Changing Your Clothes

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


Thrift-Shop Thursday: Altering a Knit Top

It seemed so simple at the time. On one of our thrift-shop jaunts, my daughter had found a beautiful cream-colored silk-blend rib-knit top whose shoulder straps were perhaps just a little too long. Little did I know…

Valerie's top, before

Valerie’s top, before… it turned into an epic alteration project. Issues: 1. Shoulder straps are almost falling off her shoulders, and showing bra straps. 2. Overlapping front panels are too far apart, causing the dreaded gaposis (and showing a little too much cleavage for her taste). 3. Excess fabric under the arms, creating bunched-up areas. What to do, what to do…

Tip: I asked Valerie to wear a bra in a contrasting color, so that we could be really sure if the straps and/or the band in the back were visible or not.

The armhole-shortening alteration is one I’m all too familiar with. Since I am relatively large-busted but with a narrow rib cage and shoulders, when I buy clothes to fit around my bust, they almost always are too big in the shoulders and armholes; if the garment is sleeveless, this is especially a problem, showing a lot more of my bra than I’d like, not to mention threatening to fall off my shoulders.

Aside: Why is it that manufacturers seem to think that if one part of a woman’s body is large (like my bust), the rest will be equally large, including her height? I understand that they’re using averaging to come up with their sizing, but since when does a person get taller when she puts on a few pounds? It’s as if they take, say, a size 2 pattern and simply stretch it out in all directions to upsize it. Proportionally, this doesn’t make sense. End of aside.

So I’ve had a lot of experience with the armhole-shortening concept. However, with this particular top, in trying to come up with an alteration strategy, I was perplexed by a couple of things:

1. Because this top was constructed by essentially knitting the pieces together (not sewn in the conventional sense), there are no seams; instead, on the shoulders, where there would normally be a seam, the front and back appear to be grafted together.

The main issue is keeping bulk to a minimum. No matter how I sew a new seam at the shoulders, the newly-created seam allowances will create bulk. Another issue is that, with this very stretchy rib knit, the fabric is likely to stretch while I’m sewing it; this could actually be beneficial, in that if the strap does become a bit wider because of stretching, it will do a better job of hiding bra straps.

2. The center front poses a similar problem. There is a seam going from side to side under the bust, but it’s an enclosed seam, a technique done on knitting machines. Here’s what the under-bust seam looks like on the inside:

Enclosed seam

Enclosed seam. This is the seamline that runs from side to side, under the bust. (Shown on wrong side.) Problem: I can’t undo this in order to move the front panels closer together.

Tip: Just for the record, this kind of construction actually shows use of high-quality techniques, and I’m not complaining about that! It’s just that without normal seam allowances to work with, alterations are almost always more complicated.

If there was a normal seam under the bust, what I’d do is undo that seam, and overlap the center panels closer together to eliminate gaping (gapping?); but with this enclosed seam, that’s not an option. Aaargh…

For lack of a concrete plan, I just started pinning to see what would happen. Here, with just one shoulder pinned into a new seam, you can immediately see the difference shortening the strap makes:

Pinning the shoulders

Pinning the shoulders. With 1 shoulder pinned, you can see the difference: most of the bra strap is covered, and that bunching of fabric on the side of the bust is eliminated!

I had been concerned that shortening the shoulder straps that much would pull the under-bust seam up, but that didn’t happen, as you can see in the photo above. My guess is that the stretchiness of the fabric, and possibly the close fit of the bodice under the bust, made the difference.

When pinning the shoulders, I thought I might as well really refine the fit, so I pinned the new seams to fit the slope of Valerie’s shoulders:

Pinning shoulders

Pinning the shoulders (the sequel): With both sides pinned in place, the improvement in fit is even more obvious.

Sloping shoulder

Refining the fit: Instead of following the original shoulder line of the top, I’ve pinned the new seam to follow the natural slope of Valerie’s shoulders.

Now to sew the new seams! As usual when I’m sewing something stretchy, I’m using a wide, shallow zigzag stitch.

Tip: When sewing knits, I always use a ball-point needle in my sewing machine. This type of needle separates threads in the fabric, rather than piercing them, reducing the possibility of snags or runs.

Sewing shoulder seams

Sewing shoulder seams. 1. Zigzag-stitching the seam. 2. Snipping the new seam allowance open. 3. Zigzag-stitching the seam allowance .5″ from seamline (both sides). 4. The seam allowance on the right has had the excess trimmed away; left side has not yet been trimmed.

Some details about sewing the seams (numbers refer to the photos):

1. I had thought I’d have to stretch the fabric slightly while sewing, but this stuff is so flexible that it stretched by itself in the course of sewing.

2. Because there was no previous seam, I cut the folded edge after stitching the seam, so I could press the seam open; this will make much less bulk than if I simply folded all the excess to one side.

3 & 4. I knew I’d have to finish the cut edges of the seam allowance in some way to keep it from unraveling, as knits are wont to do (don’t you just love that word?). With almost anything else, I’d use my serger, but with all the thread used in serging, I thought it would add unnecessary bulk. So I just zigzagged about .5″ from the seamline, the trimmed the excess close to the stitching.

You can also see in photo 4 that the seam allowances look wider than the straps, due to the stretching of the fabric while sewing the seams. I dealt with this by hand-tacking the corners of the seam allowances into place:

Making tacks

Making tacks. Being careful to roll the outside edge of the top out (where it wants to curl under), I’m carefully making just a couple of stitches on the inside of that roll, to hold the corner of the seam allowance in place.

Tip: To anchor your thread, make your first stitch through the seam allowance, a little away from the corner you want to stitch down. This will allow you to make your final knot under the seam allowance, keeping the trimmed thread ends from showing. And yes, I figured that out the hard way.

Here’s what the new shoulder seam looks like on the outside, after tacking the seam allowance ends and steam-pressing very lightly:

After tacking

After tacking. If you really look you can tell where I tacked the corners of the seam allowances, but at least there’s no visible bulk showing through.

Tip: It’s a little embarrassing to me to show you that last picture; honestly, it wasn’t until after I sewed both seams that I even thought about trying the match the ribs on both sides of the seams. However, with fabric as stretchy as this (it’s mostly silk with a little Spandex), even if I had hand-basted the seams together before machine-stitching, I’m not sure they would have come out exactly right. If I was doing this over, I’d at least try basting, though.

Whew. Now on to the center front! You know how, with overlapping panels like we have here, if you try and pin them together, you can always tell? Here, I’ve put 1 pin in to see what would happen:

1 pin at center front

1 pin at center front. This actually doesn’t look too bad, but we both wanted to have more here than just a single tack hold these pieces together.

Center pinned

Pinning both sides together. By pinning on both sides where the panels overlap, I think we could create something more secure, and possibly a smoother finish.

The issue now is, how do I sew this in place invisibly? The part that’s pinned on the left side in the photo (above) is where stitching will show the most; on the right, with the natural roll of the edge of the fabric, I thought I could conceal hand-stitching fairly easily. I decided to try a simple blind hemstitch, the same as I would use to make a normal hem:

Stitching the center

Stitching the center. Top: Working on the wrong side, I’m using a blind hemstitch, unrolling the edge of the topmost panel as I go. Bottom: Working now on the right side, I’m doing the same thing, trying to make my stitches under the rolling edge.

So how did it all work? Here’s the before and after:

Before & After!

Before & after! The differences are subtle, but effective: The shoulder straps, widened by creating seams, cover more of the bra, the bunching on the sides is gone, and the crisscross center looks smoother and more stable, and is just that crucial bit more covered.

So what seemed at first to be an easy matter of shortening shoulder straps turned into quite the daunting alterations project! I had to figure out how to create shoulder seams where there were none before, without adding visible bulk, by the way, and how to smoothly connect the 2 front panels where they overlap. That may not sound like much, but it was more than I expected, I must say. But I learned a lot, and Valerie now has a lovely silk-blend top to add to her wardrobe (although I don’t think she’ll be wearing it for field work), and for which she paid the princely sum of $4.99!

Late-breaking news: Valerie has decided that the stitching that I tried so hard to make invisible on the center front (the part to left of center in the After photo) is not quite invisible enough. I really can’t disagree. After talking it over, we’ve decided that we’ll see what happens if I take out the not-quite-invisible stitching, leaving just the one side stitched down (the part overlapping on the outside, to the right of center in the photo). I’ll post an update with photos when I get that done.

Special note: Since these tutorials, and the Makeover Monday ones, are quite time-consuming to produce in blog-post form, I’ve decided that henceforth, Thrift-Shop Thursdays will happen on the last Thursday of every month, and Makeover Mondays will be on the second Monday of each month. So look for the next Makeover Monday on September 9, and the next Thrift-Shop Thursday will come up on September 26. In between, I’ll finally be getting to a lot of other ideas I have for you here on Changing Your Clothes— next up (after the knit top update), a new installment of Closet Confessions!


Makeover Monday: Ballroom Dress to Tango Skirt!

Previously on Makeover Monday, I cut up a stretch-velvet dress I had made several years ago for ballroom dancing; so far, this has netted me an asymmetrically-hemmed top. Today, I’m taking the remainder of the erstwhile dress, adding some contrasting velvet, and turning it into a tango skirt!

Here’s my ballroom dress, before I went a little scissors-happy:

Velvet dress

Velvet dress, pre-makeover.

After cutting this dress diagonally into 2 pieces, here’s what the skirt portion looks like; I’ve laid it over a pencil skirt to get an idea of what I’d have to add to turn this oddly-shaped thing into a useable garment.

Mockup 1

Skirt mock-up 1. Since the original dress was quite close-fitting, I thought this slim pencil skirt would give me some idea how to add on to the remaining velvet piece, to create a new skirt.

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: View from the Trenches

Previously on Thrift-Shop Thursday, I told you about my archaeologist daughter’s last-minute quest for the perfect dig-site wardrobe— and by perfect, I meant quick and thrifty, and she meant practical, yet chic. For a girl who just today wore a black pencil skirt, charcoal-grey cowl-neck top, cream fishnet hose, and taupe heels just to get her hair done, satisfying both of us threatened to be a very tall order. Today, Valerie is my very first guest blogger, with her own take on this thrift-shop-based experience. Welcome her to Changing Your Clothes!

“A garment in the closet is worth two in storage.” —Ancient proverb

What-ho from your guest correspondent. The above-mentioned trenches are also proverbial: I did indeed leap at the recent chance to help excavate an archaeological site within commuting distance of my home address, but we are digging in 1 x 1 meter squares! Although I insist I never actually wailed, “What do I wear?”, proper attire was an immediate concern. Because of the nature of this dig, I needed little more than the clothes on my back and the knowledge in my brain; but by the nature of my recent life, my entire closet was oriented to libraries, museums, and evening events —distinctly indoor clothes. If it were merely a question of finding acceptable work clothes, rugged and washable, it would have been a simple utilitarian jaunt to the nearest clothing-seller and this post could end with this paragraph.

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Chicago Wardrobe Follow-up #4: My Mom’s Edition!

As promised, here’s one last follow-up on my Chicago (ORD) travel wardrobe experience— but this time, it’s all about my mother! It was her trip, after all; I just accompanied her to help with driving, etc., so I really can’t finish up my post-trip reports without covering at least a little of her experience!

Note: If you’d like to get caught up on this whole experience, there’s a list of links at the end of this post.

Silly of me, but I just didn’t think to take pictures specifically of Mom’s travel wardrobe while we were together on this trip, but at least I have some photos of her during various activities and events. (We live in different states.) And she’s been kind enough to send me a list of what she packed, with notes on what she’d do differently next time, so we should be able to get an overall sense of her experience, clothes-wise.

Here’s what Mom packed: Continue reading


Chicago Travel Wardrobe: Follow-up #3

In my previous Chicago Travel Wardrobe follow-up posts, I told you about the last-minute print-top switch, and then got started on the follow-up proper, reporting first on what I wore during the trip from home to Chicago (ORD). Now I’ll give you the details: what I did on my trip, what I wore for each event, and how my travel wardrobe worked out overall.

Fair warning: This post will be an extra-large ORDer, served up by your helpful CYC assistant (me).

First, here’s an ultra-brief recap: I met my mother at ORD (O’Hare airport in Chicago), then spent the next 8 days driving her all over Illinois to visit various relatives and friends. Other than her 60th high school reunion, I had no idea until after I arrived what kinds of events to pack for, so my strategy was, quite simply, to opt for versatility over quantity.

There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get right to it, journal-style!

Day 1, Outfit #2: Dinner, evening. Arrived late afternoon at ORD Terminal 3, met mom at Terminal 1. Procured rental car, found way out of ORD maze, and drove north to Libertyville, where we would spend most of our nights with my aunt and uncle (Tom’s my mom’s brother). Was obviously still wearing airport ensemble (Outfit #1), but made slight changes before dinner: removed cardi, added green necklace.

Outfit #2: Dinner, Day 1

Day 1, Outfit #2: Dinner. This is what I came from the airport in, minus the scarf and green cardi, and plus the green multi-strand necklace.

Day 2, Outfit #3: Museum, morning. Aunt and uncle suggested at breakfast that we drive up to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to see a Civil War museum they had spotted while on a bike ride. Turned out to be located right on Lake Michigan, on a slightly chilly, muggy day. I wore my jeans (with cuffs up), and the print top layered over the sage-green tank, with flat ankle-tie sandals:

Day 2, Outfit #3: Museum

Day 2, Outfit #3: Museum trip. Although the flat sandals were the logical choice for a lot of walking around the museum, I wished I had brought my cardigan for a little extra warmth; it was chilly outside with wind coming off Lake Michigan, and inside, the AC was on full-strength.

Tip: Want to see how I changed my jeans to have the convertible cuffs? Click here for Part 1, and Part 2!

Day 2, Outfit #4: Mom’s 60th high school reunion, evening. Mom had said this was being held at a place called The Onion Pub, which on the face of it, doesn’t sound as though it has a formal dress code. So in trying to strike a balance between being simultaneously comfortable, festive, and appropriate, I wore this dress:

Day 2, Outfit #4: Reunion

Day 2, Outfit #4: Mom’s reunion. Since this dress is essentially a long tank top, I thought it would strike the right note, combining interesting fabrics with a comfortable, casual silhouette. I brought the silk scarf in case the AC was overwhelming (a tendency in the Midwest).

Day 3, Outfit #5: 4th of July parade, morning. We drove to a neighboring town for this, then had to walk a fair distance from where we parked. And of course we were on our feet continuously for a couple of hours, so even my extremely comfortable wedge shoes started feeling the strain towards the end. But thanks to an extra dose of sunblock, I managed quite well in this:

Day 3, Outfit #5: Parade

Day 3, Outfit #5: Parade. It was a hot, sunny day, so my asymmetrical bamboo top and jeans (worn with cuffs up again), plus sunglasses, kept me reasonably comfortable.

Day 3, Outfit #6: Barbecue, afternoon. After a quick lunch at aunt/uncle’s house, we drove to their friends’ home for a barbecue get-together, with about a dozen people. I kept it simple, wearing the same thing as for the parade, just changing into my flat ankle-tie sandals (as in Outfit #3).

Day 3, Outfit #7: Fireworks, evening. I was unprepared for the mosquito onslaught after sunset. All I could do was roll down the cuffs of my jeans, in the hope that at least my ankles would escape unscathed. (Sadly, no.)

Day 3, Outfit #7: Fireworks

Day 3, Outfit #7: Fireworks. It was nice to have the option of rolling down the cuffs of my jeans, but I would have been completely taken over by mosquitoes if not for my aunt offering me a fleece pullover jacket. And the fireworks were magnificent!

Day 4, Outfit #8: Drive to Champaign, early morning. This was nearly 200 miles each way, so we would be spending the night at a family friend’s house. We left early, since the plan was to arrive in time for lunch, at the home of the woman who had for years been the director of a museum founded in the late 1960s by my grandfather. She has recently retired, but lives very near the museum, and she wanted to take us on a tour to show us all the changes and improvements being made.

After lunch and seeing the museum, we would be driving to the other side of Champaign to the house where we’d spend the night.

With the drive, lunch, and museum tour in mind, not to mention that I had to pack for an overnight trip, I wore this:

Day 4, Outfit #8: Drive

Day 4, Outfit #8: Drive to Champaign. I planned my outfits for this overnight trip for maximum versatility, minimum packing: my bag had only night things, toiletries, and my print top.

Day 5, Outfit #9: Drive to Chicago, early morning. The plan was to stop to visit my godmother in Chicago on our way back to Libertyville. Since I had packed as little as possible for the Champaign overnight trip, here’s what I did to Outfit #8 to switch it up: I rolled up the jeans cuffs, put on the print top over the tank top, and packed the cardigan. Done.

Day 5, Outfit #9: Drive

Day 5, Outfit #9: Drive to Chicago. A few simple tweaks to yesterday’s outfit gave me a different look with minimal packing. Note to self: bring small overnight bag next time!

Day 6, Outfit #10: Church, early morning. Steamy day. Wanted to be comfortable yet appropriate (uncle said people would be in shorts, something I would never do in public). Result:

Day 6, Outfit #10: Church

Day 6, Outfit #10: Church. This seemed tasteful (i.e. covered), and it was reasonably comfortable considering the steamy heat.

Day 6, Outfit #11: Hike in woods, late morning. Okay, I didn’t bring anything that resembled hiking gear, but I thought I’d be okay as long as I covered up with my cardigan (having learned the mosquito lesson). The only problem was my shoes— they were comfortable until we got somewhere around the second mile, then I started developing a blister where the part goes between the toes. Not fun. But it was a beautiful walk.

Day 6, Outfit #11: Hike

Day 6, Outfit #11: Hike. The cardigan did indeed save me from the mosquitoes in the somewhat marshy woods, but nothing prevented me from getting a blister. Well, these aren’t exactly hiking sandals…

Day 6, Outfit #12: Visit another uncle, afternoon. This involved driving to a nearby town, where we joined my mom’s youngest brother and his new wife (whom I hadn’t met) at their house for a barbecue. After freshening up post-hike, I decided I had just enough energy to change shoes, take off my now-sticky cardi, and put on my turquoise necklace.

Day 6, Outfit #12: Barbecue

Day 6, Outfit #12: Barbecue at another uncle’s house involved only minimal changes from #11.

Day 7, Outfit #13: Drive/visit, morning-early afternoon. This time we were heading to another small country town to visit the widow of the former pastor of my mother’s church. I decided for the first time to wear the skirt I had brought; I make it a rule to wear everything I bring at least once on a trip, if at all possible, but this particular skirt, I realized too late, was not the perfect choice. However, it worked on this occasion— the lady we visited was living in a retirement community that was a lot more like a luxury hotel, so I, rather surprisingly, did not feel overdressed in this:

Day 7, Outfit #13: Visit

Day 7, Outfit #13: Drive and visit. Weather was progressively hotter and muggier, but this ensemble kept me cool during the 40-minute-each-way drive and various detours on the way back; we stopped at the house Mom lived in as a child, the farmhouse they moved to later, and the luxury-home development built on her family’s former property. Oh, and we also saw the one-room schoolhouse (now a residence) Mom attended!

Day 7, Outfit #14: Out to dinner, evening. Aunt and uncle took us to dinner, where we met their 2 sons (my cousins) and their wives. Skirt outfit seemed appropriate, with some tweaks:

Day 7, Outfit #14: Out to dinner

Day 7, Outfit #14: Out to dinner. I changed my top and shoes, and added the green necklace.

Day 8, Outfit #15: Leaving for home, early afternoon. After a refreshingly quiet morning,  another cousin came for a quick lunch, then Mom and I drove back to ORD, returned the rental car, and made our way to separate terminals (she was going to Seattle, I was headed back to Portland). My traveling outfit this time was actually almost the same as when I left Portland, the major change being into the jeans:

Day 8, Outfit #15: Leaving!

Day 8, Outfit #15: Leaving for home! I decided to wear the jeans this time, something I usually don’t do when flying, and it all worked out very well, including through a substantially delayed departure from ORD.

Now it’s time (finally) for the final verdict on my ORD travel wardrobe!

What worked well:

1. The variety of tops

2. The cuffs-up-or-down jeans

3. The metallic wedges and ankle-tie sandals (voted most versatile and comfortable)

4. The silk scarf (great pop of color, and sun protection for my neck)

5. The linen trousers, especially in the humid weather

6. The blue-green earrings (worn with everything— see #3, below)

What didn’t work so well:

1. The skirt. I did wear it, but I could have done without it. The linen/cotton fabric was good for hot weather, but something about the combination of the color and style of this skirt just didn’t work as well with the tops as I’d hoped. A more summery, casual skirt would have been better, I think.

What I didn’t use at all:

1. The kimono sweater

2. The cotton cowl

3. The fancy earrings (only because I discovered after arrival in ORD that one of the earring backs was missing)

The bottom line:

Overall, I’d say this wardrobe was successful. I certainly never felt that I didn’t have something appropriate to wear for any of the wide variety of occasions I had to dress for on this trip. I used nearly everything I packed, and I never even had to iron anything, so it was low-maintenance and high-versatility— isn’t that like the Holy Grail of travel wardrobing?

In case you were wondering, yes, it was a very full trip! I’m really glad I got to go, though; my mom and I got to spend a lot of time together, since I was driving her around, I got reacquainted with many relatives I hadn’t seen in years, and it was fascinating getting to see some places from her childhood, many of which I’d not seen before.

At my request, Mom has sent me a list of what she packed/wore/didn’t wear on this trip (wish I’d thought to get photos of her clothes while we were together), and this will be in my next post, along with some wonderful photos of her at various locations and events. You’ll love it!


Makeover Monday: Ballroom Dress to Tango Top!

Previously on Makeover Monday, I showed you how to change a top’s long sleeves into cap sleeves, making a little-worn garment much more versatile. (Since this top is black, having cap sleeves also means showing a little more skin, as opposed to looking like I’m being swallowed up into a black hole. This is a good thing.)

Today, I’m doing another quick project: converting a dress I made a few years ago for ballroom dancing into a top I can wear with multiple tango skirts— and I just might get another skirt out of it too*!

Here’s my dress, pre-makeover:

Velvet dress

Velvet ballroom dress, before its makeover.

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Having A Field Day

Last weekend, my daughter Valerie, an archaeologist, found out she would have an opportunity to do some field work. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), unless you have a Ph.D or two, it’s very rare to be invited to do on-site digging— one usually has to pay significantly for the privilege. So naturally, she jumped at the chance. And then rose the all-too-familiar desperate wail:

“What do I wear?”

Just to put this dilemma in perspective, an everyday look for Valerie would be a pencil skirt, sleek sweater or top, and heels. (Yes, unlike her mother, she’s very Hollywood-glam; not exactly vintage, certainly not retro, just modern glam.) Unfortunately, this style doesn’t (I assume) lend itself well to crouching down in a hole for hours at a time, sifting buckets of dirt, etc.; maybe this is glamorous work to an archaeologist, but even so, a pencil skirt somehow doesn’t seem… appropriate.

What would be appropriate? Valerie says definitely not jeans: too hot, restrictive, uncomfortable. But pants do seem indicated. I suggested something like khakis and/or cargo pants. This was a little like suggesting to a vegetarian that she try a lovely dish of calf’s liver, but eventually, she realized that if she had to wear pants (and casual pants at that), she could do worse. Khakis went on the list.

She also needed some casual tops, i.e. ones she wouldn’t mind getting covered with dirt and dust. These should be long-sleeved (for sun protection), natural fiber (for coolness), and above all, washable. Long-sleeved cotton t-shirts went on the list.

Now that Valerie’s shopping list was forming, she had to decide where to shop. Since she didn’t want to spend a lot on clothes for such a specialized purpose, I suggested thrift-shopping. (There are 2 really good shops quite close by.). Honestly, since I almost never shop for pants (at any kind of shop), I didn’t know what kind of selection we might find, but on the other hand, thrift shops generally have a wider assortment of brands to choose from. So I thought the odds of finding something were actually in our favor.

Other list items: Wide-brimmed sun hat, work gloves (leather), and comfortable shoes or boots that can get dirty.

Valerie’s going to write a guest post for Changing Your Clothes about this experience, but for now, I’ll just tell you that, in less than 3 hours, we went to 2 shops, she tried on over 30 pairs of pants (and about a dozen tops at the first shop), out of which she got 2 nice long-sleeved t-shirts, 2 pairs of khaki/cargo pants, and even a bonus pair of Ralph Lauren jeans in the most interesting shade of silvery-white! Total spent: $43.00!

Future post alert! It occurred to me during our shopping trip that planning for Valerie’s new field-work wardrobe was not unlike planning a travel wardrobe: both have specific needs, deadlines, climates, events, and budgets to consider. This is an idea I’m going to explore in another post (or three); the more I work on these concepts, the more I realize how helpful it is to start with a concrete strategy.

I’d love to show you pictures of Valerie’s new(ish) stuff, but she got a last-minute notification to go in this morning for 6 hours of  orientation and training for her field work. (It’s a good thing we didn’t wait until the last minute to shop!) She went off looking professional, appropriate, comfortable, and even —surprise— chic!

Thrift-Shop Thursday posts appear every 2 weeks here on CYC.