When you make your own clothes, you want to make sure that you wear them and
You want your wardrobe to be functional, so a good place to start in identifying the gaps in your wardrobe is by thinking about how you spend your time (how you actually spend your time, not what you’d like to be doing day to day). Think about all of the activities that you do on a regular basis – if you have The Curated Closet book, there’s a whole chapter on this that I found really useful; so if you’re in a bit of a rut style-wise at the moment and are looking to develop your own personal ‘look’, click that link and check it out!
One way to make sure that your wardrobe matches your lifestyle is to make a note of how often you do things day to day in an average of two weeks – this doesn’t by any means need to be super-accurate or anything (mine is definitely a very rough guesstimate), just something that you can use to compare to the contents of your wardrobe. Here’s an example, although you don’t need to put it into a pie chart!
Once you’ve worked out how you’re actually spending your time, you can go to your wardrobe and do the same thing for your clothes. Think about how well-represented each of your categories are, and compare them to your ‘how I spend my time’ list. Of course, you don’t need to put them into a pie chart – I’ve only done so because I find it easier to comprehend things in a more visual format.
As you’re comparing your wardrobe and time, you’ll be able to tell which categories are over-represented, pretty much balanced, or under-represented. This way, you can easily see which parts you need to build up a little bit more to make your closet as functional as can be!
I’ve put this as the first way to identify the gaps in your wardrobe because it’s the most vague method; when I think about wardrobe ‘gaps’, I think of uber-specific items of clothing that you can buy or make to fill a specific need. That doesn’t mean that this step is useless though – quite the opposite! It’ll help you to figure out which areas of your wardrobe are most in need of a little boost, and which you can afford to leave a little longer before making them more inherently you.
This one’s much more simple than the first idea you’ll be pleased to hear! No more maths; all you need to do here is think about colour. Your clothes need to go together with something – as much as we might like to some days, it just isn’t socially acceptable to walk around in just a really pretty top and some pants. If there’s anything that you own and love but is difficult to put together with anything else, make something to go with it!
If your style is more on the strictly black and white side, this won’t be such an issue for you, but I have a whole load of really quite busy prints that sometimes just can’t be tamed – so for the upcoming seasons, I’ve decided that I must be more sensible and sew some tops and bottoms in a plain fabric.
If you’re a fellow lover of bright prints and struggle with matching fabrics to clothes you already have while you’re shopping, make sure that you’re following my blog and keeping your ear to the ground… next week, I’m going to post something that’ll knock your socks off!
Another really simple idea – when you think of something that you need, just make a note of it! You could have a little bit of paper and a pencil stuck to your mirror, so whenever you think ‘I wish I had a red skirt to go with this’ or your foot goes through the now-far-too-big ripped knee of those jeans one too many times, you can make a real note of it (not just mental) so that you can add something to your to-make list.
I’ve found this really helpful with my sewing plans as it’s made me focus on what needs to be made rather than what I fancy making. While you might think it means you buy more fabric so that you can make more, I have in fact been spending much less since I implemented this tactic. Less on fabric, anyway. When I have a fabric for a specific project in mind, I’m more focused on finding that than I am on the adorable little astronaut fabric around the corner that might not match anything that I have in my wardrobe already.
When you see an item of clothing that you like, save it! Instagram has created a way of making ‘collections’ of saved photos – so you can have all of your outfit inspiration in one place. Do the same with Pinterest, saving any styling tips, makeup looks or specific items of clothing that you really like into a board. Once you’ve amassed a few pictures, look through what you’ve saved and see if there are any trends, such as high-waisted jeans or pleated circle skirts. If you haven’t got anything like it in your wardrobe already and are wondering why on earth not, add it to your ‘to make’ list!
Instead of making a list, you could always print off some photos that you’re really liking and arrange them into a collage that you can stick near to your wardrobe or sewing area for some constant inspiration. You can see how I made mine if you read this post: TCC – The Moodboard
I really hope that you enjoyed this post and found some of the ideas helpful! If you’d like to see what I found missing in my wardrobe and what I’m planning to make this autumn as a result, you can click the image below to watch my Autumn Plans video.