I’m browsing an article I like. And an ad pops up that draws my attention to a few dresses I’d viewed on-line. The ad asks a simple question. “Who are you wearing?” I chuckle. In bold font, “All your favorite designers 30% off only for friends and family.”
I certainly enjoy shopping sales but as for who I’m wearing, my answer doesn’t fit Macy’s advertising target audience. It doesn’t fit brand advertising period.
Learning To Sew
In 7th grade I joined 4-H and learned to sew. My mom became my sewing leader. Prior to that my mom made most all my clothes from my first day-of-school dresses to new Easter dresses to dresses for special religious occasions. The last dress she made me was my 8th grade graduation. The dress was in blushing pink dotted swiss fabric.
New Sewing 4-H Leader
After two years, I could make anything I wanted. “I can’t teach you anything more. You need a new 4-H sewing leader. She found me my freshman 4-H sewing leader during summer school, a Sacramento State home economist teacher. She taught a small group of teens advanced sewing skills. I learned tailoring so I could create blazers and coats and even make Vogue patterns that were more difficult than Butterick, Simplicity and McCalls patterns.
I’m not coordinated enough to play sports, but my eye-hand coordination is excellent. I discovered joy in choosing patterns for 65 cents, calico prints for $1.29 per yard and creating one-of-a-kind clothing. Sewing became my passion. I learned to sew quickly, and could create something new in a few hours.
1960s and Pants
When I started high school, the 1960’s women’s liberation movement brought pants to school. Girls were no longer confined to dresses and skirts. Though fashion changed I’ve never liked pants nearly as much as dresses and skirts. To this day, they are my go-to wardrobe, even in the summer. Skirts and dresses are way cooler than shorts.
I not only still created my own clothing, but made my daughter’s clothes too. I whipped up their Cabbage Patch dolls’ complete wardrobes that my grand-daughters now use with their dolls. I imagined I’d make my future grand-daughter’s clothing and teach them to sew.
Sewing Became Shopping
That was until I was thirty-five. What changed? I took a part-time teaching job and had more money to buy clothes and less time, so I sewed less. Now my sewing abilities are limited by my brain impairment. I managed to make Parker a quilt and Khloe’s doll a blanket and an outfit. I bought a doll pattern and made Kylie some doll clothes.
Often when I shop at clothing stores, I see something I like, such as a collar and sleeves on a dress but I don’t like the rest of it. Or I’d like it if it was a different fabric or color. Lately I’ve seen many items with peplums that I wore in high school. That’s when I wish I still sewed. I’d just mix and match pattern pieces, choose my fabric and create my own designer fashions.
I admit, there are certain designers I like better than others. But these designers have one criteria in common. Their logos and brands are not blasted on the clothing item. I don’t buy eye glasses or shoes that have brands displayed prominently either. Except once by total accident.
Granddaughter and Brands
I said to my granddaughter, “I like your top.”
She replied, “It’s from Justice.”
I then see the brand, “Justice,” across her shirt. I ask, “Does Justice pay you to advertise for them?” At seven, she didn’t understand my point, but perhaps you will.
Who am I Wearing?
Why do people pay more money to wear expensive designer labels and voluntarily advertise for them for free? If designers offered to pay me to advertise their clothing brand I might consider it momentarily, but ultimately, I’d refuse. I’d refuse for the same answer I have to the Macy’s ad.
When Macy’s asks, “Who am I wearing,” My answer is, “I’m wearing me. And I’ve been wearing me since I was twelve years old.” I buy clothing I like without labels on sale. What about you? How would you answer their advertising question, “Who do you wear?”
Image Source: Businessman w toy block Brand text [Flickr.com]
Great article, Marian. Too bad you can’t teach this to more parents and teens. I don’t mind brand clothing, but keeping it in check is something most of us don’t do well.