Thursday, February 02, 2012

what's your approach to dressing yourself?

i am definitely in the throes of a clothing sewing kick. it doesn't happen that often but i think that right now it's taking hold because i pretty much never shop anymore and a lot of my clothes are ancient and falling apart. i'm trying to slowly replace old favorites (a lot of the shoe shopping stems from this as well) and it's got me thinking a lot about how i dress and where i want to go in the future.

if i may be permitted a small confession: i admire those people who do the wardrobe sewing thing where every piece mixes and matches but personally i hate that approach. i'm sure it would be convenient but i feel like i'd always be doing laundry and i'd get really bored. basically this would be the epitome of my own personal hell--having to wear the same fucking dress every single day.

i think that instead the way i look at clothes is that i like to have a stock of basics that get worn weekly in several categories: black pants, jeans, white button-down shirt, lots of basic t-shirts, cardigans. then i like to curate more fun and distinctive items that are worn less but don't make me feel like i'm wearing a uniform. these are dresses, printed tops, brightly colored skirts and pants. then i can mix and match the boring with the fun and get a nice mix. i don't want to feel like i'm wearing my "signature dress" or the like every week and have people at work be like, "she's wearing that dress AGAIN?"

an aside: there is a lady at work who bought a lavish pair of tall slouchy boots in a distinctive color with some added embellishy frou-frou. they were extremely stylish and expensive in an in-your-face kind of way. she wore those boots literally every day last winter. i was that person who was thinking in my head, "is she wearing those boots AGAIN?" so i know for a fact that it is possible. this is why i wanted basic plain boots that don't stick out.

when i get on a clothing sewing kick i try to be mindful of my approach and make both basics and the fun stuff. i can sometimes get caught up in the fun stuff and leave the basics behind but of course i end up wearing the latter much more. i am trying to keep the ratio more reasonable to what my wardrobe needs actually are. i am also working on increasing my sewing skills so that my clothes are both well-made and well-fitted. it's ok to do something fun and fast every once in awhile but the basics should most definitely be worked carefully because i really want quality items that will last.

writing it down is pretty much the kiss of death for me, but in 2012 i would really like to make at least some of the following:

Basics: skinny jeans, black slim pants, brown trousers, button-down chambray shirt, button-down white shirt, lightweight blazer, long-sleeve t-shirts, cashmere cardigan refashion in black and white

Fun stuff: Victory Patterns Ava, chambray shirt dress, something in silk (i have a lot in the stash but i'm scared to use it), a dress to wear to a summer wedding, knit dresses, fun skirts.

one final confession. when i am at home, most of the time i wear pajama pants with a long sleeve t-shirt and a hoodie or fleece. if i ever become a work-at-home person i may never get dressed.

so what are your thoughts on clothes?


  1. ha ha ha! i'm the same way. i like the idea of sewing with a plan, but it doesn't really work for me. i just sew pieces that i'm excited about and hope they'll coordinate with other things. those are great basics that you have planned. i'd like to tackle a blazer too.

    i'm scared to use my silk too! i have tons of it. maybe this is the year to be brave? i cut out a tiny pocket tank from crepe de chine (using a rotary cutter), but haven't finished it.

  2. I stick w/ the basics mainly because I work in a very conservative environment, and too much fashion is frowned upon LOL  Not to mention, when I am not at work, I wear jeans and t-shirts mainly on the weekends.  I am a bore :)

  3. I think your plan is a good one! Since I've barely made any clothes, I can tell you that none of them were basics, but accent pieces.
    I'm in the process of cleaning out the closet now, and I definitely need some new basics. I definitely have the work clothes and then comfortable stuff for nights and weekends. I'm pretty much always in jeans on the weekend. With funny or band t-shirts, predominately. On occasion, I'll wear a nicer top.

  4. Oh, and I agree; the concept behind the LBD website kills me dead.

  5. I love your approach. I also love the idea of sewing with a plan, but after I got over trying to make every type of garment, I realized I already have a lot of the basics I need in my closet, so I try to be more mindful of filling in the gaps. And you're absolutely right -- basics are important because we use them, but so are fun, beautiful things that make us happy. Use that silk!!

  6. Do people not wear jeans and t-shirts on the weekends when they're not at work? 
    I guess I'm not the right person to ask about clothes right now when I'm stuck wearing the same old stuff over and over. 
    I sew clothes like I knit clothes though--I see a pattern/style and go "Ooo!  That looks like fun to make!"  

  7. Recently I've been overthinking my wardrobe as well. First, I decided to not wear any trousers anymore. I've built up a collection of skirts as I'm still breastfeeding my baby, but am also trying to get some dresses. As I do not wear much any of my finished cardigans/vests/sweaters, I'm trying to consider why this is the case. And make smarter choices for my future knits.
    This is a great post, it got me thinking and I might come up with some kind of an answer myself.



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