Hello everyone! Thank you all for the wonderful Christmas wishes, and I sincerely wish you all a very happy New Year and a fresh and wonderful start to 2014!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’d like to accomplish for myself in terms of my wardrobe in 2014. I decided early on I definitely don’t want to set myself any strict goals, but I do have some ideas, so I thought you might be interested to hear a little bit about it!
For me, 2013 was all about getting into a groove with my sewing. While lots of knitting distracted me from sewing another in the last quarter of the year, I feel good about what I sewed in 2013. To some extent, when I sewed, I sewed to fill in some gaps that I felt I had. Needed a tweed skirt—made one. Needed a few patterned blouses—made those, too. I focused on learning more techniques, pushing my comfort zone sometimes, and working out kinks for repeatable patterns. And I feel really good about all that!
However, by the end of the year I felt myself getting a tiny bit bored with some elements of my style and a lot bored with some items in my wardrobe (not necessarily me-made, but sometimes me-made included), so a fresh start is just what I need in 2014.
This year, I’d like to start work on putting together a complete wardrobe. And I realize that’s probably a somewhat strange thing to say.
After all, if we sew for ourselves, or knit for ourselves, or buy clothing and accessories and shoes for ourselves (and we all do at least two or more of those things unless you’re walking around barefoot and nekkid). So presumably we’re trying to build a wardrobe, right?
But in reality, it’s so easy to have a full closet and feel like you have nothing to wear.
A full closet doesn’t mean you have an actual “wardrobe”.
Think about wardrobe orphans. Or items that only work in one specific combination. Or items that are missing one crucial element to form an outfit. For me, that’s a chronic issue. I may have a particular printed skirt I love, and I may have a dozen plain-colored tops, but in my head only one of those tops actually matches the skirt. And thus I only have one outfit out of it. And all the other tops never, ever get worn, except on rare occasion. Makes. me. crazy. And I am not a gal who’s afraid to repeat an outfit, but crimony, give me some options PLEASE!
I open up my closet all the time and look around and feel like I have nothing to wear. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration obviously, because I own and have made lots of things I love. But I’d like to start changing that feeling that my closet is more full of things I don’t wear or don’t like or can’t put in combination with enough other things.
And to change that, I have to assess what I wear and what I don’t wear, and what I’d like to wear but don’t have.
Look at the things I don’t wear, but I really like.
If I have things in my closet that I don’t wear but I’d really like to wear them more, why is that? What would it take to get me to wear them? Do I need to sew, knit or purchase something (or multiple somethings) to coordinate separates? Do I have no shoes that match? Does it need a camisole that I don’t have? Do I need to just get off my lazy butt and pin dress shields in so I’m not afraid I’ll sweat through it in one wearing and be forced to wash and iron it sooner than I’d like? What’s the deal?
Look at the things I don’t wear and don’t really like.
I know there’s things in my closet I don’t really like. If I don’t think I’ll wear them, get rid of them (sell or donate). If I just don’t wear them a lot because they are special occasion items, a few of those are allowed of course, but maybe they need to go in the basement with my seasonal clothing storage so they’re not taking up “everyday” space. There’s no use having a closet full of things I’m lukewarm over. I’ve long since gotten over the urge to buy every awesome decently priced vintage garment I’ve ever seen that fit me, but I still have many pieces that I’m just “meh” over lingering around, or things that don’t fit.
Look at the items I like and wear, but figure out ways to extend them in other combinations.
Like I mentioned earlier, some items only work in one particular combination—X skirt with Y blouse. What would it take to get more wear out of them? Maybe I need more Y blouses in the same style, but different colors (or prints). Do I never wear it in spring or fall because I have no cardigan to wear with it that works nicely? Knit one, or find a vintage one that fits the way I want it to. Or sew a bolero to coordinate.
Decide what I want but don’t have.
This ties into looking at what I have and deciding what I wear and what I don’t wear, but I need to figure out what shapes and styles I’m in the mood to wear. Also, figure out what accessorizing pieces I need to build multiple outfits from those pieces. Do I need a purse? A crinoline? A particular color of shoes, or style of blouse?
This whole part is perhaps the biggest and the most difficult objective to achieve, and is worthy of an entire post on its own in the future!
Where do I see this all going?
Soon I’ll start sharing more details about patterns and necklines and shapes and styles and knitting, after I bang out some ideas in my head a little longer. Because I know you want to hear about that the most—that’s the really FUN stuff, after all!
My goals? Pretty simple.
I want to open up my closet in spring, summer and fall (winter kind of gets its own exception), and be able to make a variety of coordinating outfits out of the things I find in it. I want to have all the underthings I actually need, in all seasons. I want to love my vintage, love my me-made, love my thrifted and repro and anything in-between that hops into the closet. I want to open my closet and smile!
It doesn’t matter a hill of beans if people tell you what you have is great, what you’ve made is great. If you don’t love it and wear it, and it’s not inspiring you, what’s the point?
2014 will be about starting to make my wardrobe work for me. How about you?