Rossweisse
RIP Rossweisse, HellHost and long-time Shipmate.
Please see the thread in All Saints remembering her.

You Can Tell I'm A Poet By My Hat

FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
For 'poet' substitute author or painter or potter or any other type of 'Creative' - how much is that indicated by the style of dress? (Spin-off from remarks on @Lamb Chopped 's conservatism thread).

One the one hand, you have T S Eliot who dressed as a bank clerk (as indeed he was), and on the other Frida Kahlo who went about like a one-woman Cinco de Mayo.

What assumptions, however specious, can we make from clothing - our own or others?
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Comments

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I am a writer of ancient folk songs, but I left my hat on Ilkley Moor.

    I think clothing is less and less of an indicator of anything but class/wealth, at least in the United States. Two-piece suits are the common business attire for male office jockeys, whether they work in banking or insurance or law or accounting or whatever. Better-fitting suits indicate higher socioeconomic status. But bankers no longer wear green eyeshades (can't speak to card sharks), few real estate agents still wear jewel-tone sportcoats, and so on.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    edited August 4
    I think I look like a Guardianista* of a Certain Age
    Which I am

    [*A reader of the Brit newspaper The Guardian.]
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Galilit wrote: »
    I think I look like a Guardianista* of a Certain Age
    Which I am

    [*A reader of the Brit newspaper The Guardian.]

    Mrs Weber style, @Galilit ? http://theslingsandarrows.com/mrs-webers-diary/


  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 4
    I look decidedly forgettable. Which is fine by me, as I don't have to look at me. But this is largely the result of a) certain emotional issues mentioned on that thread, and b) even more so, the freaking fact that almost none of my body parts are standard size. Head two deviations off normal (no hats for you, missy, not even in men's extra large!), feet about an inch higher (yep, vertical height from sole to base of ankle) than any non-lace-up shoe will allow for. Legs four inches too long for my torso, arms ditto (resulting in permanent cold wrists and high-water trousers if I don't get very, very, VERY lucky in the shopping). I just bought five pairs of identical trousers and hope they will see me through two-three years of constant wearing, as it's likely to be that long before I find anything else that is made for tall, fat people (I'm not tall--but my legs think they are).
    Freaking GLOVES--Men's extra large is too small much of the time. I don't wear socks (wanna guess the problem there!) as I've given up. Shoulders way too broad to fit most women's coats or jackets, including suit jackets--which is why it's damned good I'm pigeonholed as a creative, otherwise I'd be having suits made from scratch, and who has the money?
    Thanks be to God bras and underwear fit--though I loathe the strap that insists on falling down my right shoulder and always has done--along with the shirt itself, which routinely winds up showing four inches of my shoulder on that side only, and riding up my neck on the other.
    I feel like Quasimodo.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    I am a writer and used to be a bit of a snazzy dresser but that was when I lived in a city and small town/village England doesn't quite suit that style of dress. But I don't dress entirely normally as I'm fairly impervious to the cold and will usually be jacketless and coatless well into November and don't have a job that requires a certain standard of dress.

    The disparity between my sense of appropriate dress and that of other people was really brought into focus at my mother's funeral where all the men except me turned up in grey suits, white shirts, black shoes and black ties. I wasn't aware of any choreographing going on but even the greyness of their suits looked identical. I don't own a suit because I haven't had a job that required a suit for nearly forty years. Nor do I have a white shirt and my only tie is bright blue and I've probably never even worn it. At the time I didn't even own a pair of black shoes.

    So I arrived in clothes that were casual but smart and appropriate for the weather (it was March and I had to catch a bus at 6.55 AM) and looked completely different from everyone else.
  • After years of wearing a clerical collar and dark suits six days a week, I am retired and into bright colors, long earrings, and exploring my inner hippy artist.
    That said, now that I am for the most part housebound I tend to be in comfortable cozy what ever is clean, unless making the rare trip into town. Now I find earrings, glasses, hearing aids, and mask to much, so I have given up the dangles for now. My one bone of contention is shoes. Neuropathy means I can only wear a few shoes without pain so my closet sets with pairs that cause pain and I tend to wear just 2 pairs with open toes and flat heels. Heaven help me when they wear out and the search for new ones, that I can stand to wear starts again.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Have you tried Hotters Graven Image?
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    The nice thing about being a bookseller is that it's part of the image to dress in a slightly eccentric way. Today I'm wearing smart black trousers with a long purple tunic and a black cardigan over the top of that - and sneakers. Another day I might have a linen skirt, white blouse and tweed jacket.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I miss poets who dressed the part - I think Oscar Wilde was the last to give it real welly. I wonder if the pose with the hat and the cloak owes anything to the young John Donne (also with impressive amount of hat)?

    I mean, PhilipLarkin didn't even try.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I’m a creative, impulsive type.

    I love to wear bright, rainbow colours. My family and friends often say “you’re not wearing that are you?” They like to blend in to their backgrounds like chameleons.

    My answer, every time? “Of course I am, I love it!”

    :mrgreen:
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    After years of wearing a clerical collar and dark suits six days a week, I am retired and into bright colors, long earrings, and exploring my inner hippy artist.
    That said, now that I am for the most part housebound I tend to be in comfortable cozy what ever is clean, unless making the rare trip into town. Now I find earrings, glasses, hearing aids, and mask to much, so I have given up the dangles for now. My one bone of contention is shoes. Neuropathy means I can only wear a few shoes without pain so my closet sets with pairs that cause pain and I tend to wear just 2 pairs with open toes and flat heels. Heaven help me when they wear out and the search for new ones, that I can stand to wear starts again.

    I have neuropathy in my toes and the balls of my feet. My saving shoes have been these Skechers: https://www.skechers.com/women/shoes/be-light---floral-light/100022.html?dwvar_100022_color=BLK If you can find them, you might try them. Unfortunately they seem to be on their way out. I could only find this version online. I own at least five variations bought over the years. As to clothes, I go bright and budget in plus sizes from online stores. Lamb Chopped, you might take a look at Woman Within. They carry a fair number of long, plus-sized trousers. I personally I go for their petites(short)
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Firenze wrote: »
    I miss poets who dressed the part - I think Oscar Wilde was the last to give it real welly.

    e e cummings didn't do so bad.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Byron probably still in the lead though.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Firenze wrote: »
    I miss poets who dressed the part - I think Oscar Wilde was the last to give it real welly. I wonder if the pose with the hat and the cloak owes anything to the young John Donne (also with impressive amount of hat)?

    I mean, PhilipLarkin didn't even try.

    There is Murray Lachlan-Young and Benjamin Zephaniah.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    Some people feel the need to dress in a way that shouts out, " Look at me folks, I'm a real character I am."
  • I am turning into a very old man I knew 20 years ago (RIP Don) who used to wear *anything* at all that he could find for free, so long as it preserved him from nakedness and was warm / cool enough for the season. OK, he was not a cross-dresser, and nor am I, but that's about it. I still have my wedding suit and need to slim a bit to get the trousers done up, but I've worn it so little I'll be d*mned if I'll pass it on, and that's my main incentive to lose weight, before the next funeral I guess. My job is very dirty so I have old-as-possible clothes for that, including workwear which my colleagues throw out, and I fix out of bloody-mindedness. My old mum still buys me a shirt and maybe jeans at Christmas, which are now 'best' wear - and since we have not been leaving the house much, they'll last me a good while yet!

    (I think I told the story of meeting a (very) old acquaintance on the street, and him being half-way through telling me to f*ck off (he thought I was a vagrant approaching him for money) before he realised it was me :smile: ).
  • Thank you, Lyda. Unfotunately the tall bit of my foot includes the area on top of the foot, just above the toes where the toe-covering bit begins. That bit hits at a standard height in women's shoes which is maybe an inch too low (measuring from bit to innersole just beneath it) and the result is no circulation, if I can even force the shoe on at all. Think of it as trying to force a horse's hoof into the very front of that shoe. The vertical height of the hoof simply precludes it.

    Considers... have i just confessed to hiding cloven hooves on the Ship?
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Thank you, Lyda. Unfotunately the tall bit of my foot includes the area on top of the foot, just above the toes where the toe-covering bit begins. That bit hits at a standard height in women's shoes which is maybe an inch too low (measuring from bit to innersole just beneath it) and the result is no circulation, if I can even force the shoe on at all. Think of it as trying to force a horse's hoof into the very front of that shoe. The vertical height of the hoof simply precludes it.

    Considers... have i just confessed to hiding cloven hooves on the Ship?

    A horse's hoof is not cloven so you're safe.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Telford wrote: »
    Some people feel the need to dress in a way that shouts out, " Look at me folks, I'm a real character I am."

    Back to Lord Byron then. There are people who dress to project a desired image, there are people whose dress is an extension of their creative activities in other areas.

    I'm not sure attention-getting pure and simple is enough of a driver. You have to have an idea of yourself which you are trying to express. I suppose you could apply your criticism to those who dress a part, but don't have the talent to back it up.

  • Thank you, Lyda. Unfotunately the tall bit of my foot includes the area on top of the foot, just above the toes where the toe-covering bit begins. That bit hits at a standard height in women's shoes which is maybe an inch too low (measuring from bit to innersole just beneath it) and the result is no circulation, if I can even force the shoe on at all. Think of it as trying to force a horse's hoof into the very front of that shoe. The vertical height of the hoof simply precludes it.

    Considers... have i just confessed to hiding cloven hooves on the Ship?

    A horse's hoof is not cloven so you're safe.

    Um, what about an ass's ? :lol:
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Thank you, Lyda. Unfotunately the tall bit of my foot includes the area on top of the foot, just above the toes where the toe-covering bit begins. That bit hits at a standard height in women's shoes which is maybe an inch too low (measuring from bit to innersole just beneath it) and the result is no circulation, if I can even force the shoe on at all. Think of it as trying to force a horse's hoof into the very front of that shoe. The vertical height of the hoof simply precludes it.

    Considers... have i just confessed to hiding cloven hooves on the Ship?

    A horse's hoof is not cloven so you're safe.

    Um, what about an ass's ? :lol:

    Not cloven either. You can have goat, cow, sheep, pig, antelope, gazelle, or deer. :smile:
  • Choices, choices...
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    edited August 4
    It is odd that some associate stylish or flamboyant dress with "showing off" when no one, or hardly anyone, would accuse a writer, poet, actor, or artist of showing off even if their work is decidedly not part of the norm.

    After nearly two years in Glastonbury I no longer bat an eyelid when I pass a shirtless and shoeless chap walking down the High Street, or a woman dressed entirely in turquoise satin and gauze with a pair of fairy wings stitched to her back, or even a middle-aged bearded man dressed entirely in Lincoln Green and carrying a longbow. It's just Glastonbury. This woman was a bit of an exception but it was Beltane. Not visible in the photo are her ten-foot furry leggings and stilts.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    It is odd that some associate stylish or flamboyant dress with "showing off" when no one, or hardly anyone, would accuse a writer, poet, actor, or artist of showing off even if their work is decidedly not part of the norm.

    "Showing off" means trying to attract attention. How can flamboyant dress not be included under that rubric? Flamboyant means "strikingly bold or brilliant; showy". If that's not designed to attract attention, I challenge you to say what is and how they differ.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    mousethief wrote: »
    It is odd that some associate stylish or flamboyant dress with "showing off" when no one, or hardly anyone, would accuse a writer, poet, actor, or artist of showing off even if their work is decidedly not part of the norm.

    "Showing off" means trying to attract attention. How can flamboyant dress not be included under that rubric? Flamboyant means "strikingly bold or brilliant; showy". If that's not designed to attract attention, I challenge you to say what is and how they differ.

    But writing a novel is also done to attract attention. You want people to notice you. Same applies to the practitioners of every other form of art. But when a singer performs to a crowd of thousands or busks on a street corner we don't say they are showing off.
  • Depends on the person--and/or audience. I can think of quite a few ridiculous reasons to accuse someone of showing off, and have been accused of seeking attention myself for having a dislocated linb.
  • @Lyda @ Prisilla, Thank you both so much for the shoe suggestions I will check them out.
  • Engineers seem to be expected to dress badly, and fortunately, I've never had to put any effort into it. It became easier when our younger daughter moved out - she was a fierce sartorial critic and simply doesn't understand. I remember a younger colleague who was normally such a slob that on dress down days he would come to work in a suit. (He said it was something to do with being a Baptist, but he never explained that). I've owned, if I remember correctly, three suits in my life and donated the last one to a Good Cause several years ago. If you wore a suit to work it was assumed you were going for a job interview. If I want to dress up, I wear my kilt. Unless I'm wearing the kilt my preferred footwear for many years has been Swedish clogs. You can stand all day in them without getting sore feet and there's plenty of room for those of us whose feet are peculiarly shaped.

    But I don't think anyone ever glances in my direction and says, "Ah - there goes an engineer!"
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    But I don't think anyone ever glances in my direction and says, "Ah - there goes an engineer!"

    I once taught in a school where, at the commencement ceremony, faculty wore the cap and gown of their school.

    The librarian told a story re how one year she was in a rush to get to the ceremony on time, and so she put her cap and gown on at home before getting in her car to drive to the school. She was stopped at a red light, and a little girl was standing on the sidewalk with her mother. "Look, Mommy!" the little girl exclaimed. "A professor!"
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    After nearly two years in Glastonbury I no longer bat an eyelid when I pass a shirtless and shoeless chap walking down the High Street, or a woman dressed entirely in turquoise satin and gauze with a pair of fairy wings stitched to her back, or even a middle-aged bearded man dressed entirely in Lincoln Green and carrying a longbow.

    Time was, August in Edinburgh, you could hardly move for mime artists, kilted bagpipers, Korean dance troupes, historical guides and Eager Young Things wearing their stage costumes for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Waiting for Salome. All vying for your attention like billy-oh.

    I have a friend who for many years has made beautiful and extravagant costumes and worn them to the Venice Carnivale - which is two weeks of nothing but dressing up and showing off.

    I see nothing wrong with dress as an art form, either by itself or in support of another, nor any reason why it should only be allowed in certain times and places. I was once complimented by a woman in a laundrette for adding to the gaiety of nations (I wearing a mohair landscape).
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    This thread made me think of how James Merrill described the poet Elizabeth Bishop as a genius 'impersonating ordinariness.' Not all creatives are performative and flamboyant.


    For the last month, I've been wearing my invisible poet's hat and working on translations from a shairi in Swahili, the Kenyan coastal poetry deeply influenced by the Arabic ghazal form. The poet is Muyaka bin Haji who lived in Mombasa between 1770 and 1840 and who took classic poetry ‘out of the mosque into the marketplace’. He wrote traditional love poems as well as resistance songs against Arab and Portuguese slave traders in East Africa.

    I did wind a striped kikoi from Mombasa around my shoulders to create a little atmosphere.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited August 5
    mousethief wrote: »
    It is odd that some associate stylish or flamboyant dress with "showing off" when no one, or hardly anyone, would accuse a writer, poet, actor, or artist of showing off even if their work is decidedly not part of the norm.

    "Showing off" means trying to attract attention. How can flamboyant dress not be included under that rubric? Flamboyant means "strikingly bold or brilliant; showy". If that's not designed to attract attention, I challenge you to say what is and how they differ.

    I wear bright, rainbow colours because I like them. Even if I’m meeting nobody. I wear them for me, not for them.

    I find attracting attention easy - I don’t need particular clothes for that purpose. I’m a natural ‘comedian’ and love to get the whole room laughing. That’s not for attention either, I do it because I love to lift the mood. In another life I’d be on the comedy circuit.
  • The North East Man is not a Creative. He has been described in the press as a "Boffin."

    He came home from work in fine spirits one day. A group of students had told him that they regarded him as a "style icon."

    Wifely questioning on this unlikely scenario revealed a student had observed that the lime green i-phone case in his top pocket matched the lime green socks he was wearing under his brown leather sandals, and had asked him if this was deliberate styling.

    The NE Man said that it was just a happy co-incidence. The student said that it demonstrated his innate sense of style. The rest of the group joined in their admiration of his "look" culminating in the "style icon" remark.

    The NE Man, unused to thinking of himself as a "style icon" told me that he had decided to make more effort and to buy more i-phone cases so that he could co-ordinate with his other socks.

    I felt it was my wifely duty to suggest to him that the students may not have been entirely sincere in their appreciation of the matching i-phone sock look.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Brought up by a dressmaking mother, I always had the means to realise my satorial fancies. I shall always remember the remark of the pastor's wife: 'It must be great to have the skill to make that. And the nerve to wear it'.

    Though as @Boogie says, if you're that way inclined, it's totally nerveless.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    (I [was] wearing a mohair landscape).

    Does that mean you were lying down in it? (Standing up, it would have been a mohair portrait)?

    I'm glad Stercus T. has given me a vocational excuse for looking like a scarecrow. I also once had a (postgrad) colleague who very unusually dressed in a suit, and when pressed hard admitted 'it's because my Dad's a biker'. So that's another factor - dressing in opposition to someone else's influence.

    I'm sure you all know some variation on this one:

    Q. What do you call a Mancunian in a suit?





    A. The Accused.

    :)
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I may need to rethink my look, currently very much comfy lockdown late middle-age/ young elderly invisible woman. I’ve grown lazy these past few months without the call to appear smartened up in public.

    It’s not been helped by a number of the shops I favour having either gone under or being under threat of closure. There seems to be little available between clothes aimed at younger age groups and those in what I call ‘Old Lady’ style.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Firenze wrote: »
    (I [was] wearing a mohair landscape).

    Does that mean you were lying down in it? (Standing up, it would have been a mohair portrait)?

    I was swathed in it. It was the time when there was a vogue for picture knits.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Firenze wrote: »
    After nearly two years in Glastonbury I no longer bat an eyelid when I pass a shirtless and shoeless chap walking down the High Street, or a woman dressed entirely in turquoise satin and gauze with a pair of fairy wings stitched to her back, or even a middle-aged bearded man dressed entirely in Lincoln Green and carrying a longbow.

    Time was, August in Edinburgh, you could hardly move for mime artists, kilted bagpipers, Korean dance troupes, historical guides and Eager Young Things wearing their stage costumes for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Waiting for Salome. All vying for your attention like billy-oh.

    I have a friend who for many years has made beautiful and extravagant costumes and worn them to the Venice Carnivale - which is two weeks of nothing but dressing up and showing off.

    I see nothing wrong with dress as an art form, either by itself or in support of another, nor any reason why it should only be allowed in certain times and places. I was once complimented by a woman in a laundrette for adding to the gaiety of nations (I wearing a mohair landscape).

    Agree with your last point. It brightens up the day.
  • The repair man is coming today to work on an electrical outlet in the garage, so this morning I dressed for the occasion. I am wearing yellow slacks, rather then sweats or shorts. I even went to far as to have paired this with a green and yellow matching top. There seemed no point in lipstick but semi matching mask near by to don at the ring of the bell. They said that they would call before coming. It is now 1:25 and no call so far. Perhaps I dressed for nothing, and may have to dress up again tomorrow.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Sounds like a very lovely outfit, @Graven Image, hope they come soon, it’s so unsettling just waiting around.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @Graven Image did they ever turn up and see you in your colourful splendour?

    Digressing, this may strike some shipmates as boring, but I don't really 'get' why it's so important for some people that they should be free to express themselves through what they wear. Or, for that matter, why those who do feel so strongly that they should be admired for doing so. It feels morally reprehensible.

  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Enoch wrote: »
    @Graven Image did they ever turn up and see you in your colourful splendour?

    Digressing, this may strike some shipmates as boring, but I don't really 'get' why it's so important for some people that they should be free to express themselves through what they wear. Or, for that matter, why those who do feel so strongly that they should be admired for doing so. It feels morally reprehensible.

    Not boring at all: merely massively offensive.

    Firstly, free expression is important for some people. They can freely express themselves through art, literature, poetry, theatre, dance, music, or whatever, and no one thinks it's morally reprehensible to do so or for them to wish to be noticed and even praised for being good at what they do. And some freely express themselves through what they wear or how they look.

    But I don't think any freely expressing themselves feels they should be admired for it: they know they have to earn admiration by being good at what they do.

    Bear in mind that from the perspective of someone who is creative everyone who is not creative appears dull, imaginatively stunted, and hidebound by convention.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I like bright colours though I don't 'dress up' much. I do like things to co-ordinate thus I'm trying to find face masks that match my outfits. I haven't any green ones yet, and I wear a lot of green. Maybe I'll rescue my son's sewing machine when I'm at my mother in law's and have a go at making some.
    When I went to Glastonbury @Colin Smith I thought I wouldn't be keen on it as New Age isn't really my thing. Instead I loved it and the fact you can wear what you like and no-one is at all bothered.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Sarasa wrote: »
    I like bright colours though I don't 'dress up' much. I do like things to co-ordinate thus I'm trying to find face masks that match my outfits. I haven't any green ones yet, and I wear a lot of green. Maybe I'll rescue my son's sewing machine when I'm at my mother in law's and have a go at making some.
    When I went to Glastonbury @Colin Smith I thought I wouldn't be keen on it as New Age isn't really my thing. Instead I loved it and the fact you can wear what you like and no-one is at all bothered.

    Glastonbury is the first place I moved to solely because I wanted to live there. All previous moves (and there's been a lot) were for work or education. This place always puts a smile on my face.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    When I was 11, I went to the Viking Festival in Peel on the Isle of Man. We took the bus from Douglas, across the island, and all the way I was sitting behind one of the Vikings, close enough to touch his fur collar!
    Later in life, I became a re-enactor myself, and I took great pleasure in wearing my medieval kit on public transport - in the hopes that some other child would see me and be inspired as I was.
    Should I have worn jeans and a hoodie and only got changed when I got to the show ground?
  • Still waiting for the repair call. Same outfit. I like the motivation to get dressed up a bit at least once a week, from usual scruffy outfits worn daily at home. So this morning I looked better when taking out the trash.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Everyone looks better when not surrounded by trash.
  • (Hey!! I'm hoping tomorrow's job will involve the week's best opportunity for a bit of skip-diving. The skip (dumpster) is at a museum and is _really_ productive... :) )
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Everyone looks better when not surrounded by trash.

    I shall have to use that line next time I see anyone trying to avoid me.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    @Graven Image did they ever turn up and see you in your colourful splendour?

    Digressing, this may strike some shipmates as boring, but I don't really 'get' why it's so important for some people that they should be free to express themselves through what they wear. Or, for that matter, why those who do feel so strongly that they should be admired for doing so. It feels morally reprehensible.

    You don't have to 'get' it. Your job is not judging lest you be judged, if you recall.

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