Colette Patterns has a blog called the Coletterie where various things to do with sewing, fashion and the like are discussed. This year they are launching the Wardrobe Architect, which is a way for us all to think carefully about the clothing we acquire. Here’s a link to the introductory post. Each week there is an activity which will build on the previous week’s activity.
This week’s activity had a worksheet to complete. Here are my answers.
How has your personal history informed the way you dress? When did your tastes crystalized? How have they changed over the years, and why?
I like a neat and tidy look and I like comfortable clothes that are feminine. I like dresses and skirts and styles from the 50s. I think this came about in high school/college when I felt the design choices from that era offered me more choices than my own era.
How does your philosophy, spirituality or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits? Or what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected?
I like to make an effort to look nice and dress up when the occasion calls for it.
How has your cultural background shaped the way you look? How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?
I don’t really feel like I have a culture. However, growing up “bigger” meaning I was always on the larger end of whatever clothing scale affected me. For example, I was a 9 or 11 in junior sizes, I’ve been a 12 or 14 for most of my adult life. Because of this, I often feel like there isn’t clothing for me, that clothes are designed for people much smaller (and now much, much smaller). So I hate shopping for clothing because every time I can’t find something in my size or something ostensibly in my size doesn’t fit, I feel like a failure. In some ways, thrift stores and second-hand shops are easier because there is just one of each item, so it either fits or it doesn’t and I don’t have to go back and find a bigger size or be frustrated that there are four more of the size 00 and six of the size two but none in the size that fit me.
How are you influenced by the people around you including friends, family and other communities you’re involved in?
Portland is very laid back, but I also think there is a total clotheshorse aesthetic going on here that no one really acknowledges. It may not be the same high-fashion aesthetic of other cities, but people here have style.
How do your day-to-day activities influence your choices?
I need to be able to walk in my clothing which means no heels, comfortable shoes. And I like my clothing to be comfortable, meaning I don’t want to step out of them the minute I get home.
Does the place you live inform the way you dress? How does climate factor in?
Dresses in the winter mean tights and I sometimes don’t want to deal so I will wear pants instead. I need some good leggings that are not too long.
In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?
too tight = alienated. Things that fit just right are fabulous. In general, I like my clothing to have some structure. I currently have pants that can stretch every which way and I can’t stand them. I need regular objective feedback about my size that clothing that doesn’t stretch gives me. If something has just been washed and is too tight, I need to step up the exercise and watch what I’m eating a bit more.