Monday, September 14, 2009

If the Shoe Doesn't Fit, Make It Fit.

I think I’m one of the few people who actually weighed less in college. I’m serious. No one really warns you about the Real World Fifteen, but that’s a different story. Today’s little lesson is a very simple one: if the shoe doesn’t fit, make it fit. That doesn’t mean if the jeans don’t fit, stuff yourself into them, sew in an extender button, or add elastic to get you through the work day without cutting off the circulation to your lower half. I mean, make the piece fit you in a totally different way. Be creative.

For example, I’ve had a pair of patch madras shorts I’ve been rocking since sophomore year of college. I’ve always loved these shorts, loved the colors, loved the pattern (if you know me, you know patch madras is a staple of my wardrobe). Unfortunately, these shorts are not my size. They just aren’t. I know we all fluctuate in weight, we all have good days and bad days, and we all have those bad days and break-ups that remind us life’s too short to not eat half a pizza from Mellow Mushroom and a pint of Phish Food. We also all have those garments in our closet we can’t seem to let go of, yet we know damn good and well, we could do P90X until we can’t walk and we still will never fit into our size 30 shorts from college….and that’s ok. For me, these shorts were that garment. I always kept them around for a rainy day thinking that one day I would look like a 19 year old boy again, but in a liberating moment, I decided to let them go, stop playing Peter Pan, say farewell to Never Never Land, and embrace the Real World. That being said, like many of us, I didn’t want to completely let them go. I’m all about donating clothes to the Goodwill and other charities, and I do it often. However, these shorts carried a lot of memories. So, I set out to find a fun and new way to still enjoy the shorts without taunting myself. I figured, if Scarlett O’Hara can turn the drapes of Tara into a dress, I could turn my shorts into drapes…kinda.

With one pair of scissors, a ruler, and a steady hand, presto change-o, one pair of patch madras shorts becomes a set of patch madras summer napkins and 4 patch madras pocket squares. A simple hem finishes the edges of the napkins (the two front leg panels of the shorts), keeping the cuts from fraying (I'm not a very good sewer, don't judge). The back of the legs and back pockets were easily transformed into pocket squares without any sewing. Simply fold the square into a triangle and iron the edges to make crisp lines. The unfinished portion isn’t visible inside the pocket. The best part, I can still wear my favorite “shorts” and still actually breathe. The fun, colorful plaid easily dresses up both my summer table and my summer weight suits and sport coats.

Maybe you aren’t in the market for any pocket squares or napkins, but think outside the garment. This doesn’t mean you should turn your wedding dress into a table cloth, unless you want to tell guests they’re dining on your bustle. However, next time, instead of hitting the home goods stores, hit your own closet. You’d be surprised what you’d find.

You work it, don’t let it work you.


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