By Lindsay Heath Holder
I'm so happy to be a guest writer! Christina asked me a few weeks ago about how much of what I make do I actually wear, and what are the pieces left hanging in the closet? I've seen this topic brought up in a few conversations in Facebookland, and on Instagram as well. So I'm here to answer what I do REALLY wear, and give you an idea of what pieces work best for me.
Here's my current state closet - this is what it looks like for most of the year. My wardrobe doesn't go through major seasonal shifts because I'm in Southern California. Most of my clothes can be worn year-round as long as I pile on the layers. I do purge my stuff seasonally to get rid of things I have fallen out of love with, or where fit or wear-and-tear issues have arisen. I'm actually due for a purge now- I've found that the more clothes I have in my closet, the harder it is to get dressed in the morning. My shoes get their own closet (lucky me!) and they also get reviewed regularly as well.
There are a few important things to notice about my closet. That tall stack on the top shelf on the left is ALL joggers and lounge pants. It's a little ridiculous, but I do actually wear all of them (including 3 pairs of Wardrobe By Me's Urban Sweat pants). That middle shelf is ALL t-shirts and tanks (lots of Wardrobe Builder Tees and Carma Straptop Camisoles). There's where most of my custom knits end up- I make an effort to wear them to work when it's appropriate, just so I can get the most wear out of them. I don't have a separate dresser, so the drawers contain my unders, pajamas, and gym clothes. The other important thing to see is that I don't have a tall rack to hang my dresses from. My REALLY long stuff (like the Diana Wrap dress maxi version) gets hung in my son's closet, but what I wear regularly just gets smushed here. I don't love it, but it works OK since almost everything is knit and doesn't wrinkle too badly.
Here's a sample of what I actually wear on a regular basis. I've been trying to remember to take pictures of myself before I leave the house each day, and it's pretty enlightening for me. I work in a business casual environment that embraces casual Fridays (hallelujah!), I try to go to the gym a few days a week while my son is with his Dad, and on the weekends I tend to be casual/ athletic for doing house stuff and outings with my son. My daily work uniform is slim pants (Haute Skinnie pants or Slim Fit pants most days), fitted tee shirt, with a cardigan or jacket on top. I'll switch out pants for a pencil skirt or slim sheath dress once or twice a week. Weekend and evening uniform is leggings or sweats and a tank top or tee shirt. Easy, comfy, and fairly interchangeable. EVERY outfit is grounded with neutral colors, and I try to throw in interesting colors or patterns most days.
Just for fun, in that same period, I did quite a bit of pattern testing, fabric sample sewing, and I've lead two sew-alongs. Here's some of what I've made recently- yes, there's some overlap, and no, this isn't everything!
Overall, I do generally wear about 90% of what I make on a regular basis. The items that fall out of rotation are typically dresses that don't fit into my daily uniform - to fancy or not conservative enough for work or church; and I don't have enough date nights to wear them often lol. I love these, and I will probably never ditch them, but I may only wear them a few times a year unless my lifestyle changes a bit.