Sewing Ideas for Wardrobe Planning–Garments

by SaraD on June 3, 2011

Style sketches of a jacket, top and skirt

Style sketches reproduced with permission from Wild Ginger, Inc.

All the wardrobe planning books I’ve read focus on business attire. But I work at home. So how do I put together a wardrobe for the way I really live? What are the essential elements of a wardrobe that works? I decided to start with the garments themselves.

When you think about it, there are just a few basic types garments – bottoms, tops, layers and dresses.  When I finally realized this, it all seemed so much easier. To put together an outfit, just choose a bottom, a top, a jacket for a layer and you’re done. And if you’ve chosen fabrics that go together, you can mix and match all you want. Let’s take a closer look.

Sketches of skirts and pantsBottoms can be skirts or pants in all their variations. Straight skirts, flared skirts, short skirts or long skirts. Pants come in all shapes and styles – jeans, trousers, leggings, shorts. You can make them in all kinds of fabrics – wool for winter and cool linen for summer.

Sketches of knit tops and blousesTops can take you in different directions—knits or wovens of all varieties. With the comfort of knits, you can go with t-shirts, tank tops and turtlenecks. Or for a more traditional look, you can add blouses and button-down shirts. Or a fitted camisole/sundress top.

Sketches of jackets and a vestLayers include jackets and vests in various styles. Maybe you favor a jeans jacket or a wonderful linen blazer. Perhaps a hand knit sweater is more your style. Or a fitted vest in a wonderful brocade.

Sketches of 3 dresses in different stylesDresses are the oddball. They are the top and bottom in one. Many of them work great with a jacket or vest and can be a wonderful addition to a wardrobe. There are knit dresses, sheath dresses (no waistline seam) and those that look like a top and bottom sewn together.

Once you’ve got the basic garment types, you can change things up with multiple layers and experiment with different styles. Which styles look best on you? Which styles do you love wearing? Do you like your clothes loose and flowing? Or tailored and fitted? This is the great thing, with the basic principles in hand, you can create a wardrobe that is uniquely you.


Style sketches reproduced with permission from Wild Ginger, Inc.

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