Category Archives: Alix’s Closet

Alix’s Closet :: Transitioning to Fall

Hi guys. You may have noticed I was a little quiet over here  this week. That’s because I spent the last week in Boston working on a freelance assignment at Arnold Worldwide (a big ol’ ad agency).  I have to say I had a total blast. I worked my tushie off (10-12 hour days and yes we were there both Saturday and Sunday prepping for a big meeting) but I was working with some really fine folks, including one of my old partners. It was great to see him and everyone was so welcoming. I had forgotten how pretty Boston was, all the old brick and ivy. I’d love to go back again, maybe bring the fellas with me. Speaking of, as much as traveling around can be fun I was def looking forward to coming home and seeing my guys—Greg, Wolfie and Sammy!  (Our new dog…more on him next week!)

We are in the throes of San Francisco Summer right now….we always have a much cooler summer than most folks, but come September, we get weather in the high 80s low 90s. I always like to say  that our San Francisco Summer has a flair for the dramatic and she simply likes to arrive fashionably late.

The thing about the Bay Area, though, is that one day it’ll be blazing hot….and literally the next day will be cool. You have to be flexible so I’m always wearing layers. And of course, lots of color! Here’s what I wore two Saturdays ago on one of those in-betweener days.

What I Wore:

+ Polka Dot Dress, thrifted.

+ Orangey red beaded cardigan, Target

+ Rhinestone bird necklace

+ Purple Suede vintage platform sandals, b-day present from my San Diego Tiki Oasis trip

+ Sequin vintage glitter kitty bag, bought years ago at the SF Vintage Fashion Expo

The Target sweater is one of my top favorites. It’s from their “Merona Collection” (which is a slightly trendier/cooler spin off of the Merona line). When you’re shopping at a bigger main stream store, my big tip is to look for unique colors or special little details that make it look like it’s something spendier. People always ask me if this cardigan is vintage and a few people have even asked if it’s Kate Spade!

This is how I wore my outfit on the weekend for a little brunchie outting. I looooove these shoes. My friend Denise spied them at a vintage shop and was going to get them, and then seeing how I was practically drooling over them, handed them over to me. Low platforms are a great way to sport a heel without bustin’ yer ankle. During the week if I was running errands or taking Wolfie to school I’d swap the shoes out with my black Converse or some cute flat sandals. Never underestimate the awesomeness of a good Chuck Taylor sneak!

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? I have to say i’m ready for tights, boots and snuggly scarves, but it’s still to warm here. Boston was pretty humid and hot as well! Have the temperatures dropped in your area yet?

Alix’s Closet How To :: Stretching Yer Shoes!

Ouchie, owie! Tight shoes. The bain of my existence! Back in the day I could rock a little vintage pointy pump, or a pair of shoes that were just a weeee bit too tight. But now? I have a zero tightness policy. I would rather wear a pair of shoes a size too big than suffer a pinchin’ on my big toe. Dare I admit I’m workin’ a bunion over there? Oh yes. I am.

So I was extremely delighted when i discovered this easy peasy way to give your shoes a little added stretch. And all you need is this:

No, there isn’t a magic stretching liquid in that little bag….it’s simply  a little zip lock baggie of water! Just you wait, it’ll all make sense.

Fill a ziplock bag of water. Don’t use a cheap one, you def want to make sure that the bag doesn’t leak. I used the little snack size bags because my shoes were little flats (and I wear a size 7…or 8 if i’m wanting a little more roooom!). Don’t fill the bags to overflowing, just 3/4 of the way is fine.

Now insert the baggie of water into your shoe, make sure it is down deep inside if that’s the area that is too tight. Mine are always a little snug across the toes. Again, do make sure that bag is sealed tightly!

Stick those shoeies in the freezer! Of course you should put the shoe in a plastic/paper bag first, to keep things clean (and you may want to warn family members so they don’t think you’re crazy for putting shoes in the freezer!). Now we let the ice freeze. Here’s the thing. Water expands as it freezes….and as the water expands inside the shoe, it will stretch the shoe with it! Genius!

It’s not a perfect system, but it worked for me. I would say I think it works best on leather shoes….i don’t know if I’d try it on boots. You kind of want a shoe that you can manipulate your zip lock baggie in easily. I think strappy sandals/heels, pointy toed pumps and flats like these are probably best. So, to recap!

    1. Fill two small ziplock bags 1/2-3/4 with water. Make sure they are sealed tightly!
    2. Insert them inside your shoes.
    3. Stick those shoes in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer.
    4. Leave inside the freezer until the water has completely turned to ice .
    5. Remove from freezer and  let thaw (approx 20 minutes). Don’t leave the ice in to melt completely or it could burst.
    6. Remove the ice baggies.
    7. Try on your shoesies and do the happy dance!

Alix’s Closet // Kickin’ it Around Town.

Soooo I’ve recovered from the Missoni Mania. It was fun hearing everyone’s stories and take on the whole thang. I had planned to post a photo of me in my sassy Missoni socks and peering out from behind a lovely Missoni scarf, but frankly I’m on zig zag overload right now. Instead, here is a fun little outfit that is perfect for work or even kickin’ it on the playground with Wolfie. As a sidenote, I love looking at fashion posts and I especially love vintage clothing, but I have to say that sometimes it’s frustrating when you see a cute outfit on someone and know that it’s a one-of-a-kind garment that you will probably never ever be able to find. Unless, you know, the vintage gods are feeling particularly charitable and smile upon you and you find the EXACT same dress as the one you are coveting….it happens….but rarely! I’m pleased to report almost all of this outfit is culled from stores you probably have in your town. I found a way to make the look my own, but it’s pretty easy to duplicate if you like it!

One of my wardrobe secrets is the Target Merona Collection. Not to be confused with just Merona. This is THE MERONA COLLECTION, dahling.They don’t carry it at all Target’s for some reason….but it tends to be a slightly more fashiony version of cute basics. I have three cardigans from this line and I always get compliments on them! This particular cardigan is really fab. It has cool buttons, a great ruffle detail and it’s a bright lemony yellow. You’d never guess it was from Target and under $30!


+ Grey and Pink Polka Dot Top, Old Navy
+ Yellow Embellished Cardigan, Merona Collection at Target
+ Black tanktop, Old Navy
+ Boyfriend Jeans, LOFT Outlet (I have short legs and Ann Taylor LOFT has a great petite section)
+ Vintage 60s Pastel Pumps
+ Canvas Faux Birkin Tote, Thursday/Friday

These shoes are another fave. For some reason modern American shoes only come in two versions: flats and sky high heels or platforms. In Europe the mid-size heel is all over the place. Probably because they walk everywhere! Whenever I find a nice mid-height heel I snap ’em up. These I found thrifting, but you can absolutely find similar ones on etsy and eBay for really affordable prices. Look for cute/unique colors and details and that low low heel! I swear, they’re just as comfy as flats (sometimes even more so!).

The other way to really make an outfit your own is with a fun/funky purse. I really don’t carry vintage purses on a daily basis because most of them are too small and dainty for our modern day livin’. I usually have SO much junk in my bag, I need something substantial! (hmmm, reminds me i should do another “What’s in My Bag?” post soon….) Anyway, this is a super fun handbag—and a riff on the $12,000+ Hermes Birkin bag. It has a photo of the original silk-screened on all four sides. From a distance it looks like you might be high rollin’ and carrying the Bag to the Stars…..but really, it’s just a fun and funky $35 canvas tote!

Because of all the ruffles and ties and what not, I’m not wearing a lick of jewelry—which is highly unusual for me! Just a little sunshine on mah shoulders. But really sometimes that’s all a girl needs.

The Friday Link Hootenanny is comin up this afternoon, so stay tuned!

The Crazy Target Experience :: Missing Missoni.

So yeah. Not sure if you heard but this little Italian brand debuted yesterday at Target. No? You didn’t hear? HAHAHA. Of COURSE you heard! You and 1000s of other people because ladies and gentlemen, it wasn’t just a sale. It was INSANITY.

I went to my Target (OK, who are we kidding…I went to TWO Targets) to check out the Missoni scene. And I do mean scene. Target opens at 8:00am. I arrived around 9:15am. I was actually a bit embarrassed, thinking, “Sheesh, I’m going so early!”  I eagerly walked inside, anxious to see the prized garments, only to find….

Nothing. There were literally TWO sweaters swaying in the breeze. As I stared at the empty racks I foolishly thought, “Maybe I’m so early they haven’t put anything out yet?” Ah, little Alix. How naive. A woman strolled past me with a cart PILED sky high (chatting loudly on her phone to a friend, “You want baby stuff? They got baby stuff.”) I then realized I was horribly late to the party. I dashed around the store in hopes of finding some straggler items.

Scarves/hats/gloves? NOTHING.
Bedding or dishware? NADA
Purses? Silky scarves? ZILCH!

A lone zig zag tumbleweed rolled on by….

It wasn’t entirely a bust. As I raced around, I scooped up some tights and socks. Found a couple of rogue scarves in the wrong section…..grabbed a pair of the sassy flats. As I circled around , I discovered some people had put things back, so I was able to snap up some knit tunics and tops.

I saw the luggage which was dreamy and actually very well made, but at $149, for a smallish suitcase…I passed.

They had laptop cases and stationary stuff and lots of little girl and baby things (REALLY cute, though pricey).

As I wandered around, I passed several other women, each with only a few items in their cart. We late comers formed a sort of fellowship….chatting about how crazy it was that nearly everything was gone within an hour. Another woman joined us with a semi full cart and we eagerly peered inside as she shared things we never even got a chance to see. (“Oooh, the glass vase! It’s so pretty!”) One woman said that she was at another Target and the women were positively vicious. Another chimed in that someone tried to steal things out of her cart as she tried on a few items. My friend Tracy (aka Shutterbean) texted me that there was a man with FOUR shopping carts filled with Missoni goodies. Now friends, that’s just wrong. What happened to people?

(Yes, Tracy texted me a photo of the FOUR CARTS.)

I was so discouraged by the behavior of some people. If you buy everything because you want to wear it/use it, more power to you. But those people who greedily grabbed EVERYTHING just so they could resell it on eBay? (Hello Four-Cart Meanie, I’m talkin’ to YOU!) Not classy. Not cool.

Missoni Mania was so out of control, the entire Target web site crashed. THE ENTIRE DAY. I am a huge Target fan, but I have to say they didn’t plan for this very well. Not enough product after the HUGE HUGE hype (ads running pretty much EVERYWHERE—print, TV, web, videos!) is kind of a no-no. I also feel like they need to implement some rules to prevent the crazies from grabbing every stinkin’ thang on the rack (say, “you can not purchase more than two of any one item”).

As I chatted with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Zig Zags (my fellow Target shoppers) we discussed how we couldn’t even really enjoy the experience—it was so nutso you just frantically grabbed what you could.

I decided to snag a mess o’ stuff and suss it all out at home. Here is some of what I grabbed from the slim pickin’s. (And I’m not keeping it all, just so ya know!)

This sweater is really thick and soft and well made…..but i’m not really an earth tone person. We’ll see.

I looooooved this. The sleeves and back are really cool, the front is semi sheer. So pretty. But it made my arms look like Popeye. So it’s going back.

Tights and socks? Cute, cute and cute. (The far left is a scarf from the little girl’s department. Not great for snowy days but for fall and our California winter it’ll be perfect!)

Weeeeeee! The flats! The black and white shirt is very fun, but crazy. I am not keeping it, but I think it would look really cute under a jumper or little sweater vest.

This sweater dress is the grooviest fabric and very soft. I’m not sure it looks that cute on me, so we’ll see.

I really love the flats. Super cute. But in my insanity I grabbed a half size too big. Boo!

My mom is awesome. I called her up to tell her about the maddness. Being a fashion plate of the 60s and 70s, she of course knew Missoni and said she’d check out her Target. She called me up while in the store and said that amazingly they had LOADS of things! (Alas, no throw blanket) We had a laugh attack as I basically guided her through the store (“So the suit case…let me know what you think! No, it’s not with the purses, it’s near the sporting goods and menswear. Yeah. Oooh, they have the umbrella? No way!!”) We had a blast virtually shopping together. I’m sending her some of what I found out here, and she has a bunch of things she’s sending me. Including the flats IN MY SIZE! Yay mama!

Soooooo, did you check it out? Was it all gone or did you score some fun goodies? Here’s a hilarious account of the mayhem at one Houston Target.

Oh, and you know, if you run into that dang throw blanket….let me know!

Alix’s Closet // Going Out To Dinner

My parent’s have been visiting us and it’s been awesome. As a special treat, they took me out for a belated birthday dinner. It was just me and them—Wolfie and Greg stayed home. This was highly unusual. My parents hate to go anywhere WITHOUT Wolfie (hee).  It was a real treat for me and something we haven’t done in ages! I wanted to dress up and since I didn’t have Wolfie with me, I took advantage and wore my big ol’ Mary Jane platforms.

Lil Sidebar: Right after I graduated college I was working in a restaurant…as I was clocking out, a new employee (who hadn’t been trained properly) dropped a vat of boiling chicken stock and it splashed across the kitchen and on me. I received third degree burns on both my ankles. It was pretty major. I couldn’t walk and had to eventually have a skin graft. It was excruciating, but I was also extremely lucky and I’m 100% fine and dandy now. I just have a lil bit of scarring. Just in case you think I had extra dry skin or sumpthin.

I am a cardigan lover—I rarely go without one. I find them great for our fickle weather! (And ok, my arms are pudgier than they used to be and they cover that up too….) I love to wear necklaces, but since the dressie had lace trim I decided to skip the necklace and just add a pretty vintage pin for a little pop of color.

I love a good platform shoe, I find them very comfy to walk in FOR A HEEL (they aren’t comfy compared to, say, a sneaker!). But I do have to say I’m not really into this trend of crazy gigantor platform clodhoppers that lotsa fashion bloggers are wearing. I have a sneaking suspicion that most of them don’t even wear those shoes for anything but the photos. Then again most of ’em are younger and don’t have kiddos, so what do I know! These shoes were a leeeeetle bit bigger than I was expecting, but manageable. (I know my friend Jenny is raisin’ a brow at me right about now!!! haha!) And for special occasions they are kind of fun! I feel nice and tall (i’m just shy of 5’3″ in real life).


+ Grey cardigan, Target
+ Black tank, Old Navy
+ Jeffrey Campbell Crosby platforms, Free People
+ Pretty Birdie Slip Dress, fleurette from second hand shop Buffalo Exchange (orig. from anthropologie apparently!)
+ Enamel flower pin, vintage shop