Tuesday, 31 July 2012

If the glove fits, wear it!

The poll I recently ran on the blog implied that most people dress to flatter their body figure. I wonder though if the way clothes make us feel is not as important? I'd love to hear what you think in response to these questions which will help in my research. 

1. Is there an outfit or an item of clothing you “love” dearly?
a. If so, why do you love it?
b. Can you describe the outfit or items?

2. Did you have an outfit you used to love, and now don’t feel that way about it anymore?
a. Can you say more about that? Why?

3. Can you describe when it feels “right” to wear something?
a. What is the outfit, can you describe it? Or send a photo?

4. Have you experienced wearing something that feels “wrong” to wear?
a. What is the outfit, can you describe it? Or send a photo?

5. Do you recall a time when you felt you were dressed inappropriately?
a. What happened for you to feel that?
b. Did it affect your social experience?

6. Is there an item of clothing that you feel “matches” how you feel about yourself and how you look?

7. Could you expand on how you look and feel about your self-image/body image/identity?
a. Do you ever see an item of clothing or dress and think it could transform your emotional state?
b. Perhaps make you feel better about yourself?
c. Can you give me an example of the item and the emotion it could have transformed?

8. Can you recall any time when you may have used clothes to appear as a somewhat different person than who you “really” are?

Thanks again for your kind participation...

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Meet the ShoeSista's- A Sisterhood of the Shoe!

I'm not really throwing down the gauntlet here, but this week, in a casual conversation with a colleague, she mentioned owning 84 pairs of shoes (actual number altered by 1+ or - to avoid identification :-\). We were walking at the time, between meetings and she just dropped the "S Bomb", shoes. I don't think she saw me trip, or raise my hand to close my gaping mouth, but I must admit here and now, my regard for this lady grew tenfold in those few moments. I imagine there is something a bit "Da Vinci Code-ish" about we shoe lovers...some kind of code to which we all honour, and here I was with a Sista! You probably know a few ShoeSista's, we greet each other with a slight smile, while our eyes dart downward to see what shoes you are wearing, and then it is either delight, because they are gorgeous, or envy, because you don't own them. Either way, though, shoes are a very large part of my daily presentation. I choose my shoes first, then decide how to dress to match. My shoes are carefully lined up or boxed, while the rest of my closet is in ordered disarray. Shoes really punctuate my dressing style.

I'm going to share a few of my own favourites.
These are my "Come home soon, Johnboy" shoes, as if I were a glamourous 40's secretary waiting for my boy to return from war.

When I wear these shoes, I feel incredibly feminine and I walk differently, not just because  of the thin stiletto heel, but they make me want to look graceful and elegant. 

And these little lovelies are my "Latin Lover's",  I always want to Tango with a rose between my teeth and a swooshy big skirt that shudders when I stomp my feet.
And these be-jewelled beauties make me feel somewhat exotic, I think of Jeannie from "I Dream of Jeannie". Picture myself with magic powers that if I only think about changing something, it will happen. A bit like Samantha from "Bewitched"!

I love buying shoes too. My favourite place to buy shoes is in Nordstrom's in America, because they have men salesmen, who hold your foot, gently cupped under the heel as they lace or thread the closings...it makes you feel like Cinderella...just for a moment anyway. There is something so hopeful about buying new shoes...where will I wear them, what adventure will they share with me, what fun will we have together...

Oh dear, I am sounding a bit fetishist here, aren't I ? But, having said that, I do know many others who love "something" in their wardrobes, very much..it could be suits, dresses, jewellery or lingerie. I'd love to know what it is and why you love it.

Keep choosing happiness!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Through the eyes of others!

The posting on first impressions has had a lovely response. Thank you!

These questions are about how people respond to your appearance or your perceived identity.

1) Do you think people misunderstand the messages clothing or body adornment may give? Can you give an example of when this may have happened to you?

2) Do you have any examples of when you thought you were sending message "A" such as “career focused” for example, and it was perceived by someone else as message "B", conservative and uptight?

3) How highly do you value the opinions of others in regard to the way you dress?

4) Can you describe any ways in which you might manipulate your image to please others?

5) What is your opinion of others who do this?

By responding through the comment box, you are confirming your responses may be used as part of a research project. Your name will not be used.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Can a tiger change his stripes?

This notion of judgement based on first impressions has triggered some lovely comments from my readers about self-esteem and confidence...how the more confident we are in our "self", the easier it is to be free-er with how we dress. It was suggested people who may be less confident felt that clothes were worn somewhat as "armour" or protection. If so, clothes can mask who we really are, and deflect attention away from what is perhaps a vulnerability. 

But would it be possible for a really shy person to carry off a very dramatic and attention getting outfit for the sake of hiding their shyness? Would that not bring with it a very high risk? When I want to be left alone, or appear to blend in, I tend to reach for my most mainstream clothes.  I tend toward common, mainstream sports labels, with a hint of attitude, like I may have been to the gym, or may be on my way there, but not so much that you would look at me and say, "Now there's a lady who spends a lot of time each day at the gym." I choose these clothes because they are, to me, neutrality. They are also completely opposite to what I wear each day in my corporate or career world. There, the peculiarity of my professional appearance trying to match my creative, non-conservative spirit with a conservative and traditional  academic environment is highlighted.

Any views on this, readers? What do you wear when you want to avoid attention?And...even better, what about when you seek attention? Please tell....

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

First Impressions

So the thing is...this blog is part of my research into how we use clothes or jewellery or in my case, shoes to represent who we are to the world. Yesterday, something happened that got me thinking...I was working on a branding project from home, when a real estate guy stopped at my house, unexpectedly. He asked what I did for work and when I told him I taught design, he looked at my clothes and I could tell immediately what he was thinking! OMG...never!

I had my favourite baseball shirt on, one that Michael Roman, my friend and an awesome San Francisco artist had made for the local chapter of the "Raybats", a rebel women's baseball team from the Mission.  (Yes that's a possessed looking bat on it!) This was teamed with my black and white tie-dyed slouch pants, red silk Chinese slippers and my hair( the small part I have which is not shaved) tied up in two wee ponytails. Obviously, no make-up either...not a good first impression!

I could sense how this man felt I didn't match to his "perception" of a fashion design teacher, and I knew he was disappointed, and I felt like I'd let down an entire industry. As I apologized and said how I was working from home, and I don't usually look like this, my God voice, you know, your little internal voice was reminding me that I do...I always look like this, a bit mixed up, a bit mismatched or misplaced so why should I apologize? Well, I don't know why, can anyone tell me? Have you ever made a judgement about someone and got it all wrong?

What I wonder though, is how deeply do those impressions go, how long do they last, can they be changed?  If you have a story and you'd like to share it in my research, please e-mail me at dl.fisher@qut.edu.au. (This is because I need you to give your permission for me to use it.)

Choosing happiness!

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