Yesterday (Saturday) I was SO delighted that the weekend had rolled around. What a relief! It’s been quite a full-on five days, we are getting used to the new term and different after school activities, work has been busy, and although it’s all been great fun, it was great to wake up yesterday morning and to know that there are two days where a change of pace is afoot. I might still be doing similar activities: tidying up; organising; preparing food; planning, but there are differences: I’m at home; the family are at home; our days are organised by family activities rather than school or work activities; there is the chance to do fun activities together; there is more time to prepare and eat food together. Also we are tired, and need to recharge.
Change of Pace, Change of Clothing
With this change of pace comes a desire to change pace in what I wear. I don’t want to wear sleek professional clothes, I want to wear something a bit more fun, to mix it up a bit, to wear something more luxurious, more unique, more celebratory. And I’m starting to notice some gaps in my wardrobe. What I want to wear is slightly clashing fabrics; a mix of patterns; maybe different proportions to what I wear during the week; a cropped jumper; a shorter skirt. I want to remember who I am: not just the responsible working mother of two, but a person called to create, to make clothing where there was only fabric before, a person with every right to enjoy the weekend, not just facilitate it for others, a person free to express myself in my clothing, not just be a walking storage centre for the family (currently in my handbag: lego; scissors; lipstick etc)
Sometimes jeans just don’t make the grade
Having relied on, and enjoyed, wearing my jeans for many years, I just don’t feel the same about them anymore. It’s not them, it’s me. When I put my jeans on yesterday I felt strangled, like my body was being suffocated by being encased in stretchy denim. There are days when that feels fine, but this weekend it just felt wrong… quite often jeans become a default. We are so busy that we don’t have time to think about what we would like to wear. So, even our free time clothing becomes a uniform. True freedom, I think, in terms of dress, is found not in spending a lot of money on a pair of jeans, but in having the time to think about what to wear. Freedom is, after all, found in making one’s own decisions, and a lot of fashion is very conforming. And sometimes at the weekend, I don’t want to conform, I want to be me. And democracy has given me the right to be me in dress more than any other century. When I read Montaigne for my French degree I found a whole chapter on corduroy, cord du roy, cloth for the king. Only the King could wear corduroy. We might not have worn denim either as it was from Nimes “de-Nimes” and maybe our traders wouldn’t have traded with the French, so we wouldn’t have had denim….
I digress, but will return to this theme of fabrics we could and couldn’t wear and why another time.
The history of What we Wear
In the meantime, rejoice in what you wear. Wear the best you can. Once upon a Renaissance time you might not have been able to afford lace, so wear it all you can now. Embroidery, beading, fabric printing, any form of surface embellishment would have been out of the budget of working men and women. Enjoy colour too, the history of colour dyes indicates that black was a luxurious fabric, getting the dye to be truly black took skill, purple was reserved for royalty, blue often indicated servants of a wealthy house.
Make that choice, decide that what you wear will be because you really want to wear it. Rejoice in it, revel in it. If you don’t want to wear it, don’t. And what you do want to wear, do so with all your heart.