Your Relationship to Clothing

I have a few clothing items from when I was a baby. They are frilly and sweet. This photo shows my early affinity for berets! As a teenager, I was "eclectic." Evolving into a tomboy for the most part, I would wear Miami Dolphins jerseys. But then, there was another part of me that liked strappy Famolare shoes and large black plastic weird clogs. My maternal grandmother would often take me shopping, and I don't remember her curbing my unusual taste in clothing. For that I am grateful! Her only admonishment was to wear sunglasses and prevent crow's feet - I should have paid more attention to that advice!

In my college and young adulthood years, I opted for Land's End and LL Bean. Maybe this was inspired by growing up in the Midwest. Practical clothes mattered. Outdoorsy, simple. Kind of boring... :)

I would dabble in more freely expressing myself through fashion when my children were younger. But it wasn't until I was in another phase of life that I began to explore clothing as a true form of expression. The textures I liked - corduroy and velvet, the style - something more European, the scarfs and funky jewelry.

As a child, I would never have considered going to Goodwill if I could help it. Maybe that's because my family struggled financially when I was younger, and that translated into me being particular about wanting new things. And, if a drop of something soiled a clothing item > that was it. It was ruined. Talk about perfectionism!

I once dated someone who was very opinionated about clothing. They would tell me they knew more about clothing and style than I did. Maybe they were right. It both helped my sense of style and choices, and then it didn't. When the relationship ended, it took awhile for me to regain confidence of how to dress myself.

As I have moved through life, it's inspired me to see fashion as a creative expression. I have learned to appreciate and explore secondhand clothes. I definitely have connected clothing production to our planet and care more about not supporting sweatshops or poisoning the environment. I've gotten way more thoughtful about responsible fashion consumption.

The time of Covid drastically changed my clothing habits again. I'm not big on ordering online. And the few things I tried to order didn't fit. Not having easy access to buying clothes changed me even more. I re-worked clothing, re-appreciated things I already owned. I even let go of more clothing and simplified.

When I did purchase a few clothing items, I was willing to pay more -because I wanted to support local designers who were thoughtful about their creations and cared about the planet. Learn more about them below.

I'm still not totally liberated in dressing as I desire. It's a process. And, it does help to be around others who are expressing themselves through clothing. That can feel liberating and encouraging.

What is your relationship to c