Yes! You Can Machine Wash Wool Sweaters (Mostly)

One actually can machine wash most wool sweaters (even the ones with a “dry clean only” tag). The gentle cycle might seem to be the way to go but it’s not gentle enough. First: Never wash mohair sweaters, those with more than 10% angora fibers, or with special coatings/finishes. Also, don’t wash wool sweaters with an open stitch or with embellishments (beads, spangles, etc.). If you’ve got the yarn sample that comes attached to the tag of many new sweaters, use it to test whether a particular sweater can be washed. Snip off about an inch of the wool, pop it into a mesh bag, and wash it according to … Read more…

R is for Rules: The 5 Pieces Rule

Fashion ought to be fun and ought not have too many rules. At the same time, considering that we only wear 10 to 20% of our wardrobes, we do waste a lot of money buying clothes. A few rules can make shopping less stressful and dressing more fun. Most women like new clothes. Even if we buy from thrift and consignment shops or trade with friends, clothing that is new to us makes us happy. And most of us either: Avoid shopping until we have an event or realize our clothing is falling apart. OR Shop and buy all the time, have a closet stuffed with clothes, but still feel … Read more…

Q is for Quality: Educational Shopping

Quality is the intersection between personal style and design, craftsmanship, materials, fit, and appropriateness. A garment may be well-made, beautifully designed, of exquisite materials but it’s not quality for the woman it doesn’t fit, if it’s inappropriate for the occasion, or doesn’t suit her style. Most of us don’t recognize quality. But we can learn. Learning to recognize quality requires effort, patience, and the willingness to step outside our comfort zones. Money is not required. Too often we waste money on badly designed, ill-fitting garments, of poor workmanship that are inappropriate for the particular use we envision. When we go for quality, we save money and dressing becomes much easier. … Read more…

O is for Outfits For Different Body Shapes

N is for No Standard Sizes Or Body Shapes shows five women between 5’2″ to 6’1″ tall. Each weighs 154 lbs and has a different body shape. Wouldn’t it be cool to see women with bodies like these in a couple of real outfits? We don’t have their measurements so first it’s necessary to make some assumptions. Unfortunately, the 5’2″ woman is not wearing a supportive bra so it’s difficult to see if she has an hourglass shape. Since she has narrow shoulders, let’s presume she has a petite (at least on top) pear body shape. (A properly fitted bra can make a huge difference in body shape.) The 5’4″ woman … Read more…

M is for Mine

“Hold still,” one of the LOFT designers told me as I turned to see who was fiddling with my skirt. “I’m fixing the bow for you.” When he stepped back to admire his work, I reached around and felt the bow in the middle of my back. “I don’t like it there,” I firmly told him as I retied the bow. “I like it on the side.” I felt a light slap against my hand, “The designer intended it to be tied in the back.” I twirled. The voluminous black fabric of my vintage, 50’s, wrap skirt swirled around me. “This skirt is mine!” I corrected him. “I decide how … Read more…

I Can’t Afford That! Finding Affordable Quality

Babajaan’s off-white Panama oversized straw hat with horsehair band costs a whopping $415! That’s super pricey for most women. Many women I know would look at the price tag and walk away. But this hat is worth a really, really close look. Look at the materials. Look at the shape. Look at the quality. Look at the design. Really study it. Then study it again. While studying it, imagine that hat on your head. Imagine the outfits you would wear it with. Totally ignore the price. Just ask yourself, Would be Babajaan’s hat work for me? And then… Next time you see a similar hat at a friend’s house, ask … Read more…