Solutions for Those "Why Did I Buy This?" Moments

Apr 21, 2015


As much as I dish out advice on how to curate a well thought out closet, or offer tips on how to spend money on pieces you only really love and can use, I still make mistakes.

I find myself nipping into a store to buy flip flops or a new satchel, and something absolutely out-of-step catches my eye. It's either a dress I know I can't make work, shoes I know I won't be able to walk in, or a pair of pants I just know I have nothing to match with. And yet I find myself marching to the cash register, giddy with my newest disaster.

It makes no sense, but we're prone to mistakes once in a while. And while those mistakes sting (especially when you consider how many margaritas you could have bought with that money!) sometimes they're salvageable. Read on and see what I mean!


Ya see this top? This fun geometric top that's perfect for some bold pattern mixing during spring? This was my most recent shopping mistake. And before you go "Mar, what are you talking about, it's amazing!", hold on and hear the whole shpeal. You see, this is actually a jacket. 

I found it while looking for a reception dress last summer, and it was hanging all nonchalant-like next to a floral print dress. And the two looked amazing together. So amazing that I just about ran to the register then and there, forgetting why I was in the shop in the first place. The thing is though, I don't have any floral dresses. At least none that was hanging pretty as you please next to the jacket- one with huge red poppies falling down towards the hem. So the jacket sat all sad-like in my closet for a year before I decided to do anything about it.

And what did I do? I decided to reinvent its purpose. If it didn't work as a jacket, maybe it'd work as a blouse? So I stitched up the front and turned it into just that. The same can go for any of your other regrettable pieces. Don't like how a dress lies on you? Turn it into a top. Feeling weird in a maxi dress? Turn it into a flirty mini. Thought you could pull off midi skirts but can't? Hem it up to the knee. We all make mistakes, but the nice thing is you can usually fix them ;)


Let's Discuss: Have you altered any of your meh pieces lately? What'd you do to it? Inspire us!

Liked this post? Continue on and read:

outfit details
SKIRT: c/o Dressed in the Dark Vintage
JACKET: Nordstrom Rack
PURSE: Mango

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  1. I bought a maxi dress with a weird neckline but the colour and price were fabulous! I wore it as a skirt by just bunching the top down but it became cumbersome and looked frumpy. I finally chopped the top portion off, stitched a waist band and added an elastic waist. I love the skirt now and am quite proud of my handiwork!

  2. Well done woman, you're a genius! I love the mixed patterns in this outfit and your longer hair is looking super cute. <3

  3. Wow, never in a million years would I have thought that was a jacket.

    Truth be told, I've made many mistakes over the years, buying things that SEEM like a good idea at the time....but aren't. I just try to be more cautious now, but re-purposing is a great strategy. I just wish I knew how to sew ;)


    Something About That

  4. I wish I had the skill to make alterations to some of my wardrobe. This post helped me realize it's time to stop's time to learn. You look lovely, Marlen.

    Happy Tuesday :)

  5. I love that you took your sewing skills and made it work because it is a great pattern.

  6. I love this!! The fact that we've made poor purchases in the past doesn't have to end in tragedy! You did a great job repurposing these pieces!

  7. Love your outfit! That skirt and pattern mixing is to die for! :)

  8. This happens to me way too often, I definitely need to start thinking more creatively like you! <3

  9. Love that combo--you made it work for sure! I would never have guessed your top started out as a jacket. You've got the sewing skillz! I've upholstered a sofa, but I've never really successfully altered any of my clothing. I'm feeling inspired to give it another go right about now, though. :)

  10. Sewing to the rescue once again! I love your quick thinking in a fashion emergency. Wait, buying something you don't need counts as an emergency, right? lol

    -Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

  11. Oh you look SO fabulous! That skirt amazing - what a gem! I must get myself one ASAP! X

  12. If I wasn't so horrible with everything related to doing stuff with your hands I'd totally alter half my closet :D I love this idea, you did some pro altering job here! I wonder what this looked like as a jacket, even though it looks awesome as a top too, I bet the jacket was fancy as well :D Also adore the glossy purse!

  13. We've all been there. That item that you lust over one minute, then the next it's hanging outside your closet and you're asking yourself, "What the heck was I thinking?" Where I do like this print, I agree on it's awkward jacket-ness. I'm not good at wearing blazers and jackets. I think they tend to make me look like a linebacker, so I have three very neutral ones for those just in case moments. I'm a HUGE fan of refashion though. I love watching people transform a garment from drab to fab. This is a hit and looks amazing against the floral. I'm so pro-pattern mixing. If you love refashion stuff, you should check out Julian at the Refashionista blog. I swear that girl is genius!

  14. Nice save! I used to have disasters alllllll the time. Fortunately, I have really gotten stingy about buying new pieces so it has not happened in a while! I think a year or so ago getting rid of a bunch of clothes that still had price tags attached really taught me a thing or two but I am sure one of those moments will creep up on me again before I know it.

  15. I love how you just stitch something up and make it new! I really love that skirt-- it looks amazing on you!
    Melanie @

  16. You are an absolutely brilliant woman! I tend to just carry on telling myself 'I will wear it one day' and shove it to the back of my wardrobe to forget about for another 6 months. Think I might need to delve into my wardrobe tonight to see what I can make more 'Me'. Thanks for the inspo - again!

  17. Gah! I wish my sewing skills were more refined... I have so many dresses hanging around that I bought at thrift stores thinking I'm going to re-work it into something awesome. Um.... nope. This gives me hope though. I just love all your creative mixing and matching and this is another fine example of how you can pair two items together. Love it!

  18. cute! I would have had zero idea that it used to be a jacket. I love the geometric print. At least you repurposed it and it isn't just sitting on the floor of your closet! I've been working really hard on not buying things to just buy is hard! I've also lost alot of weight since last year so I'm having a hard time buying things that actually fit me...because buying something so tiny while its nice, is scary! ha.

  19. I have altered so many pieces because the length was weird. I actually ignore skirt length now, and if I love the print and how it fits otherwise, I'll get it. Hemming is literally the easiest thing to do ever in your closet.

    So thanks to you, I'm working on making my wardrobe a place that is full of pieces I actually love, and not just "oh, cute" garments. I also just bought a shirt (on the blog today) even though it was over my normal spending (at Goodwill... so not even expensive...) because it just pulled at my heartstrings and I remembered your Bustle article about dressing emotionally. I'm so glad I got it. Wore it today and felt pretty much amazing. ;)

    I love that jacket as a blouse! And the print! I can see why you fell for it, even though it wasn't the garment you needed it to be!

  20. I love how you made it work! It is a simply adorable top which pairs so nicely with that skirt! I wish I was handy with a needle, there are so many pieces that I've loved but had to give away because they didn't fit right.

    Alysia Ave

  21. This is brilliant. The patterns and the shiny texture of the bag. Really awesome! Love that skirt, too!

    - Anna

  22. What a brilliant idea! I would never have noticed. Good thing you found a use for this "meh" piece because that bold print is amazing!

  23. Haha, way to own your mistakes Marlen! And psssh, you totally turned it into an amazing top :)
    Which works perfectly with your rad print-mixing style! I need to get more savvy with my sewing so I can turn around such mistakes in my closet...

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  24. I wish I had sewing skills sometimes so I could do things like this! I have a little pile of things in my wardrobe I need to take to my tailor and still haven't done yet..I'm so lazy with it!

    Turning the jacket into a top was a perfect solution, and it looks wonderful! :)

    Away From The Blue

  25. Both these prints so well together! I would have never thought to pair them together! I too have made many mistakes, but I haven't really altered anything. Sewing really scares me... One thing I did do recently was take a short dress and turn it into a top by tucking it into my jeans... does give me some brownie points?! ;)

  26. You = genius. TOTALLY works as a blouse!

  27. I really like this look! It's pattern mixing done really well! The skirt is absolutely fantastic!

  28. Love this post, great advice :) I definitely have made quite a few mistake purchases and I like the idea of repurposing them!

  29. I never think about doing this and now I feel so silly for NEVER THINKING ABOUT DOING THIS. It looks awesome, I couldn't even tell.

  30. I really like this idea about repurposing items and I wanted to look at what else was on your blog, thinking I would add you to my reading list. Only I can't get past the thing that starts out A Poet lives here and she totally likes you. I'm really not into poetry and I don't wish to give you my email - I will, just so I can read what's behind it (hopefully). Just thought you should know this may put off some other potential readers.


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