Today I'm featuring one of my wonderful March sponsors, The Blouse Shoppe. Jane and Jenn, the lovely ladies behind the blog and the shop, share loads of thrifting tips, reveal their sources of inspiration and offer a refreshing outlook on the fashion industry.
Oh, and I almost forgot the best part! Jane and Jenn are generously offering SJV readers 15% off on anything in their shop! Just use the coupon code "iamtheeverydaygirl" when you checkout.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves! Who are the gals behind the Blouse Shoppe?
Jane and I definitely love vintage - there's a special place in our hearts for polyester blouses, cotton day dresses and labels with names like "The Fire Island Woman." Jane's style can be described as an everyday rockstar look - and I'm more along the lines of granny chic (ok less chic, more granny).
When we're not finding vintage for the shop or traipsing around the state for blouse shoots, Jane is the lead singer of the band Panther Moderns and can often be found sporting around town in her red mini cooper with her sidekick, a floppy basset hound called Poppy. My non-blouse life includes doing community organizing around women's rights, reading trashy magazines and spending quality time with my lady friend, like late night grocery shopping.
Also - we both love coffee and hate pants.
Your motto is "vintage clothes for the everyday girl". Can you tell us more about that philosophy?
From the beginning of blouse, Jane and I knew that we wanted to niche out a little section in the fashion world that revolved around making women feel good and where all women had options - whether it be decade, style or size. Immediately after we launched, a long distance fan from California emailed us, gushing that she loved our shoppe because in her words, we had vintage options for the everyday girl ... for her. Instantly, we knew she gave us the language for the feelings that we excitedly stammered about from the start – we wanted it to be all about the everyday girl.
It's hard to deny it -- the fashion world can be overwhelming, intimidating and expensive. Although Jane and I both love fashion -- we've both had moments where we have felt its exclusiveness. And being everyday girls ourselves (really, who isn't?), we're looking to create a world where fashion can be empowering, liberating, expressive and accessible. Unfortunately, the fashion world can tend to lurk around corners on bus shelters and glossy magazine pages, tempting us to wish for longer eyelashes, thinner thighs, bigger boobs, thicker wallets. Fashion should use its power to make each of us feel beautiful, not inadequate.
At blouse, our hope is to provide you with a variety of vintage fashions to make you feel as gorgeous as you are -- and to create a place where every everyday girl fits.
What do you look for when you’re out picking for your Etsy shop? Any tips for finding great pieces when out thrifting?
Everyday girls play a big role in what we choose. We love finding dresses and blouses that we know are going to look perfect on our everyday girl models and the garment's future owners. That's part of the beauty of having a shop. You're not limited when it comes to size. Our customers and models are all shapes and sized so we get to buy it all.
Here's blouse's tips on how not to be overwhelmed by the local thrift shop:
1. Edit your picks. We usually fill up our cart till it's absolutely overflowing, find an empty spot in the furniture section, and sort through everything on top of a 1970s velvety couch. Remember: Just because it's $1 doesn't mean it's perfect (I have to frequently remind Jane that one).
2. Shop by section. Dresses first, then shoes, then coats, etc. It makes it a lot less overwhelming to break it up.
3. Set your intention. Jane went shopping the other day with the clear goal of finding high waisted, wide legged, vintage blue jeans. She certainly came home with the perfect pair!
4. Be creative!!! This one is the most important! When in a thrift store you are surrounded by possibility. It's so much fun to think outside of the box and try and figure out how to make someones discarded clothing into a fashion forward look. And the best part is that no one else will have the same look as you! Way better than wearing that one dress from Urban Outfitters that everyone has.
What are some of your everyday sources of fashion inspiration? Do you have favorite blogs that you look at daily?
Jane and I can both get lost in internet-land for hours on end ... with so many good looking women out there doing their thing on such amazing blogs - it's so easy to be inspired. Some of our favorites --- delightfully tacky (www.delightfully-tacky.com), with her bright and fun style and her courage with her songwriting. We love the perfectly put together Lulu Letty (http://lululetty.blogspot.com) - in fact, she immediately inspired Jane to buy a pair of oxfords and start wearing lace collars. Tick Tock vintage (http://ticktockvintage.blogspot.com) is incredibly real and she makes homemade limoncello. We adore Holland 1945 (www.holland1945.com), the perfect everyday girl. Dear Beatrice (http://dearbeatrice.blogspot.com) buys jewelry on the home shopping network and makes her own dresses, need we say more? Jane is grossly jealous of the beautiful blogging duo at Louder than Silence (http://wearelouderthansilence.blogspot.com) and I'm grossly jealous of the wit and smarts over at Huzzah! vintage (http://huzzahvintage.blogspot.com).
You put together a really lovely lookbook for spring! I love all the diner shots. Can you tell us about that?
At the beginning of blouse -- it was definitely the vintage that brought Jane and I together -- but quickly, we realized that our best blouse days were the day long photo shoots -- Jane, as the epitome of the everyday girl and myself, as the wannabe fashion photographer. We travel all over for blouse's shoots -- hauling suitcases of vintage clothes and once in a while, a few extra, willing, everyday girl models. We sneak into football stadiums, take over diners after the lunch crowd leaves and spend some our favorite hours on the docks while the lobstermen pull in their boats. Between styling the looks, finding the location and getting that perfect shot, blouse loves a photo shoot.
Our hope is to inspire all the everyday girls out there with beautiful photographs of beautiful everyday girls wearing our vintage clothes ... doing the everyday things we love.
Do you have any fun, new or exciting things planned for The Blouse Shoppe this year?
We are planning on becoming more involved within out little city, Providence. We're hosting a clothing swap/champagne party, working with local designers and etsy shop owners to do a fashion show, and having a sidewalk shop all summer long where you can shop blouse in person! On the blog - we're going to start a little series called "In the closet with blouse" and start profiling some our our favorite everyday girls.