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Work Capsule Wardrobe: Shop Your Closet Pt. 1

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I was feeling very unsatisfied with my sense of having decent ‘work clothes’, as I continue looking for a great job. I have been slowly updating items in my closet. I decided to have a movie montage moment and try on some neglected items and finally assess what I have in my closet. It’s going on two years since I’ve done that! Remember ReFashion 2015? Well, it turns out I have quite a bit! I’m not much of a traditionalist, love pattern on pattern but I do like to be appropriate to the job and don’t mind a professional dress code. And I think what I have pulled together from my dear little closet can serve me very well!

In the last week, I have refashioned a thrifted dress, made a classic black pencil skirt from two older makes that didn’t quite work out and made a tunic sweater from some sheer knit chevron fabric salvaged at my favorite, Michael Levine Loft. Most importantly I found a few older items that haven’t been seeing the light of day that are perfect for a work wardrobe.

Four out of five of my tops were me made,  or made by me, for comfort, fit and my style. The exception was the Alfani black cold shoulder button down shirt that is one of two new store bought clothing items I have bought in 2016.  AND I LOVE IT! It is a staple and I got if for something like $20.00 on clearance at Macy’s.

My rare purchase preceeded my knowledge of the #GrabYourWallet boycott. In case you didn’t know there is a boycott of Trump products and his corporate funders and supporters in opposition to the racist, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic and islamophobic rhetoric that Trump uses and promoted throughout his election campaign. Macy’s announced that they would continue to not carry Trump merchandise or his subsidiaries again after the election. For me that made my rare purchase doubly satisfying and a WIN/WIN! However I have learned they are still carrying Ivanka Trump merchandise. So no more Macy’s for me given the opportunity.

Five tops, five cardigans or light jackets, five bottoms, three dresses and three pairs of shoes make for a lot of options, and I was pretty impressed with the endless combinations available to me once I actually tried some options on. Here are about 20 outfits below.

Ofcourse, I’m still going through my closet so I can’t say it ends here. But it’s a good reminder that I have more than what I need. Plus, I am already working on complementary makes and alterations. For instance, my tunic sweater is fairly sheer so I am making a slip with a ruffled bottom to wear underneath it so that I can wear it as a cozy little dress. And I can think of a pair of ankle boots and heeled sandal that could also be office appropriate to add to this capsule collection. But then again, this is part 1 and there is more to come! See you then! ❤

If you like and want to support the blog consider donating at PayPal.me Be well!

xoxo,

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ReFashion 2015: Watermelon Season

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ReFashion 2015 continues! You may remember this little number from one of my Halloween ensembles last year! This thrifted fabulousness cemented my making an appearance as Frida Kahlo last year. But I knew I’d be rocking this baby for a long time to come and needed it summer ready!

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The simple breakdown:

  1. I opened up the neckline by squaring the front.
  2. Then I shortened the hemline to just above the knee.
  3. Then I hacked off the citrus ribbons. It was too much.
  4. Lastly I have gained weight since I scored this dress so I needed to make room in the torso so I inserted a panel at the back of the dress for more space when sitting and a more tented shape.
  5. Voilà!

So far in the two weeks I have finished this dress I’ve worn it three times. I LURVE it!

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xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: #SewSolidarity

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Today’s ReFashion is remembering the April 24 two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse which caused the deaths of 1,127 Bangladeshi garment workers, trauma, severe injuries and permanent disabilities to another 2,500 workers. TRAID is a UK charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. #SewSolidarity is a sewing project meant to give value to garments made by Bangladeshi garment workers by re-purposing a piece of clothing and giving it a longer life. Honoring the clothing as well as the workers who made them.

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This post features two ReFashions, the first is a long sleeved top that I upsized into a sleeveless top. I couldn’t resist the beautifully embroidered tunic I found at a thrift shop. Below is a very simplistic pictorial on the steps I took to make it.

Upsizing the Embroidered Top

  1. First I removed the sleeves from the tunic. and cut the back of the tunic up the middle. I now had my front and side panels in one piece.
  2. I removed the seams of my arms to create two flat panels which would become the bottom of a new back piece.
  3. I used a medium muslin that matched my top and created an upper piece for my new back piece. I attached the Arm panels to it and had and had my finished back side of my bodice.
  4. I took my front and back bodice pieces and sewed them together. I then hemmed the back bodice to the length of the front and made any fit adjustments by taking in seams at the front of the garment and around the arms.

The second pictorial is a previous refashion that can be revisited here. I included this one in my post since I got these pants years ago at JC Penny who is among the companies who owe compensation to the Rana Plaza Factory workers.

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I adore both pieces. The pants are already a staple and I see myself using this top all summer long. If you are new to the blog I am Refashioning My Wardrobe ReFashion2015! I am turning a Closet Makeover into a Year long mission to reuse my current closet and convert what I am not using into something far more wearable.  I love that TRAID is asking that we honor garment workers by extending the life of our clothing. IT makes perfect sense to me! ❤

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At 11:34 on April 24, 2015 there will be a moment of silence and remembering for the Rana Plaza Workers. You can also show support on social media by using the hashtags #Remember #RanaPlaza & Share your #Solidarity. For more actions and how to support fair compensation for garment workers at Rana Plaza and beyond, check out this post featuring a list of great organizations doing important work on putting an end to exploitation of workers in the Fashion Industry. We can make a difference.

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: 3 Ways To Be a #ConsciousBabe

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Hi Lovelies welcome to the latest chapter in Refashion2015! It took years for this Refashionista and sewist to be born, but you don’t have to refashion every piece of clothing you wear to be a #ConsciousBabe or my definition of a style saavy woman with a conscious about her clothing. All of the little things add up. In the U.S alone, the average person buys 68 new articles of clothing every year. That’s a lot of clothing coming in to our lives and potentially a lot of clothing going out. Sounds like a huge waste to me. Does your laundry basket always have the exact same clothes in it that you desperately need to wash so you can wear your favorites again? Mine too! The whole concept of saving the planet and ultimately ourselves (did you hear about we Californians looking at one more year of water!?), revolves around the three concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle. Here are three ways to start being #ConsciousBabes.

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1. Wait. Its 2015 and you can now shop 24/7 from the comfort of your living room/bed, smartphone or smart-pad. But buying things at the touch of a button and the speed of light makes for a lot of purchases without thinking.  Not to mention the frustration of an impending site crash as you compete with thousands of other people for the exact same skater dress you just saw on such and such blogger’s Instagram. It’actually pretty frustrating and a lot of energy for an urge.

There is an anxiousness to consumerism that  just doesn’t feel good.  Another reason to love Slow Fashion. The bigger the business you are buying from the bigger their urgency to produce. Large orders with tight deadlines lead to overtime, overcrowding and unsafe conditions for underpaid  labor overseas. Only 2% of clothing bought in the U.S. is made in the U.S. So the likelihood your clothes are made overseas by underpaid workers is 98%.  The lower the price for customers, the higher the cost for workers largely in Bangladesh and China. source

10945392_10152528950357003_7665455097062134732_nBe a #ConsciousBabe and wait. Wait an hour, wait a week, see if you even remember your interest in the thing before you add another item to that closet. Fast fashion is a lot like fast food, seeing is wanting and cravings pass. Wait and see where you’re at in few hours or in a few days. You’ll be surprised how the urge to splurge actually passes. The moral of the story lovelies is Buy Less and Style More.

Tip! I use my Pinterest boards to both garner inspiration, capture aha style moments and essentially keep a style journal. What I pin consistently will inevitably become my next ReFashion or if the object of my affection is something I can not style, make or remake from my existing closet, I wait and see if I am still thinking about it. If so, I begin the process of looking for it. I start with thrift stores and if the desire persists, I start a leisurely search online. You may have caught my recent Spectator Shoe ReFashion, I had been willing those oxfords into existence for months when I happened upon them in a favorite long neglected thrift shop in Silverlake. Hurry Up and Wait!

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2. Get Creative! When I started SweetLeigh I started to put more energy into refashioning my closet. So obviously I am doing this series in hope that some of you join me in getting creative on this journey. But aside from thrifting items to refashion, I am often happilly surprised and delighted on how often I find items that fit my 280 lb 5-4 frame just as they are when Thrift shopping. Manifest lovelies, manifest! We fattie, especially, have been shopping online out of necessity for years. But give a thrift shop a chance. For my bigger sisters in particular I am scoping out a list of Plus thrift shops online loves! The rise of Clothing Swaps is another beautiful way to reuse/recycle clothing and they are everywhere and are likely to feature those trendy items you were obsessed with a while back! Organize one or just search Facebook groups! Believe me, they are everywhere for vintage and contemporary clothes alike. My #Untamed Style Sister Veronica Cid has started this one for Plus size women. Check it out!

Another way to seriously get creative is styling! Some of my favorites skirts are in rotation as strapless dresses and double as tops on occasion. I find that the Styling is everything when it comes to clothes. Yes we all have special pieces we hold with great affection that somehow are left waiting for an occasion, but we also have neglected pieces that can rock double duty Erryday! I call it Style Squared! Double the life and use of an item  by changing up how you wear it.

Tip!: Get Crafty, Its easier than you think. Why shouldn’t that adorable cat sweater that you have worn out become a fabulous wall hanging. Cut out a rectangle from the front panel and frame it. So easy, instant gratification and you get ot keep what you loved about the sweater as art. Before you tell me you’re not creative, you don’t have to think up a single unique ideas, the internet is as full of fab DIY’s as it is shopping sites! Just follow instructions. 😉

Anatomy of a ConsciousBabe

3. Be a ShowOff! This is the best part. Sharing your genius with the world! Because the way you carry yourself is amazing, the way you put yourself together is a skill and the fact that you care about making an impact on the world makes you a BeYoutiful Human! So Tell the word that you are a badass who cares and hashtag it! If you wear a #thrifted or #vintage piece in your outfit make it known!! If you #Refashioned those pants share it! If you are supporting an independent maker who has a small business benefiting their local community hashtag it #shopsmall. Hashtag your next conscious OOTD post #ConsciousBabes, own it and find your tribe! I Love my Conscious Babes! ❤

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015 Upsizing The Maxi Skirt

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Hi Lovelies! If you are just wandering onto my blog you’ll find me mid Wardrobe ReFashion! I had to share one more ReFashion2015 post before as March comes to an end! This one is another Upsize! I found this skirt at the thrift store. It was probably a size 14. I wear dress and bottoms from size 22-26! But it was an extremely full gathered circle skirt and if you remember from my last resize, that means it can be let out and the fabric more than accommodated my wider waist! Since the fabric of the skirt is sheer I thought it would be a nice way to show some of my best assets, my smokin’ hot legs! It Leggings, or tights makes it seasonless.untitled

ReFashion Sheer Mini Maxi Sew guide

  1. First I cut the waist band off of the skirt to let out the true width of fabric.
  2. Next I set aside some elastic and a new waist band to attach later.
  3. I used a T-shirt to replace the long polyester blend slip that was now too small. I cut the collar and sleeves off of an oversize t-shirt for my new slip. But you can also cut two rectangles of fabric of your choice if you sew and have fabric you’d like to use. You can also change it up and play with different colors if you like.
  4. Lastly I attached the slip the skirt, before sewing them to the new waistband. Then I insert the elastic as outlined in the Jogger Pant tutorial and there you have my newly ReFashioned Sheer Mini Maxi.

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The Sheer Mini Maxi w/ boots and a Leather Jacket for very sunny California Autumn.

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Here is my simple style take on the Mini Maxi for Spring/Summer w/ my fave wedges, Dr. Scholls.

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XOXOXO

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ReFashion2015: Spectator Sport

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ReFashion 2015 Continues Lovelies! Sometimes all it takes is a quick and dirty upgrade! I have become a huge fan of my little FolkArt Metallic waterbased non toxic paints. I have used them on 3 pairs of shoes so far and am pretty happy with them so far!

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 I wore this outfit to a screening of Blade Runner at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Too much fun with my two favorite blondes! Dinner, a movie and a some Old Hollywood casual glam. Even if no one else dresses up i like to pay homage doing my subtle theme thing.

11046626_10152602165677003_2914820237009245453_nNow for the Shoes! I have been wanting a great pair of oxfords for some time. I am really not one for cheap shoes, but when I came across these cute shoes at the thrift store, I couldn’t refuse! For the record Steve Madden and I don’t get along. I find the shoes cheap and ill fitting frankly. But because I was I found them at the thrift shop I was willing to work with them. The simple black and white oxfords were too cute to pass up and a bit too big which meant there was space for some serious comfort shoe inserts to counterbalance the thin flat soles. Also I am checking out how I might be able to add a more substantial heel and maybe even a more sole. The shoe cobbler won’t do any of that because their so inexpensive, but I’m going to try to bump up the quality on these guys a bit. Cuz that’s just how I roll!
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PicMonkey CollageThat being said, Such a simple redux. The technique I use to paint shoes is outlined on my ShoeBoot ReFashion. But again because these shoes aren’t leather the staying power of applying paint is limited so the paint job like the shoes are unfortunately temporary. I am definitely still on the hunt for a well made quality oxford but in the mean time I’ve recycled a very cute shoe that will do for now!

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11038108_10152602165582003_1701211102470653363_n Dress: One of my best Thrifted finds in a while!
Scarf: Oldie but Goodie from my Closet
Sweater Coat: Made my Moi, SweetLeigh
Shoes: Thrifted, ReFashioned

xoxo

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ReFashion 2015: Wardrobe Vision Board Pt. 2

In the first installment of my Wardrobe Vision Board Post I talked about figuring out the shapes and silhouettes that work best for me and identifying Basix that I have and need in my wardrobe. For me these are key to my Closet Makeover & Wardrobe ReFashion. The rest is all about getting really specific about your ReFashion Inspiration.

The third thing you need for your refashioning is Inspiration– So now that we know what works for us, what we have, and what we need – we can focus on the details! You have your list of ideal basix next up is some concrete inspiration. Images of great design that speaks to you with special details could transform your closet into STAPLES. Think of these inspiration pics as a template for altering those items in your closet that aren’t working!

Tunic InspirationTop Row Details:

  • Loving the sheer layer band at the bottom of the tunic.
  • I am a sucker for a long slim line tunic with a deep slit
  •  Cap sleeves are a simple make and is one of my favorites for hot weather.
  • I hadn’t thought about it before I saw the dress on the top right but both the color blocking is a great template to mix prints with scrap fabrics and the asymmetrical slit is a great detail in a tunic.

Bottom Row Details:

  • I love the longer bell sleeves!
  • A tunic that doubles as a tent dress, yes.
  • The wrap component of this makes me happy.
  • A classic tunic that definitely is long enough to work as a dress, hey I have some dresses that could easily double as tunics!

Denim Inspiration

I have never been a fan of jeans really, but these items have great Details:

  • Embroidery. Or an embroidery alternative. I am not a cutesy girl really but there is such sophistication in this simple white embroidery on this denim shirt. Gorgeous. Pick an image you love and will always love and go for it. Embroidery, transfer, painting, whatever the method, personalize.
  • I love the shape of the woman’s pants and jacket on the right. My fear of being round is over. I AM round and sometimes I like round silhouettes in my clothing. The pants are great and may be a way to go on future jean refashions.
  • The Jogger. You know I like it! The jean Jogger is so happening in my closet.
  • I love the idea of this cutout and I also love that it is on a “cigarette pant”. Both are inspiring me to rethink my denim.

BCBG Max Azaria Shirtdress Sleeves Inspo

So Major I can’t stand it! Shirt-dresses in any silhouette make me happy, but there are Mega Details to be had here:

  • The ruffle is sweet but could also be sexy if vertical and strategically placed!
  • The new classic diagram of modernizing the shirt really speaks to me.
  • I Love this sleeve and the drape. Top Row Right
  • Simple and to the point. A Long tunic shaped night shirt. I need this. And will be figuring out a refashion/or make soon!
  • That draped crossover works for a dress as easily as it does a tunic. So goooood. Can’t say no to draping.
  • The perfect shirtdress for me.

Number Four is of course to Accessorize What makes you unique could be your love of cowboy boots with any and everything, the ton of silver decorating your fingers and toes, the stack of bangles you collected around the world worn proudly on your arm, or that you only rock hand me downs and other sentimental pieces found or passed on to you from loved ones. You know what it is for you.

For me, it is ethnic jewelry, semi precious stones, normally one signature over sized simple style item . It could be my sweater coat, a scarf, my favorite leopard print booties, gigantic fringe earrings or my signature oversize glasses. But normally for me its one piece for impact/pop that ties it all together. I favor vintage, handmade and natural materials first and foremost. Combine the three and you are giving me LIFE!

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Love your details!  I hope these tips will help to give you a clear vision of how to alter something you have and aren’t using into something that you will wear and love! If your dream closet looks nothing like your closet right now, you have some fun and fabulous work to do! But clearing out that which doesn’t serve you is pretty liberating. Items that you know you can’t salvage can be swapped with a friend, donated to your favorite local thrift store or even stored away for those crafty projects you may have been pinning on Pinterest.

Now that you know what you have in your closet, what you’d like it to look like and what basix you might need, think about shopping more strategically when necessary. Your vision board is something like a wishlist that keeps you from getting too distracted from fashion industry garble. It can really help you to visualize and curate your working ‘dream’ closet.

I hope you make your own vision board and celebrate your style! FYI I have managed to thrift two of my wishlist items between Pt.1 and Pt.2 of this post. Score!

Coming up for ReFashion2015,  More ReFashions ofcourse, “DIY Alterations” and “Being a Conscious Babe!” *All images sourced from Pinterest. Don’t forget all of the ReFashion 2015 Posts are on the SweetLeigh Refashion 2015 Pin Board on Pinterest!

xoxo

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