Although, I’ve loved and admired Megan Crosby’s work for a while now; it was my hunt for a leopard print midi skirt that led me to finally commission work from her. I’ve loved the slinky midi skirts that I’ve seen rocked in a variety of different patterns for a while now; they can easily be dressed up for a night out (which, we’ll pretend that is something I do) or smartened up for the office or dressed casual for everyday wear.
Since it’s coming up to Halloween and my love of all things Buffy the Vampire Slayer is starting to rise to the surface, I of course was captured by the idea of a leopard print skirt. However, when I looked for secondhand leopard print skirts, I was mostly met with Réalisation Par copies or skirts that were not quite right!
When browsing Megan Crosby’s website one day, I remembered how much I loved the shape and style of her ‘Gracie skirt‘ but was not sure the Zebra print was personally for me (though if it is for you go get it as it’s currently on sale!). Having seen Megan mention custom orders before I decided to give it a go and message to see if it would be possible to commission that skirt in a leopard print fabric.
Now before I go into the commissioning process (and how great and personalised it was) I just want to briefly discuss how getting something custom made is something I’ve avoided for a while and the reasons behind that. There is something about getting something custom made that makes you feel special and unique, and if you don’t feel that special or unique, or specifically feel that your body doesn’t deserve that (due to body image issues); then personally for me, at least, it became something I wanted to do but didn’t feel like I deserved. I can’t magically make you not feel like that if you do feel that way too but all I can say is you deserve it, go rock it. And if I can do it, I hope it can help inspire you to do it too!
Also, for reference in the end I did get a custom size as although the hip measurement for one of the sizes on Megan’s size guide looked about right for me, the waist for that size would have been too big so I asked for it a bit smaller! If you’re nervous about ordering something completely tailored to you making small changes to a pre-existing guide can really help! Megan’s size guide goes up to a size UK 16-18 but I assume other sizes can be accommodated because the guide mentions that if you need custom sizing to leave a note with your order – and specifically highlights that smaller and larger sizes can be made! For a small independent designer this is a larger size range than I’ve usually seen, which I love, and I hope it grows as I’m sure Megan’s business will do in the future!
The commissioning process
The way I contacted Megan was by email (I think through the contact form on her website), originally with just the bare bones of my idea, which was the Gracie skirt but in a leopard print fabric. From there, Megan seamlessly guided me through the process and asked for some photographs of what I was after to get a better idea of what fabric to look for (a light coloured leopard fabric was a bit vague!) and then sent me some samples over to choose from. Despite, having a crisis because they were both pretty, I went with my gut reaction and the one I was immediately drawn to.
One part that really stood out to me was how Megan was so helpful with describing the benefits and disadvantages sustainability wise of different fabrics. We settled on a satin fabric for the skirt in the end for a number of reasons. As although, the fabric composition was not ideal in terms of that it is made up of 97% polyester (and 3% elastane) so not biodegradable; Megan pointed out that sustainable satins are very hard to find at this stage in the industry, especially in the print I wanted – they’d also bring up the price of my order (which, I’ll get into in a bit). An alternative would be silk because it’s biodegradable but again the price is high and personally silk is something I avoid unless from off cuts from other fashion houses, etc. because of the ethical/ moral issues surrounding it.
Megan also pointed out though that although polyester was being used due to her methods of production it was still a more sustainable option that the high street, as there will be next to no fabric waste (she reuses and recycles all of her scraps), there will be minimal energy used as it will only take her a few hours to sew the skirt and that I will be supporting a small business where everything is as green and sustainable as possible!
In the end, I decided that this was the method I wanted to go down because I plan to get a lot of wear out of this skirt and this is the first item that I’ve bought new in a few months! Also, as I mentioned I did my method of searching secondhand first for something I wanted (an easy way to be a bit more sustainable) before turning to new! Megan’s transparency also really sealed the deal for me because I knew I would be supporting a business that would continue to be as green and sustainable as possible as they grew – which is further cemented by the sustainability pledge on her website (she pledges for 70% of all fabrics used to be sustainably sourced, and all cotton used is now organic cotton).
After discussing what I wanted all that was left was to pay – for reference the skirt was £45 + postage, which is a similar price to what you’d find on the high street so for something custom made that’s amazing!
Also, just to be doubly clear items from Megan are custom made so there will be a wait time while she actually makes your item, but when commissioning Megan was clear with me what the current wait time was with production!
The end product is absolutely gorgeous and I definitely can see myself getting so much wear out of it. In the photographs I’ve styled it with a black broderie top and brown converse both secondhand from Depop but I also think it would look great paired with white. For an office look I’d probably pair this with loafers and a night out some black platform shoes in the Spice Girl kind of style.
I also think this would look great as a dress with thin spaghetti straps – can you tell that this fabric really makes me think of the 90s?!
In the above look I’ve styled the skirt with a black sleeveness turtleneck (this is an old top of mine), a black denim jacket I stole from my mother and my brown converse secondhand from Depop again.
I’ve always loved supporting small, independent designers and this time was no exception and I will definitely be a repeat customer in the future.
All I’ve got left to say is go check out Megan Crosby’s website and let me know if you’ve ordered something or ordered something in the past! Also, who else thinks that Megan should bring out a midi version of the ‘Daisy dress’ in white? I think it would look amazing with some white chunky trainers!
If you’re after the leopard print skirt I commissioned, I actually noticed it’s now available to order on Megan’s website – if you get it, let me know, I’d love to see different ways of styling it!
April (April is the Cruellest Month)