Wednesday, May 23, 2018

My favourite dress and why I chose one instead of many

Maybe I am old fashioned and maybe it is because I am a minimalist, but I love the idea of having one thing which I love rather than millions of other things which don't quite fit the bill.  Take a dress for example. You can buy so many for very cheap in charity shops or second hand, or you can buy expensive ones brand new, as well as everything in between.  If you are in your twenties or thirties, chances are that your friends are getting married every few weeks. What do you do? Do you get a new dress for each occasion or do you reuse what you have?
Once upon a time when my wardrobe was full of items that I never really wore, I used to get a new one each time. They were almost always from a charity shop but they were only ever applicable to each occasion so they just sat in my closet, sadly never worn again and taking up valuable space. Things have changed now. I have come to a conclusion that if you find a piece of clothing which you love wearing every time, and it makes you feel good every time, why not wear it over and over again? I have a dress just like that. Not only I love how I feel when I have it on but I also always remember how it was made. I choose the exact style that I wanted by picking a pattern and the fabric and had a great day with my friend who made it for me.

I loved the whole of the creative process  from coming up with ideas, browsing through patterns and feeling different fabrics in my hand. I chose what I wanted it to look like and my lovely friend Pam made it a reality. 

When I was deciding on exactly what I wanted, the main thing was that the dress was versatile, would suit my style and could be worn over and over without it getting boring. I picked 100% linen fabric as I love how it feels on the skin.  I opted for no lining as the fabric feels so nice on it's own and as a result there was no need to make the dress any heavier. Electric blue is my favorite color on clothing so when I found linen in this color I was loving it already! I like simple and elegant patterns  and so I chose a sleeveless pattern for those summer evenings but below the knee skirt so that it is smart enough for different occasions. Add a waste highlight and I found a really good pattern which fitted my shape and style.

If you ask my friend Pam, she will tell you that we have done the dress together. That is complete and utter lie as I was too scared to even touch the fabric as it was quite expensive! Instead, I have watched her skillful hands sewing the seams in precision, just like she has done hundreds of times before. My contribution was hemming the bottom skirt and making lots of tea.

It didn't take her long at all (about a day!!!) and my dress was finished. Because I have chose everything about it and because I knew how it was made, it felt special straight away. I wore it a few weeks later, and then again and again and again. It still feels just as special. It has been two years and I am yet to feel bored wearing it. The only change is that I have to get it altered as it no longer fits around my waist.

            3 different weddings- but the dress is the same and even the shoes are the same! 

I appreciate that not everyone has a super skilled and talented friend who can whip out a dress in no time. But there are always tailors who will be able to make just what you want. All you need to do is go through your own creative process of fabric and pattern picking and they will make it possible. And if you can make it yourself, even better. Sometimes it is worth putting that extra effort and money into making that one special thing which will last. And in the world of fast fashion, being happy with one is quite a radical thing.

But that is not to say that you need to only own one dress. If you go to lots of functions and these types of events you may have a different number in mind. I own quite a few different pairs of leggings and sport bras as I use them daily for exercise but I don't dress up that much at the moment so this suits me just fine. I do have one more evening dress though which I bought about 4 years ago! What I am trying to say is that less is more sometimes and there is no shame in wearing something again and again. Whether you are buying the whole royal wedding thing or not, what I really liked about Kate Middleton is that she wore her wedding outfit 4 times to different occasions. She is under public scrutiny all the time and I really like how she doesn't really care about that and proudly owns reusing what she has.

Sometimes having less choice gives you more. You will save money by not buying new stuff all the time. You will also save some time as you will not need to waste it on shopping or standing in front of your closet not sure what to wear.  Because your favorite dress will be there ready to be worn! 


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