Get to Know Ruby

Get to Know Ruby: Favorite Chicago Vintage Stores

While online shopping is so easy - and definitely more beneficial for vintage shopping, there are some terrific vintage stores here in Chicago.  So, I figured in addition to my list of Etsy shops, I would also write a quick post about my top five vintage shopping locations in the Chicago area.

First up are not exactly store fronts.  They are vintage fairs/markets that take place monthly (during most of the year).  These are the best resources for clothes, accessories, furniture and other goodies.

Randolph Market - Almost every month on the fourth weekend

The Randolph Market is held at the Plumber's Union Hall on Randolph Street.  It is three floors of vintage sellers and during the summer months it is also outdoors in the parking lot.  It is the perfect place to check out some of my regular sellers that don't have store fronts.

Vintage Garage - Every third Sunday in April-October

Vintage Garage is a true "Flea Market" style shopping experience.  It takes place in a multi-level parking garage filled with vintage sellers.  Furniture, clothing, accessories!  It is another great opportunity to maximize your vintage shopping time.

Now, as far as store fronts, here are my favorite three.

Antique & Resale Shoppe

This store is small and outside the city limits, but it is bursting at the seams with costume jewelry and other vintage goodies.  My mom and I visited this shop last summer for the first time and spent HOURS browsing their jewelry and hats.  They have a small arrangement of clothing and other accessories.  They also have some household goods.  But their jewelry is really the reason to come to this shop!

Knee Deep Vintage

Knee Deep is a terrific vintage store in the Pilsen neighborhood.  They have a wide variety of eras in their shop.  Plan to take a couple of hours to browse through their well organized sections.  And don't forget to check out the back room where they keep the dressier (and older) items.  I'm found some great 50s day dresses here.

Market Supply Company

Market Supply Co.  is the store front for one of my favorite vintage stores, Dethrose Vintage.  It is different from your average vintage shop because it doesn't look like a vintage shop.  It looks like you are walking into an average boutique but all the clothing is vintage.  Typically more mid-century, they have lovely clothes here.

Get to Know Ruby: Favorite Vintage Shops on Etsy

I love Vintage shopping and Chicago has some great vintage stores (I'll post my list of favorites soon).  But searching for 40s and 50s styles in my size is no small feat, so I also turn to my favorite vintage online option - Etsy!

So I thought I would share my top five Etsy shops for vintage goodies.

First up, Hopscotch & Soda - a local Chicago seller.  Virginia curates a lovely collection and really has a pulse on that mid-century style.  She's also one of the few people I've seen selling that lists the measurements for all of her clothing - especially important since sizing is really all over the place.  Her prices are definitely fair and range based on the particular item.  For those local, she frequently has a booth at the Randolph Street Market (more on that in my shop post).  

Another Chicago-based seller I like is Dethrose Vintage.  She also has a variety of lovely dresses and separates from the 40s and 50s.  She also has a brick and mortar store down in the Pilsen neighborhood.  I made my first trip there and was impressed by her "boutique" style - very different from a typical vintage/resale store.  

First Ladies Vintage is another Chicago-based seller.  I swear, I wasn't intentionally just picking Chicago sellers.  It just so happens that I found these sellers in person first and then started following their Etsy stores for a bigger selection.  She has a lovely collection and I recently saw them vending at the Vintage Garage.

Now, if I haven't mentioned it in this blog yet, I am obsessed with vintage hats.  Which is why High Hat Couture is on my list of top five sellers.  She has the most gorgeous vintage hats from early 1900s right through the 1980s.  I have at least a dozen of her hats on my list of favorites.  If only I had more storage space in my place.

Rounding out my list of favorite vintage sellers is actually not a vintage seller.  Miss Lizzy D Creations makes vintage inspired playsuits and custom pieces.  I have an adorable custom playset from her.  Her pieces tend to steer more towards the "rockabilly" side of vintage wear.  Her construction is amazing and she is really easy to work with.

Of course, there are LOTS of vintage sellers on Etsy.  My best recommendation to finding your favorites is to search for objects you are looking for.  You will begin to notice sellers popping up in your searches frequently and chances are, they probably sell in the style/era you are looking for.

Next I'll work on my list of favorite vintage stores in Chicago.

Get to Know Ruby: Favorite Youtube Tutorials

When I was a young girl, I was never very interested in makeup.  My routine was simple and what I learned from my mom (who used liquid eyeliner - thank you!)  My haircut was simple and I never really did much to it.

So as I have gotten older and become more interested in makeup and hair - especially achieving that vintage look, I turned to the resource that most do - YOUTUBE!

Youtube is a treasure trove of tutorials, especially for the vintage/pinup loving community.  I thought I would share some of my favorite youtubers.

First up, the lovely Lisa Eldridge

Lisa is an amazing makeup artist from the UK.  I don't remember how I found her years ago - but her makeup tutorials have been lifesaving.  I learned to do a smokey eye, match foundations, and imitate some of my favorite celebrities.  Majority of her tutorials have nothing to do with vintage styling, BUT they are fantastic base skills that you can apply across the board.  Also, FANTASTIC product reviews.

As far as vintage lovers go,  here are my top Four.

The infamous Cherry Dollface

Cherry Dollface was the first pinup tutorial I found online.  She has great hair and makeup tutorials but also talks about posing for photos and clothing.  If you like that rockabilly genre, she will be your queen.

Vintagious was another retro youtuber I found early on.  

She was PERFECT for a newbie hair stylist.  She made retro inspired looks really easy for someone (me) who didn't know what they were doing.  I still use a bunch of her techniques when I do my hair today.  She's also great if you just want something a little vintage-inspired and not full on vintage.

For a little Midwest love, I really enjoy A Vintage Vanity.

She has great hair tutorials - including how to style your hair with a hat.  I like the versatility of her tutorials and her bubbly personality.   Plus, her bright pink hair and purple polka dot wall are adorable!

And lastly, for the favorites - is Lisa Freemont Street.

She has been one of the more recent finds for me (over a year ago) but she is really my go-to resource.  A hair stylist from down south, she is one of the only hair tutorials I have found online that has fine, pin straight hair like I do.  It makes things SO much easier when there are tutorials that are similar hair types.  I love her range of tutorials and also her product reviews.  Several of my products are based on her recommendations.

So there's a quick review of my TOP FIVE youtubers.  Youtube was an invaluable resource for me when I first started honing my style and is still helpful when I want to try something new.  

I've been tossing around the idea of starting a youtube page myself.  Is that something you would like to see?

Get to Know Ruby: Favorite Movies

I LOVE movies... really LOVE movies.  I enjoy becoming engrossed in a movie - relishing the characters, loving the scenery and the costumes, and rooting for the love stories.  

I've been sitting here trying to think of how to best handle this topic because it's too difficult to pick just one.   Well, I could probably just talk about one, but what's the fun in that?

So I'm going to run through my TOP 10 Favorite Movies and why they are in the top 10.  First up...

 The Wizard of Oz (1939)

If someone told me I could only pick one movie to watch for the rest of my life, it would be this one.  It has everything - Judy Garland singing, fantastic adventures, lovely and unlikely friendships and  beautiful transitions to color... OZ is gorgeous!  Over the course of my lifetime, I've been Dorothy for Halloween (several years), the Wicked Witch and the scarecrow.  Between my mom and my friends, I will never have to worry about running out of kitschy Wizard of Oz memorabilia.  

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

I adore Audrey Hepburn (not the only time she makes an appearance on this list).  I love her in this role as Holly Golightly.  She is a terrific disaster.  I enjoy seeing how she is vulnerable with Paul Varjak.   There is a reason this movie is so iconic and one day I will have Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Plus, the Henry Mancini soundtrack is amazing.

On the Town (1949)

Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly are a perfect dynamic duo.  Musicals are my favorite genre of movies and this one is one of the best.  Three sailors head out for their day of leave in NYC and happen to fall in love along the way.  If you like this one, there is also Take Me Out to the Ballgame - same general plot, same three actors.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

I've already professed my love of Jane Russell (and this movie), so it shouldn't be a surprise this is on the list.  She and Marilyn are the perfect pair.  I quote this movie way more than I should - especially since hardly anyone gets the reference.  I call that "vintage life problems".

High Society (1956)

A musical remake of The Philadelphia Story. Bing. Frank. Grace.  A cameo by Louis Armstrong.  Seriously, this movie is fantastic!  I like the original, but making it better with music - yes please!  I love Bing Crosby's version of the song "True Love".

How to Steal a Million (1966)

Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn steal a statue.  This movie is funny - it was the first movie that made me really like Peter O'Toole.  The costumes are so quintessentially 60s and Audrey is perfection (again).

Rear Window (1954)

My favorite Hitchcock movie.  Jimmy Stewart plays an injured photographer who becomes entirely too interested in the goings on of his neighbors.  Grace Kelly plays his impeccably dressed girl friend - she is swoon-worthy!

Blue Hawaii (1961)

I don't care what anyone else says - I love Elvis movies.  Sure, he's not the best actor out there.  And yes, most of his movies have exactly the same plot.  Who cares!  He is amazing.  It's hard to pick the best one of the bunch, so I'm going with Blue Hawaii  (rock-a-hula baby, anyone?) with a close second of GI Blues.

White Christmas (1954)

The best holiday movie of all time - and that's not an over statement.  Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen are terrific!  The singing and dancing is perfect and so is the costuming!  There are other great holiday movies (Holiday Inn and It's a Wonderful Life) but this one is the best.

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Bing Crosby (second appearance) and Ingrid Bergman are just lovely as Sister Superior and the Priest assigned to St. Mary's - saving the school from being condemned.  Watching them begrudgingly develop a friendship is the best part of the whole movie - aside from Bing's singing voice. 




Get to Know Ruby: Her Favorite Modern Day Pinup

Photo from  Dita's Website

Photo from Dita's Website

Since I started this blog series last week with my iconic pinup, I thought it only fitting to follow that up with my favorite modern day pinup.  Pinup is seeing a surging revival right now and I think a big portion of it can be accredited to Dita Von Teese.

She is spectacularly fabulous - in every way!

Photo from   Dita's Website

Photo from Dita's Website

A midwesterner, like myself, her love of vintage was fostered by her mother... not unlike mine!  (Are you seeing a theme here?)  She has a self-proclaimed obsession with vintage lingerie and a legitimate classic car collection.

Dita is famous for her 1940s glamour look and her collection of vintage.  She's always known for bringing back the classic style burlesque.  If you ever get an opportunity to go and see her show, I highly recommend it.  It is worth the price!

Photo from   Dita's Website

Photo from Dita's Website

She looks flawless all the time and I'm truly inspired by her.  

All photos from her website and you can find more Dita information on her Wikipedia page.

Get to Know Ruby: Her Favorite Iconic Pinup

Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell - Born June 21, 1921; Died February 28, 2011    Source:

Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell - Born June 21, 1921; Died February 28, 2011  Source:

I love a good brunette bombshell, so of course, my favorite iconic pinup would be Jane Russell.

Jane is gorgeous - just look at that photo (one of my favorites of her)!!

Her first film was thanks to Howard Hughes - The Outlaw (1943).  She was cast into a character designed to show off her "ample" assets.  It was actually filmed in 1941 but took two years to pass the censorships!  With curvy measurements (38D - 24 - 36), she definitely did have assets.  She was 5'7, which made her more statuesque than most of the other silver screen sirens.   Being 6ft myself, I can sure imagine how she felt - towering over those petite ladies.

This picture (below) is the famous promotional image for The Outlaw that made Jane a favorite among servicemen during World War II.



 She was in more than 25 films, but is best known for her role as Dorothy Shaw  in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)with Marilyn Monroe.  This is my favorite film of Jane's because it showcases a very funny, sarcastic personality.  She plays perfectly against Marilyn's "ditsy" character.



Jane, always appealed to me in that "I'm different from anyone else, and that's ok" vibe.  She was smart and driven and took care of her family.

She is the sassy, leggy brunette that I try to emulate.  

Biography information and photos source:

Get to Know Ruby - The Series

What a gorgeous vintage doll!

What a gorgeous vintage doll!

I thought it would be fun to start a series on here called "Get to Know Ruby".  In this series of blog posts, I'll talk about some of my favorites - favorite inspirations, outfits, makeup, whatever!

I'll get started next week with My Favorite Iconic Pinup.

If you have any requests on any favorites you would like to know, leave a comment below!