This post elaborates on the sixth of ten elements of my fashion philosophy, which is if I were caught on security camera, there’d be no trouble describing me.
Technically, you only need one pattern for your clothing, and that’s the shell pattern that covers you and fits you well. Everything else is a variation on that shell. It could be an extension, addition, shortening, take in or ease out, slice and dice of one piece into many, combining pieces into one if your shell had more pieces than necessary, and/or some combination of these things.
The cuts of your pattern influences how it is pieced together, and its ultimate shape. I would argue the cuts of your garment is the main component of your style. You can change fabrics and colours all you want, but it only changes your look, not your style. If that were all you did, nobody would say you had a lot of variety to your style. They’d say you just wear variations of the same style.
There are a lot of styles out there, but for most of the stuff you buy, there’s ironically hardly any style! Think of the man’s dress shirt. Now many styles are there really that you see in shops and/or on men around you in the office? It’s all freakin’ same! They have the same collar, same one piece back, one piece left and right front, and mostly all of the same fabric, whatever that fabric may be. Pants are even worse cause there’s limited colour and few patterns, never mind cuts. Women’s blouses are similar to men’s dress shirts, and skirts aren’t much better for style. At least there are varying lengths. Suits are little better, with at least a little variety in lapel shapes, but they’re all more or less the same. I don’t know why people even have very populated men’s wear boards on Pinterest. I look at them and they’re practically all the same to regular stuff I see all the time. What they call stylish is just maybe a nice fit, maybe slightly odd colour or just looked like someone messed up and tried to recover. It’s horrible!
What I plan to do with with a lot of garments I’ll be making is to add some creative cuts to them. Add yokes to dress shirts, front and/or back, as if focal points framed by everything else around it. Cowboy shirts are like this, but they’re only cowboy shirts because they have tacky cowboy looks and/or material. Further, I plan to add a band or Mandarin collar, and not have the dress shirt tucked in. The band collar allows me to do that acceptably because I won’t look like everyone else, but just punking the office culture by not tucking in my dress shirt. The look is rather formal, in fact, that with the right design, you might bet on me being the person in charge of a meeting if a bunch of office guys were in a room to meet and you didn’t know who was running the meeting. Nothing against women not being there. I’m comparing just men’s styles to each other.
I can also split the dress shirt asymmetrically so it’s not even on both sides, whether by cut or by overlap like a chef’s jacket. Or split it even but have a hidden buttons under a placket or band. Maybe the band could have a little embroidery at the top, or subtle pattern different from the rest of the front, or just be outright a different colour. And I’d split the side bottom to allow myself to put hands in my pocket, or reach in, without wrinkling the bottom much. I could also sit down without wrinkling the shirt much, without having it at a short length that would look awkward.
I’m still struggling with pants and cuts, but I’ve got some ideas. I just need to settle into them a bit more. Perhaps something like a wavy S cut down the sides instead of straight. A black pair of pants could look subtly interesting with such a cut. Maybe even do very subtle black and black colour blocking so as not to be radiant with red and white halves of such! Definitely have a slim fit, though, given I am short at 5’2″, but nicely proportioned so no need to make them wide and make me look short and stubby.
I can apply the same ideas to coats as with dress shirts, to add yokes, split unevenly, or whatever. Look at my New Orleans SAINTS fleece coat with yokes, for example. I have more freedom to work cuts for everything from length to overlap, like the Grand Moff costume that could be a nice rain coat design with a hat added on. I can also do length like the Matrix coat. I’ve got such a rain coat and let me tell you, it feels awesome going around against a bunch of yellow rubber ducky raincoats!
Women’s garments allow a lot more freedom for creative cuts. I don’t think I need to go into much of it here. You just look around in the garments you like, and see if you can identify where creative cuts (or shapes) are why you like those garments, as opposed to colour or fabric.
With both men’s and women’s clothing, you can certain do colour blocking with creative cuts. In a way, if you use different fabrics at all, you are effectively colour blocking. It might be busy pattern next to busy pattern, but if you just pretend to blur the image a bit like with a camera out of focus, each pattern area will adopt a bit of a shade, and you’ve effectively got colour blocking.
Now, colour blocking basically divides a garment into a bunch of pieces. Most likely, it won’t be in so many pieces that you can’t remember them all. It’ll also have a different look than most of the generic stuff in fewer pieces, or not in pieces of the same shapes. The fact creative cuts makes a garment easy to remember or memorable (for good or bad), but also easy to spot because it stands out with a different look, means it’ll be easy to see on security camera and describe back to someone else. That’s how it fits into my fashion philosophy.