Wardrobe Essentials 
DIY Fashion Basics

Wardrobe essentials. A guide to your wardrobe style

Sew Your Own Wardrobe Essentials

 Wardrobe essentials, are the garments in your closet that give you the wardrobe foundation to build from. This information is created to inspire you to sew fashion basics, using sewing patterns that are currently available.

If this sounds intimidating, don't worry, there are plenty of sewing patterns for beginner and intermediate sewers.

You can create your own wardrobe, even if your sewing skills are at a beginner level. 

Tips on Achieving Your Best Style

I recently stumble across this chart created by James Laver. I find it useful to a point, as I wouldn’t be getting rid of classic fashion styles after one year. Some fashion pieces are relatively timeless. Such as a wool pea coat. 

  • Indecent – 10 years before its time
  •  Shameless – 5 years before its time
  •  Outré (Daring) – 1 year before its time
  •  Smart – ‘Current Fashion’
  •  Dowdy – 1 year after its time
  • Hideous – 10 years after its time
  • Ridiculous – 20 years after its time
  • Amusing – 30 years after its time
  • Quaint – 50 years after its time
  •  Charming – 70 years after its time
  • Romantic – 100 years after its time
  •  Beautiful – 150 years after its time

What is your fashion style. Do you have a genre that you basically fit into?

Here are some categories you may find helpful if you are unsure what your fashion sense is.

Reasons For Sewing Your Own Wardrobe

  • You can't find a garment you like in the size or color you want.
  • You're on a budget and you need to lower your clothing allowance .

  •  You want to learn a new skill and the creative energy is flowing.

  • You are having a baby and your regular wardrobe pieces are no longer fitting you.

Knowing how to sew and realizing that you can sew what ever you like, gives you options. Most people don’t sew everything that's in their closet, time is a factor, but the satisfaction of knowing you can is a wonderful thing.

 I often take for granted that most people know a little about fashion and at least can put basic wardrobe pieces together. However, when I have an opportunity to people watch, I can see that this is not the case. The young, the old, and every age in between, often don’t have a good concept of how to put a decent outfit together. This is what inspired me to offer some advice on what staples we should have in our closet.

Wardrobe Essentials
 Where To Start

Consider Your Life Style as a Whole

  • What is your job description? What you do for a living will determine your wardrobe choices.
  • What your family status? Are you single, do you have children? Often our family status can make a difference in our wardrobe choices.
  • What do you do for entertainment? Are you active? Do you go to the theater?  Your social life and what you do for entertainment will also be a determining factor in wardrobe choices

Please keep in mind if you are a  stay at home mom or dad, or your job is "Phys Ed teacher" at the local high school, this doesn't mean that you have sweat pants, runners, and casual clothes and that is all, in your closet.

Diversify your wardrobe. You may not wear a suit all the time if at all, but having a classic, well fitting suit in your closet will go far when you need one.

Scroll through each category one at a time or jump to the individual category that interests you.

Lengerie and Undergarment Patterns

So let's start by getting a little personal. Your undergarments should never be ill fitting or tattered. I know for the most part no one sees these garments, but you do. So on that note, you feel so much better when your undergarments fit well and are in good condition. You can  sew your own undergarments, but most of us don't have enough time in our lives for that. I recommend purchasing this part of your wardrobe, and keep it up to date. Don’t have bras and panties that don’t fit properly or they’re tattered in any way. Do your self a favor and keep these items in good shape. 

On the other hand if you would like to try to make your own undergarments, here are sewing patterns to get you started.

Kwik Sew Pattern 3881 Misses Panties Brief, Bikini, Hipster and Thong Sizes XS-S-M-L-XL
T-shirt Patterns

T-shirts don't have to be plain to be a wardrobe essential. Knit fabrics are readily available online as well in the fabric stores. For more information about t-shirts as a wardrobe essential click the here. Both v-neck and scoop neck t-shirts are necessary to have on hand. You can easily find t-shirt patterns for both styles. 

For more t-shirt pattern choices click the pattern companies below, you will find a wide variety of t-shirt pattens. 

McCalls, Butterick,Vogue, and Kwik Sew patterns. 

Simplicity and New Look, and Burda Patterns Websites 

Burda patterns for sewing. 

Jalie Websites 

Plus Size Patterns

 Button Down Dress Shirt

The dress shirt can look dressy or classic casual.You can wear a dress  shirt with jeans, under a suit jacket, with a skirt and vest for a polished office look. There are so many ways to wear a white shirt and it's a necessary garment to have for your wardrobe.

Three Piece Suit

A suit jacket, skirt and slacks in grey preferably charcoal grey and medium weight fabric, will give you year round versatility.

The reason I prefer charcoal grey over the classic black or navy suit? This is because it tends to be difficult in the warmer months to wear the darker colors. If you prefer to stick to black then that is certainly an option.

If you really feel restricted wearing a suit, then a vest is great replacement for the suit jacket. A vest looks very sharp with both a pair of slacks or a skirt.

Black Skirt

You can't go wrong with a black skirt. The style you choose will depend on your taste and figure type, but this is a classic wardrobe must have.

The black skirt can take you from day to night with out skipping a beat. Make sure you choose a flattering style and you will get plenty of wear from this wardrobe basic

For more great skirt patterns click here.

Black Trousers/Dress Pants

Like the black skirt, a pair of black trousers, are a great daytime into nighttime wardrobe piece.

Choosing a pair of dress pants that could be worn for special occasions is that much smarter. The style and fabric of course would the deciding factor, but keep this in mind when buying your pattern and fabric.

Click here for more information and inspiration about ladies dress pants.

 The Blazer

These days the boyfriend  is very popular. Pattern companies offer many styles to choose form.

Navy blue is a classic color to choose as a starter blazer, but as you build on your wardrobe essentials, choose other colors and styles that would accent your wardrobe over all.

You can click here for more information about jacket patterns.

The Classic Trench Coat

Although there have been slight variations to the trench coat over the years, having a classic beige or black trench coat, you can never go wrong.

If you choose good quality fabric and take your time when constructing your coat, it will be in fashion for a lifetime.  For more about sewing a trench coat click here.

Cardigans

Yes, you can even sew cardigans. The cardigan is a great alternative to the blazer. Depending on the style you choose it can be dressed up or down. Wearing with jeans or a pair of dress pants it is very versatile.

Think out side the box with these cardigan patterns. Some of the cardigan examples above are up to date versions of the traditional button up cardigan.

Jeans

Patterns for jeans have come along way. With the cost of denim increasing year by year, it would be worth sewing your own jeans. Here are sewing patterns for jeans that you may want to consider.

Jeans have become a wardrobe essential over the decades. I don't know anyone who doesn't wear jeans. I recommend having at least three pairs of jeans. The style you are comfortable wearing is determined by your shape and personal taste.

  • Dark wash denim is great for those nights out when you want to look nice but don’t want to go too dressy. You can wear dark denim with a dressy top and a pair of high heals shoes or high heel boots.
  • A light wash denim or disstressed jeans is great for every day or a weekend outing.
  • I also recommend having a pair of white jeans for a dressy spring and summer look. You can wear white in the fall and winter months too, but white jeans on a sunny day, worn with a great pair of sandals or strappy high heels looks great. 

Click here for information about sewing low rise jeans. .

Khaki Pants

Khaki pants have become a wardrobe essential. This style of trouser is great for weekend casual wear. They are also known as cargo pants, chino pants, safari pants, khaki pants are a casual stylish wardrobe piece to have in your closet.

Be careful though that they don't look too casual and please try not to make them from actual camouflage fabric. Unless of course you are below the age of 20 and you could get away with it. Clearly, this is my opinion, but I just don't think camouflage is a very mature or classy look.

Blouse

A silk or satin blouse, in a jewel tone, or dramatic print, is a real stand out item to have in your closet.

You may find yourself wearing a blouse for a night on the town as well as to work.

I want to stress classic pieces that you can wear for more than one or two occasions this is what your wardrobe essentials are all about.

For more information about sewing blouses click here.      

Little Black Dress

Gabriel “Coco” Chanel was the first to corner stone the “Little Black Dress". The LBD is a simple black dress generally worn as a short cocktail style. Make no mistake, a dress such as this is as crucial in your wardrobe as that pair of jeans you wear so frequently. When you’re not sure what to wear to the next special event occasion, it’s the go-to dress year after year. 

Little Black Dress

My little black dress, I made some 20 plus years ago and I have worn it on  many occasions.

The way you accessorize a basic LBD, can give you years of wearing without feeling out of date.

For more information about dress patterns for your DIY Little Black Dress, click here.

More Wardrobe Help From Around The Web

The Chic Fashionista is worth taking a look for fashion advice, I have found it this wardrobe essentials website very informative.

Real Simple.com has a very informative page on wardrobe essentials. Take a look.

Shabby Apple is another online store I like to peruse. Not only does this site give me style inspiration, but they offer style advice as well. I recommend having a look.

If you are curious how I built this site, leave this page and go to "Make Your Own Website.

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