Playing Favorites

Do you have a favorite dress that has graced the racks at the Closet?  I do.  Actually, I have quite a few.  The list is long, so Ive condensed it, and some you may remember from a month or so ago – some you may have never seen, ever!  Here’s a *short* list of some of the best dresses Ive ever offered!

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Which is your favorite – is it on this list?  If not, let us know!

Open Call for Models! (and a farewell to Lauryn)

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As most of you already know, Lauryn has been our main model for three years now.  We’ve had some amazing times together shooting on Tuesdays.  We laughed, (nearly) cried because of laughing, ate lots of food and churned out some great photos.  I can’t think of a better gal to spend my day off with!

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But, Lauryn is a young woman with opportunities that await her, so she is off to a far away place to see what the next chapter of life brings her.  Sure, I’m sad.  Really sad actually.  But Im also very happy for her as I cant wait to hear about all the adventures her new surroundings will bring!

With that being said, Concetta’s Closet is looking for a NEW MODEL!  This time, we are doing it a bit different – we will be hosting an OPEN CALL day for models to come in to do a small test shoot.

What does it take to be a Concetta’s Closet model you ask?  Well – first and foremost, a sense of humor, as we have LOTS of laughs and make working fun!  Second, you gotta be OK with being recognized EVERYWHERE!  Just ask Lauryn, she gets stopped nearly every day when in public.  Third, good work ethic!  While we do have a bunch of fun, taking this job serious is for real.

Here are the deets about the open call:

Where – Concetta’s Closet, 7 Commercial Alley, Portsmouth.

When – Tuesday, July 1st.  9am-12pm and again at 6pm-8pm.

What should you bring? – A pair of heels and your pretty self!

Is this position paid? – Yep!  And quite handsomely!

When do you have photo shoots? – Usually Tuesdays, but depending on the models schedule, other times will be considered.

Is there food? – Sometimes!  We often order lunch or have muffins/coffee during the shoots.

Do I have to be a size 0? – Nope, but being able to fit a wide range of sizes is preferable.  (we pin a lot of clothing when its too big)

I cant make the open call, can I come another time? – Sure!  Just email Dana at concettascloset@gmail.com for details.

I think that covers it.  Please feel free to email Dana if you have further questions or concerns.  We hope to see you!!

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Enchanted Days and Nights

Once in a while I get totally uninspired by our weekly photo shoots.  It gets a little boring shooting on the same old grey background.  I had an idea.  I thought, why not shoot the prettiest pieces of lingerie I had, in one of the prettiest locations I could find, on one of the prettiest girls I could find.  Sounds pretty awesome, right?  Well, it was.  We were able to take so many photos of our new model Mia, wearing lingerie from spanning from the 1920’s to the 1960s.  Where did all of this take place?  We came across a quaint little Bed and Breakfast called Enchanted Nights, located in Kittery Maine, right over the bridge from Portsmouth.  I met with the owners Peter and Nancy and they were elated to have us use the rooms to photograph our vintage collection of lingerie.  If you’re ever in Portsmouth or the NH or Maine Seacoast area, I highly recommend staying at Enchanted Nights Bed & Breakfast.  The decor and the hospitality are unsurpassed!

Here are just a few photos from the shoot – we will be sharing more, but for now, just a tease!

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Model Search!

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Once in a while, we look to add another fresh face to the shop, usually just for swimwear and lingerie.  So let it be known!  Concetta’s Closet is looking for a swimwear and lingerie model!  Your face will be seen everywhere, you’ll be noticed everywhere, you’ll be famous!  (Kind of, ha!)  Do you have a bit of a vintage look?  Ever dreamed of wearing gorgeous 1930s lingerie or 1950s swimsuits?

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If you’d like to be considered for the job, please fall within the below specifics and reply with the below requirements in an email to the provided email address below:

Height: 5’5″ to 5’10”

Waist 26″ and smaller

Bust 34″ and smaller

Hips 36″ and smaller

Location:  Please be within 30min of Portsmouth NH

Availability:  Typically, we would prefer that you would be able to have Tuesday’s for photo shoots, but we understand that this is not possible for everyone.  In your reply, please let me know your weekly availability.

Modeling Experience:  While I understand that not everyone has tons of modeling experience, this job is not for someone who has never been in front of a camera before.  This job is a lot like acting, it IS a lot of work.  Please do not approach this in an unserious way.

Head shots/Photos:  Please send at least three photos/head shots with your email, professional photos are best.

This position is paid.

Send all inquiries to Dana – concettascloset@gmail.com

deadline is 2/16/14

Your Body, Her Body, Our Bodies.

Ive battled back and forth about blogging about this subject for months.  And I think Ive come to a point where it needs to be talked about.  Females and body image.

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As most of you know, I own a vintage clothing boutique in Portsmouth New Hampshire.  I see between 30 and 100 women a day come in and out of my shop – I hear their conversations, answer their questions and talk to them about sizing.  I also have a social media presence on Facebook and other SM outlets, so I read the comments and answer the same sizing questions there too.

I guess what I want to say without beating around the bush is:  Can we stop talking about other womens body sizes?  No matter how big or small, no matter if she has a 23″ waist or a 32″ waist, regardless if she has boobs or not.  Can we, please – stop?

A day doesnt go by when I dont hear, “Oh my goodness!  A 24″ waist!!  That girl is so tiny!” – when referring to Lauryn, the lovely (and quite healthy) young woman who models for the shop.  And it bothers me to no end when I hear it.  Why?  What’s wrong with having a 24″ waist?  or a 42″ waist?  Who cares what her waist size is.  Who cares what your waist size is, now or 15 years ago.  I often wonder if those same women would say the same thing about that woman with the 42″ waist, out loud and in a public forum.  I would imagine not.  So why the double standard? Why is it OK to openly remark about the smaller girls size/measurements?  Is it because the smaller waist is ideal based on what the media portrays as “ideal”?

Sometimes when women pass through the racks, they say something out loud like, “A 26″ waist!?  Who wears that size?!” – I answer with, “Lots of girls.” – once In a while I get a response of, “well those girls arent normal.”  And even though I wear a size 12, those comments bother ME because I have friends and customers of all shapes and sizes, even some with 26″ waists.

Im sorry if this is coming off a little venty – but it has really bothered me for quite some time now.  And I really want us women to stop fussing over our bodies.  Be happy with your body, and if youre not, thats fine – but dont talk about other womens bodies.

So lets just stop it, OK?

The Misconception about Flappers

As a vintage shop owner, I get lots of requests for “flapper” dresses.  And when I show customers the flapper style dresses I have for sale, most customers are disappointed.  Why?  Because they dont fit into the stereotypical envision of what a flapper dress is.  Society has gotten one image into peoples head about what a flapper looks like, and that example is this:

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The problem is, the chances of all flapper dresses looking like this, are few and far between.  As a vintage shop owner for the past four years, Ive come into one dress that incorporated fringe, and it was beaded fringe.  Not to mention, Ive never seen in books or any online references – a flapper dress that looked anything remotely close to this costume above.

Lets talk about what a flapper dress truly looks like, shall we?

The definition of a flapper: a (1920s) fashionable young woman intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behavior.

{The style of the flapper started around WWI when corsets and longer ankle length dresses were considered conventional and the norm – women having the right to vote was a new wind of independence for most women, these were the flappers}

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And how they looked:  Flappers cut their hair into bobs, they wore high heels and makeup was worn regularly.  They wore dresses and skirts that were at or just above the knee.  They partied hard, smoked, drank, drove cars (whoa!) and experimented sexually without fear of judgement.  And not all flappers wore fringe, rhinestones and feathers either.  Here are a few photos of actual flappers – and even a few dresses from the shops collection of “Flapper” style dresses.

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I hope this gives you a greater appreciation for the clothing of the 1920s – as well as a broader expectation of what flappers wore and looked like.

And here is a great read from the Smithsonian Museum, about flappers:

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/threaded/2013/02/the-history-of-the-flapper-part-1-a-call-for-freedom/

Hello, Portsmouth!

In case you haven’t been made aware – the Newmarket shop is moving!  As of October 1st, we will be operating in Portsmouth!  Now, it may take me a few weeks to get set up and up and running…and I will have an exact date for the grand opening in the upcoming weeks.  (so stay tuned!).

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The last day of operating in the Newmarket shop will be September 14th (but Etsy will be fully operational!).  I’ll even have a few sales going on during those two weeks!.

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So – come see us at 7 Commercial Alley in Portsmouth in Mid-October…just in time for that perfect New England Fall weather!  Im EXTREMELY excited about the move…the shop will have an ALL new look with TONS of new clothing!

That being said – please plan for sporadic hours for the next two weeks in Newmarket as I get things situated.  Moving is not easy and moving a business sure is not easy at ALL.  Thank you for your understanding!

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(this is Commercial Alley!)

Set Your Eyes On These

The other day I went to the eye doctor to get my yearly check up.  Im practically blind, for those of you who dont know.  Over the years, with so much abuse of looking at a computer screen for about 3/4 of the day – my eyes have begun to fail significantly.  The worst about wearing glasses is finding a pair of frames that work well on my face.  Ive literally been wearing the same pair of Ellen Tracey metal copper colored frames for the last five years.

I found out that one of my favorite eyewear designers, Warby Parker, is coming out with a new line, specifically designed from a vintage style, named the “1922 Collection“.

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Unique and different, but absolutely vintage – I cant wait to give them a try!  Ive never seen anything like them, anywhere!  (except the real authentic thing, of course!).  The best thing. they also come in sunglasses!  You can see the new 1922 Collection here!  And with the new Great Gatsby film coming out next month, you know these are going to be all the rage with the vintage crowd.

A bit on Warby Parker – here! (and a bit about their “Buy a Pair/Give a Pair” program)

Here is a peek!

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I dont know which Im going to choose, the choice are so amazing!  Im so excited!

If I only had a place to wear that dress!

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I hear that statement nearly every day in this business.  Truly, every damn day.  Sometimes even from myself.  Sure, sometimes our daily activities dont always call for wearing full skirted party dresses, encrusted with rhinestones and lace – but that doesnt mean wearing a dress is out of the question.  Women from eras past wore dresses nearly every day.  In some eras, they ONLY wore dresses, as womens pants were almost unheard of (hence the lack of vintage pants in the older eras).  Only until the 1930s and 1940s were women wearing pants.. and very few at that.  It was still quite the norm for women to wear dresses every day.  I meet with women in their 80s and 90s almost weekly when I go on house calls – and I always ask, “Did you ever wear pants?  Do you have any?” – And the answer always is no.  Most women were never allowed to wear pants while living with their parents, especially if raised in a Catholic home (nevermind wear the color black!  Yikes!)

But many women did wear dresses…and not just to dances or cocktail functions.  They wore them everywhere.  Women now, only wear them to “fancy” functions and need an excuse to purchase or wear a dress – and wear pants most of the time.  Its funny how times have changed!  My take is:  You dont need an excuse or a function to wear a dress.  Just wear one.  Whats the big deal?  If you feel too dressed up – isnt that a good thing?  Isnt it better to feel too dressed up than under dressed?  (Think: PJ bottoms and a tank top with flip flops – GAG!).  I dont always dress to impress, but I try!  My biggest excuse is the weather – living in the frozen tundra of NH kind of puts a damper on dress wearing for about seven months of the year (not to mention, the shoes are limited due to slush/snow/etc).  But once that sun starts shining and those temps are rising – you cant get me out of a dress!  And for those fancy dresses, sure – sometimes you need an occasion, yes.  Dont have one?  Create one!  Make your boyfriend/husband take you out to a show/dinner/event!  I have a closet full of pretty dresses that give me a good excuse to make the old man take me out for a nice time every so often ;)

Here are some great vintage photos of women wearing dresses – doing average things – just to show you that you dont have to be doing anything special to wear a dress.

Just wear one!

Putting on a bumper sticker – and wearing a dress.

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Cutting a rug with your friends – and wearing a dress.

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Grocery shopping with your homegirls – and wearing suits! HA!

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Walking down the street – wearing a dress.

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Hanging out with your friend and acting silly – wearing dresses.

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Hitchhiking – and rocking a dress.

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Hanging out with some boys and their dog – wearing a dress

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Shopping at the local WalMart (?) – sporting a dress (as opposed to the preferred apparel)

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Hanging out at Jenks Boardwalk at Point Pleasant New Jersey (my old stomping grounds!) –  Wearing Dresses and Suits and Bikinis all in the same place!

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Last but not least – taking care of babies – and rocking dresses! (this one is for you, Amy!)

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Honored to Be the Best

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A few weeks back, Sammy Davis of Sammy Davis Vintage published a really cool e-book where she shares the best of vintage shopping online.  The book is an awesome reference for anyone that shops vintage online (whether its Etsy or Ebay, or stand alone websites).  There are so many amazing shops featured, along with specific categories of vintage as well (hats, shoes, mid-century, etc)

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I received my copy of the e-book while in the middle of a photo shoot with Lauryn (the shops brunette model).  We opened the book together and saw that my shop was named number one! We both stood there and looked at each other confused.  “Me?  My shop?”  I said.  Lauryn said, “Oh my goodness!!!”  It totally made our shoot (which is normally fun but a lot of work) a LOT more fun.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was up against so many other shops that had been around a lot longer than mine – and so many other shops that (I felt) kicked my butt.  But then I thought about it.  Maybe someone else saw something I didn’t.  Maybe the countless months of working seven days a week, 14hrs a day shows.  Either way – whatever it was – I was honored and very humbled.

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But know that none of this could have been achieved without the girls who are the face of Concetta’s Closet, possible – the models.

So thank you Sammy – for the honor of being featured and named as number one.  And congratulations to my fellow sellers for being in the book as well.  Its an honor to be among you all.  So if you follow my blog – you must obviously love vintage – so that means you must purchase this e-book, “The 100 Best Vintage Shops Online“.  It’s amazing!

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