Tag Archives: fashion

Update your wardrobe for free (or really cheap!)

12 May

One of my favorite thrift stores in my hometown!

If you’re a spoonie (someone with chronic illness,) you know how taxing it can be to go to a mall or big department store full of people. I personally thrift the majority of my clothing, and prefer the atmosphere of thrift stores to big chain stores. If you’re able to go on a weekday, there usually aren’t many people, the people who are there are generally friendly (it’s easy to strike up conversation when you find something fun, like a vintage embroidered mumu,) and the prices are great.  I’m fortunate that the stores in our city tend to have a large selection of good quality, vintage, and name brand and designer clothing and accessories. I occasionally enjoy hitting up local antique stores, too, where I can find really unique clothing pieces and accessories (if I can afford them!)

Lately, I’ve been on a closet revamp kick. I’ve always enjoyed wearing more “alternative” styles, and personally draw inspiration from rock and roll, punk, goth, and gypsy styles. Since I no longer live or work in a place where a certain image is expected, I’ve decided to revert back to the style I feel best suits me.  Alternative style cultures promote DIY and handmade looks, since it’s all about unique, individual expression, but you can incorporate these techniques into any style!

Why alter clothing?

1. It’s fun! Even if you don’t normally enjoy arts and crafts, there’s something really special about putting your mark on something you’re going to wear. When people compliment you, you’ll get to say that you did it yourself!

2. It can be a very inexpensive hobby. You can often find supplies like studs, embroidery thread, and patches online for much less than you find them in stores. Try searching eBay or Amazon.

3. You can use what you already have. Updating your wardrobe can be as easy as using what’s already in your closet. Cut a collar off of an existing button-up shirt, and use it as a necklace, or sew it onto another shirt. Cut an applique or image from a shirt, and sew it to a jacket or vest. Embroider a message or design on pair of jeans. Cut up t-shirts, and use the remnants to make bracelets or necklace. Draw on a pair of old tennis shoes with a Sharpie. Chances are you already have the supplies you need to start altering what you have. Just Google DIY clothing projects if you need a little inspiration.

I’ll post pictures of my personal projects to (hopefully) inspire you just as soon as the stormy spring weather decides to give me a little natural light for photos. Until then, check out my Smashin’ Fashion Pinterest board for ideas:

Old suits refashion.

 

Gentle hugs,

Chels

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Pumped up kicks (fibro style.)

16 Sep

If you have any kind of chronic pain, chances are, shoes (or the lack thereof) are a big part of your life. The tallest heel I can wear anymore is about an inch, and even then I can only wear them when I’m going to be sitting down the majority of the time. So, my sandals, my flat, Keds-style sneakers, and my bare feet are what I put on my feet most often.

When I was a kid in elementary school, it was popular for the girls to get a little crafty with their sneakers. Neon puff paint was the obvious choice, but if you had the allowance a Bedazzler was the way to go. Then, in high school, any sporty girl who wanted to raise money for her team of choice or show spirit for her school learned how to tie scraps of fabric (in spirited colors, of course,) to flip flops and make them snazzy. Now, I’m not saying I support the sudden and unnecessary resurgence of neon, or that I ever liked the flip flops that were big on the flops, but you may want to break out the Bedazzler, folks, ‘cuz this trend is coming back! No need to torture yourself with sky-high heels, either, because, with a little DIY, flats can be sassy, too.

Exhibit A:

The Stud.

The same thing could be done with cool buttons or cabochons.

 

Exhibit B:

The Sparkle.

Think of the possibilities! These things are like tiaras for your feet!

 

Exhibit C:

The Intergalactic.

Dude, whoa. These look way more complicated than they actually are. Sponge on some paint and put random silver dots all over it.

 

Exhibit D:

The Quick Change.

This is my next DIY project. Don’t have access to shoe clips? How about clip-on earring bases? Don’t like bows? Cut out felt shapes in different colors, stack them together and glue. I’m thinking superhero action bubbles (bam! pow!) would be awesome, too. You can get as crazy as you like, because these babies just come right off when you’re tired of them!

 

And finally, Exhibit D:

The Big Faker.

For those of us who mourn the loss of our high heeled friends daily. These would be SO easy to DIY if you’re confident in your basic drawing skills. No paint needed – grab a Sharpie in your favorite color, buy a cheap pair of hi-tops from Payless, and get to doodlin’.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

 

 

Clothing swap update

5 Aug

Ok, it’s official. I’m a little obsessed over this Ladies’ Fashion Swap. The theme has morphed from a mint green and pink color scheme to  cheeky retro housewife.

 

To take it a step further (I always do,) and to solidify the fact that I’ll use any excuse to dress up, I bought a vintage apron with pockets to keep the necessities on my person. ..And I’m going to wear my 50’s party dress. With pearls. And possibly my pink vintage gloves. When I suggested it to my two friends who are organizing the whole thing, one replied enthusiastically, but the other hasn’t replied at all. She’s probably shaking her head at us. 🙂

I’m mostly done with the decorations now, which consist of easy paper projects (pinwheels and tissue paper poms,) and printouts of the housewives I’ve come up with over the past few weeks. We won’t exactly have money for the decorations until we’re reimbursed by the whopping $1 entry fees, so I’m keeping it on the cheap! I love having to be frugal; it forces me to be creative in ways I wouldn’t necessarily choose to be if I could just buy everything from the party store.

I can’t wait to share pictures of the finished product! We have 45 potential attendees (25 have said they’ll be there, and 20 are maybes,) so I think it will be a good turnout. I’m hoping there are so many people that we don’t have enough clothing racks, but that’s just the optimist in me.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I’m a swapaholic.

19 Jul

My friend Paige has been giving me clothing she doesn’t wear anymore for a while now. She realized a year or so ago that she didn’t know half of what was in her closet, and has been going on sporadic cleaning sprees ever since. We started out exactly the same size, but I’ve lost a little weight over the past year, so, as my friend Allison put it, my clothes were “falling off” of me. So, guess who got them? She did, lucky girl. Half of them I had received from Paige. It’s like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, only with cuter shoes.

Along the same lines, I’ve been following Punky of Haberdash Vintage, a traveling trailer of vintage awesomeness, and also of The Swapaholics, a team of women to put together giant swaps all over the place, for years. Needless to say, I’ve been hoping, wishing, and praying for a streamline trailer and a good clothing swap to come my way. My craving has been satiated by the occasional swap with friends, and my compulsive trips to the local thrift shops (hey, it’s as close to free as you can get!) I even suggested hosting a swap to a couple of gals at church last year, but it seemed that the idea hadn’t caught fire yet, and no one was very interested.

Imagine my glee when, a few weeks ago, a friend, who I just happened to have shared my maiden name with (no relation as far as we know, but it sure was confusing for people in high school,) piped up on our small group board and suggested we hold a swap at the church! I instantly gave my two cents of yes, then offered to help with decorations and planning. She, another friend who just happens to be her sister in law, and I got together last night over Mexican food to hash out the details, and came up with a plan.

So … drum roll please … I’m proud to present to you our very first swap:

There’s a whopping $1 entry fee to cover the initial costs of supplies to host the swap, and ladies of all sizes, styles, and ages – from teen to the most seasoned fashionista – are invited. We’re hoping for a big turnout, since you don’t have to be a part of the church to participate. It’s also right around the time school will be starting again, so it’s the perfect time to find some new clothes to wear to classes, whether you’re the student or teacher. I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

If you’re in the DFW area, click on the memo to visit the Facebook event page for more info and RSVP.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Websites for a BPD (Bad Pain Day)

17 Apr

I’m right in the middle of a fibro flare, and after a couple of days without anxiety meds, things were starting to get a little nuts. (Thankfully, I was able to get that scrip today, so no anxiety attacks.) Needless to say, I’ve spent the past few days at home, but even with meds, I can’t really go anywhere unless the hubs can drive. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite places to travel to in the web world on days I’m stuck inside and don’t feel up to doing something more physically productive.

It’s good to have a support system, right? Not just through the bad times, but through the good – everyone needs a cheerleader or two. I know that if you’re home bound, sick in a way that keeps you from interacting with people often, or just don’t have many family members or friends, though, your support group options are minimal. A few years ago, I found a great site, Daily Strength. Just about any illness or issue you can think of has a section on this site, filled with people who understand where you’re coming from. If you have multiple health problems, you can be a part of multiple groups. You can even click on emoticons to let your friends on the site know how you’re feeling that day.

It’s also good to laugh, and one of the sites where I can always get a heaping dose of that medicine is Hello Giggles. The actress Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) and a few friends came up with the site, which is mostly geared toward women, but I think there’s plenty of stuff on there that guys would get a giggle (a manly giggle) out of.

Of course, there’s Pinterest. If you’re new to the site and aren’t sure where to start, you can always follow me and repin to your heart’s content.

If you feel up to getting a little crafty, or at least checking out some painfully crafty ideas, Dollar Store Crafts is where it’s at. If you want to add to your wardrobe, Threadbanger is the place to go.

Like architecture, interior design or decorating? Check out DwellingGawker.

For those who dig indie movie projects, or just enjoy Joseph Gordon Levitt, I recommend hitRECord.

If you’re feeling uninspired, or want to tickle your brain a bit, Ted.com has tons of videos featuring intelligent, creative, innovative, and often funny people.

I follow quite a few blogs, but my most favorite would probably have to be Advanced Style. Even if you’re not into fashion, I know you’ll appreciate this celebration of the greatest generation, and some of the beautiful stories these people have to share.

If you have a website where you like to hang out on a home bound day, please share it in the comments below!

Gentle hugs,

Chels