As a teenager, I spent many evenings customising my outfits. From turning the waistband of my school uniform skirt over and over until the hem reached the requisite shortness (waaaay too short), to the more sophisticated attaching of studs and sequins to just about everything I owned, it was very much my thing. My ultimate sartorial peak was achieved at the age of 18 at my first ever work Christmas party, where I stitched a row of battery-operated fairy lights all around the neckline of my dress.
Well. Fairy lights get pretty warm I can tell you. Like, mild burns warm. Still, one must suffer for high fashion.
Then I actually started earning an income and simultaneously losing all my free time, and I gradually stopped reinventing my clothes and turned to buying them instead. Easier, but not quite the same, somehow.
Last month I was skimming Pinterest and falling for all the military-style jackets being effortlessly accessorised and styled. The latent Sergeant-Pepper-channelling-extrovert in me was awoken, and I rummaged around for something I could customise…
I’ve had this jacket for ages, but rarely wear it; beautifully cut, it’s just somehow a bit… dull. So I dug into my haberdashery chest and found some rather eye-popping braid, bought last year in a small Aladdin’s-cave store in Montmartre. I sourced military-style buttons on eBay (about £4 for 20 of these), and set to work.
The braid is hand-stitched in place (badly – no matter…), and the buttons somewhat imprecisely spaced along the front and cuffs;
…and come the summer, I may well unpick it all again. That’s the forgotten magic of a one-night wardrobe makeover; when you get bored or the craze is over, you just start again.
I’d love to have the skill to whip up a dress or jacket from scratch, but in truth the dedication and study that would take is well-beyond my flighty attentions. Instead, I’ll go for anything that can be glued, stitched or hot-ironed in place. Just maybe not actual string lights again.
Have a great week!