Late Friday afternoon I was feeling slightly hooky-ish and also desperate to finish my seemingly endless waistcoat button band. So when I saw an Instagram remark from @ashmhiggs about wardrobe planning with the aid of a site called Into Mind (“set a few hours aside,” she said) I decided to take a look. Before I knew it, I had my knitting in my hands, the blog on my screen, and a pile of Fashionary panels spread out in front of me — reading, thinking, knitting, sketching, reading, sketching, knitting, sketching, reading. It was exactly the site my brain needed at that particular moment, and I felt immensely inspired. And in the case of this post, highly amused. (I am dying to get my hands on that book!)
As you know, along with attempting to gradually build an almost entirely handmade wardrobe, I’m trying to be incredibly thoughtful about what I knit and sew, choosing colors, fabric/yarn and patterns that not only suit me and my lifestyle but that will work together to form a small but hard-working wardrobe. It’s a lot to think about, and — apart from the handmade aspect — that’s exactly what Into Mind is all about. Similar to Sarai Mitnick’s Wardrobe Architect series last year, Into Mind’s Anuschka challenges you to think hard about every aspect of your ideal wardrobe: color, proportion, style, etc. Nothing about what she’s suggesting is particularly new — this is advice I’ve been reading since I was a teenager (decades ago, in other words) and have long felt like I no longer needed. I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I like and what works for me, generally speaking. But in the past I was only spending money. Now, in addition to the money, I’m spending a lot of time making my own clothes. And I’m more determined than ever to have them span years and seasons, so it feels that much more important to get it right. Anuschka really did make me want to take a step back and make a conscious list (or set of drawings, actually) of the basic proportions or outfit combinations that work for me — to establish a specific framework so that, going forward, I can make sure the things I intend to make will really fit into that framework before I cast on or cut fabric. So that it all adds up to something brilliant instead of a collection of beautiful things that don’t necessarily work together or for me.
Between Friday afternoon and the weekend, I’ve spent a couple of hours going through the posts — this one is a good jumping-off point if you don’t want to just go from the reverse-chron scroll — and have probably only made a dent in it. But I have to tell you, it’s really got my mind — and my pencil — racing.
Don’t worry — I’ll have lots more to share about that. Thanks a billion for the tip-off, Ash!
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Your “beautiful collection of things” comment really hit home. I get influenced by pictures of cute models, etc and cast on colors or items that are only going to end up as accent pieces and not go with what I really wear. I too am wanting to end up with a wardrobe that is a collection and not individual pieces that go with nothing.
Into Mind is an amazing, amazing resource. I’ve been reading the blog for about a year now, and it’s what got me interested in decluttering/simplifying and creating a wardrobe that is just right for me.
I first discovered this blog last year from Sarai when she started the WA series. It’s such a great resource!
Cheap Chic! It was my bible when I was a teen! I had completely forgotten about that book. Thank you for reminding me. I believe there may have even been a Cheap Chic two…? That book is the inspiration for my entire approach to clothing. I wore cowboy boots for two decades because of the ideas in that book. Can’t wear the boots anymore because my feet have gone all wonky, but I SWORE by that book when I was younger. Thank you for reminding me of that great resource. [Goes off to ask her husband to find her a copy….]
Yeah, it’s a fun site. For me, lots of my wardrobe choices became easy when I decided that the no. 1 priority was starting with comfortable (but stylish) shoes. Amazing the stuff that drops away once that is decided.
BTW, for anyone who has not seen the movie Begin Again, it is worth it just for the wonderfully simple but chic wardrobing of Keira Knightley. Into Mind loves it too.
I love the pairing of Into-Mind & Wardrobe Architect — the framework has definitely been a lightbulb moment for creating handmade personal style. I never thought I was an “everyday uniform” type of person because hyper-minimalism doesn’t suit my taste for eclectic fabrics & texture, but the “seasonal style concept” post on Into Mind helped me find cohesion. Once you have your “core silhouettes” (from Wardrobe Architect, I think), it’s so much easier to build outfits and think about new pieces — the clothes pair effortlessly! Certainly helps focus the make-all-the-things-now urges too ;)
OH MY STYLE GODDESSES! Into Mind looks like an incredible resource. I dipped into the first exercises of Wardrobe Architect over the weekend. Turning 65 this year, being an artist as well as doing other work, also having access to art clothes (if I save up) – I’m rethinking what works for me with clothes and “my style.” Especially, as you say, when I think of knitting or sewing garments and the time involved, I want them to be loved and worn, not just lovely things hanging out. Fun spring adventure. I feel like I’m part of a workshop with your posts, Karen! And my mind is full of ideas… :)
Cheap Chic is available for pre-order at Amazon.com as either a paperback or Kindle book! It’s on my wish list!
I love my rooms full of eclectic choices but I want to condense it into something manageable. Thanks for the resource tip. I need to work on making a uniform not a uniform So many hard decisions to be made.
I enjoyed noticing a photo of Francoise Hardy in this post. I love her style! She was many years before her time in the 60’s and she is still one of my fashion icons.
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