It's Monday! Which means I'll be collecting your "homework" today.
Some of you had no trouble narrowing down your favorite wardrobe pieces - they're all you usually wear anyway, so it was a no-brainer! Some of you had a much harder time paring down. My guesses are - you have a rocking wardrobe, and wear a LOT of it (albeit, not very often).
NO MATTER! You can have 3 pieces, you can have 5, but the fewer you have in front of you now, the easier this next step will be. So - if you haven't grabbed your favorite pieces, do that now. I just brewed a fresh cup of tea. I can wait!
Ready?? Great! Let's dive right in then. It's time for our wardobe analysis.
Now, I'm a visual person, so I strongly suggest grabbing a notebook and pen, too. Or you can save the Earth one sheet of paper at a time and instagram it instead. Share with the class! #summercapsulesewalong
We're going to start with a few questions. Look at the items you selected, and jot down your ideas about each piece:
- Why do I like this piece? Most answers will fall into one - maybe more - of these categories: "the color!" "The print!" "The fit!" "Sentimental!"
- Why do I wear this piece? "The color brings out my eyes." "I love floral prints." "The fit is really flattering". "I spent a lot of money on it." "I spent a lot of time making it." "It's from (insert special memory here)."
- What prevents me from wearing this piece more? "I outgrew it" "It looks faded or over-worn." "It's too cold/hot/wet/etc to wear it now." "I have nothing to wear with it." "I don't know how to pull it off." Others? Share them below so I can add them here!
For instance... these pants make my "top 3":
- I love this print! I think I did a great job matching stripes, and I don't feel nearly as dumpy in a loser fit pant as I thought I would. I feel pretty chic in them, actually.
- This piece is sentimental for two reasons: First - It was the 3rd attempt at making this pattern, and the first successful one. I'm stubborn, so I take pride in it as a victory over a difficult muslin process. Second - I had an excellent outing in these pants with my family in San Francisco. I love the throw-back to a fun period in my life, each time I pull these out of my closet.
- I'd wear these more if they were more season-friendly. White pants are pretty limiting, and the crop of them makes them rather useless in cooler months. I'd also wear them more if I had more coordinates to pair them with. It's a hard print to work around in a closet of hardly-any-neutrals.
My next piece is the plaid tank here:
- Again, the print is AWESOME. I am a total print-a-holic. I would wear them in a boat, I would wear them with a goat, I would wear them in the rain or IN THE DARK OR ON A TRAIN. (Being a SAHM is really doing something to my brain...) I like them in all shapes and sizes, and I like them in COLOR.
- I wear this tank a ton because it's BILLOWY. It has shape at the top where I'm more confident, and the loose fit on the bottom hides the "thyroid-disease-is-the-pits" belly I've grown. It also has a racerback, which shows off my yoga-shoulders I'm really proud of. Winning combination right there.
- It's GIANT PLAID. So unless it's paired with jeans (which it is, 90% of the time) it's hard to pull off. It's also racerback.. and I lack a good racerback bra. I wore it a lot in the winter as a layer, and nobody saw the bra straps then. But summer time won't be as forgiving of my undergarment faux pas.
- It has a subtle print, so I can pair it with a ton of things.
- It's a layering piece, I can pair it with a ton of things.
- I couldn't wear this more. It lives on me!
"Make It" Tee:
- It's cheeky, and not a boring solid tee. It's a very versatile color, and the start of my v-neck love affair.
- The v-neck makes my shoulders feel wider. I'm a relatively shapeless rectangular body type, so the illusion of wider shoulders makes me feel more "hourglass". It's also fitted but forgiving - great for layering but not skin-tight.
- ...I would wear this more if I could find it. I've spent 2 months ripping apart every pile of clothes I come across (yes, piles. The purge was hugely necessary.) and haven't found it yet! So... Patchwork Threads, if you're listening, I'm dying for a replacement! ;)
So what's the take-away? You should be able to look at your 3 favorite pieces, and maybe a few more that inspire you, and know...
- What pieces you think are most flattering on your body, and why. (What is your body type?) Maybe they're fitted? Maybe they flare? Maybe they're loose and drapey?
- What colors you like. (Maybe you even got the head start yesterday finding your season's color palate?) And how many colorful pieces you have!
- What pieces you get a lot of wear out of. No skirts on your list? No jeans? No dresses? No problem! It's good to know, so you can adjust the capsule "recipe" accordingly.
- How comfortable you are wearing or mixing prints. Maybe you wear all solids. Nothing wrong with that, they're always a safe choice. Maybe you mix like a pro. Good for you! You'll be able to take more liberties in your fabric shopping!
- And most importantly - things to AVOID. We will NOT be sewing pieces for our capsule that share any of the "I'd wear it more.. BUT..." qualities.
This exercise in style-assessment is necessary before we start our sewing. Now we know our style tendencies, even if they hadn't been apparent before.
And purging? That was necessary, too. You can look to what is left in your closet and say "I have a lot of ___________," or "I need more _________" Approach this with balance in mind. If you have a lot of neutrals, you can focus on sewing "pop" pieces. If you have a lot of colors and prints, you should find out what neutral pieces you need to sew to make them as wearable as possible. If you have a lot of bottom layers, maybe you need more outer layers. If you have a lot of long bottoms, maybe you need to focus your sewing energies making shorts or skirts.
THIS is how we craft our must-sew list. Once you know how many pants/tops/dresses/skirts/neutrals/"pop pieces" you need, look to your style assessment for the rest of the details: pattern choice, fabric choice, fit preference .
This lesson is getting lengthy - so I'll leave you with another homework assignment while you process all this info:
Map out your wardrobe. Lay them all out on the bed spread. List them out. Or SKETCH them out. Start a pinterest board. Whatever tactic best suits you. What do you already have, and what do you need to fill those gaps with? Remember - keep your list limited! The goal is still 37 pieces TOTAL (includes shoes, but excludes workout/utility/swimwear/special occasion pieces).
QUESTIONS, I know you have them, lay them on me! I'd hoped to get to fabric and pattern purchase today, but didn't want to leave your heads spinning. Check back for those tips later this week :)