(Ode to Tim Gunn)

Most people have clothing in their closets that they haven’t worn in years. If this does not apply to you, have you ever received a gift from someone and knew it was something that you would absolutely never wear?  In situations like this, it seems like there are a few choices: Give it away, throw it away, or let it sit in your closet. But, there is another alternative.

I mentioned before that as a teen, I spent a lot of time shopping with my mom. Although my teenage years are long gone and my mom lives hundreds of miles away, it is still somewhat of a normality for me to come home to a delivery box, packed with a few new clothes handpicked by my mother (she is very thoughtful). Recently, she sent me a box with clothes she picked out from one of her favorite stores. Inevitably there were some things that I did not care for. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

Well, this post is dedicated to making it work. We don’t always need to shop for new things, but should also learn to work with what we have.  It is also evidence that where we shop is just one small piece of the puzzle. Ultimately, how we pull the items together defines the look. All of the clothing in this post were gifts purchased from Steinmart.



Photos by Kristin Fields

The expression on my face says it all. As is, this is something I would never pick out for myself. Overall, it felt it bit frumpy. The top is a printed tunic. It has gold chains attached from the back of the shirt with tassels on the end. The original outfit was paired with these stretch fit, ankle length pants (I love the color of the pants, by the way).



KSP_0520 (3)

Here is where the transformation began. My mom also sent a stretch fit, pencil skirt. Instead of wearing the tunic with the pants, I opted for mixing prints and paired it with the skirt, which had similar patterns and colors. I did not like the cords/tassels on the tunic or the neckline so I removed them and also altered the look of the shirt to make it off the shoulder. I wore the top tucked in to shorten the length and brought the skirt up to create a high-waisted look. I completed this look with accessories: a pearl necklace, white pumps (purchased a few years ago from Steve Madden), and my favorite summer bag, a blue and white striped clutch from The Limited.

Overall, this look feels fresher and younger.

KSP_0519 (2)You may have things in your closet that you feel are outdated or gifts that you’ve never worn. Try looking through your closet this week for ways to restyle those items. I have cut up old dresses when I loved the pattern and needed to create a crop top. Or maybe its an old pair of jeans that would make a cute pair of shorts for the summer. You may be surprised with what you put together.

Thanks for reading! Have a great 4th of July!

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2 Comments on “Make it Work

  1. Wow! You really did a great job in making that work Ayanna! I can truly relate, and as soon as I saw Stein Mart, I knew what I could possible see in the photos. I can typically do some good matching there (just visited yesterday), but my mom can do a number with her selections for me…LOL!! Great post!


    • Thanks so much! 🙂 It was fun putting this together. Yes, it is hit or miss when my mom shops for me, but we are grateful for them trying


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