What to Wear to a Graduation Party

Graduation is right around the corner!  Many years has passed since I graduated, so this edition of What to Wear is written by guest writer, Lisa Griffin.

Soon you will be spending your last days at your university or college. Besides final tests and thoughts about your future perspectives, it means a memorable party! Are you excited about the day when everyone can forget about assignments and devote attention to choosing dresses for the graduation ceremony? All the seniors impatiently wait for this major event. Staying in trend might be difficult in everyday life, but when it comes to graduation, it’s even harder. So, what shall you wear to look fabulous? Continue reading

Dress Rental, Friendly Fraud, or Wardrobing

Buying a special occasion dress, wearing it, and then returning it to the store, aka “Dress Rental” is a huge problem for stores and ultimately, the customers.  Also known as friendly fraud or wardrobing, whatever cute term is used, it is theft.

This is a great way to put your favorite local business out of business.  Renters will hide the tags in the outfit while it is being worn or even try to reattach the tags after the event is over.  Dresses end up smelling, sometimes stained, and often damaged (i.e. missing beads) that the renter will try to pass off as a normal return.  Many of the big box stores accept the returns and pass on the higher costs to customers.  Small shops that refuse to return the rental are harassed for trying to stay in business, and often the renter thinks that yelling louder and making a scene will get the refund.  Sadly, this is often true.

Even if the dress is returned in perfect condition, someone else missed out on that dress for their event.  The store ends up with extra inventory at the end of season.  Most stores plan Prom inventory 4-6 months in advance, based on previous year sales.  Those returns are factored in and there will be fewer options for next season.  This assumes that the store is still in business the following year after many rentals.

If you really cannot afford to buy a new dress of your dreams there are many other options:

      • Check out Rent the Runway online dress rental, designed specifically so you can pay a rental fee and return the dress after your event
      • Borrow from an older friend or sibling
      • Buy a used dress from a consignment store or eBay
      • Upcycle a dress – NDAD has tons of suggestions to try!
      • Wear dress pants and a fabulous shirt (barring any gender specific dress codes)
      • Make your own – many fabric stores offer sewing classes

Here is an excellent article from the New York Post explains exactly how this theft raises prices for regular shoppers and ultimately leads to job loss for retail workers.

Simple Tips to Upcycle Your Prom Dress

Prom season is here!  Check out these helpful hints for buying your Prom Dress.

Simple Tips to Upcycle Your Prom DressAfter Prom, you may consider selling your Prom dress while the style is still current and to make room in your closet for other things.  Or, you may just not want to part with your beautiful frock – so Upcycle it!  You can repurpose your dress into another fabulous outfit.

A former client loved her Prom dress enough that she upcycled it into her wedding gown!  Try different fabric spray paints (continuous spray are better than pump) or dyes for a totally different color or pattern.

A hem transforms a long dress into a semi-formal cocktail dress or skirt, like this example from New Dress a Day.

Keep the skirt and ditch the top, another New Dress a Day example with instructions here.

Or, maybe you are just not ready to drastically alter your dress – accessorize it for other events!
Pexels_dress1Get a little inspiration from your favorite store for layering options.  Lace tops over strapless dresses offer a more casual look.  Or, try a sheer tee shirt over your dress.  Switch up the top from your favorite full skirt!

Add a jacket or cardigan sweater.  Try your dress with various belts or a coordinating scarf.

Experiment with different items in your closet.  It is amazing how many different ways your Prom dress, or any special occasion dress, can be worn!

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

New Dress a Day

I have found a kindred spirit!  Marisa Lynch, author and creator of the Book and Website New Dress a Day, is brilliant!  I bought her book a few months ago and devoured it in a few glorious hours.  Now I follow her on Facebook and on her website.

Basically, this amazing lady spent an entire year re-purposing thrift store finds for a new dress or outfit everyday.  There are multiple before photos, an exact description of what and how she did it, more photos, then the after result photos.  She shows various techniques for sewing and non-sewing at various skill-levels.  Her book has a section describing sewing machine basics for beginners.

Now that the year is up, she still takes unique pieces and converts them to wearable, up-to-the-minute fashion.  I have added her site to my blogroll, and I highly recommend picking up her book and browsing the site!