The Wardrobe Architect Project, Week 12: Accessories!

First of all, thank you all for the kind comments on my tea dress! I’m a little overwhelmed, in a good way, at how much love it got. This seriously might be one of my most-commented-on projects ever. Including the wedding dress.

Normally, I’d do a monthly roundup here, but to be honest, my crafting has been very slow this month, and the tea dress is my only finished project. I do have two other sewing projects in the works, and am hoping to have a little more to show for them soon. Knitting has ground to a complete halt for now, particularly since I had a whopping 5 rehearsals in the span of a week last week, plus my retail job that is very office work-heavy (read: computer-intensive) for me this time of year, and consciously taking some time off of that was the best thing I could do for my hands. It worked–my carpal tunnel has been surprisingly well-behaved! Though I do hope to get back to that soon as well. In the meantime, since my MMM pledge is built to include handmade accessories, I figured it was high time I dealt with that particular Wardrobe Architect assignment.

Sarai divides them into functional vs. decorative accessories, so I’ll do the same.
Functional Accessories:
Shoes: I have to admit, I’m not much of a shoe girl. Mostly by necessity. I’ve lamented about how hard it is to find shoes in my extra-wide size many times on here before, thanks to a bony protrusion below my big toes that I’ve had my whole life. And when you’re looking at easily spending at least $80-120 a pop just to find functional shoes that fit, it definitely curbs your enthusiasm for buying them! (I get really excited on the rare occasions that I find shoes I like at the thrift store that fit!)

In fact, I can quite easily fit my entire shoe collection into one picture. And that’s including my slippers and my wedding/reception shoes!

I tend to gravitate mostly towards sandals in the summer, except for the garden center job (closed-toe shoes are required, so I just wear my sneakers). During the cold weather, I mostly wear either my boots, or if it’s not too cold and/or wet, a couple pairs of basic flat casual shoes. As you can see, the majority of my shoes are either black or brown, so they can go with as many things as possible. I also have a tendency to wear them to death. Those brown boots are the newest addition, and that was because the brown boots I’ve had since partway through college were finally starting to kick the bucket–we’re talking multiple tears in the shaft lining and an actual hole through the soles on top of the heel. (It was sobering to realize that the boots were over a decade old, but at least I got my money’s worth out of them! Hopefully the new ones will last just as long.)

So in short, my general requirements are neutral, well-made, fairly reasonably priced, and comfortable. (Did I mention my feet are also ridiculously blister-prone?) You have no idea how many times I’ve been tempted to look into shoe-making as a hobby. At least then I could have some shoes in fun colors.

Bags: I tend to just carry one purse around, usually ones that my mom has made from fun print fabrics. I usually switch it up every 6 months or so, and do brighter colors in the spring/summer and more neutral/earthtone in the fall/winter. She’s perfected one particular pattern for me that fits all three of my requirements: cross-body strap, plenty of pockets, and big enough to carry a book or my Kindle. For the retail job, I’ll just stuff the entire purse into a tote bag to keep it from getting dirty/give me extra space for my lunch and drinks. My flute bag is also frequently a factor, though it’s a backpack style one. (Which is why I like the cross-body straps, because then I don’t have to worry about balancing them.) Sometimes I’ll downsize to a smaller purse for day trips to reduce the weight, though I still like them to be large enough for my SLR camera.

Hats: I mostly wear these in the winter to keep my head warm, and my only requirement is not wool, due to the allergy issues. I probably should wear hats more in the summer to keep the sun from burning my face, but I honestly think they make me look pretty dorky.

Gloves/handwarmers: Again, mostly a cold-weather thing, and I’m sure I will continue to knit lots of these, since my hands are generally the first thing to get cold.

Scarves: I rarely leave the house without the functional knitted ones when it’s cold.

Belts: When I wear them for functional reasons, it’s generally to keep my jeans in place.

Sunglasses: I have one pair, which I keep in my purse and mostly use for driving or walking around outside on a sunny summer day.

Decorative Accessories: 
Jewelry: Love me some jewelry. Aside from clothes, this is what I’ve been DIYing the longest. I’ve got 4 jewelry displays in this picture, and that’s not even all of it! I have another full rack on the other side of the mirror, as well as a box for bracelets and such.

I mostly like chunky or beaded necklaces, dangly earrings, Celtic knot designs, stuff like that. Most of my chain-type necklaces are silver, though I do have a few things in a more matte/antique gold or copper. I also almost always wear simple silver studs in my second ear piercing. I used to wear a lot of rings, like almost every finger, but have slowly gotten away from that in the years since college and now just wear my wedding/engagement rings. I’m also getting more into bracelets, though I’ll only wear them on my left arm because I’m right-handed and they’re less in the way there.

Even though I obviously have a lot of jewelry, I’m kind of missing making it now. I really should bust into the bead stash and make some new earrings or something. I might need something to help me get through my pledge this month!

Belts: I have a few that I wear more for waist-cinching looser tops, like those wide elastic-type ones. I’d like to get a few more decorative belts in different widths and colors.

Scarves: It’s really only been in the last year or so that I’ve started playing around with the more fashionable ones. My go-to was always necklaces, and I was worried about them getting caught on my flute. Which they sometimes do, tbh. But I’m also starting to like the extra warmth on my neck, and I’ve learned a way or two to tie them that makes them shorter and less prone to snagging on my instrument. Plus I’m kind of loving that infinity scarf I made from the Plantain leftovers.

Honestly, I’d like to try out some of those little knitted shawl/scarf things, too. The small ones that don’t look granny. But I need to finish a few knitting projects first.

So I guess that pretty much sums things up for now! As far as things to add go, I know I could use a few more pairs of earrings in my palette colors–black and the warmer tones in particular–and a few more scarves and decorative belts. I’d also like to dye my wedding shoes, since it’s my one shot to have a fun color! Though I wonder if the crystal embellishment bit makes them too fancy regardless…

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