Slow Fashion October Week 3: Do your clothes add up?

Or should I say, Slow Fashion November? Ha…thankful to be back after weeks of illness took the 3 of us out one by one. We enjoyed a wonderful feast with friends for Thanksgiving followed by a long weekend of reading, decorating and indulging in Christmas movies and baked treats. Now kiddo’s back in school and I’ve got my glorious almost 3 hours free to try and wrap this up!

Do you, broadly speaking, have what you need for various situations and seasons? I do. I lead a simple life spending time with my son and mom friends, working on the house and garden, doing creative projects, prioritizing healthy eating and exercise. and occasionally catching a casual concert or date night. I don’t need a huge variety of clothing and I have things in all categories that I really love wearing. My long term sewing plans include a 40’s style dress but I have no fancy events on the calendar so while it will fill a gap, it’s not a huge priority. The seasons where I live are pretty mild too, so while shorts get packed up for fall/winter and heavier sweaters and jackets get packed up for summer, a lot of my clothing really does work year round. Here’s a good example of an outfit that takes me seamlessly through an average day without feeling overdressed or sloppy.

10-23-18 OOTD

Alternative Earth tee (thrifted), Tom’s shoes (thrifted), vest (thrifted), M7445 Pants (home sewn), Necklace (birthday gift)

Is there too much of one sort of thing and not enough of another? Not anymore. This was always my issue though. When I worked in an office, I had too much weekend wear. Then I became a SAHM and after the first year I suddenly had too much lounge wear and stood in front of my closet close to tears when I had somewhere nice to go. From there I swung too far the other way and had nicer clothes I loved but my lifestyle didn’t leave enough days a week to wear them all. The capsule exercise I’ve been practicing helped me focus on the in between category that was casual, functional AND stylish and finally got the issue under control. When considering my clothes for a 2-3 month period, it was easier to see how many outfits I really needed for all the actual activities I’d be doing and I have a nice balance now.

Is there something you love but don’t wear simply because you don’t have the right _____ to go with it? Would that item also make other garments more useful? This cropped fitted corduroy vest. I’d love to layer it over a light colored fitted graphic tee and yes, this same top would be useful in many other combo’s I’d love to wear. I keep a list on my phone for when I’m thrifting to keep me focused and this one item just hasn’t come along yet. I’ve also always been drawn to sheer fabrics so I can always use perfect layering pieces to be sure they’re wearable when I find them.

11-27-18 brown cordouroy vest

How many outfits can you make out of what’s in your closet that will work for your day to day right now? Easily somewhere between 30 – 45 and probably even more but they’d probably be combinations I wouldn’t really reach for. The 10×10 challenge that just wrapped up helped me see even more clearly how many possibilities there are in a small collection of well selected items.

Did your mood board or any garments you unearthed give you ideas about new ways to combine your clothes? Since I’ve already been working on my slow wardrobe for a while, I can’t say this exercise gave me tons of new combination ideas, but it’s further solidified sewing plans I have in the works and inspired the fabric choice for some pants I’ll be making next.

11-27-18 S8058 project

What’s missing that would allow you to make more combinations from your current clothes? (The connective tissue) Pants in another bold color, a colorful or printed midi skirt and a casual dress that could be layered in different ways. Each piece could add 5 – 10 new combinations, bringing my outfit count to at least 60. I have no issue repeating favorite combo’s so 60 outfit possibilities is more than enough to get me through a season without boredom. I’ve been toying with the idea of the French 5 wardrobe, cutting out thrift shopping (mostly) and focusing on making those 10 items each year. It’s sounding promising since these 3 items would leave 7 spaces to build up my summer capsule more.

Could any of your “maybes” be dyed/altered to fill those holes? I created this spread in my wardrobe journal a little over a year ago, in the name of slow fashion, but I’ve since come to grips with the fact that I can’t save everything and some of those things just needed new homes. Since then, I’m more inclined to consider maybe’s as no’s because if it’s not love, not only will I not wear it, I tend to lack the inspiration or motivation to prioritize the project. That said, I do have a stack of items I truly love that I think I can make perfect for me…and yes, there is a pair of tie dye pants, two dresses and pieces of a vintage dress intended for a skirt that do fit right in with my current wish list.

11-27-18 mending and refash pile

Do you have accessories you can use to change things up? Not a huge collection, but I have some favorite jewelry, a handful of belts and a variety of shoes. Something I’ve learned about my style over time is that I prefer easy to wear statement pieces that don’t require accessorizing to add interest, so there are also plenty of days where my only accessories are my wedding ring, wrist tattoo and hairstyle. This handwoven trim I bought from an artisan at a Scandinavian Festival became a favorite the day I tried tying it around my neck!

04-17-18 favorite accessory

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