Showing posts from February, 2012

Davy Jones, Shoestring Sally Will Miss You!

Singer Davy Jones died today of a heart attack at the age of 66. I am really sad. And so I feel compelled to blog about it. My faithful Shoestringers know I love the 1960s, the 1970s, and all things that we term retro and vintage...but  Davy Jones is forever. 

Thank you, my dear Daydream Believer. Davy Jones 1945 - 2012
Note: No copyright infringement was intended with the use of the above photographs; publicity photos, under certain conditions and uses, fall under public domain. I was unable to find photographer credits for either image but will gladly amend post to properly credit authors as notified.

Okay, so I broke my sunglasses rule...

Read my post Shades of Snobbery and you'll learn it is like pulling teeth for me to spend $10 + on a pair of sunglasses. Well, I recently caved and bought from T.J. Maxx a pair that were, gasp!, a little under $30 USD but I just could not take my eyes off of them  (no pun intended). And comparatively speaking, it was a great deal: an oversized set of Diane von Furstenberg shades (model #527S) that originally retailed at around $145 USD.

While they did not say "past season" on them Google has left me to conclude that this must be the case, as that design series was first launched a couple years ago. Still, I found more than one legit website selling the very same pair for close to the aforementioned $145. The suggested retail price on the store tag however was less than half that and T.J. Maxx knocked off another 50% from there --I suspect because there is a tiny flaw in the paint job. It's barely discernible in the photo but on one side the lower taupey-brown section…

Shoestring Delights: 5 Dollar Daisies

My Sunday Splurge for the Spirit:

You Might Be A Bore If...

Image carry a Longchamp Le pliage tote bag!

Seriously. You know how many of these I see walking down the street on a daily basis? Twenty --AT LEAST! For awhile now these Polyamide fabric and leather totes that typically run anywhere from $95-$145 USD have become what "signature C" Coach bags were a decade ago. I'm no hypocrite: I love Coach bags (when they don't have all sorts of cheap-looking gew-gaws on them, an unfortunate direction  the company has gone in in recent years, though I think they're getting back to basics now) and perusing the Longchamp website as "research and development" for this post has made me a fan. They have beautiful wares and I would most definitely shop 'champ if I could afford it. But not Le pliage. Never Le pliage. For it has become the signature look of the unimaginative, the frumpy, the so boringly kitted-out you can't even call it preppy anymore.

Never Fear Looking Rude! C'mon People, Haggle Shrewd!

I am not a born haggler. In fact, the prospect of haggling makes me feel downright queasy, but this is one stomach ailment I've been trying to shake over the last few years as economics demand a tougher consumer. And several weeks ago I bucked up and made my first real, hardcore haggle. I started writing this post the day I bought said prize, but then the trials and tribulations of my student loan nightmare usurped my concentration and this subject was tossed aside.

Ok, so here's the skinny: I nabbed this excellent telephone table from the store...well, let's not name names, let's just say it rhymes with "fear none". The table originally retailed for $149.98 USD but it was marked 75% off, taking the price down to a mere $37.49 USD. The reason? According to the sales tag it was "Damage: Front Drawer". I couldn't see any damage however, and puzzled, asked the salesgirl what the problem was. She pointed out that it was missing the bottom drawer alt…

Another Inexpensive Inspiration & More About What's Coming Down the Shoestring

I am totally in love with this look worn by iconic model (and wife of not 1 but 2 music icons, I'll leave it to you to Google who) Patti Boyd:

My passion for bold retro patterns has not abated, and looks like the one Miss Boyd sports are certainly informing my spring wardrobe choices (shoestring budget they may be), proving once more that you can always turn an expensive outfit into an inexpensive inspiration.

So what else will be coming soon to a Shoestring News near you?
Here's just a few things:
Building a wardrobe on bupkis: Sally ventures to the mall on a mission.
I'll share with you my first attempt at hardcore haggling whilst furniture shopping --and I won!
I'll update you on some furniture re-do doings I've done on the cheap.
A look into my work box (whoa! did that sound naughty?): what every sewing kit should have.
The Great De-Clutter Project of 2012!
Smaller Size, Smaller Price: Sally rails against the consumer injustice of designers upping prices for bigger siz…

Gustav Klimt + Godspell + Guerra = I AM IN LOVE! (Project Runway All Stars, NO SPOILERS)

I am mad for fashion designer Mondo Guerra, as you will know if you have read my post Style Alert: Project Runway All Stars Kicks Off Tonight!, and after watching last night's episode of Project Runway All Stars, I am compelled to share with all of you Guerra's latest creation...but I'm not saying who won! For that, I care not. But I do give my whole heart to the divine, decadent wonder he sent floating down the runway. The assignment was to create a costume comprised of separates for the "rich woman" in the musical Godspell, which recently kicked off a revival run on Broadway.

Words cannot describe this vision, other than to say the outfit (and superior styling of hair, makeup, accessories) transformed the necessarily nondescript model into a walking, three-dimensional Klimt painting. Gustav Klimt is perhaps my favorite painter of all time (Rossetti and Chagall are close seconds) and thus I was propelled into a state of rapture. I want to be that outfit and that…

"Fou" on French Style --the American Way That Is!

Well, it would appear that the American woman's obsession with becoming French has finally waned-- has it? Oh I do hope so! Because ever since French Women Don't Get Fat first soared to the top of the bestseller lists in 2004, we've been steadily besieged by guidebooks and Gallic gurus all determined to instruct us on how to be French: how to be sexy like the French, thin like the French, stylish like the French. But I can't think of anything less French than buying a book on how to be sexy, thin and stylish. Or to quote Leigh Taylor-Young in I Love You Alice B. Toklas, "It's very unhip to say that you're hip, Harold." 
It was all so transparently commercial and commodified but amazingly American women appeared to gobble it up like crème brûlée. Well, non! Let me amend that last observation. When I say "American women" I primarily mean "uptight, prissy (but doesn't want to think she is) white women residing in urban areas of the No…

Once More Fashion & Art Converge in My Imagination

My obsession with patterns persists & with this set I merrily indulged in silly: fashionistas will note my inclusion of legendary designer Coco Chanel and my favorite Swingin' Sixties style icon Sharon Tate.

Just a bit of whimsy... by shabbychicstyle on

Shoestring Reads: Entrer par la porte livre!

Today, I wish to share with you a most fantastique visual find - the whimsical archway of books that greets one upon entering Les Bal des Ardents bookstore & gallery in Lyon, France:

Now that is what I call a clever re-use of resources! May it inspire you to bring new life to that which you might otherwise discard and create "not-by-the-book home" decor! And speaking of books, many years ago I was touring a wonderful little museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called The Mattress Factory, where I saw a hanging patchwork quilt the artist had ingeniously made out of old book covers. The Mattress Factory is a real treasure of contemporary art tucked away in the historic Mexican War Streets on the city's North Side; I highly recommend you check it out if you ever find yourself in the 'burgh --and you really should go! Pittsburgh is beautiful and has truly transformed itself from a burnt-out, recession-hit mill town to a happening metro center. Truly, reinvention is all …

The Economics of Vanity, or, The First White Hair

Last week, I once more had my hair chopped and finally rid myself of the rusty remains of last year's "brunette series". It's been a rough journey. While I enjoyed my year of experimenting with reds and browns (I went as dark as a 4 Neutral at one point!), I find myself pining for the long, highlighted blonde locks I left behind. And now I am back to my natural hair color: a rather blah #7-8 Ash/Red mix, aka dark dirty blonde/light brown. And with it has come the discovery of the odd white hair here and there. Today I broke down and plucked the first one I found...which is pointless I know but I simply had to investigate. This practically clear, alien hair with its mockingly melanin-free follicle warranted a closer inspection. What's that? Embrace it? I wish I could, but sadly, dark ash blonde hair does not go "silver foxy" grey but just plain bland, dingy blech! Furthermore, to my absolute horror, additional cranial inspection has revealed far too much…

And My Fiery Love Affair with Scarves and Kitschy-Chic Patterns Still Burns Bright


So Shoestring Sally Walks Into a Bar...

...and she says to the bartender:
Sally: Hey there, Harry, how's it shakin'?

Harry: Can't complain, Sal, can't complain.

Sally: Yeah? Business good tonight?

Harry: Well, things were sorta slow for awhile --but that last guy, he was a real George.

Sally: A George?

Harry: Yeah, y'know, a George.

Sally: Still don't get ya, buddy.

Harry: Aaa, I guess you don't hear that much anymore. "George" is old barkeep talk for a real good tipper.

Sally: That's a new one for me, Harry.

Harry: Yeah, a guy's called a George and a gal's called a Georgette.

Sally: Well, whadda ya know!

So what's the moral of this tale, Shoestringers? I know times are tough all over but, hey, folks in the service industries work hard and many have families to support and college tuition to pay. So even if you're pinching pennies and doing your best to stave off debt, next time you step out on the town, be a George or a Georgette!

Things To Do When You're Depressed Because You Will NEVER Pay Off Your Student Loans

#1 Slap on red lipstick, grab a fab scarf & take silly, overly-dramatic pictures of yourself.

What can I say?
I'm easily amused. (fortunately)

Sea Love: une mascarade bijoux

I decided it would be fun to feature my latest Polyvore collage here as it was almost entirely constructed from pictures of jewelry. The bulk of the coral reef-like structure the two figures sit upon is an image of a gold and gem-encrusted masque, the sort one would wear as part of elaborate fancy dress or perhaps during Carnival, duplicated and re-positioned many times over.

Sea Love by shabbychicstyle featuring a dangle necklace

Look Around and Steal the Look: Psychedelic on the Sand

I can admit it --I'm a bit "swank store phobic". Seriously. Bergdorf Goodman's flagship store in Manhattan, for example, strikes terror in my little Shoestring Heart. The luxe window displays alone intimidate me, never mind crossing the threshold. I'd need to get my hands on a Chanel suit and a stiff drink before venturing in, and even then I would feel like Liza in Arthur about to be 86'd for having a boosted necktie in my bag. I don't have such an extreme aversion to Haute Hooverville's Lord and Taylor, but it is a shop I tend to pass up given its more high-end price tags. On one recent frigid evening, however, I found myself in its vicinity and early for a social engagement --quelle horreur!-- and thus I ventured in to kill some time and warm my tuckus.
I ended up going on a style scavenger hunt, taking snaps with my camera phone of things that caught my eye and I was reminded of one of my fashion credos: Expose yourself to fashion, even that whic…

Inexpensive Inspirations: The Vibrant World of Powell & Pressburger

My routine readers will attest that the film reel I've been running on my life's projector lately is faded & time to cast off those dull greys and jump into a world of vibrant technicolor! One of my biggest aesthetic inspirations is the work of film-making team Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, also known as The Archers: baroque, dream-like, and magical are all adequate descriptors for their visually stunning films. Not all their films were shot in color, but color-film is the arena in which they truly excelled. Bold compositions of strongly-saturated hues are a trademark of The Archers, and it is to them I owe my love of pairing complementary colors in both fashion & home decor --a passion which is evident in my posts Decor on the Dash and Home Decor Emergency. But today's post is all about urging you to watch their movies and likewise be inspired!

On that note, I wish to share with you my latest Polyvore collage:
A Tribute to Powell & Pressb…

Shoestring Sharing: Make Every Month Hunger Action Month!

They say one becomes richer when one gives to others. Exhausted from the candor of my last post and all the worries that provoked it--I decided to check my email one last time before salvaging what sleep I could. And I found a message from my area chapter of The Greater Food Bank. They have kicked off their campaign to spread awareness that September is Hunger Action Month. HAM (ham? is that intentional?) is a worthy cause and please click on the link to learn how you can contribute. But also remember September is a long ways a way and hunger is all around us  now. Tonight I can close my eyes secure in the knowledge that I do have enough food --even if I may need to reacquaint myself with my old buddy Ramen for awhile. So, that being said, I will see what I can do between now and then.

First step: this week I will donate food to either the  GFB or an area shelter and make the deliberate move to donate only good non-perishables. I hate it when people donate just the stuff in their pant…

Shoestring Sally's Student Loan Blues

I'm sick of being sick and tired over money. I live in what is purportedly the greatest nation in the history of all recorded time on this planet and any other (hah! take that little grey men) and yet the constant hustle to get by and get ahead whilst feeling the crushing weight of student loan debt has left my body worn out & crying uncle: I am a relatively young chickie and yet in the past two years I have been diagnosed with everything from osteoarthritis to chronic fatigue syndrome! As soon as one bundle of mystery ailments departs, another arrives. Clearly stress is to blame. Case in point, I've noticed that when things get me going, particularly financial stressors, I grind and clench my teeth. I have even cracked 2 of them, each requiring a root canal and a crown. I floss and brush diligently but my pearly whites are nevertheless in peril. At least I have great dental insurance and got a super swanky custom-made night guard for practically free. Still, a night guard…