Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouJumpsuit (remixed): Missguided

Shoes: Steve Madden

Necklace: Modcloth

I like to think that I’m not really into following trends – or maybe it’s just that I find that so few trends actually suit me. Entire seasons will pass me by while I hit “refresh” on the new items button of all my favourite websites without seeing anything that tempts me. It’s usually when I start doing a lot of sewing, so it’ll probably come as no surprise to discover that the trends of the past season or so have left me a bit cold.

I don’t wear jumpsuits, and I DEFINITELY don’t wear culottes, so when I saw this culotte jumpsuit at Missguided (though also available through Asos) I was surprised to discover how much I wanted it in my wardrobe.

I remember my first pair of culottes when I was a kid. They were a Christmas present, and I remember being first really pleased with this pretty skirt, then a bit disappointed to discover that they were actually shorts masquerading as a pretty skirt. (Remember, I was the kind of girly-girl whose favourite colour was pink, and who would throw tantrums if Mum tried to dress me in trousers). I don’t think I wore them very often to be honest, but I think I’ve finally cottoned on to their popularity.

This jumpsuit is a dress that I can wear on a hot windy day without worrying that I’m going to flash my shorts up and down the street (I’ve got a couple of new recommendations on the short front, BTW. Stay tuned). In fact, I don’t need to wear shorts underneath it at all. Because LEGS.

Frocks and Frou FrouI’ll be honest: I still hate culotte pants – they can cut you off at the most unflattering place and unless you’re some magical culotte-wearing-genie (and they DO exist, and it’s nothing to do with size) they’ll invariably make you look a bit dumpy and short legged. But there’s something about the streamlined lines of a jumpsuit that kind of works OK.

I’ve tried jumpsuits before as well. I like the idea of them: all the convenience of a maxi-dress with none of the chafing; but I don’t have the height to pull them off and I always seem to end up looking like a Teletubby.

I ended up buying this one from Missguided, and if you decide to follow suit, I’d strongly recommend sticking to the size chart (I ended up having to send my first one back because I couldn’t get it zipped up over my boobs) and if you’re between sizes, size up. The jumpsuit style isn’t forgiving to curvy bellies when it’s snug.

The jumpsuit comes with “boning”, which are stabby little plastic strips inserted in the bodice to keep the thing up. They’re beyond useless, and sharp edged to boot, so I’d recommend doing the same hack that I did and removing them in favour of straps that you can make with a bit of ribbon. (Just make a little incision at the bottom of the lining where they’ve been inserted and they’ll slide right out).

I made sure that straps that I was attaching were in the perfect position to hide my bra-straps, and the whole effect is (IMHO) even nicer than the original.

Frocks and Frou FrouNecklace: Modcloth

If you’re looking for something a little bit higher quality (or if you can’t be bothered attaching your own straps) you can get a very similar jumpsuit from Dream Diva. The fabric’s considerably heavier and it has a shiny formal feel to it, but I’ve tried it on in-store, and can definitely vouch for the quality.

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with this one from Missguided though. It’s breezy, and super comfortable, and I feel pretty trendy wearing it.

Make a Chicwish

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouSkirt: Remixed from Chicwish

Cardigan (Eugenie Cashmere, no longer available): Similar Here

Shoes: Naturalizer

I love the print on this “Neon Lights” midi skirt from Chicwish. It reminds me of streetlights on rainy nights, and confetti, and has such glorious rich colours. I fell hard for it when I saw it for the first time but was destined to be disappointed, because the largest size (the XXXL) was still too small for my waist. But it kept popping up on my Pinterest feed again and again with all of its rainy-nightness, and confettishness, and glorious rich colours, so when I discovered it had been reduced to just $48 (with free shipping) I couldn’t resist, and I decided to take the plunge and buy it.

I’m so glad I did, because there was more the enough material in the pleats to remix it (or “fat hack” as gorgeous Amy from Willow Curves calls it).

When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fabric, if not the quality of the workmanship. The fabric’s a lovely heavy satin, which gives the colours a wonderful glow. The image is printed on to the fabric, but both side seams showed a wonky strip of plain white a centimetre or two wide, which would have really annoyed me if I hadn’t been going to unpick the whole thing anyway. The skirt had pockets (which I couldn’t be bothered to retain), and a petticoat-lining that gave great volume, but was vaguely… I don’t know… plasticky? It rustled like a cheap sleeping bag if you even looked at it sideways. I discarded the petticoat immediately, and to be honest if you’ve got hips you don’t need it; the fabric is heavy enough to give it a bit of fouff.

┬áSo, no step-by-step tutorial, because the whole thing was a disaster of trial and error as I tried to decide between waistband-vs-elastic/pleats-vs-gathers/box pleats-vs-knife pleats, etc etc. And because I’m an idiot, I trialled-and-errored with the actual skirt, rather than starting with a toile, and close-up you can see where I’ve had to unpick and re-sew half a dozen times in the fabric, sigh.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe skirt originally came with a multitude of open pleats, but eventually I decided it would be more flattering on my shape to have a flat front, then six sewn knife-pleats towards the sides. It meant that there was less volume to the skirt, and the pleats would follow the curve of my hips rather than flowing out straight from the waist. Again, you can see from the photo below that the printed fabric has given a little where the pleats were sewn, but I might just go over the seams with a blue fabric pen, and I think it’ll be virtually indiscernible.

Frocks and Frou FrouThe waistband is made from excess fabric that I took from the sides of the skirt. I did the same thing in this DIY pleated skirt tutorial. It’s easy as pie, and honestly if I’d spent less time faffing about being indecisive and trying to make calculations about pleat quantity and size the rest of the project would have been too.

Chicwish does some lovely skirts, with fabrics I’ve never seen on offer elsewhere. Now that I’ve done this one I’m more confident about remixing others if I see another piece I fall in love with (like the Sing a Love Song skirt, ahem)

Chicwish skirtSo here’s the before and after and don’t think I’m being arrogant, but I think I like mine better!