Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The stylish MacGyver

 Dress (as skirt): Liz Claiborne; Sweater: Target; 
Boots, tights: Target; Belt: LOFT;
Carpet saddle bag: vintage, thrifted;
3D glasses: from the movie theater.
Shop similar: dress, sweater, belt, bag, glasses.

I've mentioned before that this red vintage dress was difficult to style because it felt more like a showy piece with its longer length and bright color. I was determined to make it work again for the Remix Challenge by pairing it with neutrals. Your eyes aren't fooling you -- the dress does look shorter, but I didn't do any alterations to it.

Like our favorite resourceful secret agent MacGyver might do, I pulled some crazy move by rigging the dress to make it appear shorter. I basically tied the fabric belt as usual, shoved up some of the dress over it, put my sweater on and then cinched it all with my other belt. The effect seems like it would add a spare tire, but with the sweater's heavier fabric, dark color and stripes, the resulting optical illusion doesn't make it appear that way.

I'm curious: What tricks have you employed in your own wardrobe to make it appear like your clothes really fit?



  1. This is such a cute look! I love the outfit. I'm a big fan of stripes so of course this outfit is one of my faves!

  2. ah, love the glasses!!! i think they look great and no one would know they used to be 3-D :)
    i'm going to need to pull a macgyver soon on this dress i'm supposed to style which is about two sizes too big (eek). going to take a page out of your book, though...

  3. Belts - Belts help me pull Macgyvers all the time :)

    LOVE this look - sooooo cute!! I love the stripes over the bright red dress, and paired with brown boots on top of it all!

    Small Time Style

  4. I love that bright red!

    JoAnn, did you see my interview on smashion yesterday? I totally mentioned you in it, hehe - you can check it out at

  5. That is some well-executed advanced layering. I love the look.

  6. Great look love the dress worn as a skirt

    xoxo Monroe

    Fashion Steele NYC

  7. I don't know how to sew (I orig. wrote "can't", but hello! I haven't even tried.), so I am all too familiar with MacGyvering my clothes into submission, especially shortening dresses! I got an idea from Indiana ( to use two belts to hem a dress. Fold the hem wayyyyy up, so it's like covering your face, and then put a flat belt just above the fold. Flop the hem down and put another belt for definition. Same idea as what you've done here, but less likely to bulge!

    I love the stripes with the red, btw. The collar peaking out is fabulous!

  8. Thanks for the scarf tip!

    I like the black and white with red and brown. And your glasses are such a fun touch.

    hmmm, I've hiked up elastic waist skirts really high to make them appear shorter ... I've worn a midriff hiding layer to make it appear that my pants (or skirt) aren't too tight ....

  9. I love how you wore the red dress again and how it looks shorter. I love stripes and your whole look is great!

  10. I love this. This is a awesome look.

  11. I pretty much just use belts ALL the time, especially when something is too big! That's a genius idea to shorten the dress and I love that sweater layered on top! Plus the brown boots instead of typical black - ah, gorgeous!

  12. I love this look! And I especially love the glasses. I use belts all the time, but I never thought of using one to shorten a dress!

  13. Looks great! I've toyed with the idea of shortening a dress that way but I can't have too much constraining fabric around my waist so I always shied back from it... used this trick only once when I was hiding a floor-length ballgown underneath a knee-length coat, and of course it looked a mess :)


  14. I love the striped top with that dress. Great combo! I have tons of big shapeless dresses that I belt really high on the waist to make them look flattering.


  15. Hmm... I'd have to say I've done the same thing with dresses and made the top slouchy to make the hemline appear shorter. Also, I've used double-sided tape! But most of the time I can't get away with faking it and have to pull out the old sewing machine

  16. Those glasses are too cute for words! And cue the applause for your resourcefulness!! You look fantabulous.

    Leaving The House in THIS?!?

  17. Only YOU could make 3D movie theater glasses look SO chic! I love this!

  18. this is a fantastic look - I like the cognac boots with the black/red

  19. Clever glasses choice...
    I always rig my clothes to make them work... belting, knotting, quick hems that are sewn not cut...

  20. FAB them..and of course this super cute striped top:)

    Thanks for the email meant alot to me:)


    Stop by and say Hello:)
    NEWS EDITOR for Style Sample Magazine♥

  21. I love your resourcefulness, you would definitely never know that your "skirt" was in fact a dress! Also, I love the sweater.

  22. Wao, what a good idea! It looks great, I would have never noticed!


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