Week Two: Evaluate

This week, we are getting into the practical details of what your ideal capsule is going to look like. We’re collecting criteria, looks and fabric so we can get started sewing (and procuring!) our ideal, but also realistic, capsule wardrobes.

The first thing I’d like you to do this week is figure out what is stopping you from feeling great in your clothes. Is it fit? Is it the style? The fabric? The weather? Before anything else, our clothes need to practical for our lifestyle and weather. Once we have that figured out, we can come up with criteria for what our capsule needs to do for us. For example, my summer capsule needs to perform well in the heat and humidity of the Ottawa valley. My clothes need to work well for moderate activity like taking long walks outside and playing with my kids. My thighs rub, so my bottoms need to be long enough to prevent chafe, but short enough that I stay cool. My clothes need to be an outfit so I feel cute when out and about.

Once you have these criteria set, you can start thinking about a silhouette that will take you through this season. I’m a big fan of uniform dressing (read pages 13-15 in the planner) and like to choose one shape to make my clothes coordinate better (fill out page 30 in the planner). While colour is big, I think it’s equally important to think about how the fit and rise of your clothes will work together. As a rule, I wear skinny jeans and hip-length boxy tops in the cooler months. The proportions of all my tops work with all my pants. It’s easy. Think hard about what kind of bottom you like best, what kind of top, and any outerwear that will have to fit over them. Stick to those silhouettes. It will make your search for patterns much easier. Try to keep in mind here your aspirational wardrobe (that you thought about last week) and what works well for lifestyle and feels good on your body.

The last thing we get to do this week is curate some fabric. Think hard about what colours you like (fill out page 26 in the planner) and what you think works well together. Shop your stash and see what you have before buying anything. Do you have fabric in the colours you want to use? Are they the right weights for the garments you want to make? Do they work for the season you are in? I always start by collecting fabric in the colours, fibres and textures I like before deciding on patterns, so don’t think you need to know exactly what you are sewing yet. I find it easier to decide what a fabric will become after I have been able to see it and touch it in person. I’ve avoided so many poor pairings of fabric to pattern this way. Don’t order too much. Be realistic about what you need and what you can sew. I’m completely overhauling my summer wardrobe and I only bought five lengths of fabric.

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