1 Stage 1
Question 5. What is your everyday relationship with clothes like?
Answer: “As a mother of a toddler my everyday relationship with clothes comes down to- what is easy, what is clean, what is comfortable. Then there are days spent away from my toddler. These are the days I put extra thought into what I am going to wear, as these are the days I interact with other adults. I sue clothes and make-up on these days as a reminder of a life that is separate form my daughter.”
Question 6. Are you disappointed by the choices available to you for dressing?
Answer: “YES! All the time. As a plus size woman with an interest in fashion I am constantly disappointed that the clothes I like are not made in my size.”
Question 7. On a scale of passive to highly involved – what is your relationship with fashion like?
Question 8. Do you find dressing an easy/enjoyable/other experience?
Answer: “Other. I love finding the right outfit to express myself in, but all too often I am frustrated by the lack of options for plus size women.”
Question 9. Does clothing allow you to be imaginative and express yourself?
Answer: “Yes. I love using colours and styles and prints and fabrics to express whatever mood I am in on a particular day.
2 Stage 2
Participant one’s wardrobe was a carefully selected group of colour-coordinated pieces that were assembled from left to right; darkest to more colourful/vibrant. The participant sorted items according to the list and arranged her well-chosen pieces that mainly consisted of vintage finds, locally made designer purchases, inherited and cherished pieces.
There was a playful, creative element to most of the pieces and several themes emerged in the wardrobe, which included an interest in bird motifs and nautical badges and symbols.
Participant 1 is quite resourceful and creative and had a mending pile of garments that needed repair or garments that she had found in op shops that she wanted to remake/reinvigorate. The participant’s goal is to build a wardrobe that she loves. She looks to pinterest for colour and pattern inspiration.
3 Stage 3
It was clear from the wardrobe visit how much emphasis participant 1 has placed on clothing and how it has played an important part of significant stages in her life. She has reinforced the physical and symbolic connections between her clothing and events in her life such as her 21st and her wedding. She did this in a very considered way, as she selected a small section of the printed fabric of her 21st dress to cover the buttons on her wedding dress (see picture top left hand corner). This is a wonderful link, which reinforces the bond to her clothing as they are something she will never throw away.
Participant 1’s selection of garments are connected to her belief system as she supports local designers or second hand buys as she is mindful of the waste in society.
As a creative person involved in music and part of a local community of creatives it is interesting to see how her taste in art, and culture has influenced her wardrobe in subtle ways. The swan pictures (see middle photo) were purchased after the swan skirt (picture, right). It’s an interesting example of fashion influencing art.
Creativity is part and parcel her life- she knit the bedspread (picture bottom left) and has an abundance of ideas for her less worn items but admits to not having the skills to follow them out.
Participant 1 has relatively recently become a mother and this change of role means she has had to adjust her wardrobe accordingly to work with the practical consideration of motherhood.
She has a number of special colourful pieces that are not getting as much wear as they once did as her most used garments are not necessarily her favourites. We wondered if there was a way of bridging this gap?
4 Stage 4
We, the wardrobe hackers would like to create a replica of your ‘perfect item’- your little black dress.
In return we would like you to start wearing some of the pieces in your wardrobe that you love and make you really happy on a daily basis (even just as a trial for a week).
You have such a creative, fun wardrobe that resonates so well with your interests but it is currently not being fully utisied due in part to the shift in your life with motherhood. We want you to reconciling both aspects of your life- the creative and the practical, which we feel, will allow you to shine!
You could start to wear some items such as the Emma suit as separates and look to incorporate your print dresses on a regular basis.
We believe if you wear the outfit the occasion will come, but more importantly that everyday is an important occasion to enjoy and be amplified by the clothing you love!
5 Stage 5
“I definitely make an effort most days now to wear clothes that I love. I feel more confident when I'm wearing an outfit that I'm happy with.”
“The hack helped me think consciously about what was in my wardrobe and how I felt when I wore certain items. After the hack I got rid of a few pieces that I didn't love or feel were working for me...
I'm still building up a wardrobe that I love. This is particularly hard being overweight - I'd desperately love a couple of pairs of pants that fit me well, but these seem to be impossible to find.
And I still have a big pile of clothes that I'm yet to get around to getting mended or altered.
I'd be happy to meet up again.”
6 Stage 6
Breathing new life in dormant garments through building creative skills and capacities
We the hackers would like to build on your own creative skills and capacities (patchwork blanket, see picture) and your numerous ideas by imparting some of our technical knowledge about garment construction/sewing. We feel this would enable you to transform some of the items in your wardrobe.
You currently have lots of items that are not being worn which you could repair or transform. We thought your idea of turning your black Japanese pants (see picture) that are currently not being worn into a dress was great and would be quite easy to achieve. Or utilising the charity shop find (Blue dress, see picture) in a way that works for you.