#needleworkmonday | The Curated Wardrobe

in needleworkmonday •  3 months ago 

Backstage at the Christopher John Rogers AW2020 Show .png
Source Backstage at the Christopher John Rogers AW2020 show at New York Fashion Week. Still the acid yellows, but warmer colours, too. Emphasised waists, either shaped or cinched, big shoulders and tailoring, romantic sleeves, big bright patterns, sumptuous fabrics with many textures.

In a previous post, I talked about Audrey Coyne's approach to curating her wardrobe and applying it to the creative work I wanted to do for the Textend Challenge. Somewhere in the comments was a thread about a curated wardrobe.

I think this is a really great idea. It's about moving away from randomly buying clothes and ending up with a bulging wardrobe in which nothing goes with anything and, if it does, you can't find it.

It's about an approach to slow, sustainable fashion - keeping the fun and pleasure of enjoying what you have and what you wear and how you present yourself to the world - but moving away from over-consumption (in the UK, some alarming percentage of garments are only worn two or three times before being discarded).

It's also about your own identity: In Lessons from Bargain Hunt, @revisesociology is reflecting about cultural markers (my interpretation), how we are all defined by what we choose, whether that is fashion (or anti-fashion), or possessions or any other material things that we like.

One way we express our identity is through our wardrobe and what we choose to have in it, and what messages we are sending to ourselves and to other people through what we are wearing. In the world of fashion bloggers, this is sometimes described as your personal style, and as something that evolves over time as you evolve and develop on the journey through your life.

Audrey Coyne is one of my favourite bloggers, who describes herself as "a fashion enthusiast and minimalist, doing more with less." Audrey talks about a forever wardrobe, put together over time and founded on your personal style, with simple additions at intervals to add contemporary touches.


Here, Audrey takes the trends she's identified for SS20 and talks about how they can be adapted for your personal wardrobe. She's especially creative about tailoring (buy new to you), necklines and fuller sleeves.

In the following video, Audrey describes how, having identified trends and inspirations, she uses them to create outfits from items she already has in her wardrobe. She has many other similar videos about how to "shop from your wardrobe" rather than buying new or new-to-you.


This is probably my favourite of the series. Audrey explains each outfit she puts together in some detail, showing the inspiration and then talking about colour, shape, textures and proportions. She also talks about styling, a new concept to me - how you wear an outfit as well as what you wear.

Once you view one of Audrey's videos, you'll find your youtube feed filled with a million fashion bloggers and minimalists, most of which are rubbish. What distinguishes Audrey's videos are a clear philosophy and an ethical approach, a non-judgmental focus on the audience and concise, well-presented videos, packed with information. She is also very soothing to listen to.

Over the winter holidays I spring-cleaned my bedroom and found I had a curated wardrobe, complete with something Audrey describes as a uniform - an outfit you know is going to work for you, you always feel good in it and you don't need to think about it while you're wearing it. Plus a posh frock and all the accessories for weddings, interviews and the occasional court appearance.

There is a book called The Curated Closet written by a psychologist, Anuschka Reeves. Goali Saedi Bocci provides a good review and covers some of the main points of the book in her post. Like Audrey Coyne's approach, it's all about understanding your self and your life style, what suits you and what you enjoy wearing.

Bocci makes an important point:

One of the most uplifting philosophies of Rees’ book is that less truly is more. While this is a mindset that appeals to many millennials, it is also kinder to the environment, our wallets, and ourselves. At the end of the day, clutter is mentally consuming. How we feel emotionally walking into a clean house is vastly different from walking into one that is a total mess.

I did add some pieces during the sales (Rees recommends not shopping in the sales, I say: have a written list). Sorting through things and refining what I wanted to keep (a carrier bag went to the charity shop), helped me to identify where there were gaps and what garments, knitted, sewn or crocheted, I wanted to make to fill those gaps.

To me, this is about feeling good inside and outside and knowing that you are enough and you have enough. Nothing is wanting.

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It’s funny because I am a sustainable minimalist because I have to be. I have worn the same clothing for years trying to add new pieces and maybe a pair of shoes to change them up a bit. If I could take on the approach that @neumannsalva takes of buying new things I would. It’s because of our limited finances and the fact I put my kids before myself...

hmmm new pair of jeans for me or jeans for my daughter because all of hers are too small?

I put shopping for myself behind me when I realized with five kids someone is always going to need something, they grow fast like grass lol.

I appreciate these tips and advice Audrey gives because I am always looking for resourceful ways to better my wardrobe on a minimum budget.

I think Audrey's tips are great! The only one I can't quite get my head around is spraying your tights with hairspray to reduce snagging and laddering ... I'm sure it works if you are deft enough, but I'm imagining that I would end up encased in rigid leggings like the Tin Man!

Oh gosh yes! I can see that! 😄

I totally understand you and admire how you manage your wonderful family. I am (sadly) in a complete different position as I only care for my tiny family (husband and mother), so my resources are not so limited. Nevertheless, I cannot spent too much as I still do not really earn my income because of the headaches. But I am (and there is my conflict) a gruesome bargain hunter with clothes... it gets worse as I improve in sewing... as I know am able to alter and better repair reduced clothes which are ripped or do not fit perfectly. I do not spend much money on clothes, but my conscience tells me to stop buying these things as they are not sustainable.

Oh yes absolutely! Everyone’s situation is different and some are able to do more than others. It’s probably a good thing my resources are limited because I’d probably go crazy with shopping! 😆

I admire that you alter and mend your clothing. I want to get better at sewing so I can do that more too!

I'm a poster whatever1 for "sustainable fashion": I hate buying new things ;) I literally wear things till I have to toss them.

1 What is the female version of a "poster boy"? "poster girl" - not a word I'd use talking about myself. Is there a gender neutral word? This is one of the areas where I have problems as a non-native speaker. I still find it strange seeing "woman doctor" etc. - woman as an adjective? Why not "female"? sighs Languages - I love them, but they are so illogical...

Why not just "doctor"? :)

Poster human? person? love bunny? ;)~

@muscara and @shanibeer I am exactly the other way round. I looooove to buy fashion. This is the only reason why I knit, sew or crochet. I love the finished products and I am not always able to buy things I want to wear because of a limited size range. I feel a tiny bit ashamed to admit this. And by no way is my style minimal. I always admire this on others, but I love to wear my clothes like a costume (and very often I am not daring enough for my own taste... entangled in thoughts about appropriate clothes for my size and age... but when in a happy mindset I am able to discard all this rules and I this is when I feel best)
I am not very tidy in my thoughts about fashion and sustainability is a huge thing which speaks absolutely against fast fashion (which I love) arghhhhhhh. I try to reuse clothes, to repair and to alter... but but but You see I am rambling. Just for you to laugh, on Valentine’s Day (which was pure chance) I wore a very pink outfit. All my friends told me they hate (honestly) the cardigan, but I love it. I found it in a shop and it seams very completely ripped... I think I wrote about the repairing last year.
I love the outfit because its in parts handmade, rescued and lucky buys.
BDF3CF98-8CB9-4899-A0E7-C5E49053F2F8.jpeg
I have this strange facial expression, because I simulate the bug on the table is biting me :-DDD
So, this was an incoherent plea for a daring and funny curation of outfits, kind of.

That looks like a perfectly curated outfit to me :)
I think it is all about your personal style and how you feel comfortable: I like your idea about garments as a palette and you are the canvas. I would like to be more like this.

20191120_152237 (1).jpg

Do you remember me writing about seeing some garments in a charity shop and wanting to re-purpose them into a single new garment? These are the four that were sitting next to each other and called me from acros the shop. The yellow is a t-shirt, the one on the right was a shiny textured fabric. For some reason I didn't buy them, but I am impressed at how prescient I was at catching the colours that would be Autumn 2020 hehe :) x

Ok... my example was to nice... :-DDD But still, my goal is to be more daring and to have more fun with clothes without censoring myself beforehand.
And yes, I remember and I so understand you as the warm golden and red hues are amazing. They harmonise perfectly (in my view) and I could imagine a sweatshirt made out of blocks of these fabrics... sadly my sewing skills are not good enough to asses if this is doable (because of the different structures of the fabrics).
I thought of something like the sweaters Rosie Martins is wearing/sewing, perhaps less oversized.
http://diy-couture.blogspot.com/2017/11/three-shades-of-kabuki.html
Or
https://threadcult.com/2016/08/29/41-geometric-patterns-with-rosie-martin-of-diycouture/
Are the garments still for sale? Are you pondering to try them out?
And naturally I watched the videos you recommended and I find Audrey very likeable and plausible, my only ‚but‘ is again my own fight with beauty standards (and don‘t get me wrong... I know that I have thin privilege as I can buy straight sizes). I imagine it very tough to find examples of clothes/styles which you can use for oneself if one is perhaps not slim or young or able bodied. I would love to see more diversity, but this is not her fault (as it is not her topic) but mine...
And again I am writing unstructured things 😱😱😱
Perhaps I should first sort my thoughts and than write. 😂🤪

The garments will have gone by now - when I am ready, I will buy some.
Audrey's style is very particular to her, I am not recommending it as "everyone should look like this". It is more that she is on a journey about herself and has good ideas that can be adapted along the way. I would like to see her in more vibrant colours - but that's my style!

I would go for love bunny... perhaps not surprising :-D

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