My clothes. All of them.
I'm reasonably sure I used to be stylish. There are small clues dotted through my wardrobe; the well-worn, beautifully cut leather jacket (now well into its 11th year and beginning to slightly disintegrate), a handful of scarves and necklaces (from a time when I presumably remembered to don more than clean underwear, trousers and a t-shirt), two nicely cut skirts with labels that suggest they cost more than a tenner. And, ummm, that's about it. The rest of my wardrobe is made up of eek-I'm-post-natal-and-nothing-fits-jeans and I-know-it's-maternity-wear-but-it-FITS-and-I-can-breastfeed-in-it-tunics. And a heck of a lot of t-shirts sporting holes/tears/stretched-beyond-all-recognition necklines (seriously, before last year I didn't know t-shirts could actually wear out). I won't upset you by discussing my underwear drawer, but let's just say that nursing bras are Not Pretty and leave it at that.
This is not a good situation. Or a good look.
So, in an effort to (a) reward myself for losing weight reasonably quickly after giving birth (I've just purchased this to help speed things along before the wedding, since weight loss has slowed and I'm finally cool with abdominal exercises), (b) regain some sense of style/self-confidence/attractiveness and (c) not scare people when I walk down the street, I'm having a bit of a wardrobe makeover. I appreciate that all of those reasons verge on the shallow (except the scaring people one, and we really are not a long way off that), but, hey, a girl's allowed to want to look pretty, right?
Scope for a full scale makeover is limited, as my clothing options at the moment are reduced to things I can feed in, and we are extremely broke (turns out that even budget weddings are expensive when you invite 100 people and promise to feed them and ply them with alcohol). However, I really need to sort some clothes out, or one rainy day (we don't own a tumble drier) is going to mean me going out in my underwear the next day due to a lack of available clean clothes.
After browsing many many 'organise your wardrobe'/'get the perfect capsule wardrobe'/'be stylish for any occasion' type sites, I've gathered some ideas to pull together my frankly pitiful clothing collection. It's a mixture of sewing patterns, free tutorials and some bits that I'll need to actually buy (sadly I am no cobbler).
From L to R: 1. A Lisette traveller dress pattern, 2. A stripy t-shirt or two (Zara is always a good bet for basics. Am very excited about visiting a store today, as we don't have one locally), 3. A shirt from Sew U, to go with one of the two nice skirts mentioned up-post, 4. lovely yellow goodness, 5. A coral scarf (I am loving pink and coral at the moment, most unlike me). Suspect I won't stretch to that Anthro one though, 6. Neutral tank/vest tops. Adding an extra layer to pull up/down turns almost any stretchy top into a semi-decent nursing top, 7. Coral linen, to make the traveller dress, 8. A simple summer dress, using Maybe Matilda's tutorial (or these ones), 9. Plain t-shirts rule for emergency I-need-to-get-out-of-the-house-days, 10. The market skirt from Lisette, 11. Sweet kimono dress with obi-style waist. There's a similar pattern in Weekend Sewing as well, 12. Gorgeous butterfly scarf (I'm really hoping to find this today), 13. Easy jersey cardigan tutorial (I have some perfect apple green tissue jersey), 14. Toms, in coral and/or navy, 15. So rare to see a promising maxi dress pattern, can't find any UK stockists though (I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to re-fashion this like a double layer nursing top), 16. Beautiful Liberty print in Tatum, scored very cheaply on Ebay a while back, to turn into the Sew U shirt.
On the off chance I'm able to make/lay my hands n half the things above, I reckon I'll be able to begin to look the word style in the face again.
The whole wardrobe makeover thing is, by the way, made infinitely less complex by this little collection:
For those not in the know, those are my colours. I got them done by a Colour Me Beautiful consultant a few years ago, and it instantly made fabric/clothes shopping so much easier. I know some people don't buy into it, but having been through the process, and then gone through my wardrobe weeding out the misfits afterwards, I can honestly say that 'my' colours look way better on me than any other shades (indeed, most of the clothes I knew I ought to like, but didn't, turned out to simply not be my colours). Sticking to this relatively limited palette also means that, at times when I actually own more than three items of clothing and two accessories, they all more or less co-ordinate.
I love the whole colours thing. I've even toyed with the idea of training as a consultant one day in the distant future when we can afford the training. I'm thinking a colour consultant-slash-dressmaker would be a pretty cool combination...
Anyway, we're off to Bluewater (aka shoppers' paradise) today, ostensibly to find Adam a suit for the wedding and to nail our wedding gift list (since, you know, we've actually sent out the invitations now), but I'm also hoping to spend a little time shopping for me. I'll let you know if there's anything to cross off that style checklist when we return.