I blame Nina Proudman.
You see, I have a childish sense of style. But as I approach 40 I’ve just made the first white shirt I’ve ever owned.
The epiphany came a few weeks ago when I was selected to attend a formal work interview with only a couple of days notice. Having not worked in an office for 5 years my wardrobe didn’t have much to offer and whilst I have a nicely procured little stash of fabrics, making a suit in a hurry isn’t my idea of fun.
Slow clothing is tricky when you are in a hurry. As I see it I had a couple of options. Borrow from a friend or find something secondhand. A friend suggested that I try Penny Lane Clothing Exchange, which sells a curated collection of secondhand clothes on behalf of others. I haven’t bought clothes from a shop for almost 3 years, and there’s the big glaring problem of having changed shape drastically from the norm in that time, which I usually manage by making my own clothes, so I was nervous.
I mustered the courage to explain to the owner in a quiet moment my problem. Interview. Nothing to wear. No breasts.
She was an angel. She sought me out a few separates and filled up the change room with new options as I ditched the old. Despite my nerves I started to enjoy myself and learnt some things about shapes I do and don’t like to wear.
Many of the clothes that I chose first up made me look like a child, and I realised that I don’t want to look young anymore. I want to own my age and all the life experience that comes with it. I needed to channel Nina. Nina owns her age without giving up her sense of fun.
Photo from tenplay.com.au
So here I am in my secondhand suit. And with my new ethos on hand, I have begun making a few essential pieces that will take me into a new decade without giving up the fun.
Pattern: She has Mannish Style shirt 17 (L) no adjustments.
Fabric: Silk cotton from Potters fabrics bought a long while ago.
Notions: Vintage Glass buttons from an estate sale
Techniques different to instructions: French seams, collars as per Andrea’s different order, patience and unpicking