crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Dressing for myself, modeled photos

The question of the day is:  does your style reflect who you are on the inside, who you want to be, or who other people expect you to be?

I’ve had many people say  that their first impression of me was wrong.  Because I dress up so often, they assumed I was going to be girly and frivilous, which I’m actually not at all.  Some of this may just be the way we pigeonhole women into neat little boxes –  after all, if I dress up I must fit a certain stereotype, right?  My actual personality is nothing like the stereotype – I’m somewhat reserved, and I have a sarcastic sense of humor.   I’m not super feminine, it’s just that I like to wear dresses.  I like dresses.    I actually thought about switching up my style to be more approachable, but then I thought “You know what?  I’m not dressing for anyone else.  I’ll wear what I like, and maybe force people to think a little bit about stereotyping women.”

When I was in college I went through a period of terrible depression.  I hated where I was, and where my life seemed headed. But I didn’t want anyone to know that, so I tried to blend in, to wear the same brands and clothes as all the other girls, with the aim of appearing to be generic and blend into the background.  The end result was that I made few friends, and lost what is for me another creative outlet.  After I moved on (and transferred to a school I loved) I stopped trying to be anyone other than myself.  What I realized is that I gained many more friends simply by being myself than I ever had by trying to be someone else.

As to the rest of the question (does your style reflect who you  are or want to be?)  I’m pretty sure it does.  I’m a little formal, a little (as my grandma would say) “fancy.”  I don’t really wear too much lace, or a large number of bows.  I find myself really drawn to clean lines lately, as I’ve started to distill my sewing down to the pieces that I wear the most.  I wear a lot of black and gray, almost always with a splash of really bright color (scarf, tights etc.)  The adjectives I have in my head are “comfortable yet elegant.”  I need to be comfortable in my clothes, but I’m not willing to sacrifice style for comfort, so I have to find the middle ground.

I made a little list of the pieces that I wear the most often, the ones that I think reflect my personality the best:

Simplicity 2603 cardigan, Butterick 5523 dress, Simplicity 2443 dress (this link is to the blue version, but I wear the gray the most,) Simplicity 2219 maxi dress, and Vogue 1225.

Some of these are brightly colored, while others I like because of their drape.  They are all knits (because I wear knits more) but none are really casual.  They are all comfortable, and I always feel like myself when I wear them (which is often… I may have to make a third version of Simplicity 2443 because the gray one is wearing out!)  I go back to this list when planning new projects, because I don’t want to make clothes that I end up not wearing.  Because I often take photos of what I’m wearing (helps me to remember good outfits) I have an easy way to check up on what I’ve worn.

Finally, as promised, here are the modeled photos of Simplicity 2054 (I am happier than I look!)

Sorry for my blurry hands – it’s either too much coffee or camera operator fail!  I’ve got to order a new piece for my tripod (I broke the part that attaches to the camera) so right now all my pictures are being done by a camera propped up on a table!

I wore the dress to rehearsal last night, and I’m pretty pleased with it.  I had to stand  for 4 hours on a stone floor in  a drafty old church, but I was pretty warm (at least on the top half… note to self, try this with leggings and boots instead!)  I like the length of the dress, which verges on tunic.  I wouldn’t wear it without tights.  I did shorten it by three inches, so this is not the length of the actual pattern!

The tights match better in real life, but after wearing them I banished them to the layering drawer (when it’s cold I sometimes wear two pair.)  The problem isn’t the color (they are black) but the fact that they are terribly shiny!  I wish there were a way to be forewarned about this issue, because I don’t like shiny tights at all.

This pose is awful, I know.  But it’s not blurry, unlike the other approximately 70 photos that I took!

How does this dress fit in with my topic of the day?  Well, this dress is certainly comfortable, but I think the cowl gives it some elegance.  The short length keeps it from being too serious.  It has a pattern, though it is subtle, and it fits into the black/gray thing I have going on right now.  I feel like myself in this dress, which is the most important thing to me!