Finding a way to wear something backwards and make it look like it was meant to be that way is my joie de verve. Well, one of them anyway. I get a thrill knowing I’m doing something that wasn’t intended. It’s how I get to feel like a rebel when actually, I’m just a nice girl from Fargo, North Dakota.
Inspired by my wearable art years
As a sewer back in the wearable art chapter of my life, fabric stores were what the Container Store is to me now: crack cocaine. I never drove by a fabric store without stopping and shopping. Sometimes I’d pull a bolt of fabric off a shelf, put it on the cutting table of the store, and realize I loved the “inside” of the fabric more than the outside.
That happened with a deep indigo denim fabric I found in Morro Bay when we were living on the Central Coast. The “wrong” side of the fabric was a pinky shade of denim. I wasn’t sure how I’d use it but it went in my stash.
The day arrived when I’d put that fabric to use. When dear four-year-old Erin lost the coat we’d purchased for her a week earlier, I decided I’d make her a coat using that dark indigo fabric. I’d use the pinky side for most of the coat and the indigo side would be used for the front and back yokes. I’d sew her name inside of it so if it got left on a playground someone would find it and possibly return it. I mean really, could someone named Mary Jeanne Laude pick up a coat that said Erin Maja Kinsel in big letters and wear it?
Did I giggle inside because I was breaking the rules and using the wrong side of the fabric? Oh yeah, you betcha! Did I think of my mother when I labored over that coat and Erin never wore it? Oh yeah, you betcha, but I still had fun making it. It serves a great purpose in our home. It decorates the door handle of the front hall coat closet in our home. Every time anyone comes over and Erin’s there, she grabs her coat and shows everybody. It wasn’t appreciated at the time but she’s very fond of it as an adult.
(Read about the coat Mom made for me and my horrible teen attitude about it…before I realized it was so cool!)
Let’s move on to backward dressing for the modern woman!
How I work “backwards” into my outfits
Here’s how this backward obsession played out this month. Remember my post about the versatile Misook jacket I styled three ways? What I didn’t highlight at the time were the backward parts.
This is how I wore the Misook slate gray knit tank with the multi-topstitch Misook jacket and the long Sol Sister pendant. Nice, right? The knit tank totally picks up the gray topstitch parts.
Here’s my secret: I’m wearing the tank backwards in order to create a higher neck. Why? Because I wanted the tank to be as long as possible in order to accentuate the equally long pendant. Long and lean, that’s what I wanted.
Here’s how the tank looks worn the right way. It’s more of a high scoop neck.
It’s fine with the jacket but it wasn’t quite right with the pendant. With the tank backwards, the necklace was just right. See how it looks when it’s all together?
Turing a necklace to the wrong side so it’s just right with a different outfit
In one of the versions where I’m wearing the Misook topstitch jacket, I wore a crinkled Petit Pois longsleeved T-shirt.
Remember this outfit? This was my urban interpretation using the Misook jacket. I love the color thread of the mushroom T-shirt, the dark mushroom Calleen Cordero handbag, and my olive Lanvin booties. Talk about joie de verve!
I knew I wanted a necklace but the long pendant was not going to be it. I wanted to add urban texture to the neck. I got the idea to use my gunmetal colored necklace with rows of round metal disks that makes it look like an Elizabethan collar (if you use your imagination).
Except that I wanted to use the back side of it. The front side has the disks, the backside looks like mesh chainmail.
What made me want to wear it this way? I love how the necklace mimics the top-stitching on the jacket. Isn’t that cool? The round discs would have been a distraction!
Oh, the joy of getting dressed! Finding joy may mean showcasing the backside of things. Plus, you get the bonus of feeling like you’re breaking rules and not getting caught. What’s more fun than that?
Do you break rules when you’re getting dressed? Please share your secrets so we can all be rulebreakers together!