Weekly Roundup: Assorted Items

Here are some items that have been winners on clients and forum members recently, or that simply caught my eye. I haven’t seen the items from Scandinavian & Other Stories in person yet, but know the store from regular visits to see my Dad in the Netherlands. Like COS, the store is owned by H&M. The merchandise is very different to COS. Not as crisp, architectural and well made, but not budget fast fashion either.

  • Jérôme Dreyfuss Bob Crossbody Bag: A client who does not enjoy carrying clutches is using this bag for dressier settings because it has a convenient strap. It's GORGEOUS and looks prettier in person.
  • Organic Cotton Denim Tie Shirt - Blue - Shirts - & Other Stories: Denim shirts can look overly Western, stiff and masculine if that's not your thing. I'm drawn to this one because it has a soft, pretty and retro vibe. Best suited to those who like to wear high necklines. I have this on order.
  • COS Draped Wrap Top: A fabulously dramatic tunic for Team Tall & Broad Shoulders. Works best if you can fill it out on the shoulders and bust. Architectural, voluminous, and needs a camisole.
  • Short Utility Crossbody Bag - White - Shoulderbags - & Other Stories: Sporty Luxe Crisp Crossbody Fabness. And for Team Silver Hardware.
  • COS Draped-neck Merino Jumper: An architectural piece for those with a long torso, neck and arms. Works well for a regular length torso too. Quite forgiving of midsection extra bits.
  • COS A-line Top With Pleated Back: Fably arty and drapey. Works well on an apple and inverted triangle body type. Can work on a larger bust. Fun back box pleating. The extreme volume is offset by the shorter length and asymmetrical hem.
  • Banana Republic Vegan Leather Circle Tote Bag: A faux leather tote that lies flat against the body, is roomier than you expect, and comes in three colours. The white comes with silver hardware.
  • Preen By Thornton Bregazzi Tracy ruched floral-print stretch-crepe midi skirt: GORGEOUS structured midi that works as well for straighter figures as it does for curvy figures. The diagonal lines of the seaming, hem and ruching create an interesting and flattering effect on most body types.
  • COS Draped Blouse With Gathering: The extreme gathers and diagonal hem on this top give it structure and interest. Great to see a very fluid top with structure that can be worn out and untucked for a change.
  • COS Silk-cotton Polo Shirt: For those who like a bit of Preppy action, this comes in dark blue too. It could work quite well over a pleated or bias-cut skirt. I have this on order in navy because it could be a good essential.
  • COS Woven-jersey Mix Shirt: A mixed-media shirt with woven front, collar and cuffs, and knitted back and sleeves. Comfortable. Boxy, yet it's just structured enough. Good for Team Tomboy, and comes in white.
  • Deux Lux Annabelle Camera Bag: Well-made casual crossbody bag for Team Cool Tones.
  • BC Belts Vintage Imitation Pearl / Flower Stud Belt: An ornate belt for Team Cool Tones.
  • FitFlop Twiss Crystal Slide: Comfy and supportive sandals that can work as house shoes too. Can fit a lower volume foot and a wider volume foot. Lower volume foot might need to size down half a size. Comes in three neutrals.
  • AFRM AFRM Brynne Print Midi Skirt | Nordstrom: A bias-cut skirt that works on a range of body types. Streamlined and comfortable. Fab with UNTUCKED tops. Comes in two colors and patterns.
  • ALL IN FAVOR All in Favor Rib Knit Midi Dress | Nordstrom: A fun dress for a rectangle or inverted triangle with a smaller bust.
  • Topshop Topshop Horse Scribble Midi Skirt | Nordstrom: Super cute A-line midi nod to the '90s with interesting horse pattern. Works well on a straighter and curvier body type. Works well on a shorter and longer waist. Can be worn with tucked or untucked tops. Very long, but easy to hem.
  • Halogen Halogen Double Ring Leather Belt | Nordstrom: An interesting basic belt that comes in three colours.
  • Calvin Klein Fit and Flare Logo Belt Midi Dress: Fabulous midi for a curvy body type and broader shoulder. Works well on a larger bust despite the high neckline. Nice fit if you can fill it out.
  • Kasper Floral-Print Pleated Top: This top has a subtle front pleat that adds shape and interest. The armholes don't gape too wide either. Fab on a larger bust, forgiving on midsection extra bits, streamlined, and good on a short waist.
  • Duo Zipper Crossbody Bag - Green - Shoulderbags - & Other Stories: A teal crossbody with silver hardware is hard to find. I like the structure and boxiness of this one, although the strap is quite narrow, which can dig into your skin when the bag is heavy.
  • Donna Morgan Women's Mockneck Jersey Dress: This is a great little frock if you like turtlenecks and cool tones. Fitted, yet forgiving. Fab length. Easy to launder and pack. VERY comfy. It would have been mine if the pattern was warm-toned because it's flattering and easy.
  • Banana Republic Fitted Stretch-Cotton Crew-Neck Sweater: Every once in a while, Banana Republic can whack it out of the ballpark - like with these little darlings that are a repeat style. These fitted pullovers are made of substantial fabric, feel great, and are very versatile. Dressier than a T-shirt. More forgiving on the midsection than you think. I can wear them in the Summer and not feel hot. The white is not see-through at all. EXCELLENT layering tops under toppers, easy to launder and pack. Crease-resistant. Crisp and polished. Try them if you like to wear fitted tops. Comes in five colours. I have the black and white, and am topping up with red and pink.
  • COS Round-neck Cashmere Jumper: This is a repeat style that I have in orange from a few seasons ago. Gorgeous fit, colour and quality. Architectural drape.
  • Stella + Ruby Multi Resin Earrings: Fun rainbow earrings to brighten a dull day.
  • Børn Børn Lenni Chelsea Boot (Women) | Nordstrom: An extremely comfy stompy boot that works on a variety of foot shapes. Too narrow for wide toes, but has a high-ish instep.
  • Ecco Soft 7 Tred GORE-TEX High: EXCELLENT arctic lined and weatherproof hi-tops for cold, wet, snowy and icy weather. Insulating and toasty warm. Easy zipper access and very comfortable.. Can work for a wider foot and fit an orthotic.
  • Boden Jersey Longerline Blazer: A knitted longer length blazer that is beautifully made and very comfortable. Works well on a straighter and curvier figure. Works on a larger bust. Excellent for Team Tall. Comes in navy. Has very fun striped lining.

Go to the collection page if you would like to see the images alongside my descriptions.

COS
Draped Wrap Top
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COS
Silk-cotton Polo Shirt
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COS
Woven-jersey Mix Shirt
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The Bias Cut

The ‘80s continue to influence fashion in a big way, but ‘90s influences are gaining momentum. A ‘90s look I fondly remember is the woven bias-cut skirt, dress and top. Bias cut means that the pieces used to make the garments were cut on the diagonal bias of the fabric. In other words, the pattern pieces were not positioned parallel to the straight or cross grains of the fabric, but at a 45 degree angle.

The beauty of the bias cut is the increased elasticity and flexibility of the finished garment. Visually it creates superior drape and swoosh. Practically it creates stretch sans the spandex and an amazing ease of movement.

Bias-cut items can create a unique type of structure that clings to the body with ease and fluidity. It’s not the same effect as spandex that grabs onto the contour of the body, showcasing lumps and bumps because there is no ease. Bias-cut items can also create a controlled volume that collapses back onto the body with flouncing grace. The hems of bias cuts flutter in a subtle or exaggerated way that looks soft, pretty, and interesting.

The collection shows examples of skirts, dresses and tops that are bias-cut.

Shopbop
Vince Bias Skirt
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Shopbop
Vince Bias Skirt
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Zara
Metallic Thread Top
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If you choose a bias cut in the right silhouette, chances are high it will flatter your body type because there is tailoring without the cling, or volume with ample structure. Bias cuts mould to the contour of your shape in a magical way. Curvy body types will enjoy how the fit stretches to glide over their curves instead of fighting them like straight cuts do. Conversely, straighter body types will enjoy how the fit contracts to stick to their narrower hips and thighs.

I’ve found that narrower bias-cut skirts are much easier to fit than dresses, because if the bias cut is slightly off on the waist and torso of a streamlined bias-cut dress, the fabric bulges and doesn’t lie flat against the body. If the bias cut of a dress or skirt is too narrow, it can accentuate saddle bags, so finding one with more volume or is A-line is key. If the bias-cut skirt or dress is too short, it will ride up the body. Longer bias-cut skirts and dresses with a bit of volume tend to fit more easily because the weight of the volume creates a better drape. The “gliding” effect can be magical.

I’m open to adding a bias-cut midi dress or skirt to my wardrobe this year because I love the way they drape, move, and flutter on the hems. How about you?

Peter Pilotto Scarf Neck Midi Dress

RACHEL Rachel Roy Kelsie Dress

Making Alterations a Priority

When an item that you adore is a close-to-perfect fit and alterable, the question is whether you’ll go to the effort and expense of the alteration. For me, it’s almost aways a resounding YES. 

Generally, if I choose the right size in a brand, silhouette and cut that is suited to my body type, clothing items fit well quite easily. That said, I’m a stickler for perfect fit so I do sometimes do alterations. These days I’m finding that I need to have jeans, pants, and the odd frock altered more frequently, for two main reasons.

1. Fashionable High Rises

I have a bit of a swayback which means that the waistband of high-rise jeans and pants can stand away from the back of my waist despite fitting well everywhere else. It’s an easy $20 alteration having the back of the waistband nipped and tucked. I’m fine with that because it makes the difference visually, and prevents the bottoms from sliding down. I don’t have this waistband fit challenge with mid and low rises because the waistbands sit lower down the small of my back.

I’ve had these high-rise jeans altered at the back of the waistband to create a fab fit:

2. Retailers Don’t Make my Size

Sometimes an item is one size too large, but I can’t size down because the retailer doesn’t make a smaller size. Boden and Scotch & Soda are two of my current go-to brands where I sometimes need a whole size down, but am sized out. I have effectively had items altered a whole size down in the width so I continue to regularly shop those brands. It’s a more expensive alteration, but worth it to be wearing an item that was “custom-made” for my body.

I’ve had these items altered a whole size down in the width to create a fab fit:

My weight is quite stable, so when an item is altered to fit, it tends to fit for the duration of its life in my closet. It’s also important that I showcase perfectly fitting clothing because it sets the example for clients who aspire to perfect fit. These things definitely help me justify the expense of my alterations.

Of course, finding items that I love and fit perfectly straight off the rack is first prize. But when that doesn’t happen, I make alterations a priority and absorb the expense. How about you? Do you go to the trouble and expense of having items altered to achieve a perfect fit?

Roundups

Assorted Items

Some to wear now and into Spring to wipe away those Winter blues.

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Assorted Items

Some top picks in lilac, red and neutrals across all wardrobe items.

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Footwear Picks

The fab and comfy boot and shootie season continues, although I’ve thrown in a Summer flat too.

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Dresses and Boots

A few sleeved dresses with length, and some comfy fun boots.

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Picks from the Half-Yearly Sale

Some sale items that caught my eye.

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Assorted Items

Top picks for the week cover boots, toppers, skirts and jeans.

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Outfit Formula: Simple Solid Bright Pants

Wearing bright pants is an acquired taste. Some find the look loud, juvenile, unprofessional and widening, and prefer neutral bottoms. Others simply prefer to wear their non-neutrals up top. Personally, I enjoy wearing bright pants because it’s an easy way to make an interesting and bold statement. Add a simple top and pair of shoes, and you’re there. The pants do all the talking. I miss my red, orange and citron pants, and desperately want to replace them this year.

I think these outfits are gorgeous, although I’d swap out some of the footwear choices and we need warmer weather before we can put them into action. Hopefully they’ll provide some inspiration.

1. Fuchsia Elegance

Combine a black lace or solid blouse with pair of dressy fuchsia pants like these crepe flares. Tucking the top makes the leg line look longer, as does wearing almost floor sweeping hems. The low-contrast silver pumps further lengthen the leg line and add some shine. Proportionately, the model looks short in the waist which is accentuated by the strong horizontal line created by the high-contrast top and bottom. The V-neckline of the shirt collar offsets that by drawing the eye back up and down. The model looks beautifully elegant.

Mareé Wide Leg Fuchsia Pant

2. Trendy Classic

Combine a pair of red pants with white boots and top, and Bob’s your uncle. Throw in just about any colour bag or topper because red & white are a classic and versatile combination. I’d add a turquoise bag and coat to this combination, and swap out the shirt for a white pullover. You could sub the white for black, toffee, tan or navy, if that’s more your thing.

MM6 Maison Margiela High-rise Straight Leg Trousers

3. Suited and Stilettoed

Combine green pants with a navy top, and finish off the look with nude-for-you, white, blush, metallic or navy footwear. Sub the navy with black if that’s more to your taste. And if suits are your thing, add the matching topper. Wearing stiletto heels with a suit is a classic pairing, although the heels needn’t be high.

Boden Hampshire Ponte Culottes

4. Tonal Romance

Cobalt works well with teal and turquoise because it clashes in a deliciously tonal way. Here, both the pants and blouse are soft, creating a sensual vibe. The blouse is tucked for structure, but you could wear it untucked. Nude-for-you, white, metallic, or footwear that bookends your hair is a good way to go. I’d have styled the model with closed footwear like a tan mule, ballet flat or pump.

11 Honoré Satin Icon Track Pant

Link Love: Cold-Weather Sleepwear

Angie’s post last month on editing and updating our wardrobe basics, reminded me that I need some new Winter PJs so I’ve been having fun browsing sleepwear online.

Fab Links from Our Members

April disagrees with some of the ‘rules’ here (e.g. no minis for her) but enjoyed the spirit of this post on how to wear sneakers when you’re over 50 or older.

Runcarla has been researching upcycling old jewellery and came across this post on why not to re-use your old gold.

She also thought this post about having custom jewellery work made might be of interest.

Christina F. liked this article about people who wear cusp sizes, especially since she falls into this ‘in between’ zone.

We’ve been talking about ethical fashion on the forum, and Angie thought this article on ethical consumerism was excellent.