Thursday, July 2, 2015

Building a complete me-made wardrobe: Detailed list of the Corporate Wardrobe items (Part 3)

After I completed Part 2 of my wardrobe building research, I started to put together a more detailed list of the items in the Constant Professional wardrobe. This was predominately based the Art of Manliness site, which goes into details of what each category should contain. This to me is a fantastic starting point for the 'ultimate' wardrobe, although it still lacks femininity. Even through I have added skirts into some sections, there is still no place for dresses (other than a formal ballgown) and so this is a gap that I still think needs to be addressed when I work out my complete list of wardrobe items and inevitable sewing list. That being said, I am not a bit skirt and dress wearer, so this may end up being appropriate, although I would still like to explore this further.

The table is best viewed by clicking it for a larger view.

I think that a visual representation is by far the best way to see how the pieces work together cohesively (or not) and also to try to identify any gaps that may exist. When creating these sets in Polyvore, I used colours that I love and feel that will work with my daily life. The core colours can certainly be swapped out to create a wardrobe that suits your lifestyle or colour preferences.
See my sets for the constant professional wardrobe on Polyvore {1 & 2}

I also found a number of wardrobe suggestions on Forbes, which reflect some slight differences that are worth considering.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Building a complete me-made wardrobe: Corporate wardrobe based on a men's wardrobe (Part 2)

 See my set for the interchangeable or minimum wardrobe on Polyvore
I reviewed two different posts regarding establishing a wardrobe for men on the Art of Manliness site. I was interested in the Interchangeable Wardrobe and How to Build a Manly Wardrobe, and then how these might translate into an equivalent wardrobe for women. I like the simplicity and versatility of the interchangeable wardrobe and then I can see how the second list is an 'end-goal' for a wardrobe that would be built up over many years. The mapping of the men to women's wardrobes are shown below.

Interchangeable Wardrobes

A Complete Wardrobe for a Constant Professional

Comparing the two lists

I thought it would be interesting to see how these two compared, since the interchangeable is a great entry point and stepping stone to a more fleshed out wardrobe. Due to the size of this image, it is best viewed by clicking on it to see it full-scale!

Pros and things I learnt

  • Good basics for a corporate wardrobe.
  • Highlights essentials in a men’s corporate wardrobe that can be transferred to a women’s wardrobe. I have a clearer view of the fabrics I should be selecting for my suits, trousers and shirts required to have a well co-ordinated and chic corporate wardrobe.

Challenges or Gaps?

  • No dresses or skirts.
  • Minimum casual and weekend wear.
  • Potentially lacking in colour, flair or personality?
  • Fewer combinations, due to the way females combine and layer clothing?
  • Undergarments missing (e.g. bras, layering camisoles and singlets).
  • After I put this list together, I came across The Daily Connoisseur and her focus on a 10 core item wardrobe. I have watched a few of her YouTube videos (1, 2, 3) and one of her wardrobes was around 14 items but this isn't everything in her wardrobe. I think that this is important, because the 'extras' that she mentions really allow a person to extend the rotation of the core 14 items and really flesh out the wardrobe. These include things like basic tees,
    sweaters & cardigans, outerwear (trench coats, blazer, jackets), special occasion wear, accessories (scarves, bags, shoes, sunglasses) undergarments, shoes and so on, which for my purposes are part of the wardrobe but I can see the benefits of the extras being fairly constant and the 10-14 items being rotated seasonally. I also love her focus on quality items that will last a long time and also how to care for your garments. Her concept is certainly food for thought and only adds more valuable information in my quest to build my wardrobe! I am still reading more about this one and will be sure to do a summary post (that will now be part 6!)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Building a complete me-made wardrobe (Part 1)

Edited to add some new-to-me resources and an updated plan.

Personally, I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe! I mean, who doesn't love the thought of being able to open up their closet to find a beautifully curated set of clothing items that all work together and making dressing so much easier!

I find when I start to try to create a capsule wardrobe however, it's not as easy as "pick 20-40 items that work well together and your done!". Everyone has a different style aesthetic and the essential items for one person may not work for another. So, I started to look at many different capsule wardrobe "systems" to see if I could come up with my own. Based on all my reading, I am now working on not creating a capsule wardrobe but a complete wardrobe. This includes garments for all facets of my life.

The main sources I have used so far are:
  • The Lucky Shopping Manual (Amazon or Book Depository). This book focuses on the essentials and extras you need for a complete wardrobe. According to Amazon, I bought this in 2005 and it is still essential (still invaluable although some images are starting to date slightly)
  • Colette Patterns Wardrobe Architect. This was run in 2014 and kicked off again in 2015 and I am working through this as part of defining my ideal wardrobe. It is helping me to stop and think about the style, colours, silhouettes etc... that I am most drawn to and hence should be the foundation of my wardrobe.
  • The Into Mind blog. There are many, many posts that I am reading and a key starting point is Building a Capsule Wardrobe 101. They also have a workbook for €20, which I am considering purchasing although I'm not sure how much it overlaps with the Wardrobe Architect?
  • The Art of Manliness: How to Build a Wardrobe for Men {link to part 1}. This is probably a strange one however since I am trying to build a corporate wardrobe full of suits, I've been interested in seeing what is considered a complete professional man's wardrobe, since it is comprised of suits and related garments. I have mapped the Constant Professional wardrobe to a female equivalent, which I will post soon. This site also has some great articles on clothing care.
  • Unfancy. This blog proposes that a 37-piece wardrobe (excluding workout clothes, jewellery, accessories, purses, swimsuits, pajamas/loungewear, underwear and trash-jeans). I like the concept but many of the exclusions are what I want to include in my essential wardrobe.
Other books I'm looking at but don't own. If you own these and can provide a view on their usefulness, please let me know:
  • The Style Checklist (Amazon or Book Depository).
  • The One Hundred (Amazon or Book Depository).
Since there is a lot to explore, I will be breaking my discovery process down as follows:
  • Part 2: Defining a corporate wardrobe based on a men's suit wardrobe
  • Part 3: Detailed list of Corporate Wardrobe items
  • Part 4: Wardrobe Architect: what I have learned through this process
  • Part 5: The outcome of following the steps on the Into Mind blog
  • Part 6: The Lucky Shopping Manual
  • Part 7: 10 piece wardrobe by The Daily Connoisseur and YouTube (edited to add this)
  • Part 8: Building a Wardrobe based on The Vivienne Files (edited to add this)
  • Part 9: Pulling it all together: mapping the different wardrobes
  • Part 10: My complete wardrobe list & sewing plan

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Good-bye 2014, Hello 2015!!

I've really loved reading everyone's wrap up of 2014. The New Year is always a nice time to stop, reflect and to think about what next.

My year was quite eventful with a job change and studying part time but I still managed to churn out a bit. I'm quite a slow sewer, which I'm totally ok with, so I was happy to produce about 10 tops, mostly for work with a couple of silk and lace ones for more special occasions. None of these are blogged but I will hopefully get these photographed so that I can blog them.

As for my 'resolutions' there are a few key sewing related goals that I have. I have other non-sewing goals, but I'll keep that from this blog :)

>>> Goal 1 <<<

First, I have sighed up for the Goodbye Valentino RTW Fast for 2015. I seriously considered doing this last year but ended up not doing it, so this year, I'm in! I know that sale time is when I will find this the most difficult. I still need to work out what I consider ok to buy, since I can't sew everything. So far, I'm thinking undergarments and workout gear is a possibility but since this is on my 'learn to sew' list, why not start this year! I just need to find some decent fabric suitable to exercise wear.

>>> Goal 2 <<<

Limit fabric purchases. This will definitely be harder than no RTW but I'm still keen to make a dent in my stash, so this one stays. If I need to make something to keep my RTW Fast Pledge, then I will purchase fabrics. I may also give myself a small allowance so that I don't have to go cold turkey.

>>> Goal 3 <<<

Build a capsule complete wardrobe. This one is something that I have been thinking a lot about and will put all my thoughts together in a post but the key thing for me is building a wardrobe that will work for me. By that, I don't mean a wardrobe that fits some definition of the perfect capsule wardrobe but instead one that works for me. I have looked at quite a few capsule recommendations and I feel like none of them will work for me but are a great jumping off point. There is definitely more to come on this one and it will drive what I sew in 2015.

>>> Goal 4 <<<

Focus on building my sewing skills. This is something that requires a list!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pattern Anthology video

I first heard about Pattern Anthology when Julia Bobbin posted her fabulous Parisian Tops from the Just Add Jeans collection. I was instantly in love with the beautiful patterns and versatility of the tops in the collection. I could see them being made up as casual or dressy tops, depending on the fabrics used and the bottoms that they were coordinated with (e.g. jeans, dress pants, suit pants, skirts).

So I quickly snapped up a copy of the entire Just Add Jeans collection and they are sitting waiting patiently for me to get started on them!

In the meantime, I also found this fantastic video about Pattern Anthology. I just want to meet and hangout with these amazing women!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Great British Sewing Bee - Series Two

Have you been watching the Great British Sewing Bee? If not, get to it - I'll wait!

Seriously, the show is fantastic! I fell in love with the show in Series One and was so excited when they not only came back for Series Two but they DOUBLED the number of episodes. That's right, twice the sewing awesomeness! (oh and there is a Series Three planned too - woo hoo!!)

I love that the contestants are competitive but also seem to develop genuine friendships - the sewing room seems like it would be an amazing space to sew in (not to mention the haberdashery!). In addition, Claudia does a great job hosting the show and Patrick and May always have good feedback for the sewers garments. I'm sure I'm not the only person to critique my sewing and think, "I wonder what May and Patrick would say about this?" Well, maybe it is just me ...

So, I would suggest that if you haven't already, make yourself a cuppa and settle in to watch the show. You would regret it!

Also, the finale was this week, so Googling "Great British Sewing Bee" is likely to produce hits that tell you who won. So if you want it to be a surprise, don't Google it and go straight to the BBC site!