Part of the ongoing Good Looks style series, we asked San Francisco stylist and blogger Catie Nienaber of Cuffington to take $20 on a hunt for spring wearables at local thrift and vintage shops, combine the spoils with items from her own trove of stylish gear and deliver the fruits of the adventure to us in photographic form. We’re thrilled with the results and hope this provides inspiration for your spring wardrobe foraging. Styling and text by Catie Nienaber. Photography by JT Paradox of The SF Style. Model: Kristen Holden.
And then came spring. Out of a maw of chunky Max Headroom sunglasses, thick black Wolfords and burgundy fur snoods it charged: shiny, breezy and awash in technicolor romance. In culling together a sample of trends for the presentation below, the objective was simple: find the reoccurring elements from the spring collections, create looks based on those common threads and do it on the cheap. Armed with a few dollars and a long list of visual references, I sought out items at local second-hand stores around San Francisco that were clued in to spring 2010.
The purpose was not to mindlessly replicate, but to find objectives within the runway looks that spoke to me. Rare is it that I see someone – either a person on the street or a model stomping down the runway – and adore every detail of their ensemble from head to toe. My argument is to zero in on the parts that speak to you, seek them out and make them your own. This time of year is prime for pulling new pieces from thrift stores to wear for spring, so get out there and beat the rush. These outfits were pulled together from touchstones that showcase some of the main ideas of the coming season, and styled with pieces already on hand from seasons past.
Color blocking, highly visible at Marc by Marc Jacobs. One could argue that this look is not color blocking in the true sense of the word because print, albeit small print, is involved in every piece of this outfit. The most straight-forward way to color block is to pair two warm tones with a cool tone (or vice versa) or a look that is more or less tone-on-tone with one piece, like a shoe or belt, that is from a strikingly different color family. Blouse – thrifted at Out of the Closet; Skirt – Lanvin; Necklace – thrifted in Chicago; Belt – Missoni; Shoes – Christian Louboutin.
Long sleeved dresses with short hemlines, as seen at Balenciaga. I find a long sleeve dress for spring interesting because it really works in a town like San Francisco, a place notorious for unpredictable chilliness. Also, a long sleeved short dress is more versatile and can slip in and out of multiple seasons – more bang for your buck. This look was styled with mod sensibilities, but that’s only one of many ways to wear it. See our black and white, glittery nighttime look for another take on the long sleeved short dress. Dress – thrifted at Out of the Closet; Headband – Nordstrom; Shoes – Salvatore Ferragamo; Stockings – model’s own; Necklace, worn as belt – thrifted in Portland.
Safari/Ikat/Batik-inspired prints, as seen at Dries Van Noten and Gucci. These prints made a huge splash last spring, but are still very current. Go the traditional route of accessorizing your print skirt or dress with wood and beads, or take a different turn and throw on something metallic. As far as footwear goes, booties with no socks are great transitional pieces. Skirt, vest, blouse – all thrifted at Out of the Closet; Belt – Eugenia Kim; Scarf – Missoni; Jewelry – H&M; Clutch – Painted Bird; Booties – Proenza Schouler.
Lace and neon brights, as seen at Louis Vuitton and Proenza Schouler. It wouldn’t be spring without lingerie-inspired lace. Pairing layers of lace with small doses of bright florescent colors (especially green) takes the delicate whimsy of Parisian flapper chic and gives it an exciting jolt of modernity. Here a vintage lace bra is layered over slips, and the cardigan’s bright chartreuse detailing gives it a controlled pop. Bra – Dollhouse Bettie; Slips – thrifted in Portland; Cardigan – Anthropologie; Bag – stylist’s own; Necklace – H&M; Ring – stylist’s own; Shoes – Out of the Closet.
Mixing neutrals and pinks, as seen at Celine and Lanvin. Creams and tans combined with every hue of rose. Mixing tones is a go because they all exist on the same spectrum. Combining softer textures (tulle, silk, lace, cotton, satin) and adding a dash of sparkle doesn’t hurt a bit. Blouse and skirt – Out of the Closet; Necklace – Fenton; Socks – Cotton Sheep; Shoes – Judith Leiber; Bag – stylist’s own.
A black and white jacket for evening, as seen at Givenchy. Last year the slim fitting motorcycle jacket arrived as the unexpected evening topper du jour. This spring, try something in black and white, in stripes or solid blocks. Works for day, too. Another daytime jacket option that still holds water is something military- or marching band-inspired. Jacket – Wasteland; Dress – Painted Bird; Bag – Crossroads Trading Co.; Ring – Burberry; Shoes – Christian Louboutin.