Workdrobe | Part 1
I really thought I’d never say this but I need a uniform to wear to work. My stress levels are through the roof as evidenced by my hair swiftly leaving my head. For the first month and a half of this year I could be found wearing the same black cowl neck sweater and grey pants every. damn. day. I didn't care about my "fashionista" rep being ruined or if people were beginning to worry about my sanity. All I know is that the last thing I wanted to think about in the morning is what to wear to work and I was comfortable and presentable. I know that goes against my advice here about surviving a workplace you hate are dissatisfied with but I think a well curated capsule wardrobe meant just for work is a happy compromise. So here we are. I'm waging my own style intervention and am taking you with me.
My goal is to be professional, comfortable, in classic silhouettes made up in fabrics that are easy to care for and don’t need a lot of attention while being worn. Is it odd that I find skirts fussy but dresses simple? I can’t explain my thinking on that as I love them both but there’s not a skirt to be seen here...not yet anyway. My pinterest board sums up my the overall feeling of what I’m going for, but to break it down:
Slim shapes like the sheath dresses but also A-line for versatility. Straight leg trousers keep it easy. Eventually I’d like to add some lightly tailored blazers but they aren’t at the top of the list right now. I have some patterns on hand that I will help me get started with the pants once I find the fabrics for those. As for the dresses I'll draft all of them except for the shirt dress of which I have three patterns on hand to choose from. I know I have a problem; we've already discussed that.
White, black, navy, and grey is easy, timeless….boring. If my whole day is boring I should at least be able to look down at my outfit and feel less bored. It’s the little things. So I’ll add red, cobalt, pink, kelly green, and orchid because they are the colors I'm most the complimented and hated on when I wear them. Oh and they pair well with the neutrals in the top row.
Wrinkle resistant and easy to care for fabrics that look great wear after wear: stretch gabardine, ponte knit, ITY knits, and satin weave cotton blends come to mind. Playing off those I’ll add softer fabrics for blouses for which the thrift store will be my very best friend since I’m not too keen on making. I already have a quite a few to work with. Mood and Fabric Wholesale Direct have some great options. I've never ordered from the latter before but they have almost every color on my list in many of the staple fabrics they keep in stock so I'm eager to give them a try.
I’m keeping things simple by avoiding them. Which is a damn shame because I have an impressive collection of accessories that would be perfect for the workplace. As of right now a simple black attaché case, but I think it and what goes in it is deserving of their own post.
So I know I've put all this out here, but I've been planning this for over a year scouring every fabric store for the perfect stretch gabardine. I can't find it because I can't find it in the colors I want in a price I'm willing to pay. Hancock had it but we know what happened to them. It really started there for me. However that also meant I've made no progress on this capsule wardrobe so that's why I'm shifting gears, sharing this process with you, and will start by getting the dresses done first. They are by far the easiest things to do and I shouldn't have many issues finding fabrics I like at prices I like. I'm trying to make good on my sewing goals for the year but I think I'll have the wardrobe in place by...July? August. Instead of the beginning of summer. With the way things have been going for me... Let's be reasonable. Next up! Accessories and fabric sourcing.