Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


Doing a Warm-up: Winterizing Your Clothes

Here’s a great question from 24/7 in France: “What about really cold winter weather? I get tired of wearing turtlenecks and sweaters over them all the time— any ideas? I’m traveling soon to cold weather.”

I’ll do a more extensive follow-up on this later, but for now, I’ll offer this suggestion: silk long johns. When I was living in Ohio on a horse farm, I was down in the barn for the daily chores, which, in winter, involved trying to ward off frostbite in -20 F temperatures. I was uncomfortable in really heavy, thick clothes; I don’t like the feeling of being weighed down, not to mention that layer upon layer made it harder to move around.

Silk long john top from WinterSilks Silk long john top, Warmth Factor 5, from WinterSilks; this is just one style and color of many available. And they have styles for men, women, and children! (Click the photo to see all Warmth Factor 5 styles.) Continue reading


Closet Confessions: A Big Hang-up

Yes, it’s time for another closet confession. Today, I’m revealing all about one of my biggest closet hang-ups: hanging things up.

It’s not that I’m a slob. (Well…) It’s just that somehow, over the past several years, my wardrobe has gradually become more and more about clothes that don’t need ironing— which, coincidentally, usually means they don’t need to be hung up. Looking inside my closet this morning, I realized that at least 65% of my clothes (I’m guessing here) are not, in point of fact, hanging up. Sweaters stacked on one shelf, purses (and the odd out-of-season item) on the other, and everything from camisoles to workout clothes in one of those hanging multi-compartment organizers (I use that term loosely). This leads me to the profound observation that I prefer low-maintenance clothes.

Interestingly, though, I’ve also noticed that when I make clothes for myself, the pieces I choose to spend my time and energy making are nearly always special things: a fabulous asymmetrical jersey dress, heavy Irish linen trousers, printed silk tunic. (All of these can be seen here.) And that silk tunic, bless its lovely one-shouldered heart, is the reason I’m writing this today: it not only needs to be hung up, it needs special assistance in doing so. To wit: the addition of a hanging strap.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Shopping Alert: Martin Margiela for H & M, coming soon!

I hope you don’t mind me posting 2 slideshows in a row, but I just had to show-and-tell you this: on November 15, H & M will debut a fabulous collection that’s a collaboration with the amazing Martin Margiela! Here’s one of my personal favorites:

Margiela for H & M dress Maison Martin Margiela for H & M dress, from the collaborative collection available beginning November 15. Love the peek of leg! (Click on the picture to go to the slideshow.) Continue reading


Go Big: It’s All About the Balance!

Yes, the fickle fashion cycle has swung around again to embracing the oversized, but as the ensembles in this Refinery29 slideshow demonstrate, the key to making this look work is in keeping everything balanced.

Oversized skirt, fitted sweater Oversized skirt, fitted sweater; this look works because the sweater is proportionally as fitted as the skirt is voluminous. And I’m loving the pastel-with-bright color combination! (Click on the picture to go directly to the slideshow.) Continue reading


Feeling Blue? Dressing to Change your Mood

A few days ago, I was having a low moment. Well, more than just a moment. I was wearing faded jeans and a black cardigan over a grey camisole. What does that have to do with it? Okay, there’s a chicken-or-the-egg aspect: was I wearing dull colors because I was feeling down, or feeling down because I was wearing dull colors? Either way, if I think about it in a Pythagorean kind of way, changing my clothes (or at least adding some color) should logically change my spirits.

But… implementing this sort of clothes-minded therapy requires making a conscious choice.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

It’s I Love Yarn Day! Celebrate with FREE shipping at Knittique!

Yes, folks, it’s true, today is indeed I Love Yarn Day. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, I’m having a today-only free shipping flash sale at my Etsy shop! Just go to the Knittique shop to get the discount code that’s in the shop announcement (under the Knittique banner). Then go find yourself all kinds of fibery fun (it’s good for you, after all), and when you check out, apply your discount code, which will automatically remove the shipping charges.

The Fade to Black skein The Fade to Black skein; click the picture to go directly to this skein in my Etsy shop.

Continue reading


At the Salon: Changing More Than My Hair!

I’m sitting at my salon, under a dryer, with more foil wrapping than a Thanksgiving turkey– and have still managed to change someone else’s clothes! (Talk about multi-tasking!)

Details: Silvana, my wonderful stylist, was about to put on her apron when I arrived. She said she thought she’d have to get rid of it, because the Velcro strip (for adjusting the length of the neck strap) was ruining her clothes, snagging everything it touched. I took a look.

Before: the Velcro strip from hell!

Before: the Velcro strip from hell! You can actually see threads on it where poor Silvana’s clothes got snagged. (You’re looking at the underside of the bib of the apron.)

You can see the Velcro strip here. I thought it would be pretty easy to fix: just remove the part of the strip that was exposed (she’d already adjusted the size). Naturally, she had plenty of scissors, so I got to work.

I carefully snipped each stitch, and voila: In less than 3 minutes, the snagging problem was eliminated!

During: removing the Velcro

During: removing the Velcro. This simply involved snipping the stitches that held it in place, one at a time, being careful not to cut the fabric underneath.

So Silvana’s apron looks fabulous, and it won’t snag her tops! Oh, and I’ll let you know how my hair turns out. ; )

After: Velcro under control!

After: Velcro under control! (It’s still there, under the neck strap shown here; I just removed the excess.)

P.S. My hair looks as fab as Silvana in her apron!

Leave a comment

Dressing for Your Body: Wedding Gown Inspiration

I was just looking at this slideshow from RealSimple, showing wedding gowns for various body types. I love looking at wedding gowns anyway, but this time it occurred to me that I could take some of their advice and adapt it for clothes I might wear more than once in my lifetime.

(Semi-serious disclaimer: if you detest the use of fruit names as euphemisms for body types, as I do, frankly, don’t say I didn’t warn you. That said, if you can ignore that part, there’s good information here.)

Here’s an example:

Wedding Dress for Full Figures Wedding gown for full figures. (Click on this picture to go see the entire slideshow.) Continue reading

Leave a comment

Easiest Weekend Dressing Ever!

Okay, we now have no excuses left for looking sloppy on the weekends! Refinery29 has put together 5 outfits, each comprised of the following pieces:

1. Jeans

2. T-shirt

3. Flats

4. Sweater

5. Accessories (handbags, jewelry)


Easy Weekend Outfits Easy weekend outfits, courtesy of Refinery29. Each is based on jeans, T-shirt, sweater, and flats, with handbags and a little jewelry thrown in. Continue reading

1 Comment

Markham Caerus: Nothing to do with clothes, but still cool!

To all my clothes-minded friends, I can only apologize for the following message. (You proud parents will understand, I’m sure.) It’s a shameless promotion for my archaeologist daughter Valerie’s brand-new website, Markham Caerus, named for her research project into protecting works of art and antiquities from theft and looting. (Yes, she describes the origin of the name on the About Markham Caerus page— you’ll love it!)

Markham Caerus

Markham Caerus, my daughter’s project and new website! (Click the image to go straight there.)

Valerie has also just started a blog, A Year in Provenance (right here on WordPress!), which goes into lots of detail about the issues she intends to address, most of which I myself was completely unaware of. (Example: profits from the illegal sales of stolen art and artifacts go directly to finance other crimes.) So in case you’re wondering why this should matter, this fascinating blog will convince you! And thank you all in advance for checking it out, along with Valerie’s new website!

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming… er, posting…