Archive for the ‘Vintage Shopping’ Category


August 20, 2009

Get ready for fall or back-to-school! Check out some of our newest vintage shoes at Avant Gaudy, including boots, heels, flats and vintage sneakers!

Skull and Bones, $35

Bow Leg, $25

Vtg. Marshalls, $20

Vtg. Nikes, $58

So P.O.S.H.

August 13, 2009

 I passionately believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it doesn’t count unless it’s warm, filling, and piled high. That’s why I’m enamored with these cheeky mugs emblazoned with the phrase, “Pancakes Make People Happy” ($8). They make me reminisce about lazy Sunday-morning brunches at my favorite greasy-spoon diner, where I’d dive mouth-first into a buttery short-stack. These days, I’m always eating on the run, but I’m happy to gulp down a big drink of nostalgia.  


 Whether looking for charming diner-staples like these mugs or for slightly classier-fare, thrifty shoppers should flock to P.O.S.H., a well-edited vintage home-goods boutique for nesters who don’t want to skimp on style.  

The affordable housewares and eclectic goods are culled from restaurant warehouses and flea markets in the U.S. and Europe. The store stocks plates, bowls, mugs, tea services, and glassware in a variety of patterns, attracting buyers looking for anything from classy to kitsch. Some delicate floral patterns seem straight out of a bucolic English bed-and-breakfast, while other understated pieces in monochromatic palettes would be at home in a chic Parisian bistro. Other pieces are full of whimsy, such as a cheerful creamer decorated with an accordion-playing gnome.  

With many adorable items under $10 and $20, P.O.S.H. is ideal for shoppers who want to give their kitchen a cosmopolitan flair on a college student’s budget.  

613 N. State St.
Chicago, IL

Get the Look: Bust Out the Blazer

August 6, 2009

At Avant Gaudy we firmly believe you can reinvent your style without restocking your closet.  Here’s how you can turn that classic blazer into a fresh new look.

Inspiration: Louis Vuitton Fall 2009 Trends

Avant Gaudy Collection: Material Girl Bra & Back to Basics Blazer

How to Style It: Pair a lacy brassiere with your favorite blazer for an instant masculine/feminine mash-up.  Button up the blazer for a confident and sexy look.  Plunge it open for the after party.

Price: Material Girl Bra $48.00 & Back to Basics Blazer $45.00

I showed you mine, now you show me yours. Tell me about your favorite way to make an old piece look new again!

Fashion Sustainability Vintage Sale

August 5, 2009

This Saturday only, you have the chance to buy some of your favorite Avant Gaudy shoes and accessories, available for purchase during the Fashion Sustainability Vintage Sale at Heaven Gallery. You’ll have a first look at some of our newest shoes and accessories! And you can find unique and sustainable vintage clothing and accessories from other vintage dealers!

Avant Gaudy will be one of several retailers at this event, held on Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9,  from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Don’t forget: Avant Gaudy will ONLY be there on SATUDAY!


Other vintage designers and dealers include Style 4 Food, Sarah Katherine Green, Max & Chloe, Lum, Nicole Blaje and Renovar.

Location: Heaven Gallery
             1550 N. Milwaukee Ave.
             Chicago, IL

You can learn more and RSPV to Heaven Gallery’s Fashion Sustainability Vintage Sale here!

Will we see you at the vintage sale on Satuday?

Iris Impressions

August 5, 2009

My time spent in Seattle this week has really thrown me into all states of mind with the abundance of steep hills and winding brick roads.  You think there’s a Starbucks on every corner at home?   Visit Seattle, and every other business is a Starbucks.  The best thing about Seattle besides the view from my hotel is by far, the shopping.  After all, no city is a true city without cool and one of a kind shops!

So, I arrived at the Freemont Flea Market on the hot sunny day I arrived.  So much culture surrounded me from the assortment of Native American inspired boots to vintage jewelry.  Booths of colorful fabrics and embroideries covered the streets and it was just beautiful!  I had a hard time choosing which booth to dive into, but color drew me into one particular booth.  This so happened to turn out to be my ultimate favorite booth in my flea market history.

It was literally a dream come true.  Have you ever looked at a sari and admired the beauty of such vibrant colors and elaborate patterns, but never thought to wear it outside?  Well, a company named Iris Impressions takes recycled saris and designs them into wraps so they can be worn as a skirt, tank, or dress – for many different occasions! 

      Iris Impressions - Girl Wrap Skirt, $49.99 Iris Impressions - Long Wrap Skirt, $119.99

The wraps are sold at three lengths: short, medium, and large.  They all wrap the same way, and it depends on the length you want.  The wrap is made to have a top layer and a bottom layer with two ties that go around the top.   The sides then have a hole to tuck under the strap so if desired, you could wear it as a halter tank.  I bought the short one for $20 (a bargain!) that has green fabric underneath a top layer of a bold striped pattern.  There are eight ways in which you can wear the wrap, all listed in the accompanying book received when purchased.  If you’re interested in buying this item, check out the website at  The prices are relatively cheap, too.  Because I purchased mine at a flea market, the price I paid was cheaper than the price online.  The prices online seem to be about $50 for a short wrap, $89 for a medium wrap, and $119 for a long wrap.

Iris Impressions - Short Wrap Skirt, $55

However, they’re worth every dollar.  I feel like it’s fate that led me to that booth.  I love how you can wear it so casually – perhaps as a tank with skinny jeans and flip flops or you can go completely the opposite, and wear it is a gorgeous halter dress and pair it with heels and sparkly earrings for a night out.  For fall, I recommend you wear it is a high waist skirt with some cool black or tan boots.  You will look outstanding because no one has anything as unique. 

Plus if you go on weekend trip, just pack along this wrap, and it alone will serve you the entire weekend of play, sleep, and relax – no one will know your secret!

Alter Ego

August 3, 2009

In the realm of thrifting, there is some God-awful, ugly stuff. 

Take this dress for instance: A long sleeved, froofy, suffocating monstrosity made all the more ridiculous in an eye-damagingly bright, red.  As my dear mother would say, the number was in fact, “uglier than sin.” 

Not surprisingly, the price tag read ten cents. 

The stop-sign red hue of the “Christmas Day Nightgown” (as my colleagues fondly christened it), serving as a blatant forewarning for naïve bargain hunters, was not enough to hinder this blogger.  My retail salivary glands were working at the rapidity of a rabid canine.  Ten cents, why I can find a dime in the dirt! What a deal!  With a spring in my step, I handed a quarter over to the cashier.  Upon arrival at my apartment, the dress looked even uglier than I had remembered it.  As always, every cloud has a silver (er…in this case, stuffy polyester) lining.  This thing just needed a little TLC. 


Now, most folks are frightened of the term “sewing.”  To them, it may conjure up ghastly recollections from 7th grade Home Ec class projects gone awry.  It signifies that “Vogue Patterns” instruction booklet and a ball of discount fabric from Jo-Anns sitting forlornly in the back of a closet in a heap of frumpy defeat.   Not to fear, though.  If I can do it, you (with utmost certainty) can do it with ease! 

Snip Snip

I simply chopped off the arms, hacked off a foot and a half of  hem length, folded the hem over, ironed it, and stitched it up in order to avoid fraying.   

Extreme Make-Over

Voila–A cute frock for pennies!  Pretty nifty thrifty, huh?

Weekly Thrifting with Caroline

July 30, 2009

This week’s shop:
1900 Harlem Ave # A
Riverside, IL 60546-1672
(708) 442-3606

 Ready to be worn finds!

*Green Heels. [$2.99] 

Once in awhile I will find some cute one & a half inchers! These heels are not too special, but the bright green color is a snazzy and rare find. They are in decent condition and have a nice pointy toe.


*Samsonite Briefcase [$3.00]

This briefcase got me super excited simply because I have been looking for a nifty, yet safe carrying case for my laptop for a good four years. It is light slate blue on the outside, but the inside is a crazy ’60s purple & brown floral print! It has sturdy locking notches on the outside and some compartments inside, which are great for cords.          

Pinecone Wall Hanging. [$1.99]
Since I am pretty big into nature and my apartment has a lot of natural shades, I thought this pinecone decoration would be great on my wall. It was falling apart slightly, but it was simple to fix with a glue gun. I’m thinking that this would be a fun idea in the winter, but instead I think I might try making huge pinecone sculpture pieces!


 8Glass Cups. [Small: $0.39, Large: $0.99, Goblet: $1.99]
Goodwill has some of the cheapest glass wear which is great because I only use glass cups. I am sort of clumsy so they do tend to break often while I am hand washing my dishes! So when I am running low I head to Goodwill over any other thrift store! They also have a great selection of glass vases too!


 Bowls. [Turquoise: $1.99, Green $0.99]
Sometimes I’ll find nice bowls and plates at Goodwill, but it really depends on the week! Luckily I was able to find a nice white and light turquoise cereal bowl and a cute little pale green fruit bowl. 




Records. [$0.99]
Goodwill has a great deal on records and I typically stop over there compared to other places that sell cheapest at $2-5 dollars per vinyl. I often find lots of composer work, Christmas music & soundtracks, but once in awhile I will luck out with a decent artist or some real fun Polynesian music!


 12Outfit: Snazzy Lady. 

The buttons were what got me, and at $4.99 the price was pretty average for a dress at Goodwill. I’m still not sure if I like the sleeves on this retro orange dress, but it would be pretty simple to shorten or take off the sleeves. Even hemming up this dress so its a bit more mini would make it real fun to go out in! Paired up with a $0.99 burgundy skinny belt at the waist makes it fit a bit better instead of being so boxy. Matched up with a burgundy clutch for $2.99 completes the outfit, along with a Solid Gold hits from the ’70s/’80s for $0.99.


5Outfit: City Walker.
A bit more casual, this lightweight blue & white stripe collared shirt with three buttons was a decent deal at $2.99. This $2.99 skirt is a bit of an unlikely match for summer, seeing as though it is made with a thicker fabric, but it works well considering it is a mini. With an elastic waist band and some stretch, this skirt could be worn both at the hip or waist. Worn with a $0.99 royal blue and white waist belt and a $1.99 plastic turquoise heart necklace, this outfit is complete with soundtrack to the film Gigi for $0.99.

Super Freax

July 24, 2009

Avant Gaudy is now listed on Fashion Freax! The site combines the best of Weardrobe and The Sartorialist along with a shopping page. It’s literally one stop shopping. The site is based in Germany, and covers the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and France. American fashionistas can browse street style and shop looks before trends cross the pond, and view fashion maps to plan out their international excursions.

“Truth be Told”: Interview with Stylist, Kim Shimkus

July 24, 2009

The world of fashion can be shallow yet blatantly honest, new and hip, yet so last season.  Upon interviewing stylist Kim Shimkus, the truth of fashion became uncovered through an insider’s perspective of our trendy ever-changing world.

Q:  What do you do for a living?

A: Right now I’m an assistant buyer for Ananas in Oak Park, and I work on the sales part of the store like client logs.  I worked a lot of years with Utopia, been store manger and I used to own a clothing boutique.

Anana's, 109 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301

 Q: Tell me a little bit of your background.

A:   Well I studied agriculture at Southern Illinois years ago, before universities had environmental science as a major, and had aspirations of having an organic cotton farm…

Q:  Then how has your degree in agriculture helped you out in fashion?

A:  Well when I had my store we had a lot of eco friendly products.  The store in Oak Park I’m at now, is getting organic products, and I’m educated on these fabrics.  Anytime I can, I buy organic products, I do.  Fashion is a growing industry of organic products.  You look at all these celebrity’s recyling trends, just like the Green movement, which I think a lot of the hype has to do with. Organic products like wool, cotton, I’m educated on and I think people are becoming more aware of the benefits of these products.

Q: Why are you interested in fashion?

A:  Well right out of college I found a job working at a clothing boutique.  Ironically, the clothing boutique I’m at now.  Worked there 6 years, managed it, and just loved it.  I’m interested in fashion because I’m big into feminism.  I love fashion because that was the way women expressed themselves nonverbally.  It was used and is now used to express their own individuality.  I love making people feel confident and beautiful- women have so many body issue nowadays, it’s so nice to take an everyday women and make her feel beautiful. 

Q: I hear you collect vintage clothing.  Why do you do so?

A:  Oh, it’s just so beautiful.  When I was younger I’d go shopping at these second hand stores in the city, and I’d hunt for labels.  It was a rather affordable hobby.  You could buy vintage cashmere for twenty bucks.  I just love the beauty of vintage and I think it’s such a fun and unique hobby.

Q: What is so great about vintage clothing?

A: Vintage clothing is popular, because again, it sort of ties in with the Green Movement.  People are realizing we as humans have a clothing habit, we just have so much clothing.   Things you see in magazines can go out of style, but with vintage we can wear something then reuse it.  People are buying vintage American garments made by hand and then they realize the quality of other clothes doesn’t compare.  People in magazines dress hipster now with a vintage flair.  So quality, timelessness, flexibility.  I think it’s a combination of all ot that.

Q:  What makes the perfect outfit?

A:  Well I would definitely say accessories.  I have a pair of Levis I’ve had for 20 years, and I’ve worn them for 20 years with every kind of shoe, white blouse, or a black turtleneck.  The shoes and the earrings are what changes.  If you’re you’re gonna be a super urban dresser, you should be trend driven. You know, [the] shoulder padded jacket, people aren’t buying that this year, only Kate Moss is wearing it.  If you’re not going to be following these trends religiously, that’s alright, just get yourself a nice handbag and you should be okay.

Q:  Do the clothes make the outfit, or does the person wearing the clothes?

A:  I definitely think the person.  The clothes don’t hurt, but the attitude of the person wearing the clothes it what makes the outfit work.  You can have the most fantastic looking person, amazingly dressed with a stylist and all, but if she feels miserably about herself it’s not going to be as amazing if she doesn’t feel comfortable with who she is.  So, the person definitely is in charge of making the outfit work or else there’s no real reason to dress nice in the first place, clothes are all about expressing that individuality.

Q:  How do you find the right clothes?

A:  I think having dressed for 20 years, you have to look at yourself honestly with kindness.  Depending on your body shape, you’ve got to be realistic as to what you can wear.  No one can wear everything, but there are definitely things that look good on everyone.  If you want to put an effort into the way you dress, you need to be honest with yourself and put some time into it to try out things that work and know the things that don’t work.

Q: What are your future plans?

A:  I would like to have a personal shopping/wardrobe business.  Where I fit people properly with a handful of stores.  I don’t think I’d want to own a store again, but I do miss my store.  Every time I want to get away from the fashion industry, the more I want to get back into it.  It’s like a trap.  Once you start, you never leave it.  Same goes for advertising or whatever it may be.  But when I think about leaving it, I think about doing something more spiritually fulfilling, like becoming a yoga instructor.  But then you always go back to what you’re familiar with.  But I do like where I am and I’m happy being in something that makes me feel good about myself and also helping others.

Get the Look: Polka Dot Style

July 21, 2009

Wear your optimism on your sleeve with this Pretty Woman-inspired polka dot dress. Polka Dots are making a major appearance in this summer’s collections and can be worn anywhere: as an accessory (headbands, jewelry, belt, purse, shoes) as tights, or the classic Pretty Woman dress .

Inspiration:  Rubin Singer Spring 2009 Collection

Dote on this AG Collection: Pretty Woman


How to Style It: Cinch it with a solid color belt and put on your favorite sun hat!

Price: $45 at Avant Gaudy.