There’s a politician in town whose work attire I have never seen in stores. Her clothing doesn’t have production line seams, but flawless stitching. It drapes her with a perfection that rarely exists on clothing racks. Basically, her professional wardrobe looks like it is being handmade by someone who cares.
I really want to ask her if she makes her own clothing and if she doesn’t, I’d tell her she should never stop shopping wherever she’s finding her dresses. Despite my character flaw that I have to find the answers to the random questions in my head, I won’t ask. Homemade clothes are a murky area of shame and pride. Maybe the difference between embarrassment and pleasure in handmade clothing is the ability to choose between store bought and kitchen table sewing.
I know that my grandmother’s regret that she couldn’t fit in off the rack clothes was far greater than her satisfaction with her handmade clothing. I’ve heard my mother’s story about the much beloved Aunt who took her to get her first store bought underwear enough to know that she has muddied feelings about the beauty of home sewn versus the normalcy of something from the store. I know that I loved the fit and feel of wearing handkerchief shirts in the heat of summer, but loathed the homemade clothes I had to wear for the two years I was in a back brace.
I won’t ask the politician if she makes her own clothing or has it made for her. I’m sure she wants people focused on community issues instead of her wardrobe. I’m going to admire it anyway. Her dresses are too lovely not to notice.