The word ‘authentic’ seems to have lost a lot of currency with the social media shorthand of hashtags, but despite this, I believe clothing is a way of communicating our authentic selves. This is done by wearing clothes we feel good in, not simply look good in. It’s lovely to receive compliments and I make it a habit to let strangers on the street how much I love their outfit or a particular piece of clothing.
Sonya is wearing: 100 ACTS OF SEWING Shirt no. 1; Dress no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
We are collectively trained at an increasingly early age not to trust our own taste. There’s the dizzying merry-go-round of changing styles, with retailers and fashion magazines trumpeting what is all the rage from one season to the next. That ‘must have’ item becomes dated within months or weeks and maybe you didn’t even like it in the first place, but there it is stuffed in the back of your closet. So how can you remain curious and eager to explore when there is a chorus of voices telling you they know better?
Sceles sweater by Anna Maltz in Shibui Twig; dress (own pattern); and Pants no. 1.
First, remember those rules are there to be broken. Exploring new ways of doing things or “unventing,” in the word coined by Elizabeth Zimmermann, applies to the way you think about getting dressed as well as how you approach knitting. How to unvent your wardrobe: slowly, in small ways, and making things with materials you love.
Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence in Kaalund Enchanté; Tunic no. 1; Dress no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
Back To Black (And White)
Last month was my love letter to the vibrant hues. Now I am taking it right back to the basics. When you think of black and white in the context of clothing, it’s a classical combination, say a Chanel jacket. However, black and white also has the tendency to look a lot like a uniform. But in a field of black and white, a small pop of color can have a big impact. A bright scarf, necklace, or a pair of red shoes are all ways to inject some saucy fun into a neutral palette.
dress (own pattern) and Pants no. 1.
Wearing prints sometimes is challenging enough. Combining different ones, or “pattern mixing,” can be downright intimidating. The idea of purposely clashing might be a bridge too far; we all want to avoid the “got dressed in the dark” look. Making color act as the unifying element can take away some of the fear. Here’s where black and white prints really have a chance to shine. Mix up stripes, matching horizontal with vertical or narrow with large. Play with the scale, pairing a tiny polka dot print with larger ones. The addition of a garment in a solid color helps to anchor the whole ensemble.
Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West knit by Steven Ambrose in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rocks Lightweight; dress (own pattern); Pants no. 2 (forthcoming pattern).
Experiment and enjoy wearing your clothes in whatever color, size, pattern, or shape. Find the combinations you love.