Plan for an Edgy Fall Wardrobe

I like to make plans. I don’t always follow through on plans, but making plans? I can do that all day.

So I have been daydreaming a bit about a new fall work wardrobe. I have concluded that I like “edgy” looks for work – nothing that will scare people into thinking I am going to kick their ass or steal their lunch money, but something that looks like I could… if I wanted to. Basically, I am tired of looking like a drone to Corporate America every time I go to work.


(Actually, I like my job, but you know, just gotta reference “Office Space” whenever work-related “flair” is the story.)

I have a goal also to sew from stash fabrics and patterns as much as possible. I am not much of a stasher – I prefer to buy what I need when I need it – but I built up quite a bit during the first half of the year in lunchtime raids of The Garment District in New York, and during my trip to Canada.

My edgy me-made work clothes are a small lot:

It’s more this kind of stuff:

So one day I am in the office looking kinda bad-ass, and the next day I look like every assistant DMV manager you ever saw.

I gravitate toward the edgy clothes, but they tend to stick out. Over time I think I can add to that look and phase out some of the DMV look. All the edgy looks were made within the past year (except for the skirt) and all the “DMV manager” looks are from 2015 and 2016, (except, again, for the skirt).

I started on a palette using this fabric as my inspiration:


It’s a viscose knit I got at this hole-in-the-wall fabric shop in Ontario.  I’ve been waiting for the cool weather to arrive to work with it. I am a fool for a border print, and I like the edgy graphic element over the staid heathered houndstooth. It’s a perfect fabric to give this skirt another try:

My version of Simplicity 8058 was done in seriously crappy ponte I bought online in a moment of grave stupidity. It reminded me of this cheap school uniform fabric. I loved the color and I thought I could make it work, but damn it looks cartoony all made up! Like Smurfette’s dopey sister.

I plan to remedy the fit issues, add some metallic fastener/belt detail to CF (remove the big ol’ buttons) and trim down that bib piece that won’t lay flat anyway. I like the high waist and the flare and the exposed back zipper. And I do want to play with cobalt blue some more, just not so much of it.

Edgy Work Wardrobe Palette Fall 2018

Here’s the color palette I came up with for my edgy work wardrobe, based on fabrics I have in stash and what will go with things I have made already.

The main colors in the big circles are the basis of the garments – black, gray, navy and cranberry. The other pop of color is cobalt (in smaller doses as accent with the neutrals) and also accents of white and silver.


Here are some patterns for tops I have in stash that have an edgy vibe:

The Japanese top from the Great British Sewing Bee book is a real oddball. It’s kind of a slouchy batwing sleeve thing. Not sure about it, but we’ll see. I have some white and cobalt stripey jersey to try. The StyleArc top is basic, but I was thinking I’d cut it in silver jersey and jazz up the neckline with a silver metallic element. The Vogue 9246 top is boxy, so some back darts will be in order,and I will probably need to figure out a hollow chest and a forward shoulder adjustment. So while it’s simple, it will be work. I like the yoke – it might look cool with some faux leather piping, and I can slip it over my head. I have some menswear white square pique picked out.

For other bottoms, I have these:

Yes, that’s the Vogue 1312 Lynn Mizono dress again. I am thinking I will just make a skirt out of it using a self-drafted facing and pair it with any of the tops. I have about 4 yards of charcoal thrift store cotton sateen to play with. The skirt, New Look 6326, was a failure the first time around because of the fabric and some wonky darts. I think I learned my lesson and fixed the fit. I have some cranberry suedecloth or gray flannel picked out. And the pants, Simplicity 3688, are TNTs that go together quickly and will look cool in black pique suiting with a silver button.

I want to make a dress or two also. These in my stash could maybe go edgy:

I have some cranberry bamboo jersey for the Burda dress (same material I’ve picked out for the StyleArc top above), with silver buttons at the shoulder and probably a silver belt. For either the Deer & Doe Arum Dress or McCall’s 6464, I have some chevron weave navy viscose batiste in stash. But I would need to buy navy lining fabric, and I would need to “edgy” them up – not sure how. The McCall’s dress cries out for color-blocking or maybe a bodice seam treatment, or an exposed zipper?

Finally, I have my eye on these two jackets:

I have not bought either pattern, yet. The Lekala jacket is well reviewed and has some cool elements – I could see adding a zipper to the front and maybe faux leather piping to the shoulder seam. The Oki Style jacket is fascinating, similar to the “Joker” shirt I made (and love). I’ll think about them for now. They’re both supposed to be made of woven fabrics, but I think I could manage either in some charcoal ponte.

Now comes the hard part: Prioritizing these garments. No way will I be able to make them all this fall. In fact, if I can manage two items each in September and October that will be a lot, given my work and vacation schedule and other commitments. I am going to try my cost vs. difficulty grid again to finish my plan.

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

11 thoughts on “Plan for an Edgy Fall Wardrobe”

  1. I love your plan. I’ve been looking at that Oki shirt pattern for ages. I think the Oki style jacket would be fabulous .

    I made the Japanese top from the GBSB book. It is fabulous. I made it from a really drapey rayon knit which worked out to be terrible colours for me. I thought it was teal, cerise with apricot/cream. Turns out it was orange-apricot with other bits 😦

    It went together well. I plan to make it again in fabric I can live with.


  2. Very interesting! I agree the jackets look like they should work in a ponte. I like the idea of the Mizono dress in grey; I think it needs a solid colour.

    I’ll be following along!


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