Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites #84

Today's Friday Favorites is a bit of a quick one, because I'm currently on a plane for a little weekend getaway to NYC!  I'll tell you all about it once I'm back, but in the meantime, here are a few things that caught my eye this week, starting with the most darling + springy Kate Spade purses:

kate spade spring
a   //   b   //   c   //   d   //   e

These dresses are pretty springy, too!
modcloth mint dress

1   //   2   //   3

I love this carousel horse brooch from Tatty Devine!
tatty devine carousel brooch
And this unicorn purse is quite magical:
unicorn bag

I'm fawning over these dresses from Kitten D'Amour!
kitten d'amour
a   //   b

This swimsuit from Unique Vintage is so sweet:
uv swim

As a true '90s girl, I can't turn down a good jelly shoe, and these two pairs from Mel by Melissa are adorable!
melissa shoes
a   //   b

And finally, I love Emma Munger's drawing of the ladies of Twin Peaks as pin-up girls!  See more here.
twin peaks pinup
(via)
Have a great Friday!
xox Sammi

This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to run my blog.  I link only to items that I absolutely love, from companies I wholeheartedly support.  Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flora

lady v london
orange flower
orange floral print

This endless winter has really been getting me down, but I came up with a fun little way to escape the 0° weather!  I knew I didn't want to take photos of this beautiful Lady Vintage dress in my frozen tundra of a backyard, so I was racking my brain trying to come up with an alternative... and then I remembered this little conservatory in one of Rochester's larger parks!  My best friend Wayne came with me for this little adventure, and it was so rejuvenating to spend an hour in a faux tropical oasis!  Hopefully it'll be enough to tide me over until spring arrives.

lady vintage orange eliza dress
orange floral
vintage floral dress

I'm ecstatic that the timing finally worked out to collaborate with Lady Vintage on this post!  Their beautiful spring line recently arrived on their website, and they allowed me to choose this gorgeous dress to review.  I'd never been particularly drawn to orange before, but when I saw this dress, I fell in love!  The colors are so saturated and scrumptious.  I really love this particular cut, and though I opted to wear it with a thinner pettislip, it also looks great with a fuller petticoat.  I found this dress to run true to size (though buyers should note that it contains no stretch), and I love the addition of the sash tie in the back -- it's a feature that definitely flatters my figure!  The fabric is fantastic quality (it feels far more expensive than it is!), and I can't wait to style this in the summer.  This particular style is a limited edition, so if you have your eye on it, I'd act fast!  

flower necklace
pink flower
lady v london
Outfit Details
Orange Floral Eliza Swing Dress: c/o Lady Vintage
Cropped Cardigan: Trashy Diva
Pettislip: Amazon (on sale!)
Heels: similar
Necklace: old

red tropical flower
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
xox Sammi

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rococo

oasis romantic print dress

I had been on the hunt for this dress for a long time.  I had seen it on a couple of bloggers when I first started taking a real interest in fashion, but by then, it was gone from the ASOS website.  I had searched for it on eBay and through closet sales with no luck.  And then back in the fall, Kate sent me a huge and unexpected box of clothes she didn't want anymore.  As I sorted through all of the pieces, I gasped out loud when I realized that this dress (which had eluded me for so long!) was among what she sent me.  It's such a romantic and unique piece, and I'm so happy it's found its way into my life.  I guess it was closet kismet!

asos rococo dress
placement print dress
romance dress

It's been unbearably cold and incredibly snowy here over the past couple of weeks, so it's fortunate that I have a backlog of outfit photos to post.  The temperatures have hovered anywhere from 0-20 degrees, and the snow in my backyard is knee-height!  I'll eventually have to brave the frigid weather, but goodness, I'm already desperate for spring to arrive.

artistic dress

The show I'm in closes today.  I've really had a lot of fun (and I honestly wasn't really expecting to), and though it's not a show I'd want to do forever, I'll be a little sad when it's over.  I won't be in another show until May, so I'm hoping to tackle some of the items on my resolutions list (like learning to sew and starting to exercise again) in March.  The Oscars are on tonight, but I'm probably going to continue the tradition of watching The Great British Baking Show and Downton Abbey.  I love Sunday evenings these days.

asos dresses
Outfit Details
Dress: gift from Kate (Oasis brand from ASOS)
Cardigan: Trashy Diva
Heels: similar

rococo print
Have a great day!
xox Sammi

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites #83

Good morning, friends!  I'm very glad it's Friday, and I'm also very sick of the snow.  There's a ton of it here, and I am so ready for spring.  Here are some of the springy things I've been loving this week (hopefully, they'll tide me over until the snow melts and spring arrives again)...

Novelty brooches are my favorite.  The chalkboard one from Sugar + Vice is customizable(!), the Bae(thoven) brooch by Kate Gabrielle is hysterical, and the Tatty Devine lamb brooch is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen in my life.
novelty brooches

1   //   2   //   3

I love these pretty spring dresses from Ruche!
spring dresses, ruche
a   //   b   //   c   //   d

Voodoo Vixen has released some of their spring line, and I'm swooning over these pastel gingham pieces:
spring dress, voodoo vixen, pastel gingham
a   //   b   //   c

These Irregular Choice shoes are EVERYTHING.
irregular choice pastel
I've kind of been indifferent to orange in the past, but these three floral beauties have made me change my mind -- I'm now a fan!  I'll be reviewing the middle one in a post next week, so stay tuned.
spring floral dress orange
a   //   b   //   c

I like all of ban.do's wordy headbands, but this one is especially cute:
shop ban.do headband
Pinup Girl Clothing just released previews of their Magic of Mary Blair Collection.  All of the pieces are pretty extraordinary, but these are two of my favorites:
pinup girl clothing mary blair
a   //   b

Coco Fennell's spring line is now available for preorder.  I love her embellished collars!
coco fennell dress

a   //   b   //   c

I adore these new Betsey Johnson purses (especially the alarm clock one!):
betsey johnson purses
1     //     2

This delicate balloon necklace is so darling!
balloon necklace

Give me all the novelty prints!!
umbrella dress, cloud dress
1   //   2

I'm so bummed this Katy Perry cake case isn't compatible with the iPhone 6!  But at least I could have a hair brush that looks like an ice cream treat.
katy perry cake iphone case
a   //   b

I'm obsessed with this Hell Bunny dress.  It's coming out in another style too (which doesn't seem to be available for purchase yet).  Hell Bunny's entire spring line is the dreamiest!
hell bunny bloomsbury dress

This peach purse isn't available yet either, but you'd better believe that I'll be ordering it the second it is!  If you're anything like me, you'll click the "Notify Me" button so you'll know when it arrives!
peach fruit purse

Birdman was one of the best films I've seen in a long time (GO SEE IT!), and I love this segment of Michael Keaton and Jimmy Fallon reading scripts written by children:


And finally, I would like to have a domesticated fox, please:

Have a fantastic Friday!
xox Sammi

This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to run my blog.  I link only to items I absolutely love, from companies I wholeheartedly support.  Thank you for supporting The Soubrette Brunette!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#iamunique

#iamunique unique vintage

By now, a lot of you are probably familiar with Unique Vintage's #iamunique campaign.  I've been a big fan of Unique Vintage for a few years now, and I'm 100% behind any company that takes such measures to make their customers happy and to create such a celebratory, inclusive environment for them.  Unique Vintage recently reached out to me to become an ambassador for this campaign and write a little bit about what makes me unique.  I'm certainly not what one would call "conventional."  I'm a highly-sensitive Jewish only child with '80s rockstar parents and a flair for the dramatic.  I'm a musical-theatre-loving grammar nerd who never stopped playing dress-up.  I'm a natural introvert who has chosen to pursue a career in a creative field known for its competitive nature.  My fashion sense is a mishmosh of eras, cultures and styles.  And though it can be a struggle, I am learning how to love who I am a little bit more every day.

vintage cherry hat

I was never considered to be a beauty.  My weight is forever fluctuating.  My face is very round and riddled with acne scars.  I am too tall, too curvy, too ethnically-ambiguous for some.  I've been rejected both personally and professionally for how I look.  Having to think of yourself as a "type" can really mess with your head.  I distinctly remember an acting class in college in which we did an exercise centered around type.  (For those not familiar with the term, this refers to the kind of roles an actor can typically play; for example, the broad categories include leading men/ladies and character roles, but there are many subcategories).  We had to go around in a circle and state the adjectives that came to mind for each person in the class.  Out of several girls in the class, I was the only one who didn't receive any positive comments in relation to her looks.  The other girls heard words like "beautiful," "sexy," and "pretty."  I, on the other hand, got comments like "intelligent," "maternal," and "nurturing."  At the time, I was devastated.  I was glad to be thought of as smart and comforting, but those were things I already knew to be true.  I desperately wanted to be referred to as "gorgeous" and "cute" like everyone else -- mostly because I didn't believe those things about myself.  I was always cast as caring mothers and kooky best friends.  I had an agent for a short time who wanted to send me out only for roles that contained the word "overweight" in the character descriptions.  I had a voice teacher who referred to me as "a big girl" in almost every lesson.  My confidence was understandably at an all-time low, and I would avoid going to auditions because I believed they would never cast someone my size.  I ended up losing a considerable amount of weight (though I've gained some back), and I grew into my looks.  I've since played roles outside those strict confines and have learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of.  I fell in love with someone who finally made me believe I was beautiful.  I had my heart broken and realized that I couldn't rely on someone else to create and maintain my self-esteem.  I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I've figured out what brings me joy and what makes me feel good about myself.  And I understand now that all of those things I used to see as flaws -- my weight, my body, my facial features, my skin, my height -- are what make me special.  I don't look like everyone else.  That's something that I used to hate in high school and college, when all I wanted was to be accepted and loved.  But I've since come to the conclusion that those feelings of acceptance and love have to come from within.  I'm still figuring out how to love myself unconditionally, and of course, I have days where I don't like what I see in the mirror.  But most of the time, I love what I am.  I am different.  I am feminine.  I am pretty.  I am exotic.  I am talented, smart, sensitive and silly.  And #iamunique.

unique actress

One might assume that starting a style blog -- which involves publishing hundreds photographs of yourself to the internet at large and opening yourself up to constant scrutiny -- would be a recipe for disaster for someone with ever-faltering self-esteem.  When you have any kind of internet presence, there will inevitably be people who don't like you or the way you look.  If you are unique, there will be people who post mean things about you.  If you dare to be different and think outside the box, there are going to be those who will attempt to squash your enthusiasm and individuality.  And I've certainly run into that.  But I've actually gained an incredible amount of confidence from my blogging ventures.  I feel constantly inspired and creatively-fulfilled.  Although I have often struggled with my weight, I have learned to like how my body looks in my outfits and I dress in a way that brings me joy.  I've received an incredible amount of support and encouragement from people I've never even met.  I've come to appreciate traits about myself that I always took for granted, and I've learned the value of attributes that I had previously thought of as weaknesses (like my high level of sensitivity).  In many ways, I've found myself through fashion.  Being able to celebrate my unique look, personality and sense of style through my blog has been such a fantastic and unexpected gift.  It's ironic that something that's viewed as entirely superficial is the very thing that's given me a much deeper appreciation of who I am at my core.  I'm far from perfect and always will be, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't love who I am and where I am at this moment.

novelty purse

I also love the fact that my style doesn't fall into one definable category, because I often feel like a walking contradiction.  In theatre school, one of the most valuable lessons I learned was to keep what works for me and throw out what doesn't, and I think I've incorporated the same approach into my personal aesthetic.  A friend of mine once asked how I would define my fashion sense, and I wasn't sure how to answer him.  It's a big mix of retro-vintage-girly-whimsical-kitsch with some ethereal-cartoon-street-fashion-costume-shop thrown in.  I don't like the idea of feeling boxed in when it comes to a lot of things, and that's especially true when it comes to what I wear.  I have certain silhouettes I gravitate towards because they emphasize what I like about my body, and I have certain colors I love because they look good on me.  But as far as a certain style?  I guess I just like what I like!  Who says I can't wear a dress and petticoat one day and a flannel button-down and sneakers the next?  I don't think I should have to change what I'm drawn to just because it doesn't exactly fit into one restrictive definition of how to dress.  And so my closet is a hodgepodge of everything from pinup to punk to period film.  I love that I have so many different types of pieces because it allows me to feel like I'm playing dress-up every day!  I suppose I never grew out of my love for playing pretend, which explains both my wardrobe and my chosen profession.  I keep an eye out for pieces that are as special as I am, and when I'm wearing something I love, I know that it shines through in how I carry myself.  I know my sense of style isn't for everyone, and that's okay -- but it suits me just fine, and it's truly one of my favorite things about myself.

retro blogger

Ultimately, I know that I am not defined by my physical appearance.  My look is absolutely a part of who I am, but it's assuredly not all that matters to me or anyone else -- nor is it the only thing that makes me unique.  Maybe the reason no one said I was beautiful in that acting class wasn't because I was somehow wholly unattractive (like I thought at the time), but was in fact because I am more than that.  I may never be cast as the stunning ingenue or the gorgeous sexpot, but that doesn't negate the fact that I am beautiful and desirable in my own unique way -- a way that extends beyond the physical.  Just like my style may not be everyone's cup of tea, I know that my look and personality might not attract everyone.  But now I know that the only thing that really matters is that I love them.  I'm learning to love all the wonderful ways in which #iamunique, and I hope the same for all of you.  <3

blogger balloons

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
xox Sammi

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lady Day

eva franco modcloth

I don't wear this dress nearly enough.  It's one of my favorite colors in the whole world, and I watched it for months on the ModCloth site before it finally dropped down to a price I could afford.  So I'm not sure why it sits waiting in my closet for so long between outings.  I had planned on wearing this dress when Audra McDonald came to sing with the orchestra I work for (I thought this ensemble would be an appropriate nod to Billie Holiday).  I took these photos and had some downtime before work, so I put on sweatpants in between.  I went to put the dress back on... and the zipper suddenly wouldn't zip, no matter how hard I tried!  So it's going to be another long while before I wear this dress again -- this time, because I'll have to get the zipper replaced!  I wore a different dress to work, and though I stood in the very back row, hers is a performance I won't soon forget.  What an incredible artist and lady.

mint dress
white hair flower
modcloth dress

I hope you all had a nice Valentine's weekend!  I had shows on Saturday and Sunday, and held my own Friends marathon and ate my feelings in my spare time.  ;)  It totally wasn't as pathetic as I make it out to be.  Honestly, I would much rather be single on holidays like this than be with someone who is wrong for me or in a relationship that doesn't add to my happiness!  Being alone has made me value a lot of things about myself, and I'm very purposefully not dating for the foreseeable future.  I need to be happy on my own before I get into anything with anyone again, and I'm actually really grateful for this "me" time.

modcloth pastel
  Outfit Details
Eva Franco dress: ModCloth
Hair flower: Stardust Dames
Shoes: thrifted

Have a marvelous Monday!
xox Sammi
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