Winter silhouette 1: Short over long over skinny

Winter silhouette 1: Short over long over skinny

So then, after drafting that seemingly narrowed-down list of key garments to be made in the nearest term possible, I began trying to put onto paper all of the various outfit combo possibilities those garments open up. I can draw outfits one helluva lot faster than I can make the clothes, but I can’t draw them half as fast as I can think them up. (I need to consider the possibility that I may actually be addicted to Fashionary.) Reeling it in, I thought I’d do what I did last April and take it one bottom at a time — this time concentrating just on winter outfits (while trying to be vaguely mindful of how things transition) and using only garments that I either own already or are on the immediate to-make list. (That was where my April efforts failed me: too vague.) Maybe I’m a lame-o who ran immediately to her comfort zone, or maybe I’m a genius who subconsciously thought it would be wise to start with her uniform first, but after the above Bottom Number 1 outfits were on paper, I realized I had, in fact, started with my uniform first. Intentional or otherwise, in retrospect I can recognize the genius of that. This is really wardrobe triage I’m doing right now, more than wardrobe planning. So by all means, uniform first!

What that really means — to me, at least — is I’m starting with the one “silhouette” (am I the only one who cringes at that word?)  that comes most naturally to me, especially in the depths of winter.  The skinny pants in these drawings are a super-thick black ponte pair I bought at J.Crew several years ago. I actually have two pair. Every winter I think I’m done with them, and every winter I wind up living in them. They’re somewhere between leggings and pants, and I do believe in keeping my rear-end covered in them, no matter how dense they are, but I also just love the long-over-skinny silhouette. My legs are a little short for my height, so the best overall look for me is a shorter, boxier top layer — whether a sweater or vest of some kind — over the long top, over the skinny pants, with chunky boots.

So I’ve got the pants. I’ve got multiple cardigans that work here (my Amanda, my trusty old camel cardigan, and my Bellows is borderline long for this, but I can get away with it). I’ve got many vest options (knitted, denim, cargo, trench …). I bought two long-sleeved wool workshirts a few weeks ago at Hey Rooster, made in the US by Fischer; one is heather grey and looks awesome with every vest I own, including my Cowichan-ish vest. What I’m lacking are the three core pieces from last week’s list that are now officially my starting point: the tunic-length tee, the sleeveless band-collar tunic and the woven alt-sweater. As soon as I make some final decisions about colors/fabrics from my stash, I’ll be ready to start cutting!


PREVIOUSLY in Wardrobe Planning: Mind the gaps

17 thoughts on “Winter silhouette 1: Short over long over skinny

  1. Uniqlo has what they call Jeggings…..a skinny cross between jeans and leggings, not risqué or shameful like a lot of stuff I’ve seen. Then do have mail order and one has just opened in Chicago (yay!) I think they are made in Japan (as are most of their clothes) but you are such a good sewist you could probably whip up a few pair in a weekend. I really like them and they come in an abundance of colors.

    Your sewing plans for the New Year are so organized! So, what is first on your list? Perhaps I should start trying to draw out some things too. So much spinning and knitting to do!!

    Happiness and Health in the New Year.

    • Uniqlo is indeed a Japanese company, but their stuff is made in the usual fast-fashion countries. They make a lot of claims about social responsibility but I’m not so sure. I’ve seen them singled out in the usual documentaries about sweatshops and the like. Just putting that out there, and hoping someone who knows the whole story may fill in the blanks.

  2. I love how you plan and analyze your wardrobe. And that is a great silhouette. Much better than my “huge and baggy” over skinny, which is how I tend to wear my skinny pants…

    • I did a lot of that in the ’80s! But with my broad shoulders and long torso, it’s really easy for me to look top-heavy. (Not in the busty sense, mind you — that’s never been a problem for me!) The spring version of all of these outfits is: take off the top layer and trade the boots for oxfords. So at that point I’m just long over skinny, but I think it works ok as long as the tops aren’t overly wide.

  3. Wish I could wear that silhouette! Perfect for you.

    I worked on a “drawing fashion flats” class recently that was just fascinating. The instructor is Laura Volpintesta and she’s really good. Very dynamic and engaging and inspiring. It made me want to start designing a wardrobe myself. You might enjoy it, too.

  4. A couple of years ago I met a very well put together woman who wore a short boxy black sweater vest over a long white shirt and some kind of skinny-leg dark pants/jeans. It’s a great “silhouette”, icky word or not! As for me, a boxy t-shirt is next on my sewing list, it’s even cut out, so there is hope of making it up soon!

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  6. I love this silhouette of short over long top with skinny pants! Just wondering if I can pull it off at (my age – 59). Love the idea of knitting a cropped (cardi?) to wear over a silk button down shirt with fitted pants. Any ideas on knitted patterns?

  7. Thanks Karen for the link to your rav favs. Has given me lots of inspiration! Now just have to pair patterns with yarn in stash:)

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