Fall Wardrobe ’08–Part 5

photo from saks.com
photo from saks.com

I had a realization yesterday. For these reasons, when I go shopping I rarely find clothes I want to purchase:

  • I can make that–usually I can make something as well or better than the clothes I see in the stores
  • I can make that for a fraction of the cost–when considering the premium labels (Channel, Armani, Ralph Lauren Black, etc.), I like a lot of what I see, but I could never pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for clothing I enjoy sewing myself
  • I like that, but…–I get ideas from ready-to -wear, but always want to customize a look…a different fabric, color or cut
  • Where have all the beautiful clothes gone?–sometimes I shop ’till I drop and find only a handful of what I consider to be truly good looking garments; I get more inspiration from the runway shows where I can see the designer’s complete collection and I can decide what’s the cream of the crop
  • I can make that in an afternoon–some clothes are so easy to make that I can make them in the amount of time it takes to drive to a store, shop, purchase and drive home

Shopping becomes an exercise in futility, UNLESS I capture some inspiration in the process. Here are some(sadly few) garments I liked from a recent expedition:

This corduroy skirt and cap sleeved t-neck from Theory is a nice daytime look for the changing season. I like having pockets in the skirt and I like the tab detail at the waist. The skirt comes in teal, not one of my favorite colors. I think I’ll make something like this in taupe or gray. A short sleeved t-neck is nice for fall and I can wear it under sweaters in the winter–


I love jackets and this one from Akris is modern looking. It’s boxy cut requires something very fitted on the bottom, especially for those of us who are on the shorter side. It has a zipper closure with a placket with snaps over the zipper and it’s made from the yummiest cashmere. It’s burnt orange but I can see it in red or gray or even pink! It’s unlined, but beautifully finished inside (what do you want for over $1,200!?!)–


This skirt from Vince will become a wardrobe staple. It’s made from heavy, two way stretch knit and I love the shape! See how it’s tapered at the hem? That, along with the perfect fit you can get from a knit and the topstitched front and back seaming make this skirt uber flattering. From the picture of inside the waistband you can see the nice elastic finishing–worth a try. This shape would work well with the Akris jacket above.



This knit shirt from Theory is fresh looking and the neckline is very flattering. It’s a nice change from a standard t-shirt. I’ve had a pattern like this since summer and I’ll get that out and give it a try–


I liked the design of this shirt–it’s a little dressy and would look good over a pair of slacks in the evening. However, it’s made from cotton broadcloth and I think it would work better in silk; maybe silk broadcloth or taffeta in a rich jewel tone.


I like the idea of this cashmere dress from Michael Stars–it would be cute with a white shirt or turtleneck under it with black tights, or over skinny jeans. I tried it on but I looked like a sack of potatoes. Maybe it would work with a more fitted sleeve and a belt slung low on the hips?–


Finally, I found this suede skirt from Lafayette in a dark chocolate brown (much darker than the picture looks). I love suede skirts, they can be casual or dressed up, they have a rough hewn texture that compliments fine knits and silks in a yin and yang way. It’s very full, with pleats at the waist and the only way I’d be able to wear a skirt like this would be with a very fitted, tucked-in top and high heeled boots to give me more height. I’ve made a few suede skirts that have turned out well and hope to do another this season–

So here’s my epiphany from my lastest shopping expidition–I actually had money in my pocket ready to spend, but I’d get much more satisfaction from a trip to the fabric store and then using the left-over cash for some great shoes, boots and belts!

Ta-Ta for Now!

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