It’s Me Made May time of year and rather than being a bystander (as I have been previously) I really want to take part this time round. As I explained a little last year, it is an annual event through the month of May to celebrate handmade clothes and wardrobes. Over the years I have read many posts on how to compile your own handmade wardrobe, often worked around a ‘capsule wardrobe’ or considering what your ‘uniform’ is.
To date, I haven’t really felt the real urge to dissect my thoughts and my clothes to such an extent and have been pretty happy just to feel inspired to make more of my own clothes. However, this year, I have definitely been in the mood for a more considered approach. I’m sure much of this is due to a couple of thoughtful bloggers whose posts have really resonated with me. Libby from Truly Myrtle and Ioana from Moeke haven’t talked about transforming their whole approach to dressing themselves, starting from scratch or highly analytical break-downs of what they have and where they want to go. Instead these lovely ladies are taking the idea of gradually creating a collection of clothes that works well together, based on thinking about what they currently wear and why…….which is probably a mixture of what suits shape, personality and lifestyle, the key factors that work together and, when right, lead to us enjoying our clothes. If we can get the elements of what suits our shape, our personality and our way of life thought through, then consider the clothes we already have and wear and, finally, plan our sewing accordingly then we stand a good chance of creating a ‘wardrobe’ that works.
To start with then, I need to think about what I already wear and why – or in other words, my ‘uniform’. This is largely dictated by lifestyle and personality (I’ve never been totally sure that I’m good at knowing what does and doesn’t suit my shape so I’ll assume that if I enjoy wearing something it is partly because it looks good too, which, I hope, is a fair assumption). I spend a very good chunk of my days outside, taking my middle two children to and from the school bus, walking my littlest to and from nursery, dog-walking and, if I could, I’d happily grub around in the garden for most of the rest of the day. While I do occasionally dream of floating around in pretty dresses in reality that just doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle – and I’m not leading a lifestyle that has been forced upon me, I’m much happier spending my time outdoors and not worrying about whether I’ll spoil what I’m wearing. Clearly, then, I need to my clothes to be practical. To keep me warm (which can be a challenge in northern Scotland at any time of year) and to hold out the wet and wind.
I would have expected, from this, that my several lovely and cosy wool jumpers would be what I wear the most, especially in winter. Having thought about it though I realise that I definitely gravitate to layers instead. On my lower half I nearly always wear jeans or coloured trousers and on my top half I’ll tend towards stretch jersey and printed woven cotton tops (often with a plain stretch top underneath), and cardigans. More often than not this will be topped off with a woolly hat, scarf or shawl. I always hope to wear skirts, thick tights and boots in the winter (I love the look) but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like – I tend too feel the look needs boots to work and I generally wear wellies in the winter. I think this winter 2016/17 I may just try embracing the skirt and wellies approach! If we do get a good warm spell I’ll swap my jeans for shorts and skirts but those days are definitely in the minority!
I’m feeling much more clear now about what I feel happiest wearing – next I need to think about what clothes I have, how they work together and whether there’s any gaps I can fill with me made clothes.
How about you? What do you feel most comfortable wearing. Do you fancy joining in with me Made May 2016 or joining Libby and Ioana with #greatwardrobebasics over on instagram? It would be lovely to see you over there!