When clothes speak

I often think that the best way to understand me is through my clothes. Not because of the garment itself-however pretty or interestingly sewn- but because clothes can talk. No, of course not in the literal sense. On occasion, I do wear jackets and tops that make a sound as I move. On most days, however, they utter a quiet sound. It is the hushed tones that display my mood without the need for actual speech. The layering of garments portrays my need to cover up when I am tired; the wrapping of layers a mode to make me feel comforted when I am down; the use of bold colors a way for me to show that I am thinking and interested. The juxtaposition of black with any color moves away for the convention that I despise.

Yet clothes tell stories of their own. They show where they have been and how they have been worn. The worn-in pieces are my favorite. There is a love imbedded in the garment. The stitching and detail work express the piece’s desire… Now, I can not feign to understand clothes. They constantly surprise me. I find comfort in the unconventional. Around my room I play with every piece, reworking them in different ways. Every piece can be worn upside down and inside out. I recommend playing with clothes in this way. You develop a dialogue with the clothes that remains meaningful even when worn the way it was designed.

For most, clothes are merely a way to come off in a certain way. At the office, a pressed suit necessary for professionalism, at the gym, a completely matched ensemble needed for ultimate performance. We unknowingly create a dress code everywhere we go; uniforms by their nature designed to inhibit expression. But when you have a personal relationship with your clothes beyond their expected convention, you begin to break the constraints of normality. Abnormal is much more fun anyways. Individuality is what should be desired.

I am in Paris. The culture here is much different than Chicago. The people watching is fantastic. I could sit in one spot all day and ceaselessly be amazed at the detail of each outfit that walks by. The look is very masculine, an attribute of French style attributed to Gabrielle Chanel herself. The people are wrapped in heavy scarves, layered in coats, and walking in sneakers. There is hardly any branding, just the clothes left to speak for themselves, even when I can only hear them in a different language…


Cecilia Roses