Friday, March 24, 2006

I have nothing to wear

Found myself going to church one Sunday wearing clothes that were not exactly colour-coodinated.

I remember a friend asking why the Chinese in immediate post-Mao China seemed to be wearing clothes that clash in colour. You know, like they mix an orange blouse with a red skirt.

He was a medical student (and now trains doctors in deepest, most rural China) and posed the question: Are they all colour-blind?

Of course not. They simply didn't have enough clothes to match them accordingly.

I am in what some social anthropologists might call being in a liminal, in-between, state. I, too, do not have enough clothes to ensure that I am always colour-coordinated. (One of my ex-colleagues reading this will be gobsmacked. She might remember how I used to have a 'personal shopper' who picked out all my working clothes as I hated shopping even back then.)

Yes, I do have clothes in the wardrobe, but they are mainly of conventional cotton, and some have polyester and viscose mixed in.

My heart says to buy organic cotton but I cannot find a retailer who does organic cotton in petite sizes and I cannot now bear to buy anything that proudly declares itself '100% cotton' any more. So I'm wearing to death clothes that I've had for some time and not been able to buy new ones. Occasionally, therefore, I find myself looking a bit naff.

Not quite an orange blouse with red skirt just yet, but I know intuitively that it is not right.

What can I do?

I can learn to sew my own clothes using organic fabric.

I can learn to alter organic clothes that are too big for me.

I can write a business plan on manufacturing and selling organic cotton clothes in petite sizes.

Actually I won't do any of those for now. I'll just sit out this time and wear my existing clothes till I can't wear them any more and hope that by then I can find suitable sources of ethical /organic clothes in my size, style and colour.

Come to think of it, I did do something quite different this winter as I seem to be wearing my boring beige/brown rain/coat ALL the time: I bought new scarves. (Actually one was given.)

I found some beautiful raw silk scarves sold on the The Leprosy Mission website, made by leprosy sufferers. I've decided to look 'fashionable' by using essential accessories.

O yes, one other thing I plan to do is buy plain organic cotton T-shirts (I have bought the T-shirts) and use fabric pens to decorate them. If you wish to know where to buy these plain organic cotton T-shirts, drop me a line.

My ex-colleagues and I used to live by the principle of 'work hard, play hard'. I think I should re-work that into 'buy smart, dress smart': Be prepared to pay a little bit more for something that would last for a little longer.

And hope not to put on too much weight meanwhile!

Back to Organic-Ally.

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