The Fitting Room Chronicles: Take it Off

Have you ever found a perfect vintage piece while thrifting, but you weren’t in love with the sleeves? Perhaps they were too tight, too puffy, or just so not right?

Here’s an idea: take it off.

You read that right, sweet cheeks!
You read that right, sweet cheeks!

Look, I get the fact that not too many people are super confident about their arms (I know I’m not). We all can’t be First Lady Michelle Obama.

Really, Michelle?
Really, Michelle?

But seriously, who cares? Your so-called flaws deserve to shine and the right outfit can make you both look and feel like a star. For some of my dresses, I have the sleeves remove to give the piece a completely different look, all while being able to still wear it with ease. And for those sudden chilly days or nights, I simply pair it with a cardigan or shawl.

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I recently found this bright purple kimono dress from the 1970s-80s featuring a fan print. While the dress itself was a comfortable fit, the sleeves were attacking my bulging biceps. What to do? I took the dress anyway and I had my tailor removed the sleeves. The result? You’ll have to wait and find out!

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Don’t be afraid to give a vintage piece some new life. Whether it’s removing sleeves, trimming it in half, or doing something completely different to enhance your personal style, I say do it. It’s a great way to have a custom-made piece that’s meant for you and you alone. Not only will you give your thrifted piece a new chance to be shown, but it will present a new angle that’s never been seen before – until you decided to make it happen.

So, have you ever altered your vintage piece to make it your very own? I want to hear all about it.

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And for some ideas, read up on how I took a Hawaiian dress and made it look super brand new by taking off the sleeves.

But wait! Here’s a sneak preview:

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

Cheating Death in Central Park

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

“Canadian Geese in Central Park” – By Me

Nature and I are serious frenemies. I love escaping the concrete scenery of New York City for something green and lush. Nothing makes me happy like finding a beautiful blooming flower to photograph. And fluttering butteries or even the occasional rabbit hopping around fills my heart with joy.

I’m also allergic to pollen-mosquitos-pretty-much-every-bug-and-plant-alive-outside.

I like turtles.
I like turtles.

As you can imagine, parks aren’t always my thing because well, walking around with a swollen face isn’t fun. But on one sun-soaked Sunday, I was compelled to drag Jordan to Central Park. Sure, there were tourists everywhere and good luck creating some sort of great  Exodus for insects, but in the words of Rhett Butler…

“Gone With the Wind”

For the outing, I decided to channel my tropical roots. I wore a red floral midi dress from the 1970s, which was purchased from Colorado-based Etsy shop, The Braided Bandit. Its vibrant red shade just screams summer, don’t you think?

The Braided Bandit
The Braided Bandit

As you can see, the dress originally came with long sleeves, but my bulging biceps just weren’t having it. My tailor, also known as my fairy godmother who always makes me go from drab to fab, suggested I remove the sleeves completely. This was the end result:

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

The idea was actually a brilliant one. Not only does it look more weather-appropriate, but I was still able to make use of a new piece. If the sleeves of your piece just doesn’t fit the way you would like, consider removing them completely or at least making them half-sleeves, depending on the fit. You will completely transform your outfit and it will fit you so much better. Any tailor can easily do this, but if you’re more of a DIY gal, YouTube also has some great tutorials on sleeve removal.

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Photo by Jordan Race

Because we were roughin’ it, I left behind my heels (in my purse of course) and wore more comfy ballet flats. Per usual, one of my many corselet belts made an appearance. I paired them with golden chandelier earrings from H&M and wore Relvon’s blazing “Hot Coral” lipstick. It’s an incredibly moisturizing lipstick, so I didn’t have to worry too much about reapplying during the day.

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race

And in case you’re wondering, I survived. Jordan and I celebrated at Flatiron District’s Marta, the new It-pizza stop where wine flows freely and massive pies are served to your liking.

Classic Pizza Margherita at Marta. Yum.
Classic Pizza Margherita at Marta. Yum.

See you next time when I attempt to cheat death!

Photo by Jordan Race
Photo by Jordan Race