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Having a BFA in Fashion Design says a lot and a little. You would think that I would sew all the time or make my own clothes or something like that... Instead, my knowledge makes me gawk at prices. "They want what for that?" OR "No way! They're crazy. I could totally make that." But the thing is, I never get around to making any of it. Instead, I spend my time hunting bargains down at thrift stores, resale shops and the like. I find what I like or something similar and modify. This is where my lack of concern for perfection in the things I make or wear comes in very handy. I like fringes. I like mixing sparkle and denim or army green. And, I believe that stripes and florals match perfectly.
Fashion/Style is not about perfection. It's about finding what you like and making it work for you. To create your own sense of style, DON'T copy others. I don't think it matter what is "in style" or "out". Sorry, Mrs. Heidi Klum. Style is what you make it. It doesn't matter if the wide leg or skinny leg is popular - all that matters is what looks best on you and what makes you feel great. You are an original and your style can reflect that. Now that we have thrown those common misconceptions out the window, let's move on and start thinking outside the box!
Outside the Box: I've spoken about thrifty shopping here before so I won't bore you. What I will say again is this... don't look at sizes. Seriously. They don't matter all that much. Besides, everyone cuts their clothing differently. If it's a dress, can you add a belt to the waist? If it's pants, can you rock 'em baggy? And if you're looking for shorts, don't forget to look in the pants/jeans sections. Anything can be shortened or tailored. Find a dress that you love, but it's too short? Wear it over a cute pair of jeans or leggings. If layering isn't your thing, cut the bottom part off and turn that beloved dress into a shirt. (If it's a really short dress, just tuck it in a bit.)
emerson fry - dress over jeans
Reworking a garment: Know your limits. Can you sew? If not, embrace quick fixes and easy solutions. Do you mind the extra cost of having something tailored? Clothing is pliable. Make it work for you. Cinch. Cut. Hem. Tailor. Wether you can sew or not, here are a few friends that every closet hound should have on hand...
gingher scissors - invest in a good pair of scissors and don't use them on anything but fabric, ever!
hem tape (fusible/no sew) - if you can operate an iron, you can hem pants, skirts, shorts, anything.
fray check - prevents your cut edges from fraying
safety pins - multi-sizes for when you need a quick fix (in junior high my favorite shorts came unraveled, i simply pinned the hem and continued wearing them for months. no one knew!)
needle and thread - even if you can't use a machine, you can hand stitch minor changes
Remember, perfection can not be reached, no matter how often we mis-use the word. Embrace unfinished edges. Frayed edges are really trendy right now...use that to your advantage.
Inspired: If you see a look you love, you don't have to get the exact same piece. Look for items that resemble that piece. Emerson Fry had a little jacket last Fall that I fell in love with. I couldn't get it out of my head. Whenever I went shopping, I kept my eye out for something similar (at a price-point I could afford). Bam! - months later I found something similar at Kohl's. Yes, Kohl's! They have cute stuff and deep discounts.
emerson fry + mine ($19.00)
Don't spend a lot of money on trends. They come and go. Example: The denim vest is hugely popular right now. I love 'em. So, when I went to the thrift stores the other day I was on the hunt for a denim jacket. Boom! - found it for $2.99. Here's how you can steal this look and still have enough money to pay rent this month. (AV, this one's for you girl! xo)
(sorry for the crappy photos. i'm still camera-less. bare with me? thanks.)
I believe this with every fiber of my being...you DON'T have to spend a lot of money to look and feel great! All you need is a little imagination.
What's the last garment you tricked out to make it work for you? xo