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Angels & Demons

Black Feather DressWhite Pouf DressBlack MasqueLeather Half JacketsWhite Feather Dress

The Angels and Demons collection by E. Mackey blew me away. It defies commentary.

Enjoy. And don’t be surprised if I hunt down that amazing white zippered poufy dress for my next lark.

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Onward and Upward

01-11-2013

Hospital-issued non-skid socks: my fall fashion statement

So. When I told a friend in December 2011 that I wanted to start a blog and was considering the name “Adventures in Style,” I had no idea that it would portend a year full of adventure in almost every area of my life.
A graduate degree, a job change, a couple of surgeries (and the resulting longer-than-desired break from blogging) later, I sometimes think I’ve had enough adventures for a while. But agreeing with Amelia Earhart that “adventure is worthwhile in itself,” I attempt to collect the silver linings from every experience in 2012 and shine them on the year ahead.
Already there are some enchanting possibilities on the horizon. I’m excited to see what adventures 2013 will bring, not only in the fashion world, but in life as well. My goal is to apply lessons learned in 2012 to enable me to blog through the adventures instead of around them (as I am learning that one cannot wait for life to be perfect to begin living). I hope you share my excitement about this year’s potential; I wish marvelous things for each and every one of you. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.

Sew perfect

Now that you’ve acquired a few articles of clothing that really flatter your body type, it’s time to get them tailored so that they fit perfectly.

My favorite seamstress, Verna, is amazing at making your clothes look A.MAZ.ING, but she’s a bit camera shy, so I interviewed her off-camera to get all the juicy details about tailoring and what it can do for you.

How long have you been sewing, Verna? I made my first dress for myself when I was 11 years old. I am past retirement age now so that would be a good clue as to how long I have been at my sewing machines!! A long time no matter how you calculate.


How did you begin tailoring clothes? I started doing alterations after my daughter was born in ’72 and I was a stay at home Mom. I needed to help with the family income and actually did full dressmaking. I no longer take on that task.


What are the easiest tailoring “fixes”? The easiest are just minor fixes like to lengthen or shorten pants, skirts and day dresses.


Most difficult? The most difficult would be garments that have many pieces in the design and any piece with a lot of detail or trim, such as beading.


What are the least expensive tailoring services? Least expensive are the minor changes such as hemming and seam repairs.


Most expensive? Working on anything with lots of detail and fabrics that don’t lend well to reworking can be expensive, if it can be done at all. Fine fabrics and silks are not forgiving.


If I see an article of clothing in the store, but it doesn’t fit quite right, how can I know whether or not a tailor can fix it? If you need something made a little smaller it can be done within reason. You must take into account the seams, pockets etc and know how it will place them after the work is done. To make something bigger can be limited. There is only so much seam allowance to work with and it may not be worth the effort.

What are some fit problems that can’t really be fixed by a tailor? That would depend on t he garment and the person it is for. Bear in mind that you only have the fabric in the garment to work with. You can take away but you can’t add fabric. Your tailor must be reasonably sure that he can alter the garment to your specifications.

What is your favorite sewing project that you’ve ever done? I love making a bride happy with the fit of her gown. I recently did the bride and bridesmaid gowns for my granddaughters wedding. They were all beautiful. My other favorite project is my quilting that I do for myself and my family. I learn something every time I go to work on a quilt and it is an art form all its own.

Any other suggestions? Try to get references or recommendations for a tailor or seamstress. If that doesn’t work try to see how long they have been doing it. Sometimes simple work can be done by the alterations person at your local dry cleaners. Anything that is very involved should be done by a reputable tailor.

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Style inspiration: the incomparable Iris Apfel

One of my undergrad profs used to admonish us not to quote someone unless we absolutely could not phrase something differently than the original source.  Well, when on the subject of accessorizing, none can hold a candle to Iris Apfel, who rocks the fashion world daily with her un-ignorable accessories. In deference to her, therefore, let’s kick off the weekend with some inspiration from the Empress of Embellishment herself.

“I’m a hopeless romantic. I buy things because I fall in love with them. I never buy anything just because it’s valuable. My husband used to say I look at a piece of fabric and listen to the threads. It tells me a story. It sings me a song. I have to get a physical reaction when I buy something. A coup de foudre – a bolt of lightning. It’s fun to get knocked out that way!”

“If you put something together and it doesn’t look so good, the fashion police are not going to come a take you away. And if they do, you might have some fun in jail.”

“To find out who you are is like putting yourself on a psychiatric couch, but you have nobody to help you. Really it isn’t easy. I was talking with my nephew this morning and he gave me one of the best quotes I’ve heard in years… ‘Personal style is curiosity about oneself.’”

“When the fun is taken out of dressing, you might as well be dead!”

“…it’s not about money. People with a lot of money don’t dress as well as people who have to make do, who have to be inventive. Those are the people who are always more interestingly dressed, I think. Everything I do, I do with gut instinct. If I think too much, it won’t come out right.”

Fierce

“When you are well dressed and fierce, it’s life enhancing for you and all the people around you.”

Simon Doonan

The cute little topper Rachael’s sporting was a find from Marshalls.

Just dotty

“There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.”

Helena Rubinstein

 

Okay, so this outfit took a bit of finagling.  When I found the blouse, it was picked on the outer layer, but I loved the inside layer (the outer and inner layer are made of the same type of fabric). Since the price was right ($5!), I purchased it, removed the tag, and re-sewed the buttons to the other side. Voila! A fabulous polka dot blouse.

Blouse: Anne Klein via What’s New Consignment
Shoes: T.J. Maxx a long, long time ago
Bag: B. Makowsky via T.J. Maxx
Enamel cuff bracelet: What’s New Consignment
Necklace: Goodwill