Unique Personal Style: How to make your clothes work for YOU!

T-shirt: Zara (old), Jeans:  Imogene & Willie,  Clogs:  Lotta from Stockholm

T-shirt: Zara (old), Jeans: Imogene & Willie, Clogs: Lotta from Stockholm

We all have them in our closet, those items that are awesome on so many levels and yet something just seems...off.  Maybe you were excited about certain aspects when you bought it and now you reach to put it on, look in the mirror and then take it off and hang it up again.  I had many items in my own closet with that same story.  So I decided to do something about it and, for a little money and bit of effort, I have a whole new selection of pieces I can't get enough of!!  Let me tell you how I did it...

DENIM.  I freaking love these jeans.  The fit, the length, the high waist and just the perfect amount of stretch BUT I wasn't crazy about the color.  I would slip them on and smile because they fit like a glove but then take them right off when I noticed the color didn't compliment most of my tops.  They were a light, almost dingy, blue, so I decided to dye them.  I bought a box of Rit dye at my local Fred Meyer and spent about 2 1/2 hours total for the soak and 3 cycles in the wash to achieve this gorgeous, bright blue that goes with everything!  Now they really are my favorite jeans!

Top:  Ilana Kohn  (old), Jeans:  Imogene & Willie  (old color), Cuff:  AK Studio , Necklace: J Crew (old), Booties: Sezane (similar  here )

Top: Ilana Kohn (old), Jeans: Imogene & Willie (old color), Cuff: AK Studio, Necklace: J Crew (old), Booties: Sezane (similar here)

TUNIC.  I bought this top at the beginning of last summer and loved the print, the light-weight fabric, the button up back and the length.  But there was something that wasn't working for me whenever I wore it.  I know so many women who get excited about pockets in tops and dresses, but for me, it only ends up added unnecessary bulk to the hips and who needs that? Not me, that's who.  I did not like how the pockets would turn sideways and look like a weird growth under my clothes.  I decided to take it to my local tailor and ask her to remove the pockets, which she easily did and streamlined the whole look.  Now this is a light, fluid, easy-to-wear top that I don't have to worry about situating to ensure it looks flattering.  I can tell it will be in heavy rotation this summer!

Tunic: random boutique in Bend, Necklace: old Etsy find

Tunic: random boutique in Bend, Necklace: old Etsy find

TUNIC.  This is another of the same.  A fabulous top in a fun print, great, comfortable fabric, good fit except those darn pockets.  I also hauled this one over to the tailor and she removed those pesky folds of extra fabric and created a much lovelier silhouette as a result.  Honestly, this top has been hanging in my closet for about 8 months and I've never worn it.  All that is about to change.

Leather jacket:  All Saints (similar one  here )

Leather jacket:  All Saints (similar one here)

LEATHER JACKET.  I've said it before that a good leather jacket is a timeless closet necessity that adds the perfect amount of 'cool factor' to most any outfit..  I purchased this one about 10 years ago and have gotten a ton of wear out of it.  However, all that exposure to the elements for so many years had started to turn this 'soft black' jacket more into a weathered, brownish-black leather.  I noticed I was reaching for it much less and looked up options on what to do.  Instead of being wooed by all the shiny new jackets on the scene, I decided to take this well-worn beauty to the local cobbler and have them dye it for me.  They used a black leather polish to achieve this true black color and it took 3 weeks and $100 and now I have a jacket I want to wear every day again! 

Denim: Imogene & Willie (old style), Shirt: Steven Alan (last season, Necklace:  Noonday

Denim: Imogene & Willie (old style), Shirt: Steven Alan (last season, Necklace: Noonday

DENIM.  This is another pair of jeans I absolutely loved and wore to death.  When I first purchased them about 5 years ago, they had the perfect amount of, purposely made and repaired, distressing.  Over the years of regular wear, I wore out both knees to the point of scraps of denim hanging sad and awkward.  Not cute.  I couldn't bring myself to part with them as they still fit well and are a great color.  You'll never guess what I did?!?  Oh, what?  The tailor? Oh, ok, yeah, you guessed it.  I didn't have to say a word to my tailor.  She saw the jeans and knew immediately what needed to be done.  Now I have these jeans back in regular rotation with tasteful distressing restored.

Top:  Betsy & Iya , Jeans: J Crew (old), Booties:  Isabel Marant  (found on extreme discount via consignment), Necklace:  Seaworthy  

Top: Betsy & Iya, Jeans: J Crew (old), Booties: Isabel Marant (found on extreme discount via consignment), Necklace: Seaworthy 

TOP.  I really wish you could feel this fabric.  It's like a soft hug and a warm bath all in one beautiful top.  This particular brand is fun because most of their clothes only come in one size so it fits every body a little differently.  When I slipped it on at the store I instantly fell in love and didn't want to take it off, but when I put it on again at home, I noticed something about the cut didn't look quite right.  I realized the sleeves were a strange length and width on my overall proportion.  I tried this one on for my tailor and told her I wanted a shorter sleeve with a slight taper at the end. I love where it hits now and I actually like to roll the sleeves up a couple times as well.  Now I try to remember who I saw the day before so I can repeat this top as much as possible.  It's that good!

So, lesson for us all, before you part with those items that you were once really excited about, ask yourself if there is something that can be easily altered to help you love it again.  A good tailor is indispensable and something I regularly recommend to all my clients.  And sometimes the changes are easily achieved at home and will give you a whole new appreciation for your expertly customized closet!  

Happy dressing, friends!

- Alison




Alison KnoxComment