Emerson tugs on me. She tugs on my shirttails, the hems of my skirts, my crossbody bags. “Emerson, tug on my hand, not my clothes,” I tell her. “If you tug too hard you may break it.” And sure enough, recently she took a tug on my Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. and the leather loop that holds the strap pulled completely off, with it tearing off part of the leather exterior.
I went to eBay looking for a replacement as my leopard calfhair version is no longer available. I went to Rebecca Minkoff’s site to see if there was a new bag that would be a worthy alternative. Many gorgeous ones, but none that were a worthy alternative. Then I thought… why the heck am I looking to plop another $200 or more on a new bag when this one may be able to be repaired? So I took my bag to my cobbler… and for $15 he fixed the bag so well one wouldn’t be able to tell unless they were looking for the mend.
At 5’3”, many of the clothes I admire in stores are just too long for me. Add to the fact that I’m overweight and need a larger size, hemlines are often dragging several inches on the floor. I recently purchased this dress from Charlie Jade and fell in love with the boho cut and print (stay tuned for an outfit post!), but didn’t love the fact that in my highest heels there was still a ton of fabric pooling on the ground. Inspired by my “DUH” moment with my purse, I decided to mend the hem issue. I went to YouTube and searched “how to hem a chiffon dress” and found this video. I have a sewing machine, though it only gets used a couple times a year. Hey, this video makes it feel really doable! So one morning I woke up at 5am, literally dusted off my sewing machine, grabbed a pair of scissors and my iron and two hours later I was walking out the door in a 5’3” appropriate chiffon maxi dress.
Last weekend, the zipper in my Gap Real Straight jeans died on me. This happened to a pair a year ago, two days after getting them and I took them to the store for an exchange. I went to the website, they no longer had the color and size I own and love. The jeans are now in my car, ready to head to the dry cleaners with my next load of Karl’s shirts and my blouses to get a new zipper.
When you’re overweight, 16” necklaces don’t really cut it. Well they actually do cut it… cut into your neck and look as though your head has been cut off. But such necklaces are the trend, and even though I tell brands I need at least an 18” chain, I have received more than one beautiful, delicate, too-short necklace. Well I picked up this necklace extender for $8 and now I can wear all the trendy delicate chains without them cutting off my circulation.
When you’re not a standard height, weight, or shape shopping can prove extremely frustrating. When you’re not handy or crafty, a snag or too-long hem can be the straw that breaks your sartorial back. It’s easy to get frustrated, or throw money at it, but often there is a solution out there. Yes, we women are snowflakes – no two of us are alike. However, many of us deal with the same issues when it comes to our bodies and desire to dress them in a stylish manner.
One thing you’ll see again and again when it comes to the closets of stylish women is pieces they have kept for years. They don’t buy new things each season, yet it seems they are able to keep their pieces in great wearable condition for decades. It’s not because they are perfectly pristine people who never sweat, trip, or spill. They don’t find those perfect items right off the rack to fit their body like a glove. There’s work behind the scenes to make clothing work for them, and work for a long period of time. As a fashion blogger, it’s easy for me to buy a new item when something in my wardrobe isn’t quite right. Heck, it’s often a good investment if it looks good in an outfit post and many of you click to buy. Re-wearing the same pieces and accessories don’t benefit me financially, but it does benefit my personal style. Having pieces I love, that I know as well as the back of my hand, that aren’t almost right but actually right, that don’t require any MacGyver tricks to work (been there, done that) not only improves my style but my body image and confidence.
The seasons are changing, and even if it’s still 90 degrees where you are, our thoughts are on scarves, sweaters, boots, and newness in our closets. But before you go out and buy a bunch of fresh clothes and accessories, consider your current closet and how you can refresh it. Your dry cleaner can shorten sleeves and hems, companies like AlterKnit New York can reweave sweaters to look like new or replace linings in suit jackets, bridal salons and quality department stores have skilled seamstresses on staff who will often work on pieces not bought in their store. There’s gadgets out there to make style work for you, and likely with a YouTube video or two you can find you have more crafty genes in your body than you realized. Before you drop coin, reconsider your current wardrobe and see if there’s any hidden gems just waiting to take your personal style to the next level.