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Monday, May 31, 2010

Life in Technicolor

For the last day of my black and white challenge I selected a dress that needed a little work before it was wearable.

Day Seven
So summer - Black and white day 7

I pick up dresses off of clearance racks the way some people pickup stray dogs. I see this poor neglected little thing, that with some time and some TLC, could be a really great pet - I mean dress.

This cotton eyelet dress by Max Studio was rescued from a TJMaxx clearance rack for a mere $15. Given the MSRP which was upwards of $150, I thought it would be worth the effort.

A size large, I had a lot of taking in to do. First I took in 3" straight up the middle of the waist and bust. Unconventional, perhaps, but this helped to minimize the um, cleavage. I didn't get the design to match up perfectly, something that drives me crazy, but if I hadn't said anything, I don't think you'd have noticed.

Next I took 3" off the bottom, and then shortened each strap by an inch.

Sadly, no matter what bra I tried on with it, the bodice would not completely cover it. In my frustration, I decided if the bra was going to show, then I'd just wear the laciest one I own and make it look deliberate.

black and white dress close

How do you feel about bra straps showing? Is there no greater fashion faux pas, or can it be pulled off with the right look and the right attitude? If so, how did I do?

Back in color now!

The Rundown
Dress Max Studio - Sandals Chinese Laundry (borrowed from my Sister) - Earrings Avon - Necklace Fossil

Over the weekend my friend Klara asked me if I wanted to go to a bead show with her, and of course I said yes! (as if I'd pass up a chance to buy whole sale beads). She makes some really gorgeous and unique items, and it was fun to go browsing with her and see what she was picking out. If you've got a moment, check out her site.
Five hours and 58 dollars later, I returned home with this haul:

When I got back I realized that the turquoise beads look exactly like the one on my Aldo necklace, and see the sea foam green teardrops at the top? Can you guess what I plan on making with those?

With the Black and White Style Challenge finished, I have only three days before The Small Fabric of My Life's Summer Capsule Wardrobe Challenge starts.


  1. I like this dress, it will never go out of style.:D And for $58, those beads are really good buys!:D

    ...and everything girly under the sun!

  2. Aww, I love your dress! And you're so very dedicated with sewing your dresses. If something doesn't fit on me, I give up and go to the next one, haha. I would have soo many neat dresses if I had patience like you. :) && I can't wait to see what you do with those beads!

    I have to wear this one bra that has white lace straps with any of my tank tops. Then it feels fine that it's showing. As long as it's not some bright pink bra or something showing in a dress it shouldn't, like a velvet fancaaay dress or something, I think it's fine. :D

  3. I had some friends from Boston who went to the bead show also... small world! I think you made the right choice by going all out with the bra if it was going to show. I'm not a huge fan of normal, thin black or white bra straps showing. If they're going to show, I think that they should either be colorful or fancy.

  4. This black and white challenge is so fun. Great idea!

    I am usually anti-bra strap, but in this instance, I wouldn't have known what it was if you hadn't pointed it out. I looks like part of the dress. Therefore, I say you are in the clear.

  5. i really like your earrings in this post! Very stylish.


    is my blog

  6. You totally wowzed it up, lady! So pretty and such a steal!!

  7. great dress! the pattern is gorgeous
    looking good :)

    Castor Pollux

  8. Oooh the dress looks great! :D The bra looked like part of the dress in the photos, so ;)

  9. i like the pattern of your dress. and those earrings are gorgeous! :D


  10. I live for altering clearance and thrift finds. It's all about seeing the possibility in clothing. A few inches of the hem here, a sleeve removal there, and all of a sudden you have a stunner. I must say your talent in this art form is pretty amazing.

  11. This dress looks STUNNING on you! It fits you perfectly and the pattern is gorgeous!


  12. the dress is cute but I am totally distracted by those earrings, love them!!

  13. Great dress! Can't believe how cheap it was!

    Lis xXx

    Off The Wardrobe

  14. Oh my goodness - you did an amazing job altering the dress. It fits you like a glove! I'm definitely a proponent of a peek of a bra strap as long as it looks intentional (with ultra luxe lace).

    And we must have been on the same page this weekend - I also scooped up a fair amount of beads. Now I'm itching to get to work on some new jewelry!

  15. Aww, this is gorgeous. Really beautiful - and I like the straps showing, it adds a bit of sexy mystery. And the earrings are a perfect addition. Lovely.
    re: christina, I'm quite sure curvy women were appreciated at that time, certainly much more than they are now (or rather, a few years ago considering the recent 'pro curves' movement), that is at least until Twiggy came along and changed everything...?

  16. good work on the dress alterations, I have really enjoyed your black and white pics this week.
    on the issue of the bra it all depends on where you are going, work i would say no, weekends yes

  17. fabulous work! I like the end result with the bra too!

  18. elle est superbe cette robe...

  19. I admire your resourcefulness Lyddie!

    I hate it when my bra straps are showing. I wish I didn't have to wear a bra but I do. You made it look cool though:)

  20. I really like the first photo; the pattern of your dress is very striking. I could use some more Max Studio dresses-- I should head over to TJ Maxx soon.

  21. && ahh, your comment about running around in a wig looking for syrup made me laugh. :) I'm glad I'm not the only one, haha!

  22. That dress is such a fabulous print!

  23. Must do a black and white challenge someday: I have too much black in my wardrobe. The dress looks fantastic, the print is lovely so you don't notice the bra straps.

  24. that dress is so stunning and i can't believe you scored it for only $15!! :)

  25. waww the dress cut is perfect for your figure!

  26. that dress is so pretty! it looks so beautiful on you!!

  27. I'm so glad you posted a color picture! hehehe the black and whites are pretty too but anyways, I think you did the right thing by picking the bra with the lace on it. Have you tried the strapless bras? I have a hard time buying bras strapless or not, I have a small chest and a wide torso so I always suffer with bras. You look cute and the tailoring on the dress is barely noticeable(just because you told us) so you did a good job.

  28. That's amazing you could alter that dress that much. You probably save so much on tailor bills. And I think the lacy bra looks great - the idea that a bra should never show seems outdates, at least for young people!

  29. This dress is freaking amazing. You look absolutely stunning! :)


  30. wow i love it all....its sooo nice :)

  31. If you didn't say you re-fitted this dress, I wouldn't know. You did a great job and it looks awesome!

  32. you look beautiful! I love the dress!!

  33. That dress is so cute and your shoes are adorable!

  34. Good job on all those alterations! I don't know how you do it! :)

    I think bra straps showing are usually not ok, but how you have them looks like a lacy tank underneath. At least that's what I thought it was at first. Cute!

  35. Wow, really good job you did with the dress. It suits you perfectly. I wish to get into the art of sewing one day.
    Regarding bra straps showing, I normally don't like it, but I think you really turned it into deliberateness with the lace. Looks good

  36. Such a great job you did with the dress and it looks amazing on you! I think its ok if there is a little bra straps showing!!!
    Great earrings too...Great style sweetie:)

  37. the dress is nice and those earrings are fab!

  38. I love doing alterations. :-)

  39. I like your blog !!
    do not miss my goods , they are very beautiful !!

    acrylic jewelry

    Akoya pearl beads

    Akoya Pearl Bracelets


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