Thrifting Outfit and New

Wonder what I've been up to lately? It's been a whirlwind. Check out my latest obsessions purchases!

Ebay is going in full swing. Thanks to my new photo kit and garment steamer - listing multiple ads has been a breeze. The photo kit was only $135, and it includes 3 backgrounds, lights and the racks. Low quality stuff - but it is perfect for what I'm using it for.

Do you have a GARMENT STEAMER? I got the one above (mixed in with the photography stuff) from Mr. C for Christmas. This handy device makes your clothes look brand new in about 30 seconds, and it gets rid of the vintage funk from clothing. Why didn't I get one of these sooner? I'm thinking this is a must-have for any woman that loves clothes or is handling resale garments. My only wish on this item is that the steaming cord and the electrical cord was longer.

I wore this on Wednesday when I decided to brave the mall to return a few gifts. It's hard to tell, but I have matching orange tights on with my orange mini skirt and a layer of sockens peeking out of my brown leather boots. It's been an orange themed week.

Yesterday I spent the day with my amazing neice who was visiting from Utah. I took her to a few of my favorite thrift stores and we had a blast. 

When must sport vintage looks.  Yesterday's outfit was "East European meets the 1960's". Vintage scarf (op shopped $1.99), 60's Mod Shirt (Carousel Vintage $24.99), 70's Tassle necklace (gift). I know the gloves are a bit odd, but I have to wear them when thrifting or else I get germ/bacteria overload.

I found these yesterday too and had to have them. They are solid wood and were only $3 a piece. My plan is to sand them down, stain them to match my dark wood pieces in the house.  I have old hardware from the Germany Flea Markets, so I'll attach them and reattach the doors as a wall panel (or something else more creative). We'll see what really ends up happening. More projects to work on....

Happy New Years Eve Eve......


VINTAGE FIND: Russian Fur Hats - a DO or a DON'T?

I found a Russian-inspired faux fur hat during a recent shopping trip. It is in mint condition and has a comfortable band to fit any size of head. The hat reminded me of Kourtney Kardashian and the look she was sporting last winter. I usually think Ms. Kourtney looks great - but she's a bit 'prostitute-y' with the leopard coat AND leather boots combination.

With a little research I saw that Ashton Kutcher was wearing it too ....

I contemplated keeping it - but then decided it was best to part ways since I would probably only wear it once and scratch my head the entire time.  I listed it on ebay and for my photo I kept it casual with a plaid red flannel from H&M . What do you think? Is it now too casual?

Would you wear this? If yes - how would you style it?


Silver Cats and German Friends

I  have a huge soft spot for elderly women Silver Cats. Especially when they continue to be stylish and fashionable - regardless of age and general stereotypes.  Do you know any one older than 60 that is still going over the top with their clothes and personal style?

I recently discovered the most amazing blog called Advanced Style. This incredible blogger takes street style photos of STYLISH WOMEN 70+ (seriously though....I'm thinking some of these lovely ladies are 80++) I loved this photo of singer Rita Hammer with her over sized black glasses and fur stole. I could see this being me in 30 years. Have you ever pictured yourself in your silver years and do you have a rough idea of what your style is going to be like? 

Courtesy of ADVANCE STYLE blog

Courtesy of ADVANCE STYLE blog

I've been missing my German lifestyle, so as a remedy I have joined the local German American Society club. What? ask? Yes - I know 'SOCIAL CLUBS' are very passe and a dying breed (literally....), but I love the company and friendship of the members. Most of the members are first generation refugees from World War 2. Sponsored by the Catholic Church, they found their way to Washington to start a new life for themselves. Their stories are incredible - not to mention the ladies are busting out a mean Apfel Struedel and a giant German beer every time I visit. Buh-liss.  

So how do I fit in with this club? Well....I am the YOUNGEST member by far, but I have my own German heritage and I adore the BLUNTNESS of their culture. This isn't a passing interest either....... I actually joined the choir and will become part of their traveling music group to attend INTERNATIONAL CONCERTS and FESTIVALS. Yes people, you figured it out: I have found a way to still enjoy the German lifestyle (and the fun benefits!) all while living in my own hometown. Finally, a place to wear my Austrian feather hat and German Lederhosen shorts too.

German American Society - they don outfits for special events and concerts.
So you're probably wondering if I can sing, right? Well, no...not really, but I can read music and can blend my voice in with theirs. I won't be busting out any solos or spectacular star-studded performances. The kicker here is I will be singing in German so I get to learn the language as I go. Pretty cool, right?

TO TIE THIS STORY INTO THE BEGINNING OF THIS POST..........I have to tell you about my new friend Helen at the German Society. Ms. Helen is 82 and wears BLACK LEATHER PANTS to choir practice. Incredible, right? I'll work on getting some photos so you can see what I'm talking about.

FUNNY OBSERVATION: I've been noticing the other ladies bringing their A-GAMES to the German events now that I've been attending: jewels, hats, furs, red lipstick. Maybe it's a coincidence, but I think I've inspired them to bust out their 'finer pieces'!


Have you joined a social club or been part of a choir? What do you think of growing old gracefully yet stylishly?

READER FASHION ADVICE NEEDED - Recycled Fashion, a new segment

How exciting! We have our first victim volunteer for the Recycled Fashion segment. Meet the gorgeous Ms. Renie! She has willingly submitted photos of her thrift store finds and is seeking fashion advice from me and fellow bloggers.

If you've been following my blog for awhile - you probably already know what my fashion advice is going to be: Tights, sockens, scarves - layers, layers, and more layers! However.....that is MY style, and part of the journey with RECYCLED FASHION is to find your OWN style. So how do you find your own style? Sometimes that occurs naturally or through the inspiration of others, but often times it develops from simply loving what you've randomly thrown together - and sticking with it. It's whatever you feel beautiful in!

So Let's get started. Meet reader Ms. Renie!

MS RENIE: "I was recently introduced to Hot Pink Combat Boots about a week ago and was inspired by Michelle’s talent for not only putting together recycled clothing, but to pick appropriate outfits for the occasion (Frank Sinatra party).  I had not been to a thrift shop in years and after seeing her blog I went out the next day and bought $60 worth of items (yes, I got a little carried away).  I feel unsure at times about putting items together and especially jewelry.  I would like some FEEDBACK about this outfit. 

1.  Is the coat too casual for the dress? 

2.  Is the necklace a little too much for the outfit?  Maybe something more simple? 

COST: Jacket $3, Dress $4, Earrings $3, Necklace $4, Shoes (brand new) $4 . 

OK Ladies (and gentlemen...I know there a few male readers out there) - what do you think? It takes a lot of COURAGE to put your photos online and ask for feedback - so please be considerate in your responses. Imagine Ms. Renie is your sister - what would you tell her?

1. Offer candid advice. The general comments of 'you look great' aren't very productive in this type of feature. Please share you stylish input and tips. How would you wear this dress, would you accessorize it differently?

2. If you don't like something - say it, but offer a suggestion of improvement to counteract the negative.

Thank you for your submission Ms. Renie - and I would love it if you sent us an 'AFTER' photo featuring some of the readers suggestions.

Readers - do you want to be part of RECYCLED FASHION??? Please send me your photo/questions as well as the price of your items to  Remember - this is ALL ABOUT RECYCLED clothing -so you can either showcase your awesome outfit, or you can ask for reader styling advice. (PS - you don't have to have a blog to do this, and yes this is open to Men too! Warning: Man-pris and acid washed jeans need not apply).


Vintage Scores!

Nothing warms my heart like a day of thrift shopping (or as my Australian friends say..."Op Shopping"). After seeing how a  hem could transform my vintage red dress, I was on a mission to find more cool pieces.  Of course.... you can never find what you're looking for if you have something particular in mind, but this is where fate comes in and something new will end up in your lap. Something you never even knew you wanted.

Let me introduce you to the PENDLETON 4 piece suit:

One of my favorite stops is a little church-ran thrift shop. They don't advertise, so it's one of those little shops you can always find great stuff in since it's never busy. This time I was not having any luck (READused clothes tunnel-vision and mental space-out) and the sweet elderly volunteer asked me what I size I was. I told her 2, and she got this excited look on her face and then scurried into the back room. Out comes this MINT CONDITION 4-Piece Pendleton Suit Set.

Please ignore the pink turban - that was my yoga outfit from earlier in the day (yes..... I wore my nasty yoga clothes all day).

Not photographed is an A-line skirt and flat front back-zip pants. I can't button the skirt (just how teeny tiny was the previous owner?), but there is room to have it let out.  The pants fit PERFECT (so perfect I forgot to photograph them - I was that excited). The 4 piece fully lined set was $8. Yes people - $8! I doubt I will wear these pieces together. Too matchy-matchy - plus I would like a big PLAID BOMB. Separately though, these pieces are classics and will fit nicely in my wardrobe.


One of the stores hung their pants with the waist band pointed out. Clever....I'm so tired of digging through my jeans and pants. If you have room to hang your pants, this is a brilliant idea.

I'm going to start a new segment showcasing more of my thrift finds - RECYCLED FASHION.

WANT TO BE PART OF THE FUN? Send photo(s) of your thrift store find(s) to and I'll put on the blog. Be sure to include the cost and what city you found it in. If you  need style advice or input - be sure to include that in your email as well.


1970's FONDUE. Is it a DO, or a Fon-DON'T?

I'm a huge fan of the 1970's. Not only does it represent my childhood, but the colors - fabrics and style of the era also remind me of German culture (which I adore....). So it only seems right that I would gravitate towards something as elaborate and fun as FONDUE. Totally exaggerating, my fondue pots have a coat of dust on them 10 years old. Why it is we buy these things and then forget to use them?

Remember when the fondue trend came back in 2000, and everyone rushed out and bought one? It was so much fun at first to put things on the fork and dip a variety of items into sauces. the end of the night you realize you had somehow eaten an entire block of cheese, a loaf of bread dipped on garlic oil along with the bag of marshmallows that went so nicely with the melted chocolate. Ugh.

Dietary concerns aside because seriously.... no one cares during the holidays, FONDUE is a FUN and interactive dinner party. Not only is it fun - but it's EASY. You chop up some items, arrange them on a platter and make your fondue. During the busy holiday times - it's a godsend to have on hand so you can entertain unexpected guests with style. So why is it that we don't use them more often? I can't be the only one that has this kitchen appliance hidden and out of sight.

Reader poll........Do you think fondue is a DO or a fon-DON'T? If you were invited to someones house for dinner, and it was an unexpected fondue theme - what would you think? Cool - or dietary nightmare? I have a girls night coming up, and I'm thinking about busting out the FONDUE pot for DIY fun. I'll just have to be sure I don't wear a fitted dress and work out the day of - AND the day after. Why is it that everything so delicious is a waistline killer? Suck. If you are a fondue-er, what is your favorite recipe?


FREE UNWANTED ADVICE (yay, everyone's favorite thing): If you're in the mood to throw a fondue party - it's VERY HELPFUL if you have 3 pots. One non-stick for CHEESE, one stainless steel for MEAT/VEGETABLES and another non-stick for CHOCOLATE. It's a hassle to switch out pans while trying to entertain.

Blonde Ebay - a weird combo.

OK, technically Blonde Hair AND eBay. Read on for more:

The eBay store is up and running. You can check it out HERE. I decided to use the same name as my blog to keep things consistent (plus I can recycle my printed blog materials in customers packages). I only have a few items currently listed, but will add more as time allows.

As always, you can can find bargains at the yard sale before they hit eBay. You will not believe the cool pieces I found yesterday op-shopping - AND in my size (no alterations required). Fresh fashion posts coming up soon.

I'm trusting a new person with my HAIR tomorrow (EEK!!!). The last 'home hair' incident was too strong and the bleach burned my head. was really expensive. I'll be a guinea pig again as I trek into Idaho and lay a TON of trust into a new persons hands. Wish me luck!


PINK and BLACK - the final dresses. Palm Springs Frank Sinatra Event

A few words before I spam you with photos......... I caught the eye of a few photographers, one being for the local entertainment magazine - and the other one working for the L.A. Times (exciting, right?!!!) . I was so EXCITED to be photographed for these publications, that I didn't focus on having my photo taken with my own camera. And honestly, I had  hoped I would have received a few of the photo copies by now.......but anyways.  

The pink dress was so tight in the rib cage I had to breath shallow while sitting. By the end of the gala, the soft chiffon overlay was beginning to shred. Unfortunately, this is a 1-time wear dress. 

The images of the pink dress and the after hours dress are very limited as my time was spent posing for other photographers. Seriously, no BS! This level of attention is a NEW thing for me, and I am not bragging by any means. It was just one of those events where I was at the right place at the right time -and happened to look the part.

Mr. C 'borrowed' the Jack Daniels bottle from Frank Sinatra's house and passed it around the the other gentlemen at the event. He was his own celebrity for the evening, as he channeled the great singer.

Not the best photo - but it showcases my scandalous red lipstick. It the new gloss by Victoria's Secret.

I felt a bit like a stewardess - but this dress was WAY FUN, and quite the attention getter. I used the same purse and shoes from the pink dress ensemble. Brande outfitted me with the box hat.  Pearl studs and black tights (with black hot shorts) finished the outfit.

Palm Springs is a wonderful city that seemed like a natural fit for vintage clothing. Unfortunately, I was the ONLY one wearing recycled clothing. As impressed as I was with my vintage finds and bargains, I learned that others simply DO NOT CARE that my clothes were from the thrift store. If anything, I would have been better off not saying anything about my $0.50 dress as it seemed to take-away from the allure of the evening.

My mad photography skills in Frank Sinatra's bedroom via his mirrored closet door (of course he has a giant mirrored closet door that runs parallel to the bed - he's F.S!)
 So for now.... I will say this is the last post on this event until I can track down my photos in the California publications.


Little Red Dress - Palm Springs

Following Brande's stylish and professional advice,  I hemmed the dress to above my knee. Instead of wearing a belt, I used the cut-off fabric to make a wide sash. The dress went from 70's to modern feminine swing. I could wear this to any type of event!

Remember when I was contemplating switching to a white halter dress and you (my lovely readers), said "Noooooo -stick with the bright color". You were absolutely right! 

Want to know a super bargain secret? This dress was op-shopped for only $0.50!!!! Yes - people, it was two quarters. The hem was $15. Now that I have a great seamstress, I am looking at vintage clothing in a whole new light. Not only is it affordable, but these pieces are unique and have already stood the test of time.
Here is the dress prior to the alterations and paired with black accessories. Isn't it amazing what a quick hem can do? I had no idea it would make such a difference.  
These were the accessories I ended up wearing. The shoes were a toe-killer by the end of the event, but the opulent gold toned accessories were a perfect pairing with the orange/red dress. Gold earrings - Forever 21 ($4) Leather peep toes - Nine West ($60), Gold clutch - opshopped vintage ($3). This entire outfit was practically free cost $85

Mr. C inherited the Fedora hat I was originally going to wear. Interesting tidbit:  Frank's pool is shaped like a piano.
Do these boys look familiar? It's Phillip Lomax from X-Factor and Matt Dusk. They had great voices and amazing energy. Gracious entertainers - and a ton of fun!

Yes - even in Palm Springs my sleep wear is vintage. Flowing apricot colored gown with sheer ruffled robe. What do you think? Would you wear this to bed? The ruffles were stiff and not very comfortable - but I felt glamorous in it nonetheless.
The pink wiggle dress and after hours party dress is coming up next!


Palm Springs....the beginning

I"M BACK! The trip to Palm Springs California was over-the-top fun, and I was genuinely impressed with the friendliness of the locals and the retro modern feel of the city. any big event, there were  HITS and MISSES.  It is too much to post in one sitting. So just like the outfits, I'll break it down into portions. Part One........

We stayed at the Riviera Hotel (where Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe used to stay). I would love to go on and on about how amazing the room was......but honestly, we had nothing but problems. Between cleanliness and plumbing challenges, we ended up switching rooms twice (almost three times). Ugh - such a hassle! (MISS) The divine soaking tub in our room? (HIT) No robes and noisy hallways (MISS)
The pool made up for the room hassle. Isn't it gorgeous? Notice the mountains in the back? Excellent service, and I was able to eavesdrop on the singers sitting behind me. So much fun! (HIT)
Early on I asked Mr. C if he would wear EUROPEAN SWIMMING TRUNKS and he said 'Yes' - never thinking I would actually find them. Imagine his horror shock when we stumbled upon these in town. Of course he back pedaled and said "No Way".

SIDENOTE: Why is it that women have to SQUEEZE into bikinis, yet guys get off easy with the 'roomy' Bermuda swim trunks? It's crap I male-biased crap. Guys should have to feel self conscious too. (neither Hit or Miss - just side commentary to make you confused on what to comment on later.....)
The hotel group spent an excessive 90 million dollars renovating the hotel in a glamorous 50's Hollywood theme. Just lovely - and each corner was filled with some piece of eye candy. A diamond pool table? Over the top and done perfectly. (HIT)

Not really practical, but it be incredible to have this furniture set in your home. (HIT)

See the limo photo below? We were supposed to have a private limo service, but instead we were CRAMMED in here with everyone else. (MISS)

The entrance to Frank Sinatra's sprawling rancher. I know it doesn't look like much from the outside, but the interior is authentic and has great energy. It was funny, some of my new glamorous California friends were telling me this house is dumpy compared to the other homes they usually celebrate in. Geez - I need to hang out with them more often as I would LOVE to see the inside of a Cali palace. (HIT) (Hi Shannon & Carol - yes, I'm talking about you dolls!). 
Mr. C, Mr. P and Mr. B = my own personal RAT PACK. HIT (...of course).

Phew, it's been a long day of traveling - so that's all for now kitten kats. Event photos  and more Hits/Misses tomorrow!


Ciao Baby - I'm flying off to Palm Springs. Rat pack style!

This is it....I'm jetting off today for the lovely PALM SPRINGS! Vintage outfits in hand - I am so excited to attend the Frank Sinatra themed party.

We scored on first class plane tickets, so we get to travel in style. Here is a short visual tour of the vintage trip ahead of me.

Fresh posts next week!

And hopefully they include photos of great finds from vintage stores like this!