YELLOW LACE DRESS ALTERATION
Please enjoy the DIY part, of the "Eco-Express Yourself" series.
In short, same girl, ill fitted clothes, new style.
If you haven't read any of the previous post's explaining the purpose of the "Eco-Express yourself, Recycle fashion" series, click right here, or scroll down for a quick repeat after the photos.
In this part of the series, I will go into the value of salvaging clothes and breathe new life into them.
What I'm wearing.
Home altered yellow lace dress. See below for before photo and information about the process.
The black faux leather belt is about 3 years old.
The black faux leather shoes are about 6 years old.
The stainless steal, gold colored bracelet is new this year, and a replacement for the old cheap one that started to peal.
The black cat eye sunglasses are about 3 years old.
The color of the dress is a bit stronger in real life, than what it appear to be in the photos. I'm not a pale red head either, so it's just the light. For a better look at the color, see photos at the bottom.
As many people coming from humble beginnings, I grew up with this fear of spending money. This translated into buying cheap clothes, and focusing on the price tag instead of making sure it was a quality item worth investing it. Being careful with money can be a very good thing, but if you sacrifice quality for quantity, it can end up costing both you and the environment a lot.
As an adult with a fashion degree, I slowly started realising the brutal realities of fast fashion and the fashion industry. And once you know, you just can't go back. The hard truth is that if something is very cheap, it means that someone somewhere is not being paid well enough for their hard labor. On top of that, the fashion industry, is the second largest polluter on the planet.
In an effort to become a more conscious shopper, I decided to make a deal with myself. That instead of buying cheap clothes that look almost like what I want, (that I won't really use and won't last) I was going to only buy things I love, and rather splurge on something more expensive when I found the perfect item. I even started buying things with the intent to alter it, to make sure it was perfectly tailored to my body. In short. The new rule was, "quality over quantity".
The dress I'm wearing in this photo is extra special to me, as it was the first succsessful thing I bought after I made the pact to invest in quality over quantity. It cost a little more than what I would normally spend, but not so much that it didn't balance out in the grand scale, because I'll ultimately end up buying less.
This dreamy dress had everything I wanted. The right length, the right neckline, the right skirt shape, the right waist, and so on. So, it was a no brainer to buy it when I randomly came upon it. I almost chickened out because of the price, which I now realise is not expensive at all now that I'm used to thinking this way.
The only thing that didn't work perfectly was the spaghetti straps it originally came with. I have a "Skittle" body type, so spaghetti straps are really unflattering on my figure, as they don't balance well with my lower half. Changing out shoulder straps is a really easy task though, so I just went for it. When it comes to creating your dream wardrobe, alterations and getting things tailored can be a really great solution. Especially if you're as tall as I am, or have a body type that doesn't fit the trends. The bold black straps are also a lot more my style, so all in all just positive.
First I needled on the new straps, to make sure the had the same length as the original ones. Then I cut of the original straps, using scissors. After that I sewed on the new straps by hand, using a lot of small stitches to make it as seamless and sturdy ass possible. It takes a little time, but it's going to keep you from having to go back and redo it.
Taking of the original straps and attatching the new ones is a quick fix, easily done in a few hours. No sewing machine required, as it could all be done with a pair of scissors, seam rippers, needle, and thread.
It was well worth the extra work, and I can tell that this is a dress I'm going to cherish for a very long time. I've already used it at almost every summer event I've been to, two years in a row. Which is good, since it's about two years old. The feeling of always having a dress to wear, that you feel comfortable in no matter how you feel that day, has definitely made my life easier.
Thinking quality over quantity has really been a blessing in disguise. It started out as a way to become more sustainable and economic, and has honestly improved my wardrobe in ways I couldn't have imagined.
THE GOLDEN WARDROBE RULES
The trick is to think of your closet as a collection, and only shop for what's missing. Never just buy something because it's pretty or cool. Take notice of what you really need when roaming through your clothes getting ready, and make a list. This is a good way of preventing that impulse shopping, based on your feelings for that random shiny dress you just got a fleeting crush on (that you'll never get to wear). The key is to build a wardrobe where you can find an outfit for any occasion, without having to go shopping. Even if it's for work, a birthday party, camping, or a wedding. Too many of us have the "I have a hundred party tops, and yet I have nothing to wear" kind of closets. Or, the "I only have work clothes, and nothing fancy". It's all about finding that right balance.
Instead, spare the environment the pollution, and save money on buying long lasting quality items. This way, you can rather spend your money on replacing basics (Also, more left for the occasional splurge on fashion fabs).
(Source: The photos are mine, except the before photo of the dress. That came from the seller. Information about the environment is from "The True Cost Movie" and you can see more at https://truecostmovie.com/learn-more/environmental-impact/.)
ETHICAL AND PERSONALIZED STYLE, FOR A "GOOD FOR YOU" WARDROBE.
Idealist style is a website and "slow blog" dedicated to ethical fashion and personalized style, including tips on how to find your very own "slow fashion" style by using color analysis, the body types system, and other slow fashion tips.»