Practical Side of Fitness Fashion

2015-12-29 15.46.16Looking good may be your motivation to start a workout, but comfort during your workout will ensure that you will want to do it again.

I am fairly brand loyal when it comes to clothes and shoes, except for fitness fashion.  When it comes to exercise clothes it is all about fit and fabrics!  I do not care what celebrity is endorsing the brand, or even what brand it is.

Since there is specialized equipment for many sports (golf cleats, soccer shin guards, etc), I am going to focus this discussion on gym athletic wear.   There is plenty of crossover into other sports, so this is a good foundation to build a practical workout wardrobe. Continue reading

Stay Cool in Natural Fibers

Living in Arizona, we learn all the tricks to stay cool in summer; drink plenty of water, wear sunblock, hats & parasols are lifesavers, avoid heat absorbing dark colors, and most of all wear natural fibers!

Fabric contentLight weight cotton, linen, and silk outfits are your best friend in the summer heat.  100% natural fibers are the coolest option.  Double check the fabric content labels when shopping for better options in your closet.  High natural fiber content blends are still a good option.  Cotton and cotton blends are great options and usually lower priced than linen or silk.  Linen has a bad habit of wrinkling, so I tend to avoid linen pants anyway. Continue reading

Oops, I shrunk it again

In my previous post, “I shrunk this, now what?” I was able to successfully “unshrink” a few items back to size.

Shrunk SkirtThis week I shrunk one of my favorite skirts.  The label states Machine Wash Cold, but my water was just not cold enough.

Admittedly, I live in a warm climate and the tap water gets warm.  So now I can only wash delicate items in the early morning or very light at night, when the ground water is cool enough not to ruin my clothes.  Or, I will ignore the machine wash cold, and just add more items to the dry clean only pile (less laundry).

The skirt shrunk a full inch above the lining.  The skirt hem was 1.5 inches below the lining.  Meaning that I have 2.5 inches to recover from my skirt in the “unshrink” process.

Skirt SoakI followed the same process of soaking my skirt in warm water (I know, that is what got me into this mess in the first place), and mixed in a generous helping of hair conditioner. After a few trials, I have determined that the longer soak is not as important as sufficient conditioner.  Determined to save my skirt, I let it soak 20 minutes. I started the stretching process immediately and continued gently smoothing the entire time as the conditioner worked its magic to loosen the fibers for maximum recovery.  Then I hung the skirt up to dry and hung a hanger at the bottom for extra weight to keep the skirt stretched out.Unshrunk skirt

Dry unshrunk skirt



Fortunately, the skirt is saved!  It is a smidge shorter than when purchased, but quite wearable.

Shrunk it againUpdate:  Several people asked about the fabric content for this skirt.  This skirt is a 70% Viscose Rayon blend (30% Polymide nylon-spandex blend).  If I had followed my own advice, I would have dry cleaned this skirt, since it is over 50% rayon.  Here is a handy post for more information of Fabric content and washing advice.

Simple Knit Mending

Tis the season for knit!

knit gloveWhen the occasional stray thread comes loose, the worst reaction is to cut the thread which leads to holes.  Here is a simple trick to pull the stray thread back into the garment.stray thread




Thread the loop through a large eye needle and pull back into the inside.

fixingWhen the thread is this long, a simple knot on the inside will prevent the thread from pulling back out.fixed

Effective Strategies for a Closet Purge

As the temperature cools down for fall, I have purchased a wardrobe refresh and now I need to clear out some old & outdated items to make room for it all.

I encourage a wardrobe “check-up” at the beginning of each season.  Trying to go through an entire closet all at once is quite daunting.  I prefer to tackle one season at a time.  Start with the upcoming season and pull everything out.  If that is still too much, then divide into smaller categories.  Try stuff on, skirts, pants, shoes, tops, everything.  Be honest with your self, and solicit input from friends if you are just not sure.  Ask yourself (and a friend if necessary):

  • Is the fit and cut of the garment flattering?
  • Is this age appropriate (applies to everything; work-out gear, professional attire, date-night clothes, etc)?
  • Is it a classic style or totally on-trend right now?
  • Is the garment in great condition with no signs of wear or distress?

When all of the questions above are YES, then Keep it!  These are your wardrobe staples so consider reorganizing these items to the best viewed section (usually the front) of your closet or drawer.  If the item is a smidge too big or small (one size up or down), AND it is high quality, classic style, then I keep it and put it towards the back of my closet or drawer.  My weight fluctuates enough that I like to keep smaller sizes around when I am having a “thin” day, and I still have great options for my “fat” days.

If you are crafty, or know someone who is, consider creating a re-purpose or recycle pile for those items that just break your heart to get rid of.  For any unfortunately shrunken items, before you decide which pile consider this “unshrink” method.  Would the item make a great Halloween costume for next year?  If the fabric is super cute, consider making a fabric scrap covered picture frame, scarf, headband, gift wrap, craft projects, or other accessory.  Choose your projects and be fearless – what is the worst that can happen to a garment you were going to get rid of anyway?

Consider an alterations or repair pile for those high quality items that just need a little love and attention.  Items with missing buttons or broken zippers are often less expensive to have repaired than to replace.  Long skirts that are ripped or damaged at the bottom can be hemmed to a shorter skirt.  Dresses can be converted to a fabulous top or great skirt (depending on what is wrong or bad fit with the item).

Now, you are ready for the Purge process!Closet Purge

Even if the item is the correct size, if it is a bad fit get rid of it!  If you honestly look at the items and ask yourself “what was I thinking?” it needs to go.  If it was on-trend or funky years ago and the style has not held up over time, then it needs to find a new home.  If the item is way too big or small (more than 1 size up or down), then free up that space for clothes that you will actually wear.

High quality or designer brands can be taken to resale or consignment shops.  Resale or consignment shops will give you more money for items in season, and may not accept out-of season clothes.  eBay is also a good item for designer clothes, but tends to be more time consuming than dropping off for consignment.

If the item is not a candidate for resale, then group for donation to charity shops. Charities and thrift shops appreciate in season donations, which benefit people right away rather than being stored for months.  Many of these charities will pick up your donation at your house.  This is a great opportunity to donate household goods (decor, mis-match dishes, etc).

The seasonal purge will keep your closet from being too cluttered, and may help you “remember” all the great clothes in your wardrobe.