This sustainable gift idea beats all!

My sister-in-law gives the best presents. One year she gave me a milk frother and I’ve used it practically every day since.

This year she told me about the gift she gave her husband and I’m telling you — we all need to steal this idea! 📚

Her husband, my brother-in-law, is an architect and designer. He has a great minimalist sensibility. Below is a photo of the backyard of their home that he remodeled. Notice the footrest in front of the butterfly chair. It’s a used fireplace grate with a block of wood on top. I love that upcycled detail! You can learn more about him and his projects at Big Fish Design. He doesn’t have an Instagram account unfortunately but I hear his daughters are working on him to create one. 😉

So anyway my sister-in-law knows her husband well. She knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like. Her first thought was to buy him some gorgeous design books — but he’s a minimalist kinda guy. If she got a book he didn’t love he might feel obliged to keep it. What she decided to do instead was to borrow a pile of books from the public library and give it to him as a gift!

She curated a stack of hard-to-find architecture and design books (some through Interlibrary loan), then she wrapped them up and included the due date on the card. She arranged it so he got plenty of quiet time to enjoy them before they needed to be returned.

I mean … Genius, right?! Can we all do this for Christmas 2020?!

Think about roaming the stacks of your local library with a loved one in mind. It’s such a great exercise to think of a person you love and what they might like and then create a stack of library books that you think they might appreciate. And to take it one step further and get hard to find books from a college library through interlibrary loan is genius!

The only thing this idea needs is a good hashtag. Any suggestions? How about #libraryxmas or #checkoutxmas 🎄📚

Thanks for the inspiration Emily!

1920s Style for 2018

In the midst of summer, I always start daydreaming about my fall wardrobe. I feel more comfortable in layers. 1920s style is creeping into my brain. Not the Halloween Gatsby version, but a more authentic version. I’ve read a little about why women’s fashions changed so drastically.

According to Gale Virtual Reference Library:
The changes in women’s clothes came from new attitudes about life and work. During this decade women won the right to vote and many earned their own money. Women needed stylish clothes that they could wear to work or out during the day. For everyday wear women wore a tailored suit. For more festive occasions women wore clothes that were more comfortable and luxurious than before the war. The tight corsets that squeezed women into unnatural shapes were replaced with loose-fitting outfits and, eventually, by figure-skimming gowns with revealing necklines and open backs.

Below is some of the inspiration I pinned to my 20s Pinterest board. Follow the link to my board for more inspiration and links to sources.

Maybe it’s a reaction to the modest dressing movement but I appreciate how the curves of the body are not accentuated.


What follows is how I want the 1920s style to influence my fall/winter wardrobe. Let’s start at the top.

I just recently got bangs. It was my way of dipping my toe in the water on my way to getting a Louise Brooks haircut.

The Louise Brooks pageboy haircut can easily translate into a simple modern look.

Next up — the cloche. I like the idea of a cloche hat but in reality, everything feels too costumey. I do love the vintage French straw cloche hats below. I like how they would keep the sun out of your eyes and also allow you some privacy. If you find a modern MINIMAL winter cloche hat, please let me know.

In terms of tops, I’ll search for hip length sweaters and boyfriend cardigans over plain white shirts buttoned all the way up. Can you see it? Can you see the minimalist modern version in your mind?


I have one pleated skirt that I got at the swap years ago. I love it but it is summer weight. You can literally see through it. I’d love to find some comfortable knit pleated skirts. Not surprisingly, I’ve posted about sweater skirts in the past. Click here to see the full post.

When thrifting online or in person I’ll keep my eyes out for knee length or tea length pleated knit skirts like this one in the Bemydear boutique on Etsy.

bemydear

I’ll continue to wear ribbed tights and brogues. I like the look of these cotton Falke tights. I’d also love to invest in a pair of brogues with a little heel like these ones on the Colenimo Instagram feed.

Colenimo is a small British boutique brand that I stumbled upon while researching. I love their modern take on vintage style.

Lastly, the cocoon coat. The cocoon coat is like the cloche. It can get costumey real fast. What I want is just that feeling of being enveloped in comfort and warmth with big lapels that I can pop up as a nod to 1920s.

All of the coats below are waaay out of my price range but they each have elements that I will be looking for — oversized, nipped in at the knee, and big lapels that I could pop up for style and warmth.

I already own a JCrew collarless cocoon coat that I bought secondhand. I’m thinking maybe I can add a vintage sheepskin collar to it. Is that too weird?

What do you think? Am I going too far? What are you looking forward to wearing for fall/winter? Let me know in the comments. xo jam

I’ve just realized that New Year’s Eve for 2020 is around the corner and everyone is going to have a 1920s theme. 🙂

Modern Minimal Vintage

I’m obsessed with a trend I’ve noticed on Instagram that I’m going to call Modern Minimal Vintage or MMV for short (pronounced like envy but with an M sound in the front. Let’s see if that sticks.) Below are some of the instashops I’m following. The best part of this trend is that these pieces are pretty easy to find in your local secondhand stores. You just need to be confident in the styling.

My favorite shop is Iamthat_shop out of Portland, Oregon. I love how she styles her looks. She’s made me aware that when vintage shopping I need to look for simple turtlenecks, sleeveless velvet tops, elastic waist pants, and unusual colors — like salmon.iamthattwosweaters iamthat-salmon-wool-pants i-am-that-tan-pantsi-am-that-pink-shirtiam-that-elastic-waist

Persephone Vintage also has great styling inspiration. She has reminded me to look at two-piece suits, jewel tones, and belted coats.

psvintage-sweater-and-skirt ps-vintage-suitps-dress-and-pants belted-coats

Mirth is great too. Their collection of images reminded me to look for drop earrings, midi-skirts, and chunky heels.

mirth-o-earringsmirth-shoesmirth-midi-skirtmirth-round-earrings

What do you look for when you are shopping secondhand?