By Kimberly Rae Miller
Name: Anna Marquardt
Borough/Neighborhood: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Profession: Office grunt by day, backup singer by night
Anna Marquardt, a Midwestern transplant who found herself wending towards Brooklyn about four years ago, is a Jill of all trades who counts acting (currently, Shakespeare), writing (musicals, mostly, and the hilarious blogs Fashion it So, and Ultra Condensed Movies), backup singing (for Erin and Her Cello), and beauty product reviews (for beautifile.com) among her many activities. After one fateful Halloween night in college, when she drunkenly declared “I’m a seamstress!!” she has made a practice of modifying her clothes to fit, and enjoys crafting ridiculous headpieces to wear to themed parties.
How would you define your personal style?
A mix of classic wardrobe staples, like v-neck t-shirts, and vintage funkiness, like a crazy print skirt. At some point in the evolution of my wardrobe, I realized I’d, for all intents and purposes, stopped wearing pants, which is now part of my everyday look. My closet is full of dresses and skirts in various colors and patterns. I like to wear lesser-explored color combinations. As long as we have to wear clothes, they might as well be fun, right?
Favorite item in you closet?
My favorite everyday-wearable item is probably a pair of lipstick-red cowboy boots I got at a resale shop. They always get compliments, are super-comfortable, and go with just about anything in my wardrobe. But my favorite “statement piece” is definitely a skintight denim jumpsuit a la the Fly Girls I got for $7 at the St. Vincent de Paul store in Madison, WI, where I used to live. It is so, so ridiculous; I just had to have it. I’ve worn it twice in real life.
Are there any trends that you wish would just go away already?
Sandal boots! I don’t understand them. They are the worst of both worlds – you get the dirty feet of sandals PLUS the leg-stumpifying magic of ankle boots. Bad!
Any tips for using vintage items successfully?
The main misstep people make with vintage clothes is that they buy pieces they like that don’t actually fit them. If the dress is too long, hem it. If the pants are too big, take them in. If you don’t know how to do this, have someone do it for you. And if the piece is too small, don’t buy it. My take on vintage is that you should incorporate as much or as little into your ensemble as you, personally, are comfortable with. There are some people who will do a whole look – hair, accessories, undergarments – like they’re extras in Mad Men or something. If that’s what’s right for you, fine. But remember that you can carry a great vintage purse with your Banana Republic outfit, or wear a vintage dress under your Jil Sander coat if that’s your thing.
Favorite Five: What are your favorite stores in any of the five?
Unsurprisingly, they are all in Brooklyn, near my old apartment and my current apartment:
Atlantis Attic: this store is my hands-down favorite thrift shop (note: not vintage, thrift) in the city. I happened to move into an apartment just a few blocks away when I first came to the city and I thought I was in heaven. Super-cheap, and, with a little patience, great, great finds.
Dalaga: This is a cute boutique in Greenpoint that has a small but stellar selection of reasonably-priced clothes, shoes, and accessories – their sunglasses, in particular, are my weakness. Plus, the employees are all nice and not at all like the women in that boutique in Pretty Woman.
Old Hollywood: The vintage clothes here are a little too pricey for me, but they are gorgeous pieces. What I really like here is the jewelry – awesome, many quirky things, lots from local folks.
Re/Dress: vintage and modern resale, specializing in ladies’ larger sizes – wahoo!! For women over a size 12, vintage shopping (or, shopping at all) can be such a pain, but Re/Dress puts all kinds of good pieces in one place. Plus, they buy clothes back, so it’s great for recycling your wardrobe!
Treehouse: small vintage shop in Brooklyn, with a small, but super-awesome selection of pieces. If only those roller skates they were selling had fit me!!