Season Sew Wardrobe: Plans

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.08.48Crystal is running a Seasonal Sew Wardrobe over in the Sew-A-Longs and Sewing Contests Facebook group, and as we all know, I love a good bandwagon to jump on and then fall off.

The premise is fairly straightforward – we have from February to May to sew a minimum of eight pieces which fit within a theme of your choosing. My theme is ‘things I can make in time to wear for my holiday, and things that I can make after my holiday to go with the holiday things so I can wear them when it’s cold’. Catchy, innit?

There’s some debate in this house as to whether I can maintain the sewing level required to produce one item every two weeks, but I’m going to give it a try. I’m bored of all my clothes, so this will give me a chance to branch out into some interesting new ones. I’ve finished the first three pieces, and I should be able to crack on with the others once I’m back from India, although choosing a jacket and a pair of trousers may have been foolish. Fingers crossed the abandoned trousers toile works out (reason for abandonment: I didn’t want to sew a side seam).

I created the look above on Polyvore- I just picked similar looking pieces from their library, so you’re just going to have to trust me that the colours I use will go together! The good news on that front is that I’ve made Ben check the ones I already own and he is content that they go well enough.

Top row, from left:

Bottom row, from left:

To be honest, I’ve changed my mind about five times so far, so this is probably not going to be the wardrobe I end up with, but it’s nice to have a plan set down.

What do you think of my wardrobe plans? Ever participate in sewing challenges? Got any tips for actually finishing the damn list?

Wardrobe Architect #2: Defining a Core Style

waheaderTime to get back on the old Wardrobe Architect horse/bike/wagon. Week 2 works on defining a core style – something which has been on my mind a lot this week.

When you are wearing your favourite clothing, how do you feel?

My favourite outfits make me feel confident, stylish, comfortable, smart, interesting, effortless, and attractive.

When you’re wearing something that’s not quite right, how do you feel? What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear? 

Sometimes I can feel overdressed, like I’m in costume, or like it’s obvious how hard I’ve tried to make the outfit work. If I feel like my outfit is too fussy looking, then I’ll spend a lot of time fiddling with it. At other times I feel frumpy and as if I’ve made no effort. If I don’t feel comfortable with my outfit then I’ll always be very self conscious and compare myself to others.

Beyond

Who do you consider to be your style icons? What is it about them that appeals to you?

I’m struggling with this, as I don’t think I really have style icons. If I had to pick some people, then I’d choose the following:

Alexa Chung – she dresses in an interesting way and doesn’t just wear one style. I saw a quote once that she always wants to look like an excellently dressed boy or a kitten from the sixties.

Clemence Poesy – I really like her laid back French style.

Emma Watson – she always looks well put together, as though she’s made an effort even if she’s dressed quite simply with minimal makeup and hair. I think a lot of it boils down to her nice attitude.

Finally, a bit off piste, but Wes Anderson films – I love the stylised look of them, but I don’t think I would feel comfortable dressing in that way all the time.

What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you? 

Loose fitting dresses – these look terrible on me, but can look so stylish on others. I can wear a loose top, but it needs to be with skinny jeans or tucked into a skirt.

Full vintage styles – I like a nod to vintage styles in my outfits, but wearing head to toe 1950s would make me feel very overdressed.

Beyond-2

Look over your answers from last week (ha! June!) on history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body. List at least 15 words that you associate with your answers. Think about descriptive words, moods, and feelings you associate with these things:

Comfortable, stylish, bright, indie, retro, fitted, fun, vintage, freedom, preppy, 70s, cheerful, colourful, relaxed.

Are there other words you would like to add to this list? What other words describe your core style?

Continental, French, patterned, simple.

Beyond-3

Look over the answers to all of the questions above. If you had to narrow your list to only 3-5 words to describe you, which words would you choose?

Preppy, french, retro, comfortable, bright.

Collect 15-20 images that represent these 3-5 words for you. You could create a pinterest board, a folder on your computer, a moodboard, or a collage. Be creative and have fun!

I created my collages using Canva, a really easy to use design tool which I discovered this morning. For photo credits and a couple of extra pictures, check out my Wardrobe Architect pinterest page.

Sartorial language barriers

Since arriving in Belgium, I’ve grown a thicker skin (and I don’t just mean the layer of fat that is the obligatory half a stone you put on within your first six months of living here). When most of your friends speak English as a second or third language, you can feel quite insulted on a daily basis unless you man up quite quickly.

Today, my friend told me that ‘actually, I quite like what you’re wearing today. I didn’t want to tell you in front of everyone earlier, though’.
So, you’re suprised that you like it and you don’t want other people to know as it’s a kind of guilty pleasure for you? Fortunately, I know my friend is one of the nicest people alive and simply phrased it in an interesting way. She went on to explain that she hadn’t wanted to tell me in front of everyone in case I felt embarrassed. A little strange, but quite sweet. I’d just spilt a cup of tea on my new boss, so it was probably just as well she didn’t draw any more attention to me.

Of course, some people are just mean, even when translating literally from another language. My best friend once told his girlfriend (who was standing next to me) that ‘Laura wears really nice dresses at work, I don’t know why she has to dress like a bag in her spare time’. The thing I chose to take from this was an appreciation for the phrase ‘dressing like a bag’ which is apparently how it is said in French. How do we say this in English? 
So I move on for another day, pride still in place (just), and a new French expression under my belt.
Repeat after me:
Tu t’habilles comme un sac

Tu t’habilles comme un sac
Tu t’habilles comme un sac