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I need some style advice, someone...

(18 Posts)
ReallyReally Sat 18-Oct-08 12:34:52

I have very little money so I have been going through my wardrobe trying to see what is worth recycling. I have two items that I am thinking about having shortened but I don't know how short

one is a black velvet dress, full length, close fitting, with little roses down the front (Monsoon originally - about 10 years ago probably) with spaghetti straps.

the other is another Monsoon thing, a full length red velvet pencil skirt with a red satin band round the bottom. I don't wear either of them because I don't really go anywhere that formal - a full length skirt seems overdressed just to go out for a drink or a family meal

but I don't know what length to get them shortened to. I am quite short (5'4") and a 12-14, I'm nearly 40 and my legs aren't amazing so I don't want anything too short. On the knee, over it, below it? I don't know.

Also what could I wear on top? Something woolly in case I want to wear the red skirt during the day for work, maybe, and I'd need something over the shoulders of the black dress. And not many £££

can anyone help?

stitch Sat 18-Oct-08 12:37:15

did you ever learn to hem? practice on a bedsheet to remind yourself how to do it.
just turn up to the lenth youthink looks right. iron, and pin. then try on. if it looks right, hem. or you could try wonderweb. but that will cost obviously.

ReallyReally Sat 18-Oct-08 12:45:10

I think I'm going to have to get someone to do it tbh; the black one is a stretchy velvet. I'm no seamstress, and they are v lovely fabrics and will look bad if they are done wrong

ReallyReally Sat 18-Oct-08 12:53:34

what is wonderweb? I'd be really worried about doing it myself in case it was wobbly along the bottom

what length looks good?

stitch Sat 18-Oct-08 12:58:27

no idea. i am no fashion guru. smile
you need cod. or jackieno.
wonderweb is sort of like sellotape, but for clothes.
you need someone in rl to help you out. lots of people do alterations. they would be able to advis you on lenght, ifyou cant get s afriend ot.

Jewelsandgems Sat 18-Oct-08 14:01:16

If the skirt part of the dress, and the actual skirt are really fitted all down the leg, then go for the fashionable but flattering length of just touching the bottom of your knee (the place where your legs are smallest, before your calve muscle comes out)

Are you going to have slits put up the back? if you are striding to work in the red skirt, would the sitching of the slit hold up under the pressure of the striding? [just something to consider....]

Topwise, if the skirt is fitted the thing seems to be to go for a slightly more voluminous top - maybe a dainty chiffony blouse (even if you wear a black tight polo neck underneath for the cold weather) and perhaps a nice waist belt?

A top idea
creme topshop top to wear not tucked in

I know this is creme, but may look really nice against the red....black can look harsh (I am 31 and I no longer wear black tops because they drain me)

Smart and simple?
simple white blouse to wear tucked in with belt

Pretty over black poloneck/long sleeved fitted tshirt?
pretty blouse to wear tucked in

widgypog Sat 18-Oct-08 15:35:53

I dont want to be the voice of doom but I deal with a tailor in my shop and he is very good but not cheap. To get a velvet skirt shortened would be at least £15 maybe more so that times two is gonna be expensive, would it not be better to put that towards new clothes if money is tight?

On the other hand you could try and find a cheaper tailorwink

Pannacotta Sat 18-Oct-08 15:40:24

I agree with shortening to just below the knee, it seems to be the most flattering length for most women.
Where I live you can get a skirt or dress shortened for abaout £8/9, by a decent seamstress.
Look in Yellow Pages for details or ask at good dry cleaners.
IMO it's worth doing, I get lots of my clothes altered and find I nearly always wear them more after the changes are made.

Pannacotta Sat 18-Oct-08 15:43:15

Oh and any dark top/jumper perhaps in grey or navy could work with the skirt and how about a shrug to go with the dress, this kind of thing
www.monsoon.co.uk/invt/32329603
you could look on ebay for cheaper versions?

ReallyReally Sun 19-Oct-08 14:30:35

oh, lots of lovely ideas; thank you

I will go for just below the knee; thank you again

will let you know when outfit is sorted smile

samsonara Sun 19-Oct-08 15:44:47

Some great ideas here. I was just thinking, when you get the hem shortened, ask for the remnant fabric. Then you can make up a simple corsage (simplest idea version : tube of fabric , concertina fold, with a gem centre glued , some trailing strip bits of fabric, for example). You can then pin to cardigans or shrugs, jackets you wear with your skirt.

ReallyReally Sun 19-Oct-08 16:23:52

oh wow, what a fab idea

katch Sun 19-Oct-08 16:45:03

If you do go to a seamstress, you could probably decide between you on the best length; a good one should have an eye for what suits different people.

honestfriend Sun 19-Oct-08 16:50:42

hemming is easy! Cut the skirt to about 2 inches longer than you want it. Turn it up by about 1 cm to hide the raw edge, then turn up the rest so it is the right length.

Pin and iron along the edge of the hem on a low heat. Then tack, then hem. Iron on the wrong side when finished. Easy- save yourself a tenner!

ReallyReally Sun 19-Oct-08 17:11:35

honestfriend it does sound simple

however me, plus a sewing machine... it's not good. It's old, my sewing machine, and it sews odd. And I feed fabric like a drunk

MrsBadger Sun 19-Oct-08 17:31:05

I always hem by hand so it;s invisible

visible hems only ok on cord / denim etc where the sticthing is a feature

ReallyReally Sun 19-Oct-08 17:34:27

oh okay then that is an option - handsewing. Thanks MrsBadger. But how do you cut it so it is straight all the way round?

MrsBadger Sun 19-Oct-08 17:42:51

lie it flat on the dining table inside out, measure and mark it carefully

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