Real Appeal - Uniform Project

I don't think I need mention how I view the fashion industry. I think the image speaks clearly my contempt for the money spent annually on ever changing styles versus essential needs for ourselves and others.

Last year I made up my mind and since the first of this year I have been wearing only grey or brown clothing almost without exception. The colors are neutral and I have a few work versions and more orderly versions I can wear without needing to purchase a thing. It is a kind of transition to what I hope to achieve by next year - a katecontinued signature uniform that I won't have to think about or change for the rest of my life. I have been collecting images, shapes, patterns and ideas for about six years (if not my whole life). Now I need to imagine the fatter versions. Anyway, I was reminded of this by a blog found via Shakesville and Gendergogles called Brown Dress. The woman, a dancer, made a decision to wear a brown dress (she had made to fit her body) for one whole year, 356 days. She said,

So, here’s the deal - I made this dress and I wore it every day for a year. I made one small, personal attempt to confront consumerism by refusing to change my dress for 365 days.

This really appeals to me on the conceptual art level and for practical terms. I think I was the only little kid who wanted to go to the Catholic parochial school because they wore uniforms. I really don't want to waste a moment's thought on it.

Let me share a couple of her answers to questions that jumped out at me - because the answers speak to me:
Was this a feminist thing? Probably. Also an art thing. Also a let's stop wasting time and money thing. But on a feminist note, let's stop agreeing that the best way for women (in particular) to "express themselves" is by purchasing new wardrobe items and putting together daily outfits.

What was the best part? The conversations and comments and stories from the everybody -- see the comments page for some of them! Secondly, I miss the strange, mundane and yet completely revolutionary moment every morning when I reached for the dress and put it on . . . again. The mix of stubborn determination, excitement of what the day would bring, physical familiarity as the dress settled and buttoned over my ribs. As I write this I haven't seen the dress for almost two weeks, and I miss that daily moment of renewed commitment.

Image: Inspire Me Now


Rosa said...

I think to work with line-drying you might need three outfits - I know I need at least 6 t-shirts right now, and two pairs of pants/skirts because my clothes get dirty and it takes up to 2 days for them to dry this time of year.

I have an apron skirt that I LOVE because it has a tie waist (it's basically a waist sash, with strips of fabric sewn together below it so they blouse out) so it fits no matter what, and I don't have to have the too big/too small angst every morning. My body size changes a lot through the year, though. (Also, because of the way it's constructed, you could make one out of scraps. I wonder if I can find an online pattern)

katecontinued said...

Yes, good point about line drying. Right now I have two pairs of grey sweat pants and about 4 grey t-shirts and I find I can always have a clean change. The author said she has an infant and does a load every day. She is not in line dry mode.

That skirt sounds pretty brilliant as a design. My body is unlike anything it ever was in my youth. Oh, I thought I knew myself completely. Not so, because in the past several years it has taken on weight completely differently - all in the core. Anything with a waist is out. I do have some great ideas for vests and vestment-type garments to be worn over an outfit.

Ironically, Bea Arthur is who comes to mind when I think of clothing style and drape I always loved. And sadly, she just died. I don't know why I say sadly. We all die and she had a very long life. I just loved her work as an actor, her feminist activism, her humor and her wardrobe.

Rosa said...

Sad for us, maybe, more so than for her. And her clothing was always great, so it's no wonder you think of her.

I am going to have to take pictures of this skirt & email you, because apparently "apron skirt" doesn't mean what I thought it did. Or only on Etsy and not on the rest of the internet.