HOW TO: Refashion a Too Large T-Shirt into a Reversible Dress

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Almost every girl has a few too-big T-shirts in her closet, but instead of just wearing them to bed at night how about refashioning one into a cute tunic dress? I love this fashion DIY because it’s really easy to do and the resulting A-line dress is so easy to just throw on – especially for summer. The other great thing about this DIY is that if you have a tee with a graphic on it, you can even make your dress reversible so that you can wear it with the image in front for days you feel cheeky or wear the plain side in front on days when you’re feeling more serious.

For the full recycled fashion tutorial steps click the pages below.

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HOW TO: Turn an Ugly Shirt into a Cute Skirt [No Sewing]

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Babydoll shirts with all sorts of weird bunching and shirring used to be in style until we realized that they made everyone look equally preggers. So now there are a ton of these unflattering tops floating around unloved even though many of them still have nice, bold prints like the Marc Jacobs-esque large flower pattern on this one. If you’re the owner of one of these shirts and are not quite sure what to do with it, here’s a really easy, no-sew fashion DIY showing you how to turn an ugly babydoll shirt into a summer skirt just in time for the warm weather. I think you’ll really be surprised at how simple this tutorial is, and depending on the shirt you use, you can make the bottom into a skirt and the top into a cute bandeau.

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HOW TO: Make Your Boyfriend’s T Shirt into a Cute New Tank Top

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Step 1. Steal your boyfriend’s shirt. I’m just kidding. Don’t steal. But if you notice that your boyfriend (or husband, brother, friend, dad, guy on the couch) has an old t shirt that they hardly wear anymore, they should be fine with you taking it as long as you ask nicely. And this project will work just as well with any oversized t shirt you already have in your own closet too. There are only a few steps and when you’re done, you’ll have a cute tank top just in time for summer. Read on for the full instructions!

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24 Bright and Bold Summer Outfits to Wear on a Beach Vacation

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The Bahamas – check, the beach – check, the beautiful bachelorette – check. My girlfriends had all of the ingredients to make our friend Christina’s final hurrah nothing short of LEGEND-ary, but the question remained – what should we wear?! After frantically asking one another for outfit advice, we were finally able to stuff our suitcases full of 24 bright and bold beach vacation looks for sitting by the pool, walking around the Cove and taking Christina out for a simply cray cray time. Click through the pages all the way at the bottom of the post to see each one and get some fashion ideas for your own resort wardrobe!

Outfit details from left to right: On Yuka: black and white sequined dress by Parker (borrowed from my very generous friend Diana) + black sandals by Prada, on Amy: flowy white dress with flower print by Halston Heritage + wedges by Charlotte Ronson, on Ruth: chartreuse Herve Leger dress purchased from Paula Abdul, black heels (still waiting on the other deets so stay tuned).

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Outfit Idea: Lace Up Leggings in Yufuin Japan

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Just stumbled upon these old photos taken last year in Hakata and thought they might make an interesting outfit idea post. I broke out the same black lace up leggings this weekend (almost forgot I had them), and got mixed reactions. I had to stop by David’s Bridal for a bridesmaids dress fitting and got a lot of compliments there, but my own friends seemed confused by the laces. What do you think? Would you wear lace up leggings?

Outfit details:

Silk print top: Purchased at Mint Thrift Shop in Katano, Japan
Lace up leggings: Purchased at Daiei
Gold sandals: Arden B.
Bag: Rugby

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The rest of the pics in this album were taken in Yufuin, Japan, which is famous for its relaxing hot springs. There is even a mini footbath hotspring for people to rest their weary feet while they wait for the green Yufuin no Mori (Forest of Yufuin) train. It’s very romantic!

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How I Bought Paula Abdul’s Herve Leger Dress for $144!

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I was giggling with glee this afternoon when the Herve Leger dress that I purchased from Paula Abdul’s closet arrived, but before I get into how/where I got it (what you really care about), I just want to take a few sentences to talk about how that relates to my passion for preloved clothing. If you’re reading Clossette you probably know that this site all about taking fashion into your own hands, hunting for secondhand and vintage pieces you love instead of fast fashion you’ll throw away and using fashion for good instead of evil. But I know that shopping at thrift shops and wearing stuff that other people already did hardly seems glamorous, which is why I think a lot of my friends don’t do it. That’s why I’m really excited to see more celebs selling their own used clothing online and giving more people a reason to try out buying secondhand. Not only are the pieces usually like new, but they’re deeply discounted too. If I’d bought this Herve Leger dress brand new at a store, it would have been more than $1,000! Instead I bought it for just $144, it’s practically new and what’s more, it was worn by Paula Abdul! So if you’re reading this and thinking, hmm, I want to pay much less for something designer that was worn by a celebrity, I really urge you to consider getting into secondhand shopping. It’s true that most of the time, the things you find weren’t worn by celebrities but you’ll find amazing deals on stuff you would never be able to afford otherwise (at least not on a writer’s salary like mine).

Anyhoo, read on for the deets of where I scooped up my beautiful new Herve Leger (my very first one!) or read my interview with Paula Abdul about how she feels about vintage fashion here.

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Today’s Look: Plaid Romance

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Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhh ~ caught in a plaid romance. Sorry about that. I got a little too excited about today’s outfit idea. You might recognize this preppy midi skirt from my 1950s sockhop sweetie Halloween costume, but pairing it with a lady-like grey blazer gives it a totally fresh spin. As you might have noticed, I’m really feelin’ the polished grown-up look for fall (especially since I’m officially old now), but I’m doubly bubbly about this outfit because its one of the ones I put together for Naya’s Renew Your Soles Style Challenge where they asked green style bloggers like yours truly to donate 5 pairs of old shoes in exchange for one beautiful, well-made pair from their new line. The challenge will raise awareness for America Recycles Day and echoes an ideal that I’m all about: quality, not quantity! One pair of beautiful, versatile shoes that you actually want to keep wearing for years can replace a closet full of throw-aways and help you leave a softer footprint on our earth.

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Pink, blue and tan plaid wool skirt: Purchased as part of my 1950s sockhop girl Halloween costume at Unique Thrift Shop for $4.99. I took this pic right before it found a new home with Jeanne‘s cousin.

Grey blazer: This is such a unique lil’ number with its military-gone-femme appeal. I got it at a Korean shop a few years ago and wear it with everything from jeans to shorts.

Slate booties: These Genesis peep-toe booties are so comfy and really go with just about anything, as you’ll see from the four other looks I put together around them!

Gold Libra medallion: This vintage Tiffany pendant belonged to my dad who was a Libra – just like me. Pretty pimp if I do say so meself!

Lavender camisole: A gift from my mom’s friend Mrs. Ho, who works for Ravel.

Tan bag: I’ve had this suede bag for so long and have carried it to so many places that it’s as dirty as Linus’ blanket*. I still think it looks great though and love how soft it is now. Some things just get better with age!

*EDIT: For some reason, I combined the characters of Linus and Pigpen from Peanuts above! I think what I wrote still makes sense (sort of).

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Today’s Look: Jumper

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So here’s something you might not know: In American English, the term jumper refers to a dress meant to be worn over a sweater or a shirt, but in British English, a jumper is a sweater. Both languages also recognize the word to mean “a person who jumps.” But you probably already knew that.

Steering back to the point of this post, I recently scooped up this dark navy jumper (American English usage) at my neighborhood thrift shop to wear over my favorite olive green jumper (British English usage), and I’m liking the posh (though verbally confusing) result. Jumpers are really easy to wear but they haven’t been en vogue for a while, so it baffles me that their frumpy country cousin, the overall, keeps making its way back into seasonal trends. So this winter, I challenge all you stylish ladies to try out a jumper (you can even just take a summer dress, wear it over a sweater and call it a jumper) and see how you like it! It’s a nice way to maximize your wardrobe and it’s also a lot less boring that just wearing a sweater and a skirt.

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Dark navy jumper: Thrifted for $5

Olive green cowlneck sweater: From my closet

Buckled peep-toe Kasha booties: A gift from Naya for winning their Renew Your Soles Style Challenge!

Green plaid tights: Purchased in Japan. Tights and leggings are probably the only articles of clothing I ever buy new.

Gold Libra medallion: This vintage Tiffany pendant belonged to my dad who was a Libra, just like me.

Belt: My mom’s

Purse: 1990s Chanel

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The Dress I Bought from Paula Abdul + Why She Loves Vintage Fashion

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You probably know Paula Abdul for her unforgettable pop hits (Opposites Attract is my personal fave) or for being one of the “nice” judges on American Idol and X Factor, but did you know that she’s also a vintage fashion aficionado? I recently got the chance to ask Paula if she would straight up now tell me why she loves vintage fashion and donating her preloved clothing instead of throwing it away. Read on to see what she said and get a peek at the adorable silk and cotton Abaeté dress I purchased right from her closet through one of my favorite new collaborative consumption sites, TheRealReal.

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Which to Wear? To an After Work Movie Premiere

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Roaarrrrr. Tomorrow night is the NYC premiere of National Geographic’s Last Lions, a movie that I heard is the cat’s meow. A few months ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to plan the event, which will be attended by the makers of the film, Beverly and Dereck Joubert, and now that most of the grunt work is done, I’m in a bit of a panic asking myself what the b!@@d# hell I should wear!! Before you help me pick something out below, let me urge you to check out the trailer for this fascinating film here to find out more about how big cats such as lions and tigers are being wiped out in startling numbers from Africa and how you can help by causing an “uproar“. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore cats – both large and small, so I’m sure you can see why this is a movie that is near and dear to my ♥.

So the question remains – which should I wear?

The facts: This is an after work movie premiere taking place in the Meatpacking District. I don’t want to be too flashy since I’m the event planner and comfort is paramount since I’ll be running around a lot.

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For the birds: Navy bird print dress (Zara), red bow belt, navy and white cardigan (thrifted) and mauve suede high heel sandals?

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Sheer genius: Black sheath dress (practically vintage Banana Republic), sheer cream-colored cardigan with bow detail, nude mary janes (Prada)

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Catcall: My blue cat dress, navy or white cardigan (not sure yet which, see pics below), nude mary janes (Prada), tassel necklace (Clossette)

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Today’s Look: Retro Plaid

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Dress: A lady-like navy number thrifted from “Mint,” a little consignment shop a mile or so down the road in Katano, Japan. It’s got a sheer plaid linen overlay that’s just gorgeous.

Little purse: Japanese people are neurotic over-packagers. They wrap their potatoes individually in some stores! But the thing is, they recycle almost everything from plastic to styrofoam to even saran wrap, and people actually follow the recycling rules here. When I went to the Yufuin hot springs, I bought a beaker full of pale pink sake and it came wrapped up in this little red and cream bag. “New purse” I thought!

Cardigan: I just happened to bring this navy and white cardi that matches quite nicely with the plaid dress. Sometimes you walk into a thrift shop and the perfect little dress is already in there waiting for you in just your size and style. Most girls I know don’t like the idea of buying old clothes, but if you like the thrill of the hunt, it’s a lot more interesting than stepping into an H&M and grabbing a shirt that thousands of other girls around the world will be wearing too.

Shoes: If you read page 1, you already know the story. My sister can fit into them so maybe she will take them. Even though my feet were swollen like sausages afterwards, I was honored to be able to walk in my grandma’s shoes – even if it was nowhere close to a mile.

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Outfit Idea: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and, Of Course, Some Wine

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If you like this look or even if you think it’s sort of hideous, please “like” it >here< so that I can do Kung Fu in Shanghai! It’s a quick sign-in through Facebook (takes less than 2 seconds) and I will be your lapdog forever if I win!

Something old: Navy boatneck top with trompe l’oeil chains, Uniqlo

Something new (they’re not really new, but they’re secondhand so they’re new to me): Red sailor style bow wedges, Marc Jacobs from I-ELLA

Something borrowed: White wicker basket, Mom’s House

Bag: FEED Japan tote ($10 from each sale goes to Japan disaster relief), FEED. Click here to read my interview with model and founder, Lauren Bush

Skirt: Gift from my sis from Chicago

Wine: Gift from god

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Outfit Idea: Walking an Inch in My Grandma’s Tasseled Ivory Slippers

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Day 6 in Kyushu, Japan. My grandma has always been a very fashionable lady, and while she can hardly hear or walk any more, she still dresses as sharp as ever. “Look around in that closet over there and if you see any of my shoes you like, take them home,” she told us (in Japanese). Well, for a girl like me who loves stuff with a story, that was like an invitation to a party. But alas, whether it be genetics or good old fashioned American over-nourishment, my feet are ginormous compared to everyone else in my family (even my grandpa : /). “Those won’t fit you,” he said. Thanks granpa. Haha. Regardless, I found a pair of the cutest, ivory flats with little tassels and squashed my feet into ’em. How I wish they would fit! Anyhoo, here is the outfit that resulted. Read on for the rest.

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Spring Outfit Idea: Cats and Crosses

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Two things I swoon like a silly person over are cats and crosses, so I decided that my first jacket-less outfit of the year should feature both. I guess you can’t really tell from this photo (unless you have some killer eyesight), but my blue dress is printed with a forest of felines, and I’m wearing a cross of sky-blue gems on a long chain. If you’re looking for a warmer weather outfit to transition between being a buttoned up eskimo lady and a skintastic hotpants pin-up girl, I highly recommend the spring dress + long cardigan + high boot combo.

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