What story do the things you wear tell about you?
The word “bespoke” is used these days to describe tailor-made clothes — those (expensive!) items crafted especially for the person who ordered them. But the word’s origin says something deeper about the relation of clothes and accessories to our identity: what we wear speaks for us. These objects may be inanimate and perishable, but they tell the people around us a story about who we are and how we wish to be seen.
Earlier this month, Cheri spoke with four prominent fashion bloggers on Discover, asking them about the one item in their extensive wardrobes they can’t live without. The answers included a denim jacket, a hand-me-down Rolex watch, and an outback hat. What the replies had in common, though, is an understanding of the ways our fashion choices tap into our memory and our self-image. As fashion scholar and blogger Benjamin Wild put it, discussing his glasses:
Cutting across my face, the frames proclaim my inability to see well, and as an academic I’m conscious of being the stereotypical bibliophilic geek. That is why I invest thought — and it must be said, money — into choosing my spectacles. I suppose I’m turning a weakness — albeit not so bad a weakness in the grand scale of things — into something positive. As somebody who teaches, talks, and writes about the meaning of clothing, my frames make me very aware of the ability of inanimate objects to act as psychological salves.
For this week’s challenge, tell us (in the medium or format of your choice, whether visual, textual, or other) about how your personal style reflects or modifies who you are. Like the bloggers in the Discover feature mentioned above, you can focus on one item that tells a story about you or that you associate with a person you love, a memory you hold dear, or a place you miss. Or take a broader look at the things you wear — from work uniforms and party gear to battered hoodies — and talk about their connection to your identity. What story do the clothes you wear tell about you? What responses do they aim to elicit (or prevent) from others?
I look forward to hearing your stories!