My wardrobe became really practical over the pandemic. My habits and hobbies changed and my clothing slowly evolved to reflect that. I didn’t have much use for party dresses when all I did was work, garden, walk the dog, play my drums, and skate outdoors. As I let go of old dresses, skirts and blouses in cheap fabrics and bad fits, I gradually replaced them with sturdy denim jumpers, warm wool sweaters, and shorts and t-shirts I could move in.
I now needed things that could go from screen printing, to walking the dog, to going out into the garden to dig something up for dinner. I had very little use for a delicate dress I couldn’t get dirty in or a skirt that would rip if I took a full stride on my skateboard.
My wardrobe shrank quite a bit, as I seemed to be donating three to four things for every one I brought home. Around this time, I also started to really focus on only buying things that I thought were a 10/10 for quality, usefulness, eco consciousness, and fitting my style. I have a lot of empty space in my closet and dresser now, but I love everything I see and get a lot of wear out of everything I own. When I do need a party dress these days, it’s so easy to choose one that I will look and feel great in, because the few I have now are all winners.
Jumper Angry Rabbit
Wool Tights Rachel
I remember being on the cusp of preteen-hood and seeing a double page ad in a magazine for a brand that claimed to have products to both make straight hair curly and curly hair straight. As a wavy, messy haired girl, I found this confusing and asked my mom about it. She told me that everybody wants what they don’t have. Luckily, she also taught me to love what I have and not worry about trying to change it.
Even with all the self esteem reinforcement my mother gave me growing up, I still couldn’t help wishing for Christina Hendrick curves to fill out my new dress design. Her character, Joan Holloway/Harris, on Mad Men inspired the dress, so I wanted to have Joan inspired photos as well. I tried to mimic her poses and attitude but it just wasn’t working. Every time I looked at the camera roll, I was frustrated by how I failed to fill the dress out.
By the end, I had fun popping my hip out and twisting at my waist to try to fake the curves, but I couldn’t help thinking about what my mom told me back when I was a girl, just getting ready for the media bombardment all women face. It has stayed with me, mixed with the messages that I am not tall enough, not curvy enough and, somehow, at the same time, not muscular enough. What I always try to remember is the core of what she taught me that day: no matter what, you will always want to be more like someone else, and someone else will always want to be more like you; all you can do is try your best to love yourself for who you are.
Stockings What Katie Did
Earrings a street market in Panama
All photos by me.