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The Capelet, or, Confessions of a Fashion Neophyte

October 9, 2011

I love clothes.  The mall beckons to me not because I need anything, but because I have a strong desire to surround myself with the colors and textures of everything inside.  I am an avid window shopper and am perfectly content to try a bunch of clothing on but come away from a shopping trip empty-handed.  My mom and I had a term (which I still use today) for these trips–they were expressly for the purpose of “touching the sweaters”–putting my hands on what was out there and feeding my senses.

Even though I had always enjoyed the consumer experience and ever-changing view of what’s considered fashionable, I never really considered myself to be fashionable.  Historically, I haven’t too concerned with fashion, because I thought it was something purely determined by trends I could never really understand; I’m usually bemused at the fact that fashion cycles come and go, dictated to be what’s new and hot by the “industry” (when they’re really just recycled things from years ago).  But as I’ve grown older and gotten a real, grown-up job where I have to look nice each day, I realize that fashion isn’t so much about what’s “trendy” as it is about finding things that fit your own personal style and shape.

Interestingly enough, my fashion epiphany started with some gentle nudging from my dad.  Sometime during my second year of teaching, my dad visited me, peered into my closet, and suggested that we should go shopping.  Though I was reticent at first, Dad encouraged me to try on as much clothing as possible, steering me towards clothing that was nicely tailored and required a little more care.  I was now in possession of two blazers (blazers!  never would have thought of that before), button-down shirts, pencil skirts, and a few frivolous pieces that I never would have purchased for myself.  Minus the whole prostitute thing, it was almost a Pretty Woman-esque experience.  This is not to say that I looked like a streetwalker before, but I wasn’t quite on top of how to look mature, professional, and put together at work.  Gradually, I became more interested in developping my own personal style and looking nice for work each day.  I now have an awesome collection of clothes I’ve deemed “teacher-chic” and encourage all of my colleagues to “bring the hotness” each day by looking sharp.

…Anyway, back to the whole trendiness thing.  As Krypton and I were browsing through the pattern catalogues on that fateful Saturday before Labor Day, we saw a pattern for coats and capelets.  We both oohed and aahed over the look, which seemed comfortable, extremely attractive, and retro in a fun way.  I didn’t buy the pattern that day, but Krypton discovered a picture from the 70s of her grandmother, Lorraine, in a capelet…

Everything old is new again, huh?  I thought this was a fantastic picture and decided to make myself one.  I soon went back to JoAnn’s with another crafting partner-in-crime, Chloe, and bought the pattern (McCall’s 6446) and some gorgeous, tweedy brown wool with which to make it.

It came together a lot more quickly than I had anticipated (I am a speedy one and so determined when it comes to garment-making) so I didn’t even really take any “in progress” pictures!  As I did, Krypton kept telling me about how capelets were blowing up the fashion scene!  So I managed not only to feed my own aesthetic, but also be cutting edge!  Here is my finished capelet, modeled by my Melissa (my new dress form, on extended loan from Strawberry Shortcake)!  It looks great with a pencil skirt or jeans, and turtlenecks accentuate the big collar.  Not to mention the fact that it’s as comfortable as a Snuggie (but much more attractive).  🙂


~Love and Stitches,

Miss Pascal

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Faye Prendergast permalink
    October 13, 2011 10:15 pm

    Very fashion forward! I’ll keep an eye out for it on the HILL.

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