- by Nicole Purcell, TropiGal
I’m not Oprah, famous for her “favorite things” episode, and I cannot present you with an actual physical sampling of my favorite things – including a brand new car – but I’ve got some doo-dads (both simple and extravagant) that I think are pretty amazing and I thought I’d share the greatness with y’all!
Retro Greeting Cards
I sent this one to my dad, an avid golfer and pretty much as a cute as a button as Lucy in her caddy-attire. You can find this one, and dozens of others (including Dorothy and Toto, TV Dinner, Elvis, and cocktail images) at www.retroplanet.com. I’ve also at times taken images I love – or that I know a friend or family member loves, tacked them to card stock paper with Modge Podge (http://www.plaidonline.com/mod-podge/brand/home.htm), given them one top-coat of modge podge and then written a (usually too long, too sappy) message inside of my homemade kitschy greeting card
Though I own only a few vintage hats, I found a great Etsy dealer in Carolina Vintage, here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CarolinaVintageCo?section_id=7647330&ref=shopsection_leftnav_4. The owner is fantastic about sending measurement/condition details, so you know what you’re doing to get and so that you can feel some comfort in terms of sizing. What I love about this etsy dealer is that she’s always got a decent selection and the items I’ve purchased have been in great condition. I have been eyeing this one lately. Yes?
Hue Fishnet Tights
I wear a lot of fishnet tights. A lot. In the summer, they are pretty standard leg wear for me. Hue Brand fishnets have honestly never let me now. They fit like a dream (no bunching at the ankles or knees, not too much fabric in the hips/crotch area, they last through dozens of wears (even if you’re really moving/dancing), they come in a variety of colors dependent on season (black and nude are made all year, with winter colors in the past including navy and gray and summer colors including white and soft pink), for folks who use them for costumes – they are net all the way to the waist, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. Generally, at any retailer online www.amazon.com (keywords: Hue fishnets) or www.hue.com or at your local Macy’s store, they’re $13.50 per pair or 2/$22.00, though you can often find coupon codes for online purchases or in-store coupons at Macys. They’re worth every penny!
These Two Dresses
Like many other Chifferobe guys and dolls, I have lot of vintage pieces in my wardrobe. Dresses, hats, pins, scarves, skirts, coats. These dresses are my two favorites.
This green tulle beauty, a vintage late 40s-early 50s handmade, was purchased from Alexis Grace consignment http://www.alexisgraceconsignment.com/. This cute little store on Green Street in Worcester is part of the Crompton Collective http://cromptoncollective.com/ – a gathering of vintage, retro, kitsch of all kinds. The price was a STEAL for this dress, which called to me from the store window and fit like a dream. The ladies of Alexis Grace are very sweet, they have a decent selection of vintage items (most of it focused in the 60s-80s with occasional 20s-50s gems like this one).
This plaid piece came from Circa Vintage in New Bedford http://www.yelp.com/biz/circa-vintage-wear-new-bedford. If you haven’t been there – Go! Now! The selection is ENORMOUS, Chris – the owner knows his vintage and is extremely helpful in selecting items that will fit your style, the event you’re attending and your body shape, and like the Crompton Collective it’s housed in a cool old mill filled with vintage furniture, lamps, jewelry and other goodies. This dress, says Chris, is an early fifties day dress, tea length. It is in excellent condition, with just some slight fading through the lower part of the bodice and lower part of the skirt (not noticeable when worn) I also purchased a very pretty, adjustable waist crinoline to wear beneath it. I’ve got two or three other dresses from Circa, but this one is my favorite. Their selection is pretty much unmatched in this area, with lots of pieces from the 20s-90s – and a particular focus on the 40s-80 and their items are usually of wearable – or better – quality. Expect to pay a bit more than at other area vintage locations, but it’s worth it.
I love me a car show! Put me around a souped up hotrod or a vintage BMW or a GTO or an old 50s pick up and you’ve got one happy girl. I like to monkey around in the shop too, turning wrenches and learning how old cars work/worked. They look pretty cool, but they were also built to last and are completely different than today’s. There are often vintage and retro aficionados at these shows, who know lots about the history of the automotive industry and the evolution of automobiles and have lines on lots of other vintage products, retailers, and the like. In other words, if you visit a car show, you’ll see some cool rides, have some fun, and you might learn a thing or two. Two of my favorite Car Shows in the late spring and summer months, days of the week not yet released for this year, are the dusk shows at A&W Drive-In on Putnam Pike in Greenville and in the BJ’s Lot on Route Six in Seekonk, MA. I leave you with photos from shows in 2013 and 2012.
On to Hair and Makeup
Lush Ayesha Mask
I’m a fan of Lush products. They’ve got great smelling soaps and perfumes, excellent shaving products for men and women, fantastic lip balms and lip smoothers. But probably my most favorite product? Their Ayesha mask. If I want my skin to feel smooth, firm, but also touchable and soft for a date or special occasion, I put this mask on the afternoon before. Its effect is noticeable and lasts through events, dancing, sweating, etc. You can get Lush products through their website at http://www.lushusa.com, but I would strongly recommend visiting a Lush location near you. The staff is generally very helpful, they’ll often make you samples of things you haven’t tried, their prices are reasonable and all of their products are all natural and environmentally friendly.
Bumble & Bumble
I hear they make lots of amazing products, but this line (Quenching) is my favorite. It makes hair shiny and soft and beautiful and for a girl like me, who can tend toward dry locks, the moisture it provides is great. Pricey, but worth the cost with ingredients that are (once again) mostly natural and environmentally friendly. My hair just isn’t the same without these… They ship for free and if you spend more than $50, they’ll send you a ton of samples with your order… http://www.bumbleandbumble.com/product/spp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT51&PRODUCT_ID=9232
I was introduced to Besame products by Lulu Locks at Suite Tart www.suitetart.com, and I’ve been in love since. The lipsticks are wonderful. They go on smooth, they last for ages, and they come in wide selection of classic and vintage colors. Want to look like a movie star? Grab the Red Hot Red… Going for the ingénue look? I recommend the Debutante Pink. They are gorgeously packaged too, coming in a tiny velvet sack. I was also pretty thrilled to find that Besame makes a violet powder that helps with brightening skin and smells beautiful.
I swear by this mascara. My lashes are on the thin side and this makes them look really full and lush, without lumping up and creating spider eyes. It also STAYS ON. Through dance rehearsal, through runs at the gym, through hot yoga class – no raccoon eyes, no Tammy Fay Baker! Fair warning, the brush is HUGE and a little difficult to get used to, but it really makes a difference in volumizing lashes. It’s reasonably priced for a high-end cosmetic product at around $22-25, at http://www.Sephora .com or www.dior.com.
So, those are a few of my favorite things. There are, of course, dozens of others – including beets, really nice men’s shoes, stars and a full moon over the beach at Point Judith in front of a fire surrounded by friends, dance, yoga, bananas, and Gray’s Ice Cream on East Road in Tiverton. I hope you’ll check out some – or all – of the vendors or products. If you’ve got specific questions about any of them, please reach out!