In many ways the subject matter of this post is very much inspired by this awesome post by Megan from Mousehouse. It’s such a wealth of information and useful links so you should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.
I think Megan and I must be similar wavelengths at the moment as I have recently been thinking a bit about clothing and fashion, and planning mine (and the kids) Summer wardrobes.
While firmly believing that true beauty is on the inside and there are much more important matters in the world than clothes – I still think it’s nice to enjoy and feel good about what you’re wearing.
I’ve never really been much of a track pants kind of a girl, but I remember making a conscious decision in my mind soon after having Noah that I was going to try to (first shower – sometimes harder than it sounds with a newborn) and wear clothes each day that I enjoyed, that made me smile – while still prioritising comfort and were practical for life with a new baby. This might sound like a silly thought to have, but my life at that time was transitioning from fulltime work, an office wardrobe and daily make up to staying at home, sleep deprivation with a slightly difficult baby and a body that (to start with anyway) looked like a deflated balloon. – So it was sometimes it just seemed easier to just roll out of bed and either stay in the PJs or chuck on my ‘maternity uniform’ – it’s not like anyone (outside my family) was probably going to see me anyway. However, this for me (I must be fickle) just made me feel as grotty as an old pair of trackies.
The second time around I haven’t really had this conscious thought. I guess it probably has something to do with the fact I have accumulated (and mostly at minimal expense) a collection of clothes that I really like and are versatile and comfortable enough for wearing round the house (or out for that matter.) We also moved up here to the Hawkes Bay from Wellington in December 2010 when Isabelle was 1 month old and I did a massive wardrobe cull before packing which helped a lot.
In the last 5 years or so I feel that I have really worked out or distilled my personal style – what I really like, is a classic and timeless style and what suits my body type etc. It probably has a lot to do with just getting older and feeling more comfortable in your own skin. As I’ve mentioned before when I was a teenager I think the way I decided if I wanted an item of clothing or not was based on whether it was cool, if everyone else was wearing it and whether or not it came from a ‘cool shop’ , was a label or the latest trend. If I could talk to 15-16 old me I would say “You do not suit flared/ bootleg jeans!”
I googled the term “fashion victim” (incidently a great term) and found this quote from wikipedia
Fashion victims are victims because they are vulnerable to faddishness and materialism, two of the widely recognized excesses of fashion, and consequently are at the mercy of society's prejudices or of the commercial interest of the fashion industry, or of both. According to Versace, "When a woman alters her look too much from season to season, she becomes a fashion victim."
(a fashion victim? he he! source of image here)
This is a funny way to think really – imagine if we did that with food. Eg: “Everyone else likes olives (OTT gladiator sandals) therefore I must too.” Incidently I LOVE olives – I just couldn’t think of another food that is an ‘acquired taste’/ not all people like off the top of my head.
It is hard not to be influenced by trends, they are all around us especially in the internet age (and this is also true of everything not just clothing). I sometimes I think I have an original idea and then it becomes popular – but really I must have subconsciously absorbed it from somewhere else first. But I think the key is asking yourself: “Do I like this because its trendy/ popular at the moment? Or because I like it, it suits me, goes with other things in my wardrobe and is a classic style?”
So why do I, the 29 year old me (eek!) feel so much more content with my clothes than teenage ‘fashion victim’ me? I’d like to think it’s because I’ve worked out what suits me and try to buy (often at the op-shop ) (and hopefully increasingly sew) accordingly… and also because I’ve worked out that there are much more important things to focus the bulk of my time and resources on.
The original title of this post was on fashion, clothing and sewing for yourself, but this has got too long – so there may have to be a part 2 with the ‘sewing for yourself’ part… and hopefully when I have completed some exciting projects!!
Have a great day!