Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Formal Fabric(ation)


Earlier Draft:
I wore this skirt while considering the relationship between feminism and high heels.

white tee (American Eagle)
silver-tone chain necklace (H&M)
gray jersey printed skirt (H&M)
white wedges (Mia)

Since there are very few classes running during the summer session and most of the professors are rarely on campus, our office is more casual during these warmest months.  This change in formality has led me to start wondering why my clothing so frequently registers with others as "dressed up" when I simply think of myself as "dressed."

One thing I've noticed is that cotton jersey seems to read as more casual than synthetic jersey materials.  For example, when I wear a dress like this synthetic one, people respond to me as if I'm more "dressed up" than if I'm in a cotton jersey dress like this one, even though the cut and drape of those two dresses are nearly identical.

Today, I tried to embrace the casual feel of cotton jersey by pairing this cotton jersey skirt with a simple cotton tee instead of dressing it up with a crisp cotton button-down or a synthetic, airy top.  In my opinion, the necklace and heels made the outfit feel polished and office appropriate, but the look overall still expressed the summertime ease I enjoy while on a break from rigorous study.


  • Do you find that cotton jersey generally registers as less formal than synthetic jersey?  What other fabrics seem "informal" to you?
  • Why do you think these fabrics seem less formal than others?
  • What color top might I try pairing this skirt with in the future?  I've tried yellow, but I only felt lukewarm about that combination.


Katie from Interrobangs Anonymous said...

This is such a perfect summer outfit. I love the way the drape of your necklace echoes the curves of the circles on your skirt. And I'm so envious of those who can wear white without looking like they've caught the consumption.

I hadn't thought of it before, but I think you hit the nail on the head in your observation of the different jerseys. I don't like to wear synthetic jerseys, so I try to dress up my cottons with jewelry and accessories that up the fancy factor.

The biggest formality factor for me is seams and edging - the more finished a hem, the more crisp a seam, the more formal the piece looks.

gina said...

Great skirt!