Camouflage has been making its way into mainstream fashion over the past few years. Designer labels such as Valentino, Michael Kors, Burberry and Dries Van Noten have been incorporating this green and khaki-colored print into their ready-to-wear lines for a couple of years now. As it started to capture the attention of the general public, it has become more mainstream. With stylish and affordable takes on the pattern in such places as J.Crew, The Gap and Banana Republic. From skinny jeans to tailored pants, from jackets to dresses, we're seeing stylish, chic and modern takes on the battlefield uniform. From the front lines, to the runway to Fifth Avenue does Camouflage have what it takes to become a classic?
Sant Ambroeus, Felidia, Bemelmans Bar (cocktails at the Carlyle), The King Cole (Bar at the St. Regis - home of the original Bloody Mary), The Modern, Balthazar, The Press Lounge (Rooftop Bar), The Standard (Rooftop Bar), BG at Bergdorf Goodman, Bedford Post Inn (Bedford, NY), The Inn at Pound Ridge (Pound Ridge, NY)
Connecticut (Fairfield County):
Match (South Norwalk), Barcelona (South Norwalk and Fairfield), Rive Bistro (Westport), The Whelk (Westport), Southend (New Canaan), Le Penguin (Westport), Pearl at Longshore (Westport), Artisan at The Delamar, especially outside in Summer (Southport), The Schoolhouse (Cannondale), Southend (New Canaan)
The Verandah Raw Bar at Ocean House (Westerly), The Inn at Castle Hill (Newport), Fluke Wine Bar (Newport), Belle's Cafe (Newport), The Midtown Oyster Bar (Newport), FiSH (Jamestown), Dewolf Tavern (Bristol) The Black Pearl (Newport), Clark Cooke House (Newport)
FAVORITE LOCALish DESTINATIONS
Westerly, Watch Hill, Narragansett, Jamestown, Newport (RI)
Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Ocean Park (ME)
Amaganset, Stony Brook, Shelter Island (Long Island)
(ON MY TRAVEL MUST SEE LIST)
Cuba, Barcelona, Greece, Sonoma County, Seattle, Venice, The Amalfi Coast, Croatia, the Maldives, Africa (Safari), Reykjavik (Hot springs), Bali.... for now!
Caccio e Pepe (which I don't eat often but I adore), Oysters, Grilled Octopus, Lobster Roll in the summertime (hot or cold), Sushi, freshly picked tomatoes - especially heirloom, ice cream (unfortunately!), fresh fruit in the summertime, stovetop popcorn made with white truffle oil and either maldon or himalayan salt and a glass of rosé.
Sabrina (the original), Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Metropolitan, Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally, Dead Poets Society,
The Catcher in the Rye (JD Salinger), any book written by Ruth Reichl, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith), Bonfire of the Vanities (Tom Wolfe), The World According to Garp, Cider House Rules (both John Irving), Gift from the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindbergh), Still Alice (Lisa Genova), My Life in France (Julia Child), Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert), Tender is the Night (F.Scott Fitzgerald), and of the ee cummings poetry books
Freshly mowed grass, the ocean, freshly brewed coffee, the rain on the pavement on a hot day, apple pie baking in the oven, Votivo White Ocean Sands and Nest Bamboo candles, lilacs, lilies, gardenia...
Clocks (Coldplay), Speed of Sound (Coldplay), Fix You (Coldplay) Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen), Glitter in the Air (Pink), All the Right Moves (One Republic), Sign of the Times (Harry Styles), El Cerrito Place (Kenny Chesney), Landslide (Fleetwood Mac), Heroes (David Bowie)
MY (FAVORITE) CAMERA
My phone... because I have it with me I never miss a "Kodak moment," but I have an older model Canon EOS Rebel that I use both for work and to capture my favorite images. I'll upgrade the body at some point, but rely on the lenses, the kit 18-55 mm as well as a 75 - 300 mm for city and landscape images and the kit lens and a 50 mm lens that I use for a lot of my food photography. I truly believe that if you have an eye for images you really don't need a super high end camera. Practice makes perfect!
My style is unapologetically, unmistakably my own. It starts from the classics. The classics, after all never fade from style. From there I add on to accessorize or emphasize - to create a bit of an edge. I add on to express my mood - Am I feeling particularly wild? Or am I feeling more demure? Do I want to sit back and assess a situation, or do I want to make a statement? I don't really spend much on myself these days, a busy single mom with three kids and a budding business, and I don't have the desire (or the inclination) to scour shelves and racks. I firmly believe that style can be achieved within a minimal budget. I have pieces that I've had for 10, even 20 years. They always look current, alway fresh - and very much me. These are the foundations, the building blocks of my wardrobe and I can create around them. Truth of the matter is that I am complimented often, stopped in grocery stores and on the streets where someone asks about a pair of shoes, pants or sunglasses. Instead of a mere thank you I always give away my trade secrets and people are usually generally shocked to learn where the item may have originated from. With everyday brands borrowing ideas from luxury brands, style is always achievable and luckily for us these days, always affordable.
My go to places for affordable style:
Banana Republic has the most amazing sales racks!
The Gap has only jeans I will wear. And because they're super affordable I can buy more!
Anthropologie and Free People better reflect my Bohemian side which I love to mix with the classics.
I never discount consignment shops. (Pun intended!)
I'm a true (and devoted) Marshall's and TJMaxx addict.
I also love the boutique shops that dot the streets of my town and the surrounding ones where I can find unique pieces that I won't see on the streets. I like to be individual!
Elements of My Style - The Classic components
A Little black dress
A great fitting pair of jeans (in numerous styles and colors)
A tailored jacket (blazer) - black, off white, navy, tan - in classic colors
Kitten heel mules or slingbacks in assorted colors that work well with jeans and said little black dress
A little white dress
A few good cashmere sweaters, cardigans and crew necks
A well fitted white Tshirt (to wear w jeans and sweaters or jackets)
A well fitted white blouse
Elements of My Style - The Bohemian components
Espadrille wedges, both mules and lace-up
Simple A-line dresses, linen and cotton, both above and below the knee
A little (white) blouse, loose fitting
Beaded anything, especially necklaces and bracelets
Tunics, both dresses and tops
A carefree attitude!
The following are your wardrobe essentials for this spring and Summer of 2017
My selections for this summer's fashion sensibilities reflect my personal style and philosophies. I'm not a fan of trends. They tend to be a flash in the pan. They tend not to have staying power because of this they tend to be a waste of money. I look for styles that are not only flattering, but that are ageless and will stand the tests of time. Please don't confuse this to mean that I like clothes that are boring and bland. I prefer to start with the classics as a canvass then add my own personal touch in a fresh and modern manner. In the summertime I do seem to gravitate to a more boho feel which seems to perfectly reflect the lazy, hazy days attitude. I prefer loose, flowy and non-binding when the weather heats up. Then there's that chic New York side of me as well. And as opposite as those two may seem, each item listed below is suited to each of those styles and everything in between. My wardrobe essentials will complement a wide range of body shapes, and as appropriate for a woman in her 20s as well as one in her 50s and 60s. As I approach my own 50th I want to look youthful and yet age appropriate. You won't see short-shorts or short rompers on this list, and you certainly won't see them on me! I'm not sure how I feel about the exposed one shoulder look yet, I will get back to you on that...
1. A scarf
Scarves are being worn in lieu of necklaces, in ways that are classic yet modern and fresh. Change them up daily, they look great whether paired with a casual or dressier outfit. They can be worn loosely or choker length as seen above. Image via
2. A straw hat
There's no summer bag as iconic as the straw bag. Like the hat it travels well from the beach to the city... Whether it's used for toting a bathing suit and towel, a newspaper, some flowers and baguette, or as I have often done, a laptop, you'll not need to coordinate your outfits around it - it goes with everything. And yes, you can even pair it with a suit. Want to jazz up a plain bag, tie a scarf around the handles or add some fringe or pompoms do give it a more modern flair. Large or small, the straw bag is the IT bag of the season. Images above via
4. A white blouse
Nothing is as easy to wear or as versatile as a little white blouse. I have written about them here. There are a myriad of styles from which to choose from, from the more traditional button down to one that is breezier bohemian inspired. Every wardrobe needs a white blouse! Image via
5. A tunic
If you're a regular reader you will know that I am positively mad for tunics. (see here) Worn with jeans, leggings or as dresses, I find them to be perfection. They exude an ease that reflects summer's carefree lifestyle. Every wardrobe needs a tunic... or ten!
6. White jeans
Because white jeans. I am obsessed. Do I really need to say more? For more click here.
7. Black jeans
Because black never ever fades from style. Ever. Though this might not be my choice on a day that's 90 degrees with 70% humidity!
8. White tennis shoes
Comfortable and practical the white sneaker, in a myriad of styles, is enjoying continued popularity again this summer. Image via
9. Ballet flats
Because sometimes you want a comfortable shoe that's dressier than a sneaker and not a sandal. The lace-up versions which first became popular a couple of summers ago seem to have an even greater presence, carried by more designers and available in more colors. The hardest decision will be to stick with a neutral or dare to go go bold?! Image via
I think that nothing makes me happier than to see these shoes back in the summer spotlight, getting the recognition they deserve. Stylish and comfortable, in a wedge or a flat these traditional canvas top with a rope sole instill a feeling of nostalgia in me. As a child I wore then in a rainbow of colors with wide laces that wrapped around my ankles. They were a popular shoe in the south of France. When I was older, a young teenager and coming into my own in the 1980s, preppy fashion dominated, I felt so sophisticated in my navy Jacques Cohen wedge heeled espadrilles. Images via and via.
11. A halter style top/sundress
I am mad about this style top. The halter looks well on everyone and can be worn by everyone. I have several dresses in this style and even more tops. Image via.
Forever nauti... blue and white stripes will forever make me think of the water, the ocean, sailing... pairs well with the requisite white jean! Image via.
13. An off the shoulder blouse/dress
I am delighted that these easy breezy off the shoulder tops are back again this season. These figure flattering and age-friendly tops are proving to have staying power and definitely aren't a flash in the pan. I have a few and adore them. They can be worn during the day or dressed up for evening. If you're well endowed be sure to have a good supportive as well as comfortable strapless bra! Image via.
14. A blouse/dress with bell sleeves
My inner bohemian just adores the freedom of the bell sleeve. I'm delighted to be seeing this style on everything from coats and sweaters to blouses and dresses. I think the key here is ensure that they're not so long that they're getting in the way. An inch above the wrist, 3/4 length and even short sleeves are the way to go with this style. You won't want to wear these while doing the dishes! Image via. Furthermore white is always right in the summer!
15. Round sunglasses
My exception to the classics rule always lies within the accessories. Here is where you can play and have fun. A fun, fresh and modern accessory can really make and shape an outfit. The Aviators that we've seen so much of over the past couple of years are being traded up for round frames and square frames. Reminiscent of the 60s and 70s these shades are the perfect example of what goes around comes around. We are delighted to see the return of these stylish frames. Image via.
My love for the slightly outrageous and dramatic is met with the modern day ruffle. These aren't frilly or froufrou, but sophisticated yet fun. These oversized frills are everywhere from sun dresses to tank tops to pants and even on bathing suits. We love their whimsical vibe and look around you, you'll see them everywhere!
Thank goodness deep, dark savage tans are no longer en vogue. Thank goodness women are now favoring a slight, healthy glow over the look of over-roasting in the sun. Some may argue that no amount of sun is healthy. Some may argue that it is best to stay out of the sun altogether. But for many of us this isn't realistic and it doesn't have to be true. While it is indeed best to keep out of the sun's direct rays from about 11:00 - 2:00 PM, you can stay outside if well protected. Sunscreen is your friend. Your ally. Sunscreen can save your life. As long as you use it properly. I am a victim of skin cancer and had surgery to remove some from my collarbone just last year. I am overdue for a screening and it's on my list of things to tackle over the next couple of weeks. As I met with my surgeon last spring, a leading skin cancer researcher, I asked him if it was true that I would need to stay out of the sun. His answer shocked me, I did not have to. But I did need to shield my skin. I also asked about the strength of sunscreen I should be using. I needed nothing stronger than an SPF of 30 he assured me. However, I would need to reapply it frequently. Cover my body fully. Each application, on an average person, requires about a shot-glass worth. I asked him if there was a brand he prefered and his reply was Neutrogena. (It should be noted that one should stay away from sunscreen as coverage isn't as thorough and if using outside much of it can blow off into the wind.
I will be honest and tell you that I happen to like a little sunkissed glow. While I slather myself with 30 SPF I also slather on the self tanner. After testing and going through a wide variety of brands I have come to rely on the inexpensive Jergens as my favorite. (There are two that I prefer, both are foam instead of lotion-based, as I feel that sprays and foams cover better, more easily and are less prone to streaking.
Above image via Cosmopolitan. Click here to read the article about proper usage and coverage.
For more on Spring and Summer Styles that I have written about in the past, click here, here, here, here, and here.
If there's one piece of clothing that I just can't live without, it's the little black sweater. If I had a uniform, the black sweater would be it. It seems that I wear one every day - universally flattering and appealing, not to mention versatile. Due to the myriad of styles the little black sweater is such that it can be worn year round. (A black sweater in summertime? Of course, one needs to cover up in those frigid air conditioned buildings.) I don't think that one can have too many - thick, thin, long sleeved, short-sleeved, sleeveless... in cashmere, linen or cotton. Worn on their own, under jackets, coats, or over blouses, their flexibility is perhaps unrivaled. Always sophisticated, the black sweater ranges from casual to elegant and complements a wide range of accessories from pearls and baubles to scarves of assorted sizes, sizes and textures. I have lost count of all the black sweaters to grace my wardrobe, and it is quite likely this collection will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
There's one, singularly and without exception, item that every woman's wardrobe must have that's truly ageless, timeless and versatile. It is the little white blouse. It's a style that looks well on young and old alike. It's one of the first serious pieces we purchase in our youth as we embark on our careers, and it keeps evolving throughout our lifetime. The little white blouse may sound simple by description - but by description only. It perhaps the most versatile, flexible and diverse of all the items in our wardrobes, with the exception of the little black sweater. The blouse, however, takes on many shapes and styles and forms from fitted and figure hugging to loose and forgiving thus also making it a favorite for many body types.
This simple staple is perhaps the most important item in your closet. Dress it up, dress it down, this item transitions from day to night seamlessly, from the office to a dinner party, from the casual comfort of denim to the elegant sophistication of a body-skimming black pencil skirt. Whether tailored, loosely fitting, collared or ruffled... worn with sleeves rolled up or down, with jewels or not... whether you've pulled it from your husband's closet or the boutique down the street, there is nothing quite as versatile as The Little White blouse. Casual, fun, flirty, sophisticated, elegant, youthful...
From haute couture to street style it seems that everything's coming up roses this Spring. From Alice + Olivia to Valentino flowers are taking the runways by storm. With hints of Spring in the air as mild temperatures grace the East coast up through the New England States and much of the rest of the country, these easy, breezy designs bring with them subtle hints of 70s style offer both a carefree ease of wear as well as a sophisticated, more streamlined silhouette, lending itself to both the casual and elegant wardrobe. These designs bloom from day to night. Whether you prefer subtle or bold, it seems there's a flower for every type. On the streets, similar prints can be picked up everywhere from Old Navy to JCrew to please every budget. They'll call us many things this Spring, but they certainly won't call us wallflowers!
Do you have a favorite? I do!
It's 7:45 on a Monday morning and as I sit on my couch piled up high with pillows, surrounded by blankets, and sipping my morning coffee with an ease and leisure of the weekend, I take a rather guilty pleasure knowing that our schools are operating on a two-hour delay due to ice and high winds. Of course I should be working... and I will... soon. But easing into the week, slowly, gracefully and with ease, isn't such a bad thing. My children are still all asleep. The sun's rays are pouring into my oversized windows casting glorious shadows all over the place.
Outside I can hear the winds howl; I can see the trees sway. My cappuccino is warm, comforting, soul soothing. I'm enjoying this purely Hygge moment. But soon it will be interrupted and I will have to begin my day in earnest. If hygge is a way of being, a way of thinking and a lifestyle, then surely it can be a way of dress too. If a hygge home is filled with furs, warm chunky knits, and soft cashmeres, then the hygge dress must be similar, surely. Below are some images that I've curated from all over the web on styles for both at home and on the street that I feel best represent this at ease, peaceful, easy feeling.
Feeling comfortable in my clothing has always been important to me - I believe it dates back to my college days, even earlier, perhaps, when oversized faded jeans and college sweatshirts worn with Tretorns or Stan Smiths were practically my uniform. Perhaps I would have swapped out my sweatshirts and jeans for my Benetton sweaters and leggings. La plus ca change, la plus c'est la meme. (The more it changes the more it stays the same.) I'm certainly tidier and more put together these days, but it's not unusual for me to be seen in a large cashmere sweater, leggings and thigh high boots. Comfortable, well- fitted jeans combined worn with comfortable tops are easily "dressed up" for client meetings when paired with a pretty pair of heels, and tailored jacket. My hygge style is, I believe, practical and functional.
Stay warm everyone!
The food has been eaten. The table has been cleared. The dishes have been done. The leftovers have been packaged up and placed in the fridge in anticipation of the promising leftovers that will beckon tomorrow. If you're like me the last thing you'll want to do is to slip into a pair of jeans. Their unrelenting waistbands cruel reminders of last night's Thanksgiving meal, of the celebrations of the seasons... Some of us will wake up and go for long morning runs, some will run to their local gyms and hit the weight machines, spin and Zumba classes in order to try to undo some of the damage. And some brave souls will get up and fight the crowds to secure some of those great Black Friday deals. I will most likely try to get in a workout and chase down some deals, but I won't be going anywhere near a pair of jeans today! I'll be dressed in something casual, comfortable, forgiving and flattering. I love dresses. There's a dress for every occasion, from play to work to holiday party - from tunic to sweater dress to shift and A-Line to the classic wrap. Paired with a pair of leggings and flats or tights (Spanx?) and boots, dresses are the perfect way to carry through this Season of Eating!
1. The Classic A-Line
This might be the most flattering of all styles with it's streamlined top that flares out generously from the waist down. Elegant, graceful and perfect for carrying you from the office to the office party. Go ahead, sneak another piece of pecan pie - if it goes directly to your hips no one will know!
2. The Swing/Trapeze Dress
This dress forgives a multitude of sins Sleeveless versions reveal toned arms and legs. Some styles allow a lightweight sweater or blouse to be worn underneath, giving the dresses more versatility. Choose from casual to more formal styles. It should be noted, however, if you are well endowed the swing dress may resemble a maternity dress, which if you're expecting, is a wonderful thing... but if you're not, you may want to opt for one of the other styles featured.
3. The Shift Dress
The shift dress (as opposed to the sheath) hangs straight from the shoulders down to the hips. (The sheath has a defined waist) Shifts became popular in the 1960s and are still popular choices. Wear a shift after a big meal and your bloated belly remains top secret. Or select something as the dress pictured immediately below so that you can fully enjoy your holiday fete in comfort. Another canapé? Yes, please - don't mind if I do!
4. The Sweater Dress
This is my go-to choice in the wintertime. Not only is it warm and comfortable, but forgiving and flattering. I wear mine with leggings for a more casual look and dressed up with tights and boots for a more polished look. For more ideas see my recent piece on Sweater Dressing.
5. The Wrap Dress/Faux Wrap Dress
Although appearing form-fitting, this dress style is forgiving and flattering- hugging you in just the right places, highlighting curves, hitting you in all the right places. A pair of control-top or Spanx will smooth out those unwanted bulges from last night's mashed potatoes ad stuffing!
and when you just want to lounge around...
Leggings and an Oversized Sweater
For those of you who are feeling more casual and plan on spending the next couple of days running errands and shopping and prepping for Christmas there's nothing that a pair of leggings and a slouchy sweater can't fix! For those of you who work in a more casual office environment you might be able to pull off a look like this or pair the leggings with a less bulky sweater and a tailored jacket. But remember not to get too comfortable in those leggings - waistbands are forgiving, but your jeans aren't. Don't let this fashion friend replace a healthy diet and trip to the gym!
Those who know me well know I've never been one to follow trends per se. With fashion, and pretty much everything for that matter, I have a pretty definitive sense of style. I starts with the basics, the classics, and from there I create my own individual look, pulling from various trends here and there to accentuate. Trends as we all know, come and go and because our wardrobes are and should be our investments we shouldn't be tossing money into items that don't stand the tests of time. I think of a wardrobe as being like a house - A strong foundation is needed to build upon. In the case of our wardrobes, this foundation consists of a few high ticket, well made items with which everything else can be paired.
For those just starting out in work world, budgets are more of an issue. Pay less attention to price (more is not always best for you) and more attention to material, how clothes are made and most importantly, how they fit. Fit is key and even the most expensive jacket is not worthwhile if it doesn't fit your body well.
There are items I have that are the core of may wardrobe - things I cannot live without. Here are 10 items I cannot live without:
Every woman needs at least one quality pair of jeans that fit well. Choose a pair that has a basic silhouette and that is tailored to hug your curves and legs perfectly. While one might advise you to avoid trendy jeans that may be out of fashion in the near future, like skinny jeans, flared pants, or other extreme look, I won't. If they look and fit well, buy them. By several pairs of them! I've been wearing my skinny jeans (black, white, denim, velvet) for years and I am not sending them to the attic any time soon!
2. A good suit
Next, it’s essential to have a well-fitting suit in your closet. A smart suit can be worn any time of year, and it’s something we should have at least one of, according to Forbes. I love the versatility of a suit as it can be dressed up or down and the jacket and pants can be worn as separates too.
3. Oxford Shirt
Not long ago a wrote a piece about the Little White Blouse and how essential it is to any wardrobe. If you have just one a classic oxford shirt is a great place to start. The simple button down cuffed and collared shirt, typically white, can be worn with absolutely anything in your wardrobe - from jeans, suits, under a black shift, dressed up and worn with a ball-gown length skirt.
4. Black Dress
The LBD. We can never have too many! Most women have a standard black dress in their closet that can be worn to almost any function. As noted in Real Simple, the little black dress is a staple in fashion and culture. It may be wise to upgrade your dress to something even more chic, giving yourself more options for functions you could wear it to and accessories to pair with it. Make sure your black dress is tailored to fit your shape to give yourself confidence whenever you put it on. (I happen to adore the one photographed above from Tobi as it embraces my passion for Boho Chic!)
5. A good Handbag
A basic handbag is essential. Start off with one that goes with everything, and then as you build your collection you can get more creative with color and style. I happen to be a handbag junkie!
I believe in having one high quality statement pair as well as a few other, less expensive ones. Not only are they necessary on a bright day but they can complete the look of any outfit. (And come in handy when you want to dart out of the house to run errands without putting on any make up!)
7. Comfortable Flats
I don't believe we can ever have too many shoes! A basic pair of comfortable flats is a must. I might go so far as to say one should have at least 2 pairs of comfortable flats - one in black and the other in a neutral color like beige or bone.
8. Dress Coat
Simple, basic dress coat is another must-have item. A camel's hair, navy or charcoal colored coat will stand the test of time whether worn with jeans or a cocktail dress. There's such a great selection out there so pick a style that fits you well and that you'll want to wear for years to come. Do make sure the length is appropriate for your typical skirt and dresses that you wear.
I love my heels. The fact that I'm just 5'3" (I've actually started shrinking!) makes me love them even more. Quality and comfort are key. There's nothing worse than an uncomfortable pair of heels! I wear heels almost daily and usually with jeans since my work is casual.
10. Signature Jewelry
Lastly, it’s smart to invest in a few elegant pieces of jewelry that could be worn to any type of gathering. Most married women have their wedding and engagement rings, so aim to complement those pieces. A fine pearl necklace or a sophisticated pair of diamond earrings are perfect essentials in any woman’s jewelry box.
The key to a timeless look is to stock your closet with fashion basics that can be worn for years to come. Be sure to choose high-quality products that are built to last with solid construction and excellent materials.
70's Mod is back.... I adore this skirt from Tobi which can be worn with flats, heels or boots... a white blouse, sweater or T-shirt
This darling little shift can be worn from day to night ... I think it would look fab with a pair of over the knee boots and a fun fur vest! The shoes are darling too. High-heels from Tobi
This summer's hits are still hot this fall.... Off the shoulder and bell sleeve tops will be worn well into the holiday season! More like it from Tobi.
If you can pull this off this elegant little top will be your go-to choice this holiday season. Also from Tobi.
I have a confession. I can't sew. They tried. Boy did they try. My mother. Both grandmothers. Both of my grandmothers were extraordinarily handy with a needle and thread. I can just about re-attach a button. That's it. I can't hem. I can't "darn." And yet, oddly enough when I reached a certain age I wanted a sewing machine. I wanted to learn how to stitch things together. I wanted to make my own clothes, duvet covers, napkins for the table, pillowcases for the couch. I never learned. I won't give up faith. There's still time. I think this old dog can learn a trick or two. But this has nothing to do with sewing. Quite the opposite really. It's all about deconstruction. I love to deconstruct! No needles and no thread here. Simply a pair of sharp scissors and a seam ripper. No needles! No thread!
Over the past few months I've been noticing un-hemmed jeans everywhere. Sometimes the edges look freshly cut with a few wispy threads, sometimes the bottom of the pant is completed with a tidy row of of perfectly manicured fringe, and sometimes that fringe is longer, wilder, more dramatic. I happen to love them all. I was inspired after reading how easy it was on Ridgely's Radar and went out and bought a sharp new pair of scissors and a seam ripper. We all have jeans in our closet that we either don't wear or wear less frequently for whatever reason. I have 2 pairs of skinny jeans that are almost identical. One pair, it seems, makes my legs look skinnier than the other and so the other tends to sit in the closet more often. I also have a pair of black jeans that I don't wear as often. I don't like how they look on my waist. (I can always wear a longer sweater or shirt with them - or lose a couple of pounds!)
These seemed like the two perfect pairs to try with. I started with the skinny jeans. I cut off the hemmed bottom and about a quarter of an inch more. I did the same with the black jeans. Then I started gently, carefully, picking away and tugging at the loose threads. Slowly, very slowly, the jeans started to unravel. As I needed more help and wanted to make the fringe more dramatic, I would tug more with the seam ripper util the desired effect was achieved. I love the way they turned out. Now I'm thinking I'll do this with a pair of colored jeans... I have a red pair I don't wear all that often... Does this work with corduroy too?
I hope the images below will inspire you to do the same with a pair of jeans that have been pushed all the way to the back of your closet.
I think they turned out well, don't you? The black pair were cropped with a slight flare. The dark blue pair are skinny jeans, tapered more at the ankles. Both pairs look as good with flats as they do with heels.
What I did. The dark blue pair were longer. I always rolled them slightly. So I cut 1 inch above the hem and then gently started to tub at the loose frayed edges working at them carefully and methodically until I got the look and length of fringe I desired. In some cases I went in with my hands and gently pulled sections of denim apart until they were just loose threads. The black pair were already cropped so I just cut along the hemline and not a bit more and repeated steps above. Each pair of jeans took about an hour to complete. I'm thinking I might work on the sleeves of my denim jacket. The arms seem unusually long... Note: Don't fray dark jeans on a white couch!!