Saturday, July 04, 2009

2009 Wardrobe Refashions

Although I am not currently taking the Wardrobe Refashion Pledge, I am still refashioning.

This pair of pants was an odd shade of light green that didn't work with anything else in my wardrobe. I overdyed it with Procion MX in olive drab. I was expecting something less vibrantly green. Can you say, "Hello, Mr. Greenjeans"?
I haven't worn this midnight blue pleated polyester skirt in over a decade. The old polyester lining ripped to shreds. It only took me a decade to reline it with black silk habotai.
I replaced the elastic in this polyester crepe skirt I made in the 1990s.
Bad Dad leaned up against some wet paint while wearing black jeans. I didn't have any mineral spirts, and I didn't want to use VOCs if I could avoid it. Instead, I scraped and sanded off the paint. While I was at it, I rehemmed the frayed hems, shortening them by 1/2 an inch.

This one doesn't count as a refashion because I bought this silk Shantung jacket yesterday at Renko. I was worried about how she would weather the recession, so I stopped by for some fiscal stimulus while Bad Dad had his hair cut nearby. Sure enough, she had closed her Santa Monica shop on Montana avenue because of the recession. The shop/factory in Redondo Beach is still open.
She charges for alterations for clearance items, but she pin fit the jacket on me gratis so I could alter it easily at home. Some people find the staff too hovering there. I used to find that off-putting, until I learned that the lady waiting on me was also the designer and stitcher. When she asks you how you like something, and fitting it on you, she is actually doing market research and tweaking the fit.

Yesterday, she was looking incredibly chic sporting pink and purple hair and wearing black shorts of her own design. They were slim-fitting, with a deep pleated self-ruffle along the bottom. She must not have read Rediscovering the Forgotten Woman; A Big Middle-Age Demand for the Not So Revealing but Still Stylish. She is not going the baggy Chico's and Eileen Fisher style and she looks fierce.

It is a small shop. There are onsies and twosies of each style. You may not find your size in your preferred color, but most things can be made to your specifications, especially if Renko produced it. She carries other small independent American designers as well.

Years ago, I admired a fantastic raincoat with a pleated collar/hood, but lamented that she didn't have one in my size in my preferred color and style. She said that she could have one made for me in two weeks. They are made in a small factory in NYC and she orders from them weekly. The low waste approach to fashion, and supporting domestic industry appealed to me. I had no choice but to buy it.

Right now, everything in the shop except for the raincoats are 20% or more off. My jacket was 85% off . The size was mis-labeled and there was a small stitching flaw at one cuff which I easily fixed.

And here's a sneak peak at my current knitting project.


  1. It was your patiotic duty to shop there! And your sweater looks great so far.

  2. I believe my mother-in-law tried on that pleated collar raincoat at the Montana Avenue Renko shop some time ago. However, she was a bit put off by the hovering staff and did not purchase it.

    I admired many garments there, and am sad that it has closed. Will have to check out the Redondo shop.

  3. Nice jacket. Of course it was your duty to shop. I love the color on your new knitting project as well.


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