1 Stage 1

Question 6. Are you disappointed by the choices available to you for dressing?
Answer: “As I get older I am more conscious of my choices, and what might have worked before not being quite the same for a ‘mature’ woman!! I don’t think it is due to lack of choice though- more about my own self-perceptions and the judgments of people around me. “

Question 8. Do you find dressing an easy/enjoyable/other experience? If other please expand?
Answer: “Enjoyable.”

Question 9. Does clothing allow you to be imaginative and express yourself?
Answer: “Yes, very much so, and I am lucky that I can wear a lot of styles as I have a small/standard body type. This means my choices are probably more versatile, but as well as having a lot of fun ‘dressing up’ I can still make some fashion disaster choices!!! I like coats with tails and swishy hems, but can tend to look like a circus master if I ‘m not too careful!! I like short dresses as I do have good legs, but my days of bare legged abandon are over I think, so hem length and legging use are in constant review. Also I am not very good at just dressing casually. But then that’s just another challenge when next in the recycle boutique, perhaps finding that elusive plaid jacket to go with the drop crotch pants and fluffy jumper..”

2 Stage 2

This wardrobe was a veritable treasure chest of garments that is a testament to a life in synch with one’s wardrobe as it spans a lifetime of collecting, savouring and compiling garments. The participant actively uses her wardrobe; it is open on display in the bedroom, which indicates the status to which the garments are given. The chest of drawers was also in use as a simple strategy for keeping a level of control on the amount of garments. “It is the tipping point”.

The range and breadth of garments was quite impressive as was the active state of most of the items contained within. There was very little in the wardrobe that was not worn or used. Groupings of garments of similar patterns such as floral and a reduced colour palette of red, green and black emerged of their own accord in an unconscious way. These similarities allowed for fluidity within the wardrobe as outfits came together easily.

The wardrobe while wide in its breadth didn’t veer to close to casual, which meant that everything had a degree of formality or specialness that allowed the participant to relish in the process of ‘dressing up’ for all occasions.

3 Stage 3

The romance, fun and the high level of engagement participant 2 has with her clothes were evident from the outset.

The combination of discipline and spontaneity work in tandem as the participant has in place some very simple yet effective strategies in place that allow her wardrobe to work for her. She states that her drawer provides a ‘tipping point’ or a visible measure for when she needs to recycle items within it. “If you find yourself buying a-shirt, it’s a sign that you can’t find a t-shirt that you already have- time to clear the drawer”.

“The apparent lack of money when I haven’t had much of it hasn’t stopped me.” Quite the reverse it seems, as “not spending too much on a item gives me the permission to be free. It’s not tragic if you don’t wear it.”

Participant 2 is really in tune with her wardrobe and has items at her disposal that can dress up or ‘finish’ an outfit with ease so it is no longer ‘ordinary’.

4 Stage 4

We, the wardrobe hackers, have decided that we could all learn a lot from your approach to clothes/fashion!! You are truly inspirational!

We would like you write a short article about your system/approach to fashion that we can include in our website to share with others.

We love how you see the potential in everything- a square of fabric takes on new meaning in your hands as you layer and build outfits with an ease and fluidity that is commendable and sadly rare it seems.

You seem to truly enjoy the relationship that you have with your wardrobe and apply a process that seamlessly blends a mix of spontaneity, discipline and patience. You buy ahead, and anticipate events, ultimately combining the elements to create an inspiring outfit.

Your wardrobe grows with you in a positive way. We want you to share this with the world!

5 Stage 5

Fashion Hack – Diary (edited) of Participant 2
9 – 15 August 2013

“Friday night 9 August.
It is Saturday and I have a familiar feeling -nothing to wear!! Now this relates specifically to my lack of casual clothes or my inability to get excited by them. I don’t enjoy jeans. Probably go for leggings and a comfy long top, with boots and jacket.

Saturday 10 Aug.
Red leggings, lace top and black fluffy jumper, with black boots. About as casual as I get! Added my red cross earrings and red bow in my hair for the trip to town. I have changed to a black chiffon shirt with tail and black jacket, with longer knee high boots. This makes me feel more dressy but still relaxed.

Monday 12 August.
Already thinking ahead to Wednesday when I have a big presentation to give to senior management: more thought will go into this one yet!

Tuesday 13 August.
I realise the comfort factor is an essential feature of my favourite clothes. They need to look good, even a little different and quirky, but not be a pain to wear: uncomfortable crotches, too tight waistbands, sloppy shoulder straps, or too loose and frumpy – all these things matter. As well as colour and pizazz of course!

I also wore a scarf I have had for a while now: made of several looped together bands of stretchy fabrics in different colours and patterns, it sits just below neckline. As it stretches I sometimes loop it over my chest and put one band around my neck. Today I looped one band up on my head like a headband, and I think this very basic idea has lots of potential to be developed….much like hip wraps or skirt wraps in sheer fabrics…”

6 Stage 6

Sharing your ‘craft of use’ (Fletcher, K (2009)) with the world.

We the hackers would like to try working with you more on communicating your system/approach to fashion in a ‘how to’ guide or a system that imparts your wisdom to all in a very accessible way. It could show the stages of your dressing and your self-imposed discipline.

It's your combination of discipline and spontaneity that is really interesting, it is something so many people could learn from and be empowered by.

You have a unique knack of spotting the potential in quite simple pieces- rectangle pieces of fabric sewn together to become a cummerbund (see photo) or the flexibility and versatility of wrap dresses (see pictures).

You have already applied your skills to several items but we would like to see how you expand this approach and perhaps offer this ‘service’ to others in the ‘hack’ project.

Related links

Ex-skirt - Local Wisdom