Saturday, March 04, 2017

Reducing Women to What They Wear

This week the news has been about whether the clothing worn by the first lady and the first daughter was appropriate for Tuesday's joint address to Congress. And all I could think about was how women were always reduced to their attire.

Do you remark first about what a woman is wearing?


Surely we have better things to do than tear a woman to pieces over a matter of fashion.” - Zelda, “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald,(*affiliate link)” Episode 5, “The It Girl”

How do you remark about another woman?

Clothing is not armor. But it is a prison. If only a woman wears the right thing, men won’t be tempted and bad things won’t happen.

Renaissance Fair, Marin County 1996


What a woman wears or doesn’t wear should be her choice. Boxy suits can’t prevent unwanted touches at work. Jeans and a baggy t-shirt can’t prevent assault.

Two Lives--Two Very Different Wardrobes

I’ve lived two lives with my clothing: the wardrobe society deemed appropriate and the wardrobe that made my heart sing. If someone met me outside of work they were surprised. And if someone who read my blog met me at work they were surprised.

Downton Abbey Themed Opening Night Party at Alt Winter 2015 photographed by Justin Hackworth Attending the Downton Abbey Themed Opening Night Party at Alt Winter 2015 photographed by Justin Hackworth


It never struck me as odd that my clothing told two tales, not one. You see when I started working there was still a dress code. Casual Friday meant sport coats or blazers for men instead of suits and pants—wool or corduroy but never jeans for women. And whatever women wore, it shouldn’t be distracting. We were expected to blend in, not stand out.

Front of Dress, Bustled as We Enter Reception photographed by Jessica Palopoli Bustled Dress photographed by Jessica Palopoli


I spent most of my teenage and college years looking forward to the times I could dress up. At work, I wore boxy suits designed to hide the feminine form. And I looked forward to LARPing, Ren Fairs, and dances. For the twirly skirts. The lace. The flowing fabric. The petticoats.

Back of Dress Detail, Seated at the Reception photographed by Jessica Palopoli


Hope Amongst Fabric Scraps

I’ve always been enamored of ruffles, flowing skirts, lace, and fabric in general. I remember dumping a bag of fabric scraps my mom got from a friend out onto the living room floor and touching each piece of material. Categorizing by sight and by touch each item.

Textured Fabric


Later I would go back, time and time again, grabbing material to transform into clothes for my Fisher Price Adventure People. Adventure People led far more interesting lives than Barbie, going on Safari, exploring the sea, rescuing people, or reporting the news for television.

But with the exception of the journalist (who wore a skirt) and the sea explorer (who wore a one piece swimsuit) all wore pantsuits. Not that I had anything against pantsuits, I just thought it odd that “serious” women dressed like men.

So I created jumpers and dresses and "floor length" skirts for them out of remnants. Fashion I dreamed of wearing. Fashion I knew I could not wear.

Coordinating Fabrics


Last weekend I picked up bags of fabric from a friend. The choice of fabrics took me back to my childhood. As I unfolded and folded the fabrics, ideas sprang forth, calling me to my sewing machine.

Imagining the Possibilities of Fabric and Leather Threading


As the ideas flowed, I realized. Looking down at what I was wearing—a white flowing skirt that twirls when I spin, I saw that my wardrobe now celebrated femininity. And that made my heart sing. My wardrobe today reflects the clothes I made for my action figures years ago. And reflects my four year old self.

genuinely eden

Credits: The first and last three images were taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life. The second photo is a personal photo. The two Downton Abbey-themed party photos were taken by Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit and used with permission. The three wedding photos were taken by Jessica Palopoli and used with permission.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link, followed by (*affiliate link). I feature products that I own or that I am considering purchasing. All opinions presented are my own.
The Road To The Good Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  1. Regarding all aspects the blog was perfectly nice.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. website

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing fantastic photos and wonderful experience with us keep posting.

  8. There is plenty that can be offered in the world of fashion. However, most of the fashion movement is all centered around the design and sale of women fashion clothes.wholesale rhinestones

  9. Thank you very much for this valuable contribution and informative. Walgreens Coupons 2019

  10. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? What are some great ways to make money online

  11. You re in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It kind of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic activity on this subject! jewelry stores

  12. I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it. Women Dresses

  13. What's genuinely deplorable is that while numerous individuals work from and hole up behind the pretense of being useful or defensive, they neglect to perceive that, for people alike, design is a type of self-articulation, and similarly as a craftsman's style develops and adjusts over numerous years, so does our feeling of individual style.

  14. Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here. best way to get rid of facial hair permanently

  15. Hey, I am so thrilled I found your blog, I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and all round interesting website. Please do keep up the great work. I cannot be without visiting your blog again and again.

  16. Since ancient times, each and every human being living on earth had craved for some of the most essential things for survival. These things include food, clothes and house.Dress

  17. It works regardless of whether you're a pool kid, simply disclose to them that you run a pool cleaning organization and discussion about what you're folks are doing (which is what you're truly doing), you can even reveal to her that despite everything you clean pools yourself since it keeps you at an equivalent dimension with your representatives. 여성유흥알바

  18. There are so many collections of jumpsuit at You can buy here different types of dresses for women’s.
    Dress and Jumpsuit Collection
    Online Women Clothing Delhi

  19. Get help with Online Assignment Help Cheap at affordable prices by professional experts. We provide 24 * 7 service and support for all our users.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Cite This For Me’s open-access generator is an automated
    citation machine that turns any of your sources into citations in just a click. Using a citation generator helps students to integrate referencing into their research and writing routine; turning a time-consuming ordeal into a simple task. So connect with MyAssignmentHelp for getting the best citation machine

  22. Everything should be based on fact. The arrangement of fact and information is not an easy task sometimes it becomes a very tough task to do in such cases student can go through online My Assignment Help , and these services are very reliable, and they can provide information about any topic related to the academics. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit our website.

  23. Excellent information Providing by your Article, thank you for taking the time to share with us such a nice article. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. Kindly visit livewebtutors website we providing the best assignment help services in Australia.
    Read more now :- Case Study Help

  24. I recommend that everyone should seek assistance from Assignment Help Australia for the best academic help. There are professional experts from various esteemed universities in almost every field. They are capable to write the premium quality of assignments according to the requirements of students and university norms.

  25. school/college students aren’t very a large fan of educational assignments, the apply of Assignment Help writing encompasses a fair proportion of contribution to create for the betterment of our lives. If you think that grades area unit the sole sensible factor (perhaps the silver lining) that comes from writing those tedious Solidwork Assignments Help, then you will not be thinking it through. Contact our expert team and get better Assignment help.

  26. Everything is perfect with this work. The writer has managed to keep the article interesting while discussing some really serious points. This is not easily done. All the best.
    Get Assignment Help

  27. Make your assignment submission more effective and impressive using assignment help services. This online assignment help service allows students to discuss their concerns with qualified Assignment Helper and finish their assignment on time. If you are stuck with your management assignments then you take our management assignment help.
    For more info please visit our website:
    or reach out us on whatsapp - (+1) 669-271-4848

  28. mensajes de buenos dias Very informative information on your site here. I like this post because we can get some useful information from your blog. I expect more post from you

  29. Thank you for this wonderful information looking forward for more. We are Providing the best quality assignment help. You will find out online Statistics Assignment Help service on firstassignmenthelp. And these services are very reliable, and they can provide information about any topic related to the academics. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit our website firstassignmenthelp.

  30. Best Restaurants Open On Christmas Day in New York

    it's basic that your specific web structuring organization should be identified with your organization venture model

    Shindig Web

    Top 10 Best Organic Milk Brands in the US


Thank you for taking the time to join the conversation. - Eden

Related Posts Plugin for Blogger