Sunday, February 26, 2012

Altering and painting shoes

Ever since I got my Helmut Lang blazer I've been thinking that the shoulders are too strong for me. The shoulder pads are huge, definitely intentionally, to create a strong Lang look. I used the blazer, but never felt quite comfortable wearing it even though I love everything else about it. I finally decided to bring it to a tailor to see what she could do about it. She removed the pads and tried with some smaller ones, but it didn't turn out good. So finally she altered it completely and removed the shoulder pads and about an inch of the width of the shoulders.  Some people might think that that having a designer's piece altered in a way that completely changes the designer's idea would be a faux pas. I was very hesitant about it, but really wanted to wear it more often and feel comfortable about it. I'm so happy with the result. It still has a great shape, and I don't feel self-conscious wearing it. What do you think, am I guilty of  blasphemy?

Helmut Lang blazer, Etoile linen tee, Rag & Bone jeans and L.D Tuttle boots

I had a similair problem with my green suede L.D Tuttle boots. I mean, green suede, what was I thinking? They hardly go with anything. I love the design, and finally decided to get some black suede paint and dye them myself. I actually painted them with a paintbrush. I was nervous about it at first, but happy with the result. 

I've had quite a few thing altered recently, and for me it's been a great way to improve my closet. It takes some guts and a tailor you can trust!

On a completely different note, lately I've been so tired of my wool cardigans and knits. I'm so ready for spring knits and boots! The weather today is actually very spring-like, so here's what I'm wearing today. An open knit with a shirt, a nice alternative to a cardigan. 


Isabel Marant Etoile knit and shirt, J Brand jeans and Isabel Marant boots

24 comments:

  1. It's worth making some alterations if you definitely know what the problem is. A tailor has been an indispensable part of my wardrobe through the years.

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    1. I know, the hard thing is just to find a tailor you can trust. i was pretty nervous about it at first.

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  2. This is what I always do when my favorite clothes don't fit. A trusted tailor and change:D Recently eliminated the belt loops in a new blazer from I.Marant, just because I want to wear it without the strap.

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    1. It's such a great feeling when you find new ways to wear the stuff you like, but that isn't perfect.

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  3. the open knit as a "cardigan" is such a good idea! I can think of some clothes that might look kind of funny under an open knit but I suppose as long as you think for a moment before leaving the door this would work out great!

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    1. I know, some things probably look funny under an open knit. I think I prefer just a tank under it, but it's just too cold for that now!Sometimes I actually don't have time to check the mirror before I run to the train station in the morning, but hopefully it doesn't look too bad.

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  4. The boots turned out really well, I'm surprised! So you painted the heel as well? Definitely more versatile than dark green! Everything looks great, I love the color of the linen tee too. I saw it at Barneys, but they only had it in the cap sleeve tee.

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    1. I know, I'm surprised too! Yes, I painted the heel and then added some shoe shine polish to make them really black. I like the cap sleeve tees to, but the long sleeve is more versatile for me.

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  5. kudos for making your alterations! everything used to be made-to-measure anyway, so what's the point of owning an expensive item if you're not happy with it? i am verrrry impressed with the DIY suede makeover - i had no idea there's such a thing as suede paint! is it permanent once you treat it?

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    1. I know, I didn't know about suede paint before I read about it on a blog. It's permanent! I had to paint them three times, and then add black suede protector too. It took a couple of hours, but it was kinda exciting too!

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  6. Love the IM shirt - and I feel exactly the same way right now, too. I have developed something of an intolerance to harsh weather, which has only just lessened somewhat here. It definitely is a relief to be able to wear less bulky clothing, and to tone down the layering a bit.

    An interesting post: I felt similar when I had my apc wool coat tailored. It was either that or put it on ebay, which wasn't all that fabulous an option considering nobody was prepared to pay even a fraction of the price I had initially spent on it - even in new with tags condition. It made far more sense to have it altered to fit, to personalise it....and I wonder why this should even be a strange concept, really. It seems to make more economical sense to have something made 'perfect' than to sell it for less than you paid. Perhaps I would feel differently about a Chanel suit!!?

    I guess I rarely envisage selling something on, or even handing it down. I want to make it work for me, and to eventually wear it out with love! I don't like the idea of feeling this vague pressure to preserve.....perhaps because the item would not fully feel like my 'own'...I don't know.
    Fascinating stuff.

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    1. In this case I really wanted to make them work for me. When it comes to the shoes I was mostly nervous about them ending up ruined and ugly, but the blazer was a different story. It was about changing the entire shape of it in away that wasn't intended by the designer, so I felt kinda bad about it. But like you said, it doesn't make any sense to sell it for a fraction of the price, and I still liked it! I wanted to wear them out of love too.

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    2. I know what lapin de lune is talking about it! I used to feel especially hesitant about altering designer items, because I feel like I'm lowering the re-sale value of them. But then I have to ask myself do I buy my clothes to sell? Or am I buying them to wear? It's why I think that most of my "designer" pieces (esp. the ones bought w/o seeing it in person) have no value to anyone but me, because they're not in Brand New condition. I just dropped the biggest fashion purchase of my life at my tailor's for alterations--taking in the shoulders for me too. And the prior owner of it had it altered as well.

      On a side note, I've read that Chanel jackets are intentionally constructed to be altered up and down a few sizes.

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    3. I know exactly what you mean! I had a pair of jeans altered recently, and my immediate thought was - now I can't sell them! I just got them, and already I'm thinking about selling them,even though I really like them. Insane. I can't wait to see the biggest fashion puchse of your life!! That's interesting about Chanel jackets, I never heard of that before.

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  7. No, not blasphemy because not all bodies are alike and sometimes clothes require alterations to fit perfectly. In any event I think what you is very gutsy as altering the shoulder line like that could have ended in disaster. I am never game enough to make extensive alterations. In the past I have cut my loses and sold the garmet. Also these days I try not to buy anything which requires altering (bar the hem being taken up). Still sometimes buying duds though... slowly I'm learning :)

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    1. I know, it could have ended in disaster! I was a bit nervous about it at first. I didn't expect to feel like this about the shoulder pads, but I still liked it too much to sell it. I also try to stay away from things that need altering, but sometimes I fall in love with something that is almost perfect:)!

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  8. I think altering something is better than leaving it alone and never wearing it. But I've yet to find a tailor I trust for complicated alterations.

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    1. That's how I feel about it too. It took me years to find a tailor I can trust!

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  9. Definitely nothing wrong with altering a designer item to make it fit you perfectly - especially if it's just shoulder pads! The blazer looks lovely on you.

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad I had the guts to do it!

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  10. I'm impressed by the results with the boots! The painting is a great idea to keep in mind!
    Having lived in West Africa at a time when the cheapest way to get dressed was to buy your material and bring it to a tailor, I know how tricky and upsetting it can be to expose and explain what you have in mind and then to get the result you expect (or not).
    I'm glad the jacket's modifications turned out well for you! I experienced as much disapointments with mediocre work as tremendous joys to own a one of a kind item.

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    1. I know, I didn't think they'd turn out that good either!
      That sounds really interesting, about bringing your fabric to a tailor being the cheapest way to get dressed! I've never been able to to that here, it's so expensive.

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  11. Nothing wrong with getting something altered in order to achieve the perfect fit. Your jacket looks great on you.

    http://herribbonsandherbows.blogspot.co.uk/

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