Wear What You Make: Wardrobe as Work in Progress
Take a look at what you wear. Sometimes this is as easy as looking at what is in the laundry basket each week. If you find yourself wearing one thing, but buying something else, perhaps there is a need for a reset, a sort of clothes audit if you will.
The same is true of knitting and sewing. Do you find that you’re attracted to the latest designs and reflexively place them in your queue? Maybe that same queue is filled with pullovers, when all you really wear are cardigans, or vice versa.
Sonya is wearing: Acer Cardigan by Kirsten Kapur in Beaverslide Merino Worsted; 100 Acts of Sewing Tunic no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
Clothing can represent a conflict between who you were versus who you are now, or versus who you think you should be. Add to this the pressure of advertisers selling you another version of yourself, to convince you to buy more and more products. It’s no wonder that the idea of defining a personal style is loaded with minefields. The concept of a “signature look” is indeed a daunting one, especially if you think it involves creating something chic and wholly original.
Finding your voice where dressing is concerned is really a matter of determining your clothing priorities. For myself, these are comfort and color. For someone else, it might be every shade of navy and a tailored silhouette.
Stopover by Mary Jane Mucklestone (modified as cardigan) in Light Lopi and Noro Kureyon; Tunic no. 1; Dress no. 1; and Pants no. 2.
Think about an outfit that makes you feel great, the combination of clothes that expresses your authentic self. What are the different components? Pay attention to the length: where does the garment hit? Notice the fit: is it oversized or cut close to your body? What kinds of colors or prints are in your outfit? Once you’ve answered these questions, the next step is to take your findings to your closet.
Shop Your Closet
If everything you’ve listed is already there on hangers, or folded in your drawers, then you can use these pieces to create different iterations of the outfit. However, if there’s a deficit of garments meeting the criteria, then you have your work cut out for you.
Scoop Neck Cardigan by Debbie Bliss in Noro Silk Garden; Dress no. 2; and Pants no. 1.
A clothing audit doesn’t mean tossing everything out. While this can be very cathartic, it can also be a little chilly. I am a firm advocate of re-fashioning to make your clothes work for you. If you never wear something because the color is just not right, try overdyeing it. Get together with some friends and mix up a vat of indigo. Or just add Rit dye.
After a clothing audit, it’s important to have an eye towards the future. Determine what you want to wear more of, and make a plan to slowly add those items. There is a tendency to want everything instantly. The internet, with its limitless choice and same-day shipping, feeds the immediacy.
Knitting Pure and Simple # 294 Summer Open Cardigan by Diane Soucy in Rowan Linen Print; Shirt no. 1; Dress no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
Add one or two good pieces a season. Before you buy, sew or knit something, ask yourself how this piece of clothing will fit in with what you have. I encourage a more holistic view of your wardrobe, seeing it as something to collect and curate.