Oh. My. Heavens.
It was all I could do not to stop this perfect stranger in the fire drill line this week.
She had the most adorable outfit pulled together that I have seen in ages. Retro chic full navy skirt with a bicycle print (that I immediately became obsessed with) paired with a chartreuse silk tie blouse and red patent peep toe pumps. To die for. Clever but sharp and still work appropriate. She had mid-length straight hair with a blunt long bang that tied perfectly with the overall look and feel of the outfit. Simply, she looked French. The highest fashion compliment I can pay.
But since I still have a modicum of appropriate social decorum, I did not ask said stranger for her photograph and I hunted down the pieces. The skirt comes from ModCloth and isn’t currently available in my size. Sigh. I’m putting it on my wish list in hopes it comes back. Look at this adorable skirt:
If you are a small, then it’s yours for $49.99!!!!
If you’re not, an alternative to mirror this chic ensemble could be either this simpler navy full skirt or gray polka dot skirt – both from ModCloth at $59 and $49 respectively:
The blouse I couldn’t find exactly but here is a reasonable facsimile:
Now the color is a little louder and the bow is a little bigger (WHY OH WHY DIDN’T I TAKE A PICTURE?!?!), but it’s close. Alas, it’s sold out on Juicy Couture. The options below partner with the look and feel, but you have to shop eBay because after AN HOUR of looking at every conceivable female website/designer, the only ones that even have a hope of working are on eBay.
This is how cool this stranger was: you can not find her look in any department store. As a side note, the only way I could afford designer blouses would be on eBay, so that works out and you seriously can find anything there. The key is a feminine bow and something in the chartreuse or yellowy-gold family.
(These are from left to right – Prada Silk Peplum, Suzannah Silk Dot, and Chloe Silk Matte.)
To perfectly round out the outfit, you need red peep toe pumps. Yes, that is harder to find than the chartreuse bow blouse! Mainstream sites I always use like Zappos and DSW had nothing red that worked – you have to be oh so careful with red shoes that they come off vintage and not hoochie. Especially since you’re looking for leather/patent instead of fabric. Etsy has some vintage shoes, but I’m weird about worn shoes. So again I think your best bet is eBay. You can still get new, and even get designer, if you have a template to go by. My tips are to avoid a significant platform on the shoe, avoid cheap fabric, and watch out for fraudulent sellers. I only buy from folks with a significant selling history. (If the shoe is modeled by someone with nude legs up to nearly her wa-hu, then it’s not Parisian couture, it’s American stripper.)
So here’s my collected template for the red peep toe you need to perfect this look (this post took WAY longer for me to write than I anticipated when I sat down an hour and a half ago):
(From left to right, these Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman pumps are currently for sale on eBay.)
As a frame of reference, here are some other shoes I can’t locate yet but would be perfect to wrap up this vintage ensemble:
(The middle two are Valentino and Louboutin, so…that’s more for dreaming and less for buying.)
Let me know if you have a spot to buy “vintage look and feel,” without it being actual vintage because that part of the market is the most elusive when you shop.