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Wardrobe: Charming Flaw + TNT’s

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On the subject of wardrobes and style, there was an article that I really enjoyed in the New York Times that I thought I’d share and comment on. In a newly released book called “The Killer Detail, ” style icons are depicted with photographs by some of the best photographers. What’s unique about the images is that each sartorialist had a “charming flaw.” In one portrait, Marlene Dietrich is shown wearing a tailored pantsuit, ankle-length overcoat, shirt, tie, and sunglasses. Offbeat? Totally. But very MD. Then there’s Louise Bourgeois (love her), who, in a photograph taken by Robbert Mapplethorpe, carries a 24-inch model of phallus under her arm and wears a really ugly black fur coat.

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Ms. Quin, one of the authors of the book, said it best: “The elegance of each character springs not from haute couture, but from individuality: the wonderful flaw, the stylistic rebellion. It’s the unique touch, the dash of creativity that attracts our attention and defines a certain brand of chic, even if it sometimes verges on bad taste.”

I’ve been having a lot of fun following Colette’s Wardrobe Architect. I think it’s a great concept that we build a wardrobe, which includes our sewing projects, around our lifestyles, body, and feelings. But as I think about the ways I can construct a better closet, throwing out some things and holding onto other, it’s important for me to hang onto the things that make me… me. My charming flaws. What are those? Well, for one, wearing bold patterns. I mix and match them to the point where I look like Picasso on top and Jackson Pollack on bottom. When the weather allows, I wear Converse’s with a dressy dress. Fashionable? Um, Chuck Taylor says so. One of my favorite outfits pairs a white, Free People lace dress and a J. Crew camo jacket. It’s perfect for when I need to go into stealth mode. I’m not sure if my sartorial choices are charming, some may consider them bad taste, but hey, it’s just clothes and everyone’s a little flawed.

Also, there’s been a lot of chatter about sewing according to your lifestyle. Both Sallie and Novita wrote great posts on how they want to make garments that they will wear everyday. For them, that means sewing more basics like Grainline Studio’s Archer and Sewaholic’s Renfrew. But here’s the thing with me… I wear the pretty, the ridiculous, and the extreme. In sewing terms, I wear the icing and not the cake. Did you see Marce’s fabulous pinkness yesterday on Project Sewn? I wear that type of garb to the grocery store! I work in the fashion industry, so dressing wild everyday is a part of my life and who I am. Sure, I get dressed down on weekends, but that usually involves overalls like these velvet ones. So, while most sewer’s TNT me-makes are simple, mine aren’t, and it’s important that I stick with that.

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  1. Reply

    Cirque Du Bebe

    Cute as!! Love the whole get up, esp that skirt.

  2. Reply


    This resonates with me! I keep hearing how everyone is going to tone things downs, get back to “basics” and sew more mix and match (read: plains colours, often “neutrals”, to me boring). I can’t agree more. I love patterned fabric. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a plain coloured fabric (if ever!). I don’t really wear plain (well maybe a tank top here and there and a pair of jeans). I wouldn’t call myself outrageous, but I am definitely not a traditional mix and match girl. As practical as that seems to be to everyone else, perhaps I’m simply not practical. I’d be bored senseless making that stuff let alone wearing it. I’ve also worked this out with my journey through Wardrobe Architect and finally I have stopped thinking I should be/do something else. Yay!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      It’s not a bad thing that their style is made up of nuetrals and basics, I think Novita looks awesome in her bomber jacket that she just made, but that’s not me! Glad to hear that you share my sentiments.

  3. Reply


    I thought I was the only one, almost everything I wear is “icing”, entirely dresses, and often with socks. Sometimes I’ll put on jeans, converse and a polo to look like I belong, though. It’s quite funny how Steve Jobs and Zuckerberg have changed the definition of the work uniform.

  4. Reply

    Aleksandra Robinson

    I love the point you make about staying true to yourself even when a certain definition of wearability is in vogue; sometimes wearability is in the bizarre and that’s a beautiful thing. 🙂

  5. Reply

    Craft Sanctuary

    I totally hear you on the “dressing up everyday.” Personally, I’m just more comfortable in a dress than in pants…and I’d much rather be wearing something lacy and sparkly to the grocery than a tshirt and jeans. I hold true to the old adage that you can never be overdresed 🙂

  6. Reply


    These are lovely photographs of you!

  7. Reply


    You do you! That’s the only way to go. Great outfit.

  8. Reply


    beautifully said.

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    I love sewing AND wearing frosting. It might not be the most practical way to go, but I would have no fun otherwise. You only live once, right? we might as well dress the way we like 🙂
    By the way, beautiful photos! You look so pretty.

  10. Reply

    Rosie Wednesday

    What a great post! My TNTs are definitely dresses with colorful prints, so I completely relate. I just pair them with Keds on the weekends!

  11. Reply


    Knowing yourself is key! I still haven’t made myself a t-shirt… not sure if I will. Nothing wrong with the icing. Personally it is my favorite.

  12. Reply


    Love your photos 🙂 I wish I wore more icing in my everyday life.

  13. Reply

    Heather Lou

    I’ve been working on post on this topic for a while but it’s so personal and I’m still trying to find the words to describe something so…. mystical? Ephemeral? Love you mixing here. I wish I could do chucks with dresses but I got size 9 boats and unless I’m wearing them with widelegged pants I look like a clown.

  14. Reply

    Carolyn Norman

    Love your outfit and love that you know your style and stick with it!

  15. Reply


    Your blog is so cute! I am in love with this outfit! I wouldn’t have thought to put that type of shoe with that skirt, but I adore the juxtaposition!

    Tiffany Ima
    Style Honestly

  16. Reply


    I love that you wear unusual things! Keep it up! 🙂

  17. Reply


    You are so cute!! I love your sweater.

    <3 Kate – cloveranddot.com

  18. Reply


    I. ADORE. THIS. EVERYTHING. been wanting to tell ya for days, but i hate to tell ya…. the marfeel site on my tablet is no bueno for comments. and my fevered brain did the rest of the work for me. and thank you for the blog love!!! we should visit CVS in our finery together, next time you’re in town…

  19. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    I think this is so paramount to the individual experience of figuring out what our style truly is – you’re able to recognize that for someone else, a tee and jeans is their basic whereas for you it might be a gown and sneakers, and frankly – whatever that something is, is what we usually look best in because we FEEL best in.

    Love your photos – they just get better and better 🙂

  20. Reply

    Elizabeth P.

    I love this! I always feel like my style is so different from everyone else because I make and wear icing, but I’m learning to accept that and also embrace it. In fact, some of my “cake” items may be considered “icing” to other people, but it’s just who I am and what I feel most comfortable in.

  21. Reply

    Hannah Ockenden

    Love this and can totally relate! I also love to wear converse with dresses and do so all the time and have since high school 🙂

    • Reply



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