Changing Your Clothes

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


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Closet Confessions: My Commitment Problem

How do you know when you’ve met The One?

Is it the pattern? The fabric? Or the perfect combination of the two? Exactly how do you decide what materials to match up with a particular design? And when you do decide, how can you be sure you can live with your choice?

Stretch cotton print fabric

Stretch cotton floral print, a months-long victim of my fabric commitment phobia.

Remember this fabric?

Yes, I first showed this to you way back in June, when I unexpectedly was offered a trip to Illinois, and was trying to plan a last-minute travel wardrobe. (To see all the posts in that series, click here.) To cut a long story very short, I ended up not making something for this trip with the print fabric, allegedly due to a combination of other priorities and lack of time.

Right.

Here and now, I confess to you, my sympathetic readers, the plain unvarnished truth: I didn’t want to commit this fabric to a specific project. Continue reading


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Who Am I, Anyway? Part 4: ‘Do-ing It Differently

In my previous posts in this series (there’s a list of links at the end of this post if you want to catch up), I first confessed to being in a state of confusion about my identity, particularly as it’s expressed in my wardrobe.

Next, trying to bravely face myself, as it were, I created silhouettes of myself so I could begin visualizing how various styles actually look on me.

And in Part 3, I introduced you to my new style icon, Christina Hendricks, whose body type is quite similar to mine, and whom I admire for her willingness to dress the body she has, as opposed to hiding her curves.

Which brings me to this week’s major step forward in this process:

I got my hair done. Continue reading


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Who Am I, Anyway? Part 3: Style Icon Found!

Okay, I know, in Part 2, I promised a list of my likes (and, now that I think about it, dislikes) in clothes, but I just had to tell you about this right now:

Newsflash: I’ve found a style icon!

Remember in Part 1 of this series when I mentioned my quest for something, anything to give me a starting point for my newly-evolving style? Well, I’ve found it incredibly difficult, possibly because I was looking more at women whose style has been famous for decades, the same ones most of us think of immediately: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, etc. And while I love and admire all these and many more, and can find elements of their styles that might work for me, no one woman has felt like the right fit for me. This is good, actually, since it means I still have some sense of individuality going on; I don’t want to be a clone of anyone.

But it also adds to my confusion about who I am, style-wise. I mean, where do I start? Hence my search for someone who embodies not specifically the way I want to look, but more how I want to feel in my clothes.

This morning, I found her, not in our cinematic past, but very much a present-day star: Christina Hendricks!

Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks on my new Pinterest board. (Click on the picture to see the rest of this board.)

Continue reading


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Who Am I, Anyway? (Part 2 of… many)

In my last post, the first of what promises to be an epic series, I confessed to a serious wardrobe identity crisis. This led to me biting the proverbial bullet by showing you pictures of what I really look like, body-shape-and-size-wise. (And thanks to all of you for your supportive and empathetic comments!) Today, I’ll show you what I was inspired to do with those photos to help this process along.

Already this process is leading me in unexpected directions. After finishing that last post, I suddenly felt much better! Could it be possible that simply facing up to what I had thought of as the truth about the way I look actually steered me straight? As I suspect many of us tend to do, I had fallen into the habit of focusing on what I perceived as the negative aspects of my body.

But after looking at those photos for a while, it occurred to me to think of it like this: What if that was a friend of mine, who had come to me for wardrobe advice? Would I be telling her that she’s too thick in the middle? Her shoulders are too narrow and her rib cage is too small for her bust? Of course not. I’d be telling her to focus on her assets, and dress to make the most of them.

So why am I not doing that for myself? Continue reading


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Makeover Monday, Meet Closet Confessions: Who Am I, Anyway?

I promised you another juicy Closet Confession, and today is my monthly Makeover Monday, ergo…

This is hard. I’ve been thinking about tackling this subject here for quite a while, and now seems to be as good a time as any to stop procrastinating. Yes, it will be a makeover (eventually), but I have to start with the confession.

Here’s the thing. You know how I’ve written about our wardrobes evolving as a reflection of changes in our lives, and in us as individuals? Well, for several months now I’ve been feeling thoroughly confused, clothes-wise; it’s like I’m no longer sure what works on me, what’s flattering, what’s age-appropriate, and most perplexing of all, what is actually a reflection of who I am?

Ah, there’s the real question I’ve been avoiding like an itchy wool sweater:

Who am I?

Continue reading


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Makeover Monday Meets Closet Confessions: A Sweater Story

It was only a matter of time. Ever since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve become more and more uncomfortably aware of the shortcomings of my own closet (wait, maybe that’s the reason why I started this blog). I’ve covered some of these faults in my Closet Confessions posts, and still have lots to talk about under that heading. And since Makeovers have now taken over my Mondays, I should have known that, sooner or later, they would cross paths on my way to what I hope is the perfect wardrobe.

Today is the day: Makeover Monday comes to the Closet Confessional.

The confession: This photo is worth at least a thousand reproving words.

Confession/Before

Confession/Before: My sweaters are in an unholy mess.

Continue reading


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Closet Confessions: A Big Hang-up

Yes, it’s time for another closet confession. Today, I’m revealing all about one of my biggest closet hang-ups: hanging things up.

It’s not that I’m a slob. (Well…) It’s just that somehow, over the past several years, my wardrobe has gradually become more and more about clothes that don’t need ironing— which, coincidentally, usually means they don’t need to be hung up. Looking inside my closet this morning, I realized that at least 65% of my clothes (I’m guessing here) are not, in point of fact, hanging up. Sweaters stacked on one shelf, purses (and the odd out-of-season item) on the other, and everything from camisoles to workout clothes in one of those hanging multi-compartment organizers (I use that term loosely). This leads me to the profound observation that I prefer low-maintenance clothes.

Interestingly, though, I’ve also noticed that when I make clothes for myself, the pieces I choose to spend my time and energy making are nearly always special things: a fabulous asymmetrical jersey dress, heavy Irish linen trousers, printed silk tunic. (All of these can be seen here.) And that silk tunic, bless its lovely one-shouldered heart, is the reason I’m writing this today: it not only needs to be hung up, it needs special assistance in doing so. To wit: the addition of a hanging strap.

Continue reading