For most introverts, a hoodie becomes your default uniform. It’s not that your typical engineer/introvert/gamer doesn’t want to look cool — hoodies are cool, function is fashion — but it is nice to have some options.
Comfort might be a dirty word in fashion, but it is so easy for things to become uncomfortable to the point of constant distraction. Hoodies provide comfort, versatility (in terms of temperature control), and a sense of isolation/protection from the constant hubbub of your surroundings.
I wanted to make some clothes that checked all the same boxes as a hoodie, but gave me some introverted fashion options. The challenge was to create something introvert-friendly that didn’t leave me in sweatpants and a hoodie.
I came up with some guidelines:
- Not itchy: no labels, no rough stitches, no scratchy fabrics.
- Layers: itchy is bad enough, but you don’t want to be uncomfortably hot or cold either. Layers allow you to adjust from outside walking to inside reading.
- Easy to wear: soft and comfy. I love cotton jersey. It doesn’t wrinkle, it drapes into cool shapes, it is comfy, and moves with ease.
- Lots of pockets: I need places to put things. Also, I never know what to do with my hands.
- Long sleeve: see that thing about never knowing what to do with my hands. This look was pioneered by “Angela Chase” on My So Called Life.
- Coverage: the sleeves are part of it, but nothing as nice as pulling up your hood, collar, or scarf; popping on your headphones, and closing out the world.
My fashion inspirations were 90s introvert icons: “My So Called Life” and Jane and Daria. No one rocked long sleeves like “Jordan Catalano!”
Raglan T-Shirt with Pocket
My three tops are all based on a simple raglan t-shirt. All are constructed of t-shirt weight cotton jersey in two different sizes of grey and black stripes.
The first is a raglan where I exaggerated the lengths of the sleeve and added a hoodie style front pocket. On the neckline, I made jersey roll tape to bind all the seams that would touch the skin to give rid of any itchy exposed or serged seams. I did use a 3-thread serged roll-stitch for the shoulders because it is: 1) strong and stretchy, 2) isn’t too itchy, and 3) I think the “Nightmare Before Christmas” stitches look cool on the outside.
I wanted the next shirt to be more “edgy,” but still be a riff on a raglan t-shirt. I started with the same pattern and cut the muslin into pieces, so the basic shirt body had stripes going in various directions with more of the “Nightmare Before Christmas” stitch details.
I lengthen the whole garment to make it more of a tunic. I used the patch work nature to add patches for length. I am an aysemtic over panel that wraps from right of center on the neckline to the left side seam. On the front, it is just attached at the neckline, leaving it to open. If you imagine the shirt as a wrap, it wraps itself once and a half around my torso.
The neck is finished with the same bias strip and a pocket was added to on hip. Always need pockets!
Cowl Neck Cardigan
The last piece started as a raglan t-shirt too. I cut it down the center and added 1 inch seam allowance to make is a cardigan that opens in the front. I exaggerated the sleeve length to cover almost my whole hands and extended the length of the torso to match. Then I cut a long scarf, 72”x26” and attached it to make a cowl neck.
The problem with a cowl is that it is attached along the neck, so it is as tight at the base of the head as your neckline. My friend suggested that I leave the back open and attache it along the lapel lines, up onto the the shoulder. This make a vented scarf that doesn’t blow away.
Then I added loops to the bottom corners of the scarf and one side of the cardigan. I put button opposite the front loops so you can button it shut, one button on the shoulder for the scarf, and one inside on the opposite site for the other side of the scarf — so the scarf can bet wrapped and buttoned into place as a hood. (Okay, so it is a hoodie.)
And, of course, pockets! The whole thing is like walking around in a ninja blanket.