white and stripes

i was helping a friend clean out her closet (don't you love doing that?!) this past december and she was going to toss this dress.  i instantly fell in love with the soft fabric, navy stripes and the fact that it was made in the usa, but it didn't fit me.  i held onto it anyway and last week i took it to my tailor and had the straps removed and the waistband refinished nicely.
so $5 later it's now a skirt.  

rrl white shirt - gift from alex
striped skirt - free
navy painted sandals - $6

so this will be added to my small wardrobe list  just in case you are keeping track.

maybe there is something in your closet that can be reworked?  maybe.



  1. Hello Janet:
    One of the beauties of living in Budapest is the easy availability of all kinds of needlewomen and tailors who can work wonders with fabric and at very reasonable prices. As a result, handmade shirts and skirts and any number of alterations can be effected with little fuss and at a small cost. As you say, this does then mean that when one acquires a garment in need of a nip or tuck, it can be done and one's wardrobe is the better for it!Your tailor has certainly worked wonders with the stripes!!

  2. You are brilliant to rework the dress. And I love this long skirt, tied button down look on you.

    It just so happens that I bought a long skirt yesterday at a new-to-me thrift shop for $6.00. It fits me perfectly. I was wondering how best to wear it and now I know! There is a thrifted white button-down shirt hanging in my closet, ironed and ready to go.

    xo, A

  3. Janet,
    Love your new skirt...and the fact that you reworked it into something even the original designer didn't realize. I like the way it looks with the white blouse tied...I think the combination of the white shirt and stripes is so much better than stripes from head to toe. Your bag and shoes look great too!

  4. LOVE it! I have a skirt like that that I recently bought at Marshalls or TX Maxx. It also looks great with a denim top. I love this crisp look.

  5. Great idea, it's a fantastic look. I wish I could find a decent tailor.

  6. What a reasonable tailor you found, I'm still hunting for one. Glad to see the painted sandals are holding up!

  7. love that skirt and especially love the waist band!! what a deal on tailoring!
    you look fabulous!!!

  8. Wow, I'm a petite who uses a reasonably priced tailor often. I've never had her charge $5 for any alteration. Like others have said, you really have an impressive ability to find deals of so many kinds. Maybe I just live in a more expensive area?!

  9. Wow your seamstress is so affordable.
    I had a thrifted $8 duffle coat altered and it cost me $45, it's a cashmere blend and I love it.

    You are rocking that skirt Janet and your "Kate" bag looks perfect with that look.

  10. janet ~ this is gorgeous, and it looks ultra-comfortable. i love your painted sandals peeking out.
    i am voting the rrl button down as the hardest working piece in your small wardrobe.
    i love how you have it tied here.
    the skirt is evidence of your brilliant ability to see beauty & potential ♥

  11. Brilliant as usual! White with stripes worn by massive fan of The White Stripes!

  12. You are such a visionary! You can help me go through my closet anytime.

  13. classic, frugal and comfortable. how can you beat that? the cost per wear of the rrl shirt is probably nominal at best, and looks great with everything you pull together. once again you're brilliant!

  14. Marla in ColumbusMay 2, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Cute!!!! The possibilities are virtually endless!

  15. You look fabulous, as always! I bought a striped jersey maxi from J Crew when I was in New York recently, now I've seen you in yours, I can't wait to wear mine.

  16. Yes something in my closet could def be reworked. That would be me!

    I love your new skirt. Totally bril Janet.

    xo Janet

  17. Janet,

    You look so nautical! Cute, cute, cute. How do you come up with these ideas?


  18. You look beautiful Janet! I am inspired to go through my closet and drawers, what is all that stuff taking up space that I don't wear?

  19. So clever and so cute! I have a friend that has such beautiful style, I wonder if I can help her clean out her closets...Seriously though, you inspire me to look deep into my wardrobe!

  20. Janet,

    Great idea! This is so cute for Summer. Love how you styled your white shirt too.


  21. so cute and what a great idea. We don't have tailors working that cheap around here though! I can't get enough stripes lately.

  22. Charming! Could you add a detailed photograph of the waistband? I am a bit intrigued to find out how the top of the dress looked originally and how it was altered as someone teaching herself (with a good deal of trial and error) how to adapt things. I am especially intrigued by the change in the stripe orientation. Was the top part a bandeau type top? is a zipper involved? or Do reveal the details!

    1. yes, the bandeau waistband was the top. it had 2 straps that would tie around the neck, halter style. originally i thought i could just cut them off but then it would look unfinished. all the tailor did was undo the bandeau and and go inside and snip off the straps and then restitch it. i watched her do it! it took all of 5 minutes.

  23. What a stunning and chic look, Janet! I love how you've had the ingenuity to re-purpose the fabric into something so you. It's perfect with that simple white shirt and summery basket. I've mentally made a note to hunt down something similar, it would look perfect with my battered old Levi's denim jacket. xxx

  24. I absolutely love this look - so chic! I have a similar striped dress and I'd love to do something like this with it...

  25. Oh, now THIS is my favorite outfit, but then again every single one of your outfits is my favorite... :-)
    -Suzanne in Illinois

  26. Love your new skirt Janet. You look reallyfabulous in it. My bottom could not take horizontal stripes alas!! ;-)... And the roses from earlier in the week - how delicious... happy weekend to you. XXX

  27. Genius!
    I love breathing new life into an old garment with simple alterations!
    And of course you look incredibly stunning and chic as always!

  28. oh ajj,
    stripes... very chic. they are always parisienne to me. don't know why.
    maybe the influence of chanel... or the french navy!
    steppin out in style dear heart!
    tammy j

  29. Fabulous, you look fabulous in this outfit.

    I wear long linen skirts/dresses for my job designing/contracting landscapes. Typically with a linen long-sleeved shirt, very thin of course.

    Why? MOSQUITOS. They are terrible & can't stand chemicals on my skin.

    Almost everything from thrift stores. J.Jill, Talbots, & etc.... Don't have to worry about GA red clay stains, greese, rips.....

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  30. Janet...
    This is a great outfit! I love everything you do...It's like a little present when I see a posting from you...I am trying so hard to eat healthy...Keep those fabulous ideas coming...
    Hope you had a fabulous weekend...
    Lori In MD

  31. Janet-
    You look fabulous! Please keep the recipes coming...I am trying so hard to eat healthy food...You inspire me...
    Thanks for giving me something to look forward to...when I see a posting from The Gardner's Cottage it is like a little present in my inbox!

  32. Yes, the reconfigured waistband takes this skirt to a whole new level above a plain old striped skirt. Makes your hips look curvy. Great idea!


kindness is never out of style.

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