Has anyone here read Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman?
I’ve been re-reading it for the second time, and came across this on page 212:
“Before the high street, women would make their own clothes, or see a dressmaker, so that everything we wore was an honest expression of who we were, and what we were comfortable with – within the constraints of fashion at the time, anyway.
With the advent of mass fashion, however, not a single item of clothing sold is ‘for’ the woman who buys it. Everything we see in Topshop and Zara and Mango and Urban Outfitters and Next and Peacocks and New Look is made for a wholly imaginary woman - an idea in the designer’s head – and we buy it if we like it, say 70 per cent. That’s about as good as it gets. We rarely, if ever, find something that is 100 per cent ‘us’, and that we truly desire – although we never admit this to ourselves. Most women are walking around in things they’re imagining to be that little bit better. An inch longer here. Without that braiding. In a slightly darker blue. It’s the first thing we say to each other: “I wish they’d had it without the collar!”
Because if you know I don’t like the collar, then you’ll know who I’m really trying to be.”
I’ve lost count of the amount of garments I’ve bought which don’t quite fit the bill. The beauty of sewing and refashioning your own means you’re completely in control of this process. Making something from scratch means absolutely every detail is up to you.
In this respect, it’d be interesting to take a look at sewing from a feminist perspective. After all, sewing for yourself isn’t sewing for some “imaginary woman”. You’re in control of every detail, and you don’t have to ‘make do’ with a garment which doesn’t quite fit you.
It’s food for thought at any rate. Moran and I may not agree on high heels, but I think she’s spot on with the clothing industry here. What do you think?