Did you do Me Made May this year? I have some short reflections on Me Made May 2023 since it was a bit different from other years. My loose motto for this year’s was: wear more make less! Mostly because I knew that I would barely be sewing since I had a house move to contend with.
The good news though was that packing and unpacking really forced me to look at everything I have. In that process I rediscovered hidden gems, said goodbye to things that I knew I wouldn’t wear but couldn’t let go, and tried to put together some new outfits. It took more effort than usual to get dressed since I had limited clothing when I had no wardrobes (i.e. only folded stuff, all the things that need to hang were unavailable) but it was fun in the end.
Reflection 1: Spend time to style more, experiment more
Throwing on some clothes is one thing but thinking about shoes, jacket, handbag, jewellery and so on is like putting the topcoat on your nails. Yes, it does take time and effort but I’ve learned to love it because it really improves the final result. Also a nice opportunity to test out all the closet lurkers, of which I found many when unpacking!
Past me avoided any styling effort by rewearing the same outfits + purchasing things in several colours for variation. The magpie iteration of past me bought stuff because it was nice, without considering the rest of my closet. Then I started sewing and went into the phase where I discovered Liberty and sewed prints that are nicer to look at than wear myself – here’s past me from 2017! The olive/brown dress in the middle is the only one of this set that is in the closet.
Reflection 2: Loving a garment doesn’t mean there needs to be multiples
Know that moment of “this would also look great in ….” and then immediately proceed to making up another one? Going forward I’m going to think twice before sewing, especially for things like dresses since I tend to wear jeans year round and it’s just not that hot in the Netherlands for all the summer dresses. For basics like t-shirts I can have multiples to match the kids, to go bouldering, run around town … same with basic bias skirts or maybe a trouser pattern that really works for me and I don’t want to fit multiple times. But really, just wear what I have first before diving immediately into another one! A stylist told me once that one way to have diff cuts of jeans is to buy different colours in different cuts. A straight leg jean in 3 diff denim washes is not necessary! I like this theory to apply to other clothes as well.
Reflection 3: Sometimes garments need to rest in the closet before returning like old friends
I’m very into bias skirts at the moment, and happily the ballet flats which I’ve worn for years are back in trend. I’m not loving my A line midi skirts (I have many!) after 2yrs of wearing only them in warmer temps, so they can be put away for a bit. But I know I’ll want them again at some stage because the shape really works for my body proportions.
On the upside, I’ve found some of my old Japanese book makes (hello linen box tops and dresses) which I skipped for a few years and now happy to see them again.
Which brings me to ….
Reflection 4: Being clear on personal style really helps with getting the best out of clothes
Many stylists have written books and closet methodologies (do you remember the Curated Closet book? For me it was back in the day I loyally sewed patterns from the handful of available indie brands because I didn’t understand big 4 patterns. And ended up with loads of things I didn’t wear).
Fortunately these days there are many stylists who are into “sustainable style” and show what’s possible using your existing closet. This certain helps inspire me to look at my closet with a different eye. Allison Bornstein is one such stylist who suggests a 3-word method to describe your style. Mine are: casual, polished, fun.
I figured out what I’m not: minimalist, neutrals lover or full-on colour lover. But I like wearing statement pieces or having something statement in my outfit, or even just a bright lipstick so I try to think about how to incorporate that, as well as accessories.
Reflection 5: think twice before sewing on
I saved the nicer makes I was ready to part with for a small local consignment store the other day (hope they find a nice home) But it reminded me that there is a reason I ended up with excess clothes – besides work – and I should really be more picky about the things I sew for leisure. After all, it is also ok not to sew and there is more to life than sewing! (Ha, I think some might disagree with me there).
So that was it for my Me Made May 2023 reflections, let me know if you had a goal and how you went!
Till next time,