Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hat Attack with a twist!

  I think I've figured out layering knits! At least, for San Francisco's comparatively mild winters. I am linking to Style Crone's Hat Attack #5 because Judith is glorious and, of course, hats. Who needs more reason?
Dark red floral sweater: Nordstrom (thrifted)
Brown corduroy skirt: H&M (eBay)
Tights: UNIQLO (Japan)
Boots: Two Lips (thrifted)
Long cloak hoodie: Prairie Underground (old)
Hat: milsa (ARTH, defunct ): )

  This lovely sweater is made in Italy! Another one of those lucky wonderful thrift finds. Clearly you should come here on vacation and go thrifting with me.
  The twist part comes in because the gorgeous off the shoulder/cowl neck is really wide. Normally I have difficulty getting things over my broad shoulders. This one was in danger of slipping over them entirely! So I twisted one side inside-out to give it stability and an asymmetrical look, and put my DIY collar clips on for security:
  Then I twisted my bangs before pinning them up. Then I twisted my (made in Japan) hat! I thought it looked less like a beanie and more like a cloche that way. I am enjoying my Axis powers clothing today.

  The sweater is more tunic-length and the skirt is detailed and natural-waisted, so next time I might try wide leg trousers or something more fitted and low-slung on the bottom half, because it's a bit bulky looking here. Learning!

  What are some off-the-cuff adjustments you make to your clothing? Do you like wearing things a little differently than intended?
  Speaking of garments' countries of origin, I've had this article by Mother Jones on my mind. It's about sumangali girls in India -young girls who go to work in garment factories to try to earn money for their dowries. It's well-written and as sad and horrifying as you would imagine.

  It also touches briefly on a topic that's not often mentioned when talking about these: it's really hard to monitor everything along a supply chain. In an ideal world I want large fashion companies to take initiative in securing living wages, safe conditions, and all sorts of protections for garment workers. In reality, there's a soup of emergent behavior, long supply chains and lack of individual accountability, subcontracting, and of course manufacturers working very hard to hide their human rights abuses. It's one of those puzzles that involves finding out how to reward the right behaviors so all can benefit, and it sucks me into a dissonant navel-gazing void every time I walk through a mall, which is why I avoid them now. (And I'm not claiming I am not part of the chain, here. I thrift a heck of a lot of my things, but I do own many things made in China. It is really damn hard to find things that aren't.)

  I'd love to hear your thoughts. I am curious where the trend of the next generation will turn, fashion-wise. It feels like things went mass-produced around the 1950s and 1960s, and we're hitting an apex of that. I wonder if the pendulum is due to start swinging another way.


  1. I have been reading lots of stories and features on the garment factories in India as of late. It is so terribly sad that the native people don't want to treat their own people will more respect. They are abusing their own people. It just doesn't make sense.

    I am very aware now of where I purchase my clothes. That is why I am trying like you to focus on thrifting or consignment purchases. I suppose in reality I should just give up purchasing altogether or make my own clothing. Then of course I would need to weave my own fabric as well. The hole that you fall into trying to be ethically aware is long and deep.

    I have also read that in certain countries people are reliant on the garment factories to offer them some kind of work. Without them they would have no hope at all.

    One question that I often wonder is why it is necessary for Western governments to police these countries. I understand that we are often the end customer however I cannot understand why their fellow countrymen are so savage. Quite frankly it makes me ill. The attitude towards India is one of the main reasons I have no desire whatsoever to visit that country. I feel my blood begin to boil when they speak of rape being the women's problem.

    Anyhow...eeek...I can see this really struck a chord with me. Thanks for sharing the article.

    I do love this sweater LOL...after all of that. I think the colours and the neckline are gorgeous on you.


    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Suzanne! I always love the thinking you provoke with your blog posts and your opinion's important to me.

      I come at this from an evolutionary psychology perspective (admittedly from just a few books and studies) and I think country borders are so arbitrary and a very recent phenomenon in human history.

      There's that saying about how a million deaths are a statistic, and I think humans are evolved to understand and care about 150-250 people maximum. I mean, I know factually that $5 I spend on a sweater for myself at the thrift store would mean more if I donated that to feed hungry people in the US or to send overseas, for example. I think about this a lot.

      It's why I'm in favor of taxes and foreign aid, even if I object to a lot of *where* my payroll taxes go, like wars.

      Ultimately, I think we have to look at behavior of large groups and what policies are put in place to change that sort of myself-and-my-own thinking, because redistributing resources is to the benefit of us all. The type of self-sacrifice involved in thinking of strangers outside of one's tribe or circle is not at all common in people. I don't have it. Jesus Christ was a very extreme standout, what with feeding the hungry and clothing the poor thousands of years ago. The same is for Damo, the Buddha. I think religion's roots lie in setting down rules so that we can function in groups of much larger than 250 people without anarchy and murdering one another, and in thinking of strangers as people. I'm am an atheist, but I am fascinated by religions and by philosophies and their roles in society. (There are of course, plenty of things to love and to be reviled about human behavior in any religion/tribe/society.)

  2. Amazing look!
    Would you like to follow each other?


  3. First of all, yes, I do like to twist my clothes sometimes to do something different. I think your twisted cowl is a great idea, especially with the collar clips! And I love that hooded coat.

    Now the more serious stuff - I haven't read the Mother Jones article yet, but I just heard part of a story on the radio last night about women in Bangladesh working in garment factories. They work hard, and two sisters share a tiny flat with the husband of one of them. But they're able to send money home to their family, who now have a house made of brick rather than sticks, and their younger brother is going to school. Their biggest memories of childhood were of hunger, but now they can buy meat. Without those jobs they would be completely stuck in a cycle of poverty. Of course, they may not have the safety standards that we have here, but maybe that's the risk they're willing to take to improve their family's situation. So should we boycott fast fashion when it is providing jobs that wouldn't otherwise be there? It's a conundrum.

    1. I agree that people wouldn't be taking these exploitative jobs if they didn't offer a better alternative to their present conditions. It's an excellent point.

      My belief with boycotts isn't that they drive a company out of business, but that they cause enough of a loss of revenue (or fear of loss of revenue) that the business considers investing more money in better care for its employees. Given how huge three of these fast fashion giants are that I can name off the top of my head, I don't think any boycott could drive them under. My aim would be to get enough attention so that these processes are reformed, and a better model put in place for future companies and developing countries.

      I realize this is all a system in progress, and the fact that these stories are getting out mean (hopefully!) that people want things to improve and that they will. I'm just so impatient, argh.

  4. You mesmerize me with your writing and evolved thinking. And with how you twist your pieces to create something new and creative. I'm going to try the cowl twisting, and I am a regular in the twisting of headwear. Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack.

  5. Aya, I love your DIY sweater clip. I have one vintage sweater clip from my grandmother, and one that Bella of Citizen Rosebud sent me, but I'm dying to make a few more from clip-on earrings. And I totally forgot to mention in my most recent blog post that I twisted the back of my thrifted tank with a Fashener to make it drape more invitingly along my non-waist :P

    I'm glad you touched on that China thing. I know it is wrong to order from countries that don't pay a living wage and abuse their workers in brutal factory settings. Which is why I get terrible anxiety when I ordered a black tulle skirt the same as Allie's from Wardrobe Oxygen because it was the only way I could find one I could afford, and why I long for a particular cat critter sweater on eBay but guilt myself out of ordering it repeatedly. I don't want to support those conditions, and I don't do much new retail shopping at all, but once in a rare while, I find myself banging my head against the wall and still ordering the occasional item from China. I think I'ma be able to stay strong against that cat sweater...