I get asked a ton of questions about my style, my work, and my funny little dog, so I thought I would compile the most common ones in a handy FAQ Page! If you’re looking for the best place to start on why I started a vintage fashion blog, you can head over to my inaugural blog post or check out my about page here.
Q: Where do you blog from?I current live in and blog from North Carolina, although I travel a lot for work so it’s very possible I may blog from many international locations in the coming year.
Q: Do you blog full time? What’s your career?Blogging is definitely my hobby and an escape from the every day. By day, I’m a marine biologist and a full-time professor/researcher. I lecture, run experiments, write grants, mentor students – you name it. I find in my profession, many female scientists don’t dress up for fear of stepping outside of the stereotype of what a scientist “should” look like. I started this blog to give a bit of a voice to all of those fashionable nerds out there.
Q: Who takes your photos?My amazing husband takes all of my outfit photos. Originally, I planned to use a tripod and a timer or remote, but we realized that Mr. Dressed Aesthetic had such a good eye for photos, it became a bit of a fun ritual for us. Now, I can’t imagine doing outfit photos with anyone else! Maybe I can convince him to step out from behind the camera one of these days…
Q: I notice your outfit styled on a cartoon woman – what’s that all about?I style all of my outfits using the wardrobe organization app Dressed (you can read all about it here). In a nutshell, Dressed is an app for the iPhone designed and written by my husband that allows you to carry your closet with you wherever you go and mix and match your items to create outfits (remember the movie Clueless??) You can read some reviews of the app by a few of our favorite bloggers here, here, & here. Being able to try on clothing from the comfort of my sofa is an absolute win. We have a lot of updates to roll out in the coming year – so stay tuned!
Q: Where do you find so many beautiful dresses?I am a self-proclaimed vintage huntress and I absolutely love the thrill of the hunt. I have been collecting vintage as far back as I remember – I shop locally here in NC (I’m still learning the city, but have already fallen in love with The Wonder Shop), check out the local vintage fairs, and also do a fair bit of shopping online. Etsy is a particular favorite, as it is a veritable treasure trove of vintage gems. You can see some of my favorite Etsy shops featured here. For vintage inspired clothing, I love Modcloth, Unique Vintage, Pinup Girl Clothing, & Anthropologie and also find quite a few gems at ASOS.
When it comes to cultivating a vintage wardrobe, patience is key. You need to be willing to hunt, willing to accept that you may find the most perfect dress that may not fit, and willing to see passed popped seams/stains/etc. to the beauty that lies within.
Q: You must have a massive wardrobe! Where do you store it all?In every home we have lived in, my amazing husband has allowed me to commandeer one of the spare bedrooms to turn into my walk in closet. I definitely have a larger-than-average wardrobe, and having a room to myself to be my boudoir brings me more happiness than I can say. Perhaps I’ll do a closet tour post soon…
Q: Do you actually wear the clothes you post to work?You betcha! Life is too short. Why waste a single day wearing something that doesn’t make you feel fabulous? When I have experiments or am doing a lot of messy dissection work, I will bring a change of clothes or wear something I don’t mind getting dirty. But for most things, a lab coat does the trick.
Q: Your dog is so cute! Does he only have one eye?That’s our faithful super pup, Willie. He is a shameless photobomber and looks forward to outfit photos even more than we do (if that’s possible). Trying to keep him out of outfit photos is futile – he always sneaks a tail or a snout in!
Willie only has one eye (hence his name – Goonie fans unite!) He was hit by a car before we adopted him and they had to remove his eye. But, it doesn’t seem to affect him at all.
Q: What breed is he?
We’re not sure of his breed – he is mostly corgi, but is clearly mixed (German Shepard? Wolverine? Government spy?) We love him to bits.
Q: Do you have any other pets?We do! We have a ginger tabby named Finn. He’s an indoor cat, so doesn’t appear in outfit photos very often. But, you may see him pop up on my Instagram now and then. He’s quite the character and tends to cast a critical eye over my outfits in the morning…
Both Willie and Finn lived with us in the States, moved to Perth, Australia with us, and then came all the way back again. They are world travelers!
Q: How long have you been sewing?I started sewing back in 2009 when I was living in San Diego. As a lover of vintage, I really wanted to learn how to repair and tailor clothes and potentially get into costume design (I’m a huge theatre nerd). I took a free class at a community college, invested in a Bernina Activa 220 (my pride and joy), and was hooked! In the introductory class, I learned to thread my sewing machine and do the basics, including a straight stitch, reading patterns, and sewing in a zipper, but beyond that it was just practice, practice, practice! When we moved to Perth, my gorgeous friends bought me 5 sessions with a local sewing teacher (Sewanista Fashion Workshops), so I could start drafting my own patterns. I’m still on the hunt for a good sewing class since our most recent move back to the US. I absolutely love sewing and the control it gives me over clothes. You can see a few of my favorite sewing projects here, here, and here.
Q: Where is your favorite place to shop?Given my love of vintage, I simply don’t have a favorite store. (I link to the shops where I purchase my dresses at the end of every outfit post though and I feature shops I adore about once a month – you can read some recent features here, here & here). I actually love the variety and the hunt the most – discovering a new Etsy shop or a vintage store in the city that just opened. I travel a lot for work, and there’s always a boatloads of research that leads to an intricate map of the best vintage haunts in my newly discovered city. I always plan on an afternoon in whatever town I travel to and spend the day solo, skipping around town, seeing what new treasures I can find, with no one to answer to but myself.
Q: Do you mind telling me how tall you are and what size you wear?Not at all! In this day and age of online shopping, knowing your body and your measurements is crucial, as is asking others if they found garments to be true to size. I wear approximately a US size 6, Aus 8-10, and UK 10. My measurements are 35-36” bust, 27-28” waist (and can cinch down to 26” in a corset), and 38” hip. I also have a longer than average torso (17” from nape to waist) and am 5’9, so I always measure the torso length to ensure it’ll be long enough in the bodice. There’s a great guide for determining your measurements and understanding vintage sizing here.
If you ever have questions about a garment, please feel free to ask me about fit/cut/etc! If I can help, I absolutely will.
Q: Do you have any tips for vintage shopping?Vintage shopping can be intimidating, but there are ways to navigate the waters.
(1) Think about the clothes you have that make you feel the most beautiful – what features do you want to play up? This will go a long way towards directing you to an era that will make your heart sing. A good guide to vintage silhouettes and what they emphasize/deemphasize can be found here. It’s also critical to educate yourself about the details of different eras and the history behind them. A favorite resource of mine that is fabulously comprehensive on fashion, fabric, labels, and designer history is the Vintage Fashion Guild.
(2) Next, hit up a few local vintage stores. They have knowledgeable, passionate shop owners who are ready and willing to help! Plus, once you have relationships with them and they know what you’re looking for, they’ll let you know when they get new stock and can even source specific items for you.
(3) I can’t stress this enough: TRY IT ON! If you hear yourself saying, “I can’t wear that because…” stop it immediately! You never know until you try it on.
(4) Consider learning how to sew. This doesn’t mean you have to suddenly become ready to sign up for Project Runway, but learning the basics of tailoring can be very empowering. Suddenly, it’s not about changing yourself to fit the clothes, it’s about changing the clothes to fit YOU.
(5) I’d also recommend getting a good friend or tailor (or hey, that new sewing teacher you just discovered!) and get your measurements. Understanding your body will go a long way to determining if a garment will fit. When you know your measurements and body type, then you can venture into the treasure trove that is Etsy. There are SO many wonderful vintage sellers on Etsy – with the bonus that you’re supporting small business owners and shopping green.
I know it can be disheartening when the most perfect vintage dress doesn’t fit. But, the beauty of vintage is that, when it DOES fit, it feels as if it somehow traveled through time just to meet you.
Hope that answers your questions!
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments below anytime with something you’d like to know more about!