23 posts categorized "MJH"



The day dawned bright, hot and early... and not nearly long enough after I finally crawled into bed @ 2:15 am.  My sister's arrival at 9:00 pm the night before with a chilled bottle of Prosecco were just what I needed to get my second wind.   With the truck packed to it's gills, we called it a night, desperate for sleep & yet eager for the sun to rise, to get on the road to Boston.

Sunday the 2nd of May just happened to be one of those crazy New England days when the temperature was already 80 degrees by 10:00 am, and would continue to rise to 90 degrees by some reports I heard.   My mantra all the way to Boston? 
"Please let this VFW hall have air conditioning...Please let this VFW hall have air conditioning..."

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 Boston or Bust!

We arrive at 11:00 on the dot, and for a moment it looks like a mini~version of the New York Garment District back in it's hey~day.

NY Garment District 
(photo courtesy of Absolute Astronomy)

Racks of fabulous vintage clothing being wheeled across the parking lot by men in suits with bow ties and ladies dressed to the nines . . . my heart begins to pound.  The clock ticks away, and before we knew it, the crowd had pushed through the door well before high noon and the pandemonium began.  My heart begins to pound again~~we were nowhere even close to ready for the torrential crowd of vintage~treasure~hunters streaming in.

(Photo courtesy of N'East Style)

The crowd was, I believe, far above and beyond what any of us expected.  The fabulous Christine of Carmen & Ginger is a seasoned Flea~Market queen and said she had never experienced anything like it.  So you can only imagine what the experience was like for this Flea~Market virgin.  

(photo courtesy of Carmen & Ginger)

In actuality, these photos were snapped much later in the day, when we finally had a moment to step out from behind our booths.  

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I met this adorable vintage~loving gal who gladly obliged my request to snap her photo in these fabulous "SULTRY" sunglasses handmade in England (I'm quite sure she told me her name and I apoligize for forgetting). 

 Taylor shopping at The Red Velvet Shoe
(photo courtesy of Red Bird Vintage.)  

The lovely Taylor spent quite a bit of time at The Red Velvet Shoe, and she was a pleasure to behold.  A vision of vintage fashion and was one of three awarded the
 "Top Shelf Flea Market 2010 Best Dressed Award" by Red Bird Vintage.  I would have to agree.  She bought one of my favorite dresses and I am hoping she will manage to share a photo of her wearing it someday!

It was such a pleasure to meet some "fans", if you will, of The Red Velvet Shoe.  "Julie", the winner of my Springtime Vintage Give~Away, was one of the first through the door and was just thrilled that the vintage swimsuit she had her eye on was on the rack~a pleasure meeting you, Julie!  I also met the adorable "Sarah" who found "The Shoe" via a friend on Facebook and made her way down to Somerville to come say hello & show her support.  I hope those of you who found something make good on your word to send photos & keep in touch! 

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 My friend Brooke checking out the goods.

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(Jay & David)

The boys were fine, there was beer.

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(Brooke, Kelsi & Brandi~Lynn)

And lots of pretty girls...

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Fellow comrades of vintage Amy of Artifaktori & Christine of Carmen & Ginger looking fabulous in their vintage ensembles (Amy was freezing, thus the bizarre color combo & hangtag hanging off her sleeve.)   I can't really explain the hat, you'll have to ask her.

Joe of An Affordable Wardrobe 

Our fearless leader & mastermind behind the day: Joe (aka Giuseppe) of An Affordable Wardrobe
donning a real madras sports coat & his namesake "Giuseppe" bow tie from Ellie LaVeer Stager.

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My amazing sister & assistant for the day Brandi~Lynn, with friends & supporters Merrie & Michelle.


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You know you have great friends when they drive over an hour on the hottest day of the year to show their support.   Not to mention sticking around to help pack up & making it fun despite the sensation you could possibly tip over from exhaustion at any moment.  My sister Brandi~Lynn was above and beyond the best assistant I could have ever had and it is quite clear I could not have done it without her.  Of course I have to mention my DH & my adorable daughter for all their help & support for making this day possible for The Red Velvet Shoe.  Suffice it to say that my domestic duties have seriously fallen by the wayside & they did a great job trying to keep things together while I prepared for this fabulous vintage extravaganza. 

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I dressed Coco my dressform in one of my favorite ensembles that belonged to my grandmother.  Apparently, my grandmother had great taste, I think over 50 shoppers asked to purchase this dress, which I had to disappoint them with those heart~breaking words: "It's not for sale."  They found other treasures, though, and shop they did! 

My grandparents c1950s

I also brought this great photo of my grandparents & displayed it on an easel.  As you may know, my grandmother played a major part in nurturing my adoration for vintage clothing & finery, so I had to have her there, if only in a photograph.  One of the highlights of my day was when this lovely girl came up to me with it in her hand and said "How much is this?  I love it!"  (Note to self: mark things that aren't for sale as NOT FOR SALE next time)  I took it as the ultimate compliment.

There were so many vendors with fabulous vintage treasures I didn't even have a chance to properly meet or photograph.  Here are some links to a few other great reviews about The Top Shelf Flea Market which I will add to as I come accross them.

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."  Arnold Toynbee


Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (24)

Let's just call it a BLUR OF A DAY!!





xx ~ Michelle


To celebrate our anniversary, my DH planned a little get~a~way to Cape Cod.  Anyone who grew up in New England most likely spent at least one week of summer vacation "on The Cape".  My family spent many.  We would rent a little seaside cottage and literally live on the beach for the entire week. 
It was divine . . . if you were a kid.  In retrospect, being an adult and a mother now, I seriously doubt it was divine for my Mom.  Five kids covered in sand, constantly hungry & trying to drown each other in the surf is a far cry from divine.  Now I know why they always had a night out alone, without any kids.  She probably needed a week alone by that point. 

Antique photograph of children at the shore 

Then there's the traffic.  That's the "not~so~divine" part for the Dad.  You would think, after all these years, someone would figure out a way to overcome the ever~present traffic issue for visiting Cape Cod.  I remember watching my step~father at the wheel, he would start out feigning optimism, but there was that last bend in the road before you saw it:  miles and miles and miles of red tail lights flashing in the distance.  "I hope everybody used the bathroom before we left" was all he would say.  He inevitably had a migraine by the time we arrived at our little shack by the sea.  Not so divine.

Vintage traffic

As we made our way down Route 6, I started to wonder how the Kennedy's handle this traffic issue.  Perhaps they know some secret back road passage that lands them smack in the middle of "Le Compound" in Hyannis-port?   "Maybe they still helicopter in", said DH.  Must be nice, I thought, staring at the line of cars ahead.  I shifted my thoughts to one of the best things about going away: food.  Suddenly, I'm hungry. 

Gourmet Brunch Hyannis, MA Breakfast at Gourmet Brunch in Hyannis, MA 

Brunch at "GB" ~ the original Gourmet Brunch.  517 Main Street, Hyannis.  Trust me on this one.

The Puritan Clothing Company Hyannis, MA

A walk along Main Street, the kind of old~fashioned, brick storefronts with colorful awnings Main Street that I adore, brought us to this Massachusetts landmark store:  The Puritan Clothing Company.  Founded in 1919 by Mr. Abraham Penn.  His goal?  

To provide classic, impeccably tailored clothing and personalized service and each had to be of the highest quality possible in order to succeed.

A quick visit inside the store proved that, nearly 100 years later, they continue to employ this formula for success.  I observed as a client of the establishment was waited on by a store clerk who knew his shopping history, he actually knew when the gentleman had purchased the garment he was discussing.  That's impressive.  Mr. Penn would be quite pleased.  My heart went pitter~patter: old~world boutique style shopping with attentive & personalized service.  My dream lives.

Tim's Books Main St. Hyannis

Unfortunately, I didn't make it into Tim's Books, but will make a point to on our next visit.

JFK Museum Hyannis, MA

We couldn't leave without enjoying a visit to the JFK Museum.  A gallery of beautiful images of the Kennedy family, some practically life~size so it seems as if they are right there with you.  Various monitors playing brief films of "The Days of Camelot" give it a very nostalgic charm, not to mention a great peek at the fashions of the day.  That Jackie, even hanging around the compound or sailing, she always looked fabulous.

Jackie O sailing
(Photo courtesy of LIFE)

We continue down Main Street, and lo and behold:  PLUSH & PLUNDER~~a vintage clothing shop.  My DH rolls his eyes, but, as this is a romantic get~away in celebration of our wonderful marriage, with his hand on the small of my back, he guides me through the door . . .  he lasted about 30 seconds, but I could have spent the entire day.  This is one of those shops that you could literally spend a day in and probably not see everything.  It has an almost museum~quality to it, and yet it's very comfortable to shop in.  I met Aimee, who, with her mother, has operated Plush & Plunder for almost 30 years.  Well known and shopped by some of the world's biggest entertainment celebrities (Demi Moore, Cyndi Lauper, Lee Remick, Julie Harris, Rita Moreno, Debbie Reynolds, Carol Channing, Christopher Reeves, Jaimie Farr of "M*A*S*H," John Ritter, Lyle Lovett, Tim Robbins and Shania Twain to name just a few)  they've carved a niche that I could only dream of.   We chatted "vintage" for a bit, exchanged cards and I went on my merry way.

The Brazilian Grill 

We had an amazing dinner experience at Brazilian Grill.  Let the reviews speak for me:

ZAGAT SURVEY 2006/07/08
"Come very hungry and try to pace yourself  at this phenomenon in Hyannis.  Enjoy an endless stream of sweet servers bearing delicious sizzling meats"
FODOR REVIEW 2006/07/08
The Brazilian Grill is the most remarkable place to eat on Cape Cod. "

Again, trust me on this.  Even my DH was beyond impressed, and that's quite a feat. 
It was a great little "Get~Away" and now I'm ready to get to work for The Top Shelf Flea!!  I'll also be announcing my Spring Give~Away this week~end, so be sure to check back for details.

Cape Cod Canal




xx ~ Michelle

"I DO"


This week we are celebrating our nine~year wedding anniversary (you may remember this post a few years ago) and part of my ritual is to look at our wedding & honeymoon photographs.  It's pure nostalgia~~not to mention we were younger, thinner & kid~free (for a little while, anyway!)

Retro summer fashion by the sea

Happy Anniversary Darling 

But I have found
marriage, like wine,
gets better with age.


xx ~ Michelle



With the plague of rain still upon us, I don't have much time to waste spend blogging as the H2O level in my basement continues to rise.  Of course the flood has to hit AFTER my DH has a brand new washer & dryer delivered for me ~~ (you know you've been married a long time when this is a cause for great excitement!)  and right when I need to be working & preparing for The Top Shelf Flea. 

I do, however, wish to share the following three Highly Recommended Blog Posts (Two for purely selfish reasons, I admit).


Our fearless leader for the Top Shelf Flea has at long~last posted the list of vendors who will be marketing their vintage treasures, so click on the link above to visit his fabulous blog that's all about "how to be a well~dressed man even if one has a small budget for fashion" ~~ or in his coy words:
"Penury is not an excuse."


My Californian~Blond~Goddess blogger pal, who I've written about in the past , has once again given The Red Velvet Shoe a front & center spot in her latest blog post all about Vintage Lingerie.  She did all the leg~work finding some of the best vintage lingerie out there, so if you're in the mood for some OO~LA~LA, click the link above & go take a peek, we won't tell!


Funny, I wonder how many people not directly involved in the "fashion world"  would even know what the word sartorial meant just five years ago . . . interesting.  As is the little contest Mr. Schuman is hosting on his blog right now~~submit a favorite antique/vintage photo of someone who inspires you in some fashionable way and, if you're photo is chosen . . . you'll have to go see what the prize is~just click the link above.  Unfortunately, his blog isn't that easy to navigate around, so you'll have to just scroll back through the posts to find the actual contest post.  Numerous beautiful sepia~tone photos await you, so it shouldn't be that painful!

Stinkin rain (3) 
Definitely not as bad as this! 

xx ~ Michelle


In light of the fact that 49 of the US states has snow reported, I thought I would share some family photos & our obsession with a certain vintage fur hat:

I want that hat!

"I want that hat, I'm going to grab it when she looks the other way. . .The Sartorialist  would love this, it's all he's posting now that New York finally has some real weather . . . "

She wears it well

"You can take my picture, but now I'll have to kill you . . ."

I look fabulous!

"Oh come on, you know it looks much better on me!"

Cousin It! 

"Oh well, it's Mommy's anyway!"

vintage Shepards Department Store mink hat

This great vintage fur hat is from the late Shephard's Department Store, which was the place to shop in Providence, RI back in the day . . . according to this article, it was the place to shop in New England.  It was a beautiful old~world style store, here are some photographs I found:

Westminster St. Providence Shepherd Bldg.

These photographs were taken rather recently, sadly I couldn't find any old b&w photographs to share.  I'm sure they're out there, I hope they are . . .


My DH (who is just a few years my senior) remembers driving to Providence for a day of shopping.  It was a big deal.  They wore their Sunday best, everyone was dressed: gentlemen in suits, or at the very least, shirt & tie, and the ladies wore dresses or suits, with matching handbags & gloves . . . a far cry from what you see at the mall today (not that I go to the mall, you know my disdain for it . . . but having a 7 year old little lady, at times one must concede . . . )

(photos courtesy of Joukowsky Institute Home)

The famous "Shepards Clock"

"Meet me under the clock!"

Everyone knew exactly what & where you meant, and this expression is practically a legend around here . . . thus, our adoration of "the hat" . . . I think I'm going to keep it.



xx ~ Michelle


Fall is here in full swing, with winter biting at it's heels...
Photo courtesy of Etsy seller
For a vintage fashion lover, having four seasons as we do in New England, is an absolute delight!  Yes, you have to re~arrange your closet every few months...Yes, you have to always be prepared to wear a fur coat to a late September wedding because there could be snow, or at the very least a very cool sea breeze at that outside ceremony that leaves you wishing you had grabbed that wonderful old vintage flask you found at the antique store for just such an occasion...
You may, when you learn that the fabulous party you were supposed to attend has been canceled due to  a "Nor Easter"  find yourself harboring feelings of jealousy toward all those sunny California vintage gals who get to wear playsuits and swimsuits and pretty summer dresses and sandals all year~~who never have to worry about freezing to death or ruining their vintage 1940s suede shoes in the snow, or having a party canceled due to beautiful white fluffy stuff that just can't wait another day to drop in for a visit...
But those moments are few and far between, because we, dear New England vintage gals,  have officially entered
The perfect vintage sweater!
Aside from my Mom's friend Marie, who came to a mid~August dinner party in a fluffy angora sleeveless turtleneck sweater which prompted me to ask "How can you stand to be wearing that in this heat?" and who nonchalantly replied "Oh, I'm dying, but I look good, don't I?" ~~I really don't think there are many ladies who would choose to wear a sweater when the weather is sweltering...
Which is why, when Fall rolls around, so do the vintage sweaters!
One of the biggest complaints I hear from girlfriends is that vintage sweaters make you look like a "little old lady", that they look "dated". 
While I admit this CAN be true, it doesn't HAVE to be...
For the simple reason:
(Photo courtesy of Jenesaisquoi via Chictopia)
(Photo courtesy of SNOOD)
(Photo courtesy of Raden Prisya)
Vintage Gray Sweater Vintage Polka Dot White Skirt Vintage Pumps Red Shoes Chanel Cuff Black Accessories Vintage Black Belt Chanel Compact Black Accessories
(Photo courtesy of Lady Melbourne via Chictopia)
Now, I'm sure you will agree, there is nothing "Old Lady~ish" or "Dated" about these fashionable ladies
and their take on how to wear a vintage sweater.
Black vintage cardigan pink wide seam tights
Here is one of my favorite vintage sweaters and how I wore it last week:
  • Aston hand knitted lambswool & angora vintage cardigan
  • Pink wool~blend Gap skirt
  • Black & fuchsia wide~seamed hosiery
  • Black suede ankle strap platform heels Nine West
  • Hot pink vintage lucite bangle
  • Antique black onyx & silver cocktail ring
  • My favorite vintage black fur coat
Now use your imagination, have some fun with your wardrobe and create your own unique way to wear your grandmother's sweater!






xx ~ Michelle


You never know what you'll find via your "Stats", do you? 

Last week I was checking out my "Blog Visitor Stats" and saw a link to a place I'd never been before
(in cyberville, that is). I clicked on the link and found, not only a fantastic vintage clothing blog with tons and tons of vintage fashion inspiration
but also that I had been honored with this Kreativ Blogger Award!

So please, take a moment to go visit


and take a long, leisurely stroll around her wonderful corner of vintage blogsville!  Thanks again, Jaynie!

 One thing she mentioned that she liked about my blog is that I show pictures of myself in my vintage clothes. . .well, truth be told, I take lots of pictures in my vintage clothes but have actually posted very few of them.  With ladies like Giselle Brady & Co. wandering around, it's a bit intimidating to this 5 foot vintage munchkin!

But I will share this photo from a wedding we attended yesterday~~it's a feathered hat that was my grandmother's. . .I'm really not a "hat" person, but this was a great way to break the ice, as it sits more like a headband and doesn't feel too overwhelming on.

1940s feathered hat

I received many compliments on it, and it was such a pleasure to be able so say "It was my grandmother's".  If you are fortunate enough to still have your grandparents around, be sure to take good care of all the treasures they give you, they will be priceless one day. . .

I'll be working on my list of "SEVEN EXCEPTIONAL BLOGS & SEVEN THINGS I LOVE" . . how ever will I choose??

Also, I finally created a separate page for my favorite links~~be they vintage/fashion/domestic/French or just plain fun, you'll find them here.  It will be an ongoing process to update and organize them as I find new wonderful inspiration!





xx ~ Michelle



Summer has most definitely arrived here at the North East Coast. . .and with it the daily wardrobe conundrum~~what should I wear?  Old J Crew cotton drawstring shorts and a soft, cool baggy Gap T~shirt call loudly from the bottom drawer each day, especially if it's just a lazy day at home.  And while that is more than fine for some hot, lazy summer days hiding out from the heat & humidity, watching old movies and eating ice cream sandwiches & popsicles,  one does eventually have to venture out into the "Real World"  (if only to replenish the Ice Cream Sandwich & Popsicle supply!)

So what's a gal to wear?


Green 4 Leaf Clover 60s Playsuit from Billy Goat Vintage on Etsy

The Romper/Play-suit/Jumper has made a big comeback

via Stylefeeder

but there is still a bit of a debate about the look.

I guess it all comes down to "HOW" you wear it.  It can look amazing, or downright horrible.

But when you think about it, that is true about almost every fashion trend, don't you agree?  While rompers and play suits have been around forever


They are a bit of a "trend" right now and if you are a vintage clothing lover there are some amazing pieces out there, like this adorable little number below (click on the image to find out the details, it is still available, so hurry!)

Sailor Romper Vintage Playsuit 1970s Shorts XL

I love this sailor~inspired little number.  Alas, it is already in the closet of some very fortunate vintage gal!

Vintage 1980s Romper/Playsuit

Sunglasses: Vintage, Made in France
Romper:  1980s Vintage (no label)
Purse:  Vintage wicker clutch, Made In Italy
Shoes:  michelle K

Here's how I'm wearing "Le Romper" this summer~~we spent the afternoon on our boat and at the pool~~it was quite comfortable to wear*, and I was very cool despite the heat that day.  I paired it with some flat leather sandals (for practicality!) and that made for a more dressed down, casual look. *(Downside:  You have to practically take the suit off to use the restroom.)

What's your take on the Romper/Playsuit look?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.  And if you are on the hunt for the perfect little romper for those dog days of August just ahead, here is a cute one I just added to "The Shoe"

now available at The Red Velvet Shoe!

Have a wonderful week!



xx ~ Michelle


100_2018After a rather long hiatus, I am pleased to say the new website is almost completely up and running, although the things I wished to change seemed, in the end, not so important to change.  I wanted a more professional, store~front look to the boutique, but as I am not exactly website designer savvy & was hoping to avoid a big investment for a small dream I explored all my options and did what was in my power to do~~ a cosmetic makeover.

I think life can be like that. . .we harbor over things we think should be different, but in the end, realize "that " difference would not have made such a big difference after all.   Especially when REAL LIFE  kicks in. . .

And real life kicked in for me a week ago Tuesday when my mom called to say my grandmother had been rushed to the hospital. . . and this was the beginning of a three day vigil at her bedside.  A massive stroke led to a coma which led to her unwanted yet very peaceful death. . .

This is a "Generations" photograph we took at my mom's last year.  She had the most beautiful white, glistening hair & twinkling blue eyes. . . she didn't really smile in this photo which I regret but when she did she could make a whole room full of people smile.

So this has been a sad ,sorrowful time, but also a time of reflection for what is truly important & worthwhile. . .I didn't want to make this a place for self~indulgence but I feel it would be an injustice to not note this important person in my family's history. . .



xx ~ Michelle

Take Me Out to the Ballgame II

So anyway:

We went to see the Pawtucket Red Sox at Mc Coy Stadium on Sunday afternoon and here are some fun photos for you:

100_2429 With our beloved Auntie Brandi ( aka "Arden")

100_2435 And here I am with my little tomboy!!

100_2431 Here's her favorite Uncle Bunckle & Daddy . . .

They invited all the kids to run the bases so we got in line. . . oh the things in life we line up for!!  Must say this was well worth the 15 minute wait:

100_2441 She's off and running. . .

100_2442 There's no stopping her now!!

100_2444 Clearing third. . .there's s no end in sight!!!

100_2450 We have a winner~~well, at least according to Mom & Dad!!

By the way, did I tell you before my husband decided to become a chiropractor he wanted to be a baseball player???  That is another post for another day, isn't it? 

And after all of that we celebrated with a good old fashioned. . .(see next post, I ran out of room!)

xx ~ Michelle