I tend to have a hard time finding warm winter clothes because my skin is really sensitive to animal fibers. So wool? Nope, not even merino. Angora? No way. Worn over another shirt? Strike three. Even most blends are too itchy for my weak-sauce constitution. But my go-to option, cotton, doesn't really always cut it for the weather. So I was totally thrilled when I realized a few years ago that I can now tolerate cashmere, if I layer it. In a giddy moment, dazed by a massive sale and dreams of not feeling like frostbite is about to set in, I bought this blue sweater:
It's quite large and boxy, and has a really weird giant turtleneck thing that is much longer than a normal human neck but too bulky with the zipper to fold over in any attractive fashion. But still - warm! Sort of soft! Last night, after years of wearing this thing, something finally snapped, and I went to work. The result:
I took off the neck piece and zipper, and took the sleeves and body in a good two inches. What's fun is that this took an hour, tops, involved relatively minor alterations, but now fits and looks so, so, so much better! When I finished, I was reminded of a great thing Tom Ford said in his interview with Terry Gross about "A Single Man" (which, if you haven't seen it, is awesome). He was talking about how people on TV always look good in their clothes, and explained that it's not that they have perfect bodies - it's that every single thing they wear is altered and tailored to them. Even t-shirts. For some reason that's really stuck with me.