Thursday, January 19, 2012

Leg Coverings of All Sorts [Thursday's Unfashion]

Today is a special day in Unfashion Land, when we roll out a new feature: Tips & Tricks embedded in the blog. Look for the big pink arrows!

If you haven't noticed, leg warmers have come back. It took me a while to "warm up" to them, but in recent months, I've been giving them some serious consideration. All excuses vanished when my brother bought me a pair for Christmas, and I knew that I had to give them a try! Today's outfit was built from the leg warmers up, with all other pieces chosen to complement the colors in my wooly accessories.

The grey shoes fall a little short of ideal, but they were the best choice among my three color options. The purple shirt is not exactly the same shade as the purple in the leg warmers, but from such a distance, I hope no one will notice.

The skirt is nearly the perfect color, but has only one problem—it's too big! I have this incurable habit of buying clothes that are too big—either because I really want them and "too big" is the only size available, or I am having body image issues at the time of purchase.

Rather than deem these clothes unwearable, I usually rig them up with safety pins.

How to temporarily resize a too-big skirt

Put the skirt on, pinch the top hem near the side seam until it fits as you like it, then fold the fabric over from the pinch. You should now have three layers of fabric. From the inside, stick a safety pin through all three layers at the edge of the outermost fold. This ensures that you don't have a loose flap of material on the outside of your skirt. Poke the pin back through, and close the safety pin on the inside.

Voila! a beautifully resized skirt! Note that, although this method is minimally detectable, part of the safety pin will be visible, and if you are doing it with thicker fabric, it will create a noticeable lump. You should only do this to skirts that you will be covering with a shirt.

Usually one pinning is sufficient, but if symmetry is an issue (for example, if your skirt has pockets), then you might have to do one pin on each side.

Using the double pinning method, I successfully converted this size-10, worn-at-the-hip skirt to a size 6, worn at the waist. This brought the bottom hem up to mid-knee level, but I decided that wasn't enough. For the leg warmers to achieve their maximum effect, I wanted this skirt to fall above my knees.

Fortunately, If I learned one thing in my all-girls prep school, it was how to roll my skirt.

Shorten your skirt by rolling

Skirt-rolling is a simple process, simply fold over the waistband. Your skirt will magically become an inch shorter! Fold it over again as needed. This technique can make you look a little thick around the middle, so don't expect it to work with tight tops! If the skirt has a zipper, you can sometimes reduce the bulk by partially unzipping it before rolling.

When all was said and done and my waist had all but disappeared under the 3 or 4 layers of fabric around it, I considered myself dressed. For some reason, pigtails looked just right, and, since the leg warmers have a distinctly hippie feel, I wore my dreamcatcher earrings.

The bottom line on leg warmers? I like them. Especially these big thick ones, as I think they balance out my top-heavy frame. Next trip to the thrift store, I'll be on the lookout for more!

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