Make It Work

Post by T.M.

Oh my Gawd, I’m sooo embarrassed. When discussing the trends of 2014 I have repeatedly been referring to ‘pastels’, you know, those light blue, pink, yellow and green shades that Laura Ashley favoured so much in the early 90s and I’ve only just discovered that I have been using a very old-fashioned term. For it’s not pastels anymore, I should be saying fondants. Thanks Grazia, for drawing my attention to that one. Humph.

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But they ARE pastels

Terribly, that’s not the only fashion faux pas I’ve been guilty of during the past week. A few days ago I unearthed an old dress – a purple drop-waist number from Top Shop that I bought for my 21st birthday party. To my horror of horrors, when I tried it on – it didn’t fit. Now it wasn’t too small (or too big), it was just the completely wrong fit for my body shape. It clung to all the wrong places, it highlighted everything I want to disguise and it was a very unflattering length for my normally OK legs. How could I have not noticed this all those years ago? Did it look as bad on my 21-year-old self as it does on me now? It would surely have been the same story since I’ve been the same dress size for practically my whole life. ‘Unfortunately’, I don’t know how bad/good it looked – there are no photos on record. Although maybe that in itself is a tell-tale sign…

Purple drop-waist dress
This is what it looks like – except mine is definitely not Gucci.

It’s always disappointing when you realise that a certain style simply does not suit you. I am really into the fashion of the roaring ’20s and it almost pains me to admit that I would have to do some serious alterations to make the look of that era work for me. I say almost because this blog has always maintained that you should always dress in the way that you feel comfortable and good in – following trends is optional – and in that case you should always wear whatever the hell you want. So if it doesn’t quite fit – make it work. Credit must go to America’s style sage Tim Gunn for that bon mot.

roaring '20s
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My problem is that the drop-waist of my purple flapper style dress was dropped too far for my short little torso. A little hitch up and it would be grand. That would shorten the length too, killing another bird with the gilded stone. Not all flappers had the boyish figure needed to pull off the desired look, but see that sassy broad in the pic above, third from the left? She looks fantastic in a swingy skirt and sweater combo, with her cute little hat and dandy shoes. She is totally making it work for her.

You are probably well aware that midi skirts are all the rage right now. Originally brought back into fashion via Mad Men inspired collections, this tricky length should be the saviour of most women, but obviously, because it’s tricky, it’s certainly not. The good news is there is a way to make the midi-length skirt look good on anyone. You simply must be prepared to alter; buy longer rather than shorter so that you can find out the right length for you and modify it to your specification. And for those who are short of leg, be prepared to wear a heel.

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Photo Credit:
However, this young, petite gal about town proves that flats can be worn with this length. Rules are made to be broken!

You won’t be surprised to read that it’s all a case of trial and error. I have a mid-length skirt that I keep on wanting to wear but I know will only go with a certain pair of sky-high shoes that live back home in The West. Its day will come.

My point is – don’t be put off if a style of clothing doesn’t immediately appear to suit you. There are ways to make it work – you just need to get creative about it. We believe that individual takes on looks are far cooler than when it appears to have come straight ‘off the rack’ or has been copied piece by piece from a fashion mag. Remember – individuality and creativity are key in the world of fashion – and that rule is not restricted to industry insiders.

If any of you have any good ideas about how you made an item work for you, please share below!

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