Changing Your Clothes

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


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Party Garb: Using Key Pieces to Dress Up!

From my cyber-friends at RealSimple comes this helpful slideshow, Festive Outfits for the Holiday Season. And when I say “helpful”, I mean it: the focus is on using just one key piece—which may very well be in your closet already— to create new party-worthy ensembles. The clothes they show include links to buy them, and with prices starting at just $50.00, these options are practical and affordable!

The slideshow categories are The Colorful Dress, The Embellished Jacket, Dressy Pants, The Black Dress, and The Long Skirt (the photo below is one example).

Long skirt

The Long Skirt. Remember Sharon Stone wearing a fancy long skirt and jewels with a plain white shirt (from the Gap, I think) to the Oscars?? At $198.00 (the slideshow said $149.00), this is the priciest item in the slideshow, and you can find it on Piperlime. (Click the photo to go directly to the slideshow.)

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Shades of Excitement: Fall’s Most Wearable Color Trend

Just in from my fashion gurus at WhoWhatWear: the fruity summer shades of red and pink are transitioning to the deeper, richer wines of autumn. This slideshow explores this delicious color trend, from rosy mauve to velvety bordeaux.

Shades of wine and roses

Shades of wine and roses. Click the photo (courtesy of WhoWhatWear) to see the entire slideshow.

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Dress Up! Flattering Options for Every Shape

Just in time for warmer weather (ahem… are you listening, Portland?), I give you this wonderful slideshow from Refinery29, featuring summery frocks to rock every figure!

Aside: I have to admit that I’m uncertain which category I fall into; am I a Carrot, an Hourglass, or a Botticelli Babe? (And is it wrong of me to prefer the latter, just because I like the sound of it?) Is a Botticelli Babe a cross between a Carrot and an Hourglass? But seriously… I often find it difficult to put myself definitively into one specific category, but maybe that’s because I don’t like being easily defined. Is it just me? End of aside.

Here’s one of my favorite looks, even though it’s not for my body type (or is it?):

Dress for a Carrot

A summer dress for a Carrot. I might just wear this regardless of my body type; it would be flattering on many figures. (Image courtesy of Refinery29. Click on the picture to see the whole slideshow.)

I’m personally most intrigued by the tips for using strategic placement of prints and color-blocking (you know that’s my favorite) to instantly change how you perceive your proportions; looking great in your clothes is, after all, much more about proportion than about size. Really.

Reminder: As of this week, I’ve decided to alternate my Makeover Monday and Thrift-Shop Thursday posts on a weekly basis. This week was Makeover Monday week, so next week, you’ll find a Thrift-Shop Thursday post on (you guessed it) Thursday. Don’t miss it!


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Dressing for Dinner (and dates, and parties, and…)

At this time of the year, I feel like I’m being inundated with so many articles/blog posts/advertisements that pop up to tell me how I should dress for office parties/dinner with in-laws/New Year’s Eve parties. I also can’t help wondering how many people actually DO any (let alone all) of these things— it’s as if I’m being not-so-gently lectured: I should be going to more parties! And have the perfect outfit for every one of them! And this is where I start to feel not just socially inadequate, but also a distinctly “Bah, humbug” attitude coming on.

Well, help arrived this morning right into my e-mail box! This slideshow from Refinery29 is a holiday-wardrobe masterpiece, showcasing 30 dresses, each with a suggested wear-to scenario. I was just flipping through it and, instead of getting depressed, I couldn’t help fantasizing about living the kind of life that would require fabulous dresses for even half of these events! (Hey, it could happen— I have officially designated 2013 as My Year of Dreaming BIG!)

Here’s one of my favorites (both the dress and the party idea):

Dress for Gatsby-themed party

Dress for Gatsby-themed dance party, from J. Crew. (Click on the photo to go directly to this slide in Refinery29’s slideshow. Each slide includes the maker, price, and a link to the maker’s site.)

As you’ll see in the slideshow, a wide range of styles and prices is represented, so you’re sure to find something that inspires you! Do you have plans to attend any/some/all of these events over the holidays? Which one would you be the most likely to wear??


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Warm Evenings: Dress Up Your Coat!

Last night, I was trying to decide what to wear to the Portland Art Museum’s member party. Since this was the first time I’ve gone to an event like this in Portland, I wasn’t sure exactly what would constitute an appropriate ensemble; all I knew was that it was in the evening, there would be food, wine, live music, and dancing. A dress seemed indicated. However…

You know how sometimes you base an entire outfit around a fabulous pair of shoes? Well, as I was trying to get ready, it dawned on me that I might just have to choose my dress to go with a coat, instead of the other way around. To the coat closet I went, only to discover that anything that could remotely be construed as “evening” was not going to work with any of my dresses. (In my defense, I have been uncharacteristically ruthless with my recent closet purges, and it was warm and dry for so long this year that this issue really hadn’t come up.)

What kinds of coats actually do work for evening? I suspect most of us don’t really want to invest in coats we’ll only wear occasionally, so is it possible to find coats that work for day as well as for dressier events? If so, where can we find these happy hybrids? Continue reading