Outfitblogging 7 May 2015

Blue stripes over a skirt

Shirt: sewn by me (spring 2014)
Skirt: Eloquii (winter 2015)
Socks: Target
Shoes: Fluevog (summer 2014)
Necklace: gift from Matt’s parents (Christmas 2012)
Earrings: gift from parents, Alaska (fall 2011)

Oh, I so badly wanted a swingy midi skirt. They looked so gorgeous on other bloggers, and the item sat patiently on my wish list for so long. This winter, I finally ordered the ponte circle skirt from Eloquii, and as soon as it arrived, I eagerly tried it on. The color was beautiful, and it was amazingly comfortable… and it looked terrible on me. The hem hit at exactly the wrong place. I paired it with both flats and heels, and neither worked. Perhaps midi skirts just aren’t my thing.

I loved it so much, I didn’t want to return it, so I chopped off about 87 inches to create a knee-length, and lo! It’s perfect.

Almost. Halfway through the work day, I realized there was a huge gash in the back. Centered on my butt. On only my fourth wear. Luckily, it’s right on the seam, so I should be able to easily sew that up.

Black and silver

Gift earrings and gift necklace. A winning combination! Also new glasses. I have two new pair: these, which are fabulous, and a purple pair with little sparkly bits.

Dots and oxfords

Who says you should never wear stripes and dots together? These cuties were just made to be worn with the Fluevogs.

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Outfitblogging 4 May 2015

Black dots

Shirt: Kohl’s (fall 2014)
Skirt: Lane Bryant (spring 2009), altered by me
Shoes: J-41, at DSW (spring 2013)
Earrings: Amazon.com (spring 2015)

This outfit is nearly perfect. I really like this shirt—I bought it on sale at Kohl’s, and altered it to remove the elastic hem and shorten it a couple inches. It’s cute and comfortable, but seeing it here, I think I know the problem now: the neckline! Perhaps unbuttoning the henley or widening the neck would work better.

The skirt I altered is holding up quite nicely. I’m still experimenting with altering my clothing. I recently bought a fun new dress (also on sale!) even though I wasn’t 100% into it, because I knew that if I shortened the straps about an inch I would be in love. My sewing skills are still rudimentary, but have been giving me more confidence about finding, fixing, or making clothes that fit me.

Large hoops

I really wanted some large silver hoops, so I bought these large silver hoops on Amazon, and now I have the largest silver hoops ever.

Black sandals

I’ve had these shoes for about two years, but I think this is the first time they are appearing on the blog. They are comfortable, but I’ve now learned I cannot wear them on the walk from my new apartment to work. It took practically two weeks for the blisters to heal.

Outfitblogging 2 April 2015

Cardigan over striped tee and black skirt

Cardigan: Target (spring 2013)
Shirt: sewn by me (spring 2014)
Skirt: Lane Bryant (spring 2009), altered by my
Socks: gift from parents (Christmas, 2014)
Shoes: Dansko, at Walking Company (fall 2014)
Earrings: Torrid (winter 2006) and Torrid (summer 2012)
Necklace: thrifted, Goodwill (fall 2011)

I’ve got a bit of a backlog of photos on my phone, but I won’t post everything from the past month. I’ve gotten a little better at taking the photos before I leave for work, but somehow I’ve fallen out of the habit of posting them. Let’s get to it!

This outfit, I realize, has the same base as the previous one I posted: the same shirt and the same cardigan over fairly basic bottoms. I swapped out the jeans for a skirt—one that I altered from a maxi skirt that ripped! Instead of chucking it, I cut off the ripped parts at the waist, folded over the edge to make a casing, and inserted elastic for a new waistband. It’s nice enough for work but also perfect for throwing on with tee shirts on the weekend. Win-win!

Red beads and white hoops

I’ve worn this shirt before with a chunky red necklace, but this time paired it with the smaller red beads. Included the white hoops and tiny cherries for added interest (although I still think the tiny cherries kind of look like scrotums).

Black oxfords

Classic, comfortable shoes. I am on the lookout for a tan pair for summer!

My parents also gave me a bunch of socks for Christmas. My mom was apologetic about only buying solid colors, since my family knows how much I love cute, adorable socks, but they have come in handy! I had so many socks with patterns and happy little animals on them that the solid socks were a welcome addition.

Outfitblogging 12 September 2014

Cardigan over shirt and capris

Shirt: Target (summer 2012)
Cardigan: Target (summer 2012)
Capris: Lane Bryant (spring 2011)
Shoes: Earth Origins, at DSW (spring 2014)
Earrings: Torrid (summer 2012)

I bought this shirt a couple years ago, but I never wore it often, because it was too big. Target’s plus sizing is weird, and they don’t always have cute things, but I liked the pattern on this shirt and needed it as for a last-minute outfit. I sized up so it would fit my chest, but the back was saggy and the sides boxy. It was constantly slipping off my shoulders. The shirt already had a back seam, so with my more-confident sewing skills, I cut six inches out of the back of the shirt. It fits so much better now.

Hoop earrings

Warm weather kills my creativity for outfits, and I find myself not wanting to wear necklaces, or figure out which necklaces don’t get all gross and sweaty against my neck. (This is a super sexy conversation, I know.) Next time, I’d like to throw more color in with this shirt, especially if pairing it with the black cardigan again.

Black sandals

These shoes. Always these shoes.

The summer of no new shopping

Thrift Store Sign

The other day, Matt and I were taking a walk around DC when he spotted a Dress Barn. He pointed it out to me, but I didn’t feel very enthused about it. I have nothing against Dress Barn, and even bought a very lovely purple dress for a wedding at a Dress Barn outlet store. It’s just… every time I go into a retail shop lately, I have a difficult time finding something that fits me nicely.

This train of thought led me to an idea: a swearing off of shopping for new retail, mass-produced clothing. For the months of May, June, and July, with August acting like a sort of grace period before the start of fall, I will adhere to the following chain of command:

  1. Make or craft it myself. New purchases, like yarn or fabric, are acceptable.
  2. Find it at a thrift shop. Ebay and Etsy count, as do local clothing swaps.
  3. Commission a custom piece, like a made-to-fit shirt from an independent Etsy shop.

The above rules not only include clothing, but also accessories, jewelry, and bags. Certain items are excluded, like socks, bras, and underpants. Shoes are tricky, as I really would like another pair of new, comfortable walking shoes.

While I have traditionally found it difficult to snag good-fitting items at the thrift shop, I’m hoping to put my new sewing skills to the test. I’ve often hesitated to make alterations to items bought new for $60, but perhaps I wouldn’t feel so terrible about fixing up a $5 Goodwill dress.

I am allowing myself three passes, because sometimes things come up! I had a weird thought I would be invited to some formal affair, and would have no summer outfit waiting in my closet for it. In that case, if none of the above benefit me, I’ve got three times to call an out.

With this experiment, I’m hoping to learn more about working with my body’s shape and size to find more clothing I feel comfortable in and comfortable wearing. I want to gain more confidence in my sewing, and finally pull out that shirt pattern that’s been sitting on my table, intimidating and taunting me for weeks. There’s creativity to be had!

I know there are other bloggers who’ve written about similar experiences and experiments. Have you ever put a limit on your spending? What are your preferred methods of clothes shopping? Do you enjoy hacking stuff to make it fit?

Photo credit: “Thrift Store Sign” from S Jones