The watch wasn't my only recent buy. Also, do yoga pants count?
Anyway, I went into Massimo Dutti (yes, my favourite purveyor of inexpensive, well-made shirts that fit me to a tee) and lo and behold, a blue-and-white checked shirt caught my eye. It was decidedly cheery, and it brought back fond memories of my kindergarten school uniform. The bright blue made me think of picnics. It was the kind of wardrobe refresher I needed - something that yes, could be a staple, but wasn't just a necessity; it's also fun.
The details of shirt are every bit as appealing - nice buttons and seams, and gosh, the contrast cuff and collar linings -
I am now left to wonder why checks weren't part of my life sooner.
So, crosses off the list:
- A small-ish day bag also that works for night
- Perfect black cigarette pants
Anyway, since we're talking about shirts, a bit of a digression. I was thinking about this quote that has been making the blog/Tumblr circles -
"Girls can wear jeans, And cut their hair short, Wear shirts and boots, ‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy, But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, ‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading, But secretly you’d love to know what it’s like, Wouldn’t you, What it feels like for a girl." - Charlotte Gainsbourg as Julie in "The Cement Garden"
I use the words "mannish" "boyish" "tomboy" to describe clothes and styles I like, just like a lot of people, but I never thought about why such items had to be gender specific. Thinking about the above quote (how come I never knew this book was made into a film?!) made me think about using words more carefully.
I should take a leaf from my design hero Margaret Howell's book, who describes her clothes as "equal dressing".
I take that to mean designs (not actual items of clothing) that look good on both men and women. There are styles that are perfect on both men and women (tailored jackets, trenchcoats, jeans, tailored shirts, trouser suits, t-shirts, Converses, leather belts, a fine cashmere knit sweater, sweatshirts, breton stripes), and why should they be ascribed to one particular gender? They may be made differently to fit the physical differences in men and women, but their design DNA is the same.
Universal and enduring design has always attracted me, which is why I'm drawn to classics like a nice pair of jeans, a peacoat, a white shirt. They can be worn in so many ways no matter your age, gender, or shape. They work for both sexes and we should think of them that way.
P.S.: I'm not for getting all PC about every single word, and tomboy is still a charming, easy catchphrase that instantly connotes so much (the way "French style" these days connotes a certain look). But a little awareness about perpetuating gender stereotypes never hurts?