Heads up! I have recently cleared out my closet of a massive amount of things that no longer fit me or my evolving style. It’s all posted right over here. Anything you purchase goes to help pay for my blog: the hosting, the wardrobe, the time it takes to write and photograph and style everything, the gas to get to locations, and eventually probably a new computer. 😉 So thank you for looking! And if you have any questions, definitely feel free to ask!
The Dress of Dreams
I am fairly certain that nearly everyone in the vintage and reproduction world has something called a “DISO”. This term was not something I was familiar with until I joined a Buy, Sell, Trade group on Facebook, and slowly I was immersed into the acronyms of that particular group – DISO, BST, BUMP, ISO, NWT, EUC, and so many others. When I first noticed the trend of “help me find my DISO!” I was not quite sure what this meant. ISO means “in search of” but DISO? Eventually, I learned that it meant “desperately in search of” and was the equivalent of your dream item. That pair of shoes you’ve been hunting for ages. The novelty print dress that was discontinued years ago. The hopes and dreams of a particular garment that might just turn up in reproduction BST groups.
But I could never quite figure out if I had one. What was my dream dress? Sure, 1940’s windowpane prints make me weak in the knees, and I leap at any opportunity to buy a full-skirted plaid shirtwaist from the 50’s. I’ve recently filled my closet with a plethora of midcentury button down housewife dresses, and the sight of my closet now makes me squeal with glee. Yet, I had never had one particular dress in mind. Nothing I was so desperate for that I would buy on sight.
And then, as I browsed Etsy for full-skirted gems in to add to my Christmas wishlist, I saw this dress.
Its colorful skirt, headscarf-esque print, flowers, and full skirt spoke to me like very few dresses have. I had to have it. I itched to snatch it up right away, but was in the process of listing items from my closet to sell, and did not realistically have the funds. I had just bought several 40’s and 50’s dresses (that have arrived and do not disappoint!) and had told myself no more purchases until I made a few sales and let the dust settle. But this dress. This dress was the DISO item I never knew I needed.
A long day passed, and I made a sale. Enough to cover half of the dress’s cost. I messaged the seller, asking if she might let me purchase it on layaway, and she agreed. Anxiously, I waited an entire night for her to send me an invoice. I fretted that the dress might get snatched up in the meantime. Like none other, this dress had me wanting to jump the gun and buy it on the spot. But then, miraculously, another sale poured in and I had the funds.
And in the space of two days, I made the purchase. I rarely snap up items this quickly; I had a dreamy strawberry embellished purse on my wishlist for more than six months before I finally decided to buy it (at only $14). I leave items in my online cart for weeks before I make purchases. The only time I snag garments quickly, now, is in the BST group when I know a particular seller is posting and her glorious hoard of dresses might get bought within a few seconds’ time.
And even then, I have let gorgeous items pass to the next buyer, and limit myself as to what I buy. In person, this dress did not disappoint.While my bust line fills it out a bit more than I had expected, I’m willing to bet that it will fit like a dream post breastfeeding, and it will be worth the wait. For now, I have to disguise a slightly awkward neckline with scarves, fur collars, and safety pins.
Having purged my closet of many items that don’t fit, I am feeling excited to get dressed again.
After having had two kids in 19 months time, and then breastfeeding for a total of 22 months so far, it’s been hard to work around the restrictions of pregnancy and nursing. I gained about 50 pounds after having Evie, and while it is shedding slowly, it’s a VERY slow process. So, many items have lingered in my closet for a while until finally I was done. My style has changed in the last 14 months, as has my body. I may lose all of the weight gained, but my shape is not likely to go back to what it was before kids.
And the more I hung on to old clothes that didn’t fit, the more I felt myself dragged down by a closet full of wishes. The “I wish I was that size again” clothes; “I wish I had a 27″ waist again”, “I wish I knew what to do with this new body”, “I wish I could just squeeze a bit smaller.”
I am still attempting to convince myself to let go of the last few beloved things; skirts that were already a tad hard to wear when I was at my thinnest, that likely I’ll never be able to fit into again. The beloved plaid wool skirts sit in a basket, waiting. I hold onto hope that I might wear them someday. But for now, I’m reveling in a plethora of new dresses that fit me perfectly. That aren’t a snug fit. That make me look exactly how I want to look and don’t remind me of the body I had before.
For some, hanging on to garments that don’t fit is motivation. For me, it has the opposite effect. I stare at too-small dresses and think “how will I ever fit that again?” and then shove chocolate into my mouth because reaching that goal seems impossible. It’s a ridiculous way to react, I know, but it’s just how I’m wired. Owning things that fit and make me feel pretty is far better motivation than things that don’t fit and make me feel lumpy.
And this dress was step one in that direction. This dress made me excited to get dressed; it made me want to put in the effort for a trip to the grocery store. And it was worth it! Aside from feeling great, it also creates conversations. People ask if I’m doing a photoshoot, or why I dress like this, or where I get my clothes. I love creating conversations about those things; about the fact that I love to dress like this, that yes I do know it’s vintage (ha!), and that I dress like this because why not.
Why not dress in a way that makes you happy? You don’t have to wait for a magic number on the scale, or special permission from someone in your life: just go for it. If you haven’t seen it yet, I talk about this in a feature on Miss Semi Sweet’s Vintage Style Sunday. I didn’t realize it, really, until I filmed that feature, but I am very passionate about encouraging people to dress how they want to dress. I talk about how I used to feel that I wasn’t worth it, or that I couldn’t wear pretty things because I was the chubby girl. And that is so silly!
I hope you’ll watch it and enjoy! I’ve been a bit off in filming my outfit videos lately, but I’m excited to get back into it with my next post, as well as filming a clothing haul.
And that brings me to one last little thing: for a long time, I have wanted to make this blog and my YouTube channel a reliable place of income. As a mom, I really want to be able to stay home with my kids, but still provide some sort of consistent income to pay for this blogging space and help cover our bills. While I do earn a little from affiliate linking, it’s not reliable and doesn’t pay for a lot.
So after a lot of thought, I’ve created a Patreon. This means if you pledge to donate a monthly amount, even a dollar, you’re helping me do the things I love: stay at home to raise my kids, be a housewife, and also run this blog and my channel. And you get stuff in return! If enough support is raised, I’ll be able to start a retro sewing series, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and start more hair and makeup tutorials and reviews! (You get more than that, though: you could be the one to get a full retro/vintage outfit chosen and styled by me! But otherwise, you get outtakes, blog post previews, “how to style” videos, and much more that will only be seen for those who support this blog!)
If this sounds like something you want to do, then please do check out my page. If not, rest assured just your comments and clicks give me so much support and I’m so thankful for all of you and everything you do to encourage me!
Dress, Trailer Park Flamingo Vintage on Etsy | vintage fur collar, gift | ladybug brooch, gift from Lotty Dotty vintage | Belt, belonged to another dress | purse, vintage/thrifted | boots, Amazon | tights, Target | wearing my Orchard Corset corset beneath for support (c/o item)