Post Revisited, Reedited, Reworded, Reblogged From May 04th 2018
I have a long checkered history with clothing! It is that simple.
It matters not at which particular phase you address in my life, wearing fabric on my skin has been beset with some kind of disaster! I have evolved through many changing and challenging times when it comes to donning fabric to my skin. I have moments in my life when l have looked at ‘fashion’ with a sense of terror and confusion, to other periods where l have been described as either a Victorian Dandy to a grunge tramp. Today, is marginally better, l wear casual clothing that is ‘mostly‘ comfortable … finally!
A lot of people can buy clothing with complete satisfaction – l am not one of those people! Suzanne buys the majority of my clothing today for three main reasons:
In truth she is exceptionally good at getting everything l want and they are the right textures.
I become very impatient with clothes shopping because in reality clothing doesn’t interest me.
Because l make mistakes concerning my sizing because l don’t pay attention to what l am doing!
It is not me being lazy per se, but l can understand how some might think that way, it is more a case of not viewing my attire these days on a daily basis how others might do. I do not need to be reminded to shower, or bathe as l am very routinal about that. But l have been known in the past to wear my clothing [not underwear] for longer periods of time. There have been other times when l would wear layer upon layer, or in my mind set, comfort upon comfort!
Sensory sensitivity as a child for me was one of the biggest frustrations l had. It has improved as a condition as l have aged, but there are times when it’s far from perfect! When younger, every day proved to be a cacophony of noise and sounds, a jumbled blurry mess of sights, smells, crowds, touching and above all, just general things which caused an unending stress level!
Whilst l can tolerate more today than back then, l am still not 100% – a town walk on the wrong day can reduce me to a blubbering mess mentally! I have learned through trial and error of what l can withstand and tolerate though. So can ensure l stay within my limits and do not overstep my boundaries!
A loose thread can cause havoc and an itching spell that can literally last for hours. A seam can suddenly awaken and create a nightmare for me, a colour can offset my stability, the wrong fabrics and certain textiles can ruin my day. Tags in the wrong position can scratch me to the point of excruciating discomfort! Some garments can make me want to cry out in alarm especially if they are restricting my movements!
It is not unknown for me to have an aversion towards some colours and these can cause me to feel very ill at ease. As a colour l like white and the same applies to natural or beige colours, but refuse to wear it as a tee shirt, l am okay with pastels but again don’t wish to wear them, as they can creep me out a bit one day and then the next l am fine with them. Although grey marls are ok! I prefer to wear from a selection of bright colours, such as yellows, oranges and reds, blues, maroons and rusts, and purples. Some greens but not all greens!
“No, no, no … not all greens!!”
I remember a time when l was around 14 and went to a friends’ party where l was invited out to a restaurant with him and his parents. My ‘good’ trousers l detested, but my Mother said no to my jeans! The trousers were a mid-green, shiny and made of polyester and every time l wore them, they scratched my legs, and caused me to sweat and the fabric smelled! I had a typical late 70’s pattern shirt on which was gross, l hated it – but my mother said l looked fashionable – l didn’t. I hated shoes also, and my shoes were clumpy. I knew there was NO WAY l was ‘trendy’ in any way shape or form. That whole dinner date was the most uncomfortable time l can ever remember from my past.
The negative effect of that day out has left a most profound lasting memory on me, even now some 40 years on, l cannot wear 100% polyester, l cannot wear that particular shade of green or many greens in truth, and l deliberately lost one of the horrible shoes back then, so l had to have new shoes! I have not worn clumpy shoes since that night!
Of course that leads me to the whole subject of shoes – l went through a spate where l always managed to lose one shoe, mostly my left. I hated wearing shoes, and even now am not always comfortable in footwear, preferring just socks. Naked feet sets me into another world of discomfort as l hate walking on lino floors and sometimes wooden floors irk me. From the age of around 10, my parents were constantly spanking me for losing one of my shoes!!
They disappeared into muddy lakes, trout infested streams, dropped off bridges and so on. When asked why, l would say that l found shoes to cause me pain. I could not even wear flip flops that well because l was always conscious of stubbing my toes, and l despise sandals on men even today, and if they wear socks with them, l want to step away from them and wish the world might swallow me up. So many a time l wear what many might consider the wrong type of footwear for occasions.
I love Wellington boots, and would wear these most days if l could, they are easy and comfortable. I like my footwear to be comfortable but at times this means that they might be the scruffiest things going, but they are worn in. I only like to wear wellies for mud and wet walking, and my walking boots for dry and solid walking, l hate mud on my walking boots as l think it is unnatural!
When younger, neither of my parents were that concerned about my clothing mishaps – just took it on board that l was being extremely awkward and trying of their patience. I gave up telling them how l felt, it was just easier. So l got used to clothing feeling horrible on my skin.
Early teenager years were not that much easier either, l hated shopping – it was always so noisy, and most of the time l panicked and was either pressurised into buying the wrong thing, dashed out of stores or just picked up the first size and paid and left. I liked second hand clothing because it was worn in and felt familiar to my skin. However the result of a bad shopping experience on my own only meant my Mother frogmarched me into the shop, embarrassed me further by saying how stupid l was, and then proceeded to stand outside of the dressing room whilst l changed.
Which was not that great at 17!!!
College years helped a little, because the girls would help me shop and so l was able to glean advice from them, which made life easier. But more importantly, the presence of being with them was a way of knocking aside my shyness, and because l was with the girls, the lads thought l was cool!
When l started working full time, l commenced in catering and so life was easy at first because l only had to wear black and white, so it was an organised uniform! Codes, patterns and a form of routine were established making life remarkably convenient! But when l switched to retail, and started working in clothing shops, my life really started. I began to understand all sorts and clothing became a fixed ‘special interest’. It didn’t stop it being uncomfortable, but l learned that l could evade people in a different way by dressing to protect.
Retail clothing is all about people interacting with people, something which was not always as easy as it might’ve been for others. I suffered terribly from self-consciousness – scared me shitless if l thought people were looking at me specifically and yet l wore the most colourful ties, waistcoats and bling – but that entire colour show was below my eyes. Their eyes were drawn to that and away from mine, so l could talk to them without really looking at them!
However, in the 80’s and 90’s l wore starched white collared shirts, restrictive brogues and jackets, pleated and scratchy trousers and suits, seamed socks, lined boxer shorts – when you accept that clothing is meant to be uncomfortable – life becomes easier! I could scratch all my itches when at home. I wore everything that caused me distress to look normal, and yet my dandy like appearance was anything but normal! But hey each to our own eccentricities and foibles l say!
By the time of my thirties l had stopped wearing suits, restrictive clothing and awkward watches and l started to work for myself and as such no longer had to conform to society expectation of decency and so began the years of extreme grunge! Comfortability had returned in the form of loose and ill-fitting tee shirts, baggy and oversized jumpers and sweats and unattractive joggers!
And so this became my life style for almost 20 years…until l met Suzanne, who slowly and surely introduced me to clothing that was kinder to my skin, but more importantly allowed a smarter appearance to return to me and so my confidence levels began to emerge again. I learned l did not have to look like a tramp to be comfortable!
There has been a new change dawn on me in recent months! Sure l am tidier than l used to be, and l am more comfortable of sorts, l am no longer comfortable mentally. The clothing l wear is 90% comfort, but my mentalness for being comfortable has risen expotentially to an unnacceptable level of discomfort! What this actually means is a little deeper … l am changing. When l change it usually means my direction has shifted, l am ready to evolve again. This is happening in two places simultaneously – one my clothing style and two my blogging style.
One will be taken care of soon enough, l need to be able to change my wardobe comfortably and this will be a full change and l have a pretty good idea which direction l want to go, l have a hankering for an American fifties college student style with a twist. Of course it has be quirky folks, for goodness sake, l am quirky as it is, so now all l really want is to be even quirkier! As l like to say why be ordinary when you can be remarkable!
I will always wear bright colours, and l am lucky now with the likes of easier to wear clothing that also happens to be comfortably organic. It used to be that organic clothing was harsh textures, now with the likes of Bam clothing you can be very comfortable indeed. I need to be 100% comfortable these days, but it doesn’t mean l have to wear grunge all the time, those days of gone, but l tiring of joggers now. I wear a smart looking plain unbranded jogger, but l detest that now. I want to dress differently, l can still be smart, and who gives a monkey about what other people really think anymore? Nope, not me.This time, l can guess under the ever watchful eye of Suzanne, l will be shopping for myself – she is still somewhat wary at my style chosen ….
I think l have found the long term solution to my footwear, l love ‘sneakers’, which is a good job seeing as later this year l am going to running abusiness that involves sneakers. Plus colourful laces, or Hickies as good ol’ Barb of Bipolar Barb introduced to me the other day.
The other one or number two, well that will be discussed in the new series “The Changing Face” starting in the next week or so.
How about you, does clothing fit to your body like a second skin, or do you too have a nightmare with fabrics and comfort?