Dream of a sumptious suite for your guests? Dream of it being in an entire other wing of your house where an attendant appears and disappears to wait on their needs, so the guests do not adhere to the seafood rule (you know the one – guests and fish stink after three days.) Well, I can’t help with the latter, but the former is a possibility, even if your home office gets a temporary conversion and you don’t have an extra carriage house apartment.
If you are reluctant to have guests because they just won’t leave, what about treating them to small luxuries that imply that your pad is as well-appointed as the Waldorf Astoria, but once that one guest shampoo has exhausted itself, it is time to go. I was surprised, but one can actually pursue a Hotel Supply Online ** and find such marvels as a suitcase valet, or better yet, a case full of your favorite hotel shampoos and soaps (**There is a metro Atlanta Hotel Supply company – PeachSuite.com – in particular if you want to order 144 of them at a pop). No more dirty mitts on your soap on a rope.
The Hotel Bar Supplies and the luxurious luggage valet say “welcome” and the tiny little shampoo bottles say “but only for a week.” The other little bottles? Oh, those are for the host. They need a comforting salve occasionally.
I gest, just slightly.
How do you strike a balance between pampered luxury for your guests and making them long for home after three days or a week? Or do you like rolling out the welcome mat for months at a time?Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Ever find a vintage post card and wonder if the scenery still exists as pictured back then?
Highlands, North Carolina, came to be because two men drew two lines on a map: One from Savannah, Georgia, to Chicago, and the other one from New York City to New Orleans. They saw the intersection and said: “Tarnations, we need to put a town there.” Not really, at least not the Yosemite Sam-like exclamation and not really because it is merely legend. Maybe it was just dumb luck that its the home of Cullasaja Falls – on foot, its the place for swimming and rappelling. Nearby Bridal Veil falls is the only falls you can drive a car under if you wanted to.
Either way, that is exactly where Highlands, North Carolina is, and most of the time, a great-uncle of mine is scratching for some NC Golf Near Highlands rather than near Hilton Head, and that’s why I found out about it in the first place. It is not a johnny come lately, as in the 1930s, it was a bustling golf town where legendary golfer Bobby Jones came with all of his friends.
The town predates Jones, et al, as in the late 19th century, shops and a post office were well established. Of course, the post card has nothing to do with golf fashions, but rather the natural splendor of the area.
Have you been to the area lately? Is the artist’s rendition fairly accurate, or has it been forever altered by the view of revelers and caution signs?
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This post brought to you by apartments.com. All opinions are 100% mine.
It’s stressful when a closetful of suits from the 40s, a mannequin, a dog and a collection of antique writng implements relocates. craigslist is helpful, but sometimes a bit too freewheeling when you are in a bind. For corporate rental properties, and landlords who are not on their first trip to the rodeo often use apartments.com. (The site which also dishes out tips on Twitter at @aptscom You can’t amend your search criteria to include cedar-lined closets, but if you dig enough, you just might find a freeweeling curiosity like this one:
Losing apartment to eviction, $2,500 can make it yours! One bedroom apartment with additional sleeping annex, elevator, cable, part-time security, close to D train at 155th Street, western exposure with lots of windows and views! $2,500 stops the eviction and $800 per month pays the rent. I am out of the country until March 2014, neighbor has the key and can arrange showing on your schedule. There is some furniture along with dishes, etc. You can keep or discard no problem; only my papers and mail need to be stored.
Hmmm…Can I ask if any vintage textiles or Stickleyor Eames is being “left behind?” Would that be considered poaching? That is just what Matilda the mannequin and the climate-controlled leather bound volumes need. – an inherited evicting landlord! Sign me up!
I balk at referring to anything from 1997 as “vintage.” However, 1997 to the world of consumer websites is indeed that. “Antique” might be 1988-1994. Geocities, anyone? Surpsingly, Apartments.com has been around that long, first as an exclusively Chicago-based service, and then launching nationally.
Have you used the site lately? If not, have you used the Android or iPad or iPhone App (they have one!)Uncategorized | Comment (0)
In the 30s, 40s and 50s, rhinestones were a natural costume jewels alternative when you wanted a lot of sparkle, but didn’t want to invest in precious stones. A woman, or a really sparkly cowboy, could own an entire wardrobe of items to suit the mood.
The disadvantage is the foil backing used on many rhinestone pieces. Cleaning is not only a bear, but it could damage the piece irreparably if that is the case.
Although rhinestones are still going strong, crystals are what modern fashion plates use for an element of sparkle. Just like anything else, there is a high and low price point. Sometimes the larger and clearer crystals, just like diamonds, go for more, but most of the time it is also quality of the other elements of the piece and the artistry of the piece.
Do you wear crystals, ladies or rhinestone cowboys, or do does nothing still say flash like a glove full, belt full or wrist full of rhinestones?Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Switching the subject from pea coats to an equally sea worthy subject, and continuing on the subject of yachts as the 40s and 50s cinema equivalent to a modern desirable dude having a motorcycle, yachts have been an aspirational sign of the “good life” in time gone by. Do you notice a theme in the following ads, aside from two out of three ads featuring perfectly coiffed and pomade aided hair?
Do you need another moment?
All of the previous ads do not show a prominently featured davit crane anywhere to lower the dinghy or the pram and rescue drunk people from the water. No, that’s not it.
It is amazing, but not surprising to see the number of boating ads that feature frolicking that involves alcohol. Oh, the glamor – especially if you are featured in the paper for running aground because you ‘ran out of water.’ Yes, that was a true Memorial Day weekend’s excuse.
The proximity of beer to heavy machinery and vehicles is what especially dates some ads off the bat. There has been a code of ethics for responsible marketing of alcohol products since the end of the Prohibition, and over the years the focus has been to prevent the makers of distilled beverages from pitching their wares to minors. Apparently, in the 50s and 60s, it was okay to lollygag on boats as long as it wasn’t appealing to minors
Aside from the light blue denim that goes in and out of trend year by year, but never, ever goes into sore thumb range, clothing for a day on the sea has not changed much over the years – the nautical motifs, the ironic (but then not so) captain hats and sometimes a button down to shield your skin from rays. I almost forgot, if this was an ad from today, you would see the ladies wearing a lot less, but this is a family show.
Do you collect fun or unusual ads? Or did you come here because you noticed the yachts and sailboats and think I’m a dinghy for obstructing the subject?Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Back in the era of wearing combat boots and thrifted pea coats daily, the army navy store, like Dave’s New York and others, fulfilled both the x and y coordinates of ruggedness and thrift. Not only were there pea coats and hats, regardless of current style trends, but you could fine canteens galore, bailout bags and even the occasional gas mask. Some at my local establishment were “Very” vintage from wars long ago and made interesting conversation pieces.
Stores did not guarantee that your size would be in stock, but it was fun to look.
What can you find there now?
Many an army navy store, especially online, has morphed from the “you never know what will be there today” format to consistently stocking work clothing by Carharrt and other non-military gear. Rothco now specifically makes military “style” pants and coats to specifically market to the retail public and the traditional Army/Navy store shopper. The “surplus” concept is not the same as it once was. It makes me wonder if the items I saw there during my teen years and twenties were indeed true surplus and overruns, or was the concept falsified.
Army/Navy stores, in a way, have become like outlet stores, in the sense that not all of the items are true authentic leftovers, but that are made just to be leftover. If you look carefully at outlets for Saks and Niemans, you will see some items that are the leftover sizes and last seasons’ goods, but also many items purchased especially for sale at outlet level. Filene’s Basement and Saks off Fifth are indeed run as separate companies and are not just write offs of their flagship stores.
Don’t get me wrong. The traditional Army/Navy store still is a treasure trove of odds and ends.
What were your favorite treasures from the Army/Navy store back in the day? Or is that day still now?Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Keep a magic wand. Wave it over the stout ale, vat of Fettuccine Alfredo and the calories magically evaporate. The battle of the bulge doesn’t get any easier. It’s not really about calories in today’s diet world, but carbs and fat. In the 80s, it was all about how much fiber you could back between your mouth and the bottom floor of your stomach. Being “regular” and thin was ideal.
Roll back to the 50s and being thin was not the ideal. A healthy glow, thighs bigger than your wrist, and Charles Atlas and the ladies in beauty ads saying “pish posh” at all of it was pushed in the media. The sure way to the out crowd was protruding ribs. Now, its love/hate. The media chastises runway models with prominent collar bones and ribcages, yet young women aspire to achieve the illusion of “thigh gap,” which is disturbing.
The ideal of beauty and male handsomeness and fitness keeps changing, but what we never allow ourselves is the honesty to look at our behaviors and hangups and actually work for what is most healthy for our bodies, which may consequently lead to fitness and the body working at its best. (!)
Instead, we continue to want the quickest fix. There is sheer quackery with the number of pills on the market. We also seek the “mystery food” that will change everything. We are not actually willing to eat fresh Pomegranates, but drip it into an energy drink for us or drizzle it on a sundae. Give up plates of noodes? Forget it. We want to buy magical shirataki noodles, made with Glucomannan, so we get all the fiber and none of the carbs to pull up to the trough and eat. Granted, if you are eating noodles, it might be a good substitute, but for goodness sake, don’t look for a magic bullet.
Magic bullets are fun, of course, and provide for some rollicking reading decades down the road. I can imagine my great-nephews and nieces chortling over The Couch Potato Diet.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
This one is filed under useless information for some, but candy for the urban and pop culture history buff.
While I was thumbing through the brochure for touting some exciting New Active Adult Communities near Atlanta (the sidewalks! the pools! the shopping!) that were strangely routed to my mailbox on pretense of my grossly miscalculated age, I wondered when this sort of allowed age discrimination in housing began. (Of course, I have to set this up. You didn’t think you would get the answer in the first line, did you?)
In 1954, the first intentional “adults only” community for residents 55 and older opened, not in Florida or California, but in balmy Youngstown, Ohio. This was the first marketed non-assistance, age restricted community. Four years later, the first true “active adult” community opened in Arizona with activities and attractions and the pull of living it up without tripping over tricycles. By rule of thumb, the home owner must be 55, and the youngest resident allowed in the households was a child or grandchild of the very august age of 19. The age restriction fluctuates from property to property. In the late 2000′s, I also heard of a Florida community that restricted residency to include only adults 40 and over.
Have you ever heard of an age discrimination suit from someone in their 30s wanting to live in a 55+ community? Neither have I.
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Ah, the good old days. I just saw Some Like It Hot for the thirtieth time.
Sugar: Oh Josephine! The most wonderful thing happened!
Joe: They repealed prohibition?
Jerry: Oh come now, you can do better than that.
Sugar: I met one of them.
Joe: One of whom?
Sugar: Shell Oil Junior. He’s got millions, he’s got glasses, he’s got a yacht!
Joe: You don’t say.
Jerry: He’s not only got a yacht, he’s got a bicycle!
Young men try to impress the ladies with their swashbuckling World of Warcraft stylings, their older brothers did the same with the height he could roll their Members Only Jacket sleeves without cutting off circulation. Mere trifle! Bring out the yacht. Of course, savvy objects of a young man’s affection favor much loftier things such as personality, morals and sense of humor, but if you are impersonating an Oil heir, you have two choices: Wear a rope belt and grow a scraggily beard or by all means, borrow a yacht. It seemed all so simple in Classic films, no?
If you actually DO have a yacht, or would like to purchase a gangplank or ladder for a film shoot or merely for your over the top social media photos, UMT Marine has much to pick from in pre-fabricated and custom designs.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
My friends still in the industry occasionally regale me with cobweb-laced tales of casting calls listing a hotel room, abandoned warehouse or luxury home as a venue. The hotel conference room was a safe bet, usually. Stories of the others involved someone a friend of a friend knew finding that they were the sole respondent to a fake audition.
When you are wanting to take photos of local talent before lugging the lifetime collection of the Shaheens, Catalinas and Jantzens you purchased home to list on your website, or you are on location looking for a lead for your show, you need a spot that isn’t too seedy.
How about a Miami Studio rental? SplashLight Miami has a column-free 1700 square foot shooting space you can rent. There is even a styling area, kitchen and with the 14′ ceilings, plenty of room to shoot your high concept advertising campaign complete with a stilt walker…on platform shoes. You can choose from several floor plans depending on the needs of your particular shoot.
So…problem solved. Make sure to proofread your casting and dress professionally. It wouldn’t hurt to make some friends there to spread the word for your casting needs as well.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Sand, water, piling marbles in a can: I have seen it all when it comes to creating some sort of a “Unity” element at even the most traditional weddings. While the sentiment may seem sweet, to all brides and grooms to be: It all seems a bit messy, doesn’t it? The dyed water dribbling on gowns and other dry cleanables, grit between the toes or even entrusting a flaming candle to children dressed in flower headpieces seems a bit perilous.
Question from the mailbag:
A: My fiancee really wants a sand unity ceremony, but it doesn’t seem very traditional for a vintage style wedding. What are some other traditions we can use?
Jumping the broom is said to have originated in Wales, and is casually mentioned in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Whoever jumps the highest supposedly rules the household. As with all traditions, the meaning has morphed over the years. While it is a tradition coming back in the United States, the act has links to slavery. To designate a committed union, slaves unable to traditionally marry “jumped the broom” in their ceremony. The broom jump has gone by the wayside as a sensitive relic, although many couples – of any ethnicity, are bringing it back. It is historically appropriate for a 19th century wedding.
Candle lighting. Lighting a “unity” candle is accurate for a Protestant wedding if you are going for an overall theme specific to the 1960s (late) or later. It is not done in a Catholic ceremony most of the time, but can be done at the reception.
Handfasting. Unlike neo-pagan handfasting, historical handfasting did NOT involve the tying of hands. “Handfasting” was another word for betrothal, or the joining of hands in Medieval times. At first, this involved a handshake and a promise to the bride’s family of intention. Later, in wedding ceremonies, the hands of the woman and man were joined together. Again, they were not tied together. So, the joining of hands in a wedding ceremony is another symbol of unity appropriate for a Christian or nondenominational ceremony. The actual act of binding hands is appropriate in neo-Pagan ceremonies, but is sometimes adapted into Medieval-themed and somewhat costumed Christian nondemoninational ceremonies, even though not completely historically accurate.
Wedding Vows and Rings. Yes, as traditional and “boring” as it sounds, exchanging vows, and optionally exchanging rings are the most universally recognized symbol of the union – universally. These traditions are good for any era and are enough. You need not suffer your guests through a series of candles, sand pouring and household object crossing to bring the point across, although the touches or fun or add an element of history in some cases.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
What if your brand experienced a bit of a speed bump when it first opened on the internet? Maybe there were problems with your website, or with your shipping processes. A few years later, things are running smoothly, but you are plaqued by old reviews on the internet that never go away? What if customers were leery about ordering from you because you were half a world away?
Milanoo, a Chinese manufacturer, attempts to cut out the middleman and directly market to American consumers (and folks from other countries, for that matter.) They sell mostly formal dresses and cosplay costumes. They have chosen to address old negative reviews, and to address the objections someone may have to ordering from the other side of the world with several other websites that support their main ordering site.
While some clothing makers choose to have a blog or a Facebook account, Milanoo strategized to place themselves squarely with the keywords that someone might be searching to find out about them. Milanoo Reviews has its own dedicated website, its own Milanoo Review Tumblr account where buyers mug for the camera. Although some companies have scooped up the domain for a .org site in an effort to squeeze out anyone who wants to pretend to be their brand, I question the practice of the Milanoo Reviews .org site, as?org” suggests a nonprofit organization, but there is no real enforcement or formal rule. It appears on Tumblr, they are reposting photos from their Facebook account. The .net site combine pictures of customers using the products, stock photos, responses to customer communication, as well as a recent video of Milanoo staff celebrating Christmas to create familiarity.
If you think about it: Yes, a company name PLUS “reviews” is probably what Googlers and Bingsters are typing in when they are looking for information about the site. Certainly you have done the same when considering a relationship with a new company, and more so if you are ordering from overseas.
What can American makers learn from this? Here are a few things to consider: Stick to your Facebook campaigns, but consider that not all potential customers land on your Facebook page. Posts are only fresh in search for so long. Are general searches about your brand bringing your brand up in search results, or are you buried amid reseller sites and unrelated sites? SEO is important, but if another individual buys up your name, a reseller can use solid SEO practices and outrun you. Also, have you done anything lately to show that there are real people behind the slick site?
For myself, I do my best to buy clothing that is vintage, on consignment, or made in the USA (or from a country of origin is traditionally known for the item. It just doesn’t seem natural to buy American-made lederhosen. For most folks, buying an item made in China or elsewhere is something they do all the time. If Chinese clothing is so rampant, maybe there is something else, besides the obvious price factor, that can be use to regain a customer base. Maybe the real secret is that America doesn’t generate enough Cosplay costumes and buyers are forced overseas, so start sewing.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
A friend of mine and another friend of mine were getting married in Hawaii. Those two friends were indeed betrothed to each other. One of those friends was not Elvis, but he did get married to a brunette gentlewoman. Meanwhile, many colleagues and confidants were freezing elsewhere in the snow.
They lamented over what to give out as beach wedding favors. Sand dollars? Ultimately they decided upon leis. When they flew home, they had a reception and gifted their friends with momentos from the vast shot glass collection they decided to divest when households combined. Some vintage glasses were filled with mints. The tables were a few glasses short of a party, so the couple trotted off to yard sales and a dollar store and grabbed a few generic stand-ins, in which candle wax was poured and wicks were inserted.
When the couple returned home, they were amazed that there was more room to merge their teacup, vintage shoehorn and action figure collection in harmony. That’s love!Uncategorized | Comment (0)
This post brought to you by JackThreads. All opinions are 100% mine.
Flash sales and membership sales sites are proliferating, but there are not too many that cater specifically to Menswear. JackThreads does just that – catering to casual, urban and tailored styles. Sales don't matter if you don't see something you like.
Above (VintageGent official picks:)
Left: Rogue Delve Boots from Portugal. Regular price: $450.00/Your price $179.99. (That's like having Black Friday everyday.)
Middle: Mad Mouch Minis Cufflinks – $17.99, regularly $38.00. There are also Minis with the Union Jack on them, though they would be infinitely less subtle.
Left: Chelsey Imports (Germany) cotton scarf – $34.99
All of these items are on JackThreads, a site for men's clothes and men's footwear that is somewhat of a flash sale site, but you have a bit more time than a panicky two hours. Usually, new items go live at noon Eastern Standard Time. Buyers have 72 hours, but some collections are on sale longer. So, do NOT text in traffic. Get home or to the office safely. When the item is sold out, its gone, but its not meant to be if you are holding up traffic.
To take advantage of these deals, sign up for the site. If you refer your friends and they purchase something at JackThreads, a $10.00 credit has your name written all over it. The only part about the site that didn't please me is the number of clothing items that are made in China. This isn't the sites fault; that is the way the clothing industry seems to be going and labels like Member's Only and Kenneth Cole have followed suit. There are some nice surprises such as Portugeuse boots, but I have yet to spot an American item.)
JackThreads calls this look "Urban Prep." The high tops could easily be deleted and replaced with a sturdy pair of leather boots. Overall, the look is a lot more polished and such a relief over sweatsuits as smart casual for sure for the younger gent. Although, if you remove the ballcap, the look is a bit less age restricted.
So…go play around and see what you can find.
In just a few weeks all of the little angels will be descending on us for a week or two. I don’t mean the heavenly angels in the manger scene but all the grade schoolers and preschoolers and kindergarteners who have been sent forth in the world, only to have their school door locked so they cannot get back in. It was a very merry time when I was a tot to have at least nine–if not more–days off, depending on the day of the work Christmas and New Year’s Day fell.
What to get harried parents who love their children but can’t imagine not having a day to themselves this summer? Well Allan Sherman sent his son off to one of the summer camps in NY and the results may not have been the happiest for Robert, but resulted in the chestnut “Hello Muddah/Hello Faddah.” Comedy only comes through great suffering, no?
You, too can gift your children and their harried parents a gift certificate. Costly? Well, things aren’t always that simple, are they? Summer camp may be one of the something that personifies your youth, but life skills can still be taught. Instead of a camping gift certificate, why not take them under your wing? Send the long-suffering parents off to dinner and teach them real skills like tying knots, stomping grapes, mending socks, opening doors for each other, growing ironic mustaches and knitting tree warmers. Children are our future, after all and socks aren’t exactly growing on trees.
On second thought, maybe summer camp is better.Uncategorized | Comment (0)