve had this skirt for almost two years and never worn it? Not just “never worn for the blog”. Never. Worn. It’s a few inches too big in the waist, and it’s really hard to take in a circle skirt without ruining the silhouette. I could pin it, like I did for these photos, but going a whole day like that…nah. Still, I’ll never get rid of this beauty. You can’t call yourself a ’50s girl if you don’t own a poodle skirt. It’s a social rule, unspoken but very much enforced.

Just…not this one, please.

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Skirt: costume shop

Hat: vintage, thrifted

Everything else: thrifted

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I had a pretty quiet Valentine’s Day, as evidenced by my mentioning it eight days late. I wrote about this at Christmas, and it still holds true: I’m uncomfortable with the pressure on bloggers to publicize our holiday celebrations. Certain things are just for me and my loved ones; I don’t have to invite the whole world in.

That said, I somehow ended up with ten Spanish-language conversation balloons, and that in itself is worth sharing. The gas station was selling them for a penny each the day after Valentine’s, so I, lured by the promise of living Wes Anderson’s wet dream, loaded the car with them.

“You have quite a weirdness magnet,” Josh said, after we’d finished stuffing them into the trunk like hostages.

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I’m wearing ModCloth’s “Unbridled Panache” dress in dice print, which, while adorable, only serves to reinforce why I prefer true vintage over reproduction. It’s a great print and a nice soft material, but honestly? ModCloth is really hit or miss. Their dresses always fit a little funny in the bodice, and the armscyes are way too wide. Which would be fine in a cheaper garment, but this dress retails for $100. Thanks to a coupon, I got it for less than half that, but I would have been mighty disappointed had I paid full price.

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You may have noticed that I’ve gone a little, uh, nuts buying dresses the past month or so. I don’t want to present a misleading picture of my financial situation, so please note: it was entirely the fault of Christmas money and post-holiday sales. The gravy train is slowing down now, so I will be posting new items at a much less gluttonous rate.

It’s a weird thing to talk about, because I don’t think bloggers owe anyone their financial details. In fact, if someone asked directly, my response would likely be a giant middle finger. But I am also loath to seem like one of those bloggers who never wear anything twice. Some bloggers seem to have a different dress for every day of the year, and at that point I’m giving out a hard side-eye. I empathize: shopping addictions are easy to fall into. But y’all have a problem.


Anyway, this dress is from Retrolicious, aka Folter Clothing. Folter costs a pretty penny, but I managed to find this dress on a Canadian website, and the conversion rate made it obscenely cheap. Seriously, I felt like I was ripping them off. But it was the perfect thing to fill the steampunk-shaped hole in my wardrobe. My old go-to steampunk dress no longer zips. (It is, however, for sale on Etsy! Someone should give it a better home.)

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what do you do with a shrunken shirtdress?


You take yet another cue from Nora Finds and wear it over another dress. I’ve grown a cup size in the past year or so, which means this dress no longer buttons smoothly over my chest- not that it ever really did, if I’m being honest.  I’m loath to get rid of it, though. It’s such a lovely piece. But then I remembered Nora repurposing a button-up dress as a short-sleeved coat, and I decided to attempt it.

I’m not sure how much I like the result, honestly. Well, let me rephrase – I personally like it. Quite a bit, in fact. But I’m not  sure how much I can trust my enjoyment. I can’t tell whether it falls on the “eccentric” or the “utterly ridiculous” side of society dame. Nora does it perfectly, of course, but on me…I don’t know. What do you think?


Coatdress & hat: vintage, thrifted

Orange plaid dress: vintage, via Soulrust

Boots: Kick on the Uptake Boot from ModCloth 

Everything else: thrifted

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kook: a retrospective

In honor of my last post and the attendant closet clean-out, I thought I should give my thrifted weirdness a last hurrah. Here are fifteen outfits I absolutely loved, and would absolutely never in a million years wear again.


one / two / three / four


five / six / seven / eight


nine / ten / eleven / twelve


thirteen / fourteen / fifteen


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.


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



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.


Dress, hat, & coat: vintage, thrifted

Everything else: thrifted

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mother said straight ahead


I borrowed my mom’s vintage cape and got to channel my favorite musical. Despite my lofty aspirations, I am far more Little Red than the Witch. It’s always weird when your mental image of yourself fails to align with reality. In my head I’m slinky and sinister and throaty-voiced; in real life I’m stocky and squeaky. I’ll always be more Merryweather than Maleficent.

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Dress: vintage, via brick-and-mortar store

Cape: Mom’s

Everything else: thrifted

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haunt for the holidays

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Can we take a moment and collectively appreciate Kristina of Eccentric Owl here? I’d known since my birthday (back in May) that I had a package from her on the way, but I had no idea it would be this package. I finally received it on Monday (the day before my half birthday), and…lord oh lord was it worth the wait.

Besides making (yes, making) the skirt in this post, she thrifted me a pair of retro heels, a spangled fascinator, and a cherry-print blouse. I feel positively spoiled. I haven’t been wearing many separates lately, but this skirt stirred my desire for a kitschy skirt-and-sweater combo, and lo! – I’ve been wearing the outfit in this post for two days straight now. Holiday mashups are my new favorite thing.

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Skirt: from Kristina

Everything else: thrifted

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This look was unintentionally super similar to last year’s Thanksgiving outfit. I’d wager it’s an improvement – I have both a much better camera and much longer hair.

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