What is the Everyday Wardrobe? Well, let’s see….
My name is Sunni. I’m 30 years old and its felt like years since I wore an outfit that not only felt comfortable, but that I felt like a rockstar wearing. I’ve got a closet full of clothing and still, I have nothing to wear. Why is that? Because I have a serious problem of making and purchasing clothes that don’t fit my everyday life and style. I want to believe that I have many upscale, downtown events to go to and if I make this dress or that coat, I’ll become glamorous and have more events to attend. But I don’t. In fact, I don’t even remember the last upscale event I attended – my own wedding maybe (and that was 5 years ago….).
It hit me one day, as I was slaving away on a pretty silk dress (mind you, I love silk and will wear this everyday, but the dress I was working on was not everyday friendly) wearing my favorite ratty sweatpants and nearly see-through comfy tank top, that I didn’t really have an event to wear the dress to. Not only that, but it was a dress that would look better with an uncomfortable shoe that made me break out in hives just thinking about. It was right then and there, that I decided to put the dress on hold and start making clothing that I could wear in the everyday. Actually wear, you know, instead of wearing my half baked pyjamas around the house, I could actually wear an outfit that rivaled the comfort of my pj’s but made me feel so much better about myself and about my life. That’s what the Everyday Wardrobe is about.
Sartorial Sewing befitting everyday life and style
What’s that? You want in on this too! Because you too, have a closet full of clothing that you never wear! I hear ya! Let’s get to it then.
Let’s have a chat about my strategy. The Everyday Wardrobe is not about going out and purchasing a completely new wardrobe. We’re going to start with what you’ve got. And we’re going to start small. If you’re anything like me, you might find that thinking big only leads to a huge feeling of being overwhelmed. I have a lot going on in my life and so this can happen easily. Instead, let’s think and start small.
Step 1 ~ Go to your closet. Pick out one article of clothing. ONLY one. Don’t overwhelm yourself to start with – you can defeat yourself before you even begin (I do this alllllll the time). The article of clothing can be a blouse, a skirt, a dress, jacket, etc. Anything that is an actual article of clothing. No accessories. We’ll worry about those later. This garment should be something that you love, can’t bear to get rid of but never wear. It should also be something that is comfortable and that you feel is worthy of wearing everyday. This is a big part of it! Don’t pick that strapless dress that you have to pour yourself into! Pick something you want to wear everyday, can see yourself wearing everyday and actually will wear everyday. We’re going to call this garment the Never Worn Garment or NWG for short.
Step 2 ~ Ask and answer yourself these questions about your NWG:
- Why don’t I wear this?
- What would make this garment more wearable? Can I alter it?
- What colors and styles can I pair this garment with to make it wearable?
- What shoes and accessories can I pair this garment with to make it wearable in the everyday?
One very important point in this step is deciding on what type of shoes you plan to wear with your NWG. This can make or break an everyday outfit for me. If I plan to wear my NWG in the everyday, I have to have a comfortable shoe to go with it.
Step 3 ~ If you need to alter the NWG, now is the time to start that process. If you don’t need to alter your NWG, take the garment to your fabric and sewing pattern stash and now its time to start pairing patterns and fabrics with the NWG to try and make an outfit. For instance, take a skirt and go to your stash and find 2 fabrics and 2 blouse patterns to go with it. Again, start small. Decide on one or two sewing patterns to work with (doesn’t mean they have to be easy or hard), then pick your fabric. Don’t have the right fabric? Head on over to your local fabric store, taking your NWG with you and pick some up!
Step 4 ~ Make the garment that you’ve picked to go with the NWG – we’re going to call this the Everyday Wardrobe Garment or EWG for short. Next accessorize. You’ve already thought of the shoes, so now have fun with belts, scarves (maybe you can even make a matching one!) and jewelry. And just like that, you’ve made magic happen – you have an outfit instead of a Never Worn Garment!
Step 5 ~ Once an entire outfit has been made, utilizing the NWG from your closet, now its up to you if you want to:
- make something more to go with your NWG
- start the process again, but this time use your new EWG
- or, start with another NWG from your closet
Here’s the crazy thing: Once you start the process, you find that your new EWGs start coordinating with more NWGs in your closet! It’s addictive and this type of wardrobe planning gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment, makes you feel like a rockstar because you’re actually wearing clothes that go together and that you love and you can wear them everyday and feel comfortable. I’ve also found that this helps destash your fabric stash (who would’ve thunk?) and utilizes garments you already have!
Please note that I’m not saying that you have to throw out glamorous pieces of clothing (or any piece of clothing) that you want to wear for a special event. Keep them. I’m also not saying that I would just stop sewing those types of garments altogether either. I might sew them, but a whole lot less (if at all). I’m also not saying that you can’t wear dresses and silk and wool and other such upscale types (on the contrary, in fact – you know I love natural fibers), but maybe its time to rethink how these types of things are worn in the everyday.
I’m working with what I’ve got first and thinking up brand new garments second. This is actual wardrobing instead of making a closet full of white elephants which is exactly what I tend to do. Are you with me? Let’s Everyday Wardrobe our closets and tell our friends how to do it too!
Picking out a new NWG from my closet, Happy Trails,