I’m switching it up for a few weeks in favor of a “real life series” I’d like to do.
a dreamy wardrobe…
“How does one manage to be well dressed? Planning your wardrobe is the answer. A wardrobe of clothes which are becoming to you and which are appropriate to the occasion do not just happen to collect in your closet.”
Guide to Modern Clothing
Sure, the quote above has a copyright date of 1962 but that doesn’t make it any less true today than it was then! I know that in my own life, I’ve had a very “fly by the seat of my pants” approach, if you’ll excuse the pun, to my wardrobe and it shows! I’m rarely to never prepared for anything beyond walking the dog or going to the grocery store and even that’s a little sketchy at best! Any time I have something more needy than that, from a friend’s birthday soiree to a public event or a vacation, I’m totally stumped. Often, I resort to something that’s ill fitting, either on me or for the occasion.
I decided as part of this 31st year of my life, it was time for me to change that. My weight and measurements have been pretty stable for the last few years. It was time to find a list and build myself a proper wardrobe that would have me ready for most occasions.
I really like mid-century books because they tend to take a very direct approach that many modern books just don’t. Many modern books assume you’re working with a base of something or don’t give specific enough instructions. I like things made specific. I like lists. If you’re also a list person, you’ll like this!
The list I’m using is from a Home Economics book entitled The Arts of Costume and Personal Appearance that I got off of Etsy (By the way, Etsy is a great place to score some retro Home Ec books!) From the front flap:
“There goes Laura…
What makes her so lovely?”
Is it the way her hair frames her face… the way her make-up seems not to be make-up at all… the way the colors blend and sparkle in her costume… the way her clothes seem to be made, not purchased, for her… the way her silhouette whispers ‘harmony’… the way she walks – no – moves along… the way an inner voice seems to be telling her, ‘You’re Laura and you’re proud!’?
Love it! Who wouldn’t want that?! Any way, on to the list! This one is for “The College Girl” who’s needs “may vary somewhat from those of her older sister who is engaged in business or the friend who is the wife of a prosperous young attorney” and it goes as follows:
a. Top coat, full length, classic but individual in style, comfortable and wrinkle resistant.
b. Raincoat, made of water-repellent tweed, corduroy or gabardine with a zip-in lining if desired.
c. Short jacket (one or more). This may be bright or neutral in color; light or dark in value depending upon one’s individual taste and wardrobe color path but always of such a type that it may be worn with many wardrobe items and for many different occasions.
- Suit. Plain in color and harmonizing closely with the coat.
- Dressy in type (two or more). Possibly one low-cut model which could be teamed with a broadcloth, faille, taffeta, duvetyn or velvet skirt and be suitable for dating and dancing.
- Sport (two or more). One in wool jersey, the other in cotton.
- Sweaters (three or more slip-on and one or more cardigan style). Two medium dark in color for causal practical wear. One in light color with short sleeves for dressing up suits or coupling with dressy skirts for informal dates.
- Skirts (four to six).
- Casual dresses
- Winter (two or more)
- Summer (two or more)
- Date and more formal daytime dresses (one or more)
- Formal or evening dresses (one or more)
Supplementing these basic items, the college girl should also provide herself with a warm robe of flannel, corduroy or quilted cotton and one light-weight washable robe of terry cloth, seersucker or cotton crash.
Handbags. One leather utility bag as the figure will permit. On some campuses this may double for a school bag or overnight case. A small dressy leather, suede, patent or fabric bag for town and informal dates and a small evening bag to harmonize with evening dress and shoes.
Gloves (three or more pair). A knitted or fur-lined leather, a washable fabric or pigskin, a white or light kid, simple in design and free from conspicuous decoration.
Shoes (five or more pair). Two pairs of flats, loafers or saddle shoes, two pairs of pumps, and one pair of evening shoes.
Hats (two or more).
Now, obviously this is a bit outdated for general since people don’t generally wear gloves and hats anymore, but does that mean you shouldn’t? Heck no! If it works in your wardrobe or it’s something you’d like to add, why not? I’ll definitely be grabbing some to add a cute wink to my daily wear! See last Friday’s Fashion Friday for more accessory ideas.
And I’d like to link to a few more list posts that I hope you find helpful:
- 50 Classics for Your Closet from Matchbook Magazine
- Building a Lolita Wardrobe
- Building a Complete Lolita Wardrobe
Stay tuned for next week when I talk about themes and give you some examples!! Have a great Wednesday!