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Suit Up: How to Wear Vintage to Work

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Living this long-distance relationship, self-employed life means that sometimes my schedule is a bit unusual. On top of that, my partner is a chef. If you’ve been in the hospitality industry, you know how wild the hours can be. To make maximum use of the time we can spend together, I keep England time while I’m in America. So I’m awake for the day anytime from 3:00 a.m. – and I take my days off when he gets his.

Yesterday was an off day, and we spent it mostly binge-watching Parks & Recreation (which is new to him). Leslie Knope is seriously one of my idols.

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Leslie Knope print, Etsy // £9

It’s refreshing to see a female character who is career-minded, determined, and strong – but still vulnerable, kind, and sometimes insecure. Honestly, tons of respect to Amy Poehler for making that happen, and Leslie will always have a place in my heart.

So, in honour of Leslie, I’m doing a suit thing today. A girl boss can’t go wrong in a classic suit, and when you stick to basic colours and fabrics, it’s easy to mix-and-match pieces. To add interest to what is a really nicely-cut combination of separates from White House Black Market (the trousers: there are a pair for sale here) and Banana Republic (my favourite blazer ever), I added this vintage waistcoat.

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It’s bold and bright, but the black calms it down just the right amount.  Combining vintage pieces with clean, modern basics can make them doable – in even the most conservative work environments. The top pairs perfectly with the Betsey Johnson bag, too – the chains and bows reference the chains in the waistcoat, without being TOO matchy. Plus, the gold accents all complement each other. (I’m such a Betsey fanatic. She can be over-the-top, but her stuff is lushly feminine and quirky, with hints of Japan, and vintage, and nautical everything. It’s perfect.)

Shop the look, with a similar bag, blazer, & shoes.

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Now, let’s get stuff done!

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Five Things I Wish I Knew: When I Started Selling Clothes Online

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How much is your time + freedom worth to you?
And how can a little success be your worst enemy? Read on to find out.

I am what has become known as a ‘#girlboss’. A ‘#bossbabe’. I prefer entrepreneur.

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At an early point in my adult life, I realised that working for other people was simply not going to be for me. It was ten years ago that I pulled out my laptop and started searching: How to work from home. How to be self-employed. Ideas to make money on the internet. There were a few leads I chased up – but reading about one particular site, which was only a few years old, would change my life forever. That site was Etsy.

Apparently, people were selling jewellery, and art, and anything else they had made, on this site. But that wasn’t all. They were also selling antiques & vintage clothing. I had always considered myself an old soul – with a deep appreciation for 60s music, black and white films, and – lucky me – secondhand clothing. I first started buying and wearing vintage when I was only 15, and I hadn’t looked back since.

After a bit of research, I launched my own Etsy shop in 2008 (it has since been reopened as a UK Shop & USA Shop). Though I saw a little success in my sales, it wasn’t until years went by – years of experimenting, learning, losing hope and getting a “real” job again,  then quitting that “real” job, experimenting some more, and finally – meeting my brilliant and business-savvy boyfriend & partner – that I began to see the income I’ve always wanted (currently grossing an average of over £400 // $550 weekly). And – even better – sales are still steadily improving.

So, if I could go back ten years – what would I tell my younger self?

 

 

Some of my Etsy shop photos, Year One

Continue reading Five Things I Wish I Knew: When I Started Selling Clothes Online