April 19, 2014

Vintage Shopping Tip: Secondhand Stink

Gross, but all-too-often a reality: a stinky pit in the new-to-you secondhand top purchased from a favorite thrift store, vintage shop or scored at a clothing swap.

An otherwise amazing shirt I bought recently from a San Francisco consignment shop shocked me the first time I wore it when I noticed, suddenly and without warning, that there was a serious and foreign stench coming from my armpit region. I took the shirt off, stuck my nose in the offending area and almost passed out. At first, I thought I had created this horrific smell. How, I wondered, did I get to this point in life without realizing that I have terrible, awful body odor with a power I suspect could instantaneously strike a man bald, fuel engines and stop birds in mid-flight, all at once?

A few more moments of pondering and gagging, and I was able to see the situation for what it was: I was a victim of secondhand stink. No wonder the previous owner had rid herself of the shirt. It was downright offensive.

Still, a great shirt. But problematically, dry clean only. Not to be deterred, I headed for the cleaners, thinking they would save me from this olfactory hell. No dice. Dry cleaning, as I learned when I picked up the shirt and buried my nose in the armpit only to once again have my nostrils singed with a smell somewhere in the realm of hot chilies and death, may clean and excellently pollute the air, but it does not remove horrific odors.

Next, the Internet. Among the advice I found for removing b.o. from dry clean-only apparel was the semi-helpful (a solution of vinegar and water) and the very unhelpful (try wearing deodorant in the future). But far down in a post on one site I ran across was an unusual suggestion: try pet odor spray. You know, the kind of spray most of us dog owners have on hand to combat the literal shit and vomit storms that inevitably accompany life with (wo)man’s best friend.

After soaking the shirt in Woolite and soaking in vinegar to no avail, I brought out the pet spray. I’d hesitated at first because I was a) unsure of the effects it might have on fussy fabric and b) frankly, just didn’t want the smell I associate with cleaning up dog shit to be on my clothes.

But it worked. It worked like a flower-scented dream. The brand I used: Simple Solution.

And in the end, it was.

I Fell in Love With Lenny

The best part of Charity Fashion Show 2011 was watching New York label, Lenny swimwear march down the “runway.” It was a highlight with sophisticated patterns complimented with beige and black hats a la Audrey Hepburn. The crowd that wasn’t taking a break from the two hour performance was delightfully alert as soon as the camo-colored green one pieces and zebra print suits appeared in sight. These bathing suits are grown up without being boring and made me happy to be in my late 20′s.  To you I say this Lenny, thank you for being in my life Saturday night, you made the trek out to Fort Mason worth it.

This post originally appeared on Modelina Michelle.

This Week’s WTF Fashion Moment

Solve this one, and I may just love you forever. I’m considering trying the Dryel method (steam in dryer in bag) to freshen the garment in question up a bit, but I’m a little scared to try it.

Consider this your reminder to read those tags before buying. Thank goodness this one was attached to something I bought at a significant discount (like 70 percent off or more).

But yeah, that’s my WTF moment of the week.

Pretty Mini: Swooning Over Danielle Pettee’s Latest Mini Glam Collection

A peek at a few pieces from the oh so creative mini collection maker Danielle Pettee. One of her new mini spring collections showcases a beautiful romantic glamorous side, while the other is flirtatious fun and colorful. Here’s what Danielle had to say about this Glam Mini Collection.

“I felt Like putting a true artistic flare to the art of dressing like a lady. As everything is still one of a kind and unique. every dress has it’s own story.
I get inspired everyday by the fabric I have in my studio, after stocking up on large amounts of recycled fabric I find, I make whatever I feel will make the fabric come to life.”

Get 15 percent off your next dress by Danielle by using the discount code, Modelina Michelle.

This post originally appeared on Modelina Michelle; Dresses by Danielle Pettee; Photos courtesy of Chris Willis

A Very Indie Christmas

As almost everyone who knows me is well aware, I try to shop from small, independent labels and companies whenever possible. So you can imagine, Christmas was no exception. In fact, it was a very indie Christmas in my world.

Under the tree for me this year:

Ciara Convertible Clutch by Melie Bianco, available at Fancy French Cologne. I love this bag because it can be worn in multiple ways and is made of vegan faux "leather."

Deluxe Sample Collection by Ineke. I love Ineke perfume, but I like to use different scents all the time, so this sampler was perfect for me - a great way to have all of this local perfumer's scents on hand instead of committing to just one. At the moment, I think Derring-Do is my favorite for daytime.

Downtown Dress, Maison by House of Spy. This dress was available at Heritage Row in San Francisco this fall. Not sure if it is still in stock, but I love how easy-to-wear it is. Goes with everything, very comfortable, but stylish - and a bonus for me - something even a breastfeeding mom can wear (yes, that dictates so many of my fashion choices these days - gotta have easy access).

Hero Utility Belt by Onanya. Another baby-friendly find. I was having trouble carrying any kind of handbag when I have my son in the Baby Bjorn. This solves the problem. I can carry my phone, wallet, keys, etc. and have him strapped on all at the same time.

A few of the gifts I gave this year:

Personalized Snowflake Ornament by Cheeky Frills. For my godson's 2nd Christmas.

Houndstooth Hoodie by Mvand. For my brother-in-law, who is in constant need of "labeless, trendy, skater sweatshirts." This fit the bill and was made-to-order in Portland. It's also super lightweight - great for the warm Marin weather.

Grandmothers Charm Necklace by Thoughtfully Adorned. For my mother-in-law, who has a charm bracelet and requested a special charm to commemorate my son's birth. The designer made two charms for me, one with his name and birthdate and another with baby shoes in a heart.

Karate Casual Pants by Beta Brand. Very lightweight chill-out pants, another purchase for my bro-in-law.

And now onto the year-end-sales (my husband and I often don’t buy anything for each other before Christmas because, when it comes to clothes and accessories, you’ll often find them MUCH cheaper just two days after Christmas. It’s like a knife in the chest to see something half-priced 48 hours later. So we buy for everyone else before the big day and then shop for each other afterward).