My Lifestyle Wardrobe

I need to replace my wardrobe, everything is either worn out or doesn’t fit properly. The research that I have been doing indicates that one should first look at their activities or lifestyle to determine what clothes they need.

I first started with the things that I do (I decided to keep this list to 10 things.)
1. sleep (I need clothes for this since I don’t sleep in the buff)
2. hanging out at home
3. gardening
4. visiting my dad at the nursing home
5. doctor appointments for myself and my father
6. doing things with friends
7. shopping
8. parties
9. concerts
10. church

Then I added the type of clothes that I wear to those activities.
1a. sleep-pajamas, nightgowns, bathrobe
2b. hanging out-casual
3b. gardening-casual, aprons, hats
4b. nursing home-dressy casual
5b. doctor’s- dressy casual
6b. friends-dressy casual, dressy
7b. shopping-casual, dressy casual
8b. parties-dressy casual, dressy, semi-formal
9b. concerts-dressy casual, dressy
10b. church-dressy casual, dressy

The next step was to determine how often I participated in those activities and determine how many outfits I would need for each category if I did laundry once a week and wanted some variety in selections.

1c. sleep, daily

  • 5 pajamas
  • 2 nightgowns
  • 1 bathrobe

2c. hang out, daily

  • 7 casual pants
  • 7 casual tops

3c. gardening, 6 days/week, cannot overlap with other casual clothes

  • 6 casual pants, must be made from a cool fabric
  • 6 casual tops, must be made from a cool fabric

4c. nursing home, 7 days a week

  • 4 dressy casual pants
  • 3 dressy casual skirts
  • 7 dressy casual tops

5c. doctor’s appointments, once a week

  • 1 dressy casual pants
  • 1 dressy casual skirt
  • 1 dressy casual top
  • 1 dressy casual dress
  • 1 dressy casual jacket

6c. friends, once a week

  • 1 dressy casual pant
  • 1 dressy casual skirt
  • 1 dressy casual top
  • 1 dressy casual dress
  • 1 dressy casual jacket

7c. shopping, 2 days a week

  • 2 casual pant
  • 2 casual tops
  • 1 dressy casual pant
  • 1 dressy casual pant
  • 1 dressy casual skirt
  • 1 jacket

8c. parties, once a month

  • 1 semi-formal dress
  • 1 dressy pant
  • 1 dressy skirt
  • 1 dressy top
  • 1 dressy dress
  • 1 dressy casual pant
  • 1 dressy casual skirt
  • 1 dressy casual top
  • 1 dressy casual dress
  • 1 dressy jacket
  • 1 dressy casual jacket

9c. concerts

  • 1 dressy casual dress
  • 1 dressy dress

10c, church, three times a week

  • 2 dressy dresses
  • 2 suits
  • 2 dressy tops
  • 2 dressy casual skirts
  • 1 dressy casual pant
  • 2 dressy casual tops
  • 3 dressy casual dresses
  • 3 dressy casual jackets

Now I know why I do so much laundry for one person.
What makes something casual vs. dressy casual? The fabric.
If I coordinate everything what do I need? I have no idea. I have never had a coordinated wardrobe, so I guess my list will just cover the basics as I see them.


By clothing category:

  • pajamas-5


  • nightgowns-2


  • bathrobe-1


  • casual pants-7
  • cool casual pants-6
  • dressy casual pants-4
  • dressy pant-1


  • casual tops-7
  • cool casual tops-6
  • dressy casual tops-7
  • dressy tops-2


  • dressy casual skirts-3
  • dressy skirt-1


  • dressy casual dress-3
  • dressy dresses-2
  • semi-formal dress-1


  • dressy casual jackets-3
  • dressy jacket-1


  • suits, with both skirt and pants-2

By lifestyle category:


  • 1 dress


  • 1 jacket
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 shirts
  • 1 pant

Dressy Casual

  • 2 suits, with both skirt and pants
  • 3 jackets
  • 3 dresses
  • 3 skirts
  • 7 tops
  • 4 pants


  • 7 pants
  • 6 cool pants
  • 7 tops
  • 6 cool tops


  • 5 pajamas
  • 2 nightgowns
  • 1 bathrobe

That is a lot of sewing! I guess I went over the 11 garments recommended by SWAP. I am going to start with a SWAP, so hopefully I can learn about a coordinated wardrobe. Next I have to decide on my colors.



Today I learned a new sewing concept, S.W.A.P., Sewing With A Plan. The objective of the plan is to sew a wardrobe that is appropriate for your lifestyle, so you will have the clothes you need.

The plan recommends evaluating one’s lifesyle, then sewing 11 garments out of 2 basic colors and 1 complementary color.
2 pairs of pants
2 skirts, one solid, one print
6 tops, matching and coordinating
1 jacket

Here are some links about this concept:

Sewing with a Plan,
Planning the wardrobe

Sewing with a Plan Update

Casual Wardrobe Planning

Stitches Article

Sewliz’s Template

Jemima Bean’s Storyboard Tutorial

Another suggestion that I read was to organize fabric into containers with coordinated outfits, and sew one container at a time so that one would have something to wear when the container is empty, instead of a bunch of mismatched clothes.

Pretty Spring Separates

These are my favorite separates from Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstroms.

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Pretty Spring Tops

These are my favorite blouses and tops that I found looking for ideas at Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus, and Saks.

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Pretty Spring Dresses

I have been looking at the Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstoms sites for spring sewing ideas. Here are some pretty dresses that I found that have potential.   What do you think?

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To My Teacher

I have always been meticulous about keeping my sewing room neat and organized, but something has happened over the last 10 years while taking care of my parents.  I attempted to do some sewing yesterday for the first time in years, and when I stepped into the room I couldn’t even see my sewing machine.  The room is filled with boxes.  After my mother died, I put all the boxes of her sewing things in my sewing room, and haven’t touched them since.  The time has now come to go through those boxes and eliminate duplicates and things that I will never use.

This is going to be a difficult task.  My mother taught me to sew when I was 9 years old.  My first project was a purple moomoo, and my mother went on to teach me how to make everything from underwear to tailored suits.  She saved scraps of everything she made, and stored all her notions in containers that were uniquely my mom.  Each box contains a memory of my mother, but they are the best of memories.

Thank you, Mom.