Thursday, January 13, 2011

Librarian to Luxe Pencil Skirt

gray tweed skirt after

Makeover time!

A huge mistake people make with thrifting is buying ill-fitting albeit interesting pieces to begin with. Sartorial success starts with the fit. If it doesn't fit, nothing you do to it or wear with it will fix the problem.
This skirt caught my eye because it had a few things going for it: Gray tweed is timeless, the cut is nice over the hips, and the black-piped pockets are a good touch.
As a business uniform, it was impeccable. There is definitely a place in the wardrobe for anonymous well-tailored pieces, but if your wardrobe is full of Jane Does, something needs a makeover!

I stitched the back slit shut, then trimmed a few inches off the hemline to bring it slightly above the knee. It is still office appropriate, (at least in the offices I've worked) but party-ready too!
One reason hemming is loathsome is all the measuring and pinning. Trying to turn tweed under 1/2" evenly is tricky, so I cut very carefully, then stitch around the bottom at 1/2". This keeps it from unraveling and allows you to evenly pin a fabric that laughs in the face of a conventional steam iron!

gray tweed skirt after-detail

I exchanged the ho-hum plastic button for something more custom. Clothes and kitchens have this in common: Changing the hardware changes everything!
I also added the paillette and bead details around the bottom. The beads remind me of rolling aluminum foil beads as a child.

gray tweed skirt after- hem detail

Why it works: The tone-on-tone paillettes and beads add sparkle without going overboard. The new button references the new shine and the angularity of the pocket trim.

Wear it to the office with a twin set and sensible Farragamos.
Wear it to a party with a black lace blouse and vertiginous heels.
Wear it on the weekend with a caramel colored leather jacket, white t, and Chucks.

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