Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Cute and Comfortable

There is no actual law that says that a person of inner beauty cannot also maintain an appearance.Robert Brault

Everything I know about clothes, I learned from Stacy and Clinton. I've been watching What Not To Wear for three or four years now and they always emphasize that you have to make your clothes work for you and your body type. This is the diary of my own little What-Not-to-Wear-distance-learning-on-a-shoe-string-budget experiment.

Today we're talking about comfort. Comfort is the main thing we all want out of our clothes. No one wants to go around bothered by clothes that are too itchy or too tight or just plain uncomfortable all day. When you mention the word comfortable in conjunction with clothes, however, it is not always associated with stylish. Most of the time they are perceived to be at opposite ends of the fashion scale. But the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. Take for instance the basic t-shirt. Round neck, short sleeves, comfortable. But not very cute. The neck-line is usually right at the throat, which cuts off your neckline and you're basically dressed in a big rectangle which just kind of covers you up instead of flattering your shape.

This fun geometric print top is a variation on the basic tee. The neck is scooped with a wide pin-tuck band, which adds interest, accentuates the bust line and turns a basic rectangle into a more interesting, flattering shape. The gathered sleeves are also a step up from the basic tee and add a little feminine touch. Pair it with a dark wash jean {who doesn't love jeans?} and your favorite shoes, and you've got an outfit that is not only stylish, but comfortable as well.

Finding great clothes doesn't have to cost a lot. This top was one of the things I snagged for a great deal on a recent shopping trip. It comes in several different prints and is so cute I'd love to have one in every color. I got mine in the petites department, because the term “petite,” when referring to clothes, generally just means “shorter.” The right length for a top is important. Making clothes work for you involves several optical illusions. If the hem of your shirt falls past the crotch of your pants, it shortens you. Most shirts in the women's department are too long for me and I have to hem them. Doing alterations is not one of my favorite things, so I bought the “shorter” version of the shirt to save myself a bit of work.

Style & Co. Cap Sleeve Pleated Collar Top, Macy's
Retail: $19.98
Out-the-door: $13.99

Levi's 512 Dark Wash Bootcut Jeans, Macy's
Retail: $54.00
Out-the-door: $36.32

Rampage White Cracked Patent Leather Shoes {4½” heel, 1” platform}, Burlington Coat Factory
Retail: $40.00ish
Out-the-door: $19.99

Raspberry ¾-Sleeve Cardigan with lettuce-edge trim, Chadwick's of Boston
I've had it for so long I don't remember how much it cost.

Red ¾-Sleeve Cardigan
I got this second-hand {for free :biggrin:}. It was a mock twin-set. The front panel, which was a full-length dickie of sorts that posed as a top underneath the cardigan, had a really high neck, but I loved the shape of the cardigan. I cut away the front panel, took off the buttons, dyed it from a sort of coral pink {because I already had a cardigan that color} to red, added some pretty pearl buttons with silver trim and voilá. A cardigan to dress up any outfit. Total cost in dye and buttons: $8.00.


Becky said...

Very helpful information--thanks! You look adorable in this outfit:)

Shay said...

Oh my gosh look gorgeous.

I totally agree you dont have to spend a fortune to look well turned out.

How clever are you for de constructing a cardy!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

You look great in that outfit, I agree that clothes don't have to be expensive to look great!

Annelise said...

I didn't know you were such a bargain shopper!! You are always so chic and stylish. Your red coat a few posts ago is my favorite! And these pictures are great. So pretty!! Also, I haven't talked to you in but I've been noticing and loving your new dark hair every Sunday from the opposite side of the room. :)

QuiltNut Creations said...

Loving this outfit! That shirt is fantastic.

Michelle said...

Interesting how one piece of clothing can create such flair. :-)

Paulette said...

You look so well put together, E.! I really love that graphic print shirt and both the raspberry and red sweaters with it (ingenious way to retool that cardigan). Looks great with the dark jeans, which look like they fit exactly like good jeans are supposed to fit and are very flattering!