Changing Your Clothes

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

Makeover Monday: Rethinking the Concept

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I’m working on some fairly major makeovers right now, none of which are quite ready for their close-ups, so I’m going to take a little break from the projects this week, and give some thought to my whole makeover concept.

If I was going to have a total makeover myself (clothes, hair, makeup), I would only consider it a success if the changes were more than just superficial; helpful shopping advice, greater confidence, more openness to trying new styles, or tips for tailoring clothes to fit me perfectly, for example. And if I apply that same thinking to my Makeover Monday projects, shouldn’t I expect more than, say, newly-dyed jeans or a scarf turned into a sweater?

I’d like to think, when I’m choosing and working on my Makeover Monday projects, that you’re getting more than just a tutorial; after all, maybe you don’t actually have a pair of jeans in need of an overhaul, or a scarf that you love and yet don’t wear. If that’s the case, I still want you to derive some benefit. So now, after quite a few weeks of makeovers, maybe it’s time for me to ask myself: Is there more to my makeovers than meets the eye?

The more I think about the answer to this question, the more I come back to the original intent of this blog: to inspire you to think about, and wear, the clothes you already have in new ways. That may involve repairs, alterations, embellishments, or all-out makeovers, or it might be simply rethinking the way you use the items in your current wardrobe. I’ll give a simple example from my own closet: jeans (recognize them from a previous Makeover Monday?), cowl-neck knit top, tweedy jacket, and my very favorite (okay, only) Hermes silk scarf, a souvenir from my very first trip to Paris over 20 years ago. Here are 3 ways I wear the same scarf:

1 scarf 3 ways

1 scarf 3 ways: draped and tied at the neck, swinging from a belt loop, and embellishing the bag.

In Portland’s climate, it’s pretty common to need a scarf for warmth in the morning, but find it unbearable by afternoon, so switching it to the handbag is a practical option (as well as chic). And I’ve seen scarves rolled into long, narrow strips and threaded through belt loops instead of a regular belt, but I prefer it hanging from a single loop, so it’s a bit more visible.

It’s certainly easier to apply the multiple-use concept to accessories, but it’s also good to at least think about how you typically use your existing clothes, and how you might get even more use out of them. You know those beautiful-but-plain black pants that you paid a small fortune for as an “investment”, but you really only wear them to work? One of the key trends for Fall 2013 fashion is a modern take on evening dressing, primarily based on pants; why not wear them with a sheer, bejeweled blouse or a color-blocked tunic for going out at night? That sleeveless wrap dress you only wear in the summer could be worn layered under a chunky sweater and over leggings and boots. And a trendy graphic tee can give just the right amount of edge to an office-appropriate pencil skirt and cashmere cardi.

For this Makeover Monday, I encourage you to think about rethinking the way you wear your clothes, along with me. I believe the benefits will extend beyond just experimenting with different outfits and combinations; thinking about building as much versatility as possible into our wardrobes should logically have an impact on how we shop for clothes as well. Yes, this takes time. Yes, it requires effort. Personally, I’d rather invest that time and effort in the planning, instead of continuing to waste my energy on all those days when I find myself in my closet, frustrated, frantically trying to put together something to wear. Clearly, there are many more Makeover Mondays in the future of my wardrobe.

Do you have a garment (or shopping, closet, or entire wardrobe issue) that needs a makeover? I’d love to hear about it, and hopefully help you find a solution! You can e-mail me (lindy@colormusing.com), or just comment on this post.

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Author: colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, costumes, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

3 thoughts on “Makeover Monday: Rethinking the Concept

  1. Thanks, Lindy – looking forward to many more makeovers!

  2. This will be so interesting to follow … looking forward to Makeover Mondays!

    XOXO Nensi

  3. I love scarves and I have one that resembles close to the one in your photos. Thank you for the ideas 🙂

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