Saturday in the shop, Melissa and I were looking at an ad from Eileen Fisher.
Melissa said, "I love this ad‑ three women, all different ages, all different sizes, and all different colors, wearing basically the same sweater. It makes me sad when I hear women look at a pattern and say 'I could never wear that.'"
"Maybe they mean it's just not their personal style," I offered.
"That's different, " she said. "That's 'I would never wear that' not 'I could never wear that.'"
I agreed. "I think when someone says, 'I could never wear that,' there is this unspoken following clause of 'and look like that in it,' which is not the point."
"Right," she said, "because you're not supposed to look like someone else in your clothes. It's not a costume. You're supposed to look like you in your clothes."
Exactly. The beauty of knitting is that you make your garment to fit you, the way you like it. You choose the color that flatters your skin and the size that fits your body. Designers use skinny models to avoid drawing attention away from the clothes. On the catwalk or in a photoshoot, it's about the clothing. In real life, it's about you.
It can be hard to remember that. I get it. When you look at a perfectly styled image, your mind thinks that's how it's supposed to be ‑that color, that size, that amount of ease, and by extension, how the wearer is supposed to look. It's why so many of us knit the sweater in exactly the same color as the sample, even if that color makes us look like we have the flu. Once you see it, it's hard to unsee, and everything else looks wrong somehow. But it's the image that's wrong. The image is an aspirational mood‑a fictionalized moment realized for an instant in the lens of a camera. Then it's gone. It's not real life.
Real life is about you. It's about your life, your body, your style. You can wear whatever you want, and you should. Sure, if you're tall or petite, you might want to adjust the proportions. If you prefer more or less ease for your figure, you can make the next size down or up. But please, don't shy away from wearing something you love because you don't look like the model. As Cindy Crawford once pointed out, even the model doesn't actually look like the model. Knit what you love, wear what you knit, and love the real life you have.
If you need help picking a color, choosing a size, or making a modification, come see us. We're here in real life, and we are grateful to be part of your real life. I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen