How I Make Things My Own

We have talked many times about how to make outfits your own by adding your own touches to things.  And sometimes you will try on something and it’s almost perfect but not quite.  This blog is going to be about how to change different pieces you already own or want to buy into something you absolutely love.

I am the queen of alterations.  And what I mean by alterations is not necessarily taking everything I own to the tailor all the time.  Even though I do get things tailored so they work for my body, this isn’t the only thing alterations mean to me.

Recently I purchased online a great shirt.20160625_142028_resizedIt is a wonderful top by Isy&Ki that I ordered on  I love the color, the way it fits and to me it is an easy top to pair with almost any bottom ( adorable with white jeans!).  But there was one issue with it.  It had ties to tie the cuff closed and there would be big bows on the cuff.  Well, let’s just say that wasn’t working for me.  I do a lot with my hands all day long and the bows would just get in the way.  And what about watches and bracelets?  Those were a no go with the  tie closed cuffs. cuff alterationSo, me being me, I snipped off the ties and just stiched the sleeves closed.  I made sure I measured the shirt so that I could get it over my hands if the cuffs were closed first. You have to make sure it will fit if you are going to self alter anything!  If I had more time I could have taken it to a tailor and put a button and loop on or had a small piece of matching elastic put in so the cuff would stretch a bit.  But I didn’t need to in order to make it fit and I really wanted to start wearing it.

So now you have the idea of what I am talking about.  I do lots of things like this to make pieces I buy unique and to work better for me.

Another piece that I slightly changed that is one of the go to pieces in my closet is this great Joe Fresh vegan Leather Jacket I bought a few years ago. Joe Fresh vegan leather JacketWhen I bought it, the jacket had large gold buttons on it. It is a great jacket but with the cheap looking gold buttons it wasn’t working.  This I did take to the tailor. I went out and searched for a black tone on tone button that would work long term for a jacket and took the buttons and the jacket to the tailor.  Now it’s perfect, I really get a lot of wear out of it. And because it’s Joe Fresh, it wasn’t a major investment I was playing with. So something as easy as changing the buttons can change the entire look! And it really did with this jacket.

One more cuff change I want to show you. sanctuary shirtThis is one of my favorite tops.  It is from Sanctuary, one of my favorite lines.  I love the print and the flowy style.  I also really like that it goes away from all the black I wear and gives me a different color palette to work with.  I wear a lot of black and for summer I try and get into color instead of my fall and winter classic colors. The problem with this top is that it had long sleeves and cuffs that buttoned closed.  When I put it on the first thing I did was roll up the cuffs because to me the top looked funny with tight sleeves.  It seemed to me, the top would look better with 3/4 sleeves.  So that is what I did.  Off to the tailor and Sanctuary shirt cuffvoila! I have perfect 3/4 sleeves on this top.  I wear this top quite a bit and would have never liked it if I had to keep rolling up the sleeves all the time.

So you see, simple adjustments to pieces can truly make them your own.  Every one has their own unique style, and by making simple adjustments to small details on a piece of clothing, you can make it uniquely yours!

I have done major adjustments as well, like making a midi dress and mini dress or taking pants and making them cropped pants.  We all used to cut off our jeans to make shorts when we were teenagers this is kind of the same thing.  Just with a bit more style and class.

Over the years my exuberance for changing things have spilled over into my coats, shoes and accessories.  I have removed belt loops from coats, because I thought they suited me better unbelted.  I have had heels taken down a bit so it works better for me.  Or I have taken the harness off boots to make them more streamlined.  Shoes and boots you really need to take to a Cobbler to have changes made, those I didn’t try to do myself.  With necklaces and bracelets I have made tons of adjustments to the costume jewellery I own.  I will make a 3 layer necklace a 2 layer necklace if I think it suits me better.  I will also take pieces off bracelets and necklaces if I think they are too much for my neck or wrist.Panacea Beaded Crystal Pendant Layered NecklaceSomething like this Panacea Layered Crystal pendant necklace from Nordstrom would be the kind of necklace I would alter. First of all it is only a $28 necklace so I wouldn’t be that upset if I made a mistake and secondly, sometimes I find with inexpensive costume jewellery, the top layer tends to break off at the slightest tug.  So here I may remove the top layer or sometimes even the longest layer, depending on the look I am going for. BaubleBar 'Antiqua' Beaded Stretch Bracelets (Set of 4)If I owned these Baublebar beaded stretch bracelets, also from Nordstrom,  I would likely remove the tassels.  First of all they would drive me crazy, and secondly I think it would suit someone a bit more mature ( let’s face it I am not 20) without the tassels.  It is a simple adjustment.  And it would make the look my own.


So that is what I am talking about.  Adjusting items to make them your own and work for you. It could be as simple as wearing your scarf as a belt. Or as intricate as completely altering a dress.  But once you make a piece of clothing your own, you make it unique and can be sure no one else in the world, even if it’s from Joe Fresh, has the same piece as you.

I even have something else I am thinking of altering today.  I have a dress that has snaps in the front that maybe would look better with pearl buttons… just maybe…


I hope this gave you all some food for thought.  Only two more blogs until we take a small break for summer. If there is something you would like to hear about before I delve into Fall in August please email me and let me know.  My next 2 blogs will be about summer and summer clothing and accessories, so if there is something missing that you want to know, I would love to hear from you.

For all your fashion questions or to set up an appointment for Fall styling or wardrobing please email me at I do styling by skype as well if you don’t live in the Vancouver area.  I answer every email as promptly as I can, but during the last half of July I will be on holidays so I apologize in advance if you don’t hear from me right away.

I hope you enjoyed reading about how to make things your own and any questions you have I would be happy to answer them.

Until next time…Suethefashionista card frnt

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