Finding my style … and revisiting Project Wardrobe

Once again I’m not posting the Project Sewn project that I originally had planned to post this week.  I was actually really excited by this week’s theme — If the Shoe Fits.  I chose an outerwear piece for this week and I think I would have completed it with no problems if I hadn’t spent so much time fiddling with the pockets!  I swear I ripped those things out at least 3 times and took forever deciding what I wanted to do.  By the time I got them finished to where I liked them, it was Sunday night and I wasn’t particularly inspired anymore.  The forecast for this week was 50s and 60s, so making outerwear just wasn’t so fun (though now it’s back in the 30s and raining so maybe I should rethink this).  I’m setting my jacket aside for the moment and moving on.  I fully intend to come back to it next week, though.  I spent a somewhat hefty amount on a beautiful Nani Iro double gauze for my jacket lining, so I WILL finish the darn thing!

Since I don’t have a Project Sewn outfit right now, I thought I’d ramble for a while about next week’s theme — my Signature Style.

At the beginning of 2014, Sarai of Collete Patterns started her Wardrobe Architect series, which challenges her readers to really define their personal style.  I feel like this is something that I’ve struggled with since I started sewing back in the summer of 2011.  I’m a sucker for pretty new patterns, and I currently own more patterns than I will likely ever have time to make (don’t think I’m taking a pledge not to buy new patterns though — let’s not be hasty).  I am easily distracted by pretty, shiny prints when basic solids are what I reach for every day.

The Wardrobe Architect series has made me, like so many other bloggers I read, really examine my own style — what feels comfortable for me, what I wear on a daily basis, and what I want to wear on a daily basis.  I have also started to identify gaps in my wardrobe — and there are many gaps!

I’ve generally followed along with the series, doing some of the exercises more earnestly than others.  In particular, really thinking about my style in a strategic way has helped me to identify garments and silhouettes that I like in theory or on other people but in which I never feel comfortable, as well as the silhouettes that really make me feel my best.  It’s such a liberating thing!

Here are some of my own discoveries during this process  (And I’ve updated my Project Wardrobe plan to reflect a lot of this):

Things I like on other people, but not on me

  • Midi skirts.  I always think they look so chic, but every time I try to wear one, I feel short and frumpy.  I’ve decided that I’m just too short and my build too broad to really pull off a midi skirt.
  • Full skirts and dresses.  For example, I love the full-skirted version of the Sewaholic Cambie dress on other people, but I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it.
  • Crop tops.  Some people pull them off wonderfully, but not me.  I even made myself a cropped Briar top last summer, and I’ve worn it all of once.
  • Loose and billowly top to bottom.  That loose flowy Japanese style looks amazing on some people.  I, however, need to balance out my silhouettes.  If I wear a loose top, I want skinny pants.  If my pants are anything other than skinny, I want form-fitting on top.
  • Empire waist anything.  It feels like maternity wear to me.  ‘Nuff said.

Things I like and want more of

  • T-shirt dresses.  I had a couple of t-shirt dresses that I wore while pregnant with Baby J and I LOVED them!  They were so incredibly comfy — like wearing PJs but still looking put together.  I don’t mean the gathered- or circle-skirted version, but basically just an extended t-shirt.  I need some.
  • Shift dresses.  I really like shift dresses and I think they show off some of my best features.  I have nice arms and legs, but my middle is rather flabby and stretched out after three kids.  Shift dresses like the Colette Laurel, Pauline Alice Malvarosa Dress (minus the ruffly skirt), and Victory Patterns Hazel could be great for showing off a nice set of gams and shoulders.
  • Silk shells.  This is basically the work version of the basic t-shirt.  My closet contains 0 and probably needs at least 2-3.
  • Pencil skirts.  The converse of full skirts.  While full skirts make me feel sorta frumpy, a nicely-fitted pencil skirt makes me feel confident and sexy.  I like that.

Anyone else trying their hand at Wardrobe Architecture?  Any revelations?

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6 thoughts on “Finding my style … and revisiting Project Wardrobe

  1. lisa g

    i haven’t followed along with the wardrobe architect closely, as i really started doing this for myself over a year ago. i can’t say that i’ve filled all my gaps, but i was able to accept that just because i like to look at something, doesn’t mean i need to buy/make that thing. my fabric and pattern purchases have to come out of our clothing budget, so in order to keep sewing i have to make responsible decisions. admittedly, it does take some of the fun out, but being able to reach for me-mades every day is infinitely more satisfying!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      That’s great that you’ve already started doing this. I love being able to reach for me-mades on a regular basis. Lately I’ve actually been more motivated to make basics, the stuff that I wear on a daily basis.

      Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    This is the first time I’ve heard about the Wardrobe Arcitect, but is sounds really interesting. I think it’s great that you know where you need to fill the gaps in your wardrobe! I really need to take a close look at my wardrobe and see if there is anything that definitely needs to go (I’m sure there is..I have so many clothes that I never wear, but I can’t bear to part with).
    Can’t wait to see your jacket! I’m sure it will look great when it’s finished! Outerwear was a great choice for this week – it is snowing like crazy here. I made a wool cape for the Project Sewn challenge and paired it with a pair of boring boots.

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Oh your cape looks so cozy! I don’t know that I can bring myself to make any more winter garments this year. Luckily my jacket is a spring/fall jacket, so I’ll be able to wear it still for a few months since our weather is starting to get nicer.

      Reply
  3. Masha

    I think I need to go and check out this Wardrobe Architect thing. I am with you in that I always wear solids (at least on top), but my fabric purchases tend to be heavy on the prints. I have been trying to be more conscious of that lately, though, and buying solid-like fabrics that have a bit of texture in lieu of print (like a gray-on-gray swiss dot I recently purchased). It’s helping my stash out in that I don’t have as many pieces lying around months after purchase, doing nothing with no future ahead of them. I’m really enjoying your wardrobe posts, btw.

    Reply

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