Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Dream Jacket Materializes

Since clothing carries a great deal of symbolic significance, what we wear tells the world - and ourselves - quite alot about our class, lifestyle, and values. We take cues from what we see in stores, from advertising, and what we notice people actually wearing. In my neighborhood - the corner of Birkenstock Road and Tie Die Avenue - it is almost impossible to under dress, but formal, upscale clothing quickly brands you as an outsider. Works for me, but occasionally I have to leave the neighborhood and realize that elsewhere I look pretty ridiculous.
A few months ago I bought some new clothes that were a little more conventional ("foundational pieces", my friend D offered), accented them with a very cool mobius strip scarf, and wore this to a NYC event. I really liked feeling put-together. Indeed, I got it right, because I received a lot of favorable press, and enjoyed it.
This confidence-builder moved me closer to pursuing a long held desire: purchasing a handmade woven jacket. I have admired them at upscale craft fairs, but simply could not imagine paying that much for a piece of clothing. Of course they are really pieces of art, but still....

I do like buying items directly from the craftspeople who make them, and having been on the other side of the booth, I know their profit margin is bigger at a show, and often the prices are better, too. So today I took myself to the Baltimore Craft Show, the country's biggest, with over 800 juried exhibitors.

After looking at dozens of artists' gorgeous hand-crafted clothes, yet not finding something that truly thrilled me, there it was: my dream jacket. Its creator is Patricia Palson, whose picture is above. The colors, style, and fit were all I was hoping for. It is a total extravagance; I expect it will help the artist make February's mortgage payment. Who can say if it's worth it? I put it on and I felt great, and expect to feel happy every time I wear it, for special occasions when looking put-together matters. This was not a little luxury, it was a huge splurge. I doubt I will do this very often, but am pleased that I finally did it once. Mission accomplished.


Anonymous said...

So do we get a picture of the jacket?

Betsy Teutsch said...

Sure, when the jacket arrives. It's being altered to fit. When you buy something handmade, they throw in the alteration, it seems.

Anonymous said...

I see where Patricia lives in New Hampshire. Just e-mailed her to get her schedule to see if she is coming to a craft show near us. Bev loves these craft shows and especially artists that do hand made clothes. Thanks for letting us know about her. Looking forward to seeing the jacket when it arrives.