Friends, I don't know how many of you will remember this, but three years ago to the day, Cathy gave me a complete wardrobe makeover. (It started here, and you can see the highly successful results here.)
While a few of the outfits didn't really work for everyday dressing, I'm still wearing most of these garments, including the flowered pants, gray leather jacket, maroon sweater, white linen pants, winter white desert boots, and many more.
We started with a basic palette based on colors I liked and already had in my wardrobe and took it from there. But three years ago, most of the garments were not things I'd made. My "new look" consisted primarily of stuff we thrifted at the Salvation Army or things I owned from H&M.
I'm not much of a planner, as you well know. So while I've made some outstanding garments, I often have a hard time putting together outfits. I have a lot of individual items that don't go with any others. I've never sat down and mapped out a sewn wardrobe for myself.
I'm viewing my induction into the Mood Sewing Network as my opportunity to alter my sewing habits and, for the first time, plan. I want to make clothes that not only look good, but also look good together.
I spent a few hours in Mood yesterday, primarily to hunt fabric for my jacket project, but it got me thinking about the larger picture. For those of you who've never been to Mood, it occupies a huge multi-floor space in the Garment District and they have (seemingly) everything. For the first time, I can shop knowing that regardless of, say, the shade of shirting I want, I will find it. It's so outside my normal experience!
A bit overwhelmed at the possibilities, I came home with just a pocketful of swatches. But the visit created a shift in my thinking, hence today's post. My choices (so far) can be organized into three groups: 1) cheerful spring colors, 2) metallics, and 3) Scandinavian prints.
1) I want more clear, bright colors in my wardrobe, and I was drawn to these solid cottons: sky blue sateen, teal shirting, royal blue brushed cotton, and lavender twill.
These colors remind me that Spring is on its way -- I hope!
2) I don't know what is drawing me to metallics; my experience with metal has been limited to belt buckles. I don't actively follow men's fashion trends but exploring online, I did discover that metallic fabrics for men are showing up on the runways more frequently (for what it's worth).
I'm more of a silver than a gold person. Denim jeans with a silvery sheen? Linen jacket either splashed with silver or woven through with metallic thread? Could happen.
Not metallic but with a holograph-like glow is this Mark Jacobs polyester and silk print. Are daisies too feminine for menswear? I'm not so sure anymore. This is the fabric that might drag me out in the rain and back to Mood today.
3) I love Scandinavian textiles, which always look contemporary yet slightly Fifties/Sixties too. These bold prints are hard to capture in a swatch, unfortunately, and most are unavailable on the Mood website.
The swatch below is part of a design including birds and trees trunks. It would make an incredible topcoat.
I love this mid-century modern chair linen print (from the home dec dept.) but in person I found the scale too big for garments. It would make fabulous draperies, however!
Many other graphic designs caught my eye, among them this zagzag.
Truly an embarrassment of riches!
Readers, that's where things stand right now. I created a Pinterest board specifically of men's fashion I find appealing in some way, which will give you an idea of which way the wind is blowing. (Feel free to blow the other way.)
In closing, do you choose your garment sewing projects around a planned wardrobe or do you just sew whatever strikes your fancy in the moment?
Do you find sewing with a plan cramps your style, or rather frees you from the situation of having a lot of clothes but nothing that goes with anything else?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!