As I get older and my body becomes more slouchy, I realize that slouchy clothes don’t really work for me anymore. The more shapely and tailored my clothes, the better I look. I still enjoy (and, um, need) a loose and casual aesthetic, so for me, the trick is to alter a few pieces so they just fit better. After all, it is the clothing’s job to fit the body, not the body’s job to fit the clothing!
The sweater was a men’s extra-large that I thrifted for $6 when I was pregnant. It’s 100% cashmere and actually fit my ginormous belly almost all the way to the end. Even after the baby was born (and toddling) I wore it a lot, thinking it looked cool and oversized and hid my postpartum bumps. Then I saw myself in a huge mirror at a friend’s. Uhh…no. “Dumpy” came to mind.
So, armed with wonderful advice from Casey’s Elegant Musings on how to alter a sweater, I made this enormous sweater fit me.
First, I tried it on inside out and grabbed the sides, pinning with safety pins along my waist, bust, underarms and sleeves, to determine how much I wanted it taken in. I took it off and measured my pin marks, straightening out my soon-to-be stitching lines and making sure both sides were taken in the same amount. I used chalk to draw those lines in and pinned with straight pins along the chalk lines.
With this sweater, I sewed a line from the hem up the side–curving in slightly at the waist–to where my armpit was, disregarding the sweater’s armhole seam, then turned and took in the sleeve down to the cuff.
After trying it on, I decided I liked the new fit and the old length, so I stitched a second row alongside my first row–maybe a quarter inch apart–this time a shallow zigzag to prevent fraying. Then I got out the scissors and cut off the excess, again about a quarter-inch away from my stitching.
And voila! A cashmere sweater that is cozy and flattering. Pairing it with straight-leg, fitted jeans helps balance out the slight slouchiness, I think. These are Not Your Daughter’s Jeans I found for $20–and I gotta say, they are as great as advertised! A tummy tuck & butt lift in a pair of pants, but they don’t feel restrictive. Magic. They’re super long, so I roll them up over my beloved pink Docs, a rare nonvegan holdover in my footwear collection. And I love this tweed-and-silk scarf/belt I thrifted for $1 to add a little floofiness.
There’s something so wonderful about cashmere. And it is not too hard to find in the thrift stores–check out the men’s department and alter one yourself! Since this sweater was a thrift score, I feel more comfortable wearing it around the house or to the playground–if it gets dirty, I wash it either by hand or in my washer’s “hand wash” cycle. Why save the luxury of cashmere for “special” when you can enjoy it any old day–especially when it costs less than lunch?