The well-known style blogger who chronicles her one-of-a-kind wares on calivintage does double-duty during the daytime hours as ModCloth’s editorial specialist, squashing her free time down to minutes. Add a killer wardrobe that hovers between oh-so-cute and simple Parisian chic into the mix of her jam-packed sched, and you can see why we’ve been committed to watching her vintage-leaning style evolve for years.
We’re super stoked that Hagstrom is letting us peek into her delightful and wonderful world even further by giving us a personal tour through her Bay Area faves. So come on a mini-vacay with us as the busy bee explains how she juggles a full-time job as well as her super-popular blog in her West Coast neck of the woods.
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Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
What makes you, you?
"I'm a California girl with a love for everything vintage. I grew up in the golden state, hunting for vintage treasures as a way to be creative on a budget. I watched a lot of old films and became obsessed with the glamorous costumes worn by Hollywood starlets in the '40s and '50s.
"In high school, I discovered the world of fashion, scrolling through digital archives of runway collections. I very distinctly remember becoming obsessed with Prada in the spring '01, and later that year I declared that I wouldn't go to prom unless I could wear a '40s-inspired floral silk dress from the Prada fall '01 collection.
"I was joking, but not entirely. I never went to prom, and I still dream about that dress. I didn’t study fashion in school, but I like to think that I got my education from all of those years devouring old films, studying runway collections, and examining vintage clothing from all eras."
American Apparel Stripe Boat Neck Shirt, $40, available at American Apparel; Carven pinafore.
How did Calivintage begin?
"I guess you could say that my blog was my first foray into fashion. I started Calivintage back in December of '08 after I had been secretly photographing my outfits for about a year. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that there were communities of girls doing the exact same thing, sharing their outfit photos with one another on sites like Wardrobe Remix.
"So, I mustered up the courage to start sharing my photos, hoping to connect with like-minded people who cared as much about getting dressed as I did. I had no idea that anyone would see my blog, or that five years later, my little corner of the web would still be thriving."
Karen Walker Von Trapp sunglasses.
What do you think makes San Francisco so special?
“San Francisco is a really beautiful city. It's seven by seven miles of stunning Victorian homes, pretty parks, cultural centers, and epic views."
What are your go-to neighborhood shops?
“I'm a huge fan of Pretty Penny vintage in Oakland. It has a really great selection of vintage pieces for very affordable prices, and the owner Sarah Dunbar is such a sweetheart. When I'm in San Francisco, I do a lot of shopping in Hayes Valley and the Mission District. I always have to swing by Rand + Statler and Steven Alan in Hayes, and there are tons of vintage and thrift shops in the Mission."
What's the last great thing you bought?
“I just bought a few late '60s and early '70s vintage dresses at Pretty Penny that are going to come in handy for the summer music festivals coming up."
What would you consider fashion’s golden age?
“If I had to choose a favorite decade for vintage, it would definitely be the '60s. I love the youthful and optimistic styles that came out of that time and I feel that it suits my personality. I think I ended up unintentionally channeling Suzy Bishop with this look, like I'm about to hop on a train for some sort of secret adventure."
Vintage 1960s dress, from Dear Golden Vintage on Etsy; Furla Candy Satchel, $198, available at Furla; vintage Mary Janes, from Pretty Penny Vintage.
What's your ideal weekend like?
"It would involve a quick getaway to some coastal California locale. I love going on adventures, exploring new places, and rediscovering old favorites — whether it's a weekend in Big Sur to curl up by the fire in an old log cabin, or driving up to Bodega Bay for a scenic bike tour along the coastline. Give me a sauna or a hot tub with an ocean view, and I'm there. I also really love exploring sleepy, historic towns, and rummaging through antique shops and thrift stores on the hunt for unique treasures."
Why should people come to you for fashion advice?
"I can't attribute this to me specifically, but I think that bloggers have really changed the game when it comes to fashion. Gone are the days when the only reference you had for clothes was from looking at photographs in magazine editorials or pristinely Photoshopped product photography. You can simply check out one of your favorite blogs and get a sense of how the clothes look in real life. The way the clothes look and fit when they aren't pinned by a stylist or Photoshopped to perfection."
How has your experience been like working on a blog and an online e-tailer?
“I think working for an e-commerce site and being a blogger is actually a really great match. My experience on both sides of the spectrum allow me to have a much more comprehensive view of the business than I would have without.”
How do you balance the different seasons with your wardrobe?
"The interesting thing about living where I do is that there are entire books written on the strange weather patterns specific to the region. We have our own set of challenges when it comes to dressing for the elements that's pretty different than most places in the world. If you look at the weather overall, it's pretty temperate. We don't have the traditional seasons, no snow, no sweltering summer heat.
"Having said that, it can be bright and sunny in one neighborhood, a veritable wind tunnel in the next, and freezing cold and foggy somewhere else. I've gotten good at remembering to bring 20 different layers with me wherever I go."
Tell us about this chic look.
"Orla Kiely designs some of my favorite vintage-inspired wares. While I don't usually go for novelty prints, something about this bright blue sailor-inspired dress really spoke to me."
Orla Kiely Silk Twill Dress, $261.50, available at Orla Kiely.
What's your area of expertise? How would you describe your style/genre?
"I think it's a common misconception that because my blog is called Calivintage, I only wear vintage clothing or that I'm a vintage seller. I appreciate the construction and quality of vintage clothing and I enjoy referencing different eras in my daily dress, but that doesn't mean I'm exclusively wearing vintage.
"I'd say I'm much more inspired by vintage than anything else. If you look at vintage clothing, oftentimes it's stood the test of time because it has been thoughtfully constructed and well taken care of, so it has a timeless quality about it. I think the same can be said for new garments, so I focus on searching out those qualities when searching for clothing, using different eras as a reference in my styling. I love the free-spirited quality of the '60s, or the feminine silhouettes of the '50s. It's all about mixing together those vintage or vintage-inspired pieces and pulling them together for a look that's classic and modern with a little wink to the past."
Coach Legacy shoulder bag, $198, available at Coach.
Who are your go-to fashion designers?
"A few favorite designers include Lauren Moffatt, Rachel Antonoff, Family Affairs, Whit, Tocca, Carven, Valentino, Opening Ceremony, and Peter Jensen."
Heels and hilly streets — how do you do it?
"I don't! I mostly wear practical low heels like my trusty Ferragamo Vara Pumps or Swedish Hasbeens. Thankfully, we don't have a dress code at my office, so I'm not expected to come to work every day in stilettos. Sometimes I wear heels to work for fun, but I always regret it if I don't bring an extra pair of flats for walking."
Castaner Brenda Knotted Espadrille Wedge, $195, available at Neiman Marcus.
Night off! Where are you meeting your pals?
“I really like the Grand Lake neighborhood in Oakland where I live. I usually invite friends for drinks at The Alley. It's kind of an amazing place filled with booths for cramming into with your friends while listening to piano karaoke by Rod Dibble. He's been playing piano there for over 20 years. If I want something fancier, then I'll stop by Boot and Shoe Service for a good drink and even better pizza. I also go to the movies a lot, either at the historic Grand Lake Theater or for indie films, the Piedmont Theater."