Friday, November 22, 2013

A New Capsule Wardrobe: Choosing Fabrics


Following the advice of Judith Rasband (Conselle Institute of Image Management) one of the easiest ways to begin building a capsule  (or cluster) wardrobe is to start with a print.

Once you choose a print that looks good on you, you can be confident that any of the colors IN that print will work reasonably well, and you can  simply choose colors from the print in solids to expand your wardrobe.  This concept works well in both  ready to wear and sew your own clothing.

This print is one I chose to begin with for my  new wardrobe cluster. (I had a tough time choosing where to start, I own enough fabric to start my own store!)  I plan on making a skirt, and a blouse or two out of this fabric.

Here is a larger section of the  fabric:
The blue is a bit more muted than I usually wear, but is in the same family as my typically brighter  blue, so this print will work with many items I already own.  That is important since  I didn't want to have to start completely from scratch!

I then needed to select  a neutral color  to  go with  this, and I luckily already owned one!  A nice rich brown linen:


Awesome!  This would make a great casual Jacket and full Skirt, maybe a straight (pencil) skirt and possibly a Dress.
but
I am not too sure if I would want a pair of Pants in this, since it would wrinkle badly when I sat down.

I want another neutral so I can  mix and match a bit more... and  sure enough I found just the thing:
pardon the shadows, its the lighter color toward the bottom


This is a  moderately heavy cotton in a color called "cornstalk".  It matches the pale cream/tan in my print exactly, and works well with the brown linen too!

This is a heavier and less  draped fabric, so I plan to make a heavier  A-line skirt, perhaps  a straight skirt, a heavier Dress perhaps, Pants could be made in this, and so could a casual Jacket.  I can then mix and match the  two  neutrals with or without the print... and with a lot of other items in my closet already.

I do want  to add one more thing to start with; I want to add a knit.  So far everything has been a woven, if I add a knit  I can make some different styles... but  I do want this to stay "neutral".  Just adding another brown or beige would be boring as all get out though...

hmmm

The solution is a "fashion neutral" aka leopard print


There you have it, the  4 fabrics I will be using to START my new wardrobe cluster.


I have plenty of room to expand out, based on either the print I started with, or the solids!

Just to give you a few ideas of where you can take  this collection....
obviously you can add blue. 


Believe it or not these two blue fabrics are NOT the same. One of the fabrics is a slightly shiny knit, and the other is a moderately stiff woven.  They are just a tiny bit brighter than my  print, but  they do work well together.

But where else can I take that basic cluster?

Here is a fabric with that same cornstalk color, plus a vibrant pink, and a berry purple!
Cornstalk fabric shown with  light cotton print

 I just happen to have a purple textured fabric to make  something to go with that....
(Trust me they match, cameras do odd things to color, so do  artificial lights)

Now that purple will NOT go with my original print ... but obviously it goes with the cornstalk, and lets me take a  new direction with PART of my  capsule wardrobe.


Or how about this?

This goes with the brown linen, and JUST might let me wear that purple with the brown as well...

hmmmm


This fabric goes with either of my neutrals (and my blues)

in a totally different way than my original print...AND there is my  berry purple again! Awesome!
So far the only thing I cannot mix into this  is white, or black... and there is a bit of white in that  last print....so there is one thing I could wear white with... no way to bring any of my existing black clothes into it though...


And then I found this:


As you can see, by building off one or more of the  4 fabrics in my first capsule collection, I can go in quite a few different directions, and still be sure MOST of it will work together.

I was originally not too thrilled by how "boring" it looked, but it obviously has some potential!

This  therefore will be  the first cluster collection.

I will be  either continuing on to show you the second cluster collection (taking a few of these fabrics in a different direction) or  a few pattern choices, depending on what I finish writing next....
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Links:
http://fabricdragon.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-new-capsule-wardrobe-what-is-capsule.html  My previous post explaining the principles of a capsule or cluster wardrobe.

3 comments:

  1. I don't understand how leopard print is a neutral, but I do understand how it goes with you cornstalk and your brown. I just realized that one of my supporting characters in my novel that I have been writing all month is based on you. She did for the main character what I will be able to commission you to do for me at some point -- make a cluster wardrobe. (Her name is Rosalind Prestwick, if you care.) I am interested in this process. I like the second set of colors better but I am anxious to see how this goes.

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  2. I am looking forward to seeing the end result. Have fun

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  3. I'm very interested to see the results!

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