Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fashion musings: A Teen's Perspective

A lover of Manga, my teen sketched this picture on her tablet this weekend.

No online search for the definition of the word "manga" seems appropriate and/or complete, so, when I asked her for a better definition just now, my request was met with an annoyed grunt, a sigh, and a whiny "I don't know..."  So, okay...

Yesterday evening began with with a new project.  "Can I do your makeup?" she asked.  "Sure, and I'll interview you for the blog." I scrubbed my face, sat under the bright lights of the sewing area, and lined up all of my products for her to begin her work.  "I've learned a lot about makeup." she said. "Do you have any primer?" 

"What is that?"


"I'm pretty sure that's for people who aren't already bronze."

We both laughed.


"Yeah, it's this..." I pointed to the tube.

"Oh, that's not lipstick?"


So I sat as steadily as I could, while she decorated my face with various potions.

*From this point on, you'll be reading her voice, written from my recorded notes, her answers and elaborations to my questions and/or comments in between. Mom's (my) impressions are in parentheses where needed or useful...

"I like the idea of contributing to the blog, sharing ideas and creative thinking.  Sometimes the sewing things you do are interesting to me. If I were to make something for myself, it would be...

a costume!"

(her eyes looked all dreamy as she said this.  I asked what the event would be, or where she would wear it, but she really wasn't thinking that far ahead.  She just wants to create a work of art that can be worn as a costume.  An art piece.  OK. I get it.)

When it comes to clothes, I like variety.  When I go to high school this fall, I want different kinds of things. I kinda want to challenge my comfort zone. I don't like wearing a uniform.  (since 2nd grade, she's been wearing a uniform) 

It's itchy. I hate wearing a uniform. Uncomfortable, and my uniform pants always need a belt (she's very slender), and the shirt is itchy.

What do I think of my friends' clothes?  Well, I mostly see them in uniforms, too, and when they aren't in uniforms, they pretty much wear only the most normal stuff.  T-shirts and jeans, really. I guess if I had to choose a style for myself, I really like Harper's clothes a lot.

Haper is a character from "Wizards of Waverly Place"

She wears wacky stuff...

Really wacky stuff... but I really love that headband!

I like the humor and the wackiness.  I want wackiness in my wardrobe.  I like the things you make, but I also know sewing takes a LONG time.  And it's hard. I am inspired by it, but if I sew, I would only make some things.  Just very special things.  Takes way too much time to try to make everything, and I know there is always potential for failure.  But I'd be willing to fail, as long as I have enough fabric and supplies to fix anything that goes wrong.  

(I asked if she would have the patience for it)

Sure, I'd have the patience. And I wouldn't let it frustrate me.

My favorite thing you have made is the perpetual shirt.  (Note: I hurt my back before that day, which explains why I am standing so strangely in the picture below.) I want one, but we ABSOLUTELY can't match.  Mother-daughter matching isn't cool at all! Especially EXACTLY! (She laughed heartily) But mine would be a different shirt - maybe a sweatshirt or a hoodie or something.  Now, we could wear those on the same day, and it wouldn't be like we're matching.  It would just be funnier! I love when clothes have humor!

Me and the kids - on Governor's Island nearly two years ago - how do I know the date?

I also want to do a lot of accessories.  Headbands, leg warmers, and stuff like that. I love pajamas, but only some are exactly perfect.  Some are just too warm.

Extremely dextrous and patient, she created this bag by crocheting MANY, MANY soda can tabs together (you can buy clean ones very cheaply on Ebay), AND made a 2nd one for her best friend!

What I really don't understand are fashion runway shows.  Especially the really crazy ones.  Who wants to look like that?  Why do they do that? Who is that for?  Like a big leather "X" on a t-shirt.  You can't even wash it!

"I'm still not sure..." I shrugged.

I looked in the mirror.  "Pretty awesome! This "contouring" you speak of actually works! (I'd never tried the makeup tricks the beauty experts give) Maybe I should wear makeup more often!"

Note: She enjoys the exploration of garment district stores, in small doses.  Take your teen, if s/he is interested.  Be sure to buy a map if you need store suggestions!

Additional note:  She will read and respond to your (appropriate) comments personally!


  1. I love it!! Such a great perspective from one of the most creative tween-ers I know!!

    1. She thanks you! (She hasn't figured out how to respond to comments anonymously)

  2. I loved your sketch! The colors were happy! Especially the eyes! Great interview!!! You seem like a pretty focused young lady!!!


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