Friday, December 9

Exploring Emotional Dressing

Already Pretty had a great post yesterday about the emotional wardrobe.  I found it thought provoking  because I do have days where I dress by emotions, both for better, for worse and for needing a boost.  After going back to work after my most recent miscarriage, I just wanted to feel safe.  I didn't realize until Thursday I wore black every single day that week.  I started with my huge, comfy, black sweater dress and went from there.  Colour gradually returned to my daily dress, but it was all black all the time for a week or so.

Typical work wear,  B5147 top, rest is RTW

Clothing that I made makes me feel good.  Assuming I'm not worried about the hem line being too short or some mistake or another that I know about, I feel pretty awesome in my own clothing.  If I need to feel super confident, then I reach for my clothing.  For work, most likely a dress.  I've had a few unsolicitations on this dress, although the facing at the neck can drive me batty if I'm in a fussy mood.  The one picture there is actually at my clients office.  A Toronto Raptor and a couple of dancers came, Primo isn't my client, but let me tell you, I wasn't sure where to look or put my hand for the picture with Andrea Bargnani.  I know I'm short, but wow, he's freaking tall. 

For a presentation at my employers office where jeans are permitted all week, I think I have a new go-to outfit.  Dark jeans, a corduroy jacket and my satin Sorbetto.  My boots make me feel tall, the jeans generally make me feel slim, the jacket makes me professional and Sorbetto is the self sewn punch.  I need a lift tomorrow at the university Christmas party.  I'm not freaking out like I thought I would, but a little self made to brag about would be good (AND there will be pictures taken).

But there are other emotional aspects to dressing.  I feel a real attachment to my maternal grandmother, I can still hear her laughing in my head when I want to.  It always seemed to me she could do no wrong without being an actual perfectionist.  Her shoulders were narrower than mine are (or you better believe I'd have her lamb coat) so clothing just generally wasn't going to pass down.  Too much of my Dad's genes.  Jewellery, however, doesn't care.  Nor purses for that matter.
Nana's necklace, Mom's shawl, at my brother Scot's wedding (Casa Loma)

Thursday night my team had their Christmas party and I ran a cruise ship themed murder mystery.  I cast myself as the show girl and entertainer of the ship.  My directions were to wear what I'd wear on stage, the more sequins and glitter the better, a boa perhaps.  I bought this red dress two years ago and I've only worn it once.  I really like this dress, it's a heavy knit with a lining, the rouching is kind to my belly and hips, it's comfortable to wear.  But what makes me happy?  My Nana's jewellery.  I wore her earrings, her necklace and a cuff.  I love them all, it's like having her with me and don't have the opportunity to wear them all that often.  It's too fancy for most occasions, although I do wear the earrings for weddings.
Even "dead" I felt pretty in Nana's jewellery.

Sad that the death pose shows the gathering in the dress best.  How I wish I could say I made that dress.  Oh and the feather in my hair?  I cut part of a dollar store mardi gras mask (been in a box for 3 years at least), put a piece of cardstock in the middle of a bobby pin and glue gunned the pin/paper onto the feathers.  I must say, it stayed put really well.  Didn't really match my dress but I still got a few votes for "best dressed".

Another family item is that "boa".  It's actually a scarf I wear with my winter coat.  Mr. Lina's aunt knit it.  It's eyelash yarn, black and silver.  His aunt died from cancer a few years ago, it's lovely having some of her work around me too.  I didn't have many opportunities to get to know her, she and her family lived in Kelowna, BC.  Distance and family rifts made it hard to get to know that side of the family.  Fortunately a few fences were being mended just about the time I met Mr. Lina's family.  She died far too young, her husband maybe two years later.  Face to face, I only met her twice, but both occasions were fortunately a few days so it was quality time with lots of happy memories. 

Speaking of happy memories.  This is the twin set I was wearing when I met Mr. Lina.
Now this picture is going back to Christmas 2005, we'd been married a year and a half.  I'm pretty sure this is New Years Eve at a friends house.  That is clearly not my first glass of wine, although I think I'm looking at someone off camera which isn't helping.  Anyhoo, this is another shirt that gives me a lift.  Mr. Lina is a fan of this particular outfit.  I usually feel pretty sexy in this shirt because I remember the power it had across an auditorium floor.  I've stolen the pattern from it, but I made it from silly shiny fabric that was a PITA to sew, we don't go too many places where a liquid silver tank top would be appropriate...


  1. I only have one piece of my grandmother's jewelry, but it makes me happy too. It's a silver bracelet with topaz insets, and I have a pair of topaz earrings from my dad that matches perfectly. I wear them together when I want to feel really close to my late family members.

    A lot of my power outfits involve something I've made as well. I notice that when I want to blend in, I wear RTW more. Part of the reason I started sewing for myself was that I wanted goth/punk clothes that fit and didn't make me look like a teenybopper, so some of my early sewing is really punk rawk. Nowadays I usually mix it up so I don't stand out as a "rebel" so much.

    Love that shirred red dress! You should invent reasons to wear it -- holiday parties, maybe?

  2. I can see what you mean about RTW = blending in. I sometimes wonder about the dresses I've got unsoliciations on, is it actually the dress or is it more that we have more options for fabrics so it stands out as different, thus note worthy.

    I do love that red dress. People need to throw more formal events. :)

  3. I hear you on emotional dressing, it makes me a real chameleon! I was looking at the photo of your with the raptor wondering and then read about it because I was thinking about how tall that guy is... ha ha

  4. lol... well, he was exceptionally tall, but it seems even taller because I'm just over 5' myself. Maybe 5'2" because of my shoes, maybe.


Thanks for your comments, I love to have a two way conversation. I seem to be getting a lot of spam from anonymous users and am turning off the ability to comment that way. I really would like to hear from you so if you do want to add your two cents without an OpenId, email me at seraphinalina at gmail dot com.