A few months ago, some friends came into town and we spent a relaxing afternoon having drinks and conversation sitting underneath the most amazing striped awning. I just found the picture I took of it on my phone and seeing it again made me feel happy and eager for summer. All of a sudden, I was obsessed with wide stripes and the urge to wear them.
Commonly called “rugby stripes”, and sometimes called “awning stripes” (although it’s my understanding rugby stripes run horizontal, and awning stripes run vertical), wide stripes are preppy, quirky, and ready for summer. Do they remind anyone else of loungy patio furniture?
I had three requirements when looking for the perfect wide striped skirt. First, it had to be a full silhouette. Second, it had to be at least mostly natural fibers (I’m really intent on adding silks and other natural fibers to my wardrobe at the moment). Third, it had to have pockets, which are quickly becoming a must for my skirt purchases. This cotton/silk blend, full skirt with nice deep pockets fits all my criteria.
This skirt is also a small victory in taking a chance. Only one stood out to me as potentially perfect during my online search, but it was from a brand I had never tried before (Pink Tartan), from a store I had never purchased from (Lord & Taylor), and without any local locations for me to purchase from, or return to, in the highly likely event the item didn’t work out. With most sizes sold out online, my only option was to order my size directly from a store. Risky practices all around for someone who has a hard time finding things that fit to begin with.
Here are the steps I took before making this risky purchase:
Assess the fit on the model compared to my body type – the skirt fits high on the model’s waist, and short on her height. Skirts that fit high on the waist tend to fit smaller in the waistband, so more likely to fit my waist as well. And skirts that are short on tall models tend to fall around the knee on short me. Looks promising!
Assess complication of possible alteration needs – skirts are way easier to alter than, say, pants or jackets, so right there it’s a less risky purchase. Side pockets and a side zipper are usually alteration no-no’s, making a skirt difficult to slim if needed. Luckily, the full silhouette of this skirt means it’s meant to be at least a little poufy, so it should not need slimming. The waistband may need to be taken in if the waist is too big, but it’s not a deal breaker. Also, the length may need to be taken up if it’s too long, which is cheap/easy to do, although it would change the stripe pattern. Could still be worth it!
Search the brand website for size charts or fit information – size charts are notoriously inaccurate, but they can still give you an idea if the brand runs big or small. Unfortunately, the Pink Tartan website didn’t have any sizing charts or clues for me this time around. Moving on!
Search blogs for sizing clues – with so many fashion and style bloggers out there these days, it’s no surprise you can get lucky and find someone has worn or reviewed an item you’re interested in. Unfortunately, once again, this was not the case for me. Onward!
Search eBay for similar items from the brand which include measurement information – many eBay sellers will include measurement information for the items they’re selling, so if you search for similar items from the brand you’re interested in, you can get a clue as to how sizing runs. For this particular item, I searched for “Pink Tartan Skirt” and looked for items in sizes 0 or 2. From the measurements I found, it looked like the waist of a size 0 skirt from Pink Tartan would measure about 25″. I’m about 24″ around where I like to wear my skirts, so the waistband would probably only need to be taken in one size, if at all.
After it arrived, I measured the waistband, and sure enough it measures 25″. Luckily, it sits at a really nice spot on my low waist and doesn’t need to be taken in.
After several days of hesitation, and with my curiosity in this item only increasing, I decided to give it a shot and nervously ordered over the phone. When it arrived a week later, I was thrilled to find the waist and length a nice fit. A rare occurrence, indeed!
And now I can dress like beach-side patio furniture to my heart’s content!
A big thank you to my patient boyfriend who was kind enough to take these photos, and give my tripod and camera remote a much needed break. =)
Outfit Details – Ann Taylor shirt :: Pink Tartan skirt (similar from J.Crew) (similar for less here or here) :: Ann Taylor belt :: J.Crew handbag :: Cole Haan shoes (similar) :: J.Crew necklace ( similar here or here):: Kate Spade watch (customized) :: Stella & Dot bracelet (c/0) (in silver) :: Essie “Turquoise and Caicos” nail color