Changing Your Clothes

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


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Makeover Monday: Inspiration is in Style!

Since today is Memorial Day here in the U.S., I’m taking a little Makeover Monday holiday, but I wanted give you at least a little inspiration! Here’s a sampling of my favorite trends (which may find their way into future makeovers), including ombre, color-blocking, and print mixing. I hope they’ll inspire you too!

Ombre: This is a trend that’s still going strong, which means that we’re seeing more and more creative interpretations. What if I…

… created an ombre effect by adding sequins?

Sequinned ombre

Ombre created with several shades of sequins dress up this Louis Vuitton coat. (Click on the photo to see the entire LV Fall 2013 collection.)

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The Remnants of the Day: A High-Fashion Follow-up

The very day that I wrote my May 23 Thrift-Shop Thursday post, which included a section on color-blocking with fabric remnants, guess what arrived in the mail? My Women’s Wear Daily, featuring a color-blocked gown from Christian Dior’s newest Resort 2014 collection! Here it is:

Christian Dior color-blocked dress

Christian Dior color-blocked dress. I love the mix of fabrics, as well as the use of color. Personally, I’d line that lace panel, though. I’m just saying. (Photo courtesy of Style.com; click on the photo to see this dress in the Resort 2014 collection slideshow.)

This dress perfectly illustrates my suggestion of mixing textures as well as colors, when planning a color-blocked garment. (Although the silhouette is different in Butterick 5852, one of the dress patterns I showed in the last TST post, it’s remarkably similar to this Dior dress, in the way color-blocking is used vertically.) And how fun would it be to create your own original version of this breathtaking designer dress— especially if you could do it with fabric scraps and remnants?

Click here to see the slideshow of the entire Christian Dior Resort 2014 collection, in which you’ll find many examples of artistic color-blocking, from a simple contrast-color waistband on a pair of pants to structured daytime dresses. I hope this inspires you as much as it does me!


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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Shopping Strategies, Part 1

After last week’s Thrift-Shop Thursday’s big debut (featuring the ever-popular replace-a-button tutorial), it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to talk shopping strategies for a minute, before going on to more thrift-shop-find projects.

Tip: These strategies, while thrift-shop-specific in this post, can also apply to any clothes shopping you do; the only real difference between the two is that you’ll have more size options outside of thrift shops.

Rather than just giving you a list of general shopping concepts, I’m going to use my current Makeover Monday/Take Tango to Work series to illustrate these principles in action. In my last MM post, I talked about how to organize a plan to develop a multi-functional wardrobe; here, I’ll follow up on those steps with details, including how I’m putting my own plan to good use at my favorite thrift shops.

Starting with your general plan, you’ll get a bit more specific:

1. Decide what types of garments are your immediate priority. Do you desperately need skirts? Maybe you’re short on trousers, or need more simple tops that can be worn alone or as layering pieces. From here, get even more specific, if possible: black knee-length skirt, classic navy wool trousers, colorful printed knit pullover tops.

What I’m doing: Since I need clothes that can go from work to tango (see my recent Makeover Monday posts for details), I’m focusing my shopping efforts on skirts and dresses, specifically, pencil skirts and sheath dresses, both of which are commonly worn in Argentine tango, and both of which are also work-appropriate. And I need professional-looking jackets and more colorful tops (I’m getting tired of black). I’m also adding a “wild card” space to my list, to cover those unexpected finds, like my pinstriped skirt that I found while shopping for tops. Continue reading


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Thrift-Shop Thursday Debuts Today!

Thrift-Shop Thursday is here! Beginning today, I’ll be posting a new project on Thursdays, each based on a garment found at a thrift shop. (I define thrift shop fairly loosely, to include consignment and vintage shops, the occasional yard sale, and even hand-me-downs.)

I’m starting with a series of ideas for dealing with common issues with thrift-shop finds; today’s project will focus on replacing buttons. Enter my latest thrift-shop coup: a Christian Dior (!) jacket that fits my daughter perfectly. (You’ll see it on her later on.)

Christian Dior jacket

Christian Dior wool jacket, in perfect condition except for the loose front button. Thrift-shop price: $25.00!

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