Wardrobe From Scratch: Case Study – SOPHIE

Hello!  I know it’s been a while since some case studies for the Wardrobe From Scratch Series were promised, but FINALLY, here’s the first one!
Here are a few things to keep in mind as these case studies roll out:
1.  Please remember that these are real people who have been brave enough to take pictures and let us use them as examples, so let’s be nice and encouraging.  🙂
2.  This is not a full and exhaustive list of items for her to buy.  This serves as a starter kit wardrobe and of course needs to be filled out, especially in seasons outside of this one.  (I based this list on the current season and where she lives.)
3.  Links for shopping are below the image.
4.  At the very bottom of this post you get to create outfits for Sophie!  Yep!  Thanks to Polyvore, we can all play dress up for Sophie.  Get ready!  
Shopping Links:
mustard cardi  |  green  |  grey  |  navy
striped top  |  polka dots, option #2  |  floral  |  white oxford
coral print top  |  light print  |  white tee  |  solid mint tee

Sophie happens to live in San Diego (whoop whoop!) and we seem to have a similar lifestyle, except that I don’t even need to dress business casual for my job.  I was trying to avoid starting the case studies with someone that was so similar to me for some variety, but her birthday happens to be TODAY and she’s going on a shopping spree so I wanted to get this out ASAP to help her!  Don’t worry, other case studies will have very different body shapes and lifestyles than me.

How I Chose Sophie’s Items:
  • I chose navy and medium grey for her neutrals because I thought they’d complement her lighter skin and hair whereas black might be more harsh near her face.  
  • For skirts I stuck to pencil skirts, but pencil skirts that came out in more of a straight line rather than ones that were super duper hip hugging to 1) balance out her cute curves, and 2) help them transition better to casual wear.  If you are looking for non-pencil skirts that are more flowy, here are some in navy, coral, and polka dots.
  • Sophie’s Pinterest board had a lot of yellow, green, and polka dots with some stripes so I chose colors accordingly.  I thought coral would be a nice complement to both of those so I took the liberty to add it to the mix.
Not including shoes and the necklace, there are 28 items of clothing and I could easily see them combining to make at least 50 outfits!  I got lazy with the shirts, dresses, shoes, and accessories because there are soooo many options for all of them so I really stuck with the bare bones of the WFS Starter Kit.  Just goes to show that if you have enough colored bottoms and a foundational color palette your wardrobe can go a long way!
See these items in action in the “Gallery” below, and get creative and make some outfits for Sophie too!


Get your own Mini Editor from Polyvore

There are more case studies coming, but I need your feedback to make them helpful to you.

  • What do you think of the Polyvore Create/Gallery section above?  
  • Do you want more of an explanation of why/how I chose what I did for her?  ex. An explanation of each piece?  I tried not to write too much and put it all in image form, but if you actually want the explanations I’d be happy to write more in future case study posts.

**For more posts like this, see the Wardrobe From Scratch Series.

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  • Reply
    Lauren Marenzana
    April 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    i loveeee the interactive outfit maker!! i would put outfits together all day if I had the time!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I think the gallery idea is a great one!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    That was too much fun! Would love to see you work on someone from the Pacific NW and the rainy weather we deal with.

  • Reply
    Agi Mayer
    April 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Love this. I'm going to be doing this for my friend soon.I can't wait.



  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    The outfit maker is such a good idea. seeing the clothes together in outfits makes it easier to see how they all work together. love it! and thanks 🙂 this is going to be super helpful when shopping this weekend.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Happy birthday Sophie!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    i would love further commentary on why you chose what youdid! love this and cant wait for more!?

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Happy Birthday Sophie! I love the WFS series, and so excited to see this new post! I would also love to see the pics of the outfits Sophie pics out after this case study of her! Also, might like more explanations as to why you choose things for certain body types. It might help me figure out what styles might look good on myself! LOL But overall, the case study is great, and loving the outfit creator! It is too much fun! Thanks for all the work you do, and this great site!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I would absolutely love a skirt like the one from 6pm, but I normally wear a size 12 or 14 in kids jeans, or a 00 in petite on a site like ann taylor. Any suggestions? My husband is coming home from a super long deployment soon, and I need help finding a skirt just like that!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    These posts are great! The explanations for why you chose certain styles/colors are really helpful.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    This is a great post! I love that Polyvore Create/Gallery!! Such a great idea! Really! I think you did a great job in choosing her wardrobe pieces. Will you let us know how it turns out? And happy birthday Sophie!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    thank you!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Pruett
    April 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sophie! This is such a great series! I am learning so much from it! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Polyvore Create/Gallery. I have struggled to understand Polyvore but this makes so much sense! And I would love more explanations for each piece so I can apply the analysis to myself!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Pruett
    April 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I would love to see Sophie model some of the pieces she picks out! Let us know what you think, Sophie!

  • Reply
    Experimental Beauty
    April 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Sophie is adorable! I would love more explanations, especially because Sophie is shaped very similar to me and I'm thinking I could apply the same ideas to myself.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I would disagree with the A-line over true pencil skirt silhouete suggestion – as someone with full hips, I think pencil skirts are the MOST flattering pieces of clothing (as long as they are made from thicker fabric, with lining). I'd love to see one on her, ideally with a structured top.

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    i love this so much! especially b/c i have hips and curves like sophie. i guess i would like a little more reasoning behind why you picked what you did based on her body type. thanks for doing this!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    April 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Really? Hmm…I have fuller hips as well and have not enjoyed the triangular shape that very hip hugging pencil skirts give me. I'm not saying they shouldn't skim her hips (cuz the nature of a pencil skirt will hug your curves in some aspect), but I do believe she (and I) should avoid the very tight and very narrowed ones if we don't want our bottom halves to look like inverted triangles.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 1:09 am

    OMG I love this! So fun!

  • Reply
    Shoshana Morris
    April 10, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I have full hips also, and it all depends on the length of the pencil skirt and like Kate said, the structure, but length really makes a difference.

  • Reply
    Lauren O'Neill
    April 10, 2013 at 2:59 am

    This is so great! I love seeing all of the combinations people put together! I wish people could put outfits together for me from my Go Chic or Go Home account! Everyone here has such great ideas 🙂

  • Reply
    Soris Mena Cox
    April 10, 2013 at 6:20 am

    I love this series Audrey! Can't wait to see more case studies. It would be great to see what Sophie puts together based on your suggestions.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Good point! Length makes a big difference! Also, perhaps this also depends on the length of your legs, and what your overall shape is. I'm pretty pear shaped, but my legs are very long. Maybe the more relaxed-fitting pencil skirts would be more flattering for shorter legs.

    If it's helpful, I've had good luck finding well-constructed pencil skirts from the work-wear section of H&M. The hemlines are fairly conservative and they are usually lined. I've had one that I've probably washed 100 times and it looks brand-new. Pretty good for 25 bucks!

  • Reply
    Christine Gerrie
    April 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I would definitely like to know more about why you chose pieces for her body type. Not necessarily each piece, but maybe why each shape. For example, why skinnies? I've also noticed you have said that a jean jacket is really necessary in a starter wardrobe. Why is that? Do you find it's that versatile? Love the polyvore create/gallery section. It's always fun to play with outfits!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I currently have a hip-hugging knee-length pencil skirt that I think is quite flattering. I can see how it would give me the inverted triangle look but it does pull away from the knees very slightly. however, it hugs my butt like no other and makes it look fantastic 🙂 can't say no to that!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I do plan on taking pictures of the clothes I buy/outfits I make out of them so we'll see. if Audrey wants to do a follow up post then I will have the pictures available

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Love it! Rock those curves!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Pruett
    April 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Oh good! Can't wait!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I second Heidi! With our weather, skirts and little flats are only an option a couple months out of the year, so pants and jackets/sweaters are pretty much the everyday uniform.

    Another lifestyle suggestion: wardrobe choices for the public transit commuter (and how to avoid the frump of sensible shoes!)

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    April 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Yep, exactly–the ones that hug your hips but come away from the knees a little. Glad to hear they work for you!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I definitely agree with you Audrey that hip hugging pencil skirts make me (some one with fuller hips) are too triangular for my liking.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I would definitely love to see the WHY behind the items you chose. That would be fantastic! I am doing this process along with you, but sometimes I get stuck and don't know why I should get 1 piece over another or why a certain piece is necessary. The "Why" portion of these case studies would really help me a lot Audrey.

    And regarding the Polyvore board, I think it was super cool that you created all the possible outfits so that we could see EXAMPLES of it working too!

    Thanks for all your hard work on this Audrey! I am really happy I'm doing this along with you! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks so much Sophie!

  • Reply
    April 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Yay! That's what I was going to request, too. And also I'd like to know how well this worked out in practice. I could easily see myself getting kind of stuck on just a few of the bottoms, for instance, and not really reaching for others.

  • Reply
    Sage Grayson
    April 12, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Love, love, love the WFS series. It's really helped me make better use of the clothes I own and see where I have gaps to fill.

    Can we see the finished outfits? You know, the "after" pictures of the participant? And how about a breakdown of the budget?

  • Reply
    Jaime Hampton
    April 13, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I love this series, and plan to use it to update my spring/summer wardrobe. Thank you !!!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2013 at 10:24 am

    yes! I want to hear more from Sophie! maybe she should do a guest post for us. I'd love to see her perspective on it.

  • Reply
    Steph @scarves.etc
    April 19, 2013 at 2:27 am

    The Polyvore is fun, but I can't be bothered to create, yet another account. So I guess it's not very useful for Sophie. But it helps if I relate to the Case Study girl and then I can play around with the clothes you picked to see what would work for me too.

    Without getting into too much details, I would like to see a little bit on every category. For example:

    For bottoms, I chose this style and these colours because…
    For tops, I went for bla bla…

    It's cool to have it all in one big picture file too, again for personal reference if we relate to this particular case study.

    Great work to you. And way to go Sophie for participating!

  • Reply
    Linda Z
    April 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Great starter ideas. I think the color combos are so pretty.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I second/third what Heidi and Emily requested regarding PNW rain. And the sensible shoe thing. Love this blog Audrey! First time back after discovering it last fall… I realize I need to subscribe! I have no money to shop right now, but when I do I'm planning on really rebuilding my wardrobe and your website will be my guide! Thanks for all you do!

    And Happy Birthday Sophie!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Love the Polyvore feature…so fun!! Could we please see pictures of Sophie in an outfit she's put together from your suggestions?

  • Reply
    September 12, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Audrey, I am so happy I found your blog!! Your posts are super explained and overall very helpful and inspiring for a total fashion hater like me!! Congrats of your effort and thanks for sharing your story and experience!!
    I was wondering if there is a chance you could post Sophie wearing her new clothes through some pictures since the Polyvore feature doesn't work. I'm slightly curvy myself so am curious to see how you managed to make nice outfit combinations for curvy body with so many bright colors! 🙂
    Congrats to Sophie and all the best in your further wardrobe building and remixing, I'll keep following!

  • Reply
    Kelly C
    April 29, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Could you do some more case studies??

  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I would like to see some more case studies! I could send you my picture!

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