Gallery of Clothing Collabs

The Starting Place:As a young and then not-so-young adult, my trademark personal style was black and baggy—until my mid-30s, that is, when a long-time friend pronounced my look had evolved to “black, baggy, and covered in cat hair.”

She recommended I stop using my limited funds and/or fit issues as an excuse for how I dressed.


Then she suggested that I find a way to create an image that would better align with my professional goals and personality, gently implying that I focus on my [editor’s note: limited number of] positive personality traits.


Eventually both my mind + heart were ready to make a stylistic change. At which point I realized that despite a long-time interest in vintage clothing and textile design, I had no idea where or how to start dressing myself.

Now I’m not saying the above has changed much in the intervening years.

Luckily, however, I skew towards more classic styles: being a slow learner isn’t as much of a drawback. In the years since my friend’s intervention, I’ve gradually began to discover that, like any good Gemini, I can roughly categorize my style as 1 part Minimalist Magpie : 1 part Contrarian Classicist. [Of course there’s the little matter of their unacknowledged love child, aka the Persnickety Bohemian.] They all co-exist in ways that let me maximize my closet and money.

I also began to realize three things:

  • Spending a lot of money on tailoring/alterations was annoying me
  • Having some residual trauma over relatives with hoarder tendencies made me prefer a small closet full of workhorses (despite occasion boredom with same)
  • Leaving aside the whole recovering blacktextile-a-holic thing, I often hated the prints and colors I saw in mainstream stores

The Lightening Bolt: After meeting a few local store owner/designers who create custom or customized clothing, I had an epiphany. I said to myself:

Self, as a lazy control freak, you can have the best of both worlds: clothing the way you want it, without your needing to lift a finger!”

When I work with a local designer, sometimes I merely ask her to tweak a few elements of her design to accentuate/de-emphasize various body parts or proportions; sometimes I see fabric bolts in their studios that inspire me to request an item; and sometimes, I brave fabric warehouses to find colors/prints that seem to flatter me and go in with photos or descriptions of more-or-less what I’d like done.

Granted, the process is not always an easy one for someone as hung up on instant gratification as I, but I’m hooked. And along the way, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting folks who labor locally or online to produce their wares.

[It’s not really for holier-than-thou reasons, either. I just think that quality-driven buyers on tighter budgets—and people with fit and/or sizing issues—often end up better off when they sink their time/money into customized offerings. Or learn to sew!]

Because most of what I wear tends to resemble something that a successful catburglar might sport whilst maximizing her company’s profit margin, I push myself to go for COLOR-COLOR with custom(ized) clothing.

The Results of Various Collaborations: Nothing too fancy. Just colors that flatter me, fit that’s miles above most of what I find in the stores, and items that work their arse off in my wardrobe.

On a technical note: Most thumbnails lead to a post that has photos, context about the project, and/or random associations the fabric sparked. Flickr images will open in a new window.

Midnight Blue Jersey Dress

Ultimate PMS Skirt


2 Responses

  1. Hi Vix! Having joined your blog quite late I am happy to find all the links you set towards previous postings like this one. I get the bigger picture about your colorful life. It is entertaining! This posting leaves me with one question though: what are your fitting-issues? Are you petite? Would this be a problem? What is the standard-size in your region? In Austria sleeves tend to be 2 inches too short, that’s why I end up in the gents-section whenever I search for sweaters and cardigans.

  2. Hi Ms P! Glad you enjoy the “and now, more about me” links—I always enjoy the ones I find on others’ blogs.

    Like most women, my fitting issues are kind of a mish-mash of various annoying things!

    But since you asked….

    I’m often needing to get things taken up—or in around the waist/hips. Items that fit in the shoulders are frequently too tight across the bust. A long rise means pants that stop near the navel on others are dangerously low on me, ha (hence my love of looong tops).

    And of course my high, non-indented waist means that dresses usually only fit if they are empire or waistless shifts, but that can contradict what I like to wear or find flattering.

    Sizes of people are all over the place here, but in the last several years I have found that I have been “squeezed out” of many mainstream brands’ standard in-store sizing as manufacturers cut for a larger average.

    [ Which I think is great in general, just not when I am on the hunt!]

    Vintage clothing + European and designer brands — which I occasionally get at consignment shops — are cut a lot differently, but I haven’t been able to justify a shopping trip near you…YET!

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