Archives For betsey johnson

…Yep. I drew the title of this entry from here. I apologize if I got your hopes up for a Dawson’s Creek tribute entry. There is much to say about those angsty teens with unrealistically-advanced vocabularies and libidos, but Capeside will (ironically) have to wait. I pulled out that title because this entry is a result of me throwing plans out the window and doing what I want instead. You having that song in your head all day is just an added bonus. You’re welcome.

The first thing I stopped waiting on is a reason to wear this dress. This Betsey Johnson dress was thrifted way back in February. I sang it’s praises here, wore it once on vacation here, and have left it dormant in my closet ever since. I love this dress. I would even say it’s my favourite thrift ever. The cut, the pattern, the fit, the fabric and the price make it the ultimate thrift trifecta (wait, a trifecta has three wins, this is a…polyfecta?). Either way, my blinding affection for this dress has gotten in the way of me actually wearing it. You see, I’ve been waiting for the perfect occasion to strut my stuff in it again. A wedding? An art show? A fabulous beach party in the Hamptons with the cast of Gossip Girl? Well, Penn Badgley isn’t returning my calls, and this dress deserves some love. On Saturday night, I met up with some friends for a drink, and I wore my Betsey. I concluded a simple Sangria Saturday is as good occasion as any to wear something I love. I dressed it down with flip flops and denim, and I felt fabulous (I don’t use the word “fabulous” often, because I bet Carrie Bradshaw had it trademarked, and I don’t like paperwork).

I stopped waiting for a special occasion to present itself, because wearing this dress makes any occasion feel special. Seizing the dress (Carpe Ornatus!) has inspired me to move forward with a few more plans that I’ve been delaying until the “right time” arrived. You see, I’ve got big plans for this blog. Firstly, I want to drop the “” from my domain name, I want to move to a self-hosted account, and I want to redesign the whole dang thing. Then I want to have a big contest to celebrate it. But until the days magically get longer, all of that stuff isn’t going to happen for at least another few months. So, instead of waiting for those ducks to get in a row, I’m celebrating Carpe Ornatus RIGHT NOW. You get what I’m saying yet? I’m saying….




Once of the main features of my blog overhaul is a new banner design, featuring a sketch commissioned by my sister Laura Konyndyk. Laura is a phenomenal illustrator, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister. In a few short hours, she crafted this sketch for my new layout. Even though I won’t launch that new look for some time, I want to give you a peak:

SO CUTE RIGHT?! She based it off this outfit.

This contest is a chance for one lucky reader to win their own custom sketch from Laura. Here’s what you need to do:

1) Tell me about your best thrifted find in 200 words or less. What’s your “Betsey”? Where did you find it? Why do you love it? What did it cost you?

2) Attach a picture of yourself in that find.

3) Email all of it to

4) I’ll choose my favourite entry, and you’ll win a custom sketch by Laura based on your photo! You’ll get the high-resolution file to use as you please. Use it on your blog, your facebook, your screensaver, where ever! Or print off a giant copy and have it framed above your fireplace. Definitely the best idea.

5) Submit your entry before June 11, 2012!

Hop to it, readers! Stop waiting, get writing, and start winning!

…Oops, Charlie Sheen probably trademarked “winning” sometime last year. Start…to succeed by striving or effort! That works. Off you go!

For the love of Betsey

January 28, 2012 — 28 Comments

Anything I can buy at the mall, I can get at a thrift store. But that’s old news. Thrifting is the best because I find things I can’t buy at the mall, things I can’t find online, things I couldn’t otherwise afford, and things I’d never even think to look for. That’s the funnest part about the hunt. And this week, I bagged on of my best (and maybe favourite?) thrifty finds EVER. Two words:


Yup. I thrifted a Betsey this week! Now before I go ahead and reveal my steal, I’m going to tell you a bit about my girl Betsey – Chick is crazy.

For real – you will be hard-pressed to find another living designer as zany as our Bestey. She’s tacky, she’s trashy, she’s punk rock – and, almost unexpectedly, she makes beautiful clothing that transcends all the gimmicks and the glitter. If you want to get a good taste of Betsey’s aesthetic, look no further than her most recent Spring 2012 show:


Sparkles. Taffeta. Rhinestones. Lace-up platforms. Lightning bolt earrings for goodness sake! Not exactly my style (unless I finally live my dream and go as Jem for Halloween). But before you dismiss the wacky and wonderful ways of Betsey, I want you to look closer at the construction of her work – the cut of the dresses, the incredible florals, the soft chiffons and feminine silhouettes – they’re there, they’re just hiding. Have a look at some of Betsey’s other creations:


Betsey first found her voice within the “youth quake” scene of the 1960s and 70s, rubbing shoulders with Andy Warhol and the The Velvet Underground. She developed a bold, brash, and beautiful style, and at 69 she is still sending it down the runway every season. Betsey creates original and lovely things that any woman, from Katy Perry to Kate Winslet could wear. The week, I thrifted an amazing Betsey Johnson black floral slip dress at the Salvation Army, and if it weren’t sleeting outside, I’d be wearing it right now.



I found this dress while on the hunt for vacation wear for my trip in March (that’s become a bit of a problem – all I’m buying lately are pieces strictly meant for the beach, not practical for a Canadian in the great white North). I pulled this dress from the rack and tried it on before even looking at the label. I was honestly amazed at how well it fit my body. The lines were perfect. The fabric was so soft, and the simple, effortless construction made me realize this wasn’t a Walmart brand. The label, “Betsey Johnson New York” means it’s a newish find from the mid 2000s. It also means it likely cost upwards of $250 when it was new. If you look on the current Betsey Johnson website, similar pieces are going for $300 or more. And I paid $6.99. Amazing!

I’m purposefully not giving you a full view of this dress, because it looks so much better on than it does on the hanger. So, you’ll have to wait until I’m frolicking in white sands and salty waters in March to see that. I won’t be wearing this with lucite heals or leather glovelettes à la Bestsey. I’ll be wearing it with flip flops and maybe a jean jacket. But either way, March can’t come soon enough. It only seems appropriate to end of this post with Betsey’s signature show-closing cartwheel:


A true original. Let’s hope we’re all still cartwheeling at 70.