Slow Fashion October & Knitted Wardrobe Assessment

Not familiar with the concept of slow fashion or haven't heard of Slow Fashion October? You can get up to speed on Slow Fashion October over at Fringe Association (here's the overview post), on Instagram at the @slowfashionoctober account, or by browsing the IG hashtag #slowfashionoctober.

I haven't sorted out my thoughts on slow fashion. I'm all for it as a concept, but as an individual with a finite amount of time, money and resources I find it hard to put into practice 100%. I don't buy a ton of new clothes (though the ones I do are from problematic retailers most of the time, I can't quit you Gap/American Eagle!!), I thrift regularly and of course I'm always knitting. Sometimes I feel like this has resulted in a disjointed wardrobe, which is partially fueled by my disjointed fashion preferences. I don't have a neat, encapsulated style. I knit and enjoy knitting a lot of things I don't wind up wearing much, so I often find myself reaching for store-bought sweaters more than my handknits. Case in point: my most beloved cardigan is this number from Madewell.

Let's be honest: sometimes store-bought is pretty useful. While I'd love to eventually knit a me-made version, my desire to knit a fingering weight, extra-long black cardigan is smaller than zero. The recent shift to colder temperatures had me digging in my sweater wardrobe and I realized my lack of hand-knit long sleeve cardigans. That's right, my FAVORITE layering silhouette is practically absent from my handmade wardrobe. I have exactly 2, and neither is a classic, easy-wearing piece. Cirriform Cardigan has asymmetrical fronts and Turners Falls Cardigan is cropped, so they only work with certain outfits. Fortunately, my potato brain somehow subconsciously realized this wardrobe gap because I have two long-sleeve cardigan WIPs, my Tinder in go-with-everything grey and a cabled design number in natural Ashland Bay Dakota.

Part of my lack of long-sleeve, long-silhouette pieces is my laziness. I have designed a surprising number of sleeveless, short-sleeved and 3/4 sleeved sweaters because I get really bored knitting long sleeves. Of course, now that I use sample knitters I've started pitching more designs with long sleeves since I don't have to knit them myself! And knitting a body that's 17-19" long from the underarms? No fun either.

In order to ascertain just how unbalanced my knitted wardrobe is, I classified my FOs by type, leaving out the pieces I plan to trade or sell in the near future because I don't like how they fit or just don't plain wear them.

To no surprise, accessory categories take the top 3 spots (hats, cowls, shawls).  They're just so fun and bite sized! Then it starts to get weird. For someone who A) lives in New England, B) works in an overly-air conditioned office, and C) is always cold, I have more tanks/vests and tees than anything else. PAST KNITTING ME IS DELUSIONAL. Granted, I do like to argue that these pieces can be worn well into fall and winter if layered appropriately (which is a blog post for another day) but COME ON. 

In case you were thinking that maybe I sensibly had knitted a whole bunch of long sleeve would be wrong. I have 2 of those as well.

I have several sweater quantities in my stash that I'd like to use up, and armed with this data I'm going to spend October acknowledging some hard truths and making some long-term plans so I can knit sweaters I WILL wear, and not just sweaters I will enjoy knitting.

I'll check back next week with a catalog of what I'm purging and why to help me nail down what I need to be mindful of in my future knits. Unflattering photos and all!