Fashion memories, good and bad.
I have always loved clothes from a very early age and studied fashion at university. I wanted to share some of my fashion memories with you, some you may laugh at and some you may remember wearing yourself maybe?
This blog has helped me reflect and realise how I want my workshops to include work wear and casual wear. I have a pyjama workshop for beginners, a skirt and blouse workshop, also a bag making workshop. I would like to add a stretch workshop in the future. I want my website to stock fabrics for all occasions, ranging from silk to jersey.
I used to only make clothes for special occasions, wearing something I had made just once or twice a year. I want to prove that you can make your entire wardrobe and enjoy wearing your own clothes on a daily basis. I like fashion, but also like to wear thinks that suit my shape, not just what the high street dictates.
Memories and ever-changing styles.
My mum used to power dress in the eighties, the classic shoulder pads, suits and white steletoes. She had several roles within an advertising agency and she also worked at Lords Cricket Ground, starting as the PA, managing staff, training staff and finally a ICT co-ordinator. She was made redundant from the Advertising agency in the early nineties and went back to university to do a Primary school teaching degree. Her style completely changed over night; she started to wear black Doctor Martins instead of heels and 501 jeans instead of skirts. She was happy in herself and wore what she wanted to wear for once, rather than office corporate wear. She was only 40-42, I was 20/22 and watched on as she changed her style.
Now I have done similar, I worked as a manager wearing similar clothes (minus the white shoes, these where always black) to my mother and then gave that life up and started to wear things that were more me, me at my happiest. No more suits, don’t get me wrong I loved wearing suits and mastered my workwear look, it did feel like a uniform and became less and less creative. Instead of a black suit and white shirt, I have started to wear bright patterns again, floral fabrics, denim and sparkly trainers, more creative clothes. I don’t lead meetings, meet parents, take assemblies and am not on the interview panel anymore. Now when I teach I like to wear clothes I have made, leadby example in a very different way to my previous job role.
Top 3 favourite outfits, what are yours?
1st: bikini, vest, denim skirt and flip flops. If I could wear this every day I would be happiest.
2nd: jeans, t-shirt and trainers. My favourite every day outfit
3rd: sparkly evening dress and high heels. My feel good outfit.
Jeans have changed over the years. My first being high-waisted 501’s, bought second-hand from a shop in Camden called Rocket. Then Diesel jeans took over in the 1990’s. 501’s are making a come back and I wish I had kept all my old ones.
I loved living in Camden, I worked in a hairdressers every Saturday from 14-19 years of age. I was only paid £7.50 for the day, but earned loads more in tips. I worked 9am-7pm with few if any breaks, not sure many teenagers would do this these days? I would save up most of my money and remember buying clothes, a bed and I even saved enough to pay for a flight to Barbados when I was 14.
I loved buying my own clothes the most, it was my freedom of expression. Through college I loved collecting art books and jewellery. I would love walking though the market on my way home from my Saturday job, looking at the latest fashions and the people wearing them. I loved silver jewellery and wore a ring or two on nearly every finger. I find when I do things in this kind of excessive way, it changes me after time. I now only wear my platinum wedding band and diamond engagement ring and a Cartier watch, just simple and elegant. I remember having a collection of bangles and swatch watches and sometimes wore them all at once. I told you its taken years to master this look!
I do remember getting really in to jewellery. I loved a shop in Covent Garden, they sold a collect of young unknown designers pieces. One of the designers I started to collect, would set different objects like tiny leaves and shells in resin.
I have always taken time and care over my appearance, thinking carefully about each item of clothing and how well it goes with another. Teaming a leather bomber jacket with matching leather boots, wearing lots of black, making sure everything coordinates. I do wish I had kept all my clothes, as they always come back in fashion eventually. Although many manufacturers make clothes to last just one season these days.
Dress for a Special occasion
My wedding dress. I married aged 37, not a young bride. I had worked in the bridal industry years before, helping hundreds of brides choose their dress, I had an understanding of what best suited a woman’s shape, working with quality fabrics and helping create made to measure wedding dresses. I remember thinking, it was my turn, so buying off the peg wasn’t an option. I wanted that same special experience I had given to others.
Someone told me once, ‘if you experience 1st class, it’s difficult going back to Economy’. I looked at everything, then settled on my all time great fashion icon, Vivienne Westwood. I had the special treatment and spent several years after paying for it. It was worth every penny, I knew it was well spent when I saw my husbands face turn at the end of the aisle. I am sure it was partly relief at my choice and partly surprised to see me in a red dress. I still have the toile to this day, lined in Vivienne Westwood lining and I show it to students often. It was a corset bodice and draped long skirt. They sent me several red fabric samples to decide on one. They gave me tea in a cup and saucer, or sometimes champagne at each fitting.
I loved it and felt a million dollars on my wedding day. I have never worn it again. I thought I would wear the corset with jeans, but I like to keep that special day sacred and think wearing it again would spoil the memories. I would never look or feel as good on a lesser day after all.
One that comes straight to my mind is from my fashion college days. The days of nearly anything goes, experimental outfits were a daily routine for us all. All trying to find who we were, what look to embrace, desperate not to be part of a pack, school years are spent trying to fit into a group, feel safe and not to stand out. I have said once here already,’it’s taken years to master this look’, I really do mean it.
Once I left my flat in Camden and within minutes felt unsure about my outfit choice. I was wearing a pair of 501’s. What’s wrong with that you are saying right? Well one leg was cut like a hot pant and the other leg full length. I met a friend of my brothers on the street and felt embarrassed. I didn’t show this, just walked to my little second-hand mini car and kept my head held high all day at college. Fashion is all about being different and causing a conversation, I’m sure I achieved this that day. Never to be worn again, I might add.
At college I designed shoes for my final collection, these were made by a shoe maker, they had lots of straps and black heels, they looked great with the evening dresses and hats I made.
I loved my heels days. These were dramatically reduced when I had my son. I used to wear high heels every day to work. Driving to work in flip-flops, then slipping into my heels in the school car park. I loved how they made me feel, naturally 5 11” so in 3” heels taller than most. Heels make your posture more elegant, clothes look smarter, better and you feel sexy. Being that I wore them every day, I found them comfortable, this is not the case now. I like very slim heels, not the chunky types.
When Freddie was born, well put it this way, they spend more time in their clear plastic shoe boxes than they do on my feet. Too expensive to justify buying for myself and too uncomfortable and unnecessary pushing a pram. Being more practical and comfort takes over when you have children. I slowly stopped wearing them as you cannot carry a child to nursery, lift a child up and or run in heels.
I wore Jimmy Choo on my wedding day and most weekend nights out in my Christian Lou Boutins, week days in Russel and Bromley’. I don’t wear them as much, so I have managed to look after my shoes, so my heels come out when ever we go on a special night out, weddings and parties. Now I spend the best part of my week in converse trainers. I have a few different pairs now; in gold, black sequins and Liberty floral prints.
I will always love clothes and I am sure I have many more fashion disasters and or triumphs to follow. My aim now is for my wardrobe to include more home-made clothes and less shop bought.
If you would like to make your own clothes with ItsSewSimple, please click the link below.