Thursday, September 3, 2009

Looking good

So promises the title of this Palmer/Pletsch wardrobe planning publication. As a cultural artefact it makes for a fascinating read, representing as it does one kind of American woman in the early 90's. While the examples and illustrations are very much aimed at that target audience (do you take your colour swatches with you when shopping for accessories? how many day dresses do you need for church? etc) I'm interested more in its general principles to see if any of it relates to me or my lifestyle.

The first exercise has been very helpful. You are asked to fill in chart to determine your need for formal wear (evening or business), smart ( church, opera, wedding, swanky restaurant or bar etc) smart casual wear, casual wear and sportswear. You make a pie chart based on lifestyle needs. Mine looks like this:

I don't have any need for formal wear or sportswear but I bet THAT doesn't surprise you.

The next asks you to classify what's actually in your wardrobe and mine looks like this:

The difference shows you the gaps in your wardrobe. I am a stay at home mother who does not like casual clothes. You can see it in what I make. But ... it doesn't really suit my lifestyle because I also don't want my nice clothes to get covered in crap. So .... I'm going to have to do some creative thinking about how to have nice clothes that CAN get covered in crap or make casual clothes that actually look really nice.

Anyway, since I forked out $50 for the book I'm going to work through all the exercises.

And now it's back to sewing my suit jacket (that my life stlye doesn't call for) for my tailoring workshop. (cough cough)


  1. Interesting topic! I need to see how my charts compare. Thanks for writing about this.

  2. That's an interesting idea with the charts. I really need to go through and sort out my wardrobe. I need more smart casual for uni. I know I have way too much that fits in the 'slob'/painting clothes category. These never get worn in public!

  3. Working from home also raises issues for wardrobe planning. You need plenty of smart casual outfits that take you from the supermarket to the boardroom with ease. Not easy!

  4. i have flicked through this book and not bought keep us in on your exercises...that way I can know what I am missing out on! I have grappled with the casual lifestyle / sew nice clothes dilemna. I found the solution was to get a lot more groovy about the casual clothes (and make things mostly from cotton, which is my favourite fibre). This has meant looking for inspiration in places other than fashion magazines, which do not cater to this lifestyle at all. It has also meant getting the whole accessories thing together a bit more, rather than relying on beautiful clothes to carry a look.

  5. I hate to think what my charts wuld look like! I need bomb proof mother-of-small-babies clothes. I still have a wardrobe of working-in-a-hair-salon clothes which I dearly love and am reluctant to get rid of.

    My method of getting "nice" casual clothes is good but servicable (ie washable!) fabric and designer/challenging patterns. I've made evening dress patterns into tops and sundresses.

    Good luck with the planning. Bugger whether you need it or not - enjoy the tailored jacket!

  6. Very interesting! I want to make my own chart just to see what's in my wardrobe.

  7. Your charts look pretty well aligned to me. I have a wardrobe that is a smattering of work gear from my previous life, and jeans jeans and jeans. It would make a very dull pie chart indeed.

    Talk soon.

  8. My pie chart should have lots of white spaces. Before the baby was born, I divided my wardrobe into three categories: 1) I will wear, 2) I might wear, and 3) I will never wear.

    A year has already passed, and the pile "I might wear" is now long gone. There are only a few pieces left in my wardrobe, which is why it's insane for me to sew dresses with sausage necklines.

    I'm looking forward to what you can come up with chic looking clothes that look nice through hell and crap.

  9. one thing my good friend and workmate Ros has taught me is to aim to look your best no matter what you are doing. SO Im not sure how she would go about filling in that pie chart or even me at this point but im glad she is so styley because it makes me put more effort in each day as well.

  10. I also am intrigued by the subject. btw, i received the pattern. Thank you so much! I will be going this weekend for the sale. talk soon!!

  11. Somehow, I missed this post until today. What a cool book! Nice charts - right up my alley. That kind of analysis is quite eye-opening, isn't it?