July 26, 2011

Look Chic but Wash and Wear like Iron!

For the last two weeks, I've been looking over all the information about swap, sewing with a plan, capsule planning, small wardrobes, and packing with a weight limit, and I have one thought I keep coming back to when I try to take these concepts back to my own life: I have to sew for reality!  Sewing to reflect reality means making choices in fabrics and styles that reflect my own every day life. My reality is this:  my clothes must look chic, but wash and wear like iron.

I love the whole idea of The very tiny closet, and French Chic, but I don't work in an office or corporate environment.  Three really high quality mix and match suits are not part of my lifestyle options. I work in an elementary school.  I love 3 ply silk  and wool and silk twills with the best of them, but my lifestyle is more along the lines of LL Bean and  Eileen Fisher fabrics.  High quality rayon poly-lycra fabrics will survive, but wool and silk twill probably won't in my glue and glitter, 7 year old filled world.  I have to be able to get dressed in a very short amount of time, and look put together and trustworthy and thoughtful, no matter who walks through my classroom door.  I need to look appropriately presentable even when the Governor General's representative, along with about 6 secret service people, walk in the door of the gym unexpectedly, or I meet the Education Minister of India.  Suits are probably not going to be high on my must invest in list of clothing, but outfits that work together and look put together no matter who I am talking to while I'm helping program robots are really high on the list.  Scarves that drag into the glue really aren't, even if they are beautiful. I have a couple of very nice straight black skirts that I don't wear, because I can't get  down on the floor to play when I am wearing them.  A 12 gore swing skirt is more appropriate to my life than a lovely straight skirt, much as I like them. 

I'm also really not an avant garde kind of clothing woman.  I have less height and more curves than most of those patterns, which are mostly appropriate to the straight and statuesque figures.  As much as I like the ideas and thought and executions of some of the more interesting vogue patterns, I know I'm not going to wear them.  My hems needs to be level.   I'm not going to colour block with exposed edges; they don't feel trust worthy or appropriately put together to me, even if I do like the concept.  There has got to be a little more polish in my clothes than fraying tshirt edgings.

My sewing for my fall capsule wardrobe needs to reflect these ideas: 'put together,  approachable, thoughtful, chic, wears like iron'.


Dawn said...

I teach too and your post really resonated with me.

Boppingbeth (aka Beth or Elizabeth) said...

Thanks; it is nice to know there are people like me out there, struggling with the same challenges!