06 October, 2010

Planning the Plan

The time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things.  Thank you Lewis Carroll, that's one of your best lines ever.

Many things?  Many garments! Many, very many garments, actually; and to plan making them.  Plan carefully, judiciously, parsimoniously - and, probably the hardest for me, to stick to the plan.  The fabrics, the garments, the patterns - all the specifics, including a schedule, which is limited to the four coming months.  No more.  In four  months the clock will strike midnight, my sewing machines will all turn into rotten pumpkins, and my needle steeds into rusty little mice. 

I have to create a "field" wardrobe for an extended away from home professional engagement.  The time span includes both winter and summer months - so, in effect, I'll need a full year's wardrobe in a suitcase.  Actually, "winter" won't really be all that bad for this snow-loving, wool-embracing Canuck, but "summer" is guaranteed to be "fry your egg on the pavement" style of Hades for increasingly heat-intolerant moi.

In addition to the climatic considerations, my wardrobe will have to fulfill a draconian dress code:  ultra-modest!!!!!  No dresses, skirts, shorts, or capris/cutoffs.  All limbs must be - or, at least able to be, on demand, covered to ankle/wrist. And no decently feminine shoes, either:  practical boots, I'm devastated to report.  Ugh, and sigh.

90% of my workmates will look like this:

 and the other 10% will, I guess, sort of, look like me.  I'm hoping to produce a practical wardrobe that'll also ensure they won't look TOO MUCH like me. 

What would you, dear reader, come up with for, say, a week in a horrid hot and arid working environment?


  1. As I currently live in a hot and arid environment, I will say that you will want natural fibers (you already know this of course) as they breathe. If you are forced into long sleeves and ankle length hemlines, make them as far away from your body as possible, for maximum air flow around hot and sweaty you. Full sleeves and skirts. Wide leg pants (if you must wear pants - you'll be more comfortable in skirts). If you've been dying to make one of those caftans Vogue keeps throwing at us, now would be the time...

  2. Totally agree with KID - light and breezy fabrics! That'll be tough - good luck to you in all of it.

  3. How formal do you have to look? I'd go for variations on the wide-leg pants w/tunic over it theme. I feel for you - I wouldn't last a day in such a climate...

  4. I'd go for one or more oversized shirts in cotton or linen which could double as a light jacket over a t-shirt, and wide legged pants in a light woven. Nothing tight and nothing synthetic. Best of luck; I'll be interested in your progress and reports back.

  5. Quite the challenge! For tops, cotton batiste will be your friend. For pants, linen I guess? Though it's so wrinkly. Good luck!

  6. A dear friend of mine just came back from 2 years "over there" as a civilian contractor. Initially, she took a "wardrobe" of pieces that worked together and avoided the exact colors of the brave men and women who serve. However, she left almost all of her clothes there when she came home. Constant trips through the laundry facility with 100's of other folks clothes in questionable water left all of her clothes the color of desert sand.

    After the first couple of months, she would write home and request thrift store polos and pants in her specific size, without regard to the color since everything ended up that lovely orange shade anyway.

    Good luck! :)

    Melissa in FL