Author: stilettocity

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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Author: stilettocity

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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Author: stilettocity

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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Author: stilettocity

Book-inspired Fashion

Staying home in quarantine can be trying. But I have to say, I’ve been enjoying the slowdown, despite the fear of a deadly pandemic. It’s given me time to dig into some great books and read more. This, of course, crossed over into my style choices. So I put together some book-inspired fashion looks using vintage and thrift store finds to wear both passions on my sleeve, literally.

Book-inspired Fashion: Three Looks

Look 1: The Raven

Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry may be perfect for these dark days. Over Christmas, I received a pair of writing gloves made by Storiarts that feature a print of The Raven poem. These light cotton gloves are a great conversation starter and perfect for taking a light chill off between the seasons or just as a fashion accessory. They brought out a bit of my gothic sensibility for some book-inspired fashion when I paired them with a black wool cape, a lightweight mock turtleneck, pencil skirt, ankle booties and beret with a Raven pin.

Book-inspired fashion: The Raven

Look 2: Little Women

I’ll admit, I never read this book in my youth. I don’t know how I missed it, but I was all over it when the latest movie adaptation came out.  I love the coming-of-age stories of the sisters and the family dynamic. And the book-inspired fashion in the film couldn’t help but give me some ideas! Like so many strong, creative women, I identified with the willful spirit of the writer, Joe March. So I put together a Little Women outfit that Joe March would wear, with a vintage button-down shirt, thrift-store vest and jacket, vintage reproduction circle skirt, a pair of all-purpose boots, and her signature red in a vintage scarf.

Book-inspired fashion: Little Women Outfit

Look 3: The Wind in the Willows

Another children’s book I missed out on. (Seriously, what was going on in my school days?) This British classic is a dreamy adventure from an animal’s perspective, but the characters will remind you of people you know. I became aware of the book because it is a favorite of the singer from the band, The Waterboys, who I had the great pleasure of interviewing last year. On their latest album, he reads a passage from the book that is just lovely. So when I spotted a Wind in the Willows print scarf from British Etsy shop Rooby Lane, I had to have it. It features delightful illustrations and stylized writing. I paired it with a vintage floral dress, thrifted velvet blazer and vintage moon brooch as little tribute to another great Waterboy’s song, “The Whole of the Moon.” So it’s a literature-meets-music-inspired fashion mashup!

Book-inspired fashion: Wind in the Willows

Current Reading List

What books have you been reading during quarantine? Here’s a list of mine (yes, I’m the type that always has two or three books in rotation!)

  • “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” by Sloan Crosley – funny, sarcastic humor in a conversational voice. Essays on the ironies of life.
  • “Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee” by Jeff Zentner– a young adult coming-of-age story about two BFF girls in high school who make a public access show reviewing horror movies. Great dialogue, funny and heartbreaking at the same time.
  • “Big Magic” (re-read) and “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert – one of the best books on a creative life ever written and the latest novel about a girl finding her way via New York in the 1940s that provides a nice frothy escape from current events.
  • “How to Grow Up” by Michelle Tea –essays on some hard lessons learned on the road to adulating written in a funny, accessible, street-smart voice.
  • “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” by David Sedaris – classic humor about his family quirks is all we need in our troubled times.

Take advantage of your time staying at home by diving into a good book. And be sure to check out more of my outfits of the day (OOTDs) on my Instagram page.

Until next time.

Stay safe,

Kastle

Author: stilettocity

Vintage Style Between the Seasons

 

Coming to you from quarantine…

The whole world is on lockdown while the coronavirus rages. I have to admit it’s made me really nervous and I miss going out. But I’m finding simple pleasures at home like going for walks and slowing life down to what really matters.

 

I also still enjoy putting vintage-style outfits together, even if I just wear them for Zoom parties with my friends and taking pictures around my neighborhood!

 

Winter lingers in Colorado well into April, but spring tries to poke through with plenty of sunshine. The cool temperatures and warm sun of between seasons are the perfect time to put on those vintage-style dresses and top them with a cozy sweater and a light scarf. I love the opportunity to mix patterns, and my most recent obsessions are Fair Isle sweaters and vintage paisley scarves. Mix them with a floral print dress and it creates a delightful treat for the eyes. The key is just to stay with complementary colors and you can never go wrong.

Vintage style floral dress, fair isle sweater

 

Vintage scarf, fair isle sweater

 

Vintage tooled leather purse

 

Vintage floral dress, fair isle sweater

 

 

I wanted a cheerful look to brighten my mood and I recently found a sunny yellow Fair Isle sweater at a thrift store in the Summit County mountains right before all the stores closed to curb the pandemic. I paired it with one of my beloved vintage dresses in a festive floral pattern, and a bright orange vintage paisley scarf I bought off Etsy. Brown lace-up boots and a tooled leather satchel purse I picked up for a steal at a vintage expo complete the look.

 

Vintage style look, knit dress, fail isle sweater

 

Paisley scarf, vintage brooch, fair isle sweater

 

With the temperatures shifting between the 40s to 70s, a light sweater dress is a good option for between seasons vintage style. I realized I rarely wear this 1970s-era knit dress that’s been in my closet, and it’s perfect for the weather. I paired it with a thick, button-down Fair Isle sweater I bought as a splurge souvenir when I traveled to Iceland last year. I added more texture to the look with a paisley scarf pinned with a vintage brooch my hubby brought me from London’s Portobello Road. I hope the virus will be gone soon and traveling will be a possibility later this year.

 

Vintage style look, vintage floral dress, fair isle capelet

 

Fair isle capelet

 

Vintage style purse

Another souvenir I picked up in Iceland was a hand-knitted, Fair Isle-pattern collar capelet. I love how you can just throw it over any sweater, like this simple black one, and it makes a statement. I used it to tone down a 1940’s evening dress to a more casual look with just the floral skirt showing. I added a pop of an orange vintage scarf and a retro-style handbag.

 

Stay tuned for more looks as the spring season begins and be sure to follow me on Instagram for my OOTDs. Virus be damned, I’m still dressing up!

 

Stay well,

K.

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Author: stilettocity

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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Author: stilettocity

Vintage Fashion for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the holiday season! Time for dressing in holiday-colored vintage fashion and for chilly temperatures, as the Denver area has had its coldest winter in almost 20 years! We had several early snowfalls that gave me the white Christmas feels I never had in warm Los Angeles. Plus, we’ve had SO many fun holiday events happening around town. Here are a few of my adventures and the festive outfits I wore.

Camp Christmas

If you could cross a funhouse and Christmas, this is it. This mega installation, in the Hanger at Stanley Marketplace, features holiday lights galore and over-the-top décor in a variety of settings. It puts those houses in Hallmark Christmas movies to shame and adds a touch of sass. I loved the punny Christmas trees, such as the Gum Tree, decorated with packs of chewing gum, of course! We had so much fun walking through the different areas, taking photos and having a Christmas cocktail. It was the perfect place to wear my latest thrift-store find – a red fair isle-pattern sweater with a vintage Santa Claus brooch. Plus, I picked up some adorable teddy bear gloves.

Red sweater and Christmas display

Camp Christmas display

Camp Christmas Pink RoomChristmas fashion accessories

Sippin’ Santa Miracle Bar

The pop-up Christmas Miracle Bars have become an annual holiday phenomenon, drawing lines around the block to get in. They are a fun place to have a cup of cheer among some extreme holiday décor that includes walls lined with Christmas wrapping paper and literally hundreds of stick-on bows. This year Denver got a new themed bar that crossed Tiki and surf culture with Christmas and a drink menu from Tiki cocktail-connoisseur Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. Who could resist? We rounded up a group of friends and went on a weeknight to avoid the crowds. We kicked back among the plethora of Tiki statues and twinkle lights with a delicious libation served in a Santa glass, of course. For the occasion, I wore a blue-trimmed vintage cardigan with yet another fair isle pattern, which I topped with a festive red, vintage reproduction pencil skirt.

Christmas outfit for Sippin' Santa Bar

Sipping Santa Miracle Bar Denver

1940s White Christmas Ball

If ever there was an event to dress up in your finest vintage fashion, the 1940s White Christmas Ball is it. Inspired by the classic movie “White Christmas” (which I finally saw for the first time the week before), this mega event draws hundreds of people ready for a classy night out dressed in vintage and vintage-inspired attire, some even in replica costumes from the film! There were big bands, dancing, picture-taking sets, and a buffet dinner. I had to bring out my vintage red lace dress and vintage bolero cardigan sweater with beaded snowflake detail.

1940s White Christmas Ball

1940s White Christmas Ball

I hope you enjoyed a peek into some of my holiday fun and vintage fashion. Wishing you a very merry season and a stylish New Year!

Cheers,

Kastle

 

Author: stilettocity

One More Round of Fall Fashion Before Winter Comes

I’ve enjoyed the fall season so much this year I thought I would do another post of some outfits and adventures. Fall in Colorado is all about the changing of the aspen trees as their leaves start to shimmer with a bright, golden hue. The season begins the last couple of weeks of September, and if we’re lucky, goes through mid October as a beautiful gold sweeps from the tops of the mountains down into the foothills and the city.

 

One of the prettiest passes to see the aspen trees in all their glory is the Guanella Pass, the Scenic Byway off the I70 as you head west to the Rocky Mountains. We caught the color at the perfect time, so of course, we had to stop (along with everyone else) and take pictures. I dressed for the occasion by turning a summery vintage dress into a fall outfit by playing off the orangey tones in the pattern and teaming it with a beige cardigan, leather belt and purse, brown leather lace-up, chunky heeled boots and earrings with maple leaves.

 

Fall fashion vintage-inspired look

 

Guanella Pass

Fall fashion vintage-inspired look

When Thanksgiving hits, it’s officially the end of the autumn celebrations and time to get ready for the holidays. It also means winter is coming and with it, snow and frigid temperatures. I’m looking forward to hunkering down with some good books because I’m super scared of driving in the snow, so I won’t be going out as much.

 

Reading a book

Thank goodness I found an awesome bookstore, BookBar, in the cute historic shopping district of Berkeley along Tennyson Street. This quaint indie shop has a friendly staff, places to lounge and work and even has a wine bar inside! How genius is that? And even better, they have open mic nights for readings. Since I’ve been working on some personal essays and a memoir-in-progress in my spare time for a while now, I decided to give it a go. I did the first public readings of my work, and I have to say it felt pretty good! The crowd – a whole roomful of them that tested my stage fright – was also super supportive and welcoming.

 

BookBar Open Mic Reading

 

For one of my readings, I had to bring some fall colors. I’m currently obsessed with retro-inspired, detachable Peter Pan collars with gorgeous details that I’ve seen in the blog-o-sphere. So for this night, I wore a burgundy-colored collar with a gold leaf string tie from the Etsy shop, Fairytale Collars. I matched it with a plaid skirt and oxford shoes to create an academic yet stylish, book nerd look.

 

 

FairyTale Collars with leaf detail 

And lastly, as Thanksgiving is upon us, a perfect time to wear my new collar by Etsy shop, Leafling Bags. I’m giving thanks by baking a pumpkin pie for my wonderful hubby and being grateful for my new life in Colorado. 

 

Fall fashion, vintage-inspired look

 

Now I’m off to decorate and get ready for the holidays. More to come!

 

Cheers,

Kastle

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Author: stilettocity

I Love Fall Most of All

It’s fall! I can’t express how much I love this season. I know I’m not alone in this feverish enthusiasm when a slight chill blows past, the leaves are about to change, pumpkin spice everything hits the shelves and I can wear the warm, yummy colors of fall fashion. Plus, October is my birthday month, which gives me one more reason to celebrate.

A Layered Look for Leadville

This year I started my fall adventures early in mid-September with a trip to Leadville, Colorado. This little, historic mining town sits at the highest point in Colorado and is the first to have cooler tempertures and the changing colors in the trees.

I did a little fall fashion shopping before the trip, and now that I live in a colder climate, I’m learning how to layer my vintage and vintage-inspired clothes. I invested in two cardigan sweaters in blue and tan, colors I never used to wear because I found them to be too conservative. Well, I’ve learned that paired with rich fall tones, these shades really pop. They are now staples in my autumnal wardrobe!

Fall Fashion Outfit With Orange Skirt and Leaf Scarf
For walking around Leadville’s main shopping street, Harrison Avenue, I created a vintage-inspired, fall fashion look with the tan cardigan over a black t-shirt and my favorite fall infinity scarf with falling leaves. I added a dark orange, vintage-reproduction swing skirt and a leather belt I picked up at Leadville’s main vintage store, the Mule Kick. Little black lace-up, moto-style boots were perfect for the 50-degree temperatures and taking in the scenery.

While we were there, we did some horseback riding through the aspen groves that were turning their stunning golden hues. These trees really are the supermodels of the forest. They are so tall and willowy and shimmer in the sunlight. I just love them!
Leadville Aspen Groves in Fall

Vintage Inspired Look for a Vintage Farm

My next fall adventure was out to the historic Ya Ya Farm and Orchid in Longmont, where they invite the public to come pick apples, pumpkins and flowers. For this, I wore another vintage-inspried look with my blue cardigan over a grey t-shirt and a plaid vintage full skirt and matching blue tights. I added my new vintage belt and a vintage satchel purse with tan lace-up and chunky, high-heeled boots.

Fall Fashion Outfit with Blue Plaid Skirt
In my hair, I wore headband I found on Etsy by Chatterblossom made with velvet, vintage leaves. So perfect for the season!
Fall Fashion Leaf Headband
Unfortunately, we were a little too late in the season for all the good picking, but we shopped the store where we bought pretty much everything they had made with apples and got to enjoy the lovely surroundings and pet the farm animals, including a huge white horse that took a nip at my hair! Naughty!

YaYa Farm Animals and Tractor

I’ve really been enjoying fall – and fall fashion shopping – this year and it’s not over yet! Stay tuned for more outfits and adventures in Colorado!

Cheers,

Kastle

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Author: stilettocity

Stiletto City Takes Vintage Fashion A Mile High

Hello Stiletto City readers and vintage fashion lover! It’s been a while since I posted and there is so much to fill you in on! I’ve relocated from California to Colorado and taken Stiletto City to higher places – one mile high in Denver to be exact! While I loved living in Los Angeles for many years, the cost of living and traffic were becoming too much. So now I’m living near the beautiful Rocky Mountains and exploring a vibrant new city, plus, mountain life!

It’s taken me a couple of years to settle in. But I found a vibrant vintage fashion scene. (Lots of fantastic vintage stores and vintage-loving people in Denver!) And, I’m learning to dress for something I never had in LA – seasons!

So for my relaunch, I wanted to share some of my favorite vintage fashion looks from this summer and where I wore them.

1950s/60s Casual at Lakeside Amusement Park

Vintage fashion 1960s inspired outfit

Vintage fashion 1960s inspired look

If you are ever in Denver in the summer, I highly recommend this historic amusement park. Lakeside opened in 1908, and it still has many of the original rides and signage. Writer Jack Kerouac also wrote about it during the brief time he lived in Lakewood in 1949. For our fun amusement park day, I paired a 1960s floral-print top with a pair of capri pants and channeled my inner Audrey Hepburn with some black pointed-toe flats. I carried my goodies in a vintage white basket-weave purse. Of course, it’s not summer without sunnies, so I brought my favorite black cat-eye sunglasses. I put my hair in a vintage scarf, to keep it out of my face for all the fun rides, added some vintage hoop earrings and bright lipstick.

 

1940s Summer Dress at the 1940s Ball

Vintage fashion 1940s inspired outfit

Vintage fashion 1940s inspired look

Colorado has two big 1940s Balls each year. The summer ball is held outdoors at Boulder Airport, so I opted for a breezy, floral-print, ‘40s-cut dress. These are hard to find in vintage now because the delicate fabrics didn’t last. So the closest you can probably get is a reproduction like this one I picked up from Colorado’s The Hop Shop. I paired it with some tinted cat-eye sunnies and a ’40s rolled, up-do with flower clips.

 

Mid-Century Gooviness at the Denver Mod Convention

Vintage fashion 1960s inspired outfit

Vintage fashion 1960s inspired look

Denver loves mid-century design and clothing and there is an annual, three-day convention dedicated to it. I wore a ’60s era, pastel, candy-striped cotton dress with string-tie belt, a matching pink scarf and vintage, floral, clip-on earrings. Since the theme was “The Atomic Age” this year, I accessorized with a space-age silver circle handbag and heels. I picked up a pair of pink cat-eye sunnies and vintage orange flower pin while shopping.

Stay tuned for more outfits of the day (OOTDs) and vintage fashion in upcoming blogs as I learn how to dress in vintage for the seasons and explore more around the Mile High City!

Cheers,

Kastle

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