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

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