Borrowed from the boys – Zara navy wool blazer + Manolo bows

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Zara boys jacket sz 11-12 (altered), thrifted skirt, DIY pocket square from Nick
Manolo Blahnik pumps (similar), Talbots navy tights (similar), H&M; scarf + gloves

When shopping, I tend to poke around in the girls department, but rarely if ever venture into the boys. Little girls’ stuff is already iffy-proportioned for grown women, so I imagine boys clothing to be even further “off.” Not to mention the effort of having to fabricate a “nephew” or “brother” that you’re shopping for when clingy sales associates keep asking questions. However, after Kelly’s post on shopping for boys blazers and her success with getting one tailored beautifully (see before and after), my eyes were opened up to this world of little jackets with slightly longer lengths and chest slots for fun pocket squares.

Coach court bag (current year’s version) and vintage earrings (similar on eBay)
navy wool blazer

It would only make sense that I was with the boys blazermaster herself when I came across this heavier one (marketed as a jacket) in Zara’s boys department. It had endured rounds upon rounds of markdowns, and was 75% off at $20. I was skeptical about the wool blend quality but Kelly wasted no time in grabbing a firm fistful of the material. She released it after a few moments, and commented on how the negligible creasing left behind indicated that it was fair quality for wool.

I tried on size 11-12 and really liked the warmth, the classic true navy color, the fit of the shoulders, and the casual longer length (perfect for wearing with skinny bottoms or mini skirts). However, the torso and sleeves needed to be re-shaped for a woman’s figure. Work has had me so pressed for free time that I didn’t want to add to the now daunting alterations pile (and had little faith in my DIY skills) …but eventually gave in to the encouragement of my trusty shopping companions (had the pleasure of Wendy visiting too!).

After further evaluation in front of my mirror at home, I decided to:
1) Slim sleeves slightly (couldn’t slim too much because I wasn’t changing the armholes)
2) Shorten sleeves slightly
3) Take-in along the back seams to add shape to the torso

I followed the steps in this old tutorial for alterations 1 & 2, and did the following for 3:
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Using fabric chalk, I marked where I would like the torso of this blazer to taper in the most (around my lower waist). I then opened up the lining of the blazer and transferred my markings to the inside of the wool material.
navy wool blazer6 I drew out the new seams with chalk, keeping them smoothly curved and nipping in the most where I had marked the lower waistline. I made sure not to nip in too much to keep consistent with the “casual” style, but just enough so that it’d be evident there’s a female under the garment. Please note; the photo below shows markings on the exterior of the jacket for demonstrative purposes only – the chalk markings and stitches are taking place on the inside of the jacket, behind the lining:
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End result – boxy cut replaced by gentle curvature: 

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And to balance out the boyishness of this jacket, I added a dose of big bows for good measure.

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Readers – Have you ever shopped in the boys or mens department? I’d love to hear about your finds and experiences!

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