Changing Your Clothes

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


Monday Makeover: A Spa Day for my Jeans

Under the heading of “what was I thinking?”: the dirty-wash jeans I bought recently. I admit, I bought them primarily because (a) I needed a decent pair of jeans for a trip I was about to take, and (b) they fit (i.e. they were long enough—not always easy for me to find). Yes, it was a hasty decision. Yes, there was some time pressure.

Yes, I should have known better.

I really shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that jeans with a color finish called “dirty” just might look, well, dirty. (And by the way, if the fashion industry can come up with color names like “sand”, “putty”, and “dove” to describe just plain beige, why can’t they come up with a euphemism for “dirty”? Just asking.) Here are my jeans, pre-makeover:

"Dirty" jeans

“Dirty” jeans: Even just after washing, these jeans certainly live up to their dubious color-finish name.

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Fashion POV: Alber Elbaz

I had to share this quote* from Alber Elbaz, Lanvin designer, with you— it really sums up how I feel about clothes and fashion. Merci, Alber, for saying it more eloquently than I ever could!

“I love creating clothes for women, any women, aged 20 or 80, large or small…I’m not interested in creating dresses that make men fall in love with the lady wearing them. I prefer to empower women with their own love. I want to make women happy, make them shine from within, so their clothes are eclipsed by their personality. I want to see beautiful women, not beautiful clothes.”

(*This came from a fantastic Refinery29 slideshow.)


Mix It Up 3: Using Yarn Grab Bags

A couple of days ago, in an effort to be creative with “orphan” balls of yarn, I started putting them together into grab bags I call “Fab Five Plus“: 5 different balls of yarn, all in the same color family, along with a coordinating hand-painted silk ribbon (that’s the “Plus”). Here’s one example:

Fab Five Plus in Citrus

Fab Five Plus in Citrus: 5 different yarns, plus coordinating silk ribbon!

Note: This Fab Five Plus collection is currently up for grabs (pardon the expression) in an eBay auction, ending 1/17/13; click here to go directly to that page. This link will most likely not work after the auction ends.)

This morning, I got this question from a lady who has placed bids on some of my Fab Fives: “Do you have a recommendation for a pattern for this combo?”

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Mix It Up 2: Oddball Outfits

I admit it: I’ve held on to certain garments for years a while now, long enough to know they’re well past their fashion expiration date, but somehow I’m unable to just let them go. (Hello, Lindy? This is the 1980s calling. We’d really like our leather jacket back. Yes, the shoulder pads too.) Don’t we all have at least one thing in our closet clinging doggedly to its hanger, way back in the darkest corner?

Refinery29 to the rescue: their latest slideshow will inspire you to shake the dust off those oddball items by mixing them with more modern pieces! I’m noticing in particular the creative use of accessories; in the example below (the oddball being the bridesmaid dress), sharpening up the soft color of the dress with the black jacket and clutch does wonders, along with the bright golden accents, and the little pop of red in the earrings.

Bridesmaid dress remix!

Bridesmaid dress remix! (Click on the picture to go directly to the slideshow.)

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Practical vs. Extravagant: The Follow-up

I know you’ve all been breathlessly waiting to hear the results of my Practical vs. Extravagant question. Wait no longer! (For those of you who are breathlessly confused about what I’m talking about, you might want to read the post that started this great debate.) Here is my finished outfit:

Extravagant dance outfit!

My Extravagant outfit, all dressed up and hoping to dance! The skirt, with its glowing colors and asymmetrical hem (longer on the right side of this photo, shorter on the other side), is sexy without being inappropriate.

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Mix It Up: Winter Math!

I just ran across this slideshow from Refinery29 (my fave!), and had to show it to you. They’re calling it “Fashion Math”; each of the 3 sections starts with a particular type of winter coat, then adds various pieces to form a complete ensemble equation. Here’s one of my favorite looks:

Winter Math

Winter Math: What to wear with a parka. (Click the picture to go directly to the slideshow.)

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An Exceptional Resolution

New Year’s Day. Reviewing my closet this morning, I was wondering what resolutions to make, relative to changing my clothes; after all, what’s in my closet changes of its own volition, at least a little, almost constantly. Just in the past week or so, I’ve had to let go of a favorite pair of red suede T-strap shoes that I’ve had for at least 10 years, decided an equally ancient sweater was just not worth any more mending, and that a favorite sequinned tank top was (sigh) just too small. I wonder: with a wardrobe in more or less continual evolution, is it worth making resolutions today that may just have to be amended tomorrow? Continue reading