Friday, December 6, 2019

Resurrecting the Love Blues: modest summer wedding outfit gets tweaked

Dress Upcycling Technique #4

Modesty Challenge:

Create a modest outfit for a laidback summer wedding in the park. It needed to protect from the sun, receive layers for evening chill, and be casually elegant to accommodate both my sense of occasion and the outdoor theme.

Cost Challenge:

Try not to spend any money on it because I just spent the year's clothing budget on underwear.

My Solutions:

Fourteen years ago, I attended a summer wedding in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, known as the Mediterranean of the South. The season can get very warm despite the southern latitude, and the sun is fierce. For the occasion, I found at SaveMart a viscose button-front dress with a lovely swish to the hem for NZ$8, and set about improving its style and usefulness.

I removed the short sleeves and replaced them with long sleeves (no sunburn for this fair skin, thank you). I replaced the boring shell buttons with shiny silver anchors (all twenty of them), and where the button placket still gaped, I added invisible plastic domes. I sewed matching loose trousers. And I decorated a navy hat to match.

Some ladies look at the trousers and long sleeves and think the outfit looks hot. Actually, it's very comfortable. The fit of the dress is so good no underwear is required, yet it's loose enough to allow air to flow. The fabric soaks up sweat which, with air flowing over it, turns the outfit into a personal cooling tent. The colour, design, and type of fabric make wet patches invisible. Wins all round.

That labour of love got worn once and has been hanging in my closet since. I pulled it out this Spring to inspect its state of wellbeing.

There was a little rust on the collar, which a scrubbing session with soap and finger soon made more or less invisible.

I'd put on weight so the trousers no longer fit. I removed the side zip, dropped the fitted waist to hip level, and inserted a soft elastic waistband.

All that remained to be done was redecorate the hat and decide what shoes to wear. (The ivory roses are tied to the jandal thongs with white thread.) Add a fan for the heat, an umbrella for the rain (yes, you can expect both in one afternoon), and I was ready to enjoy my friend's wedding in the park!

I hope you've found something beautiful and inspiring here today.

Fiat lux!

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