When you learn to make clothes for yourself, you will be presented with unlimited options in terms of fabric, colour, garment, cut, length, embellishments and finish, etc. You can make anything you want and even create your own designs from scratch once you know how. The problem is that it’s difficult to identify yourself in amongst all of the costumes you could potentially create and put on.
So here’s some advice to help you to identify the style you want to create!
Let’s start from the beginning. It’s best to do this on an evening when you have the place to yourself and you feel level (by this I mean, you’re not tired, emotional or having a “fat day“). Put three sheets of A4 paper on the floor with the following written on separate pages – Items I Love, Items I Need, Items I Ignore. Now open your wardrobe and take out items, one at a time. Try them on and note how they look, feel and how they make you feel. Now decide which pile they need to go into.
Items I Love – If you put a garment on and it makes you feel great or it’s one of your favourites, put it in this pile. You can put items here if they don’t fit, but you couldn’t bear throwing them away. We’ll look into why shortly.
Items I Need – Nobody likes gym/sports kit really. But you need it, right? So put it in this pile. If you wear a uniform to work/school, then put that here too. Anything that is functional and serves a particular purpose should go here.
Items I Ignore – Anything that doesn’t fit into either of the other two categories goes in here. If anything is damaged beyond repair put it in the bin. If you’ve got items you don’t like at all and you don’t know why it’s there, just put it in a bag to take to the charity shop.
Put all of your Items I Need into the wardrobe, which should be empty by now.
Unpicking your style at the seams
Now you should have two piles (and a rubbish bag and charity shop bag). Let’s start with the Items I Ignore pile. Grab a notebook, take each item and write down any thoughts about the garment. What was the reason that it came into your possession and why is it still there?
Keep going through the items, working out whether there is anything you like about them and what you don’t like. For example, I have a gorgeous t-shirt that has a back made of patches of different lace. Its lovely, but it has no shape and it’s a bit see through (most of my underwear is dark). So, if I made a more fitted version in a thicker fabric or darker colour, then in theory, I’d love it. This is the thought process you should be going through.
Once you’ve done this, you should have a nice big bag to take to the charity shop and a notebook full of things that you like/dislike.
For the rest of the Items I Love pile, you should just work out what is so good about the particular items. What do you wear them with normally? If the item no longer fits, decide whether it’s worth keeping to alter/upcycle.
Put anything you’re keeping back in the wardrobe and pour yourself a glass of wine. That’s the annoying bit out of the way. Head over to the second part of the post series – Meet Your Maker Part 2 – Finding style inspiration
Have you had a wardrobe cull recently? What items do you find yourself hanging onto no matter what?
Images courtesy of nuttakit and photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net