Review: The Worn Archive


I picked up a copy of the The WORN Archive: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, & History of What We Wear, on a whim while in Portland last October. I have read most of the articles in the 400+ page book which is an anthology of the first 14 issues of the Worn Fashion Journal magazine. What was so refreshing about the book and its entry into the Worn Fashion Journal is that it focuses on personal style over fashion trends. They focus on gender and body issues as well as how people create their own personal looks through thrifting, vintgae, modern and handmade items. Its more like Bust magazine with an emphasis on clothing and fashion than a Vogue magazine. Sadly, the publication is defunct now but the back issues are still available as well as the book.


The book is printed on heavyweight uncoated paper that makes it feel like an art book and is filled with great illustrations. Its also beautifully designed.


The models range in size, shape, age and color to present a diverse representation of people who care about how they dress.


All in all, its been one of my favorite book purchases of the past year. I often pick it up and flip through it to look at the wonderful photography and illustrations or to skim an article again. ITs a refreshingly different take on fashion and beauty and I wish there were more things like this in the world, especially since Worn is no more.

Here is the promo video for the Worn Archive book launch which puts some faces to the staff behind the book and publication:

And this led me to their Secondhand Prom Mash-Up video which made my Monday!

(All photos from Drawn & Quarterly)

Not-So-Vintage: Mori Girl


I’ve been meaning to write up a post about things that inspire me that might not, at first glance, appear to be vintage. The first person I thought about was Tif Fusel, AKA Dottie Angel, whose unique sense of style is a constant wonder to me. She refers to her style as “granny chic” with lots of layered prints, woolies and crocheted details.To me, she is a fashion icon of the highest order. She has found “her look” and embraced it wholeheartedly. Of course, she’s stunningly gorgeous too.

Tif incorporates vintage thrift finds like old fabrics, crocheted doilies and her own knitting, crochet and embroidery. She layers her pieces over tights, leggings or jeans and pairs the ensemble with clogs or boots which give the look a forest girl vibe.

I’ve come to find out there’s a whole fashion trend from Japan called “mori girl” which translates to “forest girl” that draws on a lot of similar elements. Mori Girl style still has a hint of the Haajuku and Lolita trends that started the whole fascination with Japanese teen street fashion but is definitely has more everyday wearable aspects.

Mori Girl style incorporates lots of neutrals and woodsy colors, woolens and even some elements that feel distinctly vintage in a rundown-British-country-home sort of way. Its inspired by Scandavian style, loose, unstructured Japanese fashion and is a little demure, innocent and fantastical.

I think bits and pieces of this style would be a great way to add some vintage-y elements while keeping the look fresh and modern.


Lots of elements from this look come from traditional, classic or vintage styles like cardigans, peter pan collars, delicate floral patterns and layering.

Tiny Owl Knits is a great source for knitting patterns that fit squarely in the Mori Girl look. There’s even a whole forum on Ravelry dedicated to the Mori Girls look and dozens upon dozens of pinboards on Pinterest featuring inspiration.

The only concern I have with trying the look myself is that, as a slightly curvy, chunky girl, I’m afraid the look would be less waifish and more circus tent-ish.

Allied Voices: Links from Around the Web


I found two different posts this week about ways to make vintage fashion look less costume-y. The first was about making vintage fashion look appropriate for any age which focuses on what I consider “classic looks” and the second article was about finding your vintage look without looking like a re-enactor (unless you want to).

Both articles focus on doing what’s right for you. If you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself because you’re shy or just dipping your toe into vintage looks, these are super helpful. You might have a job that requires you to look “professional” and co-workers might scoff if you come to work in head-to-toe vintage. But a classic pencil skirt, crisp white blouse and a vintage pin might pass under their radar and feel totally vintage to you.

Vintage (Style) Can Be Appropriate (via Quirky Girl Likes Vintage)

Dressing Vintage: 10 Simple Tips to Avoid Looking Costumey (via Wearing History)

And for something knitting-related, Ysolda created a beautiful photo tutuorial for doing a provisional crochet cast-on. I always forget how to do this and struggle to figure it out. She makes it look so clear and easy to understand.

Technique Thursday — crochet provisional cast on (via Ysolda)