The Full Monty on Sue Williamson

seventies style
Definition: The Full Monty: 
A British slang phrase.  It is generally used to mean “everything which is necessary, appropriate, or possible; ‘the works’”
.     .     .

I met Sue for the first time in Central park at an Instagram party a few weeks ago.  You can see that photo of her on my Instagram.  I loved her retro style and knew that I had to reach out to get the full monty on her closet.  Boy was I bloody glad that I did!

“These glasses are KILLER. I got these for like $7 from Las Vegas! They just make you look so cool. I had to take a $30 cab ride to the strip and was smack dab in the middle of all these vintage stores.  Patina there is an amazing store.”

seventies style sunglasses

Boots:  Saint Laurent

 “I got these last year and already have had the heel tips replaced a lot. I feel like Saint Laurent is really good at making your legs look super long.”


sailor top

“I buy a lot of my clothes that I think are funny. This was originally ankle length and I bought it at Beacons Closet and while I was in a restaurant I cut it.  I wear it tucked into some pants or something. Whenever I wear it people always say to me: why does your shirt say sex but it doesn’t.”

mod sixties dress

Dress: Vintage. Sue’s dog: Owen

“My parents live in Memphis so I grew up just outside of there. I think I got this dress from a store called Flashback.  You don’t have to spend a lot to have things that you like.”

gucci loafers

Gucci loafers: Patina shop

“I got these right after I saw the Gucci show in March. I got these from this shop called Patina which is awesome. It’s like  if you want to look like Jessica Pare from Mad Men then that’s where you go.”

diptyque candles

“I like nice things but I’m on a budget.”

Chanel ballet flats

Flats: Chanel

“My Mum bought these for me at Saks a few years ago and they got so dirty. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw someone had blue ones and I’d never seen blue ones before so I got some blue paint out and painted them.  Before they were classic tan. I have a really horrible habit of doing things like that.”

shoe closet, shoe wardrobe

“I come back with bags and bags and spend less than $200 when I visit the art district stores in Vegas.”

vintage maxi skirt

Skirt: Brooklyn Flea

“I got this forever ago.  This is good for a work with a t-shirt and I can wear it all day and go out at night and still look nice.”

“I come back with bags and bags and spend less than $200 when I visit the art district stores in Vegas.”

vintage chanel bag

Saddle bag: Chanel

“It’s on permanent loan from my sister. I’ve already sent it back to Chanel for repairs. I think it’s a runway piece. It was gift from my sister’s boss and she lets me borrow it.  It’s really loud when you carry it though. I think it’s from the nineties.”

vintage trousers

“These pants are really fun. I got them from Fox and Fawn in Bushwick for $20.  I like wearing them with a Manolo heel.  I got these shoes from The Real Real. I get stuff from there and Tradesy where I’ve also sold my clothes.”

“I went to Las Vegas and I’m obsessed with the shopping there.  They have the best vintage in the arts district – they have insane stores.”

manolo blahnik mules

Manolo Blahnik mules: The Real Real

“I JUST got these. Aren’t they cool?!”

vintage mod dress

Vintage dress: No Relation shop

“I got this jumpsuit from No Relation in the east village and it was like $20.  I wore it with baby pink heels to a dinner and everyone thought it was expensive.”

proenza schouler ps11

Bag: Proenza Schouler

“I got the bag at Barneys. The sales assistant was so nice, she spent an hour with me while I tried different colors.  She was so sweet and I kept apologizing that I was taking so long and she said ‘look this is a big purchase so take your time.”

“I go through phases of hanging different key chains off of it.”

“A lot of my wardrobe is from my travels.  I’m a Taurus and I really like beautiful things.”

vintage crochet tops

Vintage crochet: From Bedford & Collections store in Bushwick

“I’ve been collecting super bright crochet like these. I was trying to be Miu Miu but I think everyone can figure out that they are vintage!”

Louis Vouitton speedy bag

“I bought this speedy bag a few years ago at the store.  I went to art school and everyone said ‘you’re so preppy carrying this bag’ so I stopped carrying it and then I sewed these on and people were giving me attitude because they hated it.  So I just kept on adding to it because I thought this is kinda awesome.

“Now everybody loves it.”

closet series, the full monty, louis vuitton bag

“The stickers all mean something; My first trip to LA, my friend’s skate board company, Coachella.  The back of it is all about travel.

Jane Birkin did this with her birkin. She put on hers key chains, beads…”

denim cut offs, vintage coat

Vintage cape coat (part of a three piece suit) – $30

“I got this in Las Vegas.  It’s part of a suit! It had pants and came with a belt.  I said I’m totally going to wear this with shorts. It’s such a statement thing.  I wore it to In and Out for the first time and everyone was staring at me.  You know when you’re on vacation you can wear whatever?”

blue velvet vest

Velvet vest: London vintage shop

“I got this in London and it’s like a Beatles girlfriend kind of thing. I like anything that you can be wearing jeans and a t-shirt and just throw it on.”

vintage shirt, vintage gucci belt

Shirt & belt: Vintage

“This is also from Las Vegas. It was deadstock – still in it’s wrapping! It came with cufflinks and I thought it was so cool. I think I’m going to wear it with this belt and be all like Gucci from the seventies.”

shoe displays, shoe racks

“I definitely spend more on shoes.”

Acne shoes, Acne two tone oxfords

Shoes: Prada

“These are the shoes that you try on ten times and then you’re like ok I have to buy them! There’s a really chic girl that walks around the west village wearing the two toned white ones and I really wish that I had those – but red is still cool.”

vintage pink mules

Vintage shoes: London

“These are my favorite vintage shoes. They were really one pound.”

sue wiliams

Vintage studded suit:  Art district vintage shops

“I got this suit in Vegas too.  I wear these in Vegas while hitting the slots with loafers and these sunglasses. When you are on vacation you get to try on all this fun stuff.”

celine heels

Shoes: Celine

“These shoes I got from a shop for a steal in Nashville.  I wore these for my first day at work for W magazine. They were like $200 or less.”

“As I’m getting older I’m seeing that fashion is so much more cyclical than I thought.”

Favorite Shops?

“I love What Goes Around Comes Around – it’s one of my favourite stores and I love the owners. I love Mix Masters Closet in Bedstuy, Sincerely Tommy for new things.  I’m obsessed. That’s a good place to buy the nice basic things.  I love all my people in Las Vegas like Patina.  I like Flashback in Memphis.  I love Stella Dallas in Williamsburg. I like Collections in Bushwick.   I don’t like to online shop but I like The Real Real and Tradesy.  For new things I like &OtherStories and I like Barneys.  I also like Eva Gentry on Atlantic Avenue – it’s really cool.”


  1. Veniece Wesson says:

    I always enjoy your “Full Monty” posts. I have never been disappointed, they are always a pleasure to read. Needless to say, I really like Sue’s style. She wears what she likes and doesn’t care about what others think. That’s the way it should be.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Ah thank you Veniece I love knowing more about people’s personal taste and what makes them tick so to speak. I agree on her not caring what others think it’s a good lesson for us all to remember.

  2. Stylista says:

    Thank goodness Full Monty is back! Loved it!

  3. Taranimale says:

    Wow! She seems like she has a lot of fun with fashion and doesn’t pay an arm and a leg for everything, either. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but of COURSE Vegas must have some incredible vintage spots! Love these Full Monty posts–they are very inspirational. Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      Yes Vegas! Makes sense though plus it’s an area no one really talks about for finding shopping gems.

  4. Olivia Irene says:

    My favorite has to be her crochet tops & that beautiful velvet vest!!! I love the quantity & quality of photos 🙂 Can’t wait to read more!!!

    Olivia Irene

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      I know I loved those pieces too. Good to know the number of photos isn’t too much which I sometimes fear with The Full Monty posts.

  5. tsp says:

    I really enjoyed this post because I can relate to Sue quite a lot – you definitely do not have to spend much in order to get the things you really like, and it’s refreshing to see this! Thank you!

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      No problem. It’s important to remind everyone that it’s so do-able.

  6. Mahshid says:

    I enjoyed this post so much! She is so inspiring and I love the fact that she is on budget like many of us normal people 🙂

    …Thumbs up for painting her Chanel shoes too 🙂

    Mahshid مهشید

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      I agree. She is completely inspiring.

  7. Sinead says:

    Loved this post. She has such great vintage style — as do you, Karen! You must have found a kindred spirit there. So glad that you have remained true to your vintage and eclectic style roots. PS: congrats on the feature in Allure. I screamed when I saw your picture — thereby convincing my significant other once and for all that I’m crazy! Then when he saw your photo, he asked me why I’ve never had you round to the house, lol!)

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      OMG I laughed out loud reading this!! Your other half has no idea – or maybe now he does. I agree with you on the kindred spirit. She confirmed why I love vintage so much. I could literally swap wardrobes with her.

      Thanks again on the Allure feature and for the love!!! : )

  8. Jennifer Victor says:

    Just returned from Vegas and visited the Art District vintage shops after reading about it here. Nice people working at the stores yet did not find anything this trip.

    • Karen Blanchard says:

      oh no!! sorry you didn’t find anything. I find a lot of those shops are hit or miss so you’d go back another time and hit the jackpot!

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