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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Thought for the day

Some sewing, a few things happening on my street, and lots of school happening so this is a quick thought.

I just read an academic study of British hospital patients. One of the observations was that if the older person was well dressed they were far, far, more likely to be listened to, respected, and given appropriate care.

Not really news, like many academic studies, but it sort of validates one of the things I feel about aging.

It is real easy to say I am in the house most of the time now, or it doesn't really matter, etc. and default to the basics, just because you aren't out and about the same way any more.

Quite apart from the fact I am myself an out and about person it is important to consider that how you look can affect what happens to you, even when you are older, in fact especially when you are older.

Sometimes I think to myself I am spending far too much time thinking about clothes to sew and what to wear and I feel almost guilty (I said almost), but I feel a bit validated by this.

It reminds me of a recent conversation with my doctor when I asked him about a brown spot on my face, apologizing since he is in the life saving business, for my vanity.

"I like to see a vain patient," he said. "To me it means they still care and are taking care of themselves."

Which is why lipstick is important when the only person at home is the dog.


Barbara said...

I am with you totally on this, Barb. The other day a neighbor asked me why I was so dressed up while at home and she said it with such an accusatory tone that I felt insulted. In fact, I had on a denim skirt and knit top, both sewn by me. The neighbor is probably 15 years younger than me, but I don't think the disconnect is due only to age. It's just the mindset of people nowadays. I ask only for a little tolerance. If she can run about in ratty sweats without censure, I should certainly be allowed my skirts!

Donna W said...

I fully agree with you on these ideas. I think that if you look good (or at least try to)!one does feel better mentally which translates into physical feeling good. I try to look presentable each morning when I meet my friends at Tims for coffee.

Judith Stansky said...

My grandmother always said to put on a little lipstick--you'll feel better. She was right.

Rose said...

I agree although I do wear comfortable clothes at home (easier to play with the dog). When I wear lipstick, I smile more so I usually wear it at home. After all, the UPS man may come with goodies for me.

Jilly Be said...

I've been dressing "up" much more as time marches on, and thinking about why I like doing so. The concept of being treated with more respect as we age adds another dimension to the "why" of it. Thanks for this :)

Stephanie said...

I found this out as a 49 year old full time graduate student. First semester I was so happy to be there I started dressing more like the other students: in big shirts, jeans and sneakers. By the end of the semester I didn't feel young like them. I felt old and frumpy. So I started wearing more dressy casual clothes: cardigans, fitted tshirts, nice sweaters, jeans, boots and flat shoes, necklaces, etc. I feel more on the ball and other students compliment me! I feel like a leader, not a follower. Thanks!

Jane M said...

I watch the older women (80s and 90s) at my church and discover that I frequently enjoy the company of those who dress with a sense of style the most. Since an important part of my day is getting a daily workout or long walk/hike (and am lucky enough to get to do that whenever I want) I sometimes find myself looking my best dressed at the end of the day!!

Mary said...

I totally agree with your post. I have felt as though I am no longer a stranger in a strange land since moving to Tucson. While not everyone is stylish, most are dressed with care for their appearance. I like to dress nicely, but I will wear pretty funky clothing for lounging around.

Anonymous said...

Lipstick is not my friend, so my equivalent is an attractive watch and something noticable at the neckline; a necklace or pendant. I feel more 'finished' and confident.

Anonymous said...

I think all of us have thresholds at which we feel comfortable. For me, dressing nicely and putting on some makeup is a daily routine.

My mother-in-law always wore lipstick and nail polish and when she stopped, I knew something was wrong. Sad to say, she had dementia and no longer cared.

Anonymous said...

A very long time ago a teacher told my grade eight class that a person is first judged by how they look and second by what comes out of their mouth. Still true.


Sandra Kay Daniels said...

I am hoping that you are just who I think you are. Having just found your blog (although I have been obsessively looking for sewing blogs for months), you express some misgivings about the amount of time you spend on your clothes. I admire that you can question this and appreciate your sharing it because I think about that quite a bit now that I am getting back into sewing. "How you look can affect what happens to you, even when you are older, in fact especially when you are older." I like that! Looking forward to reading more. Another Tennessee reader.