Elizabeth Street

Wardrobe Building Case Study: Classic Button Up Shirt

Wardrobe BuildingLiz TubmanComment

I recently finished another piece of my core capsule wardrobe - a classic button up shirt.  My goal is to ultimately have a chambray, white, and flannel button up in my closet and this, obviously, is the chambray version!  

This was my second go around with Grainline's Archer pattern so I felt much more confident with my shirt making skills.  It's not completely perfect, but I love it just the same and I know the things I'll focus on in my next version. My criteria for this project were: 

  1. fit  - right between relaxed and fitted
  2. fabric - I knew I wanted a nice chambray 
  3. versatility - I wanted to be able to mix and match this shirt with the rest of my wardrobe like crazy

The finished product meets all of these and this shirt has been in regular rotation for a few weeks now. Since this was my second Archer, I knew I needed to adjust the fit and made a straight size 8 in view A (my first shirt was a 10).  I'm really happy with the fit of this size; it's just roomy enough in the body to be comfortable but definitely not frumpy.  The fabric is a beautiful chambray from Robert Kaufman and it's just what I imagined when planning this project.  

As for versatility, I can (and have) layered this baby up in all sorts of outfit variations.  I included a few photos of how I wear my chambray button up with other pieces from my closet.  Jen did a wonderful post last week about styling handmade items so that they don't feel "costumey" or "homemade" and I wanted to share something similar.  

In my experience, I feel a little self-conscious the first time I wear something handmade out of the house (Did I trim all my threads?  I hope these seams aren't about to bust open!), but after that I totally embrace it.  There's such a sense of pride and uniqueness that comes with wearing handmade, even if it's something small.  I like trying on  handmade pieces with all your everyday jewelry - it might sound funny but it always feels more "me" when I try on a newly sewn or knit item with all the things you wear everyday like a watch, rings, earrings, etc.  Then when I wear it out of the house, I don't feel quite so self conscious.