Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wardrobe Basics

Planning a basic wardrobe....
It can be a daunting task, to say the least. Heaven knows, I’m in my 50’s and still trying to get it right! Reading all those 2012 blog posts that include goals such as  “closet makeover” or “wardrobe re-do” or just plain "wanting to get a good basic wardrobe…finally" has inspired both Lori and I to open up the subject of planning and sewing some wardrobe essentials.

So we  have been emailing and brainstorming. And emailing some more. 
What does a basic wardrobe include? How do we plan what to sew? 
Lori has put up a recent Nate Burkus Show wardrobe list
Just today, I read one on “Girls with Curves.”
and Angie came up with a list that she describes as personalized wardrobe that can be personalized to fit your own lifestyle.
Real Simple has a pretty complete and comprehensive basics checklist, too.
I actually loved the Good Housekeeping Wardrobe Basics...a pared down list of navy shirtdress, striped tee, red tank and cardigan, dark jeans, white skirt and khaki suit. So sharp, so simple!

There are about as many different “must have” lists out there as there are personalities, lifestyles and imaginations!

So, here is what I came up with…a Casual/Weekend Wardrobe Must-Have's.  I did this, because, believe it or not, work is pretty easy for me. It’s the weekends where I find myself giving up…wearing the same old stuff…looking like a shlumpadink.  Sometimes I think I may have too many choices, so this Spring, I’m going to try to focus on a few items that can go a long way, that will transcend the trends, always look sharp, and can be easily mixed and matched...and be age appropriate.

So, my top ten weekend/casual wardrobe?

1.       Black pants…ponte is good. ( see Lori’s post  for an excellent list of sources for patterns, styles and fabrics)
2.       Skinny Jeans
3.       Fun colored jacket
4.       Shirt dress
5.       Khaki or Denim Skirt
6.       Black, White or Denim Jacket
7.       Print Top or Tunic
8.       Print skirt
9.      White shirt
10.   cardigan

I think this will work for me.  And chances are, you also have a good share of these items in your closet addition to knit tees, which are as standard as bras and panties. So I’m going to be looking to see what needs to be updated, freshened up with a new color pallette,  or what’s missing.Then I can decided what I need to make to create a complete weekend wardrobe.
For example, I have a very good pair of black ponte pants, and a favorite pair of skinny dark jeans…so instead, I’ll be making a fun pair of Colette Clover ankle pants in a bright color and a pair of gray slender pants.

My fun colored jacket? Red.
A shirt dress.
I already have a favorite Khaki and denim skirt
I’m up to my ears in Denim jackets, and last year I made a white jacket, so I’ll be planning to sew a casual black jacket.
Print top? I’m looking at a bow front blouse/tunic that can be worn with lots of things.
I have print skirts…this will be last on my list and will happen if I find a perfect irresistible fabric
White shirt? Yes. I could use a new one… I have several, but they are all just this side of fresh and crisp. And it's always nice to start a season with a new white shirt.
I’d like to make a cardigan. Will I knit it? Will I sew it? Not sure.

So on my list of wardrobe basics to supplement what I have is:
A red jacket
A black jacket
Bright colored skinnies
Gray pants
A print top or tunic
A white shirt
A cardigan
A Shirtdress

So stay tuned to both Lori's blog and mine as we unfold this Spring Wardrobe Adventure. We'll be  announcing a Sew-Along and Link Parties, and finishing up with a blogger's fashion show, a contest and lots of fun posts!
Will you join us?


  1. The grey pants and bright colored skinneys weren't on your original list. So where did they come from? What do you have that will coordinate with them?

  2. Can't join in now, unfortunately, but I'll be thinking of this plan and perhaps play catch-up later. Actually planning a wardrobe makes me go crazy, though I do try to stick to sewing things that I really do need (sometimes).

  3. Charlotte, Thanks for chiming in! I acutally did describ how I have a pair of black ponte so I will be adding a pair of gray slacks instead. They are a great neutral that will work with any of the list items. Same with the bright skinnies. I have a pair of skinny jeans that I love, so I will, for fun, do a bright colored pair instead...probably pink or red, which will also work with my basics. That's the fun of a personal get to mix it up the way you want to. Whether the skinny jeans are traditional or colored, it's up to you!

  4. What a great idea. I love yours and Lori's blog and am excited to see how you both work your plan. I have been trying to build my basic wardrobe for the last 6 months but I don't have your skill or style. Maybe someday C

  5. Love what you and Lori are doing. I've been trying to build a basic wardrobe for evah!!! LOL. So many other plans seem "matronly". So, I'm a fifty year broad, but that doesn't mean I don't want to look funky and hip. Love the polyvore. Thanks for the links.

  6. I would love to join in but this is only my second week sewing and I think I may end up taking 3 times as long as everyone else. Although these spring items are great staples (really need to have a good sort out and start making clothes that suit my shape). Wishing everyone luck thats taking part and hopefully I will join in next time round. :)


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