Clothes: Day 17

I knew I’d have to talk about it eventually and I figured now was as good of a time as any. Vogue had a huge influence on me when I was younger. From the age of eight I was an avid reader, and fashion ogler even though I wasn’t a subscriber, I bought almost every issue. You may be thinking, what could I have learned from Vogue? I actually learned a lot. I learned where licorice comes from and how the plant is grown, I learned about Shellac and the mineral it comes from years before it was in the mass markets as Gellish. (Which is not the same thing, by the way.)  I also learned a lot about fashion. I learned how fashion writers and photographers work. I learned what it took to be a fashion designer and all of the hurdles that comes along with owning and starting a boutique like Kate Spade.

Then there is the clothes…I learned so much about all the different fashion “houses” and the history of the clothes they made. About the stitching used for different RTW. At one point in middle school I could walk into almost any setting and tell you what label everyone was wearing even if the label wasn’t showing. (As was so popular in the 90’s.) Vogue is what originally made me want to make clothes. It made my creative spirit bloom.

The thing about young ambition is that usually life gets in the way. Things happen, things change and sometimes everything stops in it’s tracks.

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At some point before Lyla was born I stopped reading. I wont go into the WHY here, but I guess I was just changed. I no longer felt like much they had to say applied to my life. I no longer felt like I was learning as much from it. I really only bought it to look at the clothes. Which brings me to the word and idea of “fashion.” Recently I did some reading in a book called “Wearing God” by Lauren F. Winner and she gives a different perspective on the word “fashion.”

‘Fashion’ is a noun, calling to mind Paris runways, models in Jean Paul Gaultier creations, Elle and Marie Claire magazines. But “fashion” is also a verb. It means “to mold or to shape.” We fashion dough into the shape of a bread loaf; we fashion clay into a pot or a bowl. Indeed, the word “fashion” had that meaning–the action of making or shaping something –before it became a noun designating clothing, and “fashion” came to designate apparel precisely because clothing shapes us. This is why some of us enjoy clothes so much, why we love changing our clothes and trying out a different look–every time we change into a different kind of clothing, we can play at being a different kind of self.

I love that she talks about fashion being a verb. What comes to mind to me when she uses that definition is the craftsmanship of clothes. See, I feel like each of us has a creative side. I think we all have a gift of creativity that is unique to us. The surprising thing is, in todays world I would say MOST don’t feel like they are creative! But I KNOW we are because we were made in God’s image. And guess what…he is the ultimate creator. He created the heavens and the earth, he created seasons and nature…he also created the first clothes when he took away Adam and Eve’s fig leaves and “clothed them”. “Then the Lord God made clothes out of animal skins for the man and his wife.” (Gen. 3:21) He gave us each a creative side that doesn’t have to be “clothes”, but I would encourage you to take the time to try some creative outlets and see if there is something you enjoy. I know he will bless whatever it is you create.

Which brings me to a little preview of something I am going to be working on today and tomorrow. After Derick left last week, I have not been loving this month. It has been hard. The last six days have been my hardest thus far. It all started the day after he left and I was missing him so much I basically just cried for three hours. When I was getting ready for bed I realized I had no clean seven clothes (surprise!) and I was so fed up I just gave out and put on one of his shirts and some sweatpants. (Forgive me Lord for having no strength or willpower for 7 without my husband around!) On Friday night I washed all of my seven clothes so they would be clean for the weekend, except my white tunic top…because I can’t wash it with darks and it needs to be bleached. So sadly, on Saturday I wore the white tunic top and realized I have worn it too many times without washing because my sleeve cuffs were slightly brown. Enter sad face. The next thing that went bad was shrinking my navy cardigan. Now I am forced to admit that I had bought this Navy cardigan before “clothes month” started and had worn it a few times. But here is the thing about me and clothes/sweaters. I shrink them, I snag them, I tear them, I overwear them, I get stains all over them. I am extremely hard on clothes and sweaters. And in my experience sweaters will have a longer life and look nicer the less you wash them. So, I finally broke down and decided after wearing the navy cardi for three weeks it needed a wash. I washed it on cold, tumbled it for 5-10 minutes on low, took it out of the dryer and it was shrunk and discolored. DEFEAT. I felt defeated. But fear not friends, I just decided I needed to make another “trade”. So I went into my closet and took out a light weight grey sweater and in twenty minutes I had meat juice all over it…I threw it in the dirty clothes. So, I “traded” again and have now been wearing my thick grey, shabby standby sweater that I wear 24/7. This will now be my seven sweater.

Chances are you are probably shaking your head at me…AS AM I! I am a weak soul you all. The funny thing is that I have been determined to stay strong for a secondary reason this month: it’s my birthday month. Which usually means, lots of clothes shopping, lots of new shoes, a new bag and etc. This month I was DETERMINED I wasn’t going to buy any clothes (forgive the Goodwill episode) but the main thing I have struggled with these last few days is wearing seven clothes to my birthday dinner. See, I thought this out before the month even started. And I told myself, pick at least two items that you will be willing to wear for your birthday because there is NO CHEATING SARAH MARIE!  Oh the irony. From the beginning I knew I would do a little sewing project (as Jen did in the book) where they made something by hand WITH A SEWING MACHINE. So on my birthday week, I have decided that I am going to attempt to make myself a “birthday shirt” with the help of my sweet mother…who has the patience of a saint when it comes to me and sewing. So, stay tuned and be ready to hear all about the shirt making on Friday.

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