Black & Bow


A few of my purchases lately have been replacements for items that have gotten too old to wear. The burgundy Rachel Roy pumps replaced an old favorite burgundy pair that were so worn, they made audible creaking and squeaking noises with each step. The color had been such a footwear favorite of mine, that I had been actively looking for a replacement for years. Even the Club Monaco sweater is replacing an old black sweater that grew faded and misshapen from too many washes.

This blazer is also replacing a favorite of mine that has sadly taken a turn for the worse. For years I wore a Theory black cotton blazer, and it wasn’t until this past fall that I started to notice it looking a little funny. The sad thing about garments that are 100% cotton, especially black garments is…they fade quick. When black fades, it just looks dingy, and my once crisp looking blazer just started looking a little ugly. It sat unworn all fall and winter.


After adding the Aritzia Shrunken Exeter Blazer to my closet and enjoying it’s versatility and fit, the black version seemed a decent replacement for my dingy Theory, and I took the opportunity to pick it up while I was in San Francisco a few weekends ago.

I’m very excited to have another black blazer to play with, mostly because I’ve been dying to have some Saint Laurent Spring 2013 moments. I love the crisp black and white, bows, and blazers.


I still haven’t given up on the Theory blazer though. I’ve toyed with the idea of dying it back to black, but am afraid to take the plunge. The fabric dyes I’ve seen (like the long trusted RIT dyes) require soaking the garment in hot water. Because blazers are so structured, it’s never a good idea to wash them, let alone risk the shrinkage that can occur to cotton in hot water. A true-black blazer is of little use to me if it comes out warped or damaged.

Does anyone more knowledgeable about fabrics and the dying process have any ideas about what to do with a cotton blazer (polyester lining) in need of a dye job? Can it be done? Is she a lost cause?

Outfit DetailsAritzia blazer :: Ann Taylor blouse :: ASOS bow tie :: Rag & Bone jeans :: Ann Taylor belt :: Christian Louboutin shoes :: Chanel handbag :: Kate Spade watch :: Stella & Dot bracelet (c/o) :: Daisy Knights ring

Altered – Christian Louboutin shoes have ball of foot and heel pads added :: Kate Spade watch has had the strap replaced

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Join the Conversation


  1. says: Elissa

    I’m not sure about your dying quest, I’ve never experimented with it yet, but I can simply say that I really love the top combination. It’s simple, but stands out in a classic way. The bow detailing is so versatile, how you can make it look grown up and sophisticated or perhaps pairing it with a collared dress can create a “sweet” look. Though honestly, the bow made me think of the cartoon Madeline. Anyone know what I’m talking about? I loved that cartoon as a kid. =)

  2. HI there from a fellow shortie in Ireland! I have used dylon dyes to dye trousers & tops successfully back to life! :

    Cotton will dye to the full colour, but the lining will be a lighter colour as its polyester. The easiest is the machine dye. If you are not going to wear it again anyway what have you got to lose?

  3. Dearest Kelly,

    On the dying process I cannot give you any tips as I’ve never done that part. Love the black bow but I was disappointed to find out this one is polyester. Always would prefer rayon, for its excellent drape.

    Hugs to you,


  4. says: New Petite

    Love the little bow detail! Check with your dry cleaners. They might do the dye job for you(few of them do) and you dont even have to bother about washing cleaning and other stuff :)

    1. Hi Alaina! I find these blazers to run a little small in the shoulder. I also have narrow shoulders and while these aren’t the smallest in the shoulder I’ve ever seen, they are definitely on the small side. I hope that helps!

  5. says: Elle

    OOOO I love this outfit. I would love to try a version of it. So well put together, stil menswear inspired with feminine twists

  6. says: The Fashionable ESQ

    Hi! I wish I had better DIY knowledge about dying black garments, because I live in black denim, and it fades like crazy! I love the bow that you added to this look and I definitely love a great blazer. All of my black work blazers fade, and I find that on the suit sets, the skirts/pants fade at a different pace than the blazers do, so after a while, everything begins to need replacing…so annoying!

    Your jeans fit amazing!

    The Fashionable ESQ

  7. says: anon

    +1 for the procion mx cold-water dyes. they’re sooo much better than rit. but no matter what dye you use, you’ll have to rinse heavily to remove the excess dye.

  8. I hate how fast black fades and turns dingy–I’ve lost many highly-worn cotton tops and black denim jeans lately because of it, so if you do decide to try dying please do a post on it! I’d love some pointers and tips, since I’ve always been freaked out to try it as well.

    Love your outfit too, Kelly–I will always be a sucker for a good bow, and yours is *so* good. ♥

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