For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

How to make clothes that don't work, wearable | Layering dresses | Mixing patterns.

Unworn items in your wardrobe?

How do you solve a fashion mistake?
Despite having a great eye for a bargain, and the ability to find a real gem in a sea of rubbish, I still (quite often) make glaring errors when purchasing clothes.

Usually it is because I love the look or the idea of an item (quite often influenced by an image of an 18 year old, size UK 6 with perfect skin and endless legs).

I temporarily lose my grip on reality and think that if I buy said item I will (by some miracle) end up looking like the model in the picture.

What a Fool!

I had bought a beautiful silk dress in a Charity (thrift) shop and just HAD to have it for the wonderful muted autumn colours, unusual pattern and wispy nature of the fabric.

Unfortunately, there were a few problems...
  • It's far too loose on the waist.
  • It clings in the wrong places.
  • It's too short for the weight of fabric.... a bum display in a gust of wind is not cool!
  • It's unlined and without any structure. 
  • It's so thin that you could spit peas through it.
All-in-all a bit of a disaster.

Then there was a green midi-length jersey dress that I paid too much for (stupid money for what is, basically, a long vest top) and can't wear because:
  • I look NOTHING like the model in the brochure.
  • It is too tight (EVERY flaw is on full display...even a tiny wrinkle in my underwear!)
  • It's unlined.
  • It has a strange cut at the neck/shoulders which makes wearing a decent bra impossible (not a good idea, especially over 40).
Oh dear...two depressingly useless items staring out of my wardrobe and gathering dust :-(

I decided to take action!

Thinking outside of the box I decided to put my well-practised layering skills to good use and get these items together.

Bought the 'wrong' clothes? How to make clothes that don't work, wearable | Layering dresses | Mixing patterns.

Bought the 'wrong' clothes? How to make clothes that don't work, wearable | Layering dresses | Mixing patterns.

Mixing patterns

Mixing patterns and rings

Bought the 'wrong' clothes? How to make clothes that don't work, wearable | Layering dresses | Mixing patterns.

Being confident in mixed patterns

Fringed boots

This called out for major pattern mix.

And I felt a jungle vibe....."In the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight!"

I stuck with a muted colour palette (also making me think of autumn, my favourite season).
The weather today seemed to reflect my mood.

First, I needed a belt for the ill-fitting waist on the silk dress.
This leather one is a firm favourite of mine and is thick enough to give some shape but soft and comfortable.
I then reached for my trusty Topshop vintage jacket (which I wore HERE) and just seems to give everything a lift...putting a happy spring in my step.

My cute little fringed cowboy boots, a grab bag and plenty of rings finished things off nicely.

Do you have items lurking in your wardrobe, unworn and gathering dust?
Could you re-work them by layering?

Please let me know in the comments.

Silk Dress: Nicki Plowman
Bodycon midi-dress: Baukjen
Leather Belt: Topshop
Boots: M Originals
Bag: Hidesign
Jacket: Topshop

Linking up to : Throwback ThursdayWhat I woreBrilliant blog postsvisable monday


  1. Layering is always a brilliant Idea. Much more interesting that just a dress.
    Well done.

    1. Thank you Sacramento!
      I do love layers and experimenting (but it is usually borne out of is cold here in Scotland)
      Autumn is my favourite season as I can layer to maximum effect!

  2. So smart! I love the layers and the colors you are wearing, perfect for a redhead!! Great job!

    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday
    Jess xx

    1. Thank you Jess!
      I seem to be drawn to these autumn shades...and I loved the "in the jungle" feel! :-D

  3. This is a brilliant layering and pattern mixing! Just brilliant! I must try something of the sort - I know I've got some wrong clothes. :)))

    1. Thank you Natalia, you are very kind!
      I know women with wardrobes full of unworn clothes that just need a little re-work.
      I am sure you will be able to think of something fabulous!
      Please tag me on social media with a photo of your successful 'new' outfit.

  4. Well Samantha...I must say I have NEVER made an error when buying clothes (ha ha, giggle & guffaw)...I think it's like buying all the produce that looks good and then never getting around to fixing/eating it before it spoils! At least my bad clothing choices don't always go to waste...I'm like you and always try to figure out how to fix things! Most times an alteration will work---I've even added material on the sides of a skirt to make it larger (it fit while was the sitting thing that got in the way)! I love this print are fabulously adventurous!! I aspire to be like you!! jodie

    1. My sewing skills are very basic, I am in awe of anyone who can actually achieve something wearable!
      I hope you feature some of your handy work soon.

  5. Wow! You really made it all work. I love it!! Now, I need to try the same techniques. Thank you for this post Samantha. I adore your funky style!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

    1. I applied the "If in doubt, go all-out" philosophy to this outfit.
      I had nothing to loose as neither item was getting any wearing.... always worth a try!


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