Tag: Kastle Waserman

Fashion as Self-Care and 5 Other Ideas

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately. With the pandemic and civil unrest raging in the U.S., it’s hard not to let anxiety take over. Quarantine and isolation from friends and family make it hard to get some much-needed stress relief from the images and headlines that come up on TV and my phone’s news streams.

Looking Good Helps Us to Feel Good

Fashion helps me save my sanity by picking out outfits and getting dressed up for a regular weekend Zoom party with some ladies who collect vintage accessories. It’s a great way for us to share and show off our treasures. There’s something about putting on makeup, doing your hair and stepping into a pretty dress that just makes you feel good, even if you’re only staying home. Fashion is a form of taking care of yourself that I think is vastly underrated.

Practicing Self-care by Stopping to Smell the Flowers

Another way I’m practicing self-care is by stopping to enjoy the wildflowers. Before the pandemic, I was always rushing off to work or to an event, and I never noticed them. Now I go for evening walks around the foothills and see them everywhere. So bright and cheerful, little daisies, poppies and mini sunflowers stare up at me with their bright colors. They help cheer me up on the darkest days. I also discovered some beautiful places filled with sunflowers and roses.

Colorado Sunflower Farms

This year I learned about the many sunflower fields around Colorado that bloom for two weeks each August. My husband stumbled across one, and we had to go capture this glorious sight in pictures. I put on my brightest vintage-style sundress, sun hat and yellow Converse high top sneakers to pose with these natural wonders.

There were giant sunflowers as far as the eye could see and we caught them just at the golden hour before the sun began to set. It was absolutely magical.

Stopping to smell the flowers as self-care

Dressing up as a form of self-care

Sunflower field

A note about visiting sunflower farms: these are usually private property. Farmers grow them for their livelihood, not your entertainment. Most owners don’t mind you taking photos if you stay on the edge of the fields. Do not touch or trample the flowers and NEVER cut and take them. Going into the fields can result in a fine. Also, a word of warning – there are lots of bugs and bees in the fields, so Mother Nature may also sting you if you misbehave.

After our visit, I bought a pretty vintage sunflower brooch on Etsy as a memento of the day and ordered a bouquet of sunflowers with my grocery pickup to have at home (and create the photo with my sneakers).

La Vie En Rose – The Rose Garden of Jefferson County

Near the Jefferson County Sheriff‘s office in Colorado is a quaint public rose garden. It’s open to the public and features lots of different colored roses, a gazebo, benches for relaxing and little babbling streams.  

I had to stop and smell the roses one day. I had the perfect rose-pattern vintage reproduction dress for it. So I got dressed up, and off we went to take photos.

Stopping to smell the roses as self-care

Rose garden

Self-care: stop to smell the roses

Fashion as a form of self-care

5 Ideas for Self-Care in These Trying Times

1 Go for walks – Nothing relieves stress like getting out for some fresh air. Find a few routes to change the scenery and try to take in some nature if you have a park nearby.

2 Take a bubble bath – Dipping in warm water and just taking time to be still is such a calming experience. Add some pleasant-smelling bath oil or bubbles for an aromatherapy experience.

3 Give yourself a facial – I miss my visits to the spa but I still don’t feel it’s safe to go yet. So I purchased a few home facial mask treatments and do it myself once in a while. I added a rose quartz roller to really make it feel like a pro spa session.

4 Read –I found escaping into a book is a great way to relieve the stress of reality. Try reading while you eat lunch for a mid-day break or before bedtime to help you sleep better.

5 Watch the sunset – When I first moved away from home, I would go watch the sunset in the Hollywood Hills every day. I’d dream about who I wanted to become. Now I watch it from my deck and think about how far I’ve come and where I still want to go. Sunset watching is a great time to wind down and reflect as you wait for a new day.

If you’re really struggling with your emotions, there’s no shame in asking for help. Call a friend, talk to your manager at work, use your job’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to find a therapist. There are also many affordable to free hotlines available to talk to someone. The National Suicide Hotline is available anytime you may need it: 800-273-8255. Trust me, you are not alone. We are ALL having challenges adjusting to this difficult year.

Stop to smell the roses

I hope you find these self-care tips helpful. Do yourself a favor and make time to stop and smell the roses, literally if you can. It’s one way we can feel like we have a little bit of peace and control in our lives.

Until next time,

Kastle

 

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7 Ways to Celebrate Modernism Week in Style

I love the look of midcentury modern style – from 1950s pin-up looks, swing and wiggle dresses to bright, colorful shift dresses of the 1960s. Denver usually celebrates all things mid-mod every summer for Modernism Week with home tours, a fashion show and a massive shopping expo filled with vintage fashion, memorabilia and home décor.

But alas, COVID-19 took another great event from us. They canceled the Denver Mod Expo this year. But that doesn’t have to stop you from celebrating Modernism Week in the comfort of your home.

Like so many other events, Denver Modernism Week went virtual. It’s now taking place online, August 19-22, with several webinar events from architectural tours to photography lessons focused on midcentury modern style.

For me, it’s a great excuse to dress up! Here are a couple of favorite mid-mod looks from my vintage collection and how I styled them:

2 Ways to Style a 1960s Midcentury Modern Look 

Bright Vintage Dress in All The Colors

I call this my happy dress. Because I just can’t feel down when I wear it. With all the bright colors, this 1960s vintage dress never fails to catch the eye. I paired it with my biggest, brightest pillbox hat – a hot pink basket weave. Daisies have got to be the most cheerful flowers on earth and a plentiful wildflower in the summer. I was lucky to find this vintage enamel brooch and earrings at an outdoor market. I completed the look with a bright yellow basket weave vintage purse and pink mule sandals – both belonged to my mom. She had great style back in her youth and lucky for me, she kept a lot of it.

Colorful vintage 1960s dress

1960s Bold Color Vintage Dress

Pink Sandal Shoes

Yellow vintage basket-weave purse

1960s pink pillbox hat

Vintage Dress in Pastel Shades

Part of the thrill of vintage shopping for me is finding great items wildly underpriced. I couldn’t believe I found this ‘60s-era house dress on Etsy for $6! It’s light cotton, comfortable and full of charm. And guess what, there’s a row of pastel buildings in Denver that it matches perfectly! There are so many ways to accessorize this dress with different colors. I stuck with powder blue to keep the look consistent. I paired it with a matching vintage scarf, vintage reproduction shoes and another vintage basket weave purse from my mom for some fun photo-taking.

Vintage 1960s Pastel Dress

Vintage Reproduction Shoes

Blue Vintage Purse

So are you ready to tune into Denver Modernism Week? Need a little midcentury modern inspiration?

7 Ways to Celebrate Modernism Week 

  1. Attend Denver Modernism Week online– Lectures, historic walks, a photography lesson and discussion of a local restoration will give you that Modernism fix, and you’ll learn something too.
  2. Make a mid-mod cocktail  – popular drinks of the era include The Stinger, The Old Fashioned and Tom Collins.
  3. Plan your own historic architecture walking tour – There are lots of neighborhoods in the Denver area that have maintained their midcentury modern charm. Check out the Historic Denver Walking Tours and don’t forget the two DMW historic walk events to give you some ideas. And please be respectful of the homeowner’s property.
  4. Make your own mid-mod era music soundtrack – From the exotica and lounge sounds of Les Baxter and Martin Denny to the Rat Pack classics by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. to the rockabilly of icons Elvis and Little Richard, music will set the mood. Check out this playlist on Spotify.
  5. Donate to a mid-mod architecture preservation group – Help protect and restore midcentury modern buildings and homes for years to come by donating to a group such as Denver Architecture.
  6. Shop for a mid-mod outfit – Celebrate in style with a new look. Many of the local vintage stores have reopened, including Goldmine Vintage and Regal Vintage. If you’re still not comfortable shopping indoors, there’s always Etsy, eBay and many vintage and reproduction shops online. Isn’t it time you got out of your PJs anyway?
  7. Host a mid-mod-themed Zoom party with your friends – Dress in mid-mod style, mix a drink and hang out with your pals. Better yet, join the Denver Vintage Society for the Modernism Zoom party on August 22!

So put on your happiest mid-mod outfit and let it lift you up with the beauty of the era. Be sure to check out my other vintage looks on my Instagram page.

Until next time.

Stay well,

Kastle

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How to Wear a Vintage Pillbox Hat and Where to Buy Them

Since I’m still hesitant to go shopping in the vintage and thrift stores that have reopened during the pandemic, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping on Etsy. (I’ll admit it, I need a little therapy shopping right now!) Something I always gravitate toward is vintage pillbox hats.

History of Pillbox Hats

These round, tall hats were first worn as military headgear. Milliners later turned the shape into fashion in the 1930s. But it was Jackie Kennedy who made her Halston-designed pillbox hats popular in the 1960s as part of her signature look. I love these hats for their ease of wear by day or night, dressed up or down. They often come adorned with a veil, flowers and different textures. I also appreciate the height it gives around the crown of the head for a statuesque look.

How to Wear a Pillbox Hat

I’m amassing a little collection of pillbox hats in different colors and textures and thought I’d share two of my recent acquisitions and show you how I styled them.

Vintage floral pillbox hat

Floral Pillbox Hat 

I couldn’t let our beautiful spring/summer season pass without something with flowers on it. I came across this unique hat with fabric flowers in sweet pale colors of pink, blue and yellow, over an ivory fabric. A light beige netting delicately covers it and protects the flowers. It’s in perfect condition and makes me feel like I’m wearing a floral crown. It was a lucky find!

Vintage Fashion with Pillbox Hat

 

I’ve recently been adding some 1940’s-style blouses to my collection and was excited to come across this ivory one at my local thrift store right before the shutdown started. I like the feminine sophistication the cut gives to an outfit. I completed the look with a vintage reproduction olive swing skirt and lace-up shoes. I’ve had this whimsical vintage straw bucket purse with embroidered flowers in my collection for years.  It was a perfect match for my new pillbox hat!

Vintage inspired fashion

 

Orange Swirl Pillbox Hat

This dark orange pillbox hat called out to me as I browsed Etsy one day. With a unique swirl detail, I call it my cinnamon roll hat – and it does make me crave sweets when I think about it! This hat is a little more petite than some of my other pillboxes. That allows me to wear it a couple of different ways, such as tilted closer to the face, as I did with a look I did on Instagram.

Vintage Style Pillbox Hat

Orange PIllbox Hat 

I paired it with another new ‘40s-inspired blouse with a pussy-bow tie and vintage reproduction swing skirt. This colorful vintage purse is a favorite I scored during the time I worked at Regal Vintage when I first moved to Denver. They hadn’t even put it out for sale before I claimed it!

Vintage Style

 

Vintage purse

 

Where to Buy a Pillbox Hat

If you feel the coronavirus still makes it too risky to head into the stores, even with a face mask, you can always find vintage and thrift store treasures from home on Etsy, eBay,  thredUP and Goodwill online. Many brick and mortar vintage stores have started an Etsy shop since the pandemic began.  And I discovered a whole list of Black-owned vintage stores that circulated on Instagram to help diversify my shopping – I already bought a few things from those stores. Stay tuned to see them in the blog soon!

Look for more of my pillbox hat looks on my Instagram page.

Until next time, stay well.

Kastle

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How to Dress with Vintage Style In Winter and Stay Warm

Since moving to Denver from Los Angeles, I’ve had to learn how to dress with vintage style in winter weather. As someone who never needed a heavy coat or sweater in LA’s year-round mild climate, this was a whole new fashion challenge for me. I wanted to be warm but not look bulky.

 

After two years of exploring Colorado and going out in the snow, I’ve learned some tips to share with my fellow cold-climate fashionistas.

 

It’s all about layers. One thing I learned is it’s not enough to buy a thick sweater and heavy coat. Colorado weather changes quickly from freezing to mild, and since I live close to the mountains and go into downtown Denver all the time, the temperature can vary by 10-20 degrees, snowy and wet on one end, dry on the other. So being able to dress for both is essential.

 

How Dressing Layers Will Keep You Warm

It’s much better to wear several light layers than one heavy layer. Especially since you’re going to go from outside cold to inside heat and you don’t want to boil in your heavy clothes. For me, that means no sweater dresses! Instead, I opt for several layers, as follows.

 

The Bag You Need When You Dress In Layers

Your first purchase for vintage style in winter is a big purse or tote bag.  And I mean BIG. No little vintage handbags in wintertime. This will come in handy when taking off your layers once inside. You’ll see what I mean as we go along.

Large purses

What to Wear Under Your Layers

I start with a tank top. This will help keep the core of your body warm without much bulk. For an even thinner option, try a Thermasilk camisole. Silk makes a great, lightweight base layer that will keep you surprisingly warm, and it’s so thin, it doesn’t add any bulk at all. The brand is available in a camisole, long sleeve top and leggings. Plus, this is something you can easily go into a bathroom, slip off and tuck in your purse if you get too warm once inside.

Vintage style in winter: tank top layer

 

Next, add a blouse, or what I consider a staple of my wardrobe, a fitted crewneck t-shirt. A fitted turtleneck is also a good option as a warmer, go-with-everything layer that works as a top on its own.

 

For the next layer, almost every person I know who loves vintage style has a collection of cardigan sweaters in every color. This is a year-round staple that works in the summer when you go into air-conditioned buildings and works in winter as another stylish layer. Button it at the waist and add a belt to give yourself that hourglass shape. Remember, we want to avoid looking like a bulky blob!

 

dressing warm for winter in base layers

Vintage style in winter: cardigan sweater

On top of that, I will add a heavy sweater. Try to get one that’s a size up from your regular size. You want this to cover all of your layers and be a bit loose. You’re wearing this mostly for warmth while you’re outside. Once inside, just take it off and tuck it into your bag so everyone can see your cute outfit, and you won’t be too warm in heated buildings.

Vintage style in winter: thick sweater top layer

 

Options for Base Layers

On your bottom half, a circle or a-line, vintage-style skirt is great for putting layers underneath and they look best with heavy boots. But these layers can also work with pencil skirts (if they’re not too tight!) Pick your skirts in a thicker material, such as wool, for maximum warmth.

 

Get yourself plenty of leggings. I have them now in three different levels of warmth: thin, medium-thickness and fleece-lined. You can also add a Thermasilk base layer or tights under them for extra warmth.

 

Add a pretty vintage slip. Like the Thermasilks, these add a super thin layer and the vintage ones are so pretty and affordable! You can get them in a full slip or skirt slip. The skirt version is easy to slip off and tuck in your bag if you get too warm when the heaters are on.

 

Vintage style in winter: vintage slip

Then get yourself a collection of leg warmers. I love these in winter! You can pull them over your legs when you go outside and slip them off once you’re inside, and they add so much warmth! Lastly, get some thick wool socks to keep your feet warm.

 

Vintage style in winter: leg warmers

How to Pick Your Winter Boots

Boots were a learning curve for me. I love heels, so I wanted to find snow boots with a heel. They also needed to have traction for walking on icy sidewalks – because there’s plenty of that in the wintertime. Thank goodness you can find some warm and fur-lined boots with a nice chunky heel and rubber soles with traction. Lace-up boots will be the most fitted on the leg and give you that vintage style in winter. Look for waterproof or water repellent for snowy days.

Vintage style in winter: lace up boots with heel

 

Accessories That Will Keep You Warm

Don’t forget all the little add-ons to keep you warm when you’re outside. Once inside, you can peel them all off and tuck them into your big bag. (See why I started with the big bag now?)

 

Scarves – you can go for long scarves, infinity (I like these when I wear my hair up) or cute little vintage-style knitted ascots that you can find from some crafty folks on Etsy.

 

Gloves –  basic knit gloves or mittens usually do the trick. For extra cold days, add glove liners. ThermaSilk makes some. I got mine from L.L. Bean and they can be worn as sleek gloves on their own. For snowy days you’ll want waterproof gloves or mittens – great for making snowballs!

gloves liners and mittens 

Hats – now I absolutely hate the look of ski caps, which everyone in Colorado seems to wear in winter. They smash your hair and make your head look small and flat. Instead, I opt for earmuffs, which will keep your ears warm (the main reason I need something on my head) and they won’t mess up your hairdo! I also like wool berets as a warm and stylish outfit accessory. I have a few in different colors and they give you that great vintage style in winter.

 Vintage style in winter: beret hat

 

Stylish Vintage or Practical Winter Coat?

There are so many choices for coats. For someone new to cold climates, it’s hard to know where to start. I did a few impulse buys that I’m now finding don’t work for me at all. But here’s my best advice.

 

Vintage – there are beautiful coats available in vintage stores at great prices. Most are made of wool and will keep you warm, but not dry if it’s raining or snowing. Many have real fur collars, as was the (uninformed) style a few decades ago. So watch for that if it’s something you wouldn’t want to wear. I have a good basic black vintage wool coat with no fur that goes with almost everything. If it’s wet out, I have a light, hooded rain cape I can throw over it, but usually an umbrella will do. And yes, I use an umbrella when it snows.

 

Vintage reproduction – there are lots of coats out now that are vintage-inspired and they can be dramatically beautiful. I’ve had the princess coats from Collectif on my wish list for a while. While these coats are gorgeous, I’m debating spending the money because I usually take off my coat once inside, so nobody sees it. Then I have to carry it around. They can be a lot of material and quite heavy to deal with. But they are temptingly gorgeous!

 

Utilitarian – You can’t walk around Colorado and not see almost everyone dressed in the adventure-wear brands of The North Face, Patagonia, REI and Columbia. These are the puffy parkas I swore I would never wear because I thought they made me look like the Michelin man! However, I bought a Patagonia jacket a few years ago for travel and I found out why everyone wears them. They are super lightweight. They keep you warm on lightly cold days as well as snowy days and some styles are light enough that you can smush them up into your bag to easily pack or carry around. So instead of a princess coat this year, I opted for a long coat from The North Face that is fitted at the waist and very light to carry. My thinking was I’m going to be taking it off once inside to reveal my cute outfit. Plus, I can wear it day or night as opposed to the vintage-style princess coat that I would only wear with dressy outfits. It’s been a good decision so far. I still might add that princess coat one of these days!

Girl in vintage coat

I hope these tips help you stay warm with vintage style in winter! Be sure to check out my Instagram for photos of some of my winter outfits!

Cheers,

Kastle

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It’s Raining Cocktails at Melrose Umbrella Co.

Who says it never rains in Southern California? At Melrose Umbrella Co. in West Hollywood, you can always get a good downpour of drink.

With warm lighting that glows like candlelit shadows, textured walls, exposed brick, rustic wood accents, and a homey white picket fence around the outside, the bar gives the feeling of a historic venue. It all makes sense considering the actual building went up around that time. Along the walls, 13 upside-down umbrellas are hung, a tribute to the 13 dry years of prohibition and its demise with the promise of “Many Wet Days To Come.” The bar’s logo is a silhouette of co-owner James Melrose’s grandfather, known as the Grand Old Man and the mayor of York, who regularly carried an umbrella instead of using a cane.

Melrose Umbrella Co., Los Angeles

Paying homage to the post-prohibition era and the celebration of the cocktail, Melrose Umbrella Co. offers a wide selection of craft cocktails and small bites to eat. The music is played for ambiance, not overbearing, so it’s great for conversation. The venue also offers coffee service, pastries, and sandwiches in the daytime hours. There is Wi-Fi if you want to just move in for the day – hey, my office doesn’t look this good!

Melrose Umbrella Co., Los Angeles

What I Wore

On a warm summer evening, nothing beats grabbing a refreshing cocktail in a floral vintage dress. I picked up this beauty on the East Coast and paired it with a vintage basket-weave handbag and gold mule heels. This outfit can take me day to night – just like the Melrose Umbrella Co.!

OOTD Vintage Summer Dress

What to Wear

Get out your summer florals before it’s too late with this bright splash of colorful petals on a white vintage reproduction swing dress. Pair it with a royal blue handbag and easy gold heels for an outfit that embodies the free spirit of the season! Click the links to shop* this look!

Vintage Style Summer Dress Outfit

Melrose Umbrella Co. is located at 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

When it rains, it pours,

Kastle

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Gabba Gabba Hey! The Ramones at the Grammy Museum

Hey ho, let’s go! The Ramones have been one of my longtime favorite bands. I’ve been a punk since my high school years and this band gave me strength to let my misfit flag fly. As one of the originators of the punk movement in the late 1970’s, the Ramones are iconic for their breakneck sound mixed with hints of ‘50s bop to their look of shaggy hair, leather motorcycle jackets, torn jeans and high top black sneakers.

I was lucky enough to interview Joey Ramone in 1995, and we kept in touch after, as he emailed me about bands he was excited about until about a year before his passing from cancer in 2001. He’ll always hold a special place in my heart for inspiring the music that got me through my formative years and beyond.

Shepard Fairey Joey Ramone Portrait, Ramones Exhibit, Grammy Museum LA

Admittedly, I was late to get to this much-publicized exhibit at the Grammy Museum, put together by Johnny Ramone’s widow Linda with help from fan collections and the estate of Joey Ramone, run by his brother Mickey. But I’m so glad I caught it before it was over. Filled with loads of memorabilia including Joey’s leather jacket and Marky’s iconic black high top sneakers, handwritten lyrics, backstage passes, rare photos and much more. I loved the portraits of each member by artist Shepard Fairey and reading the behind-the-scenes notes on each album on the discography wall.

Ramone Exhibit, Grammy Museum LA

Ramones Exhibit, Grammy Museum LA

For any Ramones or punk fan, this is exhibit is worth catching in its last week at the Grammy Museum.

What I Wore

While punk is about tough leather and all black, which Joey told me, “Hey, we wear all black because it gets dirty walking around New York City!” Punk also had a thing for the dorky coolness of a striped t-shirt, so my striped sweater was in order. (You can’t see but I do have a Ramones t-shirt on underneath!) And what better place to wear some rebel leggings by Christopher Lee Sauve for Ona Saez that I picked up in Buenos Aires (of all places!), a black mini skirt and some Chelsea boots.

Stiletto City at Ramone Exhibit, Grammy Museum LA

What to Wear

You just gotta have a moto jacket to achieve the punk look but why not give it girly twist in a powder blue color. The requisite Ramones t-shirt also gets an update with some sparkle lettering. And nobody is going to mess with you when you have spikes on your skinny black jeans and classic Dr. Martens combat boots. Click the links to shop this look.

punk look

 

The Grammy Museum is located at 800 W Olympic Blvd A245, Los Angeles, CA 90015. The Ramones and the Birth of Punk runs through February 28.

Punk lives!

Kastle

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Getting Historic at The Edmon Bar

One thing vintage enthusiasts share is a love for the aesthetics of eras past in architecture, design and fashion. We love the quality, the attention to detail, the textures and elegant sensibilities that we just don’t see in buildings or clothing style anymore. With such a disposable culture all around us, it’s nice to find a few places that still appreciate old world charm. One of those places is the recently opened Edmon Bar.

Located inside the Hollywood Historic Hotel, built in 1927 by architect S. Charles Lee, the Edmon invites those who long for an atmosphere of sophistication.  The hotel itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is worth a peek inside the red lobby. Definitely take a selfie in front of the stunning, ornate red and gold double door entry. The Edmon is the adjacent bar that was lovingly brought back to life, fully embracing its historic past but modern enough for today’s trendy crowds and studio folks who work just down the street.

Hollywood Historic Hotel
Hollywood Historic Hotel

I went with a pack of my vintage-loving gal pals who have been curious about the Edmon since we heard rumors of it bringing back the original Art Deco style of the building. As soon as we entered from the awe-inspiring elaborate iron door, we knew we stepped foot in heaven. From the elegant lighting of gorgeous chandeliers and sconces to the massive bar with vintage fixtures to the details design on the columns, we were wrapped in the elegance of a bygone era.

The Edmon Bar and Restaurant

The Edmon Bar and Restaurant

The wait staff was friendly and accommodating. While they have a generous list of signature cocktails, the bartender was happy to whip up a special drink for me when I mentioned I had a craving for something creamy and festive.

Classic jazz music played in the background at a volume suitable for conversation (thank goodness they didn’t spoil the setting with techno!)

The place is perfect for a romantic dinner date or a stop in for a classy drinking experience. The night we went, it was crowded but still comfortable to hang at the bar, where they will also serve your meal if can’t pull yourself away from the illuminated view of the wall of alcohol. You can also watch the bartender climb a ladder to reach for a special libation.

The Edmon Bar and Restaurant

The Edmon Bar and Restaurant

Vintage Girl Squad Drinks at the Edmon
With my girl squad

What I Wore

Out for dress-up night with the girls, meant pulling out something special. I went with creamy winter white in a brocade swing dress with belted waistline. Gold heels and a vintage gold handbag with rhinestone detail played off the golden shimmer of the brocade in my dress. A vintage red velvet wrap with tassel trim and gold silk lining completed the look.

OOTD Vintage glamour at the Edmon

What to Wear

With Valentine’s day coming up, I highly recommend the Edmon for a romantic dinner. While I normally don’t advise going too matchy with your outfit and accessories, it’s the one night you can truly be the lady in red and look just right. A red, off-shoulder, wiggle dress with fishtail hemline is the perfect sexy look. A heart-shaped purse is a playful touch while red and black, lace-trim heels add just the right touch of romance.

 

The Edmon is located at 5168 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Think love,
Kastle

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Celebrating the Holidays in Style at the Biltmore Gallery Bar

Just walking through the doors takes your breath away. The majestic columns, the frescos on the ceilings, the ornate chandeliers, the exquisite details dripping in gilded gold embrace you in elegance as you enter the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

This historic downtown hotel is always a feast for the eyes and one of my favorite places to visit. Built in 1923, the hotel offers a variety of features from ballrooms to the spectacular Rendezvous Court (which hosts afternoon teas I previously wrote about, see here.) The Biltmore’s beauty has served as a backdrop for multiple movies and television shows.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

I stopped in for cocktails at the gorgeous Gallery Bar recently. The golden grace of this bar is something to behold. A long granite bar flanked by golden angels serves up a sophisticated cocktail list to hotel guests and local residents to come and be steeped in Hollywood history and glamor. You can also order light fare to nosh on in secluded leather banquettes, or lounge in the adjacent to the Cognac Room with its comfortable couch seating area.

Biltmore Gallery Bar

It’s a perfect place to put on your best vintage and celebrate the holidays. During the month of December, the hotel is all decked out in Christmas trees, garland and sparkles. The lobby itself is a winter wonderland of Christmas trees and a golden throne surrounded by nutcrackers for that perfect holiday selfie.

I sipped on a delicious Mango-Cucumber Cosmopolitan as I watched several scenes of people enter the bar, including a birthday party, a formal wedding party and an entire flight crew in full uniform taking photos under the giant Christmas trees.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

Don’t miss an opportunity to go there for your next special occasion and take in the atmosphere, a good cocktail and people watching!

What I Wore

The evening called for some Christmas color so my green vintage, estate-sale find was the perfect dress. I love the light, flowing fabric of this 1930’s era frock with padded shoulders and art deco-style accent on the front pockets. I paired it with some texture via leopard faux fur purse and my trusty Mary Jane heels.

vintage holiday OOTD

What to Wear

Celebrate the holidays in style with an outfit that brings back the elegance of bygone eras. This navy wiggle dress is chic and svelte with a 1940’s silhouette and dramatic (removable) snowy white faux fur collar. It’s perfect for New Year’s Eve celebrations or those office holiday parties – you’ll be the one who brings the glamor! Plus it’s versatile enough to wear anytime. Pair it with white heels with mesh side panels topped with beaded floral and rhinestone detail. Hold your essentials in a beaded, shell-shaped evening bag. Click the links to shop* this look.

vintage holiday OOTD

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel is located at 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

 

Photo of the Gallery Bar courtesy of The Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

Here’s to holiday cheer!
Kastle

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Checking out the Rockabilly Scene and Expo in Colorado

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDFall has arrived and it’s my favorite season because my birthday happens, the weather turns cooler, and the trees change their colors. Since we don’t really get a feel for it in Los Angeles with its endless summers, I like to travel every fall. This year, I headed to Colorado for the Rockabilly Expo, which happened to take place during the perfect weekend for leaf peeping in the Rocky Mountains.

Read all about the Rockabilly Expo over on the Voodoo Vixen website where I did a guest blog. It was a full day of music, vendors, and a pinup contest that takes place in Colorado Springs.

Rockabilly Expo Colorado Springs

pinupcontestRockabilly Expo Colorado Springs Pinup Contest

We also headed up into the mountains of Evergreen outside of Denver to see the aspen trees shimmer with a bright gold and sweeps of red. It’s so beautiful up there!

Colorado leaf peeping

 

What I Wore

For the Rockabilly Expo, I put on the Voodoo Vixen “Connie” dress with the unique crisscross cut on top and retro glasses print. Some easy Mary Jane heels helped keep my feet in check for the daylong event. I added some sparkle with retro-inspired, confetti-baked Lucite earrings.

rockabilly look

What To Wear

For an authentic rockabilly look, you can’t go wrong with a swing dress. This 1950’s cut in a warm fall color is sure to turn heads. Add a crinoline petticoat underneath to really accentuate the hourglass silhouette. Some retro inspired, t-strap heels and red lipstick complete the look. Click the links to shop* this look!

 

rockabilly look

The Rockabilly Expo takes place every year in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Shake, rattle and roll,
Kastle

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Tag: Kastle Waserman

Travel Wear for a Trip to Australia

k150_28Stiletto_City_heel_iconSZDThere’s nothing like a trip halfway around the world to feel like a true getaway. I recently returned from my honeymoon (see wedding fashion news HERE) in the land down under. We took the very long flight to Sydney, Australia, which we found to be beautiful, clean and safe. There was so much to do; it kept us busy day and night. We got almost a daily eyeful of the stunning views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as we ferried to different areas to explore. We could not have been luckier with the weather, though it was wintertime there, it didn’t get too cold – a refreshing 60 degrees during the day and clear blue skies. I did need to buy a few warm clothes for nighttime when it got down to the 40’s, and that’s nippy when you’re from L.A. and out walking around seeing the sights!

OOTD travel wear

We stayed in a hotel right along the appropriately named Darling Harbor, surrounded by sparkling water. We happened to be there the week of the Vivid Festival, a week-long, citywide celebration of arts and lights. We caught some of the light shows along the harbor and went to events for the Clipped Music Festival, the first festival dedicated to the art of music videos. The event took place at the multi-use space, The Works, where cheerful staff members served up coffee and snacks on the main floor. Upstairs was a theater space and lounge where you could see music videos on the big screen. By day, the top-level offices buzz with activity from resident production companies. The location was along Glebe, which is an increasingly trendy area of cafes and shops with a boho feel and an awesome Saturday market.

Clipped Music Video Festival
Clipped Music Festival

The Works in Glebe
The Works in Glebe

I had one main mission on my trip to Australia, and that was to meet a Koala. Unfortunately, I learned that petting or hugging Koalas is now forbidden due to the fact that they can spread some contagious nasties, and it actually really stresses them out. (OK, I guess I’ll just look at them.) But we went out to the Koala Park Sanctuary where you can get really, really close and they are absolutely adorable.

Koala Sanctuary, Sydney Australia

While there, we did get to pet and feed kangaroos, which was just as exciting. The venue has an enclosed kangaroo yard space, and you just walk in. The roos will come right up to you looking for a treat (which you can purchase at the entrance.) I was hesitant at first, putting a little bit of the dried grass snack in my hand. But my new friend just nibbled it right out of my palm and licked my fingers. Then looked at me with big brown eyes and funny little buck teeth for more. After I let him eat a bit I got up the nerve to pet him and found, much like my cat, he loved a good chin and neck scratching!

We also visited the famous Taronga Zoo to see even more animals and take in the amazing views from up on the hills that serve as a backdrop for the giraffes (my favorites!) and the cable car ride from the box office to the ferry.

Toronga Zoo

I managed to get in a little shopping while I was there, picking up some souvenirs at the market at The Rocks, some vintage earrings in Newtown (which is the equivalent to LA’s Silver Lake in terms of underground hipster vibe), an awesome  furry black jacket in Chinatown’s Market City, and a fantastic hot pink, long, wool coat for ten bucks at the Glebe Market.

While we were in Chinatown, we also stopped for some authentic Chinese cuisine and picked up some sweet buns that were so good I’m still thinking about them!

Sydney Chinatown

Whenever I travel, I always check out the local vintage shops. I didn’t find too much vintage I liked in Sydney; most carried a lot of denim and boots and items from the ’80s and ’90s. One store I liked was Zoo Vintage Emporium in Surry Hills, which had great stuff from earlier eras.

Vintage Zoo, Sydney Australia

On our last night, we went for drinks with some friends we met around town at Frankie’s Pizza By the Slice, a great rock ‘n’ roll dive bar that reminded me of CBGB’s with posters and stickers covering the walls. We took over the intimate basement bar while rock ‘n’ roll karaoke took place in the main room upstairs with people getting up to sing with the house band. It was a great send off from a city we fell in love with.

Melbourne

Our next stop was Melbourne for a short stay with friends. Melbourne is a bustling urban city, packed with people with lots of little “Laneways” off the main streets for shopping and cafes. It made it particularly difficult to find what would turn out to be my favorite vintage store on the trip, RetroStar Clothing, which is off busy Swanston street and up on the third floor of a little arcade of shops. The place was big and full of clothes from the ‘40s to the ‘80s. I was in heaven! I wish I had more time to shop there. I did make out like a bandit in the trendy Fitzroy area and discovered my favorite store in the city, Dangerfield, that had ultra cute, slightly retro alternative styles. They were having a sale and I scored some warm plaid pants, guitar print socks, and boho floppy hat.

Melbourne Shopping

We were not as lucky with the weather on our last couple of days, which was cold and rainy, so we headed for indoor entertainment at the museums.

We checked out the Martin Scorsese exhibit at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), a really nice facility dedicated to film. The exhibits had clips and behind the scenes info on all of Scorsese’s films and memorabilia including handwritten storyboards and costumes.

Next door at the National Gallery of Victoria, I went to see 200 years of Australian Fashion, a lengthy exhibit tracing fashion trends through the decades. Of course being from the States, I didn’t know many of the designers but it was a treat to discover them.

Melbourne 200 Years of Australian Fashion

And that did it for us in the land down under. Totally worth the 15-hour flight to get there!

What I Wore

I like to travel light when it comes to clothes. (My beauty products usually take up most of the room in my suitcase!) I tend to go with things that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. I also bring a bagful of colorful vintage scarves that can be worn in my hair or around my neck to change the look of an outfit. And I leave home a lot of accessories so I can buy more on my trip , which make for fabulous souvenirs! Here I’m wearing some skinny jeans with a cute print, a Ramones tee, a leopard print scarf I picked up at one of the markets and a faux fur jacket I got in Chinatown. I also brought the pink overcoat you see in the above photos, a light sweater, a heavier sweater, a pencil skirt, and some other tees and scarves.

OOTD Glebe  

What to Wear: Travel Clothes

For the most part, just bringing layers is a good bet so you can add or remove as needed. The key to layers is to add interest by combining textures and patterns. As long as they are in the same color family, your look will be coordinated. If you’re traveling in winter, I like to bring base layers, which are thin leggings and tops from outdoor wear companies like Patagonia or North Face, so I can throw them on under my outfits when it gets really chilly and they don’t add bulk to me or my suitcase.

Pack a few of your favorite graphic tees like this Wonder Woman tank and a basic black pencil skirt that goes with everything and can be dressed up or down. Bring a light cardigan sweater like this one with a fun print to add texture. Top it with a colorful scarf around your neck or in your hair. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes like these low-heeled oxfords and a satchel bag big enough to carry all you will need for a day of sightseeing. Make sure it has good closure because some tourist areas can have pickpockets! Click the links to shop* this look!

Travel Look

Thanks Australia, hope to see you again!
Kastle

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