Spring Wellness Salon: Restore and Renew as We Transition Into Spring

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2015 by Chifferobe Events

By Melissa Freitas: English Professor, Yoga Instructor, and TropiGal


Much like Shakespeare’s course of true love, the transition from winter to spring in New England n’er did run smooth; however, if you’re feeling a little more run down than usual, there’s a good reason for it! The record breaking amount of snow and single digit temperatures we’ve experienced this winter have conspired to undermine your health in a number of ways! Having to spend all that time shoveling and scraping all that ice and snow has left our bodies sore and tired; spending so much time inside with the heat turned way up means we’ve spent more time inhaling stale air from heating systems and breathing in whatever germs our friends, families, and co-workers have been exposed to, and if you’re looking to add a little insult to injury, all of this has probably left you feeling stressed out, which means that your immune system isn’t functioning as well as it could be.

There’s no doubt about it: this winter has been hard at work derailing your well being. The good news is that spring is just around the corner and with that comes the second installment of the Chifferobe Wellness Salon! As always, our aim is to provide salon guests with paths to better health and fitness that emphasize natural options and celebrating the body instead of punishing it, and in recognition of the coming season and the sense of renewal that comes with it, the Spring Wellness Salon will offer guests a much deserved chance to restore and renew both body and mind; read on to learn more about how our offerings will support your health and happiness as we make the transition to sunnier days!

Massage with Shannon Sexton Potter, LMT

Massage is a popular form of bodily maintenance because it can relieve pain, lower stress levels and it just feels good, but did you know that it can also support your ability to fight off illness? Studies have shown that after receiving a massage, participants’ lab results indicated an increase in the number of leukocytes (white blood cells), which play a key role in your body’s health by attacking unwelcome invaders like viruses and bacteria, and producing antibodies which will help you fight off future illnesses. Massage also supports your health by stimulating the production of cytokines, which help reduce inflammation, and also regulates the endocrine system which is in charge of your hormones. Long story short: massage is one of the most enjoyable ways you can take care of your body and kick illness to the curb!

Restorative Yoga with Melissa Freitas, KYT-200

 That blissed out feeling you experience after a great yoga practice is good for more than just helping your brain cope with the stresses of daily life; it’s good for your body too, because it can help regulate your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone your body produces when confronted with a stressful situation. In the short term, it’s exactly what you body need to get through a flight or fight moment, but prolonged stress means a persistently elevated level of cortisol, which can lead to a host of problems which include a suppressed immune system, gastrointestinal conditions, and cardiovascular disease. Through the use of supportive props and gentle postures combined with soothing breathing exercises, restorative yoga provides an opportunity for our guests to press the reset button on their bodies while feeling relaxed and indulged.

Reiki and Ayurveda with Abby Backlund, Reiki Master and Ayurvedic Lifestyle Therapist 

The healing arts of reiki and ayurveda offer recipients many benefits that support immune response and overall wellness, whether you’re looking to kickstart a healthier lifestyle or expand an existing wellness routine! Reiki is a form of therapeutic touch which aims to channel and stimulate the life force energy that flows through all living things; when ki levels are high, the mind feels calm, focused and positive and thus the body feels more energetic and strong, and thus it is better equipped to fight off illnesses.

Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga. According to ayurvedic principles, the forces which govern nature (ether, air, water, fire, and earth) also affect the health of human beings, and the various imbalances which may occur due to a number of internal and external factors set the stage for illness. After determining the elemental makeup of an individual, ayurvedic practitioners employ a variety of techniques including diet modifications, oil massage, netti, meditation, and herbal supplements with the aim of achieving a better energetic balance between the elements that comprise our makeup.

After a brief presentation on both of these practices, salon guests will have an opportunity to enjoy one of these natural healing arts by selecting either a brief reiki session or an ayurvedic consultation

Come to the Chifferobe Atelier’s Spring Wellness Salon to enjoy all of the services listed above and renew your commitment to your well being! The salon opens its doors on March 23rd, and runs from 5:45 – 8:00 p.m. The cost of attendance is $30, and includes access to all of the services listed above, as well as goody bags for all guests, as well as tasty treats and refreshing mocktails! Advance reservations are recommended as our last event was a sell out! Reserve your place by clicking here.


Frocks and Flicks: Admiring the Period Pieces of 2014

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2015 by Chifferobe Events

By Serena Renee Dupuis: Educator and Chifferobe Correspondent


So, you survived the holiday season and finally have some time for yourself. Sure, you would love to don a cloche hat and mink coat and head out to the always fabulous theater – however, the holidays have seriously depleted your bank account. What’s a gal or guy to do? Well, luckily for all of us awards season is here along with an impossible amount of movies to watch. Your wallet will also be happy because snuggling on the couch with a loved one, pet, or cozy blanket to indulge in some glitz and glam is also free. This week we have the People’s Choice Awards airing Wednesday night at 9:00 PM on CBS and the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night at 8:00 PM on NBC. There is also the bonus of some hilarious women hosts including Anna Faris, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. Free snuggly comedy? Count me in!

In the not too far future we have the Super Bowl of award shows to look forward to. The 87th Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 22nd at 8:00 PM on ABC. I love everything about award shows: the guilty pleasure of celebrities, the amazing fashion, and of course, the movies movies movies! For me, movies are my vice. I escape for two hours, without thinking about the rest of my life, it is my form of meditation and I enjoy it so. This year I am especially happy as a vintage lover because there are a number of period pieces up for nominations. Do yourself a favor and before cuddling up on your couch to watch the awards drag yourself out in the cold to see one or all of the following options out there.

The Theory of Everything (2014):

The Theory of Everything starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones tells the story of Stephen Hawking from his wife Jane’s perspective. This movie touches upon quite a few decades so just watching and yearning for the fashion is an enjoyable activity. I encourage all to see this movie if ever thoughts of how difficult relationships are pass through their minds. Jane Hawking is an astounding woman that deserves as much praise as Stephen Hawking. See it, relish in the hope, and buy some 1970’s frocks.


The Imitation Game (2014):

The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley tells the story of Alan Turing. This movie is set in England during World War II. The storyline is interesting, the wardrobe is gorgeous [I do love a high-waist pant and suspenders], and the character development is heart-wrenching. This movies focuses Alan and his team of cryptoanalysts trying to crack the German secret coding of messages. If you appreciate history please see this movie, and next time your computer acts up you may just have a little more patience.

Quad_BC_AW_[26237] Imitation Game, The


Selma (2014):

Selma starring David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo tells the story of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s world-changing march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. This movie has not been released worldwide just yet but keep your eyes peeled. The clips I have seen look stunning. Please see this movie and remember how treasured all people are.


Birdman (2014):

Birdman starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone is not a period piece but I am throwing it in the mix because it is all about the theater. This movie is a phenomenal and relatable look behind the scenes. The movie is shot at St. James Theater in New York City. The acting is striking and the music has a definite vintage vibe to it. If you have a love of theater or dance or live performances in general please see this movie.

As much as I would love to talk about movies all day I am going to leave you with these top four selections. Grab a friend, cocktail, or both and head out to your local theater for some winter relaxation. Then, after you’ve done your grueling part of watching a movie or two snuggle up for some more viewing pleasure. Before you know it awards season will be over and spring will be just around the corner!

Leaving Behind New Year’s Resolutions & Seeking Positive Solutions in 2015!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2014 by Chifferobe Events

By Melissa Freitas: English Professor, Yoga Instructor, and TropiGal


January first is just around the corner, which means that many gyms, publications, and well meaning fitness and wellness experts will exhort you to improve the quality of your life by changing your diet and fitness routines. However, while the modifications they suggest might be positive, it’s highly likely that they will promote these lifestyle changes in a way that suggests that the need for change is rooted in the fact that your body, your life, that you are somehow insufficient, broken, or unworthy. Here at Chifferobe, we aim to provide paths to fitness and well-being that challenge this point of view, and move away from New Year’s resolutions, and toward setting positive intentions. Thus, we are pleased and excited to announce our Winter Wellness Salon, which will present guests with a great opportunity to sample some of Chifferobe’s fitness offerings as well as some local businesses who are equally committed to wellness that stems from a sense of self-worth.

Heated Kripalu yoga with Melissa Freitas (KYT-200):

This practice will make you feel great both inside and out! A fun and energizing soundtrack will fill the room as the extra warmth makes your muscles feel more supple, while adding a little extra oomph to your experience! As you stretch and strengthen your body, you’ll also be cultivating a greater sense of self compassion. Kripalu yoga encourages us to observe rather than judge what we do on the mat; there’s no need to compare ourselves to other people in the room, or to any ideas about how we should move or what we should look like. As we practice, we’re better able to see our own beauty, competence, and worth.

Natural wellness with Flipp Apothecary:

Inspired by a variety of influences such as Buddhism, Tibetan medicine and her deep appreciation for beauty in all of its forms, Jo-Anna Cassino’s mini-apothecary will acquaint salon guests with products such as essential oils, medicinal tinctures, herbs, butters, and tea blends. In addition to providing an opportunity to learn more about services such as aromatherapy and reflexology. By offering natural alternatives to products that rely on potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, Jo-Anna and Flipp connect to the salon’s aim of encouraging guests to explore paths to wellness that honor and celebrate the body and the self.

DIY mini-facials with R.I. Hope Soap Company:

Contrary to what too many people believe, there is room for indulgence in your life when you’re pursuing a better state of being, and the Rhode Island Hope Soap Company has just what you need to add a dose of healthy luxury into your daily routine! Founder and proprietor Aimee Sepko will lead guests through DIY mini-facials, and introduce them to her amazing line of natural bath and skincare products. With a little help from R.I. Hope Soap, you can transform your bathtub into a home-spa and experience the truth in author Anne Lamott ‘s words: “you can change the world with a hot bath if you sink into it from a place of knowing that you are worth profound care.”
Come to the Chifferobe Atelier ‘s Winter Wellness Salon to enjoy all of the services listed above and start your new year with a commitment to your well being that stems from self-compassion and the recognition of your worth. The salon opens its doors on January 12th and runs from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The cost of attendance is $20, and includes access to all of the services listed above, as well as some givewaways from participating vendors, tasty treats and sparkling beverages! Come for Belly Dance Cardio before-hand (6-7pm) for FREE if you’re participating in the Salon! Advance reservations are recommended, and can be made here, beginning on New Year’s Day.

Review: 42nd Street: Still Tapping into Our Hearts

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2014 by Chifferobe Events

By Serena Pyle, Educator by Day, Vintage Maven by Night


Lucky for me I have had a rather vintage loving week so far. I will be the first to admit that I am kind of a theater addict. I just love live theater in all shapes and sizes, from Broadway show stoppers to local high school performances. Unlucky for me, when I check my e-mail these days it just results in a list of at least ten shows that I now NEED to see. So, when I received an e-mail that the Ocean State Theater in Warwick, RI was playing 42nd Street this May I knew I just had to make a little trip.

This was my first time attending an Ocean State Theater production. They opened the theater in an old garage that has been renovated. Although it is not the prettiest, most ornate theater that I have been to it was a delightful experience. The seats were comfortable and the venue was intimate so there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The performance was just lovely. The actors were talented, I wanted to take the entire wardrobe of costumes home with me, and the tap dancing, as always, just wowed me.

42nd Street is still enjoyable 81 years later. The play was adapted from the 1933 black and white Busby Berkeley film and paid homage quite well. I thought the live performance showcased more tap dancing, which, let’s be honest, is always a plus. The play also included the songs made famous by the picture: “Forty-Second Street”, “Shuffle off to Buffalo”, and “You’re Gettin’ to be a Habit with Me”. “We’re in the Money” is a number done in the stage performance even though it comes from the 1933 movie Gold Diggers.


I thoroughly adored each portrayal but have some favorite aspects to share. In the movie version I thought the characters were more likeable. At least, I didn’t find myself despising Dorothy Brock. In fact, I thought the ending between Dorothy and Peggy was really very sweet. I did find myself wonder what the play inside a play Pretty Lady was all about. In the movie there was so much happening that it became quite comical. In the stage performance the musical numbers were bigger and flashier, and there was certainly more dancing.

I enjoyed the film and the play whole-heartedly and encourage you not to forget this classic gem. I found the movie OnDemand so it is accessible and could make for a lovely girls’ night with maybe a cocktail or two. In the words of Peggy Sawyer, I’m sure she would agree with me in saying, “Why (insert your name here), they didn’t tell me you were here. It was grand of you to come!”


A Slip on the Lip

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2014 by Chifferobe Events

By Kristen Minsky, Director of Chifferobe & Flapper, Tapper, Gal About Town

Have you ever felt a smidge awkward about the state of your pout? Whether a vintage girl or a contemporary gal-on-the-go…having fabulous red OR fabulous any shade lips actually takes some work!

Personally, I am a dry girl. My hair is curly (dry). My skin is fair and I sunburn like it’s my job (dry). AND my lips seem to be perpetually irritated by the weather or product (ew and dry). None of these things are great, but with the help of my friends, my lips have transformed into a constantly plush pout as opposed to one that is just, meh.


Photograph of Facing Thayer by Corey Grayhorse.

To start, Providence’s Facing Thayer is and has been my go-to spot for a facial since I moved to Little Rhody in 2009. Conveniently located on on the East Side, whether you are looking for the whole shebang at 60 minutes or an express version, these ladies know what they are doing! (Personally, I like to think of my express visits like brief rewinds before pressing play for a week of shows or important dates.) On my last visit, I finally decided to invest in Sara Happ’s Lip Slip as well as its exfoliating counterpart. At the time, I felt a bit silly investing in another potentially too-sticky lip smother, but as soon as I twisted off it’s top, I was amazed at the difference in my typically parched lips. In addition to the Lip Slip, owner Abby Buckland also recommended that I use Happ’s lip scrub up to three times weekly. So far, SO smooth.


On top of how smooth my smooch is, favorite lipsticks like Besame “Red Hot Red” slick right over the Lip Slip without spotting, skipping areas, or looking glossy (when they are supposed to register as matte). Suite Tart, our West Side Bombshell locale and Chifferobe TropiGal Glam Sponsor, is my local spot for retro-fabulous updos and Besame products. While the entire line speaks to my vintage heart, it is the lipsticks that make me swoon. Owner, Lulu Locks, is a fan of them all…and they really do make such a lovely collection! There are several in particular (some of which are pictured below) that I have grown to love:

Late 1920s-30s: Darkest Reds: Merlot or Noir Red

1920 – Late 1950s: Classic “True” Red: Besame Red or Red Hot Red

1931: Coral/Orange: Carmine


Footnotes…But For Faces

Back to the East Side: as Facing Thayer’s boutique continues to expand, fantastic items such as the Clarisonic keep popping up. The Clarisonic skin brush removes makeup and has been proven to get skin up to six times cleaner than washing alone. So perhaps between facials or in lieu of abrasive apricot scrubs, this could be a great splurge item to soften and smooth your complexion to perfection. Ask Abby to show you how it works on your next visit!

Of course, once fresh-faced I have a couple of Besame products in my arsenal. I am a tremendous fan of the Crimson Cream for cheeks. This lovely cream rouge is incredibly pretty, works well for most skin tones and doubles as a lip tint, if you just want a touch of color. Polish things off with the Brightening Violet Powder, a translucent powder that brightens any skin tone (and does not in any fashion wear as being purple). While smelling subtly of violets, your makeup will be beautifully set . Wear it alone, over foundation, or around eyes to instantly lighten dark circles. And again, both of these products can be found at Suite Tart.



Signing Off

Here’s hoping something above spoke to you, and that your next beauty perk-me-up might include one of the tried and true products mentioned. Giving good face doesn’t have to require a lot of work, but a swell pout is sure to make an impression. A swipe of great gloss or lipstick always gives me a boost!


These are the Babes of Your Lives – The Vintage Ones, Anyhow

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2014 by Chifferobe Events

– By Kristen Minsky, Director of Chifferobe & Flapper, Tapper, Gal About Town


What a vintage-fabulous start to spring it has been! At Chifferobe, we have been busy with everything from Wonderland at Providence Public Library to celebrating the Jazz Age with the Greater Boston Vintage Society. One significant moment that has been in the (editing) vault is our in-house dance company’s spring photo shoot!

While perusing vintage photographs of grande dames in gloves, primarily from the 1950s, I came across one cheeky image that inspired what turned into a day of makeup, updos, furs, veils, and pearls, complete with Champagne and Parisian pastries. Sounds awful, right? 

After collaborating with Lulu Locks of Suite Tart on a number of events over these past few years, our projects have finally merged in a most glamorous fashion so that we can generate semi-annual images such as those you are about to see. The TropiGals have a glam sponsor!!!! What does that mean? Well, in the case of this shoot, it included Lulu coiffing our locks, makeup artist Brandon Ward making our faces up to perfection, and Harper Della-Piana of Seams Couture allowing us to borrow some of her magnificent bows, bands, and veils to polish off our vintage Vouge-tacular looks. We hope you enjoy, and that you may consider a shoot with Suite Tart, home of Providence PinUp soon. In the mean-time perhaps we will see you at an upcoming event such as:

May 3rd – Cinco de Mayo Block Party in Down City, Providence, RI

May 11 & 18 – 1930s Murder Mystery at Vanity, Providence, RI

June 14 – BBBS An Evening in Paris, Newport, RI


What to Wear: Accessory-Making for Wonderland

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 2, 2014 by Chifferobe Events

-By Melissa Freitas, Chifferobe TropiGal

In just a few weeks, Chifferobe will work their collective magic and welcome guests as they tumble down the rabbit hole and into this year’s annual gala at the Providence Public Library: Wonderland – Through the Looking Glass. With just a few weeks to go before this very important date, there’s no time to waste in planning your ensemble! To help you along, TropiGal Melissa Freitas has teamed up with the Tweedle Dee to her Tweedle Dum, Joelle Burdette of SparkleJ Designs, and whipped up a few craft tutorials for items that will add some Wonderland flair to your look.

You’re Such a Card! Fascinator


  • Playing cards
  • Single hole punch
  • Paper fasteners
  • Hot glue
  • Pipecleaners
  • 1inch of ribbon that is about ½ inch wide
  • Rhinestones, feathers, and additional ribbon


Step 1:Select three cards from the deck. Choose two to form the front of the fascinator. Line them up so the outside corners overlap. (They should line up in a way that forms a heart shape.) Punch a hole in the cards, about ¼ of the way in from the pointed part of the heart.


Step 2:Add some glue to the back of the card that will form the top layer of the heart. Carefully line up the cards and glue them together so they’re still making that heart shape. Allow to dry.


Step 3:Take one of the paper fasteners and pass the tabs through the hole. (The tabs should be on the back side of your work.) Arrange the tabs into a V-shape and glue them down.


Step 4:Take the third card and center it behind the cards you’ve already glued together. Rather than perfectly lining up all the points of the cards, let the center card come up a bit higher than the others. Glue this card into position and let dry.


Step 5: Grab one of the pipecleaners and twist the ends together. Pinch the loop together in the middle and squish along the length so they’re fairly close together. Place the pipecleaners so that they run horizontally across the back of your cards. (They shouldn’t be visible, so you may have to untwist them and trim them down.)  Once you have the right size, secure them with some glue, and then glue down the short piece of ribbon over them for extra stability.


Step 6:In a recent conversation Chifferobe director Kristen Minsky said to me, “sometimes it’s the bling that makes the thing.” Wiser words have never been spoken. Grab your rhinestones, ribbon, and whatever else you have on hand and go to town! I kept things pretty simple here, but feel free to let your imagination run wild! Just be sure to keep in mind the weight of whatever embellishments you decide to add on.


To wear: Bend the pipe cleaners so they work like a mini-headband. Secure the pipecleaners with bobby pins.


Painting the Roses Red Fascinator


  • White silk flowers (The number and size are up to you!)
  • Scissors or wire cutters
  •  A pen
  • Red acrylic paint
  • 1 paintbrush
  • Clear-drying adhesive
  • Red glitter
  • Spray sealant
  • Hot glue


Step 1: If your flowers have long stems, cut them down so they’re only two or three inches long. Leaving on a bit of the stem makes it easier to handle the flowers, and some gals like to use the stem to help anchor flowers in their hair. If you’re not keen on keeping the stem, you can always trim it off after you’re done.


Step 2:Carefully remove the plastic base from your flowers, set it aside and take the flower apart, layer by layer. As I went along, I put a teeny number in the center of each piece so I would know how to reassemble it.


Step 3: Get your red paint and let out your inner Jackson Pollock! Remember, the cards were stopped in the middle of their attempt to paint the roses red, so don’t aim for perfection; leaving some parts of the petals unpainted as well as a few streaks or splotches will add to the overall look of the piece.  Once you’re done painting, set all of the pieces aside to dry. (See manufacturer’s instructions for drying time).


Step 4: If there’s one thing that consistently makes the list of the TropiGals’ favorite things, it’s glitter, so  grab some and get your sparkle on! Mix some glue and glitter until you achieve a density that you like. Use a clean paintbrush to add glitter over the areas you painted red. Keep in mind that you might need more than one coat of glitter to achieve the desired level of sparkleosity. Set aside to dry.


Step 5:Fire up your glue gun and get ready to put everything together. Place the plastic base on the stem, add a bit of glue to the center, and add the first layer of petals. Continue to stack the pieces in order and  secure each round with a bit of glue. Once the glue is dry, trim down the stem if you like. Give the flowers a quick coat of spray sealant to help set the glitter. Let it dry and you’re done!


To wear: Secure by bobby pinning the bottom layer of petals to your hair.



Tea Time Alice Band



  • One or more craft flowers, the flatter the better
  • Tea time miniatures – tea cup and spoon, tiny cakes (!), tray
  • Tea themed fabric
  • Needle and thread
  • Hot glue


Prepare the flower:

If the flower won’t sit flat on the headband, take apart its layers and hot glue them back together, omitting the bits that were making it stick up. You can even discard the center of the flower because you’re just going to cover it up anyway.


Prepare tea tray:

Hot glue your miniatures together in any arrangement you like. Note: if the tray you’re using is actual metal and not painted plastic, heat will transfer through. Be ye forewarned.


Prepare band:

If you don’t have time to fiddle with fabric covering, you can hot glue the flower directly to the headband and call it a day. But if you want to get a bit fancier, you can cover it with whimsical tea time fabric.


Measure the headband and cut a rectangle of fabric according to the following forumla: The length of the fabric should be equal to the length of the headband (tip to tip) plus one inch. The width of the fabric should be twice the width of the headband at its widest point plus one inch. 


Fold the fabric right sides together and stitch lengthwise, giving yourself a 1/2 inch seam allowance. You can either use a machine or hand stitch, whichever you prefer. Turn the fabric tube right side out. Insert fabric to the underside of the headband and stitch flat. Make sure to fold up and stitch the ends of the tube as well.


Try on the headbandand play around with the position of the flower before you hot glue it into place.