Changing Your Clothes

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


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Fall 2013: Vogue’s Guide to Fashion

Yin and yang. Hard and soft. Masculine and feminine. For fall 2013, fashion is all about the contrasts.

Vogue Magazine’s supersized slideshow (it’s 140 slides) is your guide to the most influential trends, designers, and collections of Fall 2013. In addition to showing iconic looks from their 12 favorite collections of the season, Vogue has compiled examples of an amazing range of trends. Menswear Materials, The New Blue, Velvet, and Touch of Fur cover fabric, color, and texture directions; Forties Glamour, Sweaters & Skirts, The Bike Jacket, Discreet Chic, and Rock Star Style are key trends in ensemble dressing; and Wardrobe of Coats, Modern Evening, and At-Home Dressing all speak to the integration of fashion and lifestyle.

Just in case you don’t have time for all 140 slides, here’s a greatly-condensed version, complete with some of my favorite picks from each category. (You can jump directly to any category by clicking on its photo.)

Menswear materials

Menswear materials: Michael Kors. This is one of the most flattering takes on the peplum trend I’ve seen so far, and the skirt length is proportionally perfect.  (Click on the picture to go directly to this section of Vogue’s slideshow.)

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Makeover Monday: Cardi-Wrap to Cocoon

Ever since I made my first 3D scarf for last week’s Makeover Monday, I’ve been wearing it almost every day. It’s the perfect light-yet-warm layer that goes on easily over everything. (I’m wearing it even as I type right now!) In fact, this surprisingly versatile piece has gotten so much use already that it inspired me to root through more than my scarf collection for makeover candidates. And lo! Lurking deep in a stack of seldom-worn hand-knitted sweaters, I found this:

Cardi-wrap, pre-makeover

Cardi-Wrap, pre-makeover. This is literally just a long, wide scarf with sleeves set into the rectangle.

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Makeover Monday: 2 Steps to a 3D Scarf

On this new Makeover Monday, I present my Ode to a Scarf. I wear one scarf or another almost daily, almost year-round, so I have a lot of them: silk, wool, pashmina, mohair, cashmere, cotton, rayon; striped, solid, printed, jacquard; scarves I designed and hand-knitted for myself, gift scarves, thrift-store and hand-me-down scarves, even one upcycled from a skirt into a scarf.

Out of this motley but well-loved collection, there’s one scarf I love best: my hand-knitted brushed-wool entrelac scarf, in the most luscious combination of deep, dark brown and rosy, pink-y reds.

My favorite scarf ever!

My favorite scarf ever, pre-makeover. All it needs is to be wearable.

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Makeover Monday: Cuff ‘Em! (The Sequel)

Previously on Makeover Monday: A pair of too-short jeans gets a glam fix with the addition of deep hem bands in bronze-metallic-finished denim! But when I discovered I didn’t have enough of the contrast fabric to do a double-layer cuff, I got to thinking…

What if I added a different fabric to line the cuff? Then, in addition to the full-length look with the bronze bands, I could fold the cuffs up to capri length, showing the second fabric, and have a whole new look! I thought about the type of fabric for a minute; my first instinct (as usual) was to use something fabulous in sequins (I have lots of scraps under this heading), but I reflected that that might not feel too comfortable against my shins when I wear the jeans at full length. (Boo.) A quick rummage through my stash yielded this:

Fabric to line the bronze cuffs

Fabric to line the bronze cuffs: The new fabric (on right) is printed to look like lace, and I think it’s a great complement to both the original denim and the bronze band.

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First Impressions: Great Interview Outfit Ideas

I was growing up in the era of the Power Suit, which for working women usually meant a navy-blue suit, white button-down blouse with a red ribbon tied in a bow at the neck, pantyhose, and a briefcase to carry the heels you’d change into from your blindingly white sneakers. Except for the sneakers— maybe— doesn’t this sound like an old-school flight attendant’s uniform? Now that I think about it, the general concept was that of a uniform: if a woman dressed like every other woman, the conventional “wisdom” went, it was less likely that her sexuality would be a factor in her job performance. Or getting a job in the first place, for that matter.

Today, it’s my theory that the reason why that Power Suit look has completely metamorphosed is because what was missing back then —individual style— is now not only accepted, but encouraged in many modern work settings. So without that old uniform to fall back on, how do we put together a polished interview look that actually augments that great first impression?

Interview outfits

Interview outfits: this is one of several based on the suiting dress. (Click the picture to go directly to the slideshow.)

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Makeover Monday: Cuff ‘Em!

I confess to a fashion crime… my narrow-leg jeans are just a tiny bit too short. Usually, with a narrower leg, I can get away with a “regular” length, meaning a 31-32″ inseam; with wider legs like boot-cuts, I’d have to go to a “tall” or “long” length (33-34″ inseam). These jeans seemed perfect at first, but after a solid 2 years of a lot of wearing and washing, they’ve gradually gotten a little shorter, to the point where I can only (barely) get away with wearing them with high heels; with flats, they’re maybe 3/4″ too short, at least to my eye. What to do, what to do…

When I was in the fabric store a few weeks ago (getting more dye for my other jeans’ makeover), this idea popped into my head: why not add a contrast band or cuff to the legs of my jeans to lengthen them?

In spite of a rather bewildering array of denim fabric choices, I couldn’t find the black denim I wanted, but I did find an intriguing piece with a bronze metallic finish on one side, very like the lacquered treatments so popular in denim right now. Here are my jeans in their sad “before” condition, and the fabric I found to cuff ’em:

"Before" jeans and bronze-finish denim for cuffs (these are not the same jeans as the ones I dyed on previous Makeover Mondays).

“Before” jeans and bronze-finish denim for cuffs. (These are not the same jeans as the ones I dyed on previous Makeover Mondays, by the way. Now I’m starting to think my whole denim wardrobe is just sad…)

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