Get your ugly sweater here!

It’s that time of year: the time for ugly sweater parties, ugly sweater dances, and even ugly sweater hikes. I’m all set with my new BowWowBeauty, modeled by Kate C. below. What’s on the back of my doggie sweater? The dogs’ rear ends poking out of little dog houses.

Locally, you can find a sweater at any of the thrift stores. Mine came from Leo’s Old Clothes, where I rooted through an awesome collection until I found the clear winner. Maude’s Vintage currently has a collection of dozens.  The local options are far superior to the online options that I have viewed, so try the local stores first.

Kate D. modeling the MittenPocketStunner from the Walnut Street Salvation Army shop.

Bottom photo courtesy of Jonathan Asher Photography.

CoMo Art: Artrageous Friday

House of Vansickle Spring Art Fashion Fusion

House of Vansickle Spring Art Fashion Fusion

The studio of PJ Allen-Thomas at Orr Street Studios.

The studio of Chris Frederick at Orr Street Studios.

Gorrilla art created by Smithton Middle School students.

Original art was on display everywhere, even on feet.

Grand opening reception at Grindstone Lithography Workshop.

Grindstone Lithography Workshop.

Ben Chlapek custom coloring prints at Perlow-Stevens Gallery.

Busker Ian Meyer with his Mike Sleadd temporary art tattoo at PS Gallery.

Colleen R. with her Mike Sleadd temporary art tattoo at PS Gallery.

Vintage Clothing Shopping

During spring break I headed downtown with one purpose: To find a dress for the Museum of Art and Archaelogy’s Paintbrush Ball. My friend Karyn came along to zip and unzip.

We started at Absolute Vintage, located at 923 E. Broadway, the smallest of the three shops that we would visit. It’s all vintage, just as the sign states.  It’s a small shop, so we were able to look through everything.  We found some interesting dresses, including weird see-through and even weirder apron ones.  Those must have been short fads. 

At Absolute Vintage, everything is displayed nicely and easy to browse through, with all the full-length frocks hung way up high.  There was one that I liked, but it looked a little big.  There were no sizes to be seen, so we were guessing from the ground below.  We moved on without trying anything on.

Our second stop was Maude Vintage at 818 E. Broadway.  This shop has items for sale and items for rent.  I had intended to buy, but decided that renting would be a good option also.  I wanted something unusual, and there are only so many occasions to wear an odd full-length dress in Columbia.

There is a lot more inventory at Maude, but the shopping was a little easier.  Once again, the fancy stuff was up high, but at this shop they were all marked with sizes and/or waist measurements.  No need to try on the simple black ballgown because the waist was two inches too small for me.  After choosing a couple, the owner took us downstairs and showed us some rentals that she thought would work.  She was spot-on for size; I think that she’s been doing this for a while.

I tried on four dresses, from a giant red ballgown to a little brown velvet dress.  The velvet was my favorite, but a little too short for my super-long arms.  Knowing that it would have to be altered, we left it at the store, keeping it as a last resort.  Maude’s Vintage has a ton of inventory, but the help was excellent and it was easy to find what we were looking for.  Karyn bought a couple of rings and we moved on.

Our final stop was Leo’s Old Clothes, located at 9 N. 9th Street, above Dryer’s Shoes.  It was a little dark up there, and more than a little dusty, but we didn’t care because we had found a bounty.  There were racks and racks of evening gowns of all types.  Nothing was organized by size, but the clerk was working on that while we were shopping.  It’s not an easy job because sizing has changed over the years; give Leo’s some time to get everything organized nicely.

A few scarves at Leo's.

Karyn and I found at least a dozen dresses that were possibilities.  Like we found in the other stores, the clerk was extremely nice and helpful.  Since our shopping trip, I have heard some negative comments on Leo’s which I’ll address: Yes, it’s dusty, but both Karyn and I have actual dust allergies, and we were fine.  No, it doesn’t smell like cat poop at all, although I did see a cat.  No, the clothes do not smell musty. 

The winner, a superstar dress.

The winning dress turned out to be a rental, so for twenty dollars, I’ll look fabulous at the ball.  The fit is perfect, even long enough to cover comfortable dancing shoes.  The runner-up was hard to pass up though.  Someone sewed a bunch of peacock feathers on a blue dress and called it a day.

And the runner-up, Miss Peacock.

We enjoyed shopping at all the stores, but Leo’s was our favorite.  The prices are great and the selection is amazing.  I have plans to check out the more casual clothing when I pick up my fabulous rental for the ball.

CoMo Stylebook: CoMo Cycle Chic

Meet Ginger. Ginger is the adorably fashionable cyclist you may see on early mornings downtown. She writes CoMo Cycle Chic, a daily style blog about how to dress for a commute to work. Here’s what she has to say:

I would describe my style as thrifty and practical. I try to stay on-trend without spending too much money or buying things that are hard to wear. I’m inspired by the bloggers in my blogroll, particularly The Julie Blog.

The weather forecast plays a big role in how I choose my daily outfit. If it’s going to be hot I wear a swingy skirt and tank top to stay cool and throw on a cardi when I get to the office. Most of my clothes are easy to bike in — slim pants that won’t get chain grease on them and skirts that aren’t too restrictive to pedal in are two things I look for when shopping. Cycling in heels is easy for me, I just keep the pedal on the ball of my foot and go. Platform shoes interfere with my stroke so I tend to avoid biking in those.

I’m a huge wimp when it comes to cold weather so I haven’t cycled during past winters, but I’m hoping my blog will motivate me to stay on the bike all year. Right now I plan to keep commuting by bike through the winter. I won’t do it in the rain, though.

CoMo Stylebook: 80s Run

80's Run

This year Off Track Events brought back the totally awesome 80s Run. A combination 3 mile run and dance party, CoMo folks went all out. Check out these totally tubular fashions, dude. Don’t let anyone tell you the Midwest lacks fashion sense. Clearly this is the best of the best when it comes to the fashionable elite of CoMo.
80's Run

The entire cast of Ghostbusters!

80's Run

Costume contest winners!
80's Run
The incredible Mike D, mastermind and MC of the event.
80's Run


80's Run

Dance. Party.

Check out more photos from Noltey Hawkins at All photos ©Notley Hawkins

CoMo Stylebook: Allyson

“My style… um.  The easiest “decent” I can throw together.  Comfortable.  Solids.  Layers.  Pockets.  And the occasional mock turtleneck.”


Allyson is just about the cutest wine pouring, pizza slinging, music loving, expatriating, CoMo import you’ll ever meet. She also happens to be my cousin (uncanny resemblance, eh?) But I swear I’m not biased. Find her at:





Oh hi. Remember CoMo Stylebook? We’re back. Do you think you have style? Find me at @jennydills or jenniferdills [at] gmail [dot] com and maybe, just maybe, we’ll feature you. Maybe.

CoMo StyleBook: Lynn

“My style? Colorful and eclectic. No, say ‘funky.'” -Lynn

The Purple Dress Project


Photograph by Lollipop Photography


{My story with Crohn’s Disease}
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in January of 2010, just a little over a year ago. I had been experiencing abdominal pain for years prior to my diagnoses but I ignored the signs for as long as I could. After a very rough battle with Crohn’s Disease for 6 months (including partial blockages, abscesses, draining procedures, colonoscopies, CT scans, barium tests, and more) I finally had surgery and had part of my colon removed. It took several months to regain energy and get my life back on track, but once I did I knew right away I had to make the most of this awful situation. Soon after, The Purple Dress Project was born.

{The Purple Dress Project}
I started the Purple Dress Project after hearing about Amy Seiffert’s Gray Dress Project raising awareness about human trafficking. I had finally found a way to combine my two passions, fashion and blogging, to support this dreadful and unglamorous disease that had become a part of my life a little over a year ago. I had a good friend and a graduate of Stephens College Fashion Design Program, Janna Merciel, design a custom purple dress for the project. I wore the dress every day for the month of April posting pictures of how I accessorize and change the look each day along with information about Crohn’s Disease. This is my way of raising awareness about Crohn’s Disease and money for much need research to hopefully find a cure soon!

{Community Support}
I was overwhelmed by the support of the community with this project. The Purple Dress Project was featured on KOMU, KMIZ, and KRCG. It was written about on blogs at the Columbia Tribune and HER Magazine in Jefferson City. Mizzou magazine wrote a feature about the project in their online magazine and posted about it Facebook. Countless community members donated money in support of research for Crohn’s Disease and others donated items for giveaways to help encourage spreading the word about this disease and encourage donations to CCFA.

For more information about The Purple Dress Project, visit us on…


Our Blog

Or…Donate to CCFA and help us find a cure for Crohn’s Disease!

CoMo StyleBook: Liz

Shopping Columbia @ C. Jane Create

I met Christa through her blog, C. Jane Create, and later discovered we both lived in Columbia! We shortly realized we both worked in the same building on the University of Missouri campus. It is a small world. Christa is a graphic designer, crafter, and artist. Not necessarily in that order. Her shop is filled with whimsically designed coasters, hair pins, note cards, and journals. Being into textile and apparel, I was first attracted to her unique fabric hair pins.

IMG_8877I have a set myself in purple and gray, a custom order I requested. Christa is great about making hair pins in the size and color that you prefer. You can completely customize a set that will match perfectly to a particular outfit. Her hair pins are ideal for everyday use or special occasions. I wear mine with dresses and jeans. They are truly versatile.

Her moleskin journals seem to be what she is known for in the world of blogging and Etsy. Christa suggests using the journals for keeping to-do, shopping, and project lists. Wouldn’t these journals be the prettiest way to keep lists? Who wouldn’t love shopping with this sweet journal keeping them company? She also makes these journals in a variety of sizes: a smaller size perfect for on-the-go needs and ideal for keeping in your purse and a larger size for long lists or detailed notes to keep on your desk.

I’m a big proponent of sending hand-written notes. There is something so charming about receiving a stamped note in the mail. It doesn’t take too much time to write a heart-felt note and slip it in the mail but the impact is tremendously more genuine than firing off an email. Sure I love technology as much as the next person (I blog, I tweet, I facebook) but I also love coming home and unplugging for a while and finding a personal note in the mail. Christa has some of the sweetest notecards around. Finding one of her notecards in the mail would surely make someone’s day!

For more information about C. Jane Create:
Visit her blog
Visit her Etsy shop