March 29, 2010

Villains Vault

This weekend I did a little shopping in the Haight. The highlight was Villains Vault, always a great spot for fashion forward finds. They have a fun selection of sunglasses right now. I especially loved the ones above. Pardon the phone photos, the shopping was impromptu after a delicious brunch at Zazie. While the photo doesn’t do these beauties justice, you can still get a feel for the 70s butterscotch color of these vintage Dior shades from the distributor Rare Vintage Sunglasses. Apparently Villains received 15 pairs last week and there were only 2 left on Saturday. The slightly cat-eyed shape of the bottom pair is really on trend but it’s subtle so they’re still timeless.

These Ksubi wayfarers also caught my eye. I love the blue ones for summer.

I love this creamy leather jacket, a great piece for spring in SF. The oversized collar is fierce (!) and there is cloth down the sides for a more comfortable fit. It looks great over a dress or with a pair of skinnies.

March 25, 2010

sandal report: strappy heels

photos from InStyle

If you’re looking to make a statement, shoes are a great place to start. They can transform a look entirely, making a simple outfit instantly updated and chic. A fun statement shoe option this season is a substantially strappy heel. Look for something that show some skin and toes, but covers a large part of foot for an edgy look that works for both day and night. I especially like strappy heels with all types of skirts and dresses or loose pants rolled up to just above the top of the shoe. Try shorts too! Here are some strappy heel ideas:

strappy heelps
strappy heels by elisabethcarr featuring Chinese Laundry shoes

March 22, 2010

spring trend: coral

can't get enough coral
can’t get enough coral by elisabethcarr featuring Stella McCartney jewelry

I’ve fallen in love with the color coral. I think it started after I purchased a dove gray boyfriend blazer from Aritzia (similar to the one above but certainly not even close to $1K!). I really like the way the gray looks with this pretty pink/orange and it inspired the above Polyvore. While most of these items are crazy overpriced, I like to draw inspiration from designers and then adopt it into my wardrobe with something reasonably priced. For example I love American Apparel’s Fine Jersey T Dress in coral and it’s just $26.

downtown shopping: shotwell

I’ve been meaning to check out Shotwell for a while now—I see their reusable shopping bags on many Mission girls so I figured it was worth a visit. My friend Monica and I stopped in on Saturday while we were doing some spring shopping downtown. Shotwell is on Grant Avenue right by Chinatown, a funny spot for an indie boutique but also conveniently located across the street from American Apparel so I imagine the two share customers. Union Square has always lacked interesting boutiques so it’s nice to see one thriving. The owners sold vintage clothes out of their apartment on Shotwell in the Mission before opening the store. They maintain the Mission feel with an edgy and unique assortment of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, many by local designers. The price point isn’t too steep and there’s a big sale section upstairs.  

March 17, 2010

p.s.- i made this...

Who What Wear referred me to a great website today, P.S.- I Made This, a Tumblr blog with ideas and easy to follow instructions for how to create your own versions of the latest trends. Creator Erica Domesek follows the motto, “I see it, I like it, I make it.” I love this rosette headband inspired by Chanels Spring Couture Collection.

March 15, 2010

mission vintage:collective

I’ve been a fan of the label Taxi CDC since I first spotted some of their pieces at Candystore Collective. The style is reconstructed vintage, clothes re-cut and tailored to modern styles. I was excited to learn that the owner recently opened a boutique on Valencia at 26th called Collective—an entire store of Taxi CDC! My friend Chelsea and I stopped in last weekend during a tour of the Mission’s vintage stores. When we first walked in the door we were in awe of the assortment of vintage boots (tastefully) covering the floor. There must have been at least 50 pairs in all sizes (normally it’s so hard for a size 9 like me to find vintage shoes). There were also tons of Taxi CDC dresses, skirts, sweaters, and also shirts for men. I noticed that the prices at the boutique were significantly less expensive than what’s listed on the website. Collective also features jewelry by local artists and I bought a cool pair of really long earrings made of thin pieces of suede.

Above are Taxi CDC scarves and leather Obi belts. I have two of the belts and love the way they define my waist in a normally shapeless dress or long top.

Love this rainbow of reconstructed Lacoste sweaters.

March 11, 2010

old hat estate sale this weekend

Photo by Noah Sanders

Here’s a story I wrote for Mission Loc@l that posted today:

There’s an Estate Sale at Guerrero and 19th this weekend. To most that means a retro couch or lamp for the living room? A dress for the upcoming Mad Men-themed party? Rare books, collectible coins, fur coats, record players, and encyclopedias from 1937?

To Alex Healy, an estate sale is about uncovering secrets buried for decades, unearthing treasures jammed into garbage bags and tossed into the dark corner of the garage. Healy—a fashion designer, fashionista, and Mission-dweller—recently founded Old Hat, a San Francisco estate sale business.

After shopping at picked-over sales in the city for years, she decided she wanted to be the first person get to the goods. She didn’t necessarily realize she’d also be the first person to get a view into the lives of people she will never be able to meet. “Today I read a love letter from World War II” she writes on Old Hat’s blog,  “not a copy, or a picture, or a reproduction, but I actually held the sentiments from a person long since dead in my hands, penned on U.S. Army letterhead.”

Healy invited me to the Guerrero Street house for a sneak peak at the sale. The former homeowners lived in the house for more than 60 years, so I expect it to smell stale or simply old, but instead it just smells like a lonely home.

“Here’s Mary’s room, that’s the living room, over there is Gus’s room,” she says on our tour.  “Gus had a lot of bolo ties. He loved them.”

“I unravel their lives through the things they purchased,” and through the letters they received, and the newspaper clippings they saved, and the hundreds of bills they meticulously filed for years, she says.

Gus and Mary were siblings and neither ever married. Gus was a soldier in World War II and worked at a deli at some point.  He collected coins. Mary received many letters from a love interest during the war but it’s unclear what happened to him. She might have been a nurse, or perhaps she just enjoyed wearing scrubs in her old age, Healy says.

Because I love vintage clothes, our first stop is Mary’s closet.  It’s full of print dresses, handbags, shoes, coats and (of course) old hats. I resist the urge to try anything on because the sale doesn’t start until Friday and it’s as if Mary’s clothes aren’t quite ready to leave.

We continue through the different rooms and Healy shows me the floral embroidered sofa and armchair set, a working Packard Bell television from the 50s, a Venus shortwave radio, and drawers filled with pajamas still in their packages.

The bathroom cabinet reveals an untouched Dopp kit complete with a picture frame to admire your ladylove while you shave. In the kitchen I lust after a set of four water glasses, probably from the early 1950s, with scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer, Gulliver’s Travels, and The Wizard of Oz. There’s even a relatively new washer/dryer set for the more practical bargain hunters.

During the tour Healy introduces me to many of the items she has found but also points to the bags that still need to be unpacked before the sale. “It’s incredible what we can accumulate in a lifetime,” she says.  “I just can’t go through everything. Maybe there’s something priceless in a cigar box that I didn’t have time to open.”

There’s one mystery Healy knows she hasn’t solved: a locked trunk in Gus’s closet with no key. Think you can open it?  A Ten dollar bill gets you a ten-minute attempt to unlock the trunk without damaging it. Winner takes all.

Old Hat’s first estate sale is located at 719 Guerrero St. It will be open Friday, March 12th from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 13th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 14th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Check for more upcoming sales.

Elisabeth Carr is a guest blogger for Mission Loc@l and the creator of

March 10, 2010

sunny day post: allyn scura glasses

photos by Katy Dormer

Now that the sun has finally come out for more than a few hours I can post about one of my favorite sunglasses finds, Allyn Scura’s vintage frames at the Alameda flea market. Scott Iseyama, co-owner of Allyn Scura, is there every month with hundreds of frames from the 18th century to the 1980s at a variety of pricepoints. Most of them don’t have lenses but he’ll put them in for you and mail them 2 days later or you can take them to any optometrist. I paid $25 for a non-prescription tint at the optometrist near my office. Scott’s stand is always buzzing with people and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them go to the flea market just for his glasses.

March 8, 2010

sewing project: simple skirt

When I was in middle school my mother, a gifted seamstress and craftswoman, signed me up for sewing lessons. My friend Chelsea and I did it together and our crowning accomplishments were elastic waist shorts (I believe mine were Hawaiian print) and reversible vests (either Chelsea’s or mine definitely featured sunflowers). I gave up sewing for a long time but recently had the urge to start up again. My mom gave me a machine for my birthday last year and she has helped me with a few projects since, the latest being this simple A-line skirt. Full skirts are big this season and I based mine off the J.Crew version below. I used a slightly stretchy chambray that cost $3. We didn’t use a pattern, just measured another similar skirt I already owned and added on a bit for seam allowance. The pockets turned out a little small but overall I’m pretty pleased. Thanks for your help Mom!

March 5, 2010

spring sandle report: buckle up

When you want comfort and style, you can never go wrong with flat sandals. Throwing on a pair of flip flops is always an easy solution, but sometimes you need to step it up with something a little more sophisticated. Sandals with buckles allow you to be dressed up yet simultaneously casual. Below are some of my favorites for spring. Hit the links below each collage to take you to my Polyvore page where you’ll find the different designers and prices.

urban jungle
urban jungle by elisabethcarr featuring Eric Michael sandals

black and white
black and white by elisabethcarr on

go blue
go blue by elisabethcarr featuring Emilio Pucci shoes

metallic by elisabethcarr featuring Seychelles shoes

March 3, 2010

mission vintage: painted bird

I finally made my first trip to Painted Bird’s new location on Valencia between 24th and 25th. If you’ve never been to this vintage clothing store, it’s definitely worth a trip. The new store feels bigger than the old spot on Guerrero and it’s very well organized.They have a a great selection of clothes and accessories that somehow is usually very on trend despite its vintage status. I saw lots of floral skirts, neutrals, and crossbody bags this weekend. Past visits have rewarded me with a collarless gray blazer,  a nautical scarf, and a graphic print dress I bought for $12 and wear all the time.  I snagged a lace cardigan this time around (below) but the biggest score was the fact that my boyfriend bought two t-shirts. It’s pretty hard to convince him to shop with me so every win counts!

March 1, 2010

working the trend: ankle socks

Ankle socks with bare legs are popping up everywhere. It’s a trend that probably doesn’t feel natural to many people, but I think it can look adorable and very hip when pulled off right. The key with this look is to experiment with different shoes and types of socks to find what feels comfortable for you. J.Crew has been featuring this look a lot for spring and they have a a good selection of different materials like fishnet, nylon, and knit in lots of colors. I love the look above of socks paired with ankle boots and shorts.

Oxfords with socks are another great combo.

Or try sandals. Check out this New York Times article for more comments on the trend.

Almost every look in Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2010 collection featured ankle socks so this trend will be around for a while.