I’m currently planning for 2015 to be the year that I get back into sewing in a major way. Colette Patterns have recently restarted their Wardrobe Architect Series, where they present worksheets and discussions on finding your personal style and curating the wardrobe you feel most like yourself in. I have a feeling this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
My relationship with my clothes can be generously described as love/hate. I love looking stylish, because it makes me feel great, but I hate that a bad outfit day can also send me off into a terrible mood. Most of my current clothes are from a couple of years ago when I was a little bit lighter, so don’t currently fit as well as I’d like, some are old faithfuls and some are ridiculous impulse purchases which look bloody horrible on. I’d like to have a wardrobe full of things I can just throw on, and not only look good but feel like myself in. There’s nothing worse than being out in the shops and catching a reflection that inspires a “what the hell was I thinking?” moment.
I’ve pulled together some photos of the outfits over the last few years that I felt amazing in. I’m going to use these to guide me through the Wardrobe Architect series, and hopefully by the end, I’ll have a better idea of what I want to create with some new clothes, but also what I’ve liked on my body before!
1. The Orpington Charity Shop Dress
I adored this dress but I made a bit of a botch job on it. I bought it shortly after discovering the WONDER that is Orpington/Petts Wood Charity shops, shortly after moving to the UK. I realised that shopping in the more salubrious areas, shall we say, meant that there were often amazing bargains to be had. This dress had an exposed back with criss-crossing straps, and was about 20cm longer and two sizes bigger when I bought it. I painstakingly took it up by hand before I had my sewing machine and wore the dress to death.
2. The Bletchley Park Floral Extravaganza
Let’s be honest, this outfit rocks because of my hair. It was a bit windswept by this point but I wore this to the 40’s themed day at the former Codebreaking home of the UK. If you have seen The Imitation Game with Bucket Crunderdunder in it, this is where it’s set. This was about four years ago now, and I ended up wearing that dress to death. I always felt pretty and ladylike in it, and the shape was a little va-va-voom too, the sassiness of which can never be underestimated. That cashmere cardigan was another cheap and cheerful charity shop buy, which I ended up wearing until two not-very-chic holes appeared at my elbows. Definitely a possible make.
3. The Starry Tunic
I also wore this dress until if fell apart (a theme perhaps?). I love navy blue and I really like this shape on me. Now that I’m more comfortable wearing leggings I think a few more tunics could be the order of the day. Simple, lazy chic. That’s what we like, right? Also: hair looks fabulously shiny. I always feel better about my style when my hair is clean and shiny.
4. The Weekend Getaway Jacket
I love this photo of me, and it’s very evocative of a period in my life just before virtually everything changed. Plus I bloody loved that jacket, which, you guessed it, I wore until it got holes in it and fell apart. This outfit was pretty much a Sam uniform for me – long sleeved T-shirt, jeans and a 3/4 sleeve lightweight jacket. I like the look a lot, but could probably be a bit more pulled together by some awesome necklaces. PS, this was in West Sussex and we stayed at the Shepherd’s Return. 10/10 would recommend.
5. The New York Hair
So I fell in love with Christina Hendricks in a big way back in the hey day of Mad Med, and bit the bullet and went redhead for about six months. I loved it, but financially the upkeep was a bit of a struggle, so in the end I reverted to brunette. But I also went through a phase of wearing my hair curly more often, and I adore the way this style looks in this photo. I’m also digging the bright lipstick and the holy-hell-I’m-excited grin on my face.
6. The Crochet Wonder Sleeves
This was my 24th birthday party and I’d found this dress in Oxfam a few months before. It’s awesome, right? I put this in here basically as a reminder that my body was pretty banging at one point in the not-so-distant past, but also that some key vintage pieces in a well rounded wardrobe is never a bad thing. I still have that dress!
7. The Gold Brocade Planking Dress
Don’t judge me. I’m not passed out, I am simply lying down on the hotel floor shaking with the giggles trying to make my colleagues laugh. We went away for some of our friends’ birthdays and we were getting ready and feeling tipsy. This photo makes me laugh, because I feel proud of the extent that I am willing to embarrass myself to get a laugh out of people. I’m not one to curate a careful selection of photos of myself to impress people. Well, not too much anyway. PLUS THAT DRESS. It’s the best. A great shape, a high but not too high rounded neckline, and proper sleeves, out of a to die for fabric. This is definitely something I could make!
It’s been fun to look at some of the shapes I’ve liked in the past, as well as fabrics that make me feel the feelings. I’m going to come back to this post throughout the year and add to my Wardrobe Architect Series and share with you my results! Stay tuned folks.