The Life Changing Magic of Wardrobe Planning

In my recent post, “Closet Refresh”, I admitted to failing miserably at wardrobe planning. I have tried…made lists, prioritized, etc., to no avail. In January I set a goal to declutter my closet, plan a versatile, coordinated wardrobe (me made), and set up a system to track my progress.

Once my closet cleanout was complete, I started my wardrobe planning research. I was overwhelmed by all the information out there for capsule wardrobes, 10 item wardrobes, SWAT (Sewing with a Plan), etc. Here are a few of the resources I found to be most helpful to me:






·     The Curated Closet, by Anuschka Rees

After all my research, I decided to combine the principals of a capsule wardrobe and SWAT (Sewing with a Plan). I did not make a mood board, go shopping to try on new styles or spend time putting words to my personal style, all of which might have been helpful. However, I have been sewing for a while and have a good sense of what I like and what styles work with my body. I began by choosing three colors for my coordinates:


Next, I chose this color for my accent:


I sat down with pen, paper, my fabric stash and began my planning. I wanted to fill “gaps” in my wardrobe (primarily pants) and keep our summer travel plans in mind as I planned. I started with bottoms:

·     Navy linen pants (self-drafted pattern)

·     Taupe linen pants (self-drafted pattern)

·     White denim jeans (ready to wear)


Next, I choose 6 tops that would coordinate with the three pair of pants:

·     White seersucker tunic (ready to wear)

·     Navy & white striped organic cotton knit tee (Grainline Studio Lark Tee)

·     Taupe/white polka dot cotton print (Merchant & Mills Gyo Top)

·     White/turquoise/navy/brown rayon print (hey June Biscayne Blouse)

·     Nani Iro Japanese cotton print (Closet Case Kalle Top)

·     White t-shirt (ready to wear)

Finally, I wanted a lightweight topper that I could throw on in the evenings or on cooler days, so chose a taupe linen with a fleur de lis woven pattern to make the Merchant & Mills Strand coat.

I am fortunate to have inherited some chunky turquoise jewelry from my grandmother, who lived in the Southwest a portion of her life. I can wear these pieces with the taupe and white garments. I also have a navy/white Shibori knit wrap and polka dot scarf that will coordinate with many of these wardrobe pieces.

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I have to say, this plan totally changed my sewing priorities, or I should say, created sewing priorities. I feel so good having some direction with my sewing. When these garments are finished, I will take the same approach for my fall/winter sewing. Once these basics are added to my wardrobe, I can start adding some fun, more colorful pieces…next year.

 In the meantime, I need to finish my current project – a Katherine Tilton tunic, B6491.  I’m busy adding some hand stitching in a raspberry hand dyed embroidery floss. Stay tuned to see the finished garment!

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