Changing Your Clothes

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


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Changing Your Scarf: The 4 Seasons Project

The 4 Seasons Project. It started several weeks ago with the idea of creating color sequences based on each season that could then be interpreted for my line of yarns*. (For more on the development of the color palettes and skeins, and to see photos of each season’s color sequences, see A Colorful Year: The 4 Seasons Project on a Musing, my other blog.) Once I had the colors worked out and had put together the skeins, all (?) I had to do was design one or more pieces that could be knitted with this collection of skeins. Or better yet— design a piece that could be finished in 3 different ways! (I think there’s something in me that positively revels in making a project more complex.) The idea I came up with is a scarf that morphs into an infinity scarf (a continuous loop) that morphs into a cocoon-shaped jacket! (Sure… why not?) And since I needed a title for the knitting pattern I was writing, I dubbed this design 4 Seasons 3 Ways.

 * I create a line of one-of-a-kind yarns for Knittique; each skein has a color sequence based on the color palettes I develop. You can see these skeins, and the patterns I’ve designed for them, in Knittique’s Etsy shop.

Here’s Version 1: The Scarf

The 4 Seasons scarf

The 4 Seasons scarf. The ends hanging in front are (on left) Autumn, and (right) Winter; Spring and Summer wrap cozily around the neck.

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Cutting a New Hem: The Tango Skirt

The Tango Skirt. I spotted it languishing on an overcrowded rack in a consignment shop. It flirted shamelessly with me on the hanger, looking all cute and mysterious, and I just knew we would be going home together. I admit, I didn’t know anything about it, really, just that it was the dark, rich brown of the best espresso, in a soft, slinky fabric that was ruched and gathered at the back in an utterly beguiling manner. I didn’t even try it on, just handed over $18.00, and dashed out, clutching it to my heart. It was a magic moment.

Alas, poor Tango Skirt! The magic died when I pulled the skirt on at home. Yes, the ruched-and-fishtailed back was nearly as flattering as it had promised on the hanger, and I loved the way it swished around the backs of my calves. But the front! The front of the skirt, so plain, cut straight and drooping sadly below my knees, was not flattering at all. It was as if I had brought home two different skirts instead of one. Brokenhearted and embarrassed, I hung The Tango Skirt in a dark corner of my closet, where it stayed, unloved, for several months.

The Tango Skirt The Tango Skirt, pre-alteration. Looking at the plain-Jane front, you’d never guess such fabulousness could be lurking in back! (The pin in the front of the skirt marks the length of the lining, something that’s important to know before you start cutting anything! (Trust me.) Continue reading


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Just Plane Chic: Travel in Style!

By the time I was traveling a fair amount as an adult, the days when even flight attendants wore stockings and heels were long past. Now, it’s not uncommon to see people shuffling around airport terminals in what looks like pajamas accessorized oh-so-charmingly with flip-flops and uncombed hair. (I do assume at least some of these people just got off a 16-hour transatlantic flight, and I make allowances accordingly, lest you think I judge too harshly.)

The constant refrain I hear is, “But I want to be comfortable!” (Well, obviously— so do I!) Considering all the griping I also hear about all the reasons air travel is less than pleasant these days, I’d like to offer this hypothesis: We’d all enjoy ourselves a little bit more if we (a) knew we looked amazing (read: effortlessly comfortable), and (b) had other stylish travelers around us to improve our view en route.

Travel in Style, from Refinery29

Travel in Style, from Refinery29. (Click the picture to go directly to the slideshow.)

To get us started on the surprisingly brief journey to travel chic, take a look at this slideshow, courtesy of Refinery29: How to Travel in Style, sans Sweats! From suitcases to socks, this guide is loaded with fun and practical ideas that will hopefully inspire us all to up our style ante the next time we head to the airport!


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Fashion Catchphrases: A Video Vocabulary Lesson

Is your fashion vocabulary a little out of date? Confused by terms like “manthropology” and “fashion shower”? Brush up on the current jargon with this hilarious video, courtesy of Refinery29!

Fashion Catchphrases video from Refinery29

Fashion Catchphrases from Refinery29. (This is a screenshot from the video; click the picture to go directly to the video.)


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Holiday Accessories Sale!

Here’s a great way to get your holiday shopping started (don’t tell me you’re done already!): a festive sale from Tresors de Luxe! You can thank me later. ; )

Trésors De Luxe

Hello to all our fashionistas and lovers of affordable accessories! Being that we are only 9 days away Thanksgiving, and just 41 days to Christmas we’ve decided to throw all caution to the wind and start our Holiday Sale now!!! We hope you start your shopping now, get the pieces you want for your friends, family and maybe even something special for yourself!  We’ve added new pieces to our hottest collections, and are jazzed that we can bring such high quality to you at even lower prices! Since we’re an exclusive online boutique, we carry only a few of each item, we want our unique pieces to shine and have people wondering, “Where’d she get that?!”  Shop now before these amazing deals are gone!

Remember, we offer FREE shipping on select items each week and a beautiful FREE jewelry bag with every purchase!

Happy SALE shopping with us!  Trèsors De Luxe  www.tresorsdeluxe.com

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The Perfect Winter Hat: Does It Exist?

Airports Made Simple sent me this note today: “I have a question for you – this occurred to me today as I was walking my dog. It’s cold here, so I typically wear a warm cable knit hat that fits over my ears or a beret/beanie that’s warm. However, as you know…it doesn’t protect my skin from the sun like my ‘summer hat’ (a large garden hat or wide-brimmed beach hat), and I sometimes forget the sunscreen in the winter. Besides always wearing sunscreen (which I should do anyway!!), is there a winter hat style that is warm and also provides sun protection for the face?”

This is such a great question! I am very fair myself, so I’m a lifelong sunscreen user, but sunscreen alone is sometimes not enough. (Did you know that, even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of harmful UV rays still get through?) So I also love my wide-brimmed summer hats, but in the winter, they just look… wrong. Airports Made Simple raises a good point: in the winter, can a hat protect you from both cold and sun? Does the perfect winter hat actually exist?

I love hats myself, and coincidentally, I happen to have a wide-brimmed wool hat, for which I braved the blog camera (oh, the lengths I go to for you, my wonderful friends!):

My wide-brimmed wool hat My wide-brimmed wool hat: Yes, it keeps me warm and dry, but let’s be honest— it’s pretty dull, and not all that flattering. Which is why it’s mainly my rain hat. Continue reading


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Warm Evenings 2: How I Dressed Up My Coat

After writing my last post about evening coats (Warm Evenings: Dress Up Your Coat!), I got to thinking: what is that makes a coat “evening”, anyway? Sure, there are the duchesse-satin numbers, the velvet wraps, even some occasional cape drama— but how many of us own any of these, or want to? Since I’m not on the socialite circuit, let alone on the red carpet (yet), where’s the use value? Even with all the financial doom-and-gloominess, we still want to buy new clothes— we just expect more versatility. As I suggested in the previous post, why can’t one coat work for everyday use, as well as for dressier occasions?

To get into that day-coat-for-evening concept a little more, I thought I’d let you in on my getting-ready-for-the-museum-party (mentioned in the previous post) thought process.

Step 1: Pick a dress. I narrowed my choices down to 3 possibilities: the favorite, the pinch-hitter, and the in-case-of-emergency. And here’s where I ran into my problem. As I was trying on my favorite (a 1950s fit-and-flare-silhouette dress that I made with pale aqua silk noil to which I added an overlay of dark brown metallic lace), I suddenly realized it’s November, this dress is sleeveless — I have to wear a coat. Or something of that ilk. Problem: I have no coat/wrap/cape that’s the right combination of color and look to work with this dress.

So I ended up wearing my pinch-hitter dress: a bias-cut print silk georgette, one of my favorites; I got this from Anthropologie over 6 years ago, and I love it just as much now, but it’s quite definitely a summer dress. (Anthropologie called it the “Surrealist Dress”, which made it seem all the more appropriate for a night at the museum.) Here it is:

Surrealist Dress Surrealist Dress from Anthropologie; not exactly cold-weather wear! Continue reading