A deal too good to pass up!

As you know, I’m a huge believer in tailoring clothes so that they flatter and highlight my shape; often times, clothes off the rack don’t quite fit people properly, and a little tailoring can do wonders.  I wanted to share this amazing dress that I bought a while back.  I found it at a consignment store and immediately saw its potential.  Here are some deets about the dress:

  • It’s a designer dress… a MaxMara piece (scoresies!!)
  • It’s a simple black dress with corrugated detailing down the front
  • It’s a size 14!

I almost put this dress back on the rack because it was just not my size, but there were one thing that made me hold onto it.  It was on sale at 80% off (crazy, I know) and ended up being only $30 (I’m so proud of this find)!!!  I, of course, had faith in that my very talented tailor could alter this dress and make it my size – without losing its shape or delicate finishing.

Though I loved the dress, I went back to my simple rules to see if it made sense to buy this piece:

  1. How much is the garment?  With the crazy sale, this garment was just under $30.  For a designer dress of this quality and versatility, I felt that this one was a no-brainer.
  2. How much will tailoring cost? Based on all the work I’ve done with my tailor, I ballparked that alternations would cost about $60.  I could live with that to have a beautiful designer piece in my closet.
  3. Do I REALLY love it? Yes!  There are many business and social situations to which I could wear this magnificent piece.  Also, because it’s so versatile and well-constructed, my small investment would surely pay off.

This is what the dress looked like originally (my tailor took these pics!):

When I went for an initial consultation with my tailor, this are the alterations that needed to me made:



It took my tailor about 3 weeks and 2 fittings with me to make sure that this dress was PERFECT!  I am happy to report that the dress is exactly what I envisioned it to be on me.  Here’s the final product:


This is what was done to the dress:

  • The back and sides of the dress were taken in because the circumference of the dress was too wide for my frame.
  • A zipper was put in on the back of the dress and taken out from the side panel.  This alternation was done to allow me to slip into the dress with greater ease.
  • The shoulders were raised because the torso of the dress was too large for me (clearly the dress was cut for someone with a longer and larger torso).  My tailor had to pay special attention to the arm hole to ensure her alteration didn’t cut too high into my armpit… that would just be uncomfortable.
  • The waistline was raised to align with my torso (again, the torso of the dress was large for me).
  • The hemline was raised to finish just above my knee.

To make this dress mine, here’s how I’ve styled it:

For work, I add:

  • A funky blazer
  • A skinny belt on the outside of the blazer (a faux snakeskin, grey or dark green belt)
  • A bold, colourful earring
  • Black pumps

For social evenings, I add:

  • Metallic gold skinny belt
  • Gun-metal gold/brown pumps
  • A chunky, bling bracelet
  • Bold ring
  • Gold chandelier earrings

I’m looking forward to wearing this dress for years to come!