Ulla Johnson Nadia Overalls
Eileen Fisher organic linen shell (gift for review) | small – ON SALE!
Beek sandals | platinum ON SALE!
Margot Wolf necklace
I haven’t featured these Ulla Johnson overalls much, but I wear them a lot – a couple times a week usually. They need some tweaking though, now that I’m determined I’ll keep them. Mostly, I’m going to hem them, or at least cut them off so the legs don’t bunch so much as they do now, and hopefully they’ll look wider.
It’s always stunning to me how different things look on me from “models” on websites, etc. I know it, but sometimes it’s shocking. My legs are thicker and shorter, making fitting jeans/pants quite difficult. And then, any jeans/pants that are meant to be wide leg, fit more straight on me, and straight fits more skinny, because of my calves. Nevermind, I just have to work with it, and tweak things to my liking.
Tweaking is something I haven’t done much until now, and even still, I’m not very good at it. For some reason I have it in my head that things should look “right” off the rack, or out of the box, and of course, they never do. And it’s not just me, most women should probably get more things tailored than we do, little details can make all the difference when it comes to fit and comfort.
For example, I’d never would have thought to have the knees/legs of my Elizabeth Suzann Cecilia pants taken in a bit, to make them more slim, if a reader hadn’t mentioned that she’d done that. And with these overalls, I definitely think that getting the legs hemmed will help them “hang” better.
Do you tailor almost everything? or nothing at all?
(greetings from just outside Atlanta, where my mother is doing fine – I wonder if she needs me here at all!! – and I’m trying to fit in a little time for work!)
Oh, and speaking of Atlanta, Laurie, if you’re reading, the most important thing I can suggest you do here is visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden and see the Chihuly exhibit if you’ll be here before 10/30. It’s amazing, I saw it the first time it was here, I saw some installations in Jerusalem a long time ago, and we’re going again this weekend. The botanical garden is beautiful anyway…Other than that, I don’t spend a lot of time in the city when I’m here and everything’s changed SO MUCH since I lived here I’m not sure any of my other suggestions would be valid…
I understand what you mean about wanting things to “look right” right out of the gate, but of course they don’t always. That said, I usually only hem my pants, will have to remember in the future to consider other alterations! … I had mentioned on IG a while ago that I thought you had lost your mind when you posted these overalls, ha! But they look fantastic on you. Honestly, they look 100% better on you than the model!
Grechen Reiter says
ha!! i don’t remember your saying that on IG…
Hi Grechen! I told my husband last night that the botanical garden was on my wish list of things to do in Atlanta. My Mom is a huge fan of Chihuly. She won’t be with us but I think I owe it to her to see this! Thanks so much for the shout out. And I’m wearing the Robert Clergerie sandals today! They fit perfectly. (They remind me a little of those ubiquitous Steve Madden sandals everyone, including me, wore in the 90’s.)
I think I mentioned before that I had my ES Marlena dress taken up at the shoulder seems so the vee wasn’t quite as deep. It’s funny because I also have the Marlena top and it didn’t need to be taken up. I’ve also had sleeves shortened on a sweater to great success.
I have found that if I just cuff my shirt sleeves, that makes a huge difference for me. I pretty much always roll up the sleeves on my t-shirts a little bit. Typically cotton tees, of any style, the sleeves sort of tent out and it looks odd, but rolling them – even once – makes them lay much nicer on my arm, and it gives a little extra visual interest and polish to an otherwise very ordinary shirt. Also I just like showing off my arm tattoo. 🙂
I’m super lazy about alterations (though I have someone I like right now) Usually I’ll only hem pants or maxi dresses and live with everything else (or, don’t live with it/don’t buy it).
Glad your mom is doing well!
I alter nearly all of my bottoms – jeans, trouser, skirts, etc. (due to being short, and VAIN – I want my bottom half to appear as trim as possible). I rarely alter tops, but jackets and coats usually require a shorter sleeve and sometimes taking up the overall length.
I’ve always got the cost of alterations in the back of my mind when I’m shopping. What really frustrates me is that delay between buying something new and finally being able to wear it freely. I have learned over the years that I wear and launder new clothes before I invest in tailoring them to my body. For example I recently bought a new pair of jeans that I have been wearing around the house between my shower and bedtime (a few hours) to see how they stretch out. I’ll wash them this weekend and then start the process over again, before I am confident that they’ve reached the shape they’re going to be forever. Then I can take them in for alterations. (I am optimistic these will just be a quick change to the hem! They are a petite size to begin with so the knee break seems to fit just right. That’s my biggest pet peeve when searching for denim).
It’s a lot of damn work.
Christine M says
My beloved tailor shut down her business a couple years ago without warning and I haven’t yet found another that I would trust with jobs more complicated than a hem. Clothes rarely fit me off the rack, but I know that if I buy something that needs work, it’ll probably sit in the closet for months, so lately I’ve been trying to avoid those kinds of purchases. I know that’s really limiting. Right now, I’m trying to decide whether to keep an Eileen Fisher silk shell that needs to be taken in along the sides right under the arms. That kind of gapping on sleeveless garments is a chronic fit problem for me because I’m narrow chested but large busted. I really, really, really wish I could sew.
You’re so adorable in that second photo!
I have the same proportions too and find it difficult to find sleeveless anything that fits off the rack. I recently had all my tanks altered and it’s made a huge difference! Just shortening across the top of each shoulder did it.
Grechen Reiter says
i need to do that EXACT thing with this eileen fisher shell i’m wearing i think – it gaps a bit too much right under my arms. because i have no chest.
i think i’m very lucky to live in a very large city with lots of good tailors now, but i do really like mine (actually it’s a few different ladies, but I like them all). the way I always choose a new one is go to a high-end boutique (i went to steven alan, neiman marcus, rag & bone) and asked where they take their things for tailoring…
Grechen Reiter says
YES. this is my problem. actually i just ordered a rag & bone skirt (the nadine) that is AMAZING, but fits me ALL WRONG. not all wrong, but i had to size up to a 10 to fit my hips and it’s two sizes too big in the waist (i tried it on first before i ordered it). it does have a seam down the middle of the waist so it can be easily taken in, so i’m fairly certain it will alter beautifully and fit exactly like i want it to. i hope so anyway…i’ll take it first to my tailor before trying to keep it and see what she says.
i wanted to do that – wear my jeans around the house first – before taking them to be altered and got slightly reprimanded here for it LOL – for trying to take “dirty” jeans to the tailor…but to me, that makes sense. denim can stretch and change shape so much, it will be useless to get them altered before wearing them at all.
funny – on me, petite jeans never worked, precisely because of the knee break not being in the right place!! so interesting how we are all so truly different…
The best fitting jeans I purchased are from a consignment store. The original owner had them hemmed. I’d love to know who her tailor is!
I never thought about asking at my favorite boutiques, but that’s a great idea!
I’m still a little verklempt over the idea of you twerking in overalls. But then I thought, if Miley can do it, why not Grechen? 😉
If you’re still in Atlanta, please go check out the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. They just opened their new history of Atlanta exhibit and the whole facility is amazing, including the beautiful 1930s Swan House!
Andrea H says
Those are cute! What kind of shoes do you think you will style them with in the winter?