How to tweak a beloved garment so that you can use it
This is the story of me and my shirt.
If you receive the emails that I send out once a month, you will know that I love natural fibres. For winter, I prefer merino wool, for summer I like linen. I have a few favourite shops on Etsy that sell lovely linen garments, and I have bought most of my summer dresses from them, and this linen shirt. It is pale blue with 3/4 sleeves, and I loved it from the moment I laid eyes on it in their webshop.
So I bought it.
I bought it despite the fact that it had some really boring natural buttons. Nothing wrong with the buttons, but for my season (Bright Winter), I need high contrast outfits and the buttons didn't really fit.
Add to this the fact that I am also a Yang Gamine, and Rachel Nachmias told me that for Yang Gamine, nothing should be classic. She said that if I pick a classic clothing item like a shirt or cardigan, AT LEAST make sure that it has something odd going on, an interesting pattern, oversized buttons, something like that. This shirt was definitely not remotely within the parameters of my Yang Gamine nature.
The shirt has hung idle in my closet far too much.
Whenever I put it on, I felt something was off. I felt bland. I took it off and hung it back in the closet.
But I love linen, and I like the pale blue colour, and I really wanted to use the shirt, so I thought of something smart:
I would change the buttons!
Off I went to the store, and bought eight new buttons, black. Problem solved. Or so I thought.
The Yang Gamine style archetype has been an add-on to the colour analysis that has really helped me. The fact that I knew my colour analysis season helped me figure out why the outfit felt "off" when I was wearing the shirt.
But knowing the essence of my style archetype helped me to zone in on something really cool that I will tell you about in a minute.
If you want to learn more about personal style coaching and finding your style archetype, I really recommend getting in touch with a style analyst. I have several colour analyst colleagues who do style analysis: Rachel Nachmias, Cate Linden, Katherine Schlagal.
So, back to the story: I returned home with the black buttons, and sat down to sew them on. But guess what. I had forgotten to check the size of the old buttons. And my memory of the button size was obviously not accurate.
So there I was, sewing needle in hand, with buttons that were too big for the button holes. What to do?
Luckily, I have a box of odd buttons that I have collected through the years, so I dug into that one and picked eight different buttons of the right size. Odd ones. Some black, some metal, some black and metal. Perfect for Bright Winter. All different sizes and shaes and surfaces. Perfect for Yang Gamine.
And all all of them small enough to go through the button holes. Perfect for actually getting the job done.
And Rachel would have been so proud of me. The shirt is now safely within the required Bright Winter contrast level, and even more Yang Gamine now that the buttons are a little quirky.
You have a shirt that you love.
Or that you need to wear because of an occasion or work situation that requires this particular item.
But the overall look of the shirt is not within your season.
And you don't want to run out and buy a new item.
Change the buttons.
This works if you need to increase or lower the contrast level of the shirt!
If you have a shirt that has buttons that are black and you want to tweak it into a season that is better off with lower value contrast, switch to buttons that are roughly the same colour as the shirt.
Just make sure to buy buttons of the correct size.
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