The Unauthorized History of The BerryBerryStylish Vintage Obsession (An inexpensively classy post as told by Berry, herself.)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved styles and fashion from the past. I mean, looking at the elegance of the 1920’s and the Harlem Renaissance to the sharp dressed men and women of The Civil Rights movement to the meaningful rebellion of the late sixties to the dope neon spandex leggings in the 80’s. Yes, you know I love the 80’s because that’s when I sewed my #berryberrystylish oats!

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Those shoulder pads, though?! CIRCA 1980’S

I was born in Ohio but my life as a young tendah all happened in Lexington, KY. My family moved us to sexy Lex when I just four years old. All of my stylish experiences developed in my hometown. In elementary, I wore suits to picture day.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Josh Gaines was my boyfriend. We were serious–he called me and sat next to me at lunch. But, soon, my tastes for vintage and classic styles drove his love for me away. What? We went to middle school and it got weird. Anyhoo, I put my hands on every teen magazine in my reach and began to study. By high school, I evolved. W magazine was my go-to fashion mag of choice. If men’s suits were on trend, I would sneak into the musty bedroom of my two older brothers while they were sleep and stole their swag.

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9TH GRADE BERRY: This green top was indeed stolen from my brothers’ closet. CIRCA 1993. 

I mean, I didn’t steal–I politely borrowed in the middle of the night. Matter of fact, all family clothes were game to me. Dad’s closet has some jewels in them, too! The next day at school,  I wore my father’s multi-colored and flowered suspenders, my apple green snug textured cami, and my older brother’s pin striped suit with chocolate brown combat boots. You couldn’t tell me nothing. My fashion sense was cutting edge in the bluegrass state.  In college, I began to shop at local thrift stores. There was a cool vintage shop on South Broadway back in the early 2000’s and I got all my corduroys, extremely wide leg pants, and dresses from this place. I couldn’t remember the name. I even googled it. No luck. My mom always told me I was stuck in the wrong decade. The prints and patterns of the 60’s and 70’s give me so much of everything. They rock my world.

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She definitely  took a page from my style book! 

In NYC, the abundance of vintage clothing stores overwhelmed me in every possible GLORIOUS way! Soho is where I first discovered my old go-to shops, “Zachary’s Closet” on Bleecker. It closed a few years ago but since then, I’ve stumbled upon cool boutiques and thrift stores in the all the five boroughs. I am huge fan of Tracy Chambers Vintage in Brooklyn, L Train, and Salvation Army on Steinway in Astoria. Great clothes!

FOX HOUSE VINTAGE IN LEXINGTON,KY 

Now, I’ve been visiting Lexington for the past two weeks and it’s been pretty amazing! And guess what? I found another vintage store gem that I just have to tell you about! Fox House Vintage, a quaint store on 151 East High St. in Lexington, KY, caught my eye while I was hoofing it with my mom to Kroger. My walking game is strong. NYC taught me so well. And, my mom plays no games, either.  So, like a magnet, my body pulled me across the street because that sales rack looked fancy and I immediately imagined the awesomeness that was about to ensue. The print candy and the artful hems were melting in my fashion mouth. So, I grabbed a few winners and walked in to meet the equally fabulous Lauralee, the store owner. Everything was so reasonably priced, I had to look twice, ya’ll. I bought an aquamarine number that fit my curves just right! Check them out when you are ever visiting the sexy Lex! It’d be a worthwhile trip.

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Just $24 at Fox House Vintage! Serving those #coretta vibes…

 

So, I hope to go back before I leave here but loving vintage and being curvy is truly fun because sometimes these clothes nowadays are meant for the shape of a nine year old boy. I mean, I have nothing against them but, you know add some variety for us shapely sixes, eights, and tens. I’m not considered plus but I’m not considered standard size so, I just find what’s right for me, in all stores, and keep it moving. Plus, buying vintage can save you money and we all know how amazing extra money in your pockets would be, right? I think it’s worked for me so far. Vintage is #life.

 

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Mixing Prints like a BOSS!

I’m a sucker for a good time, yall! A good french fry with the right vegan honey mustard. A good date with the appropriate sangria aaaaaaaaaand an AWESOME PRINT! No, I’m not talking books–I’m talking clothing, beautiful ones! I often feel like Ms. Frizzle when I choose to mix prints because I’m a teacher, have big hair, and love wearing eclectic prints on pants, skirts, shirts, and anything, really! Like Ms. Frizzle, she dressed for the adventure she was going on with her amazing students! I’m always out and about so I dress for my BerryBerryStylish adventures!

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“In my last school…” I taught science to 5th graders and they loved anything I wore. If I had a strawberry smoothie stain loud and proud on my shirt, they’d still love me and probably stain their shirt, too. I mean, that’s real love! My high schoolers would call me out on my stain and tell me to change. I guess that’s love too…tough love. So, working in a high school keeps me up on the latest trends but this whole mixing prints is MY THING! And my high schoolers approve!

Soooooooo….with all this being said let me tell you–better yet show you, how to mix prints like a boss. Hey, Melissa Jones; this post is for you!

HOW TO MIX PRINTS LIKE A BOSS (OR LIKE MS. FRIZZLE!)

  • Find a color in each print that compliments each other. I usually try to find black somewhere in the print–even if it’s super tiny. Shoo, I found it and it’s happening! Seriously, complimentary colors are colors opposite each other on the color wheel. blue/orange, red/green, purple/yellow, black/and more black (sinister chuckles.) giphy-33
  • Make sure you mix a small print with a big print. These are only ideal guidelines not hardened facts. If you want to mix BIG prints go right ahead, Frizzle would approve. Mixing small prints with big gives variety to your print #ootd.
  • I love to mix prints in the same print family too! For example, polka dots with polka dots or a circle-like print. Flowers with flowers are super cool as well!
  • Horizontal stripes are for us, too. I realize this is a statement more than a guideline but you can be curvy and wear print! You can have a big booty and wear print! It’s time for us to break the beauty myth around what bigger sized bodies can do or can’t do. GO FOR IT!
  • Analogous colors are pretty amazing to mix. Wait, BerryBerry–What is analogous? Weeeeeellllll, if you are familiar with the color wheel analogous colors are colors next to each other on the color wheel. Blue/green, red/orange, purple/red, yellow/green. ALWAYS FUN!
  • Go to your local thrift store and they are eclectic print magnets! I’ve found so many amazing prints from thrift stores around my neighborhood and other boroughs. The 60’s and 70’s just had those FLY prints that everybody was rocking! giphy-36

 

 

 

 

 

HERE’S MY PRINT ON PRINT ACTION! 

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A BIG navy print with a SMALL lighter blue print on the scarf. I’m playing around with the complimentary colors by adding an orange lip. Shirt&skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT; Shoes: H&M; Lips: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Ibiza.

LET ME SEE YOU ROCK THOSE PRINTS!!!

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Beat + on a budget.

IMG_2387I’ve always been a woman on a budget. My father used to gather his coupons to go to Kroger every other day to find deals. My mom, on the other hand, told me to “TREAT YO’SELF!” within reason, of course. So growing up with these ideas, a girl could feel conflicted. Do I try to save money and treat myself? Yes. The answer is yes.

Loving fashion, beauty, and style has been a passion of mine since I was a third grade diva in Lexington, Kentucky. Watching house of style with Cindy Crawford in the 90’s gave me life on Saturday mornings. So, how could I be just as beautiful and stylish as her? I mean, she was a supermodel. And I, a chubby black teen from the suburbs. Oh, what a paradox!

As I grew older, and moved from KY to NYC, style was a thing here. I worked in Harlem where everyone was bold and unique. I watched and learned and listened to style tips from my people. I needed some help too!  I was rocking polyester wigs for years before truly embracing my afro. True story. I thought everyone bought from high end stores. Then, I realized these cool, stylish glam gods, I loved, were rocking vintage clothes from thrift stores and beauty supply store lipglosses. I knew that was something I could do! I now thrift and beat my face on a budget because this studio on Rego Park isn’t gonna pay for itself, honey!

So, after watching tutorials and doing my research–I’m still working on it, y’all–I’ve come up with a list that helps the stylish teacher, creative, and just anyone on a budget.

How to be Inexpensively Classy, practically posh, and consistently cruelty free.

1. Read labels. 

As a vegan, I read labels as often as I can. Cruelty free and vegan makeup matter to me. And there are a lot of brands, by choice and accident, that are cruelty free.

2. Look for super sales and season change. 

When summer turns into fall, CHA-CHING! Bathing suits, shorts, cute tops all are nearly 75% off by October. Stock up! I also sign up for newsletters so I know when the best times are to buy.

3. Do it yourself.

Listen, I’ve watched so many tutorials and I’m bold enough to admit that GREAT teachers borrow! I go online–usually Pinterest and find my way to the DIY world. I’ll be doing some DIYs on here soon! If I can’t afford it, I can create it.

4. All makeup goes bad. 

I realize this is a statement more so than a guideline but, I say this to myself all the time. I can’t afford $50 foundation powder. I’ve done it. And guess what, it shattered on me and to be totally honest, it wasn’t cruelty free either. That was a sign, y’all! So, my budget ranges from $10-$50 on any given day for a beauty haul. If I can get a lippie for $10 bucks and below, I’m doing awesome! Nothing wrong with a splurge but I’m super mindful of my beat budget.

5. Last, but certainly, not least, do what works for you. 

I’ve been watching hair bloggers for some time now. I tried all these remedies, subscribed to beauty boxes and style bags–and I’ve learned my beauty is different from theirs. My tightly coiled hair gets super shrinky (a made up word) with just using water! I can’t do it. I need some type of hold. So I take samples and try them out and when I’m  ready, make a conscious purchase.

Treat yo’ self on a budget, of course!