September 19, 2014

Smarter alreadySmarter back

Vision, literally and figuratively, is a gift I don’t take for granted, especially after this week. ¬†I broke my glasses, and tape wasn’t the answer. ¬†They were unwearable and had to be replaced. ¬†Since I needed a new prescription anyway, I chose to view the glass as half full, my default lense.

My original frames were no longer available so I was faced with the daunting task of selecting new ones. ¬†I love huge round frames as a fashion statement, like Iris Apfel‘s or Anne’s (aka Spy Girl), for example. ¬†Sadly, they just didn’t work on my face. ¬†But the notion of glasses in lieu of eye makeup kept me searching, and I ended up choosing these.

Smarter shoesSmarter full

I’m happy with them, although I’ll confess that now I want a wardrobe of glasses! ¬†Give me tinted ones, tortoise shell ones, big and small ones, round, square, cat-eye ones, whatever!! ¬†However, in the meantime I’m so very grateful to be able to see. ¬†I didn’t do much crocheting, sewing, or reading this past week, and I felt off-balance.

Smarter 2

I’m told by the Near and Dear One that I look “smart”. ¬†I love the myriad ways that compliment can be interpreted.

Mission accomplished.  XXOO

Outfit details: Handmade hat-had for 20+ years and can’t remember where I got it, tank dress-thrifted (drapery ring-for-ruching inspiration from Sheila of Ephemera), vintage Stephane Kelian shoes-thrifted, and the jacket…where do I begin?!

Okay, so last summer I purchased an inexpensive lightweight jacket-thingy. ¬†I was out of town and desperate. ¬†It never really worked. ¬†The front edges rolled back in an unappealing way. ¬†That bothered me. ¬†I liked the pattern, however, and decided to refashion it. ¬†I also thought the proportions weren’t created with me in mind. ¬†The length felt skimpy.

Smarter detail 2

I added the striped pieces in the front from fabric I had in my stash.  Next came the burgundy sleeve and bottom hem extensions; the fabric came from a thrifted skirt.  I cut off the collar of a turquoise polo shirt and added it on.  Finally, a strip of ikat silk from a thrifted tunic made the back feel complete.

It took me a really long time to put this piece together. ¬†I debated about options, put it aside for weeks, and then tried again. ¬†Sometimes you can’t force the process…or vision.





39 Responses to Smarter

  1. PinkCheetahVintage on September 19, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Great glasses! I can’t see anything w/o my glasses or contacts. Loving the up-cycled jacket :)

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      I tried contacts but just couldn’t get used to them. Wish I could, though. I’m constantly misplacing my glasses!!

  2. Jazzy Jack on September 20, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I’m a blind one too! But I’m shortsighted. However a long distance is about 10 inches!
    I carefully studied all the aspects of the jacket. I love how you left the fringing to hang over the red fabric allowing it to be highlighted. And I love the bias work with stripy front edge. Looks like a scarf. All your fabric choices are well matched as usual! Also love the beret, and the curtain rings :-) I made some sock garters out of my son’s old undies stripy elastic and some suspenders clips, which I use for ruching as well! Xo JJ

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      I’m guessing suspender clips might be better. The curtain rings tend to be heavy, and they are also kind of sharp if you sit on them (which I’ve obviously done). Thanks for the tip.

  3. Melanie on September 20, 2014 at 3:43 am

    I really like these frames on you. The flat black adds a contemporary vibe, and like you, while I like lots of the big frames, sometimes they overwhelm my face. Yes, what a dream it would be to have a whole wardrobe of glasses. This seems to be the season for eye trouble…
    And what you’ve done with the jacket makes it a completely unique Jean item. The turquoise collar is an inspired decision, and added length in the sleeves and hem, well, I know how much comfort that lends a piece. Gorgeous! I’m glad this piece found its natural completion after so long stewing.

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      What’s amusing to me is that I’ve been feeling that (dare I say) hipster-ish look recently, less hippie. So I get these glasses but then I create this jacket. Mixed metaphor, I suppose. I have to go back and look at pics from the 50’s of bohemian style. I suspect I’ll get some good inspiration there. Glad your eye is all better!!! XXOO

  4. Natalia on September 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I like how sophisticated and complex your pieces are! It’s like one piece of clothing has built-in layers in it. At first, I thought that you made this beret yourself to match the jacket, they are perfect together! Love the whole look, Jean! And how wonderful it would be to have a wardrobe of glasses some day! This pair is gorgeous on you! xxxxxx

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      I think the hat was serendipitous! Having had it so long makes me reluctant to get rid of anything. You never know when something is going to provide the perfect touch.

  5. Jan Graham-McMillen on September 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Smart on all levels! You look lovely in your frames, and you deserve all the fashion frames you want. I know how scary it is not to be able to see for longer than it takes to put your glasses on! I wear contacts, and I dropped one down the AC register on the floor … don’t ask how that happened. I was trying to get the register pried up to go after it when Dan turned the AC on!!! Happily it didn’t get blown to wherever, but it was a bad moment.
    Love what you’ve done with that jacket! So chic … will it be in one of your magazine spreads, do you think? Lovely design and completion, once again, my super talented friend!

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Joey wears contacts so I can just imagine your scenario! I haven’t submitted any work to Altered Couture recently. I’ve had to pick and choose where I direct my time, and for now that’s on the back burner. Creating the pieces is so very satisfying, and at least this way when I do have time to submit, I’ll have plenty to chose from. XXOO

  6. Curtise on September 20, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Loving the new specs, they really suit you. And your refashioning of the jacket is inspired – the extra length on the bottom and the sleeves looks as though it was always meant to be there, the silk strip down the back is a wonderful detail, but I had to look twice to understand that the striped fabric was integral to the piece, not a scarf! I always adore your original vision and your marvellous creativity, Jean! xxxx

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you so much!! The piece in the front was the first thing I added, and I almost cut it off because it was so …I dunno, so big. Then I realized it was too long for the piece as it was, and I added the extra length. Etc etc. It just sort of grew. :-) I definitely like oversized. :-)

  7. Krista on September 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Well I don’t need my glasses to see how beautiful you look! Great new specs but the jacket steals the post, what a creation my dear and so completely you!

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Aww…thanks!! Now if I could just wear it; it’s still too hot. Patience…! XXXOOO

  8. Feda on September 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    ooo I just love the glasses!! They suit you perfectly and still have a unique flare to them. I love glasses but I know most look awful on me. I always have a hard time finding sunglasses that look decent on me.

    The refashioned sweater came out great. It is so true that sometimes you just can’t rush certain things. I know what you mean when things feel “skimpy”. I often have that feeling too. I need to sew more so I can do this!

    You are an inspiration!!

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      I remember the beautiful piece you made, kind of like a giant shrug/cape thing. It was fabulous. I suspect that you’ll be adding more sewing to your creative repertoire!! I can’t wait. XXOO

  9. pao on September 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Wow! That jacket is amazing, both the story and how it looks on you. You really do know how to go for it and just let it simmer until its done. Everything is perfect on it. As well as your whole ensemble. And the new glasses. Very nice, indeed. Seeing is so vital. I am able to have a wardrobe of those seeing accessories, since mine are non-prescription reading glasses. Dollar Store ones by the handfuls are left at every place I might find myself ready for some reading or sewing. But I don’t need them to be awed by your creative ingenuity. You’re my heroine.

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Yeah, I used to be able to see with those dollar store ones. The good old days! I had them scattered around too. I still do, just in case I can’t find my “real” ones. BTW, I’m haunted by the vision of your organized “stash”. All those shelves, etc. I’m struggling with a good solution. The hefty bags aren’t quite the answer, and I don’t like my plastic bins. I need to SEE my stuff, just not sure where to put the shelving. All in due time.

  10. Forest City Fashionista on September 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I can’t see much of anything without my glasses and am due for a new pair soon. Like you, I’m drawn to the oversize Iris Apfel frames, but they overwhelm my face. I like these on you and you do look very smart (in all interpretations of that word).

    You did such a great job re-interpreting the sweater – the pieces you added make into a whole different piece of clothing.

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      I’ve been trying to analyze things the things that I hang on to but don’t wear i.e. what do I like, what do I dislike, and modify from there. This was one of those pieces. I’m happy now.

      I wish I could come to NY in October!! I assume you’re going to the Manhattan Vintage Show and generally hanging out? Would be so much fun. Perhaps next year. XXOO

  11. Vix on September 22, 2014 at 3:26 am

    The new glasses look fantastic, they really suit you and make you look even more beautiful and stylish.
    Love the wrap, what a splendid creation. xxxxx

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      HI VIX!!!! Sending much love as you traverse the countryside!! Have a pint for me. :-) XXXOOO

  12. The Style Crone on September 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

    You are a VISION in your creatively composed ensemble. And the glasses are perfect for you. I can relate to wishing for an inventory of this necessary accessory!

    I love the large cuffs on your jacket and the extension on the bottom hem. And your hat looks exquisite with the jacket. Very SMART.


    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      I couldn’t resist those “wink-wink” allusions. I see you couldn’t either! :-) Thank you so much, and HUGE hugs going out to you and yours. So excited about your trip.

  13. Pam@over50feeling40 on September 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Your glasses are similar to mine, Jean…you look great in them! I am like you…how I wish I could afford a variety to change things up every now and then. Cute outfit too.

    • Jean on September 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      I did find a pair of clip-on shades in the drugstore that fit, so at least I now have my “prescription sunglasses” too. They even flip up. I don’t care how corny they look, either!! They are supremely functional. XXOO

  14. Veshoevius on September 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I think those frames look great on you! Love the boho jacket – you did a wonderful job refashioning something that didn’t work for you into something fabulous!

    • Jean on September 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks V! Hope all’s well in your corner of the world. XXXOOO

  15. Anne-Marie Bruun on September 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Oh dear! You look so lovely and as always with a most excellent expression of your clothes. You look great with your hat as I’m pretty excited.
    Glasses – yes it is always difficult. I think they suit you very very well. And I feel like you – let me have a wardrobe with glasses. I actually have a month ago got some similar to yours. XX

    • Jean on September 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      I can picture you in them!! I know they look great!!

  16. sandra on September 25, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Oh yes! vision is really important, I’m not being glib, when my little ones flushed away my contact lenses and my glasses irrevocably broke, it was a vulnerable moment (and also when I put old contacts in, ach! bad move! I couldn’t see for 24 hours! luckily the eye hosp. sorted me out!) I digress!my apologies, you are smart and look beautiful in your new frames, they suit you so well, your wrap and hat are a gorgeous combination, perfect with your outfit x x x

    • Jean on September 25, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      It IS vulnerable!! It’s really disturbing to not be able to see. We’re so lucky that we can get glasses that can restore our sight. XXOO

  17. Shawna on September 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Okay, you are just so gorgeous and stylish and clever I want to gag. But no, no gagging because you are so nice you deserve to be all those things. Your new glasses look great and I know how you feel wanting a wardrobe of them. I’ve only got one pair and would love to have some different styles but they are so expensive!

    Now, that jacket! How amazing is that? I am so in awe of your talent and your creative vision. I could get as far as the idea but I would never ever actually execute it. I would like a magic wand for sewing.

    You do look smart in all the good ways possible!

    • Jean on September 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      I wanted to visit your site before I left a comment here. I typed a long comment on your post and managed to lose it. Pure frustration. ANYWAY, I will be back I promise. In the meantime, thank you for visiting Dross and leaving such a funny, effusive comment!! I’ll have to revisit it when I need a boost to my confidence.

      As far as that magic wand is concerned, I learned how to sew when I was 12, and did it off and on throughout my 30’s. I stopped for a good 15 years, then slowly picked it back up. Fortunately, it’s kind of like riding a bike, i.e. once you know the basics, you don’t really forget them. I don’t know how easily I would’ve picked it up if I’d been starting from scratch.

      I enjoyed looking at your outfits and reading your posts. The one I tried to comment on dealt with gratitude. I definitely resonated with what you wrote. XXOO

  18. Beate on October 1, 2014 at 4:01 am

    your jacket refashion skills are fantastic!!
    this looks so wonderful, can¬īt believe it started as i skimpy thing bought “by accident”.
    in the past i wore glasses to look “clever” instead “cute” – now i need them to read, sew and read traffic signs :-)
    i share your love for statement glasses…..

    • Jean on October 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Yes, I can’t do without them! One of the signs of getting older, I suppose. :-)

  19. Olga on October 4, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Wow, the jacket is simply fantastic! Not for the first time I am amazed of your ability to turn something quite ordinary into something “wow”. You look great in your new glasses.

    • Jean on October 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you Olga!! I always love seeing what you’re doing too!!

  20. Willow on November 2, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Those glasses are great! So glad you can see again, that would have really annoyed me! And that jacket! Wow, so creative! The best way to deal with an item of clothing that you don’t like.

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