Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy!

I’m a huge line-dancing fan!  Unfortunately there aren’t many places within Toronto that have line-dancing regularly or at all…which meant I’d have to wrangle like-minded folk and travel out to Oshawa or Georgetown (total opposite ends of the city via GO Train.  And upon finally getting there, cowboy hat, boots and all, I’m typically I’m the ONLY brown face on the dance floor.

Sigh…But that has all changed friends as Toronto has opened two new watering holes specifically for country-line-dancin’-lovin’-cowpokes like moi!

gotrain

 

Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon (formerly London Tap House, right in the heart of the Entertainment Dist) and Boots ‘N’ Bourbon (on Queen St. East) … both I’m told have fab food, drink specials, often live music for line-dancing and best of all a mechanical bull!

Here’s the outfit I’ve lined up to wear…to Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy…Giddy Up!

20140207-114302.jpg

20140304-092437.jpg   20140304-092413.jpg

20140519-105011-39011880.jpgSunday nights at Boots n’ Bourbon Toronto’s Country Music Line Dancing hosts beginner lessons at 7pm.   Jeff is the patient and handsome instructor who took us through a variety of dances to make us look good on the dance floor …which works out perfectly for us to bust out our newly learnt moves once the live band gets on stage for the rest of the evening! Plus, half priced appetizers and drink specials don’t hurt either 🙂

20140519-105006-39006931.jpg 20140519-105008-39008380.jpg

There were a bunch of names for the dances learnt that night — super fun and easy to do, with a bit o practice.  Here are few clips of the ones I remembered the names of – in case you’re looking to get a your country line dancing on in your living rooms:

 

Dance #1: Cowboy Charleston

 

Dance #2: Lil’ Yeller’ Blanket (that’s cowboy for “little yellow blanket”)

 

Dance #3: Country As A Boy  Can Be

 

Dance #4: Copperhead Road

 

The live entertainment this night was RORY GARDINER  — *hubba hubba*

Ladies, my distant iPhone pics don’t do him justice…check out his site…Meow indeed!!! 😉

20140519-105011-39011568.jpg20140519-105009-39009798.jpg

Overall….what a fantastic way to spend a Sunday night in the city during long weekend!

Yee Haw!!!

Now that you’ve got a few steps under your belt with this post — would you OR have you ever try Country Music Line Dancing yourself?

What did you wear?

How I got The Look:

Flowy short-sleeved dress from Damzels, Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Short brown cowboy-ish booties from Payless

20140304-092445.jpg

20140304-210654.jpg

Photo credit: Rebecca Northcott, Rebecca Northcott Photography

PPMEOW logo1

#TVS: Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

Toronto Vintage Society Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

The Toronto Vintage Society got a booth at last Sunday’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show – a ONE day only event at the Metro Convention Center – North Building. The show is a fantastic opportunity to discover hand-picked vintage and retro clothing, accessories and jewellery from top independent vintage fashion vendors.  Vendors from Owen Sound, Montreal, East Garafraxa, Collingwood, Freelton, Kakabeka Falls, Ottawa, Hamilton, Straffordville and many others  – all under one roof!

The #TVS booth was our way to reach vintage lovers in the GTA. We were selling our “Make do and Mend” sewing kits (THE cutest things ever!), buttons and other fun like an iPad showcasing a photo side-show of all the fun-filled events TVS attended the previous year.  All TVS booth visitors were informed and encouraged to sign-up for our new website/blog, pay their TVS Meetup fees,  to oooh-and-ahhhh at each other’s purchases from other vendor booths…and of course singing the praises of all things Vintage!

20140314-140034.jpg

These cutie-pie kits were handmade by the fabulous TVS members who braved the sudden non-stop snow of yet another blizzard, the day after Toronto got a teaser +10 degree weather day.  With scissors, glue sticks, mason jars and other crafty necessities were toted and assembled, over gossiping, storytelling and beer.

20140314-140005.jpg

The TVS booth also had a raffle giving away this fab prize:  an amazing train case of vintage goodies in  TVS approved colour scheme …even a lil’ something for those dapper dudes: suspenders+cufflinks+tie combo!

Since I live closest to MTCC and have an elevator, I was tasked with carting all our supplies for our booth home and would be there bright and early, with Liz + her hubs + her car to set up.    Then we – TVS admin team – would simply rotate on manning our booth  whist the others could peruse all the goodies up for sale at the show and Facebook our finds through the Toronto Vintage Society page!

A few snaps of the TVS booth all set up and read to go:

20140324-185238.jpg

Truth be told, I don’t actually own too many genuine vintage outfits (or pieces of my own for that matter).  However, since hanging with the chicks of TVS I have been exposed to the world of “vintage inspired reproduction” dresses.  So my Outfit of the Day to represent and  man the TVS booth was this dress from Doll Factory by Damzels,  a rock ‘n’ roll retail shop on Roncesvalles.  (It may look familiar to you as I’ve previously posted about this dress.)    This easy-peasy-curvy-body-flattering dress has pockets which makes it that much easier to cart around an iPhone, money and other necessities like that without needing a purse.  Knowing the day was going to be busy with setting-up and running around, I went with flats instead heels for footwear.  Plus, I wanted to be able to quickly try on any fabulous-finds from booth to booth … heels do not help in making one nimble.

20140324-185230.jpg

I’m not as dedicated to vintage hair as some of my TVS sistas are, those who patiently created pin-curls and wrapped their hair overnight to create the glamorous  hairstyles of the beloved eras.   My baby fine hair just never wants to cooperate.  But I did manage to get a lil’ vintage-flare in my do for the clothing show.  Check out how HIGH I got the bump in my hair!  And it lasted all day….Hooray!

20140324-185400.jpg

Since there was a solid possy of four of us to man the TVS booth (me, Lisa, Larissa and Liz….ooooh L to the power of 3), there was lots of opportunities to check out some of the other vendor booths and do a little shopping myself.   

One of my immediate purchases was from Treasure Chicks Vintage from Pickering – these amazing ‘new vintage’ shoes.  This shop got 500 pairs of never-before-worn Celebrity shoes for sale friends, complete with their vintage shoeboxes – FYI.   I fell in love with these two-toned leather taupe nail-hammered heels the moment I set eyes on them (they fit small, I’m usually an 8.5 buuuut had to buy these in a size 10 for a comfortable fit) and this spectacular red scarf….which I immediately had them tie into my hair to add some MEOW to my #ootd!

20140324-185208.jpg  20140324-093212.jpg

20140324-185247.jpg

Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you reading….but I’m a bit of a diva!  I like NEW – so the idea of buying and wearing clothes someone else has worn half a CENTURY ago really needs to be special before I’m willing to spend my cold hard cash on it.  This being my first real vintage shopping experience, and being the nerd that I am, I did a bit of research before hand.  I found WikiHow’s tips helpful in this Top 10 list for How To Shop For Vintage.

Shopping for vintage plus size clothing is a challenge and a half – no doubt!  With all the many vendor booths to peruse, it was an overwhelming task – also, I learnt that I’m easily distracted by shiny/sparkly things – talk about sensory overload all day!   Some things I personally kept in mind when looking for clothing/items to buy were:

  • Odors and Stains … these are very iffy because they’ll probably have been on there for ages.  Scarves seemed to have this issue the most from what I saw.  I had to ask myself: Would it matter if you scrubbed at it but it didn’t come off? Is it so glaring as to render the piece unwearable?
  • Try on EVERYTHING!  I was surprised at the number of pieces I passed over because it “looked” too small, but upon trying on fit quite well.  If it doesn’t feel right or look good when you tried it on, then it probably isn’t the piece for you is the basic rule of thumb when shopping vintage clothing.  Sadly, the change room situation at MTCC wasn’t all that private – so I ended up trying on dresses OVERTOP of my dress.  Figured if it fit and looked good on me like that, it was def gonna look great when I wore it properly!  Silly? Maybe.  But that was my try-on technique for the day…and it worked out well.  (Ps: the pics of all the below were taken during a post-vintage-clothing-show Irene-fashion-shows as soon as I got home with all my haul).

Check out this long pink & brown floral 1940s day dress I scooped up from www.retrouver.biz  Notice the silver rhinestone ornament on the collar!  I really loved all the buttons down the front too, plus the thin shiny belt can totally be worn with other things in my closet.  It’s a bit long…so it will need a hem…so I managed to talk the price down to $25!

20140324-185257.jpg

Upon round two of vendor shopping, I found Barbra – an independent vintage dealer who doesn’t have a storefront proper, but has created a name for herself among many of the TVS members.  (Her Facebook page is  Booth 311 Roadshow Antiques Pickering.)   She put me into this lovely light green number.  Brand new! The fabric still felt stiff and unworn.  The only real giveaway to this dress being pre-loved was the belt holes – one was used more than all the others.  Although this dress is pretty simple, I really loved the pleated neckline with the large buttons down the front – and the length was perfect!

20140324-185305.jpg

The rest of my shopping consisted of accessories.  I picked up a delightful wicker purse (also from www.retrouver.biz)  and this fantastic black petit point 1960s purse and a giant cream brimmed hat (both from The Vintage Domain). 

20140324-093139.jpg

20140324-185315.jpg Check out how I combined a few of my pieces together with each dress.20140324-185323.jpg

Here are a few shots of the rest of my purchases from Primetime Antiques & Collectables:

20140324-093205.jpg 20140324-093156.jpg 20140324-093124.jpg

When I finally returned to the TVS booth – I found a swing dance party had broken out!  Oooooo! I can’t wait ’til it’s MY skirt that be a-twril with mad Lindy Hop skillz! Yup! With a Z!

20140324-185351.jpg

The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting up visitors who stopped by our booth and meeting some of the newer TVS members:

 20140324-185343.jpg

Vintage clothing shopping is exciting and enjoyable so long as you come with a good attitude and patience.  Finding items that nobody else has is the biggest appeal for me, plus you’re being eco-friendly with the added thrill of bargaining for a deal.    

Here’s a summary shot of just the accessories that came home with me from the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show.  Can’t wait to do it all again this Fall! Weeeeeeeeeeee!

20140324-091858.jpg

 

20140322-151348.jpg

#TVS: Electro Swing TO with Good Co.

Cover Photo

We were at it again folks – Toronto Vintage Society was invited to judge the Best Dressed at Electro Swing TO’s March event this past Friday!  And that meant I got to get all dressed up in 1920s inspired look to mingle with fabulously dressed people and dance the night away to big band electro swing vibes with my friend Liz, a fellow TVS member and blogger at The Vintage Inn.Toronto Vintage Society

Here’s all the pieces of my 1920s inspired look for Friday night’s Electro Swing party:

1920swingparty

I finally got a chance to see the remake of The Great Gatsby flick …. and totally fell in love with that glam and glitter of all the dresses and headpieces. 

In fact, I’ve been playing around to see how I could incorporate more headscarves into my wardrobe.  And then on one of “window shopping only” walks home from the office … I saw the most gorgeous headchain in the window of this little shop specializing in ladies accessories in the P.A.T.H. of Commerce Court downtown.  Needless to say it came home with me … and this Electro Swing party was the perfect reason to wear it…FINALLY!

1920sheadchain 1920s

Richard aka MedicineMan, Revival Bar’s event organizer, met us at the door, we pow-wowed quickly about how the event would roll out, how the contest and prizing would work.  And then the fun began with Charleston lessons by Lindy Hop Revolution.   Believe it or not, I kicked up my heels pretty good for a first timer – I was lucky to have a strong lead partner.   

Check out Liz doing her thang.  Oooooo….. I can’t wait to start taking lessons!

charleston

And so we mingled and schmoozed around the room with the fabulous attendees to chat up what  Toronto Vintage Society was all about and how they could join/get involved AND of course, tapping those who were on our short-list of BEST DRESSED for the night!  I even bumped into a few familiar faces I met at the last Electro Swing shindig 🙂

20140322-151257.jpg

Here are a few colloages of all the fun that was had …

20140322-151154.jpg Dashing Doll went to Loryn and Dapper Dude went to Teddy … both were winners of a $50 gift certificate from Doll Factors by Damzels! 

 goodcomusicGood Co. was the fantastic Electro Swing Band that came all the way from Seattle to party with us at Revival, keeping the crowd dancing with their own renditions of Macklemore’s hit and The Four Season’s “Beggin'” tune were my personal faves of the night!  Their performance ended with each member of the band climbing up onto the bar and toasting with shots – divinely outrageous! 

I was fortunate enough to bump into them in Revival’s green room as I was leaving and they were kind enough to take a few ‘Ellen-inspired’ selfies with me.  Weeeee!

Be sure to visit the Electo Swing TO’s FB page in the next few days, where professional shots of last night’s event can be found, taken by D.Tom … his camera & skills totally trumps my iPhone.  🙂20140322-151145.jpg

1920s

How I got The Look:

Layered dress from DressBarn  + Black sueade Mary-Janes from Payless

Accessories: Black diamond cocktail ring from Jaipur, India; Necklace gift; Earrings from Swarovski; Headchain from…I forget the name of the shop (will find out and update soonest)

20140329-105355.jpg

ppmeow-logo1.png

Girls Night Out + Spa Day

With Valentine’s taking place over Toronto’s first long weekend since Xmas holidays –  I’ve allowed myself a few extra days off work to just enjoy being single in the city. My plan was to combine lots of ME time with at least one day of complete indulgence at a Spa + a fab dinner + good wine, where we have an excuse to get all dolled-up and paint the town red…or pink, my fav!

With all the love that’s in the air….spa’s were offering tons of couple deals. Sooo a gf and I decided to take advantage of Elmwood Spa’s $299 deal:

 Elmwood Spa

Image

I’ve been to this spa many times – it truly is an Urban Oasis right in the heart of the city.  Best part about getting any service here is the unlimited access to their Water Therapies! Hot Tub! Steam Room! Pool! All. Day. Long.

We purposely booked this pampering-day-of-bliss on a Sunday…which meant we could spend the Saturday night before with copious amounts of cocktails!  Since neither of us have ever been ‘clubbin’ girls’…our plan for Saturday night was simple: meet at my place for some pre-outting libations, then walk along Queen W towards Ossington to see what sort of happenings we could encounter.

First stop was The Midpoint – this unpretentious little spot that boasted drink specials and cheapy tacos!  The tunes were amazing … early 90s hip hop & RnB! Totally my vibe….unfortunately after a while we realized how young all the other patrons were…apparently this was “Old Skool Night”….sigh.  So we finished our drinks and continued down the street for another happening!

Second stop was quickly found when we discovered $3.50 tequila shots at The Savoy.  I’ve been here a few times for a quick afterwork drink especially on Wednesday: $5 martini friends!  Boom!  Also the lovely bartendress, Heather, often hooks a girl up with this price-point martini any day of the week …cuz I’m charming like that.  😉

20140218-171155.jpg

I’ve never been to this spot on a Saturday night where this casual diner spot transforms into a hot-spot, complete with giant bouncer at the door and duelling DJs spinning a terrific mix of old + new.  It was perfect for us …so we drank and danced like nobody was watching in our hot gal outfits and stumbled our way back to my place around 2am! {Insert Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” tune here}

For Saturday Night….here’s what I wore:

20140207-114247.jpg20140214-151700.jpg

Y’all may remember these over-the-knee/thigh-high boots from my recent shoe haul last week from AdditionElle, finally got to break them in on the dance floor. And I’m happy to say that after spraying them they are still in fantastic shape even though they encountered an evening of salty-slushy streets of Toronto.  I also unveiled one of my dresses from Doll Factory that I picked up at their Epic Sale – this shear long-sleeved Winter Forest dress.  Now being a curvy girl, this dress quickly becomes uber short once all my T&A gets into it. But by pairing it with solid black leggings and these thigh-high boots, I think the dress moves from the scandalous category into the chic-hot-gal category, don’t you think? 🙂

20140218-171241.jpg 20140218-171220.jpg20140218-171900.jpg 20140218-171851.jpg

Originally I wanted to wear this dress with the black lace leggings I picked up from the Sears closing sale at the Eaton Center, sadly the weather wasn’t cooperating. Buuuuuut my freind Bexx captured a few fancy shots of this look as an alternative …see below friends.

20140220-083952.jpg

Our massage appointment was booked for mid-afternoon, allowing us a much-needed late-wake-up and a lazy do-it-yourself brunch before we walked our way into the downtown core to begin our day of pampering.  We got there around 2:30pm so that we’d have a nice long soak in the exclusive women-only whirlpool/hot-tub before our full body couples massage with handsome, giant German men with big hands (or so we imagined) whist the knots were rubbed out of our necks and backs.  Then back into the hot-tub + steam room for a few more hours – I was determined not to leave until I looked like a raisin!  Then we got dressed and had a splashy prix fix dinner at the Bangkok Garden.

Upon reflection and further investigation, I’m not entirely sure this Elmwood Spa deal was a “deal” at all….but it was still a fantastic day … money well spent in my books!

20140220-083944.jpg

How I got The Look:

Nighttime Forest print dress from Yumi, Doll Factory by Damzels  (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Solid black leggings from Old Navy, Toronto Eaton Center/Black lace leggings from Jay Emmanuel, Sears (Toronto Eaton Center)

Over-knee/Thigh-high black boots from AdditionElle (Queen & Yonge Sts)

20140220-083937.jpg

Photo credit: Rebecca Northcott, Rebecca Northcott Photography

Doll Factory by Damzels

This past Christmas, I was fortunate enough to have gotten invited to a number of Holiday Happenings around the city.  One  of which I attended was A Merry Scotch-mas – the launch party for Doll Factory by Damzels,  a rock ‘n’ roll retail shop on Roncesvalles.

damsel5damsel3Me and a few Toronto Vintage Society Sistas braved the cold for discounts on fashionable vintage recreations and all the Scotch cocktails we could handle!

I fell in love with many pieces that night…but managed to limit my purchase to a single dress:  this lovely three-quarter length sleeved black n’ white spotted number – complete with pockets and peek-a-boo boobie bow!

damsel2 damsel4

Best News is that this fab shop is having an amazing sale next week!!!  Doll Factory by Damzels Epic Annual Mark Downs!

If you like this kinda vintage-rockabillie-look … you have got to make your way down during this Epic Sale!

How I got The Look:

Black n’ White domino-dot boobie bow dress by CherryVelvet, from Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncesvalles/Dundas W Sts.)

Cobalt blue suede platform shoes by Brash, from Payless

Georgen red pumps from Aldo

damsel1

Photo credit: Tami Falus

Have you LIKE’d the Petite Plus, Meow’s Facebook Page yet?

LIKE. Share. Tell A Friend, friend 🙂

PPMEOW logo1