Thursday, April 19, 2012

Handmade Wardrobe Challenge

When I was a little girl, my mom would sometimes make dresses for me (mostly for special occasions) and even up until I was in high school I admired the fact that she could take a piece of cloth and turn it into something really special. 

I learned to sew while I was in college. My desire to make my own costumes for the Sterling Renaissance Faire prodded me in that direction (because it was infinitely cheaper to make the costumes than trying to buy them) and I even made a few other non ren faire garments along the way. 

One of the biggest problems I have, is that I don't really love to go clothes shopping. Everything (in my budget) is incredibly boring. There's nothing "special" or "unique" about them. The few pieces that I do have cost me quite a bit, and I might buy something "special" for myself once a year. 

Over my "vacation" I spent a LOT of time watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Carson Kressley's voice has been ringing in my head about natural fibers and tailored cuts. All of the outfits they put together were incredibly unique and, for lack of a better phrase, beautiful. 

I have an interesting sense of style. It's a mix of boho, classy, vintage and casual. I love texture and little "unexpected" twists to the outfit, but at the same time I love a clean, classic style too. It's like my fashion sense has a split personality. 

When you look at my wardrobe (which I'll fully admit is completely laughable) it doesn't reflect this at all. I look at stores like Anthropologie and New York and Company and think to myself, "how on earth to I make these two come together?" 

Another issue I have is the actual lifetime of the clothing I buy. Since my budget is relatively small, I only buy relatively cheap clothes. They last maybe a season, although I have a few shirts that I've had for at least 5 years and they're holding up well (I'm wearing one today and it is probably one of my most favorite shirts I've ever owned) and probably will for quite some time. The others, not so much. They'll get holes in the fabric after a few months. I don't "beat them up" or anything, they're just not made as well as one would expect for the price tag. 

With Carson's voice still buzzing in my ear, my sort-of talent for sewing (and a ton of resources in folks that are fairly good at it) I'm thinking of starting a Handmade Wardrobe Challenge. Ideally, I'd like to eventually replace all of my laughably tiny wardrobe with items that are all made by me. It will take some work, time and patience, but I think in the end, it would be worth it by making some really interesting and well-made garments. 

Until I can really get started, I'll be making a Pinterest board on inspiration items. A lot of what I'm gravitating toward is from stores like Pyramid Collection, Anthropologie, New York and Co, and Global Rebels (they do some gorgeous things with classic dress shirts). 

Basically, I want my personality to finally come through in my wardrobe. Right now it doesn't. Right now I look like your average Jane. I'd like to show of my creative and unique self.