A Fine Frock

Vintage + Modern Fashion

Vintage Style

Harvest Moon

Vintage StyleErika MardockComment

We're finally starting to chip away at those disturbingly-global-warming-ish-95-degree fall mornings here in the midwest---which means it's time to bring out my full autumnal arsenal of deep reds, rusty oranges, chocolatey browns and mustard yellow frocks. Now, I never met a color I didn't like (pale skin tone be damned) but the warm hues of fall are my jam. 

This first frock has been in my wardrobe for a few years, and it's always the dress I use to signal that it is, in fact, fall. It's the dress equivalent of ordering a PSL. I love the vibrant color combo, and the light linen blend works well for the early days of fall when the sun is still blazing. 


Dress: Paper Doll Vintage (RIP)//Shoes: Lions Mane Vintage 

So this next one is one of my personal favorites. I am a sucker for a big ole pointy 70's collar and the print reminds me of curtains your grandma would have in her kitchen. This one is a nice thick polyester that feels too heavy for summer, but since it's sleeveless it requires a cardi in the fall. 

Dress: Scout Dry Goods and Trade//Cardigan: Modcloth (old)//Shoes: Lions Mane Vintage 

I don't often wear dresses that are a solid color (I like prints, if you haven't picked up on that), but I like how unadorned this simple brown dress is, because I can play with all sorts of headband/ascot/cardigan/tights/boots combos to spiff it up a bit. It also leaves room to mix patterns in my accessories, as I've done here wit ha floral headscarf and a striped cardigan. 


Dress: Thrifted//Cardigan: Scout Dry Goods and Trade//Shoes: See previous two outfits//Necklace: Paper Doll Vintage 

By now you may be wondering if my entire fall wardrobe looks like a bag of pumpkin spice M & M's. Well, honestly it kinda does---but I did break out of the candy corn palette on Friday to wear this jewel-toned gem I got from Shop Whurl IRL when she did a pop-up at Hello Holiday a couple weekends ago. Dreams really do come true, you guys. 

I don't usually delve into the 80's too much, but I do have a soft spot for early 80's secretary-esqe dresses. Can you picture a gal named Debbi with feathered bangs and glasses the size of her whole face answering phones in this? Amazing. Anyway, I wore this to see Angel Olsen at Lincoln Caliing and she was so so so good.


Dress: Whurl//Shoes: B.A.I.T Footwear//Necklace & Belt: Thrifted 

What do you love about fall clothing? Berets? Jean jackets? Sweaters? Holla at me! 

Fall really makes me want to listen to some Neil, so here you guys go. Bonus track: Angel Olsen at NPR. 

Blue Jean Blues

Vintage StyleErika Mardock

So before we get into this, I learned about this cool thing called Resistbot this week. If you text RESIST to 50409, this little robot will send a personalized message to your representatives for you. So maybe take a second to hop on and let them know how you feel about DT and neo nazis. Ask your reps to denounce white supremacy, okay? It's literally the least they could do. 

Ah, jeans. The quintessentially cool + casual pant donned by rock and roll rebels and suburban moms alike. There's something about a pair of blue jeans that makes you wanna crank up The Boss, tool around in the garage, and light up a Marlboro (red, obvs). But before you blow the dust off that Nebraska vinyl, I have a confession to make: I hate jeans.

There, I said it. I loathe Levis, despise dungarees, jeer at jeggings! 

Few things have alienated me more from my fellow humans than my distaste for blue jeans.

So, why do I harbor such hatred for these hamhock holders? Welp, since your millennial attention span is undoubtedly waning, I've developed an abbreviated list.

4 Reasons Why Jeans Are The Actual Worst


As a lady who does her fair share of plei squats and Warrior 1's, my backside evokes the peach emoji. Any jeans that can harness my hindquarters will be falling off my waist. This creates a perpetual one inch space between my shirt and my pants whenever I sit down. I'm a professional woman/pillar of the community, and I don't have time to keep pulling my shirt down to conceal my regrettable lower back tattoo, k?

2. They feel like thigh prisons.

OK again—if you have thick thighs, you understand that jeans cling to them like seran wrap. I do not wish to have my thighs held in by a casing as if they were kielbasa sausages. #liberateyourlegs 

3. They're confusing af.

High rise, boot cut, slim fit, skinny, stone-washed, boyfriend cut. The number of modifiers on a piece of clothing should not exceed my coffee order at Starbucks (which is three).

4. They are responsible for the invention of JORTS.

I could write a dissertation (or, like, another short list) about why jean shorts are problematic. As soon as you sit down, they immediately transform into a denim diaper. I threw all of my jean shorts into a donation bin at the beginning of the summer and I am never looking back.

I'm sorry to yuck everyone's yum here--and no, I didn't just create a new post so I could hate on your favorite pants. I'd like to showcase some ways that I do like my denim. 

Starting with shortalls. 

I can't explain why exactly (physics?) but these shortalls have none of the problems that regular jean shorts generally do. They have a loose fit, they never roll up awkwardly, and they're just dang cute. 

I like pairing these with a crop top or a vintage tee, and throwing a kerchief in the mix for fun.


Shortalls: Paper Doll Vintage, Sandals: Ban.do, Scarf: Lionsmane Vintage

Obviously we gotta talk about denim dresses. I don't normally delve into 90's style, largely because I clearly remember the 90's and I'm not willing to recognize clothes from that decade as vintage, okay? But, I have always loved denim jumpers and maxi dresses. The elementary school teacher look just gets me...and now that I work in an elementary school, it's even more relevant. 

This one has shoulder pads, which I usually cut out of clothing, but not this time! 

These pencil shoes are my fave. My students  lose their minds  when I wear these to school. 

These pencil shoes are my fave. My students lose their minds when I wear these to school. 


Dress: Scout Dry Good and Trade, Shoes: Modcloth, Scarf: Lion's Mane Vintage

So while we're on the subject of 90's elementary school teachers, animal print vest, anyone? I snagged this a couple of weeks ago for $1 and I think it's pretty rad. Feel free to zoom in to check out the animal details. 

Anyways--back to the denim. This is a super soft, perfectly worn 70's jean skirt that I've had for years and I never tire of wearing. It's a fun alternative to your run-of-the-mill pencil-cut denim skirt. 


Vest & Skirt: Lion's Mane Vintage , Bracelet: thrifted, Clogs: Scout Dry Goods and Trade


Feel free to drop me a comment about your fave jeans brand and *maybe* I'll consider giving 'em a shot. After all, 80 million soccer moms can't be wrong

Next week I'll be posting some pics of Back-to-School outfits. Spoiler Alert: Primary colors and fruits will feature heavily. 

Until then, do yourself a favor and watch this video on repeat. 


<3 E

August & Everything After

Vintage StyleErika MardockComment

With August creeping in, we were able to sneak in one more outing, this time for a music festival in our exotic neighbor to the east: Iowa.  As it turns out, I *might* be too old/bougie to see bands in this format much longer (at least without the aid of a pop-up camper). The main attraction was Ryan Adams, and there were a few other shows we wanted to catch, including Foxygen, The Head and the Heart, and Gary Clark, Jr.. 

Also, Dwight Yoakam was there. I'll come back to that. 

Look, I'm not going to sugarcoat this: music festivals lend themselves to some heinous fashion choices. Camouflage cargo shorts, tye-dye, Chalcos (w/socks!), batik/tribal prints, and fringed ankle booties as far as the eye can see. This is a setting where function > fashion for sure. In other words, not an environment in which I naturally flourish. 

Let's get to the outfits, shall we? 

For Friday afternoon, I kept things low-key cute with one of my favorite vintage tee's, a button down mid-length skirt, and a scarf that I've been really into all summer.  

Better view of the pizza tee.&nbsp;

Better view of the pizza tee. 

It's worth noting that 40 year old wooden shoes were basically the most sensible footwear I brought for the event. Lolz.

It's worth noting that 40 year old wooden shoes were basically the most sensible footwear I brought for the event. Lolz.

Shirt: Whurl, Skirt + Scarf + Shoes + Shades: Scout Dry Goods and Trade, Necklace: Paperdoll Vintage (RIP)

Saturday: Cool and cloudy all day long, baby! We ventured out to Des Moines for lunch, and I have to give a shout out to the veggie patty I had at Zombie Burger. This was the most craving- satisfying fast foodish cheeseburger I've had since I stopped eating meat. 10/10, would recommend. 

Annnnyway, outfits. Since it was so pleasantly cool,  I was able to do this daisy-rainbow-gingham combo. The look made me feel a little more refined; like I was sipping lemonade on a porch instead of drinking boxed wine out of a coffee mug. 


I didn't actually eat at this taco stand, but I was glad that it existed.&nbsp;

I didn't actually eat at this taco stand, but I was glad that it existed. 

Top: Paperdoll Vintage, Skirt + Shoes: Scout Dry Goods and Trade, Hat: Narfoof, Shades: Hello Holiday 

Finally, for the Saturday night shows, I wanted to lean into a 1969 Newport Folk Festival vibe, as opposed to a 1998 Phish show aesthetic. I love the saturated gem-tones of this dress, and the fabric is reminiscent of a potato-sack in the best way possible. The sandals I'm wearing here basically disintegrated right after these pics were shot, as if by some sort of festival black magic.  

Those canoe shaped (but also, vaginal shaped) blow up chairs are all the rage at festivals now.&nbsp;They provide comfortable seating and you can reeanct your birth--bonus.

Those canoe shaped (but also, vaginal shaped) blow up chairs are all the rage at festivals now. They provide comfortable seating and you can reeanct your birth--bonus.

Festivals are not super scenic, guys.&nbsp;

Festivals are not super scenic, guys. 

Excessive number of wristbands

Excessive number of wristbands



Dress: Scout Dry Goods and Trade, Necklace: Buffalo Exchange, Shoes: Born, super old, sacrificed to the festival gods 

OK--before I go--let's talk about Dwight. His crowd banter definitely had white nationalism overtones. Color me unsurprised. He also taught me about yet another musical genre I didn't know was a thing--Cowpunk. That's right, it's a mix of mohawks and fiddles, prison tattoos and stand-up bass players. It's an internet rabbit hole you don't want to go down, folks. Stick to your yacht rock. 

It's time to put the camping equipment away and start thinking about my day job, y'all. Stay tuned next week for a categorical list of all the reasons why dresses rule and jeans drool. 






Dead Flowers

Vintage StyleErika Mardock1 Comment

While I love polka dots, novelty prints, stripes, gingham, etc., the print I most consistently have in the mix is flowers. I tend to favor big, bold 60's floral prints over the more dainty/delicate ones of the 90's-00's. Think psychedelic garden party or Hawaiian BBQ (sans rotating pig carcass, plz). 

I picked up this tropical frock at Buffalo Exchange in Boulder. I've been loving mid-length and maxi dresses lately, though I used to feel that they were overwhelming for my 5'3" frame. Now they make me feel like a little Russian nesting doll or something.

Thankfully there aren't increasingly smaller versions of me hidden under this dress, tho.&nbsp;

Thankfully there aren't increasingly smaller versions of me hidden under this dress, tho. 

Check out my new pixie-turned bob. My hairstylist is a queen.&nbsp;

Check out my new pixie-turned bob. My hairstylist is a queen. 

Dress: Buffalo Exchange, Sandals: Hello Holiday, old 


This next frock falls into a genre of dress that I thoroughly appreciate: the 70's/80's airy, see-through polyester blend. This type of dress can look fancy or casual depending on how you stlye it, and just feels so dang breezy and cute. Last week, I wore this dress to karaoke and then a couple days later to dinner. If I wear it twice in one week, you know it's good.  


Dress: Melissa Cripe's closet sale via  Whurl, Necklace: Scout Dry Goods and Trade, Shoes: Modcloth, old 

Finally, a gifted frock from my afore-mentioned hair wizard. This dress speaks to my soul for a million reasons, but mostly because it feels like you just threw on an old sheet. It's house dress chic at it's finest, and the skirt is incredibly full for maximum twirl satisfaction

Twirling shot

Twirling shot

Vintage Swedish clogs, bc I'm almost in my mid-30's now but I'm not ready for Dansko's.

Vintage Swedish clogs, bc I'm almost in my mid-30's now but I'm not ready for Dansko's.

I'm thinking of having a weekly feature of Luther's favorite shot, because it's always the most absurd. Here he went straight up college-photography-student and snapped some v high fashion pics through these tree branches. 

"ICONIC!" -Mr. Fine Frock

"ICONIC!" -Mr. Fine Frock

Dress: gifted, Necklace: Buffalo Exchange, Clogs: Scout Dry Goods and Trade 

I hope you're all enjoying the last few weeks of summer! Drop me a line and let me know what kind of floral prints you fancy. 

Next week I'll be featuring some festival styles as I head to Hinterland to see long-time love Ryan Adams. Apparently he just tweeted some really uncool stuff at The Strokes, so I'll be sure to ask him what up with that. Not sure what I'll wear just yet but I know it won't be a headdress. 


Misty Mountain Hop

Vintage StyleErika Mardock

Last week, Luther and I embarked on a last-minute, haphazardly thrown together trip to Colorado. The loose plans included staying at a casino hotel, camping for a couple of nights, and hanging out in Boulder. Packing for trips is not a strong suit for me anyway, but this one was especially rough because of the 48 hours of nature therapy (or whatever). I had to purchase and wear hiking shoes, guys. Gross. 

Anyhow, despite misreading a trail map, having a panic attack 3 miles from the top of Mt. Evans, and showering at a YMCA,  I did manage to enjoy myself and get in a couple of good frocks. I also got to stop at a favorite small town thrift and ye old Buffalo Exchange in Boulder. 

After the 2-day camping excursion concluded (i.e. I awoke at daybreak and proclaimed it time to bounce), we were left with like 8 hours to kill before we could check in to our hotel. Enter: the $12 YMCA shower (you can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal, etc.). Post-shower I was truly feeling like a new woman in this cream colored vintage house dress with apple embroidery. 

The above shot is my personal fave, because of this green motel which totes had Fargo-season-2-motel-shootout vibes. 

The details on this dress are so good. 

This zipper!&nbsp;

This zipper! 

Dress- Scout Dry Goods and Trade/Shoes- Born, ridiculously old 

Many years ago, my friend Ginger and I took a road trip to Colorado in which our main objective was to thrift along the way. We stopped at this Goodwill in Lexington, NE. and it was a jackpot. I decided to stop by and see if I might have the same stroke of luck.

I purchased a vintage suitcase, as well as a skirt and necklace, which I styled below by pairing with a striped crop top that has quickly become a summer wardrobe staple. 



Crop top-Hello Holiday/Skirt, necklace-thrifted/Shoes-thrifted  

A quick aside: we have satellite radio in our new car, and because of this I learned that there is a musical genre called "Yacht Rock". It's basically late 70's/early 80's soft rock that yuppies might listen to while sipping white wine and wearing Sperry's. Think Kenny Loggins, Hall & Oates, and "Rosanna" by Toto. If you find yourself at a late summer yacht party, now you know what to request from the DJ to fit in with the old money (are there DJ's on yachts...?).

Do you like to check out thrift stores and vintage spots on vacation? How do you decide which places to stop?  More importantly, whose your favorite yacht rock artist?! Drop me a comment, I'd love to hear from you! 

Hot Child in the City

Vintage StyleErika MardockComment

Hey! For my blogitorial debut, I thought it would be very "on-brand" to showcase and discuss a few clutch pieces I like to don in the unrelenting heat of mid-July in Nebraska. 

Despite the oppressive temps, July and August are two of the best months to get dressed in, imo. Sure, your make-up, hair, outfit, and will to live will be destroyed by sweat within the first few moments of sun exposure. But listen--I am waaaay into dressing seasonally (like, probably too into it, honestly), and this time of year calls for:

  • Vivid oranges, sunshiny yellows, electric pinks
  • Wild patterns
  • Fruit prints
  • Hawaiian/tropical flower vibes
  • Breezy, cotton vintage dresses that are so thin that everyone can probably (definitely) see your underwear, but you're doing you and wearing them anyway.

Let's do this. 

So I think we can all agree that tent dresses are amazing. They flatter any body type, and the mod silhouette is adorbs. Bonus points if it has pockets and a huge bow as the neck tie. 

Shoe + puppy detail

Shoe + puppy detail

Dress-Petal Pink Vintage / Kitten heels- Seychelles (old) / Shades- Hello Holiday






This next tent dress is a new favorite, because it reminds me of Fruit Stripe gum. Again, an attractive cut for anyone, really, but especially pear-shaped gals like me. 


Dress- Whurl (download the app on your iPhone! here. Shoes- Modcloth, old

This next sunshiny number reminds me of Peggy Olsen, whose entire wardrobe I adore. I love a good necktie/pussy bow! This dress is also wonderfully light and airy, perf for 90+ days in the midwest.

Dress- No Love Lost Vintage / Shoes-Kling via Hello Holiday, old 

Do you ever have dresses that you just love so much you don't even know when to wear them? This dress is such glorious vintage perfection that I always feel compelled to save it for special occasions. I mean daises, stripes, AND strawberries! Whaaaat?! Here, I'm just a vegetarian wearing it at a burger joint, because I'm worth it.

IMG_2461 (1).jpg

Dress- Paperdoll Vintage / Shoes- Modcloth, old 

What do you like to wear during the hottest part of the year? Drop me a comment or hit me up on my 'grams at a_fine_frock. 

Stay tuned next week as I attempt to stay stylish on a mountain get away...