Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dinner at The Tavern: Travel


    Saturday night rolled around and we decided to go to a little place near Yokohama station called The Tavern.  English owned and run, this place offers authentic British dishes like my beloved fish and chips as well and some pretty fabulous cider and ale.  The portions were beyond what either of us could handle, even though we savored every bite.
    Since it was a pretty casual place, I knew I could leave my LBD on the hanger.  But it was date night after all, so I had to dress up a little.  This little number by Kimchi Blue seemed appropriate with tights and a jacket.  I snagged this sapphire gem and this cropped faux leather jacket for $10  & $20 respectively at ThredUp.  Kind of dressy, kind of casual,  all appropriate for the chilly night out.

Shop the Look:
Dress & Jacket from ThredUp.
Use this link to save $20 off your first order-->
Tights from WalMart
Heels from ModCloth
Use this link to save $15 off your first order-->

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I'm Seeing Hearts: Upcoming Dress Review

Scoop, Wood Heart, Cookies, and Coffee Print available at

      About a month ago I was having coffee with a friend when out of the corner of my eye I spied a local woman in a gorgeous red heart knit dress.  I wanted to jump up out of my seat and ask the woman where she found that dress, but I didn't want to be rude to my friend, so I sat quietly and waited. The woman left before our chat ended.  I figured she found that dress in some cute Tokyo boutique, so I'd likely never find it myself.  
    Flash forward to three days ago when I was browsing ThredUp and spotted this Yumi Heart Dress for $26.99.  It was cute and I was instantly reminded of that even prettier heart dress I saw in the coffee shop.
    I liked this dress, it's very unique, however on closer inspection I decided not to buy it.  I don't care for the cut (it has no waist) and for the mix of fabrics (heavy knit with a faux suede border?  blech).  Even if it seemed completely hopeless, which it did, it renewed my interest in finding that lovely red heart dress.
    I decided to do a quick search to see if I could find anything similar.  To my utter surprise and delight, within five minutes I found the very dress that was so clearly etched into my memory at not one but two different shops!  Behold the gorgeousness of the illusive red heart dress!
The dress on the right is from AliExpress has long sleeves, and comes in a variety of colors for $49.90

    I chose the $24.69 dress from Ebay, because....well,.... this blog is all about me being fashionable and thrifty at the same time, duh-doy.  As with all my other purchases of late, it is headed to my home in the States and a review will just have to wait til I make it home.  In the mean time if someone out there gives this dress a try in either the short sleeve or long sleeve version, leave a comment on how well you liked it and send me a pic to post with my review as well.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tiny Windows:ootd

    If you're a second hand shopper like me, there are probably styles you've admired for years and simply waited for them to come down to a price you can afford.  Such has been the case with the Anthropologie's Tiny Windows dress by Maeve.  I'm drawn to it; I don't know why.  But, the reviews tended toward the negative, so I just couldn't pay full price.  A lot of wearers felt it looked rather 1940s grandma-ish.  
    My solution was to wait until I could find the dress in great condition for $25 or less.  In the end I paid $26 with shipping, but, hey, close enough.  So, I've decided to channel my inner vintage granny via victory rolls and clunky heels to see if I can lean in to this style.
    Since this dress is still widely available on resale sites like Poshmark and Ebay (just type in the search phrase 'tiny windows dress') in both the lavender and coral colors, I'm going to do a quick review as well as a few outfit photos.
    Let's start with the positives: color, material, and fit.  I love the soft lavender and don't own anything else like it.  And, I love the soft cotton and swiss dot.  The fit seems true to size.
Negatives:  just the cut.  This dress is pretty frump-tastic with its boxy shoulders and awkward collar.  There's a wonderful way to update vintage styles for modern tastes, but this dress misses the mark.  Do I love it?  *sigh*  No, I don't.  Do I hate it?  No, I'm glad I finally found it in my price range and I think it will make the perfect summer house dress.     

Shop the Look:
Find the dress on Ebay or Poshmark by searching 'Tiny Windows Dress'
Jewelry is my own design
Bow Belt is from ModCloth
Shoes are old and from Payless

I've added a few creative ideas to the photo collage this time, even though they weren't featured in this outfit.


Friday, October 21, 2016

A Good Eye For Cacti: ootd

Art Print, Watch, Coaster Set available on
     For the last few months it seems that everywhere I look cactus prints keep popping up.  I've never been a fan of cactus anything, probably because I once loved those adorable mini cactus arrangements, begged my mom to buy me one, within five minutes of bringing it home I was bleeding and one year and a thousand drops of blood later, I let it die of neglect.  But, maybe it's not just that this plant has hurt me so many times, maybe I just saw this style over used in every retro kitschy home I've ever been in and burned out on it.
    Regardless of its origin, I'm not a fashion fan of our friend (or mortal enemy) the cactus.  Buuuuuut, as with so many things, if I see it enough times I get curious enough to try it.  So, when I was picking out my Mermaid Top from a few posts ago, I noticed a cactus top.  I was pleased enough with the fit of the blouse that I went back and decided to give this print a try.  OK, I gotta say, it's pretty cute with a yellow sweater or jacket, and for only $11 I'm glad I tried it.

    No review for this top; it's the same fit, fabric and price as the mermaid top, just a different print.  If you'd like to read that review, click here.  In the mean time, here are some other cactus things I dig:
Miss Patina Dress L, ModCloth Dress Center, Urban Outfitters Tee R

Shop the Look:

Skirt From Thred Up  (<--Use this link to save $20 off your first order)

Charter School Cardi in Honey from ModCloth (<-- Use this link to save $15 off your first order

Shoes are old

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Completely Sane Cat Lady Returns: ootd

    I've spent the last few months catching glimpses of the little calico kitten that my semi-tame wild cat had over the summer.   She's big enough to eat with her mama on our back porch, though we're not having an easy time of taming her. 
    Since her mother's name is Sassy Girl and for the first month or so, the only time we saw her was when she was sleeping, my little ones have dubbed her Sleepy Girl.   I think Scratchy Girl and Hissy Girl would also have been appropriate names for this staunchly unfriendly little one, but I was voted down.
    So, in honor of Miss Sleepy Girl I'm showing off my most awesome thrift store find from Japan.  This tan and black cat print dress was hidden in a dim corner of an already dim store on a clearance rack for about $2.  I zeroed in on it and pulled it off the hanger with a squeal.  It was a bit too big, but hey, everything is right now, so I'm learning to deal and honing my seamstress skills at the same time.  Tights are a must for these chilly days and I added my Forever 21 Peter Pan collar blouse to layer it up.  I know, I know, I wear this top with everything, but isn't that the mark of a truly great piece?  Plus, I think it makes this dress a little more interesting.

     I'm also excited about a recent find.  I was browsing dresses and found what appears to be the same cat print dress that ModCloth had a few years ago for $80 under the name Hither and Yarn, but this one is only $17.  With side by side pic, I can't tell any difference between the two.
ModCloth Dress L and Amazon Dress R
I've placed my order and I'll keep you posted, but it's heading to my stateside address, so it will be a while before a review is possible.

Shop the Look:
Hither and Yarn Look-alike Dress

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Amor Dress Shop

    I forgot to include this shop in my post about upcoming reviews, but I have very high hopes.  The shop is AmorDress and I loved so many dresses that it was hard to narrow it down to just one.  I had to ask my daughters and my mother for their opinions.  Everyone seemed to love this strawberry dress the most, so it is on the way....hopefully...eventually...... 
    One thing that is a bit frustrating is that the dresses are made to order, which can take 2-3 weeks and then the shipping time itself can be up to 30 days (less time for European delivery).  
   That same quality is also a benefit because the dresses can be customized (for a price) to adjust the length or include pockets.  They also have a slightly wider range of sizes available: XS-XL instead of the standard S-M-L.
   So, while I'm waiting for this beauty to arrive, I wanted to share a few pics of the dresses that are on my wish list for someday.

Find them and more at AmorDress on Etsy

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Date Night: What Would Audrey Wear?

WARNING:  This post contains an excessive amount of photo collages.

    It was a big night for us and we intended to celebrate in style.  We booked a table at the Hilltop Casita restaurant in Tokyo for the occasion and decided to don our fanciest clothes.  I was fairly certain I could fake my way through all the etiquette rules required, but I was stumped on what to wear.  Looking at all my dresses, I had to ask myself, What Would Audrey Wear?  

    This gorgeous style icon has never steered me (or anyone else) wrong when it comes to her fashion sense.  However, since I only found out about our reservation two weeks before hand, I didn't have time to browse the internet for that perfect Audrey look.  And since I've absolutely abandoned the hope of finding clothes that fit me properly here, it was time to dig deep into the closet and see what I could find. I narrowed it down to three choices and then asked the advice of dear old mum.
ModCloth's Promoting Elegance dress, Too Tie, Tie Dress by Lavish Alice, and Pencil Dress by White House Black Market
    Mum favored the Lavish Alice dress (center), and I tended to agree by default since both the Promoting Elegance and WHBM dresses are currently the wrong size for me.  But, something about this Lavish Alice dress, just didn't feel right for the evening.  I decided to try my hand at altering the Promoting Elegance dress, which I've been meaning to do for three or four years since it has actually never fit.  It was such a success that I felt confident to take the plunge and alter the WHBM dress.  I bought this dress five years ago for a holiday ball that never happened.  It's been on the hanger ever since.
   After trying it on and determining how much to take in, I did a pinning to see if the fabric would fight back or be agreeable.  Everything looked ok, so  I took a quick photo to send to mum for her approval.  But, standing in front of the mirror, I loved the look so much, there was no going back; I didn't even wait to hear from her.  Besides, I think Audrey would approve.
    It was a massive job since it has to be taken in from top to bottom at both sides.  I worked on it for several days and said a few quick prayers when I put it on for the evening that the stitches wouldn't pop when I was hours away from home. Thankfully the evening was not only beautiful and memorable, my dress made it through without one popped stitch.
    The meal was heaven at each course (all five of them) and the restaurant staff went the extra mile to make the evening special by having our names embroidered on napkins, personalized menus and champagne bottle, and for dessert we moved to a roof top view for a specially made latte and pear pancotta.  To end the evening a staff member took our photo, then printed and framed it for us.  It was by far the best date night we've ever had and if you find yourself in Tokyo looking for a fabulous night out, I whole heartedly recommend a little black dress and the Hilltop Casita.

Shop the Look:
White House Black Market dress is old
Quipd Heels from ModCloth
Forever 21 coat, not shown in the outfit, but essential for that chilly train ride home
And Disaster Designs Clutch, also not shown but equally essential

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Parade Skirt Review

Eeeesh!  I am so behind on all my posts!  I have more photos than I could ever get caught up on editing at this point, so forgive me, dear fellow fashionistas, if in the near future I resort to posting a few plain backgrounds in the mix while I try to get back on track.
     RockSteady makes some pretty bodacious dresses and skirts, and I finally have one of my very own.  I have nothing but praise for this skirt from the fit to the flowy fabric, I love it all.  It is a heavy synthetic fabric, so not suitable for summer, but absolutely perfect for autumn and I think I can make it work as winter wear too.
    This skirt comes in two color combos: black with white accent or navy blue with red accent.  Both are $62 at RockSteady.  The black is also available at Unique-Vintage for $58 and the navy is also available there, but is more expensive at $72 than buying from RockSteady.  I picked mine up at a ModCloth sale for $42, so hang in there if you need a bargain and it might turn up somewhere for less.

    Two more Reviews in this post.  I am gaga over this TypeWriter Purse from WonderMolly!  As with a lot of novelty purses, you can't really carry much in it, but it is so cute and pretty reasonably priced for a novelty purse as well.    Also, new for this look are my red heels.  Other reviewer on ModCloth's site complained that they were a bit narrow and didn't hold up too well to wear.  My take?  Narrow?  Yes, a bit narrow, but pretty much what I've come to expect from Qupid shoes.  As for the wear, I haven't spent enough time in them to have an opinion, but I will tell you that I love the bright color and the design.  They're still available on sale for $19.99 on ModCloth, though the sizes are limited.
Shop the Look:

High Waist Parade Skirt in Navy

Typewriter Purse from WonderMolly

Qupid Sizzlin' Steps Heel in Rouge from ModCloth
If you're new to ModCloth, use this link to sign up and
save $15 off your first order

Trina Turk Top from ThredUp  If you're new to ThredUp, use this link to save $20 off your first order

Necklace and earrings made by me :)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Upcoming Reviews!

    I'm in the process of cleaning out my stuff and getting ready to head back home for the first time in several years, but I couldn't resist getting a couple of goodies now and having them sent home.  Buuuut, it's going to be a while before I get there and these gorgeous dresses seem to be selling out quickly.  So, head's up on my Fall Faves!  These are the dresses I'll be wearing in December/January whenever I finally make it home.
    It was love at first sight with A Conversation Masterpiece Dress from ModCloth  and I used the code girlfriend to save 20% off my order.  Since this was only 99.99, and free shipping doesn't kick in until $100 even, I had to add a clearance item for about $5, but it was totally worth it for the savings.  Then, as it turns out, the clearance item was oversold and had to be removed from my order.  ModCloth, in a very classy move, still gave me the discount for the dress and even gave me a small apology discount code to be used on a future purchase.  Awwww, they're so sweet, this is why I keep shopping there.  
    Oh.  My.  Goodness!  Another instant spark when I saw this Red & Navy Blue Tartan Hepburn Dress at Unique-Vintage.  Since their shipping is quite high for my location, I've never ordered from them before.  But, having it sent home cut the shipping cost in half and I had another coupon code to use since this was my first order.  I saved a bundle on this beauty and going home is going to be that much sweeter knowing it's waiting for me.

    This last dress is one-of-a-kind, literally.  I purchased this whimsical dress from Annya Marttinen's Etsy shop and am hoping to include an interview with the designer as part of the package.  This dress was very reasonably priced at only $46.  I adore this peachy-pie fabric and the little details like lace and bow buttons make it extra sweet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Daisy Afternoon Dress in Plaid: Dress Review

   I picked up this cute Daisy Afternoon Dress in Plaid by Sunny Girl at the last ModCloth sale.  I know it doesn't help much to do a review of a sold out dress, but sometimes this style comes back around in a different pattern or turns up on a resale site, so it doesn't hurt to have a review out there to reference before buying.
    I used to think that Sunny Girl dresses were pretty short.  Since I've started shopping at Larmoni & The Other Sparrows, I'm singing a different tune.  Another thing about Sunny Girl dresses is that they're typically not worth the original retail price.  This is a brand that I've consistently found that I should wait to go on sale before buying.  This particular dress was worth every penny of its $19.99 sale price, but no where near the quality of the $65 price tag it originally had. 
    A bit of a funky plaid with pale blue, navy, warm red, and burgundy, it seems a little more appropriate for summer, but with a dark cardi and tights, I think I can convert it to winter wear. The cloth is a heavy cotton that sort of reminds me of a dish towel.  That doesn't sound appealing, but it's just another reason why it might be great for winter.  Another plus for this dress is that in spite of it's basic quality, it does have pockets and comes with a belt.
    Sunny Girl also has their autumn lookbook available for viewing.  Featuring some lovely coats, jackets, and skirts, all worn by porcelain skin blondes donning faces that seem simultaneously confused and annoyed.   While it's fun to flip through the pages of this latest lookbook, ordering is a bit more complicated since this Aussie based company doesn't do any direct sales.  For now, I'll have to be content to wait for the ModCloth clearance events if I want a Sunny Girl dress.  But, hey, I'm a patient person and I love a challenge.

Shop the Look:
Daisy Afternoon Dress from ModCloth
Use this link to sign up and save $15 off your first order
Qupid Heels and Mak Charter School Cardi from ModCloth too
Camera Purse is a thrift store purchase.

© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.