Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Independent Fashion Revolution Meets Little Independent

A few months ago I was doing some research on the fashion community in Chicago.  As a city, they have so many resources that can be used to help you learn and grow not only in Chicago but anywhere. 

I happened upon an awesome amazing wonderful site called Little Independent.  Of course this attracted my attention since our whole life over here revolves around our own tag line:  an independent fashion revolution.  I thought it was just meant to be that I found this site. 

As I perused their site the more excited I got (I'm weird I know and I'm okay with that)!  It is so nice to come across people and concepts that are in line with what your own thoughts and passions are but with an individual twist that only the creator could have thought of. 

That creator happens to be Lesley Tweedie, Co-Founder and Owner of Little Independent.  See her in action HERE as she explains all about her "baby".  She and her husband founded Little Independent in 2010.  Their inspiration?  A lonely Bike Helmet! 

Their web site tells their story like this:  "My husband and I own a neighborhood bike shop in Chicago. Over the course of many months, we watched a bike helmet gather dust on the sale rack. We marked it down…then marked it down again. We showed it to customers we thought might like it. We put it out for the sidewalk sale. The helmet still wouldn’t sell. Sure, it was a bit over-sized and more expensive than others, but I knew someone out there would be happy to have it for a great price. I wished there was an easier way to reach that person.

I found fellow storeowners have the same issue. Even those that have e-commerce websites sometimes find themselves with an item that lingers too long. The available listing websites where I could reach a wider audience had high fees and complicated set-up processes. There was no inexpensive and simple-to-use online marketplace just for independent stores like mine."

What an awesome simple logical concept!!!  Breathing new life into an item that was destined for the clearance bin or even worse- having to bring it into my own home - because it wouldn't sell :)  As Lesley said there had to be someone out there who was a perfect match for her helmet and she came up with a way to provide an invaluable service.   

Independent retailers don't have the same luxuries or the financial freedom of large retailers like Saks or Lord & Taylor when it comes to sell through.  Most independent retailers also sell one-of-a-kinds or unique items that take that one special person to come across it and fall in love or fall in need with it.  Little Independent makes it easier for you, as a consumer, to get those items across state lines without leaving your own town.  It keeps the integrity of the independent retailer while giving it a helping hand. 

As of today Little Independent has 69 stores in 14 states with 239 sale items just waiting for YOU!!  They are growing by leaps and bounds so be sure to check their site frequently to get some incredible finds at incredible prices.

May I add that Lesley happens to be such a wonderful person and knows what great customer service is and how people should be treated!  For that, success is the only option for Little Independent because it comes from a good heart :)

For even more information about Little Independent take a look at their FAQ ~

Live life well and ENJOY!!!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Doing" Vintage

There has been a change of tide lately with the economy the way it is and people wanting to find comfort in the simple things again.  This is why, I believe, shopping for vintage anything (but especially clothing) has made a rather large resurgence. 
Along with yearning for the nostalgia of yesteryear finding vintage pieces is like finding hidden treasure.  Finding beautiful pieces with tags still attached – oh I just felt my blood pressure rise – such a rush!!  Even if I don’t buy it for myself there is no way I’m leaving an incredible vintage find behind – I know someone who would look awesome in it or I will use it for a photo shoot before I walk away from something so fantastic! 

For one, things were just made better in certain eras than they are now.  The material may not have been wonderful (polyester I’m talking to you) but the craftsmanship was impeccable.  Things that were less expensive and not considered couture at the time were even made better than today. 

I have searched through many definitions of “vintage clothing” and the most common theme seems to be as defines it:   The term vintage is used to describe clothing between 20 and 100* years old which is clearly representative of the era in which it was produced. Vintage clothing can be used, new (from dead stock), manufactured, and handmade. It is important to understand that the definition of vintage is fluid, so every decade brings forth new items as "vintage". It is also important to understand that all vintage will eventually become antique.  *Clothing 100 years old or more is classified as antique”  Something to think about when consciously going out to search for a vintage piece or pieces. 

Doing vintage is fun and adds to your own personal style.  I talk a lot about personal style but it is important to express yourself through what you wear and how you wear it.  It is an outward expression of what’s going on inside – some days that’s good and some days not so good – but nevertheless it’s the truth. 
I view vintage as I do a trend.  Meaning that I wouldn’t do a trend from head to toe – I strategically mix and match it and several pieces throughout my wardrobe or outfit.  If you find an awesome vintage dress then mix it with some sky high platforms to make it modern.  If you layer yourself in vintage jewelry like pearls and rhinestones, then wear it with a white tank top and denim and, again, a hot shoe, to offset the fanciness of the jewelry.  The trick to “doing vintage” is to do a piece here and do a piece there.  If done all at once it can look as though your grandmother’s (or great-grandmother’s) closet imploded all on one person and we don’t want that (unless you are doing a period piece in the theaterJ.)

It is also important to do your research.  In the age of smart phones and tablets it makes it easier to find out on the spot if the deal you think you’re getting at the thrift store is truly a bargain.  If I come across a label I am unfamiliar with I will do a search right there in the store – sometimes it’s good and sometimes not but it is important to be informed.  If there is a dress that isn’t a popular name but I really love it and it’s $5.00 then I go for it and tweak it to my own personal taste.  That’s the beauty of it – you buy something for $5.00 and make it look like $500 and no one is the wiser.  It’s all in how you carry yourself and the confidence you exude in anything you wear. 

Let’s recap:

·         Do vintage in moderation – a piece here and a piece there

·         Make vintage modern by pairing it with classic pieces of today (denim, platform shoes, blazers, that little black dress, or the classic white oxford)

·         Have fun when picking out pieces.  It’s easier to try something if it costs $5.00 than if it costs $100.00 so go for it!

·         There are no rules when it comes to your personal style.

·         Do your research – look up unknown labels or fashion houses just so you know what you are buying – especially when it comes to high end couture vintage pieces (e.g. Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.)

Vintage pieces can be found just about anywhere:  Goodwill , Salvation Army, your local thrift shop, your family’s closets, your friends’ family’s closets, and garage and estate sales.  There are also some companies who have made upscale vintage their livelihood and only sell high end designers and fashion houses for a pretty penny but they are worth every cent! 

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite links: 


                Shrimpton Couture

              Vintage Vogue by Goodwill

              ERAS by ADSH

FabSugar:  Guest Blogger Rachel Zoe – How To:  Shop AND Wear Vintage


Live life well and ENJOY!!