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Feb 26, 2010

DAY 4: Peter's NEW LOOK revealed!

Ta da!

Peter now has a look he can call his own!

First, a reminder of how it all began.  Peter wrote this post only last week and it caused quite a stir in the blogosphere.  Obviously this was a cry for help, and as a fashion professional and family member -- his identical cousin, no less -- I immediately intervened.

But back to Peter's new look:

Peter is a "summer" and looks best in colors that have gray undertones.  Black is a little harsh on him unless paired with softer grays or pinks.

Remarkably, most of what comprises Peter's new look he owned already.  Here's what I dug out of his wardrobe once we'd decided on a palette:

Crimson knit short sleeve shirt
Dark gray waffle weave long-sleeve tee
Jeans (sewn by Peter)
Gray vintage leather jacket
Black leather jacket
Blue gingham short sleeve shirt (sewn by Peter) 
Off-white Indian print scarf
Pink Indian print scarf
Plaid gray, blue and rust wool scarf
Gray zipper cardigan
Flowered warp print suit (sewn by Peter)
Medium gray linen H&M suit 
Crimson tank top
White linen pants
White Converse High tops
Pendleton wool Vans
Black wing tip shoes
Black leather belt
Rope sandals (
Crimson wool beret
Rayon scarf (from leftover wrap dress fabric)
Sheet shirt (sewn by Peter)
Black Nike swimsuit
Blue square cut swimsuit

Here's what we added (all from the Salvation Army unless otherwise noted).  With the exception of the sunglasses, nothing cost more than $6.99:

Gray nylon polyfill vest
Black and gray striped merino wool cardigan
Gray, red, and white Argyle plaid vest
Pale gray ski cap with red and black stripe
Liver-red wool pullover sweater
Black felt fedora
Gray fedora
Denim-blue heavy wool shirt
Geek glasses (from Reminiscence)
Oversize Gertie glasses (from Reminiscence)
Gunmetal gray sunglasses (from Rite Aid Pharmacy!)
That's it.

We found the gray fedora after we already had the black one and we both prefer the gray: it's softer.

We had a lot of back and forth over eyeglasses.   Good quality vintage style frames are expensive ($200+).  The frames you'll see in his photo shoot are essentially props.  Since he doesn't wear glasses, Peter is reluctant to wear frames with clear glass; that's his choice.  The sunglasses are real and will be worn, however.  

People with a look accessorize carefully.  Scarves, hats, shoes and eyecatching patterns make an otherwise ordinary outfit look unique.  Fit, especially for a short person, is critical.  We went for some interesting shapes and patterns that wouldn't overpower him.

Consider the photos in the album below like a fashion show: some outfits are more dramatic and merely show what is possible.  We tried to stay away from the overly costume-y, but that's very much in the eye of the beholder.

I invite you to view our entire photoshoot here.

I think you'll agree that most of Peter's new look is entirely wearable.  We included some summer outfits, including swimsuits -- de riguer for any spring fashion show.

Peter's lifestyle is casual, hence there are no formal clothes in this album, though it does include two suits, one of which Peter made himself.  (A white shirt and tie could dress up either one.)  He walks a lot so there is no style-over-comfort footwear.

I'd define Peter's look as urban preppy with a twist of nerd, a splash of jock, and a peacock chaser.

One of the best aspects of the look concept is that it gives Peter direction for new sewing projects: he's not just picking colors willy-nilly.  Most of us work better when we have some structure to steer our creativity.  Otherwise we're often overwhelmed by limitless possibilities.

So, which outfit is your favorite?  Any combination we've missed that you'd like to see?

I'd love to hear your feedback!

In closing, I'd like to thank my cousin Peter for the opportunity to re-make his wardrobe, re-style him, and imho give him a look worthy of the creator of Male Pattern Boldness.  I know this is going to open doors for me professionally, too!

Tootles, all, and don't forget to get your Cousin Cathy's Makeover Challenge entries in by midnight tonight.  Peter will be back tomorrow. 

Love ya!



  1. Love the new you- very cool. Great job Cathy.

  2. Love the Argyle sweater and the fedora! Great coloring!

  3. Cathy outdid herself, I must say! Very kewl indeed. Some great new looks and totally agree about the fedora.

  4. Cathy, I have to confess that I had my doubts at first. But you did a truly great job. He could pass for a fabulous German film director easily :-). I think I like the grey linen jacket, pink scarf and flowery pants best of all, even though I prefer the Miyake glasses to the geek ones. But really, there isn't anything there that a boy would not be proud to be seen in. I bet his underwear even matches :-).
    Can't wait to see what you make of other people, can't wait to see what Peter sews next, can't wait to go home and take a critical look at my own closet. Thanks for the inspiration!! You totally rock.

  5. Peter, you look great! I especially like the "German film director" look. I have taken my photos for my makeover entry. Just have to send the email.

  6. You look fantastic. You did before too, but this is just a refreshing version of the original.

  7. Wow . . . fabulous, a job well done! Peter's got a great body for fashionable clothing and the right attitude to wear them!

  8. Now I remember why Cathy is my hero (despite the legs). Very nice editing and a very pleasant result (I had my doubts too, Cathy, but Peter has done very well).

    PS I missed Peter's suit, which is totally fab, so now I have to go back and find out about that. So thanks, just what I needed, more time-wasting fodder for work. I mean, research.

  9. Amazing new look! Can Cathy come to my closet?

  10. Amazing work - I see a new career as an Image Consultant in Cathy's future.

  11. Love the new look! Wicked Stylish! LOVE LOVE LOVE

  12. Peter, you look wonderful! I love the floral suit and the way it works with so many other pieces.

    I hope you're planning to treat Cathy to a day at the spa after all her hard work.

  13. Great new look! I especially like the pops of color in the palette, like the crimson knit shirt. Well done!

  14. Brava, Cathy! Peter looks fantastic.

  15. Wow! I admit I had some mild doubt, not that Cathy couldn't pare your wardrobe down, but a cohesive look achieved in a mere week the woman is a genius. I honestly am having a hard time choosing a favorite.

    I am especially fond of a few pieces; the floral suit is wonderful, all of the shoes are great but those pendelton vans are killing me with their coolness, oh and a polka dot scarf just makes the world a better place. Well done you two.

  16. If I've read the blog correctly, it seemed there were 2 goals in Peter's makeover journey: to discover his "look", which these pictures show was a rousing success, and to deal with the fact that he had too many clothes. So, being logical to a fault, I have to ask: how did you do with the second goal? Did Cousin Cathy take all of the clothing that doesn't fit Peter's new look (minus the underpants, which should be burned) and return them to the Goodwill from whence they came?

  17. AHHHHHH! Peter I love it! You've got the look and I agree, I think that now you'll be steered in a more clear direction of what you want to sew. It's so fabulous! I'm definitely going to try this look thing on for size! My favorite is that crazy suit with the red beret! I LOVE it. I would go madd for it! You are so inspiring!

  18. Hi Peter,

    Today's the day and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get very far with my wardrobe. I thought you'd like to know what you have inspired though...

    I started looking at my wardrobe and recognizing the things about it that make me unhappy. Then I started looking around my house and realized that the house makes me more unhappy than my clothes, that led to a conversation with my husband who is just as unhappy with our house as I am. Long story short, we're moving! Next week we will begin getting our house ready to put on the market and looking for a new home... not a house, a HOME! Someplace that fits our personalities and lifestyle, someplace that makes us smile when we walk through the front door and hopefully does the same for our guests.
    So, while I didn't succeed at the makeover challenge I did succeed in starting a make over of our lives... and while I'm packing I'll be sure to throw out all those clothes that aren't working for me either!

  19. Peter, you should model! I have thoroughly enjoyed Cathy's makeover and hope to use some of her tips in my closet.

  20. Oh, well done, Cousin Cathy! Peter - you look completely fabulous!!!

  21. You look ma-a-a-ahvelous! Cathy is a genius. Great colors, great clothes. If only she could come straighten me out.

  22. Cathy had mentioned skincare, but did not blog about it. Where there any changes there?
    And as for accesories, no jewelry? Impressive pare down.
    I beg to differ that the sheet shirt falls outside the palette. The purples are in the grey blue family.

  23. Lynne W RatherBeSewingFebruary 26, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    I am in awe. You already know how I feel about argyle and the Vans...but the entire collection is simply beyond words. (I am a writer so this should indicate how dumbstruck moi is...)

    And in a week, no less.

    As my sweet dad always said, anyone can look stunning, or decorate a fabulous space, with all the money in the world. The trick is to be able to do it well on a budget.

    Are you sure we wern't separated at birth?

  24. *claps* Very nice, Peter! Lookin' good! Now, I must go cut out my brother's birthday present for next week-- Cowboy pajama pants for summer. The flannel train bottoms were a big hit for Christmas, so I'm hoping for a similar reaction for his birthday! (He's 27 next week and has a wife and kid. It amuses me to dress him in little-boy-prints)

  25. I'm really digging the new look, and the fact that it was put together on a realistic budget makes it even more impressive. Well done!

  26. Great look. I love the fedora and the splash of crimson.

  27. Peter: You are awesome hawt man! Excellent styling from that cousin of yours - and no fortune spent in getting there. You wear it all very well.

  28. Thanks for all your great comments, everyone!

  29. Cathy, you are truly amazing. You have helped the man create a look that is up to date in the best way, very personalized and tasteful without looking fashion victim-y. The palette method is the way to go, we can all learn from that. Love the colors btw, I think Peter stole my colors, lol.

    I was worried about our man shopping at the thrift store and possibly bringing home more treasures that would become new closet orphans, but you did a great job guiding him to just the right finds there. I love how the textures and colors work together. And isn't it amazing how our forgotten and perfect things in the closet can spring to life when we only look? We are always richer than we think.

    I have been inspired too by this event to examine my own wardrobe and consider a "look". Thanks for showing us how you work, Cathy!

    One question though, where does one go swimming where a leather jacket is a beach cover up?

  30. Sorry I'm so late to the party... I love your new look. The color palate is great for you!

  31. LOVING the new look! Bravo to Cathy on a job very well done!! :)


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