On making a cohesive wardrobe (or not) – Part 2

I started thinking about building  a cohesive wardrobe a couple of weeks ago after finding a lot of the items I was sewing just didn’t seem to fit in with anything else in my wardrobe!

So I set myself the challenge of defining my basic wardrobe style and setting a plan for a basic capsule collection. (See part one of this post!)

Since then, I came across Anushka Rees of The Curated Closet. She’s not a sewist, just someone who is all about organising your wardrobe! I really appreciated her clear framework for building a perfect wardrobe. 

My main mission now was “definition”. I needed to define my style!

Polyvore was perfect for me to use for this – I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered this site! If you don’t know what it is, it’s a global shopping platform that basically collects images from sites and allows you to make collages from them. 

I started by just finding items of clothing I liked. I’d then look at each one critically and ask myself the questions I listed before. Basically I’m asking myself “am I actually going to wear this?” vs “is this a pretty dress?”. 

It got really clear at that point what kind of items I just liked the look of rather than actually wear! For example, I’ve definitely gone off sleeveless tops and dresses – short sleeves or strappy tops were fine but I don’t like things that cut off at the shoulder as I think they emphasise my big upper arms.

I used that list to put together outfits that I thought would fit with my style aesthetic and comfort requirements. I wanted to create functional outfits. 

I ended up putting together about 30 outfits designed to get me from spring up through the summer and autumn. I made sure to overlap as many garments as I could so that I could realistically see how I could wear a garment multiple times in different outfits. 

I also kept my colour palette as neutral as possible as I wanted these items to be able to go with other more colourful seasonal things I might be making.

Here are just a few of them! (Or click here for the full list!)

I added in bags and shoes that I already owned (or very similar alternatives) as I don’t really want to purchase more accessories just to go with the stuff I’m planning!

From my sets, I could see that I managed to put a camisole top with pretty much everything. Slim leg jeans were an important staple and usually paired with a loose top or sweater. I liked semi fitted t-shirt dresses paired with casual flat shoes. The majority of my outfits would also go a with an oversized grey cardigan…

I made a list of all the items that made up these outfits. I ended up with: 4 pants, 4 coats/ jackets, 3 skirts, 8 tops, 6 dresses and 2 sweaters.

(I’m not planning to make everything on this list by the way! Some of this I already have versions of so I could tick those off straightaway. The dresses in particular could be switched out for more seasonal items though a couple of good basics wouldn’t go amiss!)

That’s left me with an list of items of about 10 or so items to make that I believe will get me to a manageable basic day-to-day wardrobe.

That’s doable I think. I’ve already got patterns and/ or fabric for some of them so I can make a start asap!

Here’s my initial list of things to get cracking on!

  1. Black blazer – I already have a pattern and fabric for this! I’m going with the Sula blazer from Ralph Pink in a black cotton sateen.
  2. Trench coat – I can finally de-stash my Robson trench from Sewaholic!
  3. Camisoles – I already have the fabric for a black and cream version. I think I’ll draft my own though rather than buy a pattern.
  4. Jeans – 2017 will be the year I conquer denim! I already have the Morgan jeans pattern and I think I’m going to get the Ginger jeans one too. Just need to find a good denim supplier now!
  5. Leggings – I’ve got the Virginia leggings as part of #sewmystyle anyway so all I need is a good quality grey jersey to use.

I’ve tried to plan enough to get started but not enough to scare me off!

I’ll be making more frivolous things in between these as well because, let’s face it, what’s life without a little whimsy? But I hope by this summer, I would have made a fair amount of this wardrobe plan!

I’ll revisit this topic at the end of the year to see how I’ve gotten on!


    1. Thanks! ☺️ I’ve found it’s really helped focus my ideas a bit more to do all this. Otherwise I’m so easily distracted by anything that takes my fancy!!

    1. Lol. It’s surprisingly hard to do! I don’t know if I really defined a “style” for myself that well. I like too many different things!

  1. You are going to have so much fun with this, and be so glad that you did it! I had to do something similar for work years ago when funds were very tight, and I have never regretted it. Life became simpler, and my energy was better spent elsewhere. 😄 Enjoy the journey, and the benefits you will reap!

  2. I did something similar with the Stylebook app as I’ve just moved back to Australia (from the uk) so had to figure out dressing for hot weather again! It also challenged me to mix and match all the items I packed in my suitcase to get more wear and rotation out of my clothes. Now to sew all the summer dresses <3

    1. I wish I was dressing for hot weather!! That’s definitely incentive to get thinking about your wardrobe. I love sewing summer things!

  3. I’m slowly moving stuff out of my wardrobe that I don’t wear or isn’t flattering, I need to plan what needs to fill those spaces now. You have spent time really thinking about your style/wardrobe and I definitely need to do the same.

  4. Anushka’s blog is the best blog on wardrobes and style I’ve come across! I always bought “pieces” but never had outfits to wear.. My wardrobe is still a work in process but I have much more to wear now.

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