Since my stroke I have always struggled with my wardrobe. Before my stroke I didn’t have a fantastic wardrobe, it was full of Primark and H&M, mish mash of styles and nothing really went to together but it was fine. Then suddenly my whole body changed, not so much in shape but what my body was able to do.
After my stroke I had 6.5 months in hospital, 9 kg lighter and I was totally at the mercy of what clothes my dad, my boyfriend or friends ferried up to me that week. Trying to get back to independence, I encountered so many challenges to deal in my day to day life being one handed, unbalanced peg legged 25 year old with a shaved head. There were (and still are) so many things I would never have thought would be a problem for someone in my new situation – I thought my wardrobe wouldn’t be a problem – how wrong was I.
Tiring up a drawstring, doing the catch of my bra up, rolling up my sleeves, get a foot that doesn’t move into skinny jeans – to name a few! Problem is I have still maintained my clothes shopping habits, buying single pieces because I liked them or I thought that they would for fill a function but nothing went to together. Plus I had the added problem now, whatever I looked like in a mirror is not what I look like when I’m going around in my everyday life. Even now I really struggle with my appearance and how body looks in things that I wear.
Having felt deflated about the way I looked for 11+ years, I have finally stopped avoiding the problems that make me frustrated my appearance and started the journey to make myself feel happy and confident by tackling my wardrobe.
I started reading ‘The Curated Closet’ by Anuschka Rees and at first you have to write down everything wore that day for 2 weeks – I think I lasted 5 days because I was wearing the same thing day after day. Doing this exercise, I came to understanding that I was fully onboard with having a capsule wardrobe. Using this book as my rough guide I starting work out what mix of styles and colours I want to wear and suited me. Then did a fully Marie Kondo with my wardrobe, that has left me with a very small handful of clothing.
Accessible fashion is so hard to come by, let alone fashionable. I knew if I wanted (and needed) to have a capsule wardrobe that is totally accessible to me, I was going have to make it – well a good chunk of it. So I have come up with a list of clothing that I need to make to get my wardrobe goals.
I’m going to draft all my knitwear basics – knickers, bodysuit, T-shirt etc. Then I’m going chose some patterns that I love and can hack to make adjustments so they are Allison friendly! More importantly I’m going choose my fabrics and colours discerningly so I make sure everything works together.