Browse Tag: how to

Fun Business Looks

I’m not traditional, by any stretch of imagination. Every day I push the boundaries of fashion in my little world exploring new fabrics, layering and accessorizing. I don’t see professional as being limited to black and grey as most people come to believe. They instantly grab the black suit, white collared shirt, pumps and tiny stud earrings. Blah.

Years ago I learned that in interviews to be memorable, sometimes your presentation has to be exciting moreso than whats on the paper in front of them. I went to an interview for a small community township office reception job, at the time I had dark brown hair with pink underneath and I styled it in such a way that it looked more professional (along with the outfit of course!) and not as loud. When I was hired and arrived for my first day of work I had re-dyed my hair to be more professional and the CEO walked in and said “where did the pink go?!”

Little did I know the staff in the meeting remembered me and referred to me as the girl with pink hair… It stood out rather than “the brunette in the black suit” … hmm not so memorable. From then on I was dressing professional but in my thrifty fun way and they loved it. That office was excited to see what I wore each day. Every day is new and exciting so its more fun to dress as such!


I’ve been asked a few times about a business look for an interview or new job and to be honest my style isn’t that much different when I’m working in a “professional” environment. I’m still colourful and fun, I just add more on the accessory side and more formal footwear. I’ve put together a few of my favourite business looks I’ve worn to the studio in the last two years so you can see the array of styles that are totally office appropriate – unless your office wants a boring black suit of course!

Because of my curves I like to have bright print skirts paired with a matching blouse (usually sleeveless so my arms fit in the blazer sleeves!) and a basic solid colour blazer. Unless I’m wearing a substantial pashmina, necklaces are a must they just add that finishing touch. I’m told pointed toes are on the way out, haha, not in my world! I think a pointed toe is extremely classy and make any outfit look polished. Fitted black jeggings paired with a pointed toe heel or flat is everything. The easiest way to look office ready without trying too hard.

 

My Scarf Obsession




Its no surprise that I love scarves! Scarves of all shapes and sizes! No that’s not true I like long scarves, infinity, pashmina, knits… Although I love the flight attendant look of a small silk scarf tied at the neck, I have yet to try that style out. Long flowing pashminas in an array of colours and prints are my favourite accessory.

I sometimes thrift scarves that I only wear once or twice, because of the colour or the print. Something about them is just too difficult to blend into my wardrobe and I am past saving items for the perfect match. Sometimes that “match” never comes! Such a thing happened recently when I arrived at work and realized I hated my outfit to the point of being really uncomfortable. The scarf I just picked up the week before full of lush pinks and tans was lovely but it just doesn’t go with anything I own… and that’s okay! I don’t need a hundred scarves!




I’ve been asked recently to do a video of styling scarves, I haven’t made it yet but I was noticing a few different ways I wear them in my OOTD’s on Instagram so I thought I would share a few of my favourites recently. Scarves are an easy fun accessory that can be worn alone or with a necklace underneath. Depending on the top or the look I want to achieve, they can be wrapped, tied or hang long.

How to dress, when you’ve gained weight

kimchibluedressIts not easy to say those words is it? That word “weight” combined in the same sentence as “gain” just doesn’t feel good to say. Not that weight gain is bad or should be frowned upon, it is just ingrained in us, especially as women, that weight gain is negative and therefore fills us with disgust.

I have, for the most part, always been the same size and same average weight – but more and more as my work consumes most of my spare time, I find myself having less and less energy to do any sort of physical activity. Combined of course with the stress of searching for your new home and all the wonderful goodies that come along with buying your first home… I’m sure there’s a few stress pounds in there too.

Regardless of the reasons why we gain, we need to be able to dress regardless of our size. By all means don’t go throwing out all your clothing that suddenly no longer fits. For all you know this could be a fluctuation which happens in women’s bodies. Sometimes I wake up and can’t fit into a pair of shorts, by the afternoon those same shorts are falling down. This could be just me, but my weight shifts over the course of the day. Continue Reading

How to Hem Jeans

If you cannot view this video please view it on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3_lYrfOSN0

I went through all my blog posts and was surprised to see I haven’t posted a tutorial on how to hem your jeans or pants! I have done this basic tutorial in the form of a YouTube video so that you can follow step by step how I change my pants to be slightly shorter. I find most women do not sew anything for themselves, let alone alter their own pants to fit. Unless you’re buying new you can’t pick and chose the length of your jeans! Most times I end up with pants that are way too long. The only time I don’t have to alter them is the boyfriend or cropped style which is mean to be capri length.

I hope you find this tutorial useful! Be warned if you are highly trained in the art of sewing, I do not use correct terminology – technique or fancy bells and whistles. This is a basic, beginner tutorial to get by!

Tutorial: How to Close the Gap!

I have come to believe that all clothing is made to fit a variety of shapes and sizes, but that “fit” might not be what’s best for you no matter what you try. We are not built the same, our bodies retain weight in different areas and we sometimes never lose or gain it in the places we hope for. For instance my shape is very hour glass, my thighs and hips are a healthy size – small waist – and then back out for my ribcage. Now most would think this is an easily flattering womanly shape to have, but if you are this shape, you know that isn’t always an easy task.

I cannot speak to all shapes but having seen thousands of women try on clothing at the store, I know its very few and far between when an outfit fits your shape perfectly first try. More often than not is the “model-esque” bodies that appear to look the best in everything, but that is mainly the result of these women having essentially no body fat or curves to worry about. The clothing appears to hang loosely off their body as the designer probably intended. Often we will sigh and say the designers these days just aren’t making clothes to fit “real” women, when really we should be saying to ourselves: this doesn’t work for me, but there will be one that will.

How to Close the GapIn my case bottoms are a real challenge. I have a sizable behind, wide hips and thick thighs – but my waist is very small. Naturally I have to go a size up to fit in the thigh and bum. This also means I will have a lovely gap at the back of my pants due to the serious difference in size between said tush and waist area. Luckily there is a rather simple fix to this issue, so long as you are will to spend a few minutes sewing!

How to Close the Gap I’m now at a point where I don’t really have to measure the amount that it needs to come in, its a rough 1 inch typically. After analysing the fit of the pants in the mirror I estimate how much needs to be taken in. Flipping the pants inside out, I can fold the amount that needs to be removed from the top of the waist to the point where it will meet my bum. This is the length that the “dart” will need to be.

How to Close the Gap Now that you have an idea of how much space needs to be removed, my first step is to unpick the label that is inevitably sewn right into the back of the pants. If you’re lucky it’ll be screen printed to the actual fabric and you won’t have to do this tedious task! Once the label is out you will have an easier time removing the belt loop. Set it aside for reattaching later.

How to Close the Gap With the belt loop off and the label removed you can now fold the centre back of the pants at the seam. I like to fold it tightly and pin so that it doesn’t shift, making sure the reverse side seam is lined up. This isn’t crucial its just a nice little detail to be aware of. I often forget!

How to Close the Gap With my sewing machine I begin with a stitch that runs from the top of the fold (in this case about 1 cm into the fold) and angle the stitch slowly toward the edge of the pant. This so called “dart” makes the alteration taper nicely, unnoticeable even!

How to Close the Gap Once your folded stitch has been completed – I usually do it a max of 2 inches long – try the pants on to see how they fit. If all has gone smoothly you won’t have to make any further adjustments. Worst case scenario you’ll have to remove the thread with a seam ripper and try again either folding more fabric or less, perhaps making the length of the dart longer or shorter depending on the issue.

IMG_7116 And finally, once you are completely happy with the adjustments you’ve made you may (if you want it to be permanent) trim the excess from the fold and reattach the belt loop by stitching it on manually.

Giving Your Shoes a Facelift!

It can be pretty expensive at times even when you thrift, to keep up with the latest styles and trends. Some days we even find ourselves caving and rushing to the mall and spending a fortune because at that particular moment – you HAD to have them! Honestly I do not recall an instance where I was thrilled with my decision to do this – and nine times out of ten the item sits in the closet because I found something better thrifting several months later.

Painted Shoes Painted Shoes

One thing that I have always found interesting about friends is their shoe collections. Not to mention the widely acknowledged joke about women with far too many shoes. Because of my uncommon tiny foot size, fat-less ankle and high instep, finding a size 5.5 shoe that doesn’t look like grandma’s is a very difficult feat. Lately I have noticed my feet shrinking even more, combined with the wear and stretching ability of thrift footwear.

Painted Shoes Painted Shoes


Two years ago I was invited to a military ball. As you may or may not know, these are very formal events usually requiring an expensive gown of some sort. You know me, to Value Village I went! Lucked out with the dress but the footwear was impossible as always. I found myself going to Spring and dishing out a pile of money for gold sequin wedges – quite simply because the sparkle pumps I was hoping for I couldn’t walk in! I am a dancer so I need something I can dance all night in. Wouldn’t you know it, the guys wanted to leave the ball before the dancing even started!

It was a pointless purchase as cool as they were, I never wore them again… until one day I decided I wanted a pair of nude/fleshtone shoes to wear with my dresses. When I go out on weekends I like to have some height so I typically wear either a medium heel or my J.Lo wedges which always grab attention due to their huge size. Believe it or not, they are the most comfortable bar shoes I have ever owned.

I got out the paints and decided to attack these sequined beasts in hopes of improving them. I was never going to wear gold sequins, the outfits one could wear are just too limited to justify owning such a pair of shoes. So I mixed paint over and over to achieve my skintone in acrylic paint. It was certainly going to have a textured effect which was just fine with me. I gave them a good two coats, even changing the colour a second time so it was more accurate.

After the two coats I did a light sealer of clear gloss medium in hopes of giving it a more finished look. Honestly that step should be repeated as it was a very thin coat. But I wore them out that weekend and they went over really well! They didn’t stand out and by extension, made my legs look longer.

The topic of painting shoes came up at the office one day last month, as to whether there were techniques and methods of doing it successfully. I didn’t really have any answers just my basic acrylic application – so I decided to do a little research! I found three great articles that are very interesting for making your footwear more exciting!

Shoes Get the Death Penalty

Destroying My ShoesSometimes even shoes you love, must be subjected to the death penalty. No electricity required, just scissors or a garbage can. I tend to push the limits with my clothing, especially my shoes. Thrift shoes are both wonderful and not at the same time, as this footwear is already worn in so they tend to be far more comfortable than new – however this also means their life span is a lot shorter than you would expect. Both a positive and a negative in their own right.

Don’t get me wrong I loved these white flats with the ankle buckle, it really pained me (quite literally!) to have to enforce this terrible fate. The first few times I wore them they were perfectly fine, but due to the slick lining my feet did occasionally slide or sweat. Very strange sole I can honestly say I haven’t seen a shoe like it. The last two times I gave these shoes a chance at life they tore up my toes in the most excruciating and annoying way possible. No three strikes for these bad boys!

 

I did happen to find a pair of 725 Originals white (replacement) flats at Value Village last week. Very simple and sweet. So I took those home and later that evening decided to take the buckle flats off the shelf. They didn’t go far, just to the floor as I decided what to do with them. It then occurred to me the part I liked about them was the ankle buckle – unfortunately I’m not able to redesign these new flats with the same ankle design but I could reconstruct them to be a decorative addition to the toe of the shoe. As it exists now, the design at the toe is a simple knot which I will be removing and attaching the buckle piece across in its place.

I didn’t have my glue gun handy so I couldn’t do this all in one go, so it is still a work in progress. I cut the buckle flats in such a way that they could be worn, by removing the toe completely – which is what was cutting my toes in the first place and removing the back zipper as well as the buckle. I plan to see if they are salvageable by painting them, adding either an elastic or ribbon to the back where the zipper used to be… I’m not 100% sure what I’ll do, but what’s the worst that can happen? These painful shoes go in the garbage!

Thrift Store Fashionista: How to Dress Yourself in Hard Times

Article by Brigitte Pittsa

You’ve called yourself the “one and only” fashionista or several variations on that phrase. Every Saturday, your friends didn’t call you because they knew that you would be doing your weekly shopping crawl among your favorite stores and boutiques. Before this flipping recession started, things were pretty darn awesome for you and your closet. Now that both times and your budget have changed, your shopping habits should probably change right along with them.

You may know people who get great items from their thrift store expeditions, but you’ve shied away from your neighborhood establishment in the past. You might have thought they were musty places where tunnel people and those who want to look like them shop. Those times are no more. Here’s how to add to your already stylish wardrobe and not look like the latest unfortunate victim of that flipping recession you’re tired of hearing about all the time.

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