Thoughts on wardrobe planning

While my sister aka Bee dives feet-first into veganism, I have been puzzling over wardrobe. Generally, I generally feel ok about mine, due to two years of generally purposeful sewing and thrifting – I’ve been filling gaps like “shoes I can walk in”, “jeans that go with my shirts”, and “classic well-built purse”. Still, everybody gets dissatisfied sometimes. My extremely stylish friend Katherine and I were just pondering how to update our wardrobes inexpensively and effectively. I think I’ve been absorbing a lot from all of the style and sewing blogs I follow, because a plan just came to me as we talked! I probably stole it, it came to me so quickly. Or maybe it’s just common sense, but, oh well! Here it goes!


Too much blue? Just enough MJ applique?

Take a look at what you already have for the upcoming season. Let’s say summer, since that’s what we’re heading into. Lay everything summery out in an open space and sort into two piles, the “I love it, it fits, I feel good in it” and the “everything else” pile. Be very strict. If you are handy with refashioning, you may want a third pile for things you can use for projects.

Identify gaps
Now that you know what you have, look for gaps in your wardrobe. Do you have ten pairs of cute shorts but no tops that you like? Bikini tops but no bottoms (this is a creepy-sounding problem, but it’s happened to me before through innocent circumstances!) Figure out the gaps and write them down.

And now, my favorite part: you get to dream about the items that your wardrobe is lacking in! Let’s say that you took your inventory, and you’ve decided that a couple of non-tank-top shirts, a light summer jacket, a cool belt, and some shoes you can wear to work as well as a music festival would complete your summer wardrobe. Now is the time to start searching for those items and verify that they will work well with what you already have. This is also the time to decide “My wardrobe will be Nouvelle Vague-themed!” or “This is my summer of Gothic Lolita!”

This is where you make your dream wardrobe become reality. This can be tough. If you’ve vowed to sew and thrift your wardrobe, it’s even more challenging (and fun). But the point of this whole exercise is to know what you need and already have so you don’t let vague dissatisfaction with your wardrobe lead you on frustrating shopping trip (or an unnecessary sewing spree). After a teenagerhood wasted at the mall, my favorite methods of acquiring the wardrobe pieces I need are thrifting (Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill), sewing, and, most sparingly, online shopping for shoes (up to 2 durable pairs/year). But there are many methods to acquiring clothing.

You may need to revisit the “everything else” pile if you weren’t able to find a replacement for, say, that uninspiring but fairly useful black cardigan. Then, purge! My favorite ways to do this are to sell my clothes to thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange, donate them to the Goodwill or a women’s shelter, OR have a clothing exchange with friends! Your humiliating yellow Adidas track suit is somene else’s Ali G. costume.

So now you know what my weekend plans are! Wish me luck!


6 thoughts on “Thoughts on wardrobe planning

  1. Okay so this comment thread is a little strange, I just want to make sure that you kept that Michael shirt. I don't know what I'd do with myself if you didn't own that.

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