Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adventures in Thrifting

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

This weekend we popped by some Summer Avenue thrift stores for a gander at the bargain buys and vintage wear. Aside from a serious dearth of fitting rooms and one lecherous dude lurking around, we were not disappointed by what we found.

Memphis is a treasure trove of thrift stores, having not been totally picked over like some more hipsterish cities we could name.

We only snapped a few pics because we were in a bit of a hurry. But just look at what you can get out of a few minutes in Mid-South Outlet and the former Disabled American Veterans store, and imagine what treasures hours (and hours and hours) of thrifting can bring!

We stopped at the former DAV first (3440 Summer Ave.) It certainly isn't the same DAV Thrift Store you're used to. The furniture selection has expanded considerably, while the clothing section is significantly smaller. We aren't sure what the newest incarnation is called, so from here on out we'll be calling it the former DAV.

First up: This fully functional vintage scale:

This sucker is pretty heavy, so it would be best on a sturdy kitchen counter or something similar, but it's amazingly in tact for just $50 and much more interesting than an average kitchen scale.

Nearby we spotted this vintage armoire:

It has some small scratches, and they're asking $199 for it, but it's sturdy. Plus, the woodwork is so pretty and we love the kind of Art Deco vibe.

In the chairs section we found this tall-backed green gem:

It's missing a seat cushion, but a contrasting fabric pillow looked nice in its place, and the rest of the chair is in tact.

A few feet away, this vintage folding chair ($95) called out to us.

We couldn't actually reach the chair over all the other furniture in the way, but it had only a few small scratches, and you can always reupholster if that fabric doesn't suit you. (We kind of like it though...)

In the small clothing section, where everything was on sale for $2, we found this pair of EXPANDOMATIC pants, or as we like to call them here in the 21st century, stretch pants.

How the suffix "o-matic" survived Saturday Night Live's "Bassomatic" is beyond us. But apparently, these pants are still being made (google it!) and from our limited internet research, it looks like the patented Expandomatic technology is primarily used in men's slacks. Why the gender discrepancy? Ask your average man if he'd prefer "stretch pants" or something called "expandomatic pants" and we think you'll find your answer.

Next door at the Mid-South Outlet (3432 Summer), you'll find a much larger clothing selection and a much smaller furniture selection (they've got a yin and yang thrifting thing going on in this strip mall, and we're into it.)

Near the back of the store where the jewelry counter is, they've separated out a small vintage and boutique section. This is perfect when you don't feel like sifting through the dregs of the other racks, although not as rewarding as when you search the general ladies' section and find a rose among thorns.

We've found some amazing vintage coats in this part of the store, and on this particular trip, found a fur coat made in none other than Memphis, Tennessee.

We don't know where Motes Furs was located or what became of it, but our friend Vance Lauderdale was able to tell us that by the 1970s, this one-time furrier had reduced operations from making furs to simply storing furs for wealthy Memphians.

And since we were near the jewelry counter, we took the time to pick out a few bracelets before heading home:

The buckle bracelet and bangles cost me a cool $6 in total.

Got any thrift store finds you're particularly proud of? Send a picture and a few brief details about where you found your second-hand wonder to stylesessions@memphisflyer.com.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Calling All Model Citizens! Part 3!

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Third time's the charm, ladies and gents: We're heading back to the Peabody Rooftop this evening from 6 to 7 p.m. to take photos of potential models for our Fall Fashion issue.

Come dressed to impress for the model search and then stick around for the Peabody Rooftop Party. And remember, we're looking for male and female models, so bring us some handsome dudes, k?

Questions? Email stylesessions@memphisflyer.com.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Street Style: Cooper Young Farmers Market

Posted By on Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Remember that scene in Clueless where Amber sees Tai's outfit and says, "She could be a farmer in those clothes"?

Okay, first of all, everybody knows Amber is an ensembly-challenged fashion victim and a full-on Monet ("from far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess.") And second of all, she's just plain wrong. Farmers markets are actually chock full of style. Take for instance, Nikkila:

We bumped into this artist (she made the necklace she's wearing) at the Cooper Young Community Farmers Market, and we just loved her cool, summery style.
She's also styling on a budget with a Target dress and sunglasses, Macy's shoes, and her grandmother's vintage tote:
Check out her line of very distinctive necklaces and other items on etsy. We love the textures in these statement necklaces, and we guarantee no one will out-statement you when you're wearing one.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TLC's What Not To Wear Comes To Memphis

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM

When we veg out, we do it with a cup of tea and a good book a stiff drink and a marathon of TLC's What Not To Wear.

Each episode, hosts Clinton and Stacy take a caterpillar — often a harried mother of three or a workaholic, or occasionally a wayward wannabe vamp — and turn her into the foxy lady butterfly she truly is. And they do it all with style and panache and a lot of good humor.

Which is why we're thrilled to announce that Memphian Emi McFarlen will be featured on the show, getting a makeover that she says has saved her from the vortex of matronly spinsterhood. Tune into TLC tonight at 8 p.m. to see the whole thing go down.

McFarlen, a Rhodes graduate who currently works as the manager of public and special programs at the Pink Palace Museums and is working on a masters in science education, says her style before the show consisted of anything comfortable that she could wear around kids without worrying about getting dirty or messy.

"My style was dull. Modest, but on the verge of being matronly," she says. "It was about utility. I wasn't caring about pretty clothes, I just wanted clothes that I could work in, that I could get down on the floor in and kids could throw stuff at me and scream at me and I would feel comfortable in."

If you've never seen an episode of What Not To Wear (seriously, how is this even possible?), the show begins with hidden camera footage of the participant who has been secretly nominated by friends and family for a makeover. The surprise is soon revealed to the participant when she is ambushed by Stacy, Clinton, and the gang, and swept away to New York for the filming.

Emi's surprise attack came at a routine meeting at the Sharpe Planetarium, where staff members were told they would be previewing a new program on constellations. While everyone was looking up at the constellation show, suddenly Emi's face popped up.

"And then Clinton and Stacy came out," says Emi, "It's really quite entertaining when you watch it."

Something we've always been curious about is whether participants are offended or hurt when they find out their families and friends nominated them for a makeover. Emi says she didn't feel hurt at all.

"After the initial shock wore off I was able to talk to my friends and the people at work who nominated me. It came from their hearts," she says. "They did it because they said I don't spend enough time taking care of myself because I spend so much time taking care of others. I wasn't offended at all. In fact, I was touched."

Of course, there was a week in between finding out she had been nominated for the show and actually leaving for the makeover, which Emi admits was a bit uncomfortable.

"It's awkward because you have a week where you're like, 'Okay, they told me I dress badly, but I don't have any other clothes to wear,'" she laughs. "So for this whole week you have to wear these terrible clothes. Then they put you on an airplane and send you to New York and go through the whole process. It was a whirlwind."

Even as we consider ourselves longtime fans of the show, we've often wondered about what shows like this mean for women — whether they are part of the shaming that keeps females tethered to certain beauty ideals. For their part, Clinton and Stacy seem more concerned with getting the participants to love their bodies and wear clothes that highlight their features than getting women to change their physiques. As for Emi, she says she's very pleased with how What Not To Wear made her look and feel.

"Before I was kind of trying to hide in the background. I teach here at the museum and I love doing that and that's where I felt like I was in my spotlight, but the rest of the time in my social life I was kind of hiding my light under a bushel. Now I feel a lot more confident about showing off my personality and saying, 'This is me. This is who I am, and I'd love to meet you.'"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dixon Garden Party With Anthropologie

Posted By on Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Last Thursday's garden party and fashion show at Dixon Gallery and Gardens was an exceptionally pretty display of Anthropologie's spring and summer lines — all against the backdrop of a setting sun and lush gardens.

Oh, but it was hot outside. About 20 degrees hotter than any human can feel comfortable in. Nevertheless, fearless guests arrived willing to sip sangria and sweat it out. The show itself was just long enough to entice and short enough to keep things interesting. Plus, there's something about knowing that whatever strikes your fancy is probably available for purchase in the store right away.

And our favorite part: All of the models were Anthropologie of Saddle Creek employees or at least somehow affiliated with the store. There were even a few mother-daughter duos. Adorable!

So without further ado, read on to see a sampling of the delightful summer frocks and chic pattern pairings coming out of Anthropologie this season.

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