handmade wardrobe: the fall edition

the weather has dipped low enough to warrant pulling the plants inside and turning on the furnace, which also means shifting my wardrobe to prepare for the colder months and (inevitably) realizing i still have gaps in my mostly-handmade wardrobe. it’s been a slowish build of my me-made wardrobe over the past few years, and while last year i was convinced i had finally figured out what my new identity was and had it reflected in my clothes, the addition of willow this year has made me realize that i haven’t quite got that sorted. and to be honest, i probably never will have it quite solid. i think some of that is the beauty/frustration of being queer - my clothes are an outer extension of my gender identity, which is fluid, so by definition my wardrobe needs to be fluid too. which is great when you have enough clothes of a certain style to fit the days your identity feels like it, but not so great when you have one day’s worth and your dog gets mud on you within the first thirty minutes of the day and that identity lasts for five days.

luckily i have been smart enough with my fabric purchases more recently to have a mostly cohesive wardrobe that can be mixed and matched:

as an overall wardrobe, it’s pretty good. i have older mostly rtw clothes that fill in gaps for fancier days or absolutely messy days (hello, holes i can’t be bothered to mend), but for the most part, my everyday wardrobe feels almost complete. i determined a few months ago that my current gender identity feels like “dog walking femme chic”, which is basically an extension of my old “practical femme” identity with much larger pockets and more multiples of everything because the dog insists on constantly rubbing her mess on everything. there are, however, some gaps, most specifically in the bottoms and undies department.

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other than my hag club undies, i haven’t added new undies in ages and they are in sore need of replacement, so that needs to get higher up the priority list. i also need to sew at least one more bra so that i have a few in rotation, which eases the wear and tear on each of them individually. i have black denim to make a second pair of ginger jeans (and my first pair is coming close to needing some crotch mending, so i should hop to that), and gorgeous wool deadstock from the now-defunct woolrich woolen mill to sew an estuary skirt. i’m finishing off a cropped juniper to wear in time for rhinebeck and with all my high-waisted bottoms, and eventually i’ll get up the nerve to cut into some waxed canvas for a kelly anorak. i’d like to slowly start adding some more button-ups to my wardrobe, but i currently have a stack of perfectly functional rtw ones, so they’re not too high on the priority list (plus i can practice the sewing skills from them on fairfields for dear ones). i’ve been avoiding purchasing new fabric lately, so sewing through my stash is also helping me to stay focused on my makes. my two recent wardrobe purchases were 100% functional and as early xmas gifts from my mumsy - a new rain jacket to replace the several 10+-year-old jackets i’ve been getting drenched through on dog walks this fall, and a pair of waterproof keens that are also rated to -32 celsius with rubber soles. they basically look like and function as a more rugged version of my blundstones, and will hopefully cover the one remaining gap in my footwear collection (good footwear is even more essential for me these days with so many miles tromped alongside willow).

i’ll hopefully get myself organized enough to post some #knitstyle posts on instagram during the be kind kal to help with more regular handmade wardrobe inspiration. defining a personal style can be so so tricky, and i don’t know if we ever fully settle into one. that’s ok though, we’re allowed to evolve and change with our clothes in the same way we do as humans. and it’s even better (for us and for the planet) if we can do that with more mindfulness about purchasing only what we do need and love to wear and feel good in.