Photo by Adam Katz Sinding
Thoughts of sartorial evolutions never fail to draw a conversation from my fingertips. It seems just about the only time I ever take a moment to chronicle my thoughts in this ever-diminishing journal of personal style. The last two years took the wind out of my wardrobe, so to speak – I remember with amusement at the time I enrolled writing a post about how I must stay sartorial true to myself – a notion that quickly chortled under the realisation that self-expression in the workshop was something one did with their hands, not their clothes.
Tumbling ever-forward, continuing to express myself with my hands as I am wont to do, I am proud of the work I have created this year and am filled with humble gratitude by the warm response it has received. I feel fortunate to have found a craft that brings me unadulterated joy and a sense of purpose. I am grateful to live in a place and time where I can pursue it.
I am thinking again about my wardrobe now, with renewed stylistic freedoms afforded to the newly graduated… with so few items added to my closet since the last time I spoke of these things I feel it is rather in a state of disarray. It’s been so long since I’ve thought I might need to go through things with a fine tooth comb and systematically purge the contents. I LIKE everything I own. But when the contents of you closet has stayed practically the same in so long (you meet your ex for coffee after not seeing each other for two years and even he – who took little interest in fashion – scoffs at how you’re still wearing the same old clothes) it does compel one to take action. To catalogue, reassess, remove, refresh.
Truth be told I am terrified to do it because I feel that should I take the leap I might find myself with very little left. I take an unabashed pleasure in throwing things away – I find it so intoxicating that I tend to take to it with such abandon I might simply end up emptying out my closet simply because I can. It feels exhilarating, a callous finality that you control implicitly… then a sense of vulnerability in the wake of loss… finally, the brilliant reality of pure possibility and opportunity that lays within the abyss.
Alright what is it that I’m trying to say? Oh yes, the stuffy things.
There are things – fashion things – I’ve never particularly had a fondness for. Blazers for a start. I always feel so hopelessly stuffy in a blazer. Derbies. Buttoned up shirts. Skirts of a particular length. Sensible things. Anything I was probably forced to wear to (my uniformed) school, somehow feel like bodily prisons. Sucking the air out of my immediate space, choking at my throat. The thought alone was enough to send me into hyperventilation.
The skirts of a particular length came first. After blogging about them I proceeded to add three to my wardrobe. Unlike the leather leggings I’d spent years coveting before obtaining, the skirts of a particular length became the surprising backbone of my entire winter wardrobe outside of the workshop this year. The derbies were quick to follow. Still not yet materialised within the confines of my wardrobe but the thought of them as chronicled by this blog post – a dawning realisation how great the right pair of derbies might look with my skirts of a particular length.
It was on a trip to Eastern Market a few weeks ago that I felt just brazen enough to try on one of the Paul Harnden blazers. I don’t know what possessed me, but there’s something about Harnden that’s so unbearably stuffy it’s actually poetic. So horribly awkward that it makes you ache inside. So different from any style I’d ever imagined myself in and yet somehow so obviously right. And for the first time in my adult life I suddenly realised there was a chasm where a blazer ought to be.
After bleeding my bank accounts in order to produce my collection I don’t have the balance to acquire a Harnden any time soon. But I did procure a surprisingly well fitting blazer (the origins of which make me feel uncomfortable because I usually find Zara to be a cesspool of anticipatory fast fashion landfill) which, for a fraction of the investment, will help me test the waters of my new fondness for the stuffy side of style.