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Wardrobe Stretching

Last post 02-06-2013 8:23 PM by Juneflower. 17 replies.
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  • 02-03-2013 9:17 PM

    Wardrobe Stretching

    Dating myself here, I once saw a Miss America contestant who was a home ec major show off as her talent a multitude of ways to accessorize, and thus change, a "little black dress." I do recall that it was the plainest of sleeveless sheath-type dresses and that she had a string of inexpensive pearls and a very fancy party apron. I imagine that she may have also had a small jacket and one or more removable collars as well as a vest and a very special belt. At any rate, the concept presented really caught my imagination. I have long maintained a collection of lovely drapable scarves and shawls so that I can make a different appearance when wearing "the same old thing." BTW, I did have to study up on ways to tie and drape them. My collection now includes a number of silk scarves, even hand-painted, all from thrifts, and shawls which are souvenirs from my travels. What is your favorite/ most useful wardrobe stretcher? AM
  • 02-03-2013 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    That is so cool, Anna Marie! I haven't seen that one, but I am definitely going to look it up. This is a particular interest of mine lately, because I have reached "a certain age" and am reevaluating whether my wardrobe actually flatters me.

    My fashion trick to hide a tummy/elongate my torso is to take a couple of tank tops, chop off the sleeves and sew up the top hems around to keep them from unraveling. Then you can use those -- which are sort of like tube tops -- as a longer "tee" under your main shirt, without adding bulk up top. I hate how short shirts seem to be these days, and the tanks were cheap and stretched out anyway. Funny enough, I saw that is now a "thing" that people pay for (but don't pay for it - just get some tanks from Goodwill for a fraction of the price and use those, if you don't already have any!): http://www.dailygrommet.com/products/154-blush-belly-band-for-layering

    It's nice if you have something that has a lacey hem on the bottom to add some interest if you like feminine; also fun to use a contrasting color to set off your main shirt.

    You can call me Anika. :)
  • 02-03-2013 11:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    I stretch my wardrobe by attending a twice a year clothing exchange! I get new pieces, can drop off some of mine that don't work, eat fun food, all without spending a dime. I am in my weekend jeans, Silver ones, I got at the clothing exchange.
  • 02-04-2013 9:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    For work, I could not get along without black dress pants, a black pencil skirt and black dress (sleeveless for summer, long sleeved for winter).

    I buy good quality items (lined, wool blend, etc) in timeless styles that last and last. My long sleeved dress is from 2003, for example. My black suit is from 2008.

    I then can buy blazers, dress shirts, dressy tops, cardigans, sweaters, scarves, etc. and mix and match and keep things updated. I can find tops at consignment sales, clearance, receive as gifts, etc. and really keep my work wardrobe in good shape. I've even done a clothing exchange, like Tracy. Since I'm 5'10", I kept it to exchanging tops and sweaters.

    This also carries over into the weekend/after work. I buy tops that I can also wear with jeans or casual khaki pants. A white button down shirt and charcoal blazer works with my black skirt for work but then also works well with jeans and flats for meeting a friend for dinner or going to PTO. A pink cardigan pulls my black dress from being too dressy alone for work into something that is appropriate for my office. And I can also wear the cardigan with jeans and a white t-shirt on the weekends.

    My best stretching: black yoga pants! I wear them to Pilates, running/walking, running quick errands, working around the house, lounging, LOL.  $5 clearance at Old Navy!

  • 02-04-2013 11:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    Anna this post and hearing about your scarves and shawls brought me great joy today. I LOVE IT. I bet it's gorgeous.

    As for me, I create new looks by mixing and matching different pieces from my clothing collection to play with colors, angles and layers. I also love fun accessories like knit scarves and leg warmers.

    Anyhow, cuffing is also a great option. You can make pants or a blouse a new changed look with some good cuffing, a little color pop/change and an accessory...

    Playing with angels is great too, like Anna said - learning how to tie things to create different looks with her scarves. YES,  a must. These kinds of scarves can also act as belts, head gear, bow add ons and shoulder straps to clutches if tied and fascined the right ways. They really are a must have in a feminine wardrobe.

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 02-04-2013 1:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    Erika, You and I use the same principles. AM
  • 02-04-2013 3:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    I love to help personal shop. Shopping assistant at your service for sure. This made me think about my Mom's friend who wants me to come help her purge and evaluate her wadrobe and create outfits with what she wants to keep. This sounds really fun right now, I need to get over there and help her soon.

    I'm going to create a scenario and have some fun with it to show how limited pieces can create more than limited looks.

    The Busy Bee Babe: 1 day, 5 occassions, 5 different looks needed, 5 pieces of clothing & an accessory

    9:00 AM Job interview, must look presentable

    out by 10:00 AM, quick trip home to change and get shopping list

    10:30 Grocery shopping for the week

    come home, unload, make a bite to eat and get ready to parent council meeting at 2:00

    2:00 Parent council meeting, must look presentable along the casual lines

    out by 3:00, pick up kids from school, drop off at friend's house - it's Friday and hubby is taking you out so you arranged overnight at a friend's house

    home by 5:00, 1 hour to get ready for date night, must dress suitable for warm summer evening weather, fine dining outlooking the ocean and a fun boardwalk carnival (time to let loose!) after... will need 2 different looks - one fancier and one more casual

    6:00 comes, ready to roll... dinner first so you two can dine and watch the sunset while doing so...

    digested lol and done by 7:30, head to the board walk for an hour of boardwalk carnival fun... will need to taper the outfit down a bit to not look so "I just fine dined" like

    home by 10:30, in bed by 11:00 and that's a wrap lol

    Pieces to work with:

    Little black black dress, works as a dress or skirt if top is added to layer

    Casual black pants

    Ruffled tank that does not look sleezy

    Button up blouse with good arm cuff options

    Vintage beaded cardigan

    Your accessory is a beautiful tapestry print scarf (a long one)

    Your freebie is a nice pair of black flats that are your all around "everything" shoe

    - - -   - - - and because you are a lucky lady I will throw in a pair of clip on earrings which work as 1. earrings 2. clip on broach/pin or 3. attachments for the black flats to jazz them up and make them dressier... these ones look versitale enough for all three things:


    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • 02-04-2013 3:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    Anna Marie, since I'm ALWAYS freezing, I wear tees and women's "wife beaters" under most of my sweaters and shirts.  I like the extra layer of warmth they offer.  I have some lacy camis that look very feminine with the lace peekig out at the bottom of my sweaters Wink

    It's all about Love!
  • 02-04-2013 4:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

     I wish you'd do an entire series of those sorts of things, BB - that was awesome! (Er, your selections that is - I know you didn't do the wrap-up yet!) Those will all be lovely just about any way you put them, though!

    You can call me Anika. :)
  • 02-04-2013 7:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Wardrobe Stretching

    I thought of another trick that I do that others might be interested in, especially this time of year. For casual outfits, hit the swimwear sales! You can often find tank(ini) tops, sarongs, and lace jackets/covers that can come together for a pretty decent outfit, which don't necessarily look like swim wear if done right... and this time of year, the prices are unbeatable. 

    You can call me Anika. :)
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