Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Do you find wardrobe planning overwhelming?

so many options!

With all the talk over the net about wardrobe planning, I think it might be a bit intimidating for some home sewists.
Maybe you aspire to have a comprehensive, workable wardrobe, but figuring everything out, such as silhouettes, colors, function before you even get started on the first piece of the season feels like too much work.
Maybe you don't think you really want to commit to a pre-established plan, even if it is designed by you! (that's how I feel).
I have a pretty good idea of where I'm going with my Spring wardrobe, but I know there's a very good chance I'll change my mind several times along the way.
I'm pretty sure what colors I'll be using. After all, I've already selected my fabrics, but when I tried creating a color palette to share on this blog, I found it very uninspiring, like part of the magic was being sucked out into those blocks of color.

If you don't know where to start with your wardrobe capsule, I suggest beginning with just one piece and then growing it from there.

Here's an idea (consider it a game, no math here...) :

Try answering these 3 questions :

1- What is your favorite color to wear? If you don't know, maybe go with your eye color, I know for me, green always works, or your favorite lipstick color, or pick your favorite neutral if it makes you feel comfortable.

2- What is your favorite period in fashion? This is for inspiration and to help set a mood. It doesn't mean you have to sew from a vintage pattern, unless you like to. It might help to google the period you chose and see a variety of style options.

3-What category of clothes do you wear most in this given season and feel that you could use more of? Or, is there a gap in your wardrobe that desperately needs to be filled?  Choose an item (skirt, pants, blouse, dress, outerwear....) you feel is within your sewing ability.

Combine these 3 elements and envision the resulting garment. You know this garment will naturally suit your personality and lifestyle, and you're likely to wear it because it is something you need. Sew this one garment, and when you're done, you can build on that. I think it's a lot easier to build a wardrobe one piece at a time than to envision a complete virtual wardrobe from virtual fabrics, colors and shapes which will probably take you several months to sew!

My starting point this season was a jacket, because I knew that I could easily build around it and that it was something I needed. My period was the 70s, because I love the easy going chic vibe of the time. The color was bronze, a near neutral that veers toward green which could be paired with any and all of my favorite colors.

My Spring wardrobe is growing organically from that original piece.

How would you answer these three questions?

More on wardrobe planning: Sewing & the minimalist wardrobe , Sewing a wardrobe you love


  1. What a great post! It's something that I've never really given much thought to, but now feel like I really should. I normally go with whatever is taking my fancy at the time, usually more dresses, but this has left me with a closet full of things that don't always get worn. A jacket or blazer is definitely something that I'd like to attempt someday soon, and thinking more about my personal style and what I actually need is what I should aim to do.
    Great blog by the way! Very inspiring. X

    1. Thank you Esme! I think sewing a jacket can be very rewarding because it can really tie your wardrobe together, especially if you sew a lot of dresses.

  2. Thank you for this post. Yes, I am overwhelmed by wardrobe planning. I sew. A lot and yet I find I have nothing to wear. I tend to sew for the pending event. I am participating in MMM14. I haven't posted anything because I have used the past to weeks to do a closet clean out. I am wearing everything I can and deciding to toss or keep at the end of the day. The toss pile has become bigger than my closet! I need everything. Trousers, skirts, dresses! I made two pair of black trouser. One skinny leg and the other flared. Boring, I know. But need to wear something during the day. But now I'm focused on knit dresses. That seems to give me the most pleasure. My fav colour to wear is leopard. I know it's not a solid. Okay, purple or red. My fav fashion period is the 70's. I was a teen during that time, but loved almost everything about the style of dress-the chic aspects. And that brings to the third item. DVF is enjoying a moment. But the wrap dress has always been a favourite silhouette of mine. With all of the lovely prints and new fabrications available today, I should have a wardrobe of things-especially dresses I like. So in a nutshell, I suppose you could say my style is sleek, edgy femme!

    1. How cool! I love the 70s too. I think your strategy for cleaning out your closet is terrific. Rather than doing it all in one day, you take your time and really evaluate each piece.
      The next step after you've made your leopard wrap dress, would be to see if you have everything you need to create an outfit with that dress. Do you have a jacket that works with it? If not, that could be the next piece you make. Then take that jacket and try to create more outfits. The idea is to take each single item you love and build a little capsule around it (accessories included), so you're sure you will wear it as much as it deserves. I think it's much easier to focus on small groups of clothing rather than trying to envision an entire wardrobe.

  3. DUH! Having a V8 moment. Why didn't I think of that. Just build on each piece as I sew them instead of trying to construct an entire wardrobe. Thanks for the advice. I will be visiting your blog very often.