Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gear Review: A Transformative Garment - The Versalette

What if I told you (women) that you could pack one piece of fabric (tube-shaped) that could replace 20 items in your luggage?  Oh, and what if I sweetened up the deal by saying that everything about it would be  sustainable? Pretty fantastical, huh? But that's what the Versalette does. Because of an ingenious design that depends on buttons and draw strings, my little charcoal toned fabric acts as a scarf (actually two types of scarves), hood, short skirt, long skirt, strapless dress, halter dress, tunic (several types), a poncho (more here, too), a shawl and even a little purse.

Check out the LookBook and then review this video which shows how it can easily convert from one garment to the next. You can see how others are wearing the Versalette on their tumblr page.

And this is how I wore the Versalette:

Anyone who's met me knows I've very skinny. But, the Versalette can flatter any woman, no matter her shape. In fact, when my Versalette arrived in the mail in a little biodegradable pouch, it came with visual instructions for different body shapes. (I'm considered the Pencil and, as you can see above, I wore it as a short skirt, halter dress with the drawstrings pulled, and a strapless dress with black leggings.) At first, I was worried that my body might float in this tube-shaped garment. But, if you accent it with a flattering belt, scarf, or jacket, even if you are a fellow Pencil, you'll find looks that work well for you. In addition, it's key to really cinch the drawstrings properly (as per the directions) and then tuck in the bow.  Because there are wooden buttons, you have to follow the directions as to when you need to open the button holes and use the arm openings, and when to keep them unbuttoned. The garment also comes with two open pockets, which is handy for keeping a notebook and pen when you're traveling.

It might take some people a bit of time to read and re-read the instructions, follow along with the video and try out the different looks before you're able to make quick transformations and before you feel comfortable with those looks that work best for your body shape.

As far as the sustainability goes, I'm so happy that the creators, Shannon Whitehead and Kristin Glenn, decided that everything should be Made in the U.S.A. The fabric is made in North Carolina of recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton scraps; the buttons are produced in Brooklyn, the drawstrings are dyed in Raleigh, North Carolina, and even the labels are embroidered in Austin, Texas.

Whenever I'm at the airport and I see people weighed down by their luggage, it makes me sad. There just is no need to carry so many articles of clothing. In fact, I'd bet that you didn't really wear all those clothes you brought on your last trip. Now, with the Versalette, you have no reason to pack several shirts, several skirts, several scarves. Just pack one (or two) of these. (They come in different colors, including sage, cherry and indigo, depending on what's in stock. (It costs $80.)