Happy Mid-August, friends! Or as my fellow procrastinating capsule-ers may call it, "Fall Wardrobe Planning Time." Better late than never, right!?
Ordinarily I'd spend half my planning time digging through last Fall/Winter's garments - seeing what still fits, what's still in good condition, and what still excites me. I'd set those to one side, and stuff the rest in a Goodwill-destined bag. But that's not the case this year.
Last year was a LOT of change. New home, 6 months of living in limbo between houses, new schools, new new new. And rather than sewing for practical purposes (filling my closet with well-fitting, versatile pieces I love to wear) - I opted to sew for stress relief. Miss "sew-to-a-plan" slid fast and far into "OOOOH that's a pretty fabric!!' sewing territory.
I have zero regrets - it's what I needed at the time, and It was a fun break to see sewing from the eyes of an artist vs those of a wardrobe architect. But nevertheless it means I'm stuck with a wardrobe full of printed garments and hardly any coordinates to wear them with.
So today (well, last night) I vowed to get back on the wagon. I'll of course reuse as much as I can from what I've already invested time and materials in making (it'd be super wasteful not to!). But for the most part - I know I'll be starting over.
Here's what I've done so far - sharing for those of you considering your own over-haul, or starting your own capsule wardrobe for the first time.
Step 1: Consult my Color Palette
Remember this fun project?? With the help of Seamwork's tutorial and Adobe Color, I identified a whole host of colors that compliment my hair, skin, and eye colors. I'll use this as a guide to find 5ish colors for my new capsule: 3 neutrals, 2 color "pops."
I once again used Adobe Color, which has some magic formula for pulling pleasing color schemes from whatever image I upload. It has a variety of "moods" - so I can pick bright colors, or deep ones, muted or dark, you get the idea.
I doubt I could really go wrong with any of these - even the wild colors can contribute in small, balanced ways like jewelry or trims or accents in fabric prints. But for the sake of Fall, and my own aesthetic, I lean towards "Deep":
Step 2: Find Pantone Color Equivalents
Now, I know the above colors will flatter me. But I DON'T know that they'll be readily available. Navy and off-white obviously will, but the rest are very Becca-specific shades of blue, green, and red. Fabric stores are NOT consulting my color palette before ordering fabric, nor are the designers when conceptualizing them in the first place. But they ARE consulting (and inspiring) Pantone. Like it or not, the fabrics we have available to us are largely determined by the "Miranda Priestly" types of the world - a select few who tell an entire industry what is in and what is not.
By finding the pantone equivalents of my own color palette, I'll know those colors will be available in-store and that they will compliment one another. I used the 2018 collection (fingers crossed for longevity!) knowing both that the 2017 shades of these colors are more readily available, and that I won't know the difference. 😜
Step 3: Go Window (Errr- screen?) Shopping!
This should be pretty easy. I'm looking for (to way WAY over simplify things) champagne colors, navy/slate, medium blues, rich greens, and dark, earthy reds. I head over to Cali Fabrics where I can search by most recent additions, and find a whole bunch that strike my fancy. Some fit my plan better than others. I'll sift through the outliers when I know more what garments I want/need and what type of fabrics they require.
Why Cali Fabric? I've had a lot of success with their apparel fabrics, and work with them regularly to promote their stock on the Cali&Co blog. But if you're more of a Mood kind of person, they have already picked out their pantone colors for you, here. Either way, pinterest is a helpful place to collect all your "swatches" from a variety of companies if you so choose. It'll help you see how all your fabrics play off each other before you invest a single cent!
I hope this was a helpful visual of my inital planning process! Even if you don't subscribe to things like "personal color palettes" - I still recommend you find a palette you love to help focus your fabric shopping. Your wardrobe planning will feel like a lot of square-peg-round-hole (or is it the other way around?) if you piece your wardrobe fabrics together haphazardly.
You can find gorgeous color palettes at Design-Seeds - just know that there are hundreds to sift through. Pantone's collections are more limited, which may be easier for those of you who get easily overwhelmed:
One last thing to keep in mind: this process mostly applies to separates. If you find a GOTTA-HAVE-IT color or print that doesn't fit the rest of your plans, consider how you can incorporate it as a solo piece like a dress or romper. Shopping smart doesn't need to spoil all your fun. 😊
Good luck with your Fall planning! Let me know what questions you have below!