I liked boys ever since I could say the word.
While other sensible 5-year-olds spent their time curating Sally Frank sticker collections and embarking on game after stupid game of Candy Land, I quietly plotted in the distance.
I spent my waking hours strategizing how I might infiltrate the affections of every boy child I encountered. Any male with the slightest hint of cheekbone or dimple in their otherwise doughy, under-developed faces sent my heart aflutter. I’ll quote the ancient wisdom of Christopher Walken: I had a fever, and the only cure was more boy.
So what did I have at my disposal that would render a boy child utterly powerless with no choice but to fall in love with me? Laser-like focus and the childhood nectar of “Squeeze-Its,” of course.
It seemed every boy carried a bottle of this Heinz-ketchup shaped wonder that came in an array of colors and had the strange facial imprint of a decrepit old man on the front of every container. These same boys would have their mouths gaping open every lunch hour, taking turns pouring different flavors of Squeeze-Its into the mouth of their peers. It seemed this swirling and mixing would send them into a strange state of cackling 5-year-old euphoria.
My plan was set - I would concoct a love potion (insert maniacal laughter reminiscent of Ursula from The Little Mermaid variety) and the kindergarten class would be mine!
Cherry Squeeze-It, Sunkist soda, Nesquik chocolate syrup and a hint of Seven-Up: all swished around in my Snoopy-themed thermos. Any boy who dared drink this concoction would fall in love, or at the very least get so queasy in their bellies that they would mistake the strange feeling for love. Either way, I’d take it.
I offered my first love potion to Andrew D., a handsome Italian boy who looked least like Mr. Potato Head and initially mistook me for a boy when we first met.
“WEIRD... smacks lips… I love it.”
With those very words I secured my place in the social ecosystem of 10:45 AM kinder-lunch.
I was a bartender at the tender age of 5. I went by instinct and intuition alone, swishing and twirling condiments and soda and whatever else felt right in my Snoopy thermos, divvying it up to the troves of boys who were now lining up for this renowned love potion.
Unfortunately for me, no materialized boyfriends came from my critically acclaimed love potions, and there may even have been one documented stomach ulcer that shut down my entire operation. In spite of this, I found absolute delight in mixing and putting things together that just should not go. “Weird… I love it” became my new mantra, and it naturally infiltrated my style sensibilities as well for years to come.
And in the spirit of blending and mixing things that should not go, I would like to introduce you to some clothing hacks that are initially weird, but once you hear them, you will smack your lips and inevitably proclaim your love. With a little shimmy and shifting we will transform some boring staples (pictured above) into some love-potion-caliber concoctions.
Palazzo Pant Dress
Ah, the beloved palazzo. With its luxurious stretch and generous wide leg offerings, it will always have a place in my closet. While the pant itself is full of flounce and has enough leg room to wrap around a baby tree trunk, it doesn’t always conjure the strongest feelings of sex appeal. If you have a few palazzo pants in your arsenal and are looking for an inventive and sexier way to wear them, I have just the style hack.
- Put both your legs into one pant leg of the palazzo
- Pull the waistband of the pant up until it sits just below your collarbone
- Take the remaining empty pant leg and pull it towards your body until it is positioned in the middle of your torso
- Gather the material of the empty pant leg and pull it over your head
- Adjust the seam accordingly so that it sits in the middle of your body
Instantly this palazzo pant is turned into a makeshift cowl necked bodycon dress. Layer it with a jean jacket or parade it around town with just a nude pair of booties… either way, you scrappy woman, you have just won yourself a new dress.
Dress Shirt Skirt
I covet all my husband’s dress shirts. If he weren’t such a keen observer of his closet’s inventory, I am certain his dress shirts would have made a permanent home on my side of the closet by now. While I love all the vertical lines and colors that his shirts offer, I look like a billowy lumberjack if I were to wear them as is since he is about two sizes larger than me. Fortunately for me, his dress shirts are the perfect size to create a gorgeous makeshift skirt.
- Go up in size (if you are a women’s medium, you will need a men’s large)
- Start by buttoning 3 quarters of the buttons of the dress shirt
- With the shirt now buttoned, put both your legs into the dress shirt and position the collar of the shirt so that it sits right at your waist
- Fold the collar inward from the back so that it no longer shows
- Pull the sleeves of the shirt up so that they are now parallel with your waist
- Pinch the armpits of each sleeve so that it is taut
- Tie a tight knot in the center
The dress shirt skirt is the perfect blend of casual femininity. With its beautiful colors and make shift belt, no one will ever suspect that this is a repurposed steal from your partner’s closet. Pair this easy skirt with a tucked v-neck tee and you are off to take over the world.
Criss Cross Tank
Perhaps you are like me and have a storage bin filled with camisoles for every color of the rainbow. Camisoles are vital layering tools for sheer and sheer-ish tops as they protect us from ever looking like a neighborhood hussy. With that said, camisoles have always felt like a practical piece that was devoid of any stylish leanings. That is until now. This hack is so easy, you can complete it before I finish this sentence. Ready?
- Wear a camisole, and secure the left strap alongside of your neck on the right
- Take the remaining right strap and secure it on the side of your neck to the left
Instantly you have an adorable criss cross halter top that you can wear with a pair of jeans and a slicked back pony, and it looks instantly chic. No one looking at you would be able to tell that this top was fashioned from the humble and practical camisole.
“Weird… I Love It!”
Despite what they say, becoming a bartender at age 5 does have its benefits. Aside from my 15 minutes of Squeeze-It fame, my creatively unrestrained brain stumbled upon a new philosophy of style: the “Weird… I Love It” look. If you are searching for ways to re-purpose your existing wardrobe into new pieces without actually going shopping or simply want something that looks a bit different, give one of these style hacks a try – you may just love it!
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