After working through my most-worn and favourite makes in the last couple of blog posts, it occurred to me that beyond my favourite makes, there are a few pieces which go with everything in my favourites!
This was a bit of a revelation to me and raises the possibility that certain garments can be used as yard sticks for planning future makes! I got to thinking about these as being ‘core wardrobe pieces’, the foundation which future makes can be built on (or planned on, or the yardstick they can be measured against..).
What makes a core piece?
Some of what I’m choosing here comes back to the makeup/breakdown of my wardrobe.
Outerwear makes up the smallest percentage of my wardrobe.
So I think my outerwear should be the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. Each item of outerwear should go with basically everything in my wardrobe colour-wise. But, because outerwear sits near my face, I’ll also be careful to ensure that they sit within my Warm Autumn colour palette, which will also help to ensure that my outers don’t bring unwanted contrast to my outfits.
Tops are what I have most of
I consider tops to be like the flavour of my outfits, they’re also the item that I have most of in my wardrobe (which I think is pretty standard). The tops are where I branch out on colour and perhaps style a little bit more, although Ill still be careful to keep them relatively Warm Autumn appropriate. I might never make pants in a print, but I do sometimes branch out into patterned fabric for tops.
Tops are generally also the smallest visible item on my body, by which I mean that the colour of the top gets the least amount of real estate on me when I’m wearing it. So the fabric used on a top will be only about 1/3 of me and 2/3rds would be my pants if I wasn’t wearing an outer layer. I guess I’m trying to say that this means tops naturally lend themselves to being an accent.
Pants/bottoms are the 2nd smallest wardrobe percentage
Pants don’t have to be quite as versatile as outerwear, but they need to be more versatile than tops. At the same time, pants are the item that doesn’t go anywhere near my face, so they’re a spot where I can step outside of my Warm Autumn colours. That’s how I’ve ended up with bright pink pants (a shade I would not use for a jacket or a top) and navy tencel pants which both get a lot of wear.
Core wardrobe pieces
There were some conclusions I drew from my experiment, which included comfort, easy to pair, easy to dress up or down, fabric didn’t ‘say too much’, but they’re also makes that have proven to be versatile and well worn.
Glebe Pants are a wardrobe staple for me but rather than narrowing it down to a particular pair of Glebe in a specific colour, I think that if a top doesn’t pair well with wide-leg pants because the length is wrong, because it can’t be tucked, or because it’s too fitted… then it’s just not going to be worn.
Technically, it’s safe to say that everything should work with the natural linen Glebe on the top right, but everything except bright white works with them so that would be pretty unhelpful as a rule.
I love boiled wool. I love how it’s fancy but relaxed, and how it’s cosy but not too cosy. I took a short trip last year and although it was rather chilly, I found that this was the outer I was taking everywhere. I feel great in it, and it plays well with so many colours and is just the perfect warmth and look for most situations. Basically, I don’t think I should make pants or tops that won’t work with this jacket, since this is my go-to.
Potential addition: I noted in my ‘Sewing Wins, but why?‘ blog post that everything that is a favourite can be worn with the Banksia Bralette, so ensuring that the necklines and bust areas are soft bralette friendly will go a long way to ensuring the success of future makes!
That’s all I have for now! Do you have garments that you immediately think of as being core wardrobe items?