Lin - a post especially for you.
When I did a post on the Gap 1969 boyfriend jeans, this Whistles top seemed to generate some interest due to the fact that it started out life formerly as a shirt dress.
The Shirt formerly known as Dress.
I bought the dress in a Whistles sale for £15 so I wasn't breaking the bank exactly. Now delighted as I was for having scored this bargain, I wasn't entirely sure how this shirt dress was going to look on me and I knew I was in potential danger of looking like a hospital patient if I didn't carry it off with sufficient fashion aplomb. But I loved the pattern and the colours so I bought it any way.
I actually changed the clear bead buttons at one point ...
.....and then changed them back again.
Demented. I am.
Demented. I am.
Having got it home and and tried it on in front of the mirror, I came to the dawning realisation that hospital patient was the only look I was ever going to achieve with this dress (not ideal). I belted it but deemed it too uncomfortable worn this way as I don't really like restrictions which prevent my belly reaching it's full food capacity. Also, I found that if you sat down, moved around a bit, you had to tweak everything back in to place to make it sit just so. I also pinned it to just above my knee to make it a little more happening but no it still fell in to frump factor for me. So from a dress point, this was a failure.
However, the one thing I haven't mentioned was that before the sale, I had seen the shirt version of this dress and this fact was not wasted on me and I realised I could turn the dress into a shirt. I worked out the best length for me and although I could have done the alteration myself, I sent it back to Hong Kong with my sister to get the alterations done at a little stall in Tai Po market. The alteration probably worked out at something like £2 which is why I sent it back to to Hong Kong rather than attempt it myself. I would say at this point, this was a relatively simple alteration with the dress being cotton and a non stretchy fabric which makes sewing so much easier. However, I was just plain lazy.
Miss Prissy Pants Look.
The shirt formerly known as dress now has regular sojurns out of the wardrobe as I feel it's a pretty piece which is not only comfortable but is dressy in a dress down way.
The successful amputation on the first dress meant that I was less scared to repeat the same operation with another dress. This time, the victim was a mulberry silk number which I picked up in the Zara sale over the summer. This was a dress which I had tried on in the shop, loved but didn't buy, then it disappeared from the shop floor which sent me in to a hunting frenzy, then ordered it when I spotted it on line and sent it back again as I thought it a tad expensive for a very thin, unlined (though nice silk) dress which I had nowhere to go in. But when it came up in the sale - that was a different matter because it then became a reasonable silk dress for the price of £30. I had a few reservations about the dress when it arrived as (1) The dress was unlined and thin and if I chose to wear with opaques, I became the Static Monster. (2) The dress being very thin made me feel a little cold and a bit vulnerable but I didn't want to have to wear a slip underneath. (3) for some reason, rather than making this dress as one continuous piece, they decided to make the lower half as a band and resew this back to the dress which I found a bit pointless and also annoyed me with my anal pattern matching tendencies. Reading that back makes me wonder why I kept it at all!!!
That band mismatch bugs me big time.
I just don't get it.
I just don't get it.
Grrr ... stupid unnecessary design detail (adopt petulant tone).
If the dress had been a one piece shift dress all the way up and down, I probably wouldn't have cut it up and worked with it but the silly band annoyed me ... and it puckered the tiniest bit on the seam. Picky - moi? Yup. Some might still question my decision to cut up a perfectly good dress but I did this on the basis that I have a lot of pretty dresses sitting in my wardrobe still waiting their outing and this one would have met the same fate and it's redeeming feature is that I could see it's potential as a lovely pretty top. The pattern is such that it can be worn with jeans and look dressed down but it can also be paired with smart trousers or a suitable skirt and be worn for work (if I had an office type job) or even for a night out for drinks (not night clubbing) worn with a black velvet blazer, skinnies and a pair of rocking shoes.
Doesn't match exactly - good!
Can have green bottoms, grey bottoms, black bottoms, anything you like....
... as long as you tie in the shoes.
I've paired the top with my damson chinos here as I just liked the mix. The damson is not a perfect match with the red tones in the top but I like it for that very reason. I don't always like my pairings to be too mitchy matchy. Add the Mango jacket to finish off and you're ready for a lunch with the girls.
Good to go!
Alternatively, the top works just as well with a pair of boyfriend jeans.
I finally got me some pointy mamas!
Pointy Mamas which I can walk in.
And with minimal toe cleavage. Big bugbear.
So the frock failures have now become shirt successes to me. Has anyone else attempted anything like this? Has anyone adapted their existing clothing to give it a whole new lease of life? Am I mad for chopping up my dresses? I'd be interested to hear your views.
So Lin - you going for it? And will there by any before and after shots?
Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.
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