Intentional Wardrobe Planning: an Introduction


With the new year in full swing, you (like me!) may have set some making goals to supplement your handmade wardrobe in 2019. It can be a pretty daunting task, to choose garments now, in January, that you are still passionate about when you cast on for them in December. The shine of a hot new pattern might fade or, worse, you spend time (and $$) making a garment but never wear it. How do we ensure that we have a handmade wardrobe of items that we love to wear almost as much as we loved making them? How do we approach long-term wardrobe goals in a way that serves our future selves?

We have to get intentional about what we make. This means carefully considering what we like in our wardrobes so we can make things that fit our style.

Colorful Eclectic’s mission is to help yarn-lovers to develop, hone, and showcase their personal style. As such, this blog is going to start focusing heavily on intentional wardrobe planning. Every month, there will be at least one post directly addressing how to mindfully build a wardrobe. Other posts will relate to wardrobe-building somehow, whether it’s a top 5 new patterns list or an in-depth look at a certain kind of fiber.

Today’s post is an introduction to the basic theory of intentional wardrobe planning. Later posts will get into the nitty-gritty of things but today is a high-level overview of what I mean when I say, “Intentional Wardrobe Planning.”

What is “Intentional Wardrobe Planning?”

It’s creating a set of basic principles that guide your making (and buying) decisions so that your projects have maximum impact on your life. Then, applying those principles when you plan your makes for the year or go shopping (for yarn, fabric, or clothes).

All of the principles of intentional wardrobe planning for handmade items can also be applied to store-bought fashion - in fact, it works best as a blended approach.

These principles are not rules. They are not set in stone, and they are definitely not restrictive or un-spontaneous. A good plan will help your spontaneous moments be more fruitful and create pieces you come back to again and again.

Why Should I?

An intentional approach to your wardrobe will help you feel even more confident when you wear your makes. So that you wear everything that you make (or buy), shopping will be less stressful, and you will have a whole closet of clothes that fit your body and your style.

How Do I “Intentionally Wardrobe Plan?”

First and foremost, know thyself. What makes you feel the way you want to feel? What are “your” colors? Silhouettes? What are your processes? The answers to these questions will help you determine your guidelines. This series will feature guiding exercises to help you know yourself better so you can more mindfully create a wardrobe.

Where to Start?

To get things started, here is a thought exercise to help you determine your wardrobe preferences:

Close your eyes and imagine all the laundry is done. I know, it's a dream for most of use but use your imagination!

  • What is the first outfit you reach for?
  • Out of all the outfits you have, why did you choose that one?
  • How does it make you feel? Comfortable? Cozy? Chic?
  • What concrete attributes do you like about it? The color? The amount of ease? The length? The pattern? The fabric?

Note these things down because these answers form the basis of your intentional wardrobe principles! When you are searching for new patterns to make this year, keep these things in mind. 


Here are some of my favorite wardrobe planning resources from around the web:

  • MyBodyModel - make custom fashion sketches of YOUR body 
  • Capsule Wardrobe Planner - this post isn't about capsule wardrobes, but it's a great exercise to get you thinking about how to utilize your wardrobe
  • Closet Inventory - since it's best to start with a clean slate!

I’d love to hear what your thoughts on this process are! Do you do some kind of intentional planning already? What would you want to see in this series? Do you have any favorite wardrobe planning resources to share? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think.