Starting to Dress Like a Man (for FTMs)

Long time no see, Strangers! Where have I been? Well, I ran out of girl stuff to write about so I decided to transition to male.

Just kidding, I’m transitioning for different reasons. Because I literally am male. Surprise! I know, I didn’t believe it either.

But that doesn’t mean I still don’t love fashion. And this new adventure in wardrobe has been a new challenge. More-so because information on creating a men’s wardrobe from the ground up as an adult with a feminine body shape is just not something normally covered by men’s fashion videos and blogs. I literally emailed Real Men Real Style for tips and received NO response at all. Guess I’m on my own then. But that doesn’t mean you have to be. Just call me your fairy godfather.

Let me get this first bit out of the way. Don’t dress in nothing but oversized hoodies and jerseys because you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re trying to hide your shape. It’s not attractive and you’re more likely to look like a lesbian, which you are not, if you’re reading this. Probably. Or you can ignore me. But it’s doing you no favors. You just look sloppy. As intimidating as it can be as a first timer, immerse yourself in men’s fashion information in general. I know how overwhelming it can be because as you may know, I grew up reading Esquire instead of Cosmo and it’s still a lot to take in. But don’t worry yourself too much about fussy details. Just look around. See what you like. See what kind of man you want to look like. Experiment.

This brings me to my first big Do. Start cheap. Because you’re still experimenting, there’s likely to be a lot of stuff you try and decide isn’t for you. You don’t want to spend a lot of money in this stage. My first big round of shopping happened at Value Village. Now, this meant it was not only cheap, but for casual-wear I still actually really love pretty much everything I got. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be out a lot of money. And if I change my mind about any of it I can just donate it right back.

Speaking of cheap, another amazing place to go is online, mainly Aliexpress and Wish. Because not only are these places affordable but they’re Asian. Why does this matter? Because you’re probably relatively small for a dude, and Asian clothes run smaller. This means you don’t have to shop in the boys section. I mean you can, but it’s probably going to be a lot of dinosaur tshirts and we’re trying to dress like men here, right? Right.

Now it’s generally assumed that clothing from sites like this are crap. That’s not necessarily wrong – they definitely can be. The key here is to read reviews, especially ones with customer photos. Lots of reviews. Check size charts over and over. Check return policies. Besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout all of this it’s that men’s clothes are of much better quality than women’s. A lot better. So you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. And you know what? I’ve only very rarely bought something that didn’t work out. My new wardrobe is amazing.

Now, pants are the devil for us, aren’t they? Goddamn hips IjusthatethemsomuchI’mgoingtositinthisdressingroomandcryfortherestoftheday. Or nah. Because what works is going up one size and/or getting something with stretch. I’m not talking about leggings or sweats or other generally fugly things. I mean real nice dress pants and slim fit jeans. They can have stretch. And it’s wonderful. I fucking love my new $12 pants.

Another thing that’s going to show off your hips is tucking in your shirt. But I mean, don’t you have to? If you’re wearing business or formal-wear that is. If you don’t it looks sloppy. True. BUT the best hack for this is a vest/waistcoat. It covers your middle, makes you look nice and trim, disguises your hips, disguises your chest/binder, and looks dapper AF. It can also be worn as a cheaper alternative to a jacket, because getting a really nice one that fits well is hard. And you’ll end up looking better than your boss. Hell yes my dudes. Get a few of them to go with any shirt/pants combo. Get a few ties too. Ties are nice. If your tie is too long, you can tuck the excess into your shirt, and the vest will cover that up too!

Hell yes

 

If you wear lifts, consider ordering your shoes a size up to make room for them. That’s all I got to say about shoes at the moment.

Mini tip #2, accessorize higher up on your body to draw the eye up and help you look taller. Think hats, ties, and pocket squares. Suspenders for their vertical-ness over belts with their horizontal-ness. Definitely not belts in contrasting colors, that visually cut you in half and therefor make you look shorter. And monochromatic color schemes are good. Epaulets are very good. Shoulder pads… still pretty 80s.

Aaaand last thing I got for now, and I know this is repetition, is to make sure your clothes FIT. You’ve been going baggy to hide your curves but honey no. Just no. A well dressed man wears clothes that fit. It looks put-together, confident, and shows off your new muscles. niiiiiice. Those tips I gave above will help with the curves. If you take nothing else away from this article it’s that your clothes should fit.

That’s all I got for now. Maybe I’ll be back later with shaving tips or something 😛

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Etsy Part 1: My Favorite Purchases

I noticed that in a lot of my articles, especially those about shopping, I mention Etsy as one of my all time favorite online shopping sites. This most definitely hasn’t changed, so I thought it deserved an article all its own. I’ll talk about how it works, the awesome stuff you can find there (in a word, everything), my favorite shops and stuff I’ve bought, and a little extra fun.

I first discovered this site when I became a member of Offbeat Bride, an online community for non-cookie cutter people who want non-cookie cutter weddings. Actually, I discovered a lot of my favorite shops when I was planning my wedding. All the girls raved about Etsy constantly, so I had to check it out. I’ve been hooked ever since. As I’ve said many times, it’s like Ebay in that it’s a site that hosts countless shops held by individuals. The difference it’s all about vintage and handmade items, so everything available is unique, and there’s no bidding. You can find EVERYTHING here, from the stupid, ridiculous, hilarious, amazing, useless, perfect, gorgeous, clever, and everything you never thought you needed SO badly. Best. Site. Ever. Want to see some of the things I’ve bought as an example? If you like what you see, click the pictures for links to the shops.

This is the first thing I bought besides a pendant made of watch parts. It’s an alternative to a ring bearer pillow, made like a treasure chest. I found it so perfect and elegant, and so unique. The seller added red roses at my request. I now keep it on display in my living room.

These earrings are really simple, and really pretty. They go with everything. EIGHT bucks. The shop is one of my favorites for elegant steampunk jewelry.

This is a beautiful gold hair vine with pink accents I wore on my wedding day instead of a veil. It’s made of wire so you can bend it to work any way you want. Around a bun, horizontally across the back, along a french twist; the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately the shop no longer seems to exist, but there are a lot of shops selling similar items still out there.

This soft shrug was bought just in case it rained on our wedding day. This was also custom made for me in a vanilla color. A while later the name of the shop, Pinar Eris, was bugging me, because it was just so familiar. So I plugged it into my trusty Wikipedia and read that this designer has actually made dresses for the Oscars. How amazing is that?

From Poppenkraal, another great shop for gorgeous Victorian and Steampunk style jewelry, fancier than London’s Gate. Now you tell me where else you could ever find earrings like this.

Etsy has a huge selection of beautiful hair clips, and this one is definitely stunning. It even curves, so it conforms to the shape of your head without sticking out like one I bought from another shop. Just make sure you have some good glue. This one is currently sitting disassembled on my coffee table. I really hope I can bring it back to life 😥

This here is a perfect example of what we here on Etsy call “upcycled.” It’s like recycled, but it’s just been revamped to be made better, not something entirely different. This lovely item is a pimped out vintage clutch. It’s too much fun.

This amazing Victorian necklace is another purchase from Poppenkraal, and was only $35. It even came with extra beads in case any fell off. So far, they haven’t.

My first vintage dress. It’s too big, and I knew it would be. Maybe I’ll have it tailored down – in a temporary way, I wouldn’t want to damage it. Even so, I’m in love with this dress. The color, the golden sheen, how light it feels. Even its size. With a belt it looks even older than the early 1960s. It billows almost in the way of something from the late 1910s, or early 1920s. At least that’s the feeling I get. It makes me feel like I should be sitting on a porch on a hot summer night while it rains. Do I sound ridiculous? That’s how you know how much I love this dress.

This is a phone I bought last Christmas for the owner of the Foxy Shoppe. She’s been an incredibly generous sponsor of Drawn and Plastered, and she’s such a great lady. I had to buy her something to thank her. I’m pretty sure this phone is from the 70s, but it was made to look like it’s from the 30s. When Pam opened the box she was speechless. It turns out it’s exactly what she’s been wanting since she first opened the shop. Now it sits out on display.

And finally we come to my most recent purchase, dress from about 1958-1960 (according to the style of zipper) by Mr. Mort. It fits great except for a little room in the shoulders which I stitched up. It seems to me like a poor girl’s version of that stunning tweed Dior dress Dita von Teese loves so much. All I’d need to complete the look is some long leather gloves. I wore it during the long day I spent traveling to Vegas, and felt like a lady Cary Grant or somebody from Mad Men. Traven7 is the very best when it comes to beautiful perfect vintage dresses from the late 40s to the early 60s with full skirts. Her prices are high but everybody knows she’s worth it. I’ve missed out on a few of her dresses before because they sold so quickly, but I’m so glad I finally got this one.

Wow. It seems I got pretty excited there and rambled on a bit. Let’s say I save the rest for another post?

An Assortment of Great Corset Articles by The Lingerie Addict

I could go on forever about corsets. That much is painfully obvious. Recently I’ve been flipping through The Lingerie Addict, and loving every minute of it. I’m very impressed by the quality of information provided there, and instead of just repeating what they’ve said, I’m going to share my favorite articles of theirs with you. That way you can learn some cool things, and I can shut up. For a while.

What Everybody Should Know About the Difference Between Real Corsets & Fake Corsets

First off, this article speaks a lot to me. Years back, I was one of those naive unfortunates who bought that (unknowingly) fake red corset featured in the article. Words can’t do justice to how horrible that thing was. I didn’t wear it even once. To be fair, it was the first time I had attempted to purchase a corset since my first one, which was pretty darn great. Though of course common sense should have tipped me off a bit. And Damnit I am SICK of seeing this plastic CRAP every time I go for a night out! No, I don’t care if you’re insulted. This is how bad you look, and I’m cringing at you when you’re not looking, or when you do so much as mention them in a non-negative way. Do yourselves a favor and read this, or wear a shirt instead. I BEG you.

51 Places to Buy Your Next Corset

You know how often I get asked where to go to buy a corset? I don’t either. But it’s a lot. So this list sums things up really nicely. Omitted from the list however are Desert Orchid, which are beyond fantastic if you like the hourglass shape, and Jupiter Moon, which I haven’t tried yet but you bet your ass I’ll be reviewing them when I get my order in a couple months.

What (You Didn’t Know) to Look for in a Corset: 5 Popular Myths Debunked

This article was the first I read, and I found it extremely well-informed, so you should read it. I even learned a few things myself.

Corseting for Your Needs, Part II: How to Choose the Right Corset for Your Body

A complaint I often hear? “Corsets aren’t right for my body type.” Bullshit. So very much, so very steaming. Everyone can wear a corset, unless they have a medical anomaly like something I can’t really think of because I’m not a doctor. The only body type that can’t wear a corset is pregnant. Even then, pregnancy corsets did exist in the Victorian era, though I tend to think your doctor would have an issue with that, so don’t. Here’s…well it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Corseting for Your Needs, Part I: How to Choose the Right Corset for Any Occasion

I do ask myself occasionally what corset would make the most sense to wear/order, but in general “whatever the fuck I want” tends to override that. Nevertheless, here’s a good and practical starting point.

Solo Corset Fun: How to Lace Yourself Up

I’ve never had an issue with lacing myself; pretty much the only time other people have laced me up was because they asked to, or even wormed their way in and just went for it (By the way, girls in the bathroom, it’s not necessary. I can handle it. If you really want to give it a shot, fine, but at least ask. If you just swing behind me and grab on then that’s pretty obnoxious. I don’t just come forth and hike up your pants). But I know many do have some difficulty. This article will help.

Well, that’s it for now.

UPDATE: I found another one! You could see this as an extension to my Corset FAQ, but written by someone else. And it’s SO nice to see there are other people out there who I can relate to about this. So the biggest thing I have to say here is “ditto” and “thank you.” (Though, to be honest I highly question the notion of young girls sleeping in their corsets with their hands tied to the bed. This is more than likely gathered from fetish and fantasy articles of the time and have little basis in fact. A good comparison is with bras today. They were worn for essentially the same purpose of support and shaping, and while some ladies wear bras to bed in modern times, it’s not overly typical.)

Tightlacing 101: 4 Myths About Waist Training with a Corset

3 Dresses 3 Times

After reading My Wedding Dress I felt maybe it would be interesting to write my own story. I have three wedding dresses, and I wore the official one three times. Most people definitely don’t do that. And maybe it will turn out to be good luck that I did.
It certainly wasn’t something I did on purpose. When we first decided to get married we thought we were going to have a wedding like everybody else – a ceremony in front of family and friends followed by a party. Unfortunately my family is not normal, so neither would be the wedding. After a long time resisting, we gave in to everyone’s wishes and eloped, to “prevent fall-apart”.
We were frustrated already even before we planned a single thing. We were planning on visiting Mike’s dad on the west coast early in the summer, and thought about what such a thing would mean to him. He never gets to see his own son on Christmas, and my own family was giving me a hard time about potentially having to be in each other’s presence. So we decided to bring the wedding to him and his family.
This left us with just two months to plan. Sure, it’s really all we needed, but dresses with all the alterations you’re expected to have take much longer, and I just didn’t have the kind of money normally needed for such a thing. I’m not a very fussy person and didn’t feel like wearing some sort of huge frothy ballgown in a tiny ceremony anyway, so we hit up the Le Chateau outlet to see if we could find any pretty formal dresses on sale.
And indeed we did. I found a very simple white dress for no more than 20$. It was strapless with a pleated bust and empire waist, straight to the floor with a ruffle and some ruching down the side. I was fairly satisfied and I bought it.
But it wasn’t long before I wasn’t so satisfied anymore. I was already giving up so much of what I would have wanted, and suddenly the dress felt too simple and boring, and even unflattering. If I could have just one thing right, I wanted it to be the dress. I knew I could do better. But I still didn’t have much money. So next I went to eBay.
I can’t say I don’t regret not having the typical wedding dress shopping experience, with mom and girlfriends attending in a beautiful salon going through all the spectacular dresses they have to offer. But at least on eBay, with my shopping savvy, I could at least look like I did.
It wasn’t long before the most absolutely perfect dress showed up in the search from one of the asian sellers who sell knockoffs direct from the factory. Again it was long and strapless with an empire waist. But this time the skirt was fuller, there was a ribbon under the bust, and the top and bottom were covered in the most beautiful gold embroidery. I had always wanted a gold and white wedding dress. It was only 200$ after shipping and I had to have it. I was so excited.
Just a few weeks later I got a horrible email from eBay. The store I had bought my dress from had been shut down. I think they got in trouble for listing the dresses at 50$ and the shipping for 150$. I know it’s wrong for sellers to do that but any intelligent buyer looks at shipping BEFORE making a purchase, so it wasn’t something that bothered me. Suddenly I had no idea if I was ever going to see that dress. I cried for days. And with only a few weeks to go there virtually wasn’t any time left to buy a new one, at least online. Terrified I would end up getting married in my pajamas I took a couple friends shopping in the local boutiques the next day. It was my last chance, and I knew it wasn’t going to be what I had originally hoped for.
In one of the little boutiques, I found dress number three. It wasn’t a wedding dress at all, even less than the first one. It was a semi-formal cocktail dress, but it was gold, and had beading all over the sheer top. It was beautiful. My friends absolutely loved it, and even if it wasn’t what I’d planned, I had to admit I did too. I could be happy in this. I felt much better as soon as I bought it. Things were starting to work out.

You can imagine my surprise when barely 2 weeks before the wedding, my dream dress from eBay showed up in the mail. It must have already been shipped when the store got shut down, even though I hadn’t received any notification. I couldn’t believe it! Sure it wasn’t the one from the photo, but a cheaper, stiffer version, but I had expected that. I invited over my grandma and we went downstairs to visit our caretaker/house mother Janina, who was as excited as any mother could be, for the very first fitting. Janina even did my hair and posed me for pictures.
A few days later we took the dress to my grandma’s tailor for the few adjustments it would need. The loose embroidery was reinforced, a loop of ribbon was sewed to the underside of the train, and snaps were put on the inside of the bodice and on my corset so the dress wouldn’t slip and expose it. This was especially important since I didn’t own any white or gold corsets and would have to suffice with a black one. I had to admit that my body type was a little curvier than what the dress called for, so being held in was important. So there unexpectedly, I had three wedding dresses.
The day of the wedding was a very hot one. Everybody was uncomfortable and very hungry. We decided to take the formal pictures as quickly as we could before going to supper, and the next day we got all dressed up all over again to take the more artistic ones. The atmosphere was so much more relaxed, and I hadn’t attempted to curl my hair again, so I was very happy we did it that way. A local friend joined us, and it was the first time I had actually met her. That was the second time I wore the dress.
At the end of June, my mom held a reception at her house so family and friends from her side could celebrate with us. She wanted us to recreate the wedding for the guests, and I wore the dress for the third time. I walked down the isle for the second time, and did it to a string quartet version of Love Cats by The Cure, partly to honor the precious fur babies that couldn’t be there. When the quick ceremony was over, I changed into the gold cocktail dress, which I considered a perfect casual version of the Big Dress.
The story of my wedding and my dresses is over for now, but after experiencing both an elopement and a wedding at home, I’m tempted to have as many different experiences as I can. One day maybe we’ll have a Vegas wedding, and who knows what dreams may come true in the years ahead if we decide to renew our vows again for a special anniversary. Maybe there will be even more dresses in my future. I have to say it beats only having one!

Guest Blogger Juanita Talks About Online Shopping And Lolita Fashion

I write about what I know, but my style universe is a lot smaller than the big picture out there. This is, after all, an art form exercised by countless people with many different lifestyles, tastes, interests, and levels of expertise in different areas. So this is why I’ve started asking friends of mine to write up their own guest posts, so we can all get some insight into many of the different perspectives there are. Here’s my first guest blog post written by Juanita about our online shopping experience together.

Shopping is a skill that I generally lack, especially when done online. I like to stick to ‘safe’ clothing items, such as hoodies, t-shirts, and jeans. So I suppose you can conclude that I enjoy feeling comfortable in my clothes or as some would define as the ‘low maintenance’ look. It’s not that I don’t enjoy looking fabulous, who doesn’t? It’d just that I unfortunately lack the knowledge or the motivation to put any effort into my physical appearance.
This is where Victoria* interceded and provided the advice and assistance that I so desperately required to help polish my look for a night out of the town. She suggested shopping online for original items you cannot find in our lovely city. All I could think about was the mishaps of my latest purchases that looked ridiculous both on me and in my closet. I was slightly apprehensive, but I also knew that she had impeccable taste and would not let me purchase something that would look asinine on me.
So we browsed the web and looked at many different websites that I had never heard of before. The two that made a huge impression on me were Timeless Trends corsets and Retroscope Fashions, both from which I purchased items and have no regrets.
I have never owned a corset but have always admired the fashion from afar. It brings a certain elegance that has been lost through our current trends of shorter skirts and lower shirts. So as an inexperienced corset shopper I had no idea where to start. What’s my size? What should I start out with? What is considered good quality? Well I was in slightly over my head, but with Victoria’s guidance and the countless corsets she owns, all my questions were answered. I found my size and was able to try different styles and colors to give me an idea of what I would like. That’s one of the benefits of shopping with an experienced online consumer. However, if you do not have the advantage of knowing an expert adviser, the website provides a sizing chart that will enable you to find the appropriate size for your body as well as information about their corsets.


The boutique I am absolutely captivated by is Retroscope Fashions; it has your classic Victorian and Lolita styles, which are breathtaking. I am fascinated with the air of sophistication this style will give those who choose to wear it. I gladly embrace the style and was able to find a Lolita dress that solidified my new found addiction to it. My excitement could not be contained when my dress arrived in the mail and the excruciating dance of waiting to wear it out almost was too much for me.


Overall my online shopping experience was quite enjoyable. I found what I was looking for, learned a lot of valuable information, and acquired the confidence to shop online by myself.

*My name for the purposes of this blog.

Online Shopping 101

Every time the Canadian dollar is doing well I get to laugh as I watch the news detailing the trips of hundreds of families across the border for some American shopping. Laugh more than what’s appropriate most likely, because all that time spent away from home is making for a pretty crappy deal. So I’ve often wondered maybe somewhat cruelly how people can be so silly, when all they have to do is hop online to get all the selection they want without the added time and hidden expense.
The truth is, most people are a little afraid to shop online. They don’t want to buy something they’ve never seen in person, or they’re concerned about security issues. I’ve been shopping online since the day I got my first credit card (obtained solely for that purpose) at 18, and ever since then I buy virtually ALL my clothes and half of my jewelry from my living room. In the six years since then only two purchases have not turned out, so I’m confident that everybody can relax and the water’s fine. Online shopping is something the knowledge and skill of which grows very easily with a little practice once you get started. To help you get that start I’m now writing this handy little guide.
So why shop online?
A better question to ask is why NOT shop online? You get the biggest selection in the world, and it only takes minutes -up to as long as your heart desires- to see it all. You’ll undoubtedly obtain many things you just can’t get locally, which will make for a very personalized look you just can’t pick up at the mall. You also get to compare prices for everything, savings that will often cancel out the cost of shipping. If not, the rest is made up for by the aforementioned selection and convenience. Also keep in mind that since web shops instantly reach a global market, many retailers these days have completely forgone limiting brick and mortar shops. If you want to take part, you’ll have to go online. And another note about shipping: receiving packages in the mail is incredibly fun. It’s like Christmas all year round. Some would even argue that the anticipation and the excitement of getting your stuff is even better than the instant-gratification of shopping in person.
So what about that issue of not being able to see the item in person? Just like in traditional stores, online businesses want to keep you happy. They know that good products and services will result in positive word of mouth that’s better than any advertising campaign. If they scammed you, they wouldn’t be in business for long. Many even have a section where you can read honest testimonials from past customers. And if you become a happy customer yourself, definitely take the time to let them know.
Furthermore, all products will have a detailed description and photos. The photos should let you see what you’re getting from multiple angles, and the description will tell you important things such as materials used, the manufacturing process, and if sizes happen to run a little large or small. Plus they’re often just fun to read. When it comes to clothing, every site will have a size chart for each brand that they carry, so you know your item will fit. Just take your basic measurements and compare them to the chart to find your size. Of course it’s definitely an asset to know your body type and what basic clothing styles will flatter it too.
If for any reason the purchase doesn’t work out, all online stores will have a return policy that you can check out in advance, and most of them are even better than the return policies you get for shopping in person. Timeless Trends for example has a 45 day return policy that they will extend depending on circumstance. But just like traditional shopping, make sure that the item you purchased is returned in the same condition you received it. They sent you something pretty and new, and you owe them the same courtesy.
The service online is often surprisingly awesome. Because many of these companies are a lot smaller than traditional ones, you have a better chance of communicating directly with the company owner or item manufacturer, sometimes one and the same. And yes, there are very open lines of communication online, whether through email, live chat, or a phone call. I’ve once had the pleasure of communicating directly with Louise Black of Project Runway for a made-to-order item made by her. How cool is that? And I will never forget to rave about AntiSally of Goth Rosary’s awesomely friendly *hugs* in her emails.
Payment is also extremely secure, possibly even more so since there are no hacked machines on which to get skimmed. Giving your credit card information is completely safe, and if it still makes you nervous most all sites now let you use PayPal, a service so secure I was once locked out of my own account and had to make a new one. Refunds are always given out promptly where necessary. Also, when it comes to using PayPal, particularly if you’re shopping on a site such as eBay or Etsy, where items come from individuals instead of commercial stores, PayPal ensures that if you don’t receive your item in 45 days they’ll make sure you get refunded even if the refund isn’t coming from the seller themselves, which is very good to know.
Speaking of eBay, this is the biggest thrift store in the world, and then some. Not only does it have an infinite amount of used stuff, but due to its success a lot of commercial retailers are using it too. The first thing you might want to do is treat it for what it is, a huge thrift shop. This means there are tons of great finds there, you just have to be patient when looking for them. Sometimes those gems can be buried under a lot of crap. And once you’re lucky enough to find one of these gems you’ll want to pay as much attention to the photos and description as possible. If there’s anything more you need to know you can always email the seller; they usually get back to you extremely quickly.
The second thing is to make full use of the search options. The search bar works just like Google’s does, so if you want your item to absolutely have a certain word in the title, put a + in front of that word. If you don’t want to include listings with a certain word, put a – in front of it. Make sure the search keeps the same words together and in a particular order by putting quotations around them. Then narrow down your search as much as possible using all the options in the left panel. You can even select “Buy Now only” if you just want your stuff right away without fussing with the whole bidding thing. And of course never forget to check the shipping costs; it’s been known to happen for a seller to list an item for 1$ with something like 150$ shipping, so don’t be caught off guard.

But what’s my all time favorite site to shop on? Etsy! This works like Ebay in that it’s a hosting site to countless little shops run by individuals. The difference is that it’s completely focused on vintage and handmade items – nothing commercial. There’s no bidding, and you can find the most incredible, unique, amazing, ridiculous, and beautiful things. The interface is a lot friendlier than Ebay too. When you like something you “heart” it, and it goes into your wishlist for viewing later. You can even heart shops so you can go back to them easily and browse their selection. This is especially one of the greatest sites for unique and affordable wedding shopping. Jewelry, dresses, center pieces, cake toppers, invitations – they have it all, all made by extremely talented people. And I’m addicted to vintage window shopping there. I just got a gorgeous hounds tooth wool dress from the 50s. Damn, I should write a review just about Etsy!
Here’s a general little tip: When you’re not satisfied with the price or shipping of an item, Google the product code. This works except in cases where the item is 100% unique to that store, usually if it’s used or handmade. Stop Staring isn’t the only website that sells Stop Staring dresses, and Pinup Girl Clothing isn’t the only store that sells Collectif dresses or Leg Avenue shoes. You’ll find the product code either at the end of the name of the item, or at the beginning of the description. It will look something like this -> pc-lizbeth-bkgr. It most often represents the brand, the product name, and the color. Googling this code will allow you to see all the other stores carrying that exact item so that you can compare prices and shipping options in a much more specific way than typing in, say, “green and black wiggle dress.”
So now you have what you need to be a real web-savvy shopper and impress your friends with your fabulous finds. Be prepared to answer the question “where did you get that??” repeatedly, and enjoy the glory of finding exactly what you want and need with a lot more fun and convenience than effort.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!