DIY Couture, or an exercise in capsule wardrobes

As someone with finicky taste in fashion, finding something that fits right and looks like it I want it to isn’t easy–that is why I am interested in sewing. Well, more accurately, pattern drafting since my sewing is a cry for help. But the other day, I found this book, DIY Couture: Create Your Own Fashion Collection.

The book is divided into 10 separate pieces and each piece has 8 different incarnations. It is a great look at how people with different personal styles can create such different looks out of the same basic shapes. Of course, the “collections” do not offer and exhaustive list of styles.

The book’s 10 pieces are: 1) the straight skirt, 2) the Grecian dress, 3) the skater skirt, 4) the waistcoat, 5) the cloak, 6) the slouch top, 7) the goddess dress, 8) the hoody, 9) the trousers, and 10) the romper. These pieces got me thinking–this is a tiny capsule wardrobe. So, what would my “ten” be if I’d written the book?

Personally, I am pretty big on skirts with flare–how I wish that petticoats were still standard. So, my first few would be 1) the full skirt and 2) the full day dress. I’d keep 3) the skater skirt as well. Then there is outerwear–I’d go for a three-quarters length coat (4) and the caplet (5). A non-fitted top is great for tucking into those skirts, so the next is (6) the loose tank. Of course, a nice button up would be nice, too, making for (7) the simple oxford. A t-shirt is a workhorse, so it would be (8) the short-sleeved tee.  Then, it would be 9) the little black dress and 10) the perfect jeans.

Another cool thing the book shows is different treatments of collars, pockets, and closures. You could scallop hems or substitute peter pan collars for notched collars. You could embellish skirts and shirts with ruffles or bows, use color blocking, or use different patterned fabrics to achieve different effects.

For me, this book was a great source of visual inspiration and a nice exercise in imagining a capsule wardrobe.

What would your “ten” be? Tell us in the comments!


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