I know as seamstresses, we tend to put a lot of love and time into a project. Sometimes we’re rewarded with a piece we can’t imagine living without, and others are little sh*ts we never want to see again.
As I’ve been contemplating my postpartum wardrobe, previous sewing wins, and my closet workhorses, I’ve been reading up about personal style, capsule wardrobes, and signature style. These are things that I’ve been contemplating for years and struggling with. I know I’m not the only one, as Seamwork Magazine included an article titled “The problem with personal style.”
This article really articulates my personal frustrations with capsule wardrobes and signature style. They both feel limiting and uninspiring. Some days I might enjoy a Bohemian look, while other days I feel like a tough girl moto jacket.
I do like the idea of capsule wardrobes, but to plan an entire wardrobe of color matching basics to sew up inspires me for about five minutes before I wander off. I literally have 8 UFO tops from different wardrobes with different styles/color stories in the past two years . EIGHT! I unearthed them during the major twin-prep reorganization of my house. Of course, laying them out side by side, they don’t belong in the same wardrobe collection at all! However, individually, they all have potential with the right pairings and accessories.
So what’s the point? I am feeling like I want to join the fall/winter wardrobe sew-a-longs that I see, but realistically, I could use more individual pieces and outfits to replace worn out pieces that pair with RTW that I still use regularly. This conclusion makes me feel like a failed student who is making excuses for not finishing her homework on time. In reality? This is probably what is most realistic for all of us. If each piece appeals to us, and we have a functioning closet with things that work together, do we really need “signature style” or a “capsule wardrobe”? Or are these just something that fashion houses are selling to have us gut our closets and shop for new stuff?
I’ve also noticed that my style has changed with life changes like my toddler, moving back to the USA, etc. and just age/body changes as I transition into my mid-30s. I used to wear club clothes when I was dating my husband, so sewing those were fun. I haven’t been to the club in years, so sewing those now, while fun to imagine, is completely pointless. On the other hand, Eileen Fisher’s design aesthetic appeals to me now more than ever, especially with her additional sustainability philosophy and use of natural high-quality materials.
These outfits match my comfort needs in terms of chasing my son and teaching high school English. They also have the added bonus of being easy silhouettes to sew, covers my anticipated post-twin mummy tummy, and are made in natural fibers like silk, cotton, and linen (perfect for Florida’s tropical climate). Am I saying that I’m planning an entire wardrobe of these? Nope. I’m sewing twin baby stuff and going to try to whittle down those UFOs before I make any grand plans for a big project like a wardrobe. Luckily, when I do get to these types of pieces, they will stitch up quickly which will be all the time I have to sew with my growing family.