Thursday, September 25, 2014

may we have your signature please...

Though our plucky heroine is not very fond of life in boxes, structure does help, at times, to show the how of a plan... I thought it might be educational fun to try and fit my very non-standard wardrobe into the "boxes" of The Vivienne Files "Core of Four" wardrobe plan*. Now I don't do traditional separates in my wardrobe; my own signature "look" could be described as somewhere between Japanese and Scandinavian-style lagenlook in a specific limited palette of colors. My current style could be described as "urban fairytale", and is feminine but not at all frilly or fluffy (think more like Tasha Tudor and not Gothic Lolita).  My most typical clothing is a workaday pinafore dress, worn with an simple underdress with three-quarter sleeves, both with flared skirts and large pockets, often with various forms of subtle textile embellishment, on my head either a wide brim hat or a head-kerchief, and sturdy footgear. In colder weather I add layers, in summer I either wear just the dress, or switch to my hot weather popover loose dresses.

wardrobe planning, ala Vivienne...
black lovechild pinafore
black vertical pique pinafore
black polkadot dress
black dress w Jen buttons ?
denim pinafore
dark indigo denim pinafore
blue on blue stripe linen dress
bluegrey ikat dress
black/blue pinstripe dress
black/grey/blue stripe dress
black/white ikat dress
black/white seersucker dress
multi-brown japanese dog dress
brown dress ?
grey dress ?
grey dress ?

INTEGRATION aka accessories, and ideas about small improvements...
Fox Paws handknit scarf is waiting on the ordered yarn arriving, have started a small sample to get some sense of the scale of the pattern and the new techniques. I must find my Noro shawlette!! that one is my most favorite of all, and the color is discontinued; fingers crossed that it will show up as decluttering continues. My everday purse/haversack is currently a black/grey plaid Dakine daypack, which now has a broken main zipper, and needs replaced anyway with a somewhat smaller and better fitting EDC bag. I am good on everyday shoes, have black and dark grey Keen oxfords as well as black wintertime boots. Not going to put a lot of attention on new jewelery, as most of what I have works really well. I would like to possibly set the acorn sample enamel as a brooch, as the colors work superbly with my current plan.

Have been doing a bit more each day to make progress on my wardrobe refurbishment project, with cutting out sewing kits of new dresses, thinking quite a bit about how much is enough and how often and many to make each year to replace the clothing too worn to repair. Given my eightfold plan, sewing about a garment a month, maybe slightly more than that, would be enough to keep the clothing in good condition, once there are eight in each of the major categories. Currently that is not the case, but this will be remedied over the next months... Two friends have come up with a cunning plan to act as my sewing assistants, an offer that I find both intriguing and astonishing; I shall have to think of some particularly nice way of thanking them!

If each year I sewed three new dresses, three tops, two pinafores, and an assortment of other garments as needed, that would be enough to keep my closet full and in good repair. I wear my clothing until it is too worn to mend, and would find a closet with eight pinafores, eight dresses, eight popovers, eight blouses and the outerwear needed (wool coat, raincoat, and a scattering of cardigan sweaters) combined with a dresser holding eight each of long sleeve tops and tees (and unders and socks) to be most lavish and delightful. I may add in a few more sleeveless "slip-dresses" to add another layer in the coldest weather (the one I have gets worn very often in the darkest months), and possibly a pair or two of loose pants for potential occasions where dresses are not ideal (I am remembering a particular beach trip). I have a few more dressy clothes for the very rare occasions those are needed, and a pair of silver Birkenstock sandals to go with...

* this post from The Vivienne Files not only is an example of her fun "start with art" option for selecting wardrobe colors, but also one where she goes into a bit of detail about how the "core of four" concept is intended to work. My own wardrobe is structured differently, but I enjoy her blog very much anyway...


  1. ahhhh Urban Fairytale is a great description! And your illustrating picture links are really fun to look at. Well, except for Gothic Lolita. . . I kind of wish I had not clicked on that on, it's going to take me a few minutes to erase that one from my memory banks!

  2. oh this whole process of looking at replacement rates is very helpful. We are so similar in this area! I can't imagine a more useful person to watch go thru this evaluation, thank you for fulfilling my wish :)

    I'm just getting my closet to the point where i can clearly see what i actually wear and how much i need of these various pieces in order for things to function properly. My biggest hole right now is in hot weather blouses, i need to just bite the bullet and buy 8-10 yards of voile/lawn/hanky linen and make up 4-6 tunics and blouses. I finally got around to refashioning a pair of secondhand linen trousers into a little blouse mid-July and i've worn it at least 30 times since. I've been on the lookout for one or two 'fabulously perfect' blouse patterns, i'll still keep looking but in the meantime this is getting ridiculous!

    So i am hoping/judging that in around 6 months i'll be in a position to take stock and draw up an inventory and plan for restocking, and to implement a one in one out system. I can see real progress over the years in my closet so this gives me hope! Happy Day!! steph

  3. You have such wonderful friends! It is fun to work together with friends and i wish you God speed on your wardrobe refurbish.