Pretty pictures

Here's the window I dressed this week at work, the theme is obviously pictures! People have been giving me old photos for a while and I needed some way to show them off. So I collected old cameras (and found an Holga camera for next to nothing, it just needs film) and put them on display in the window along with some old photo frames and a typewriter.


First snow

There's something so fresh about wearing a soft cotton dress in the middle of winter. I'm getting a bit tired of winter clothes and decided to wear a 40s summer wrap dress my aunt gave me. It's just so pretty I couldn't wait to wear it. And after watching The Edge of Love a while ago the image of Keira Knightley in a light 40s dress and heavy rubber boots stuck in my mind. It inspired me to actually buy a pair of rainboots, something practical in the rainy part of the country.

On my way to work I met Twila Jean and her kiddies for a sled ride down the sidewalk. They are so cute, and didn't care at all that most of the snow had melted into sludge :)

Dress-Gift from aunt

Cashmere socks-Gift from mom

Boots-Millie B. Vintage


Astoria in the winter

Where the Columbia river meets the ocean there's a charming old town called Astoria. If I had taken pictures of the hilly streets and victorian houses you might recognize it from the movie The Goonies. Anyway, my brother just bought a house there so my family all met up on a beautiful clear day to admire the house, view, town, and colorful cargo ships going in and out of town.
Atop a hill nearby is a landmark, The Astoria Column, built in 1926 with historic pictures wrapping around the entire 125 feet. The exciting appeal of the column is that you can climb 164 steps to the top for a "spectacular" view.
I decided to ignore my fear of heights and climb up to the top with everyone else, and as our group got higher, one after the other had to make their way back down (just a tip, don't look down) but eventually everyone made it all the way up. I almost didn't make it too, but the closer I got the more of a waste I figured it would be if I didn't finish.
But the end was sooooo not worth it.
Getting up to the top there is about a three foot ledge to stand on, and thin metal rails. So I open the door the the top, my knees go out from under me at the sight of the non solid ground, I'm trying to cling to the slick round wall going "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod" and laughing hysterically because thats what I do in such such situations, while tourists are leaning casually over the railing staring at me like I'm crazy. Unfortunately no one snapped a picture, because it was pretty funny, and I was there for about a total of ten seconds, but I did buy a button for my cousin Ruth and I that says we made it ;)

The town still contains buildings from the early part of the 20th century, without the sort of icky modern renovations that took place in other parts of the states. The Sears and J.C. Pennys buildings still have original signs and structure, and even new shops have old fashioned charm. It's so neat to walk around and feel like your in a time capsule :)



Today my mother and I went shopping downtown Portland (yeah, it was super busy) in search for shoes. I got some money for Christmas and decided to spend it on new shoes, since I rarely buy any other than those from thrift stores, which are great but...always of the practical nature. So I tried on some really fun styles, and some pretty but practical ones too but nothing was perfect. There was even a pair of beautiful Chie Mihara peep toes on super sale ($75 down from $350) I would have bought but the heel was white and in this climate thats a bit unpractical. And the black ones pictured are by Burberry, marked half off from $1,000. I think those will be the most expensive shoes ever on my feet, and perhaps the one of the most uncomfortable. The red shoes are just fun :)


Christmas eve.

Every Christmas eve my family meets at a local restaurant built over the Columbia River for breakfast, and then gathers later to open gifts. Last year it was snowing like crazy during Christmas, and while there was no sign of a snowstorm it was pretty cold! And very foggy, which made it seem as though we were floating in the clouds.
Over the summer my boss gave me a 40s dress she picked up at an antique store that was hopeless structurally, but the silk was very much desirable. So I made this dress from the same pattern of this one and this one in the fall re-using the fabric from the dress. Every time I make the dress I am able to variate it a bit, it's such a fantastic, simple pattern. For this one I added a giant floppy silk chiffon bow at the bust, trim at the bodice seam, and puffy little sleeves. Making this dress was sort of a test of patience and skill, I took some techniques I've been reading about in 20s and 30s sewing manuals and used them. So the dress has french seams and bias trim among other little things, just like a real 30s frock.


It's cape weather.

Let's face it, capes are cool. Superheros wear them. Queens wear them. Magicians wear them.

This one is from the 60s, made of warm and soft camel hair. I love that it has two full slits, instead of just arm openings, plus it has attached belt loops to keep a belt in place. And of course when my mother picked me up this morning to go to Portland, she was wearing her leopard cape, we always seem to dress in some similar way when we are together. Like mother like daughter. But needless to say we looked like crazies walking down the street arm in arm with our capes. I did have a hat on, but then I went to the hair salon, so it felt silly covering up done hair with a cloche.

We did go to Forever 21, and I found the ONLY bird brooch there, which of course I bought. I would be dumb if I didn't.

Later we went to Buffalo Exchange, where I found a beautiful $300 Dian Von Furstenberg wrap dress still with tags for only $32! Yeah, much excitement. My mother also found me a darling circle skirt with cats on it, which I will wear all the time around Twila as I know she just looooooves when I wear cats on my clothes ;)

Cape, shoes, belt, gloves: The Urban Eccentric.

Purse: Michael Kors.

Tights: Macys.

Random weekend pictures.

This weekend I went to my Aunts house and attempted to make bon bons and gingerbread houses. After that adventure she opened up her storage trunk and gave me all sorts of vintage goodies. She is the person who made me want to get into vintage in the first place so as you can imagine she has the best of the best. Most is summer dresses, but the suit above is one of the pretty winter things I couldn't wait to wear. Thank you Auntie!

Here is my adorable new cousin Dottie, and my failed attempt at a gingerbread house. As you can see by Dottie's expression, she is wondering why I suck so much at putting frosting on a graham cracker.

Here are my other cousins Grace and Pearl, who are both silly as little girls get. Grace got into the trunk too and fell in love with this pink 50s prom dress. I think Pearl was being a Walrus...
I have another cousin, but she would not let me take her picture! I guess I was the same way when I was that age though.

Here are a couple pictures readers sent in on how they kept warm last weekend, don't they look cute! On the left is one of my best customers, Hana (she needs to start a blog I think), and on the right is Peldyn of Style on a shoestring

Well thats all folks, I'll be doing regular postings this week except for on Christmas, can you believe it's only five days away?


Pretty cheap.

Forever 21 is probably the only modern store I'll shop at and pay full price for clothing. There's something for just about everyone, and it's so cheap! A few years ago I got a skirt at Anthropologie for $88, only to find the exact skirt a few months later at Forever 21 for $25!

There are some really cute vintage inspired items right now, especially for holiday wear. So if your budget is tight, here are some cute things for yourself or for gifts ;)

Clockwise from upper left:Bow headband, $4.80....Grey caplet, $34.80....Bangle, $6.80....Bow slippers, $6.80....Blue sweater, $27.80....Sparrow brooch, $4.80....Gossip girl tee, $10.90


Mad for Plaid.

Some plaid (and one not) listings this week going in my shop. If I looked better in 60s styles, I would probably wear them more, they have such a young, fresh air even if the clothing is 50 years old. But my loss is your gain, with plenty of fun 60s dresses and loungewear going up for sale :)

Please email me at solanahraquel@gmail.com or contact on Etsy with any questions or reserve requests.


Cherries and feathers.

I want this dress in about a dozen colors and prints. I bought it for my shop last week, but could not let it go. It has a very 40s look and feel, but is actually from the 80s, so it's not as fragile as something authentic, but still cute! And it really goes perfectly with my 30s/40s feather topper, I mean, how awesome is this hat? It has wings, but no full birds, I would just love a red bird hat! This is the same hat I wore for these photobooth pictures. In order to wear the dress in winter I paired it with red tights (they look orange in the closeup, but thats just the sun), and my red cape. It was icy on the roads though, and I nearly fell on the ice on my way to work, ever so ungracefully.

Dress-Buffalo Exchange.


Gloves-Estate sale.

Hat-The Urban Eccentric.

Shoes-Nordstrom Rack.


Style challenge

Last week I was asked if I wanted to participate in a style challenge for fashion bloggers: To turn off the heater for a day and bundle up in something stylish yet warm. I tried to think of some amazing outfit, to be cute and comfortable, but in the end I figured I'd just stay in what I lounge in everyday, it's very warm and although not glamorous, still has a hint of character. So here are my layers:

Long sleeve t-shirt

Cashmere sweater

Cotton leggings



Pendleton wool robe

1960s fur hood

As you can see I have the most fun with the hood. Anything with little pom-poms is fun :)

I spent the day knitting a scarf for Sam and working on a new look for my blog (not in love with this one, so stay tuned while I work on it!) before doing some Christmas shopping.

I would LOVE to see what you did to stay warm this weekend, be it outerwear or loungewear, so send me pictures at solanahraquel@gmail.com and I'll post them here this week!


New listings!

Here are some stylish things going in my shop this week! A lot to satisfy your inner bombshell, be it slipping a leopard robe over your silk nightgown in the morning, buttoning up a cute little red rose dress and bolero to run errands, and wiggling into a silver cocktail dress in the evening.

As always if you have any questions or would like a reserve, email me :)


Winter Challenge.

I know a lot of my readers reside on the southern hemisphere, so bear with me!

This saturday the 12th I'll be participating in a fashion challenge of turning off the heater, and bundling up (and probably sitting by the fireplace). The point is to take a step back in time and keep the hands off the electric heater, while still staying stylish (no Slankets allowed!).

So Saturday I'll pull together a warm, stylish, practical outfit for being at home, and I can't wait to see what other bloggers wear!



Betty the Bakelite Bird!

Sam can never wait too long to give me a gift once he buys it. So when he went to get my Christmas present yesterday as soon as he got home he insisted I open it. How could I refuse?

And oh how I squealed when I opened the box and found a red bakelite sparrow from the 1940s. The man knows how to shop for a lady.

I named her Betty, she just looks like a Betty, and today I wore her on my white cashmere sweater. She was quite happy.

Cashmere cardigan-The Urban Eccentric

50s wool skirt-Buffalo Exchange

Hat-I don't remember. Antique store?

Betty-Gift from Sam :)


Vintage style shoes


I work at a vintage shop up in Seattle, and I am on my feet 8 hours a day. My wardrobe consists of 50s and 60s dresses, and I am in a bind as to what to wear on my feet. I would love to wear my oxford heels every day, but my feet feel like hell after a while. Any suggestions on a comfortable, vintage style shoe? Thank you!


Even if you are lucky enough to fit into vintage shoes (they usually run small and narrow) their comfort level is quite low. I myself only own a couple pairs of vintage (pre 1960s) shoes, and wear them with caution, both to preserve them, and my feet (and knees, and back...).

I work at a vintage shop too and usually go with mary janes or flats, because as tempting as it is to show off some pretty footwear, at the end of the day it's not worth it one bit. However if you are willing to invest in a good pair of shoes you can have both beauty and comfort (oh modern times!). I've pulled together a collection of vintage inspired shoes from companies that are known for comfort, and a few from Anthropologie, because well, it's Anthropologie :)

1.Black Oxfords by Born, 2.Brown and teal mary janes from Anthropologie, 3.Suede Peep toes by Sofft, 4.Brown military style cropped boots, 5.Wool accented oxfords from Anthropologie, 6.Lace up mary janes by Sofft, 7.Victorian inspired boots by Sofft, 8.Petal shoes by Chie Mihara