The Vintage Fashionista’s Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

Time For a Little Last-Minute Magic

No matter how hard we try, we always seem to have a need for a last-minute holiday gift.  After a few years of scrambling, overpaying, and giving out IOU’s we have developed this go-to list for gifts. We have something for nearly everyone here, even Mom.

A Versatile Accessory for Him and Her:

1.  A Scarf or Pashmina – A great gift for her.  Scarves are so versatile, besides your standard neck option, you can wear them as belts, head-wraps, braided as bracelets and many other ways (Thanks Pinterest). Scarves are great for that style inclined friend or family member and can even be hung as wall art.  The Pashmina is another great option for that more practical or subtly styled recipient.  Another plus is you can’t get the wrong size for your recipient and they cost next to nothing to ship.

Vintage Scarves Make Great Gifts!2.  Cufflinks – Essentially the male equivalent of the scarf, a fun accessory that you can’t get wrong. If a guy is interested in style at all, you have lots of options that correspond with the recipients interests, hobbies, alma mater, and more.

Some Last-Minute DIY Options:

3.  DIY Hot Cocoa Kit – There are many options out there (Again, Thanks Pinterest) but we usually start with either a blank mug we can decorate (kits available at Michael’s), or any mug that appeals to your recipient.  Throw in some marshmallows, some chocolate on a stick, and wrap in cellophane and ribbon.  This is a great gift to give to a bunch of people without adding too much more time to the assembly.

Potted Herbs

4. Potted Plant/Herb Garden/Rosebush – The key here is to not give your intended recipient another chore, so I try to keep it simple and low maintenance.  Basil, Oregano and Rosemary are hard to kill and fit in small spaces.  We have also given citrus (Key Limes!) and rosebushes with great results.  Just buy the plant, some potting soil, and a decorative pot and assemble.  Plus you don’t have to wrap it.

Think Outside the Box:

5. Donation in their name – When all else fails this is an instant gift that just requires a little cash.  Pick a cause that is dear to them and make a donation to a charity that champions that cause on your recipients behalf.  Many charities let you print a certificate when making a donation on their website, which serves as the physical gift, along with a card.  We start with Charity Navigator for inspiration.

6. A Shared experience – Time is often the best gift you can give, and it doesn’t take up any more room in their house either.  Concert, movie or sports tickets are great for this, but our  go to gift is a Mani-Pedi for two, that way you can pamper yourself while enjoying quality time together. We always hit up groupon when we start searching here.

The Tried and True Classic:

7.  Framed Photos – As our lives digitize, there are fewer physical reminders of our meaningful relationships.  A framed photo will earn a special place in any recipients heart, especially mom’s since she has been asking you for a picture for the last 10 years.  Prints take only a few hours to make at the local drugstore, and we have put together 10 photo collages for less than $25.

Now, get to work, time is a wastin’ and there is never enough of it during the Holidays!

Vintage Inspired Window Shopping

Last weekend the vintage fashionistas decided to get our exercise by walking around Bal Harbour Shops and doing a little window shopping.  We figured if there was any place that knew what was in style, it was the windows at Bal Harbour.  The mall does, after all, have some of the most cutting edge designers like Charlotte Olympia, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, and Versace as well as luxury boutiques like Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Prada and Saint Laurent.

The end result: I was surprised to see how many high end designer store windows had a retro flair, and styles borrowed from other eras.  They were clearly vintage inspired!

No one era really stood out or dominated.  There was no single overused look.  Instead each design house borrowed a style element reminiscent of a specific period.  All in all it was a voyage through fashion history.  A little bit of this and a little bit of that, and a lot of vintage inspiration.

At Dolce & Gabbana the windows were 1950s inspired with rounded Peter Pan collars, lace dresses, and embellished cardigan sweaters.

Vintage inspired 1950s style Dolce and Gabbana window

1950s style Dolce and Gabbana lace dress

At Fendi the mannequins were dressed in 1960s mod jumpers in A line shapes with big pockets that reminded us of vintage Courreges.

Vintage inspired 1960s Courreges style Fendi window

At Chloe the windows were more 1970s with bell bottom pants, and wingtip lapels, and dresses with rows of small buttons reminiscent of a Geoffrey Beene dress we have.Vintage inspired 1970s inspired Chloe window

And of course, lest we forget to mention Chanel, with the 1920s inspired mannequins dressed in drop waist dresses, feathered skirts, and flapper style hair accessories.   1920s inspired Chanel windowP.S Children’s Activity while at Bal Harbour?  Look for the turtles in the fish pond!


Fall Colors, and we’re not talking about leaves

Fall Fashion!

As the leaves begin to change and the weather turns crisper, I inevitably pull out my fall colors, dark red, burnt umber, mustard, orange, olive green.. those colors that remind me of the turning leaves and the changing season.  If you’re sick of those colors, or if they don’t particularly flatter your skin tone, don’t worry, you have other options!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.35.15 PMEvery year Pantone, the authority on color, puts out a list of 10 colors for each season.  The Fall 2015 color palette does offer some new options that still have an autumn feel, the key is how you pair them.  Half the colors on this seasons list are exactly what you would expect for fall.  Marsala red, oak buff (looks like mustard to me), dried herb (grungy green).  The other half, on the other hand, are completely unexpected, Biscayne Bay (teal), Cadmium Orange (like a bright peach), and Cashmere Rose (dusty pink).

The trick to making these unexpected colors feel like fall is how you wear them.  Here are four options:

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.37.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.39.26 PM1. Pattern  Chose patterns that are reminiscent of fall, like plaid.  Rachel Pally for example chose cashmere rose for a plaid dress.

2. Fabric  Lela Rose used the same color in a tweed coat.  Heavier fabrics with lots of texture feel more like colder weather.  Fabrics like tweed, boucle, wool are obviously for fall, no matter what color.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.41.07 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.41.21 PM3. Style Cynthia Steffe and Daniel Silverstain both used biscayne bay in a mod looking long sleeve, high neck dress.  Chose styles that are more covered up.  After all, it’s getting too chilly outside to show lots of skin.



4. Color combinations  If you pair cadmium orange with marsala red like Yoana Baraschi, you’ll get a distinctly autumn feeling, but one that feels fresh and contemporary because cadmium orange provides an modern pop of color. Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.44.24 PM

Now that you’ve got some new options for fall colors, spend the weekend digging through your closet and see what new outfits you can put together.  It’s like shopping without spending any money!  For more info on Fall 2015 Fashion Color Report visit Pantone!

Designer Spotlight: Emanuel Ungaro

Emanuel Ungaro is a French haute-couture and pret-a-porter fashion designer born in 1933 in Aix-en-Provence. He learned to sew from his Italian father, who fled the Fascist uprising in the Thirties. At the age of 23 he moved to Paris and two years later he began to work as an assistant to Cristobal Balenciaga. In 1963, he worked for Courreges and he left in 1965. The same year he launched his own label and boutique in Paris with partner Sonia Knapp, who later became his wife.

The Balenciaga Fashion House in Paris, France

The Balenciaga Fashion House in Paris, France

Ungaro became known for his body-skimming silhouettes, splashy use of pattern, bold and often-mismatched floral prints. His clothes are most often made in rich, boldly printed fabrics with very unique designs.  As such, they exude a certain amount of luxury and a whole lot of energy. At the opening show of his first boutique he refused to show evening dresses saying: “They are not my style. I am a man of this age and I will design for women of this age.” 

A beautiful example of Ungaro's style.

A beautiful example of Ungaro’s style. Notice the texture, metallic weave, shapely silhouette, and rich colors.

In 1968, he created the first pret-a-porter collection, Parallele, and opened a second boutique in Paris. A few years later, in 1973, he launched his first menswear collection, Ungaro Uomo. Quickly his designs were favorites of many celebrities, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve. Over the years, Ungaro expanded and opened boutiques and secured several licencing agreements worldwide.

In 1996, Ungaro sold a majority stake of his business to Salvatore Ferragamo SpA. Emanuel Ungaro retired from the fashion business in 2005. His label continues to create a women’s collection, menswear and fragrances. Emanuel_ungaroEmanuel Ungaro fitting model in 1968



To see some more great examples of Ungaro’s work, and to get one fore yourself, shop on our Emanuel Ungaro Designer Page.

Corduroy: A Royal and Luxurious Fall Fabric

When I think of fall fashion, the first thing that comes to mind after plaid is corduroy.  Corduroy is soft, and warm, yet very durable and versatile making it perfect for fall.

Corduroy Closeup

Origin of Corduroy

The word corduroy comes from “Corde du roi” which is French for the cord of the King.  In the 17th Century, French royal servants were known to wear a fine but durable woven velvet fustian-style fabric made from silk.  The word corduroy was coined in England around the late 18th Century as an early form of branding using the French translation of ‘cloth of the King’ (corde du roi). This is perhaps to promote an image of royal quality and to give the English-manufactured cotton cloth an air of French prestige.

Corduroy is, in essence, a ridged form of velvet, made from cotton instead of silk, that’s why it is often referred to as the “poor man’s velvet,”.  This also has its advantages.  The cotton makes it durable and more affordable, allowing it to be a good choice for a wide variety of uses, among all classes, not just royalty.  Corduroy has been popular among people of all classes for almost two centuries and has been used for everything from clothing to upholstery because it feels luxurious, but is so practical.

The Classic Corduroy Jacket

Making Corduroy

So how it is made, and why is it so fuzzy?  This fabric is usually made of cotton and is woven with loose twisted threads that are then cut to create a thick, soft texture called pile. How does this differ from velvet?  The pile of most corduroy is in ridges that run the length of the fabric giving it a ribbed or a striped appearance.  This is called the wale, which refers to the width of these ridges. Fine or pinwale corduroy is thin and has sixteen ridges to the inch, while wide wale corduroy has eight ridges to the inch.  Finewale corduroy is more commonly used for women’s clothing and finer garments, while wide wale corduroy is used for sporting clothing, drapes and upholstery.

Some Big Moments

  • In 1918 auto manufacturer Henry Ford (1863–1947) chose hard-wearing, luxurious corduroy as upholstery in his new Ford Model T automobile.
  • 1982 popular fashion designer Gianni Versace (1946–1997) introduced an entire line of men’s clothing in the “cord of the king”.


Chic in corduroy


This fabric is so popular, we have a hard time keeping it in stock, so be sure to check out these four jackets, which will be marked down by 40% this week! At these prices we will sell out quickly!

Cashmere, the Transitional Fabric for Fall

Cashmere for Fall

Fall is just around the corner and there is no better fabric to ease the transition into cooler months than cashmere. Light weight, yet still warm, this special kind of wool is easy to throw over anything, even a sundress.

A Kashmir Goat by the RiverCashmere Facts – Did you know?

  • The insulating capacity of cashmere wool is approximately 3 times that of regular sheep wool. That’s why even a thin cashmere sweater can be so warm. This is also what makes it a great material for seasonal transitions. It adds warmth with out bulk!  Because it is so thin, it also makes a great layering piece.  Wear a cardigan over a sundress, or a V neck over a collared shirt.  Because of the light weight nature of the fibers you’ll still look trim and shapely.  No tents here!
  • Like most things, there is a wide range of quality of this fabric. Vintage cashmere tends to be of much better quality (as the cheap stuff would not have stood the test of time). If you want to do a test for yourself, here are a few ways to tell if your cashmere is good quality.
    • Rub the surface of the garment with your fingers. Poor quality cashmere will pill almost immediately.
    • Crush the sweater in your hand. Squish it into a ball. The fewer wrinkles, the higher the quality.
    • Gently pull the garment; good quality springs back to its original shape.
    • Look for pure fibers or wool blends only. Blends with synthetics can indicate that poorer quality cashmere was used.
  • Cashmere isn’t expensive because it is so soft and warm. It’s expensive because each Kashmir goat only produces 4-6 ounces of underdown (that’s where the cashmere comes from) per year! That’s what makes cashmere a luxury fiber.

J. Crew Pink & White Argyle Cashmere Henley SweaterLA Made Gray Tissue Cashmere V Neck Hooded Sweater Brunello Cucinelli Pale Green Cashmere Cable Knit Short Sleeve Sweater

Despite the luxury, we have managed to form a nice collection of high quality, excellent condition garments, and to help ease the pain, Back In Style is offering you 40% off all of our cashmere items.  That means you can buy a high quality sweater for just $25! Shop our entire Cashmere Category now! Begin your transition into fall and let us know how you will be pairing your new items!

Mad for Plaid – Fall Fashion Sale


It’s September, which means it’s time to start shopping for fall.  There is nothing that makes me think of fall fashion more than plaid, so right now, all or our plaid items are marked down an additional 40%!  That makes us all:

Mad for Plaid!

No coupon necessary.  Just click plaid to start shopping!

 2014-01-17 15.36.16 Sonia Rykiel Plaid Button Front ShirtVintage-Adolfo-1970s-Red-and-White-Silk-Tie-Front-Blouse-1Want to see more plaid items on sale now?


Designer Spotlight: Susan and Diane Freis

logo-diane-fres_compactDiane Freis is American fashion designer known for her bohemian inspired dresses in multiple fabrics and bright colors. With her eye-catching prints, and comfortable fit she captured the boho chic style of the late 1970s and 1980’s. Diana Freis was famous for creating one-size, easy to wear dresses. Her flowing polyester georgette dresses were popular among the jet set crowd because of their great functionality while traveling. They are light-weighted, loose fitting and comfortable (often with an elastic waist!) and they don’t wrinkle. Her style exudes excess, opulence, glamor and femininity.

Born in Los Angeles, Diane Freis began designing clothes while studying Fine Arts at the University of California. Her big break was in the late 1970’s she crafted military inspired jacket and sold them to Hollywood boutique where they were popular among celebrities such as John Lennon and Diana Ross. Her sister, Susan is also a fashion designer and collaborates with Diane on multiple lines.Vintage-Assorti-for-Susan-Freis-1970s-Boho-Chic-Dress-1diane-freis-purple-flower-dress

  Diane was the primary designer in the Diane Freis label and as demand grew, she brought her sister, Susan, on board. You can find Susan’s name on a line called “Assorti” as well, which is also under the Freis sisters’ design umbrella. In 1985 Susan decided to start with her own company and separated from the Diana Freis label because liked simpler things with more structure. This was quite a contradiction to the free flowing, multi-print dresses she designed previously. In contrast to Diane’s designs Susan’s dresses were figure revealing and form fitting, and she started to use shoulder pads.

Together, the Freis sisters are excellent examples of vintage American fashion design from the 70’s and 80’s and we are happy to carry several items from their lines!

Redefine Chic and Dress Like A Parisian

What is it that makes French women always look chic and put together? The perfect mix of je’ ne se quoi, and joie de vivre makes for an enchanting wardrobe. So how do you get that look if you can’t even pin point what it is? If you can’t plan a trip to Paris to admire French fashion style then keep reading. Here are the top 5 tips dressing like a Parisian.

Parisian Chic Fashion Example


1. Stick to basic colors! Black, White, Navy…

Yes, it can sound a bit boring, but Parisian women stick with neutral basic colors. That makes your entire wardrobe easy to mix and match, creating lots of different outfits with relatively few clothes. This also makes it easy to mix patterns and shapes and always look pulled together, another fashion skill of Parisian women. The most popular colors are black, white, grey, beige, brown and of course navy. Save the red for your lips. Keep it neutral and classic. This look is timeless and elegant, and always chic.

2. Dress like a Lady

That means modest clothing that fits well and flatters your body. French women love to be feminine without being overly sexy. Their style is well tailored and demure. You will hardly meet a Parisian woman dressed in a short tight dress with many embellishments. They would rather choose a simple chic dress in muted colors that fits perfectly and flatter their body.

3. Don’t follow Trends

French women have their own sense of style. They don’t need to follow trends. They know what looks good on them and they wear what flatters their body. Isn’t that the point of fashion anyway? To make you look your best? Do this by dressing for your body type not just following the most recent trends. Wear classic shapes like an shift dress, an A-line skirt, a bateau neckline top that never go out of style. Try on the clothes in your closet and decide what is most flattering, then stick with those shapes.


Vintage Parisian Fashion Mosaic

4. Keep it comfortable

Part of French fashion is the effortless elegance and grace. It’s very hard to look chic when you’re uncomfortable, especially when it comes to shoes. That is why French women love flats! They are one of the essentials when creating truly Parisian style. Many people think that you need to be wearing high heels to be stylish, but the truth is that few women in Paris wear them for everyday occasions. Paris is a walking city with many beautiful places, and old streets. Classic ballet flats in black, tan or navy are the perfect choice for traversing the city.

5. Less is more

Coco Chanel once said, “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Parisian style is famous for its simplicity. Do not over accessorize. Wear only the essentials. A designer handbag, a gold tone watch, sunglasses, and one accessory are all you need for the perfect classy Parisian look.

Now that you are armed with these 5 tips, you can hit the streets in style for your cafe.  Don’t forget your poodle!

Silk for Summer? Why Silk Does A Body Good.

Silk for summer? Contrary to what you might believe, silk is a great fabric to pack for summer vacation.  It’s probably not the first fabric that comes to mind, but it actually has a lot of unique qualities that lend itself to traveling in the heat of summer. Read on and master this versatile and stylish material.

Silk Dresses, Tops, and Scarves for Summer

A Brief History of Silk

Silk, one of the oldest fabrics known to man, was first developed in China in 3000BC and was only allowed to be worm by the Emperor and his family. Even nowadays, 5000 years later, it has kept its status as a luxury fabric and has become one of the most popular fabrics because of its unique comfort benefits and durable properties.

Silk vs. Heat and Humidity

One great quality of silk is that it is a natural fiber and will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer! It is also highly absorbent and dries quickly. Did you know silk can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp? This is a great benefit in the heat of summer because it will absorb perspiration while letting your skin breathe.

Silk vs. Your Suitcase

Silk is incredibly comfortable and light-weight, making it a must-have for summer packing. It  also has very good resistance to wrinkling. If your silk clothes wrinkled in your carry on luggage, let it hang for a while and it will fall back into a shape.

It Does Your Skin Good Too

Also, if you have sensitive skin, pay attention!  Because of its natural protein structure, silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics.  If warmer temperatures make you break out in a rash, wearing silk will help prevent that.  Silk clothing is also very easy to wash and care for. If you get it dirty on your trip, just was it with mild soap in your hotel sink and let it dry.

Popularity in Fashion

From a fashion standpoint, silk is a good choice for clothing because it takes color well and creates vibrant colors with a high luster. Although it feels like a delicate feminine fabric, it is actually the strongest natural fiber and, surprisingly, it easily competes with steel yarn in tensile strength.

Have a look at our beautiful Silk Dresses, Scarves, and Tops, and do your body right!

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