Wardrobe Essentials from Harper’s Bazaar Great Style
A a home sewer I am looking for a guideline to direct my sewing choices since I want to spend my time creating garments that enhance my wardrobe, rather than impulse buying both pattern and fabric then sewing up something that is cute, but doesn’t go with anything else I own. As I usually try to include some piffle amidst my regular reading I was both surprised and impressed to receive some solid advice in Harper’s Bazaar “Great Style: Best Ways to Update Your Look” Jenny Levin, @ 2010 Hearst Books
Most style how-to’s are never without a list of wardrobe basics. You know what I am talking about. If you have heard it once, you have heard it a thousand times. Countless fashion magazine writers have advised us to use their prescribed list of “necessary” garments in order to create a basic wardrobe for each season.
These lists usually purport to be the bare minimum which you will mix and match fashionably through a season, never wondering if you have anything to wear, because supposedly you have it covered. At least that is the usual claim. But I have never grooved to any of the lists I have read so far. Most of the time these lists are unrealistically minimal; there just aren’t enough clothes.
Additionally, the compilers seem to make some assumptions that do not apply to my life.
- That my business culture was similar to a bank where I would need some killer power suits.
- That my social life consisted of frequent resort vacations or when at home, cocktail parties.
- That I would never sweat in any of these items, resigning them to the laundry pile and out of commission for the repeat mix and match the author advises.
- And, most obviously to any woman going about her business in the real world filled with wonderful astute fashionable femininity, that I did not work in an office full of women who would comment on how often I had repeated my outfit. (And they might think it a little strange that I kept changing up the same two pair of pants!)
Harper’s Bazaar doesn’t exactly promote affordable fashion, and I imagine that much of its content is aimed towards an upper middle class woman with a cosmopolitan lifestyle. And that is where the editor absolutely surprised me.
Levin has offered the best, most reasonable basic wardrobe list I have ever read, and it is bereft of a ton of assumptions about what my lifestyle is like.
Let me give you her list and see what you think. I am quoting from pages 20-21.
2 workworthy, 2 for weekends
short sleeve, long sleeve, tank and turtle
1 dress coat, 1 sporty outerwear, 1 trench, 1 day-to-night
2 office/evening and 2 informal
2 tops for every pant and skirt
1 dressy top and 1 casual for every pant and skirt equaling 16 tops
1 for every season that you can wear together or as separates
2 daydresses, 1 cocktail, 1 formal, and one “special knock-em dead frock”
1 slim cut, 1 relaxed, 1 ankle length for flats, and 1 longer length for higher heels
What I like about this list how open-ended and adaptable it is. And it offers a nice amount of clothes, not a hoard or even a walk-in closet worth, but enough items to keep you, and your viewers, from becoming bored. Additionally, with enough clothes, you won’t wear them to death, meaning you won’t need to replace the entire wardrobe each season.
Using this list I am going to adapt it to my needs and take a look at my closet.
I am wondering about other home sewers.
Do you have a guide that they you use every season? For example, you always make a jacket, or a suit, etc.
Do you sew hit or miss, and then fill in with purchases?
Next Post: Tuesday, April 20, 1010: Simplicity 2929 Shirtwaist Dress: Pattern Review