Changing Your Clothes

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


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The All-New Colormusing Shop is Live!

This is the biggest newsflash item I’ve had the pleasure to post about so far: I’m actually creating my dream of a color-centric business, by combining several different areas of interest under a single name:Colormusing logoYes! Knittique (yarns, knitwear patterns, samples, & jewelry), Photo/Graphic Design (art on canvas, tutorials, & graphic files), and The Bratelier (lingerie sewing kits) are now all part of the Colormusing family— a reunion of sorts, where all the various relatives play together nicely because they all have one thing in common: color palettes. Continue reading


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100 Years of American Fashion in 90 Seconds

Talk about Changing Your Clothes! It’s interesting that all these looks are from the middle of each decade– I find the biggest fashion changes tend to happen near the ends.

Keira Lennox

I love this video of 100 Years of American fashion in under 2 minutes!

My favorites are the 20s, 30s, and 70s. Things got weird in the 80s, and then just cringe-worthy in the early aughts. Raise your hand if you had a closet full of polyester lingerie camis and coordinating shrugs. [Head down, hand up.]

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Personal Style: What’s Your Type?

Found in my inbox this morning: A slideshow from Refinery29* that suggests we can find our individual fashion identities in one of these categories:

  • Editor Off-duty
  • Club Kid Nouveau
  • Les Sportifs
  • The New Bohemians
  • Lady Hypebeast

I’m curious: When reading through this list, is there one (or more) that immediately strikes a chord before you go to the slideshow? If so, that’s a really good indication of the general direction of your personal style. For me, Editor Off-duty and The New Bohemians sound the most like me, but I think I’ll look at the slideshow before I decide.

Editor Off-duty jacket

Am I more Editor Off-duty or…

The New Bohemians

…a New Bohemian? Or both?

While it’s tempting to go for simplicity and claim just one of these categories as your own, keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to sum up your personal style under a single heading. When I first looked through this slideshow, I found myself wishing that I could just say I’m this or I’m that, and be done with it (certainly would simplify shopping!), but we’re all more complex than that. I really do like putting together outfits that combine modern structure with a slightly quirky side, rather than adopting one look head-to-toe. So, based on this slideshow, I’d call myself Editor Off-duty meets The New Bohemians.

To be honest, even saying that makes me want to rebel just a little and say, “But there’s more to me than that! What about gym clothes? What about tango ensembles??” This made me go back and look through the list of styles in the slideshow once again, but this time with this goal: Put together an outfit with 1 element from each of the 5 types. What do you think? Can it be done?

Tip: I noticed that for each type, there is a suggestion for a jacket, top, pants/dress/skirt, bag, shoes, and an accessory (bag, sunnies)— key elements for creating a complete look— so that’s what I did in the photo below. (It’s interesting that, when you think of these individual pieces in terms of the clothing category they belong to, you start to see the method in the make-an-outfit madness.)

Here’s what I came up with. (By the way, this is something I’d actually wear. Okay, maybe I’d modify those shoes just a bit.)

 

All 5 types

All 5 fashion types, together in 1 outfit! Editor Off-Duty trousers, Club Kid Nouveau shoe, Les Sportifs top, The New Bohemians bag, and Lady Hypebeast ear cuff. Ta-dah! (Click on the photo to go to the beginning of the Refinery29 slideshow. And speaking of photos, all clothing photos are from the slideshow; I put some together myself to make this image.)

Personally, I much prefer this kind of mix-and-match approach. By this I mean mixing styles; the only “matching” I really ever do is coordinating colors, and the easiest way I’ve found to do that is by creating color palettes for my outfits. In this outfit, for example, the multicolor bag pulls together the red and blue, with the white shoe and gold ear cuff functioning as neutrals.

While it’s certainly possible to dress consistently in just one style, I believe it’s easier to be true to who you are if you give yourself more options; otherwise, there is always the danger of becoming stuck in a style rut (or worse, looking like you’re wearing a costume). The style approach I find the most modern is to start with the general style you feel most comfortable with for your key wardrobe pieces, then add smaller pieces and accessories from a different style perspective.

I’m curious (again): What type(s) do you most identify with? Maybe you consider yourself to be in a category not represented in the slideshow. Are you a one-look-head-to-toe kind of person, or do you like to mix it up— or both?

*The usual disclaimer: I’m not affiliated in any way with Refinery29; I’m just an e-mail subscriber who really enjoys the fashion headlines/advice/inspiration they send me.


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Sparkling Diamonds (and other Birthstones) in Color!

Strictly speaking, this isn’t about clothes, but it is about dyeing, which I’ve already been writing about here (and which applies to some of my changing-clothes posts). It’s also related to my current book proposal project, focusing primarily on the palette-dye recipe-dyeing yarn process— I’d love to have your feedback!

a Musing

After I started hand-dyeing my own line of yarns in January (you can read about this here), I decided it was the perfect time to start creating skeins inspired by the birthstone of each month. Here are my birthstone skeins so far. (Click on any photo to go to that yarn in my Etsy shop.)

Garnet, January’s birthstone, followed by Amethyst (February) and Aquamarine (March):

Aussi wool in GarnetMy Garnet hand-painted colorway, shown here in Aussi (100% Australian merino wool).

Garnet in Buttery Thick (100% alpaca).Garnet in Buttery Thick (100% alpaca).

Garnet in Ticklish (100% nylon novelty flag yarn). Click the photo to see this yarn in my Etsy shop.Garnet in Ticklish (100% nylon novelty flag yarn).

Amethyst in Softy (80% merino wool/20% cashmere). Click the photo to see this yarn in my Etsy shop.Amethyst in Softy (80% merino wool/20% cashmere).

Ticklish in Amethyst, February's birthstone. Click the photo to see this yarn in my Etsy shop.Amethyst in Ticklish (100% nylon).

Aquamarine in TicklishAquamarine in Ticklish (100% nylon).

Aquamarine in AiryAquamarine in Airy (100% alpaca).

Aside: Each of these sets of skeins was hand-painted with the exact same dyes; can you see how each of the different fibers absorbs the dyes differently? This is just one of the many…

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Stay On Top of Spring 2014 Fashion

So funny, but also a great idea– I know I tend to put the same pieces together, rather than mixing them in new ways. Wardrobe Bingo should help us get out of any fashion ruts we may have inadvertently wandered into!

What We Wear

A revised version of bingo helps you plan your outfits!

Transitioning to a new season is always tough, especially for people who live and breathe fashion. New seasons mean new trends to keep up with, new items of clothing to invest in, and new outfits to plan; It can get pretty overwhelming. Luckily, BooHoo.com has come up with a little game of Wardrobe Bingo to help with all that hard work.

It might seem like bingo has no place in the fashion world, being the drab, boring game that senior citizens play in stuffy bingo halls, but the game seems to have sprouted a sense of fashion in recent years. Not only have the most fashionable people of the world started to take up the game (case in point Kate Moss and Catherine Zeta-Jones, unashamed lovers of bingo), but the game itself has started blooming into a colorful experience.

Kate-Moss-2276435

Has…

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What’s Hue? Pantone Reveals 2014 Color of the Year!

For all of you who have been waiting in breathless anticipation, yes, it’s true: Pantone has finally revealed their pick for the 2014 Color of the Year! Here’s a hint:

COY inspiration?

Color of the Year inspiration? (This is one of my own photos; click on it if you’d like to see more. Additional links below at the *.)

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Giving Thanks!

When I realized that this month’s Thrift-Shop Thursday post would fall right smack on Thanksgiving Day (here in the U.S., at least), somehow it didn’t seem right to do another piece about the new “upscale-thrift” boutique opening up near me, or to wave my latest great deal gleefully under your collective noses. Instead, it occurred to me that it might be fun to look back on the various TST posts I’ve done (from the beginning!), because when I think about it, there’s a whole lot to be grateful for! Here’s a quick round-up of my top 5 favorites, with thanks-giving notes in each photo caption.

1. My very first Thrift-Shop Thursday post, featuring this stunning vintage Christian Dior jacket, and including a replace-a-button tutorial! It’s shown here on my daughter, who snatched it from me and wouldn’t let go. (Okay, the truth is, it fit her a lot better.)

Jacket with its new button

What I’m grateful for: A Dior jacket for $25.00, happy daughter, and my overflowing button stash, which yielded this replacement button! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

2. Expanding the Definition of thrift-shopping: tips on finding bargains in the fabric store, with details on choosing patterns to make the most of marked-down remnant pieces.

Silk remnants

What I’m grateful for: fantastic fabric stores nearby, beautiful silk remnants like these at bargain prices, lots of pattern and project choices to make the most of remnants, and the fact that I know how to sew! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

3. The Remnants of the Day (a follow-up to the Expanding the Definition post, detailed above), in which I went into more detail about projects that could be done with fabric remnants, and included lots of patterns that would be perfect for use with remnants (and/or fabric scraps— hello, stash!). This pattern, Butterick 5856, which is quite unusual in that it combines woven and knit fabrics, is a great example.

Butterick 5856

What I’m grateful for: pattern companies that consistently produce fashionable, creative patterns, beautiful fabrics (especially bargain-priced remnants), and my sewing machines! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

4. Late last summer, my archaeologist daughter did a guest post called View from the Trenches for CYC, detailing her last-minute search for a dig wardrobe, most of which came from thrift shops.

A field ensemble

What I’m grateful for: that my daughter had this unique dig opportunity, that we were able to find some great stuff at even greater prices (and in time for the start of the dig), and her distinctively witty writing style! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

5. And finally, my most recent Thrift-Shop Thursday project: yes, it’s the Franken-Coat! (This was a 2-part project, so this second part happened on Makeover Monday; Part 1 was posted on the previous Thrift-Shop Thursday.)

Franken-Coat!

What I’m grateful for: 2 fantastic thrift-shop jackets, finding a super-fun lining fabric, and using up 4 unmatching buttons from the aforementioned stash! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

I’ve only been doing the Thrift-Shop Thursday posts since April of this year, and going back to look at the early editions has turned into a wonderful experience! And it’s definitely reminded me of so many things I’m grateful for, and not just at Thanksgiving: living in a city with lots of great thrift shops (and fabric stores!), having a fantastic sewing machine and serger, being able to make my own clothes as well as to alter or repair thrift-shop garments, and I don’t want to overlook “small” things, like having a camera to photograph all these ideas and projects.

Most of all, I’m grateful for you, my readers and fellow bloggers, for following Changing Your Clothes, for your likes and comments, for your own blogs, and most especially for all the ways in which you inspire me.

Thank you.