The Wardrobe Architect: Week 1

The Wardrobe Architect

You may have read from my previous post that I’ve joined in on Coletterie’s The Wardrobe Architect series, hoping that it will give me a little boost this year so I make things more wearable and suitable to my day to day life.  Saria of Colette Patterns has started the series with a worksheet to fill in and boy, oh boy have I done that. Over 1,000 words later it certainly has clarified a few things in my mind (don’t worry I won’t be posting to bore you to death!)

The seven topics given (with descriptions) to think about are:

  • History: Your personal history and life events.
  • Philosophy: Your religion, spirituality, or general philosophy.
  • Culture: Your cultural background and the aesthetic values you grew up with.
  • Community: Your friends and the people around you.
  • Activities: Your interests, activities, and hobbies.
  • Location: Where you live.
  • Body: How you feel about your body.

To summarise my lengthy worksheet

While my history, culture and community have had a big influence on the way that I dress and the things I make, over the last few years I have become more comfortable with my choices.

My burlesque career (2008 -2013) has influenced a lot of what I’ve worn over the years and whilst I thought I had to conform to the Vivien of Holloway and Stop Staring type clothing, in the last couple of years I’ve found my own loves in vintage, more late 50s/60s styles that aren’t the general rockabilly/50s styles most burlesque performers feel they need to wear to fit in to the scene. I’ve found what I really love now and don’t feel like I need to dress in a certain way to conform to a certain lifestyle or passion, I dress for what I like, even when it isn’t everyone else cup of tea.

What I learnt from my Grandparents (my Nana made the majority of my clothes when I was a nipper) still shows true today and that’s the satisfaction of making something yourself.  I remember when Nana let me pick out material for a dress for the school disco when I was little and picking the trimmings, it was a little something special and something that I knew no one else but I would have. I think that’s something that has stuck with me, that you can make something individual and have the freedom to choose what you like and not what others decide looks good or fashionable.

A lot of the things I have been sewing over the last year have been suitable for work/weddings/going out, I don’t have a lot of things that I would wear during the day on a weekend. After work I tend to work-out and then go for a run, then home, shower and pretty much putting on comfy stuff to lounge about in (big woolly jumpers and woolly leggings now its winter!). I am all too aware that my wardrobe isn’t too practical at the moment and would like to remedy this.

Wearing fitted clothes with pencil skirts and heels make me feel better than things that are looser, but the hemlines are always knee-length as that’s what I feel comfortable with. Short skirts make me feel uncomfortable, I am not sure why. I have a nice set of pins and I have no problem with wearing shorts that would be the same length or shorter than some short skirts, but I just have this mental block when it comes to it.

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