#WardrobeArchitect (Weeks 1 & 2)

I have no finished garment to show you today. (Sorry–I’m working on it! Next up is another button-down shirt for The Boyfriend.) Instead, I have something a bit different!

The Wardrobe Architect

I’m following along with the Wardrobe Architect project, led by Sarai over at the Coletterie blog. (Here is the very first post in the series, explaining what the project is all about. You can check out all the posts about the project so far here.)

The point of this project is to think critically about what we wear and why we wear it, so as to be able to sew (and buy) garments that we will actually use and be happy to wear, rather than garments that end up perpetually hanging in the back of the closet, unworn and unloved. What kinds of clothes make us feel good about ourselves or our bodies, and why? What kinds of clothes make us feel uncomfortable? What garments do we like in theory (or on other people), but never seem to actually wear? What shaped these preferences? How does one define a core personal style, or aesthetic?

Sarai has posted some great prompts and worksheets to help us get started thinking about these things (one prompt per week is the plan). The last item on the worksheet for week two was to select five words that define your personal style, and then to collect 15-20 images that reflect those words. My words were casual, modern, subdued-yet-cheerful, practical, and simple. (I know I kind of cheated on the middle one, just roll with it.) I collected my images on a Pinterest board–feel free to peruse it, if you so desire.

I’m not going to share the rest of my answers to the worksheet questions here (too long, too boring, too personal), but here are a few of the more useful thoughts that came to me as I was filling them out:

I want my clothes to help me look like a competent adult. For whatever reason, when people first meet me (and have nothing but my appearance to go on), they often assume I’m several years younger than I actually am. While this isn’t the end of the world (people are forever telling me I’ll be grateful for it eventually!), I would like my appearance to better reflect the reality of the situation.

I’d like to look “effortlessly put-together.” I want it to look like I put some thought into what I’m wearing, but not like I obsessed about it. Plus, although I like looking good as much as the next person, I know that I’m way more likely to wear things that are “easy to wear.” If it requires a lot of maintenance, special undergarments, a special hair-do, impractical shoes, or what-have-you, it probably won’t be on heavy rotation in my everyday wardrobe.

Unique details are good; super quirky and weird usually isn’t (for me, right now). When I was younger I was way more into looking purposefully quirky/weird, and steadfastly not following trends. These days, I don’t mind fitting in a little bit more.

Although I like vintage looks on other people, I (mostly) don’t feel comfortable sporting that look myself. Wearing things that are so far outside my usual “skinny jeans and a nice top” uniform in my everyday life usually just makes me feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. (For special occasions, though, all bets are off.)

I need my everyday clothes to be comfortable and practical. If I can’t comfortably walk moderate distances, bend over, and sit cross-legged on the ground in it, then I probably won’t wear it super often. (Again, though, this does not apply to special occasions!)

Clean lines and simple designs tend to appeal to me. I should really try to embrace this more in the garments I sew.

I feel the most attractive and comfortable in subdued-but-cheerful colors. No neons, not all black. Colors like cranberry red, peacock blue, olive green, burnt orange, dusty pink, dark lavender, and mustard yellow. (I guess most of these are “autumn” colors.) I think they look good on me, too. My favorite garments in my closet at the moment are almost all in this color pallet. I’m also kind of getting into gray as a neutral these days–it’s less harsh than black.

That’s it for today. I recommend playing along, if you’re interested in thinking a little bit more deeply than usual about your fashion preferences and choices. But even if you aren’t, go and read Sarai’s posts and skim the comments–lots of great inspiration and food for thought!

P.S. If you made it all the way through that wall of text, thanks for reading. :)

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