Feed on

Remodeling my wardrobe:

Back in 1997, I wore my skirts in two lengths. Either Ginger Spice or Jinger Duggar.

Then :



At that point in my life I labored under myriad arbitrary, rigid, random, and utterly nonsensical self-imposed fashion rules. Skirts could either be short or long; no mid-length. No animal prints ever. Pink was NG (the above dress was my sole concession to pink and only because the print contained a great deal of burgundy). No dress pants. Nothing “frilly.” No florals.

In the years since my college days, I have broken pretty much every rule I used to follow. Nowadays, almost all of my skirts hit near the knee. I wear dress pants. I think leopard print is a top-notch accent pattern. Especially with stripes, plaid, or florals. I wear pink. Regularly. I have quite possibly the frilliest blouse in the Western world:

Anyway, I have been going through my wardrobe lately and getting rid of some stuff that just doesn’t work for me and re-working some things that have untapped potential. The dress and skirt above were in the “to-refurbish” pile.

I just couldn’t let the dress go; I love the fabric too much. I got it in a hell of a sale at Hancock Fabrics in Rapid City, SD. It’s 100% silk and it’s a really great paisley pattern. I reckoned that I could detach the bodice (it was a 1970s style babydoll dress) and drop the skirt down to the natural waist and put it over an underskirt, since there always were cling and show-through problems with this dress. I had some pink crepe in my stash that I thought would be a pretty close match to the lighter pink in the paisley print and when I dug it out, I discovered that it was a close to perfect as you can get.

It didn’t go on my dummy quite right because the dummy has a skirt frame built into it that is just about 2″ wider than this skirt is at the hipline and so it couldn’t be pulled down to the natural waistline like it’s supposed to be. On me, however, it is just fine. And I am really happy with how the underskirt turned out. I was going for a circa 1914 overskirt/underskirt look. With the underskirt, the silk hangs better than it ever did in the past and the whole thing is just so much more wearable. Even back in my Ginger Spice days, I felt a little overexposed in the silk sundress. It was so skimpy and so diaphanous and it really didn’t feel much better than running around naked. I think I maybe only wore it a half dozen times in all the years I have owned it. It will get much more use now!

With the plaid skirt it was a lack of practicality that brought about its re-styling. Basically, it’s not realistic to try to ride a bicycle in an ankle-length skirt. Right around knee length is better. I ended up cutting about a foot off the top of the skirt and gathering it back into the waistband. The fabric is a really nice quality wool and it’s still colors I wear a lot, so I didn’t see any reason not to re-work it into a style more conducive to my lifestyle. I thought of cutting it off from the bottom so I wouldn’t have to fool with the waistband, but I like a fuller skirt and I thought that it would be better to cut it off from the top and lightly gather it. I wear flared or full skirts mostly these days and so this works better with my usual silhouette.

My personal style has shifted quite a lot since I was 20 (and with good reason, too!) but it’s nice to keep a few older pieces in the running.

One Response to “Remodeling my wardrobe:”

  1. Celia says:

    Nice post.

Leave a Reply