For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Restyle your Shopping Mistakes.

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

Shopping mistakes...we all make them!

Do you ever buy things that end up hanging (unworn) in your wardrobe?
Do you ever waste money on clothes that you never wear, and just end up revisiting those 'old faithfuls' day in and day out?

If the answer is yes then don't worry, you are not alone!
Far from it.
Most of us have had a few (read: a lot!) of shopping mistakes.

I am VERY guilty of succumbing to that moment of shopping madness...
Where I see an item on the mannequin (or on a 6 foot model in a glossy magazine) and fall in love.

The price may be right (or not!).
The quality is there (sometimes).
It's cool, it's funky and I LOVE it!
Resistance is futile....Buy buy BUY!!!

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

Then comes the guilt...

We get home and that shopping high is quickly replaced by a sinking feeling of guilt.
The shame of realising your shiny new item is all wrong.
An expensive (and embarrassing) mistake.
Do you hide yours in the bottom of the wardrobe?
I have mine hanging, tags swinging...mocking me.
Curses to my gullibility!

It's just wrong.

Sometimes you can't quite put your finger on what is wrong with your new purchase..
Maybe it's the wrong fit, the wrong cut, the wrong fabric or just too revealing and uncomfortable.
Whatever the issue, it hangs in the wardrobe for weeks/months/years...
{Delete as appropriate to your hoarding tendencies}

Then, finally, you give in to the shame, and donate it (either to a friend or to the local charity shop).
A complete waste of time and money.
Guilt inducing failure.

Wait a minute!

But, hang on in there..
There is a way to rework these shopping failures.
Giving them some style CPR.
Bringing them back to life.
Maybe even shaking up other items in your wardrobe, in the process.

Take this dress, for example...

This beautiful little dress was hanging in a charity shop (years ago) looking gorgeous and funky.
It is so beautifully made, and fully lined in a contrast fabric.
A joy against the skin.
Fun, flirty and full of 70's style fun.
{I looked up these collared halterneck dresses, online, and they seemed a popular dressmaking patterns, in the 70's}

It is potentially sexy, fun and fashionable, with a retro vibe.
What's not to love?

However, I feel "silly" (and almost naked) when I wear it.
I have no idea why.
Maybe the cut reveals too much flesh, and I don't like it!
It has been hanging in my wardrobe for an age, making me wonder,
"What was I thinking?"
But, it is too beautiful to throw away.

The time has come for some action!

Luckily for me (and this dress) the 'Bare Shoulders' trend is everywhere this spring/summer.
And, no wonder!
It is sexy (without looking cheap) and our shoulders hardly age at all.
Great news if you are worried about a crepey cleavage or veiny legs...shoulders are "En Vogue!"

I decided to pair this beautiful dress with this cute bardot top.

{Another neglected item that is too flimsy, and too short, to really make an impact on my outfits. Although I did wear it with my arch-enemy...the dreaded culottes!}

The navy and tan stripes of the bardot top were the perfect partner for this dress, allowing me to bare my shoulders without feeling too exposed, or trashy.

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

My friend had spotted this gorgeous leather belt, on the clearance rack at Tkmax, for £3.
It is a beauty, and I can see it going with many different looks.
She is a clever cookie!

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

As the look was mostly denim and tan, these tan peeptoe booties were the obvious choice for me.
I can see myself wearing these a lot  this summer.

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

My bargain-tastic leather bag (another charity shop gem), a couple of colourful rings and some simple gold hoops, finished things off perfectly!

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

How you can rework your shopping disasters:

Problem: The colour is all wrong.

Problem: It is a sloppy fit.

  • Invest a few pounds in getting the item altered at a tailor or seamstress. 
  • Sleeves can be shortened, darts created, waistbands narrowed, hems name it they can (probably) do it!

Problem: The top half is too revealing. 

Problem: The hemline is too short.

Problem: The fabric is cheap, unflattering and flimsy.

Fake Fabulous | Restyle your mistakes | Denim halterneck dress and tan.

Please let me know what you think...Did I save this dress?
Do you have "mistakes" hanging in your wardrobe?
Please share in the comments...or tweet me @samantha4blair

Dress: Next..found in a Charity shop (similar)
Top: Newlook (this one is cute)
Nails (toes): Mavala 
Bag: Charity shop! (this one is similar :oD)
Belt: TkMaxx (this one is nice)
Shoes: c/o JD Williams

If you liked this post you might like:

Bought the 'wrong' clothes?
How to re-work a frumpy item.
Bare shoulders and flares.

Shop a similar look:



  1. Ahhh Samantha---of course I've never made any shopping mistakes (ha ha haaaaa)!!
    Let me continue the sarcasm and say I don't consider them mistakes...they are other personalities that pop out when I'm shopping and take over!!
    But your points are perfect and valid. Why not take what you have and experiment with them in ways you might not have thought at first??
    Or especially doing some alterations can make something totally better!
    As for your dress, I think it's wonderful. I've always liked the halter tops anyways!
    I challenge you to try this with a blouse in the fall or a v-neck long sleeve shirt! Especially now that denim is huge in every piece of clothing.
    Of course those booties are the cat's meow (I'm sure I'm slightly biased as I recently got a pair almost like them)!
    I'd have to say you're a hot tamale!! jodie

    1. Thank you so much Jodie...I will take you up on that challenge :oD
      I was a chilly tamale in these shots.
      I cast off my cardi and stood shivering shouting to hubby "Warn me when you are going to press the shutter, so I can look warm!". Hahaha, crazy eh? But, I thought my cardigan would defeat the purpose of the photos. The dress was fine indoors, but out in the is still jacket season here! XXX

  2. I envy those that can go either braless or strapless. I highly doubt I will be sporting the bare shoulders unless the perky boob fairy makes a visit. Whenever I've tried strapless bras I'm left constantly adjusting myself and sweating that a major wardrobe malfunction is about to take place.

    I love the whole look. Especially those fab 1970's vibe glasses.

    I think you did a great job with the dress. I could also see it working well with a turtleneck and tights for cooler weather.

    I hear you loud and clear about not wanting to part with well made pieces. When I thrift I'm open to trying more things that I might not otherwise and sometimes that can be challenging. Also I find what I like or dislike depends entirely on my mood and how I'm feeling about myself that day. That is why I loath to get rid of items. Tomorrow I might wake up a totally different person and love said item.


    1. Suzanne, the perky boob fairy has not visited me either. This is a great strapless bra (DKNY) and firmly grabs my ribs...without the pain. I have to admit that I only have a small bust to hold fact (if I am honest) the bra is not really holding them up, just covering...and it is padded too, to add a bit more oomph into the bust of this dress. I don't see the point in strapless bras for larger busts, they must feel precarious?
      As for your comment about mood....that is me all over!
      Who I am depends on the day.
      Anything of good quality is a keeper, even if I put it into storage (my loft) for a few months/years. Quality has a long shelf life.

  3. Wow! You look amazing, definately loving this combo - it's such a great idea.
    I often think the best outfits start with a failed purchase.
    My favourite thing is to shop in my closet and put together unlikely outfits, saves money too.
    Keep up the good work Samantha!

    1. Thank you Karen, I have to admit to being a total sucker for a bargain or a new item. However, I am determined to do more of this "shopping your closet" that I read about. Being more inventive and having fun with my older clothes. XXX

  4. I really like this outfit! I'm glad you found such a great solution to make the dress work for you!

    And great tips for making clothes that don't quite work for you work!

    1. Thank you Andrea! I know that sometimes it is hard to see past a "mistake", but, with a little invention, they can be wearable again. XXX

  5. it's a really lovely dress, and it works nicely as a layered piece!, you look gorgeous, summery and fresh, very elegant with a touch of 70's style!
    I'm loving your advices about re-styling shopping mistakes. I've tryed to layer some of them, and also tryed to re-purpose them: wearing a sleeveless top as a waistcoat, or a shirt as a jacket, sometimes it works!
    Fabulous and very inspiring post!

    1. Thank you Monica! I am loving the idea of the sleeveless top as a waistcoat....I am off to find an old knit of mine (too good a quality to bin, I have had it for about 20 years and worn it once) to see if I can give it a new lease of life! You have just inspired me, thank you :oD

  6. Samantha every so often I say to you that this is my favourite look... well here I am saying that again today. I too am so happy that shoulders are "in" as this gives us all a new angle on our styling. Your take on it is inspired, sexy without being trashy and you look just like you've walked out of a fashion magazine. Brilliant way of bringing these two (sometimes troublesome) items together with such aplomb. Bravo, young lady!
    Anna's Island Style

    1. Thank you so much Anna! "Aplomb", such a massive compliment within one word. You are very kind.
      I have to admit that I might be warming to this old dress! XXX

  7. I LOVE this combo! The dress, the top, the accessories! You look fantastic!
    Eileen | Instagram | Facebook

  8. You've given us some real food for thought here, Samantha. And I must say I love what you've done with the denim dress - it looks stunning on you. Denim and tan is one of my favourite combinations too :)
    I've got loads of style mistakes in my wardrobe - a few of which are tight mini dresses (what on earth was I thinking?!!) I'm 40... how am I going to wear them without looking slutty? Or like mutton dressed as lamb. I'm not sure, I might just have to chop off the bottom and use them tops!
    Suzy x

    1. Thank you Suzy! Denim and tan is a classic colour combo, you are rights. Perfect for mixing not so classic items together :oD.
      As for your tight mini dresses...don't despair! You don't have to look slutty (or like mutton). Flat shoes, opaques, long waistcoats/cardigans, layering a slouchy knit/sweatshirt over the top, wearing a scarf then belting it, layering a looser dress over the top, wear capri's or skinnies underneath....there are LOADS of things you can do! Being 40 is not a reason to give up the minis if you like them and they make you happy. XXX

    2. Gosh you're full os fabulous ideas, Samantha! Thank you so much. Need to go and have a rummage through my wardrobe right now :D xx

    3. Please keep me posted Suzy...I am always looking for inspiration! :oD X

  9. Super cool and fun! Thanks so much for linking up with Fun Fashion Friday!

    Dawn Lucy

  10. I'm so behind on leaving comments for you. I've admired this outfit and wanted to tell you just how hot it is, but life has been busy lately. I am. Late to the game to tell you that this one...this outfit is amazing. I'd wear it all.

    1. Thank you Norbyah. It really does mean a lot to me that you have taken the time to leave a comment. Life can get crazy at times! I hope you get a moment to breathe soon. XXX

  11. Fabulous restyling, and I especially appreciate your great ideas about how one might restyle their own shopping mishaps. We've certainly all done it! I love how you outline your formula for success for you, and encourage others to do something similar for themselves. Great blog!


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