The Uniform Project

Hello fashion lovers,

So, I know this project isn’t the latest or greatest in the breaking news on the fashion forefront, but as I think of new inspiration for fashion, the direction in which fashion is going and the need for change, this project always comes back to me as utterly inspiring.

What Project you ask? It was called the Uniform Project, and the premise was…. well why should I bore you with my synopsis? Watch the founders ted talk! The Story begins at marker :42 or if you just want to know about the dress  start at 6:15 minute 8:00 shows you what happened.

 

 

If you’re more for reading it click the story on the official site here.

 

I had just graduated from my fashion design undergraduate when this awesome lady started this endeavor and I had the fortunate experience of watching the project unfold when they launched their official site. I can never remember who introduced me to this project, but I can say that it most definitely changed my life. When they talked about releasing the patterns for this glorious dress I pre-ordered my pattern for $30 which felt like all the money in the world to me at the time, and I squealed with joy when it reached my door.

Before I get waaaaay ahead of myself in the reminiscing and dreaminess of this wonderful project. I remembered this project is awesome to me and relevant to this blog in two ways.

1. It was a means of using fashion to break traditional shopping cycles.

2. It educated people about a new and real issue and gave them the opportunity to make a difference. And since I’m a teacher I melted inside when it had to do with sending children to school.

Could you imagine how drastically the entire world would change if we were forced to creatively solve fashion with a uniform? Or how drastically we could cut consumption but still maintain our creativity?

This project inspires me endlessly. I think I myself would have jumped at the task if it had been a plus size dress.

Maybe one day right?

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Go peruse the site! The Uniform Project

Thoughts? Feelings? I’d love to hear what you think of this awesome project!

❤ Evelynlouise

Chiffon: Only for the responsible?

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Chiffon, Chiffon, Everywhere! These past  few seasons have been all about chiffon. Blouses, skirts, dresses.

The sheer light weight and very beautifully draping fabric looks good in a multitude of shades and styles. It lends itself well to loose-fitting blouses.

What do I love about chiffon blouses? You can throw on a camisole underneath and you have a wonderful silhouette viewable from the outside, but the flowing color and drape of the fabric tends to hide those lumps and bumps. I purchased myself some cute chiffon blouses from Torrid before the summer began, and they make a summer day pretty enjoyable.

Not to mention dark chiffon’s with busy patterns allow for wear without a camisole, which makes the look even more light and airy and wonderful.

 

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However, chiffon does have its drawbacks. The worst of which it’s very easy to snag if you’re not careful. One of my closest friends was recently told that she was not responsible enough to wear chiffon. So where is this going?

Well, if you are not an avid or regular wearer of chiffon, you may see these beautifully designed pieces in stores right now and be apprehensive to give it a go. So here are my top 6 tips for beginner chiffon wearers, both for wear and care of these gorgeous garments.

1. Start with a Polyester Chiffon. Why polyester? It’s a pretty inexpensive and durable fabric, so you won’t end up paying highway robbery for silk that is not only expensive to purchase, but also costly to clean as most silk garments are dry clean only. That also said silk chiffon in my opinion snags way easier than polyester chiffon.

2. NEVER dry your chiffon in a dryer. Polyester chiffon doesn’t tend to wrinkle and it isn’t hard to care for. Make sure to wash your chiffon garments in a perm press or delicate wash on cold and when it’s done, just hang it up in the bathroom. It won’t end up being stiff like other garments when they hang dry, but it will lengthen the life of your garment.

3. Don’t wear your chiffon garments for a rigorous day. I love to wear chiffon, but I work a day job where I process paperwork and move and file boxes. This means lots of lifting, rough edges of cardboard boxes, and the sharp metal edges of filing cabinets, that are just perfect for snagging those super fine threads. Save your chiffon garments for a desk job, a relaxing evening out. If you’re going to be rolling on concrete or velcro, this is not the garment for you.

4. Start with a dark, patterned or textured chiffon to start.  Dark colors such as black, navy or brown in addition to busy patterns or a crinkled texture will hide the inevitable snarls that are bound to happen. Having a darker or patterned chiffon means that a small snag here or there isn’t going to make the garment un-wearable. Start with a darker color to find out if you’re life really is full of abrasive materials to snag this luxurious fabric. My first chiffon garment was a gorgeous knee-length sun dress. It was a black textured polyester chiffon. The garment itself with the above rules is still kicking, but I definitely had some snags to tend to.

5. NEVER pull a snag.  You see a loose thread, I know all of our first instincts is to pull it. With chiffon this is a horrible idea. What will end up happening is a larger noticeable line pucker in your garment. Since it’s a woven and not a knit, it won’t unravel if the thread is cut. If it pulled itself, gently pull the fabric along the snag and whatever thread is left over, cut with some sharp snips or scissors. It’s not the ideal, but it at least won’t keep unraveling.

6. Get your garment repaired if it’s tearing in the seam. In addition if seams are showing wear and shredding, do not continue to wear the garment before it’s repaired. Continued wear will continue to shred the fabric until there is no way to really repair the shredded fabric because you’ve turned the seam into its individual threads.

So happy chiffon wearing! It’s a gorgeous fabric and it does marvelous things, but keep these tips in mind before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on that gorgeous cream silk chiffon blouse.

Your fashion guide,

Evelynlouise

Breaking a style slump

Every single one of us has done it. We’ve walked to our closet, the laundry basket, the dresser. We’ve touched every single piece of clothing we own. Some of us will try on 20 different pieces flinging them haphazardly around the room, some of us will hang each piece back in the closet once we are done. However, at the end of this closet assessment many of us say the most annoying 5 words,

“I have nothing to wear!”

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Now I would like not to approach this topic with the same advice as 100 different bloggers. However, I’m sure I’ll have some similar things to say. Instead here are my top 10 ways to style-rut bust your own closet and maybe your own personal dressing habits.

  1. Ask yourself, do I know what I want to wear, or am I just bored with what is currently in my closet? There are many things to consider when you say those redundant and cliche words to your closet. What’s really going on? Are you feeling badly about yourself? Is it time to change your style from casual college student to a more grown-up look. Have you realized you are completely over your oversized boyfriend cardigan phase? We all have different reasons, try thinking of the deeper problem.
  2. IF I am just bored with what’s in my closet, I start the purge. I go through everything, jewelry, shoes, bags, tops, bottoms, skirts, jackets. If it doesn’t need to stay I fold it nicely in a bag and take it to a local second hand store that we have in Indianapolis called Simply Chic. They buy gently used women’s clothing up to size 24. Other stores that do this are Plato’s Closet, and consignment shops.  I start here, because not only does this usually put some money back in to my pocket I can also peruse some great garments in current styles that are not brand new so not only am I being more eco minded, but the price tag is better on the budget.  I usually take what they won’t buy and donate it to one of the 5 Goodwill’s in my area. Some plus size woman in my area has some stylish duds. At the end, I may not have more to wear, but I can finally see the clothes I like to wear because there is more room in my closet! It’s amazing how getting rid of what you hate in your closet can really make the things you like wearing look completely new and different.
  3. “Retail therapy doesn’t solve all of your woes.”  When this happens to most women the first thing they do is take to the mall. When you are a plus sized girl taking to the mall usually means crying in to your Orange Julius after a frustrating day of finding nothing that fit, was in the right budget or in the styles you want. And why would it be? You’re going to stores no geared toward you. You’re setting yourself up to feel horrible. Look up the stores that find plus sized clothes. Find out if they even have styles that look like something you’d wear, then go and try things on. But if you’re anything like me, you say, “I NEED something new.” You go to 15 stores buy a crap ton of stuff you’re only half satisfied with and then come home having deep buyers remorse. I tend to recognized after the fact that I didn’t really want that two tone blazer that looked only half flattering on me in fluorescent lighting, I needed that sales lady who told me how pretty I looked in it. Call a friend have a coffee, take someone with you before you go crazy with the credit card.
  4. Start scouring the internet. I’ve taken to making polyvore collections, pinterest boards, etc. Putting together and playing with new styles. I will let them sit for days or weeks to see if it’s a style I can really get down with before I decide to start re-inventing my entire wardrobe.  If you’re unsure of what you want to do with your personal style find things that inspire you, pin them, clip them out of magazines. They don’t have to match or have plans just yet, because it’s still an idea.
  5. Watch old movies. History repeats itself, especially in fashion. The great thing about vintage styles, you can almost always find vintage clothing on the internet, or there is someone who is currently styling in that way. Put on a movie you’ve never seen before, pay attention to the clothes. Did any of it make you think of a look you want to adopt? Try making modern versions of it!
  6. Hand made pieces. The advent of easy means that you don’t have to be a crafter or a seamstress to find amazing hand made pieces, or people who are willing to make them for you. Did you really have something in mind, but you just aren’t finding it, or you just don’t want to have to make it yourself? Etsy is a great way to support small businesses and acquire a piece of clothing that inspires something in you.
  7. Get a new haircut/ color.  Chop it all off.  Get highlights, go blonde. So many women gain control over their lives by their lovely locks. Having had hair ranging from shaved all the way to middle of my back I must suggest to all of you. Break that slump you have with your look with a new hairstyle. Not an unrealistic picture of Cameron Diaz where you then essentially tell your hair dresser that you don’t want to change anything. Be Brave, hair grows back! Sometimes Trying something new on yourself is the answer!
  8. Start with one piece you like.  Find one piece in your closet you like, it can even be accessories. Build upon it.  I like to start from the ground up some times. I start with a pair of shoes I want to showcase and then build my outfit around it. Try it, it may give you new ideas about the clothes you own. Try to avoid past combinations, trust me your mirror isn’t going to make fun of you for trying something new in the comfort of your own bedroom.
  9. Accessorize. Sometimes, I feel like I have nothing to wear because I feel like my clothes are going out of style. But I really try to make sure that my clothes don’t end up in landfills, and I try to buy second hand, etc. In addition, my household isn’t exactly flush with cash. So I take it back to classics like the little black dress, or an oxford shirt, a skirt I find super beautiful to wear and I usually end up at Target, Icing, Claires, Goodwill, or vintage shops and I start finding new accessories. It’s less expensive, but it really can change a look.  
  10. Remember, sometimes you just need a nap.  Sometimes we all have off days, no matter what size you are. I’ve found it doesn’t pay to be impulsive when it comes to clothing. Impulsive buying is why I have an entire rack of scarves I’ll never wear. Find a piece of clothing you can’t stop looking at, find something in your closet that just needs to be updated with some jewelry. Maybe you’re just feeling crappy about your closet because you’re feeling crappy about life.

Remember to look at your motivations for things. I promise you, you have something to wear. And hey, if you really just need change constantly! Try one of those awesome new clothing rental services online! Like Gwynnie Bee. They carry plus sizes, and you can just get rid of the frustrating closet all together!

Best Wishes for better wardrobe feels,

Evelynlouise

 

Now that’s one classy lady…

When I am feeling slumped in creativity I start watching movies. Anything I can get my hands on, just something to give me new ideas and fresh point of view. Well, I have been preparing lectures for modern history course I have been teaching at the local art college and I started watching old movies from the 1940’s -1960’s. I have to publicly eat crow. If for no better reason than, I really thought throughout my life and love affair with history of fashion that I despised the 1960’s. And in a lot of ways I can still point to things I don’t like about it. For example, being a plus sized woman in the 60’s looked to be nonexistent in media. It’s hard to find representation of the beautiful curves from the 1950’s, unless you watch the later seasons of Mad Men and see Christina Hendricks and her beautifully custom tailored garments, but I digress.

Why do I have to eat crow?

I ended up watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. For those of you who need a little kick to your creative fashion sense, go to your local library and pick up a copy of this movie.  It’s super cute, but more importantly it is a hot bed of the current trends. I couldn’t believe how many things I’ve seen in the last 3 years that come straight out of this movie. Not just in clothing, but also in housewares.  It reminded me that we have Ms. Audrey Hepburn to thank for the staple of the Little Black Dress, and that anything can be solved with a giant hat! 🙂 If you ever think getting ready should take a long time to do, watch this movie, it reminds you it’s about your confidence!

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