Visual Reading Habits of 2016

Each year, I like to compile a visual of my annual reading habits. This year is no different. This helps me remember the number of graphic novels, novels, and audiobooks I consume in the course of one year. It also helps me see how many amazing works I have access to through the Madison Public Library (out of the 150 books read, over 140 of those were borrowed from the library). I also can see the subjects I gravitated to and the various books from one series I enjoy within a year's time, or as seen in this year's illustrated books I picked up for research in my own illustration path. 

Also, what makes this collection unique is that each one of this books was also illustrated in my #emilyreadsthendraws project, a project I will be continuing in 2017.  Enjoy the visual below and definitely try and pick up a title or two, as this list includes a lot of solid 3-5 star ratings (by me - Goodreads gave my average of this collection to be 3.7, same as last year's collection). 

Novel and Non-Fiction (Printed/Non-Illustrated) Books


Graphic Novels & Other Illustrated Books

#Emilyreadsthendraws, part 5 (for 2016)

Part 5 of #emilyreadsthendraws has arrived. The collection includes numbers 121-150 (for previous collections see Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4, or see the full 2016 collection on my illustration site The SadHappy). All of the pieces below were read and digitally sketched by Dec 31, 2016 (literally cutting it close to get number read and completed before midnight).

When I started this project in January 2016, I had no idea the life it would take on. I was astonished at the range of illustrations I would complete and the number of books I could consume (whether novel, non-fiction, graphic novel, illustrated poem, or audiobook). I did not realize friends would notice books at the library based on the covers I sketched. I am also blown away by the interest of others to participate in #emilyreadsthendraws. This is why, for 2017, I have created the hashtag #readthendrawproject to encourage others to play along as I continue #emilyreadsthendraws.

For myself, I plan to read 100 books in 2017 (less than 2016, but more manageable with the other creative projects that I have in the works). With the new year, I am hoping to tackle a new angle for #emilyreadsthendraws and am currently mulling over a few ideas as I am close to finishing two books. There are a few ways to follow along as the project continues: On Cardigans and Cravats, Instagram, Ello, or The SadHappy (linked above). I hope you consider participating yourself with the #readthendrawproject). 

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like Persuasion

Though I watch period pieces throughout the year, the chilly, crisp air of November always invokes my need to share this passion and love (as you may remember my Why I Am Thankful for Period Piece Adaptations series from two years ago). I find myself revisiting the works that range from a minimum of 4-6 hours while wrapped in blankets with either a cup of tea, my current knitting project, or a device to work on a digital sketch. 

All this is to say, I was inspired to present an adaptation of one of my favorite books for Vintage Film Threads for this November. Instead of planning to copy the looks exactly, I decided find modern vintage pieces for you to adapt the looks to your everyday life. 

Persuasion (2007)

Persuasion is my favorite work by Jane Austen. I carried it on my wedding day as my "book-quet." It is a story about waiting, forgiveness, and a deep love that never fades away. Anne Elliot is the overlooked daughter, ignored by her older sister, disregarded by her vain father, and used as an audience for her younger sister's hypochondriac drama. The Elliots are a prideful family, except for Anne, whose only misstep in character came from being persuaded at 19 to break off her engagement to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth. The story picks up with a 27 year-old Anne, who is still unmarried and has never encountered a man who can hold a candle to Wentworth.  

As her family has to downsize (thanks to living beyond their means), rent out their house, and move to Bath for a while, the stage is set for Captain Wentworth to come back into her life. It turns out his sister and brother-in-law (Admiral and Mrs Croft) are the chosen tenants of Kellynch Hall (the Elliot estate). 

I will be enjoying a re-read of this book, but also one of the many adaptations. For this installation of Vintage Film Threads, I selected the 2007 version (starting Sally Hawkins as Anne and Rupert Penry-Jones as Wentworth), but it was a tough choice as I also adore the 1995 version with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds and the slower paced 1971 version with Ann Firbank and Bryan Marshall (which I chose from 1970s prints for the costumes).

In the 2007 adaptation, Anne's wardrobe includes a specific color palette: purple, greens, blues, and grays (as you can see from the sampling above). Using this color palette, I looked for vintage pieces that could mix or match to create modern Anne Elliot looks, such as coats that can layer with the selected dresses, or a hat that can go with all of the pieces in the collection. 

From top to bottom/left to right: 1) a short or cropped embroidered jacket. 2) A simple teal dress to brighten one's mood on overcast days in Lyme. 3) A longer paisley print jacket to keep out the cold temperatures. 4) A dress that comes with a matching capelet or jacket. 5) A wool beret (or maybe a cloche hat) in one of Anne's signature colors to replace the bonnet. 6) A long dress perfect for evenings, preferably in velvet. 

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Vintage Film Threads. For more period piece fashion tips please see: When to Turn it Up and The Cravat, It is Time. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below.

#EmilyReadsThenDraws, Part 4

Part 4 of #emilyreadsthendraws has arrived. The collection includes numbers 91-120 (for previous collections see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). The premise is simple. If I read a book or listen to an audiobook, then I do a sketch (in this case, a digital sketch). Sometimes I sketch the book's cover, other times I pick something else I am drawn to in the book (no pun intended). 

This collection of books were read (and sketched) between August and October 2016. As this series continues, I feel that each collection is stronger and a better representation of my illustration style.  

Please enjoy the collection below (and if you feel so inclined leave a comment to let me know your favorites). In addition to following along on Instagram, you can now see the full collection on my illustration site The SadHappy.  

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like Suspiria

Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977) is a film you will always see in not only top horror films, but top horror films when it comes to fashion. The costuming is simple, well put together late 1970s looks paired with stylistic backdrops and a suspenseful horror plot. You get this from the moment Suzy (Jessica Harper) arrives at the airport in Germany, to attend ballet school, to the moment she flees the scene.

What stands out is not just Suzy's style choices, but the other girls in the school and the teachers. Under the pink and red backdrops and pastel frocks lies something not quite right at the school: unimaginable deaths, missing students, infestations and more plague anyone who picks up on anything other than dance routines at the Tanz Academy.

Each shot in the film is set up like a work of art. In addition to picking up some vintage threads try and find something theatrical and stylized to stand in front of, if you get the chance. Below, I have selected three scenes from the film and curated pieces for each that you can find online, or similar garments at your local thrift stores. 

Whites and pastels are the go-to color palette to emulate Suspiria. A crocheted or mesh-sleeved top will help you achieve Olga's (Barbara Magnolfi) downtime look, or you can pick up a simple tee dress in lilac as seen on Suzy. Honestly, I kind of want to wrap myself in the wallpaper. 

Teachers and the administration at Tanz Academy vary in their styles. You can go super casual with a 70s bohemian embroidered top or go toward a more sophisticated black dress with sheer sleeves as seen on Madame Blanc (Joan Bennett), the vice-directress. However, don't forget you can always go with the iconiclastic 1970s/early 80s sheer dresses that found their way into weddings and discos (winged sleeves or spaghetti straps work in terms of this film). 


For sneaking around, Suzy does not choose traditional black to go unnoticed. Instead she goes with white, beige, and tan tones. She's a final girl who refuses to compromise her style even when subjected to numerous horrors (even opting for light colored 1970s heels - not pictured above). You need three basic pieces to create the above look: a white or ivory skirt, a beige or tan tank, and a crocheted or loose knitted cardigan.  

This concludes our special October/Halloween series for Vintage Film Threads. Next week we will shift back to exceptional Autumn fashion on film. As always, if you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like Rear Window

Rear Window (1954)

I can not imagine anyone making it through the Halloween season without thinking about a single Alfred Hitchcock film. From The Birds, to Psycho, to last year's A Very Thrifted Halloween highlight of Vertigo, to name a few. Not only are they suspenseful and wonderfully directed, but they also have the recurring theme of excellent fashion. Rear Window, of course, is no exception; it may be the pinnacle of horror fashion style. 

The film may revolve around L. B. "Jeff" Jefferies (James Stewart), a professional photographer temporarily under house arrest thanks to a broken leg) and how he spends his copious amount of spare time observing/spying on his neighbors. However, his girlfriend, Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly), steals every scene, whether those scenes involve their sizzling chemistry and relationship banter or more serious conversations, such as Jeff thinking his neighbor killed his wife. It helps that every piece of clothing worn by Kelly in this film was designed by the brilliant costume designer Edith Head. Each outfit is a simple, elegant, perfectly tailored piece for popping by to check on Jeff's recovery and committing a B&E (breaking and entering) to assist him in his investigation. 

For this week's special Halloween/October edition of Vintage Film Threads, I chose three of the five outfits Grace Kelly wears as Lisa Fremont and curated three pieces for each to help you recreate this beautiful style for either your Halloween costume or your everyday wear. I've specially highlighted the stylish green suit, to the floral dress perfect for committing a crime and the black and white stunner everyone remembers for this film. I hope you will enjoy this collection and seek out more Hitchcock fashion at your local thrift/vintage stores. 

From Left To Right: 1. A pillbox hat with a birdcage veil. 2. A celadon green tailored suit - preferably with a pencil skirt option. You will want a sleeveless blouse (with a crisscross neckline) to complete the look. 3. One key accessory: shown here with a chunky pearl necklace, but you could go with pearl earrings or a necklace, a white belt, or a pair of white gloves. 

From Left to Right: 1. A simple, short strand of pearls (bonus if paired with a pair of matching pearl earrings). 2. A white sleeveless dress with golden flowers. 3. A simple white clutch (or you could go with an vintage, preferably faux, snake or alligator-skinned bag to dig through for evidence. 

From Left to Right: 1. A dress with a black top and A-line white skirt. 2. A pair of white satin gloves. 3. A pair of strappy (preferably crisscross) black sandal heels. Bonus accessories: A tulle shawl, a black dress belt, or again a pair of pearl earrings and necklace. 

I hope you have enjoyed this special October/Halloween edition of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

Tatty Devine Halloween Treats

It has been a while since I highlighted Tatty Devine's pieces, but there is no time like the present. Though they make seasonal collections, I find their quirky style has no limitations. In the style of Halloween Jewelry Perfect for Everyday of the Year (of which, one of these pieces was included - but it is still a favorite and available), some of their classic pieces and some of their 2016 Halloween collection can be worn whenever you like.  

Want to wear a cat ring, because it is a Tuesday in May? Go ahead. Need some ghost cufflinks to get you through January? Why not? If you need some bats, skulls, spider-webbing, or a zombie/monster scream - the curated collection below has something to add just a little spooky style to any day of the year. These are my favorite pieces, but of course, Tatty Devine has more "Spooktacular" themes to choose form, along with a variety of cool and well-made pieces. 

Cider Bourbon Apple Pie Filling

Over the weekend, I made a Cider Bourbon Apple pie (a pie that I've made only once before, last Thanksgiving). A few friends were interested in the recipe, so I decided to share. My apologies for a lack of photos, but I made this one for friends and was not expecting to do a whole post on it. 

This recipe incorporates My Go-To, Never Fails to Please Pie Crust and How Sweet It Is's filling. First, start with my dough recipe (linked) or your favorite pie crust recipe. While the dough is chilling you can start making the filling.

6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What I like about this recipe is you can use what apples are in season and can opt for your favorites. I used a mix of local Wisconsin Zestar and Honeycrisp apples. After coring, peeling, and slicing, I added five tablespoons of flour (the original recipe called for 2 1/2, but these apples were on the juicier side, so I adjusted the ratios) plus 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and coated the apples.

Set apple mixture aside.

In a small saucepan add the bourbon (I have used Bulleit and Four Roses and had stellar results with both), cider, sugar (dark brown sugar for an extra layer of flavor), butter and vanilla extract. Cook on medium heat until it reaches a boil. At that point reduce it to a simmer and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes (until slightly thickened). You want to keep an eye on the sauce and make sure it doesn't burn. My stove doesn't like to simmer, so I can never walk away from the kitchen when heating anything with sugar. 

Then pour it over and gently toss with the apple mixture.

Then all you have to do is roll out your pie dough on a floured surface, add the dough base to the pie plate/pan, add your filling and then add your top layer of crust.

My pie making trick: Pre-heat your oven only after you have your pie shaped the way you like. A cooler kitchen will make it easy to work with your pie dough. Once your pie is ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 375 F.  For this pie, baked for 45-50 minutes. 

This pie can be served plain, or with ice cream or homemade whipped cream. It also tastes amazing for breakfast the next day with a cup of coffee. And we all know who would approve of that. 

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like The Awakening

When I first watched the film The Awakening (2011), there were two specific elements I instantly fell in love with: the use of Lyme Park (aka Pemberly) and Florence Cathcart's (Rebecca Hall) wardrobe. Of course, it was also a ghost story, and you know how much I love those as well.  

The film takes place in 1921 England, where post-war spiritualism was on the rise. Florence Cathcart life mission is to prove supernatural experiences were mere hoaxes. Despite her consistent history of proving each instance false, part of her hopes to encounter a real connection to the other side (as she is still mourning the loss of her lover during the war).

Her notoriety gets her a job offer from Robert Mallory (Dominic West), a teacher from a boys boarding school in Cumbria called Rockford. A young student recently died at the school, and it appears a child's ghost is haunting the boys. Mallory hopes to employ Florence to investigate the situation and the sightings. Florence is reluctant at first, but her own childhood experiences convince her to take on the case. And from there, Florence finds out more than she ever expected to know (which you can get a glimpse of in the trailer below).

Of course, whether debunking seance scan artist to unexplained or unbelievable encounters at the school, Florence has impeccable style. It is classic British: wool, tweeds, tailored pieces, simple and sophisticated. Her wardrobe is very mix and match and, therefore, very easy to obtain and replicated in 2016.

Simple, well-made basics are the key to achieving Florence's style. Well-fit, tailored, high quality pieces, which, when thrifting, can be found at a bargain price. The pieces she wears in this 1920s-based film are very much classic pieces that never go out of style. 

The vintage pieces I've collected below are just a hint at what you can find online, but even your local thrift stores will have the right pieces you need to embody Florence's supernatural investigation style. 

From top to bottom/left to right: 1) a classic white button up shirt. You would actually need two: one in silk (as seen here) and one in cotton or linen for casual day look. Do not forget to roll up your sleeves when you mean series business. 2) A vest to wear over both shirts and dresses, preferably in tweed). 3) A long wool coat to wrap yourself up in to protect from the crisp, cold air. 4) A pair of high-waisted tweed trousers or a high-waisted wool skirt. 5) A classic pair of black oxford shoes, a style that gets slight variations each decade, but the classic is always in fashion. 6) A cotton or linen dress, preferably long-sleeve, but the skirt length, material, and style are key. Also pairs perfectly well with the vest and shoes. 

I hope you have enjoyed this second special October/Halloween edition of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

People Tree: Fall/Winter 2016 Corduroy

It has been over a year since I switched to a ethical fashion / conscious closet wardrobe. I can either thrift my clothes or I have to purchase them from a company who is fair trade or uses ethical practice in the making of those clothes. During this time, People Tree has been my go-to favorite choice. You may remember my highlight on them for Dressember 2015. In addition to be a  fair trade and sustainable fashion company (which is out of the UK), they also continuously have pieces that embody my own person style (which means, I do not have to lose my identity and can still make a difference with my clothing purchases).

Their fall/ winter line is no exception. I am in love with the majority of the piece and could do a whole series on my favorite pieces (who knows I might just do that off and on throughout the next few months). However, for now I am limiting myself to highlight their amazing collection of black corduroy. Clean lines, tailored-looking fits, a deep rich black that would work in anyone's wardrobe. I usually never swoon over shorts, but I am very tempted by the pair in this collection. For me, in addition to wool sweater, corduroy is key to keeping out the bitter Wisconsin cold temperatures and these pieces give warmth without reducing style.  

One thing I want to note, People Tree has amazing sales (like many ethical clothing companies). I have never paid full price on a single item I own. Actually, my patience to buy near the end of a season keeps my budget on track. So, when you see the prices do not fear, but simply wait and hope that they still have your size when the time comes. Until then, I hope you enjoy the pieces below and that you will enjoy me by window-shopping their current collection online. 

Vintage Film Threads: Dress like Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

There is always something divine about a horror or supernatural film that embraces style and fashion as a key ingredient. It doesn't have to be discussed or even over the top, but good fashion can even be found in simple and sophisticated looks. For this reason, for my October /Halloween stint of Vintage Film Threads, I decided to set the mark high with the first installment: Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive (2013).

The film revolves around a vampire couple, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), who have been married for centuries. They live apart, but their love for each other remains strong. They avoid feeding on humans, but good blood is hard to come by these days. The film has a focus on survival, not just for blood, but to enjoy ones passions without attention. For example, Adam is a musician, and what is he to do, when he wants to share his gift but not receive the attention? Throw in an old friend who knows them best (John Hurt), but lives half way around the world from Adam, a naive and somewhere meddling human (Anton Yelchin), and a sister who is destructive and not at all discrete (Mia Wasikowska), and you have the foundation for this film. The pacing is slow, the style and sets impeccable, the music sweet and seductive, and the love between the leads is mesmorizing.

For this installment, I decided to do a collection for Adam, one for Eve, and two accessories you will need for both. These pieces are perfect for Halloween, cosplay, or for adding a little bit of vampire style to your everyday wardrobe. 


Adam's wardrobe revolves around a dark color palette, black, brown, and maybe a burgundy detailing thrown in to brighten them up. Slightly loose fitting tops, skinny / slim pants, and sometimes the need to only wear a robe. All-in-all, to obtain his look with vintage pieces is easy as long as you try to capture a bit of his mysterious nature during your selection process. 

From left to right: 1. A loose fitting black button-up to pair with black or brown pants. 2. A brown suede jacket with clean, simple lines. 3. A pair of striped vintage pants (could also be plain brown). Bonus if you can thrift a pair of skinny or very slim pair of trousers. 4. A robe, preferably striped, in brown, burgundy, and maybe cream colored tones. 


Eve's life in Tangiers definitely appears in a few of her scenes with gorgeous hand-embroidered pieces. She also opts for clean lines, Mandarin collars, white leather paired with tan trousers or warm toned scarves. She is elegant, striking, and flawless. To obtain her style, you have to look for well-made vintage pieces that get the hints of sophisticated and a living abroad lifestyle. 

From left to right: 1. A simple lined, white leather jacket. A pair of slim pants in a shade of brown, or cream will also work. 2. An embroidered piece (preferably with a Mandarin collar) 3. A scarf with a simple design, but in neutral to warm colors.

Adam & Eve

Additional accessories that work for both Adam and Eve. First, a vintage skull charm to be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet (just need a bit of thread). Secondly, a pair of dark sunglasses in a simple, classic style. You could opt for black frames or tortoiseshell to complete either look. 

I hope you have enjoyed this special October/Halloween installment of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series post October, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

Enamel Ghosts

One of my favorite things to do during Halloween is to indulge my love of ghosts. I have a playlist, Feeling Ghostly, dedicated to hauntings and specters. For Inktober (a monthly drawing challenge), I have created a ghost girl character and with each drawing, I adapt each prompt accordingly. I dive into ghost stories (currently reading Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House) and binge on ghost-themed films. 

Which brings me to my first thought entering the glorious month that is October, why do I not own any ghost enamel pins? There are tons. Seriously, so many to chose from. I want to treat myself to one, but so far I've limited this post to the 12 curated favorites you can view below. When looking for a ghost pin, you get a variety of emotions, some that glow in the dark, pins with text, ghost costumes, and so on.  

I do hope you will enjoy the below collection and find your own perfect pin for, not just the Halloween season, but something you can enjoy all year long. 

Black Moons for the Black Moon

Today, we get to experience a Black Moon. There are many definitions as to what constitutes a Black Moon. There is the ominous overall definition "reference to one of four calendar events involving new or dark moons."

Broken down, it can refer to third new moon in a season with four new moons, a month with a full moon, a month with a new moon, and lastly (and the use that regards this month's Black Moon) a second new moon in a calendar month. If you are older than two years old, then you have experience this type of Black Moon in your life. The last one occurred in March 2014 and the next one will happen in 2019. 

Regardless of the definition, I decided this Black Moon was the perfect excuse to curate a collection of my favorite pieces of black moon jewelry. I settled on six pieces that include styles that are simple, elegant, whimsical, and striking. I hope you will enjoy these pieces and enjoy your second new moon of September. This is the perfect way to say goodbye to this month and hello to one of our favorite months here at Cardigan and Cravats, October. 

Vintage Film Threads Dress Like Harold and Maude

Two years ago, to celebrate Autumn, I posted about how Harold and Maude embodies the essence of the season. Today, I continue this idea with a Harold and Maude installment of Vintage film Threads. 

Harold and Maude (1971)

Most of you know the Hal Ashby directed story. A young man, Harold Chasen (Bud Cort), obsessed with death (including faking suicides), meets Maude (Ruth Gordon), a 79-year-old eccentric woman with a carefree outlook to life. Their friendship, formed at first by their mutual fascination of attending funerals, turns into more. It is a beautiful love story paired with music by Cat Stevens and dressed in classic, and timeless 1970s fashion.

Florals prints, structured corduroy and tweed, and pops of yellow. The fashion is memorable and very attainable for anyone today. As always, I have curated a collection of six pieces currently available that will make it easy to dress like this film. The pieces are mix and match, but could easily be worn on their own to create other looks. All pieces are vintage, not because the film is set in the 1970s, but because thrifting is both environmental (recycling clothing) and ethical.

From top to bottom/ left to right: 1) Florals are a must and bonus if you find an outfit with floral pants and a matching top. 2) A classic shaped sweater in a neutral color. 3) A vintage yellow umbrella or a trench coat. A classic tan trench will also work. 4) Brown corduroy pants or a suit. 5) a floral scarf to wrap around your neck or head. 6) And lastly, no Harold and Maude look can be complete without a thrifted 1970s coat, preferably in brown.

I hope you have enjoyed this installment of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

Ethical Scarves to Kickoff Autumn

Happy First Day of Fall! To celebrate, I have curated a collection of scarves that are ethically made. This collection includes brands that have been featured on Cardigans and Cravats before, such as People Tree, Raven + Lily, Bibico, Mata Traders and shops such as Ethica and Fair Indigo. These lines have a few scarves currently to choose from (prices vary). Some are perfect for those just-slightly chilly days and others for when you need a little more warmth from the cold. I hope you enjoy the collection below, but also I hope that you seek out other ethical, fair trade, and if possible, environmentaly friendly options to keep you warm this fall. 

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like The Edge of Love

As the seasons turn colder, my heart loves for my favorite country, Wales. I want to don sweaters with my Wellies and feel the crisp air on my face as I traipse through a gorgeous Welsh countryside. However, the next best thing is to take a chapter out of Vera (Keira Knightley) and Caitlin's (Sienna Miller) fashion style in the 2008 film, The Edge of Love

The Edge of Love

Confession: I saw this film for two reasons: I am a period piece addict and Cillian Murphy (who plays William). Those two answers should be in reverse order, but it reads better this way. To quickly sum up the film: it is loosely based on real events and people (for more see David N. Thomas' book Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow) and centers on a bit of a love rectangle. Vera was childhood sweethearts with Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys). When the pair catch up again, Thomas is married and Vera soon finds herself married to a British Army officer William (Murphy). The story delves into the closeness of Vera's friendship with Dylan's wife Caitlin, but also the gossip that maybe there was more to Vera's friendship with Dylan (something a particular husband will not be happy to receive after his time in trenches). 

Now - on to the fashion.  

Dylan, Cailin, and Vera escape the London Blitz and find solace in a cottage on the Welsh seashore. Here is where we pick up our fashion cues for this edition of Vintage Film Threads. The looks worn by both Vera and Caitlin are timeless: sweaters (or jumpers) / cardigans layered over dressed or blouses with skirts and paired with Wellies. They mix pops over color and floral prints with grays, whites, and beige. This is effortless style perfect for Fall or early Spring. These pieces are all vintage and can be mixed and matched to create the styles you see above. 

From top to bottom/ left to right: 1) an embroidered or lace white button-up top. 2) a knee-length (or longer) floral dress. 3) a vintage cardigan (I went over the shape instead of the mustard color for this collection). 4. a pair of vintage Wellies in a neutral color: black, grey, green, or blue would work well. 5. A heavier sweater (or jumper) for those extra chilly days. 6. A pleated wool skirt.

I hope you have enjoyed this installment of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

Pins for Book Addicts

I'm addicted to books. They distract me from so many projects. This week I have audio books to keep me company while I draw and knit, which goes to show how deep my addiction to books run. To share my love of the bound printed word, I have curated a small collection of my favorite book enamel pins (currently available). I opted not to include pins that reference specific books, but pins that celebrate books in general, or the art and and passion of reading. I hope you enjoy this collection and will check back in for more curated style.

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful 

In my years as an 80s film fan, I have found there is one teen-romance-drama movie that usually separates those who are in love with the genre from those who merely dabble in it. That film is Some Kind of Wonderful (1987). 

This might be because Pretty in Pink, which was released the year before in 1986, had similar themes. High school social hierarchy, a teen from the wrong side of the tracks falling for someone considered the most popular, and a best friend who steals every scene. Both films were also written by John Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch. Personally, I love both of these films, but for this installment, I decided to give this more underrated film a spotlight.

What sets Some Kind of Wonderful apart from its predecessor? Your heart will go out to the popular girl Amanda (Lea Thompson), because she definitely needs to get out of destructive relationship with rich and possessive Hardy (Craig Sheffer). You'll swoon over Keith (Eric Stoltz) who crafts one of the most epic dates in 80s cinema. But in the end, the one part of this film that will win you over, again and again: Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), a badass girl drummer with clever dialogue, who represents so many of us who guard our feelings and silently crush away, not to mention doing it all in effortless tomboy style.

That's why for me, when I think of Some Kind of Wonderful fashion, it always comes back to Watts. In a year which continued with Aquanet hair paired with pastels (skin-tight or loose), Watts was the girl who bucked trends and stayed true to herself. She is a beacon for those of us who love our hair short, our denims, and our basics. She may wonder what it's like to be Amanda, but in the end, she doesn't show up at the end wearing a pink dress. Instead she wears a suit with a driver's hat. She was the essentially the 80s version of a Teddy Girl and for that I will always be grateful for Watts. 

For those starting back to school, I suggest taking a page out of Watts' book and wear what you like, no matter what's on trend. Below I have curated six essential pieces that can mix and match to create Watt's style and looks. As always, I select vintage / thrifted pieces to curate these looks (for both environmental and ethical reasons).

From top to bottom/ left to right: 1) a black vest. 2) a comfortable blue tank top (could also be in white) 3) A bandana (bonus if you can find one in blue and red). 4) A pair of red driving gloves. Fingerless leather gloves are slightly more difficult to find vintage. You could opt for black or you could alter a pair of kid gloves, as seen here. 5) Not just any black leather jacket will do, you will want a cropped leather jacket to emulate Watts. 6) Lastly, a pair of Bermuda shorts. You could create your own by cutting up a pair of jeans, but you could also thrift a pair as well. 

I hope you have enjoyed this installment of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week. 

Pins for the First Day at Hogwarts

September 1st marks the day that students return to Hogwarts (and other schools, even the normal public ones). Luckily, you can rock your own flair inspired by the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, regardless of the school you are attending this fall. 

Below you will find a curated collection of enamel pins perfect for your jacket (whether denim or a school uniform) or your backpack. Many pins in this collection are subtle and the perfect way to find your kindred spirits, even if they are Muggles. Happy first day of school! 

Vintage Film Threads: Dress Like The Stains

Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains

There have been films that have escaped me for years. Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains (1982, DIR. LOU ADLER) was one of these films. Thankfully Dazed and Confused Magazine's The Best Feminist Punk Films of the Last 50 Years brought the film to my attention. I tracked it down on Amazon Video (free to Prime members). Quickly the stains made their way into fictional bands I wished existed. Writer Nancy Dowd was inspired to write this after seeing the Ramones, which just strengthens my love for this film.

The film follows the rise of an all-girl punk band, called the Stains, which echoes that of The Slits, Siouxsie Sioux, and The Raincoats. The Stains are a self-taught act consisting of two sisters, Corrine (Diane Lane) and Tracy (Marin Kanter), and their cousin Jessica (Laura Dern). Corrine Burns is the leader and the driving force of the band. She quickly learns that television is a way to grab a footing in the world and uses that to her advantage often in the film. They aren't the best musicians, as seen in their first gig on tour with Metal Corpses (think Iron Maiden) and the Looters (British punk band in the vain of the Sex Pistols) lead by Billy (Ray Winstone), but Corrine dons the right attitude to overcome any setbacks.  

By gig two, the attitude is fully paired with The Stains' look: white streaks through the hair, see-through red blouse, bikini briefs over fishnets. Her call that she "never puts out," is something that resonates with future punk bands (though the film was a considered a flop when released, it received cult status and garnered fans such as Bikini Kill, L7, etc) and it is a refrain women still stand by today: I will not be played or defined by you.  

Female empowerment starts to make waves throughout the area, not just with teenage girls, but women of all ages (even a journalist who champions Corrine's message and style). Fans dub themselves Skunks, dying their hair and donning similar clothes. The Stains have their ups and downs, there is a slight love story, a bit of betrayal, but that is par for the course when it comes to fame and making a feminist stance in a scene which is mostly run by men. 

There are easy ways to adapt The Stains style into your everyday wardrobe; therefore, instead of focusing on complete looks, I will again give you six vintage pieces that you can mix and match. I hope they will inspire you not only to rock The Stains look, but to always keep thrifted / vintage pieces in mind when shopping (always the most ethical and environmental choice you have for your closet). 

From top to bottom/ left to right: 1) A red see through blouse is a must. There are a variety of styles there, so find what works best for you. 2) a lace tank top (easy to pair with those black briefs. 3) A pair of black booties (bonus if you pair them with peek a boo red socks. 4) A beaded / embroidered ivory cardigan (the more affordable layer in lieu of a leather jacket. 5) Fishnets - and yes, you can find vintage fishnet stockings still in their packaging. 6) Lastly, a red beret, the best way to reveal those contrasting streaks you will will want after watching the film and of course to match your new red eye shadow. 

As always, if you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week.