You might remember meeting Veronika of Tick Tock Vintage when she gave us a tour of her hometown, Philadelphia. Her look is decidedly vintage, with a sixties bouffant and cat eye makeup, but she’s a modern gal who balances her time between biking, hanging with friends, and teaching elementary school. Visit her blog to take a lesson in style, or peruse her ModCloth picks and read on to see how she styled her namesake dress.
You’re an elementary school teacher. Do you feel like you can dress more playfully because you’re around kids all day? How does teaching impact your style?
I teach third grade at a school in Philadelphia. I definitely think that teachers can dress on the fun side; my kids have always gotten a kick out of what I wear. They’ve been very confused by my tights—one little girl thought I got the design tattooed on my legs! I definitely try to keep my outfits on the more modest side during the school year, like longer skirts and close-toed shoes. To keep things interesting, I like to reach for brightly colored tights, crazy accessories, and bold patterns.
Speaking of school, what are the three staples you’re planning to procure for your fall wardrobe?
I’m keeping my eyes open for a sheer blouses to layer under chunky cardigans, lots of statement necklaces, and midi-length corduroy and wool skirts.
Where can a gal score the best vintage finds in Philly?
There are so many great vintage stores in Philadelphia—you’ll be sure to leave with something you love. Astro Vintage has a really great selection of 50′s and 60′s apparel and housewares. Walk down 4th street and you’ll find Wilbur Vintage, a tiny shop packed to the gills with vintage finds. If you’re in Old City, stop by Sazz Vintage. They have a huge selection of vintage clothing—you can even visit their warehouse and root through thousands of garments.
You have done some absolutely amazing reworkings of thrift store finds on your blog. Do you have any tricks for figuring out which pieces you’ll be able to reinvent?
I usually just pick pieces that I think have at least some potential; look for a cute print or pattern, neat details, or a shape that you can easily alter. I really like making coin purses, wallets, and purses out of suede and leather skirts. Browse craft and clothing sites for inspiration, too! That’s where I get many of my ideas for altering projects.
How did you hone your amazing DIY skills?
Well, I started sewing with my mom when I was really little. She would give me scraps of fabric and I’d sew outfits for my guinea pigs! I’ve always liked sewing and crafting, so DIY projects just come naturally to me.
As a ‘bicycle belle’, how do you get around on your bike while staying stylish?
If you’re just starting off riding your bike, don’t wear heels at first. Wear flats while you’re on the bike and switch to heels when you get to your destination. Invest in a good basket to throw your purse in, and be sure that you don’t wear any bottoms that are too short or too constricting (a major wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen—believe me). It doesn’t hurt to wear a pair of spandex shorts under dresses and skirts, too!
It’s obvious that you love vintage, but what’s your favorite era?
I love the super feminine silhouettes from the 50s; there is just something so romantic and pretty about them. I also really love the special details that were a part of the clothing, like lace and rhinestone-encrusted buttons and even just the general construction. Whenever I find a 50′s party dress, my heart skips a beat!
We also used Veronika’s scholarly expertise to see how she styled her namesake dress for the classroom.