Monday, July 22, 2013

Clothing: wardrobe management

Many of you (i do hope there are "many of you" reading this) know me for my jewelry.

That said? I also design clothes.  I am, after all, in school as an adult for Fashion Design!
(which is why i have my rarely updated blog about going to college as an adult).

Now i hope to have a book of my own published some day... but that day is not yet I collect good references to building a wardrobe and managing closets...
i also collect books on making a wardrobe from a few patterns!

(fair warning, i can sew, obviously, so its no big deal for me to lengthen a hem in a pattern book that has good lines, but is too short or make other adjustments.)

these are books that have had useful advice, but PLEASE read with discernment. i like my skirts long, so i ignore their hemline advice, your needs may be different.

THIS IS NOT a complete list.  not even close. Its not even a complete list of what i have on the closest shelf to me, right now!

Closet management and shopping for a "wardrobe" books:
The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age  

  my only beef is its poorly organized.  good advice, especially for older women (its aimed at the over 40)... where to shop guides, and nice pictures...  written by a design and fashion writer, who now works from home.
but.. honestly? get it at the library or on sale, its a good book but not worth the cover price unless you can cope with the lack of index, and "speak the lingo" of fashion design and magazine editors. i do.. it was worth it TO ME.

In Style: Instant Style (Your Season-By-Season Guide for Work and Weekend)
good advice and when to buy tips...some  surprisingly modest options... but yes its aimed at the career and party world.  ALL advice becomes dated quickly... always keep to the fashion classics when reading older advice.

Instyle the New Secrets of Style: Your Complete Guide to Dressing Your Best Every Day
 again, surprising good, and as long as you "fix" their suggestions about hemlines for your own needs... VERY workable. aimed at the working woman, but .. adaptable for the SAHM too.
I suggest you get it from the library  unless you work in an office...

Organizing from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life

 this is incredible....i admit i am a BIG fan of her work, but this book is invaluable both for closets and for houses.  and its NOT one size fits all, although she does kind of assume you work at home and have kids... so oddly? best suited for the work from home mom!
however it works for everyone.

Nothing to Wear?

Again, good for both the working woman and the SAHM on getting a closet system so you can wear everything in it, and find stuff. This book is VERY simple.  It was one of the pioneering books in "find your style" and then simplify your wardrobe.
There are many books like this out now, but this one is... pretty easy to read.
Note: they throw around designer names to discuss style "if you fit in this style type, you want clothes like Oscar dela Renta" so you may need to look up a few designers if its unclear.

sewing/pattern etc BOOKS.. often a complete wardrobe:

Dressmaking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making your Own Clothes

 Buy this one. Even if you don't buy anything else.

This would be valuable enough as a fully photographed guide to sewing and choosing fabrics, but it ALSO has a complete wardrobe of patterns in sizes 2-20.  i mean complete: multiple skirts, dresses, pants, blouses and jackets.  with the information in the first half of the book, and the part in the back about how to embellish existing clothes, you can make  all of the clothes over in multiple ways.

Skirt-a-Day Sewing: Create 28 Skirts for a Unique Look Every Day
     REALLY good. most of the skirts can be easily adjusted in length...
(WARNING! "dress a day" is not the same.. found out the hard way. not even the same topic)

Singer Perfect Plus: Sew a Mix-and-Match Wardrobe for Plus and Petite-Plus Sizes

Finding a resource for the plus sized petite, priceless!
a resource for the beginner sewing person. nothing fancy, but nice basics... VERY simple sewing....   (i am not petite, but could use this if i followed the directions on how to lengthen)

ONLY a blouse/jacket pattern, a skirt pattern, and a pants pattern (and all elastic waist bands)

this book has some very good, and very bad points.

my main complaints are:
Its best suited for the  "H" figure, or the pear shape ("A" type) unless you make it of very drapey fabric. If you have a defined waist this will not flatter you.....seriously.
Its for petite plus, not "plus or petite plus"  most patterns assume you are 5'6, this one assumes you are 5'2.   (they do give directions to lengthen the patterns)
the clothes shown are too often dowdy and look poorly sewn  (not all of them)

The fabrics and  collections shown are all in one color family, for the author.  it would have been nice to see a different  color look

on the good side:
good advice on color matching and a mix and match wardrobe, though. that would be useful to have for anyone.

The Essential A-line: Make 17 Flirty Skirts from 1 Basic Pattern
  Ignore the word "flirty"  its a good book. admittedly i like "skirt a day"  better, but if you mostly like simple A lines? go for it.

The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress

   FABULOUS, includes three dress patterns in up to size 20! yes you need to adjust the hem to suit yourself but it includes good sewing instructions!

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing: A Modern Guide to Couture-Style Sewing Using Basic Vintage Techniques

 Wonderful, again adjust the hems to suit yourself, but HOW TO SEW VINTAGE DRESSES.. the way they used to.. that last!

and yes, i finally broke down and joined the affiliate program, so if you buy through one of my links i get a few pennies.....