Jeans bleaching tutorial (with fit questions at end)

Things required:

  • A bottle of bleach (the normal sized bottle that's $1.50 to $3 - I think it's less than a gallon but more than a half gallon). It makes a difference if it's fresh - it's worth it to buy a new bottle.
  • A top loading washer
  • An article of clothing to bleach. (Jeans)
  • A wooden, metal or plastic spoon (something to push jeans down into the water)

The process:
  1. Get the jeans thoroughly wet. Dripping is good - don't bother wringing them out.
  2. Set the washing machine to fill a "small" load (but big enough to cover your jeans) with hot water.
  3. As it's filling with water, dump in the bottle of bleach. The whole thing.
  4. When it starts to agitate, open it up and add the wet jeans.  (It should be well mixed).  I leave the washer open to prevent it from finishing the load.  I just want them to soak a while.
  5. Agitate just a bit to get jeans under water, and use spoon to poke jeans down. You want them completely covered with the bleach water.
  6. Wait 30-60 minutes, and check them - agitate them a bit, poke them down again. Repeat until they're about the lightness that you want.  (My white jeans were 8+ hours in old bleach, my pale blue ones were about 3 hours in fresh bleach).  
  7. When they're light enough, the jeans will be yellower than you want. The yellow color will fade as they dry, and with subsequent washes.
  8. When they are about as light as you want, let the washer finish the load. Then wash it again through the full cycle twice, with no soap (this gives them a good rinse a few times). Finally, wash them with your normal detergent.
  9. Online tutorials say not to dry the jeans after bleaching them (but to air dry them the first time). I dried my light blue pair in the sunlight, and my white pair in the dryer. Both worked, and once they were dry, they weren't quite as yellow. The yellow faded even more after a wash or two also.
#1 The blue ones after bleaching (and after leg alterations, fit questions below), and WIW today.
#2 The white jeans after bleaching
#3 Both jeans were this color before (I had three nearly identical pair, so I bleached two of them)

A fit question for you:  After bleaching these light blue ones, I narrowed the legs so that they fit closer in the hips, thighs and knees. Did I get it close, or do they still look too big?  I can rather easily take them in more, I think - but I want them to be a bit slouchy, not tight.  Just not so loose that I'm swimming in them or that they're adding weight....

#4 is the light blue jeans fit after bleaching, before leg alteration, for reference.  Obviously the light is rather different in #4 and #1.

#5-#7 are closer pics of the light blue jeans, post leg alterations, for you to judge fit better.


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WIW: Spring neutrals (with a nibble of style fantasy)

Neutrals for the past couple of days.  It's been warm, but I'm still chilly. So I'm dressing more wintry than the weather would imply.

Monday I wore jeans and a stripey sweatshirt.  I felt great in this - I realize the pic isn't fabulous, but I felt lean and strong in it.

Today I tried out black and white and light blue with black skinnies, a chambray top and the white jacket that Kate (Ceit) sent me a couple of years ago.  I liked it too.

I don't think either of these pictures are great, but they're the ones I got. 

Do they work?  What should change?  (Besides the shoes, which were purely functional... :)  )

In my style fantasy, super-comfortable and healthy shoes would also be attractive and cheap.  Ha :)

In reality my fantasy style is a lot like my real style.  My fantasy life is small-scale farming, and covered with dirt as I plant a garden this spring. My fantasy style is being perfectly dressed for whatever occasion I'm at - and these outfits are pretty close to what the activities of the days called for.


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WIW: spring flowers and boxy business

Yesterday I attended a women's luncheon with my sister in law.  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to break out my new-to-me floral cropped pants.  They're ankle pants, but I liked the length better a bit shorter, so I rolled them.  Paired them with pink for extra girliness, and I admit, I liked it.  Ran out of time straightening my hair, so it's only mostly straightened, and no make up.  Oh well.  

Today I tested out a "business casual" outfit (I'm visiting a customer on site to do some consulting on Friday, and want to look like I know what I'm doing, but won't be required to wear company attire if I don't want to). This was okay, but not wow-worthy in my book - the top is a little too boxy, and the overall look too dark, or something (I'm not completely sure).  

I'll be playing with the idea of finding a good few "business casual" outfits this week for this type of visit.   (I know I'll need closed toe shoes, and I'm not sure whether cropped pants will be okay safety wise, but they'll probably be fine, since I won't be in the shop portion of the building while they're actually cutting steel, I don't think).

Anyway, these are what I wore.  Have any suggestions for improvement?


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WIW RATE white and others

I have a spotted history with white jeans (literally).  After ruining something like four pair in the past few years, this is my current pair. They have a stain that I can't get out.  I didn't see it on these jeans when they were blue, but when I bleached them, a couple small spots turned gray, rather than white.

I almost tossed (or cropped) them, but then realized that as ill-fated as white jeans are in my household it was only a short while before they'd be stained anyway, and I could just pretend that I didn't notice.  Yes, I'm that RATE.

So I wore them.  And I liked it.  And I didn't notice the stain (it's about two inches above the hem), and I don't think anyone else did either.  (It really is fairly faded, but the rest of the jeans are a pretty bright white, and the spot is, well, pale gray).

I think I'll wear them again, just to revel in the RATE ness of my life.

Bonus, a couple of other mediocre outfits from this week that I haven't posted yet :)

All feedback, especially suggestions, welcome!


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WIW: Belted Tunic

Tunic attempt #3 today, and I think I figured it out - I don't like leggings on me.  I'm perfectly happy with this outfit as a tunic over skinny jeans (they're slouchy skinnies at the moment, but still slim).  But with leggings it was.... not quite right.

What do you think - does the jeans make the difference?  Do the rest of the proportions and fit in this outfit work?


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WIW: bright and cheery

The cloudy rainy days are past (for the moment), and today is bright and sunny, though chilly (in the 40s F).  My outfit matches the weather with bright colors that make me happy in warm-ish fabrications.  This mesh sweater really isn't warm, but a thermal undershirt and a second navy tank top (to bring the better for me color near my face) are making up for it, and keeping me comfortable.

I had a hard time figuring out what shoes to go with this (story of my life recently), but didn't want to be outdoors for longer than one set of pictures, so I opted for these almost-nude-to-me loafers.  Do they work?

I know this sour yellow-green, though a happy, springlike color, is generally bad on me - does the navy mitigate the "she looks sick" bit?

 Also, the camera is below hip height this morning.  Eventually I'll find a spot where both the lighting and camera angle can work :)  Maybe if I set the camera on a chair.....


WIW: for more rain

It was too cold for this today - but I didn't know it when I got dressed, and didn't have time to change.  So this is an attempt at an inside photo.  The outfit would had worked well if I wasn't freezing, I think :)  I ended up changing into boyfriend jeans, and unrolling them to cover my ankles, and then cozying up in my coat most of the day, ha.

Perhaps I'll try this combination again when it's not so chilly - do you have suggestions for improvement?  


WIW: in the rain

It's raining today (which we desperately need), and is also warm (which means that we should be able to pick mushrooms today or tomorrow!)
To cap it off, it's my husband's birthday today, and my daughter's tomorrow - a special weekend for us!

I'm wearing the outfit that it was too chilly to wear earlier this week - today it's just right, and it's working for me.

What do you think? suggestions for improvement? (I originally planned to wear the espadrilles, but ended up liking the cream sneakers better)


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WIW: tunic, try 2

Second attempt at same silhouette as earlier today :)  Does it work with this tunic?  The tunic from before will get cut into a skirt, and if that doesn't work, purged.  

A denim vest would be a fun addition, per today's blog post, but since I don't have one, a jacket is standing in :)

Thanks for your help!  


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WIW big flowers tunic (K/T?)

End of the first week of planning my outfits ahead of time.  I think I like it - it left energy in the morning to take pics outside and even comb my hair (most days...), because I didn't have to think about what to wear!

Today I wanted to wear a tunic over leggings - a silhouette that's been interesting to me for a long time, but I never feel like I can pull it off.  I want to keep trying though, and get it.  So here's the current attempt.

The tunic is a large scale floral - blue and gray, and the leggings are gray.  I tried out four shoes, and I think the birks work better than the others - am I right?

Also, is this tunic something worth keeping?  I like the pattern and the fabric, but am not sure the fit is right and am not really sure at all how to make it work.


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