Making a Wardrobe Plan

Vincent De Vere Axed Root, Calontir V1.0 2018

This is part of the longer ‘Beginning the Garb Journey class taught in the spring of 2018.

Goal: To provide an outline and strategies that aid a newer or more established member in planning their SCA wardrobe.

Description: This class provides some tools and strategies that may help someone in creating an organized, long term plan for constructing their SCA wardrobe.  In focusing on a long term plan you can better take advantage of budgeting and cost savings through planned purchases as well as the motivation of reaching goals along the way.

Planning Ahead

So you can make a pattern that can help you make a variety of things.  You are more comfortable in searching out resources and fact checking them.  You are meeting new friends who can help you learn and grow.  One possible way forward is to actually make a plan with lists of what you want to do and goals for when you want them done by.  There are advantages to making a plan and being organized.

Filling out a wardrobe and moving further down the path towards better authenticity is likely to be done in a series of small steps.  You don’t need to leap clear to a perceived end goal instantly.  You can invest time and money as you have them and pursue skill sets you are missing along the way.  This can be a less haphazard process with a plan.

If you know what direction you are headed in, culture, time frame, style, then organizing your efforts will likely pay off in less frustrating journey.  One way to understand what you need to organize is to ask yourself a series of questions.

What is annoying?

In this case, what bothers you about your kit?  If something bothers you then it may be making you uncomfortable.  If you are uncomfortable then you are distracted from your learning and from the fun.

Garb that doesn’t fit?

Garb that isn’t warm enough?

Garb that isn’t cool enough?

Garb that you are embarrassed about or know is blatantly wrong?


Really this process of writing down what you find annoying can be a great way to focus in on important things and prioritize your efforts.  If you correct the thing that bothers you the most and then move on to the next most annoying thing and the next, soon what you have left isn’t very annoying.

What do you wish you had?

Court garb?  Work Garb? Heraldic garb?

Nice shoes?

Accessories? A more correct pouch? A hat or hood?

This is a little different then looking for annoying things.  It might not annoy you that you are lacking a specific item, it may still be a goal to have over time.

What are your resources and liabilities?

Inventory your garb stash.  What garb do you have?  Is there any of it that you would really rather not wear? Is there some that doesn’t fit?

Inventory your fabric stash.  What do you already have? Is there enough of it to do anything with? Are you heading towards having ten tunics out of the same grandma couch print fabric?

Do you have a sewing machine, interlock machine? Cutting table?  A place to sew?

Are there skills or knowledge that you don’t have?

There are many perfectly useful educational videos available on line to fill in minor gaps in knowledge.  From the basics of sewing machines to how to use the buttonhole settings to specific historical costuming information.  There is also a mind boggling amount of information available for patterning and general costuming information.  One of the major problems is rooting through all of the flotsam and jetsam on all the blogs, ancient web pages and Pinterest pages to find information that is reliably accurate.  The problem isn’t finding information, it is finding good information.

Where can you buy the fabric you need?  Do you have local stores that carry fabrics suitable for historic costuming or will you have to plan further out when you visit communities with these resources?  Will you need to order on line?  Do you know where you can order from?  Do you know what colors patterns and weaves are appropriate?

Make a plan

What are the outfits you want?

This can be a long term (sometimes very long term) to do list.  Items you really want to have some day.  Looks that inspire you.  Specific images you want to recreate. Gather tougher the inspiring images and sketches. Make notes of acceptable colors and amounts of fabric.

Are there outfits you can assemble over time?

What are the components to specific outfits and what are you missing from them?

Are there accessories you can get over time?

Are there people with the skills you can ask for help from? Post asking for help on specific topics.

Are there classes you need to look for or that you can ask to be taught again? Make a wish list of classes.

Are there friends you can work together with?  Are there group sewing nights?

Can you organize your wants and needs and based on patterns keep a list of amounts of fabric needed

Shopping strategically and looking for deals.  Buying when things go on sale or deals are found.

What a Plan Looks Like

I have used the format of a note book with lists, sketches, class notes and information related to the construction of specific garments.  I include amounts of fabric needed, costs, websites where I can buy the fabric, and measurements.   I flip back through my notebook once in a while to remind me about different plans and projects.  I know of other people who use three ring binders with sheet protectors as pockets to hold class handouts and receipts.

The format that I use most is a spreadsheet.  I keep the project name, lists of materials, goal dates to complete the projects by as well as a percentage complete to remind me how close I am on specific projects.  Part of that spreadsheet is a shopping list


However you stay organized, if you focus on your fun of creating and fun of learning and keep moving forward you are sure to make more progress than just sitting back and watching life roll by.