Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fashion Revolution Week: Haulternatives on coats and jackets

The Fashion Revolution people, aiming at a crowd apparently much younger than I am, suggest that those wanting to share creative Haulternatives this week should post a You-tube video. Since I don't make videos, my contribution is here on the blog, and probably two people will see it. But that's okay.

We are actually no strangers here to posting about "haulternatives," since a lot of our frugal homeschooling posts and craft posts over the past decade have been "look what we found, look what we're doing with it." But here's one for clothing. If you want to get involved in this, you can focus on vintage, fixer-uppers, used stuff, or just some favourite piece of clothing that you've worn forever. The point is to get away from "look what I bought new today."

 (Some of this you've heard about before, if you climb up here occasionally.) 

Awhile ago I read something online about sewing a coat from a thrift-shopped blazer plus its matching skirt. That sounded a little complicated for me, but I did remember passing over several skirt suits at the thrift store, mainly because I don't wear skirt suits, so I decided to have a look the next time I was there. They did have a purple, hand-made, faux-suede suit with an extra-long jacket, so long that you could just wear it as a coat without doing any fixing. But the suit was priced at an incredible $15, so I moved on. It didn't sell (big surprise?), and the next time I was in the store, it turned up on the dollar rack. For a dollar, I was happy to take it home and wear the jacket as a spring coat.
The skirt, I wasn't so sure about. I could have just sent it back to the thrift store, but I decided to turn it into a tote bag instead. Obviously I can't wear the coat and carry the bag at the same time, but otherwise it was a good idea, and I've used the bag a lot this spring.

My other spring coat also cost a dollar. It was a too-long trench coat that I cut down to jacket length. Getting the front corners sewn down completely was the trickiest part, and I didn't get them 100% perfect (not bad, though); but I don't mind.
I looked through jean jackets at the thrift store a few times, but what they had was mostly heavier and either younger or more "boy" than I was looking for. Last week we were at a different used-clothing store and I found a denim shirt that can also work as a lightweight jacket. Plus it has some embroidery and other prettiness on it.
At the same store, I found a short-sleeved cardigan. It's labelled several sizes too big for me, but I guess that depends what you want it for. I wanted it longer (on me, that's easy, I'm short), and looser; but still, it seems closer to my own size than to something XXXL. 
So the classic piece of thrifting advice is to be flexible and look beyond size labels and rack markers. And categories (suit? coat? skirt? bag?). You can find what you need. Sometimes it just takes time.

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