The Self-Made Wardrobe

I am going to make and wear all my own clothes for an entire year.


Because what we wear matters.
Whether we think about what we put on, or not, our clothes reflect who we are.

What we wear reflects who we are, who we want to be, and how we want to be perceived.

The ideal is for these three aspects to harmoniously work together.

The reality is more often than not, these aspects are out of .

On the surface this is a crazy experiment. Creating an entirely self-made wardrobe, wearing it for a year, and documenting the process.

But really it’s about building a wardrobe to house a world.
A wardrobe that alines who I am, with who I want to be, and how I want to be perceived. It’s building a wardrobe to house the world that is me.

If it’s not worth building is it really worth wearing?

My hope, is that by following this project, you’ll find pieces of my process that you can apply to your wardrobe.

So I’ll spend most of May building garments, and start wearing them June 1st.


The “Rules”

1. undergarments & accessories don’t count.

2. if it feels like cheating, it probably is.


You can follow the project in your inbox,


Holly Chayes

(the person behind the madness)

I’m an artist and a designer, with a background in costuming.

Mostly I make fabric. I manipulate fabric. I curse at fabric. And I drink coffee.

Ultimately all my work comes out of a desire to make magic, and a drive to “figure it the fuck out.”

I design geometric modern lace shawl patterns and write knitting books that enable knitters to bring their knitting to a whole another level. Just because it’s lace doesn’t mean it belongs in the history books.

I live in New York City and have spent the past two years freelancing as an Assistant Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor on a variety of theater projects, including The World is Round (Ripe Time), Wanda’s Monster (Making Books Sing), The Lying Lesson (The Atlantic Theater Company), and in the wardrobe departments on a handful of films, including Silenced (Naked Edge Films), The Humbling (Hammerton Productions LLC), Gods Behaving Badly (Lakewood Brothers Productions),   I’ve also done fabric set & prop restoration for The Martha Graham Dance Company’s Clytemnestra. 

I graduated from Bard College at Simon’s Rock with a BA in Technical Theater:  Costume Design and The History of Fashion. My junior year was spent in New York City interning with costume designers and taking classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). My senior year was spent focused on my senior thesis entitled The Importance of Looking Earnest: Performing Identity Through Clothing, it explored design, identity & subcultures, using Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and three decades of 20th century fashion as my lenses.

Want to get in touch?

That’s easy…

email email: holly AT chayes DOT org

twitter twitter: @hollychayes

instagram instagram: @hollychayes

pinterest pinterest: hollychayes

ravelry ravelry: hollychayes


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