Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, June 6th: Shopping and Fortune Telling!

On Friday, June 6th, Xtabay will be open until 9 pm for a shopping and fortune telling party.

Come down to the store to stock up on cotton dresses and vacation clothes, and let a palm reader or tarot card reader tell you what the summer has in store for you. She may not be able to promise you true love by autumn (or maybe she will--who knows?), but we can up the odds that you'll fall in love with a sparkling crystal necklace, a Polynesian print shift, or a 1940s cocktail dress.

Tell your friends! We'll see you there.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's Almost Memorial Day. Do You Know Where Your White Shoes Are?

Part of me chafes at the old rules of what you can't wear past Labor Day or before Memorial Day. Another part of me likes the ritual of seasonal "musts" and "must-nots".

Every Memorial Day weekend I ditch my winter leather bags and pull out a 1950s wicker bag with a brown Lucite handle and load it up with my wallet, calendar, and a pen. I know I can use the purse any time of the year I want, but there's something I love about marking the beginning of the season with a change of purse--even if it's cold and raining. The day after Labor Day I dump out the bag (now holding a few dozen crumpled receipts, five lipsticks and two half-used chapsticks, some business cards, and a pair of broken sunglasses) and make the switch to a leather bag.

Memorial Day is also supposed to be when you can start to wear white shoes again. Although they suit some people brialliantly, white shoes aren't for me any time of the year, so I don't worry much about this rule. (An aside: The Xtabay now has a pair of mint condition Charles Jourdan over-the-knee white suede go-go boots, size 9, for $85! They're fabulous, and they're the perfect reason to wear white on your feet in the winter. I saw a pair of over-the-knee Fendi suede boots in the June Vogue and they cost over two mortgage payments.)

As for seersucker suits and straw boaters--well, those don't concern me much, either, and probably don't concern you, unless you're a man reading this from the South. (Many Portlanders are more likely to see Memorial Day as the time to wear their Tevas without socks.)

The Xtabay has some good summer purses in stock now, including two raffia bags with jeweled wooden handles and flower appliques--one in white and one in black. They look like something Kate Spade might have dreamed up, but they're a tiny fraction of the price. Maybe this should be the year you take Auntie's advice and take on a summer purse. Memorial Day is just around the corner.

--posted by Angie

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Going to the Prom

Over the past few months, scores of high school girls have passed through the Xtabay, many of them leaving with a dress to wear to the prom. Since my own prom wasn't exactly yesterday, it's been interesting to see what's been popular.

Quite a few girls (I know that they're biologically women, but as long as mom is paying the bill I'll call them girls) go straight for 1980s formals. We've probably sold ten Jessica McClintock prom dresses with lacy overlays that could have easily come from the costume trailer of Pretty In Pink. Most of the dresses were knee length, and many of them have been black.

Some of the more adventurous girls go straight for the fluffy, tulle-skirted 1950s formals. These are the girls that I have a hunch will have the best time. They're going to princess-up for the prom with ropes of rhinestones. I hope each of them gets a gardenia corsage.

Other girls co-opt vintage wedding dresses for the prom. Their boyfriends had better watch out, because they'll be expecting something better than the Olive Garden for dinner, and their boyfriend's cumberbunds had better match their dresses.

Shopping vintage is a great way to get a dress for prom. There's so much variety at the Xtabay, and you know that no one else will have the same dress that you have. Plus, you'll actually have money left over to get a mani-pedi before you go out.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Death--and Rebirth?--of the Long Skirt

You just never see people in long skirts anymore. Sure, at the Oscars or at a wedding--if you're the bride, that is--you might wear a long skirt or dress, but for the most part people don't wear them anymore. When we have a gorgeous long dress at the Xtabay, often it languishes for months until Liz decides to shorten it. Once it's a short dress, it will often sell within a week.

Why is it that people don't wear long skirts anymore? It's not like we want to show our legs that much. After all, most people wear jeans that cover their legs completely, and a long skirt is much more comfortable than jeans. Also, it's not that shoes are difficult with a long skirt. Boots in the winter or sandals in the summer are all a long skirt needs.

And most long skirts aren't too fancy to wear everyday. Many of the long skirts we get at the Xtabay are cotton or polyester with great patterns. Paired with flip flops, a tee shirt, and a great pair of sunglasses you could wear them anytime you'd wear jeans and a tee shirt and you'd look fifty times more chic. A long skirt can be like Anita Pallenberg in the south of France, elegant and bohemian at the same time.

If you decide to take the long skirt plunge--and I hope you will--it helps to keep a few things in mind. First, a long skirt generally looks best on someone of average height or taller. The taller you are the more leeway you have on where the hem can break without chopping up your line. Next, if you're curvy, make sure that the skirt doesn't fall straight from your hips to the ground without following your shape at least a little, or the skirt will make a thick block of fabric that will weigh down your sillouette. If the skirt is form fitting, try a blousy top. On the other hand, if the skirt flows around your body, wear a closer top, like a tee shirt. The drama of a long skirt takes well to scarves and long necklaces, too.

The next time you're in the store, try on a long skirt and see what you think. I bet you'll look great.

--posted by Angie