Dress like you have something to say
Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director at Givenchy, in InStyle November 2010
Saturday was unexpectedly rain-free. I headed downtown in the afternoon, not saying that much but a bit more than skinny jeans and a top.
First stop: Tom Lee Music. It felt odd going downstairs to the drum section. I'm much more accustomed to buying strings or something similar upstairs. Down in the drum lair, I asked about practice pads. The sales clerk showed me three different styles in a range of prices. I opted for the one that was a bit more expensive but much quieter than the standard pad. The clerk also told me that it has the most realist feel. At this point, I'm trusting him on that part. I also bought a pair of drumsticks, 5B (the width). I even rolled them on the counter to make sure they were not warped, on advice from my drum teacher at rock camp.
From there, I took a bus to Plum on Granville at Twelfth Avenue. Plum is one of my favourite clothing stores for a few reasons. One is that I almost always find something in their seasonal collections that I want and that works well for me. Another is that many of their items are designed and made in Canada. I look for that tag, and in fact I tend to look only at items with that tag. I am willing to pay a bit more and buy a bit less if I can get good quality clothes made somewhere that pays a living wage. And finally, the Plum staff take good care of you.
I was disappointed to see that a coat I had liked in a promo photograph was designed in Canada but made in China. And it carried a hefty price tag. I didn't really need another cold-weather coat, but outerwear is one of my downfalls, and this was really cute. I passed on it. I tried on several items, and left with only two: an adorable belted plaid mini-dress, and a black A-line skirt. The skirt I needed, and it was on sale. The dress was an indulgence. I don't know where I'll wear it. It's definitely not office wear. But it looked so adorable. It's black and grey plaid, so I can pair it with just about any colour tights. I'll find an occasion for it, I'm sure.
From a drum shop to a fashion boutique? And Plum isn't exactly a rock 'n' roll clothing store. But like Walt Whitman, I contain multitudes. Software developer by day, rock musician and fan by night, and fashionista through it all. The rock look was fine for me when I was younger. Now, I aim a little differently. I know what looks good on me and what doesn't, and there's no point in trying to fight that. And thankfully, I don't yet have to "dress my age." I really can't complain.
I do love to have something to say in what I wear. The thing is, even if you don't intend to say something, you do. It can't be helped. What we wear is a statement about ourselves. And I like to make a conscious, purposeful statement, one that says that I'm confident, together, and know what looks good on me. I don't have the looks to turn heads, but between hair and outfit I can create a positive impression and catch a few eyes.
Like music and writing, fashion is a way for me to express my creativity. I wrote that I had come to terms with not being as creative a person as I always wished I were, but I still need outlets. I'm not a fashion designer, but one way in which I can be creative is in putting outfits together. I'm pretty good at that when I try. I enjoy working with the canvas that is me.
Music and fashion actually go hand in hand, even though in my case that's not really obvious. But what about feminism and fashion? I'll leave that for another post.