Styled: Scout Ties


This week’s vintage at the office post is all about scout ties. I’m going to try to be brief though, as I notice our blog is becoming a bit heavy with outfit pictures and fashion tips. I’m not sure if this scout tie counts as “vintage” because it was recently made. I commissioned it from my wonderful and talented friend Krysten (check out her little business, Unseamly Behaviour here). She followed this DIY and did an amazing job.

I pair my scout tie with just about any button-up shirt I have to add a little more character to my outfit. You can use a brooch to fasten the tie, or even an earring (like I did in these pictures). I absolutely love my scout tie. I think the tie gives me that old-fashioned school marm look – but in a totally good way.

So, if you’re looking to give one of your boring button-ups a mini vintagesque makeover, I recommend trying out a scout tie. If you have sewing skills you can make one yourself, or if you’re like me, you can try to enlist the help of a talented friend.


Styled: The Basics (Part II)


In my last “Vintage at the Office” post, I wrote about the importance of having basic pieces in your wardrobe. I decided for my second post that I wanted to continue that discussion, elaborating a bit on how to put together a knock-out vintage outfit using only basic pieces.

This outfit is a good example of the basics at work – I mean, what’s more basic than a white blouse and a black skirt? I think what transforms these simple pieces into a stand-out vintage outfit are the details, like the black piping and pointed collar on the blouse, the antique brooch, and pleats in the skirt.

Layering subtle details can really make an outfit shine. The key word here though, is subtle. Mixing pieces with many bold details can be a bit overwhelming for the office. So when assembling your next office outfit, look for basic pieces with subtle details and layer them. This is definitely one of those times when the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts!


Styled: The Basics

Last summer I had an office job where the dress code was “professional.” I didn’t really know what “professional” meant and I was terrified of being sent home for an inappropriate clothing choice, so I played it safe by wearing black pants and plain blouses almost everyday. While I looked perfectly fine, I felt really uncomfortable in my office wardrobe. My style has always been a little more vintage and eclectic, and I just didn’t feel like myself in my office clothes.That’s why when I got another office job this summer I decided to do things a little differently. Before I started my new job I went to the thrift store and started pulling pieces that I loved and thought would fit under the category of “professional”. It wasn’t easy (and I’m still looking) but I’ve started to create a new vintage-professional wardrobe that I’m proud to see hanging in my closet.


After some deliberation, I decided I would start a little series on this blog chronicling some of my new office wears. I’m hoping to update each week with a new outfit and a suggestion on how to rock vintage around the water cooler. For my first post, I picked this black dress I found a few days ago at the thrift store. This dress did not look like much on the hanger. It is at least 3 sizes too big for me, and kind of looks like a moo-moo. When I tried it on in the dressing room it was so large that it looked like I was wearing a judge’s robe. But despite its fit, I loved the ribbed sleeves, neck tie, and lace so much that I couldn’t leave the store without it. I also knew that if I paired it with a cinching belt I would be able to create a waistline and gather up the excess material to create a full skirt.

I really love this dress and am so glad I bought it. With the sizing being the way it was, it was a bit of a gamble but I think it paid off. I guess my tip this week would be that when creating an office wardrobe (or any wardrobe, really) its important to start with the basics. Keep an eye out for simple and classic pieces (like a black dress or white blouse). As you can see from the lace and funky neck tie on this dress, basic doesn’t always mean boring! Look for vintage embellishments or other details that make clothing staples more your style. Also, if you’re someone like me who doesn’t really go for the “fitted” look, don’t be afraid if a dress is too big. Depending on the style/shape you may be able to save it with a belt. Try stashing one of your cinching belts in your purse the next time you go shopping. That way you’ll know for sure if an oversized dress really is the right fit!


Styled: In the Spring of Things

After a long and unintended hiatus brought on by the end of term crunch, the Bar and Bean is (are?) back! We have a few projects in the works this summer, which we’ll make sure to let you in on, but for now we thought we’d share a slice of the beautiful day we had today. Katie and I spent part of the morning walking downtown. I had to return a library book and Katie got to try out her beautiful new work/summer wardrobe. After taking care of some chores and seeing kites flying over the Halifax Commons, Katie remembered the kite-in-a-bag I got for Christmas. We took it out to a nearby grassy field after lunch and spent the better part of two hours trying to get it in the air. We’re blaming it on poor wind rather than our own abilities because we even had help from a few neighbourhood kite experts, pictured above. The kite seemed to want to take off so we’ll definitely be giving it a shot on another, windier day.

For any remaining loyal readers, stay tuned! This summer we’ve resolved to keep blogging even when the going gets tough, for our own sanity and for our friends’ and families’ reading benefit.

Thanks for sticking with us,

Styled: Men’s Dress Shirts

Since moving in with Mike, my wardrobe has multiplied. It’s not uncommon for me to sneak over to his closet in the morning and pull out a shirt or cozy wool sweater to wear for the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love lace, frills, and other more feminine clothing, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little different. Men’s dress shirts are great because they are cheap to buy secondhand and are really versatile. Here are three ways Mike and I both rock men’s dress shirts:

image1. Buttoned + Tucked
His: Tucked in, with a brown leather belt.
Hers: Tucked in, with a matching navy belt and hair bow to keep it feminine.

image2. With a Sweater
His: Buttoned, with a green cashmere v-neck sweater overtop.
Hers: Buttoned, with a cinching belt and navy cardigan.

image3. Open with a Tee
His: Open, paired with a graphic tee.
Hers: Open, paired with a basic black tee, hat and scarf.

What are some other ways you would wear a men’s dress shirt? Fill us in, we’ve got a closet full of them!


Styled: Vintage-style Dresses

I’d be lying if I said this week was easy. I’ve been knee-deep in job interviews and career planning with somewhat disappointing results. It’s always hard to get turned down for a job you wanted, but I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. Getting turned down for one job just frees you up to accept another, right? OK, maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but it’s better to be hopeful than bummed out! How does all this connect to thrifted dresses? Well, after this week I was feeling pretty drained and in need of a boost, and there’s nothing like the rush of a good thrifting trip to liven your spirits.


The first dress is a black velour material and its actually three sizes too big, but with a cinching belt I think it looks pretty good. I have plans to add a DIY lace collar to it. The shoes that go with it are black oxfords which I picked up at the thrift store last week. I think they’d look great with a pair of these socks, which I’d love to find a DIY for. The necklace is actually a repurposed brooch I picked up secondhand last year.


The second dress has a vintage-style pattern (it reminds me a bit of a couch from the 70s – in a good way) but a modern fit. I’m wearing it with my favourite cardigan and a mushroom brooch I picked up this weekend at an awesome flea market in Mahone Bay.

But enough about my thrifting addiction, time to reveal the winners of this week’s giveaway! Congrats to:

1. Kayla Adrianna (She & Him – Volume One)
2. Krysten Fisher (The Provincial Archive – Maybe We Could Be Holy)
3. Ellen McMurphy (Bahamas – Barchords)

You need to send us a Facebook message in order claim your prize, we’ll respond back with your download code (Facebook won’t let us contact you first). A big thanks to everyone who “liked” the site. For our next giveaway we plan on going a little bit bigger so be sure to stay tuned!


Styled: His & Her Winter Wear



You never know how a thrifting trip will turn out. Sometimes you walk out of the store with nothing, and sometimes you walk out with two amazing winter coats. Neither of us expected to purchase any new outerwear, but we couldn’t resist picking these up. Mine is a cranberry wool coat with silver buttons and deep pockets. I love its oversized style and rich colour. Mike’s find was a navy trench coat with leather buckles. It’s the perfect rain jacket and with an extra sweater, a great winter coat too. Both items cost $12 each, which makes us love them even more.


Falling for Fort Needham Memorial Park

This weekend Mike and I headed out to do some thrifting at Plan B, a Merchant’s Co-op in Halifax’s North End. On the way, we stumbled across the Fort Needham Memorial Park. The park is home to an impressive memorial to the Halifax Explosion as well as some beautiful fall foliage. I couldn’t help but take some photos, and Mike couldn’t resist the urge to do a few sketches. The park is definitely one of my new favorite places in Halifax!


Second-hand Steals


This week’s finds come from the city’s thrift stores and classifieds. We still can’t believe we found them all in one week! They are all previously (and now presently) loved.

1. Retro drafting chair – $20 from a classified ad
2. Plaid shirt & black-trimmed blouse – $16 from Section 96 (Halifax Refugee Clinic’s Second-hand Boutique)
3. Wooden Bass River Chair – $14 from 50 Hats
4. Vintage Brooch – $4 from Section 96
5. Pony-themed belt – $8 from 50 Hats
6. Wool socks – $2.50 from 50 Hats