(I'm going to cross post this to my blog, but I think it will get a better variety of comment here!)
So I've been looking at some of the advice presented about knitting to fit and choosing patterns that suit and I thought that they missed on a few details. Using your own wardrobe to see what suits you.
To start you will need some paint chips, those strips of colour available free; and a notebook or camera.
Now you root around in your wardrobe.
First you need to take an overall look at your wardrobe. Split it into the basic four themes. Work; Leisure; formal and other. Look at what they're composed of, how do the garments flow? More flowing garments are better complemented by finer gauge yarns. You also need to look at the gaps in your wardrobe, where would there be space for knits and what would add usefulness to things? Make notes as you go.
You need to examine the garments and see what it is about the garment you like, put it on and see what you think about it and why you like it. Is it the colour? The shape? The fabric? Use the paint chips in your notes to colour match things that you like the colour of and that you get compliments about. You will probably see that there are themes running through your wardrobe. The colour chips also come in useful, particularly if you get a good variety, in seeing complimentary colours, colours that would suit what is there already.
Now look at the items you don't wear. Why not? Ill fitting? note what's bad about them, note what attracted you in the first place to them. Colour? A single detail? Sketch or photograph them and be honest with yourself, do you really need them? If they're all bad, note it, note what doesn't suit it's often as important as what does suit and get rid of them. I have one main rule about outfits, if you have to tug on it beyond the Picard Manoeuvre to rearrange your garment after sitting, then there is something wrong about it. Examine what makes your uncomfortable about it. You may be able to change the garment a little to fix it, all those pretty knitted and crocheted edgings might come into use.
I know folks have rules about how long since you wore something that suggests when you should get rid of something. However you should remember that there are some things you may want to hold on to, beyond the regular spacings. A good interview outfit that fits is important but ensure it still fits well and is complete.
Now what you need to do is get a measuring tape and either use someone else to help and measure yourself or conduct a cheats method; take some items you like the look of on you and measure them flat. Note good lengths on you, note what makes you comfortable again.
How deep is good for v-necks, how deep do you like round necks, do you like collars?
Where does waist shaping look good on you, do you need it?
Do you like crop tops? Where should they hit? They are often the same length as shrugs. How low looks good on you? Don’t dismiss them, just because you don’t wear cropped tops, Boleros are another short length.
Waist length tops are another length that can look good and bad on people. Decide if you want it and where is good. Some jackets work at this length.
Next length is the hip length on you, for most if not all people this is a point below the widest part of the waist, often just below crotch length
The last usual length is a long tunic length. Usually this is where the end of your fingers come when you put your hands straight down by your side.
Now there is also the consideration of lifestyle. A lot of top lengths for me are dictated by the fact that many of them have to fit under a biker jacket, so while the length mightn’t be ideal as a look on me it’s more important for me to be warm on the bike!
This is only the start of some thoughts about this topic, here's hoping someone will find use from it.