Book Review: What I Wore

Hi Everyone!  As a participant in this year’s RTW Fast hosted by Sarah, from Goodbye Valentino, I’ve been planning what I want to sew during my year long fast.  There was a wonderful post in the FB group just after the group assembled about planning vs just sewing.  I started thinking about that seriously since I’m a person that usually sews something for myself with an occasion in mind.  You know, if I have an event or special day that I need something extra special for.  I also will sew a piece to go with something I already own many times as well.  Then there are other times, as you will see soon, that I’m totally inspired by a fabric or silhouette.

The idea of planning intrigued me and I wondered if there was a book that was written specifically for “planning to sew” a wardrobe.  So as my son was selecting books for himself at our local library, I was checking out a few for myself.  I didn’t find one specifically written for sewing wardrobe, although I’m sure they exist, I did find one that I found particularly interesting.


The name of the book is “What I Wore” by Jessica Quirk.  Her subtitle is, “Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style.”  Interesting huh??  Well, I thought so.  I’ve never read a book on planning a wardrobe before, let alone one that helps you plan for a whole year including all the seasons.  So I thought I could implement her wardrobe planning ideas into the pieces I wanted to sew.

Her intro was really cute,  “A Cookbook for your Closet”.  She goes on to share about when she grew up and a her background in design and as a personal style expert.  She mentions how her parents are “foodies” , so I get the cute cooking connections throughout the book.  She’s also a blogger and has been posting daily pictures of herself since 2007.  I went to check out her blog and found her at What I Wore.  She’s got Great personal style so I suggest you check it out for some inspiration!!

She starts off with chapter one with, Getting Started.  In this chapter she details how to take an inventory of what you have and how to build a “smarter” closet.  She starts off this chapter with an interesting, playful question.  If I could only have 12 pieces of clothing, what would they be?  AND What would you buy with a bajillion dollars?  I disregarded the bajillion as just fun, but thought about the “only 12 pieces” part of the question.  Don’t worry, the book is filled with more than the notion of just 12 pieces, but it’s still an interesting concept.  She goes on to mention planning a budget and then breaks down how much you should plan to spend per season.  

Her Key Concepts are:
  Basics
  Core Colors
  Secondary Colors
  Add-ons

There are 4 additional chapters in the book that discuss each season of clothing for work and for fun.  Each chapter has a series of check lists to make sure all of the key areas are covered. There’s advice on color palettes, foundations, accessories, special occasions and even planning for a trip!  Each of the 4 “season” chapters have details relevant to that season with lots of ideas, check lists and tips.  There are many great ideas in this book, but one thing that I found to be such a great point and that most of us can relate to.  Don’t hang anything in your closet that doesn’t fit or needs to be ironed!!  She calls those wrinkled messes, “big ol’ roadblocks”.  It’s true, if you don’t have time to iron it, you can’t wear it.  I got a chuckle out of that statement, but it was so true and one I’m guilty of on occasion.  There a many cute segments in the book called, Food for Thought, that give tips and ideas about handbags, vintage shopping, and shopping online, just to name a few.  There are also ideas about how to store items such as boots.  She gave a “pro tip” to store boots with a wine bottle or rolled up magazine inserted inside to keep them standing upright!!  Very clever!!

I could go on and on about all the great information in this book because it’s so well thought out.  I think this is a great book and will continue to use it as a resource while I plan my year of sewing.  This book definitely Strikes My Fancy!! I hope you will check it out too and find it not only to have great information, but that it’s a FUN read!!

Have a Happy Creative Day!!
Roxanne











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This entry was posted in Amazon Books, Goodbye Valentino blog, Jessica Quirk, planning a wardrobe, RTW fast, sewing, sewing a wardrobe, Strikes My Fancy, What I Wore. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Book Review: What I Wore

  1. Brandi Yee says:

    This sounds like an interesting book that I'll have to check out!! I Love that concept of it and so many of us could benefit from learning more about making the most of our wardrobes 🙂

  2. Sny Med says:

    The book sounds very helpful in building a wardrobe. I think this is help that many men and women starting out their career could use!

    Jenna Em

  3. Hi Brandi Yee! I agree it's great to find resources like this to help us make the most of our wardrobes.

  4. Hi Jenna! Yes, that's a good point about helping build a wardrobe for those starting out in a new career. This book is appealing to all of us for different reasons.

  5. Thanks for the review. I would love to read this book. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

  6. What a cool book idea! I'm a personal trainer so I don't often wear much of my real world clothes, but when I do I want to look cute. This book sounds great 🙂

  7. Petro Neagu says:

    First of all I think it's awesome you can sew, I've been meaning to learn myself but I'm always too busy with other things. Plus I am a klutz 🙂
    The book sounds great and I think it would be a good guide for someone like me, a newbie.

  8. Hi Markell, I hope you check it out and find it helpful.

  9. Hi Catherine. I'm sure you could use this book to plan an active wear wardrobe as well.

  10. Thanks Petro. We could all use some training to plan our wardrobes and get great tips too.

  11. Garf says:

    Since the evolution of the internet, I'm becoming less of a bookworm. Not that I was before, only I find it easier to read online than opening a hard cover.

  12. Then you're in luck Garf! This book comes in an ebook version for whichever device you use.

  13. Elise says:

    The "cookbook for your closet" bit alone is almost enough to make me want to read it! 🙂 Truthfully, I *need* a book like this. I'm so sewing and fashion handicapped. 😛

  14. Sounds very interesting! I think we should have some basic things we can combine with others. And not have to buy a whole outfit every time.

  15. I had to go and check out what kind of fast you were on! I think sewing all of your own clothing is a great idea!

  16. I could definitely use that book.

  17. Hi Elise. It's does make the book sound appealing, doesn't it? We could all use a little help in the area.

  18. Hi Joanna. We can combine if we learn which pieces go with which. This book demystifies that for us.

  19. Hi Cynthia. I gave my perspective from a sewing point of view of this book. Why not tailor it to creating your wardrobe if you sew instead of buying everything? The principles are the same.

  20. Hi Michelle. I would guess most of us could use a little help on the area, not just a few.

  21. mail4rosey says:

    I think a year of sewing sounds fun!! I'd love to do something like that too!

  22. Thanks mail4rosey! It's an Adventure!!

  23. I never learned to sew even though both of my grandmother's were very good at it. It's something I wish I knew how to do.

    I like the premise of the book. I can see how pre-planning could save time and money.

  24. Sounds like a helpful and interesting book! My wardrobe staples are tshirts and jeans, but it would be nice to have that extra help when trying to choose something nice to wear.

  25. Hi Jayne. Good point about saving $$. Thanks

  26. Merissa says:

    That sounds really neat, I've never heard of a book before that helps you pick out things for your closet! I need some new things for the summer and have very limited closet space so I'm going to have to check this out, thanks for sharing!

  27. I love the tip about not hanging wrinkled clothes in the closet! I do this all the time, and get frustrated and then refuse to wear it for a long time.

  28. Pams Party says:

    I agree, it does sound interesting. I know I have way too many clothes that I never wear, but definitely do not have the time to sew my own wardrobe. I would love to see how things goes for you.

  29. Great Merissa! I'm sure you'll find it helpful.

  30. I admit I'm guilty of that too!!

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