Building a Wardrobe from Scratch

I have been a follower of Janice’s over at the Vivienne Files for years and a couple of months ago she started a series about how to build a wardrobe Starting from Scratch.

When I saw Alexandra’s plan I thought it would be interesting to see how it would work in my wardrobe.

Now I do have quite a co-ordinated wardrobe as it is, but there are some major holes and I thought I would use this to see what garments I need for the coming spring/summer.

First up I had to choose my colour scheme, the two neutrals were pretty much a given, milk chocolate brown and navy.  Next was the two accents, well yellow is a colour I love and for the second one I have chosen salmon.   Then Janice suggests a variation of white so that is my cream that will function well as a blouse or t-shirt.

Most wardrobe planners tell you start with a suit, however Janice has started with a pair of dressy pants which takes you on a completely different journey.

Pants are the one garment that I am still working on, and later this month I will be attending Louise Sparrow’s “Louise Pants that Fit – Create your own Pattern” at the Australian Sewing Guild Convention.

Step 2 is comfortable pair of shoes, it has to be my Circa Joan & David Calalilly Pumps, I just love these shoes!

Step 3 is adding a cardigan/jacket or t-shirt or blouse, in the same neutral.

Thankfully I have some lovely dark brown wool knit to make up a twin set for this Step.

Step 4 is adding jeans and a blouse!

I have both these pieces in my wardrobe already, the cream boat neck t-shirt and brown denim jeans.

Step 5 is all about accessories, this is an area that I know I need to work on, although I have managed to accomplish Round 1 Accessories with my leather bag that is used every day, silk scarf purchased in China, my everyday watch and earrings.

Step 6 you add another scraf and two accent tops, here come the yellow and salmon tops.  I’m not sure why but I have realised that I haven’t worn many scraves this winter, but I would love to find one that incorporates my colours.

I couldn’t remove the necklaces from my pictures, so please ignore this round.

Step 7 is where we bring in the 2nd neutral with a jacket/cardigan or skirt/pants and some more shoes.  This time I have chosen my Navy Marfy Skirt and do plan on making the Marfy jacket to go with it.  The shoes are a pair of Circa Joan & David slingbacks in navy that are also in my wardrobe.

This is good time to assess if I am heading in the right direction with my garment and colour choices.

I’m not in love with the style of the brown top, but I know that I can make it my way so I just need to ignore the silhouette at the moment.  I didn’t do the grouping with the brown jeans but you can see how easily they would fit in.

Have you been following Janice’s posts and looking at your own wardrobe, I would love to know if you are and how you are going.

This about a third of the way through so I will be back soon with some more steps.

15 thoughts on “Building a Wardrobe from Scratch

  1. What a great builder! Scrolling down your post it was like garments were multiplying like rabbits before my eyes 🙂 Those shoes look both amazing AND comfortable – thanks for mentioning the brands, I'm off to investigate!


  2. I see that you're trying to make your wardrobe more versatile by referencing others' wardrobes. I am looking forward to seeing what you are doing with this.I don't need to start a wardrobe from scratch, so maybe I should just record it. My Florida work wardrobe is not like any other I've seen.


  3. I really enjoyed how you did this as a progression. I've read the Vivienne Files some, but haven't worked on my wardrobe planning like you have–very smart and inspirational! Thank you for sharing.


  4. Anonymous

    I so enjoyed reading this post Sharon. It's great to see this worked out visually. I haven't followed the original you refer to, but will definitely give it some thought now. I'm thinking navy blue (easy 😉 ) and grey as my base colours. Although I have nowhere enough grey, and I'm really not sure why. Will look forward to reading your next posts on this series.


  5. I'll be following your progress with enthusiasm, Sharon. You always look very put together, so it will be great to see how you develop this theme, and no doubt interchanging clothes with others already made. I really must put together a plan like this one day, but for now the boring and useful basics are the most needed clothes 🙂 Shoes as a forethought, not an afterthought is a brilliant idea. How many times can we make the clothes, then can't find the shoes that work?


  6. Hey that's great. I've been thinking about this too and trying to find what would work for me. I am thinking a work capsule in black, grey, ivory, soft sea foam green and a warm pink. Black and grey are not my best but they are plentiful in my purchased wardrobe. I would rather go with navy and dark brown but they are so much harder to find. I love your shoes!


  7. I was so worried that you'd lost your beautiful clothes in an incident (fire, luggage loss etc.) so I was relieved that you didn't need to start from scratch!Yes, I've been following along with Janice too but haven't applied my learning.


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