Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Getting Real.

In a world dominated by social media, it seems nearly every aspect of our lives has become dominated by things, brands and people who are "fake". Accusations of news being fake, fake accounts leaving fake feedback and opinions, fake faces representing brands, fake lifestyles on display on our phones and computers daily. The results have been devastating. It has become very difficult to trust what your own eyes tell you.

In that vein, I have changed my tag-line to "real vintage for a real life". I refuse to be one of the vintage dealers who pretends to live a carefree, 100% vintage lifestyle. I refuse to be friends with those who pretend to be my friend while working to undermine my business and financial stability with lies and cattiness. I refuse to be told that being real and honest with people is a turn-off to customers.

I've been thinking about this for a very long time.

I've tried, over the years, to play the game- to pretend my very vintage life is very perfect and very pretty and very trouble free.

It isn't.

It isn't even very vintage. Sure, I am surrounded by vintage fashion and vintage decor in a 100 year old house. So in that regard- pretty vintage, yep. But it's also real. Real stuff happens every day. I work a full time retail job to supplement my income and provide a steady paycheck and health insurance for my family. There is no vintage involved there at all. The necessity of doing that, spending 40 hours a week away from my home, places stress on every other aspect of my life. I'm not home to cook dinner, or able to pick my daughter up from school. I have to do website work either in the early morning hours before work or later at night after. I get 2 days off a week to do everything that isn't done during the other 5 days, plus help my disabled mother, plus spend time with my child, plus laundry and house cleaning, house maintenance, yard work, etc. I spend a solid 70+ hours a week working between the FT job and the website just to keep bills (mostly) caught up, and try desperately to have a happy fulfilled life with my family.

My life is messy and full. I can be organized one day and then 3 days later be completely behind again. Sometimes I'm there for my daughter when she has troubles- sometimes I'm not, and feel like a total failure. Some weeks I'm on top of planning meals for the week- some weeks we eat whatever we throw together at 7 PM. I'm not done up in victory rolls and cat eye liner every day, attending pin-up events (though if that IS your life, lucky you!!). Some days I don't even brush my teeth (days off, at home of course!). I struggle to sleep, battle anxiety, worry all day every day about keeping my house out of foreclosure. I'm juggling a lot every single day and I'm not going to pretend to be anyone I'm not just to fit into the expectations some have of what a vintage dealer's life should be. Those who do live that life- more power to them, sounds fun. Those who pretend to live that life to feel like they fit in- more power to them, sounds difficult. But it isn't my life and I'm going to be real about that.

I have thousands of pieces of vintage in my storage that are very real. Much of that is on the site, a lot of it isn't and that's something that weighs on me as well and something I'm working on. Closing my shop, while necessary financially, created a mess of merchandise that I've yet to totally organize. With little time to do it, it happens in bits and pieces. But it is indeed all very real, and very well stored and cared for.

My passion for vintage is real, too. From day one the reason I started doing this was because I wholly believe that these pieces of clothing (or accessories) were loved enough to be held onto by someone for decades, and that they deserve a chance at being worn and loved and cherished again. The joy it brings people to know that that those things will have a new life is one of my favorite parts of what I do. It pains me every day to go work a job that isn't doing this because, after nearly 10 years of doing it full time, I miss it horribly. But know that I'm trying as hard as I can to stay on top of it despite the hours away.

I won't always get it right. But I will always try. And I will always be real with you.

Thank you for still being here.

- Ang

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Blast Off

Tomorrow night "The Astronaut Wives Club" premiers on ABC. Based on the novel of the same name by Lily Koppel, the series centers on the wives of the "celebrity" astronauts of the 1960s. It remains to be seen whether the period series will rise to the level of "Mad Men", but certainly it will fill the void left for those of us who love a show with lots of vintage clothing! Dorothea's supplied some pieces to the wardrober, but we'll have to wait to see what makes it past editing!

Meanwhile, I've curated a few items on the site based on this ARTICLE about the different styles the wives wear. Anxious to watch the show and see all the clothing!! ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB COLLECTION at Dorothea's Closet Vintage

Monday, June 15, 2015

Au Revoir Madame

French designer Madame Carven has passed away at age 105. Born Carmen de Tomasso, she orginally opened her design house with the petite woman (like herself, standing at only 5'1") in mind. The name "Carven" was a combination of her own first name and the last name of the aunt that inspired her love of couture, Josy Boyriven. In the years following WWII she dressed such French luminaries as Edith Piaf and Leslie Caron. Her talent combined with her knack for marketing led to contracts designing uniforms for over 20 different airlines as well as Paris's female traffic wardens. Her elaborate designs for bustier bodices also led to her patent for the push-up bra! A brilliant talent, her gowns are breathtaking works of art.
Spring 1951, this detail is incredible.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

That's a Bra

I love to keep up with what TOM & LORENZO of Project Rungay have to say about modern fashion. They're witty, charming, catty and most of the time right. I also see things I don't get to see with my head buried in vintage fashion all day every day!

For instance, this. Dolce and Gabbanna Spring 2015.

That's a bra. And a crinoline. The hair, cute...love the lace socks with strappy shoe. But that is a bra and a crinnie. So today's get-that-couture-look tip o' the day is to invest in a black vintage 1950s/60 longline bra and a full 1960s nylon crinoline. Bam. Under $150. You're welcome.

Some bras from DOROTHEA'S CLOSET VINTAGE to get you started!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Suit UP!

Every once in a while I find customers in my local boutique have NO idea that the woman's suit exists. They pick up the jacket and are aghast to find it has a matching skirt! Unfortunately, I think the suit in modern times has become equated with mediocre business women. And maybe some modern styles are mediocre. But the vintage suit is far from that!

A well styled vintage suit is every bit as fabulous as a vintage dress. Great textiles and colors available, cuts for all shapes...the boxy Jackie Kennedy jacket, the nipped waist of the classic Lilli Ann. Gorgeous trims from fur to lace to unique buttons. Instant class. And if the matching set isn't the right look for you, consider the jacket and skirt as separates! A great pencil skirt will go with nearly anything, modern or vintage...it's simply a must-have for a basic in a vintage wardrobe! The jacket can be dressed up over a cocktail dress with a statement necklace or brooch, or dressed down over a v-neck tee and denim. The possibilities are endless!

So next time you run across a vintage jacket you love with a matching skirt you don't think you want, don't sell it short as a fun piece to build new outfits around. Some examples from Dorothea's...

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday To Dorothea's!

Dorothea's Closet Vintage boutique in Des Moines, Iowa turned 8 years old this week! Some photos from opening day....

And today! More photos on our FACEBOOK PAGE.....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Berry Good Vintage!

Sure, the holidays are upon us but it's not snowy and cold everywhere...and spring will return one day! Just added to the website, this bright cheery strawberry print 1940s hostess gown!

And this sweet strawberry print tie-front cropped 1940s blouse.

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