The Little Lost Prince and How They Learned Their Clothes had Memories.
I thought that it’s been a while since I did an outfit post, and I miss them, so here’s my first look of 2018, which is actually a look from September 2016 because of course it is. I’ve never really been one to be constricted by the conventional passage of time, plus who doesn’t like a look that could be found in an Enid Blyton novel?
I find that I can define moments in my life by outfits. I can see a certain picture of myself and I know exactly how I was feeling by the outfit I had put together. Often to the casual observer, or in fact anyone who isn’t me, there is nothing different in one look to the next, unless it’s an overt change in style, but I can tell. I know that I put on a slightly more worn jumper that day because I needed to feel comfort, or I chose a certain pair of socks because they made me feel cuter than I was feeling inside. I think in these moments of pain we have clothes that can make us feel better, can help us through the dark times. Sometimes these are “pyjama clothes”, as my mum would call them, to hold us and comfort us, things to curl up on the sofa and watch Lord of the Rings in (or your comfort food movie of choice, but if it’s Lord of the Rings we might need to have words, I mean come on, hobbits guys) and sometimes they are things that let us be a little braver than we are. Because an old, worn out jumper holds all the memories that made it old and worn out, all those times you wore it and you were happy or strong or loved, and that can strengthen you.
Clothes hold memories. Like a smell or a taste that takes you back to something, clothes have that same strong power over memory. You look in the mirror and see yourself wearing a piece from a picnic, or a day you spent discovering your favourite book, and you instantly have a sense of things being well, and even on a day when you are hurting more than you could imagine, those clothes can make that small bit of difference.
And the thing is, even if you wear something on a bad day, if it has good things attached to it, the bad day doesn’t mean those memories become bad, it means they helped to make the bad day a little better. The outfit attached to this blog is like that. It was a bad day, it was a really bad day, but something about these clothes made me stronger and happier, and actually, looking at these pictures, I don’t remember is being awful, or how much I was hurting, I remember being out with my best friend, feeling just that little bit better than I did the day before. These are good pictures and these a good memories attached to that outfit. The fact that it’s a really cute outfit that made me feel like I was in Swallows and Amazons is an added bonus in the good memories column.
I talk about clothes giving you confidence, being bold and bright and beautiful, but confidence isn’t always going out in a feather cloak, sometimes, often in fact, confidence is just stepping out of your door. If you need to wear that hoody with the holes in the cuffs wear your thumb has worn through, and hide in the hood to get to the shops, then do. That items has something in it that is strong enough and comforting enough to get you out the door so that’s a damn good piece of clothing in my books, better than any designer piece.
This is really simple look, which is part of why it was so comforting and easy. I wanted to be ok but also cute because cute is ok in my books, so this is not going to be a standard breakdown, more of a “why did this make me feel better” introspective type thing. I guess. We’ll see won’t we!
The jumper is from Primark of all places. I bought it in my third year of Uni, so two years before I wore it in this outfit and I still have it and wear it. Honestly it’s a surprise it’s lasted so well, but I guess if you look after anything properly it will keep on going. It’s so comfy as well, really worn in and warm. I guess it has that home knitted vibe going on, it always reminded me of a fisherman’s jumper which probably says a lot about my fashion sense – I mean I legit want to get a smock, coz how cute would that be?! I don’t feel like I need to say too much about where to get jumpers, I’ve written a lot about jumpers. They are my favourite item of clothing ever. If you do want some advice you can check out these other posts of mine (Tweeds, wool and Glastonbury and School Boy Summers).
The shirt, which you can’t see that well in these pictures unfortunately, is another favourite of mine. It’s a pale blue, striped shirt, loose fitting with a Peter Pan collar, longer at the back than the front. I bought it because it really reminds me of old fashioned night shirts (weird, yes) and I love how easy it is to wear. It’s a perfect all year round piece as well, as it has three quarter sleeves, and being a light-weight fabric you can wear it on summer days or put something underneath to make a snuggly outfit for long winter nights by the fire.
The shorts are ones I got in Zara a few years back when I was really into steampunk (no bad thing, it lead to loving Chap and I got a load of good clothes out of it). The weirdest thing, looking at these pictures is how skinny I was. I had been incredibly unwell, losing a stone and half in less than a month, so these shorts don’t actually look like this on me most of the time. In fact I wore them on holiday recently and they are fitting much closer to the leg now, and looking much better than they do here. I was not well. However I do love these shorts with this look. It is very Tintin, Enid Blyton, Swallows and Amazons, that sort of adventure you wished you went on when you were a kid, finding spies and smugglers or buried treasure, there’s something about that childishness that makes me feel better. It’s a safety, even if it’s not real, it makes you feel like you might be able to take on the world and then get home in time for tea. These style of shorts a little hard to find right now, because it’s winter, but ebay, depop and other sites will probably be able to sort you out if you look for safari shorts or the like. And you can shove a pair of braces on any shorts to get a slightly different look out of them. I like a good pair of braces, so sue me.
I really like how the caramel and the blue work together, it’s very reassuring combination. Connotations of summer by the sea, on the beach between surf and sky, warm sun and cool splash ooze from this colour combo. Adding that onto of the vintage style and you get memories of long ago summers that never really happened but could of in a book or maybe they’re a story your grandparents told you, who knows. But it works.
The little deck shoes are such a cute touch with this look. I mostly wear them because they are easy to slip on and hug my feet in just the right way, and yeah, they are super adorable. Who said practicality couldn’t look good? These were from Moshulu in St Ives, and their shoes last forever I swear to god. I’ve worn these more than any I own and they are as good as they were the day I bought them – if not a little dirtier – and I would highly recommend their boot collection. Bright colours, great designs, all for practical wear! What more could you ask for?
The shoes tie in with the jumper and the shirt really nicely with the blues and whites, but the socks…oh the socks. They are just a bit of colourful fun. Sometimes that’s what you need, something a bit silly? I have so many pairs of silly socks I don’t even know where these came from but I’m always on the lookout for more and the high street is full of these types of things at the moment, The White Stuff have ones with foxes and stags! It’s great.
I hope you liked this article, it’s been a really nice one to write.
I’m going to be doing less straight outfit posts this year I think, probably just one a month as I am going start writing more about sustainable fashion – vintage, slow fashion, charity shops, make do and mend type stuff as that went down really well the last few times I’ve talked about it and I feel it’s something we can all implement in our lives to help the environment and our wallets! I’m also going to doing more on my patreon, realising articles for other sites and magazines on there first, as well as behind the scenes of a big new project that I am involved in, which I will be announcing the details of very soon!
As always if you like what I’m doing here, please support me on Patreon for just $1 a month to get access to my posts, articles and all the info on The Cosplay Journal, and all my cosplay adventures!
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If you want more please check out my last articles:
- Bags of Personality
- Let’s Talk about Gender Presentation and be Empowered
- The Doctor’s New Clothes
- An Ode to the Onesie
Written by Holly Rose Swinyard