I was at a friend’s recently when she showed me what she considered a borderline wardrobe item. It fit but she thought maybe it was too old or too dated. Could it be salvaged?
The answer is yes. Not always. Sometimes it is clearly too dated or worn (think acid washed jeans or tie-dye). But sometimes it can be updated. The updates can come in the form of some tailoring. I had an interesting medium grey pinstripe suit that fit, but it had a subtle lavender stripe which is why I was on the fence. I found that by making the jacket shorter in length and creating a two button clasp over the three button, it looked modern again. Even easier than tailoring though is accessorizing and wardrobing the item so it looks modern and even unique. So today, I’m analyzing three items that may be in your closet you can rescue.
1. The oversized houndstooth blazer.
Alrighty, so the problem here is the pattern of the houndstooth – it’s not small enough to feel modern or so oversized as to feel intentionally zany. That leaves us with either matronly or outdated. But a few simple styling changes can freshen it up and give you new outfit options:
Option A may not be totally realistic as we’re not big beret wearers here in Texas, but the idea of wearing the jacket open over a nude sheath or sweater dress and then pairing it with bright red accessories like scarves, necklaces or gloves is lovely and feels polished. Option B cloaks a dated neckline with a modern infinity scarf and then adds real interest with a teal colored skirt – any bright colored pencil skirt would do. I love Option C – pairing it with a full skirted black dress and then belting it (in a black or color) and donning some oversized pearls to create that vintage look. These are great ways to transform an item that tends to read “dowdy.”
2. The ribbed turtleneck.
This is super contingent on the turtleneck fabric. Heavy material that is meant to be a blouse not a sweater with deep ribbing is probably not salvageable. But relatively lightweight ribbed turtlenecks are great additions to a work wardrobe and sweater oversized turtlenecks also can be used. Here’s some great styling options:
Option A is a perfect way to modernize a bulky turtleneck. Pair it with a charcoal pencil skirt, updo, and small pocketbook. Everything should be small in scale to the oversized turtleneck. Alternatively, Option B throws a lighter turtleneck under a modern peacoat, classic gold chain, but quirky animal print skirt and suede boots. A great way to mix eras and patterns. Finally, the last two options show how to wear a turtleneck on the weekend – pair it with an infinity scarf, skinny jean/pant, and ankle boot or with a blazer, trouser jean, and oversized handbag. Perfect for those of us in Houston who get to wear turtlenecks one month a year!
3. The denim jacket.
Eradicate denim on denim. Then eradicate super acid washed pale denim. But these medium denims (pictured) or even darker denims can become fun and creative additions to your wardrobe.
Okay, so one consistent is a pop of color. Whether it’s a top or skirt, you should pair that old denim jacket with something bright. This first idea is great for an outing with girlfriends on Saturday. Simple hair, bold earrings and sunglasses, and then the denim paired with a t-shirt and bright colored belted skirt. Such fun. Option B is a great idea for Casual Friday at work. She paired a tweed skirt and coordinating shell with heels and her denim jacket – a great way to incorporate denim on Fridays. And Option C is a savior for moms-on-the go – throw on a maxi skirt and yellow t-shirt and then pair it with denim so you don’t get cold in the movie theatre and some sandals you can chase kids in. Each of these women have an intentional look to their outfit that remains modern.
What tricky item is in your wardrobe that you’d like to salvage???