When Laundering Transforms an Item

Laundering can change an item’s length, width, fit, and colour. The question is, do you still wear it? For me, it depends on three things. Do the colours still look reasonable? Is the item still comfortable? And does the item still look flattering? 

For example, my ‘70s chevron striped knitted crochet dress grew in length after handwashing and laying it out to dry. I tried dry-cleaning it to see if the length would bounce back. It didn’t. I preferred it at a shorter midaxi length, but am wearing it as a maxi because I’m in love with the vibe of the dress.

I’ve handwashed woolly knitwear in warm water instead of cold, slightly shrinking the perfect fluid fit. I managed to block the items to regain some of the volume. The fit wasn’t quite the same, but they looked great layered under jackets.

Sometimes my bright red and orange clothing, and dark blue jeans fade after laundering. They are not as perfectly crisp, bright or dark as they once were, and it’s very annoying. But I continue to wear them and try to launder them less frequently.

Unfortunately, I’ve also accidentally thrown a pair of dressy trousers into the machine that should have been dry-cleaned. They shrunk badly. Their perfect fluidly tailored fit transformed them into body-con leggings without the comfort. I had to pass them on.

Over to you. Do you continue to wear items when the laundry transforms them into something else?

What I Wear on Long Flights

When it comes to fashion and style, you see it all at airports around the world. Everything from dressy suits, business casual separates, maxi dresses, saris, sweats, tracksuits, crop tops, sweaters, jumpsuits, rompers, pyjamas, puffers, flip-flops, hiking boots, sneakers, sandals, flats, and jeans, to leggings, utility pants, tank tops, athleisure, beachy looks, and short shorts. It’s an interesting fashion show.

We recently travelled to South Africa from Seattle. This means two long flights, one short flight, and layovers in between. It’s usually between 38 to 40 hours of travel. I have my outfit for this type of travel completely sorted, and wear it again on the way back. Sometimes I have it laundered on our trip, and sometimes I air it out. It is casually dressy and practical, and ready for action in a range of temperatures.

Here are the exact items I wore on the flights of our recent trip.

1. Dressy Soft Wide Pants

I wear soft pants that are substantial, wide, soft, crease-resistant, and on the dressy side to ensure neatness, comfort and polish. I keep the colour dark or patterned to camouflage any grubbiness that is collected along the way. My navy crepe cargo pants were absolutely perfect.

2. Dressy Soft Tops

I wear soft and cosy layers up top so that I can peel off if it’s hot, and bundle up when it’s cold. My ancient twinset fits the bill. It’s short and fitted, which worked well with the wide pants. It’s also soft, breathable, luxe, and very comfortable. I kept both layers on to keep out the chill.

3. Jacket

I add a jacket for arctic airports and airplane air conditioning, or when I’m outside during a layover. I keep the jackets short, crease-resistant, and lightweight so that they are easy to pack in hand luggage when I’m not wearing them. The jackets are quite casual but fairly structured. On the way there I wore my dark blue denim jacket, which has ample stretch for comfort. On the way back it was colder, so I wore a burgundy, faux leather ‘70s jacket.

4. Sneakers

We might need to walk for miles at an airport, or even run with luggage in tow when we’re trying to catch a connecting flight. Nothing works better for my feet than super comfortable fashion sneakers, and it’s supportive ECCOs all the way. I wear them with nude-for-me knee-highs, and chose white to work with my pearls and watch.

5. Dressy Crossbody Bag

I travel with a Furla satchel that converts to a crossbody so that I’m hands-free to carry other things. My Furlas are extremely robust and handle this type of travel better than any other bag. They are roomy enough for all my stuff, not too big, and I love their dressy integrity. I chose burgundy to go with the outfit. Coincidentally, the bag and jacket are exactly the same colour.

6. Eyewear, Pearls, Watch, Mask

I need specs so that I can see, and sunnies for when we’re outside during layovers. I wear my usual pearl jewellery and watch so that I don’t need to pack it, and a white KN95 face mask because that’s how we travel these days.

We flew from Seattle to London, where we had a twelve hour layover. We saw my London family and had a fabulous day walking London flat. That night we flew on to Johannesburg, where we had another layover. After several hours we flew on to Durban, our final destination. I refreshed a little between flights, but stayed in the same outfit. I was very comfortable, and felt polished and pulled together because my items were dressier and did not crease.

We were exhausted by the time we got to our lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, by which time I was desperate for a shower and new outfit.

Outfit Formula: A Bit of Light Purple

Light purple tints and tones can be more pink or more blue, so take your pick. They can be worn as a solid, in a pattern, as an accessory, and in the form of make-up, lipstick and nail polish. Make a statement with light purple, or wear it as an accent. Wear it close to your face, or away from it. 

Here are some outfit ideas that incorporate bits of light purple for Spring, a cool Summer, or transitional weather.

1. Patterned Dress or Skirt

Patterns can incorporate bit or a lot of light purple. This dress incorporates a bit of light purple, and it’s a very pink purple too. Or choose a patterned dress that has a larger component of light purple, and a less pink purple. Add footwear, a bag, and you’re good to go. Here, the black sandals bookend the models’s black hair, and pick up the small components of black in the pattern.

Patterned Dress or Skirt

2. Solid with Neutrals

Think of any way at all to incorporate solid light purple into an outfit. Think jackets, coats, blouses, shirts, dresses, skirts, sweaters, knitted tops, sweatshirts, tees, pants, jeans, shoes, hats, eyewear, and bags. Add them to solid neutrals like black, white, grey, and denim blue. Rainbow purple hair is fab too.

Mango
Square-toe Moccasin
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5

Here is an easy way to wear a solid light purple jacket. Combine a pair of black bottoms with a white top that works with them. Choose a silhouette of black bottoms that is to your taste. No need to wear shorts. Top the lot off with a light purple jacket or coat. Finish of the look with black, white, or light purple footwear, and a bag to match. Here, the black bottoms of the model effectively match her hair.

Solid with Neutrals

If you prefer a less solid look, add a patterned light purple scarf to the outfit. Tie it around your neck, your bag, or sport it in your hair. A client of mine likes to tie pretty soft scarves around her low ponytail. She adds hoop earrings and looks fabulous.

3. Patterned Top and Jeans

Combine a lilac patterned top with a pair of blue or white jeans. Add shoes and a bag that work with the outfit. Here a lilac patterned top is paired with blue jeans. The white in the pattern could make it work with white jeans too. The model wears cognac boots that pick up a similar colour in the top. I can see white shoes work well too.

Patterned Top and Jeans

4. Heathered and Floral

Last, a greyed light purple sweater is combined with a floral patterned skirt which has light purple in it too. The slouchy sweater is semi-tucked to showcase a bit of waistline for structure. The denim jacket is optional. It’s short, which works particularly well with skirts. The light denim wash works well with the pastel integrity of the outfit. A white complement of sneakers, bag, and sunnies also works well with the pastel integrity of the look. Nice bling necklace too.

Heathered and Floral

Roundups

Simpler Items

This week's list of top picks list is about basic pieces.

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Assorted Items

Items for Summer, both in and out of air conditioning.

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Casual Summer Vibes

This week's top picks are good for a casual Summer vibe.

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Summery Earth Tones

These items are for those who like to wear casual earth tones in warm and hot weather.

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Hints of Spring

Some tried-and-tested winning items to refresh your style for Spring.

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Dressier Items

An assortment of dressier top picks might be just what the doctor ordered.

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Trend: Crochet

Crocheted items are having their fashion moment, and are especially suitable for Spring and Summer. The vibe screams the ‘70s, and has a bohemian integrity. Because the ‘90s were influenced by the ‘70s, crochet looks remind me of that decade too. You’ll see crochet tops, pants, skirts, shorts, dresses, shoes, swimwear, swimwear cover-ups, and accessories across all sorts of colours. You’ll also see crochet used as a trim on clothing. Earth-toned and cream crochet items are especially popular. Some crochet items have a distinctive Missoni vibe.

This collection shows an assortment of crochet items.

Eloquii
Crochet Tank
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2
COS
Crochet Vest
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3
Zara
CROCHET STRAIGHT SKIRT
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3
Zara
CROCHETED CROP SWEATER
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3
Zara
SEMI-SHEER CROCHET TOP
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3
Zara
STRIPED KNIT TOP
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1
Zara
CROCHET SWEATER
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3
Zara
CROCHET MINI SHOPPER
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1
Zara
FLORAL CROCHET TOP
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2
Zara
CROCHET TOP
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3
Zara
CROCHET SWEATER
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4
Zara
CROCHET CARDIGAN
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2
Zara
CROCHET SWEATER
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2
Eloquii
Crochet Knit Dress
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2
Mango
Crochet Pants
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2
Mango
Openwork Cotton Shirt
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3
Mango
Crochet Bucket Hat
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3
Shopbop
Alexis Legends Dress
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2
Shopbop
ByTiMo Crochet Top
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4
Shopbop
Clare V. Sandy Tote
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3

The crochet trend is mainstream. The weaves can be loose or tight, and gauges refined or chunky. The vibe is casual, although some items look a little dressier. Crochet items can be very breezy and see-through, while others are more covered. Sneakers and Birkenstock-esque slides with a crochet overlay are an interesting 2022 hybrid. Items with a crochet trim are a subtle way to wear the trend.

Boden
Helen Sparkle Dress
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13
I’ve worn crochet in the past, and will wear it again. I particularly like the prettier open-weave pullovers and dresses that look a bit like lace. A couple of years ago, I got a multi-coloured, and very ‘70s crochet dress with a Missoni vibe. I absolutely LOVE this dress and wear it quite often. It’s made up of many of my happy colours, and feels casually glam and luxe. It has unfortunately grown from a midi to maxi length because it stretched vertically after laundering. I preferred it shorter and cannot hem it. Oh, well. I’ve committed to the longer length because I love the dress so much. Now I have a casual maxi dress in my wardrobe, which makes it more ‘70s, I guess!

Over to you. What do you think of the crochet trend?

Team Cobalt or Team Navy

All sorts of blues are having their fashionable moment, and this week’s poll asks you to choose between two of them. You are on Team Cobalt if you prefer cobalt to navy, and vice versa. Cobalt is a bright blue. It’s lighter and more vivid than navy, which is a very dark blue. Navy is considered a fashion neutral, and some navies are almost black. Cobalt can be a superhero colour, and some versions are more electric than others. Navy and cobalt are used as background colours in patterns too.

Nordstrom
Chaus Midi Skirt
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6
Reiss
Loren Flared Trousers
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4

I’ve worn a smattering of bright cobalt over the years. It’s not a blue I gravitate to, but I do enjoy wearing it from time to time. At this point I have zero cobalt in my wardrobe. I love navy, on the other hand, and have quite a lot of it in my wardrobe. It’s the dark neutral in my style, and ‘my black’. I bat for Team Navy.

Over to you. Do you bat for Team Cobalt or Team Navy? Tell us why and no batting for both teams. You’re benched if you can’t pick a side, or like neither blue. I’m serving the very best vegetarian samosas from Durban, with dhal curry, naan, and a salad on the bench. Fresh mangos for dessert.