You are probably no stranger to altering clothes, such as hemming pants or a dress. But do you ever think outside the box? Accessories, shoes, bags, etc? I recently transformed a few pieces to better fit my lifestyle, and thought I would share them. I hope it gives you some inspiration to see the potential in things!
First up, this super cute tote I recently got at Anthropologie (Miss Albright Americana Tote). I am a lover of old, beat up suitcases that tell a story. Here we have what appears to be an old leather bag, complete with destination stickers. When actually, the image is printed onto a coated cotton canvas. I love these kind of illusions! But look at those puny straps it came with! I have always been one who needs my hands free, hence preferring nice shoulder straps on my bags. This is even more important with a toddler! Many a times I have passed up a cute purse because it did not have a strap that was: A. long enough to easily get on my shoulder and B. would not stay on my shoulder. Well, not this time!
My first instinct was to take it to a shoe repair shop (cobblers can repair handbags too), but alas this would just be an added errand to my never ending list. Especially since the closest one to me is a half hour whether I go East or West. So I started searching for ideas online - could I fashion something myself with supplies I already had? I mean, I have dabbled in some leather and metal work.....
When it came down to it, once I added up the cost of running to all the craft stores, buying leather, hardware, cutting the leather, etc..... and perhaps not being pleased with the end result, I decided to purchase ready made straps from Value Belts Plus on eBay. I could pick my color, length, hardware, etc.... and it was all shipped straight to my door in less than a week! The new straps just clipped onto the existing rings on the bag, and then I cut the small ones off. Real leather, adjustable, and they look as though they belong on the bag because of their buckle/belt look. Viola! Sometimes, you just have to weight all your options to see which makes the most sense in terms of running errands / cost. I couldn't be more pleased!
Next up we have these boots. Are they boots? Are they Mary Janes? Yet another illusion I fell in love with when I first saw Prada's Button Boots last Fall. Yeah, not affording Prada in this lifetime. Anthropologie carried Vic Matie's Icon Mary-Jane Boots last year, but even they were too expensive. And by the time they were marked down within reach, my size was sold out. Besides, the silver part was just a little too space age for me and wouldn't have gone with as much. I found these cuties on eBay........ for $4.00!!! They are by XOXO and the style is "Chance". Since I didn't get a "before" picture, I decided to search on eBay again only to see someone trying to sell a pair for $120!!! Guess they got the memo that they looked like designer boots - I doubt they retailed for that much new. Anyway, you can see how the heel had a red fade to it. I did not like this so I painted the heels with some 99 cent Martha Stewart paint from Michael's. I have worn them twice and the paint has held up! Sweet deal!
Lastly, I have this jacket that I recently got at my local consignment shop. Oh, the rosettes, the rick rack, the bead accents, the ruffles....... was this cute or was I sadly mistaken? I mean, it had all of the details I usually love??? I realized the ruffle around the lapel is what pushes it over into Dollywood territory. Hmmm, I am not much of a sewer, especially on a sheer fabric like that. Should I try to glue it around to the underside? Oh hell, I just cut the straps off an Anthropologie bag.... bring on the scissors! What do I have to lose?
Oh yeah, much, much better already! I can also tell that the previous owner moved the buttons in for a better fit. So you see ladies, if it's not perfect to begin with, there is no reason why you can't make it perfect with a little imagination!