Thursday, 3 February 2011

Woollen comfort





What does the word comfort mean to you? For some, it is a cosy jumper on a rainy night. For others, it might be a person or place that makes them feel secure. For me, this dress and hat symbolise comfort in both those aspects.
Let's start with the hat. I found it recently when helping to sort out items in my great-grandma's house - I saw the soft yellow lurking in the back of a cupboard and was hooked. I've worn it lots in the past few weeks, and each time it garners comments. However, as well as being very comforting in the keeping-my-head warm way, it is also a comforting reminder of my great-grandma. Unfortunately, she now has dementia (it is such a cruel illness in the way that it changes behaviour), and I rarely see a glimpse of the person I remember from when I was little - the one who sang me songs, and gathered together all her copper pennies for me so I could exchange them at the bank. However, I feel like I have come to know another side of her through the  very few photos that remian (many were destroyed in a previous house flood), and the clothes and accessories that have come my way. I know that I often touch upon the theme of relatives living on through clothes, mostly in reference to deceased members of my family. However, I think it is also appropriate in this instance as the rational, creative part of my great-grandma has all but passed on now. (Although her strong will most certainly remains!) But I get a comforting idea of how she was when she was younger through her many fur collars, her Jaeger coats and cardigans, and of course her hats. I'm sure this particular one will accompany me to London Fashion Week when I travel down in a few weeks!

The cable knit dress is very comforting too, but purely in a warm and functional way. Last summer I helped out at my school's customising and clothes recycling day, for a younger year group. My friend and I were roped in for our technical know-how of sewing machines (although this mainly meant stitching seams for the students involved, some of whom seemed visibly daunted at the prospect of - shock horror - using cast off clothing!) However, I managed to have a riffle through the mound of t-shirts and tracksuit bottoms and unearthed a rather attractive oversized men's jumper. It was the end of the day, and I asked if I could take it home to alter - once it entered my room though, it joined the pile of 'to do' items under my bed. Three months later, during a big clear out, I decided to get rid of it. Luckily my mum, having more faith than me in its potential, rescued it. And voila! Two cut off and hemmed sleeves later, here is my new favourite jumper dress! It's perfect for these fluctuating temperatures (it was -9C again on the way to school a few days ago).

To add a purely non-practical element to the outfit, I decided to put it with some lace up heels I got for christmas last year. The belt is charity shopped, as is the green leather Anya Hindmarch bag and the faux pearls also belonged to my great-grandma. The jumper with rolled up sleeves underneath is my mum's. I found both the wonderfully kitsch brooch and gold charm bracelet (with some vintage charms from a market stall added on) in my local charity shop. They have a tiny jewellery basket that is usually filled with the detritus from Christmas crackers - however, I just got lucky on that particular day.

My mum took the photos during my marathon shoot session last Sunday, and althought the lighting conditions were quite harsh (not brilliant on the auto function), I think the air-iness lends itself to the mood.

So what represents comfort to you?

41 comments:

Libby said...

Beautiful outfit! The hat is delightful. I find more comfort in long skirts, over-sized festival tops and jumpers gleaned from my brother than in my favourite jeans.

alexandratherese said...

Lovely post Roz - the hat and its colour suit you so well. For me, comfort is settling down to re-read pride and prejudice with a hot chocolate or sitting doing a jigsaw with only my thoughts for company. Jigsaws are a very therapeutic pastime although most people think them old-fashioned now except for little children's ones. As far as clothes go anything woollen is comfortable and warm. Socially it is being able to speak freely to someone I know well and trust. I think that being truly comfortable in someone's company is a great gift which should be treasured.

Alexandra Thérèse xx

www.alexandratherese.com

P.S. I found some suitable scissors!

E is for Eleanor said...

The way you've recreated that oversized jumper is amazing, it looks like it was made for you and comfort.

Dementia is the most destructive, undermined illness. I'm glad you can still see her strong will, it's the shining light in the darkness. x

Dylana Suarez said...

Wonderful post Roz! I love the hat on you! My grandmother had dementia, too, and died when I was a teenager from Alzheimer's disease. It was a really rough time on the family, and I would never want anyone to go through it.

I love how certain items of clothing reminds you of a person and a special time in your life. Fashion with meaning is always the most important in my book. And an added bonus when it is literally comfortable, too!

xoxo,

Dylana

Marella said...

Gorgeous outfit!

Closet Fashionista said...

Love this outfit! And I love how all the pieces in your wardrobe have such lovely stories to go with them.
Its sad about your great-grandma though...but its good that you can still remember all the good stuff.
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com

sacramento said...

I love clothes with soul. The ones that tell a story... And that is just what you have done.
I am sure your gradmother would be soooooooo proud of you.
Mil besos.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

daisychain said...

Roz,
I came to your blog via Jill...
I have to say you are one of the most enchanting people I've ever come accross, beauty, style and wit/intelligence that blows me away x

Laura said...

Love your outfit!! For me comfort is ...my crazy all stars shoes !!

MargieF said...

im so glad you didnt throw that out it would have been a crime. hmm i get more comfort from having my lovely other half but in a clothes way i would say my huge topshop cardigan.
margief
x
www.margieheartsclothes.blogspot.com

Pearl Westwood said...

The hat suits you beautifully, it is so nice to have things that hold dear memories too x

L'age moyen said...

What happened to your snow? We've got tons and tons of it. Ah well, that means lots of comfort dressing and, in my case, that means thin layers, 2 t-shirts, 2 sweaters, or a blouse + sweater, leggings with a long wool skirt, socks and boots. Yes, it's a lot but the only way to feel comfortable going in and out when it's -12c at high noon! Like your Mum, I won't hesitate to reinvent something if it means something as simple as a quick seam. Sewing is such a lost art - not even an art - a lost necessity. Lovely outfit, as always.

Penny Dreadful said...

That hat was the first thing I notices, how wonderful that as well as being stylish and cosy it has personal history.

It isn't nearly so elegant, but comfort for me right now is the fluffy bathrobe Mr D bought me for my birthday and that I've been wearing non-stop all winter. When it goes in the washing machine I feel like sitting in front and watching it go round and round until it is finished! Honestly, I am still a wimpy Aussie at heart so I find the winters here really cold, and the first thing I do when I get home is change into my robe. Shameful! x

Autumn said...

I love this outfit! And what you and your mum did with that jumper, wow!
~ Autumn

The Lady Nerd said...

Ironically, I have a grey sweater that looks very similar to yours, albeit much shorter. Comfort is a relative term to me. I'd have a different "comfort" outfit for different scenarios (and sadly, depending on how sick I'm feeling that particular day). Some days it can be a real hobo-esque outfit of pajamas, slipper socks, a baggy t-shirt, and a black fuzzy robe (real chic, huh?) Other times I can take comfort in dressing well. Confidence can be a comfort in its own right.

Polka Princess said...

LOVE what you did to that men's jumper........it looks like a million bucks on you!! And that brooch is soooooooooooo cute!

Natalie Suarez said...

such a cute little hat! i love it :)

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Zhcsyra hp said...

well.i really love cute look :))

wwwtariarizona.blogspot.com

Novateur said...

Love this post.
Cosy,want to get wrapped up warm and go on a country walk.
Novateur x

http://nova-teur.blogspot.com/

Chloë said...

Hi, I have just discovered your blog and I already love it! It's so so nice to read a fashion blog where the blogger actually writes about fashion and the stories behind the clothes they wear. That's something that I'm really interested in myself so I like to read other people's stories behind their clothes. I saw a comment you wrote on Susie Bubble's blog and really liked what you wrote and checked your blog out. I love your idea of wearing the old clothes of family members and loved ones who have passed away as a source of comfort to you- I'd love to do that too but both my Grandma's are very strange haha and have never really shown much interest in me so I don't have the lovely relationship with them that you do with yours. I'd really love if you could check out my blog- so far people only comment on the pictures so it would be nice to have a comment from someone who actually likes reading about fashion! I really hope I'll hear from you,
love Chloe
http://chloetheporcelainprincess.blogspot.com
xxxx

vicen said...

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http://look10.blogspot.com/2011/02/vintage-collection-page-12.html
AND
http://look10.blogspot.com/2010/02/vintage-collection-database.html
Hope you like.
Greetings

Fashion is me said...

beauty divine!!! There is something unusual in the styling, which is why I love it.

Adam,

http://fashionispartofme.blogspot.com

Hat Lady said...

Nice hat!

Jazzabelle said...

sorry i've took so long to reply to you! thank-you for your lovely comments! 'contasts' is such a great art theme to explore, you can go in so many directions - it's definitely a favourite theme of mine in college.

i adore this turban like hat on you, the colour is lovely. oh, you are going to london fashion week? such a shame i won't see you - i'll be on holiday in thailand. well, there is always next season!

i hope you are okay, and are in a lot of less pain now? xxx

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

For me comfort means: a grey cashmere jumper, black fitted trousers, red lipcolour on my lips. Have a happy weekend;-)

Fashionistable said...

It is a wonderful hat for sure - I love this shape. Very elegant. Comfort for me is home and being able to stop and recharge. Great to hear you are coming down for LFW. I will also be there with my camera. It would be lovely to meet. Xxxx

Kate said...

Not only is this outfit gorgeous, but it is so lovely that it reminds you of your grandma when you were little. Its nice to have those little things as memories.
Beautiful post, as always.
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

Claire and Vasia said...

Lovely sweater :-)

Claire & Vasia
www.fashionhasit.blogspot.com

danniekate said...

you look wonderful in that turban :) comfort for me is not constantly needing to adjust a hemline or neckline, ie, something that fits like a glove. xx

A and A said...

comfort?
Coffee, Cashmere, Kisses from my love, Joni Mitchell, old record....
and wonderful musings such as yourself.
xx
love from san francisco.
Amy
refusestolabel.com

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I wonder when it will happen. When will I pop over for a peek and think: eh, outfit's ok. I always marvel as to how freshly you put together an outfit, and have yet to leave this page uninspired. Today is no exception. LOVE the fresh take on the sweater, er, jumper in UK parlance, and the green purse, and sprinkling of jewlelry is just the thing. And I dare even start up on that lovely turban: LOVE!

I am sorry to hear about your great grand-ma. I know that dementia is hard on everyone involved. We (my mamacita and I) have had to deal with it when her mother developed dementia a few years ago, and it is heartbreaking. Just keep the good memories nearby and cherish and honor the REAL her.

Love to you and your family, Roz. xo. -Bella Q
the Citizen Rosebud

the Citizen Rosebud said...

PS: my idea of comfort: a warm bowl of Colcannon on a cold night, with a very large pint of my favorite beer! Ah. I love being an adult.

. said...

love your blog it feels like a modern day shakespeare, and I love the way it is VERY british. My idea of comfort is when people from England bring English left over sunday supplements and tangfastics!

Miss Jolie said...

Oh ! You're adorable !
I love your style !
http://missjolieaparis.blogspot.com/

Andrea said...

I've just found your blog and I have to say you really do a great job as a model and as a blogger!:) All the shootings are great and you look so beautiful!:)
I know it's hard to accept your grandma's illness, but maybe she will get better (my grandma did).
Take care:)

Nádia said...

That look is amazing! Love the knitwear and the hat LOTS!

I wish you a lot of strenght, my dear! I know that's so hard... :(

http://myfashioninsider.blogspot.com/

styleodyssey said...

Dementia is indeed a cruel illness; it's hard to watch a loved one go down that road. My grandmother had it. Hold on to those lovely memories of your great-grandmother before she became ill. They will be a source of comfort to you and your family.
Comfort to me is many things: Warm sweaters, soup, cup of tea, home, family...
You look cozy and oh so pretty!
xo

Red Nails & Raindrops said...

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:) x x x

Juliet said...

amazing look!
I really love your dress!
beautiful, practic and comfortable! love it!
xxx gorgeous

Miki's scrapbook said...

Oh, Roz, these pictures are amazing! You're so beautiful and have such a great style!

Hug!

Miki.

Barbro Andersen said...

Knits absolutely represent comfort for me; I'm obsessed with it. This cable knit is a great example of the kind I would wear as well; stunning :)

Hope your doing well, sweetie! Looking awesome, for sure, and I'm so happy to see your photos everywhere! :D