In the last Wardrobe Architect post, Exploring Shapes, we started to understand what shapes we like, and why we like them. From here, it's time to whittle down all those garment options into your core style collection of pieces. The key is to have a few pieces that mix and match into a closet full of quality pieces that you love, look great on you, make you feel fantastic, and suit your own personal style. It will help when choosing items in the future to have a silhouette starting point to jump from, so you know you're keeping true to your vision.
Because we're considering the proportions and silhouettes, try to look at the shapes without taking the color, print, and styling into consideration. Focus as much as you can on the style lines of the garment. If you can possibly find what you like represented on-line in a simple solid or in a print that you'd choose for yourself, I find that it really helps to envision it as part of my closet. But do your best to find what you are looking for and forget the rest as best you can.
My 10 Key Pieces
There are three key dress shapes that I like best: the classic Fit & Flare, a vintage-inspired Shirtwaist Dress, and the easy and chic Shift Dress. Depending on the fabric and styling, these three silhouettes work in nearly every situation. These dresses can be glammed up or dressed down, and they can be made in knit or woven. They are all incredibly versatile!
Proportionally speaking, all suit my sleeve preferences of either short, long, 3/4-length, or elbow-length sleeves, and all look great in my length preferences of knee-length (give or take a few inches). This is where you want to use all that data from the last post!
As I talked about in the last segment, I don't think I realized that I had such a huge hole in my wardrobe in the tops department. I for sure have a handful of cardigans, but I only have a few striped tees, basically no button-downs, and nothing like an elegant sweatshirt. I see that I need some major mix and match pieces! This hole in my closet shouldn't really have surprised me, since I more or less wear dresses everyday, but it's a hole that needs to be filled, and thankfully there are some great patterns out there that will help me with this in no time.
Proportions for these are easy to follow with my handy dandy chart from the last segment. The cardigan is best with 3/4-length or long sleeves, and hip length. I think a long or cropped cardigan makes my height look shorter than I am, so I prefer a hip length. The tee shirt can be created with a crew neck, U-shape, or boatneck, as well as any of my sleeve preferences. And the button-down can be made perfectly thanks to the Grainline Archer. The garment that I'm calling a fancy sweatshirt could be a sweater, a woven, or a knit. Basically a pull-over that is nice enough to wear with a skirt or styled casually with jeans over a button-down.
A very clear hole in my closet has been bottoms. This is not a shock to me at all. But the hard part is now figuring out what it is I want! I've been wearing some boyfriend jeans for a little while and I'm warming up to them, so I think I'm going to stick with those for the moment. And of course, a classic fitted and full skirt at or around the knee is a must for me. And because I'm living fearless, I'm going to give culottes a try! I think they might suit me. Only time will tell! Time to be fearless and try things to see if they work!
With these ten silhouettes, I can create an endless number of outfits depending on the fabric choices, situation, and styling.
Outfit one: Any of the bottoms can be paired with a button-down and cardigan for a classic and chic pulled-together outfit.
Outfit two: You can take the same pairings above and swap out the button-down with an elegant tee and top it off with a cardigan.
Outfit three: For something more casual, I can pair any of the bottoms with the elegant sweatshirt or the tee. I can also put the elegant sweatshirt over a button-down too.
Outfit four: Though dresses are a complete outfit on their own, pairing them with a cardigan is quite possibly my favorite way to dress.
Once you've whittled down to your core collection of items that suit your tastes and needs, use those elements to find outfits that fit all the requirements to start to get inspired. I must say, I am super excited to keep moving forward and put all of this into action!
Take some time and try to go through this process for yourself and start to picture what you want for yourself. I'm choosing some classic pieces, but these don't have to be boring and these don't have to be the pieces that you pick! Let's meet up here in two weeks right here when we start to talk about color!
In the meantime, tell me, what pieces are you most excited about putting into your wardrobe? What shapes are you most afraid of? What is holding you back?
And don't forget, you can follow along with my pins on my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board. This is a helpful way for me (and others) to see how much variation the simple shapes above can offer just by mixing up the styling, changing the fabric, adding details like cuffs and collars, and more!
The Wardrobe Architect Series:
2016 Wardrobe Architect Project
Wardrobe Architect Week One: Making Style More Personal
Wardrobe Architect Week Two: Defining a Core Style
Wardrobe Architect Week Three: Exploring Shapes
Wardrobe Architect Week Four: Proportions and Silhouettes
Wardrobe Architect Week Five: Your Color Story
Wardrobe Architect Week Six: Organizing Your Palette
Wardrobe Architect Week Seven: Exploring Solids & Prints
Wardrobe Architect Week Eight: Hair, Makeup, & Beauty
Wardrobe Architect Week Nine: The Capsule Wardrobe
Wardrobe Architect Week Ten: The Capsule Palette
Wardrobe Architect Week Eleven: Planning Your Pieces
Wardrobe Architect Week Twelve: Adding Accessories
Wardrobe Architect Week Thirteen: Overcoming Editing Hurdles