Do you consider your collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories a wardrobe? Do you have a personal style when it comes to these items? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, I envy you. Even though I have plenty of clothing to see me through each season without having to do laundry every third day, and even though I have many items that I like or even love, I still find myself standing in front of my closet from time to time complaining of nothing to wear.
Of course the problem isn’t really that I have nothing to wear, but that I have nothing I want to wear. This is compounded by a nagging sense that, even on my best days, I never feel completely “put together.” My favorite outfits often still feel flat, and many days I cling to the idea that at least my clothes are clean and reasonably well-fitting if not especially stylish. On those days I’m all too happy to come home and immediately change into lounge wear or pajamas and forget about what I wore to work.
Truth is, I often don’t feel like I’m very good at “being a girl.” I don’t have a knack for putting together a cute or polished ensemble. I’ve never had a signature look, and I often find myself torn between wanting to look like an adult so that I’ll be treated like one (I was mistaken for a high school student twice on my 27th birthday) and wanting to have fun with my clothes even if my choices aren’t entirely mature. I had little interest in makeup as a teen, so I never really learned how to do it well or fast. I like wearing my hair long, but often find myself resorting to a ponytail because I’m bad at getting ready efficiently in the morning, then regretting that I didn’t take more time to take care with my appearance.
I’d like to change all of that.
When the Coletterie launched the Wardrobe Architect series last year, I followed along with a great deal of interest but didn’t engage with it in a practical way. I was afraid that the focus would be on removing undesirable items from one’s wardrobe, and that I wouldn’t have the skills or means to replace the things I would inevitably need to part with. Luckily, it reverses the order of most wardrobe-building exercises, focusing on what you like, need, and want and giving you the tools to make or purchase those things with confidence; editing is saved for last. And, since there’s been a deluge of indie sewing patterns released, a host of informative books published, and one amazing piece of knitting software programmed in the last year—plus I’ve gotten an absolutely fantastic serger to call my own—I think I’ve got everything I need to dig into the process of thoughtfully building a wardrobe.
For the next 14 weeks or so, I’ll be dedicating Wednesdays to going through the steps of the Wardrobe Architect series so that I can try to work out what, exactly, my style is and make plans to start shaping my closet to reflect that vision. (There is an expanded, year-long project going on now following up on the original Wardrobe Architect series, but for now I’m going to watch that without participating.) Along the way I’ll be supplementing that series with wisdom from Amy Herzog’s Knit to Flatter book and any other resources that seem helpful.
Unfortunately, this means I’ll be in the thick of things during Me-Made-May 2015, which I had hoped to participate in, but I’ll either make a small, manageable commitment based on what I already have (since panic-sewing is a no-no) or plan to skip this year and commit to participating the next time a challenge arises.
Tell me: if you’ve gone through the Wardrobe Architect series or another wardrobe planning exercise, how did it go? If you haven’t, would you consider it?