Besides LOVE, (air, water, food, shelter) — what do YOU need?
I’m addressing this with a style-wise state of mind. We all need raiment — Besides the basics of shelter clothing covering our bodies, many of us have a multitude of choices on how to do it — Decorative, minimal, utilitarian, stylish, fashionable, etc. How do you choose? What do you want to express? Are you feeling good in your apparel? (This is where you chime in — comment — give us your 2 cents.)
I learned an interesting thing recently, a figure/fact that I did not know. Women spend, on average $283 monthly, $3396 a year on clothes. So, what are y’all buying? — How often and why? (Again, feel free to comment.) Does this statistic apply to you in some fashion? Is there a criteria for shopping? This really got me thinking…about the whats and the whys. What we need vs. wha we want, every season or year, and how often we need or want new things to wear. Is it planned or impulse, is it love, is it practical or frivolous, because it’s cheap or on sale, or just too fabulous? What are your reasons? — I really want to know! — Because I’m a designer and because my own shopping habits have changed quite a lot in the last several years. Perhaps I should conduct a poll… Until then, I would truly love to hear from YOU.
I’ll tell you a bit about my whats & whys, and hope that you will tell me as well, really.
I buy less frequently than I used to, based on LOVE and/or need. (I have most items made.) I get pieces that I love and know that I’ll wear for a long time. Pieces that work well with what I already have, or spectacularly stand alone. I buy quality, I buy less, I get things that make me feel good. I don’t buy (cheap crap) on impulse that I will get sick of, no matter how cute it may be in that moment. These days I think more long-term, sustainable, bigger picture — special pieces that have practical value.
Depending on what you already have in your wardrobe, what’s missing, what needs refreshing and renewing, and what you’re absolutely loving or needing — is all up to you to figure out. I’m happy to help if I can — So feel free to ask. — Here’s a basic idea of what I would buy for the year with that $3396, which does not include shoes. (Use any left over money to stash for future purchase, or for shoes!) I think my list, coupled with what you may already have, will serve you well. (You can’t have everything at once, this is about building a good wardrobe, adding new pieces bit by bit.)
*I recommend the following:
Note: Do not skimp on fabric quality. There are a multitude of reasons, most imprtantly because cheap materials don't last as well, or look and feel as good.
1. A good jacket/blazer or coat, depending on what you need or want to add to your wardrobe. (Whichever is the most needed or wanted.)
2. A well-made pant, (think tailored trouser, slim or wide legged) that will work with many things you already own, and dresses up or down easily, in a solid, quality fabric.
3. A skirt, in whatever shape and length you favor, that’s also easy to wear with many tops. (Note: if you're not a skirt person or a pant person, add jeans here, or double up on a bottom you prefer. Stay away from sausage pants.)
4. Two dresses that are pretty, well made, and transition well. (If you’ve got extra cash, especially if you’re a dress lover, add one or two more dresses, they are easy, instant outfits that require less effort to put together.)
5. Two shirts/blouses, that are fun and practical, have varying sleeve lengths and go with your pants, jeans, skirts. (Print or solid, is up to you.)
6. Knit tops, at least two or three, long and short sleeve, tees and tanks, that layer easily, can be worn year round with and under stuff.
7. Sweaters, two would be good, a pullover and a cardigan — that work well with your bottoms and dresses. (Be they chunky or fine, that is your preference.)
So, according to my basic calculation of what all this would cost, I’d say about $3000. — $3200. so far, realistically. Unless you’re buying ultra designer labels, which won’t get you much more then a couple of pieces, or you’re buying fast fashion, then you’ll have plenty left over, but please shop as ethically as you can. Now, with any left over funds…buy shoes. Whether you like heels or flats, two-pair should serve you well and should work well with your new and existing apparel. I recommend a boot, plus either a pump, flat, loafer or oxford of some sort — whatever makes you happy, that you can walk in. (I assume you have jeans…if not, get some. More about jeans in another episode.) I hope you find this helpful, let me know if you have questions*
Note: We offer some wardrobe consulting services, feel free to inquire. I’m also happy to dole out some free advice should you have a question or two regarding your wardrobe, etc.
*Other updates, trials, discoveries — My fave new piece to wear, and a big wtf at work in progress at the atelier.
1. One of my best fabrics just fell through. After I had already bought the sample yardage, the manufacturer has now discontinued the fabric! — Serious waste of my time and money. Now I have to scramble and edit to come up with something I love just as much. I will not make stuff willy-nilly, just to complete a collection. I want every piece to be special, and every piece to be able to stand alone. This is a small collection, I want all the pieces to be both fabulous and practical. It’s made-to-order and it’s not cheap, (not expensive either for what it is). I may have found a good one but, ugh…delays!
On the bright side, one of the best features of made-to-order is that we’re able to make some special modifications for you, with lengths, sleeves, fabric change, etc. — Just inquire, if we’re able to accommodate we certainly will.
*Serendipity is Ubiquitous — True or False?
The work in progress cha-cha-cha… Kimono dress, scarf-blouse, fiesta skirt and new dirndl…The floral embroidered-eyelet is gone, the scalloped sunrire one still stands…now we must select another...I'll show you next time.
2. OK, my favorite new thing to wear is, drumroll please…The Liberty-daisy print swing skirt! I can’t believe it took me so long to put it on…once I did…mamma mia! This skirt works well with so much more stuff than I originally thought. I wore it belted, with a simple tank, light weight cardigan, and sandals. Then I tried it on with fall boots and a chunky sweater — also fabulous. Then I wore it with a little fitted blazer and pumps, oxfords/loafers also work well — I loved this too. So a seemingly summery skirt has become a multi-faceted wardrobe stable. It looks surprisingly great with winter fabrics, I can wear this almost all year, and that’s pretty fabulous. (see below)