Friday, July 9, 2010

Washed Out, Not Washed Up

Earlier Drafts:
Blue peasant top, meet blazer.
Does this belt make me look like Jennifer Grey?
In honor of opposites, I wore this white skirt with a black tube top.
These nude heels are closet workhorses for me.

blue peasant top (H&M)
belt (Anthropologie)
white skirt (thrifted)
nude heels (Seychelles via Piperlime)

After Wednesday's brief departure from my fascination with summer neutrals - I've lately showcased toned-down ensembles here, here, and here - I'm back in the washed out saddle today.

The above look is inspired by the challenging wearability of this otherwise lovely skirt.  Here is my free association on the subject:

"It's the skirt's fault.  The chiffon hangs limp on my hipless body because the skirt has zero shape.  Well, other than the bubble hem and the vertical pleats along the right side panel.  Hm, pause.  Normally, I would consider those elements more than adequate, especially in a thrifted garment.  Why are those details insufficient in this one?  I can't figure it out.  This skirt puzzles me.  Is it the length?  Maybe I should shorten and re-hem it to an above-the-knee style?  Maybe I should add a layer of tulle underneath the chiffon to give it volume?  Maybe I should take in the waistband and wear the skirt higher, at my natural waistline? Maybe I should sprout curves, grow three inches?  Ready, set, go?"

How would you doctor up this piece?

I'm determined to coax a flirty femininity out of this gauzy number, so today I'm pairing it with a peasant top whose billowy sleeves mimic the skirt's own relaxed personality.  Since the skirt will inevitably fall to my knees without it, a chunky belt cinches around my middle.  And the nude shoes theoretically elongate what little leg shows beneath the skirt's hem.

Not-so-ironically, I'm devoting the afternoon to writing cover letters and sending out employment applications.  In the oppressive temperatures of these long days, I sense myself lapsing into a state of jobless anxiety, so I take frequent breaks to pep-talk myself out of feeling washed-up.  (Angsty much, right?)  We're not done yet, I tell myself.  My cover letters and I - and my chiffon skirt - just need a little editing.

Happy Friday!

  • How would you wear this skirt as is?  How would you edit it?
  • Tell me about your garment-editing projects!  Which alterations have worked for you, and which haven't?
  • In reading your blogs, I'm inspired by your own garment-alteration and -creation endeavors.  I'm not sewing savvy, so I welcome your advice.  Any tips you'd like to offer as I tackle this skirt as my weekend project?


Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

At first I was going to tell you not to worry about changing the skirt, because I think it's quite cute. And I still do. But the more I think on it, the more I wonder if, on your frame, it might look even better a bit shorter.

To test it out, have you considered bringing it up to your natural waist and "paper bagging" it with a belt? If you end up liking the look, you could even sew a tube into the inside of the skirt and run elastic through it to narrow the waist while keeping the pleats and folds of a paper bag skirt.

If you keep the skirt as is, pairing it with a more form-fitting top, or a lose one like this with the clear definition of a belt, would also work.

Martha said...

I agree that shorter might be better, but with details like that, how would you hem it. And then I read Katie's comment and am having an AH HA! moment.

Elle_mnop said...

I'd maybe throw a few pickups around the skirt, either with a few handstitches or safety pins. It would shorten the length and enhance the floaty, feminine quality of the skirt, and make it even more fun to pair with tougher/more casual items.

orchidsinbuttonholes said...

I agree with the above comments - a bit shorter would be, I believe, perfection. It's a gorgeous skirt and I'd love to see you get more wear out of it! A good tailor might be able to hem it from the top, perhaps. It's worth playing around with, I believe.

I love this color palette - very fresh and summery.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I had the same thought as Katie about paper bag belting, but then I wondered if the material would just droop down over the top of the belt. Paper bag styles usually seem to be made out of stiffer fabric.

Could you roll the top of the skirt over a few times and then belt over the top of the roll to hold it all in place? Sort of a reverse version of what I did with my top in this post.
Wearing it like that a few times might give you an idea of whether it would be worth it to put up the money for tailoring.

But I like it like this, as well! I like the billowyness of the top paired with the skirt.


Leah (The Domesticated Wife) said...

I've never sewed, ever. (And I'm not happy about it! I wanna learn sooo bad.) So no advice there.

However. I like it as is. I think belted over a feminine blouse and with heels is the perfect way to go. :)

Sara said...

I definitely think the skirt would look better shorter, but that would be tricky to do since it has a bubble hem. The tulle might be a good idea because that seems like it would be easier with that hem and give the skirt a bit more life.

gina said...

Cute top! Love it with the skirt and belt.