Sep 22, 2011
Friends, this is a costume. In real life, nobody wears pottery-shard crowns on their head.
This, in contrast, is clothing -- bland, nondescript, contemporary men's clothing, no doubt from Uniqlo, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Clothing covers the body, preventing over-exposure and ideally enhancing our skin tone, nothing more. Costume says, I am living in a world all my own; for tickets, please see the box office. Get the difference?
Now one thing I can say with certainty is that a lot of us sewers -- and non-sewers too -- live in fear that something we put on our bodies will be labelled costume, when we intended it to be merely clothing. Am I right?
Only yesterday, I was reading the elegant musings of our friend Casey, who was discussing her extensive ladies glove collection (though I'm not sure she has ones like these). To paraphrase Casey, she loves her gloves, but "cannot muster the courage" to wear them in public, unlike, say, hats. Casey is the perfect example of someone sensitive to the difference between clothing and costume, and I'd love to hear more about how she makes the distinction. (UPDATE: Don't miss Casey's comment below!)
Just to reiterate: Clothing (Michael's shirt courtesy of Debbie Cook).
Wait, now I'm confused...
Once upon a time, when Western fashion was dictated by a handful of Parisian designers, the dividing line between clothing and costume was crystal clear. Today, not so much.
Especially for lovers of vintage, or for the slightly eccentric, the difference between clothing and costume can get blurred. Who's to say what is and isn't costume, after all? And a lot of what distinguishes clothes from costume is the styling, or which gender is wearing it.
Readers, do you ever cross the line -- or live in fear of crossing it? Are you dying to wear crinolines to the supermarket but fear being mistaken for June Cleaver or Alice Lon -- or Milton Berle?
In other news, while preparing for my Daily Ditch ritual, I found this lovely cotton shirting I picked up many months ago at Metro Textiles. I'd totally forgotten I had it! I really should make a shirt out of it someday soon, or boxers (don't forget our imminent sew-along) -- or both.
And now for today's Daily Ditch. This groovy metal and glass mirror is something I picked up in the Nineties at the Chelsea Flea Market. It's sort of cool, but I find convex mirrors to be big dust collectors, plus I'm at that point in my life when I don't need to see myself distorted every day. Off it goes!
In closing, friends, how do you feel about clothing vs. costume? Do colleagues mistake what you're wearing to work for something Lana Turner wore as Lady de Winter in The Three Musketeers?
How do you distinguish between clothing and costume, and how do you determine when you've crossed the line -- or do you intentionally cross the line (and not just on Halloween)? Are ostrich plumes and gauntlet gloves always wrong for daywear?
Especially if you love vintage, when does it just become too much?
Labels: clothing and culture