It is fun for me to meet people producing wonderful blogs. I had lunch with some of the Eileen Fisher crew recently; they are always interested in who is doing good work in the world, and Moms Clean Air Force is focusing lots of time not only on climate change, but on toxic chemical reform. (Sign our petition for reform now; a bill is working its way through Congress.) As we went around the table introducing ourselves, describing a bit of our journeys, Rebecca Magee talked about a blog she started years ago, called This I Wear.
Intrigued by how blogs give us all a chance to run down any rabbit hole that catches our attention--without having to ask a slowpoke editor for permission--I started exploring. (Really, this should be the golden age of magazines; instead, too many editors are stuck. I especially noticed this as I pored over shelter magazines and their websites during my renovation. But that's another story.) This I Wear is charming, it has a sweet tone and carefully considered posts. (And, by the way, college grads, please note: it led Magee into her job at Eileen Fisher.)
This I Wear is about the soul of clothing, and the bond of attachment we form with so many of the things we buy--and what that says about us. Magee's got a post up now on a Japanese technique of embroidery, called Sashiko, begun as a way to reinforce weak spots in clothing (those pesky knees, toes and elbows). Kinship: it reminded me of my mending techniques.
One of the things I love about This I Wear is Magee's fascination with her mother's closet. She writes about Liberty scarves, for instance, and how excited she was to find one in NYC; it brought back loving memories of her mother's collection. The other theme in her writing has to do with cherishing old things, and how clothes just get better with time. Some of my friends were, um, gently scandalized that I wasn't buying a new dress for my son's wedding. But I had an outfit that I love--one I wore so often in magazine days that my publisher told me to change clothes, as there were too many photographs during the year of me wearing the same outfits. My silver-embroidered coat and skirt were perfect for the grand occasion--one of the most important in my life--they were comfortable and glittering, a neat combination, and I wanted to imbue them with wedding bliss.
How easy it is these days to have a "Just Throw It Away" attitude about our stuff. When you can buy fabulous wool socks at Century 21 for a couple of dollars--why bother to darn them? But then....those socks might last a month before your toes start poking through, or the heel is threadbare. Far better to buy fewer things of higher quality, things that will last a lifetime. Or at least through a wedding or two.