Custom clothing on a budget

Sandals: Steve Madden // Necklaces: Kate Spade //Gold Bangle: Kate Spade // Chain Bracelet: David Yurman // Sunglasses: Le Specs // Watch: Cluse

I’ve never really been into custom clothing – but not for the reason you might think.

While many associate custom with expensive (me being one of them), that wasn’t my reasoning for not getting behind it. Actually, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of customs outfits growing up! Throughout my childhood and preteen years, I was what you would call chubby and often had problems finding clothes that fit – especially cute clothes! So when my Bat Mitzvah rolled around, my mom hired a seamstress to design me a couple of dresses and skirt/top combos. Not sure if it was just a thing with me and my cousin, but we were super into the quips style dresses – ya know the form-fitting Mandarin dresses that have the buttons up the neck? I remember the seamstress made me a bright red one and a navy blue one. While was really excited to have something no one else had, I still equated it with not being able to have what everyone else my age had.

Because of that, I had this almost negative sort of association with custom clothes – up until recently when I discovered North & Hudson, a boutique in Block 37 in the Chicago Loop.

I first noticed North & Hudson when walking through the pedway to work (side note for non-Chicagoans: the pedway is an underground walkway you can use on your commute when it’s super cold or rainy. It connects to several train lines and there’s a variety of shops you can pop into like Macy’s and other boutiques. It’s a life saver in the brutal winter months) because they are open before and after work hours – genius. I saw they had lots of cute stuff and bought a bracelet my first time around. I made a mental note to come back every time I walked by and saw the cute stuff in the storefront.

Fast forward a few months back when the store approached me to take some photos for their social media channels and showcase their custom dresses. Beckie, the owner, showed me a variety of their designs and the back room where the magic happens aka designing and customizing the items to her shoppers liking. Together we chose a couple styles to showcase and I snapped up a few photos of some of the boutiques workers modeling the looks. In exchange for photos, I was gifted an item of my choosing which was pretty easy since I fell in love with one of the dresses I was shooting.

I was in love with the drop waist ruffle for twirling. I also love the material and how it can be easily dressed down for a casual afternoon/evening with sandals and a denim jacket or dressed up for a work meeting with a blazer and heels or even rehearsal dinner with statement jewelry and heels.

I tried on the sample on the rack, which fit almost perfectly, but I wanted it a smidge shorter for my little legs. I could’ve picked any color I wanted, but loved the navy sample so stuck with it. I picked up my custom dress a few days later and the fit was perfect! While I received my dress for the photos I took, it would’ve been less than $100!

I think it’s safe to say I’m now on board with the custom designs – I’ve already gotten tons of wear out of this dress for several occasions. And good to know that I can actually afford it when I want another style.

Again, this post was not sponsored; however, I did receive a gifted dress in exchange for capturing photography. I just really like this boutique!

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