Wardrobe Architect – Capsule Wardrobe

Heather wrote a great post a few months ago about her different fashion “identities.”  I loved her post, because it got me to think about the different fashion identities I have, and how the heck I can build a handmade wardrobe based around the different reasons I get dressed in the morning.

At this point in my life, I have three different style identities: what I wear when I go into the office or meet with accounts, what I wear when I work from home, and what I wear on the weekends.  I’ll dub these “Athletic Chic,” “Professional Loungewear,” and “Casual Girly.”  Pretty diverse, right?  Here’s some images to give you an idea of what I’m talking about…

Athletic Chic

Follow SewWrong’s board Athletic Chic on Pinterest.

I work for an athletic footwear and apparel company, so wearing sneakers and sweatshirts is pretty much the culture at the office.  As much as I try to look “pulled together” when I go in to the office, sometimes I feel out of place if I’m not sporting a pair of our sneakers or a branded tee.  And now that I’m selling footwear, it seems more important to me now that I’m wearing something branded when I visit with accounts.  Luckily enough, sneakers are making a big impact in the fashion community, so I’ve been researching different ways fashion bloggers mix cute pieces with sneakers and trying to integrate those styles in my closet.  My fave outfit when I meet with an account is my oversized Michael Kors black blazer, polka dot tee, skinny black crop pants, and black tennis sneakers.

Professional Loungewear

Follow SewWrong’s board Professional Loungewear on Pinterest.

Ok, don’t be jealous – when I’m not on the road for meetings, I’m usually working from my “home office” (aka a desk in the corner of my bedroom) and wearing PJs or yoga pants.  Definitely a nice perk of being a sales rep!  I own a lot of our branded sweatpants, hoodies, tees, etc. so it seems natural to wear them while I’m working from home – hey, on some days, I even do my hair!  I guess my thinking is if no one is going to see me, then there’s no point in wearing any of my nice stuff.  Plus, we make some great “apres gym” type clothes, and I love being comfy and getting stuff done.  This isn’t a category I’d make a point of sewing for, but I thought it was important to outline as one of my “identities.”

Casual Girly

Follow SewWrong’s board Casual Girly on Pinterest.

Lastly is how I like to dress on the weekends or whenever I’m not working.  Because my work wardrobe is so casual and relaxed, the weekends are my only chance to dress what feels authentically like “me:” cute dresses and skirts paired with cardis, jackets, sweaters, or leggings.  Sometimes I feel overdressed, especially if I’m just running errands to the grocery store or hanging out with some of Chris’ friends, but it’s what’s true to me and what I love to wear the most.

All of this brings me to my spring/summer 2014 capsule wardrobe.  How the heck am I going to tackle this based on my varied styles of dressing??

It all comes down to silhouettes – what are the shapes that I feel comfortable dressing in?  Looking back on the exercise from Week 1, I came up with the following shapes I want to focus on for this spring/summer:

Fit and Flare – this would fall more in my Casual Girly identity with skirts and dresses
Skinny-Skinny – this could be any of the above: skinny jeans with a fitted tee and sneakers for Athletic Chic, a pencil skirt with a fitted cardi for Casual Girly, or even yoga pants or leggings with a tank for my Professional Loungewear
Boxy-Skinny – sooo 80’s, I know, but this is a silhouette that I started rocking a lot last fall and really like wearing.  Again, it comes back to the skinny pants/leggings with cute slip-on sneaks and an oversized sweatshirt for Athletic Chic, or a cute tunic top and jeans for Casual Girly.  

It’s almost the half-way point through Me Made May, and I can see some holes that I’d like to fix with some sewn garments:

Jackets – great layering pieces for the cool evening in New England, plus they look fun styled with sneakers
A-line dresses and skirts (solid) – all I sewed with in the last few years were prints!  I definitely need more solid dresses and skirts in my closet
Skinny pants – these have proved a challenge to make so far, but I really want to make skinny pants happen in my closet
Tunic style dresses and tops – the loose fit is comfy to wear when it’s hot out, and great transitional pieces when the seasons change.

You haven’t seen it yet, but I already started making these conscientious choices lately when selecting patterns and fabric – is it the right shape/what I need? Does this fabric work with my color palette or other items in my closet?  I never like limiting myself when it comes to sewing, because sewing is supposed to be fun, but I’m getting behind this strategy – I want to get more wear out of my handmade garments and ensure that there’s lots of different ways I can mix and match them!

Are you having success with the Wardrobe Architect plan?



  1. May 21, 2014 / 12:37 pm

    It seems to me that your 'Casual Girly' and 'Athletic Chic' boards need to get together and have some kind of "feels authentically me' hybrid. The work wardrobe seems to have more trousers and the weekend wardrobe seems to have more dresses and skirts. I don't see why you couldn't do a smart skirt with a brand t-shirt, statement necklace and sneakers. Something like Kendi on your 'Casual Girly' board, but with some athletic pieces thrown in. No point spending half your week in stuff you don't feel like 'you' in right?

    • May 24, 2014 / 4:05 pm

      I completely agree – I'm trying to add in some more skirts that look cute to wear with my sneakers. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *