Thursday, October 28, 2010

Uniforms-in fibers

I often hear bloggers talk about their uniforms -- outfits they gravitate toward on a daily basis, especially for the office. I'm no different, although I find that my uniforms are defined not so much as pieces but as kinds of fabrics. Fall and winter, for me, mean wool and silk -- with rayon and cupro as acceptable silk substitutes. It is a rare day when I'm not wearing a vintage silk button down with a tweedy jacket or a merino or cashmere sweater, paired with wool pants or skirts (and in some cases, wool shorts and tights -- but that's more casual, for the weekend). There are also silk scarves and silk skirts, and woolen shirts and dresses. So while the pieces may change, the animal fibers remain. There's also some leather and suede in my footwear and jackets.

In the spring and summer, my clothes turn primarily vegan -- mostly cotton with some cupro and rayon, and an occasional silk blend (little real silk though, because silk is pretty high maintenance and I try to avoid sweating on high maintenance pieces; undershirts are usually not an option in heat). Jackets and shoes become cotton broadcloth and canvas. I might even wear denim.

And it seems funny that it took me a while to realize this -- come fall, I start craving wool and tweed and cashmere; I crave seasonal fibers in a way people crave comfort foods.

So, what about you? Do you care more about garments and clothing, or is it all about fabrics? Also, I realize that I'm pretty biased against synthetics. Silly prejudice? (Although I do own a couple of vintage polyester blouses, so here we go).

(Images: Elise Crombez by Hans Feurer for Vogue Turkey October 2010, Mathilde Frachon, Chanel Iman, Edita Vilkeviciute for Vogue China October 2010 via FGR)


Kat said...

Hi, I recently found your blog and was inspired by your post to delurk. :) Fabrics are really key for me, and too I prefer non-synthetics wherever possible. I love the shift to wools and cashmeres, leather and suede, velvet and denim (it's too hot for jeans here in the summer). I have this fabulous dark orange vintage suede trenchcoat that epitomizes the transition to autumn for me, as much because of the material as because of the shift to a warmer/deeper color palette. Colder weather means more texture, more sensation when you lightly draw your fingertip across the fabric, more layers to play with, often for me less contrasting colors (hmm, I'll have to think about that!), and thus more need for contrasting texture for aesthetic interest and shape.

Silk for me is more of a year-round fabric, though. I'm more likely to use a silk or silk-like blouse for cool-season layering, but I love silk knit cardis as a light breathable summer layer. Overall, summer for me is light, breezy, and less variety of textures. I'm always a touch ambivalent about the changing season, excited to be able to reunite with all my sweaters and blazers and silk scarves, but loath to put away my shoe collection and live in my boots.

Fish Monkey said...

Thanks for delurking, Kat! Great point about silk knits: I somehow forgot about those. I do love silk and cashmere cardis though. And completely agree about colors too -- your trenchcoat sounds amazing! (It's finally cold enough here for me to live in my camel car coat -- it has short sleeves and yet so cozy. I love the layering effect of short sleeved coat and a sweater underneath.)