Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Regarding clothing

Four words that have me scurrying fast in the opposite direction:





Ann said...

Spandex, turtleneck, capris, stiletto.

Fiona said...

I completely agree with DRY CLEAN, although recently I've got into the reckless habit of chucking "dry clean only" garments into the washing machine anyway on a relatively low heat, and seem to get away with it the vast majority of the time, although this is probably a foolhardy (and almost certainly not foolproof) strategy! I had to Google (Images) BOAT NECK, but will be giving it a wide berth on future occasions now I know what it comprises. My other avoidable necklines would be CREW NECK and the gruesome-sounding SLASH NECK. And COLD SHOULDER, a style which looks great on others and plain silly on me.

Pen Wilcock said...

Ann — I agree. Turtleneck, though: there seems to be considerable disparity of opinion on this definition. I look AWFUL in those collars that come halfway up my neck (which is what I call a turtleneck), but I look quite good (well, I think so anyway) in those high necks that come right up to the top of my neck, all the way to my chin. Now, I call those a polo-neck (as distinct from a polo-shirt-collar), but sometimes I come across them described as turtlenecks. So I have to look VERY CAREFULLY at the photos if I'm contemplating a purchase, especially as you usually can't send second-hand clothes back.

Fiona — yes, I do the same! Try washing them, and if that wrecks them, well they're no good to me anyway if they need dry-cleaning. I think the slash neck is very similar to the boat neck. Crew necks — now I like Toast's crew necks, because they are a low crew or high scoop. And I can get away with crew necks if I have a garment one or two sizes too big. But the normal crew neck looks dire on me — as do the necklines of the colourless modest dresses. And cold shoulder, well — why? What's wrong with warm shoulders?

Dame Fairy Sparkle said...

Hello Pen,

Mine are:

Stretch denim and its latest offspring JEGGINGS - I loathe the garment AND its name;

Acrylic knitwear;

Polyester and viscose jersey t-shirt tops - oh, and so-called t-shirts, cotton or not, which are shaped into the waist. WHY?!

With regard to your own pet hates: I'm neutral on boat necks, but am right with you on dry-cleaning: I too ignore the label and wash with care on a short, cool cycle, then follow up with another minus detergent to ensure all detergent residue is removed. I've even machine-washed my favourite "vintage" pale blue, majority wool, lined duffel coat with absolutely no adverse effects :^). But I think the fact that I originally - and amazingly - bought it for 99p plus postage on eBay mitigated any misgivings I might have had! It's become my everyday winter warmer and will be getting its first airing this weekend, I expect! Brrr...

Clare xx

BLD in MT said...

Dry Clean

And I'm with Fiona on the whole "Cold Shoulder" style tops...though I doubt I'd have thought to mention it myself.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello Clare! Is that my eBay friend Clare or East Sussex Clare? Nice to hear from you either way! Thanks for the tip about a whole extra plain-water wash cycle to get detergent out. What a good idea. I totally agree about the polyester and viscose t-shirts. Sarah Chrisman (of "This Victorian Life") has a hearty loathing of synthetic fabrics, and refers to a woman re-enactor acquaintance who insists on dressing in synthetics as "Polly Esther", which always makes me smile.

Hi Beth — Pink! To my surprise a sort of powerful magenta type of pink, and a pink red, both suit me — but what Jubilee Homespun Fabric calls "Petal Pink" alas does NOT, pretty though it is. And backless and strapless — yes, avoid, avoid!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Pen! I've missed your presence in my life, so I've sought you out, just in time to say NO to:

synthetic anything

I actually favor boatneck tops--not the extreme kind that bare the shoulders and fall off, but the usual kind that is more like a wide crew neck. I've been wearing them many years.

"Cold shoulders"--is that what those abominations are called?


Anonymous said...

crop top and/or waist length (hip-length better, tunic-length best!)
wool (unless it is merino or itchless)
one shoulder (unless you are dressing as Pebbles Flintstone for Halloween)
see through lace cut outs in the shoulder bra strap area that force you to wear strapless bras if you are foolish enough to buy the garment

and I agree with PINK - ballet pink is the only kind I like but I don't really wear it either.


Kat said...

Mine are pants, dry clean, wool, and coarse.

I need soft stretchy wonderful fabric. Wish I could wear pants but nope, outside of sweats and leggings. :/

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Paula — how nice to see you! I hope all is well with you far away in Ohio. So your clothes horror list is very similar to Ann's
I wear leggings quite a bit at particular times of year, in the autumn and spring when it's chilly but okay for bare feet in sandals. I like to wear sandals with bare feet as much of the year as possible, because my hyper-mobile feet struggle with closed shoes. So I wear 3/4 leggings under my long skirts — and I wear viscose not cotton because it's silkier so the cotton skirt fabric doesn't climb up the leggings.
It's interesting about the boat necks — they really suit some people, as they suit you. I find I look best with a stand collar unbuttoned just a little way, in effect creating a very narrow V. Like the diametric opposite of a boat neck!
Capris — very common, very popular, but I always feel as if I left an item of clothing off in any of these tight-fitting trousers. Actually 3/4 PJ trousers make good undergarments.
Waving to you from England!

Hi DMW — Crop tops; oh my! I think my bust might actually appear beneath them by this time! It's the same with those empire-line dresses; they have no idea how far south some people's busts have descended, and the seam always ends up above the boobs instead of below. Oh dear, oh dear.
Wool — back in the day we all had Shetland wool sweaters, but now I'd find them way too itchy. My winter tights are merino and not itchy at all, but for sweaters I look for cashmere these days — only on eBay, new is too pricey. I have one waistcoat our Alice knitted me from rare-breed-sheep wool, which is rough and scratchy but I love it. So I wear it as an outer garment with a soft sweater underneath, x

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Kat — I'm not ignoring you, we cross-posted!

Yes, I'm with you on that one. Anything that's actually meant to fit round my limbs has to be stretchy, and soft. I have two categories of clothing: woven, which must be very loose and baggy, or stretchy if it's going to actually fit anywhere. Then sometimes I run into problems because the stretchy thing (eg a cardigan or sweater) is meant to go over the woven thing (eg a dress or shirt) which is so loose and baggy it's actually bigger than the thing meant to be going on top!

greta said...

absolutely agree on the 'dry cleaning'. it's never going to happen. lots of manufacturers will put that on the label but it in many cases it's simply not necessary. i wash everything in cold water with minimal detergent. everything has come out fine so far. that said, i stick to cotton, linen and soft wool only. the woollen items are hand shaped once they come out of the wash. as for necklines, i do like the boatneck tops. they give a bit more breathing room. like you, i appreciate the real turtlenecks, especially in winter, but dislike the 'mock' turtles as they tend to stretch over time and look baggy. leggings? only in winter when they act as long underwear (we're talking sub-zero weather here.) and as for pants, only those that are soft, pull-ons and very comfortable. if i could wear sweat pants outside of the house, i'd be happy but i opt for some lovely stretchy corduroys from l.l.bean to look a bit more respectable. in our house we call our comfy sweat pants and pajama bottoms 'after pants' as we put them on the minute we get home from being out in the world!

Bean said...




Suzan said...

I agree. My hours are synthetic and sleeveless. After a certain age most ladies need a sleeve. That is my most humble opinion.

Pen Wilcock said...

Greta — have you tried Lands End's sport-knit cords? They look like normal corduroy trousers but are soft and stretchy like sweat-pants and super-comfy.

Bean — I had to Google Daisy Dukes! I'd never heard of them. And yes; I agree!

Suzan — oh, sleeveless, yes! I could not consider wearing a sleeveless garment — well, apart from a gilet over a sweater.

BLD in MT said...

This has been a fantastic thread. I've found it very interesting indeed! Also, I've had to look up several terms--so, hey learning! Cool! As usual: I love the way your mind works, Pen.

Bethany said...

I'm just always fascinated with the things you've discovered work for you (or not) due to your hypermobility. It's only in the past few years that I've been exploring what it means for me and keep being surprised at all the things that just feel normal to me that are actually due to my crazy-floppy joints.
I'd love to hear more about your experiences, but specifically today, I'm curious about how closed shoes aggravate you. I HATE shoes...they feel impossibly heavy and wrong. I wear barefoot-style shoes or sandals, and go barefoot as much as possible. If I have to have closed shoes, for my work playing the harp in the hospital, for example, I wear shoes that are a size or so big. Somehow, my feet are happier slopping around in big shoes than tied up tight in well-fitting ones.
Anyway, I didn't answer your question (although boat necks are the very best for me and I will almost never pass up a cowl neck at the thrift shop) but I'm hoping you can answer some of mine!

Pen Wilcock said...

Shoes — like you, I wear barefoot shoes, because they are so light and flexible. We all have floppy joints in our family, and the barefoot shoes are causing joint difficulties all the way up the leg of one of us because the barefoot shoes don't offer any support to the arch of the foot — taking heed of this warning we are moving more toward Birkenstocks. But the Birki clogs have, in the past, been too heavy for me, so I might get some of those waterproof gardening clogs with a furry lining and a moulded sole for the winter. The rubbery clogs without a lining will blister my feet within minutes if I ever put them on without socks, because my skin has the same hyper mobility issues and blisters as soon as it's rubbed. My toes blister each other, and if I scratch an itch too vigorously I make a graze!
Closed shoes pose three different problem for me. 1) MY bendy toes curl right up as I walk, and shoes typically cause bruising under the nail of my big toes (my first toe, I mean, not "all my toes are huge"!) 2) My joints won't withstand pressure, so in a shoe the joints across my feet (the equivalent of knuckles of the hand) get painfully squashed unless the shoe is unusually wide. But Wide shoes are usually deep, and I have very shallow feet like a frog, so in a deep shoe I get a gap at the back and my foot slides to the front, where my toes get bent out of shape because my joints won't withstand pressure. 3) My ankle joints are floppy (all my joints are) so it's hard work for them to keep lifting and moving my feet if they have a regular leather shoe. It's too heavy, and my ankles get very tired very quickly.
So soft, light, flexible, open, with a supportive footbed is my dream shoe! I have some fur-lined Birki sandals which look slightly strange but tick all the boxes for me, in dry weather. They don't hurt, squash or rub. Marvellous.

Jenna said...

No dry clean in this house, no ma'am. My basic uniform is t-shirt (jewel tones), with a cami underneath for modesty; long skirt (black, gray, denim blue) at least mid-calf or below, black mules with black knee socks in cold season/flip-flops when it's warm. I have a stalwart rather ugly black wool cardigan that has taken 6+ months of daily abuse every year for 12 years so I'd feel disloyal wearing anything else. I have 3 dresses for when those might be called for. One of the things I appreciated most about dressing Plain was the ease of getting dressed--didn't have to think much about it, just what was clean--and I've carried that over. I work at home, no husband to go out with so I'm just really over getting dressed. LOL!!

Bethany said...

Thank you for indulging my curiosity about how other floppy folks make their way through the world!
I love how open you are about your own life and choices. I never feel as if you are trying to sway anyone else to your way of being, but constantly offering yourself a thoughtful consideration of your own life...and through that, offering all of us a chance to consider the same for ourselves. I so rarely comment, but I send my gratitude every time I read your words. Thank you.

Pen Wilcock said...

Why, thank you, sweetheart! What I like (and find on your blog) is the feeling online of being able to visit with someone. So many of us who cannot get out much because we are either disabled or poor, or just confined by family commitments, have found a whole world of friendship online.

Pen Wilcock said...

Jenna — thank you for that! I love reading about how others have chosen and organised their wardrobes, and I'm especially interested to read about uncomplicated capsule wardrobes like yours. Makes me happy. How portable and unassuming are your choices. Really neat. I have yearnings for a small, neat stash of clothes like that, but then find myself longing to wear something different today, so I have ended up with about twice as many clothes as I'd ideally like. I apply the wardrobe-size principle, much like the plate-size principle for eating. I have a small plate and when it's full, that's it. I have a modest-sized closet, and when it's full, no more. On shoes — I'd like to wear flip-flips but they rub blisters between my toes, so I wear slides or the Birki sandals that don't have backs ('Arizona', I think they call them).