Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Wardrobe Architect Progress


I have been quietly working away on my own Wardrobe Architect (WA) over the last several months. In an ideal world, I would be a minimalist with a carefully curated home and wardrobe. While I am working on a balanced minimalist home, slowly and carefully purging our home of items that are not meaningful, useful, or joyful, when it comes to my wardrobe, I tend to be a more-is-more lady with a heavy dose of practicality.

Following Christine's journey through WA and using Pinterest as a visual guide, I have able to conclusively sort out my favourite colour scheme, patterns, and silhouettes.  I have a palette of neutrals with a few bright accent colours that I love. This has been so helpful and has made shopping for fabric and yarn a real pleasure - no more closet orphans!



I prefer very simple silhouettes.  How I feel in an outfit is often much more important to how I look.  Julie Arkell and Iris Apfel have been important in learning to embrace my quirky sense of style. My favourite silhouettes are:
  • Renfrew tees.  I've tried a lot but keep coming back to this one.  My ultimate layering tee.
  • Maxi skirts and dresses, particularly in jersey
  • Cigarette trousers or skinny jeans worn with tunics
  • Shift or empire style dresses.  I love Colette's Laurel dress and Made by Rae's Ruby Dress.
  • Pinafore dresses (Ruby Dress is my favourite)
  • Wide leg trousers worn with pullovers, cropped tops, or simple popover tops.
  • Cardigans
  • Scarves and handmade jewellery - particularly crystal and glass beads.

When I find a pattern that fits, I like to make several versions in different colours and prints.  I'm not afraid to hack well loved patterns into new combinations, like this 4 pattern hack maxi dress below.  I wear this constantly during the warmer months. 

My favourite striped jersey maxi dress made in 2015


Simplicity patterns are my favourite from the Big 4 as they require very little alteration to fit.  I have recently gone a bit bonkers for Marcy and Katherine Tilton's patterns for Vogue - such amazing avant garde designs. 

Independent designers like Marilla Walker, Rae Hoekstra, Christine Haynes, and Salme Patterns appeal to me for both their simplicity and ease of construction.  I like the impact they make because of their overall clean lines and relaxed fit.  I can install a mean lapped zip, but at the end of the day, bias ties, elastic, or shirring are really what I want to wear. 



With regard to pattern and fabrics, stripes and polka dots are my preference with a good Liberty-esque rose print thrown in for good measure.  Dark floral prints are a secret vice - you should see my stash!


Yesterday I dragged out my warm weather clothing and tried. it. all. on.  The bad news is that at least 2/3 either isn't my style any longer of doesn't fit.  The good news is that I do have some garments that I like and fit comfortably.  I ended up donating many of my 1950's style fit-and-flare dresses as they no longer fit and aren't really my style for everyday wear any longer.  It felt really good to pass these on and I hope whoever finds them in our local thrift store loves them as much as I did. I did save a small size bin of favourites that I just don't want to part with right now.  For some of them, the fit is off and for others, it's the sentimental value. 

I have invested in a few new patterns, including the Dottie Angel frock, which I like as a tunic, Marilla Walker's Roberts Collection, Christine Haynes' Lottie Dress, and a bunch of neat Marcy and Katherine Tilton patterns. I'm now at the stage where I'm matching fabric with patterns; trying to use as much from my stash as possible. I've had great luck with thrifting great quality fabric lately, including a 2m piece of grey striped French terry which will become an Astoria sweater. 

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