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Keepin' Up With Vicqui: Fashion Fan

Style, Substance and Fun

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Luxe Track Pants...A Journey

December 29, 2016

My fantastical journey 

Illustration by Victoria Moore

 

   While vintage clothes will always hold a special place in my heart, modern styles can be just as special when worn the right way. Anyone who's ever taken a trip to the mall, or ridden the bus or subway, has seen examples of contemporary modes worn without regard for personal elan or decorum-leggings worn as pants and not layering items, pajamas and house shoes leaving the house without permission on unsuspecting owners, and short shorts replacing panties then paired with midriff tops to reveal flesh better well covered. To witness this type of "fashion" parade, on a daily basis, might make one become disheartened and push their own appearance to the back burner.

   In my job as a fashion/feature writer I've often been confronted with the dilemma of how to wear today's trends with the class and elegance of yesteryear, but still remain comfortable. Due to the difficulty in finding reliable style icons who consistently wear things as beautifully as Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant, the lack of sales help unless you go to the higher end stores, and the sky rocketing cost of clothing, I'm finding it harder to locate the styles I need to stay au courant without ending up in debt.

   My most recent clothing journey involved finding a pair of reasonably priced "luxe track pants with stripes down each side in contrasting colors". I first fell in love with them when I saw them in a fashion layout in Vogue last year, then I saw them again on German fashion editor Veronika Heilbrunner in the Winter Escape 2016 issue of Porter magazine. Louche, subtle and edgy they spoke to me, and I knew I had to have them, but not at the prices featured in Porter.

Luxe track pants and red, white and blue boho dress 

   

   I went online and looked them up on amazon.com, zara.com, target.com, and other stores like H&M, T.J. Maxx, Macy's and Forever 21.The closest I came to finding them was a pair of Mossimo's for around $20 at the Southgate Target store. Unfazed I knew I was going to be at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza the next day when I took my mother to see Rogue One for her birthday at the Rave movie theater. They have a Forever 21 in the mall, so after making two trips, one before the movie started and one after it ended, I found a pair in the p.j./lounge wear section for $15.90!

    Jubilant, and vindicated once again despite our challenging fashion scene, I put them with my other Christmas gifts, and relaxed with a cup of tea and the current book I'm reading, Michael Connelly's The Crossing. With 2017 coming up, and a whole new year of things to do, after my success with finding these pants I can add more adventures to my calendar knowing they'll yield good finds.

Dear Santa...My Christmas Fashion Wish List

December 25, 2016

 

Dear Santa:

   I know you usually receive letters and Christmas lists from small children who want the latest toys, clothes and electronics, but I was hoping you'd make an exception in my case and consider my fashion wish list for 2016. Through my enclosed sketches and brainstorming tactics I hope my selections will charm and persuade you to make my Christmas a little more fashionable. For some strange reason I chose clothes and accessories reminiscent of American fashion designer Claire McCardell so my choices have a lovely feminine twist. My list includes:

  1. A striped dress with a mid-calf hem, long sleeves and a nipped waist, that can be belted with either a wide patent leather, corset or chain belt. To give it a modern twist I plan to wear it with ankle boots, men's lace-up shoes, sneakers, a denim jacket and an easy-going hat.
  2. A blouse, with a large pussy bow, in a solid color or print. By combining this blouse with my jeans and khaki's I feel it would give them a softness that's both contemporary and romantic.
  3. A "colorful satin pleated evening skirt" which can be paired wonderfully with a pullover sweater or cardigan, evening clutch and pretty jeweled flats or mid-heels.
  4. Accessories: A red leather purse, striped tote and satin ballet flats. The reason I'd like these accessories is because they can add new life and freshness to my neutrals without overpowering them.

    So I guess that's it Santa...Thanks again and I appreciate your consideration and dedication during this holiday season. Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy the cookies and milk I left you by the Christmas tree.

Sincerely Yours, 

Victoria Moore

The Good, the Wonderful and the Historical

January 23, 2016

 

   I've always loved vintage clothing, even when I could afford to buy retail, because the items I've seen have been so beautiful and interesting they make me long for a time when our society was a lot more stylish and less comfortable. I also believe that when we look to the past we can be inspired and create clothes for our time that will be just as beautiful to future generations. 

How I Shop Now

June 30, 2014


 

How I Spend:

WHERE I LOOK: "I'm not very wealthy, but I'm obsessed with looking good, so I shop at thrift stores that have consistently qualitative merchandise, off-price stores, chain stores and trendy shops. Even though I've been a regular at Ross for a long time now a little while ago I went to T.J. Maxx and found a really nice plastic chain necklace and a black pullover sweater by Cable and Gauge, so I'm thinking of becoming a regular there too."

MAINTAINING A WARDROBE: "Over the years I've accumulated quite a bit from vintage clothes to second-hand finds and surplus store bargains so I have closets that're bulging at the seams. When I get dressed to go out I usually coordinate something from my extensive selection that either tells a story or personifies how I feel at the moment."

WHERE I SPLURGE: "Buying one thing that costs $20 is a luxury for me but if I really want something, and know I'll get a lot of wear out of it, I'll buy it. Recently I bought a black leather purse from www.amazon.com for about $70, a pair of Guess sneakers for $25.99 and a "Betsey" logo necklace for $24.99 from Ross so that was a splurge for me."

 

 

 What Is Timelessness

  Timelessness is something endurable, ageless and eternal. In terms of clothing and style, it's a look that never lets you down because it's very simple and sophisticated. Today when I see this group, updated and modernized, I'm often surprised how much it's still taken for granted.

   The beauty of it is that it's cross generational, some pieces can even be worn by both sexes, it can fit most lifestyles, accommodates most budgets and is the backbone of every successful wardrobe. Below I've provided a Basics Tip Sheet  for you to refer to whenever you need to:

BASICS TIP SHEET

  • Black dress
  • Blazer
  • Black Skirt
  • Jeans
  • Skirt Suit
  • Pant Suit
  • Trench Coat
  • White Shirt
  • Black Shoes
  • Black Belt
  • Black Purse
  • Briefcase

Fashion Coordination Tips for Basics:

  1. Blazer worn over black dress accessorized with a floral scarf tied around the neck, black tights and pumps.
  2. Beige sweater worn over white button-down shirt and black skirt, accessorized with pearls and gold chains at the neck, sheer hose and two-toned (beige/black) ballet flats.
  3. Leather jacket worn over a white t-shirt and jeans, accessorized with a pair of black ankle boots and a leather backpack.
  4. Skirt suit worn over a soft pullover sweater, accessorized with a pair of knee boots.
  5. Pant suit worn over a floral blouse, accessorized with a pin in the lapel, colorful socks and men's oxfords.

 

Dressing Up and Feeling Better

      Sometimes when I have to go somewhere that either causes me a lot of stress or I'm feeling unsure of myself I dress up in something fun. Earlier this month, when I had to go to a doctor's appointment I was very nervous and also having a very bad hair day, but I still wanted to look good and pulled together. Pink is my favorite color so I started building the outfit I was going to wear with a mauve hat I'd just bought at Goodwill Industries Thrift Store, then I selected my pink, black and white floral jacket, black and white Michael Kors shirt, beige corduroy Katayone Adeli skirt, white and gold ankle socks and the beige Guess G logo sneakers I'd just bought at Ross.

   I don't remember now what inspired this look then but after thinking about it when I looked at the photos I took of myself in the mirror of the examining room at the hospital I believe I was inspired by a character in a book I was reading then called A Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankell. The woman's name was Hanna Renstrom and she went through much of the story in a clueless haze that transformed her emotionally and psychologically. For some reason the mood of the story stuck with me as I coordinated this look because it matched my own at the time .

Tips On Building a Fun Outfit:

1) Start with your favorite color or pattern.

2) Decide on either an accessory or garment to start with (i.e., a hat, pin, dress, blouse or shirt)

3) Add other things that're complimentary in style and color.

4) Try everything on in front of a full-length mirror and see if it work and is the look you're going for.

 

Luxe Track Pants...A Journey

December 29, 2016

My fantastical journey 

Illustration by Victoria Moore

 

   While vintage clothes will always hold a special place in my heart, modern styles can be just as special when worn the right way. Anyone who's ever taken a trip to the mall, or ridden the bus or subway, has seen examples of contemporary modes worn without regard for personal elan or decorum-leggings worn as pants and not layering items, pajamas and house shoes leaving the house without permission on unsuspecting owners, and short shorts replacing panties then paired with midriff tops to reveal flesh better well covered. To witness this type of "fashion" parade, on a daily basis, might make one become disheartened and push their own appearance to the back burner.

   In my job as a fashion/feature writer I've often been confronted with the dilemma of how to wear today's trends with the class and elegance of yesteryear, but still remain comfortable. Due to the difficulty in finding reliable style icons who consistently wear things as beautifully as Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant, the lack of sales help unless you go to the higher end stores, and the sky rocketing cost of clothing, I'm finding it harder to locate the styles I need to stay au courant without ending up in debt.

   My most recent clothing journey involved finding a pair of reasonably priced "luxe track pants with stripes down each side in contrasting colors". I first fell in love with them when I saw them in a fashion layout in Vogue last year, then I saw them again on German fashion editor Veronika Heilbrunner in the Winter Escape 2016 issue of Porter magazine. Louche, subtle and edgy they spoke to me, and I knew I had to have them, but not at the prices featured in Porter.

Luxe track pants and red, white and blue boho dress 

   

   I went online and looked them up on amazon.com, zara.com, target.com, and other stores like H&M, T.J. Maxx, Macy's and Forever 21.The closest I came to finding them was a pair of Mossimo's for around $20 at the Southgate Target store. Unfazed I knew I was going to be at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza the next day when I took my mother to see Rogue One for her birthday at the Rave movie theater. They have a Forever 21 in the mall, so after making two trips, one before the movie started and one after it ended, I found a pair in the p.j./lounge wear section for $15.90!

    Jubilant, and vindicated once again despite our challenging fashion scene, I put them with my other Christmas gifts, and relaxed with a cup of tea and the current book I'm reading, Michael Connelly's The Crossing. With 2017 coming up, and a whole new year of things to do, after my success with finding these pants I can add more adventures to my calendar knowing they'll yield good finds.

Dear Santa...My Christmas Fashion Wish List

December 25, 2016

 

Dear Santa:

   I know you usually receive letters and Christmas lists from small children who want the latest toys, clothes and electronics, but I was hoping you'd make an exception in my case and consider my fashion wish list for 2016. Through my enclosed sketches and brainstorming tactics I hope my selections will charm and persuade you to make my Christmas a little more fashionable. For some strange reason I chose clothes and accessories reminiscent of American fashion designer Claire McCardell so my choices have a lovely feminine twist. My list includes:

  1. A striped dress with a mid-calf hem, long sleeves and a nipped waist, that can be belted with either a wide patent leather, corset or chain belt. To give it a modern twist I plan to wear it with ankle boots, men's lace-up shoes, sneakers, a denim jacket and an easy-going hat.
  2. A blouse, with a large pussy bow, in a solid color or print. By combining this blouse with my jeans and khaki's I feel it would give them a softness that's both contemporary and romantic.
  3. A "colorful satin pleated evening skirt" which can be paired wonderfully with a pullover sweater or cardigan, evening clutch and pretty jeweled flats or mid-heels.
  4. Accessories: A red leather purse, striped tote and satin ballet flats. The reason I'd like these accessories is because they can add new life and freshness to my neutrals without overpowering them.

    So I guess that's it Santa...Thanks again and I appreciate your consideration and dedication during this holiday season. Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy the cookies and milk I left you by the Christmas tree.

Sincerely Yours, 

Victoria Moore

The Good, the Wonderful and the Historical

January 23, 2016

 

   I've always loved vintage clothing, even when I could afford to buy retail, because the items I've seen have been so beautiful and interesting they make me long for a time when our society was a lot more stylish and less comfortable. I also believe that when we look to the past we can be inspired and create clothes for our time that will be just as beautiful to future generations. 

How I Shop Now

June 30, 2014


 

How I Spend:

WHERE I LOOK: "I'm not very wealthy, but I'm obsessed with looking good, so I shop at thrift stores that have consistently qualitative merchandise, off-price stores, chain stores and trendy shops. Even though I've been a regular at Ross for a long time now a little while ago I went to T.J. Maxx and found a really nice plastic chain necklace and a black pullover sweater by Cable and Gauge, so I'm thinking of becoming a regular there too."

MAINTAINING A WARDROBE: "Over the years I've accumulated quite a bit from vintage clothes to second-hand finds and surplus store bargains so I have closets that're bulging at the seams. When I get dressed to go out I usually coordinate something from my extensive selection that either tells a story or personifies how I feel at the moment."

WHERE I SPLURGE: "Buying one thing that costs $20 is a luxury for me but if I really want something, and know I'll get a lot of wear out of it, I'll buy it. Recently I bought a black leather purse from www.amazon.com for about $70, a pair of Guess sneakers for $25.99 and a "Betsey" logo necklace for $24.99 from Ross so that was a splurge for me."

 

 

It's Okay to Work It In All Black

 

   Black is a color that can be either elegant or conservative depending on how you wear it. One thing it should never be, however, is boring. The best way to give it life is to add interesting accessories and separates with it to make it shine and reflect your personality. It can be a canvas that surpasses its uniform tint and a luxurious background you can enhance with either vintage, retro or global touches to make it special. Below I've listed some great fashion coordination tips that prove that, although it's not daring any more, it's still exciting.

Stylin' In Black:

1) Black dress+black stockings+black ankle boots

2) Black sweater, top or blouse+black skinny jeans+decorative belt+black oxfords+pearls and gold chains

3) Black dress+brown shrug

4) Longer black skirt+print black and white top+black tights and black shoes

5) Black blouse/top belted over skinny black pants

 


 

Welcome to Keepin' Up With Vicqui:

   I hope you'll enjoy taking this fashionable journey with me. I plan to explore ways to coordinate budget-friendly styles, new stores that carry unique things to add to your wardrobe and new trends  along with eye-catching photos to inspire and excite you.