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The Big Question: Cinch It! Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: Cinch It! Edition

Friends, forgive me for posting today’s Big Question so late. Since I’ve been on vacation I’ve kept busy with important endeavors like trying to figure out a flattering way to wear a dress I picked up on eBay that turned out to be a little low-brow pirate-wenchy on me (answer, worn back-to-the-front with an Hermes scarf around the waist. If you’re going to do low-brow, you might as well do low-brow in Hermes, since Hermes improves everything)

So without further ado Francesca and Plumcake want to know:

How do you “save” an otherwise less-than-superfantastic outfit?

25 Responses to “The Big Question: Cinch It! Edition”

  1. Mo April 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    I find the easiest way to make any outfit better is with a great pair of shoes.

  2. Brittany April 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    accessories and cardigans/shrugs….also a good pair of heels will do wonders

  3. Sara April 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    I go the Plumcake route and use accessories of the highest quality. That shirt you grabbed at Marshall’s and didn’t try on before you ripped the tags off? Nobody will notice or think it was cheap if you throw on a cashmere wrap and ridiculously awesome shoes. If everything else is fabulous, people tend to assume the not-quite-right piece is some kind of special bit of designer creativity.

    One more good reason to have really good shoes.

  4. rosarita April 30, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    Superfantastic jewelry, esp. great earrings or necklace to draw attention to the face, can work miracles.

  5. Twistie April 30, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    There’s only one way to deal with such a situation: great accessories and a metric buttload of attitude.

  6. AquaMarine April 30, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    A nice jacket or cardigan to cover up an ugly or ill-fitting shirt and a cami to cover up what’s underneath when wearing something a bit too low cut. The cami’s saved me numerous times, just too bad I live in FL and I could really do without the extra layers in summer.

  7. Cybill April 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm #

    I agree with Mo, fabulous shoes are the way to go. They not only ‘save’ the outfit they positively bring it back to life!

  8. Jalilifer April 30, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    A great pair of shoes and a pashima or scarf that will divert attention from the otherwise pedestrian outfit.

  9. VerseFameBeauty April 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm #

    A great pair of shoes, a pretty camisole to fix the pirate-wench-cleavage issue, and lovely big chunky necklaces/fabulous silver earrings to draw attention away from a less-than-stellar top.

  10. Jen April 30, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    Diamond earrings. They’re my go-to when I feel and/or look like crap.

  11. rabrab April 30, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Attitude, attitude, attitude! If that’s not enough, then jewelry, a scarf or hat.

  12. supasam April 30, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    1. I try and divert attention with something outrages. You know… bright red lipstick, screaming orange nail polish, quirky hat, perfectly blown-out hair, patterned / colored tights, killer heels, oversized/colorful or expensive handbag, or huge/decadent jewelry.

    2. If that fails then I try and cover it with a fitted or fashiony jacket, tuck it into a highwaisted skirt or pants, or cinch it with something.

    3. Finally, if it is just one garment that is giving me such grief, the offending garment gets beaten into submission by my sewing machine or given away.

  13. JayKay May 1, 2008 at 12:40 am #

    Jewelry. Always. Big, chunky, interesting necklaces that make people look there before the offending shirt/dress/whatever.

    Also, an awesome belt can be a lifesaver…cinch up that dress that’s a little too shapeless for its own good and VIOLA! Outfit crisis averted! =)

  14. Gauss May 1, 2008 at 1:33 am #

    A scarf / shawl and red lipstick.

  15. dcsurfergirl May 1, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    A lot of my work outfits are pretty simple (t-shirt and dark jeans), I try to add great jewelry.

    At a recent formal event, I realized my lovely black tea length dress showed much unintended cleavage! (I was so happy I found a dress that FIT!) All I did was smile. I did waltz with many significantly taller gentlemen (that’s easy at 5’4″)and they all behaved as such.

  16. teteatete May 1, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    I want an Hermes scarf so badly! But I feel that I’d never quite know what to do with it, and without the right attitude I’d feel like it was wearing me, instead of the other way ’round. I’ve done a search for “how to wear an Hermes” scarf, and I like the ideas, but I worry that as I am 23, it wouldn’t quite work. What do you superfantastic ladies think?

  17. Jennie May 1, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    When all else fails (my go to’s are big unique jewelry and fab footwear) then the scissors come out. Ren Fair skirts got chomped at the waist (to save the beautiful hem work) and shortened from the top. It also left enough fabric to make a small scarf/sash. Same maker’s dresses are uber long and became skirts and tanks. But I only take this kind of effort if there is something I really love about the piece. If it really just doesn’t work, sell it or get rid of it. My closet space is too precious to waste on unwearable stuff.

  18. Cat May 1, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Jennie, I’m with you on just getting rid of it if it doesn’t work. I’m helpless with sewing and alterations, and not the best at creative accessorizing. I need every bit of my closet space, so if something doesn’t work for me, it goes into the Goodwill/yard sale bag immediately.

  19. again May 1, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Pearls.

  20. TeleriB May 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    Jewelry (either gramma’s-cameo-brooch classy or big, bold and chunky), a dressy ‘church’ hat, and/or my one pair of luxury shoes, my Black Cherry Lucchese boots.

    I was at a work conference in a very ‘eh’ shirts (with princess seams!), pants, blazer look, but no fewer than three total strangers complimented my on my boots. I was a skeptic, but now I believe in the power of shoes!

  21. jenn May 1, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    I ditch it and buy a new one. Less than fantastic translates to me feeling self-conscious all day, and that SUCKS.

  22. Jennie May 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    Cat, I take the scissors to get the length and then take it to my wonderful drycleaners to have the hems done or the new waist band put in! I am too clumsy with needle and thread. Stitch Witchery is as close as I come to sewing!!LOL!!

  23. La Petite Acadienne May 1, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    Thank goodness for Stitch Witchery! When you live in a small town with no nearby tailors, and can’t sew to save your life, it’s a godsend.

    My outfit save? Red shoes. Either flats or heels, depending on the outfit.

  24. littlem May 4, 2008 at 1:59 am #

    TeleriB, what’s wrong with princess seams? I’ve been known to put a tuck or two in a top (the only seamstress trick my mamma and grandmamma seemed to pass down that stuck) to save it.

  25. QuiteLight May 23, 2008 at 10:22 pm #

    I’ve never managed to salvage a “blah” outfit. Not once.