How to coax a palette out of your existing wardrobe;
Identifying your primary colors;
Ideas for using your palette to create new outfits;
Tips for using accent colors in unexpected ways;
Using your palette when you shop!
Once you’ve created your palette based on the clothes already in your closet, carry it with you when you shop! (Click the photo to go straight to my article. Photo is my own, also used in the published article.)
This post appeared originally at my A Musing blog, here.
You’ve heard my original plan for my Chicago (ORD) wardrobe, seen the color palette I developed for it, and how that palette translates into fabrics, as well as clothes and accessories already in my closet. And now, on my last day of preparation, I can at least show you what I’ve been working on for the past 6 planning-and-sewing-filled days. (This will be in the nature of a briefing— emphasis on brief— with many more details to follow after I get home.)
After working out this color palette, my next move was to decide which garments to make with which fabrics.
My new ORDer palette. Click on the palette to see it on my ColourLovers page.
It started like most Wednesday mornings. I caught up with some reading over early-morning coffee and breakfast, and I was just rolling out my yoga mat, when suddenly…
…the phone rang.
It was the manager of my hair salon. I had an appointment for 2:15 in the afternoon, but my stylist had had a last-minute cancellation, and wanted to know if I could run over a little early. As in right that minute: 10:05 a.m. (It so happens that I live literally across the street from my salon, otherwise I wouldn’t even have attempted to make it.) Here’s a direct quote from my stylist, heard in the background while I was talking to the manager: “Just brush your teeth and come over!” The question was, how fast could I get there? Continue reading →
I’m working on some fairly major makeovers right now, none of which are quite ready for their close-ups, so I’m going to take a little break from the projects this week, and give some thought to my whole makeover concept.
If I was going to have a total makeover myself (clothes, hair, makeup), I would only consider it a success if the changes were more than just superficial; helpful shopping advice, greater confidence, more openness to trying new styles, or tips for tailoring clothes to fit me perfectly, for example. And if I apply that same thinking to my Makeover Monday projects, shouldn’t I expect more than, say, newly-dyed jeans or a scarf turned into a sweater?
I’d like to think, when I’m choosing and working on my Makeover Monday projects, that you’re getting more than just a tutorial; after all, maybe you don’t actually have a pair of jeans in need of an overhaul, or a scarf that you love and yet don’t wear. If that’s the case, I still want you to derive some benefit. So now, after quite a few weeks of makeovers, maybe it’s time for me to ask myself: Is there more to my makeovers than meets the eye?
The more I think about the answer to this question, the more I come back to the original intent of this blog: to inspire you to think about, and wear, the clothes you already have in new ways. That may involve repairs, alterations, embellishments, or all-out makeovers, or it might be simply rethinking the way you use the items in your current wardrobe. I’ll give a simple example from my own closet: jeans (recognize them from a previous Makeover Monday?), cowl-neck knit top, tweedy jacket, and my very favorite (okay, only) Hermes silk scarf, a souvenir from my very first trip to Paris over 20 years ago. Here are 3 ways I wear the same scarf:
1 scarf 3 ways: draped and tied at the neck, swinging from a belt loop, and embellishing the bag.
I just ran across this slideshow from Refinery29 (my fave!), and had to show it to you. They’re calling it “Fashion Math”; each of the 3 sections starts with a particular type of winter coat, then adds various pieces to form a complete ensemble equation. Here’s one of my favorite looks:
Winter Math: What to wear with a parka. (Click the picture to go directly to the slideshow.)
New Year’s Day. Reviewing my closet this morning, I was wondering what resolutions to make, relative to changing my clothes; after all, what’s in my closet changes of its own volition, at least a little, almost constantly. Just in the past week or so, I’ve had to let go of a favorite pair of red suede T-strap shoes that I’ve had for at least 10 years, decided an equally ancient sweater was just not worth any more mending, and that a favorite sequinned tank top was (sigh) just too small. I wonder: with a wardrobe in more or less continual evolution, is it worth making resolutions today that may just have to be amended tomorrow?Continue reading →
After writing my last post about evening coats (Warm Evenings: Dress Up Your Coat!), I got to thinking: what is that makes a coat “evening”, anyway? Sure, there are the duchesse-satin numbers, the velvet wraps, even some occasional cape drama— but how many of us own any of these, or want to? Since I’m not on the socialite circuit, let alone on the red carpet (yet), where’s the use value? Even with all the financial doom-and-gloominess, we still want to buy new clothes— we just expect more versatility. As I suggested in the previous post, why can’t one coat work for everyday use, as well as for dressier occasions?
To get into that day-coat-for-evening concept a little more, I thought I’d let you in on my getting-ready-for-the-museum-party (mentioned in the previous post) thought process.
Step 1: Pick a dress. I narrowed my choices down to 3 possibilities: the favorite, the pinch-hitter, and the in-case-of-emergency. And here’s where I ran into my problem. As I was trying on my favorite (a 1950s fit-and-flare-silhouette dress that I made with pale aqua silk noil to which I added an overlay of dark brown metallic lace), I suddenly realized it’s November, this dress is sleeveless — I have to wear a coat. Or something of that ilk. Problem: I have no coat/wrap/cape that’s the right combination of color and look to work with this dress.
So I ended up wearing my pinch-hitter dress: a bias-cut print silk georgette, one of my favorites; I got this from Anthropologie over 6 years ago, and I love it just as much now, but it’s quite definitely a summer dress. (Anthropologie called it the “Surrealist Dress”, which made it seem all the more appropriate for a night at the museum.) Here it is:
A few days ago, I was having a low moment. Well, more than just a moment. I was wearing faded jeans and a black cardigan over a grey camisole. What does that have to do with it? Okay, there’s a chicken-or-the-egg aspect: was I wearing dull colors because I was feeling down, or feeling down because I was wearing dull colors? Either way, if I think about it in a Pythagorean kind of way, changing my clothes (or at least adding some color) should logically change my spirits.
But… implementing this sort of clothes-minded therapy requires making a conscious choice.
(Semi-serious disclaimer: if you detest the use of fruit names as euphemisms for body types, as I do, frankly, don’t say I didn’t warn you. That said, if you can ignore that part, there’s good information here.)
Here’s an example:
Wedding gown for full figures. (Click on this picture to go see the entire slideshow.)Continue reading →
After my last two posts (In Transition and In Transition Encore), I just wanted to add a few words on why I’m exploring this topic. I mean, it’s enough work to come up with seasonal wardrobes in the first place— now we have to mix them together?!
Every year I have the same struggle with getting my summer wardrobe together: why should I invest a lot of money, time, and effort into hot-weather clothes that in all likelihood will only be worn for a few weeks out of the year? (This applies to clothes that are bought, as well as ones that I make myself.) Well, as I’ve been finding out this year, the key is in planning. If I put more of the up-front effort into strategic planning, it should not only save shopping time, but also the time I might otherwise spend later in either returning items that don’t work, or in taking them to the thrift store. Not to mention whatever it takes to replace those rejected pieces! Continue reading →