Monday, 3 February 2014

Wardrobe Architect, Designing and building thoughtful attire.

I thought I would share my thoughts on doing the Wardrobe Architect worksheet which I sort of started on a whim. This is a series of exercises on the Coletterie blog from Colette patterns to help us ascertain our own unique style and help us to wear attire that reflects who we are as unique personalities, shapes and so on.  I reckoned this would be good as we are (as a family) attempting to really downsize all aspects of our life and just have less stuff.  In particular I am seeking to put together the perfect capsule wardrobe for spring.

However, now maybe I am overthinking this all too much, but it was amazing how emotive I found the whole experience, not in a bad way, I hasten to add.  I guess how we dress is a big, big part of who we are.

So the first worksheet asks us to write down how various life experiences and background circumstances effect how we dress.  For this I returned to a lovely gift my mum gave to me on my 40th birthday.  She made it in her women's group and it was a snapshot of highlights of my life up to that point.  Little did I know at that time that mum wouldn't be around by the time I reached my next birthday, so I guess the photos are all the more special.

Anyway it was very useful for this exercise, here are my answers.


My gran on my mum's side was a dressmaker and she regularly made my mum and her three sisters clothes especially for special occasions like weddings.  As I was a child in the 70's I remember short dresses but also going into the era of maxi dresses and flared trousers.  I often would be with my gran in the factory that her and her sister worked in, surrounded by lots of haberdashery, fabrics like tweed were used a lot and lots of bright colours (which I love)

My mum was never happy about high street purchases as she reckoned they weren't that good a quality and I think that has stayed with me.

However I was a bit tom-boyish and didn't like the embellishments like lace, frills, made-up fabric flowers that my gran loved putting into her work.

In the 80's (late teens, early 20's) there were the music influences of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet with their frills in the 'new romantic' era, the influence of the then Lady Diana and all her frilliness but I'm afraid all of that was not my thing.

I did take part in Ballroom and Latin American dancing so that required dressing up which I enjoyed but definitely no frills, quite smooth lines was what I preferred.

In the 90's I mostly wore straight skirt suits and trouser suits in work which worked quite well for me.


Very short skirts were frowned on and I even remember my dad being 'funny' about me wearing jeans at first.  I was always encouraged to buy clothes that were good quality and would last.  Now I like to use very natural and sustainable yarns and fabrics.


Wasn't too sure about this one, I don't think culture has influenced me too much.


I was always encouraged to be an individual and not follow the crowd.  I think this has stuck with me as I am not influenced by friends or communities.  I would have been influenced by my mum in the past.


Meet with clients (wear something smart like trousers, top, jacket)
Work from home
Household tasks
Gardening/working in polytunnel
Social activities - theatre, dinner functions, friends houses, holidays.
Walking, cycling
Mostly I need my clothes to be smart, but functional, that is keep me warm when doing outside activities.

Toast style


Where I live is wet for a lot of the year, also cold and windy so need clothes that are warm, cosy and water repellent.

Body Image


Clothes that make me feel good are those that compliment my shape, feel uncomfortable when wearing low waisted trousers, clothes that are tight, clothes that are too big and clothes that aren't the right colour or the right length.

Also things I think of as 'twee' like Peter Pan collars, frills and too much fabric.

Worksheet 2

I will keep this a bit more brief.  When I was thinking of whose style I like I came up with:

Jamie Lee Curtis
Claudia Schiffer
Farrah Fawcett
Diane Von Furstenburg
Charlies Angels
Kim Delaney (actoress)

Clearly a much bigger 70's influence than I was aware of.  Interesting

You can see my influencers on pinterest here.

Some of my words that describe me are:

Light & bright                          Simple
Natural                                    Subtly sexy
Warm                                      Unique
Comfortable                            Understated
Drapey                                    Elegant
Sleek                                       Practical
Unfussy                                   Quirky
Minimalist                               Subtle patterns
Quality                                     Ease
Classic                                     Neat
Unrevealing                              Sporty

Five words that I think best describes my style

Simple, practical, bright, sleek & understated.

So there you go, an interesting exercise so far.  Who would have thought that my style preferences in my 40's reflects the style slants of the 70's.  Am I having a mid-life crisis or is everyone a bit like that?
Who knows?  Am I any closer to my perfect capsule wardrobe... will let you know soon.

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