Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Handmade Fashion Challenge: The Style Guide

You are a maker. You are passionate. 
You are up for a challenge.
Want to join the challenge? Check out the details on this post

Last week I announced the Handmade Fashion Challenge, hosted by myself and Jean Chung.
One of our motivations in holding the challenge was to encourage people to make things for themselves. Things you'll actually wear.

This sort of mindful making takes time and planning.
Jean wrote up a very interesting Style Guide to help you on your way.

I've filled out mine here. It's been very helpful in refining my ideas and revealing items I actually need and will wear.

Will YOU join the challenge?

Style Guide
1) Go look at your closet and take out everything you wore last week.
Easy! I usually am too lazy to put stuff away until the end of the week anyhow!

2) If your outfits from last week could talk, what would be the 3 words that describe your work, position, authority, personality and style?
feminine, bold, artsy

3) From the last week's wardrobe, which one was your favorite outfit, and why? Which was your least favorite?
I find that I'm happiest when I wear dresses or skirts. 

4) Plan your capsule wardrobe. Capsule wardrobe should be something that would fit into your luggage if you were to live out of a suitcase for a month but still look fashionable and put together. There are several approaches based on your answers from the last 3 questions.

a.  If your last week's outfits are basically shirts and tees in solid/muted colors over black pants a.k.a. "BORING", build your new look around basic items with cardigans or vests so you can layer and change the look. Take a look at the color wheel, and locate the color you frequently wear. Pick the color directly opposite from your "frequently worn" color. Make the new garment in that color.
Hmm, I think I'm the opposite of boring. If anything, I have to tone my shit down. But to be honest, I do think I would find more use out of a few neutral-coloured pieces, especially where skirts are concerned.

b. If you found yourself saying something like, "I have nothing to wear!!!" more than once last week...  Make something really eyecatching: Dresses with bold prints, skirts with embroidery details or lace, flowy blouses.

c. If you realize you have 50+ tops and shirts but only 2 pairs of pants that work with your daily outfit or you have fancy dresses but very little comfortable outfits, make something that would fill the "hole" in your closet.
Oh yes! I have holes in my wardrobe! I could definitely use more neutral skirts/skirts I can wear sweaters with (ie cropped sweaters).

d. If your favorite/least favorite outfits were based on fitting issues, make something well-tailored to your shape. Take correct measurements of your body!
Fitting issues are indeed a concern, and something I hope to get better at through this experience.

e. If your favorite/least favorite outfits were based on practicality such as "it's cold in the office but all I have is thin cardigans and skirts that bare my legs", make shawls or jackets to include in your daily wardrobe.
MOST of my clothes are work clothes. I am also part polar bear. So generally, I need semi-professional stuff that someone working in the arts can wear to the job.

f. Develop a theme around the 3 words you have from Question 2. Do you need more serious outfits? Beachwear for vacation or weekends? Fun, flirty outfits for any upcoming holidays?
I always need more work clothes!

g. If you are still wondering what you should make, make something challenging: Sew a pair of jeans perfectly tailored to your shape; knit elaborate beaded lace piece or cable sweater that will wow your friends; make something from vintage patterns; mix up several patterns you have to create a new look.


Meredith MC said...

i made an amazing bag for my yoga mat. I can't "wear" it, despite the strap for carrying it. Does it count as fashion. ? I love it so much that I've been going to extra PiYo classes to show it off ( if only to myself).

Teresa said...

Hi Meredith MC! Sure, I'll say accessories count. They're part of an outfit, and bags are certainly accessories!

kingshearte said...

I find this fascinating, and I'm super looking forward to the process, but there's one thing I always find a bit weird about wardrobe makeovers: In my case, for example, I definitely fall under that solid-top-neutral-bottom boring category. Unquestionably. That basically describes what I wear every single day. And while I'm glad it's not suggesting that I should start trying to dress like, well, you* (because while that would be fabulous, it would also be such a radical shift that people would probably suspect that I was my heretofore unknown evil twin, plus, if I were inclined to dress that way, I would not be dressing the way I do), even their colour suggestions seem a bit... unrealistic to me. I have a well-documented blue problem. But advising me to mix it up by making an orange sweater? Let's be realistic: I'm *never* going to wear an orange sweater. Or head accessory, or scarf, or jewellery.

All that said, like I said, I'm still really excited to try this and see what happens...

* Just to be clear: I'm pointing out the significant difference between the way you dress and the way I dress, not suggesting in any way that there's anything wrong about the way you dress. I love how distinct your style is, and how well it works for you.

Teresa said...

Kingshearte: I hope you do join! That said, I think maybe I must not have communicated the idea behind this well. It's a challenge in that you make things for yourself, rather than you make things for yourself that are outside of your style. Going outside of your style is actually the *opposite* of what I want the spirit of this challenge to be! It's simply for people to recognize what their style is/what they're comfortable with (which you clearly know about yourself) so that when they make their wardrobe choices, they're making choices that suit what they'll *actually* wear.
Part of my (and likely) other maker's problems is that we'll see things that catch our eye, make them, and then never end up wearing them because we've picked something that is, for whatever reason, outside our style.

So, those resources we've suggested there are mostly for people who don't really know what their style/comfort zone is.

I look forward to seeing your fantastic pieces!!!