This is actually my third attempt at writing this blog post and I was very close to abandoning it altogether. It’s really difficult to know what to include to make it entertaining but also useful to me. So I have decided to bring it back to the basics of what I need to convey in this post and just keep it short and simple. So what did I want to write about in this post? This blog is about self-improvement and making my wardrobe more me. Well, how can you see improvement if you have nothing to compare about? You need that baseline, so this post is going to be a summary of how I sorted/ analysed my wardrobe and what my conclusions were from it. What I am hoping to get is more of a roadmap to help get me to a more “me” wardrobe. Hopefully this time next year I will be able to repeat this process and see the changes and formulate my plan for progressing my wardrobe even further!
Let’s first talk about my process and what I actually did in this rather intensive (and not gonna lie – boring) process. First I emptied an ‘area’ at a time onto the bed and had four piles that the clothes could go on (cause lists make me seem like I know what I’m doing!):
- Keep- it fits me, I like it and it makes me feel good
- I like it (or it’s fabric) but it needs adjusting or cutting up completely
- I like it but it doesn’t fit and I can’t make it fit or I only wear it because it’s convenient but don’t actually like it. With this pile, I intend to put this to the back of the wardrobe and re-look at it in 6 months if it still doesn’t fit or I haven’t reached for an item out of desperation then it will go at this time.
- Nah get rid of it! – This will later be split into sell or charity.
I would then return category one to its home (in a much improved sorted way that definitely won’t last) and add the other piles to bags. At the end of all this I ended up with the following removed from wardrobe:
So what did I learn in this very long and arduous process? Well, actually quite a lot! It was a very useful process and I would definitely encourage people to have a go. But without further ado here is what I learnt:
Firstly I have too much swimwear considering I live on a cold island which has about two days a year which are warm enough to swim outside in, however last year I made the mistake of making my first swimming costume and I fear I have unlocked a new sub-hobby (ooh we should make a game of unlocking sub-sewing areas!) I think this was one of my favourite things I have made in a long time and therefore even though it is not really related to this blog post please see below my me-made swimming cossie.
To summarise my swimming costumes though – we’re good don’t need anymore (but who knows if I will listen to my own advice…).
Home wear- I realise I have a very strange relationship with this category of clothing (and similarly night-wear), I have always thought that this section didn’t really matter and that wearing holey old rubbish was fine as no one would see me. Well actually thinking on this- I see me, and by not putting effort into what I wear at home I’m making myself not feel so great – if I put the effort in for other people, why not me? Particularly during the current situation of not leaving home, I think this is an area that needs a lot of work- I’m not saying no to the joggers, just let’s patch the wholes and maybe make them in pretty matching sets?
Sports items – for the delusional days that I think I might one day actually reach that eureka moment that people claim to get where they actually can’t wait to go on their run first thing in the morning (I’m not sure I believe them). For me as long as my sportswear isn’t see-through and doesn’t pinch or rub I’m happy. The only change I’m going to make here is to mend the waistband of a pair of leggings and add a strap to a top to stop it slipping off my shoulders in down dog.
Nightwear is next and this comes with very similar feelings to the homeware section. I only have one ‘pretty’ nighty and it’s really synthetic 😞 pre-sewing me didn’t look at the fibre content labels with such geeky curiosity. The rest of the time I sleep in old t-shirts. This has got to change so nightwear two will be going on the to rehaul list to go from nightmare to nightwear (hehe yes I did 😛 ). Also added to this is the dressing gown- I have one which is a fluffy winter one, I would love to make a summer one as well (I mentioned this to my other half and he promptly put in his order as well!).
Underwear- I have a lot of knickers that don’t fit and that are rather plain and tatty and not enough bras. Socks – meh don’t really care and I like wearing odd socks. So surprise surprise another area to be focused on. Not sure I have enough focus in my brain for all this!
For trousers and jumpers, as these are more wintery items, I’m not going to fully assess them today but I will say that I need to find ‘that’ jean pattern….
In terms of t-shirts my wardrobe is still stuck in my teens, it seems I have not actually grown since I was 13 and therefore my t-shirts were never changed. I keep wearing them because they are easy but I don’t like wearing them and they don’t make me feel good. Light summery t-shirts, in particular, are in short supply and I think I would prefer more blouses as opposed to t-shirts. Another part lacking in my top half is things that go with high waisted bottoms. As this is a shape I gravitate towards I really should put some thought into this!
Dresses- I like wearing em and could do with some more! I think this comes from a time when I was very much a tom-boy and therefore skirts and dresses were a big no-no. Actually changing this was difficult and as I said a lot of my wardrobe has not changed since then so it is lacking in the skirts and dresses area which is a shame as they make me feel good!
For now, I’m not going to go into work-wear as I currently am not going into the office and therefore am not wearing it. I did, however, get rid of a lot in this department, particularly clothing from my interning years that no longer fit me and t-shirts that just really aren’t me. Something I did want to highlight though was work trousers- ew, I don’t like the ones I have but just in case I really need to keep one pair and then perfect a pair that I feel comfortable in. Thinking some subtle patterned tapered trousers (with some really wild pocket lining) that make me feel in control. POWER POSE!
In this sort I have removed the winter clothes that don’t fit me but I won’t be actually assessing what I want until cold rears it’s ugly head again (so in UK terms next week maybe?)
Lastly we have the bottoms. I only have a few pairs of shorts and, to be honest, they don’t make me feel good. They fit okay but they just are a bit dull and not my shape. Skirts, I really like wearing them, but, similarly to my dresses I don’t have that many and a lot of them are not the best fit. Basically I need to find a shorts pattern I like and do some adjusting to my skirts.
The conclusion to sorting the wardrobe?
First off here is my rather satisfying before and after:
And secondly, this blog post is odd! And remember if you live on a cold island, make appropriate clothing for it Sophie! – In all seriousness, I think this is more of making sure that my wardrobe is fit for the purpose of my life. My life has changed a lot in the last five years, going from school, to uni, to work, to lockdown and my wardrobe reflects this – a bit all over the place but that is what I needed to discover to be able to correct it no? I feel I must also apologies as this blog post is missing the sewing element but I feel that it is important to have so that you and I can understand my motivations and focuses of my wardrobe progression. Therefore I do apologise if this is not what you were expecting to read! (dw there will be actual sewing).
There we go then. Thanks for sticking with me! What do you guys think – any tips or nice patterns to consider in my re-make?