Tag Archives: style

When home-made meets odd

Me-Made March 3

Not much to report here today, but to save me from just throwing up my MMM pics, I have a little bit of rumination. About self-stitched clothing, their wearing, and pushing the bounds of fashion.

All of which is to say, my outfit today felt a little… odd. Not quite outlandish (though maybe close). But just a little… too… different. Now, either element, the 70s Dress and the Kimono Lady Grey, I’ve worn on their own without issue. But the dress is a bit over-the-top for the work day, not too mention too low cut for this weather, so I felt like a sweater over top would be the perfect thing to dress it down. The best look overall would be the 50s shrug, as I’ve shown before, but a) this is still pretty fancy, and b) it still leaves a pretty large chunk of cleavage getting COLD. The cardi-wrap would probably work stylistically as well, but despite stubbornly photographing as black the 70s dress is actually a distinct, if muted, purple in real life. Which I don’t think goes very well with the red wrap. Especially when I’m trying to look less odd.

Which left the Kimono-styled sweater. And, on a certain arbitrary level, I

MMM, day 3, rear view

actually really like the look—elegant, full, lots of fabric swishing around… but it’s a bit, hmm, not exactly over the top, but maybe off to the side. Beyond the bounds of “everyday” fashion. I feel like there’s an equation going on here, where rather balancing the oddity of either sweater or dress with ordinary jeans or a cardigan, I added two slightly odd pieces together and got something just a little too far past normal.

Ah, well. It’s not like anyone commented, other than my one prof who knows I sew (and hence always asks if I made my more unusual pieces). And she asked while knitting while we waited for the CT scanner to warm up… yes, Academia is a very strange place some days…

So why did I pick this outfit? It’s not like I don’t have plenty of self-stitched jeans that go just fine with the sweater. But I really wanted to wear the dress, I guess. Part of the point of the me-made months is to try wearing the things that feel just a little bit odd. Just to see, I guess, how odd odd really is. I don’t have as much trouble with this as a lot of self-stitched sewists, I think because so much of what I’ve made has been very tightly contemporary (as opposed to flights-of-fancy dresses and vintage concoctions). But I really do want to do some wearing of my flights of fancy, as well as my regular threads. So this was a stab at that.

Ah, well. If nothing else I’ve demonstrated that slightly odd isn’t equivalent to people-on-the-street-pointing-and-laughing…

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I hate style blogs. (Not really)

One of my favourite styles from Self-Stitched September

OK, hate is too strong a word. In fact, I very much want to like them. I know for a fact I’m not the be-all, end-all of fashion (not when I spend as many days as I still do in jeans and a knit shirt). I have things to learn, especially about not dressing like a teenager/skank/student/harried mom. Sometimes all four together, which is not the best look ever. (What’s worse is that I’ll end up dressing like a teenager from ten years ago. Fail.)

So. Style blogs. I’ve tried them, I really have. I’ve flipped through Already Pretty, Fashion for NerdsWhat I Wore TodayInside-Out Style (some great info on dressing for your body type there, which basically amounted to what I’ve already figured out by trial and error. Nice to have the backup on why, for example, I hate belted on me)…

And here’s the thing. With sewing blogs, if I see something I love, my first thought is—what pattern did she use? How hard would it be to knock it off?

All I think of when I’m reading style blogs is either a) not me (which could mean “not

my style” or “gorgeous but not going to work on my body”) or b) I want it! And in this second case, unlike the sewing blog, I can’t have it, because obviously it’s in someone else’s closet and I’m not buying RTW much these days anyway even if it’s still available in a country near me. And she definitely doesn’t have a helpful how-to on how she knocked off this Anthropologie-esque look

It’s almost as frustrating as when I used to read “women’s magazines” at the gym. This was pretty much the only point in my life I’ve actually read a women’s magazine, by the way. It didn’t do too much of a number on my body image—I was 23 and 115 lbs and going to the gym regularly enough that I was actually toned, what did I have to complain about—but it did leave me with the intense desire to shop. Especially bad since then, even more than now, the shopping budget was basically nonexistent. So I resigned myself to digging through the piles for the occasional copy of Newsweek or MacLean’s.

A fun photo

Which I guess is a roundabout way of saying that I find style blogs frustrating. Which isn’t fair at all to style bloggers, who I’m sure are lovely people just trying to share their wardrobe creativity with the world—which is what we sewistas are doing, too, in a slightly different way. But I feel faintly like I’m butting my head up against a wall—trying to take something away from the blog that isn’t actually there, or wanting something that isn’t really on offer.

I guess I’m thinking about this, too, because we’re on the cusp of Me Made March and my own blog is going to devolve, temporarily, into a rather lackluster version of a style blog, probably with far more jeans-and-random-knit-top than is strictly good for it. And it’s a good thing, because it will push me to wear more of my less-used clothes (Businesswoman Pants anyone?), and to find ways to be more creative with what I have. But it’s (at least potentially) a bad thing in that my “product”, which is sewing and yakking, will be at least somewhat changed to “styling and yakking,” with sewing interspersed.

I miss my lawn.

Looking back at these highlights of SSS makes me more excited for my impending style-bloggishness, but then these are my faves out of the whole month. On the other hand, I have a number of fun items I didn’t have before, at least some of which I need a little push to get me wearing.

Speaking of which, the Businesswoman Pants got their first out-of-the-house wearing ever today. Mostly because the button had come off and it took me this long to get around to fixing it. They were, I’m happy to report, deliciously warm, which is good considering the daytime high today was -23C (not including wind chill… and it was windy).

So what do you think about style blogs? Love ’em? Leave ’em? What am I not getting? What do you get out of them, if you do love ’em? (and what killer-awesome-knock-your-socks-off ones am I missing?)

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