Wardrobe Planning – Coordinating Separates

I’ve noticed that I have lots of individual pieces that I like in my closet, but it’s often hard to put together outfits out of separates, especially when I want to look respectable. When I was a kid, my mom would take me to Nordstrom every fall to buy a new back-to-school wardrobe. It was always a selection of coordinating separates and that shopping trip with my mom was one of my favorite events of the year. I figure if I get started now, I can sew a new fall wardrobe for myself of well made, coordinating separates that should be fun to wear and look nice too. (This time around with fewer turtlenecks and jumpers).

autumnal wool floral

I’m starting with bottoms. I’ve decided to  base the selection around this piece of wool blend that I bought at SewExpo this year. I’m not sure what it is about the print or colors, since they’re not a typical selection for me, but I’m absolutely in love with it. I also like that it includes black and brown. I bought it and immediately thought pencil skirt. I also have a length of red fabric that I want to use for another pencil skirt, maybe with a very high waist and scalloped top/bottom.

denim fabrics and needles

I had a moment of realization reading Sallie‘s recent guest post on Madalynne. I can sew a pair of jeans. I’m not sure why I’ve never tried (well, years ago I made raver phat pants with 40″ bottom openings, but that doesn’t really count). But, I’m going to. I plan on starting by making a pair of skinny jeans similar to the one that I own and wear, but that actually fits me well! I bought some new denim needles and a double-point needle for topstitching.

khaki and trouser pattern

I’m also planning on sewing a pair of khaki trousers, and thinking about 1940’s inspired design. I snagged Simplicity 3688, but I’m not completely sold on the pattern. I need to do a bit more thinking before diving into this piece. It’s really funny to me that I want to sew a pair of khaki pants. I’ve always abhorred khaki. When I was younger, I thought it represented everything I didn’t want to be – preppy, clean-cut, and boring. But now, somehow, if I think of them as vintage inspired, they become a really exciting idea.


Here’s what I’ve got to start for my wardrobe bottoms. I’m also thinking about adding in a couple of 1960’s style skinny trousers. In black and brown, perhaps, as that would be quite practical. Or saffron and sage, if I just can’t bring myself to be that practical.

creme oxfords

Finally, in examining my wardrobe, I’ve realized that I have no nice brown tone shoes. I have lots of tennis shoes and moccasins and summery slip-ons, but the nice leather shoes I have are all black. So, I just bought a pair of creme colored leather oxfords and I’m keeping my eye out for a brown pair.