I've very much enjoyed our recent discussions looking at the recent popularity of sewing and vintage patterns, but I realize that some of my proposals may be a stretch in some ways. I suppose I'm always one to analyze things to death. (That's what being a PhD program dropout will get you! Actually, that's all it will get you.) I'm not content to just wear a certain style, I want to know the history of it, and the social implications of wearing it. Exhausting, isn't it? But if I really examine my motivations for sewing (and sewing vintage patterns in particular), the answer is quite easy. I want my clothes to be unique. Or, more accurately, I want to make my clothes exactly as I envision them, not as a mass retailer envisions them.
Someone at the office (who doesn't know that I sew) remarked to me yesterday (with admiration, I swear) that I have the most interesting clothes. And I realized that that is about the greatest compliment someone can give me - well, about clothes, anyway.
I've always been entranced by the magic of clothes (not fashion, clothes). Certain styles and colors appeal to me in a way I can't explain. For instance, the thing that got me into garment sewing a year and a half ago was that I wanted a pencil skirt. But I didn't want just any pencil skirt. I wanted one in bright Barbie pink with a high, curved waistband. The image of this imaginary skirt had burned itself into my brain. So, I made it. And I had such fun making it. The way the pieces matched together like a puzzle and eventually turned into my dream pencil skirt was just enthralling.
And that's what keeps me going today. I have a very personal, creative connection to each garment I make. Each one started out as a fantasy that, amazingly, I'm able to make a reality. And that's what makes my clothes interesting, I think.
I think this is probably true for a lot of us, right? The idea of being the absolute creative director of your own wardrobe is an enticing one. And not having to rely on what J. Crew is offering any particular season is incredibly freeing.
But still (here's the half a PhD talking), it is valid to look at the broader reasons that we might want this freedom. Whether that is a desire not to participate in fast fashion or to protest the ways in which women are expected to dress today, all of these reasons can be at play simultaneously. In other words, still look for lots more over-analyzing to come!
P.S. Speaking of J. Crew, they have a fantastic pencil skirt this season that would be my taste entirely if it just had a more interesting waistband:
It's almost perfect, isn't it? Isn't it wonderful that I can make my dream version of it - without paying $118 for it?