Daily Outfit: 12/14/11

Already Pretty outfit featuring boyfriend cardigan, polka dot tunic, red jeans, John Fluevog Ariana Luna bootsCardigan, via Opitzsimilar color/shape
Tunic, actually a skirt, thrifted – more polka dot tunics
Red jeans, courtesy MotelRocks
Earrings, Quincesimilar
Boots, John Fluevog Adriana Luna

Huh. I hadn’t MEANT to construct an outfit that matched my decor.

A few months ago, I thrifted a pair of red jeans. I very foolishly threw them into the wash with a load of regular laundry, thinking hey, they’re thrifted! I’m sure they got all their dye-leaking done when the previous owner washed them. Not so, and now the jeans look mottled and several other items got ruined in the fallout.

So when MotelRocks offered me this pair, I was thrilled. They’ve got a pretty high rise, loads of stretch, and a rich red color. This pair is a size L and it’s a bit big in the waist, so I’d say these jeans run a wee bit small or true to size. (I typically take a 10 or 12 in pants.) And I shall wash them very, very carefully.

This silk skirt is just the right length for a short tunic, and adds some great movement and interest to this outfit. Have you ever worn a skirt as a top? A dress as a skirt or vice versa?

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  • I have been watingnsome red jeans, but haven’t found the right pair yet. That hade of red is pretty.

  • Eleanorjane

    Cute outfit! Looks really cozy and reminds me of Red Riding Hood somehow (I think it’s the boots and the colours)

  • Kris

    I am totally lusting over your boots. The brown and red work so well together. I think I need to visit a Fluevog store and check out the shorter version.

  • Christie

    If the jeans are cotton, there’s a product called Retayne (used in hand dyeing) that should set the dye in the washing machine. Try a local quilt shop (not sure what part of Mpls you are in, but Glad Creations Quilts in the Powderhorn neighborhood is great) or Dharma Trading online. No affiliation, but have had great success with Retayne for creating colorfastness.

    A related product called Synthrapol will neutralize unfixed dye. Sometimes both are worth using.

  • Katharine

    I wore my red jeans today too.

    The skirt-as-dress (or top) thing has never appealed to me. I think I did it a few times in high school, but I don’t like knowing that I’ve got some messy arrangement of waistband and exposed bra straps going on, even if it’s covered by a top layer. I’ve also got a severe aversion to elastic waists of any kind… and a skirt that fits my waist is never going to go around my upper ribcage without even more yucky makeshifts of open zippers and safety pins. Not my thing. (I don’t care for actual strapless dresses or tops either, unless they’re very structured. That drape-off-an-elastic thing that’s been hot for summer the last few years I find completely unappealing and unflattering.)

  • Marsha Calhoun

    You look charming, and comfortable, and the colors are wonderful together. I haven’t worn a skirt as a top, or a dress as a skirt or vice versa, but I did once have to make a dress into a top. It was in 1970, when I was visiting my elderly auntie and she was terrified that I would meet a fate worse than death if I wore my mini-dress (which, technically, did reach as far as my fingertips) and opaque tights on the mean streets of Seattle, so I put a pair of pants to hide my legs entirely and sweated profusely in the unusually hot weather but kept my aunt happy.

  • I saw this tutorial on how to wear a dress as a skirt once. Then I tried it and it worked very well! I just tuck in the top to a sleeveless dress and belt it at the waist.

  • Love it. You’re fabulous.

  • corey

    I just did a black knit JJill skirt as a dress on Friday night. It ended up hitting right above my knee. I belted a wide patent red belt overtop a longish grey cardigan and wore knee high black heeled boots. The whole thing was a last minute decision. I felt so clever and it really looked pretty good. Will definitely do the combo again.

  • Robert

    I’ve never worn a skirt as a top! That doesn’t really appeal to me…

  • I have been on a quest for perfect red jeans for about 2 years. I ordered some from a UK store, and am having Tina (the other half of Modmucha) ship them to me! I hope they are as pretty as yours.

  • This might be something everyone ELSE has figured out since I’ve never seen this question – but how does one get her pant legs plus her own legs into boots for that cute pants-tucked-into-boots look? As far as I can determine, I’d have to have a calf-ectomy to accomplish this. Really!

    My two pairs of boots only have room for my legs and maybe some tights. Since I work as a professional who teaches teachers and am a plus size, I really can’t wear leggings to work without causing a lot of commotion at the high schools. But I could wear the aforementioned pants/boots on a casual Friday.

    Can you offer some advice?

    • Sal

      Oh Robin, I don’t think there’s an easy solution to this one besides making sure your jeans fit tightly and your boots a bit loosely (when worn without jeans, that is). You could try skinny jeans with high spandex content. You could also look into the boot band to give your current boots some more room: http://www.bootband.com/

    • Katharine

      If your boots are leather, you can have them stretched a tad. Otherwise, my solutions (and I also have sturdy calves) is:
      -very THIN pants; usually my J-Brand jean leggings, which are real fabric, but not substantially thick, or else my crazy pair of skinny-jean-cut trousers made from stretch dress trouser fabric
      -tuck the pants themselves into socks. Not knee socks, as the knee socks will then make things too tight in the top of the boot, but thin ankle socks, which keeps the pants from sort of rolling and folding as I shove my feet into the boots (I do have relatively very narrow ankles, though)
      -or another pants solution in my drawers, slightly dressier than leggings, is my one pair of ponte-knit stirrup pants. TECHNICALLY they are leggings, but they are constructed in panels with seaming down the fronts and backs, which gives them a slightly dressier and sturdier look. And the stirrups, again, keep them from rumpling up in tight boots.

      • Anneesha

        Hooray! I love the idea of tucking pantlegs into the socks. Excellent.

    • Marsha Calhoun

      My Aerosole boots have two zippers – one for putting them on, and one to expand the calf area. I have the opposite problem, narrow calves, but I believe that if I unzipped the expander zipper, I could fit a whole lot in there. The boots are called “Infamous” and are both inexpensive and good looking.

  • Love the red denim and really love the boots.

  • Deb

    Have you tried using dye catchers to save the ruined items as well as the red jeans? I made a quilt with red, white, and black fabrics….first time I washed it it became red, pink and black…….then I tried washing it with a few dye catcher sheets and it came out beautifully……the dye catcher sheets were blood red though!

    • Sal

      I did – it helped, but didn’t solve the issues, unfortunately.

  • LaChina

    So cute, I’ve been eyeing red jeans in the stores and mags, but not sure I can pull them off. I also love the idea of a skirt for a top. Never thought of doing that.

  • Emily

    ooh sally. those might be the jeans! I’ve been looking for the right red ones, and I think I want to go dark red (in that I have lots of bright red for the top, and don’t want to look like I’m in a santa suit). But the shape and size? I am currently 12-ish, say in Gap jeggings, which I live in while staying home with my 15 month old. And I’ll say my size 14 Gaps are nice in the start of the day but falling down by end. So, 12. Super short, 4′ 11″. Not intimidated by hemming. Waist 34, belly looks 5 months pregnant mostly. You think that high waist would work for me? I wear tops loose around the middle, so no worry I’ll be tucking for maximum mom-jean effect. But the power of my beautiful belly is such these days that it’ll roll waistbands right down given the chance…so not sure. What do you think? ARe these sturdy? they look VERY high!

    • Sal

      Hey Emily! You’ll need to hem them for sure, and they might be a bit snug in the waist since I’m guessing they’re more in the 32″ or 33″ range but they’ve got a LOT of stretch, so it’s possible. The rise is pretty high, which I love – hits about an inch below my natural waist. Sturdy … hmm, prolly not. They’re comfy and warm, but the fabric is fairly thin. They might not be your perfect red jeans, but MotelRocks is now shipping free to the US so you could certainly give ’em a whirl! (Looks like you’ll have to pay to return if they don’t fit.)

  • I see plastic on your window! I love that – I don’t know why. It just made me absurdly happy.

    OK, I have points. First, those jeans are fantastic. I’ve been in the market for some coloured skinnies, might have to check those bad boys out. Second, I love those Fluevogs. They’re great, and work perfectly with this outfit. Third, I’ve really been enjoying how you’ve been styling your hair lately. The side swept bangs look so classy, chic, sassy and sexy on you. Love!

    • Sal

      Ahhh, fellow winter climate-dweller, I’m sure you know that plastic all too well. 😉

      And whew, thank you for your kind words, my dear!

  • Louise

    If I had a suitable skirt, I would wear it as a top. Why not? As long as you can guarantee it won’t fall down etc, I’m all for getting the most out of your wardrobe.
    And I am seriously in love with your boots. But I bet they wouldn’t fit around my big toe, let alone my bizarrely huge calves (huge in relation to my stupid puny ankles and feet). I have just bought my first ever pair of long boots though – plain black leather Fly London Midas. They have an (admittedly not very) elastic panel up the outside. The moment of jubilation when I finally zipped them up was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced! (Had to involve a third party to help, btw). Now I’ve worn them in a bit they are perfection. I even managed to get them on over long socks AND leggings the other day! Trouble was, as the evening went on, the leggings gradually crept down, so I ended up with horrible baggy knees. What a faux pas! Will stick to tights in future.
    Oh, and I had never heard of the Boot Band, that’s a great idea!

  • OMG so much love for those boots.

    I have indeed worn a skirt as a top, a skirt as a dress – and recently a poncho as a dress!

  • I’ve been looking for some red pants. I haven’t found any yet, but someday…!

  • I’ve worn dresses as skirts but never skirts as tops. Most of my skirts are extra long and have tons of fabric though, they don’t make the best multi-use items. Bummer about that first red pair of jeans! I’m always afraid of red items. The only load of laundry I’ve ever ruined was because of a red towel that my mother said she’d already washed the extra dye from. Apparently not all. It turned all my boyfriend-at-the-time’s white work shirts pink haha…

  • nck

    I know this comment is a bit late but I wanted to put it out there that I loved those red pants so much I immediately bought them from the Motel site. Cut to January and no pants! They were shipped to the wrong address and I never received them. I’m having a lot of trouble getting either a refund or reshipment of the order to the correct address. I just wanted to just let people know if they were planning to order that the customer service is really lacking so beware.

    • Sal

      Oh crap! I’m sorry to hear that, lady. Gah. What a ridiculous hassle.