Changing Your Clothes

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


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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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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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30 of the Best Coats and Trends For Your Winter Wardrobe

This is a fantastic showcase of the enormous diversity in winter jackets and coats, from my always-stylish Fashion & Style Gurus!

Fashion & Style Guru

Fashion & Style GuruPhoto Courtesy of Shutterstock

There’s really nothing like having a good coat to get you through the winter season. As great as the rest of your outfit may be most of the time, that jacket will be the only thing people see—you want it to be phenomenal. And we know you’ve put it off for long enough, trying to squeeze a few warm weekends out with just a light sweater (don’t worry so have we), but you can’t deny it. Winter is upon us and you need a coat—immediately. You could always pull last winter’s coat out of the storage or go back to the faithful solid black, but where’s the fun in that? This season there are so many colors, textures and trends in outerwear you’re going to need to build an extension in that walk-in closet just to hold them all! (Not that we’re complaining.) Click through to…

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Workweek Chic: A Pencil Skirt and a Leather Jacket

Fresh from Natasha at FreeUrCloset, here’s a wonderfully simple/sexy upgrade to a classic pencil skirt!

FreeUrCloset

Pencil Skirt Floral Bouse 2

Hello my fab fellow fashionistas! Here is a little office chic attire to get your work week started.

My black BCBG pencil skirt was my favorite go-to piece when I used to work a 9-to-5 job. Even now, when I attend business events and conferences, I rely on my good ‘ole black skirt and mix it up by wearing it with patterned blouses, blazers and leather jackets.

For my upcoming event, I decided to give my skirt a little do-it-yourself “sexy back”  by adding a visible gold zipper and a slit:

Pencil Skirt Zipper Diy

I paired my new and improved skirt with a floral top and a textured leather jacket in order to add some funkiness to the outfit (because, sometimes, you just need to bring the sexy to your work clothes ;)):

Skirt: BCBG (similar here)   Floral Top: Zara here   Leather Jacket: Vintage  Heels: BCBG

Workweek Chic Pencil Skirt Leather JacketWorkweek Chic Pencil Skirt Leather Jacket 2Pencil Skirt Floral BlousePencil Skirt 2Pencil Skirt Floral Blouse 3Pencil Skirt Floral Blouse 4Pencil Skirt 3

What sort of outfit makes your workweek “chic”?

NatSignature

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Nicole Kidman for Jimmy Choo Fall/Winter 2013-2014 Campaign

Great new look for Nicole, not to mention those shoes!

Fashion & Style Guru

Fashion & Style GuruThe Jimmy Choo fall/winter 2013-2014 campaign bringing stunning Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman to the scene, who was announced the name of the high-end footwear brand back in May. Shot by Mikael Jansson, Nicole shows a totally different side of her, radiating seductiveness and elegance in the fab photos revealed and in the Jimmy Choo video, where she kind of resembles the Hitchcock heroine.

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A Year of Change

It’s my anniversary! Today it’s exactly one year since I published my very first post here on Changing Your Clothes. And since anniversaries tend to inspire nostalgia for the year that was, here’s a recap of my first year at CYC.

First, some blog numbers:

Followers: 127 (thank you!)

Posts: 113 (this one makes 114)

Views: 7,489

Comments: 428

And some wardrobe numbers:

Clothing items made: 19 (plus 2 for my daughter)

Clothing items altered, repaired, or made over: 25 (including one at my hair salon)

Travel wardrobes created: 2 (Santa Fe and Chicago)

So I’ve averaged more than 2 followers, 2 posts, 144 views, and 8 comments per week, not to mention a total of 46 garments (almost 1 per week) that I’ve either created or altered in the last year. That’s a lot of clothes-changing (and writing) going on!

But these statistics represent just a tiny part of the bigger-picture transformation that’s marked this year for me. As I’ve changed my clothes, my blog has changed, and creating my blog has changed me, which contributes to changing my blog even more in turn.

How can something as apparently superficial as clothes be the catalyst for this kind of chain-reaction growth cycle?

What we choose to wear communicates who we are to the observing world. Whether we dress to stand out, or try to hide in our clothes, we’re all sending a message that’s as clear as a neon sign flashing, “This is who I am”. So as long as we’re growing, shouldn’t our clothes be changing to reflect our internal state?

Try this. Imagine you’re an actor, and you’ve just received your script for an upcoming play. Let’s say you’re  normally a casual dresser, but as you read over your part, you realize you’re playing a super-glamorous, high-profile celebrity. Imagine working through all your scenes, wearing your usual jeans and t-shirt “uniform”; now imagine your first dress rehearsal, in your character’s full red-carpet style. How different do you feel, wearing clothes that are so different from your own style?

That’s the power of changing your clothes.

You don’t have to be an actor, putting a new character on each time you go to work, to experience this power. You simply have to raise your awareness of how you feel when you get dressed. It’s simple: if you don’t feel good, all you need to do is change your clothes. It’s not that you’re pretending to be someone else; you’re choosing to allow your clothes to be an active part of your personal growth.

An example from my own blog work is the jeans I made over by adding reversible cuffs. Prior to this project, I hadn’t worn these jeans in a long time, only because they were marginally too short for me; I stopped wearing them when I realized how self-conscious this was making me. But since their makeover, I’ve worn these jeans more times than I can count, even including them in my recent Chicago travel wardrobe!

My jeans, post-makeover

My jeans, post-makeover! On the left are my “new” jeans with bronze cuffs down; at right, I’ve folded up the cuffs to reveal the lace-print side. Definitely a change for the better!

So I not only changed the jeans, but how I felt about wearing them! Sure, I could have simply bought a pair that was long enough (actually not that simple, with a 33″ inseam), but this way, I get a bonus: the sense of accomplishment from making my jeans better than they were originally.

In addition to the wardrobe work, writing about changing my clothes has also been a significant part of this year’s growth for me. I’ve not only become more disciplined as a writer, I’ve also developed a sharper focus: writing about creative ways to get the most out of clothes we already have. And I realized recently that, for me, writing about clothes has become analogous to actually wearing them: both allow me to tell the world a little about who I am, as I am right now, today, and also how I’m changing over time.

It’s funny, when I try to articulate exactly how I’ve changed, it’s hard; it seems simpler to look at my clothes for clues. Virtually all the clothes I’ve either made, bought, or altered in some way have something special about them; I think my days of buying “practical” basics are behind me. What I want now is to wear clothes that express my individuality. (Think about it: if people were to describe the way you dress in one word, would you want that word to be “practical”?) So I think I can conclude that I’ve become more comfortable with myself, with who I am, and that’s what I’m seeing in my new (and newly-made-over) clothes.

Yes, I’ve changed a lot of my clothes over the past year; my writing has changed too, all of which is reflective of even greater internal changes. So what’s next?

Maybe I can begin to answer that question… over the next year or so.