I was recently asked to weigh in on what’s trending for Fall fashion and accessories. I confess that my enthusiasm was marginal at best, having just mailed three tuition checks and spent the equivalent of a mortgage payment at Bed Bath & Beyond to trick out yet another dorm room. How could I get excited about Fall Fashion when my Fall Budget was invested in twin XL sheets and Command Hooks? Then I realized that I actually had a new bag of goodies to play dress-up with this season, and they hadn’t come from the store or made a huge dent in my wallet.
Earlier this summer I had set aside some time to edit my wardrobe and invest in some good old fashioned tailoring. Not only had my body changed over the years, but my style and sensibilities had too. It seemed painful to purge some quality investment pieces that needed a little sprucing up, and I owned some beautiful print maxi dresses that hadn’t seen the light of day in years.
I made a pile of everything I loved and thought could use a second life, and hauled it to the tailor in a collection of canvas bags. Maxi dresses became midis or not-quite-minis, boxy jackets got nipped in the waist, a few sleeves got chopped off slim dresses to create shifts, and collectively we sewed decorative buttons on everything from silk blouses to vintage fur coats. Old favorites felt new and fresh and ready to take on the runway.
That’s when I left for the summer and lived in nothing but shorts and T-shirts for 6 weeks…
But I remembered the garment bags patiently waiting in my closet, and felt renewed enthusiasm for the Fall Fashion Season.
The project was time consuming. I cleared my calendar for several hours for several days. I had feelings of angst, thinking I was trying to re-live or re-create a place in time based on a particular outfit, and wondered if I was having a Mary Shelley fashion moment and the end result was going to be my demise. I said farewell to a few friends that were not going to make the cut. And the investment in the tailoring was not insignificant. However, it was a lot less than buying a bunch of new items to “update” my wardrobe or scratch a retail therapy itch.
Once the kids have settled into their dorms and apartments this fall, take some time to settle down in your closet. Look at what you have in there. Decide what you love, what needs some attention and what could use a complete makeover. Then head to your tailor (be sure to wear good underwear and take an assortment of heel heights with you) and see what happens. As my mother would say, nothing ventured, nothing gained… you might end up with a whole new wardrobe, or you might end up donating it all to charity. Either way it’s all good, because honestly, you probably weren’t going to wear it anyway!