It's interesting to note how old all of these pieces are. I've had the dress since the late 90's and recently had it shortened; the cardigan was purchased for a wedding I attended in 2005; the boots are from my trip to Prague in 2006. Together though, the combination looks quite fresh to me, which just goes to show that clothes can have a much longer lifespan than what the ever-changing fashion kaleidoscope might lead you to believe.
If you look closely at the cardigan, you can see that the channel which held the self-belt is much lower than where I belted it here. Belting it in the original location gives the cardigan much more of a bathrobe appearance, and for that reason I hardly ever wore it -- and in fact almost got rid of it -- until I hit on the idea of removing the self belt and cinching it wherever I wanted. You can see the belt channel, but who cares? This is a much more flattering shape and feels more current to me. And the fabric, a silk and cotton blend, is so ideal for Bay Area weather that I'm really glad I kept it. It's a great piece for brightening up an outfit while still staying warm and comfortable.
To extend the life of these particular pieces, I've used a variety of approaches: I shortened the dress, removed the self belt on the cardigan for different belting options, combined the short dress with the long cardigan for a more modern proportion, and wore the dress with over-the-knee socks for a different look. Other ways you can extend the life of clothing include:
- Dyeing items that are faded or have an out-of-date color
- Adding embellishment such as studs, ruffles, different buttons, etc. (you can also accessorize shoes with clips, chains, spats, etc.)
- Having an item tailored for a different fit and shape
- Layering (obviously a frequent strategy of mine!)
Do you have garments in your closet that could be alterered or worn differently to keep them looking current? What tricks have you used to modernize older pieces?
Cardigan: Max Studio
Dress: from the 90's, shortened
Scarf: Banana Republic
Cotton Pettipants (via Amazon): 007Lingerie