Monday 1 April 2013

To Alter or Not To Alter?

Some people have sewing superpowers.  Though I win door prizes and get the best parking spot 99% of the time, I cannot sew.  If you have that ability, disregard this post because you can probably whip any VV Boutique piece into shape without a second thought.  If you have to pay someone for that, then, like me, you have to consider that cost when you purchase clothing second-hand.  Here are a few examples to help guide your thinking (or avoid the same mistakes I made)...
I bought this unique top without trying it on for $5, and when I got it home, I could barely get it over my head.  I figured it would be an easy fix to just extend the v-neck, so I took it to a local tailor.  I can't really judge the quality of her work having basically no experience but I think shopping local has some virtue so it's good enough for me.  She charged $13 for the fix, so the total cost was $18 and I've worn it twice.  Though I love the pretty colours and details, the shape is hard to mix and it is not easily transitioned to winter weather.  Since I aim to get my cost-per-wear for most items to $1 or under, I would not consider this piece to be good value.  So far.  Let's see what happens when the snow melts.
I recently bought this Michael Stars tee from VV Boutique for $2.  Considering they retail for around $50 or more, I thought that was a steal!  However, it had some redundant ties at the side from the wide band under the bust that needed to go, and so they did for $12.  I thought that was a bit steep for what looked to be a pretty simple fix for anyone with superpowers a sewing machine, but still, I anticipate it will become a basic tee in my spring and summer wardrobe and will easily get cost-per-wear under a dollar.
This Joseph Ribkoff dress was $16 from VV Boutique.  The floral pattern has such pretty colours and it is so soft and stretchy!  But, the strap/sash seriously limited its wear-ability.  I had only one sweater that could disguise the bulk and so wore it once and then not again this winter...  So, I decided it was worth trying to alter.  I paid $20 to have the tailor cut the sash, tack the front and make me proper straps that could cover a bra and accommodate a cardi.  
Since tailoring, I've already worn it twice, so the cost per wear is still higher than I like, but, before I started my thrifting adventure, I would've thought $36 for a pretty name-brand dress was a great deal!
I also think a slightly higher cost per wear is reasonable for a dress as compared to tanks, tops or more basic bottoms, and anyway, I have many more ideas in mind for how to style this dress!
I was inspired by J's Everyday Fashion to wear the aquamint top with my mustard Frye boots for a cooler-weather version of Easter colours!  I wore it all day from early-morning church to late-night family gathering where there was just a *smidgen* of food, and I was comfortable the whole time!

Maybe my next project will be learning to sew.

I don't even know why I wrote that because it's not going to happen, but now I have some experience in alterations and can make better shopping decisions.  For those of you who can sew, I promise not to enter door prizes when we're together if you would consider some minor mending??! 

P.S.  I will drive!

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