Layers wardrobe post mortem

The final nine pieces

I spent quite a few months earlier this year working on a set of pieces that were intended to all work together to give me layering options. It’s been a while since I finished the last one so it’s time to see how well it worked: have I actually worn them, and if I did was it in the way I planned?

Five of the pieces are firm favourites: the jumpsuit, the two wool jersey tops, the long jacket and the straight legged trousers. The jumpsuit and trousers get worn with the crew necked wool t shirt regularly, as planned. In fact the jumpsuit is such a favourite I keep thinking of making another.

Jumpsuit – the v neck top might be underneath but I suspect not

The jacket and v necked top come out regularly to be worn with my 80s button back dress. The 80s dress was not part of the wardrobe plan but I’m still using these pieces as layers so that counts. The jacket also gets thrown over lots of other outfits to provide pockets or a bit of extra insulation. Here it is with the printed dress from the wardrobe plan.

Jacket worn with printed dress

The trousers are not holding up well to wear: I made them from the remains of two different cuts of the same fabric and sadly there’s a very slight colour difference between front and back which is getting worse with washing. They have already been demoted to the category of things I wear for hardware work but I’m still glad to have them. I love the shape so I should make the pattern again some time in a better choice of fabric.

Trousers and crew necked top

But let’s talk about the failures because that’s always more interesting.

The printed dress has only been worn a few times but I’m not sure I’d class it as a complete failure. It’s too fussy for a regular day but it’s nice for special occasions and always gets compliments. I don’t think I’ll be making the pattern again though.

Printed dress

The pleather leggings ought to have worked. I had made the pattern twice before and wore the results a lot, and I’m always in need of warm layers for my legs. The problem is they just aren’t flattering; they’re too shiny and that brings the eye straight to the calves, my least favourite part of my legs. I also can’t find the right shoes to go with them: long boots make the calf problem worse – see below – and they look odd with trainers.

Jacket worn with pleather leggings

The cargo dress on is an interesting case. It looks best when worn alone, which you’ll have to take my word for as I have no pictures, but I’m less keen on it with layers underneath. Consequently it hasn’t left the wardrobe since the end of September. I’m hanging onto it in the hope of wearing it in the summer.

Cargo dress with a black cotton t shirt and the pleather leggings

Finally there’s the twisted loop cardigan, which I found annoying and immediately chopped up into a tie front cardigan. The trouble with this one is the fabric. A cardigan needs to be made from something warm, and lightweight bamboo jersey is not something I reach for on a cold day.

Bamboo cardigan worn with the trousers and crew necked top

It’s proved very useful to actively plan to make garments that can be layered, but they didn’t all work out. I should definitely stop trying to make cardigans work for me. And I should make more wool jersey t shirts; they are one of my least favourite things to sew but they always get worn and worn. If they could be bought at a reasonable price I’d buy them instead.

Thanks to my husband as always for photos.

18 thoughts on “Layers wardrobe post mortem

  1. I love my denim Burda coat too! I tend to think of it as a wearable bag, because of the giant pockets. And I totally agree on long sleeve jersey tops: hate to sew them, can’t live without them.

  2. Fascinating to read how everything works or doesn’t work for you. The jumpsuit and jacket are indeed fabulous. I wouldn’t give up on the leggings…I just think your long boots aren’t actually long enough as they aren’t really knee-high and they hit you quite low down your leg. Maybe try a longer boot or perhaps an ankle boot with them?

  3. It’s great to read how this project turned out and how the elements work for you. It’s easy to focus on the making and the big reveal but to actually see whether the garments are worn is fascinating.

  4. You are simply the most exciting dresser I see (well, read about!) – I hope the cargo dress makes you happier in a different season, because it’s a beautiful object, and the public deserves to see it. We’re languishing out here! Enjoy being planless for a bit now. 🙂

  5. I love the way the whole collection works together! But I totally understand about having different favorites after living in clothes for a while. And having 5 favorites out of this group is a pretty good ratio!

    1. Thanks! I think the jumpsuit alone would have made the whole exercise worth it. I’m definitely seeing the point of planning things more carefully now.

  6. Love the update! I always analyze why things get worn or not so this is so interesting to hear others’ experiences. Unlike other bloggers I don’t think I ever tire of hearing you show pieces more than once – your style is truly inspirational as you really understand your own style. I still feel like I’m trying to figure out my style.

Comments are closed.