Browse Tag: dress

Sweater Dress Weather

bananarepublicsweaterdressI think I found one heck of a deal last week when I came across this sweater dress by Banana Republic at Value Village. Originally $12.99, minus 30% off coupon I got it for under $10. Banana Republic for under $10?! BR dresses run from $150 to $200 typically, even on sale they’re riding the fine line around $100.

As much as I can lose my faith in the pricing at VV, this one reassures me that there are still deals to be found! It had a few flaws on the arms which is common practice for sweaters they do get bally when they catch on things. Simple fix? Just snip them off!

This is the ultimate cozy winter dress, with a soft cowl style neck, long sleeves and ends just above the knee. A denim jacket adds that extra splash of colour on this overall tan palette, with a wrapped scarf for added detail.

The Wow! Business Look

franklymandressWho says business professional has to be boring black suits?! Check out this fabulous look I put together for a local business expo one of my employers took part in! I have owned this dress for a few years, made some alterations to it back in the day (took up the hem so it sits above the knee) but never found an opportunity to wear it.

I wanted to look professional but sophisticated and stylish at the same time. I just hate the solid black dress and blazer that most women resort to for these events! What’s wrong with a splash of colour? I do not recall if this is a Joseph Ribkoff or Frank Lyman, regardless its stunning and feels like a tshirt when it’s on.

Paired with a 3/4 sleeve blazer and point toe pumps, and vibrant aqua jewellery of course!
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Roz & Ali Redesign

rozandali This gorgeous Roz & Ali dress has been laying on top of my sewing desk for most of August and September as I knew it would be a project that required a lot of time and effort. I love boxy dresses but they do not fit my shape (hips & bum require more structure!) but this dress was so stunning and it fit over all the necessary parts quite well.

In order to make this dress fit I would need to take it from a 12 to a 6 but keeping in mind the intricacy of the print. I started at the top and worked my way down, beginning with a dart in both shoulders as mine are rather narrow.

The dress was also considerably longer and sat awkwardly below the knee, which on my height and shape – makes me look shorter and wider! Not good. The waist was elastic which didn’t sit at my waist, so that was going to be a challenge to adjust. Step one – hem over top of the elastic section with a loose stitch to ensure the look would be right. The print doesn’t line up but it didn’t with the elastic either. I simply belt it and it looks finished!

I had to take in quite a few inches above the bum due to removing the elastic that held all the extra elastic together. A few stitch-tryon-stitch-tryon’s later and it started to form a more flattering shape. Unfortunately I still felt a little uncomfortable wearing it to work, by the time I arrived at my second job I realized it was only the interior lining (which never lines up correctly when redesigning!) was short – causing me to think the dress was too short.

A few seconds later with the assistance of my mother (because she was standing there with scissors and its a pain to take on and off) cut out the lining from the waist down. It was the perfect classy outfit for work and received a ton of compliments all day long.

The Pantyhose Dilemna

greenpinkprintdress I recently intercepted a conversation being had between a woman trying on outfits suitable for her daughter’s wedding and a friend. Each time the woman came out of the changeroom in a new dress they critiqued, hmm’d and haa’d over what was most flattering, what message it gave off and what her conservative daughter would think.

This woman has tried on many outfits in our store over the course of the week. I did not catch the date of the event, but she kept coming back to “do you think my conservative daughter would approve?” Continue Reading

Little Jack Dress

pinkjackdress I have the unique situation of seeing beautiful clothing on a regular basis by the job position that I hold. Now our shoppers love to comment that we must have huge closets, that we can’t possibly have pay cheques working here, etc. Our response is always the same because its something people don’t consider: it doesn’t always fit us. The shoppers always find that hard to believe, but we don’t necessarily need it just because it fits and looks good. Like you, we have bills to pay!

There are however, moments when certain consignors walk through the door and my heart pounds a little faster. Its that thrill of knowing there’s a great potential for some exciting treasures to be found by this woman walking towards you. Now this isn’t to say every time they bring things in to consign I end up with no pay cheque, but I’m always excited to see what unique things they have discovered in the “real” stores. One woman buys lovely things that she hardly wears. Any time she walks in, she’s on break at work, hard hat and painted jeans. But her clothing is beautiful brand names, fitted dresses and pristine jeans.

One afternoon this particular consignor brought in her usual load, and this stunning hot pink dress was in the mix. I can’t say I didn’t move quickly to get the items priced so I could try it on! This gorgeous rich pink print dress by Jack captured my complete attention. I was so thrilled at how beautifully it fit, no alterations required!

New Colour Palette

purpledressrwandco I have always liked purple, but I find it eludes me. If ever I’m shopping I admire the rich violets but more often than not they have a stain or a rip that prevents me from buying it. This RW&Co dress was consigned at the Store last week and I instantly fell in love with the colour and style.

Both formal and casual, easy to wear and only required a small adjustment. Just a quick stitch in the waist to wear to work, but later will need proper adjusting to make it hang correctly. Could this be the start of a new palette for my wardrobe?!

The Dress Obsession

peachdress In my expert opinion: “Ain’t nothing wrong with that!” Dresses are such a great wardrobe staple for me, when they fit great, they are easy and comfortable. Not only that they are always fun to style up with accessories!

Let me tell you about two new favourite dresses, one snatched up for under $10 at Value Village – no label mixed into the long sleeved tops… the other a consigned dress by Gentle Fawn. Believe it or not I made absolutely no alterations to the peach dress! I was as surprised as you are. It’s one of my favourite colours this season and goes perfectly with all the jewellery I own.

gentlefawndress The printed dress by Gentle Fawn has the most beautiful print, everything that is me – not to mention a beautiful scallop detail along the bottom! When I saw it I had to have it. The only alteration required was my usual inch or so up in the shoulder straps! The necklace I’m wearing with both dresses was thrifted from Value Village for $4 (as a set) with the intent to take it apart. It was such a great style I decided to keep it!

Turquoise Fever

turquoiseblouse For as long as I can remember I have been in love with turquoise. What more can I say, its simply a beautiful vibrant colour. My coworkers are never surprised when I walk in wearing something new in this colour, usually full of wild prints and layered accessories. Naturally I have a lot of jewellery that is the same palette, both light and dark tones as well as matching sandals.

turquoisesws My recent favourite pieces in this eye-popping shade, is a simple dress by Streetwear Society (I was surprised too!) and this lovely sleeveless blouse. Both are super easy to style up when you all have all these matching accessories to play with!

Double the Excitement

whitedress Now this is a story. When you think, yeah I probably shouldn’t go thrifting because I was just there and odds are there is nothing new and definitely nothing I need. Well it was a long day and I needed to unwind! (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) So I popped into the Village and perused the dress rack to discover a gorgeous white dress with a crochet top section, drawstring and beautiful lines. This dress was brand new with the tags still on, a brand Chelsea I believe, if only I had written it down before chopping out all the labels… wasn’t a brand or company I had ever heard of. It was $14.99 which normally I wouldn’t bother with but I thought what the heck, it was completely me I just had to know.

turquoisedressI take a few steps down and wouldn’t you know it, a second dress identical with tags as well in my absolute favourite shade of rich turquoise! I snatched that one up to on the chance that the first one fit. I only have one word to describe these dresses: perfection. Adjustable straps? Check. Crochet details? Check. Shapely design? Check. Favourite two colours? Check. I was blown away I didn’t think again about not having a coupon I was buying these two straight up because I would never find anything so beautiful and so comfortable. To this day they are my favourite, although I haven’t worn the turquoise out yet the white is definitely the easiest dress to accessorize!

*Update: I tried out the turquoise, LOVE IT!

Vintage Redesign

vintageredesign1 My greatest regret with this dress is that it did not occur to me almost 4 years ago to take a “before” photograph. Although in my mind the original dress I can see clear as day. Big boxy style, long sleeved and bursting with colour. It was the first dress I ever attempted to redesign and to this day, I consider it to be the greatest success.

The strips down the sides of the dress are the original sleeves. As sadly I don’t know what body could have fit into the original dress the top half was massive and the bottom couldn’t fit over my thighs! A few quick snips and insertion into the side seams fixed that problem easy enough, also it adds a little more fun in the design.

vintageredesign3The neckline was really unique and I wanted to keep the original base design. Cutting out the sleeves strategically left a really unique arrangement at the neck for structure. The only issue I’ve had with this dress (aside from the fact that its such a light fabric I can only wear it in the dead heat of summer) is that it has loose hanging fabric in the front. Now maybe on some body types it is quite flattering, but on me it just felt awkward. When I first wore the dress a few years back I simply tucked it into my belt… now I finally decided to fix the issue and sew it right down where it was most flattering – but still keeping a similar drape effect.

vintageredesign2 My favourite way to accessorize this dress is with gold, a micro belt, earrings or a loud necklace perhaps – although honestly the dress speaks for itself and hardly needs enhancement! I did a #tbt Throwback Thursday on Instagram to this dress when it was first redesigned, and decided seeing as the weather was gorgeous I would bring it out of the back of the closet! This time though, it dawned on me that I had left my gold flip flops in Cuba the last time I went on a trip! Ohhhh dear.

Blue Jessica Dress

bluewhitejessicadress It’s finally dress season in Ontario, gorgeous warm May weather inspires me to style up fun dresses with belts, flats and bold jewellery. Two weeks ago there was a half price sale at Value Village so I thought I ought to pop in “just in case” to see if there was anything I had to have.

Using my technique to prevent splurge shopping, I photographed some items I liked and tried on the day before. The only item that was of interest from that list of items was this blue and white print dress by Jessica. Every now and again Jessica surprises me by having very stylish prints… I must say I’m impressed!

Now this dress I found in the 16 section of the dresses. I am by no means a 16 but there is also no way that this dress is a true 16… I am guessing it was mislabelled in the factory as Jessica is a brand that tends to be on the larger side. I knew it would be an easy alteration if it was indeed a large size. When I tried it on the next morning at home I was very surprised at how nice it fit around the thigh/hip area. Anyone bigger than an 8 would not be able to fit in this dress! The top half however had way too much room for my frame so a few adjustments were in order.

I simply removed the pointless side zipper for comfort and sliced the dress in half. I loved the bottom trim but unfortunately the dress was an unflattering below the knee length. I cut it across the waistline and hemmed it by a few inches (hidden under the belt). I think it turned out rather well!

Dress For Yourself

Kismet DressThere are days when we try very hard to get dressed, be fashionable and feel confident but it simply doesn’t work. I have these every now and again, usually due to the realization the outfit will be too warm or too cold, which then sets me into a frustrated state trying to come up with something more appropriate. On this particular morning, I had let some negative remarks made by others (jealous perhaps) get to me and it completely brought me down. I had curled my hair, then heard their negative opinion regarding my hair in my head – I ended up washing it out. I styled up my outfit, then heard the negative comments about the jeans not being their favourite. All these road blocks just from hearing other people’s opinions that were not my own.

I try to promote dressing well in general. I’m not trying to say what you should or shouldn’t wear, but rather help those that need inspiration on how to style the pieces you have or clothing you like. Maybe the jeans you’re wearing aren’t your friend’s favourite, but the point is, they’re yours. They don’t realize you like them, you like the colour, you like the way they feel and how you feel when you wear them. People are very opinionated.

This outfit came from a morning of tears and frustration, negative remarks I overcame with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was given this green and light pink print dress by Kismet a few months ago in hopes I would be able to create something with it. I decided to try it on and wouldn’t you know it – aside from the length it was actually a very flattering dress! To my surprise I instantly felt more slim, the lumps and bumps were minimized by the wild print… I plunked down at the sewing machine and took it up a few inches to a more flattering length and voila!

I had not worn my pink Danier leather jacket since last spring but I would need a warmer layer for at the store. It really did wonders to pull the pink out from the dress! Styled up with a cozy knit scarf and my DIY leg warmers! I had this American Eagle sweater for a few years – I tried wearing it a few times but ultimately it was too short and probably shrunk. I hung on to it for no particular reason, maybe thinking one day I’d be a size 3 again – but in a matter of seconds, the decision was made and leg warmers were made! A quick stitch around the edge to hold the yarn together and chopped the sleeve away from the sweater. Done and done!