Seasonal Wardrobes

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So it’s been a while but time to start talking about clothes and style again! There will be some outfit posts coming soon, I promise I just need to finish a few bits on the first and also reclaim my sewing room back which is currently a mess and being used as a temporary store-room!

Now that spring has emerged and summer is doing its usual hokey cokey of whether it’s going to be hot and glorious and wet and miserable, I thought it would be a good time to talk about seasonal wardrobes and switching them over. I think most people by default have at least two seasonal wardrobes one for winter and one for summer and probably like me tend to crossover in transitional months when the weather is a bit more temperamental. Of course this also depends where you live the world but I’m in the UK so we’re currently in nightmare what to wear season where it’s a toss-up between underdress and you freeze, over dress and you boil to death, looks sunny so risk not taking a coat and drown from spontaneuous downpours or if your lucky you might just get it right but this rarely happens in.

I’m writing these style posts as I’m trying to get my wardrobe that I’m making/putting together to not only reflect my personality and style but to also be functional and season appropriate. At the moment I have issue with fluctuating weight which is making sewing plans a bit difficult as I have no idea what measurements to go by but this is an issue for another day and I think I have the situation in hand and the problem is being sorted. I’ve also been in a bit of a style rut because a) I work at home and tend to just wear comfortable clothes and b) despite having a fabulous selection of clothes, not currently being able to fit in them is kind of annoying but as i said working on that.

Do you have a seasonal wardrobe?

So do I have a seasonal wardrobe? Yes I do, though at the moment I’m kind of in a wear what fits kind of stage so most of the winter I’ve been layering up summer clothes with thermal socks and woolly cardigans. I hope to get a few more winter staples made before next winter, that being a few layering jumpers, some long-sleeved cardigans and a few pairs of winter appropriate trousers.

Do you switch them over?

Most of them yes. I tend to pack away most of my dresses, especially strappy ones and things like shorts, thin blouses, light cotton trousers etc as they rarely get worn during the colder months. I tend to leave a few skirts and dresses out that can be layered. Now that it’s spring I’m thinking about things to put away, like my heavier coats, boots and thicker woollen tights. Now is a good time to do a stock take of what you have, clear out non repairable items, recycle or resell things you haven’t worn for ages and see also what needs replacing.

These days it’s so easy to go into a department stores and raid the racks because things look pretty and half the time they just sit in the wardrobe, I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past. As I spend most of my time working from home I’m looking to stock up more comfortable and practical clothing. The end of season sales are a good time to grab a few bargains in prep for next year like boots or a coat, or as I’ve done stock up on my underwear and exercise clothes once the Jan/feb fitness rush was over.

How do you store your clothes?

I store my clothes in a couple of old vintage suitcases which I’ve found over the years. Depending on how much space you have you could use shallow plastic storage boxes to store under the bed or on top of wardrobe. Or vacuum bags if you have a loft.

I launder all my clothes before storing them, I line the suitcases with draw liners and I also stick in a sachet of lavender or some cedars balls to repel moths. I also hang these in my wardrobe and clothes draws regardless of the season. Make sure clothes are dry, if you put them in even slightly damp they’ll smell musty when you take them out or even worse develop mould depending on the fabric content.

How to plan your seasonal wardrobe.

So pretty much the same rules apply regardless whether you’re purchasing or making your clothes. Think about your style, what do you like? What do you wear often? And finally what do you need? Always look to invest in your wardrobe, you’re better off buying one decent long serving item than five cheaper alternatives that fall apart after a few wears. When I was at University the first thing I bought with my student loan was snorkel/parker coat and some cat boots to see me through the winters. I still have the coat, it’s been twenty years and the best 30 quid I ever spent! I may not it wear it as much but it’s still there if I need it.

These days I try to be practical when spending money on clothes. Take my wedding dress for instance, generally that’s something you where once but I went for a cocktail dress instead so I could get more wear out of it as I hate to see clothing languishing in the back of the wardrobe unworn and I have worn it again. Although I tend to make more of my own clothes now I still apply this to the fabrics I purchase and the items I plan to make. I also buy a lot of vintage, part of this is to do with style, another part is to do with cut and fit, another part is keeping clothes in circulation and out of the landfill.

Do you have any tips to add about planning or storing your seasonal wardrobes?

 

Seventies Summer Style

When it comes to vintage I don’t necessarily stick to one era. I know a lot of people who prefer the 40s or 50s, others like the 60s, some only designer vintage, everyone has their likes. These days I tend to switch between decades depending on my mood and have been buying things based on likes rather than decade.

I do love the forties and fifties style and it’s what got me into vintage in the first place but the more I research the more I find I like styles from other decades. With the 60s I love the cut of their suits and for the 70s I love the laid back casual vibes. All decades are on rotation and come and go in and out of style. They say you should never relive a fashion trend twice but personally I think that’s bollocks! The 90s has come back very much in fashion and I was definitely into the whole gen-x, grunge, riot grrl movement, to be honest I still am, saying that trends have a quicker turn around time these days and if you blink you can miss them.

But I love the 70s and not just because I was born in the 70s. ’77 to be precise, yes I hit the big four O in the summer. I’m particularly fond of rock and disco, that is definitely a parental influence, having access to a good music collection from a young age is always beneficial. But recently I’ve been finding myself drawn to the fashion and style of the 70s and wanted to share some recent and not so recent finds and how I style them. I haven’t gone for a full on 70s look, more of a 70s vibe.

yellow and blue 70s dress

Okay so admittedly this is not a recent find but decided to include it anyway because you know I love a good shirt dress and bonus points for the cool geometric dot print! It’s a little loose, so I added a belt, I probably should add some more belts to my accessories range, it’s something I woefully lack in the accessories department but find a good belt vintage belt is hard especially as I can be so fussy over the most irrelevant of things.

yellow and blue geometric dress

If my memory serves me correctly, then this dress was from Beyond retro in Soho.

70s boho blouse

Next up is the cute boho embroidered blouse which I got pretty cheap in a TRAID sale. Will be perfect if spring, let alone summer decides to make an appearance this year!

70s boho blouse back

Next up is one of my San Francisco finds. I got this blouse at a giant Goodwills and chatted briefly about it here is my SF vintage haul post. I think is cost me a couple of dollars so yay to thrifty vintage finds.

70s black and pink blouse

I like this blouse as you can dress it either for a work look or pair it up with jeans or capri pants for a more casual outfit.

70s black with flowers blouse

I do love a good 70s collar.

70s floral blouse back

70s floral blouse

This shirt is a lesson in why you should try stock on! Though the advantage of being a vintage seller is that you get first dibs on any stock you find that fits!

70s western shirt

I’ve been lusting after a western shirt for a while, to the point where I bought a pattern just so i could make my own (I still will) because these bad boys can be pretty expensive.

70s western mens shirt

I found this with a bunch of other stuff on a little pre Goldfrapp gig spree at TRAID in Camden. It might be a men’s shirt but as you can see I’m not one for caring about gendered clothing. It if fits, it goes in the wardrobe.

70s western short with cacti

This wasn’t as pricey as some of the others I’ve seen knocking about, around ยฃ20 but I like it even though it’s a little snug! The joys of having slim hips means I can wear men’s jeans and shirts, though these women’s jeans I got in Gap last year in the Jan sale for ยฃ7! Currently I can only wear them standing up but hopefully they’ll be a little less restrictive before the Summer comes!

I have a few more vintage posts I’m going to do of recent finds and how I styled them, I bought some lovely dresses recently and an amazing art nouveau inspired 70s Sears blouse, so be on the look out for more style posts soon.

So before you go, let me know what your vintage styling for summer is.

 

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Choosing a Colour Palette For Your Wardrobe

How do you choose a colour palette for your me made wardrobe?
Although I’m specifically talking about your me made wardrobe, these principles could easily be applied to choosing colour palettes for a bought wardrobe as not everyone has the time or inclination to make their own clothes. There are several ways you can do this, you could do it by what’s in trend for this season. Pantone’s colour of the year is greenery, whilst I like bright jewel colours, I, myselfย  have found myself opting for more subtle shades this season.

Is it by season?
Colours you pick can easily be influenced by the season, I tend to go for brighter colours in the summer and more muted tones in the winter and kind of mixed in spring and autumn.I think the weather does sort have an influence over the colours I choose,e even with my choice of hair colour.

Is it by your favourite colours?
Oddly I don’t. My favourite colour is pink, yet it’s a colour until now I don’t have much of in my wardrobe. it’s easy to keep picking your favourite colour and then you end up with a monochrome wardrobe, which I try to avoid.
Or by occasion?
You might find that your work wear wardrobe takes on a completely different palette to that of your out of work clothes, or they might not depending on your line of work. As a freelancer I can pretty much wear what I want but when working for someone I less frivolous in my choices of office wear.
I’ve always struggled with colour palettes because my tastes and influences vary wildly. As you know I’m pretty much influenced by every decade and trend that’s passed by and cherry pick from each one, which leads to quite an eclectic wardrobe.
Recently I got back into Pinterest. Pinterest was one of those things I got into when it first started and you had to request an invite. And then I just kind of forgot about it and when I came back everyone was a profession pinner and had thousands of followers and I’m like trying to play catch up ( this sums up every social media trend I have joined!) but I’m not trying to be an influencer and like Instagram and everything else there are courses you can do to make you a better pinner, to make your pins more pinable etc but to be honest i think I’m too far behind to catch up or care about catching up. I need to do stuff at my own pace.
Anyway I digress (as always)! I started using Pinterest to record colour combinations and compositions that I liked as a way to help with my photography and this inadvertently ending up influencing other aspects mainly my choice of colours for this years wardrobe. I’m obsessed with colour, I always have and recently this has been showing up in my colour choices for clothes through bold colours and prints but towards the end of last year I started making some softer additions to my colour palette choices.
I’ve never really been into pastel colours, I’ve always though of them as too soft and girly which is complete bullshit, I think that stereotyping brainwashes in to believing that colour has some sort of gender significance and they don’t! Anyone can wear any colour regardless of their gender, it does not mean anything other than you like that colour!
So I generally buy the bulk of my fabric during Black Friday and the January sales (or basically when there is a discount or sale on) and I noticed that I had changed my usual colour choices quite a bit to a more softer/neutral palette. Even with my wool choices.
I bought some paintbox yarns and picked five colours that were the complete opposite of the colours I picked last year. Last year were all very bright jewel colours, this year they were more mute. Now I could say that it’s down to trend but to be honest there is such a wide variety of colours and prints to choose from it probably more down to preference that influence.

Like anything and you I probably mention this too often on here but style is not static. yes you probably have a core style but things do change, you add, you take away, you’re forever experimenting, pushing the boundaries of who you are.
So maybe Pinterest taught me to give those pastels and metallics a chance, or maybe because it’s because it’s been so on trend it’s subliminally influenced me, or maybe I’ve just decided to add a softer element to my wardrobe.
There are still prints in my choices for this years wardrobe, though I did take a slightly different approach in that I pretty much bought with specific projects in mind, and didn’t stick to my usual 2ms which actually turns out is quite limiting in choice especially with the vintage patterns I have in stock.
There are more colour pops than colour blasts. Rather than go for an all over bold print, I’ve picked with subtle pops of colour instead.
I’ve gone for more cream and white bases. This is highly unusual for me, I do no own very many white items, though I have noticed a few cream pieces have crept into my wardrobe as of late. And more pink because this is my favourite colour.
And florals have been making a comeback.
And I’m still obsessed with grids!
There are a few wild cards thrown because variety is the spice of life, though I’m not sure whether to use this fabric with lines vertically or horizontally. I guess that will depend on pattern chosen.
Have you chosen a colour palette for your wardrobe this year? If so what did you choose?

Natasha

(Re)Fashion Fridays – Suture Up Your Future Jacket

So as well as sewing my own clothes, I like to refashion old clothes to give them a bit of new life, especially when I have a specific idea in mine. I have a few refashion projects on the go but with all my Me Made projects planned I’m not sure if this will be a regular post or not but we’ll see. Refashioning clothes are good way to update and add a little bit of you to your wardrobe, give new life to an old item and stop sending clothes to the landfill.
This year pins and patches have been big and lots of people have been decorating their denim jackets and it’s all gone a bit 90s again. Which is good because I actually loved the 90s, the fashion, the music, Nickelodeon cartoons, Daria, etc. They say you shouldn’t wear a fashion trend second time round but to be honest I’ll always be an angry Gen X teen till the day I die!
As you know from my previous posts I found the perfect jacket I’ve been looking for since my teens, and also make teen me proud by stocking up on loads of cool patches from my fave indie designers. So instead of leaving it in the to do pile and forgetting about it like I normally do, after a brief heatwave resurgence, autumn finally turned up and I needed a jacket to wear, so I got sewing. Some of these patches were iron on, so ironed them on and then sewed as well, to make sure they don’t fall off as the fabric of this jacket meant they didn’t stick well. It’s a army jacket so water repellent which also means patch repellent!
So here’s what I went for the placement

Front – I took off the army badge and replaced with the Ugly Girl Gang patch by Tuesday Bassen, side eyes from Lazy Oaf and Heather’s Patch from Rosehound Apparel because Heathers is one of my all time favourite films, and an L7 patch I picked up at on of their gigs in September. On a side note, I’m loving all the band comebacks at the moment because it means I get to see a lot of bands as I missed out on seeing as a teen. L7 has always been one of my favourite bands and I’ve seen them three times in the last year of so and they are awesome!

Back – The most important bit, apologies for the poor quality of the pic but I really need to invest in some decent lighting gear. Anyhoo, the Give ’em Hell and shroom patches from Rosehouse Apparel, Take a Stab peel and stick patch from Tuesday Bassen and Rose Patches. As you can see there is plenty of room for more patches!
Then I did the arms, I did a couple of each on each side like when you get badges at Brownies or Girl Guides!

Left Arm – Sorry Not Sorry by Rosehound Apparel because I’m just not sorry if me being me offends you any more, Whatever by Sara M Lyons because yeah whatever and too bad, so sad by The Stay Home Club which was one of the first patches I ever bought, that kicked off this whole patches saga.

Right Arm which I ended up redoing because the placement was off and the material scrunched up a bit in-between patches and I’m a perfectionist on these things, which to be honest is not a bad habit to have when it comes to sewing and making stuff.

The top is Tough Little Self Employed Bitches by Vichcraft I bought to celebrate finally taking the plunge and becoming self employed, Far From Home, Born To Roam from The Stay Home Club (I think) to remind me to leave the house once in a while and Feeling Salty in Black by Rosehound Apparel.
I’d forgotten how difficult it is sewing patches on sleeves and have a million tiny pin pricks in my hands but they need re-toughening after years of machine sewing!

I also added some pins and badges!

A little Venus fly trap pin from the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, Rammstein and Interpol pins picked up at gigs.
90s teen me is very happy with this, in a gen-x, whatever kind of a way!
You can get these patches (subject to availability) at the following sites.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all items have been purchased by myself for personal use.

Who You Calling Girly?

 

Sunday’s posts are where I want to talk about style and issues surrounding fashion and style, and although I’d like to be objective on these issues they will in all honesty just be opinion pieces but hopefully not controversial or offensive, if anything a little helpful but sometimes might be ranty. I realise after writing this, they will probably end up as none of those but a bunch of word hastily and haphazardly strung together but here goes.

So some one the other week on twitter lamented that they really liked a dress but it was too girly and they probably couldn’t pull it off. In reality the dress wasn’t too girly at all and they could have totally pull it off but the thing that got me was the use of the phrase ‘too girly’. Although want constitutes as too girly is subjective, as someone who is very against gender stereotyping, I feel that when using these phrases sometimes have a negative connotation attached to it, even when none is meant. As a child and teenager I was called a tomboy and this annoyed me to no end but then being called girly also made me wince just as much because to me I was being neither, I was just being me and just got annoyed for being criticised for either being too much of one and not the other, which in turn is actually a criticism of me. It comes no surprise then that I rejected both and just kind of blended in anonymously so people would stop judging and labelling me. As kids we pretty much taught to seek approval and if we don’t fit in, the effects can be long standing.

Developing your personal style can be hard, in our teen years we tend to rebel against whatever it is that our parents have taught us about how to dress because we assume they are trying to dress us like them and who wants to be like their parents? Until I was in my twenties I had all but stopped wearing dresses because they were deemed girly, then I realised people were wrong, they were just dresses. Being a faithful disciple of the gen x grunge era, my uniform at this point was jeans and baggy band t-shirts because it basically meant less objectification of my body, the less girly, the less hassle in my books. My weight was under constant scrutiny as was the way I dressed, it was never right and someone always had an opinion. Most of the time I would be staring back at them silently wondering what on earth made them the expert and other time it was a very vocal fuck off!

Embracing my femininity was probably the most rebellious thing I could do in regards to myself, it broke all the rules in my book, the fact that I’ve always liked dresses was almost a dirty secret. Weird I know. But I also think confidence was major part of this and making my own clothes which in turn helped discover that I don’t need to fit into everyone else’s perception of me and that just because I listen to heavy metal doesn’t mean that I have stick to the perceived dress code for that ‘tribe’.

I decided to treat my clothing taste the same way as I treated my musical taste, everyone thought that I’m was solely into heavy metal but actually my music taste always has been quite broad, in the sense that if I like it, I’ll listen to it. To be honest my favourite genre of music is movie soundtracks but that’s a post for another time. I adopted the same attitude towards my clothes, in that if I like it I’ll wear it or make it. This was a slightly harder process as people can’t judge what you’re listening to on your iPod (or walkman) as easy as they can judge what your wearing but as I’ve grown older fitting in has become less of a priority.

I think one of the main reasons I got into vintage scene, a way to be embrace my femininity after being inspired by old movies, you could be smart and sassy and glamorous all in one look, plus I liked the fit and style of the clothing from certain eras. I have never been one for traditional office wear, I’m not even sure how I managed to stick out an office job from hell for 13 years but needs must and all. Some of us are not meant to work in offices but that doesn’t mean you have to blend in. When I got more confident in my making skills, I got more confident in wearing my stuff and dressing to my taste and moods, some days would be a one flower in the hair day, others a pin curl and all the flowers, some people would say I looked nice, others would look at me and why are you dressed that way, or where are going to be dressed all fancy like that, or aren’t you so girly now, like they needed to voice their approval of this new found confidence. At the end of the day their opinions were none of my business!

We use phrases like too girly, too tomboy, you’re fat etc like they are insults and they’re not. We should be embracing our inner girlies and tomboys and be proud of them, just like we should be proud of our bodies no matter what they look like. So one day you want to wear a pink frilly dress, the next New Rock or DM boots, the next both, it doesn’t matter whether it’s too girly or not. To be honest I think we should all, no matter what our gender is, embrace whatever makes us feel comfortable the most and not what makes other people comfortable, which is what I think we’re sort of trained to do. We spend so much time trying to seek other approval and fit in, we all just end up miserable.

My annoyance is not the fact that items are too girly or too butch but they way these phrases are conveyed as a criticism of the style itself. It is important not dismiss something based on a stereotype that has been attached to it, as to be honest there is nothing wrong with being dressed too girly or too butch if this is who you are, if you don’t like it then so be it but to say you can’t get away with wearing something because it’s too girly or too butch etc is bullshit! In a world where fashion choices are being increasingly being stereotyped from such a young age, it makes it harder and harder to break these stereotypes when we become adults.

At the end of the day clothes are what they are and that is clothes, they are a way to express our individuality not define our gender! Personally if I had my way all clothes wouldn’t be gendered but then I’m not in charge. They are a reflection of our personality, a small glimpse into our own private world.ย  These days I tend to sway between the feminine and masculine but I think the cut of the clothing or how the clothing has been produced is more important to me these days than whether it is feminine or masculine. I’m just as in love with a well cut traditional three piece suit, as I am a haute couture dress! All I can really say is invest in your clothing as you would invest in yourself, wisely!