I can’t believe it’s been 30 days already. I must say it has been SO good for me to make a bit more effort with what I wear every day rather than just on the days I want to look like I am always stylish!
I think my biggest surprises have been – 1. almost all my wardrobe seems to come from my sister and I think we have quite a different look and 2. I haven’t been wearing as much handmade as I would like to think I wear.
Top – Off cast from my sister the top was from Jeans West originally and I wore the blue another week.
Skirt – this is one I made and the felted flowers I made by needle felting. I used a maternity skirt pattern and it is too big and too long so I just hoisted it up and wore it as a dress with the help of some safety pins.
Tights – a re-gift. I bought these for my sister ages ago in the UK and she never wore them and so she gave them back. This was their first outing and I ripped a massive hole in them – not sure if I can redeem them.
Shoes – $9 sparkly flat shoes from the warehouse. They are a bit kung-fu shoe-ish and I’m not sure if I think that is good or bad.
Accessories – necklace I bought in Korea and recently re-discovered. It has 3 little stick figures on it and I love it. I think it was about $20-30. Broche (how do you spell that word????) a gift hand-made and painted from some friends of my parents. So pretty. Earrings are dangly silver threads with little plastic hearts on them (hand-me-down again!). Bangle $20 from a shop in Fairlie – I think.
Evaluation – this was the first time I had put this combo together and The Atlas told me it was ballerina in the morning which I really liked but then someone else told me I looked like I should be on High 5 – not sure that was my aim! Still I love this combo I’m doing it again – possibly with new tights.
Top – merino, Lane Walker Rudkin sale bought 2010
Dress – this is my Deb dress. She used a pattern of mine (1977 pattern – great year!) to make it using some fabric she bought for about $3 from an op-shop. She almost had it done when she realised it wasn’t going to work for her so she paid it forward and I get lots of wear out of it now. The fabric could also make a reasonable shower-curtain – it has that kind of feel to it.
Tights – free from somewhere, probably a clothes swap
Shoes – best purchase ever. On sale from a shop in Merivale mall for $30 down from $120. I have worn them so much I need them re-soled and probably painted too. I get comments EVERY time I wear these shoes.
Accessories – gold chain of my great-grandmothers with a small gold and enamel ball hanging on it that was one of a few my grandmother had. Earrings mother-of-pearl silver drops a gift from my sister in 2003 I think.
Evaluation – this is one of my most worn dresses it works in summer and winter. I like the shape and it’s good because the colour is not completely overpowering so it feels good for a girly but not too in your face kind of day.
Top – merino, hand-me-down from my sister I think it was a glassons one to start with.
Skirt- hand-made by my sister and handed-on to me. The roses are actually 3-d which I quite like but I’m not sure how well they’d stand up to being washed. I need to adjust it some how because it slips off a bit – and I am NOT a low-rider kind of girl.
Tights – pop art, hand-me-down, may be my most favourite tights of all
These tights are so awesome:
Evaluation – I love the bottom half of this outfit I’m still not totally sure I’m getting the top bit right.
Top – Shanton organic cotton bought in 2009 or 2010 for about $15 I think.
Skirt – handmade by my sister when we were at high-school and I replaced the zip in about 2001. The fabric is a skirt or dress of my grandmothers that my sister cut up (we were at it even then before it was cool!).
Tights – H&M london, they have butterflies on them.
Accessories – seen these all before – bracelet is made by winding a beaded necklace round my hand. You’ve seen the shoes too.
Evaluation – the skirt is rather short! I think it would have worked better with black tights and some more fun shoes (I didn’t have any the right colour!) It’s a bit too much with all the green and turquoise together – even for me.
Dress – a real retro hand-made (you can tell by the hand stitching around the zip) bought and shortened and handed down by my sister.
Footless Tights – also a hand-me-down (she’s off loading for her OE!)
Everything else you’ve seen recently.
Evaluation – I ADORE this outfit. I feel so good in it and retro but not in a way that feels costumey or like I am trying too hard. I think that can be a real balance to find with retro and vintage stuff.
Top – hand-me-down from my mama when I was pregnant and sick with Bounce (you know the early days where you have no waist and look awful and can’t tell anyone? Or was that only me!). Very easy to wear but gets awful sweat marks which puts me off wearing it much.
Jeans – Hand-me-down from a friend de-cluttering her wardrobe.
Evaluation – I love this grey on me and I do like the way this top looks in real life but this is pretty mum stereotypical boring mama outfit in my wardrobe. I actually spent the first half of this day cleaning the house in mismatched exercise gear and didn’t shower until 1pm so this was just a muddle through the rest of the day outfit. My paranoia about sweat marks means I should probably pay this forward….
Top – handmade by me from a New Look pattern that is the perfect shape for me. Singlet underneath is so old I think I’ve had it since Uni days.
Skirt – op-shop gift from a friend (2002) who thought it was a bit of me. It came with the most awful matching over-size, over shoulder-padded, brass-buttoned jacket – clearly supposed to be worn as a suit????? It has really neat design details on the back and sort of fishtails out a little towards the bottom. I wore this lots, then lost weight and it got to big, paid it forward to my sister, she lost weight and gave it back by which stage I’d had 2 children and it was too small and now I’m in it again – it’s a skirt that’s been on some journeys!
Accessories – Earrings are the dangly star ones I was wearing the other day, also my ‘joy bell’ necklace which is a bauble with a bell inside it that I probably bought in the early 2000s from a fair.
Shoes – handmade in Korea for my other sister but they weren’t a good fit for her so I got them. Label is ‘Shoes of With’ (I wonder if it was supposed to be worth??
Evaluation – I love the shape this skirt gives me. I think it is super sexy in a librarian-ish sort of way. I like this outfit and I haven’t worn my hair in a bun for ages but I think it works.
Finally – thanks for all your lovely encouraging comments. Cat even sent me a top/cardi she thought I might get more wear out of than she was! Shall I do some random outfit posts during the rest of the year to keep us going or have you seen enough? I personally love a good nosey at outfits on real people and a good rummage in someone else’s wardrobe isn’t off my desired list either.
For other posts in this series click on the 30 outfits (I know it’s spelt wrong!) on the ride side bar.
Although not strictly ‘outfits’ I am dedicating this week to coats and jackets. All handmade – I do have rather a lot of jackets and coats in my wardrobe. Well I think I do, how many do ‘normal’ people have?? I have rather more than the 9 I am showing you today.
Whilst it might appear otherwise I do get A LOT of wear out of my jeans. A couple of years ago I was feeling a bit dissatisfied with my dress style/sense. I felt both my sisters were really sure of their ‘look’ but in a job where there is a lot of crawling around on the floor and changing nappies the reality was jeans was pretty much where it was at.
Then I decided on the coat and jacket plan – have a wardrobe with fun coats and jackets and whenever you go out you can still be stylish without abandoning the mama-practical needs.
My denim ‘spinning coat’. I made this 3 years ago from a Vogue pattern. The denim was 99cents a metre which was good because I needed something crazy like 5-7m. The lining was about $2 a metre. I adore the shape of this coat, I love the wide collar and the hidden pockets. I think I could do with another one in pea green!
My original blanket coat. This idea is totally my own (because I cannot think of anywhere I got the inspiration from). It is made from 2 blankets I bought in an op-shop and some old woollen jerseys also from op-shops, which I used for the applique. Then I just had fun with my embroidery thread. It is SO warm to wear and it is definitely one of a kind. I used a simplicity pattern which I changed around a bit.
Furnishing Fabric coat - using the same pattern as above I made this from a piece of fabric remnant I bought from Fabric House (in chch) a couple of years ago. I think the remnant cost about $50 which is HEAPS for me to spend on fabric. The idea for doing the black piping along the collar and front edge came from my step-dad (he’s pretty styly like that). I love the buttons I used as well. I get so many comments every time I wear this coat and they aren’t ‘hey that’s the same fabric as my couch’!! This is probably my most expensive coat I think I worked out by the time I bought the buttons, piping, lining and fabric it came to $70 but cost-per-wear good investment I think.
Blanket Coat 2 - I made this for the blossom festival in Alexandra in 2009. It is made from hand-dyed recycled woollen blankets and features cut-away applique and normal applique from old felted jerseys. The rest of the foliage is made by needle felting as are the buttons. The coat itself was supposed to be an exploration of the durability of wool and the imagery of the kaka-beak flower (a NZ native close to extinction in the wild) which is a herald of spring. I get so much wear out of this coat. It is my default coat because I feel like it works with everything.
The Airhostess - I made this outfit totally from a box of fabric and bits that was anonymously donated to Kyleigh and I when we were doing the 100 challenges. It had a pattern and both the fabrics in the box. I wear this jacket when I want to channel my inner air-hostess. I love the colour and the shape and the way the fabrics work together. I did buy the buttons which I adore.
The bolero - for a birthday 3 years ago my mama and sister bought me some Trelise Cooper fabric and I made this. I was taking a wedding and needed something ‘grown up’ for being the celebrant in. I had only just given birth to Bounce (he was 3 months old). For me this is definitely a dressing-up option. I like it but it’s a bit too roomy now (as you would expect now that I don’t have a 3month old!). The fabric and the design are sweet but it definitely doesn’t get as much wear as others in my wardrobe.
The mod – when I was teaching in the UK the parents one year gave me vouchers for John Lewis and I bought the pattern and fabric to make this coat. It’s a bit candy floss and I found the ‘matching’ shoes for £5 in a random shoe shop on a trip somewhere. This coat is a bit puffy (it would have sat better if I lined it) and I don’t wear it often… should I keep it for 60s inspired feminine days or should I pay-it forward??
Rock Chick/ Riding Chick – I really like the pattern I used for this jacket (well I probably didn’t like making it because it has lots of tricky bits!) the fabric is an off-cast from a project of my sisters. I feel like this is a very specific design so I can only wear it one way which does make it less worn. It’s another one that is a bit big now. I don’t know if it’s really me … feedback welcome.
Silk Barbie - every now and again I dress in my corporate-barbie style – it’s more prim than naughty librarian but not as conservative as totally corporate. This is another vogue pattern (expensive but they make their patterns well). I made it from a piece of 100% Korean silk that my sister gave me when she was living there. I love the wee flounce at the back and the oriental style of the fabric. I like this jacket for daytime events that are a bit pretty and dressy-up. It really crinkles when you wash it so you definitely have to iron but luckily I don’t wash much.
So there you have it 9 jackets and coats I have made – there are others handmade and op-shopped that might just get a look-in at a later point. I can also think of one jacket I own that I bought brand new but only from Primark in the UK so it was CHEAP. I do like jackets and coats.
If you want pattern number for any of these coats/jackets let me know and I’ll add them into a comment below.
And…how many coats/jackets do you think is about ‘normal’?
If you want to see the first post and read about my general size, etc go here.
Dress – Handmade by me. It’s actually a maternity top pattern which I made into a dress while I was pregnant with Bounce. I really like it and it’s super comfy so I still wear it.
Top – handmade charcoal stretch. Made it ages ago it’s a good wardrobe staple.
Tights – footless tights hand-me-down from my sister.
Shoes – bright blue sparkly flats $9 from the warehouse. I’ve worn them so much they are coming apart – **sigh**
Accessories – necklace is from a store called Balckbird in Heathcote Valley – $24, Rings – arrow
Evaluation – I love the colour in this dress, it is so easy to wear and it’s quite a nice shape even though it’s officially maternity wear.
Dress – hand-me-down from my sister she bought it from an op-shop in Hawkes Bay about 9 years ago.
Tights – opaques had them in the wardrobe since highschool!
Boots – The Atlas bought these for me on a trip we took to Milan in 2004 (bless him) they are so comfy. They are Campers so they were pricey (200 euros!!! I would NEVER spend this on shoes but The Atlas pointed out when are we ever going to be in Milan again)
accessories - necklace from my sister-in-law in the UK. Rings – measuring ring from friends – Hawkes Bay, leaf ring was my Grandmothers and even though she had a HUGE collection of jewellery she almost always wore it.
Evaluation – I LOVE this outfit and I feel so good in it and I always get great compliments when I wear it.
Top – This was a cast off of Deb’s sister it wasn’t quite finished so I made it my own.
Beads – 50cents a strand from Marsden school fair.
Jeans – off cast from a friend.
Belt – 50cents from Salvation Army
Earrings from Sis in law, topshop UK
Evaluation – I do wear my jeans quite a lot but I feel good in them if I have a ‘fun’ top and this so fits the bill for me. I love the colours and the fabric and it doesn’t look like I could have bought it.
Dress – gift from sister bought 2011 op-shop Kohukohu.
Tights – bought in a cheap shop in Hawkes Bay about 9 years ago.
Boots – Gok’d hand-me-down boots from my sister. Cut them up and folded the lining to the outside.
Evaluation – I wore this to the craft fair this weekend and I felt very good. I love blue and I quite enjoy the ‘theme’d’ colour.
Dress- bought in 1998 from Glassons for $40 I have had SO much wear from this
Top/Jacket – hand-me-down from my sister.
Tights – also hand-me-down from my sister
Shoes – bought in 2005 from TKMaxx in the UK for about £9. I like a good stiletto heel but you can’t wear cheap stilettos for a whole day!
Accessories – brooches needle felted by me
Evaluation – I like this outfit it feels fun and grown up at the same time and it is SO comfy (except the shoes)
Music day again.
Top – hand-me-down from my mum Max merino top.
Shorts – handmade by me – my music ‘uniform’
Tights – bought from Farmers in 2009 and hand painted with kaka beak flowers up the sides by me
Shoes – bought in Barcelona 2004 feature a chicken on one and an egg on the other. I think they cost about 26 euros
Beads- I love these beads they were a gift from a 7-year-old I taught. She picked them and I think her mum was a bit embarrassed but I think they are awesome and I get heaps of wear out of them.
Hat – I think this is another hand-me-down from my other sister. I like hats but this is one of the only ones I feel suits me.
Evaluation – pretty good for a music day outfit. I like the general vibe.
Top – hand-me-down from a friend about 9 years ago with a singlet from JayJays underneath bought 3 years ago (about $7).
Skirt – handmade by a friend and sent to me when we lived in the UK.
Footless tights – hand me down from my sister – first time wearing them.
Boots- bought in the UK for £15 good for cycling in
Accessories – beads – from my Grandmothers collection, earrings gift from my sister-in-law from TopShop UK
Evaluation – This outfit works for biking in. It’s nice to have some colour in my life. I’m not sure the top is the best look for me… open to feedback on that one!
So there we are week two. Next week is going to be all homemade coats and jackets. Doing this has been making me think about wardrobe gaps – what are your gaps? What do you always need in your wardrobe? What can you never find? What do you always want more of??