Bring Intentionality to Your Closet

After 30+ years of dressing, my closet contains a gamut of styles from saris to color block dresses, long sleeve button-down shirts to sheer ruffled taffeta tops, from solid black cuffed wool pants to side-laced skirts. I’ve been very fortunate. However, I have yet to gain the skill of making it all work together. Maybe that’s you too?

My strategy for selecting makes is not much more integrated. I made individual pieces that don’t work together. They are great for learning a technique or a style. But not great for a cohesive wardrobe.

And really, who cares about a wardrobe? We’re all just wearing COVID clothes and TBH, there’s so much else important going on. True, and I’d like to have more energy for all the else that’s going on. For that, I need to spend less decision-making energy on what to wear so I have more energy for other things. And crawling out of my COVID wardrobe and into more regular clothes has highlighted just how much I need to make this transition. Consider me motivated.


I found out about Seamwork’s Design Your Wardrobe offering from Bria, a classmate at the Sew Your Own Jean’s workshop at StyleMaker Fabrics. DYW is an online class designed to bring intentionality to wardrobe choices. I could tell it worked for Bria because she left the retreat with a color-coordinated foot-tall stack of fabric.

I joined Seamwork and jumped into the Fall DYW class about a month ago. Each week, we tackled a major component in creating an integrated wardrobe.

Week 1

In week 1 we set a goal and created a mood board. Each day, Monday through Friday, we were given a task to complete. For example, in this week, there was a day to iterate, and a day to reflect. And each day, there was an opportunity to share in the DYW class community. Every week, on Friday, we had the opportunity to join a Zoom call and share work in progress.

Pinterest was my go-to tool for creating my digital mood board but the act of physically arranging printed images really helped me curate the images into a much smaller selection. I keep my mood board at my desk to remind me of where I’m going and what I like.

Physical Mood Board

Week 2

In week 2, we created a color palette. Tasks included things like shopping your stash and getting fabric samples. We categorized colors into neutrals, basics, and statements. It sounds so simple that it doesn’t seem worth doing! But, through this analytical process, I discovered that 90% of my fabrics are statement fabrics. In other words, I need to focus on neutral fabrics for a bit to make things work better together. Although I didn’t complete the closet review task yet, I’m 100% certain that the lack of neutrals is the issue there too.

Week 3

In week 3, we planned our looks. It’s surprising how many elements you need to plan a look; criteria, looks, and croquis. From these looks, we created our project queue and project plans for each garment. In the Friday session, one of the class members shared her organization method in Trello. She had a list for WIP (work in progress makes) and a list of intended makes for each month. Each make had a project checklist and color coding. Amazing! Definitely doing that!


While I haven’t cleaned out my closet to arrive at a capsule wardrobe, I do now have a project queue and plan for 2 garments, a tailored matching jacket and pants, in a neutral or basic color, denim. They will be washable, easy to dress up or down, and affably pair with statement fabric shirt makes.

While it’s only 2 garments, making them so that they fit me will be the hard part. I anticipate multiple muslins. But, I expect to be very proud when I’m done, sometime in 2024.

More than 7,000 people have completed DYW and several people have completed it multiple times. It’s offered twice a year, in fall and spring. I highly recommend it and I’m not paid to say so!