Quite Continental Charm School: Day 9 – Overhaul Your Wardrobe

19/02/2013 § 5 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: Overhaul YourWardrobeJazz trumpeter Charlie Spivak and his extensive wardrobe, which contained
28 suits — even more than Duke Ellington!  Photo via LOC.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker! Kelly is the skilled and stylish mind behind the personal style blog Alterations Needed.  I’m not sure how I first discovered Kelly, but I know it took only two nanoseconds before I realized I had met a sartorial soulmate.  This girl knows her way around ties, blazers and smoking slippers, and her innovative menswear-inspired style constantly inspires me.  Plus, she’s got curly hair and is from Los Angeles — do I really need to say anything more?

Inspiration aside, Alterations Needed is also a really great source for tips on fine tuning your wardrobe though skillful shopping, styling, tailoring and even “faking it.”  Moreover, if you’re petite, please meet your new style maven.  Completely user-friendly and fun to read, Kelly frequently documents her experiences before and after as she adjusts her various wardrobe purchases to perfectly fit her.  While I’m definitely not petite myself (hello, six feet!), I’ve found that Kelly’s pursuit of fit has caused me to cast a more critical eye on my own wardrobe.  If you are not yet familiar with Kelly and/or Alterations Needed, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Kelly’s tip for a charmed life.


Day 9: Overhaul Your Wardrobe
Most people wear 20% of their closet, 80% of the time. Sometimes, the items that are hiding in the depths of the closet are old favorites that have lost their luster, never quite fit right to begin with, or just victims of the urge to shop without a real need for the item in the first place. Here are some tips to help take a fresh look at some of those items and breathe some new life into old favorites:

– Pull your favorite blazers from your wardrobe and have a tailor slim the sleeves for a snugger fit (just not so tight that you can’t bend your elbow). A nice fitted sleeve on a blazer is the quickest way for a modern and expensive look.

– While you’re at the tailor, also have them nip in your pants and trousers right at the back of your knee. This helps make your legs look longer and your pants look better fitted.

– If pant or skirt pockets ever bother you or add too much bulk to your hips, have them sewn shut and/or the pocket lining removed.

– Replace buttons that look dated, cheap, or overly trendy with new ones that are more your style. Scour flea markets for interesting vintage buttons that can really make an item of clothing special.

– Check blazers and coats for working breast pockets (ie they have a pocket lining) that are still sewn shut. Open them carefully with a seam ripper, and now you have a fun pocket in which to stuff such things as your sunglasses or a small colorful scarf.

– The wrong hangers can ruin your hard-earned wardrobe, so consider the needs and aesthetic of your wardrobe. Toss out wire hangers, as they can leave marks on your clothes and even rust if they get wet. Use thicker hangers for blazers and coats to maintain shoulder structure. If you’re especially narrow or broad shouldered than average, consider “petite” or “oversized” hangers to better fit your clothes. And never underestimate the power of a beautiful set of matching hangers to make you feel like you’re shopping in a boutique every time you get dressed (not the mention help curb the urge to over-shop).

by Kelly, of Alterations Needed.


The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

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§ 5 Responses to Quite Continental Charm School: Day 9 – Overhaul Your Wardrobe

  • I have made an appointment with my tailor and am now off to find those matching hangers and some clear shoe boxes (my shoes keep getting dusty). I love these posts so much.

  • Caroline says:

    Darling Mariah, I just wanted to tell you how much I adore, adore, ADORE your glorious Charm School. I stumbled upon your original 2011 run a while ago and have re-read them all avidly since, so I’m delighted you’ve resurrected it again for another year! Long may it reign! This post, in particular, is rather helpful for my current spring cleaning plans…
    I do hope you don’t mind, but I’ve linked to your fabulous ‘academy’ in the sidebar of my site. We can all use a little more charm! xxx

    • Hello Caroline,
      I am very happy to know that you are enjoying Charm School and many thanks for the link, you are too kind! Best of luck with your spring cleaning (something I am completely terrible at keeping up) and please do keep in touch! It is a pleasure to meet you and your lovely blog.

      All bests,

  • david says:

    Good Information.

  • […] Wardrobe. Also, when you have quality pieces you want to keep nice, Quite Continental has some great tailoring tips to make every piece a bespoke […]

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