This fall brings a limited clothing budget.Â It also brings â€“ thanks to the other half of my career â€“ a need for a very different wardrobe for my usual. The audience from that other part of my life tends towards tie-dye and tattoos whereas these days I prefer unstamped skin and calf boots.Â While â€œdress for the life you haveâ€ is great, women almost all have at least two lives â€“ no one is just a mom or just an office worker or just a single gal. Men might have home and work but the pressures on women are real, oppressive â€“ and at this point in history, either to be fought directly or neatly subverted. I still go with subversionâ€¦ because I like pretty things. I just donâ€™t like the extra twenty pounds everybody elseâ€™s baggage gives me.
Fortunately, I have a third aspect to my life that bridges the gap between fatshion and authorship: geekdom. Iâ€™m a well known geek in my city â€“ my Doctor Who Meetup just had its 700th member join. This is my middle ground, as exhausting as excess attention to detail might get. Since these days geek is chic â€“ and I legitimately earned the title by authentically suffering for my enthusiastic nerdiness in high school â€“ I can draw from my nerdy influences and my style influences and represent fully my whole self. It also speaks to my green tendencies. I love new clothing but I have Catholic-level guilt over my failure to upcycle â€“ and over the retail industryâ€™s failure to reuse cloth from discarded clothing. (Seriously â€“ thereâ€™s an abundance of it. Whatâ€™s the problem?)
Iâ€™ve dabbled on and off with T-shirt surgery over the years and also with sewing. I have made the commitment â€“ this fall, I take a sewing class. I learn the basics of basting, pleats, ruching, all of it. In the meantime, Iâ€™ve learned some ironing tricks from damncutekitty, I have scissors and a rotary cutter and I have a pack of nerdy T-shirts that are just a touch too big for my frame.
For actual direct sewing, I plan to try this:
But after some thinking â€“ and making notes of looks that caught my attention when binging watching television my partner encourages me to avoid publicly admitting I watch â€“ I realized I really do like the dancer looks. (I still think Dance Academy is great. Pffft!) Most of those involve shirts chopped up to show off a bit of shoulder. So over the week, I plan to have a go at looks like these: