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Pic source: Tom Ford

For one of my summer class assignments, our class had to use menswear in order to create a special occasion dress.  Since menswear usually has more tailored construction details than womenswear  – collars, cuffs, waistband, etc – we were to incorporate those details to reflect a sense of humor.

So, I headed over to the Sunday free-for-all-and-watch-out-for-the-mean-hipsters $1 vintage sale at Jet Rag Vintage store on La Brea avenue. Jet Rag receives bags full of clothes, and every Sunday they dump it in a pile out in the parking lot to sell for a $1.  The crowd that shows up tends to be the resale/consigners buying it for $1 to sell for a lot more elsewhere, the occasional homeless person, and random people stopping by to check it out.

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I got there at 10:45am and it was already a madhouse with people throwing clothes here and there. Clothes were already dumped in the middle of the parking lot and the there were piles around the periphery where people had grabbed armfuls and binfuls to claim as theirs until they went through it and put what they didn’t want back in the middle. It was super annoying that people could do that with large piles, but whatdya do….

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I had difficulty finding much menswear, and what I did find tended to skew toward dark colors. But I took what I could find and washed them immediately after I got home.  I started with 8 pieces, but after playing with ideas, draping and looks, I ended up using 3 of the items.

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The first of the items I used was this pair of black wool pants.  It has a front button fly and a small little v in the center back.  The inside waistband was taupe and had cool waist and pocket construction details, so in the end, I turned the pants inside out and used the inside back of the pants for the front of the bodice and used the front button fly for a closure in the center back.  I altered the seams, added darts, and created the side panels with leftover pant legs and front inside pockets

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I had several cotton shirts with tiny pleating that I thought I’d use for the skirt, but given how structured the bodice turned out to be, they didn’t really provide the look and balance that I wanted.  So, I decided to use 2 black shirts in a stiff satin/polyester fabric. I liked the the button and buttonhole closures, so I draped them at an angle in the front, sewed the collar stands together in the back, added a zipper and turned the sleeves inside out.

And here is the end product….

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And since black is hard to pick up in these photos, here’s more of a closeup:
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The pockets were covering the skirt button detail, so I turned up one side of the pocket and added buttons at the bottom corners.  I also machine embroidery stitched across the top of the waistband to cover little stains, connect the front and side panels, and give it some feminine detail.

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I positioned the front shirt pockets on the side of the skirt so that the skirt technically had pockets (a growing trend)

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Who would’ve thought joining the collar at the stand and turning the sleeves into the inside would create such a neat skirt bustle effect!  To be honest, this turned out better than I thought it would and I’ve gotten compliments from my teacher and many of my classmates.

And here are my classmates entries…

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