Monday, October 7, 2013

Preparing for Paris or My Take on Marcy's Core Wardrobe

Preparing for Paris
requires many levels of planning:
hotel reservations,
restaurant reservations,
museum tickets,
transportation arrangements
and the most challenging question of all --
what to wear?

I always take a morning
at least a week before departure
when I dress in my best undergarments
and get ready for a try-on.
This year I started by removing
all the lightweight/summer items from my closet first.
I have to admit that I did very little culling in the moment.
I just stored them away
("I'll think about that tomorrow...").

Then I carried the best of everything left 
up the stairs and into Marcy's studio
where she had her clothing hanging on a rack.
We try everything on.
Marcy is my other eye,
the first being the mirror.
She is uncanny in her ability to see
what works and what doesn't.

There are always those items
that go together easily for 
the big YES.
And of course those that scream out 
the definite NO.

Some things I thought were 'for sure' ensembles
did not work together at all.
Favorite items I love, 
that don't really go with anything 
must be eliminated.

Then there are the holes
that need to be filled.
This is why the try on must occur early,
so there is time to sew up a couple of new things.

Paris in October or May
has a broad temperature range
requiring layers.
 Marcy's 9 piece Core Wardrobe
 provides the perfect structure to work with.

Black is my color of choice
as it always works 
(especially in Paris where it tends to be grimy)
and can be 'popped'
with colorful accessories.

1. The coat to go over everything.

Definitely my new pattern, Butterick 5960 
in black of course.
I did hand paint the lining...

Butterick 5960

This is a classic, throw-over-everything,
make it dressy or casual,
lined or unlined,
belted or not,
wear-for-20-years coat.
It will be carried on the plane 
and double as my 'banky'.
My mind is playing with how to
finesse a denim version for spring
and my country living life style.
We're not talking Ralph Lauren country here...

2. The pant to wear with everything.

These days I'm liking 
the look of a slim pant 

Butterick 5961
I have versions of this pant
in knit and woven, black of course --
because it works with everything,
is comfortable and quite flattering.
Plus it keeps things simple for me.

3. Knit tops, t-shirts or shell (for Paris and everyday).

the top from Butterick 5961
(with multiple collar iterations)
are what I'm wearing now.
If all the tops have a touch of black
in the print then everything goes.

Butterick 5961
 The square set arm on B5961
adds a little style and I like making it 
in a texture that can provide a warm layer
over V8793 or B5925.
Butterick 5925

 I've eliminated the pockets
on both versions of B5925
to give a sleeker line when I want to layer
a jacket over the top.

Black Parisian is the perfect fabric
as it has a beautiful drape
and feels great next to my skin.
I have more than one shirt 
made from these patterns, in this fabric
going to Paris with me!

4. & 5. Distinctive jacket and/or shirt.

Butterick 5891 is one pattern
I've made over and over to wear 
as a shirt and a jacket.
I like it in a soft stretch woven or firm knit.

I also like Sandra Betzina's
which certainly works as this year's
trendy 'moto' jacket.

Vogue 1036

6. A vest that upgrades any outfit.

Marcy's Vogue 8430 made as a vest
is still an all time favorite
layering piece of mine.

Vogue 8430

Vogue 8777

As is Vogue 8777 
Simple or complicated, 
a versatile vest always adds chic
in addition to warmth.

Both Marcy and I have new vest patterns
coming out that we have been
stitching and wearing
so stay tuned.

7. & 8. Modern Cardigan and Skirt.

For me, cardigans are a little like most skirts --
when I put one on
I age 20 years and gain 20 pounds.

The only skirt I ever put on is 
long, straight and black.

is that skirt.
The pant in this pattern is great too;
a slim fit (with or without cuff) and the pattern pieces
offer options for fabric play.

Vogue 8837
9. Dress.

I love Marcy's Vogue 8876
as well as Butterick 5559.

Vogue 8876

Vogue 8904
Butterick 5559

Those diagonal lines are quite flattering.

My Paris wardrobe now consists of:
A long black coat and a raincoat;
3 pairs of black pants, including a black jean;
7 t-shirt tops and/or tunics;
4 jacket/shirts;
2 vests;
A dress in black and purple;
3 pairs of shoes;
Plus a bunch of scarves for color, warmth and style.
It is Paris after all...

This is where I am right now.
I never know what is going to sneak in
or out as departure nears.
The packing diva is a fickle goddess
and she has her favorites.

And yes, no skirts or cardigans 
have made it into the mix

See Marcy's Core Wardrobe picks in her  

Watch for my new dress coming out
in the Butterick Holiday/Spring Preview 2013/14 edition.

Now taking registration for ParisTilton
in the Springtime

Beyond the Arty T: Expanding the Creative Envelope