Two weekends back, having decided I would be dressing consciously in 2017, I decided to have a sort out. My life felt cluttered since I had moved out of my work studio. The move meant I now had A LOT of fabric and sewing tools stashed randomly around our small flat, along with a wardrobe filled with many unworn clothes.
I figured that the best way to get organised and be able to crack on with work was to have a complete sort out.
Luckily David was out with a friend for the day…
The wardrobe and chest of drawers were hastily emptied onto our bed. I haven’t shopped in a while, yet have still managed to accumulate a lot of clothes over the last couple of years.
I then unloaded all the bags and boxes of fabric onto our big couch to be sorted through afterwards.
Finally, the mass amount of paperwork and numerous folders of patterns stared back at me from two of the big cupboards. I ignored them – they can be sorted another day!
From the wardrobe I succeeded in throwing out an awful lot of jersey tops, dresses and tee’s that don’t flatter my body shape at all. Part of my dressing consciously plan for 2017 was to actually only wear clothes that flatter my shape or my design taste.
Today for instance, I’m wearing scruffy old man-boots (they actually are; I’m a UK9.5 and struggle to find women’s shoes to fit!), black casual jogger style trousers, a laser cut leather jumper (from my graduate collection) and an 80s black leather jacket from charity shop in Clapham Junction, with a black and white scarf. Together it’s a hodgepodge of something delicious. It’s an unconventional look, and with my tired glazed eyes, and hair drawn back off my face, I’m definitely rocking the ‘exhausted designer’ look! 😉
Tomorrow I may wear a fitted black jersey dress, tights and gold sneakers, with my tailored jacket for a sharper look. We’ll see…
My Two Dressing Consciously Criteria
You see, its about working with what I have – both the wardrobe and the body.
So it’s important to only keep things in the wardrobe that fit those two criteria:
- The garment or outfit needs to look good on my body shape
- It also needs to appeal to me design wise
I succeeded in cutting the wardrobe down considerably by about 50%. Quite an achievement! 😮 There were some pieces that I wouldn’t wear as they were, but would if they were fixed up. Like a lovely Joseph dress I’d gotten in a charity shop when I was a skinny size 10, which no longer fit me as a dress, due to shrinkage – you know that knit shrinkage situation? The one that happens when we get older (and wider) around the body, forcing the knit to shrink upwards? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. My lovely secondhand Joseph dress was like an exceptionally indecent short dress on me now that I am a size UK12/14!
I took to it with scissors and using my recently revived overlocker, fixed the hem so it was wearable as a sexy black top. Sorted.
Wardrobe Post Purge
The wardrobe I ended up with after my purge
You can see from the image that there are several pieces missing from the kist below…
Jackets and Coats:
Oversized bonded parka – me made 2012
Vintage Burberry rain mac – eBay 2011
Purple Oska Coat – New from Selfridges 2007
Orange leather jacket – from Sophie 2015
Checkered Blazer – charity shop Glastonbury 2016
Smart black Jacket – new 2016
Sheepskin gillet – From Sophie 2011
White Faux Fur Jkt – me made 2014
1980s Leather Blazer – charity shop Clapham Junction 2014
Denim Levis – Pa’s old one
*Black raincoat – new 2014
Laser cut Leather front jumper – me made 2012 (My current favourite, it’s so SLOUCHY and COMFY!)
Miyake Gold Knit – charity shop Jul 2014
Christmas jumper – new Dec 2015
Black sweater – Max’s 2015
Green baggy sweater – Pa’s hand knitted
Arran Cardi – Ma’s hand knitted
Short sleeved cashmere cardigan – from Sophie 2015
Blue and pink bubble bursts shirt (photo above) – My Pa’s from circa 70s
White FC split back shirt – Wachman
Pink shirt dress – me made 2012
Cropped denim shirt – Max’s reformed 2015
Tops & Tees:
Black sleeveless tank – new Georgia 2016
Grey veiny top – me made Aug 2015
Basic white / black organic Tees – new 2015
Draped racer backs (brown and snakes) – new July 2016
Alexander wang Tee – new 2011
White floral tank – new July 2016
Dark floral pink tee – new July 2016
Orange silky tee – new July 2016
Red silky & leather top – me made 2014
Red silk tie top – me made 2016
Dresses and Skirts:
Draped black dress – new Feb 2016 *Birthday dress* (dress worn by me in photo above)
Joseph dress to become top – charity shop 2014
Super glitter dress – new Dec 2014
Green Cos dress – new July 2016 *holiday buy*
Black knit miniskirt – new 2015
Sleep / Lounge wear:
Red silk nightie – from 1999!
White draped kaftan – me made 2015 (at Brighton Fashion Week above)
Pink silk dressing gown – NYC 2004
White embroidered kaftan – Ibiza 2006
White Pintuckes kaftan – Ibiza 2007
Navy Blue shirt – Sophie 2015
Trousers / Shorts:
Silver leather shorts – me made 2012 (Photo above modelled by El Blackwood! Originally from my GFW collection)
Black cigarette jeans – new Oct 2015
Blue cigarette jeans – new July 2016
*High waisted blk jeans (unworn) – new 2014
*Low waisted wht jeans – new 2013
*Dark Grey high waisted jeans (unworn) – new 2014
~White linen shorts – new 2011
Grey Cashmere – present Dec 2010
Black / white checkered – present Dec 2015
Matthew Williamson – present Feb 2012
2x silky purple scarves – presents Dec 2015
1x silky white scarf – new Georgia July 2016
1x pink sparkle scarf – new present Oct 2016
Green wool cable knit – new July 2016
Grey / pink spot – present 2015
*Items bought when size 10
~ Items bought when size 16
A Smaller Wardrobe
You see, it’s is achievable. I now have a wardrobe which is considerably smaller, which means two things.
- I now look better when I am running behind and randomly throw something on in the morning
- I have space in my wardrobe for more me made items.
And that can never be a bad thing right? 😉
Future Dressing Consciously Plans
My plan is to spend 2017 forming a new habit – a dressing consciously habit.
I plan to use only what is in my wardrobe – listed above – or new items that I have made myself. Socks, bras and panties are the only exceptions, BUT I have invested in a ‘making lingerie’ book, so watch this space!
If I do have to buy something other than underwear, I’ll be sure to use the amazing options in the local charity shops, and will upcycle when possible. This is going to be fun!
Dressing Consciously Challenge
So, are YOU interested in a Dressing Consciously Challenge? Are you frustrated by the random collection of clothes taking up space in your closet? Are you ready to rock it out in 2017 with me? Let me know in the comments below!
Til next time…
RECOMMENDED READING: You love fashion, and want to be more conscious? Get on board and start learning to sew your own clothes! This post will teach you about the history of sewing. This post teaches you the basic seams to stop your sewing looking home made. And these posts [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3] will teach you the fundamentals of the fashion design process!
FREE Library Access
Want to join in the fashion creation fun? Grab my free sewing guides, patterns and weekly email update too!