Archive for the ‘Style’ Category

I’m thinking of going on a crusade to bring ladies’ hats back into mainstream fashion.  Why did we ever stop wearing them in the first place?  They added so much glamor and style to a look, and they got to wear them every day.  Imagine looking glamorous on a daily basis!  Now, I know you have a Scarlet O’Hara from “Gone With the Wind” image in your head.  Erase it.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about looking chic, not ridiculous.  Here are a few examples:

Ingrid Burgman in 1942’s “Casablanca.”
Image found here.

They even had it going on in Japan.
Image found here.

Nicole Kidman in “Austrailia.”  Just imagine wearing that to a party today.
Image found here.

1930’s style cloche.  Isn’t it gorgeous?
Image found here.

1920’s flapper style.  The hat just makes it so much more glamorous!
Image found here.

1950’s couture.  Yowza!
Image found here.

I feel like I could put one of those hats on and walk out the door feeling like the most stunning woman alive.  And then everyone would look at me like I’m crazy and my dream would be shattered, right?  Wrong!  Remember, we can wear anything if we wear it with confidence.  So, lets bring hats back!  Who’s with me?

Here’s an example of how you can do it:

My latest creation.  Get it here.

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Yesterday was a discouraging day.  I know, I know, everybody has them, but when I have them I feel like I’m the only one.  I guess it’s because we have so many things going at once.  To name a few…we are in the process of adoption, we need to sell our VW Beetle and purchase a mini van, we are looking to buy a house in the upcoming months, and we are planning a trip to Brazil to visit my husband’s elderly grandparents.  They have not yet met me or Daniela.  Besides the near impossible task of coordinating all of these things into an already busy schedule, we are struggling to allocate finances for all of these things.  And in the midst of all of this, I am attempting to start a small business to provide extra finances so we can successfully expand our family the way we want to.  Geesh!  Are you tired yet?

Believe it or not, a seemingly simple online clothing business takes up a lot of time.  I feel like I never have enough time to spend on it, and therefore, it is not taking off the way I would like it to.  On top of the already arduous task of buying, making, photographing and listing items, I need to get my name out there via, twitter, facebook, and this blog.  So, yesterday, I looked at my small little shop with only one sale, my pitiful neglected twitter and wordpress accounts and felt that all was lost.  Eeek!

This is a confession between me and my wonderful little readership.  I am discouraged and overwhelmed.  And I don’t know where to begin to make things better.  Do I spend time and money looking for and making items to include in my shop that most likely won’t get seen?  Or do I invest in a smartphone so that I can more easily publicize to get more people in my tiny little shop where there aren’t many options?

I know, this is a sad little pity party.  Ugh!  But every morning I wake up with the aforementioned options and feel paralyzed.  I don’t know what to do so I end up doing nothing. Maybe I should invest in the smartphone to free up some time for me to work on creating items?  Would it really free up time?  I dunno.  What do you think?

Ok.  Enough with the cry fest.  Now for something that will make us all happy!

I know.  She’s adorable.  She and her future siblings are worth a million of these headaches!

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I realize that vintage clothing is not for everyone, but I really do think there are many people out there who can and should wear vintage that don’t simply because they are not sure how and they’re intimidated.  Let’s face it, few, if any of us, want to wear all vintage all the time.  That is a quick way to look pretty silly, though I have seen it work on some people.  However, for most of us, the trick is to find just the right touch of vintage.  Maybe it’s a vintage blouse with jeans and modern accessories.  Perhaps it’s a vintage dress with new shoes and jewelry. Those are fine options and I do them both regularly.  However, I would like to let you in on a style secret that will keep you looking great and keep money in your wallet:

Buy neutral clothing and stock up on accessories…in this case, vintage accessories.

Take my outfit today for example:

You’ll have to excuse my robotic face.  That’s what I get for using the 10 second timer…

Anyway, I’m wearing a plain white tee that I bought in a pack of 5 for about 10 bucks.  They are men’s undershirts…I just sew up the sides and…voila…cut little tee for me.  I have accessorized with a cute beaded necklace from the 50’s and a pretty little cameo brooch (I l-o-v-e cameos!).  Now I have a nice little touch of the 50’s that is by no means over the top.  Had I paired these accessories with a 50’s dress and pumps?  I’d look like I had just walked out of an episode of I Love Lucy…not cool.

Now this can be done in literally hundreds of different ways using the same white t-shirt.

I could have done it with this pin: And these earrings:

Or I could have tied this around my neck:

The possibilities are endless.  Go ahead, give it a shot.  You’ll look great.

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In the process of opening The Funky Lamp shop, I have realized that opening a small business is a SLOW process.  I’ve been open for about a month and only have 13 items listed.  There are a few factors that I can pinpoint that are contributing to this.  The main one is the fact that I am a stay-at-home mom…or maybe I should correct myself…a work-at-home mom.  The “mom” part is my top priority, so I’m ok with that slowing my business progress.  Another factor I have discovered is photography.  I can have new products all day long but if I can’t find the time to dress up while the sun is still out and my husband is home, find a good place to snap the shots, and find time to edit them, then I can’t sell them.

While I think taking photos on a real person with a full outfit is preferable, I decided that it is not always possible, and therefore, not profitable.  Furthermore, since I am trying to get this business off the ground with as little start-up cost as possible, I decided to make a mannequin on which to display clothing.  Besides the fact that making one is more cost effective, it also gives me the opportunity to creatively style my mannequin to match the unique look of The Funky Lamp.

So, what do you do when you want to do something that you don’t know how to do?  Google it, of course.  After thorough googling, I decided that a duct-tape dummy was the way to go.  There are literally hundreds of sites with instructions on how to do this.  However, my duct-tape dummy ended up resembling Quasimodo with lumpy breasts.

Yeah…not pretty.

Not sure what happened.  I guess my husband and I just don’t have the duct tape gift.

So…back to the drawing board.

I had a vague memory of reading a blog where someone made a dummy for her daughter out of batting and a blanket.  After more googling, I located this lovely blog: Tea Rose Home.

Taking my own spin on her directions, I began my work.  I took a piece of wood we had laying around and I duct-taped an apple juice carton to the top.  On top of that, I duct-taped an empty water bottle lying sideways.  Then, I duct-taped a wire hanger to the water bottle.  Really scientific, huh?  Next, I wrapped some fluffy fabric that I had gotten in a lot and had no plans to ever use around it.  Then, I put a put a bra on it and stuffed it.  After that, I wrapped an old hoodie around the waist to give her hips.  Here’s what she looked like at that point:

Next, I glued a light socket with a light bulb screwed in  to the top, to give her some Funky Lamp charm.  Then I covered her in fleece to make everything smooth:

That’s an old washcloth sticking out at the top.  I used it to construct the neck.

All that was left was to cover her in fabric.  I know you’re supposed to use a plain, neutral color for these things, but that wouldn’t we very Funky Lamp-ish, would it?

I introduce to you…Stella.  Why Stella?  Not sure.  I just like it and that’s reason enough for me.

I really like the light bulb head.

There she is folks.  She’s not technically perfect, but she’s perfect to me. 🙂

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Ok.  I’m being totally honest here.  I have cringed as I have watched the 80’s trends creeping back into fashion.  I was a little girl in the 80’s.  All I can think of when I see those styles are my older cousins and their BIG hair.  I mean, a little bit here and there has always been fun, but when I look around me and feel like I’ve gone through a time warp…yikes!

At least that’s what I used to think.  In shopping for my Etsy shop, I have found myself mysteriously drawn to 80’s things.  For example, this unicorn bracelet:

Isn’t it awesome?  It doesn’t get much cooler than that.  Still, even though I found myself liking items such as this, I thought, “I’m still not giving into it.  A little 80’s flair is one thing, but the entire look?  No way.”

Then, along came yesterday.  I had picked up a little sweater that I thought I might 8o something fun with…maybe cut it up and make something out of it…who knows?  Well, then I got the bright idea to just try it on and see.  Here’s what I came up with:

As a sit here writing this, I am still shocked.  It looks good.  It looks really good.  So, I guess I have officially given in to the 80’s trend.  When done correctly, 80’s fashion can look really, really good.

To celebrate, my Ode to the 80’s–Done Right:

Geometric Blouse from Zachary’s Smile

80’s Strapless Party Dress from Zachary’s Smile

Vintage Andy Warhol Paint Splatter Tunic from Regal Vintage

Vintage 80’s Purple Leather Pumps from Classic Girl Vintage

*Sweater coming soon to The Funky Lamp Etsy Shop!

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This post is the first of what I hope will become a regular feature of my blog…the style feature.  In my style features, I hope to put a spotlight on elements of style that I think are hip, overlooked, classic, or are just plain cool.  I also hope to give you–the reader–the courage to try something that you’ve never tried before.  It should come as no surprise that I favor quirky fashions, but I’ve also been known to keep it simple and even be classy on occasion.  I’ve found that where fashion is concerned just about anything goes (I added the “just about” because I will never condone the hubcaps that rap stars hang around their necks) as long as you have confidence.  If you can put it on, look in the mirror and sincerely say, “I look good,” chances are that the look will work.  However if your conversation with the mirror goes something like this, “I think I look good.  Don’t I?” then take off the outfit and put something else on.  No look is complete without confidence.

It’s that kind of confidence that, through the years, has helped me to perfect my favorite look–the granny look.  I love to wear grandma clothes!  There.  I said it.  My name is Maranda and I wear old lady clothes, but before you judge me, have a look for yourself…

It looks awesome, right?  I took the 1970’s skirt and paired it with a simple t-shirt and a granny shawl (which I made myself…yes, I not only wear grandma clothes, but I actually MAKE them) and…voila…awesomeness.  I think the trick is to take the old lady pieces and make them slightly modern somehow.  In this case I paired them with a fitted tee.  I think it also helps if you have a tattoo but it is certainly not necessary… haha!

One simple way to “update” granny style clothing is to make it fitted.  If you’ve ever been shopping for vintage clothing, you know that a lot of the vintage items are a bit too baggy.  By simply tailoring the items so that they fit better, you create an amazingly stylish one-of-a-kind piece.

Another way to make the old lady look work is to pair the clothing with up-to-date jewelry or other accessories.  You can take a grandma dress and hang a strand or two of beads around your neck and perhaps a beautiful pendant on long a chain, put on some nice earrings and you’re ready to go.  Trust me.  Give it a try.  I bet people stop you on the street to tell you how great you look.

Tell me, what are some of your favorite looks?

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I’m working on a little project for my etsy store.  It’s my first full-fledged sewing project in years…we’ll see how long it takes me.  I can’t tell you what it is, but here’s a preview:

I know!  Isn’t it quirky and fun and PERFECT?!  Wait till you see what I have planned for it.

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