2.15.2015

Tailored Dress Before and After



I hinted that I had a special plan for the denim Talbots dress in my fall/ winter ten-item wardrobe and today, I reveal the plan! I loved this dress. It is made of quality fabric, is the perfect length and washes really well. I liked this dress so much I'd like to continue wearing it for spring/ summer 2015.

In order to make this work, I decided to have the sleeves tailored short. The long sleeves would have been too heavy for the hot California summer. In this week's video I show you the before and after and I am thrilled with the result!


Here's the before...


and here's the after



Using a tailor to alter your beloved clothes is a great way to feel like you are getting a "new" dress but still keep the same one. The tailoring cost $18 (which is probably an inflated price seeing that I am in Santa Monica) and for that amount I feel like I have an entirely new dress to wear for the next few months.



Check out the video to see the full transformation. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog or check out my channel (and be sure to subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
As spring approaches (fall for our Southern Hemisphere friends) start thinking about your upcoming ten-item wardrobe. As the weather turns, start packing away your out-of-season clothes. If there was an item you just can't part with, consider tailoring it to fit the upcoming season. If not, pack your clothes away knowing you'll be happy to see them when the weather turns again.

Comment of the Week
On YouTube Hannelene writes:

This was my first true 10 item season (last year I was down to about 20-25). A few notes: you can only do this if you have control over your laundry - when traveling for longer periods where you have to rely on the speed of laundry service it can get a bit challenging.) My second problem was my jeans, which was a BIG staple, died an unfortunate death and could not be repaired. Where I live, shopping is not a matter of popping to the local mall. Ouch. Lesson learned? For my lifestyle, one or two spares are essential.

Hannelene, I love that you have tried it and adapted the ten-item wardrobe to work with your life situation. I hope you continue to enjoy it and its vast benefits!


Question of the Week

Heather P. on YouTube writes:

Hi Jennifer...I just bought this beautiful Rebecca Taylor shirt, of course inspired by you. However, I live in rural America and don't have access to a good dry cleaner. I am afraid the dye will bleed, or the silk will shrink if I do not handle it properly. Can you please let me know how to best care for this garment. Thank you! I love your videos and am thankful for my Sunday mornings

Thanks for your question Heather. Rebecca Taylor makes beautiful, high quality clothes. I have had a few of her silk dresses in the past and was able to wash them on the "hand wash" or delicate cycle in a mesh laundry bag on cold with a gentle detergent. I then would hang them to dry and use an iron on the silk setting if necessary.


Let me know what you think of the tailored sleeves! See you next time on The Daily Connoisseur...

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14 comments:

mimimanderly said...

I think that the dress looks so much better with short sleeves! It just seems lighter and brighter somehow... maybe because of the extra skin showing.

It's amazing what a difference a relatively minor adjustment can make in a garment. I have a DVF wrap dress that hit me slightly below the knee. I had it shortened by only about an inch, taking it to mid-knee. A minor thing, but what a difference it made! The slightly shorter length seemed more young and chic, whereas just an inch longer felt borderline dowdy. I realized that there is a "sweet spot" in skirt lengths for me, that makes me look taller and my legs longer.

Saltysue said...

Hi Jennifer, just love your latest video. I have been looking at items in my wardrobe with a view to updating them. I have been invited to a wedding in the summer and although some beautiful dresses are coming into the shops I don't feel like adding anymore to my "specials" wardrobe this summer. Time to shop my wardrobe and visit the taylor.
Thanks for the inspiration.

oursmallspace said...

This looks lovely! I have a dress with 3/4 sleeves that I think would look much better with short sleeves. Because the dress was very inexpensive I think I am going to see if I can handle the alteration myself.

fourkid said...

This is an easy fix for those that want to try it on their own. The biggest hint is do not cut straight across to take the sleeves off. The body is curved, and anything done straight across will look "off". I suggest searching out some You-tube videos - or maybe there are some hints on the Threads web site on how to do this alteration. I am doing this same treatment for a dress my daughter found at a thrift store. It is amazing what altering the sleeves (and in my case the hem) can do to something that might otherwise be ignored. I also bought a jumper in a thrift store that didn't work for my granddaughter as a jumper. I cut the bodice off, turned that part down and put in elastic at the waist. (It had pockets I didn't wish to disturb.) Now she has a maxi skirt she loves. She always wears her top over the waist. I offered to hem it shorter, but she wanted the maxi. Seeing cast off (or otherwise useless) clothing items with a new and creative eye is fun. Great post, Jennifer.

Simply Me said...

Hi Jennifer - love the transformation. Your dress can now be worn both this summer coming and next winter. How? In the winter, add layering items from your "extras wardrobe" - a long sleeve t-shirt underneath plus a cardigan over the top. I'm sure you have thought of this already, but I just wanted to share the idea with your other readers too.
Looking forward to your next inspiring post.

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,
The alteration of your dress is a great example of thrifty-chic. It's reminding me to tend to the repairs needed on a couple of my spring dresses. I also need to iron them! With spring approaching all too quickly here in California this year, the cottons and linens will be out before long. In what is probably my first true ten item wardrobe, I've decided to go with (6) six dresses. Since I'm a logophile (love graphics), four dresses are printed or patterned (DVF, Escapada, BCBGMaxAzria, and Juliet Dream), and two are solid linen (LL Bean). I selected 2 blouses (one embroidered and one solid white linen), one pair of white skinny jeans (Levi's) and one printed linen skirt (Talbot's). This gives me more than enough outfits for a week. Thank you for the encouragement!
I've also been "tailoring" my signature recipes to reflect my new desire for lower carb. dinners and desserts. So far so good! Well, I had better start on my ironing.
Warm best,
Alexandra x o

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,
The alteration of your dress is a great example of thrifty-chic. It's reminding me to tend to the repairs needed on a couple of my spring dresses. I also need to iron them! With spring approaching all too quickly here in California this year, the cottons and linens will be out before long. In what is probably my first true ten item wardrobe, I've decided to go with (6) six dresses. Since I'm a logophile (love graphics), four dresses are printed or patterned (DVF, Escapada, BCBGMaxAzria,and Juliet Dream), and two are solid linen (LL Bean). I selected 2 blouses (one embroidered and one solid white linen), one pair of white skinny jeans (Levi's) and one printed linen skirt (Talbot's). These will give me more than enough outfits for a week. Thank you for the encouragement!
I've also been "tailoring" my signature recipes to reflect my new desire for lower carb. dinners and desserts. So far so good! Well, I had better start on my ironing.
Warm best,
Alexandra x o

A said...

I love that you took a dress that had become an "old favorite" and turned it into a whole new to be much loved item! It is (funny? sad?) interesting that this is something that would have been done a generation or two ago, but now it is so unheard of it has a novel idea feeling to it. Tailoring the dress was a smart and elegant choice.

On a side note; I have been wondering for some time now, where do you store your off-season clothing? And how has it fared in the location that you chose?

Jan said...

Well, the dress looks more casual now and may be best for your climate, but on me ...the short sleeve version would look too matronly.

Prestigious School said...

It looks great with short sleeves! I love your vision!

Evaline said...

Hi Jennifer, I have been thinking about wardrobe colours for spring/summer 2015.

Years ago, there was attend to 'have your colours done.' This was helpful as many of us have difficulty knowing which colours suit us best. It also saves a lot of trial and error and money wasted.

I have not seen books or discussions on the right colours for your skin tone, hair and eyes for a while now. I think there is still a need to be filled. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Christine Busta said...

I'm in the Midwest and $18 seems like a great deal! My alterations on a steal of a dress from Anne Taylor made it not such a terrific deal...$40 to alter and hems on my pants are a good deal more than $18 too! I think I need to shop around!

Evaline, Color Me Beautiful from the 80s is still floating around and they have it in Kindle. That is a great resource for finding your season/color.

Ladylike said...

To Evaline,
The most valuable discussion of color I read in recent years was in "Style on a Shoestring" by Andy Paige. This intelligent former model shares generously all the secrets she learned about color while working in the fashion industry (and more). She doesn't promote the idea that different people should wear different colors but rather makes the case that most women need more color in their wardrobes. She describes the magic of color blocking, is an advocate of rich jewel tones, and explains the need for colorful accessories to make our outfits pop. Most importantly she illuminates the concept of putting colors together from opposite sides of the color wheel for maximum effect. The skirt i am wearing today is a case in point. It's a navy silk skirt printed with an orange and white scarf like print. Orange and blue are on opposite sides of the color wheel. Ann Taylor knows what they are doing! At any rate, I highly recommend the book. Enjoy!

Vicki Zimmerman said...

Love this idea to take what you have and make it work even better for you and the way you live. This reminds me of a nude cotton sleeveless dress I use as a gilet over a column of white, wearing it with a white tee and white jeans.

I have the same denim dress, in black denim, and I may use it this way, wearing it open, like a long duster or lightweight coat.

Great ideas, Jennifer!

 
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