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Monday, 8 August 2011

Ongoing wardrobe

Both Nancy Nix-Rice in her 'New you in 52' plan and Elizabeth from Stichers Guild in her 6 piece collections encourage building a useful clothing wardrobe for your lifestyle. The current thread on Stitchers Guild is here.
I've not really been as organised as this but since I have been sewing collections of clothes in a deliberate way and now have a fairly good grasp of my colouring a figure type I am getting towards having the wardrobe I want. I still have a lot of purchased clothing - some new, some thrifted as well as my home sewn items. I also have a huge collection of necklaces, scarves and shoes and a smaller one of bags with which I accessorize everything.
Over and over I find I can mix and match my pieces because of the way I've bought and sewn clothing. My stash is longer lived and rather more eclectic, and I have added warm lime type greens to my wardrobe most recently, but on the whole there is a consistency to things.

Generally in my collections I have a dark neutral, which is black, navy or dark brown for the most part. I actually prefer navy or brown over black as they are in my personal colouring. I have mid to dark brown hair and a navy circle round the edge of the coloured part of my eye, so these colours work with me. I do also wear black but it is really a little harsh on me.
Next I have a colour. As a Clear Spring my colours tend to be warm and strong, and I generally pick one from clear red, strong coral pink, reddish orange, turquoise, bright teal, bright lime green. I don't do pastels or things with too much blue. (The turquoise and teals are blues but have a lot of green in them also which makes them OK).
Lastly I have a lighter neutral, normally an ivory or cream, though sometimes a little bit of white. White isn't great on me as the whites of my eyes and my teeth are not very white, particuarly when contrasted with my naturally pale skin tone. I can sometimes do a softer bluegreen for this lighter neutral, as I have lots of these tones in my eyes.

With those thoughts in mind I then go hunting through my fabric stash with a particular season in mind, and a few pieces of existing jewellery/clothing also to hand.

Because my wardrobe does boil down to those colours on the whole, its fairly simple to find things to wear with any new creations to make an outfit.

So for the Autumn 6PAC, I had already purchased a new pair of leather shoes, and a new leather bag in a dark brown colour. I bought these half price in a closing down sale and paid for good quality leather as this is what Nancy calls my 'Key Neutral' or non-black "black" which is close to my hair colour. Now I do colour my hair but I choose colours close ot my natural colour and am just covering the greys :D.

Next I remembered that in my stash I had two pieces of fabric with this dark brown colour in them. One was a tweed like fabric in dark brown with flecks of orange and cream, the other a dark brown knit with a print of orange leaves. These went well together and triggered off my thoughts on an Autumn wardrobe collection. I added in to the fabric pile a plain cream jersey for tops and a orange slubbed knit for a top and a dress and the whole started to gel nicely.

 Here's the 'Tweed' which doesn't feel like it has any wool in it

Here's the John Kaldor knit with dark brown background and mocha and orange leaf print

 Here's the fabrics all together, at the top is the plain orange knit, and on the left the plain cream jersey.

These all work with other brown, orange and cream garments already in my wardrobe as well as my dark brown leather and suede boots and suede bag. So even if I don't get all the way through the wardrobe this late Summer/Autumn I can still wear all the pieces I make.

And that's where it is the ongoing wardrobe, I'm building on the things I already own which makes it nice and easy to make outfits. I can incorporate sewn items with purchased, and have established my own style that works well for me. I even have inexpensive fleece jackets to wear at home in the winter in the co-ordinating colours - brown and orange are already waiting in the cupboard!


Rhoto said...

Yeah, Ruthie!!
Do you find that having brown and navy as neutral colours "trip you up"? Do you ever wear them together?
I have both in my wardrobe and find that--in a sense--they divide my co-ordinates up... Whereas I wear black and brown together (girls find this interesting/guys find it drab and masculine looking)
Warm greetings,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

Ruthie said...

Hiya Rhonda, I tend to wear the navy with teal, turquoise a teal bag and black shoes. The brown with brown accessories and colours esp orange. I tend to wear black with red and red accessories. I don't really mix the neutrals much.

Janine said...

Sounds like you have it all worked out. COuld you please post a picture of your fabric selections -they seem great. I love all of the colours that suit you .

Jenni said...

Very well organised. You are particularly good at only buying colours that work with others. I think having the accessories, particularly shoes and bags, that work with the outfits, goes a long way toward making the outfits really mix and match well. This is where I fall down as I never seem to have the right footwear to finish an outfit.

Rhoto said...

Thanks for the colour combo ideas, Ruthie!!
Rhonda, who's 1/2 Irish and 1/2 English colouring... more warm than cool now ;/ ;)